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Huckleberries Online

Archive for July 2007

Huckleberries Hears …

… that former Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Tom Cronin is forming an exploratory committee with the purpose of possible running for the county commission seat now held by … Chairman Rick Currie.

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 7/31/07


Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

Here’s proof that wild horses can drag Kerri Thoreson away from North Idaho occasional.

*Idaho Escapee/Atmospheric Ruminations believes that latest Viagra commercial may be one of the lamest he’s ever seen — and I think he’s right — here.

*Smells of Coppertone, dill, campfires, chlorine take Inland Empire Girl back to the lazy, crazy summer days of yore in her native Kellogg here.

*PDX Pup sez the big news around Portland this week wasn’t the fact that draft pick Greg Oden moved to town or the annual brewfest but the opening of a new IKEA store here.

*Vodka, public transportation, daylight at 11 p.m. and reindeer are all part of the best of Finland list prepared by JBelle/The ‘Kan EWA here.

*Idawa/Word Forge was so intrigued by Bellingham’s nickname (“the city of subdued excitement”) that he set aside his studies to discover where it came from here.

Blog Numbers (for Monday): 7155 page-views/4287 unique views.

Meanwhile, TUBOB writes again here, Kellogg Bloggin’ sez he uses a Buddhist filter for his acting and writing here, Marmitetoasty is feeling “right proper poorly” here, Perambulator has the Tour de France on his mind here, Red State Rebels reports that Barack Obama may visit Boise here, Spokompton contends that Mitt Romney isn’t sticking to a message here, Toadman enjoys his little mountain, Mount Spokane, here, and Wayward Episcopalian will be on the air Wednesday morning here.

Current Culture: Angel Outbreak

Holly Hunter’s getting some rave reviews for a new television show described this way in the Hartfourd Courant:

In the new series “Saving Grace” (TNT, 10 p.m.), she portrays a tough, hard-living cop whose vices may be getting the best of her. But when faced with tragedy, she also meets an angel in the form of a grizzled Leon Rippy, who offers her another chance if she’ll straighten up a bit.

It made me wonder what it means when guardian angels hit popular culture, as they do periodically in film, literature and on television. My hubby, the retired English professor, has tracked trends in literature when more “romantic” and “fantastical” ideas come into vogue. He said it often happens when a culture makes a technological leap or prizes rational thinking over spiritual knowledge or is in need of escape from events that dehumanize.

“It’s a Wonderful Life” for instance, the classic angel movie, came out right after World War II ended, as people were reeling from a world completely changed and yet, at the same time, ramping up for the Made in USA consumerism that was on its way and eventually defined the 1950s.

Question: Why do you think an angel television show is on TV now?

(This post is being simulblogged at Journey to Vatican III and A Matter of Opinion.)

Smith: Troxel Helped Himself by Talking to SR

The other story that caught my eye involved the DUI stop in Coeur d’Alene over the weekend of Lake City High football coach Van Troxel. I won’t take space here to repeat the story. But what really caught my attention was Troxel’s willingness to talk to the newspaper. His frank response to our questions really gives the story balance, assuredly helps his crisis management efforts and paves the way for the eventual story that clears him of wrongdoing. How much better than shutting the door in the face of reporters and leaving the community to stew for two or three weeks. If it happens that he was driving impaired, his bold denials may come back to haunt him. But I think you have to admire a person who says he submitted to all test requests because he knows they’ll clear his name — Editor Steve Smith/News Is A Conversation.

Full post here

Question: Do you agree that Van Troxel helped his case with the jury of public opinion by talking to The Spokesman-Review?

Q: Should Tax $$$ Be Used for Transgender Therapy

Item: Transgendered inmate wins hormone therapy suit: Idaho must pay for treatment/Monique James, Idaho News Channel 7

More Info: A federal judge has ruled a Boise transgendered inmate will receive female hormone therapy, paid for by the state of Idaho. Jennifer Spencer, who changed her name from Randall Gammett, castrated herself with a disposable razor blade after she was refused female hormone therapy for her gender identity disorder during her time in prison. The Idaho Department of Corrections, funded by the state and taxpayer dollars, must provide psychotherapy and estrogen to Spencer for the duration of her time in prison, which is two more years.

Question: Is this a proper use of tax dollars?

Online Poll: Favorite Matt Damon Movie?

Item: Matt Damon strolls into Boise with latest movie to raise money for local theater/Idaho Statesman

Matt Damon came to town for the Boise premiere of ‘The Bourne Ultimatum,’ and to raise money for the Boise Contemporary Theater. What is your favorite Matt Damon movie? — Idaho Statesman.

*Bourne trilogy
*Good Will Hunting
*Rounders
*The Departed
*Ocean’s trilogy
*Other
*None

Question: Is Special Session for Pervs Warranted?

Item: Tougher state sex offender laws are urged: GOP wants to call special session to address the issue/Levi Pulkkinen and Chris McGann, Seattle PI

Pro (special session): Hoping to capitalize on outrage surrounding the slaying of 12-year-old Zina Linnik, a handful of Republican state representatives have called for an emergency legislative session to consider sweeping changes to the state’s sex offender registration program.

Con (special session): Gov. Chris Gregoire and Democratic lawmakers — who hold strong majorities in the House and Senate — dismissed talk of an emergency legislative session as too hasty, and Senate Republicans also seemed content to wait for the regularly scheduled 2008 Legislature to deal with the issue.

Question: Is a special session to tighten sex offender laws warranted in Washington?

Alice’s Garden Spot: August Gardening Takes Care

Note: I’m moving Alice’s Garden Spot up b/c the remainder of the column was inadvertently left off the extended entry section.

We are heading into our August garden. Before this month is over your harvest will be in full swing. The main thing to remember is to keep thick mulch on your plants to conserve water. If you have resisted the call to mulch, then plan to water, water, water your plants, soaking the roots deeply. Keep an eye out for plant deficiencies. Yellow leaves and brown leaf edges, curling scorched leaves, indicate that your plants are deficient in potassium. Symbol “K” on the N-P-K ratio. Side dress with wood ashes, kelp meal or dairy manure. Reddish/purple foliage, stems and leaf veins, means too little phosphorus, as does lush foliage with few flowers and fruit. Symbol “P”. Side dress with bonemeal. Too little nitrogen, symbol “N”, shows up when plants have small, pale/yellowing foliage and stunted spindly growth. Side dress with alfalfa, cottonseed or blood meal or animal manures. Do not feed plants that show no sign of needing it. Too much is as bad as too little. Side dressing means you pull back your mulch, and spread solid fertilizer in a band alongside or around plants ( don’t touch stems or leaves). Work into top two inches of soil, then replace the mulch. One side dressing a season should be sufficient unless your soil is in really bad shape — Alice Rankin/Alice’s Garden Spot.

DFO: You can read the rest of Alice’s exclusive column for HBO in the “extended entry” section. Also, she’ll respond to gardening questions in the “comments” section.

Statesman: Athletes Gone Wild

You needn’t be an agate fanatic — someone who studies the box-scores before reading the front page or (perish the thought) the Opinion page — to know the world of sports is in a slump. … What’s a fan to do? Give up on the games in favor of a more refined spectacle — hot-dog eating, perhaps, or presidential politics? Not necessarily. Just be a clear-eyed, clear-thinking fan — Idaho Statesman.

Full post here

Question: Has the various scandals involving Barry Bonds, Tour de France, Michael Vick, etc., diminished your enthusiasm for professional sports?

CdA Police Arrest LCHS’s Troxel w/Police Report

Item: LCHS coach says citation “asinine”: Van Troxel arrested on suspicion of DUI/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

Police Report here

More Info Troxel, 53, was arrested by Officer Andy Sterling and taken to the Kootenai County Jail after failing field sobriety tests. At the jail, he passed a breath test when not a trace of alcohol was detected. Sterling wrote in his report that he suspected Troxel was under the influence of drugs because the “impairment did not match” the results of the breath test. Troxel provided a urine sample to be tested for drugs. Coeur d’Alene Police Sgt. Christie Wood – who is also a member of the Coeur d’Alene School Board – said those results could take two weeks.

Question: How do you think this will play out?

Wild Card/Monday — 7/30/07

We survived RSPA Wild Card Sunday. And I’m as much in control of the blog as I ever am (about 65%). Not much going on so far this week. But I have a feeling that’s going to change. While we’re waiting for news and the tomato days of summer to officially take hold Tuesday, I’ll drop this Wild Card on you, so you can start your own threads …

Q: How Can Middle Class Find Lake Rec Land?

After spending a couple hours last week perusing Web sites looking for story ideas about lake property, I concluded that the market is really depressing for anyone who doesn’t have $500,000 or more to burn. Not only is there a shortage of waterfront properties in general, most of the ones priced under $400,000 are either fixer-uppers or vacant lots with beaches. The pricey property of the day was a place at Priest Lake that was going for $3.8 million, although it was on 1.5 acres and resembled an upscale lodge. Deer Lake had a couple lots for $135,000 and $249,000 while Newman Lake had some humble abodes for $249,500 and up — Melodie Little/Here’s The Dirt.

Question: Any thoughts on how middle-income folks can find a piece of recreational property that’s remotely affordable?

APhoto of the Day — 7/30/07


Martin Meissner/Associated Press

A man waterproofs the big sculpture “Octobush” made of sand at the Sandfestival Ruhr at the Kemnade lake in Bochum, Germany, today. German artist Urlich Baentsch shows US President George W. Bush as an octopus who holds corn, oil, a cross, the World Trade Center, and a gun in his tentacles. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. I’d like to be over the sea
In an octobush’s‘ garden in Iraq
He’d let us in, to look for Bin Laden
In his octobush’s garden in Iraq

We would be warm in a sand storm
In our little hideaway in the Green Zone
Resting our feet on the Baghdad street
In an octobush’s garden in Iraq — Family Phil.

2. Bush’s insatiable need to have a finger in every pie led to a bit of experimentation by his doctors — A Token D.


Norton: Silverwood Planning Haunted House

re: AAA mag interview with Silverwood owner Gary Norton here

AAA Question: Any plans for the future?
Gary Norton: We’re going to keep getting bigger. The water park doubled in size this year. And I’m planning a haunted house.

Hat Tip: Family Phil

Editor Smith: A Plea for Civility

In the last few weeks, traffic on News is a Conversation has really picked up. We’ve had some great discussions on some very
tough issues. I’m posting more because I really want to encourage an ongoing debate on the journalism we practice at The Spokesman-Review. Those who have followed my efforts at blogging know that I can sometimes be petty and defensive, rude and dismissive. I’ve pledged privately and now in this space that in this incarnation of News is a Conversation, I will curb those tendencies, try to be more open minded and more welcoming of criticism. But I need to ask correspondents on this blog to do the same. I want our debates to be civil, thoughtful and intelligent. I realize that asking for those qualities in the blogosphere is equivalent to spitting into the wind. But I am compelled to ask anyway — Editor Steve Smith/News Is A Conversation.

Full post here

Question: How much civility is needed in the wild, wooly blogosphere?

Bill Walsh, S.F. 49er Hall of Fame Coach, 75, R.I.P.


AP File Photo

San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh is hoisted on the shoulders of his team after they defeated the Miami Dolphins 38-16 in Super Bowl XIX in this Jan. 20, 1985, file photo, at Stanford, Stadium, in Palo Alto, Calif. Walsh, the groundbreaking football coach who won three Super Bowls and perfected the ingenious schemes that became known as the West Coast offense during a Hall of Fame career, died today here.

Noon Q: Does “Goat Trail” Still Make You Nervous?

I got to drive a couple of real-life sections of “Connecting Idaho” highway (the Worley-Setters stretch, under construction, and the Garwood-to-Sagle stretch). Yet GARVEE or no GARVEE, U.S. 95 still deserves its reputation as a “goat trail” — Kevin Richert/Idaho Statesman

Full post here

Question: Are there sections of the North Idaho section of Highway 95 — dubbed the “goat trail” by former Gov. Cecil Andrus — that you’re still nervous about driving?

Slight Detour: Have A Good Wasp/Bee Sting Story?

How about keeping a daily tally on how many times folks in the Huckleberry family get stung by bees each day, and detailed descriptions of each critter assault–where, when, how, what kind, what degree of damage. Yesterday, I was minding my own business putting my hose away when one flew up and drilled me on the bridge of the nose. Not knowing if a head sting would kill me, I headed straight for the house and the baking soda. My nose felt like someone had whomped me with a hammer. Fortunately, it didn’t swell, and the pain went away after about 15 minutes. This was a hit-and-fly, so I don’t know the species–just downright sneaky. This morning one got me while I was just starting to water. It dove for that ol’ lady flab on my upper arm and hit dead on. More soda, no swelling but still pain. It was a yellow jacket looking for more meat when I returned to the hose. Please note the past tense. We have honey bees across the road who come for visits every day, and THEY mind their manners. I think there have to be some good bee stories that have already occurred a many good ones yet to come — Marianne Love/Slight Detour.

Question: Anyone out there with a good wasp/bee sting story?

Rumorama …

… the rumors are flying out there re: who’s buying the condos at Duane Hagadone’s Terraces. Latest? Paris Hilton. Before that, Oprah Winfrey, who reportedly has purchased three — two to be made into one large condo and one for guests. Dunno if any of this is correct. But it’s the rumor on the streets.

Online Poll: Will Locks Help Stop V-Tech Tragedies?

In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech tragedy, safety experts say installing locks on the inside of classroom doors will keep out danger. What do you think? — Idaho Statesman.

*Yes, good idea
*No, bad idea
*No opinion

Question: Are Cops Responsible for Suicide Leap?

Item: Jumper’s father questions Taser use: Chief says it was tactic to let man ‘save face’/Jonathan Brunt, Spokesman-Review

Dave Breidenbach, father of suicide victim, Josh Levy: “I was assured all day that no violence would be taken toward my son. I don’t believe that firing a Taser at a nonviolent potential suicide victim is a tactical maneuver.”

Question: Given the instability of the suicide victim, is the ultimate outcome of this tragedy something that can be blamed on the police?


Noah: Why Can’t They Be Like Us?


Noah Kroese/Spokesman-Review

Sali: Congressional System “Goofy”

Item: Sali charts own path in Congress: Freshman isn’t afraid to defy party line/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review

Bill Sali says he arrived in Congress to find a system that’s “goofy.” Congressmen debate bills in an empty chamber. Testimony at committee hearings is by invitation only. Votes are noisy, messy affairs. Bills have multiple issues tucked into them, and the only choices are all or nothing. “Things do not make sense,” said the freshman Idaho Republican, whose seven months in office so far have been marked by “no” votes on an array of popular bills. He voted against economic development funding for Indian tribes. He opposed reauthorizing Head Start. He turned thumbs-down on scientific research funding, small-business loans and incentives, rural housing money and community policing grants. Sali said he’s “trying to keep us from spending our grandkids into bankruptcy.” He added, “People like the way I’m voting, and I’m getting encouragement all the time, saying, ‘You’re doing a great job, keep it up.’”

Question: Will Sali fulfill his mission simply by voting no on spending bills?

Ramirez: Don’t Drink, Drive Anything


Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Eye On Boise: Otter Stands By Larry Craig

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter is standing behind embattled Sen. Larry Craig today. Otter made this statement:

“I have known Larry and Suzanne Craig for almost 40 years. I worked with Larry while I was a state representative, a lieutenant governor, a congressman and now governor. I have called him a colleague and a friend. As a public servant who has made mistakes in my private life, I am mindful that you don’t really know who your friends are until you stumble. I want Larry and Suzanne to know that Lori and I stand by them. In the coming days, the Craigs will be subjected to the intense glare of nationwide media scrutiny. I wish them and their family well and I urge everyone to give our senator a fair hearing. He is an honorable man, and I am confident that Larry Craig will do what is best for him, his family and the state of Idaho — Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise.”


Wild Card/Saturday — 7/28/07

Quite a bit going on this weekend. Julyamsh at the Greyhound Park. Frank Sennett and Plaid Toaster are blogging their hearts out for the next 24 hours to raise money for special causes in the annual blogathon. Marianne Love/Slight Detour will begin signing copies of her latest book re: her years as a high school teacher, at 2 p.m. today at Hastings. And I’m going to the Indians ballgame this evening. I left a few things below to get you started on weekend discussions. But you can always start your own threads with this Wild Card …

Question: Do You Want to Get Unsolicited Ad Paper?

Item: Free distribution flier draws mayors’ ire: Officials see CdA product as eyesore/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

The mayors of Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Rathdrum are concerned that an unsolicited advertising flier is causing litter and public safety problems. The mayors sent Coeur d’Alene Press Circulation Director Dan Phillips a letter June 29 asking him to help find a solution to the “Expressions” advertiser that allegedly litters streets, gets caught in snow blowers and signals criminals that a homeowner is away. The letter signed by Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem, Rathdrum Mayor Brian Steele and Post Falls Mayor Clay Larkin states that the cities “ask for your help and your recognition of the responsibility you hold to do your part.” If no solution is found, the mayors indicated that they may consider laws to stop the problem, which has also resulted in numerous public complaints.

