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Huckleberries Online

Archive for August 2007

Parting Shot — 8/31/07

Deaf In Downtown/Special to Huckleberries

“There are some very interesting boats gathering on the boardwalk today,” e-mails Deaf In Downtown. “One (top) claims to have actually gone over 160 mph. Are the hydroplane races returning to town? A Resort employee told me that they had ‘a lot of requests for overnight moorage’ this weekend but grinned when I asked him if there was some kind of an organized superboat event. Four of them were moored by noon on Friday.”

Q: Where Were You When You Heard About Diana?

Associated Press Photo

Britain’s Prince Harry, top, left, and Prince William, right, greet Princess Eugenie, right and Princess Beatrice, left, at the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, at the Guards’ Chapel, London, fearlier today.

With the 10th year anniversary of Princess Diane death, it made me think of the past years. 10 years ago,the nations of the free world, and maybe beyond shed tears. It was on the television for many hours in many nations. The last time I knew of such a thing happening, was when John F. Kennedy was killed. About at 24 year span, I think. But again, nations cried and watched for hours. Both of these time of sorrow, still bring up sadness in a lot of us, to this day. It isn’t just where were you when this happen, but the lost. Lost of innocents, lost of some one that people felt could make a difference in mankind. Yes, there were and are still people who didn’t feel that way. But even most of them felt the sorrow — Cis/From A Simple Mind here.

Full post here

Question: I was in a hotel room in McMinnville, Ore., as part of a weekend in which I dropped my son off to begin his freshman year at Linfield College. He’s now in his fifth of seven years in an MD/PhD program in Denver. Where were you when you heard the news about Diana?

Inside Huckleberries — 8/31/07

Huckleberries Online is going to resume its Sunday Blogmeister At Large program this Labor Day weekend, with HBO regular Borah Triangle volunteering to supervise the thread. I’ll post BT’s rules and regs for running the blog Saturday night.
Huckleberries hears … that one of the Repub faithful got quite a laugh in the men’s john at the Central Committee meeting Tuesday. Knowing that the elected elephant was in the next stall, he slowly started tapping his foot …
I’m delighted to see ex-Brand X cops reporter Dave Turner land on his feet. He’s stringing for the Inlander now and posted this story re: Rudy Giuliani’s recent visit to Coeur d’Alene: Coeur d’Alene’s mayor, too?
MamaJD brought an interesting point to my attention. On occasion, I’ve posted North Idaho Blog Roll material out front here — only to have a panicked blogger call asking me to take it down. It’s fairly well understood here, I think, that I regularly use material on HBO to promote the blogs. So, here’s the deal. If you don’t want me to use an item, please note somewhere at the top of it that you don’t want it used here. OK?
BTW, Family Phil makes a good point re: the big numbers HBO attracts and the relatively few commenters/blurkers who click onto the poll. What’s up with that? I thought it would be a fun gadget for you — and an informal way to gauge sentiment for various topics.
Finally, I’m happy to see former HBO blogger/commenter Holly Bowen land on the opinion page of the UIdaho Argonaut here. Holly started blogging when she was at Post Falls High and was one of the editors at the North Idaho College Sentinel.

Extra! Craig To Resign Saturday

Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig will announce Saturday he will resign from the Senate amid a furor over his arrest and guilty plea in a police sex sting in an airport men’s room, Republican officials said Friday, according to the Associated Press. Craig’s office earlier said he would announce his plans Saturday after widespread calls from fellow Republicans to resign over a men’s room sex sting, his spokesman said today — Associated Press.

Full story here

Gookin Files for Edinger Seat …

… As predicted in Huckleberries Online, Dan Gookin, leader of the movement to hog-tie the Lake City Development Corp., filed his candidacy for incumbent Ron Edinger’s Coeur d’Alene City Council seat this afternoon. Next?

NYTimes: “Tight-Fittin’ Jeans” Guv Knows Boundaries

If Senator Larry E. Craig yields to calls for his resignation amid allegations that he solicited sex in an airport bathroom, his successor would be chosen by a fellow Republican who once entered a tight-jeans contest — and won. Gov. C. L. Otter, known as Butch, was lieutenant governor when he won the “Mr. Tight Jeans” contest at the Rockin’ Rodeo bar here in the state capital in July 1992. A few days later he was arrested, and eventually convicted, for driving under the influence of alcohol. Now, after having gone on to serve three terms in the House of Representatives before being elected governor last year, Mr. Otter knows better than most what voters in this deeply conservative state will tolerate when it comes to the private behavior of public officials — William Yardley/New York Times.

Full post here

Question: Izzit it just me — or has all the effort that Idaho has made to fight its racist image just gone down the toilet?

OnLocationNI (3 of 3) — Home Sweet Summer Home

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

Kerri Thoreson/OLNI: But the real “Gold Coast” of the Coeur d’Alene/Post Falls area is the Spokane River between Lake Coeur d’Alene and the Post Falls dam. The homes there are spectacular beyond description. Amway millionaires Ron and Georgia Lee Puryear’s 26,000 sq. ft. home on the Spokane River, nicknamed the River House, is the fairest of them all.

OnLocationNI (1st of 3) — Home Sweet Summer Home

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

Black Rock developer Marshall Chesrown owns this viewtiful lodge at Kidd Island Bay, filmed by Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho.

Correction (courtesy of CoeurGenX): That house is owned by John Elway… Marshal sold it to him TURN-KEY about 5 years ago. Marshal bought it from the original owner OXYFRESH’s Richard Brooke..

Stapilus: Craig Has Options, Beside Resignation

This isn’t just the four Idaho newspapers that have (so far) called for his resignation, or the three (thus far) Republican members of Congress or the conservative activists who have done likewise. It’s also public measurement, the 55% of Idahoans in a Survey USA who turned thumbs down, and the overwhelming majorities in online (self-selected, but now days-old) polls at the Spokane and Lewiston newspaper sites, calling for immediate resignation. And (to be clear), we do think it likely that the senator will resign before long. We also think the cases laid out in each of the newspaper editorials are solidly argued. Does that mean Craig’s options are foreclosed, that he cannot do other than resign and leave politics - or that there’s no argument in favor of doing otherwise? No.

Full post here

MamaJD: CdA School District Upsetting My Life

My son will be starting Kindergarten on Tuesday. I received a call yesterday afternoon stating that my son will be going to morning Kindergarten. I arranged my family schedule accordingly. I have another child who also has a schedule that has been pre-determined so it is important that I am able to mesh both schedules. This morning I received another phone call nixing my son’s school schedule. With apologies, my son is now assigned to the afternoon session. I need to cancel my arrangements and find child care in order to meet our current commitments. There is overcrowding at Winton. There is an influx of Winton kids coming to Bryan. There is a staff shuffle at Bryan. There is re-scheduling up the ying-yang and it must be done over the holiday weekend/MamaJD.

Full post by MamaJD here

Question: Has your school district scheduling frustrated you?

Club For Growth Doesn’t Want “Liberal” Simpson

A spokesman for Sali declined to say whether the congressman would seek an appointment to the U.S. Senate. But Club for Growth took a shot at the man political watchers have fingered as a top contender for the job. “With talk of Sen. Larry Craig possibly resigning … there is speculation of Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, filling the seat,” read a Club for Growth press release Wednesday. “The Club for Growth PAC believes it is necessary to remind the public just how liberal Mike Simpson’s economic record truly is”/Dean A. Ferguson/Lewiston Tribune.

Full Lewiston Tribune story here

Question: Do you think Simpson’s a liberal?

Did She Really Say That?

In one of the lighter moments since the Larry Craig airport bathroom flap broke, CNN reporter Dana Bash was on the air a few minutes ago, running down the list of potential replacements — should Craig resign. This, according to Opinion Editor Doug Floyd. First, he mentioned Lt. Gov. Jim Risch, pointing out that he’d served as governor. Then, she raised the name of Rep. Mike Simpson, noting that he was a current Idaho representative. She didn’t say anything about Bill Sali and mentioned Secretary of Interior Dirk Kempthorne, a former U.S. senator, fourth. So who was third (w/a CNN photo included)? Another Idaho “Republican” — Larry LaRocco. Seriously. On the East Coast, of course, Democrat LaRocco would be conservative enough to be a Republican.

Update: CNN hasn’t corrected its earlier error.

New York Times: Why Are R’s Ready To Toss Craig?

The Republican Party is in quite a rush to keelhaul Senator Larry Craig for his run-in with the vice squad in an airport men’s room. Disclosure of the senator’s guilty plea to disorderly conduct set off a frenzy to demand an investigation by the Senate’s somnolent Ethics Committee and to strip Mr. Craig of his committee seniority. Some of the senator’s peers simply demanded that he resign. No similar leadership chorus for judgment has been heard about any number of other scandalous revelations on the party’s plate/New York Times.

Question: What would the Democrats do if one of their senators was caught in this same compromising position?

Hat Tip: Kevin Richert

Cowles Pays $6.5M Settlement in RPS Flap

Item: Cowles firms pay $6.5 million judgment: RPS manager won jury trial/Spokesman-Review

More Info: Cowles Co. development firms have paid a $6.5 million judgment, plus 12 percent interest, to satisfy a 2004 ruling obtained by the former manager of River Park Square, court documents show. The judgment was paid after the state Supreme Court denied a request in early March to hear the appeal of a Spokane County Superior Court jury award to Robert W. Robideaux and his wife, Karen, and their company RWR Management Inc., doing business as Robideaux & Co.

DFO: Ouch!

AP: Craig Is Considering Resigning

Full Associated Press report here

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig is considering resigning, Republican officials said today, after days of public and private pressure stemming from his arrest in June in a police undercover operation at an airport men’s room. As a measure of the pressure Craig faces, party officials said a statement had been drafted at Republican Party headquarters calling for the third-term senator to resign. It was not issued, these officials said, in response to concerns that it might complicate quiet efforts under way to persuade the 62-year-old lawmaker to give up his seat/David Espo & Matthew Daly, Associated Press.

Hat Tip: Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise

RSPA: USC Could Hit Triple Digits v. Idaho

Noah Kroese/Special to Huckleberries

Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel: USC will score 70 points before they put in their second team in the third quarter. Idaho will be so physically decimated and emotionally desolate from this horrific loss they will stumble, like a WWF Wrestler od’ing on steroids and suicidal ideations, to a 3 win season.

Question: Guess the final score on Saturday’s game in Los Angeles between No. 1-ranked USC and No. 113-ranked UIdaho?

Nick: Why Are Idaho R’s Pooh-Poohing Craig Flap?

Let’s pretend for a few minutes that there’d never been any rumors about Larry Craig being gay. I know it’s hard to do given what’s happened in the last few days. However, picture another elected official—let’s say Bill Sali—who, while having had many insults thrown at him, has never been accused of being gay. If he was busted for the same thing, hid it from his staff, family, friends, and constituents for six weeks, plead guilty and then, once the story broke claimed it was all a “misunderstanding”, would it really be any different? I’d say it shouldn’t be. The fact is that the Senator deliberately covered up a crime he committed. And now he’s trying to weasel his way out of it. Dismiss the potential hypocrisy, dismiss the tawdriness of the situation. I understand why the theocrats such as Bryan Fisher would throw him under the bus, as well as the national party. However, in law and order Idaho, I’m surprised how many conservative Idahoans are trying to pooh-pooh this. They’re the same ones who wailed the loudest over Bill Clinton’s desescration of the Oval Office—even though the act itself, while beneath a president, was not unlawful.

Nick Adams

Eye On Boise: Craig Sez Recording Backs Story

Recording here

Sen. Larry Craig’s office reported this afternoon that it was receiving mostly favorable calls after an audio recording of the senator’s interview by an arresting officer with the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport police was released and aired widely across the nation. The recording provides new detail on Craig’s version of the events leading up to his arrest in a restroom-sex solicitation sting and later guilty plea on misdemeanor charges, along with a heated exchange between the senator and the officer over Craig’s truthfulness — Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise.

Full post by Betsy Russell here

Question: If you’ve heard the tape, tell HBO your impression?

HBO Poll: Worst Week — Vick Or Craig (Final)

U.S. Sen. Larry Craig (airport bathroom incident) and Atlanta QB Michael Vick (dog-fighting conspiracy) are having rough weeks this week. Which one is having the worst week? Here’s the current tally:

Michael Vick 30 (30%)
Larry Craig 71 (70%)

Total votes: 101

(a new question will be posted mid-morning TGIF)

HBO Exclusive: Dixie Reid Won’t Seek Re-election

City Councilwoman Dixie Reid told Huckleberries moments ago that she has decided not to seek re-election. The decision has been 18 months in the making. Dixie, who was the first woman to be elected to the Coeur d’Alene City Council, in 1975, has served consecutive terms since 1983 to the present. She told me that she’d lost her passion for the job (although she was tempted to seek re-election when Dan Gookin and others began attacking her and the Lake City Development Corp. on which she serves). “I was ready in May (to announce re-election decision) when the nasty (attacks) came,” she said. “However, I realize that was the wrong reason to seek re-election. I have to have passon.” Dixie said her prospering interior design business also factored into her decision, as did prompting from God. Said Dixie: “I’m proud to have served for so long in Coeur d’Alene’s best interests.” Huckleberries learned last week that former city planner Suzy Snedaker will seek Dixie’s now open seat.

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 8/30/07

Aaron Eisenhauer/Southeast Missourian, AP Photo

Rochelle Steffen is shown Wednesday at her Cape Girardeau, Mo., home as she displays the Michael Vick trading cards that were chewed by her 6-year-old Weimaraner named Monte and Roxie, her Great Dane puppy (not pictured). The cards were sold for charity in an eBay auction Wednesday as the winning bidder dished out $7,400, with the money expected to be donated to the Humane Society. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Enthused because it’s the ‘dog days of August’, Monte nevertheless found he couldn’t lick the issue by himself, so he asked Roxie, a real card herself, to help him take a bite out of crime — John Austin.

2. After the briefing, Monte the dog thinks to himself, “Now that I know what Vick looks like, I know who to bite” — Idaho Escapee.

3. Go fish — OfCoffee.

HM: Dr. Chuckles

Washington Whispers: Craig May Wait It Out

There’s lots of speculation that Sen. Larry Craig will quit, maybe as soon as this weekend, over the firestorm created by his guilty plea for disorderly conduct after allegedly acting lewdly and “peeping” in a Minneapolis men’s room known as a gay sex destination. Certainly the Republican leadership has sent the signal that it wouldn’t cry if he bailed, as demonstrated when he was removed from key committees. But now I hear that the leaders won’t push Craig to bow out now and instead expect him to announce that he won’t run for re-election in 2008/Washington Whispers, U.S. News & World Report.

Hat Tip: MamaJD


Paula Marano, the new leader of the Coeur d’Alene Education Association, introduced the school board members at today’s welcome back assembly at Lake City. She nailed them all, except for calling (wastewater superintendent) Sid Frederickson “Sid Smith” (Idaho spokesman for Larry Craig). Betcha my young buddy Sid would like to be Sid Frederickson at this moment.

DFO’s Animals — Mmm, Mmm, Good

Robin Loznak/Great Falls Tribune, AP

A large garden spider feeds on a yellow jacket wasp from a hiding place near its web outside a home in Great Falls, Mont., on Wednesday.

Slate: Bathroom Sex Q & A

Question: Is tapping your foot really code for public sex?

Yes. The signal has been around for decades in the United States and Europe. Generally, one person initiates contact by tapping his foot in a way that’s visible beneath the stall divider. If the second person responds with a similar tap, the initiator moves his foot closer to the other person’s stall. If the other person makes a similar move, the first will inch closer yet again. The pair usually goes through the whole process a few times, just to confirm that the signals aren’t an accident — Christopher Beam/Slate.

Full post here

Related: Same sex: Larry Craig’s anti-gay hypocrisy/William Saletan, Slate

DFO: This is probably more information than you wanted to know.

Gay Blogger: Lack of Judgment Craig’s Worst Problem

Given the power of our sexual urges—especially at moments when we are overworked, stressed, lonely or otherwise vulnerable—I do feel some compassion for a man like Senator Craig. Perhaps when he was changing planes in Minneapolis, he assumed that a moment’s sexual release would ease whatever tensions he was then experiencing. But despite whatever he was feeling at that particular moment, “in these cases, “as Macbeth put it when contemplating the murder of Duncan, “we still have judgment here.” That the senator did not exercise his judgment, knowing the allegations that had been leveled against him and aware that he held a position of public trust, is why I believe he should resign — B. Daniel Blatt/GayPatriot West.

Full post by B. Daniel Blatt here

Hat Tip: Rocket’s Brain Trust

Question: Who Would Be Good Craig Sub?

Dan of the County: I read the post the other day that somewhere in Boise Jim Risch was looking for a toga. So let’s say that did happen, I’d be curious to hear from all the R’s who you think might angle for the an open Lt.Gov spot? And then, who would have the best chance of being appointed? Maybe they’ll call Dr. Jack out of retirement?

Jane Q. Citizen: Not a chance Dan. Jack’s out of the hunt. It’s an interesting question. It would definately be an up and comer in the GOP whose future political aspirations would be enhanced by a term as Lt. Gov. Odds are that it would be someone currently serving in the Idaho legislature. Now the question would be who.

Question (which I’ll probably use for tomorrow’s HBO Poll Q): Who do you think would be a good choice to replace U.S Sen. Larry Craig if/when he announces his resignation?

Craig Jokes — from A Local Doctor

A prominent Seasoned Citizen called earlier this morning to say that his doctor advised him not to use public restrooms if he began suffering jimmy legs …

Question: Have you heard a joke in wake of the Larry Craig scandal that can be repeated here?

Statesman: Craig Should Resign

Sen. Larry Craig needs to resign. For the good of a state he loves, a state he has served for more than a quarter century. It is difficult and unpleasant to call on Idaho’s senior senator to end a career in public service. We don’t do this casually, or unanimously. However, we cannot abide an elected official who didn’t disclose a lewd conduct arrest until the story broke 77 days later — a lie by omission and a violation of the public trust. We cannot believe Craig can effectively serve Idaho, under the shadow of his guilty plea on a lesser charge of disorderly conduct. We cannot afford, as a state with but four congressional representatives, to have a senator who merely provides fodder for bloggers and late-night talk show hosts — Idaho Statesman.

Full editorial here

Kevin Richert explains why Statesman has called for Craig resignation here

Question: Should the Spokesman-Review call for Craig’s resignation, too?

Redux: Ya Gotta Have Faith, Larry

Noah Kroese/Spokesman-Review

Cussing Welfare Worker Back at Job

Item: Cussing welfare employee back at job: Supervisor was on paid leave during investigation/JoNel Allecia, Spokesman-Review

More Info: A North Idaho child welfare supervisor who accidentally left an expletive-laden message on the phone of a parent is back at work, against the wishes of state Sen. Mike Jorgenson. Randy Geib, a 34-year veteran with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, was allowed to return after an investigation. Agency officials wouldn’t say Wednesday whether he was disciplined, citing personnel rules.

Question: Was this handled appropriately?

Smith: Thread Was Over the Line

The removal of the AnyMouse thread is the result of an exchange I had with Dave yesterday. Simply put, as much as I love HBO — and I do — the animus, outright venom and over-the-line personal trash talk displayed in that thread went over the line. I have asked Dave to think about clarifying standards of conduct on the blog. As independent as HBO is, it is still part of the SR, an important part. At the SR, we believe in a free marketplace of ideas. Except for overt hate speech and libel, all views can be expressed on our blogs and in our pages. Every correspondent is due some respect, especially from those who disagree. Keep in mind the only way we solve problems in our society is to reconcile conflicting values. That can’t happen when a forum for the exchange of ideas becomes a one-note preserve — Steve Smith/Spokesman-Review.

Full thread here

DFO: It’s not even 8:30, and I’ve been to the wood shed already. I killed the entire Any Mouse thread last night after I read the whole thing. I didn’t realize how vicious it’d become. Nor how many attempts were made to reveal the individual behind the pseudonym. I caught a couple of those posts earlier yesterday. I don’t know exactly how to respond to the rules portion of Steve’s note. Huckleberries Online is an open forum with few rules that welcomes impassioned debate — and even toe-to-toe debate. Marquess of Queensberry rules don’t work here. They produce dull sections like letters to the editor pages. Or blogs that don’t have much traffic. I don’t want to reprise my role as a hall monitor. But I’ll watch the comments section more closely for name-calling and attempts to out individuals.

AM Hucks: Craig Rankles Rank-and-File R’s

Huckleberries hears … that Sandy Patano made an impassioned plea to Kootenai County Republicans Tuesday to stand by her U.S. senator, embattled
Larry Craig. Now that he’s fighting for his political life (after being caught in that airport bathroom sting), she said, Idaho R’s should back him for the good work he’s done on their behalf. This, from four different eyewitnesses to the Tuesday meeting. One Berry Picker told Huckleberries that it was obvious that leadership wanted to circle the wagons while grass-roots elephants desired to tar and feather Craig. FerXmple, he said that three top local R’s – Chairman Brad Corkill, Vice Chairman Duane Rasmussen and North Idaho College Trustee Ron Vieselmeyer – gabbed among themselves that the media was to blame for Craig’s predicament. Another Berry Picker described the scene to Huckleberries: “Sandy Patano was in the unenviable position of having to defend her boss, her friend. Out of respect for her, no comments were made, no discussion was held. More than one person was thinking that she may be seriously damaging her own political future if she clings to Craig’s sinking ship much longer. But there was no overwhelming support for Senator Craig. Polite is an apt description.” Gadfly Larry Spencer said few R’s thought Patano’s “spiel” was credible. “I might be wrong,” said Spencer, “but I don’t think I am, just based on the looks around the room.”

Eye On Boise: Craig Among 40 Arrested in Sting Op

Forty men have been arrested since May at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport in a restroom-sex solicitation sting that also snared Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, according to the AP, and most were nabbed after going through a similar foot-tapping ritual that police said was a signal for soliciting sex. Associated Press reporter Steve Karnowski in Minneapolis reports that police records on the 40 arrests “gave strikingly similar accounts” of the signals, from tapping of feet, to moving a foot closer to the undercover officer’s foot in the next stall, to extending a hand under the stall divider — Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise.

Full post by Betsy Russell here

Huckleberries Best of the Local Blogs — 8/30/07

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

Indeed, sez Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho, the dog days of summer are upon us.

*” Should Larry Craig run for re-election? No. Should he resign his seat in the Senate? Yes. It has nothing to do with whether he is gay or not. It has nothing to do with his being a hypocrite. If we used that as a basis for ousting legislators we’d have none” — Dogwalk Musings here.

*As the nights turn cooler, BrodH20 is determined to get in as much camping as possible to justify the monthly expense of the new family camper here.

*F-Words calls the bathroom sting and resulting hubbub involving U.S. Sen. Larry Craig “the lamest sex scandal ever” here.

*Idaho Preps is predicting that the Coeur d’Alene High boys soccer team will repeat as champs of the Inland Empire League — with Sandpoint High second — here. Meanwhile, Idaho Sports North has features on footballers from Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint highs here.

*With all the bad news about Idaho going on — Craig and the wildfires down south — Slight Detour turns to an area of her life that isn’t giving her trouble, her garden, here.

*Un-Muted Mumblings celebrates his two-year blogiversary here.

Blog Numbers (for Tuesday, Aug. 28): 12,555 page-views, 7,241 unique views.

Meanwhile, Tumblewords experiences “Separation Panic in August” here, Family Phil’s children learn to play pool here, As The Lake Churns chronicles Elkins 75th birthday bash here, From A Simple Mind sez life isn’t fair here, Plaid Toaster gets great news about her baby here, Silver Valley Girl is trying to turn over a new leaf here, Sparky hears from a friend here, and Mrs. Mac Energetic bids adieu to summer here.

Don’t Look Now But HBO Book Club Button …

… on the right rail is up and functional. It creates a thread that doesn’t interfere with the main thread. I’ll contact Betty Ammon (who’s in the middle of moving into the new library at the moment) to see if she could head a discussion. Otherwise, you might have to put up with my direction. It might be nice to start tomorrow. So we have something more to discuss while we’re waiting for Larry Craig’s resignation speech …

Inside Huckleberries — 8/29/07

*I’ve been mentioned twice this week by former Clinton aide Bruce Reed (also son of Scott and Mary Lou Reed) in his column for Slate online here and here.
Here’s One for James Bond: Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise and I will be working closer than ever in the blogosphere. I’ll be posting much of Betsy’s stuff on HBO. And she’ll be referring readers in her part of the blogosphere to HBO if they want to comment on an item. Betsy also has a running ticker of new HBO posts in the right rail of her blog here.
Allan Loudell/WDEL (1150AM) in Delaware called a few minutes ago to set up a follow-up interview re: the Larry Craig situation on his radio show today at 2:05 p.m.
SR blogmeister Ryan Pitts is working on a feature that will allow us to discuss the HBO Book Club selections apart from the regular blog threads. That’s why I haven’t kicked off the
The Huckleberries hit count this week has gone through the roof, of course — 13,202 page-views/7157 unique views on Monday and 12,555 page-views/7241 unique views on Tuesday.
I consider he opening HBO Poll to be a success with 251 responses after it was posted around 2 p.m. Tuesday. I’ll post a new poll every weekday morning around 10 a.m.

Breaking! Craig Gives Up 4 Senate Seats

Item: Sen. Craig gives up four Senate committee seats; colleagues call for resignation/Associated Press and Rocky Barker/Idaho Statesman

More Info: Sen. Larry Craig has agreed to temporarily give up his seats on four Senate Committees at the request of Senate Republican leadership, while his political support eroded significantly today when three fellow Republicans in Congress called for his resignation. Craig gave up his posts as the top Republican on the Veteran Affairs Committee, Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, and Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests.

Question: Is this the beginning of the end for Craig’s political career?

Gay Task Force: “Rank And Homophobic Hypocrisy”

The executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Matt Foreman, is accusing Senate Republican leaders of hypocrisy for calling for an ethics investigation into Sen. Larry Craig’s arrest and guilty plea in a restroom sex-solicitation scandal, but not doing the same for Sen. David Vitter, R-La., who admitted to “a very serious sin in my past” after he was linked to a female escort service operated by the so-called “D.C. Madam.” Foreman said Vitter even got big applause from his fellow Senate Republicans during a policy lunch a few days after his admission — Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise.

Full post by Betsy Russell here

Question: Is one political party more ethical than the other? Or are both bad morally?

Edit Roundup: Craig Has Himself to Blame

During a brief — and largely defiant — public appearance Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Larry Craig apologized for bringing “a cloud over Idaho.” We’re sorry, senator. This cloud does not belong to the people who have elected you for the past 27 years. It’s all yours. It stems from your mistakes. Now, in contemplating Tuesday’s apology, Idahoans must also gauge the enormity of their senior senator’s misjudgments — Idaho Statesman.

Full editorial here

Related: Spokesman-Review: Craig denials don’t mean much here, Kevin Richert’s Blog: 55% of Idaho wants Craig to resign here; Jim Fisher/Lewiston Tribune: How much deception? here; Twin Falls Times-News: Guilty or not, Craig has only himself to blame here; and Coeur d’Alene Press: Trust violated, no future for senator here.

Alice’s Garden Spot: Remove Tomato Blossoms

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho
Some of the ribbons that Alice won at the North Idaho Fair last week.

Can it really be true? It seems as though we were just talking about how to get our tomatoes to set fruit and now it is time to prevent the setting of any more fruit. You should do this because you want all the energy of your plant to go toward maturing those green tomatoes already set, before the first frost hits. You will need to be brave and pinch off any yellow blossoms you see from now on. It is difficult to take the steps to begin winding down this summer’s garden, when it seems we are just getting started. But the feel of Fall is in the air. It will officially arrive on September 24, less than a month away. In my garden the first frost arrives usually around the first week in October. So I could have five or six weeks left to go. In other areas of North Idaho you don’t get very much time after Labor Day to enjoy your garden. This has been such a weird weather year, who knows what is going to happen? — Alice Rankin/Alice’s Garden Spot.

HBO Poll: Craig Credibility (Final Results)

Question: Do you believe Larry Craig when he says he did nothing wrong?

163 Hell No (65%)
57 No (23%)
19 Yes (8%)
12 Dunno (5%)

New poll coming in moments

SR: Craig Left Things Clear As Mud

For all the clarity U.S. Sen. Larry Craig added on Tuesday to his disorderly conduct plea, he might as well have stayed on vacation. At a rushed appearance before reporters in Boise, the Idaho Republican denied having committed the offense to which he pleaded guilty in June, and being gay. He had said that much on Monday through his staff. On Tuesday he had a chance to answer the question on everyone’s mind: If he had done nothing wrong, what on earth was he admitting in the guilty plea he signed June 11? Talking to reporters Tuesday, he merely said he pleaded “to a lesser charge in hopes of making it go away.” He gave no explanation for the foot and hand gestures that reportedly occurred between him and arresting officer Sgt. Dave Karsnia, who had described them as well-known signals for an interest in lewd conduct — Doug Floyd/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board.

Full editorial by Doug Floyd here

Question: Were you satisfied with Craig’s explanation for his actions in the Minnesota airport bathroom?

Clip of Craig Admonishing Clinton Makes TV Rounds

This clip was played on the Leno show last night, too.

Hat Tip: MamaJD

Huckleberries Hears …

… that Sandy Patano, U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s state director, made a plea for Kootenai County Republicans to stand by the senator who has done good for them for so long. In the comments section, “Spin” posts:” Sandy Patano was in the unenviable position of having to defend her boss, her friend. Out of respect for her no comments were made, no discussion was held. More than one person was thinking that she may be seriously damaging her own political future if she clings to Craig’s sinking ship much longer. But there was no overwhelming show of support for Senator Craig. Polite is an apt description.” Bjorn, another who was in attendance, described the local R’s as more upbeat toward the embattled senator: ” I was there, and the precinct captains gave a hearty round of applause to the Craig staffer who gave a speech about ‘supporting the man who supported all of you.’” Spencer was also there: “I just listened to (Sandy Patano) try to tell us that we should not rush to judgment, but I think few Republicans here at the central committee think her spiel is credible. I might be wrong, but I don’t think I am, just based on the looks around the room.” If you lose a crowd like the diehard Kootenai County Republicans, you’re done …

Prof: Craig’s Political Career “Shot”

Mike Vogt/Idaho Press-Tribune, AP Photo
Senator Larry Craig, R-Idaho, right, accompanied by his wife Suzanne, left, approaches a podium, Tuesday afternoon in Boise, where he spoke to reporters.

Political scientist Steve Shaw of Northwest Nazarene University said the political damage to Sen. Larry Craig from the current scandal comes not from the suggestion that Craig could be gay, but from the nature of the incident in which he was arrested, the way he handled it, and its contrast to positions he’s taken throughout his career. “If he were openly gay and had been elected as a gay official, it would still be an issue, but it wouldn’t be the kind of issue that it is now for Craig,” Shaw said. “That’s why I think he’s damaged himself so severely that his political career is shot” — Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise.

Full post by Betsy Russell here

Question: What matters most to you: 1. The sleaziness of the bathroom episode, 2. Craig’s hypocrisy, or 3. That Craig’s a closet gay or bisexual?

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 8/28/07

Chris Peterson/Muse You Can Use

A pair of juvenile ospreys spar over a fish in Glacier National Park. The platform was built to keep the birds from nesting on nearby powerlines, where they could get electrocuted.

*Idaho Escapee/Atmospheric Ruminations admits that moving to the Oregon Coast hasn’t been the cure-all he was seeking. But at least he doesn’t have the bad memories he once did here.

*Brent Andrews/Chronic Discontent offers his own doodlings re: the Larry Craig airport bathroom incident here and here.

*There’s a reason why Inland Empire Girl/Gathering Around The Table never leaves her dogs alone during the Fourth of July holiday here.

*PDX Pup hates Carrie Underwood b/c she loves Underwood’s song “Before He Cheats,” although she despises two of the music genres the singer represents. Got that? Click here.

*”Can you imagine the pain? The pain of finding out the person who was your father, isn’t the man you thought he was, all your life?” posts Toadman/Synaptic Disunion. “How do you explain it to your children, your friends, yourself? I can’t imagine the pain, but I’ve witnessed the pain of others” here.

Record Blog Numbers (for Monday, Aug. 27): 13,202 page-views and 7,157 unique views.

Meanwhile, Kellogg Bloggin’ takes no pleasure in Larry Craig’s arrest here, The Perambulator admits he’s not as young as he used to be here, JBelle must be in Russia now here, TUBOB takes us hiking in Zeusland here, and Wayward Episcopalian pimps Joe Biden here.

Romney Distances Himself from Craig

“Yeah, I think it reminds us of Mark Foley and Bill Clinton,” (Mitt) Romney said on CNBC’s “Kudlow & Company.” “I think it reminds us of the fact that people who are elected to public office continue to disappoint, and they somehow think that if they vote the right way on issues of significance or they can speak a good game, that we’ll just forgive and forget.”

Full Fox News story here

Eye On Boise: Idaho D’s Not Talkin’s About Craig

The Idaho Democratic Party had no reaction to Craig’s press conference. “We’re not going to say anything about what Kirk Sullivan had to say or anything like that,” said party spokesman Chuck Oxley. “It will remain to be seen, I suppose, whether Larry Craig can be an effective senator with this hanging over him or not. For us to inject ourselves, it turns this into a Republican vs. Democratic thing, and that’s not what this is” — Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise.

Larry Craig’s Complete Statement @ News Conf.

“First, please let me apologize to my family, friends, staff, and fellow Idahoans for the cloud placed over Idaho. I did nothing wrong at the Minneapolis airport. I regret my decision to plead guilty and the sadness that decision has brought to my wife, family, friends, staff, and fellow Idahoans. For that I apologize. In June, I overreacted and made a poor decision. While I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct at the Minneapolis airport or anywhere else, I chose to plead guilty to a lesser charge in the hope of making it go away. I did not seek any counsel, either from an attorney, staff, friends, or family. That was a mistake, and I deeply regret it. Because of that, I have now retained counsel and I am asking my counsel to review this matter and to advise me on how to proceed.

Complete statement here

Larry Craig Live News Conference on C-Span ….

In the news conference this afternoon, U.S. Sen. Larry Craig apologize to his family, friends, staff and Idahoans for causing a dark cloud to settle over Idaho. But he denied doing anything wrong. He also denied adamantly that he was gay. He blamed his poor decision to not seek counsel for his misdemeanor crime on the stress created by being hounded by the Idaho Statesman. He said he didn’t seek counsel from anyone. But now that he has retained counsel. He concluded by saying that there’s still goals that he would like to accomplish in the U.S. Senate and that he’ll announce his decision re: re-election next month.

Thomas Paine: Sure, Craig Should Resign

Sure, Craig should resign. Probably the only person who doesn’t think so is Bill Douglas. I can see Mr. Douglas’ re-election slogan now, “At least I was never convicted of a crime.” I mean, at least his antics were of a heterosexual nature, so that should appeal to local Repubs.

Thomas Paine

E&P: Why Did it Take So Long to Report Craig Story?

Item: How did news outlets miss senator’s arrest for nearly three months/Joe Strupp, Spokesman-Review

More Info: The revelation late Monday that Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested nearly three months ago for allegedly making sexual advances in a men’s room raises the issue of how such an action could occur without the press reporting it. Even Roll Call reporter John McArdle, who broke the story late Monday, admits he only received word of the arrest and subsequent guilty plea via a tip last week. “You would think in the 24-hour news cycle, something like this would slip through,” said McArdle, a four-year veteran of the Capitol Hill daily. “He wanted to keep it quiet, and he almost got away with it.”

Question: Do you accept our excuses for not reporting this monster story earlier?

Popkey: Men’s Room Arrest Reopens Questions re: Craig

I’m going to keep those post at the top of the thread for awhile b/c Statesman columnist Dan Popkey spent months investigating allegations against Sen. Larry Craig.

In an interview on May 14, Craig told the Idaho Statesman he’d never engaged in sex with a man or solicited sex with a man. The Craig interview was the culmination of a Statesman investigation that began after a blogger accused Craig of homosexual sex in October. Over five months, the Statesman examined rumors about Craig dating to his college days and his 1982 pre-emptive denial that he had sex with underage congressional pages. The most serious finding by the Statesman was the report by a professional man with close ties to Republican officials. The 40-year-old man reported having oral sex with Craig at Washington’s Union Station, probably in 2004. The Statesman also spoke with a man who said Craig made a sexual advance toward him at the University of Idaho in 1967 and a man who said Craig “cruised” him for sex in 1994 at the REI store in Boise. The Statesman also explored dozens of allegations that proved untrue, unclear or unverifiable — Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman.

Full column by Dan Popkey here

Question: What should Craig do: Resign, Call it quits after this term, or Decline to seek re-election.

KREM-2: Outlet Mall Filled w/Empty Storefronts

Item: Empty store fronts still filling Post Falls Factory Outlet Mall/KREM-2

More Info: Empty storefronts still fill more than two-thirds of the Factory Outlet Mall in Post Falls, eight months after KREM 2 News was told they would begin filling up.At that time, the manager said the mall was in negotiation with several retailers that would be moving in soon.

Question: When did you last shop at the Factory Outlet Mall in Post Falls?

Idaho Falls Paper Sez Craig Should Go

The Idaho Falls Post Register ran an editorial today by Marty Trillhaase headlined, “Craig should go.” Detailing Craig’s arrest, guilty plea and statement, it says, “It’s not at all clear how the context of this story will play out in the days ahead. But this much is clear: Craig engaged in deception, and because of that, he can’t be trusted. Craig’s credibility is shattered. He cannot seek another term in the U.S. Senate. And he can’t serve effectively in the remaining 16 months of his term. … Those supporters who begged him to run again now feel alienated and embarrassed. Which of his fellow senators will want to be associated with him and his scandal? In fact, Craig’s already parted ways with the Mitt Romney presidential campaign. And where in his home state – or anywhere else – can Craig appear in public without this story dominating the discussion? It consumes all the oxygen in the room — Marty Trillhaase/Idaho Falls Post Register.”

Hat Tip: Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise

Hagadone Proposes Waterfront Ice Rink

Item: CdA Resort plans ice rink: Trial project needs council approval/Taryn Brodwater & Meghann M. Cuniff, Spokesman-Review

More Info: An ice skating rink may open on the lawn of the Coeur d’Alene Resort this winter if the City Council approves. The 50-by-80-foot rink would encroach about 15 feet onto common area between the resort and Independence Point. The city’s General Services Committee – composed of three council members – voted Monday to send the proposal to the full council Sept. 4. “Fun,” Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander said. “It sounds like it’d be fun.”

Question: Would you like to see an ice rink near Independence Point?

Barker: Craig Story Triggers Media Firestorm

When Sen. Larry Craig’s arrest became public Monday afternoon, thanks to a report on Roll Call’s Web site, the news spread faster than a windswept fire through dry Idaho rangeland. As soon as I got a call on it, I passed it on to our editors who were already getting the story out on and working with Dan Popkey to write his report in today’s Idaho Statesman. I returned to the newsroom and was told to prepare for an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Popkey would be too busy writing. I have covered Craig’s career since 1985. I covered his 2002 reelection campaign and even investigated the rumors surrounding his homosexual behavior back in 1996 when I worked in Idaho Falls. I turned up nothing credible just as several other Idaho journalists had done until the Minnesota arrest and Popkey’s report today — Rocky Barker/Idaho Statesman.

Full post here

AM Hucks: Bloggers Show No Patience w/Craig

The Huckleberries Online blog gang wasn’t forgiving Monday afternoon when it learned of the guilty plea of U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, in an incident involving misconduct in a Minnesota airport bathroom. A sampling of the response from HBO kibitzers follows:

• JBelle: After the discussion about his sexual preference/extramarital sexual pursuits in the last election … and this guy is still trolling in public restrooms? I’m no psychotherapist but it looks like this is someone who really wants to be caught! Really wants his sexual identity revealed once and for all, yet doesn’t know how/doesn’t have the courage to stand up and be counted.
• Frum Helen Back: I wonder who our next senator will be.
• Idaho Escapee: Wow. I haven’t experienced the same degree of surprise since the Jim West scandal. Larry Craig … gosh … when the ones at the top fall, they land the hardest, and leave a huge mess to clean up.
• Phil Thompson: This has to be said: Larry it’s time to fall on your sword. It’s time to step aside.
• Nato: At this point, wouldn’t it be more of a hot news item if a Republican were outted as being just plain heterosexual? … As someone over at Wonkette said, “For a party with such a small tent, they have an awfully big closet.”
• Ophelia: I’m glad this story broke in Roll Call instead of a publication that the GOPers think is liberal.
• Anonymous: Somewhere in Boise today, Lt. Governor Jim Risch is getting himself fitted for a toga.
•OrangeTV: It’s just a sad comment on our culture that this man was so afraid that the fact he was gay would be discovered that he had to go looking for action in public restrooms. If he were just able to happily come out of the closet in the first place he could have just met his mates at the bars, or at Home Depot, like normal gay men do. Of course, he would have never been elected into office in uptight, backward-thinking Idaho if that were the case. His actions really just serve to uphold the unfortunate stereotype that all gay men are perverts trolling around in the lurky shadows trying to molest anything that moves. For shame!

Breaking! Craig Pleads Guilty in Airport Incident

I’ll leave this one at the top of Huckleberries Online b/c it’s the original post re: Sen. Craig’s guilty plea. You’ll find newer material below — DFO.

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested in June at a Minnesota airport by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men’s public restroom, according to an arrest report obtained by Roll Call Monday afternoon. Craig’s arrest occurred just after noon on June 11 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. On Aug. 8, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in the Hennepin County District Court. He paid more than $500 in fines and fees, and a 10-day jail sentence was stayed. He also was given one year of probation with the court that began on Aug. 8. A spokesman for Craig described the incident as a “he said/he said misunderstanding,” and said the office would release a fuller statement later Monday afternoon — Roll Call.

Full Roll Call story here

Related: Senator arrested for lewd conduct: GOP’s Craig pleaded guilty to incident at men’s restroom/WorldNetDaily; Craig pleads guilty following incident in airport restroom/Drudge; Republican senator arrested for disorderly conduct/CNN Political Ticker.

Wild Card/Monday — 8/27/07

As mentioned below, today is the first day of the filing period for the local City Council races. The anti-LCDC ticket is coming into focus. Of equal interest will be the four Post Falls City Council races, including the two new spots that will expand the council to six seats. We’ll rely on Marianne, Cis & Co. to keep us posted about the Sandpoint/Bonner County races. But there’s more to life than city politics. So, it’s time to play the Wild Card …

MamaJD: Photog Rookie Takes 2nd @ Fair

I entered some photos in the North Idaho Fair. I know, I know - who the hell do I think I am? (No - really, that’s what the voice in my head would whisper once in awhile.) I was also very nervous. Photos are turned into the fair office a couple weeks in advance of the fair. I had plenty of time to imagine the outcome. Fantasy A was where I walked into the photo exhibit and my pictures made a clean sweep winning every ribbon possible, even for the categories that didn’t apply because my pictures were that awesome! Fantasy B included me walking into the exhibit and overhearing everyone laughing while pointing at my horrendous pictures. People would say, “Poor woman . She probably doesn’t realize her photos are the equivalent to one of those tone deaf, mentally impaired American Idol auditions” — MamaJD.

Full post here

Question: Have you ever entered an item in a local fair?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 8/27/07

Daniel Ochoa de Olza/AP Photo

Contortionists of the Zunyi Acrobatic Troupe from the People’s Republic of China perform during a press preview of ‘Magical’ in Madrid last week. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Bill Sali’s headband makes it’s way to China! — Dr. Chuckles.

2. The term “Toehead” in China means something completely different than it does in the USA — KeithinCdA.

3. Proving once again, a guy will do almost anything to look up a girl’s skirt — MamaJD, and Disaster struck the next day when Wu put on too much hair gel — A Token D.

HM: Katrina

Craig Issues Statement re: Guilty Plea

Statement of Senator Craig (direct link here):

Idaho Senator Larry Craig made the following statement in response to the Roll Call story this afternoon: “At the time of this incident, I complained to the police that they were misconstruing my actions. I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct. … I should have had the advice of counsel in resolving this matter. In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty. I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously.”

Hat Tip: Rick

Pendulum: Craig Didn’t Mention Pit Stop in 6/14 Update

Three days after his lewd conduct arrest in Minneapolis, U.S. Sen. Larry Craig sent his constituents a newsletter with a detailed description of his busy week. Nowhere in the June 14 “eUpdate,” though, is any mention of his ill-fated June 11 trip to an MSP International Airport restroom. “Along with a bipartisan coalition of Senators [sic], I have spent this week debating the direction to take this country’s energy policy,” Craig, R-Idaho, said in the introductory message — David Wasson/The Pendulum.

Editor Smith: What Was Craig Thinking?

To those wondering how the press missed this, I have no good answers yet. The court record is at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. The charge was a misdemeanor. Newspapers in Idaho and Washington would have no way of knowing such a record existed unless someone in Hennepin County were to call or someone in Craig’s office were to flag the case. I haven’t worked in Minneapolis for more than 20 years, but I would guess the Star-Tribune does not routinely examine misdemeanor records and even if they did, the name “Larry Craig” would not jump out at anyone. The record in and of itself probably doesn’t reference his status as a senator although the full police report apparntly does. We probably won’t know all of the reasons this escaped notice until we find out more about how it actually was uncovered. One thing is for certain, however. Craig didn’t return to his office after pleading guilty and put out a press release advising his staff and constituents that he made a mistake. He gambled that nothing would ever come out. How many of his friends, and even family, were caught off guard? Not to mention Idaho citizens. What was this man thinking? — Editor Steve Smith/Spokesman-Review.

Redux (From Oct. 17, 2006): Gay Activist Outs Craig

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

Audio of Ed Schultz radio show this afternoon in which Mike Rogers ( leveled his accusation here

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

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

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

In The News: Diaper Free?

Lisa Poole/AP Photo

Isis Arnesen, of Boston, kisses her 14 week-old daughter Lucia, after the baby went to the “bathroom” after her mother noticed a “sign” from the child recently at a park in Watertown, Mass. Lucia is a product of a “diaper-free” movement founded on the belief that babies are born with an instinctive ability to signal when they need to go to the bathroom.

Question: Is this a legit movement or crackpottery?

Blogspotter: Comments Feature Hikes Blog Traffic

HuffPo might boast the most complex selection method, but it isn’t the first site to elevate commenters to the blogging bigs. Reader submissions power the politically progressive Daily Kos, for instance. Closer to home, The Spokesman-Review’s moderate Huckleberries Online recently began enlisting trusted readers to serve as weekend discussion wranglers. Huckleberries maestro Dave Oliveria regularly pulls insightful and provocative replies into front-page posts as well. Other blogs highlight comments of the day or week in items that spawn even more reactions. (The Comics Curmudgeon honored one comic-strip comment of the week and 15 runners-up in a recent entry that drew more than 80 additional comments.) — Frank Sennett/Blogspotter.

Full post by Frank Sennett here

Question: Can you think of other ways that will create even greater interaction for Huckleberries Online?

Huckleberries’ Best of Idaho Media — 8/27/07

Troy Maben/Associated Press

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and his wife, Lori, receive cowboy hats with hat bands with the words Health Care for Idaho’s Kids from local children at a press conference in front of Steele Memorial Medical Center in Salmon this morning. SCHIP(State Children’s Health Insurance Program) is a national health insurance program for children of working parents without medical insurance.