Question: Are you bugged that the unsolicited advertiser is thrown in your driveway?

HBO Blogger to Raise $$$ for Charity @ Blogathon

Heads Up: Don’t forget to drop by Frank’s blogs today as he’s raising money for a worthy cause by posting twice an hour for the next 24 hours here and here. You can find yesterday’s thread about it here. Also, Plaid Toaster’s participating in the blogathon here.

Frank Sennett/Hard 7, Blogspotter writes: “I’ll be blogging for the Muscular Dystrophy Association starting at 6 a.m. Saturday and ending 6 a.m. Sunday. A total of 98 posts, split between the Blogspotter and Hard 7 blogs, with no pre-writing entries before the event. I’m looking for pledges right now—so if your readers are interested, even $5 would be great. The money goes directly to charity. After folks sign up at the Blogathon site and pledge for one or both of the blogs, they’ll get an email after the event telling them I made it (if I do) and directing them to complete their donation at the MDA site.” For more information, click here.

Coming Saturday — Brand X Told to Stop Littering

Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Rathdrum have written the Coeur d’Alene Press a letter complaining about litter caused by advertising fliers known as “Expressions” that include Hollywood news, classifieds and grocery ads. Erica Curless will have the story for you in the morning …

Parting Shot — 7/27/07


Ted S. Warren/AP Photo

The Idaho Capitol is seen through a construction fence Friday in Boise. Work on the $120 million remodeling and expansion of the Capitol continues, and workers hope to complete work on the 100-year-old building in time for the 2010 legislative session. Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise writes about the renovation and provides more photos here.

Dogwalk Musings: Idaho Behind Times on Dog Fighting

Item: Idaho may toughen dogfighting law: State one of only two in nation where crime is not considered a felony/Tom Greene, Coeur d’Alene Press

Where can a person force a living creature to fight to the death and if it fails wet it down then electrocute it, hang it, drown it or shoot it and face no more than a fine of $5000 and/or six months in jail? No. Not the Spokane police department. Idaho. Along with Wyoming, the only states where dog fighting is not a felony. If this were done to a human being one would be jailed, if not executed, and the key thrown away. Why should it be less for a dog? Or any animal. Remember cock fighting? — Dogwalk Musings

Full post here

Question: Should dog fighting be a felony in Idaho?

APhoto of the Day — 7/27/07


Frank Augstein/AP Photo

German flyweight boxer Regina Halmich poses with U.S. boxer Wendy Rodriguez, right, after the weigh -in ceremony on Friday in Duesseldorf. Halmich will fight the WIBF World Championship against U.S. boxer Wendy Rodriguez of Los Angeles, California on Saturday. You write the cutline

Top Cutlines:

1. I’m gonna hustle ya,
I’m gonna muscle ya,
I’m gonna knock the cuss outa ya.
This ain’t no Thrilla in Manila,
No Rumble in the Jungle
We gonna tuessle in Duessledorf
And I’m gonna knock Regina into West Virgeenia — Raymond Pert.

2. One time I smacked Willy so hard his coconuts hit the ceiling right over there — Kevin Taylor.

3. Illustrating the biggest problem with women’s boxing, the two pause to check out “how they look” on the big screen — Cabbage Boy.

HM: Family Phil

SR Editor: Indecent Exposure And Pop Shoppe Owner

Columnist Pia Hansen sent me the following this morning after reading the threads on the girl in the bikini. From Pia: “Shouldn’t we be at least as concerned (if not more) that we run a business story about a new Pop Shoppe, without realizing that the sales manager has charges filed against him for indecent exposure? Of course he pleaded not guilty - the hearing is coming up - he hasn’t been convicted of anything. Yet his business appeals to kids, is right next to a school (Grant) and a park with playgrounds and basketball courts. We do have a brief in the paper today (find it here) explaining that charges are filed against the guy and when the hearing is coming up. The story on the Pop Shoppe ran on Wednesday (find it here)” — Editor Steve Smith/News Is A Conversation.

Read Steve’s response here

Question: Was today’s brief warranted or should we have waited?

Question: Would Bikini Coffee Hut Work in NI?

Item: New Boise area coffee shop to feature bikini-clad barristas/Don Day, KTVB.com

The Boise-area is about to get a new coffee house – and owners are hoping to attract a different crowd. Hotties Mochas & More will open in Garden City near the I-184 Connector next week, according to co-owner Thomas Meade. The newest entrant into the Boise drive through coffee market will feature baristas clad in bikinis or other provocative attire.

Question: How would a bikini coffee hut play in your North Idaho community?

As The Lake Churns: Mike, Sadie & Their Space

This song was inspired one Sunday morning as I was making breakfast for my daughter Sadie and me. As a single Dad I was looking forward to a leisurely Sunday with my daughter when we could talk about things — just ‘things’—just bits and pieces of our lives, share some thoughts. Halfway through the pancakes her cellphone began grabbing her snatching her away from my precious Sunday morning parenting. After wrestling her for the phone and trying to do the the father-thing as well as strongly displaying my dissapointment, I thought I would try to put my frustration into words and song — Mike Wagoner/As The Lake Churns.

Full post here

Question (from Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns): ” How is your space between you, your kids and text messages…?”

Noon Question: Do You Like “The Simpsons”?

Item: ‘The Simpsons Movie’ is humor-packed, but not eeeeexcellent/Jake Coyle, Associated Press

In one of its greatest episodes, about Prohibition, Homer’s concluding toast demonstrated how the animated series could be as damning as it was hilarious: “To alcohol, the cause and solution to all of life’s problems!” “The Simpsons Movie” arrives a decade after that 1997 episode, and long after the show’s glory days. Not to sound too much like the Comic Book Guy, but the Fox sitcom, which once brilliantly satirized TV’s conventions, has gradually settled into its own ruts - which usually entail Homer acting silly for silliness’ sake. After 18 seasons on television, the much-anticipated big-screen debut of “The Simpsons” feels purposeless - as if creator Matt Groening finally thought: “Well, we might as well.”

Full post here

Question: Are you a fan of “The Simpsons”?

Boise Weekly: Simplot Hill “Art”

Does somebody have a beef with the Simplots? Or maybe they’re upset at Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter? Either way, their anger, expressed in unique graffiti on the giant grassy hill of the governor’s mansion, formerly the Simplot mansion, is at least misplaced, however, um, pointed it is. The Simplot mansion’s new flair. It’s pretty hard to miss if you’re cruising up Bogus Basin Road. If you squint closely at the photo here, you’ll see that, yes, someone used grass killing chemicals of some sort to outline the shape of a giant male phallus, pointed up, on the grass of Simplot hill. Neither Simplot nor Otter live in the house, which was donated to the state by the potato magnate last year. There’s no telling when the perpetrator did the deed. But Mark Reed, the manager of Zamzows on Federal Way, said the common yard herbicide Roundup would have done the trick pretty handily — Boise Weekly.

Full post here

Hat Tip: Editor Shea Andersen/Boise Weekly

Online Question: Why Do You Exercise?

What motivates you to exercise? — Idaho Statesman

*Lose weight
*Gain muscle
*Better endurance
*Overall health
*Nothing
*Other

DFO: Lose weight, overall health

Question: Is Magnuson Lawsuit Action Worthy

Item: Assessments challenged: Lawsuit says notices mailed too late, therefore Kootenai valuations invalid/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

More Info: John Magnuson filed the suit July 19 in 1st District Court, asking a judge to void the 2007 property valuations. That means the county would have to use the 2006 valuations to calculate property tax bills for the estimated 78,000 parcels in Kootenai County. The suit was filed as a class action because the missed deadline, which the county contends was due to new software, potentially affects every property owner in the county.

John Magnuson: “You try filing an appeal one day late and see if they say ‘close enough.’”

Question: What do you think of this class-action lawsuit?


Hat Tip — to Those Who Saved NIC Beach

Item: A saving moment for CdA: NIC purchased beach 30 years ago/Meghann Cuniff, Spokesman-Review


Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Terrell Elgee-Sanders, 7, of Spokane enjoys the cool waters of the Spokane River at NIC Beach in Coeur d’Alene on Thursday. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe and North Idaho College will celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the college’s purchase of its beach, which is now called by the Indian name Yap-Keehn-Um Beach (gathering spot).

DFO: Monster Hat Tip to those who had the foresight 30 years ago to preserve Yap-Keehn-Um Beach for the publish. And another monster Hat Tip today for the visionaries who are working with waterfront developers to gain public access now. Saaalute.

JesseT: Photographing Respectfully, Safely

re: Steve Smith’s post yesterday about publishing a young girl in a swimsuit.

I face this issue daily during the summer as I cover life in North Idaho. I do occasionally make photos of children in swim suits, but I do try to limit them for the reasons Steve spoke of. I have formulated my own convictions about how I approach the situation and how I might edit the pictures. When editing, I always look for possible sexual overtones in the photo (most of the time it’s a stretch to even think that) and try to stay away from very skimpy bathing suits or very overt cleavage. MamaJD is right that our job to inform, not tittilate. But photos are very important (as important as the words, if you ask a photographer) to newspapers and so good pictures also entertain, to a degree, but we want them to entertain in a universally human way, not a sexual one.

Jesse Tinsley
SR photographer

Heller: Newest “Law & Order”?


Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Parting Shot — 7/26/07


Craig Moore/Glacier Life

“Jet swims too!” posts Craig Moore/Glacier Life here. “I was a little scared to throw the ball in for a blue heeler and border collie. We have never seen him in water over his head. Turns out he loves the water. The hardest part of this picture was figuring out how to throw the ball, grab the 400 2.8, take the shots, put up the camera up before he comes back and shakes all over it.”


Kellogg Bloggin’: Taming North Fork of CdA River

It was a typical Kellogg kegger. Huge cups. Foamy beer. Bonfire. And, an early start. Memory tells me we had that keg tapped about one in the afternoon. What’s more, a person from elsewhere would have thought we all hadn’t seen each other for ten years, even though most of us saw each other the week before. Beer. Hugs. Stories about the Univ. of Idaho, NIC, Whitman, the Smelter, the Zinc Plant, the woods: whatever school we were attending. Laughs. Loud, loud laughs. A couple of hours in, a couple sheriff cars arrived. I’ll have to look at the footage again sometime to see if two or three officers came. The drinking age then was nineteen. Most of us were drinking legally. The underaged kids snuck into the bushes. The sheriffs barely left their vehicles. They got out, sniffed the air a bit, and enjoyed Vesta and some of the other Pinehurst girls flirting with them — Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’.

Full post here

Question: Did you ever attend a kegger as an under-aged kid?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 7/26/07


Armando Franca/AP Photo

The United States swimmers dive into the pool for the synchronized swimming Team Event Technical Routine of the Pan American Games, in Rio de Janeiro, Thursday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Entering its fourth season, the ABC show Desperate Housewives gets ready to officially jump the shark — Family Phil.

2. In a sport that is simply sublime
Eight swimmers were poised in their prime.
While watched by Brazillians
Who numbered in millions
The girls had a Rio good time — John Austin.

3. Everybody’s doin’ a brand new dance, now
Come’on baby, do the locomotion — Whippersnapper.

HM: Dick Haugen

HBO Poll: Nicest New Local Construction Project

What’s the nicest new — or soon-to-be — construction project in the local area?

1. Cabela’s
2. Riverstone Park
3. Johnson Mill River Park
4. Kroc Center
5. Coeur d’Alene Library
6. Centennial Trail (off NW Boulevard)
7. The Terraces condo
8. Riverstone
9. Coeur d’Alene Press print building
10. Other

HBO Book Club: Harry Potter Next? When?


NBC News, AP Photo

Author J.K. Rowling, right, reads from ” Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ” to fans during an interview with NBC’s Meredith Vieira in Edinburgh, Scotland on Tuesday. The interview airs through Friday on the “Today” show and Sunday on “Dateline NBC”.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” will be the next HBO Book Club selection. But we need to answer a coupla basic questions first: When should we begin the discussion. And how should we handle the discussion. I felt we didn’t do justice to our discussion “Water for Elephants.” We began well. But we got distracted by breaking news (i.e. the prosecutor e-mails) and the book club slipped onto a back burner after 2-3 days. I’ve asked Blog Tech Jeff to create a separate button where we can go to discuss the book of the moment — something separate from the blog posts. Also, I’d like to know what kind of interaction do you want with the moderator? How long should a discussion last? The Book Club is a good idea. But it needs to be tweaked. (BTW, I read 100 pages of “Deathly Hallows” last night.)

Eastwood: I Don’t See No Steekeen Rattlers

In the Head’s Up! inside report at City Hall, Parks Director Doug Eastwood advises that he received an inquiry from a local real estate agent re: rattlesnakes on Tubbs Hill. Seems a client of the Realtor was told not to walk his dog on Tubbs Hill due to rattlers. Quoth Eastwood: “I informed the agent that I was not aware of any rattlesnakes on Tubbs Hill or too close to the hill. There might be some on the West side of Spokane.”

Question: Has anyone seen any kind of snake around here?

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 7/26/07


Craig Moore/Glacier Life

Here’s another of the “Glacierdise” photos from Glacier National Park and Craig Moore/Glacier Life.

*Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’ opines that the north fork of the Coeur d’Alene River can’t be as wild as it was in his youth b/c there’s too much money at stake on private property now here.

*”Go befriend these girls (Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, et al),” writes PDX Pup here, “and let them know it’s okay to be a hot, talented, young actresses/singers and not have their own portfolio of mug/vag shots, and not compete for who gets the most media attention.”

*JBelle/’Kan EWA Notes checks in from Helsinki after enduring the Mother of All Awful Flights, 7.5 hours from New York, in a plane with a sauna temperature of about 80 degrees here.

*Dennis Mansfield posts an Idaho Statesman editorial that supports his New Hope Community Health homes for parolees and prisoners on probation within the Boise community here.

*An Idaho company played a major role in blowing up one of the biggest dams to come down in the NW to help in salmon recovery, according to Rocky Barker/Idaho Statesman, here.

Blog Numbers (for Wednesday): 6747 page-views, 3756 unique views.

Meanwhile, Idaho Escapee sez QB Michael Vick has gone to the dogs here, Inland Empire Girl thinks of her grandma when she sees dahlias and gladiolas here, IdaBlue analyzes the recent filibuster surge in Congress here, and Muse You Can Use gets a hummingbird primer here.

SR Carrier: Why Didn’t Someone Report Capone Fire?

S-R carrier Alyia Rushing of Coeur d’Alene was the first to report the Wednesday morning arson fire at Capone’s Pub and Grill in Post Falls. She’s wondering why that is. The fire was visible from the freeway, she said, and she watched numerous drivers pass the fire on Ross Point Road. There was traffic on nearby Seltice Way, too. Not to mention the apartment complex not far from the bar. “There was so much smoke you couldn’t miss it,” she said. “There was not a single person who even stopped.”

A Matter of Opinion: Conspiracy Theories Anyone?

The feds are worried because they’ve found some unusual items in airline passengers’ luggage recently including wires, switches, pipes or tubes, cell phone components and dense clay-like substances, including block cheese. See AP story. They are worried that the items may be part of rehearsals for terrorist activities on airplanes. Closer to home, does James Wood intuition make anyone wonder if there’s a connection between Monday’s fuel depot arson fire and the noxious fumes released in the NorthTown Mall in February, an incident that prompted the evacuation of the mall and an FBI investigation (ongoing) into the incident as a possible terrorist incident. Update: Could the massive explosion this morning at the Southwest Industrial Gases Plant in Dallas be part of this, too? And how about the power outages in San Francisco that shut down major Web sites yesterday?

Originally posted in A Matter of Opinion blog by Rebecca Nappi (pictured) here

Question: Could they all be rehearsals for terrorist attacks?

Souza: Time for Wholesale Change at City Hall

Item: Press columnist argues for ousting Edinger, Reid, Hassell: Mary Souza says she won’t seek council seat/Mary Souza, Coeur d’Alene Press

This year there are three city council positions up for re-election in Coeur d’Alene: Dixie Reid, Al Hassel (sic) and Ron Edinger. The other three council seats and the mayor will be considered in 2009. If you vote for one or even two new candidates, the balance of power will stay the same, and therefore the policies and methods of the city council will stay the same. If you are unhappy with the current situation in Coeur d’Alene, you must vote in three new people to tip the scale back to neutral: three new thinkers, three predictable incumbents who are not up for re-election this time — Mary Souza/Coeur d’Alene Press.