1. As he lie face up on a Moscow parking lot with bullets zooming around him, mechanical engineering student Pete Husmann of Coeur d’Alene had no idea that he’d be joking months later about being bulletproof here.

2. North Idaho’s water rights are in such bad shape that they show that a man who’d have to be 137 years old today owns a substantial portion of water. That’s why it’s time to fix the problem here.

3. Online Poll: By 39% to 20%, a plurality of 863 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll said it’d read 7 or more books to “none” in the past year. In third place, 16% said it’d read one or two books here.

4. News Roundup: Ex-Coeur d’Alene teacher celebrates 107th birthday here, Fire burns on Mount Baldy (with video of evacuations) here, Filmmaker finds career in Coeur d’Alene here, Clearwater County deputies kill armed man here, , and ex-Centennial High softball coach gets probation for contact with student here.

5. Idaho Blogs: Jesse Tinsley/Video Journal (New Kingdom Hall buildings), Adam Graham/Adam’s Blog (Give her a break), Clayton Cramer (Redefining conservative), Alan/IdaBlue (Follow the money), and Bill/Free In Idaho (National Buy A Gun Day).

6. Idaho IMHO: Bill Sali/Townhall (Freedom of religion), Jim Fisher/Lewiston Tribune (Scout leader reverent perhaps, but trustworthy?), Kevin Richert/Idaho Statesman (Dirk’s Dodo), Rocky Barker/Idaho Statesman (Ketchum area homes are hardest fuel to treat), and D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Huckleberries: Lawyer can’t get break, except windshield).

Don Sausser: Whitecaps on Lake Coeur d’Alene

Don Sausser Photo

Shot at 10:50 Sunday morning. Winds with 20 mph gusts caused abundant white caps beyond Inspiration Point. Mr. H’s summer place shown in the top, LH corner — Don Sausser.

Huckleberries Hears …

… that the anti-LCDCers are trotting out the following lineup in an attempt to knock off Coeur d’Alene City Council incumbents this fall:

*Dan Gookin vs. Ron Edinger
*Sharon Culbreth and/or Jim Brannon vs. Al Hassell
*Suzy Snedaker vs. Dixie Reid (if she decides to run again)

Stay tuned

Related: CdA candidates mum on election plans: Filing opens (today) but nobody’s committing/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

Bette The Librarian: You Can Bring Coffee to New Library

The plans for a coffee shop in the new library went away with the third floor. However, after the library opens on September 10, people can bring in a covered cup and enjoy that on the terrace or in the library’s “living room.”

Librarian Bette Ammon

Phil Thompson: Sali, Fair Head Dress Were Hits

DFO, over the weekend I spent some time working the KCRCC booth at the fair. One topic that came up was Kevin Richart’s critisim of Bill Sali. Specifically, saying that Sali’s feather bands for kids was intolerant of Native Americans. By using the word intolerant, Richart opened the door for others to start using race against Mr. Sali. I bet I passed out 500 of those things on Friday night. Nothing can substitue for the smile on a little ones face when they get one of those feathers. Some of my best friends are from that other party….their kids were happily wearying Sali feathers. One prominate democrat Who will remain nameless refused a feather cap on the grounds his wife will KILL him. I was also pleasently surprised to see Mr. Sali at the fair himself. I found Sali to be intelligent, engaging, humorous, and passionate for the success of America. Sali gets a lot of negative attention in this blog from yourself, Noah, and your biased guest from the Idaho Statesman. Why don’t you spend a little time with Sali, do an interview….get to know the man. He is not perfect but he is not the person this blog paints him. Richart seems cheesed that no one from his party came up with the brilliant feather idea.

Phil Thompson to Hold CdA Anti-War Vigil

At 7 p.m. Tuesday the Political Action in Coeur d’Alene will hold a candlelight vigil at Independence Point to call on Congress to vote to end the war in September. “It’s time for the Bush Administration to stop looking through rose-colored glasses and realize that the surge has been a total failure,” said Cathleen O’Connor, a local MoveOn member. “Rep. Sali must Stand Up in September and vote to end this religious civil war that can’t be won.” Participants in the vigil will read from a “War Toll Calendar” to honor and remember the soldiers that have died in the past year in the unwinnable religious civil war in Iraq. Vigils like this one are part of national Take A Stand Day - a coordinated day of action to end the war initiated by the Americans Against Escalation in Iraq coalition, including Political Action,, the Service Employees International Union, True Majority and others.

Question: Is this something that interests you?

Breaking! Gonzalez to Step Down as AG

Item: Gonzales steps down: Attorney general announces resignation after rebuffing criticism from Congress/WorldNetDaily

Alberto Gonzalez: “It has been one of my greatest privileges to lead the Department of Justice. I often remind our fellow citizens that we live in the greatest country in the world and that I have lived the American dream. Even my worst days as attorney general have been better than my father’s best days.”

Question: Are you glad to see him go?

Anderson: Too Much Information

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

New Library to Open in 2 Weeks

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Walkers, wagons, bikes and other entries march in a parade down 5th St. from the old Coeur d’Alene Library to the new one in downtown Coeur d’Alene Saturday. The parade of families and individuals carried books from the old library to the new one which is scheduled to open Sept. 10.

Question: How often do you use the library?

John Duh: We Should Bomb Iraqis Back to Stone Age

The reason we couldn’t beat the N. Koreans (Red Chinese), Viet Cong, and now the insurgents, is because we can’t totally annihilate the last three as we did the Nazis. We should annihilate most of that region. I know, a lot of innocents etc… But most are band wagons anyway. Whoever is giving them food is what direction most of those people will go. Most of them hate and envy us, and if they really wanted a democratic gov’t they would fight like our forefathers fought and died. Most are corrupt and cowardly, or they would have done something about their own situation by now. You are either with us or against us. If you are with us, get out of your tents and fight and die for your families and future instead of allowing our men to die for you. If you are against us, we should pull our men out and carpet bomb you back to the stone age,,, because most are not really that far from the stone age. Now come on, everyone call me a heartless moron. Life is tough! If we don’t do to them, they WILL do it to us. They don’t play by any rules, let alone ours.

John Duh

Wild Card/Saturday — 8/25/07

I’m still looking for someone to serve as a Super Sub to oversee the Sunday postings at Huckleberries Online. I apologize for being late in seeking the pinch-hit blogmeister. But it has been hard to get up to speed after a vacation that stretched into the middle of this week. Of course, we can always to what we’ve done in the past — simply let Sunday take care of itself. Let me know if you’re interested in being the hall monitor for tomorrow. Meanwhile, there’s plenty below to keep you busy as the weekend kicks off. I doubt that I’ll get out to the fair again this weekend. But that shouldn’t stop you from posting your observations about it here. Or you can use this Wild Card to start any other thread …

Does This Scene Look Familiar

Shawn Raecke/Idaho Statesman

Allyia Briggs, 18, pulls as her father, John Briggs, of Sandpoint, Idaho, pushes a cart of her belongings through the Boise State University Tower dormitory parking lot on Friday morning in Boise, Idaho.

Question: How many times have you been through this drill?

Camden: Is Idaho Ready for New York Suit?

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Giuliani was late beyond even Democratic standards, about an hour and a half behind schedule by the time the three black SUVs pulled up to the gate at Hagadone HQ. Which was a concern, Duane Hagadone said at one point, because he had to get out to Kidd Island Bay and get back in time to fly to Sun Valley that night. Hagadone, who had a speed boat waiting to whisk the guest of honor to the $500-a-pop reception, also was waiting for Mayor Rudy’s plane to land. To kill time, and further rattle the co-hosts of the event, Hagadone called the party to hint that he might take the candidate past his floating golf tee for a picture. Just kidding, he finally told them when the joke was met with stunned silence — Jim Camden/Spin Control.

Full post here

Question (from Jim Camden): When was the last time you saw an Idahoan get into a speed boat wearing a coat and tie?

HBO Poll: Biggest Thing That Happened Last Week?

What’s the biggest thing that happened in the North Idaho area this past week?

1. Rudy Giuliani visited
2. Kendra Goodrick set free
3. North Idaho Fair starts
4. DFO returns from yet another vacation
5. Developers send eviction notices to Bayview trailer residents
6. Sen. John Goedde wants county commissioners to fire health board over septic system flap
7. County red-tags planner Sandy Young’s development
8. 2 controversial books survive ban attempt in Coeur d’Alene School District
9. Antagonists DFO and Dan Gookin shake hands while waiting for Giuliani to appear
10. Other

DOTC: 2 Kids in Iraq at Same Time?

Technology can still be amazing. Our son has been able to call us twice this week since he got to Kuwait. I ponder how it must have been for parents and family of other wars where they sometimes had months between letters and certainly no phone calls from the other side of the world (let alone e-mail and digital pictures). On the other hand, maybe all this instant and deceivingly routine communication can fool you into thinking this is a normal situation. We got word yesterday that our youngest daughter, who is mother to two of our grandkids and is a 10 year Navy Corpsman, got her orders to ship out to Iraq at the end of the year. She hears she’ll probably go to one of two Marine facilities, either at Al Asad or Al Tagaddum. Unless our son comes home sooner than expected or she goes later than we think, we’ll have two of our three adult kids in Iraq at the same time. I doubt if it’s like on M.A.S.H. though, where maybe they could borrow a jeep from Sergeant Rizzo in the motor pool and run up to see each other on the weekends.

Dan of the County

TGIF Wild Card — 8/24/07

It’s been quite a half-week, HBOers. The North Idaho Fair beat Rudy Giuliani to town. Kendra Goodrick and Ziggles both were freed. Suzy Snedaker was the first to indicate that she’s running for the Coeur d’Alene City Council. And the tomato days of summer are winding down. That means this place is going to be hopping in another week or so. It’s doing pretty well as is. As of Monday, candidates can begin to file their candidacies. Until the fun begins, you can start your own threads with this Wild Card …

OTV: About That New Gozzer Ranch Hat

I’ve never been much of hat person. I dunno, maybe it’s just the shape of my head, but most of them usually look silly on me. In high school, I wouldn’t have been caught dead in a baseball cap - too jock, too ordinary Everyday Joe. I always thought hats were so dorky. I had to be different. I have owned the occasional black felt golf-style cap worn backwards - a look I could pretty much get away with. Those hats always seem get left behind on some cafe table or pilfered by friends wanting to just “borrow” it. Last winter, I found a nice cozy grey and black wool hat and amazingly, it looked okay on me AND it was a baseball-style cap. Yes, it took me until age 35 to find a baseball cap I actually liked — OrangeTV/Making Flippy Floppy.

Full post here

Question: What kind of hat do you wear?

TGIF Photo of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 8/23/07

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Do you guys really want this to be today’s Photo of the Day? If you read the blog last night, you know that this is Huckleberries Hound in front of the Hagadone Corp HQ at the end of a 90-minute wait for prez wannabe Rudy Giuliani Thursday afternoon. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. July’s entry for the “Men Of HBO” beefcake calendar — Family Phil.

2. So I have a freaking cell phone now! Doesn’t make me less of a man! — JBelle.

3. DFO’s guided tour of the worst architecturally designed buildings in Coeur d’Alene begins at Hagadone headquarters — Nic.


DeePee: I Could Warm Up to Rudy

Presidential candidate and erstwhile New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani paid a visit to our friend John Magnuson’s home in the Wallace suburb of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho the other day to raise money and press the flesh. Because John, who with his lovely partner Holly Houston knows how to throw a serious bash, and also because Rob Elder’s crew from the Hot Rod Cafe were cooking, we joined the festivities at Laissez Faire, John and Holly’s lake place built by the late, great Hank Day. In the unlikely event that Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, fails to win the Republican nomination for president, we could take a yen to Rudy for the simple reason that he is utterly contemptuous of the New York Times. A lesson he learned from Ronald Reagan, Giuliani said, was to read the Times every morning and then just do the opposite of whatever its editorialists urged — DeePee Bond/Wallace Street Journal.

Full post here

Question: What do you think of the New York Times?

Editor Smith: A Whizzing Match w/Conspiracy Theorists?

I have avoided weighing in on the Shook/Connor/Bamonte RPS hysteria because there is no percentage in engaging these guys. Here is the note I sent to Rebecca Mack when I declined to appear on the Fuhrman show last week: “With all due respect to my friends on the Fuhrman show, I refuse to be drawn into a debate with conspiracy theorists who masquerade as journalists. Their work isn’t about the journalism of verification but the politics of assertion. They’ll write anything, say anything, slander anybody in order to further their personal agendas. They DO NOT work in the public interest. Their goal is to promote bizarre conspiracy fantasies, from which they hope to personally profit. I won’t waste my time or energy dealing with them, which is why they have once again tried to make me one of their targets. Spokane residents are smart enough to understand their agenda and pay them the attention they warrant.” I stand by those remarks today without qualification — Editor Steve Smith/News Is A Conversation.

Full post here

Question: Who do you believe here — Smith or the conspiracy theorists?

Oopsy: Boise Park Honors President “Regan”

One part of the plaza is dedicated to United States Presidents. They’re all there… “Franklin Roosevelt, good guy. John F. Kennedy, another good president. G.W. Bush. Ronald Regan,” McFarland said. Wait, what was that? “Umm, Ronald Reagan, and I think his last name is spelled wrong actually,” Haeberle said. Really? “Yes, it should be R-E-A-G-A-N, I believe.” Ohhh, they mean Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States. “It is misspelled, we will be replacing that,” Baker said. Baker wants people to know that the spelling error will be fixed — Ryan Larrando/

Full KTVB-TV story here

Question: When it comes to spelling, how would you describe yourself: 1. Spelling bee champ, 2. OK, but don’t ask me to spell accommodate, 3. I get by with a little help from my friends, 4. Spellcheck dependent, 5. D’oh, or 6. Other?

Update: Kendra Goodrick To Be Released Today

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Kendra Goodrick, a recovering meth addict and new mother caught in a legal dispute that found her back behind bars after 1 ½ years of law-abiding freedom, will again be released from jail today. Her case, first detailed in The Spokesman-Review in July, has spawned public debate in North Idaho over punishment and compassion. Kootenai County Public Defender Val Siegel said a judge agreed to probation for Goodrick during an unscheduled hearing this morning. Goodrick was convicted of possession of meth with intent to deliver in 2005. First District Judge John Mitchell placed her on probation in January 2006. She became a mother and married in the months since.

Full story by Taryn Brodwater/SR here

Question: Is this an effort by Prosecutor Bill Douglas to repair the image of his office prior to the 2008 primary election?

Huckleberries Best of Idaho — 8/24/07

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

Coeur d’Alene mogul Duane Hagadone (white shirt) escorts former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani onto his wooden boat en route to a $500-per-head fund-raiser at local attorney John Magnuson’s Lake Coeur d’Alene home Thursday. Car dealer Tom Addis is standing in the cabin to the left. Story here.

1. It sounds like a wedding dress found lying in the middle of Interstate 84 earlier this month might be returning home today. A man called the Idaho Transportation Department this morning to report that he lost his wife’s wedding dress when it fell out of a truck as he was moving from Boise to Caldwell Aug. 10 here.

2. Book Review: Randy Stapilus, Idaho’s political reporter emeritus, tabs former U.S. Sen. Jim McClure as one of the state’s most successful politicians, even though he didn’t have a charismatic personality or a significant controversy, here.

3. Online Poll: By a plurality of 47% to 25%, 773 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll said they could live without new clothes over cell phones for a year, with TV third at 16%.

4. News Roundup: CdA priest survives crash into home here, Charges dropped against man who killed dog here, Wolf pack eradicated here, Twin Falls mayor upset over YMCA turmoil here, and Pocatello teens gets life sentences for murdering classmate here.

5. Idaho Blogs: Clayton Cramer (Serious cluelessness), Mountain Goat Report (LaRocco in hot water?), Alan/IdaBlue (Cemeteries), The Idahoan (On the White House watch), and Julie Fanselow/Red State Rebels (Happy birthday, Cece and Larry).

6. IMHO Idaho: Jim Fisher/Lewiston Tribune (Some children left behind), Doug Bauer/Moscow Pullman Daily News (A tragedy indeed), Tom Henderson/Lewiston Tribune (Bush passes true-false test, fails essay question), Tim Trainor/St. Maries Gazette-Record (A walk in the woods), and Idaho Statesman (Western wildfires become national issue).

Cannon Beach Vacation

Toes in the sand
cares cast aside
no schedules observed
except by the tide.

Bard of Sherman Avenue

Question: Where’s your favorite vacation spot on the West Coast?

DFO Thoughts — A Return to Cell Phones

re: Dr. J’s question in the comments section re: whether or not I can live without my new cell phone

In a word, I’d say I can live without my new cell phone. So far. In my first week-plus of usage, I’ve fielded a phone solicitation at an I-90 rest stop from a woman who wanted me to stop by her office to pick up some prizes that I’d won in a drawing I hadn’t entered. I received two calls late at night from a drunken girl looking for “Josh,” including one in which she wondered if she could stop by my place. Yesterday, I made three calls each to other cell phone users in the extended family tree — only to get their voice mails. I’m also still trying to figure out whether I want to carry it in my pocket or on my belt. I prefer the former. But I wonder if it’ll beat up the small cell phone. On the plus side, it saved my wife and I from being split up in Portland traffic when we miscommunicated last week. And it’s a handy device for my family and friends to use if they want to get ahold of me at the office when I’m too busy to answer my office phone. We bought the cell phones so my daughter could have one at college and my wife could have one while traveling around. I’d say they’re worth it for that reason. But I also believe I can live without one.

Another Fine Show @ Riverstone Park

Don Sausser Photo

Ruth Pratt and J.J. Dion of The Eclectics put on quite a show, featuring Big Band sounds, as part of the free entertainment series Thursdays at Riverstone Park. They were accompanied by keyboardist Ray Clemons. HBOer Don Sausser was on hand with his camera to capture this duet as the sun set. There are two more performances scheduled before the sun sets on the entertaining series.

Question: Should Sali Hand Out Indian Headbands?

So let me ask my question bluntly: Why does Sali do this? I am not of American Indian descent, so it’s not really my place to be offended. But it’s no secret that some Indians have protested the use of Indian sports nicknames and mascots — and long before Sali started handing out his headbands. It’s no stretch to say the headbands run the risk of being offensive. So why hand them out? Erring on the side of not offending constituents is not politically correct. It strikes me as simply being polite. To me, using an Indian headband in the name of building voter ID is needlessly controversial. It’s one more reason to question Sali’s judgment — Kevin Richert/Idaho Statesman.

Full post here

Question: Should Sali hand out Indian headbands at Idaho fairs, including the North Idaho Fair?

Giuliani Dials For $$$ In Viewtiful CdA

Item: Giuliani visits the Lake City: White House candidate raises funds at reception/Jim Camden, Spokesman-Review

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Republican Rudy Giuliani arrived at The Coeur d’Alene Resort before a campaign fundraiser at the home of Attorney John Magnuson on Thursday.

More Info: “It’s great exposure for Coeur d’Alene,” Hagadone said. Giuliani might be the first presidential candidate to visit the city since Ronald Reagan came prior to the 1980 presidential election, Hagadone added as he waited for the candidate to arrive.

Question: Who do you want to see become the nation’s next president?

JohnA: I Witnessed Historic Hand Shake

re Raymond Pert’s observation: “DFO shook hands with Dan Gookin and they were fairly civil”

John Austin: Yes, RP, I actually saw the history-making event with my very own eyes. Dang strode right up to us and shook our hands. Other witnesses included Rich Piazza and Ruthie Johnson. I only wish the KREM cameras had captured the ‘Summit on the Plaza’. No offense, JimmyMac, but it would have blown your Rudy handshake right off the air! For the record, I’ve always found Dang to be considerate and friendly in person. We can agree to disagree on some issues, without worrying that I’ll come under attack, either on the blogs or behind my back. I like that in a person, especially if they are ardent enough to put their time, money and reputation on the line for causes they believe in. Yep, after the Dang/DFO event, I was no longer interested in the Rudy thing, so like DFO I left. It would have been a tough act to follow anyway. ;)

DFO: John, you left out the part when I told Gookin how much I was looking forward to this fall’s municipal elections b/c they were going to send my page-views through the roof. And how Gookin (who reportedly is considering a council run) merely stared at me and didn’t respond. I don’t think the era of civility is going to last once Gookin and his followers are forced by election deadlines to play their hand. Then, we’ll know who Ron and Al are going to throttle — and whether the anti-LCDCers, with a major assist from Duane Hagadone, have the fire power to win Dixie Reid’s seat.

Signe: Iowa Does The Ordering

Signe Wilkinson/Washington Post Group

Parting Shot — 8/23/07

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Kootenai County Commissioner Rick Currie and former commissioner Dick Panabaker burn the mortgage papers for the county’s Administration Building Thursday morning in Coeur d’Alene. The building cost $3.5 million and was paid off a little early because of a drop in interest rates a few years ago. (BTW, Commish Rich Piazza told me this afternoon that city firefighters were on standby and a barrel was required to contain the blaze — as a result of the burn ban.)

Crooks: Boy Scouts And Sex Abuse

Former S-R reporter Jonathan Martin has a shocking article in today’s Seattle Times on the Boy Scouts and sexual abuse. And I don’t shock easily.


The previously private records show the Boy Scouts have ejected at least 5,100 adult leaders nationwide for sexual abuse allegations since 1946. And the files reveal that despite efforts to keep potential abusers from joining, the problems persist: In the past 15 years alone, the organization has kicked out leaders for such allegations at a rate of once every other day.

Question: That widespread? Does this surprise you?

Rudy Didn’t Win This Woman Over Today

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

One of the small crowd on hand to greet Rudy Giuliani’s motorcade at the Coeur d’Alene Resort this afternoon was a Ron Paul supporter.

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 8/23/07

Petar Petrov/AP Photo

A girl massages black mud into her hair after covering her body in it at a lake near the Black sea town of Pomorie Thursday. It is believed that the mud from the lake cures rheumatism and other body ailments. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Kootenai County Prosecutors provided the tar. The State Attorney General’s office is bringing the feathers. Kendra Goodrick just tries to stay positive — Family Phil.

2. Mary Souza says that Coeur d’Alene’s campaign mud is really good for the skin. Scientists state that while it does open pores, it does not open minds — MamaJD.

3. Her Sandiness still can smile after reading Mary Souza’s weakly column in the Coeur d’Alene Press — DFO.

HM: John Austin

Update: Giuliani to Make CdA Statement

We’ve just heard that Repub prez wannabe Rudy Giuliani will make a public statement in front of the Hagadone Corp HQ this afternoon from 3:30-45 and possibly take questions from reporters. The public is invited.

CdA Priest Escapes Injury When Pickup Hits House

SR File Photo

In September 1986, Bill Wassmuth (above) was sitting in the living room when a bomb exploded near the back step of the same parish house. Aryans had placed the bomb.

A Catholic priest narrowly escaped serious injury when a pickup hit his Coeur d’Alene home early this morning, throwing him across the room. Father Roger LaChance, the pastor at St. Pius X Catholic Church, was sitting in a chair in his front room when the truck slammed into the home at Haycraft Avenue and Sixth Street about 12:30 a.m., said Coeur d’Alene Police Lt. Dan Dixon. “Had the porch not taken the brunt of the impact, he would have been more seriously injured,” Dixon said. The driver of the pickup and his passenger were unconscious when police arrived. Both were taken to Kootenai Medical Center for treatment. Dixon said the driver will be charged with DUI.

Gary Ingram: I live down the street. 12:30 am. Loud, very loud explosive like noise and the lights and cable shut down. Up the street this out of control vehicle careens into the utility pole on the corner knocking it into the overhead cable and electrical feed. The truck? crashes into the yard and house of Father LaChance, the pastor of St. Pius, right through the window and wall by the front door, totally destroying the front. Pastor Rogers missed by inches. Across the street lives a CDA Blue K-9 officer so the arrest is made quickly. Power back at 5:30 am and cable by 10:00. All three TV news trucks doing an on site newscast when I went by at 8:00.

MamaJD: The School Supply List from Hell

The school supply lists have hit the stores. The stores are nice enough to download and print your child’s school supply list and place it conveniently in the aisles. This is my first year picking up school supplies. I was excited until I realized the potential ramifications of choosing the “right” kind of items. What I don’t understand is why the stores can’t read these lists before setting up their sales. Can’t they see that I don’t need a 4 oz. bottle of glue? My list says I need one 8 oz. bottle with an Orange Top, not blue, red, yellow or white. The store then placed the 4 ouncers (not what I need) on sale - 88 cents a piece. The 8 ouncer is $2.64. In addition to that, my list states Doodha needs a 10 pack of fat markers. I assume the school district means Crayola. The store, however, has a 12 pack and an 8 pack on sale - there is not a 10 pack in sight. I contemplated buying the 12 pack but wondered which two colors I should remove. This is my first time in this particular rodeo — MamaJD.

Full post here

Related: BrodH20’s close encounter with a school supply list here

Input: Being a teacher, just let me say sorry. I completely understand since I have to buy school supplies for two this year. But there really are reasons for specifics. The glue with the orange lid is better and 8 oz. is just right after they eat 4 oz. And always buy Crayola crayons and markers. They are the only ones that last the whole year without breaking or going dry. Good luck! — Jen/A Butterfly Moment.

Huckleberries Hears …

… that former Coeur d’Alene city planner Suzy Snedaker is telling people that she’s planning to run against City Council incumbent Dixie Reid. Stay tuned.

DFO’s Thoughts: Endorsements

I don’t like political endorsements. I don’t like to write them. I don’t like to read them. I’ve argued with our Editorial Board re: suspending them — and embracing issue-oriented editorials that could favor a candidate or group of candidates. I’ve lost that debate. Repeatedly. Publisher Stacey Cowles and Opinion Editor Doug Floyd still consider endorsements an important part of the community dialogure re: the sundry races that affect our communities. As a result, we will be endorsing in the Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls races — and possibly in the Hayden one, too. I expect a free-for-all in Post Falls with three of the four seats on the soon-to-be expanded council wide open. I expect the races in Coeur d’Alene to be brutal, with Duane Hagadone and the anti-LCDC crowd desperate to win half the council seats for a variety of personal and political reasons. I told Doug and the rest of the board today that I might have to pass on some candidate interviews in the CdA races. I don’t have an open mind when it comes to individuals who have been bashing the library, Kroc Center and other progressive developments in this community for the past several years. But that doesn’t mean I won’t provide input in our discussions afterward. You can expect Duane Hagadone’s paper to oppose the incumbents. I suspect we’ll be solidly in the corners of two incuments if they choose to run again: Ron Edinger and Al Hassell. On the other hand, I won’t even pretend to be neutral here at Huckleberries Online. Signups begin Monday and run through Sept. 7. Then, the games will begin.

AG Joins Prosecutor in Holding Kendra Hostage

Item: Woman’s fate rests on legal appeal: Possible parole, reuniting with son might not stick/Marc Stewart

More Info: Kendra Goodrick is in the middle of a legal battle that could drag on for years. The Hayden woman who claims she turned her life around after years of battling meth could be paroled by the end of the year and reunited with her infant son. However, she could find herself back in prison in 2009 if the state attorney general’s office is successful in its appeal of a recent ruling to give her credit for time served while on parole.

Related: Prosecutor’s comments net new trial for convict/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

DFO: The Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office, with a big hand from the state AG’s office, is continuing to hold reformed meth user Kendra Goodrick hostage. F’shame.

Noah Kroese: What If …

Noah Kroese/Spokesman-Review

Breaking! Head-on Crash Closes Highway 95

Update: 2 injured in crash here

A head-on collision involving two vehicles is blocking Highway 95, just north of Garwood. According to Idaho State Police dispatchers, the crash and responding emergency vehicles are blocking the roadway. Drivers should avoid the area.

At The Fair, I Saw …

Phil Corless/A Family Runs Through It

*Kerri Thoreson wearing a T-shirt that purposely made her look like an ear of corn to advertise the fare she was helping sell in the Food Court
*Pat Acuff looking at lop-eared rabbits
*A ribboned quilt fashioned by Pat Raffee
*Blue ribbons on photos snapped by Doug Fredericks and Melissa Kelly, as well as a fine photo by MamaJD
*A long line in front of the booth selling huckleberry treats
*Deputy City Administrator Jon Ingalls as a volunteer collecting parking fees
*Duane Rasmussen, Matt Roetter and Julie Chadderdon manning the Republican booth

Question: How about you? Please complete this sentence: At the fair, I saw …

Idahomom: Deputy Dawgs Ruined Fair Motocross

After enjoying gyros and philly-steaks last evening, our group ambled to the beer garden. Smoking section has a door opening to the grandstand which was packed with people watching the motorcross events. Very polite attendant asked several people to not stand just outside the door as they were blocking the view of some spectators. No problem. Then two deputy dawgs approached, planted themselves at the railing to watch the races. The attendant approached the dynamic duo several times but they absolutely refused to move. Anger and disgust was evident on the faces of all who now could not see anything but the back of the two shaved heads. No one was buying their comment that they were conducting surveillance. What arrogance.


AM Hucks: A Bittersweet Day @ The Nest

My nest is finally empty. My wife, my daughter and I drove two cars full of college goods to Portland last week to move Amy Dearest into off-campus housing for her senior year. She plans to stay in Portland next summer and pursue a master’s degree. After a decade of shuttling kids from Coeur d’Alene to Portland-area colleges each fall, I raised my hands above my head when the last box was packed upstairs and said, “No mas.” The moment was bittersweet. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Amy Dearest and her brother, especially in their high school and college years when they matured into quality young adults and easily lapped my meager scholastic accomplishments of yesteryear. Amy rode with me part of the way to Portland. I told her I was thrilled the way she and her brother turned out. That I wished I could have done even more for her financially during her college years. She reminded me that she has been able to attend an expensive private college, spend a semester in Rome, and said she has few unmet needs. She also gave me a pass on my occasional temper flare-up. We switched driving assignments an hour later, and I found myself driving my 4Runner by myself, deep in thought while I listened to a Stephen King book on tape. I told myself that I had survived as a parent. Not everyone does. Now, I have to learn to survive in a house that has become so much quieter in only a few short days.

Hump Day Wild Card — 8/22/07

I’m back and I’m fairly rested after setting up Amy Dearest for her senior year at college in Portland. We all know how fast time goes. But it truly seems like yesterday when we were dropping her off for her first year of college, wondering if she’d make it away from home. That was three years and one semester in Rome ago. The answer is overwhelmingly yes. She’ll be fine. However, I’m not so sure that I’ll be fine as an official empty nester. Some parents relish this time of their lives. But I’m not looking forward to it. It’ll probably hit me this weekend when I cart her bed and sundry other stuff off to goodwill as we transform her room into a work room for my wife. You’ll probably have to put up with my moping for awhile. Now, for your Wild Card …

RSPA: Don’t Need to Know About Horny Seniors

RSPA files this story under: 1. Things I didn’t need to know, 2. Top “hump day” news story, and 3. News I can’t use.

An unprecedented study of sex and seniors finds that many older people are surprisingly frisky _ willing to do, and talk about, intimate acts that would make their grandchildren blush. That may be too much information for some folks, but it comes from the most comprehensive sex survey ever done among 57- to 85-year-olds in the United States. Sex and interest in it do fall off when people are in their 70s, but more than a quarter of those up to age 85 reported having sex in the previous year. And the drop-off has a lot to do with health or lack of a partner, especially for women, the survey found/Marilynn Marchione, AP Medical Writer.

DFO: The only thing I find interesting about this study is that the lowest range begins at age 57, my current age. I guess this means I’m officially a Seasoned Citizen. Still, I have no interest in what other Seasoned Citizens are doing between the sheets. I agree with Pony.

Huckleberries Best of the Local Blogs — 8/22/07

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

“The Rathdrum Prairie is now dotted with homes. As recently as last year there were more grass fields than subdivisions. This year, for the first time since the 1970s, thousands of acres of bluegrass stubble will not be burned as summer draws to a close,” writes Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho here.

*Mari/Dogwalk Musings contends that the only way to restore credibility in professional sports is to quit giving a pass to athletes behaving badly, like Michael Vick, Pacman Jones and Kobe Bryant here.

*Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It spots something you never want to see around your huckleberry patch — fresh bear poop — here.

*Nic/Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts offers this factoid: “Did you know that if five people jump simultaneously in the elevator connecting the Coeur d’Alene Resort to its parking garage, the elevator will temporarily accelerate causing built in safety mechanisms to jam the lift into place to prevent possible multi-story free fall here?

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour has pulled down a coupla ribbons at the Bonner County Fair for her veggies and other goods but she was surprised that her crookneck squash didn’t do better here. Newby blogger Sparky also has a fair comment here.

Meanwhile, BrodH20 sees cost of school supplies soar here, Freedom of Expression applauds Glacier Park’s shuttle service here, Cis wonders why she collects things here, F-Words doesn’t care about the color pink here, Idaho native Go Figure is told to go back to California here, Live, Love, Laugh, Hope tries to add value to people she encounters here, Morialekafa finishes a new Auschwitz history here, Napkin Notes finds herself getting interviewed here, Silver Valley Girl is GEARing Up for a new job here, and Un-Muted Mumblings won’t be rooting for Jacksonville this NFL season here.

In The News: Idaho Astronaut Barbara Morgan

Steve Ueckert/AP Photo, Houston Chronicle

Bob Fitzmaurice, who is retired from the Johnson Space Center, greets teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan with a hug Wednesday at Ellington Field in Houston. Fitzmaurice worked with Morgan as she prepared for the recently concluded mission of the space shuttle Endeavour.

Rep. Hart Not Convinced re: Dog-Fight Felony

Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, (pictured) made the successful motion to kill the bill in the House Judiciary Committee in 2005. Hart said he was concerned about overloading Idaho’s prisons by creating another felony crime. “I would have that same concern” again, he said. “I think we have to look at how we’re going to use our prisons, and what types of crimes we have already incarcerated people for, and I think we have to sort of manage the number of beds appropriately as we consider which crimes are the more significant ones that we ought to be incarcerating people for.” He also questioned why prosecutions have been rare or nonexistent under Idaho’s current misdemeanor law. “Why is that not being enforced? Is it a problem? Do we really need to increase it from a misdemeanor to a felony?” Hart asked.

Full story here

Question: What would you say to Rep. Hart, if you had a chance to discuss dog-fighting?

DFO’s Weird Animals — 8/22/07

Christian Parley/AP Photo,The Fresno Bee

Greg Hamstra poses with a two-headed calf Tuesday that was born on his dairy farm in Tulare, Calif. She has two ears, but four eyes and two mouths. Blinky was born about 9 a.m. Tuesday and was promptly discovered by one of the farm’s workers, Hamstra said.

Question: Is County Handling Young Matter Properly?

Item: County admits planner’s error: Supports Young as competent, valuable employee/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

More Info: The Kootenai County Commission called an impromptu press conference Tuesday to acknowledge that a county planner erred by signing off on her own development but reiterated that she is a competent and valuable employee. Commission Chairman Rick Currie summoned two reporters to the meeting and then kept them waiting for 45 minutes before starting the press conference regarding planner Sandy Young and a stop-work order issued Friday on her family’s Greenridge development off Greensferry Road.

Question: Is this matter being handled properly now?

HBO Question: North Idaho Fair

I’ll attend the North Idaho Fair tonight with my wife and four other members of my extended family. I generally attend on opening night when all the flowers and vegetables are still very fresh in the exhibit barns. I enjoy looking at the exhibits, gabbing with friends I haven’t seen in awhile, and grabbing a huckleberry ice cream cone. I rarely make my way to the midway b/c I don’t like rides or having carnies barking at me in an attempt to get me to play their games. I’m amazed most by the cleanliness of the grounds at the North Idaho Fair.

Question: Why do you attend your local fair?

*Moto-cross races
*Food court
*See old friends
*Something to do
*I don’t

DFO Thoughts: On Cell Phones

I admit that cell phones are nice. Too nice. I’ve already used my new cell phone on several occasions to avoid frustration — once when I lost sight of her while traveling in heavy Portland traffic in two cars and another time when I lost track of time at a magazine rack while she and Amy Dearest were shopping at a large Portland store. I also used the cell at Coeur d’Alene’s Hastings to make sure my wife hadn’t seen a video that I was planning to rent. Granted, none of these episodes was earth-shattering. But the cell phone came in handy, even in traffic. Yes, I fielded a call from my wife as I was zipping along at 75 mph approaching the Tri-Cities en route to Portland last week. She wanted to know where we planned to stop for lunch. I was distracted as I drove. I can’t see using the cell phone much, if at all, while driving. I’m not at the point that I’d say that a cell phone is an essential part of my life. I have an aversion to talking on a phone, especially for more than 5 minutes. However, after resisting the pleas for cell phones by my wife and daughter for so long, there’s no question that I feel more connected with others as a result of having a cell phone. I’ll tell you in a month or so if that’s a good thing.

Question: How dependent on your cell phone are you?

Dogwalk Musings: Vick’s Crime & Punishment

Susan Smith drove her car into a lake and drowned her two sons because her boy friend rejected her. Life in prison. Andrea Yates drowned her five children. Post partum depression. Life in prison commuted to a mental institution. Michael Vick. Tortured and killed dogs because they didn’t perform well in an activity that is illegal to begin with. Punishment? Well, lying about it didn’t work. A plea deal yet to be determined. Why? Because they’re only animals? Forget about the racketeering and gambling. He’ll spend some time in jail. He’ll pay some fines. Probably not enough of either to satisfy me. That remains to be seen. I’m waiting for the NFL to do the right thing. That too remains to be seen — Mari/Dogwalk Musings.

Full post here

Question: What should be Michael Vick’s punishment for promoting dog fighting, gambling and racketeering?

Q: Would You Bare All for Calendar Fund-raiser?

Item: Women shed modesty to put on fundraiser/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Calendar model Karen Olson, 64, said she watched the movie “Calendar Girls,” loosely based on the real-life women of Yorkshire, England, who bared all for a charity calendar in 1999, and couldn’t imagine how the women got up the nerve to strip down. But it proved to be a fun experience, she said.

Question: Would you take it off for a good cause?

Joe Heller: Crime Dog Pins Michael Vick

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Alice’s Garden Spot — Take Thyme to Grow Herbs

Your garden is your personal domain. It should contain all the things that make you happy. It is a place where you can go to gain relief from stress or mental fatigue. It refreshes and restores. As Frances Bacon said, “Gardening is the purest of human pleasures.” Herbs are a delightful ingredient that allows us the “frosting on the cake” in enjoying our gardens. — Alice Rankin/Alice’s Garden Spot.

APhoto of the Day — 8/20/07

AP Photo/Chuck Burton

Carolina Panthers rookies Jon Beason, center, Tim Shaw, left, and Mickey Pimemtel, right, are doused with water and ice after being tied to a goal post after the last practice for practice during the NFL football team’s training camp in Spartanburg, S.C., Monday.

You write the cutline.

Wild Card/Sunday — 8/19/07

The vacation is winding down HBOers. Three more days, counting today. I’m looking forward to our regular chats on the blog. But first a few more days in the garden and reading. I’ve gotten the bug for reading books again, thanks to our encounter with “Water for Elephants” and the launching of the Huckleberries Online Book Club. We’ll be dealing with Harry Potter VII when I get back. I’ve already chatted briefly with Librarian Bette Ammon. And we’re going to go for it here, as though everyone now knows what happened to Harry. If you don’t want the plot ruined for you, and you’re still in the dark, you’d better get reading right away. Or you can use this Wild Card to protest the next featured book. Or to start your own thread …

Get Out! A Review of the Sunshine Trader

From its roots as a little “hippie joint” which opened in 1981 in the tiny building that now houses the Parkside Bistro, to its current digs near the mad rush of the Hospital District, the Sunshine Trader has changed relatively little. When they first opened so many years ago in that City Park hut, the concept of serving healthy, organic food was quite foreign to many local people. Whole grain bread, alfalfa sprouts and avocados were frequently viewed as the territory of vegetarian, dope-smoking, yoga-practicing longhairs who worshipped crystals and smelled like patchouli oil. Real folks ate previously frozen Salisbury steak with instant mashed potatoes and brown gravy down at the Iron Horse. In fact, I think they’re still there eating the same thing. Anyway, the Trader was one of the first places around to specialize in fresh veggie sandwiches and soups from scratch, and their status as a local favorite lunch spot was quickly established — OrangeTV/Making Flippy Floppy.

Full post here

Question: When did you last eat at the Sunshine Trader?

RSPA: Most of Idaho Doesn’t Belong to Idahoans

Actually Idaho has a higher proportion of land owned by the US Government than any other state (look it up, private propertarian wingtards) and that means, quite simply, Idaho isn’t even YOUR state you provincial pinheads. It’s MY state too! and it’s the INSANE CRIPS criminal street gang from Compton, California’s state too! and it’s the abortion clinic doctor from Arkansas’s state too! and the Wiccan from Wisconsin’s! Now, next time one of you rubes visits Riverfront Park to stand slack jawed and glazed eyes for hours staring at (as you’ll tell them back in Blanchard or whatever hideous little town you jump started your Brat in to come visit) THE MAGIC GARBAGE GOAT! make sure to clean up after yourselves. How we hate stepping around those digusting little piles of leftover chipmunk bones and drool from your brown bag lunches.

Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel

Christie Wood: In Praise of Chief Carpenter

As the retirement date of my Chief grows closer every day I have found myself thinking about her next chapter in life. Even though I am the PIO (I think DFO calls me the PRMistress) I am writing this sincerely as an employee. Wendy Carpenter has been a fixture of CDAPD for 30 years. Many people do not have a sense of who she is because she is not a flamboyant, ego driven, center of media attention, top to down ruler of the Kingdom. Those type of people are usually much more visible in the community but not in a good way. As I talk about her retirement I want to tell you who she is. Wendy is incredibly balanced and focused on the day to day work. She is in the office or on the street right along side either the detective or watch commander in charge of a crime scene. She listens, offers guidance, but mostly gives the people working the incident a sense that she trusts and supports them. The flip side of that is she is also very keen to mistakes made by officers and she addresses it right away. When I started my career in 1990 she was a patrol officer. I have watched her climb the ranks of promotion due to her work ethic. She is her own personal taskmaster. Her desk is never left messy at the end of the day. When we worked in detectives together she had her cases completely investigated and typed up long before anyone else. I have NEVER seen her take a coffee break or go out to lunch since becoming Chief.

Full post here

Sgt. Christie Wood
Coeur d’Alene Police Department

Vacation Thoughts: Retirement

For the first time in my life, I can see retirement approaching — in 4 to 7 years, depending on when I take it (62 or 65). Or on the near future of the newspaper industry. I’ve been working since I was 14, beginning by hauling hay in my Uncle Manuel’s alfalfa fields located in the river-bottom half of his 500-acre ranch. I’ve made a living for the last 37 years and raised a family on the wages I’ve earned working for 6 newspaper organizations in 3 states. At one point, I thought about working in the news biz until I was 70, so I could say that I’d been a professional journalist for 50 years. I started working part-time at a newspaper in my junior year in college and was working full time and going to school full time during my senior year.

Now, with my profession struggling to survive in the 21st Century, I realize that the end of my career isn’t that far off. But I’m not sure that’s what I want. I can’t imagine life without work. And I can’t imagine putting an end to what I do. As I approach age 57, I’m still jazzed when I come to work. The blog has a lot to do with that. We’ve broken new ground here and continue to do so. It would be hard to give up that interaction. On the other hand, I don’t know what my online role will look like next year, let alone 4 to 7 years from now. I’d like to think I could continue building what we have here, even in semi-retirement.

Financially, I’ve prepared for retirement for years. Emotionally, I’ve hardly considered it. Realistically, I’ll probably continue to do this work until it’s no longer enjoyable. Then, stop one day and consider for a month or so what I’d like to do with the rest of my life. That’s not a far-sighted plan. But it’s one that works for me. As Scarlett said when Rhett left: “I won’t think about that today. I’ll think about that tomorrow.” And if I’m still working as a journalist when I’m 70? Well, that’ll mean I simply couldn’t quit you.

Question: Have you thought much about retirement?

JohnA: No Wonder Washington Suffers Water Envy

On the cusp of yet another north Idaho weekend in boater paradise, I pause to thank our WA neighbors for allowing us to use their waterways for free. Let’s look at what awaits us: First stop, Sprague Lake, aka Long Lake, aka Long Turd Lake. It is the final resting place for the treated waste of a half million people. “Daddy, is that a crappie or a brown trout?” In the best interest of fair reciprocation, WA sends us their boaters and we send them our crap. Works for me! Next up is the hot spot of Fishtrap Lake. At 200 acres, you can make it a morning trip, unless you stop to view its scenic shores of sagebrush and rattlesnakes. Not to worry, the bustling resort city of Sprague is available to the weary mariner. Fun.

Full post here

Question: Do you have a favorite eastern Washington outdoors spot?

Nic: Resort Isn’t Interested in Hungry Teens $$$

Adding to all things Hagadone - my church took a bunch of kids from our youth group down to jump off the rocks at Tubbs earlier this week. Not everybody was in the mood to get wet, so a small group of us walked over to the resort to get some dessert. The group included our youth pastor, myself, and seven high school kids. We asked for a couple of tables - at least enough to seat ten. An hour later, we were still waiting to be seated. Were there tables available? Yes. Several. It seems that Hagadone’s company discriminates against young people. We wouldn’t want a bunch of unruly kids disturbing their other guests now, do we. Do they not realize that hungry teenagers with money to spend will buy food?


APhoto of the Day — 8/17/07

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Marlys Erickson of the Pike Place Market Foundation pushes a decorated pig past market stalls Friday in Seattle as part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the public produce market, which features a bronze statue of a pig as its mascot. The market was born on Aug. 17, 1907, when farmers pulled horse-drawn wagons to sell their crops directly to the public. You write the cutline.

Question: Have You Been Victim of Car Burglary?

Item:Man accused of 60 vehicle break-ins: Police say car stuffed with stolen items/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Police allege that Matthew D. Campbell was methodical in his search for vehicles to burglarize, sometimes returning to the same location over and over, and not hesitating to smash windows and grab what he wanted. Campbell, 26, a Post Falls resident, is a suspect in more than 60 recent auto burglaries in Kootenai and Spokane counties. Fortunately for many victims, much of what he’s accused of stealing was found in his car and home when he was arrested Sunday.

Question: Have you ever been the victim of a car burglary?

Realtors Cut Off Access to Home Sale Data

On the Idaho edition’s front page this morning, reporter Erica Curless tells us that the Multiple Listing Service of the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors has taken its ball and gone home. No more playing nicely with Kootenai County. No more sharing home sale prices, which for years have helped the county assessor set fair market valuations on homes here. The Realtors apparently got nervous that all this data could get out to the public if someone challenged the county to turn it over as a way of proving how the assessor determines property values. (Same thing is happening in Bonner County.) Of course, in most states home sale price is absolutely a public record. But not here in Idaho. Not yet, anyway. The sudden action by the MLS could backfire. County leaders now are talking about passing an ordinance to require release of sale prices.

Read the full story here.