DFO: This week’s City Pulse column by Mary Souza is noteworthy for two reasons. She sez she will continue to write her “City Pulse” column rather than seek a City Council seat. And she calls for a clean sweep of three hard-working, respected council members. In other words, Mary Mary Quite Contrary and her handlers have exposed a little more of their game plan for this fall. Mary will use her column as a free political ad once a week to promote a slate of three allies, with Duane Hagadone’s blessing, of course. (Hagadone and his hirelings have been beating the bushes to line up candidates for this fall’s face.) Meanwhile, the remainder of the Wild Goose Chase Gang will join Hagadone in seeking candidates or offer themselves as fodder. Stay tuned.

OfCoffee: Sali Doing Better Than I Thought He Would

Absolutely. I was very tentative when he was elected. He wasn’t my first choice. But he has redeemed himself as far as I have seen. Funny how the Trib likes to belittle him (like somehow the Trib is some bastion of intellect) but he is voted president of the incoming freshman Congressman class. He is leading the fight for single-purpose legislation which is one of the biggest problems with the system in D.C. And he votes against poorly structured legislation even when politically unpopular to do so. Yeah, he’s fiesty and may not be the diplomat that Craig or Crapo is, but I want a fiesty guy in the House. He’s not perfect, but he’s doing better than I thought he would, and certainly better than most newspaper editors give him credit for.

OfCoffee

Sen. Keough Explains Micron’s Importance to NI

Although Micron does not have a plant in northern Idaho, their business and their employees pay a considerable percentage of taxes paid in Idaho. The accompanying businesses in the Treasure Valley that supply them do likewise. To the degree that northern Idaho receives money from the state general fund for state services (health care, food stamps, judicial system, higher ed, K-12 ed, you get the picture) and to the degree that those tax dollars we receive aren’t generated here (although we do generate taxes we also consume others’ taxes from the south), Micron’s problems will impact not only northern Idaho but the entire state.

State Sen. Shawn Keough
Senate District 1/Sandpoint

OrangeTV Review Redux: Bardenay

I’m rerunning OrangeTV’s July 2 review of the Bardenay restaurant and distillery b/c I visited it last evening. The place was hopping.

The bar is the main visual attraction, a huge cherry-oak monolith that takes up nearly an entire side of the room, with diagonally cut wine racks on each side, and a complete selection of liquors displayed in front of a grand beveled mirror. The place has a look that I can only describe as modern old fashioned. Sitting regally in the front window is an 18 foot tall copper still, which is used to concoct their own brand of distilled sprits including vodka, gin, and rum. Yes folks, you’ve heard of on-site breweries and wineries, well Bardenay took the concept a step further and started a distillery. In fact, their website mentions that the original Bardenay was the very first restaurant/distillery combo in the entire nation — OrangeTV/Making Flippy Floppy.

Full Get Out! review here

Question: Have you checked out Bardenay yet?

AM Hucks: True Friends Share Huckleberries

I was introduced to flyfishing and huckleberrying by the late C. Patrick King on a Fourth of July weekend 30 years ago. At the time, Pat was publisher of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Mont., and I was about to begin a five-year stint as his news editor and later managing editor, fresh from Northern California. He invited my wife and me to join his wife and him to pick huckleberries and fish behind the Hungry Horse Dam, north of Kalispell. That day remains one of the perfect days I’ve spent in the Northwest. It was also the only time that I know of that someone revealed his huckleberry spot to a relatively new acquaintance, before Wednesday when Huckleberries Online regular Stickman offered to show me his spot 20 minutes from CdA. “I have been pickin’ for a week now and already have a fridge full, plus 4 batches of that delicious Jam you once tried,” said the kindly Stickman. Reluctantly, I declined for two reasons: I couldn’t get off work in time to go with him. And another HBO regular, MamaJD, had dropped by earlier in the day to lend me her copy of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” ‘Twasn’t easy choosing between the H’s – Harry and huckleberries. But Stickman’s offer was appreciated nonetheless. I’ve tried for years to coax Seasoned Citizen Bob Eachon to tell me where he goes to pick huckleberries. In a weak moment, he slipped once. But it didn’t help. I still haven’t located No-Tellum Creek on a North Idaho map.

Hump Day Wild Card — 7/24/07

I’m on my own for a coupla days, HBOers. I’ll be batching with the dog until Friday after dropping my wife off at the airport this morning for a flight to Portland. I’ll survive, especially now that MamaJD has dropped off her copy of Harry Potter VII at the office. I guess I’ll have to put “Bourne Identity” aside for a few days until I find out what happens to Harry. Are you guys ready to begin an HBO Book Club review of the latest Potter book — say, on Monday? Or will you still be worried about spoilers then. You can answer that question here or use this Wild Card for your own threads …

HBO Book Club — “Water for Elephants” Q’s

*What do you think about young Jacob’s conscience and his commitment? He is so embarrassed after his night with Barbara and Nell; he can’t sleep or make eye contact with Walter. However, he thinks… “No matter what I did last night, I cannot leave these animals. I am their shepherd, their protector. And it’s more than a duty. It’s a covenant with my father.”

*How did you react to the red lighting of Walter and Camel, and the others?

*Prohibition was a big factor in the novel – from the bootlegging of booze from Canada to Camel’s physical ruination from “jake.” Anyone out there ever heard of “jake” before this book?

*One reviewer of the book wrote that the book “explores…the pathetic grandeur of the Depression-era circus.” In what ways and to what extend do the words “pathetic grandeur” describe the world that Gruen creates in her novel?

Hat Tip: Librarian Bette Ammon


Judge Orders New Hearing for Powerderhorn

Full story tomorrow by Erica Curless

The public will have another chance to comment on the proposed Powderhorn Ranch golf retreat near Harrison after a judge ruled Wednesday that the Kootenai County Commission erred and must hold have another public hearing. The ruling by 1st District Judge Charles Hosack also means a brand-new commission will ultimately make the final decision on the controversial project, which would open 3,000 acres on the east side of Lake Coeur d’Alene to allow for three golf courses and more than 1,000 a thousand million-dollar homes. Hosack’s order said the commission failed to have a public hearing before voting in October 2006 to amend the county’s growth plan to allow for the private luxury golf retreat overlooking Powderhorn Bay. Two new commissioners, Rich Piazza and Todd Tondee, have taken office since that original decision was made. The only remaining commissioner, Chairman Rick Currie, was the lone vote against amending the comprehensive plan.

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 7/25/07


Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

In her most recent OnLocation North Idaho post, Kerri Thoreson tells of the annual Julyamsh event that will take place at the Greyhound Park this weekend here.

Frank Sennett/Hard 7, Blogspotter writes: “I’ll be blogging for the Muscular Dystrophy Association starting at 6 a.m. July 28 and ending 6 a.m. July 29. A total of 98 posts, split between the Blogspotter and Hard 7 blogs, with no pre-writing entries before the event. I’m looking for pledges right now—so if your readers are interested, even $5 would be great. The money goes directly to charity. After folks sign up at the Blogathon site and pledge for one or both of the blogs, they’ll get an email after the event telling them I made it (if I do) and directing them to complete their donation at the MDA site.” For more information, click here.

*”I returned to my youth yesterday,” writes Marianne/Slight Detour here. “While walking over the bridge, I pointed to the shady waters where my fish hook could find any snag willing to be pierced. I parked my pickup alongside the turnaround where my brothers and I once collected leaves from the bushes to substitute as tobacco for our makeshift cigarettes.”

*In “Mommy’s Big Adventure,” Shinie/This Is Growing Up experiences a number of first including flying on a plane by herself, visiting Salt Lake City, and being away from her Munchkin for so long here.

*Mommy Dearest/BrodH20 picks five Inland Northwest bloggers for her sweetness-and-light Blogger Reflection Awards here and in the process introduces us to Post Falls blogger Zak/Strange Lane VU here.

*At her Cathouse and Shooting Society, JeanC, the “witch with a gun,” shows us how to pan fry bluegill in a 12-minute YouTube video here.

*John Rook points out that Elvis and Paul Anka are the leading vote-getters in the Hit Parade Hall of Fame voting after more than 40,000 fans have cast ballots for recording artists from 1950 to 1975 here.

HBO Blog Numbers (for Tuesday): 7363 pageviews and 4162 unique views.

Meanwhile, Family Phil sez strangers have been picking up his wife and kids here, CastMD celebrates his birthday but doesn’t say which one it is here, Cis recommends the movie, “Who Killed the Electric Car,” here, F-Words shares her thoughts about doctors who ask you to make lifestyle changes here, Granati is suffering a summer bug he picked up from the kids here, and Silver Valley Girl was hoping to begin reading Harry Potter today here.

Dogwalk: A Man Who Likes Dogs Can’t Be All Bad

“Hagadone hosts fundraiser and A tail-wagging success were the headlines in this morning’s papers. I probably wouldn’t be writing this if the fundraiser had not been for the Humane Society but it was and I am. Duane Hagadone is not the most popular man in town. He owns the resort. He owns one of the newspapers. He is more known for his reputedly questionable business tactics than his charitable contributions. He is wealthy beyond what most of our imaginations allow. He opens his home on Casco Bay every year for a fundraising event for a local charity. This year it was the Humane Society. It was a sell out so states one paper. Six hundred tickets at $125 each. Not a bad chunk of change. And that doesn’t include the proceeds from the auction and raffles — Mari/Dogwalk Musings.

Full post here

DFO: Idaho Quarter Coulda Been Worse

re: An editorial I wrote on the Idaho quarter, after then guv Dirk Kempthorne selected a peregrine falcon as the state’s main symbol.

It could have been worse. On his way out of office, former Gov. Dirk Kempthorne could have picked a nondescript scene of mountains and plowed farmland to represent Idaho on the state’s special 2007 quarter. Incredibly, the boring depiction of Southern Idaho landscape was one of the three finalists among 1,200 original entries. A second finalist was better but busy, with an outline of Idaho, graced by the state flower (syringa) and state insect (monarch butterfly) and the opening words to the state song: “And here we have Idaho, winning her way to fame.” The winner features another state emblem, a little known one – the world-traveled peregrine falcon — D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review editorial (July 26, 2006).


Strange Land VU: Washington’s Rules Rock

As a home-schooler, Zak of the Strange Land VU blog, read George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. In his post today, he lists rules that caught his eye during his formative years:

#2 - When in company, put not your hands to any part of the body, not usually discovered.

#13 - Kill no vermin as fleas, lice, ticks &c in the sight of others; if you see any filth or thick spittle, put your foot dexteriously upon it; if it be upon the clothes of your companions, put it off privately; and if it be upon your own clothes, return thanks to him who puts it off.

#54 - Play not the peacock, looking everywhere about you, to see if you be well decked, if your shoes fit well, if your stockings sit neatly, and clothes handsomely.

#90 - Being set at meat, scratch not; neither spit, cough, or blow your nose, except if there is a necessity for it.

#95 - Put not your meat to your mouth with your knife in your hand; neither spit forth the stones of any fruit pie upon a dish nor cast anything under the table.

and my favorite,

#110 - Labour to keep alive in your breast that little celestial fire called conscience.

Question: What would you add to the list?

Noon Question: Would You Be Caught Dead …

… riding around on something like this?


Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Brad Peugh, with daughter Payton, 2, ride his Cruzin Cooler novelty scooter followed by Logan Chichester, 19, left, and Kalina Griggs, 19, in their north Coeur d’Alene neighborhoods Tuesday. The novelty coolers cruise at a fast jogging pace and carry up to 24 cans of soda or beer.

Update: Arson Suspected in PF Capone’s Fire


Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Capone’s Pub and Grill on Ross Point Road in Post Falls was gutted by fire Wednesday morning around 3 a.m. Employee Kelly Beaudry stands outside the building Wednesday as fire investigators do their work. Arson is suspected.

An explosive early morning fire destroyed Capone’s Pub and Grill, and investigators suspect it was caused by arson. A newspaper carrier reported the fire about 3:20 a.m., and firefighters arrived at the scene at 315 N. Ross Point Road to find the building burning, said Post Falls Police Lt. Greg McLean. McLean said the fire was started by an explosion near the restrooms that appears to have been started with a five-gallon gas can filled with an unknown accelerant.

Full SR story here

TUBOB: Giants Built North Idaho Lakes, Not Glaciers


TUBOB/Unbearable Bobness of Being

Although science may tell us Lake Pend Oreille and other lakes of North Idaho were formed by cataclysmic earth-scouring floods during the Ice Age, I’m holding to my own belief they were all created by an extinct race of lake-building giants. My admittedly non-standard explanation for North Idaho’s stunning lakes holds that the smaller lakes, Twin and Spirit, for example, were dug out of the ground by the children of the giants, little fun practice lakes made by laughing, playful giant toddlers and children that while quite beautiful as lakes, are also relatively simple and safe. Lake Coeur D’Alene was carefully constructed by the women of the giant race, made rather intricate with numerous placid bays and connecting lakes, it shows great care and patience. Somewhat of a crocheted or knitted lake — TUBOB/Unbearable Bobness of Being.

Full post here

Tribune: It’s Not English, It’s Sali Speak

Wayne Hoffman is the Chief Running Board of Idaho politics. If you grew up in the ‘60s, you might remember Chief Running Board from “Go Go Gophers” - a cartoon parody of westward expansion in which a couple of Indians are horribly stereotyped as stubborn gophers. (They were slightly redeemed by the fact that they always got the better of the coyotes representing a buffoonish cavalry.) Hoffman reminds me of the character because the other gopher, Ruffled Feathers, always spoke in complete gibberish. “What did he say?” a befuddled Col. Kit Coyote would ask. Chief Running Board would respond, “Him say … ” and launch into a lengthy translation of his friend’s babblings. As a spokesman for Rep. Bill Sali, R-Idaho, Hoffman often finds himself with the unenviable task of turning the congressman’s gibberish into something that doesn’t make the average listener say, “What the … ?” — Tom Henderson/Lewiston Tribune

Full post here

Question: Are you satisfied with Congressman Sali’s performance so far?

Hagadone Bash Benefits Humane Shelter Animals

Item: Hagadone hosts fundraiser: Proceeds will help Kootenai Humane Society with operating expenses/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

More Info: A sell-out crowd of 600 animal lovers paid $125 per person Tuesday to spend the evening eating duck-stuffed spring rolls, sipping champagne and wandering the lavish flower gardens that cover acres surrounding businessman Duane Hagadone’s Casco Bay home.

Question: OK, I need one of you viewtiful people who attended the event of the summer to provide a review in the comments section.

Heller: Beware of ‘Em Both


Joe Heller/Hellertoon

Wild Card/Tuesday — 7/24/07

I enjoyed interviewing Riverstone developer John Stone this morning. He’s visionary. He’s candid. He certainly has guts — to take on a project that will have $1.5 billion invested when its built out. All this, on a former brown field. He also told me about a two-mile public boardwalk that will be part of Marshall Chesrown’s development of the Stimson Mill site. You’d have to live in a CAVE not to be thrilled with what’s happening on the river. Or be a multimillionaire with a vendetta against a progressive mayor for not jumping when you asked to close downtown streets for a memorial garden. Now, for your Wild Card …

Starbucks Increasing Coffee Prices

Item: Starbucks increasing beverage prices 9 cents in most US stores/Associated Press

More Info: In a statement issued after markets closed for regular trading Monday, Starbucks says the price hike will take effect July 31, bumping the cost of most drinks by about 3 percent.

Question: How much is too much to pay for an ordinary 16-ounce cup of joe?

Eye on Boise: Sky’s Are Not Smoky in CdA

While Boise is still socked in with smoke – the Idaho DEQ today declared a Stage 1 air quality alert in Boise and Valley counties due to heavy smoke from wildfires – and Idaho has more wildland acres burning than any other state, the state Division of Tourism wants to get the word out that the entire state isn’t on fire. And since I’m in Coeur d’Alene today, I can bear witness that up here, the skies are blue and lovely, the temps are in the 80s, the lake is sparkling and the air is fresh. That’s certainly not true everywhere in the state, but state tourism chief Carl Wilgus said, “Many of the wildfires are located in remote back-country areas, not where the majority of our recreation and tourism opportunities are located, and are not adversely impacting recreation — Betsy Russell/Spokesman-Review”

Full post here

Question: Are you going to miss field burning this fall?

Bayview Herb Chases Fire Engines to Shed


Bayview Herb/Bayviews

A Sunday afternoon fire consumed the 38X36 foot storage shed of Will and Connie Collins, Located on Perimeter Road in Bayview. Lost were two snowmobiles, a Harley, an ATV and a 14 foot boat and motor. The Timberlake fire dept. promptly answered the call with an assist from Spirit Lake which provided a tanker truck. A large assist was credited to Dave Vig, who cranked up his backhoe to assist the fire department in tearing into the burning structure. After the fire was almost out, Will was heard to say, “It’s just stuff. It can all be replaced. We are just glad nobody got hurt.”