Elvis’ Anniversary Wild Card — 8/16/07

I remember watching Elvis perform in real time on the famous “Ed Sullivan Show” in which cameramen filmed him from the waist up. I remember seeing his movie “Hound Dog Man” while visiting my cousin in Manteca, Calif. However, Presley was the icon of my older sister’s generation than mine. I came of age with the Beatles, Stones and the English invasion. Still Presley overshadowed everything that came after him. And it’s hard to believe that he’s been dead for 30 years. That means I was 27 when he died and just beginning my life in the Great Northwest. I’ve now lived more of my life with Elvis gone than with him here. Yet he’s still missed by his old fans and a legion of fans who weren’t even born when he died. Now that’s true star power. And this is your daily Wild Card …

No More Free Launch?

As local government reporter Erica Curless reported on the front page of today’s Idaho edition, Kootenai County may start charging boaters a fee to launch at the county’s 22 ramps and docks on Lake Coeur d’Alene and at other area lakes and rivers. The county commission also plans to charge an annual fee to commercial boats and barges, including those loading and hauling construction materials to waterfront building sites. The money would go toward repair and maintenance of the county’s waterfront facilities as boater use increases each year. The commission said the county isn’t getting enough money from boater registration fees to cover the increased expense. Full story here.

Photo by Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review

Question: Are the proposed recreational launch fees ($4 for residents, $6 for non-residents) reasonable?

I’ll Be Seeing You

Hatem Moussa/AP Photo

Except for posting Wild Cards, I’m turning control of Huckleberries Online over to Regional Editor Scott Maben. Time to get into full vacation mode. I’ve been saving this AP photo for this occasion. Isn’t this woman’s eyes beautiful? Here’s the real cutline that goes with this photo: “A veiled Palestinian woman is seen during a weekly protest calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, outside the International Red Cross building in Gaza City, Monday. Israel holds about 9,200 Palestinian prisoners, most of whom were arrested during the past seven years of Israeli-Palestinian fighting.”

30th Anniversary of Elvis’ Death Arrives

Katsumi Kasahara/AP Photo

Momoyo Sawahata, right, and her husband Hiroaki place a bouquet of flowers at the statue of Elvis Presley in front of the Love Me Tender shop which specializes in Elvis and 1950s rock’n’roll goods in Tokyo earlier today to mark the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death at age 42.

It was 30 years ago today. Elvis Presley, the King of rock ‘n’ roll, was found expired on a bathroom floor inside his Graceland mansion. Due to newsroom budget cuts, my offer to attend the huge remembrance festivities in Memphis was met with even more rolled eyes and cold stony contempt than usual. I did, however, manage to win editor approval to spend $13.96. This allowed me to honor the EP memory by making his favorite sandwich – a four-pound monstrosity of peanut butter, grape jelly and bacon known to Elvis historians as Fool’s Gold Loaf. There is no better metaphor for the hunka-hunka scale-bustin’ excess that was Elvis — Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review.

Full column here

Question: What’s your fondest memory of Elvis Presley?

Alice: Rudy’s Liberal But We Scored A Coup Getting Him

It is quite a coup for our neck of the woods to land a fundraiser for a top candidate for president. Usually they don’t make it any further into Idaho than Boise or Sun Valley. It does seem to me that Rudy is more socially liberal than the majority of the Republican Party here. So it smarts a little to see it sponsored by some of my (and my late husbands) close friends: John, Harry and Colleen Magnuson and Rocky and Mary Watson. But I suspect that alot of them, as Duane Rasmussen stated, just want to meet a front running candidate or feel like Marshall Chesrown does by saying he doesn’t know how he’ll vote yet and wants to see what Guiliani is like in person. So party on.

Alice Rankin

Jesse: Anyone Still Watching Space Crafts Go By?

Did anyone watch the Space Station and the Space Shuttle go by (Thursday) evening? It was just a couple minutes, but it was an impressive site to see something brighter than a star streaking through the sky.

Jesse Tinsley

In The News — Impersonating The King

Apichart Weerawong, AP Photo

Elvis impersonator Manuel Toiyibee performs at a bar in Bangkok, Thailand. There’s no need to check out of the Heartbreak Hotel. It turns out Elvis lives on in the City of Angels - otherwise known as Bangkok - even 30 years after the passing of the king of rock ‘n’ roll. For more than 10 years, Monday through Saturday, Manuel has zipped in to one of his 15 1970s Elvis costumes and taken to the stage to pay homage to the king..

Question: Are you an Elvis Presley fan?

Hump Day Wild Card — 8/15/07

I’m about to slip into full vacation mode, HBOers. I’ll soon be posting only the Wild Cards. And Regional Editor Scott Maben and the crew at the CDA/SR office will do the rest. I spent much of Tuesday running errands and reading Robert Ludlum’s “The Bourne Supremacy.” I’m still waiting for the book to bare the slightest resemblance to the movie. If the book and the movie weren’t named “The Bourne Supremacy,” there would be no resemblance through the first 150 pages. Oh well, Ludlum laughed all the way to the bank. I have a post or two left in me. Then, I’m ducking out of here until next Wednesday …

APhoto of the Day — 8/15/07

Christian Abraham, AP Photo/Connecticut Post

Bridgeport Bluefish catcher John Nathans, right, prevents Long Island Duck’s Jose Offerman (18) from hitting Bluefish pitcher Matt Beech with a bat,during the first inning of an Atlantic League minor league baseball game in Bridgeport, Conn. on Tuesday. Beech had hit Offerman with a pitch, causing Offerman to rush the mound. You write the cutline.

Personal Information on Idaho Soldiers Stolen From Car

Idaho Army National Guard soldiers, whether deployed or not, have reason to worry today. The Associated Press reports that a small computer drive containing Social Security numbers and other personal information of every Army National Guard soldier in Idaho has been stolen, opening the door to identity theft. The device containing information on roughly 3,400 soldiers was stolen Monday night from a soldier’s car while she was traveling in the Treasure Valley on official duty, Lt. Col. Stephanie Dowling said. Officials hope the person who stole the drive – along with other computer equipment and personal items – doesn’t know what he or she has. Guard members were being notified by phone and mail. “You name it, it was on there,” Dowling said of the so-called thumb drive.

Full story here.

Online Poll: How Do You Like to Camp?

How do you like to camp? — Idaho Statesman.

*Don’t camp

APhoto of the Day — 8/14/07

Joe Gill/AP Photo, The Express-Times

A trio of goats, a female, a male and a kid, lie together in the shade at the Grochowicz Farm in Hampton, N.J., Sunday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Honey, there is to much clorine in the water, junior is beginning to bleach out the same as we did — House Maid’s Knee.

2. The traditional faaaamily is under attaaaack I tell you — Cabbage Boy.

3. Papa Goat looks longingly at the tin cans in the recyle bin. Can he get up without disrupting the sleep of Mama and Kid? — Inland Empire Girl.

HM: Raymond Pert

New owners, same old ‘lady’

Goff photo

It wasn’t that long ago that Duane Hagadone was making waves in the world of luxury yachting with his 205-foot Lady Lola and her shadow boat loaded with expensive water toys. Duane would anchor in exotic ports and tee off from the teak-laid swim platform while employees would jet out to retrieve his floating golf balls. But alas, he sold the Lady Lola, which now serves a much younger and far more famous couple: Shawn Corey Carter and Beyoncé Giselle Knowles, better known as rapper and record executive Jay-Z and his girlfriend Beyoncé, the R&B singer/songwriter/actress. The two have been photographed by paparazzi lounging on the deck of the Lady Lola in locales such as St. Tropez, France.

Question: What Would You Ask Barbara Morgan?

The day has come for Barbara Morgan to fulfill the legacy teacher Christa McAuliffe dreamed of: Talking to students from space. This afternoon, Morgan will speak with students in Idaho, where she taught elementary classes before moving to Houston in 1998 to become the first teacher to train as a full-fledged astronaut. She finally launched into space on Aug. 8 aboard the shuttle Endeavour, after a two-decade wait. Morgan was McAuliffe’s backup for Challenger’s doomed mission in 1986. A list of topics Mission Control sent her earlier this week included questions from children about what it’s like to be weightless, how the crew gets clean air aboard the shuttle, and what stars look like from space/Liz Austin Peterson, Associated Press.

Full story here

Question: What would you ask Barbara Morgan, if you were part of the student panel questioning her this afternoon?

Alice’s Garden Spot — Fair Time Is Almost Here

It seems as though our North Idaho County Fair comes at a time when some of our prize-winning vegetables, flowers, fruits and berries are past prime to win that big blue ribbon or sweepstakes award. Or else it is too early for other award winning entries to have matured. It is our job this week to tour our gardens and make mental notes on what we do have that will be available for a possible entry on August 20 and 21. You have all been sweating over your gardens for several months now, so check out your best and let all of us enjoy it at the Fair. Incidentally, while years ago it used to be the Kootenai County Fair, now residents of not only Kootenai, but also Benewah, Shoshone, Boundary and Bonner counties are able to enter exhibits. — Alice Rankin/Alice’s Garden Spot.

Question: Will Sheriff’s Department Pay Raises Cause Tension?

Item Kootenai deputies get a pay bump: County commission approves scale, raise/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

More Info The new pay system is supposed to fix what sheriff’s officials have described as a “meltdown.” It will have the most impact on jail deputies, who will get about 7.5 percent more and bring their pay in line with what patrol deputies currently make. The jail is short about 12 deputies, and jail employees have been working mandatory overtime for 18 months. So far this year, overtime pay is $120,000 over budget.

Question: Will these pay raises for the sheriff’s department create a morale problem in other departments that also have employees lagging behind in pay?

Smith: KXLY Shoulda Called to Update 10-Day-Old Memo

Well, I was hooked by the tease for the 6 p.m. KXLY (Ch. 4) newscast announcing a story on significant changes coming to The Spokesman-Review. Of course, I watched the newscast, 45 minutes of pretty typical TV news content before the SR piece ran. It might have been 90 seconds long, maybe just a minute. The report, read by anchor Richard Brown, referenced my Aug. 3 memo posted on this blog and on at least one national industry site. Fair enough, I posted the memo because there was nothing in it that should not be discussed publicly. Problem is, the memo was written 10 days ago. Some of what I wrote has changed, particularly in reference to section front ads. What struck me was the fact that no one at KXLY bothered to call me and ask if the memo still reflected reality. As just about every journalist in town knows, I will answer any question any time posed by any legitimate journalist. I’d have been happy to have brought the KXLY folks up to date — Editor Steve Smith/News Is A Conversation.

Full post here

Question: Is the SR as candid with what’s going on inside the newspaper as you would like?

APhoto of the Day — 8/13/07

Patrick Ferron, AP Photo, Post-Cresent

Pig wrestlers Chloe Dougherty 11, left, of Hortonville; Katie Fassbender 12, center, of Greenville; and Kiley Winterfeldt, 13, of Hortonville, try to catch their pig at St. Patrick’s church at the 37th annual Round-up Sunday in Stephensville, Wis. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines;

1. DFO wades into a Spencer-Ziggles spat — A Token D.

2. New contest at North Idaho’s own Stateline Showgirls, proving once and for all the dancers really will do anything for a buck — Eyes&Ears.

3. Church leaders strugle to explain the significance of religious holiday mascots, like the Easter Bunny and the Pentacost Pig (shown here) — Nic.

HM: Raymond Pert

Keep the garden hose handy

With a return to hot weather this week, let’s hope the dry conditions + small chance of thunderstorms + significant chance of reckless summer behavior doesn’t add up to more wildfires in our neck of the woods. Because according to the Associated Press, the equipment to fight fires is a bit scarce right now.

Noah Kroese: Some Things Go Without Saying

Noah Kroese/Spokesman-Review

OrangeTV: Tips on Huckleberrying

Avoid the heat by heading up to the mountains as early in the morning as you can. You’ll need to bring a container to gather your rotund little treasures in; anything from a grocery sack to Tupperware to a 5-gallon bucket will work. You might want to bring some light gloves so you don’t get scratches on your hands or ruin that $50 Resort Spa manicure. Long sleeves, long pants, socks and hiking boots are the best gear with which to avoid bloody legs while getting into the nitty gritty of a berry patch, and covering up also helps to prevent the agony of insect bites and poison ivy. The horse flies up there are huge translucent blue-green critters that visibly sneer at you as they bite into your flesh, and they certainly don’t know the meaning of the word “shoo”. Additionally, it’s a good idea to wear a cap for the avoidance of those nasty deer ticks; nothing ruins an appetite for huckleberry cheesecake faster than learning you’ve contracted Lyme disease. Other things you may want to bring include bottled water, sunscreen, bear spray, your iPod, and your laptop for live blogging the whole thing — OrangeTV/Making Flippy Floppy.

Full post here

Question: Have you eaten anything made of fresh huckleberries this summer?

Online Poll: How Often Do You Drink Milk?

Record-high milk prices are stinging Americans at the dairy case. The average retail price of a gallon of whole milk has never been higher — $3.80 a gallon. How often do you drink milk? — Idaho Statesman

*Every day
*Once a week
*Once a month

DFO: Every day

AM Hucks:Buff Runner Is No Flash in the Pan

You can read the online interview with Shenelle and find links to her original column here

Jerry Seinfeld was right. There is such a thing as “bad naked.” And Shenelle Kraack (pronounced “crock” as in Crock-Pot or crocodile) saw plenty of it while watching the jiggles and bounces at the recent 5k Bare Buns Fun Run at Kaniksu Ranch near Loon Lake, Wash. In Huckleberries last week, I told you about the newspaper column Shenelle wrote about her experience. Outgoing Shenelle is the ad manager of Dan Hammes’ St. Maries Gazette-Record. She hails from Harrison. And arrives at her penchant for running in the buff honestly. On a “triple dog dare” and fueled by alcohol, she once ran nude around the dike road during her North Idaho College days. But let’s return to the Bare Buns run. Only one of Shenelle’s family or friends disapproved of her involvement – her fiance’s 93-year-old grandmother. The worst part of running nekkid with 300 others? Shenelle was hungry when she finished and didn’t have money on her to buy anything. Of course. Other questions. Yes, she plans on entering the race next year. Yes, she’d run in the Bare Buns race with co-workers, but they’d have to promise to take a “what-happens-in-Vegas” approach once they got back to the office. Yes, she gets teased by friends who say they don’t recognize her with her clothes on. Concludes Shenelle: “Why should I hold back. I’ll do anything to make someone laugh.”

Question: What Do You Think of Beards?

Jakob Menolfi/AP Photo, Keystone

The three winners at the Alp Beard contest on Saturday in Chur, Switzerland. From left: Geni Schumacher , Switzerland, 3rd place, Gari Schmidbauer, Germany, 1st place and Willi Preuss , Germany, 2nd place

Question (for women): Do you like a man with a beard? Or (for men): Have you ever worn a beard?

Question: Should Larry Craig Seek Re-election?

Should Sen. Larry Craig run for re-election in 2008 and complete a fourth term, he would be the longest-serving Idahoan in Congress ever. But the prospect of surpassing William Edgar Borah, for whom Idaho’s highest peak is named, is making Craig dizzy. Craig’s ambivalence about staying in Congress, where he’s been since 1981, is no hard-to-get act. To retire would mean giving up at the peak of his power and bidding farewell to aspirations reaching to his days as a Future Farmers of America speech champ living on a hardscrabble ranch 24 dirt-road miles east of Midvale. But calling it quits at 63 would mean more time with nine grandchildren, an end to the beating he’s taking over his gutsy leadership on immigration reform, and the prospect of making millions as a lobbyist. Craig told me he will announce his plans in mid-September. He hasn’t picked a setting. “Nor have I picked the words,” he said, shaking his head as if to marvel at his inner conflict — Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman.

Full column here

Question: Would you like to see Larry Craig seek re-election?

Wild Card/Satuday — 8/11/07

I’ll be shifting into a vacation mode in the next two days. But first I needed to provide you with a nice start to the weekend. There’s some decent topics below. On Monday, Regional Editor Scott Maben and the CdA/SR crew will be in charge of the blog. It’ll be slim pickings because they do have day jobs. But it’ll give you something to check out while I’m on vacation for the week and possibly 10 days. Dunno how many day trips I want to put in before the summer and my vacation is out. Otherwise, you’re going to have to fend for yourself a little by starting your own threads with Wild Cards …

Alice Rankin: My Value Went Up, But Commish Value Down?

I thought it was interesting today to read that the property tax assessments on all the County Commissioner’s went down this year. Along with their neighbors. Assessor McDowell commenting that land values typically dropped and home values went up. “On average property values increased by 13 percent this year, but that includes waterfront properties, which saw another 10 to 20 percent bump in value”. I guess I am way out of the average because my land went up from $102,00 last year to $183,798 this year. More than my total assessment for home AND land was last year. My total assessment was up from $179,080 in 2006, to $253,088 this year. BTW I am not on the water. Currie’s home went from $204,472 last year to $186,083 this year; Piazza’s Hayden Lake home was $307,600 last year and $305,515 this year; Tondee’s Post Falls home was $252,869 last year and $242,894 this year. It is sure nice to see that some people are benefiting from the real estate market slow down resulting in a drop in the assessed value of their property.

Alice Rankin

Question: What Kind of License Plates Do You Have

Item: Personalized license plates can make you smile, laugh, cry or just scratch your head/Jeanne Huff, Idaho Statesman

Question: Most of us take the license plates the state gives us, but some get personal. What kind of license plates do you have?


A Berry Picker: Gozzer Ranch’s Unfriendly Welcome

Have you heard that Gozzer Road is now the private driveway to the new gated community and golf course? While trying to drive through from Burma Road to Hwy 97 a couple weeks ago, my wife and I were stopped by guards and told that unless we had an appointment, which they would verify, we were not welcome on “their” road. Guard houses have been erected and everything but gates installed on both sides of this new development to keep the public off Gozzer Road. What’s next? The only other place in the country I have ever heard of this happening was/is back east on (I think) Martha’s Vineyard. Since when are developers allowed to take over a public road and close it to the public? Thanks for listening

A Berry Picker

APhoto of the Weekend — 8/11-12/07

Amanda Smith/AP Photo, The Post Register

Kylan Adlofson, 7, left, and Austin Todd, 8, center, share the stream of cool water as Amy Gunderson, 5, right, is squirting from a fountain during a water break at the Snake River Roaring Summer Youth Jam at Greenbelt park in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Friday. The trio and other members from the Small World Daycare center spent the day painting and playing through the various stations set up throughout the park for the event, which runs through Saturday. You write the cutline.

Coming Saturday:

Colleague Meghann Cuniff talks to family members and friends of the individuals killed in the murder-suicide at a Coeur d’Alene apartment complex this week …

Parting Shot — 8/10/07

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

Kerri Thoreson caught one of the fun moments of the entertainment session at Riverstone Park Thursday night when the sprinklers scattered listeners during the second song of Laffin Bones 90-minute performance. The water was quickly turned off. But those who’d been sitting on the lawn weren’t in a hurry to return to their spots.

How Addicted Are You to Blogging?

JeanC (Cathouse and Shooting Society) posted a link to a site that determines how addicted you are to blogging, based on 14 questions. JeanC is 72% addicted. I’m 82%. (And you wonder why I need a vacation. Try it yourself and tell HBO commenters and blurkers your score here.

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 8/10/07

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

I didn’t see Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho at Laffin Bones performance at Riverstone Park Thursday night. But she obviously was there. I’ve enjoyed two of these Thursday night concerts so far. There’s three to go. They last from 7:30 to 9 p.m. The setting is gorgeous. But you have to watch out for the goose poop. Click here.

*Sara Anderson/F-Words isn’t happy to learn that a species has gone instinct. However, she sees a silver lining in the loss of the Yangtze River dolphin here.

*OrangeTV/Making Flippy Floppy tells a fairy tale that sounds vaguely familiar, complete with a rich, whitehaired man who lives in an ugly brown castle by the lake and a close encounter with Judge Gottalottaneckties here.

*MamaJD relearned a valuable lesson re: the calm before the storm, when your child is unusually quiet while coloring all over the bathroom and his own feet with Crayolas here. And Katrina/Notes on a Napkin experiences a different kind of bathroom terror here.

*Melanie/Plaid Toaster knows it’s time to go to the grocery store when she squeezes cheese onto Doritos and tries to convince her kids that it’s nachos here.

*Mrs. Mac Energetic/Whatever Happened To … experiences one of those days that moms regularly do when everything messy related to kids and dogs happens here.

Blog Numbers (for Thursday, Aug. 9): 7296 page-views and 4027 unique views.

Meanwhile, Tumblewords reaches “End of the Line here, Silver Valley Girl posts SR story about dinner theater here, Slight Detour urges readers to Celebrate Life here, Nic has a close encounter with a wildfire here, Arch Druid wonders about a letter to the editor and more here, Bayview Herb puts a false rumor to rest here, CastMD provides questions so you can tell if your doctor’s getting old here, Cis reports on “Stick Shift 101” here, Morialekafa wonders if Mitt Romney’s playing with a full deck here, Granati teaches his daughter basics of snowboarding here,

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 8/10/07

Carsten Snejbjerg/AP Photo/Polfoto

Models get prepared backstage to wear the new Spring Summer 2008 collection by Danish designers Munthe Plus Simonsen during a fashion show at City Hall in Copenhagen, Denmark, Thursday. Copenhagen Fashion Week opened Wednesday.

Top Cutlines:

1. Ilanna Ingoldsby’s friends help her prepare to audition for the remake of the James Bond movie “Octopussy” — Raymond Pert.

2. Doctors say the first-ever octopus removal surgery went smoothly: “We just took it one tentacle at a time” — Brent Andrews.

3. A sweet Danish model has her hair prepared for strategic placement in preparation for Nekkid Fridays on Huckleberries — Cabbage Boy.

HM: Inland Empire Girl

Huckleberries Hears …

… that there are 4066 e-mails in the Rick Baughman file, which is almost four times as many as the 1066 swapped between Prosecutor Bill Douglas and Marina Kalani. (I hope I’m on vacation when those hit the SR doorstep.)

Barbara Morgan Enters Space Station


In this image from NASA TV Endeavour shuttle mission specialist Benjamin Drew and Barbara Morgan enter the international space station after docking. BTW, Scott has found a good link to follow if you want to know when the space station and shuttle are overhead here.

Question: What does Barbara Morgan’s presence on the Endeavor flight mean to Idaho?

Huckleberries Best of Idaho — 8/10/07

Joe Jaszewski/AP Photo, Idaho Statesman

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne observes the smoke-filled mountains north of Boise outside of Garden Valley Thursday, as the Middle-Fork Complex fire burns nearby. Story here.

1. Sandpoint could be a college town by this time in 2009. Coldwater Creek founder Dennis Pence, through his foundation, has expanded the amount he’s willing to spend to see that happen – from $26 million to at least $36 million, according to the agreement approved by the Idaho State Board of Education on Thursday night here.

2. The statement made by Congress Bill Sali about a Muslim congressman from Minnesota and Hindu prayer in the Senate continues to make waves. It landed on the front page of the liberal Daily Kos here. Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press and Red State Rebels discussed it here and here. Betsy Russell/Eye on Boise provides a Sali clarification here.

3. Online Poll: 71% of 698 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say they’d sell the ball that Barry Bonds hit for record-breaking HR No. 756, if they’d caught it.

4. News Roundup: Many oppose Boulder-White Clouds wilderness here, NI school district sued here, Idaho deaf, blind school closure on hold here, Growing Idaho Hispanic population concentrating in cities here, and Boise grade school to require uniforms here.

5. IMHO: Idaho Statesman (Lawmakers should pursue tax reform), Jim Fisher/Lewiston Tribune (It shouldn’t take bridge collapse to do one’s duty), Kevin Richert/Idaho Statesman (Has Kempthorne found dream job?), Brian Murphy/Idaho Statesman (Bronco nation should embrace China trip), and Tyler Wilson/Coeur d’Alene Press (Art of wakeboarding).