Christie Answers Daug Gone’s Q re: Prosecutor

Daug Gone: Christie, we are waiting to find out what CDPD Blue thinks about those emails from your top law enforcement officer.

CPD Blue spokeswoman Christie Wood: It is difficult to speak for individual officers (and I won’t) because who knows what they say or think in private. I will tell you that the Prosecutors Office and the attorneys in general are respected for the work that they do in helping us get solid convictions on the cases we investigate. Office escapades make for good gossip. No office is totally immune from it.

Quotable Quote — Developer John Stone

Duane (Hagadone) should have applied for urban renewal money to dress up his new print building because it’s the most stark box that I’ve seen. I look back at what the Cowles did on Monroe in Spokane with his print building. It’s a dramatic difference. Duane’s building has diminished the property values in that area of downtown. I would have expected more quality out of Duane.

Developer John Stone
Riverstone

Dogwalk Musings: Vick Allegations Sickening

Item: Falcons to speak on Vick’s future: QB told to stay away from training camp after charges of dog fighting/Associated Press

I cannot put into words how sickening the allegations (re: dog fighting against NFL quarterback Michael Vick) are. If true, and I suspect they are, the law would not allow the punishment I’d dole out. The NFL is looking into it. That’s forceful! It was reported that the league and the ASCPA are now working on a program to educate players about the proper treatment of animals. Excuse me? These are adult men, role models (ha) paid millions of dollars for their abilities. Learning the play book must take a modicum of intelligence. They need a special program to learn how to treat animals?? — Mari/Dogwalk Musings.

Full post here

Question: The sports talk shows are abuzz about the allegations that QB Michael Vick was involved in illegal dog fighting. Some say the NFL commissioner should do more than suggest that Vick take a year off with pay until the case plays out. What would you do if you were commissioner?

It’s My 2 Cents — Never Ignore Racists. Ever.

In the “AM Hucks” thread today about the racist incident at Hayden Lake, Larry Spencer comments that the best way to deal with racists is to ignore them. According to Spencer’s theory, the local racists are seeking publicity and the region can hurt them most by denying them that.

Spencer’s philosophy was prevalent among community leaders and business owners for much of the 1980s and early 1990s — the period of greatest growth and influence for the Aryan Nations. Many local residents felt that Richard Butler and his gangsters would go away, if they were denied the media spotlight. Many were upset by the role the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations and this newspaper played as they kept a spotlight trained on Butler, the Aryan Nations, and the steady stream of racist criminals attracted to Butler’s Hayden Lake compound.

The late undersheriff Larry Broadbent made a profound statement to a private meeting of chamber types in the 1980s, when community support for human rights hung in the balance. He was asked what would happen if the community and the media simply ignored the Aryans and the task force wasn’t around to resist them. Instead of 60 Aryans, Broadbent said, there would be 600. In the end, the passive resistance approach embraced by the task force won the day.

You never should ignore racism, no matter how small the incident. Nor should the media.

DFO

Editor Smith Has Questions for Slow Summer Day

So, for the fun of it and because I know this blog’s readers are thoughtful and forward thinking, let me pose a few questions for a slow summer’s day.

1. Is there a future for a mass market print daily newspaper such as the SR? If so, what will that paper look like in 5 to 10 years?

2. If you were the editor, what segments of our community would you try to serve with your newspaper? What segments of the community would you consider peripheral to your success?

3. If you had to cut sections of the paper or content segments, what would you choose and why? (Please don’t read anything in to that. I’m just curious.) What would you add?

4. How would you change our website and how would you relate the website to the print paper?

Full post here

Question: What Should Idaho Minimum Wage Be?

Item: State minimum wage rises to $5.85: Increase covers those federal rules don’t/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Thousands of Idaho workers will see increases today from $5.15 an hour to $5.85 an hour that might not have happened otherwise. Here’s why: Idaho’s legislation merely matched the state’s minimum wage to the federal minimum wage, now and into the future. The federal wage goes up today, and all employers who do interstate business or whose annual gross revenue is $500,000 or more have to comply with that federal wage law.

Question: What should Idaho’s minimum wage be?

Things To Do — Check Out Flying Fortress

Item: B-17 sparks attention, memories: Flying Fortress tour stops at Coeur d’Alene Airport/Noah Buntain, Spokesman-Review


Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Mark McWhorter of Hayden and his son Cade, 2 1/2, check out the B-17 Flying Fortress, a World War II vintage bomber airplane at the Coeur d’Alene Air Terminal in Hayden on Monday. The Flying Fortress will be on display from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

I have mentioned this once already, but for anyone that missed it, there is a beautiful B-17 Flying Fortress sitting out on the far runway at the very end of Atlas Road. For historians and Veterans, it’s a real treat to see. I visited her yesterday and will be out there evey day this week watching her take off and land. It is something we might never see again, so if your interest is up, go visit her. There are tours of her in the afternoons — Stickman.

Ode to Development — Idaho Escapee

Developers salivate
Over land they think is great
Business buildings and dwellings
Is what they’re selling
Soon there’ll be no open land in the state.

Idaho Escapee

Ahoy Matey: Racism Still Exists in North Idaho

Ugh…story (about the two racists on Hayden Lake) made me sick … esp. since I just heard of 2 racial incidents in the last couple of weeks involving some friends of mine with darker skin. They had pulled up to their apt. complex so she could run in and get her purse — some guy comes along calling them the N word and then tells them they’d better “get out of Idaho or they will die in the street”. Week before they were walking out of a convenience store and a guy yells profanities at them out the window of a pick-up truck. Makes my blood boil.

Ahoy Matey

Parting Shot — 7/23/07


Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

“The Flamingo Motel in downtown Coeur d’Alene is a kitschy relic of the Lake City’s long standing history as a tourist mecca,” writes Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho. “For most of the motor hotel’s half century it was Pepto pink but now is painted a more modern neutral. The U-shaped configuration of the 13 rooms allows for guest parking at each door. I recently noticed the addition of this fun mileage sign near the Flamingo’s sidewalk on Sherman Avenue.”

CPD Blue Catches Suspects in Cemetery Vandalism

Coeur d’Alene Police say an adult and several juveniles vandalized the city’s Riverview Cemetery early Sunday morning, breaking flower stands and plaques marking Veteran’s graves and littering a memorial area with broken beer bottles. Officers responded to the cemetery at 1001 N. Lincoln Way just before 4 a.m. Sunday and found “almost every ornament, flower, wind chime, religious symbol, American flag and flower stand” in the cemetery was broken or knocked over. Witnesses reported seeing a half dozen juveniles running through the cemetery, kicking headstones and throwing beer bottles, according to Coeur d’Alene police said.

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 7/23/07


OrangeTV/Making Flippy Floppy

In his new “Incidental Findings” feature, OrangeTV unveils a note left by a trucker at a local visitors center (above).

*”The show was an incredible combination of puppetry, robotics, lights, sound, and, most importantly, education,” reports Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It re: “Walking With Dinosaurs.” “We were all dazzled by the pageantry of realistic life-sized dinosaurs stomping and stalking around the beautifully designed stage” here.

*Dr. J/CastMD knows whereof he speaks, as an ER physician, when he tells his blog readers to dive feet first into area waterways, not head first, here.

*MamaJD and PapaJD decided to break out of the seclusion that has become part of their lives after the kids arrived and began socializing with a couple that is as fun as its last name here.

*Katrina/Notes on a Napkin tells of the fun she had at the Hastings Harry Potter party and of the fun she had with hubby, Paul, reading “Deathly Hollows” aloud — without revealing any of the plot — here.

*My wife is determined to help me find my happy place,” begins Nic/Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts. “She insists that Christian does something incredibly cute or laughably ridiculous at least once a day. That is her happy place. So, when Christian is throwing the toddler tantrum, she remembers that the kids lying on the floor - screaming and limbs flailing - is the same kid who smeared Crisco all over the kitchen” here.

*”Beneath These Mountains” by Bangson and Harrison has the top spot as Silver Valley Girl/Silver Valley Stories lists her all-time favorite books about her beloved valley here.

Blog Numbers (for last week): page-views — 39978, unique views — 23054.

Meanwhile, A Butterfly Moment makes a confession here, our Arch Druid has a theory about Cruiser’s MIA blow-up doll here, Bayview Herb celebrates Pete Peightal’s life here, Dogwalk Musings contends that political spouses matter here, Cis is disappointed with the turnout for a Bonner County history celebration here, JeanC now knows how long it takes to filet 30 bluegills here, Plaid Toaster’s garage sale flops here, time is weighing on 23-year-old
Psychobabbles here, Slight Detour takes her mother to Bootsville to cheer her up here, and Un-Muted Mumblings spotlights “hate crimes” here.

Ah’m Your Huckleberry …

Overheard (in a Kootenai County courtroom this afternoon): A local redneck, complete with a dirty baseball cap bearing a confederate flag, metal horn and the word, “Rebel,” was smitten as his girlfriend appeared on closed-circuit TV for her first appearance on an open-container charge. He was as proud as any papa as he watched his li’l darling accepted her punishment of a day in jail with credit for time served. He whooped it up. When the brief hearing was over, Johnny Rebel exclaimed: “God, she looks good in that (jailhouse) jumper.” P’haps the orange brings out the color in her eyes?

Hat Tip: Meghann Cuniff

Racists Ruin Sunday on Hayden Lake

Colleague Jim Hagengruber witnessed the following along Dike Road near Honeysuckle Beach at Hayden Lake Sunday:

A casting agent couldn’t have picked a better set of rednecks: they were pot-bellied, wore sleeveless t-shirts, clutched beer bottles and were accompanied by a black lab with a confederate flag tied around its neck. The lab was running loose and snapping at other dogs tied to trees along the beach. A collar dragged from the lab’s leash. A parent told one of the men to control the dog. The man shrugged and smiled: “My dog’s on a leash,” he said, before taking another pull off his beer. Soon, there was shouting. One of the men yelled out, “White pride!” His cohort’s arm rocketed upwards in a Nazi salute and he shouted, “Seig heil!” All this happened Sunday night on the shores of Hayden Lake, near my favorite swimming hole. I was bobbing in the cool waters about 100 feet from the beach with my wife and a friend.

Video Journal — Julyamsh


Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Chiarpah Matheson is reflected in a mirror on his dancing regalia Tuesday, July 18, 2007 at the Coeur d’Alene Casino near Worley. Matheson is a Coeur d’Alene Indian and an avid powwow dancer. He will be the head man dancer at the upcoming Julyamsh powwow.

The Julyamsh Powwow is one of the largest Indian events in the region, with several hundred dancers and thousands of spectators. It is sponsored by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe at the traditional site of encampments along the Spokane River in Post Falls. As the natives of this region prepare for the gathering, Chiarpah “Sonny” Matheson talks a little about what a dancer’s regalia means and then, in the second slide show, describes the general categories of dancers and how they dress. Matheson will be the head man dancer at this year’s powwow, which takes place at the Coeur d’Alene Greyhound Park and Event Center in Post Falls — Jesse Tinsley/Video Journal.

Video Journal slideshow here

Question: Have you attended Julyamsh or any other Native American powwow?

Hawaii Picked to Win WAC, Idaho Last

1. Hawaii (32): 494
2. Boise State (26): 490
3. Fresno State: 361
4. Nevada: 337
5. San Jose State: 321
6. New Mexico State: 233
7. Louisiana Tech: 157
8. Utah State: 110
9. Idaho: 107

Full story here

Question: Washington’s Domestic Partners Law


Elaine Thompson/AP

T Steele, left, smiles as her partner Amanda Swarr looks on while wearing half of a wedding dress as they wait in line Monday to register as domestic partners at the Secretary of State’s office in Olympia, Wash. Swarr said she’ll wear a whole dress when allowed the full rights that marriage offers.

Question: What do you think of Washington’s new domestic partners law?

Overturned Cattle Truck Blocks Highway 53


Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Idaho State Police and emergency crews work the scene of a crash involving a cattle truck on Highway 53 between McGuire and Greensferry Monday morning. Story here.

Dick Haugen to Interview Bergum, Meehan @ 11 AM

On The Road w/Dick Haugen features two Spokesman-Review this morning: Steve Bergum at 11:05 and Jim Meehan at 11:30. E-mails Dick: “We’ll talk golf, Vandals, Zags etc. Join in (at KGA-AM, 1510).

Hall: Some Leisure Suits Hide Unwanted Tattoos

We are now experiencing the natural progression of two fabulous fads of our new century - first, getting tattooed, and now, getting untattooed. Lord knows, we all have our odd habits that are a pleasure to us, a mystery to others and often abandoned in later life. That includes everything from smoking to camping out in the bugs and dirt, everything from wearing leisure suits to disco dancing, everything from watching poker tournaments to humming rap melodies. But some fads are more easily discarded than others. For instance, it is a simple matter to ditch disco clothes or any other fashion craze, but tattoos are a tougher hurdle — Bill Hall/Lewiston Tribune.

Full post here

Question: What is the silliest fashion statement you’ve ever embraced? (DFO: long hair/beard)

What Do We Do About Harry Potter VII

Item: Harry Potter breaks sales records/AP

DFO: Some of you have already read the final edition of the Harry Potter series. One of you, Sam the Reporter, has offered his Vandal Sense blog site to begin a discussion of the book here. (I’ve peeked, of course.) So, what should we do about an online discussion of the much ballyhooed book?

*Begin now
*Wait a week so more can finish the book
*Wait until the media begins blabbing about the key parts of the book, such as Harry’s survival
*Fuhgeddabout it (I want to keep discussing Sara Gruen’s “Water for Elephants)
*Fuhgeddabout it altogether (Who wants to talk about a children’s book?)
*Other

Economist: Spokane/Kootenai to Continue Growth

Item: N. Idaho looks to prosper with ex-urbanites: But while some communities may be set for years, many towns will continue to struggle, an economist says/Bert Caldwell, Spokesman-Review.

More Info: Avista Corp. economist Randy Barcus says growth in Spokane and Kootenai counties will double that of surrounding counties, some of which will continue to experience a slow exodus. The populations of towns like Bonners Ferry will flatline over the next 20 years, he predicts, while Athol and others a short commute to the urban centers will triple.

Question: Is it time to move to Bonners Ferry?

Eyes & Ears: What Wants Douglas Disbarred?

Item: More e-mails made public: In new batch, prosecutor blames judge, leaks for drug court’s demise/Erica Curless & Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

Again Douglas’s office makes headlines. In a few days we will probably see The Boy Wonder, Marty Raap fight Judge Mitchell’s decision regarding the Goodrick case. I think the Dynamic Duo is trying to conjure up what they can to make Kootenai County Residents forget about the emails between Douglas and Marina. I wonder how many letters the Idaho Bar needs to receive before they decide to disbar Douglas. Maybe we should just have a tribunal here. All those in favor of disbarring Douglas? — Eyes & Ears

Question: Can Douglas survive politically?

AM Hucks: MIA Blow-up Doll Causes Finger Pointing

A simple question prompted wholesale finger-pointing at Huckleberries Online last week. After colleague Taryn Brodwater forwarded the newsletter from Cruisers tavern at Stateline, I
asked my readers if they knew something about the missing blow-up doll that was taken from a biker’s saddlebags. Seems the biker planned to give the doll to a galpal as a birthday surprise. The newsletter provided the description: “Male midget blow-up doll. Deflated. Possibly in a plastic bag. Chest hair, goatee, scar on face, tattoo of ‘DAVEY’ on arm, ‘property of’ patch on his back.” An additional clue was provided. The doll was last seen on “Ty’s” back. The “all points bulletin” from Cruisers concluded with the offer of a reward: “a free beer and a reunion with Laura.” No questions asked. Obviously, the victim of this theft would like to have the doll back for Mini Sturgis 2007 at the bar Saturday and Sunday. A blow-up doll might come in handy for the various games and contests, including: Toilet Seat Dice, Bobbin For Pigs Parts, Biker Tire Hurl, Who’s Your Daddy? Frozen T-Shirt Contest, What Do Your Pipes Sound Like? Best Butt Crack and Nicest Cleavage. A highlight of the third annual event will be a bike ride through the bar. The rules are pretty simple, too: “Don’t annoy anyone. Don’t fight. Don’t shoot anyone.” Also: “Don’t forget your birthday suit.” A Cruisers PAR-tee obviously isn’t your average cake-and-ice-cream affair.