6. Idaho Blogs: Adam’s Blog (Simpson: Idaho’s anti-reform congressman), Mountain Goat Report (Help save Yellowstone), Bubblehead (Saying goodbye to LDS leader Faust), Clayton Cramer’s Blog (Idaho: It’s not California), IdaBlue (Only Christians in Congress or America’s doomed), and Rocky Barker (Flying through August fires).

HBO Q&A w/Bare Buns Fun Runner Shenelle Kraack …

You can read’s Shenelle’s column about her Bare Buns Fun Run here. You can read a column by Tim Bross of The Inlander about his Bare Buns run here.

DFO: So how are people treating you in St. Maries since you ran the Bare Buns Race naked and your column about the race appeared?
SK: People poke fun at me and my parents. They’ll say they don’t recognize me with my clothes on. The only person who had a problem with it is my boyfriend’s grandmother, who took offense at it. She’s 93 years old. But my boyfriend’s parents and my parents laughed about it. Most folks said: You’re braver than I am. I like our little town. People are open and familiar.

DFO: Did you see much “bad naked” (as Jerry Seinfeld would say)?
SK: There was plenty of bad naked. I don’t consider myself bad naked. But I’m not Adonis naked either. The majority of people were over 50, like retirement age. I only saw two other girls who were around my age (26).

DFO: What is the biggest problem with running three miles naked?
SK: Everyone talked about chafing. They had to powder up before the race. After I was done, I wanted to get something to eat, but I didn’t have any money on me b/c I had no pockets. I had to walk back to the car to get money every time.

Idaho Values Alliance Defends Sali Faith Statement

re: Congressman Bill Sali’s stance against Muslim, Hindu prayers in Congress here

Here is a statement in response to the criticism of Sali, from Bryan Fischer, Executive Director of the Idaho Values Alliance: “Despite the criticism Rep. Sali has received, he is exactly right on both counts. Hindus believe in a virtually infinite number of gods, and worship cows, monkeys and snakes, while our Founding Fathers believed in one God, the Creator God revealed in the Old and New Testaments. As a people, we pledge allegiance to ‘one nation under God,’ not to ‘one nation under gods.’ Hindus are free in America to worship as many gods and animals as they want to, but they do not pray to or worship the God who is enshrined in our Declaration of Independence (Continued in extended entry).

Bryan Fischer/Idaho Values Alliance

Question: Should Teens Work Or Enjoy Themselves?

Item: Teenagers delay getting jobs: Many just have way too much to do/Becky Kramer, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Teenagers’ participation in the work force has been steadily dropping since 1978, when nearly half of all 16- and 17-year-olds had jobs, or were actively looking for work, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This year, 30 percent of teens are working or seeking jobs. Teens’ crowded schedules appear to be contributing to the decline. With so many activities to choose from, some parents are putting a lower priority on their kids landing that minimum-wage job.

Question: Should teens learn responsibility by holding a minimum-wage, part-time job? Or should they be allowed to have as much fun and school involvement as they can?

Noah Kroese: Law North of the Lewiston Grade

Noah Kroese/Spokesman-Review

Clayton Cramer: In Defense of Concealed Guns

While I understand why some people are worried about drunken college students doing stupid things with guns, remember that most undergrads are under 21, and therefore ineligible for a permit. Based on patterns of permit issuance throughout the U.S., I would expect that most of those who would be carrying on campus would be staff employees of the university, a few professors, and a very few grad students. Here’s another point: alcohol + gun is dangerous. Alcohol + car is dangerous. Alcohol + ladder is dangerous. Alcohol + power tool is dangerous. What do all these equations have in common? Alcohol. Perhaps the University of Intoxication could start to work on the big problem: alcohol. For those who insist that concealed carry is a bad idea, take a look at this Tennessee Law Review paper by me and Dave Kopel, and the Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog, which includes links to every newspaper article that we can find of American civilians using guns in self-defense. A surprisingly large number involved licensed carry permitholders.

Clayton Cramer/Clayton Cramer’s Blog

Anderson: A House of Cards

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Thursday — 8/9/07

My online interview with County Clerk Dan English is in the rear-view mirror now. But I’ve scheduled a five-questions interview with ad manager Shenelle Kraack of the St. Maries Gazette-Record re: her participation in the recent Kaniksu Ranch’s annual Bare Buns Fun Run. I posted the link to her column about it this morning with my “AM Hucks” weekday morning feature. Beyond that, I have a busy day ahead to prepare for my vacation next week. So, I’ll meet you back here tomorrow morning. Now, for your Wild Card …

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 8/9/07

Chris Peterson/Glacier Geographics, Muse You Can Use

Chris captures a recent sunset at Logan Pass on the continental divide of Glacier National Park.

*Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’ tells of being around evangelical Christians when he started at North Idaho College in 1972 and being asked whether or not he was one here. (BTW, RP, I knew Rick Frost fairly well and I attended the same “Kiss Me, Kate” matinee Sunday that you did.)

*Idaho Escapee/Atmospheric Ruminations recently listed to 120 Beatles song in chronological order and came away amazed that the same group that hit it big with “I Want to Hold Your Hand” sang “All You Need Is Love” three years later here.

*Mrs. T/Meet The Taylors marks a number of firsts that she’s shared with Sam The Reporter during the last year, including their first Christmas and Thanksgiving together as a married couple here.

*Toadman/Synaptic Disunion is thinking about running for president while he figures out what to do about his broken car CD here.

*Sam The Reporter responds to his own question to The Otis/BrodH20 by announcing his own phobia as a kid: vampires. The undead. Bram Stoker’s creation. Click here.

Blog Numbers (for Wednesday, Aug. 8): 7915 page-views and 4362 unique views.

Meanwhile, Inland Empire Girl wishes her princess a sweet 17th here, Marmitetoasty can’t figure why there’s always an incident when she goes out here, PDX Pup has purchased “300” but she hasn’t had time to watch it here, and Wayward Episcopalian passes along an NPR story about life after Katrina in a FEMA trailer here.

Historic License Plate Site …

Ken Paulman, former SR blogmeister turned features page editor, sends along a link to historic license plate site for the entire country, with the note: “Kiss the rest of your afternoon goodbye.” You can see why the current Idaho license plate is much better than the ugly green-and-white one with the “Famous Potatoes” slogan here.

Noah Kroese: Killing 2 Birds w/One Stone

Noah Kroese/Spokesman-Review

Clark: Horndog Gives “Naked Eye” New Meaning

I want to fight terrorism as much as anyone. I want the streets of Spokane to be safe from crime. I want our luxury hotel guests and
affluent downtown condo dwellers to feel secure as they look down upon the rest of us. But until we can be assured that Big Brother isn’t peeping at them in their underwear, I say it’s time to turn those high-tech spy cameras OFF! I’m feeling really creeped out after reading the state’s voyeurism case against Darin Earl Wanlust. Oops. That’s “Wanless.” Looks like I made one a them Freudian watchacallits there. Which is understandable. The 32-year-old Cheney man was canned from his guard job last June for allegedly using the security cameras perched atop the U.S. Courthouse compound to peer into the bedrooms of a downtown condominium and Davenport Hotel — Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review.

Full SR column by Doug Clark here.

Question (from Doug Clark): Why must (Spokane’s) civic scandals be so freakishly weird?

Noon Question: Neighborhood Irritants

Item: Dog dispute lands Athol man in court: Frank Wall’s neighbors tired of barking canines/Paula Davenport, Spokesman-Review

Question: Which neighborhood irritant are you experiencing?

1. Barking dogs
2. Children running amok
3. Weeds in neighbor’s yard
4. Yards and side yards being used to store vehicles, trailers, etc.
5. Loud music and parties
6. Domestic disputes
7. Speeding cars
8. Salesmen
9. Religious proselytizers
10. Other.

Hucks Gone Wi-Fi Moves to Bottom of Today’s Thread …

… I’ve moved my interview w/Dan English to the start of today’s thread (so you won’t have to wade through it to get to other topics). You can folo along there, if you wish. It’s located between last night’s parting shot and today’s Scott Stantis cartoon.

Souza: Are Wolves Circling Person Field?

Person Field has long been the poor stepsister in the lineup of Coeur d’Alene public parks, but today it is more vulnerable than ever. Citizens, beware: There are some wolves looking to take dubious advantage of this little sister. Person Field is a three-acre park, located at 15th Street and Garden Avenue. She’s not fancy and has no real landscaping to speak of. But this simple, open, grassy park is prized by the surrounding neighborhood and Lakes Middle School is just a couple blocks to the north. The field is used for football practice, softball teams, track practice and lacrosse teams. The city owns only half the park, the school district owns the other half. Two years ago, the school district wanted to build a new Lakes Middle School on Person Field. The proposal was not made public in any reasonable way. It slipped through most of the system without notice — Mary Souza/City Pulse, Coeur d’Alene Press.

Full City Pulse column here

DFO: Hands down, Person Field is the most underutilized park green space in Coeur d’Alene. It serves an important purpose in providing a softball diamond for the recreation department in the spring and early summer and a field for soccer and Pop Warner football at other times. But the back half consists of little more than a weed infested track that few use. I can’t blame neighbors for fighting to keep the green space. But it should be upgraded — by the city or school district.

Question: What should be done with Person Field?

Inquiring Minds Want to Know …

… Any idea why the ID Secretary of State’s website has been down last two days? — DeePee Bond.


Intel Collector: Skinhead Bands View NW As Mecca

Intel Collector: You know. About a year ago I received a friend’s request from a punk band on I like that particular genre of music so I added them. a couple hours later I discovered that the profile had less to do with music and more to do with spreading white supremacist, neo-Nazi, militant sentiment. I read a few of their bulletins and one of them spoke of how it has been decided that all “true Aryans” should have decided to move to the Inland Northwest. I checked out a few of the so called “bands” links and found that they had connections to some legit Aryan/white supremacist groups from all over the country. Being the law abiding citizen taht I am, I deleted them from my friends list. Unfortunately, it’s been a year and I have forgotten the name of the band. Otherwise, I would post their URL so that you all can see for yourselves.

DFO: Mebbe this is the source for the two recent incidents to young racists bugging locals — at Dike Road on Hayden Lake and at Silverwood. A resurgence in supremacist activity is certainly something we have to watch. Then, with the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, the neo-Nazis still have formidable resistance here.

Hot Potatoes: A Hero’s Due — At Last

Finally, Kootenai County has done right by Pappy Boyington, the Coeur d’Alene native who became one of the most decorated heroes of World War
II. On a 2-0 vote, with a curious abstention by Chairman Rick Currie, commissioners heeded the continuing plea by local veterans to name the county airport field after Boyington. Commissioners Todd Tondee and Rich Piazza brushed aside lame excuses by the airport board, Currie and others that the name change would cause confusion among pilots and/or that Boyington had character flaws. In other words, the war hero drank too much after his military discharge and his days commanding the famous Black Sheep Squadron. (Then, you might drink, too, if you’d risked your life regularly in dogfights with enemy gunners and spent 20 months as a POW.) Some contend Pappy suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Those who belittle Boyington’s bravery are no better than the UWashington student senators who balked at erecting a campus monument to Pappy because they thought a flier who’d shot down 26 planes was a poor role model. At least the kids can be excused for being young and naïve.

Full Hot Potatoes column here

Question: Do you support the decision by Commissioners Tondee and Piazza to change the name of the airport field to honor WWII hero Pappy Boyington?

Stantis: Another HR Record w/An Asterisk

Scott Stantis/Birmingham News

Wild Card/Sunday — 9/9/07

Finally, the public gets to see the new Coeur d’Alene City Library today — and decide for itself if the location and construction cost were appropriate. I’ll bet that people will be floored by the new library. And the public will tune out anyone foolish enough to try to make political capital out of the library as an example of extravagance or poor planning re: location. I have a previous engagement. So I probably won’t get to today’s ribbon-cutting at 2. But I should be at the library around 3 to check out the new digs. And mebbe blog. Who knows? Now, for your Wild Card …

Hump Day Wild Card — 8/8/07

I voted in my first Lakes Highway District election last evening — thanks to Spencer’s 11th-hour direct mailing, alerting me to them. I live on the boundary of the Lakes and Eastside highway districts. And don’t pay much attention to either of them. All I know is that my road gets plowed toward the end after any major snowstorm. But that’s a city function. I believe. Anyway, Spencer’s guys won. And I’ve lined up Dan of the County for this week’s Huckleberries Gone Wireless interview at 10:30 a.m. Thursday. In other words, life goes on, including the daily requirement to play this Wild Card …

Shinie: Taste of the Coeur d’Alenes Is A Ripoff

I remember when A Taste of the Coeur d’Alenes was just starting. It was meant to be a way for local restaurants to show off their skills and draw in customers. Unfortunately, I realized this year that goal must have been cast aside. The majority of food booths were standard carnival type fare, with high price tags. I tried a giant looking burrito from Devo’s Burritos. The sign promised black beans, cheese, shredded chicken, tomatoes, red chiles and tequila. What I got was a layer of dry beans, a pile of prepacked shredded cheddar and a slop of dark, finely chopped chicken meat with over cooked tomatoes and little flavor. At $7, I felt a bit ripped off — Shinie/This Is Growing Up.

Full post here

Question: Agree? Disagree?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 8/8/07

Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It

A completely accurate map of the United States, created with small beach pebbles by an autistic teenager at Camp Sweyolakan, Lake Coeur d’Alene, writes Family Phil.

*Silver Valley Girl/Silver Valley Stories has a right to be proud of youngest daughter Cosette, who’s one of 18 students selected to a panel to ask questions of the Endeavor astronauts here. Meanwhile, Marianne Love recalls applying for the Teacher in Space program here.

*OrangeTV/Making Flippy Floppy was merely trying to pull his kitten away from the fish tank, but he wound up experiencing a “computer replacement episode” when naughty kitty hooked onto the tank here.

*Jen/A Butterfly Moment gives the new motion picture version of “Hairspray” an A-plus in a review and monster props to the new Tracy Turnblad and her “mother” Edna here.

*Torture by any other name is still torture, sez Mari/Dogwalk Musings who’s trying to figure out from a sixtysomething’s perspective why torture has re-emerged as a topic here.

*Who needs Big Brother from “1984” looking over your shoulder, wonders Cis/From A Simple Mind, when anyone with a camera or cell phone or online could be checking up on you here.

Blog Numbers (for Tuesday, Aug. 7): 7395 page-views and 4079 unique views.

Meanwhile, MamaJD experiences new era of Mommydom here, huckleberries are selling for $49.95 per gallon this year, according to OnLocation North Idaho here, BrodH20 reports on her rough time in Boston here, JeanC’s Cat House takes a high school survey here, and Tumblewords gives copyright tips here.

Endeavor Launches Idaho Teacher into Space

Terry Renna/AP Photo

Space Shuttle Endeavour lifts off this afternoon from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Idaho teacher Barbara Morgan is aboard the shuttle. Story here.

Update: Murder-Suicide @ CdA Apartment Complex

A woman shot and killed another woman, then killed herself, at an apartment complex on Ramsey Road in Coeur d’alene this morning. Police stormed the apartment manager’s office shortly after 1 p.m. and found the suspect dead inside. It appears she shot herself, authorities said. The shooter’s victim was found in the bushes outside the office earlier. “At this point it looks like a murder-suicide,” Coeur d’Alene Police spokeswoman Christie Wood said.

Full story here

Noah Kroese: Idaho’s Proud of Astronaut Teacher

Noah Kroese/Spokesman-Review

Muslim Writer Explains Why “They” Hate Us

Interesting perspective from a Muslim writer.


Part of the reason people abroad resent the United States is something Americans can do very little about: envy. The richest, most powerful country in the world attracts the jealousy of others in much the same way that the richest, most powerful man in a small town attracts the jealousy of others. It will come his way no matter how kind, generous or humble he may be.

But there is another major reason for anti-Americanism: the accreted residue of many years of U.S. foreign policies. These policies are unknown to most Americans. They form only minor footnotes in U.S. history. But they are the chapter titles of the histories of other countries, where they have had enormous consequences. America’s strength has made it a sort of Gulliver in world affairs: By wiggling its toes it can, often inadvertently, break the arm of a Lilliputian.

Question: Any questions?

St. Maries Reporter Bares It All for Nude Run

Am I really going to do this? I had to. There was no backing down, besides I had already paid my entry fee which of course was non-refundable. While pondering what I could do for the next two hours should I decide to chicken out I saw him. My first glimpse of nudist colony life. The senior gentlemen parking attendant waving us up to the start line, completely nude except for his bright orange vest. My driver waved and mouthed thank you to our guide. I said “Oh my God” and put my head between my legs and that was my last conscious thought of being in a nudist camp. For the rest of the morning I forgot that I was surrounded by naked people — Shenelle Kraack/St. Maries Gazette-Record.

Full column here

DFO: As Butch Otter once said, not only no but hell no.

Question: Would you participate in a bare buns fun run?

Developer Holland Faces St. Joe Problems, Too

A riverfront development along the St. Joe River north of St. Maries will be sold on the steps of the county courthouse unless the developer can raise the money he owes the beneficiary. Bob Holland, the owner of Waterford Park Homes LLC, the developer of Sylvia’s Haven along the St. Joe River north of St. Maries has until November to pay approximately $206,000. If it’s paid by then, he will retain the property.

Full post here

Hat Tip: Digger

Adam’s Blog: Bonds’ 756 HR Mark Is What It Is

Every night of my life until last night, no matter what else was going on, when I went to bed Hank Aaron was the all-time Home Run Kind. Last night, Barry Bonds hit #756 and the Internet is filled with bitterness over it, talks of asterisks and such because of alleged steroid use. We going to start asterisking the accomplishments of pre-integration era players? Is Bonds little more than a doped up steroids dude and those steroids account for all the homers? Let’s be honest. We have no way to know the impact of these drugs on Bonds performance. Did it account for 100 or 200 homers, the seasons he allegedly used junk (1998-2002), I doubt it. In the end, the record’s not about steroids, the records about an amazing player and incredible endurance that’s beyond what I or anyone else could imagine. At the age of 43, Barry Bonds has a major league leading OPS of 1.064, and he’s going to end the year close to 30 homers at his age. And in the era of steroid testing, “Look mom, no steroids” — Adam Graham/Adam’s Blog.

Full post here

Question: Who’s the real home run champ: Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron or Babe Ruth?

Boyington Supporters Finally Win Key Vote 2-0-1

Item: CdA airport renamed for ‘Pappy’: Commission approves naming county airfield for famed WWII pilot/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

Huckleberries Online regulars were out in force for the Boyington discussion. Here, Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho (left), Alice Rankin/Alice’s Garden Spot (middle right) and Dan of the County (behind Alice) listen to Marine League rep Rick Seward support the name change.

More Info: Commissioners Todd Tondee and Rich Piazza voted for the proposal, which was pushed by local Marine veterans. They said Boyington was a “hero’s hero,” and that his name could spark an interest in history and the veterans who fought for their country. “He’s a reason why we’re not speaking Japanese or German today,” Piazza said. Commission Chairman Rick Currie’s continued his long-standing opposition, but he abstained instead of voting.

Question: Will Currie’s abstention and lack of support for the name change come back to haunt him in the GOPrimary next spring?

Lakes Highway Voters Turn Out Incumbents

Item: Eastside voters approve highway tax increase: Lakes patrons dump incumbents Soderling, Primmer/Erica Curless & Jessica Meyers, Spokesman-Review

More Info: In the Lakes Highway District, Weston “Monty” Montgomery beat incumbent Commissioner Dean Primmer in Subdistrict 2 (840-498), and John “Marv” Lekstrum defeated incumbent Commissioner Mark Soderling in Subdistrict 3 (774-600).

Question: What role did Larry Spencer’s klate mass mailing in support of Montgomery and Lekstrum play in the Lakes Highway District elections?

Signe: Covering Insurance Companies

Signe Wilkinson/Washington Post Group

Parting Shot — 8/7/07

Park-Klinik Weissensee/AP Photo

A computer tomography scan provided by the Park-Klinik Weissensee in Berlin on Tuesday shows a pencil inside a woman’s head. After being plagued for 55 years with the torment of a pencil lodged in her head, a German woman has finally had it removed. Margaret Wegner, now 59, was 4 years old when she fell while carrying the eight centimeter-long (3.15 inch-long) pencil, which went through her cheek and into her brain. With advances in surgical procedures, it could finally be removed at the Park-Klinik.

Golden Pen: Are You Willing to Take Foreign Risks?

The following letter appeared in today’s Roundtable:

Safety not drug import issue

Why is it there was so much to-do about buying pharmaceuticals from Canada? We had government agencies up in arms about the “safety” of drugs from Canada. What happened to that concern regarding food safety, toothpaste, toys? We buy them from China because they are cheaper, right?

Obviously the borders are free and open with China, yet we suspect our neighbors to the north? Our import policies have more to do with whose pockets are being lined than with any rational concern for the American people. “Let the buyer beware” is American policy. So bribery is a problem in Iraq?

Bob Lavigne

Question: Are you willing to take the risk for Canadian drugs along with that of Chinese imports?

Extra! 2 Commissioners OK Boyington Name Change …

Item: Coeur d’Alene Airport gets new name: Field to honor World War II hero Pappy Boyington/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Nah, Alice Rankin isn’t seeing a younger man. That’s Spencer (with the superhero hair). Here, she’s thanking Commissioners Todd Tondee and Rich Piazza for voting to rename the county airport field after WWII hero Pappy Boyington, a Coeur d’Alene native.

The Kootenai County Commission voted this afternoon to rename the county airport after World War II Medal of Honor recipient and North Idaho native Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, after more than a year of controversy. The new name is now “Coeur d’Alene Airport/ Pappy Boyington Field. Commissioners Todd Tondee and Rich Piazza both voted for the proposal by local Marine veterans, saying Boyington was a “heroes hero” and the name could spark an interest in history and the veterans who have fought for this country. Commission Chairman Rick Currie remained opposed to adding Boyington’s name to the county-owned airport but abstained instead of voting against the proposal.

Question: Do you agree with the change?

Coming Tonight: A Smoking Ban for Tubbs Hill?

Councilman Mike Kennedy tells Huckleberries that he’s going to propose a smoking ban for Tubbs Hill when the City Council meets tonight. He cited ongoing fire danger at the urban park as reason for the proposed ordinance. Fire Chief Ken Gabriel and Glen Lauper will be in attendance tonight to field questions …

Extra! “Deadliest Catch” Captains to Visit CdA

Item: ‘Deadliest Catch’ captains to visit CdA: Former CHS grad part of Discovery Channel show/Melissa Pamer, Spokesman-Review

Three fishing captains who battle the frigid waters of the Bering Sea and the sharp claws of Alaskan crabs on the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” will make appearances in Coeur d’Alene next week. Johnathan Hillstrand, captain of the Time Bandit and a graduate of Coeur d’Alene High School, will appear with Capt. Keith Colburn of the Wizard, from Redmond, Wash., and Capt. Sig Hansen of the Seattle-based Northwestern. Crabbing is considered extremely dangerous but lucrative work. The reality television show follows eight to 10 vessels through the fall and winter crab fishing season in Alaska.

DFO: As a teenager, I bucked 120-pound hay bails from the back of a moving truck, with only my legs and two sharp hay hooks for balance more than two stories up. That’s easily the most dangerous job I ever held.

Question: Have you ever held a dangerous job?

DJayMoney Produces Winning Potato Video

When people think of Idaho, they often think of our Famous Potatoes. Others might think of all the famous actors who live in Sun Valley. I found a web site that combines both — Idaho’s most famous food with our most famous celebrity — Dawn Wells! As all true guys know, Mary Ann was much, much hotter than Ginger on Gilligan’s Island, and Dawn has certainly aged well. As Idaho’s most involved resident celebrity, Dawn helped draw interest into the 1st iTuber Video Contest; the best videos are linked from here, and you can see all the videos that entered here. So sit back, relax, and watch a bunch of 2 minute, not-at-all-completely-cheesy (not!) homemade videos extolling the glory of the humble potato — Bubblehead/The Stupid Shall Be Punished.