Wild Card/Sunday — 7/22/07

I admit that I peeked at the Vandal Sense by Sam The Reporter to see whether or not Harry Potter lives in J.K. Rowling’s final edition of the Potter series. Several individuals don’t. Sam didn’t give away too much. So I’m still looking forward to reading the book. He seems pretty impressed by it. Also below, you will see the obituary for Tammy Faye Messner, who was known as Tammy Faye Bakker during her days as wife of the infamous Jim Bakker. Again, Sam has some thoughts about mortality that are interesting. I saw part of her interview with Larry King Thursday as the clock was ticking down to her death. She looked like death warmed over. But she deserves credit for facing her demise with courage. As always, you can start your own threads with this Wild Card …

MamaJD: Couldn’t Commit to “Elephants” w/Harry Almost Here

It is July 21, 2007, and my Potter book will be delivered today after remaining “on hold” with the courier yesterday. Irritating, really. Knowing that *my* book is here in Coeur d’Alene and is waiting for the UPS guy to bring it home to Mama. Also knowing that it is 5-something in the a.m. and some friends have been reading Potter for five hours now. This means that at this very moment, some people know more than I do about what is going on at Hogwarts. Yup - I am a filthy mudblood at heart. I will be curling up with Harry for the next few days. If you are like me, eager to find out what happens, post a note. Perhaps we’ll get a discussion going. I have some friends that have started a book club and are reading “Water For Elephants.” I couldn’t commit. I knew my old friend, Harry, was coming into town on Saturday.

MamaJD

More Kalani-Douglas E-Mails Released Friday

Item: 600 More Kalani-Douglas e-mails reveal more sexual talk, jabs at district judge/Erica Curless & Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

Read e-mails for yourself here.

Kootenai County Prosecutor Bill Douglas blames the demise of the county’s juvenile drug court on the judge, politics and “unlawful leaks” to the media, according to e-mails released Friday to The Spokesman-Review. The exchanges between Douglas and then-drug court administrator Marina Kalani also include more sexually charged conversations, pet names and insight into the internal strife leading to the collapse of the drug court two years ago. In a March 11, 2005, e-mail, Douglas wrote that the program was terminated by Magistrate Benjamin Simpson because Simpson was “venting his personal problems on the team members,” especially Kalani, and that the judge quit prematurely to make a statement. “Know that I am the target, and this smacks of politics,” Douglas wrote to Kalani. “Unfortunately, public misperceptions have been created by one or two small, petty men.”

DFO: This should be the last of the e-mails. Obviously, something’s amiss in the prosecutor’s office, if this kind of banter goes on between the boss and an underling. The Baughman case and the pending harassment and tort claims underscore that notion. The continuing silence of the local Republicans re: this matter shouts volumes.

Question: In the end, are you glad you found out what was in the e-mails Douglas and Kalani fought so hard to keep private?

Fred Finney Launches A Big Boat of His Own on Lake CdA


Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Fred Finney is shown in his new luxurious river boat, La Dame du Lac. The Spokesman-Review will tell you all about it, with photos, in Saturday’s paper.

A multimillion-dollar masterpiece will hit Lake Coeur d’Alene Sunday. Boat builder Fred Finney spent nearly two years building the La Dame du Lac, or Lady of the Lake, a 100-foot long, 28-foot-wide luxury yacht equipped with a home theater, climate-controlled wine cellar, helicopter landing pad and other lavish amenities. “I just decided I wanted to build a nice boat for my family,” Finney said. The 6,200-square-foot yacht, with 2,610 square feet of interior space, will make its debut Sunday at a private launch from the Finneys’ Spokane River home. The yacht ties with the Mish-an-Nock of Coeur d’Alene Lake Cruises, which Finney manages, as the largest boat on the lake. The Coeur d’Alene cruise boat, built by Finney in 1979, comes in next.

Full story here

Question: How long will Finney have to wait before The Duane makes an offer on his boat?

Connie: More Thoughts re: “Water for Elephants”

Connie Anderson: I join book clubs and find it hard to express my opinion other than to say I hated or liked it. My minor was in English but still I have no talent in interpretation. When I’m feeling intimidated, I feel like blurting out, “Well, why don’t you ask the author what the meaning is?” or “maybe it is what it is.” Do authors write with the intent or hope to have their work analyzed as to deep meanings or do they write to entertain, instruct, and/or to make a living? Here’s what I could come up with: This book is not Dumbo. It grabs you, shocks you and always surprises you. The main human character really never changes as he grows older. His personality seems to me to be consistent throughout his life. Did they really throw people off the trains when they were no longer a value to the circus? I was very touched by the great love of the dwarf for his dog and the slow-growing and reluctant love of the dwarf for Jacob. Hold it! I feel an interpretive thought coming on: The contrast between the innocence and simple nature of the animals juxtaposed to the evilness of humanity. I expected the book to be more about Jacob doing his work as a vet but was pleasantly surprised it wasn’t. I thought he really rejoined the circus in the end but find the idea he may have imagined it even more intriguing but a little sad. However, I don’t know how fast he would have processed those credit cards.

DFO: For someone who isn’t comfortable with interpretation, Connie, you did a good job of expressing yourself re: “Water for Elephants.” Dunno where we go from here. Are we talked out on this book. Are should we continue to pursue other avenues that haven’t been discussed in the last three days? You’re free to bring up your own questions and views under this thread.

Stickman: Tubbs Hill Has Litter Guardian Angel

This time of year brings out a lot of garbage. On Tubbs Hill it’s pretty clean, made so by people who go around each day and pick up garbage. The ‘Poop Lady’ as I call her, picks up at least 5 to 6 plastic bags full of garbage each day, plus all the poop that has been left on the trail. There are others who make the same effort, otherwise Tubbs would be terrible this time of year. As for the Lake, I don’t go boating so I wouldn’t know, but if it washes up, she will get it. She even got a picker-upper thingy for her birthday, that’s all she wanted. If you see a young woman in her 30’s or so walking with a black lab named Charlie, please thank her, because she does this every day of the year and gets much satisfaction from it.

Stickman

14-year-old Wins Harry Potter Last Line Contest


Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Lauren Cohen, 14, won the Coeur d’Alene Library contest by writing what she thought would be an appropriate final line to the final Harry Potter book.

HBO Book Club: “Water for Elephants” (New Q’s)

To keep this great discussion going:

Question: Who did you, upon reading the prologue, think murdered August? And what did you think of August, anyway? What about Uncle Al?(“Uncle Al craves freaks.”) Do his maneuvers and practices regarding the defunct Fox Brothers circus reflect traditional American business practices?

Question: The title - Water for Elephants - what does that mean to you? In defense of the nursing home patient who claimed he carried water for elephants, one of the nurses told Jacob the elder “he’s not lying, he really believes that he carried water for elephants.”

Librarian Bette Ammon, moderator

Link to previous discussion here

APhoto of the Day — 7/20/07


Catherine J. Jun/Arizona Republica, AP

The Masche sextuplets, from left, Savannah, Bailey, Grant, Cole, Molli and Blake, are seen Thursday at Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Phoenix. The sextuplets, three boys and three girls, were born seven weeks premature on June 11. Once all six are released, they’ll go home to Lake Havasu City, to their parents, Jenny and Bryan Masche. You write the cutline

Top Cutline:

1. One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song? — Nic.

2. Kroc Center opposition debates the issues — Toadman.

3. “If I hear that Brady Bunch song one more time, I’m gonna hurl” — Family Phil.

HM: Northerner

Toadman: Going Overboard w/Piercings

Toadman: Now, I do tend to agree that people are going a little overboard with the whole piercing thing. I’m fine with everyone and their dog getting their ears pierced…I’ve even considered it. I’m even pretty ok with the whole eyebrow thing. The lip thing is a little disorienting when you’re talking to someone who has this type, however. I find it distracting. The tongue pierce…well, we all know what that’s about…and, well…I suppose it could enhance that sort of thing, but I’ll never know. But, when it comes to genitals, you can count me out…no….nobody needs to be poking around down there with anything sharp.. nope..I mean, people can do what they want, I just don’t want to know about it…thanks.

DFO: My son went through a piercing phase. We wouldn’t let him get piercings while he was living with us. But he got them as soon as he went away to college. Eyebrow. Both ears. A bar through the cartilage in the upper part of one ear. I told him that he looked like crap one day, but that I’d always love him. I remember my dad saying something similar to me when I visited him from college, wearing long hair and a beard. The eyebrow ring worked its way out. Seth shed the ear piercings when he began shadowing a doctor around as part of his medical school. Today, he’s fairly normal, except for his growing inside orchid garden.

A Matter of Opinion: DeLeon’s Day in Court

As I type, Carole Ann DeLeon is being sentenced for two charges of criminal mistreatment. The maximum sentence is six years for this charge; even if she receives this sentence, she could get out quite a bit sooner.

We received one anonymous letter in support of DeLeon, but the eligible letters we’ve received, as you can see in today’s letters, are outraged at the prosecutor for accepting such a toothless plea bargain.

Her lawyer insists that she wanted to go to court to plead her case, to tell the world about Tyler’s behavior. As if his behavior could warrant his being abused by the one person he was supposed to be able to trust.

What about justice for Tyler? He is dead. He will never grow up to fulfill his dreams, to have a family and a life of health and happiness. The system failed Tyler in his life. The system is failing him again in his death. — Susan Haight

Carole DeLeon stands not alone in her guilt; a glaring light should be shone upon CPS, which repeatedly places children in harm’s way, then feigns surprise at the results. — Dawn Shaw

The statement of “closure and resolution for many people” really means closure for Tim Rasmussen, Carl Oreskovich and Carole DeLeon, who will be able to start all over again in six short years with possibly a group of new victims! — Marla Summers

Updated: DeLeon was sentenced to six years in prison. Anybody surprised?

Craig Moore: Wildlife Shots Above Tree Line


Craig Moore/Glacier Life

“I spent the last couple days shooting in Glacier (Park) at or above tree line – so I could beat the heat. … I have started exploring shooting tight, really tight on animals and seeing the details of their face, eyes, nose and the different lines. It’s hard packing that 400mm 2.8 around, but well worth it. Most of my photo friends say ‘get the 400mm 4’” — Craig Moore/Glacier Life.

Meehan: Texans Cut Ex-LCHS Star Smith-Anderson

Former Vandal Luke Smith-Anderson was cut by the Houston Texans on Thursday. Smith-Anderson suffered a broken bone in his foot during his second practice at a May minicamp and was expected to be sidelined until late in training camp, which opens next week. The team opted to keep him at that time of his injury, but the signing of seventh-round draft pick LB Zac Diles and NFL Europe DT Thomas Smith on Thursday required the Texans to make a roster move, leading to the release of Smith-Anderson, a Lake City High product — Jim Meehan/Idaho Vandals.

Full post here

DFO: BTW, Jim Meehan has switched beats and will no longer be covering the Idaho Vandals football and basketball team. That’s the down side. Jim did an exceptional job with his UI beat. The upside? He’ll now be covering Gonzaga basketball.

Hat’s Off — to John Stone, Mill River, City


Becky Kramer/Spokesman-Review
Riverstone Park during construction May 22.

Ohmigosh … I spent the last hour checking out the new Riverstone and Johnson Mill River Parks along the Spokane River. Niiiiice. Particularly Riverstone. Which features a landscaped greenbelt and walking paths around a pond with a large fountain and other water features. You get to it by driving around the Riverstone Cinemas parking lot and taking the first left. It has metal benches at viewpoints on the pathways, an amphitheater capable of seating 100, a children’s play area, a public art piece of a woman in a bonnet and dress riding an old-fashioned bicycle with two dogs running alongside, a picnic gazebo, and public restrooms. Prediction: The amphitheater will become a favorite wedding and concert spot. From the park, you can see the incredible construction taking place all around. Developer John Stone deserves major kudos for constructing a project as well as they can be. As far as the Johnson Mill River Park goes … it’s basically a landscaped strip with a walking path along the river that dead ends against a private park. It has a small swim area and a boat tie-up, plus two picnic tables under a gazebo. It’s sort of a short river version of the eastern end of the Centennial Trail — another nice edition to the city parks system.

Pro & Con: Downtown Library

Item: Location of new city library raises questions/Mary Souza, Coeur d’Alene Press

OrangeTV: Methinks Mary Souza needs to up her daily dose of Metamucil. Check other cities and see where the library is located. Downtown. Spokane? Downtown. Seattle? Downtown. Then there are branch libraries in more remote parts of town. What a concept. The new CDA library is gorgeous and will offer more space, great views, and modern meeting facilities. Why anyone would complain about it is beyond me. Conspiracy theories about the public library? Puh-leez. Anyways, what is the point of kvetching and moaning about it now that it is nearing completion? Would Mary Souza like the city to tear it down and start over somewhere more to her liking? How about we just abandon all of downtown since it’s “too far away” and not “centrally located”. We can just put the courthouse and the post office in a strip mall somewhere up on Gov’t Way so people aren’t inconvenienced by such a terribly long commute.

DFO: Originally, I was bugged by the location of the library. With the new working agreement between the city library and county system, Coeur d’Alene residents in the north part of town have easy access to books and materials at the Hayden Library. Also, most Coeur d’Alene residents visit the lake, City Hall and courthouse without giving second thought to the trip. I have to drive to the Harrison Avenue location now. It’s not that much farther to the new library.

Question: Are you bugged by the downtown location of the library?

Poll Question: Do You Have A Tattoo?

Do you have a tattoo? — Idaho Statesman.

*Yes, more than one
*Yes, one
*Maybe someday
*No

DFO: No.

Bonus Points: If you have a tattoo — or more than one, what is it and (if you can say) where is it?

Sanders Beach Owner Makes Offer

Item: Owner makes Sanders Beach offer: Proposal would give control of 229 feet adjacent to Jewett House to the city/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press

Beach owner Jerry Frank: “The city should own the beach, it should be public, and that’s one of the reasons that I made the offer. People should have a place to swim. Most of them are just families. If they can solve the problems, then why shouldn’t families be able to go down there and swim?”

DFO: Jerry Frank has expressed a willingness before to open his portion of the beach. In the past, he has suggested a tradeoff in which the road in front of his place is closed to the public. Dunno if that’s in play here.

Question: What will be the eventual outcome re: use of Sanders Beach?

Con Kendra: Prosecutor No Longer Trusts Mitchell

As a former prosecutor you expect a judge to follow the rules and it is very frustrating when a judge doesn’t come down hard on someone who violates probation, in this case repeatedly. It seems as if Rapp has lost trust that Mitchell will do what he is requred to do. He also seemingly has lost trust that Mitchell will send Kendra back to prison if she violates probation again. On the other hand it seems that sending Kendra back to prison now that she seems to have her life back together is pointless and counterproductive. As I said in an earlier post, the prosecutor’s office and the Idaho AG’s office have made their point with Mitchell. They could have looked at the overall picture and backed off sending her back to prison and required her to be on a strict supervised probation with a very short leash. Don’t forget Kendra plead guilty to two counts of Possession with Intent to Deliver and repeatedly violated probation. She is no innocent lamb in this.

Onset

Hucks Gone Wi-Fi w/Doug Eastwood (Full Interview)

Originally posted at 1:15 p.m. Thursday


Doug Eastwood/Spokesman-Review

DFO: We’re going to play a word association game:
DE: (Red Halpern) “Softball guru,” (Ron Edinger) “the people’s choice,” (Bob Macdonald) “the father of the Centennial Trail,” (Steve Anthony) “best recreation program guy in all of Idaho and maybe the Northwest,” and (Duane Hagadone) “Visionary.”

DFO: What’s your best memory of Red Halpern?
DE: Red and I played on the Skate Plaza softball team for many years. He pitched (into his 60s) and I played first.

DFO: Will Duane Hagadone ever get his downtown garden?
DE: I don’t know. The idea has merit. I think it needs to be marketed a little differently. I wouldn’t give up on the idea.

DFO: What’s your next project?
DE: We have 3 things happening simultaneously now. We just finished Johnson Mill River Park. We’re going to open Riverstone Park tomorrow. We’re halfway through with North Pines Park (Lunceford and 12th).

Full interview here or in extended entry.

Wild Card/Thursday — 7/19/07

I didn’t swim last summer — not a single dip in our wonderful waterways. However, in the last four days, I’ve gone swimming twice — on Sunday off North Idaho College Beach and last night in the Spokane River off a private neighborhood beach in Post Falls. Each dip was refreshing. And the scenery coming out of the water was spectacular. My brother-in-law, who has access to the private beach by virtue of his homeowners association, mused last night that he’d hate to pay the taxes on the ha-huge homes lining the river across the way. I, in turn, thought to myself that I’m glad that the waterways are public and no one can close them off to you, not even our Sanders Beach “friends” (if you can figure a way to get into them). Now, for your Wild Card …

Help! What Was Early Art on the Green Like? — OTV

Hey y’all: I’m writing a little piece about Art on the Green mainly focusing on the musicians performing at the festival this year, but I wanted to include a bit about how
much it has grown over the years. Thing is, I wasn’t quite born when it began and my parents were living out of town at the time, so I’m having trouble getting info about the early beginnings of the beloved art fest. So my question is, did any of you HBO readers out there attend Art on the Green during its first year (1968) or any of the earliest years? How many people were involved at the time? A lot of “hippies”? What kind of things did the merchants sell - lots of macrame and bread baskets? What was the food and entertainment like? Gimme some impressions of the early years - I would very much appreciate any input you might have…thanks! — OrangeTV/Making Flippy Floppy

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 7/19/07


Brandi Jade Thomas/AP Photo, St. Paul Pioneer Press

Chris Winchester, aka Cat Daddy, holds a 30-pound catfish he caught after midnight Tuesday in the backwaters of the Mississippi River near Red Wing, Minn. Winchester fishes the backwaters of the Mississippi River at night for giant catfish. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. “They’re tough when they get this old, but plum easy to catch and they taste good with a little mud,” said Bottomfed Hank the catfish after pulling this 185-pound man off the shore near Red Wing, Minn. early Wednesday. PHOTO BY BLUE GILL/Fish News Staff — Brent Andrews.

2. Introducing Jabba the Fish, SR’s new cartoon editor. Jabba promises to breed fresh topical discussions with his work — In The Know.

3. This fish is actually a rainbow trout that swims in the river system down near the Hanford Nuclear Plant. Can you say, “mutation”, anyone? — Idaho Escapee.

HM: Inland Empire Girl

Story: Hayden Mom Whisked Away While Baby Cries

Kendra Goodrick was handcuffed and whisked away this afternoon as her infant son, Jameson, cried in the hallway outside a Coeur d’Alene courtroom. The 29-year-old Hayden woman was in court today to ask that the 18 months she spent on probation be counted toward a prison sentence she never expected to complete. Kootenai County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Marty Raap told 1st District Judge John T. Mitchell that the decision wasn’t Mitchell’s to make. Idaho’s Court of Appeals recently ruled that the judge didn’t have the legal authority to place Goodrick, who had been convicted for dealing meth, on probation in January 2006.

Taryn Brodwater’s story here

I’m Going to the Kendra Goodrick Hearing …

… with Taryn in a few minutes. Do you have anything you’d want to pass along to Kendra and her family?

Dressing Casual at City Hall Office?


Spokesman-Review File Photo

While I’m editting the Huckleberries Gone Wireless interview with City Parks Director Doug Eastwood, you can have some fun telling me what’s happening in the photo above. All I’ll tell you is this: It’s Doug at work in June 2002.

Washington Gets “A,” Idaho “F” for Finance Openness

Some trivia about Gov. Chris Gregoire:

-She and her husband own a cabin on Hayden Lake, Idaho, a home (besides the governor’s mansion) in Olympia, and a time-share condo at a Whistler, B.C. ski lodge.
-She has a $200 hand-carved wooden canoe (presumably a miniature one) given to her by the chairman of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.
-From the Tulalips, she’s received a beaded necklace and a hand-carved wooden mask, the latter valued at $650.
-In addition to their state investment plans, she and her husband favor low-cost Vanguard funds.

How do we know these things? Because for years, Washingtonians have required candidates for major — and often minor — political offices to file out an “F-1” financial disclosure form.

Full post by Rich Roesler/Eye On Olympia here.

Question: Do you want to know more about the personal finances of individuals, like Gov. Butch Otter, who run the state?

Noon Question: Tombstone Epitaph?


Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Here’s a photo of that tombstone epitaph that Parks and Cemetery Director Doug Eastwood mentioned in his Huckleberries Gone Wireless interview this morning. Frances Bond’s tombstone in Forest Cemetery sez: “I told you I was sick!”

Question: What epitaph do you want on your tombstone?

Huckleberries Gone Wireless w/Doug Eastwood

Note: I’ll edit the full interview by mid-afternoon and repost it.


Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Bob Macdonald, left and Doug Eastwood both from Coeur d’Alene were involved in the development of Centennial Trail from its infancy.

D.F. Oliveria: When did you arrive in Coeur d’Alene and from where?
Doug Eastwood: I arrived in July 1978, from Los Angeles (West Covina). I was with the L.A. County Parks and Recreation for almost six year. I decided Los Angeles was getting too crowded. I had a cousin who ran a masonry department in Spokane. He put me to work as hod carrier. It took me a short time to determine that job wasn’t meant for man or beast. The city of Coeur d’Alene was advertising for a landscape technician. I interviewed and we’ve been married ever since. My wife of 33 years, Dee, saw the ad.

DFO: When did you become the parks and cemetery director?
DE: In 1983-84, when the city split the parks and recreation department — and moved the cemetery into the parks.

Questions for Parks Director Doug Eastwood?

I’ll be interviewing Parks Director Doug Eastwood at 11. Anyone have a question for him?

John Mitchell: Softie? Judge Who Considers Person?

Some people think First District Judge John Mitchell (pictured) is soft on crime. Others accuse him of thinking he’s above the law. If you read the comments at www.cdapress.com on Sunday’s story Caught in the middle, which illustrated the division between Judge Mitchell and some of his critics, you’d get the sense that just about everyone around here doesn’t believe in second chances, even for drug offenders. While we count ourselves among those inclined to give criminals every ounce of punishment they deserve, we have looked into Mitchell’s philosophy, and we have a different perspective: It gives us hope — Coeur d’Alene Press editorial.

Full post here

Question: Do you think Judge John Mitchell is a softie?

JimmyMAC: Can’t Escape CdA — Even in Bozeman

Blogging from my hotel in Bozeman MT. I was her on biz for the last two days and played golf and toured THE YELLOWSTONE CLUB and SPANISH PEAKS. Also attended my first pro bullriding competition tonight…was pretty dang cool although I never thought I would like it. I thought there was a lot of money floating around CDA until I came here. It is absolutely ridiculous. Small world, the only people I saw playing at the Yellowstone Club today were members from CDA. Unreal. Very cool down to Earth couple.

JimmyMAC

Hot Potatoes: Stand By Your Lawman

Cue Tammy Wynette: “Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman/Giving all your love to just one man …” Kootenai County Prosecutor Bill Douglas is a lucky guy. He can swap sexually charged online
banter with a flirtatious underling – and his wife of 34 years doesn’t throw him under the bus. In the latest 300 e-mails to be released, “Coconut Willy” (Douglas) and “Uzi” (ex-drug youth court director Marina Kalani) at best joked about how good each other looks, about exchanging sex for a new laptop computer, and about running off together. (Tammy again: “But if you love him you’ll forgive him/Even though he’s hard to understand …”) But Geri Douglas shrugged it off in a recent interview, stating: “Everybody kids like that.” Oh? I wonder how far my wife of 32 years would kick me down the road if I fielded an online “I love you” from another woman without setting her straight, pronto? Probably back to the Azores Islands in the middle of the Atlantic from whence my grandparents came. I’d deserve the boot in the butt, too. Dunno whether Mrs. D’s in denial. Or she’s willing to weather the storm “cause after all (Bill’s”) just a man.” But she belongs to the sisterhood of saints or Hillary Clintons who’ve been forced to stand by their men as they go through their midlife crises. Again Tammy: “Stand by your man/And tell the world you love him/Keep giving all the love you can/Stand by your man.”

Full post here

Stantis: Running Out of Gas


Scott Stantis/Birmingham News

Parting Shot — 7/18/07


Brad Horn/Nevada Appeal, AP Photo

Emma Young, 3, of Carson City, Nev., eats flavored ice at the Farmer’s Market at the Pony Express Pavillion in Carson City, Nev., Wednesday.

Question: Why do you visit the local farmer’s market in Hayden on Saturdays?

Shinie Gives Pizza Schmizza Mixed Review

I have to admit, the lackluster pizza crust and over dressed Caesar made me think I wouldn’t return to Pizza Schmizza. The interior of the restaurant sealed the fate. Each wall is a different color from the obnoxious palette. Neon green. Purple. Silver metallic. Brown. Mustard. Old movie posters decorate the wall in cheap looking plastic displays. A TV played the Shock game in one corner while patrons crowded around the counter in the other. A mix of 80’s and 50’s music played as a odd combination in the background. Combine the above with little space to maneuver, and I was ready to leave almost as soon as we arrived. The one saving grace of Pizza Schmizza was the service. Each employee I spoke with was friendly, smiling and helpful. The dinner rush didn’t diminish the welcoming attitude of the staff and the cashier made a point of thanking us as we left — Shinie/This Is Growing Up.

Full post here

Question: Where can you find the best pizza in the area?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 7/18/07


Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

Nah, that’s not the young woman stranded in Kidd Island Bay mentioned below. This one seems to be able to walk on water. Or that’s what seemed to be happening when Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho, showed up with her camera here.

*An Arch Druid’s Take on the News (Joan Harman) makes its debut in HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs today by mentioning how she also was a subject of the Hagadonian Empire, like your blogmeister, in a time long ago in a galaxy far far away here.

*Dogwalk Musings is having second thoughts about U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim ever elected to the U.S. Congress, and the political ideology that spawned him here.

*For those who have ever wondered, the answer is yes — yes, you can break your leg performing a “cannonball” in the water. From A Simple Mind explains how her friend, Miss Cannonball, did it here.

*Live Love Laugh Hope was simply reaching for an onion that she’d accidentally knocked onto the floor of her local grocery when she heard a rip that meant she’d spend the next few minutes trying to hide her red underwear and face as she made her way back to her car here.

*Silver Valley Girl gives thumbs up to Harry Potter movie V and discusses the pecking order in her house for reading the final Potter book here. BTW, Scurvy Jake has figured out the ending to Harry Potter VII here.

HBO Blog Numbers (for Tuesday): 6617 page-views, 3809 unique views.

Meanwhile, BrodH20 is happy b/c Goo pooped on a potty here, F-Words wonders why we photoshop away wrinkles here, Idaho Kennedys offers a swell editorial on Idaho’s tax base and economy here, JeanC admits she likes a survivalist’s house here, Not So Fast reveals her injured ankle here, OnLocation North Idaho wants you to prevent forest fires here, Plaid Toaster breaks from griping about her teens to praise them here, Slight Detour goes hay bale visiting here, and Un-Muted Mumblings laments the passage of Crisis mag into online only here.

Inside Huckleberries — 7/18/07

*OfCoffee: “I met the Stickman today. Outstanding. I just did a quick drop-by and introduced myself. We visited for about 15 minutes but I had to get back to work. I could have visited for much, much longer, and I hope to do so someday. I am bringing my boys by tomorrow to pick out a stick. They will be very excited. What a great guy.”

***

*Cabbage Boy: “Two thumbs up for blogmeister Ryan. the catcha letters have been working with my Firefox.” (Question: Any other problems today with our three-letter jumble.)
***

*Our North Idaho Blog Roll has a new blogger: Joan Harman, who writes Arch Druid’s Take on the News, here. Basically, the blog is an online version of Joan’s short commentaries on news, columns and letters to the editor. Welcome, Joan.
***

*A Berry Picker passed along this link, along with the note: “What Duane needs” here
***

*Observation (from Jane Q. Citizen): “How did I miss the fact that MamaJD has had a blog for the past several months?” DFO: MamaJD posts about once a week — something that usually blog worthy and sometimes Huckleberries print worthy.

Be Careful Out There …

… a female is stranded on a purple, pink and white Jetski in Kidd Island Bay, as we speak. According to Scanner banter, she has no friends or family around to help her into shore. An EResponder was told to contact a commercial hauler to take care of the problem.

Poll: 40% Would Curb Driving If Gas Hits $3.50

Some 40 percent of Americans would curb their driving habits if retail gasoline prices shot up to $3.50 a gallon, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday/Reuters. Story here.

Question: Would you?

Noon Question: Favorite Dinosaur?


Dan Pelle/Spokesman-Review

Alex Mollison, a dinosaur driver with the “Walking with Dinosaurs-The Live Experience” prepares an allosaurus at the Spokane Arena in Spokane, Washington.

DFO: As I grew up, I was fascinated by dinosaurs. I read everything I could about them. The T-Rex was cool, of course. But my favorite was the Triceratops, with those cool horns sticking out from an inpenetrable head shield.

Question: Which is your favorite dinosaur?

Random Thoughts — from Java on Sherman

11:41 a.m., I’m heading out. I’ll stop by the mayor’s store to pass along JohnA’s congrats and also check out the status of the hanging baskets.

11:36 a.m., I saw a scruffy crowd gathered on NW Boulevard in front of Harbor Center (and Larry Craig’s office) protesting the war, as I was driving home last night. The demonstrators must have behaved themselves b/c I didn’t read about any arrests in the paper this morning. They’re lucky they weren’t in Spokane.

11:34 a.m., Dang, I forgot to mention here that Dick Haugen was interviewing Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander this morning re: the Kroc Center discussion last night, for his on-the-road show. Mebbe you still can catch a few minutes of the interview on KGA-AM radio 1510.

11:27 a.m., The aforementioned Berry Picker left for a few minutes and then came back to report that The Coeur d’Alene Resort carpet wasn’t all that bad. But it didn’t fit with the rest of the resort decor. (BTW, the midmorning rush at Java is over. No line at the counter. Four tables open. I’m watching the high-tech goodies on the table next to me, for a guy who asked me to do so and then went out the door. He’s been gone for 10 minutes. Hmmm.)

11:10 a.m., A Berry Picker — one who runs in fast circles around here — stopped at my table to chuckle about today’s Huckleberries print re: the good things I find in The Duane. Then, he said he’s talked to three separate residents — none of whom know each other — who all say that Hagadone’s Silver Beach condo project, The Terraces, looks like a Bose Radio from the water. Anyone have a boat to check that out?

*Java on Sherman is hopping. There’s 10 in line — and all but one of the tables is occupied. Scratch that. All the tables are occupied. I’ll wait until the line goes down to buy coffee. Mebbe I’ll get kicked off for free-loading, if I don’t? BTW, if you want to chat with me online, you can use this thread for the next hour or so.

*Anyone know how long you can go without washing your car before people notice? I never worried about that while I drove my old Toyota Tercel. But the dirty water that splashed on my 4Runner stands out against the rig’s forest green.

*I didn’t pay attention to WoodyTV — the city’s public-access TV channel — when it first went on the air, other than to participate in a show emceed by Mayor Sandi Bloem. However, in the last week or so, I’ve watched Tony Berns’ explanation of the Lake City Development Corp and Team Kroc’s answering Kroc Center critics. ‘Tis nice to be able to sit at home and get important info like that undiluted by newspapers or radio news hosts.

Popkey: Sure, WIC Trustee Picks Were Inside Job, But …

The fix was in when the State Board of Education announced the board of trustees for the College of Western Idaho on Monday. But
that’s OK: This case warranted an inside job. Some will question a sham process that drew more than 100 applicants but seriously considered only a handful. I’ve heard from some critics and had interviews with prickly applicants who were qualified but passed over. I haven’t, however, heard a credible critique of the collective qualifications of trustees already deeply involved in the quest to open the college. The State Board conducted few interviews, and those they did were short. But the new trustees are determined to honor promises made in the campaign to keep taxes to a minimum — Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman.

Full post here

AM Headlines — 7/18/07

*Council addresses Kroc questions: City lined up ‘Kroc Team’ to discuss how the project had progressed/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press — Quote: “After the update before City Council, Spencer said he still wonders if the finances were legally dealt with, and he agreed with Gookin that Macy’s questions remained unanswered.” There’s simply no satisfying Team Gookin.

*Advertising prompts letter from prosecutor: Post Falls agent tried to sell property before final approval/Ralph Bartholdt, St. Maries Gazette-Record — You mean there’s laws against such things in Benewah County?

*Cigarette butts in flower pot caused fire/Spokesman-Review — The renters are related to good friends of mine. They lost everything but some photo albums and cars — all b/c someone was careless with a cigarette. F’shame.

*For sale: Idaho home with a very negative view: Survivalist’s self-sufficient house includes barbed wire, bunker/Dean A. Ferguson, Lewiston Tribune — Your typical three-bedroom, two-bath home in North Idaho, with a bunker in the basement and barbed-wire fence all around.

*Developer plans condos at Squaw Bay lot: Traffic, obstructed view worries neighbors/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review — Shouldn’t they have to change the name of the bay or something before proceeding?

MamaJD’s Cliff Notes to City Council Meetings


Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

On June 9, 2005, City Finance Director Troy Tymesen, left, Mayor Sandi Bloem and Project coordinator Renata McLeod, rejoice over the city’s good fortune as they write a press release announcing the awarding of a Kroc foundation grant to build a civic center in Coeur d’Alene.

1. The beginning of the meeting was like a 70’s cop show. There was funky music A La Starsky & Hutch (was that Muzak?), lots of hair spray (how much does Larry use?), and fighting that is completely free of any unsightly blood (but we all knew the impact of each punch that Mike Gridley landed).

2. Dixie Reid, anticipating the next video attack, made sure that at least her blouse had dancing smiley women on it.

3. Al Hassell reminds me of a church deacon. Steady, quiet, friendly and probably the last person I would want to discuss personal issues with.