Question: So, who do you think was hotter — Ginger or Idaho’s Mary Ann?

It’s My 2 Cents — Voting @ Hayden Meadows

Can someone explain to me why I have to drive to Hayden Meadows School to vote in the Lakes Highway District election? After all, I live in the Borah Triangle (no, I’m not the “Borah Triangle” who posts here. Last time I looked, Coeur d’Alene is a fairly fair-sized community — the biggest in Kootenai County (with upstart Post Falls beginning to nip at its heels). I called the county Elections Department to see, as Spencer’s candidate endorsement letter to my house Saturday indicated, if I truly am a Lakes Highway District voter. (Yeah, yeah, I know I should have looked at my property assessment bill, but I forgot this morning.) Anyway, I received good news and bad news. The good news is that I’m a Lakes Highway District voter. The bad news is that I have to drive to Hayden Meadows School tonight to cast my ballot b/c I didn’t cast an absentee ballot before today at the Elections Department office on Third Street. The neutral news is that I have to travel to my church on Miles Avenue tonight for a leadership meeting. Hayden Meadows is nearby. Gotta give Spencer a hat tip for alerting me to this election, which I ordinarily overlook. But I don’t think I can give Lakes Highway District a hat tip for an inconvenient trip to the polls.

You can find Spencer’s Take on the election today here; you can find Bayview Herb’s rebutal here.

Question: Are you eligible to vote in today’s highway district elections?

Huckleberries Best of Idaho — 8/7/07

Shawn Raecke/Idaho Statesman

John Wyman, 79, of Boise walks around the back of his car that he drove into Rockies Carhop Dinner off Fairview Avenue on Monday in Boise. “It sounded like a bomb going off, it was really scary,” said Cassidy Wardle, 18, a waitress working inside the restaurant at the time of the crash. Story here.

1. According to Philanthropy Northwest’s Northwest Giving Profile 2006, 69 percent of charitable dollars in Idaho go to education, versus 16 percent in Washington, 24 percent in Oregon and 23 percent nationally here.

2. Jim Junior Nice tore his family down the middle when he poisoned to death his three young children in December 2005. A fourth child, 21-month-old Ian, had drowned more than a year earlier. More than the fissure he created, Nice left his own parents, Jim and Claire, and his ex-wife, Leslie Olsen, with very little to hang on to. Now, the surviving mother wants Jim Junior’s grave in Twin Falls moved here.

3. After holding off for more than a month, Ken Covert decided last week he had waited long enough to cash in his winning lottery ticket. On Friday, the Pocatello resident redeemed his Wild Card 2 ticket and claimed the $2.78 million prize from the Idaho Lottery here.

4. Online Poll: 60% of 638 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say they probably won’t watch the launch of the Endeavor space shuttle in which Idaho teacher Barbara Morgan finally will blast into space.

5. Idaho IMHO: Idaho Statesman (Morgan offers lesson in perseverance), Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press (First impressions & Bill Sali), Tom Henderson/Lewiston Tribune (Should innocent teacher teach?), Craig Staszkow/Moscow-Pullman Daily News (Proposed gun regs don’t compute), and D.F. Oliveria/Huckleberries (Vanna White also turns heads).

6. Idaho Blogs: Adam Graham/Adam’s Blog (Transgenderism: Playing let’s pretend), Tom von Alten/Fort Boise (When is a Repub not a Repub?), Clayton Cramer’s Blog (What? You’re not pro-choice?), Julie Fanselow/Red State Rebels (Packed house greets Obama staffer), and Bubblehead/The Stupid Shall Be Punished (What makes Idaho famous?).

Online Poll: Will You Watch Endeavor Launch?

Former Idaho teacher Barbara Morgan is scheduled to take off late Wednesday afternoon on the shuttle Endeavour, for a mission to the International Space Station. Will you watch the launch? — Idaho Statesman.

*Probably not

DFO: Probably not

Eye On Olympia: 9th Circuit Sez Vote-Swapping OK

Seven years after one of the closest presidential elections in American history, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that it was OK for swing-state voters who wanted to vote for Ralph Nader or Pat Buchanan to agree to “swap” their protest votes with voters in lopsided states (this means you, Idaho) where the outcome was virtually certain. That way, organizers argued, Nader would have a better shot at getting the 5 percent needed for federal funding in future elections while Al Gore’s odds of winning improved in critical battleground states, including Washington — Rich Roesler/Eye On Olympia.

Full post here

Question: Would you be willing to vote swap?

Alice’s Garden Spot — Oh Dear, Deer Have Struck

To grow a successful backyard vegetable garden, not unlike a journalist, you need knowledge of what, where, when and how to plant a crop. You also need hope that the late frosts, cool nights, early heat waves, drought, insects and critters don’t destroy all your efforts. I had my hope shaken yesterday morning when I went out to my garden and saw that a critter, I believe a deer, had eaten most of my large green tomatoes and the leaves and branches of about six of my plants. I now have what’s left covered with a pea net. I should have done it earlier, since deer ate my plants last year also. But I hadn’t seen many deer this year, just a few in the field and not in my yard, so I was lulled into thinking I could wait. I have a couple of plants with large tomatoes left, but my chance for a Fair entry is probably nil. Deer also ate my green potato tops, almost to the ground. First time I can remember that happening. Anyone else having deer problems with their plants? — Alice Rankin/Alice’s Garden Spot.

Full post here. (I’ll post links to previous columns by Alice later this morning.

Question: Which Alice Rankin tip has helped you most this 2007 growing season?

Alice Rankin: Commish to Decide on Boyington Today

Alice Rankin: Just a reminder to everyone that feels strongly about whether the Kootenai County Commissioners will finally do the correct thing and name the airfield at the Coeur d’Alene Airport in honor of our own Pappy Boyington. The Commissioners have it on their agenda to vote on the issue (today) Aug. 7. It is their regular Tuesday public meeting at 2 PM. It is held upstairs in their conference room. In case of a large turnout, I suppose it could be moved downstairs to meeting room 1A. See you all there.

DFO: For some reason, I believe, the commish will vote this down — and be dead wrong. I hope I’m misreading the tea leaves.

AM Hucks: Vanna White Also Turns Heads

Huckleberries hears … that Vanna White, longtime letter turner for “Wheel of Fortune,” was a guest at a Gozzer Ranch shindig at Eddie’s Bar
and Grille/Arrow Point Thursday evening. Seems she was spotted by Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce Commodores who’d piloted the chamber’s pirate-boat float to the event, including (at a distance) soon-to-be CPD Blue police Chief Wayne Longo. At one point, Ms. White checked out the chamber float. At another, stylist Patricia Richardson of LaTourrette’s had a photo taken with her, according to a well-placed Berry Picker, who said the private affair was an exercise in decadence. Among the extravagance was bottled water shipped in from Fiji and private-labeled beer, to quench the golden tonsils of the rich and sometimes famous in the Gozzer crowd … Now that she’s received a clean bill of health, Mayor Sandi Bloem’s un-Sandi-like performance in office for much of July can be explained, such as the morning she canceled an appearance on Dick Haugen’s on-the-road radio show, without explanation. Seems Sandi and her family received a scare when a significant melanoma was found on her leg. She underwent surgery about 10 days ago and was out of action for four days. Her Sandiness told me Thursday that the docs said the melanoma was contained. She admitted to me that she was scared, as we all would be. But now she’s “up and full running.”

Parting Shot — 8/6/07

Bayview Herb/Bayviews

Recently spotted Bactrian Camel in Athol Area. You’ll have to read Bayview Herb’s column in the Spokesman Review Aug. 9 for the story …

Bayview Herb Takes Issue w/Spencer’s LHD Letter

Item: Lakes Highway District election is important/Larry Spencer, Spencer’s Take

I don’t normally write about these
kinds of elections, but there is some very misleading information going around, in an attempt to vote out two of the three incumbents. I live in Bayview, where Summer and Winter sees great service from the highway district. This Summer, our local roads have been freshly chip sealed. Last Winter, the snow plows were right on the spot, so that commuters would not slip and slide on their way to work. I’m afraid there is some demagoguery going on here that is political, rather than functional — Bayview Herb/Bayviews.

Full post here

Question: Do you have enough info (as well as correct residency) to vote in Lakes Highway District election?

BrodH2O: Getting Over Fear of People

It would take intense psychiatric evaluation to figure the cause of my next phobia - people. And I don’t mean people of authority, strangers… I mean EVERYONE. It started when I was in elementary school, and would probably just be considered “shy”. But it got much worse. I got to the point where it terrified me when people talked to me. I thought I’d say something stupid. Or make somebody mad. And everything I did say, I thought over a million times in my head how I could have said it… well… less stupid. I obsessed over it. I hate to admit this, but my fear was actually a big reason I joined the Marines… I was just too chicken to say no. I didn’t even really question anything the recruiter told me, which was a pretty big life decision to jump into blind. And trust me, Marine Corps boot camp is NO place for a wimpy little weiner — The Otis/BrodH2O.

Full post here

Question: Do you have a phobia that you’d own up to?

APhoto of the Day — 8/6/07

Frank Hormann/AP Photo

Marlen Uphaus shows an edible snail at a new built snail farm in Gut Scharpitz at the island of Ruegen, northern Germany, today. The snail farm will produce 25,000 snails per year for local restaurants. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. For the nature-loving set, Victoria’s Secret offers this thong panty in its fall collection — Brent Andrews (plus other terrific entries).

2. The new menu at Cafe Snail was a dismal failure after customers repeatedly complained about their dinner crawling off their plates — A Token D.

3. The democratic party ponders changing its mascot from the ass to the snail, to better represent the speed at which they get matters taken care of — Eyes&Ears.

HM: Cabbage Boy

Smith: How Do You Preserve Newspaper Journalism?

In light of my posting late last week on the economic challenges facing the SR, I’d like to continue the conversation by soliciting 10 great ideas to preserve the best of newspaper journalism, ideas I can share with a national audience. Notice, I did not say that I intend to talk about preserving newspapeers. That might or might not be possible. But it is vital to me and others in the profession that newspaper journalism survive. That is a form of journalism that is dedicated to the fundamental values of the profession, divorced from special interests, unbeholden to government, dedicated to its watchdog role. And essential to that is preserving large, independent news staffs. With all due respect to the blogosphere, I have not seen anything yet that tells me individual bloggers or even small groups can do the vital local news reporting and watchdog journalism of a large, daily newspaper staff — Editor Steve Smith/News Is A Conversation.

Full post here

Question: How would you preserve newspaper journalism?

SReader: Artfest No Place for Pit Bull on Choke Chain

Something happened on Sunday at the Art on the Green event in Coeur d’Alene that really upset me (and many around me) as my wife and I strolled through the tents. It was a beautiful day and the walkway was very crowded. People often had to turn their shoulders to pass each other. My wife or I ended up on many occasions walking single file because of the crowd. While walking single file, a loud growl and deep multiple barks startled all of us walking along. Immediately to my left, an elderly gentlemen pushing a walker, moved as quickly as he could to the middle of the walkway because a damn pit bull decided the walker was some type of enemy!! This was a very tense time for all of us because we had no idea what was going on. The old gentleman almost fell trying to get out of the way. Luckily, the pit bull was on a choke chain and the owner quickly jerked the dog up into the air and said “stop”. The dog didn’t bite anyone so I guess the owner felt it was OK. In fact, he calmly resumed his conversation with the artist in the tent! He acted like it was not his dogs problem. I can assure you, not one person in that walkway felt safe and we all felt sorry for the guy using the walker.

Full post below in extended entry

Question: Why do pet owners take their dogs to major events, such as Art on the Green, the Fourth of July Parade, etc.?

Noon Q: How Was ‘07 Summer Theatre Season?

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Chris Thompson and Jennifer Dudley portray Petruchio and Kate in the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre production of ” Kiss Me Kate,” which opened Saturday at North Idaho College’s Schuler Auditorium.

Question: In terms of letter grades, how would you rate this season’s overall performances (“Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “The Full Monty,” Steve Sondheim musical review, and “Kiss Me, Kate”)?

OnLocationNI: Artfest Crowds Buzzed re: Sand Castle

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

Sand castle engineer/artist Scott Dodson of Post Falls started with 16 tons of sand on Wednesday as he began to create a 14th century gothic castle. The sand is sprayed with an Elmer’s glue and water mixture to help it retain moisture and last up to two months. At 12 feet high and 10 feet wide, the castle drew a continuous crowd of admirers during Art on the Green in Coeur d’Alene. Photos don’t do justice to the intricate detail and sheer whimsy of the project. Go see it for yourself at the west side entrance to Ft. Sherman Park, adjacent to North Idaho College — Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho.

Hat Tip: JimmyMAC

Huckleberries Best of Idaho — 8/6/07

David J. Phillip/AP Photo

Space shuttle Endeavour Mission Specialist Barbara Morgan, left, smiles as he sits with fellow Mission Specialist Benjamin Drew Jr., right, during an STS-118 crew news conference Wednesday in July in Houston. Endeavor is scheduled to liftoff next month on an 11-day mission to the International Space Station Wednesday. See Item No.1. Also, Idaho journalist Marcia Franklin endeavors to tell Morgan’s story here.

1. The Shuttle Endeavour is in position at the Kennedy Space Center - awaiting Wednesday’s launch to the International Space Station. It is a historic mission that hopes to pick up where Challenger left off - this time taking McCall school teacher Barbara Morgan into outer space here.

2. Idaho remains the busiest fire state in the nation with nearly 20 fires burning right now. Recently there has been a shift in fire activity, from the grasslands to the forests, which is usual for this time of year here.

3. A recent poll shows that Larry Grant, Democratic candidate for Congress in Idaho’s 1st Congressional District, has favorable ratings equal to Republican Congressman Bill Sali, but that Sali’s unfavorable ratings are a standout —Jill Kuraitis/New West here.

4. The coach of the NBA Denver Nuggets, George Karl, and his son Coby, a recent BSU graduate who just signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, will guest host the Ada County Democrats’ golf tournament here.

5. Best of Idaho Opinion: Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (Mansfield deserves scrutiny), Rachel Abrahamson/Boise Weekly (Bourne again), Jerry Helgeson/Idaho Statesman (Idaho’s astronaut teacher makes us proud), Pete Zimowsky/Idaho Statesman (Bikes, bugs don’t mix), Irwin Horowitz/New West Boise (Shooting stars and eclipses), and Tyler Wilson/Coeur d’Alene Press (Simpsons’ Movie exxxcellent).

6. Best of Idaho Blogs: Mountain Goat Report (Blogging Anonymously), Dogwalk Musings (Blues in the Night), Rocky Barker (Let burn debate blazes on), Dennis Mansfield (Message from a bleeding heart), and Palousitics (Advice to WSU’s Young Republicans).

Digger: Skinheads @ Silverwood Ruined Day

Originally posted at 1:39 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 5

We went to Silverwood on Wednesday and had lots of fun. That was, until we spotted a group of Skinhead Nazis in the wave pool on the water side of the park. One had a Swastkia tattooed on his chest and another that said “F—K YOU” on his arm. He and his buddies were in some type of argument with some folks in the wave pool - the lifeguard didn’t seem to notice them. We saw them later on the amusement side and they were cutting in line on Tremors - someone said something and got the finger and told to “shut up you fu—ing jew” I was very dissapointed that Silverwood didn’t remove these folks from the park based on their offensive tattoos. The least Silvewrood could have done was ask them to cover them up. Further, my day was partially ruined because of their behavior. I really wish that these guys would have been refused service by Silverwood. Anyway, hate and a fraction of the Aryan Nations is still alive and well in North Idaho despite what the talking heads might say.


Question: Are you concerned that the recent racist incidents at Hayden Lake and at Silverwood last week are a sign that supremacists are on the rise again in Kootenai County.

Parent: My Son Suffered Van Troxel Treatment from Cops

Originally printed at 1:19 a.m. Saturday

I wish I could have caught your blog on the arrest of Van Troxel for DUI. The exact same thing happened to my 20 yr old son about 3 or 4 months ago. When I was reading the article I was just shaking my head and thinking you could have put his name in there and it would have been almost identical to what happened to him. He works a job that mostly requires him to work late hours and he got off late one night and dropped his girlfriend off at their apartment (she works at the same business.) They wanted to make breakfast so he was going to run out to Walmart and he had just gone a little ways and the cop pulled him over. The officer said he was crossing over the center line so he arrested him for DUI. He passed the breathalyzer, failed the field sobriety test, and so the officer arrested him and took him to the station and gave him a drug test. He had told him he just got off work and he still had his uniform on. The difference came from the fact that my son had to walk home in the middle of the night and had to pay to get his truck out of impound. They told him his results would be back in about 2 weeks. He called them to find out the results and couldn’t get an answer from them. We told him to keep calling because that was his right and someone from the police department told him if he didn’t quit calling they would file harassment charges on him. He just finally found out that the drug test came back negative only because he finally got a public defender and she found out for him. The sad thing is my son has always wanted to get into law enforcement and now he has to go to court to get this off his record.

Concerned Parent

Online Poll: Ever Been to Graceland?

Managers of Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland, are planning a $250 million overhaul – with a new visitors center, a convention hotel and high-tech museum displays. Have you ever been to Graceland? — Idaho Statesman.

*Yes, once
*Yes, many times
*No, but I want to
*No, not interested

DFO: Other (which state is that in again?)

Spencer v. Sweet Herb: Lakes Highway Elections

re: Our Mr. Spencer circulated a letter to Lakes Highway District voters over the weekend, in which he endorsed Monty Montgomery and Marv Lekstrum over the current challengers. The beginning of the letter is below.

Did you know that the starting wage of a rroad crew worker at Lakes Highway department is over $9 dollars per hour moore than the same job at the Idaho Department of Transportation? They get paid over $2.50 per hour more than a professionally trained sheriff’s deputy earns! the long term employees at Lakes get six weeks of paid vacation per year courtesy of the district’s property taxpayers. This Tuesday, the Lakes Highway District has two of three commissioner positions up for election. The current commissioners at Lakes are former crew workers who seem to run the district under a “good old boys” type of management that lends itself to different treatment for different people. In addition to being an unfair way to run a district, this style of managment also has a tendency to result in questionable spending of your tax dollars.

Sweet Herb: Larry, I have always shown you respect and I will now. Your letter was recieved today and it sucked. Not because it wasn’t written well, but because of it’s content. The idea that just because people have actual experience in the field that they supervise, seems to me to be a no brainer. Are we to elect those that have no experience, so that they won’t be corrupt? Those of us that live within the district have observed great service. My only complaint is that they arrive so early in the winter, after a snow storm, that they wake me up. Our roads are in great shape, both Summer and Winter. So what are your political sycophants going to do to improve what “Ain’t Broke.”

Stantis: Keeping Our Fingers Crossed

Scott Stantis/Birmingham News

Larry And Me — A Composite Story Begun by RSPA

please continue this story, we can do a chain story about Larry and the Pony and any other HBO characters you’d like to bring in

The light turned red. Larry and I sat in his pickup truck waiting. It seemed forever. Larry sighed and I asked “what’s wrong, Larry?”

“I don’t know, this light takes so long”

I nodded and smiled. We watched the other cars, unfettered by red lights, driving quickly past. Larry sighed again and said “Can I ask you something, Pony?”

“Sure, Larry”

“Do you think I’m kind of crazy? You know, always trying to find things to obsess about, to complain about?”

I looked at Larry. He was wiping his moist brow with his right hand while drumming his fingers rapidly, yet strangely arrhthmically, with his left hand on his steering wheel.

I knew a lot depended on my answer. Larry was vulnerable.

“Larry, let me put it this way, I know you think you’re doing your community a great service and clearly you have a lot of passion for your beliefs and -“

All of a sudden the light turned green. Larry floored it. Before I could finish my sentence, Larry pointed out the window and shouted “Look at that! Damn!”

“What Larry? What?”

Larry slammed on the brakes and whipped the truck over to the curb. He was visibly agitated.

“Larry, what is it?”

“I can’t believe this! This is unbelievable!”

The truck had barely stopped rolling and Larry slammed it into park and lunged out his front door. I opened my door to get out but Larry shouted “Wait, Pony! just wait!”

Your turn to write what happens next or to add onto the “comments” thread after others do

Wild Card/Saturday — 8/4/07

I posted a number of items below that should pique your interest as we enter our first weekend of August, including an APhoto of the Weekend. I’ll be monitoring HBO between some honey-do projects today. Then, I’ll give way to MamaJD’s supervision for Sunday. She already has a list of do’s and don’ts which I’ll run out front Sunday. It should be a busy weekend along the waterfront with the annual Art of the Green taking place at North Idaho College and the Street Fair dominating Sherman Avenue and City Park. Enjoy yourselves. And don’t forget to check back in sometime this weekend. Now, for your weekend Wild Card …

Question: What’s Best/Worst Features of Riverstone?

When the Movie Complex building was built, there was a beautiful parking lot that faced the front of the building. It was dramatic to park and walk up to the theatre. The parking lot was paved, curbed and tree lined making a dramatic entrance to the theatre. Now the parking lot is gone, it is torn up and a new building is being built directly in front of the theatre. It looks terrible. The theatre will now be hid from view. Plus the lot was only a couple of years old. Where is the parking lot — A parking structure was built to the northwest of the theatre, constructed in a hurry, no charm, just cement. From Northwest Blvd. going south, this huge, undescript slab of concrete greets people coming into Coeur d’ Alene. I would have thought a more eye pleasing piece of architecture would have been created to fit into the atmosphere of the Riverstone area. A better finish on the concrete to liven it up would have been so spectacular. Guess hurried up, finish, cheap looking concrete is the thing of the future.

Amy Jones

Question: Which feature of Riverstone do you like best/dislike most, besides the new park?

Poll: Journalists Ranked Near Bottom of Professions

Item: Still Don’t Get No Respect: Poll Finds Journos At Bottom Of ‘Prestige’ Jobs/Editor & Publisher

More Info: Journalists were rated ahead of just seven other occupations: union leader, stockbroker, entertainer, accountant, banker, actor, and real estate agent/broker.
In addition to firefighters, five occupations are perceived to have “very great” prestige by at least half of all adults — scientists (54%); teachers (54%); doctors (52%); military officers (52%); and nurses (50%).

Question: Where would you rank journalists?

Hat Tip: Sam The Reporter

WND Poll: Who’s Responsible for Infrastructure Problems?

Question: Who or what is responsible for America’s infrastructure being in such bad shape?

1. The U.S. has been too busy policing the rest of the world and not taking care of problems at home
2. Drivers of SUVs, Hummers and other big vehicles are imposing more than their fair share of wear and tear on our infrastructure
3. Corruption – shoddy work by contractors or mismanagement by government bureaucrats – maybe both
4. Anti-tax Republicans have made it impossible for government to pay for upkeep and repairs
5. The ‘problem’ is being overblown – things get old, sometimes they break, but that’s neither a crisis nor a scandal
6. The Minneapolis bridge collapse was a fluke – 1 failure out of the tens of thousands of bridges in this country is simply a freak accident
7. Environmental regulations have prevented new construction or made it prohibitively expensive
8. Spendthrift Democrats have blown the money that should have gone to highways in order to fund the welfare state
9. Government is inherently inefficient – a system of private toll roads and briges would serve America far better
10. Other

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

TGIF Wild Card — 8/3/07

I watched the 90-minute Big Band concert last night at the amphitheater at Riverstone Park, along with several hundred others. Spectacular evening. Beautiful weather. Viewtiful setting, with geese rising and settling on the water and the water features of John Stone’s pond providing soothing background noise between sets. Some danced. All enjoyed. I had two thoughts as I relaxed on the grass: My quality of life has been improved by this pond. And I’d like to see when of the CAVE men or women at the microphone in that setting trying to explain why the urban renewal district and tax increment financing are bad things. I was also struck by the thought that my view of the pond, water features, ducks and the lights of an emerging economic section of town was more impressive than a glimpse of the river that you can get around the bend at Mill River Park. Sorry, Watcher. Now, for your Wild Card …

Mars At Large — Tumblewords

Flaming forests red at dusk
Death Star, silent as feather steps
chases Luna from the sky
Sol burns the edge of summer

baked pears fall from trees
wither under raven whispers
Fate chants songs
without words

Mt Helicon hugs the muses
who stop between heavens
to rewrite, change nibs
speak of hemlock twigs.

Sue Turner/Tumblewords

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 8/3/07

Joe Imel/AP Photo/Daily News

Franklin-Simpson, Ky., soccer player Austin Perkins has the ball taken away by a dog that ran onto the field during a high school soccer scrimmage with Bowling Green High School, Thursday in Franklin, Ky. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Looks like a red card for the black lab — Cabbage Boy.

2. Soccer sensation David Beckham warms up before a game with a little help from wife Victoria — Family Phil.

3. steroids — seenthatbefore.

HM: Meghann Cuniff

Wulffmorgenthaler: A Baby’s Eye View of Dining Out

Do you remember that post from a few days ago about the woman who totally exposed her chest for at least 30 seconds while breast feeding her infant and eating a salad at a local restaurant? SR colleague was reminded of a cartoon strip by popular European toonist Wulffmorganthaler that provides a baby’s eye view of what a restaurant should be here.

Hat Tip: Pia Hansen

What’s This?

AP Photo

1. Brand X trolls Goose, Blundering and Clawed (in drag) react Sunday to news that Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel is moderating Huckleberries Online
2. Mary Souza & Co. prepare for City Council races this fall
3. Bill Sali meets the press
4. RSPA and John Austin settle differences
5. Larry Spencer and Dixie Reid meet in winner take all grudge match
6. Young people play in the mud at the Woodstock music festival in Kostrzyn, Poland.
7. Other

Headliner: Broncos Starts No. 23 in Preseason Poll …

… w/lowly UIdaho’s first opponent USC picked (gulp!) to win the national title here.

DFO: Any chance Idaho can simply say the bus broke down at Pendleton — and there’s no chance to get to the game on time? Seriously, I have a problem with this game. Some kids who shouldn’t be on the field with the Trojans are going to get hurt. Didn’t a promising Idaho quarterback break a leg a few years ago in a preseason game against a Big 10 team?

Celeb Sighting: Vanna White @ Gozzer Shindig

Huckleberries hears … that Vanna White, long-time letter turner for Wheel of Fortune, was a guest of honor at Gozzer Ranch’s Pirate Night at Eddy’s/Arrow Point Thursday evening. She was spotted eyeing the Coeur d’Alene chamber’s pirate-boat float by soon-to-be CPD Blue police chief Wayne Longo and hair stylist Patricia Richardson at LaTourrette’s. Patricia had a photo taken with Vanna, according to a well-placed Berry Picker, who said the private affair was an exercise in decadence with bottled water shipped in from Fiji and private-labeled beer available to quench the golden throats of the millionaires and their trophy wives.

Question: Which celebrity would you like to encounter in North Idaho?

If You’re Going to Expose Yourself in Public …

… don’t do it on the lawn of the Coeur d’Alene North. The FBI has offices there. A flasher might have found that out at 10:11 this morning when he reportedly did his thing, according to the police scanner. Stay tuned …

Conversation: We Haven’t Lost Sense of Decency, But …

re: Pia Hansen’s question in a recent column after some mocked Josh Levy’s suicide on the Monroe Street bridge: Have we lost our sense of decency or compassion?

Whenever I am confronted with situations such as Levy’s suicide off the Monroe Street Bridge, and the resulting lack of decency and compassion for others that took place in the aftermath of the standoff, I nearly always remember my grandmother, who raised me during a time of profound child abuse in my life. She taught me about life, gave a living example of quiet dignity and compassion for others. Were it not for the tenderness she showed, and the principles she taught me at a time of abject misery in my life, I probably would be behind bars or perhaps even worse than that, for people die easily and invisibly on the hard pavements of life out past the lights of compassion — Editor David Laird/News Is A Conversation.

Full post by David Laird here

Question: Have we lost our sense of decency and compassion?

Online Poll: How Would You Pamper Your Dog?

A company has come up with a beef-based nonalcoholic beer made specifically for dogs. What luxury item or treatment would you give your dog? — Idaho Statesman

*Dog beer
*Dog clothes
*Dog day spa
*Dog jewelry

Richert: GOP’s Push for Closed Primaries Is A Purge

The conservative group makes no bones about its agenda. A closed primary will flush out those so-called “Republicans in Name Only,” or RINOs — Republicans that don’t meet the narrow definition of Republican as spelled out by alliance executive director Bryan Fischer. “The practical effect of the implementation of this rule is that it will be easier for pro-family candidates to survive GOP primaries, and harder for Republicans-in-name-only to get into office,” Fischer says. “Thus, in many ways this battle is of great significance for the future of Idaho politics. Closed Republican primaries are clearly in the best interest of those who want Idaho to continue to be a state that honors conservative, family-friendly social values. Both Democrats and Republican Party elites understand what is at stake here, which is why they are fighting so hard against this move. “The battle over closed primaries is, in fact, a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party in Idaho.” Make no mistake. This is a purge — Kevin Richert/Idaho Statesman.

Full post here

Question: Do you support/oppose the push by Idaho Republicans to close primaries?

DOTC: What Would Be Bush Song If He Ran in ‘08

I recently put a CD together of songs for our son in the Army that have to do with his “new home” in El Paso, Texas (at least until he ships out later this month to that other place). It’s amazing how many songs come up in the Napster database that have the word “Texas” somewhere in the title—way, way more than those that have “Idaho” in the title. Anyway, I came across many old favorites and a few new ones including one that I would absolutely nominate for the Bush ‘08 re-election theme song if he were eligible to run again. I know there was a lot of hubbub (even on HBO as I recall) when the challenge went out to pick an appropriate campaign song for Hillary. So I figure turnabout is fair play. My choice is by Ray Wylie Hubbard and is entitled, “Screw you, we’re from Texas.”

Question (from Dan of the County): So, what’s your nomination?

Brent Andrews: Some of my Fave Journalists

Some of Brent Andrews’ favorite journalists are below (full post in extended entry section):

Joe Butler - OK, you have some funky advertiser who wants a story. Instead of writing some funky story, why not send Joe, who will actually get something interesting from his interview and have a real story for tomorrow’s paper. Joe could turn a softball assignment into a tear-jerker in a New York minute. Whenever I’m in Coeur d’Alene, I look Joe up. I just want to say hello, and be a small part of his life. Joe Butler’s one of the best writers around and I’m glad to know him.

Taryn Brodwater - You could be working on Watergate and Mike Feiler would hand you some press release from the Museum of North Idaho. Taryn could take it, rewrite it, and run with it and still have three or four stories of her own, and design the Press’s latest advertising tabloid, too. I don’t know who taught Taryn time management, but they done good, indeed.

Anderson: Cleavage Key to Media’s Attention

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Thursday — 8/2/07

I’m outtahere for a meal at home and then a concert at Riverstone Park. They’re offering Big Band music tonight, I believe. Should be fun at the viewtiful new facility (with or without a view of the Spokane River). See you there? You can use this Wild Card to entertain yourself while I’m gone …

Seahawks: You Don’t Know What You Got ‘Til It’s Gone

You don’t know what you have until it’s gone, says the old adage. Seattle Seahawks fans, especially those from Eastern Washington (like those watching preseason drills a year ago in Cheney, left) are finding that out during the team’s current training camp. Not only was the camp moved from nearby Cheney back to the west side of the state, but now the NFL has a highly restrictive policy regarding Web coverage of its teams by media sites such as Here is a recent story about the changes. The net result is you won’t be seeing Seahawks multimedia coverage on sites like ours — Jeff Bunch/Daily Briefing.

Full post here

Question: What do you think of the new NFL/Seahawk policy that puts team preseason workouts out of the reach of the public and local media? Do you miss their presence in Cheney this year?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 8/2/07

Jebb Harris/AP Photo, The OrangeCounty Register

Ryan Andrade, 4, reacts while performing with dancing brides from Suzanne’s Dance Factory of Mission Viejo, Calif., to the tune of “Chapel of Love” Wednesday at The Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa, Calif. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Seven Brides for One Brother! — Steve Sibulsky.

2. Upon reaching heaven and being presented with his virgins, the young jihadist was shocked to discover that they were outspoken, American virgins — Brent Andrews.

3. New FOX reality show: Who Wants to Marry a Pre-Schooler — Nic.

HM: Everyone else (all good cutlines today).

DFO’s Strange Critters — 8/2/07

Susan Sandys/AP Photo

A seven legged lamb is pictured on its farm at Methven near Christchurch in the South Island of New Zealand, Tuesday. Veterinarian Steve Williams said he believed a misprint in embryo formation had resulted in the lamb being born polydactyl, with many legs, a condition that occurs once in every 100,000 births.

Tenacity: Bridge Collapse Proves Life Fragile

Jeff Wheeler/AP Photo

A rescue worker enters a car in the water to search for a victim after the Interstate 35W bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed during the evening rush hour in Minneapolis on Wednesday.

I got a call two days ago from my youngest son’s precious girlfriend telling me her sister and husband were just killed in a motorcycle accident. They went for a ride in the evening, over corrected around a curve and died instantly. Tomorrow she and my son go to the funeral. My oldest son’s office is two blocks from the bridge. I could not get thru to his cell phone for nearly an hour, busy signal and an ‘all circuits are busy’ recording. He finally was able to get thru to me and fortunately was at a conference 20 minutes away from the bridge. He and his wife are fine. I know you’ve heard this more times than you can count, but if you haven’t told the ones you love that you love them recently, now’s a good time. Tomorrow may never come. While we all know this, instances like these are a harsh reminder how truly fragile life is.


Question: Do you know anyone directly affected by the collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis Wednesday?

Noon Question: Your Life’s Bumpersnicker

I’m always interested to read bumper stickers on the cars in front of me as I drive. I have never been one for bumper stickers myself, but I think you can find out a lot about people from the ones they choose to display. For example, you can tell if they are political or religious or proud of their honor student. And you can sometimes judge their sense of humor or occupation or hobbies. But I saw one the other day that I absolutely could not figure out. I read it and read it again and wondered who would display this particular bumper sticker. It said:
“Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons … for you are crunchy and good with ketchup” — Jen/A Butterfly Moment

Full post here

Question: If you have a bumpersnicker on your care, what does it say? If not, what words on a bumpersnicker would sum up your philosophy on life?

News Is A Conversation: Who Holds Press Accountable?

Before I left for Montana this afternoon to pick up my daughter from the ranch where she works each summer, I had a long conversation with a local physician who was quite upset with our story Saturday about Dr. Fregeau, the physician who, it seems, missed the signs that Tyler DeLeon was being abused. I think the story was fair and accurate, but I can understand how Dr. Fregeau’s friends and colleagues will rush to his defense on the basis that he was caught up in a situation outside his control. I don’t see it that way, but I get it. In any event, in talking to me, the doctor today said we had “bullied” Dr. Fregeau. And then he asked, “Who holds you accountable when you make a mistake?” His point was, more or less, that the press operates without checks and that there seems to be no remedy when the press makes a mistake — Editor Steve Smith/News Is A Conversation.

Full post here

Question (from Steve Smith): How is the newspaper held accountable for its actions and if the existing mechanisms are inadequate, what processes do you think ought to be instituted?

Also posted on A Matter of Opinion blog

Templin: Let Voters Decide About PF City Hall

Item: PF voters may decide City Hall fate: Templin intends to put issue on November ballot/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: It appears Post Falls voters will ultimately decide the fate of the 7,500-square-foot building at the corner of Fourth and Spokane, City center property owner Bob Templin is resurrecting yet another effort to spare the building from demolition by seeking 264 signatures. If successful, the initiative will be put on the November ballot in conjunction with the City Council races.

Question: Should Post Falls City Hall be torn down?

LCDC Mulls Adding Sorensen, Winton to URD

Item: Renewal zones may add grade schools: Study looks at eligibility for Sorensen, Winton/Meghann M. Cuniff, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Sorensen and Winton elementary schools could become part of Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal districts depending on the results of a study ordered Wednesday by the city’s urban renewal agency, the Lake City Development Corp. The eligibility study is the first step to amend urban renewal district boundaries to include the schools. The LCDC board must vote on an amendment proposal, and the City Council would give final approval.

Observation: Sounds like this is a way around the CAVE complaints that the LCDC can’t funnel money to Sorensen School b/c it’s outside the district. Am I reading this right?

Breaking: UI Sorority House Burns

The Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women house burned overnight at the University of Idaho in Moscow, leaving the women who live there without a place to live in the upcoming school year. The fire was first reported to the Moscow Fire Department shortly after midnight. No one was injured, but the building was extensively damaged, according to fire dispatchers. The roof was destroyed.

Full story here

DOTC: About Those Rathdrum Devil Worshippers …

re: a lengthy thread in which we discussed the rumored devil worshippers of old from Rathdrum.

I think I posted on this before but I worked as a detective at the KCSO in the mid-70’s right in the heart of the Rathdrum devil worshiper’s era. The stories were wild and frequent about people being stopped by a human chain of hooded figures, often running them over like bowling pins as they “just barely got away”, and chains being slapped across people’s hoods as they drove by. Everybody seemed to know somebody that this had happened to but not ONE first hand report came into the Sheriff’s Office on this. No bloody victims or perpetrators taken to the hospital beat up car hoods, broken windshields, etc. My personal theory has been that people (at least in some cases) saw the groups of Lady Fatima crusaders who would march down streets in dark robes, etc. and one assumption lead to another and an urban legend was born. I remember seeing some of these “parades” around CD’A and they would seem pretty unusual. They had houses all over the area that would serve as boarding type housing for many, many people. In fact, that’s who I originally got Anchor House from on Gov’t Way. This is the same group that eventually bought Mt. St. Michaels and so all of the houses went away.

Dan of the County

Jorel: Duane Still Wants Garden for Resort Campus

Jorel: Duane is getting a little more than long in the tooth, he’s becoming delusional. His ill-fated garden project would in his mind complete what he sees as the Hagadone business campus.(read large outdoor restaurant seating in front of Bonsai)An overwhelming majority don’t want their streets blocked off to pacify Duane.There are two issues here:1)EVERYONE will lose the views of the lake and park driving west on Sherman and into downtown on N’west Blvd (which are priceless and irreplaceable)and 2)Safety issues abound by blocking quick access to downtown and the water front in case of emergencies.(to say nothing about the rerouting of traffic)Duane also wants to close Front from 3rd west to 2nd and Sherman so his hotel guests can walk across the street to the plaza shops. (they should walk up to 2nd and Sherman like most citizens or use the skywalk from the hotel to the plaza)the street will of course be open for deliveries to the hotel and plaza shops and for all of the hotel vehicles.Build the garden over on Blackwell Island Duane..the addiition 10,000 annual camera clickers you envision will still find their way downtown! What arrogance.

Question: Does Hagadone have any chance of getting his garden placed on public right of way, such as Sherman Avenue or McEuen Field?

AM Hucks: The Duane Keep Gossipers Abuzz

In Coeur d’Alene, we talk about the trials, tribulations and tantrums of native son Duane Hagadone almost as much as we discuss the weather. Coffee klatchers squeeze every ounce out of every rumor. Some know him as ruthless. Some admire him as visionary. Then, there are others like me who’ve studied him for 30 years, as an employee and a columnist for the competing paper. I keep tabs on The Duane and his hired hands because I know how much you enjoy Hagadone rumors. So I’ll treat you to two today. … At The Duane’s fundraising fest for the Humane Society at his Casco Bay “cabin,” word was that Hagadone plans to consolidate his private holdings. In other words, he wants to sell his Stanley Hill house and replace his Lake Coeur d’Alene retreat with a mansion. Which’ll serve as home at least during the good weather when he and wife, Lola, aren’t in Palm Desert, Calif., irritating the Sufferin’ Californians with that 30,000-square-foot mega-mansion that infringes on the mountain viewscape … Also, Huckleberries hears that The Duane is summoning people who do business with his company to his office to see where they stand in this fall’s election. ‘Tis no secret that The Duane wants to unseat incumbents Ron Edinger, Al Hassell and Dixie Reid. He’s still miffed he didn’t get his downtown memorial garden. Hence the reason for the constant attacks against Mayor Sandi Bloem and the council in his newspaper.

Parting Shot — 8/1/07

Brandi Jade Thomas/AP Photo, Pioneer Press

Emergency personnel work at the seen of a bridge collapse in Minneapolis, today. Story here.

Question: Do You Arrive Early Or Late?

I am a early person. If I am going somewhere, I will get there from 15 minutes to 20 minutes early. At least in the area of the meeting. Still 10 mins. early. I hate it when some one is late. I can give 5 or 10 minutes late…but more, well, I get antsy. Starts to bug me. And those who are half an hour late without a call … I am out of there. I find being blatantly late, rude. Those who are late, without calling to let the other person know … are selfish and controlling. I know there is exception to the rule. Sometimes emergencies come up. I can live with that. But those who walk into our church, 15 minutes after the service started, on a constant level.. are rude. And if they are carrying a latté, I am really peeved — Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind.

Full post here

DFO: I usually arrive on time, or a few minutes either way.

Question: Are you an early person or a late person?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 8/1/07

Nati Harnik/AP Photo

Minnesota Vikings players stretch on large rubber balls following morning practice at the NFL football team’s training camp in Mankato, Minn., earlier today. You write the cutline.

Top Cutline

1. Players from the Minnesota Vikings test out McDonalds’ new adult sized playland — Nic.

2. According to “Mom” we weren’t supposed to be hatched until September! I guess her and dad forgot about the wild party they had in August. Anyway, “hello world” — Thomas Beasley.

3. The Human Balloon” uses his back fat to capture and disable other players during a scrimmage yesterday. Coaches across the NFL said they don’t know how to counter this tactic — Brent Andrews.


HBO’s Strange Animals: Surfer Dude Dog

Jayson Mellom/AP Photo

Saint, a three-year-old golden retiever, catches a wave in Morro Bay, Calif., Wednesday. His owner, Kat Young, said he has been surfing most of his life.

CPD Blue: Troxel Drug Test Negative, Charges Dropped

Tests results from the Idaho State Lab show that Lake City High School football coach Van Troxel’s urine tested negative for drugs, the Coeur d’Alene Police Department announced this afternoon. Initially the police department anticipated the test results would take two weeks for the lab to process. Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Wendy Carpenter apologized for the “regrettable circumstance” and said in a press release that the police officer who made Saturday’s driving under the influence arrest of Troxel acted in good faith and without malice. Yet the press release said Officer Andy Sterling has been an officer for less than 2 years and with “experience and training he will be better able to detect someone who is under the influence verses someone who is tired.” “I will never have an officer apologize for doing their job in good faith,” she wrote. “I have personally apologized to Van Troxel as Chief of Police.” The city attorney is in the process of dismissing the charges, the release said.

Full story by Erica Curless/Spokesman-Review here, Sgt. Christie Wood’s press release here.

Question: Are you satisfied with the way this case was handled?

Overheard @ The Duane’s Fund-raising Shindig …

… The Duane is planning to sell his Stanley Hill house, tear down the lakefront “cabin” and build a summer mansion on the Casco Bay site as his permanent residence. Read: We’ll be seeing Duane spending a lot more of his twilight years right here. Not Palm Desert. (Fairly solid)

In The News: Murdoch Annexes Wall Street Journal

Mark Lennihan/AP Photo

The Dow Jones news ticker is shown earlier today in New York’s Times Square. Rupert Murdoch has sealed a deal to buy Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones & Co. for $5 billion, ending a century of family ownership and adding a crown jewel to his global media empire, News Corp.

Question: Anyone willing to guess what changes Murdoch will make to the Wall Street Journal?

Mayor Bloem Answers Troxel Question

An exchange between KGA (AM-1510) talk-show host Dick Haugen and CdA Mayor Sandi Bloem about the DUI arrest Saturday involving Van Troxel follows:

Dick Haugen (On The Road w/Dick Haugen) Have you been debriefed about the Van Troxel situation by Wendy Carpenter?

Sandi Bloem: Yes. The officer on duty felt there was some reason to question and did so. They are doing everything they can to speed up the results, so Van Troxel doesn’t have to sit and wait. That’s the thing to do. If Chief Carpenter and the city feels a mistake was made, we will be the first to apologize. Both officers have been talked to and had an opportunity to share why they made their decision. … When we have all the answers, then the appropriate thing will happen. I know Van Troxel. I appreciate Van Troxel’s comments in the paper.

More Mayor Bloem: How many of us at 2 or 2:30 in the morning, awakened and a little bit groggy, we might not be as able at taking a test as we would be at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. We want to make sure everyone is treated as fairly as possible. After we have the answers, we’ll own up to what we have to own up to.

Dick Haugen: Is it safe to say apology papers are being written?
Sandi Bloem: I agree with you that he’s a very popular coach and he’s a quality guy. I want only the best for them. And I want the best for the officers. They wouldn’t have done what they did unless they’d seen something. We’re trying to put ourselves in Van’s shoes. We’re also trying to understand what it’s like to be an officer at 2 in the morning.

Tenacity: What’s This About Rathdrum-Satanism Link?

Question (from Tenacity re: RSPA suggesting a nickname for Rathdrum: “The city of old satanic rumors”): Is there a history or story behind Rathdrum? I thank you for your time, Dave.

DFO: OK, who’s our Rathdrum-local myth historian?

Huckleberries Hears …

… that The Duane is summoning individuals who do business with him for a heart-to-heart chat about where they stand re: this fall’s elections. He has told them that he wants to replace the three incumbents who are up for election — Ron Edinger, Al Hassell and Dixie Reid — with friendlier ones. (Read: downtown garden-friendly ones.) Stay tuned …

Online Poll: Can You Work from Home?

Gov. Otter has proposed a plan that would allow state workers to work from home to reduce traffic and air pollution. Does your job allow you to work from home? — Idaho Statesman.

*All the time
*Not at all
*No opinion

DFO: I don’t work from home. But it wouldn’t take much to have the capability to work from home.

Pia: Suicide Video Indecent, Disgusting

Tuesday morning, I found a video re-enactment of Levy’s suicide online. Yes, I went looking for pictures. Why? Because I saw onlookers with cell phones snapping away Thursday night and I wondered what would happen to those snapshots. No, I’m not going to give you the Web link to the video I found. It’s a short, home-style video that begins with pictures of Levy crouched on the side of the Monroe Street Bridge, and ends with a re-enacted walk out on the bridge and a “fall” to the rocks at the dry river bottom below – complete with fake sound effects. That is just disgusting — Pia Hansen/Spokesman-Review.

Full post here

Question (from Pia): What is up with people? I mean, have we completely lost our sense of compassion and decency?

RSPA: Nicknames That Befit INW Towns

I loved Idawa’s post on Bellingham’s nickname “The city of subdued excitement” I wondered what some similar nicknames for our local cities/towns would be:

*Spokane - The city of interesting public/private partnerships
*Coeur D’Alene - The city of a lake with many bays
*Rathdrum - The city of old satanic rumors
*Athol - The city of digestive system allusions
*Seattle - The city of stoic materialism
*Moses Lake - The city of confusing aromas
*Ritzville - The city of interstate highway speed compliance
*Sandpoint - The city where tradition meets innovation for long afternoon naps
*Spirit Lake - The city of semi-rural densities creating chemistry

Stantis: Security at the Price of Freedom

Scott Stantis/Birmingham News

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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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