4. Ron Edinger looked like he breezed in off his boat to join the meeting … and then he was gone.

5. The City staff and Council Members were extremely polite. I tried to count how many times someone politely referenced a CAVEman. I lost track due to (a) the amount of times a CAVEr was addressed; or (b) it was so smooth I missed it — MamaJD.

Full post here

Extra: DFO’s cliff notes to Kroc Center discussion by Team Kroc here, Q&A w/Team Kroc here, and Spencer’s response here.

OTV: I Tried to Watch Kroc Chat But …

(Yawn) Oh, I haven’t slept that good in ages. I made it about 15 minutes in to the meeting and I was out like a light. For some odd reason, I had a long, elaborate dream that I worked at a plant shop and we sold exotic plants, like orange velvet ferns and big rat-eating venus flytraps that drooled pink foam. These plants were illegal though, so there was this constant fear that the police would show up and bust us. We were all a-twitter at one point because Lindsey Lohan and her mom Dina were coming in to check out our plants, but they weren’t plants anymore, they were designer kitchen aprons. I woke up and to my amazement, the City Council was still blathering on nearly three hours later …

OrangeTV

AM Hucks: Counting Ways to (Heart) The Duane

At Huckleberries Online, an up-and-coming biz type, pseudonymed CoeurGenX, asked about my ‘tude about Duane Hagadone recently. Before I could respond, my online buddy OrangeTV interjected: “Asking DFO to quit the Haga-bashing is like asking the rainbow trout please not to swim, or a peregrine falcon please not to flap its wings and fly. This is DFO’s territory and his anti-H ways are just part of its nature.” I appreciate OTV’s defense. But I’d like to point out that there are things I appreciate about my old boss: 1. The Coeur d’Alene Resort is much better than old North Shore. 2. His removal of old Templin’s restaurant and nearby bungalows opened up Independence Point. 3. Public access to boardwalk. 4. Cleaned up old Rutledge mill site. 5. Jobs Plus visionary and co-founder. 6. Biggest private employer in town. 7. Has left eastern end of Sanders Beach open, so far. 8. Waterfront properties have added considerable revenue for taxing district coffers. 9. Downtown garden idea was a decent concept until he pushed to close too many blocks. 10. Always doing something that’s Huckleberries worthy. Now, I’ll turn the remainder of HBO today over to Onset, who has this to say about the new Coeur d’Alene Resort carpet: “Whoever decided on the ‘seasick’ carpet in the resort should be fired. If Duane picked the carpet he should fire himself.” What? You thought I’d gone soft?

That’s All Folks …

… the show’s over. I’ll see you in the morning. Meanwhile, I’ll rework the text below, so much of it will appear in the Extended Entry section.

Kroc Center Questions

… posed by City Council members to city staff and Team Kroc during Tuesday meeting

Mike Kennedy: Who is responsible if something goes wrong with the Kroc Center?
John Chamness: The Salvation Army.

Mike Kennedy: Why did the cost of the project jump from $1.1M to $3M?
Mike Gridley: We expanded the project to include a swimming pool. And we didn’t know how much material needed to be hauled in.

Mike Kennedy: Did ACI get a sweetheart project?
Mike Gridley: They had to haul more than they thought they did. That usually doesn’t work in the contractor’s favor. It’s hard to find a better deal.

Wild Card/Tuesday — 7/17/07

I’m leaving early this afternoon to grab a bite and to tune into the City Council meeting at 6 o’clock on local-access WoodyTV (Channel 19). Should be entertaining b/c the experts will discuss issues raised by Spencer. The fun should begin around 6:15 after the flag salute and the dedication of parkland at Riverstone West. I’ll start a loose thread for those watching the program. Dunno what it’ll look like. Tune back in after 6. Meanwhile, here’s your evening Wild Card …

Crapo Sez Iraq Surge Remains Best Option — Russell

As the U.S. Senate prepares for all-
night debate on U.S. troops in Iraq, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo says it’s “a good opportunity for discussion, but the timetable for decision-making should remain the same.” In a news release issued this afternoon, Crapo said he’s standing by President Bush. “The President’s plan has shown mixed results since the full complement of forces arrived in Iraq in June, but it is very important to allow the surge time to demonstrate results,” Crapo said. “Congress agreed to wait until September to evaluate the effectiveness of the recent troop surge” — Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise.

Question: Agree? Disagree?

Q: Have You Hugged Your Health Insurer Lately?

(Spokane health care consultant Stephen) Reichard pays $700 a month for coverage for himself and two daughters, and yet every six months, he says, his insurance company begins to deny his claims. He estimates he pays over $10,000 annually for insurance coverage for three very healthy people. And when he asks his insurer why his claims are being denied, he reports they say, “Oh, we do that with all of our customers every six months” — Jamie Tobias Neely/Spokesman-Review.

Full post here

Question: Do you have a horror story to share about your health insurance company?

APhoto of the Day — 7/16/07


Joerg Sarback/AP Photo

Water sprays as Andrea Liedte throws her wet hair back while she refreshes in a sea in Bremen, northern Germany, Monday. Temperatures rose up to 35 degrees Celsius( 95 degrees Fahrenheit) in Germany. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel takes notice as his soulmate Water Drippy Unicorn Angel emerges from the water — Cabbage Boy.

2. Said (former U.S. Attorney General John) Ashcroft, “The water above this woman’s head is clearly meant to give this pornographic picture some redeeming quality, so that it may be passed off as art, but as in all things, save wars and WMDs, we the majority know what’s best for America, and we know smut when we see it” — Brent Andrews.

HM: Inland Empire Girl

3. Tired of her long locks, our fraeulein decides the old adage fits: “Hair today, gone tomorrow” — John Austin.

Update: Cig in Flower Part Started PFire

Cigarette butts extinguished in a flowerpot ignited potting soil and started a fire that destroyed two Post Falls homes Sunday, according to fire investigators. The fire started on the back deck at 1140 W. Deschutes, spread to the deck railing and then to the home’s vinyl siding, Kootenai County Fire and Rescue Spokesman Jim Lyon said today.

Full post by Taryn Brodwater/SR here

What Will Dixie Say Tonight re: Gookle Attack Video?


Spokesman-Review File Photo

Dixie Reid, center, listens to comments in a 2002 Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting in Coeur d’Alene, the first for the mandated body which will take over transportation funding from the federal government.

As you know, CAVE leader Dan Gookin posted that Google attack ad against council members Dixie Reid and Mike Kennedy. In it, Dixie is taking a speaker to the wood shed (as she does occasionally) and Mike is questioning Spencer’s credentials (as most of us at HBO do regularly). So what do you think Dixie’s going to say to Gookin and his sidekick Spencer, whether or not they show?

1. Nothing
2. Behave yourselves
3. Meet me out back after this is over
4. See ya on the ballot in November
5. This place ain’t big enough for the three of us
6. Other?

B&R: Should Be Good CdA Council Show Tonight

B&R: Oh, Spensahhh! I hope you’re planning on attending the Cd’A City Council meeting tonight where the people who actually _know_ what they’re talking about will give an update on the Kroc Community Center. Perhaps all your questions will be answered, but then again, one can only hope …

DFO: Indeed, tonight’s the night to tune into Woody TV, if you have questions about the Kroc Center. Mayor Sandi Bloem and the City Council have invited Kroc Center/Salvation Army experts to discuss the various conspiracy theories circulated by opponents. WoodyTV — nicknamed after public TV spear carrier/Councilman Woody McEvers — will begin the broadcast at 6 o’clock. I can’t imagine that Councilwoman Dixie Reid will remain quiet after being the target of the Dan Gookin attack Google video last week. I suspect all this will take place at the start of the meeting. I’ll certainly be tuned in.

Psychobabbles: Paris Workers Have US Beat …

… Or what Angela likes best about work benefits of Parisians after watching Michael Moore’s documentary “Sicko” here

*paying for my health care through my taxes and never worrying about going bankrupt because I get in an accident, get cancer, or anything.
*5 weeks paid vacation every year. I could so get used to that. That’s part of the reason I wanted to work in schools, so I could get paid very little - but at least get 2 months off in the summer. I could deal with 5 weeks.
*6 months paid maternity leave. What? Not 6 weeks? I can actually spend time with my new baby? (I wonder if parents get maternity leave for adopting kids, though?)
*6 months unpaid maternity leave. So I’ll still have a job after taking a whole year off? SWEET!
*35 hour work week. Not 40? 45? 50? But 35? I could definitely start liking that.

Question: What work benefit would you change if you could?

Romney, Gore Lead in Idaho Polling — Stapilus …

(Pollster Greg) Smith, who is a public supporter of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, must have been heartened by the Republican results, which gave Romney a big lead (especially in eastern Idaho), 38% to 20% for second-place Rudy Guiliani; not-yet-candidate (depending on how you describe him and who he describes himself to) Fred Thompson is third at 18%. Of course, Idaho would be expected to be one of Romney’s best states; most of Idaho’s Republican political establishment is already in his camp. Among Democrats, top place went a man not in the race, former Vice President Al Gore, at 31%, with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton basically tied, for second after Gore or for first place if Gore is excluded — Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press.

Full post here, results here

Ah’m Your Huckleberry …

At the DMV this morning, a friend had to stand in line for 2 hours to get her license renewed. As she did so, a person in line said: “I moved from California to get away from this.” Without missing a beat, someone else in line responded: “We all did.”

Take 10 — Or What to Do w/$247M Surplus

Item: State has $247 million extra: Official suggests using it to fix roads/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review

Question: How do you want to see the $247M used?

1. Fix Highway 95 — not just Boise’s
2. Eliminate sales tax on food
3. Restore early childhood education funding
4. Quit bugging Indian tribes about rez gas revenue
5. Build larger underground wings at capital
6. Upgrade parks
7. Tax relief
8. Fix unsafe schools (as courts have ordered time and again)
9. Capital facilities projects at Idaho colleges (not just the new Western Idaho College)
10. Other?

A Matter Of Opinion: More Vacation Or More Pay?

Americans vacation a lot less than people in other countries. We’re the only Western government that doesn’t guarantee paid vacation for workers.

The easy explanation is that we are individualists and hard workers, but a poll shows that most people would rather decrease their work time by 10 percent than increase their pay by 10 percent.

Here’s an LA Times oped on the issue.

Here’s an excerpt that might surprise older folks.

The average American man today works 100 more hours a year than he did in the 1970s, according to Cornell University economist Robert Frank. That’s 2 1/2 weeks of added labor. The average woman works 200 more hours — that’s five added weeks. And those hours are coming from somewhere: from time with our kids, our friends, our spouses, even our bed. The typical American, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sleeps one to two hours less a night than his or her parents did.

(Reuters photo)

Popkey: Some Question Micron Special Treatment

The Idaho Legislature has long supported Micron Technology with tax breaks, an engineering school at Boise State University and construction of the Isaac’s Canyon interchange. But Micron’s plans to cut employment by about 10 percent, with another 5 percent in the works, has eroded support among some lawmakers who complain that a company that’s gotten everything it asks for isn’t holding up its end of the bargain. “Even with the tax incentives, we didn’t get the jobs,” said Rep. Dell Raybould, R-Rexburg, a member of the House tax committee. “I’m very sympathetic to business, and Micron’s very important, but we can’t be putting all our chips on one industry that’s going to have its ups and downs when its stability is based on world competition — Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman.”

Full post here

Question: Should Idaho treat big businesses like Micron and Potlatch with TLC?

Alice’s Garden Spot: Prolonged Heat = Garden Stress

Heat such as we have had this month, evaporates moisture even through your mulch over a prolonged heat spell. A sign of water stress
is when leaves droop in the heat of day and don’t recover when it cools down toward evening. Those plants are in desperate need of emergency watering. It is better to water deeply and less frequently. Practice drip irrigation to conserve water. Turn your hose to a drip-drip, then lay it close to the plant stem for two hours, then move to another plant. Fruit trees could use an overnight drip-drip. Perennials, grapes, rhubarb, and raspberries love this treatment as well. When the weather is as hot as it has been this month, you should also follow this procedure with your squash and cucumber hills. Vine crops require lots of water, tomatoes like less. Corn needs more water when ears start to form. In row crops. lay a soaker hose (one with holes punched at intervals) along your row for same effect — Alice Rankin/Alice’s Garden Spot.

Full post in Extended Entry section

Now Gen Disconnected from Local News, Volunteerism

This is a good question. The ability to access “news” in a variety of electronic mediums has definately fragmented the 18-30 generation. I’m more concerned that this age group is disconnected from the grassroots local news. There’s also less volunteerism in this demographic. They’re more likely to donate in-kind to causes than physically volunteering. They’ve become disillusioned with local and national politics and prefer to interact electronically. It’s not bad or wrong, it’s just a different generation. The media that recognizes the challenge and adapts will succeed.
I read several newspapers online myself but would never dream of not subscribing to local papers to read about what’s happening in my corner of the world, down the block and at city hall. But my 30-something children are more likely to read USA Today than their local papers.

Jane Q. Citizen

AM Hucks: July Heat Can’t Compete w/Kroc Burn

In the “No good deed goes unpunished” dept., Huckleberries Online (HBO) regulars didn’t react kindly to claims by former Repub queenpin Kathy Sims and Tom Macy of Post Falls that Coeur d’Alene city officials are involved in a possible “criminal conspiracy” to build the Kroc Center. (And you thought Mayor Sandi Bloem & Co. were simply trying to provide a wunnerful recreation facility for community families. Tut. Tut.) You can find the details of this loopy allegation in Saturday’s paper. Meanwhile, 119 comments about this matter were posted at HBO during the weekend and Monday. A sampling: “I love it when politician has-beens put their credibility – and their party’s credibility – on the line in such a public way. I look forward to the public humiliation these losers will experience when their little … pet cause fails,” responded No Zags. “I find it is unfortunate when people question issues without the proper facts. However, that’s a right we all have, no matter the motives behind the questions” – John Austin. “Some of these questions of government officials seem a little choreographed at times” – MamaJD. “God forbid a city actually use its surplus for community improvement” – Idawa. Larry Spencer, a Spirit Lake area resident who has attacked the Kroc Center project repeatedly, offered dozens of comments and responses in support of Macy and Sims. Curiously, none of the conspiracy theorists above lives in CdA.

Wild Card/Monday — 7/16/07

We’re going to kick off the HBO Book Club Thursday. I chatted with Librarian Bette Ammon this afternoon. She’s going to prepare a coupla questions for us by Wednesday afternoon for posting Thursday, to get us headed in the right direction. I should be able to finish the book tonight. Good stuff. I’m haunted by Sara Gruen’s description of Jacob Jankowski as a ninetysomething. The gal can flat out right. Hat Tip to whomever suggested this book as our first read. But you’ll have to wait until Thursday to begin the discussion. Now, for your Wild Card …

Question: Which Will You See on Big Screen

Of the movies now playing at Riverstone Stadium 14, which do you plan to see on the big screen:

*Harry Potter
*Transformers
*Ratatouille
*Live Free or Die Hard
*Evan Almighty

Napkin Notes: Serving Public Isn’t Easy

My first night on the dining floor, a crotchety octogenarian with eyebrows drawn down into a permanent scowl had to wait ten
extra minutes for his steak, and spent the time amusing himself by making me cry. He called me an idiot, asked if I could do anything right, and demanded that I get him a waitress who knew what she was doing. It cut my people-pleasing heart to the quick. I had never had a grown-up be so mean to me before (and yes, at sixteen, I still thought of them as “grown-ups.”) He was like the real life version of Old Mister Smithers from Scooby Doo. I stumbled back to the line and managed to tell my supervisor that my customer wanted a new server before I burst into tears and ran for the back room, where I sobbed and swore to myself that my first night of waitressing would be my last. Fortunately, one of the battle-hardened, apron-clad warriors of the Shoney’s front lines came and found me there. She assured me that it would get better (and so would I), and by the time the sobs had subsided to sniffles, I was ready to give it another try — Katrina/Notes on a Napkin.

Full post here

DFO: I wished a waitress would start a blog, detailing the cluelessness of the eating public. I’ve heard horror stories from waitress friends re: the increasingly nasty attitude of cuss-tomers — and how hard it is to keep cooks, managers and other servers happy. Regularly, cuss-tomers stiff hard-working waitresses b/c they’re upset at something that’s totally outside the waitress’s control, like the temperature of the room. Or the quality of the food. You should tip well unless there’s a legitimate reason not to do so.

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 7/16/07


Justin Connaher/The Reporter, AP

A women’s team wrestles a hog during the firemen’s picnic in Eldorado, Wis., Saturday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Bacon in the glow of publicity, Kroc pots use their heavy-hammed approach to go hog wild trying to find a pig in a poke, boaring us all in the process — John Austin.

2. Women fight over a pigskin purse at a sale at the boutique operated by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — Jesse Tinsley.

3. One lady wrestler to the other: “I TOLD you they were PIGS!” — Idaho Escapee.

HM: Eric Seaman

Priest Lake Storm (June 2007) …

… w/video by Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns and song by Mike Wagoner

Fisher: Welcome to Idaho GOP’s Smaller Tent

Let this page be the first to relay the following message from Idaho Democrats to those Republicans who just filed suit in federal court to close their party’s primary elections to all who haven’t registered publicly as Republicans: Thank you, thank you, thank you. What the 72 plaintiffs in this lawsuit - 21 of them from north central Idaho - have done is invite every voter who does not care to be herded into a party corral, for all to see, to vote in the Democratic primary election, and stay there for the general election. No, these puritans of the right cannot prevent independents and unregistered Republican-leaning voters from voting for Republican candidates in the general election. But they certainly are telling those voters they aren’t welcome in the Grand Old Party’s new, smaller tent — Jim Fisher/Lewiston Tribune.

Full post here

Question: Will Idaho Republicans suffer fallout from the attempt by 72 members, including Ron Vieselmeyer and Ruthie Johnson, to close party primaries?

Breaking! Controller Takes on Otter Over Higher Taxes

Idaho State Controller Donna Jones announced today that the state has a $247 million budget surplus – and she thinks that money should be spent to fix roads, rather than Gov. Butch Otter’s idea of a $200 million a year tax increase. “As a former legislator, seeing a surplus of this magnitude brings two thoughts to mind,” Jones said in a news release. “First, taxes are too high on Idaho’s families. Second, instead of looking at raising taxes to pay for road and bridge repair, the Legislature could potentially use $200 million of this surplus to tackle Idaho’s backlog of road repairs — Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise.”

Full post here

Question: Should the state’s huge surplus be used to fix roads first? Or should the state raise taxes to fix the roads?

Breaking! Trustees Named for New Community College

The state Board of Education has voted unanimously to name these five trustees to guide the new Western Idaho College: Hatch Barrett, Mark Dunham, Jerry Hess, Guy Hurlbutt and M.C. Niland. Hess and Niland were two of the four co-chairs of the “Community College Yes” campaign that pushed the successful ballot measure to create a new community college district. “We had many qualified candidates – we had over 100 people apply,” state board member Rod Lewis said. “At the end of the day it was a very difficult job for the subcommittee to narrow the list down to five people. … These are people that represent different constituencies and different groups throughout the valley, representatives of both Ada and Canyon county. Many of them have been actively involved in the effort to bring to pass the community college. … These are very good people, very strong candidates, and I highly recommend them” — Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise

Full post here

Poll: Only 16% of Young Adults Read Papers Daily

Item: Young adults have little interest in news: Just 16% surveyed, age 18-30, say they read paper every day/New York Times

More Info: What we found is that what people mean when they say they are engaged in the news has much more of a glancing, superficial basis than anything we would have hoped,” he said. “Young people seemed to think that just listening to the radio in the background was listening to the news.”

Question: Is this a cause for concern?

Twin Falls: The Hub of the Magic Valley

Twin Falls is taking some note, amid its substantial growth, of a population mark estimates now project: It is over 40,000 people. The Times News there is reflecting a little on that - is it good or bad, and does it make the community more a large small town or a smallish city? What it is, of course, is a regional center - the main economic, cultural and governmental center of a large area, dominant about half way to Boise to west or Pocatello to the east - each of those cities being more than 100 miles away. It is, in other words, the center of the Magic Valley, the closest thing to an urban hub. It fits much the same role as a number of mostly larger cities around the Northwest - Yakima, Wenatchee, Idaho Falls, and maybe Bend or Walla Walla come to mind — Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press.

Full post here

DFO: For me, Twin Falls will always be the place I almost lived. In 1982, I had accepted a job as regional editor of the Twin Falls Times-News when the Lewiston Morning Tribune called with a better pay and job offer. Twin Falls refused to sweeten the pay deal. In fact, the editor got mad that I even suggested that he add $25 per week to his offer. So I ended up in Lewiston — and thoroughly enjoyed my two years there.

Question: Have you ever been to Twin Falls?

Sims, Macy Allege Kroc Center Conspiracy

Note: I’m moving this thread up b/c this story broke late Friday and deserves attention this morning — DFO.

A former state lawmaker is calling for an investigation into a possible “criminal conspiracy” over how the city of Coeur d’Alene contributed money for the Salvation Army Kroc Community Center. Former Republican state Sen. Kathy Sims, who owns a local car dealership, gave a report calling for an investigation to Kootenai County Prosecutor Bill Douglas on Thursday. It claims the city violated state law by having a fund balance, often called a “rainy day fund,” for unanticipated expenses. From this fund, the city gave $3 million to the Coeur d’Alene Parks Foundation to prepare the 12-acre site, a former gravel pit on Ramsey Road, for construction of the Kroc Center. The complaint alleges that the city also violated the law by spending the $3 million because it was never appropriated in the budget. City officials shot back that Coeur d’Alene’s involvement is legal and that the complaint should have no impact on the construction of the $66 million center — Erica Curless/Spokesman-Review.

Quote: “The only conspiracy is the conspiracy of ignorance on the part of the people trying to kill the Kroc Center,” City Attorney Mike Gridley said.

Full post here

Wild Card/Sunday — 7/8/07

You want cute this morning? I’ll give you cute this morning, courtesy of young mothers with blog links at Huckleberries Online, pseudonymed Mommy Dearest of the BrodH20 blog and Jen/A Butterfly Moment. On Thursday, Jen took her boys and 4-year-old nephew, Aidan, to the free movie at Riverstone Cinemas. They’d seen “Over The Hedge” before. But the operative word here is “free” (and probably “cool” given the high-90s temperatures last week). On the way home, they had the following conversation. Josh: “Mom, can we go play at the park?” Jen: “No, Josh, it’s too hot.” Josh: “Not for us.” Jen: “The news last night said stay inside. The hot weather isn’t good for kids or old people. And you’re kids and I’m old.” Josh: “You’re not old.” Aidan (not even pausing for dramatic effect): “Yeah, you’re only half old.” Mommy Dearest has two youngsters, dubbed “Boo” and “Goo” – one of each with Boo being the boy and the co-star of the following exchange: “You have to remember Friday is Pajama Day,” Boo told his mother as they were driving home from his day care Wednesday (Pajama Day being the occasional Friday in which the inmates are allowed to wear pajamas to their day care). Mommy Dearest: “OK, I’ll write it on the calendar.” Boo: “You have to remember because my brain is small. I can’t hold lots of memories.” Aw.

Wild Card/Sunday — 7/8/07

I’m gonna kick back and enjoy a play at the Lake City Playhouse and then mebbe go for a little swim in the lake. I urge you to get out and enjoy the sunshine and the area today. We’ll have much to discuss on Monday, including the erroneous claim by the Wild Goose Chase Gang here and on the Press blog that Mayor Sandi Bloem was going to move her office into the new library. Luckily, Librarian Bette Ammon checks in here frequently and set the record straight. But I’ll save that exchange for Monday to get the week off to a fast start. Now, for your Wild Card …

Online Poll: Time to Pull Out of Iraq?

Is it time for U.S. troops to pull out of Iraq? — Idaho Statesman.

*Yes, immediately
*Yes, by 2008
*Not yet
*Other

DFO: Other (I simply don’t know any more)

In The Know: Where’s LCDC Board Live?

In The Know: Yea, DFO…how many on the (LCDC) board live within CDA city limits…thats a fair question…can you help?

DFO: Dunno. I’ll list ‘em, and you guys figure it out. Obviously Councilwomen Dixie Reid and Deanna Goodlander are Coeur d’Alene residents. Chairman Charlie Nipp built the Ironwood Medical District in town. Jim Elder is a downtown stalwart. Brad Jordan and his late pop before him have the real estate company on Fourth Street. Dave Patzer of Patzer Oil. Who am I missing? Denny Davis lives on West Lakeshore Drive, CDA. Paul Anderson and Rod Colwell. As far as the anti-LCDC/Kroc Center tribe goes, Spencer lives near Spirit Lake, Macy in Post Falls and Rasmussen/Roetter in Hayden. Gookin in Fortgrounds. Souza and Culbreth live here. Morgan in Spokane Valley. Dunno about Sims but she has a car dealership in town. Hagadone, I believe, lives in Palm Desert. ;-)

Fellowship of Political Also-Rans Is Repub/Conservative Indeed

Let’s take another look at the politics of the individuals involved in the constant attacks against the city, LCDC, Kroc Center, etc.

Dan Gookin: former Libertarian turned Republican (ran for precinct committeeman in 2004. Dunno if he won.)

Larry Spencer: uberconservative who actively supported two extreme conservatives in the Bonner County commissioner races in 2006

Kathy Sims: former Republican state senator, county Republican chairman

Sharon Culbreth: Republican candidate for state legislator in 2006

Duane Rasmussen: Republican precinct committeeman and (Pachyderm Club prez or veep?)

Matt Roetter: Repub precinct committeeman and key figure in the unsuccessful anti-gay initiative a few years back

Mary Souza: dunno political credentials but unsuccessful candidate for city council two years ago and fiscally conservative (coached by uberconservative Don Morgan in council race)

Don Morgan (in the background): uberconservative, former state chair of the term limits drive.

Tom Macy: former Libertarian/Independent candidate for county commissioner and an individual who joined Kathy Sims a few years ago in successfully fighting the local-option sales tax.

If I haven’t forgotten everyone, I’ll rest my case with these nine Republicans/conservatives — nine as in the Tolkien’s fellowship. Or in this case the Fellowship of the Political Also-Rans. You can toss in Hagadone who supports them behind the scenes through his newspaper and has his own political beef to settle in that he’s still steaming over the rebuff for his downtown garden plans by Mayor Sandi Bloem and the unanimous vote of the council to send the matter to the public (and almost always supports Republicans). Have I made my case that this is a Repub/conservative issue?

Wild Card/TGIF — 7/13/07

We should have an interesting weekend discussing the attempted blind-side by the Kroc Center complaint, filed at the 12th hour by Tom Macy and Kathy Sims of anti-local option tax fame. Major Chamness of the Salvation Army sez it doesn’t change things for the Kroc Center project and him. Spencer’s dancing a jig, of course, because someone else is going to take the heat now for trying to deprive the Coeur d’Alene’s children with a long-overdue community center — a magnificent one at that. And tinfoilery is alive and well in the Lake City. With that happy thought, I’ll play my last Wild Card of the week …

Huckleberries Hears …

… that a 64-page complaint has been filed against the city of Coeur d’Alene for contributing $3M in taxpayer revenue to prepare the Kroc Center site. By Tom Macy, a Post Falls resident, and Coeur d’Alene Honda owner Kathy Sims (the pair who successfully fought the local-option sales tax a few years ago.) Macy told the SR that he’s upset that someone — imagine that! — leaked a copy to the Coeur d’Alene Press. Larry Spencer denies involvement although this is his signature issue. Tom Green is doing the story for the Press. Major John Chamness has told Huckleberries that the complaint will have no affect on the construction of the Kroc Center, which is scheduled to begin this month. Stay tuned …

Update: Kathy Sims has hung up on Erica Curless twice in the last few minutes and refuses to discuss the complaint. (Mebbe she’s upset that the Press couldn’t soft-pedal the story first tomorrow morning?)

Update: Kathy Sims just hung up on Erica for a third time. It’ll be interesting to see if she’s quoted in the Press Saturday.

APhoto of the Day — 7/13/07


Tim Hahn/AP Photo

Paramedics place the driver of a Ford Taurus onto a stretcher after a 1,500-pound wrecking ball slammed into the back of it North Main Street at Randolph Street in Meadville, Pa., Monday. The wrecking ball damaged numerous vehicles after it broke loose from a crane on the campus of Allegheny College and rolled down North Main Street before hitting the Taurus. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. LARRY: Mr. Kennedy, I brought a picture that will show that Kroc Center had boulders that are being smuggled cross country. This proves that something sinister is happening.

KENNEDY: Are you a geologist? An Accident Investigator? Licensed to drive? Under psychiatric care of any kind? — MamaJD.

2. Bowling Alley operators spent hours looking for the scattered pins, after some guy named Paul Bunyan bowled a strike — Sweet Herb.

3. That rock nearly Taurus in half!” said the driver — Family Phil.

HM: Inspector Gadget

On The Waterfront …

… there’s a boat sinking near the Coeur d’Alene Resort docks

…there’s a guy on Tubbs Hill whacking at trees with a samurai sword

Huckleberries Hears …

… that extra $3 charge on our vehicle license renewal notices isn’t going exactly where it’s suppose to go.

A Berry Picker did some snooping around after he spotted the $3 charge and discovered the 2006 Legislature passed a bill that allowed the ISP to tack on $3 to improve salaries in the agency. The purpose was to stop the outflow of officers to other law enforcement agencies. The Berry Picker also learned that 1.4M vehicles were registered last year, which means the $3 raised $4M and change. AND that the money has been used to raise salaries of administrators and noncertified staff as well as officers. Sez the Berry Picker: “I don’t mind paying the extra $3 to increase patrol salaries. But I don’t want to support an increase across the board. What if every state agency tried to do this?” Good question.

Take A Bow: HBOers in Print re: Heat

Item: Readers offer tips for beating the heat: Take a dip, get out of town, catch a flick, commenters say/Spokesman-Review

Quote (from MikeK): “A cooled-off below-ground basement, closed blinds, cooler of iced drinks, kids watching a movie, wife nursing the baby, me reading a book – Heat-Busters! Or, in case that doesn’t work, a corner seat at Capone’s and something 16 oz. draft.”

DFO: Thanks for helping us out, HBOers. We’ll probably do an interactive thing again sometime soon.

Smith: Protesters Bring Back ‘60s Memories

Four members of ASAP, the loosely formed coalition of activists at the center of the July 4 Riverfront Park protest that ended with 17 arrests, met with Spokesman-Review staff Thursday evening for an informal conversation about the group, its members and their political and social goals. For many of us, the conversation was something of a nostalgic experience. I’m not sure how many of the people offended by the group on July 4th were themselves radical hippie anti-war protesters during the ‘60s and ‘70s. Maybe too many of the boomer generation have forgotten our own activist roots and how our anti-war, anti-establishment protests were received by our parents’ generation. My own parents, blithely disregarding my own politics, shoulder-length hair and bushy black beard, complained about smelly long hairs in ragged clothes promoting Communism, insulting the military and scaring the wits out of friends and neighbors — Editor Steve Smith/News Is A Conversation.

Full post here

Question: What were you like as a young adult?

Noon Question: What’s Your Middle Name …

… from A Matter of Opinion blog here.

All the attention certain conservatives pay to Barack Obama’s middle name is starting to get under Leonard Pitts’ skin.

Read his column from today’s Opinion page here:
What’s in a name? Nothing

Question: Now tell us your middle name and/or what you think of the tactic of focusing on Obama’s middle name?

Chicago Tribune photo

Online Poll: Favorite Harry Potter Book?

Which Harry Potter book is your favorite? — Idaho Statesman.

*Sorcerer’s Stone
*Chamber of Secrets
*Azkaban
*Goblet of Fire
*Phoenix
*Half-Blood Prince
*None

DFO: Early ones; they’ve gotten bulkier and less interesting as they’ve gone on.

Richert: Demo Response As Predictable As Heat

Sometimes politics carries precious little surprise. The long-expected federal lawsuit over closed primaries, filed Wednesday by a group of 71 Idaho Republicans, was a political story as predictable as another 100-degree high temperature. Equally predictable was the reaction from Idaho Democrats. Can’t say I blame the D’s. As I pointed out here on the blog Thursday, this Republican party purge offers the minority party a great opportunity to reach to the independent middle. Here’s what Idaho Democrats had to say about the closed-primary lawsuit. (A bit of backstory: I guess, as this previous blog post indicates, I’m one of those unnamed “others” who have drawn attention to the Dems’ presidential caucus.) — Kevin Richert/Idaho Statesman Opinion Editor.

Full post here

Question: Will Independents swing to Democrats as a result of Republican power play to close primaries.

Noah: Let Them Eat the House Brands


Noah Kroese/Spokesman-Review

RSPA: HBO Cute Coffee Cup Captions

Some of my early ideas for HBO cute coffee cup captions

Orange TV hates your joint!
Ask Herb how to make $ from urinals!
You’re a hammock Lesley Presley! Pepperoni!
Jayson Ronk, Pay Up Punk!
Anymouse? No thanks I buy my mice at Petco!
Homeskewlng Rokcs!
Maam I Roar!
Ask me about the Mike Kennedy LCDC Diet!
Athol Cadillac (photo of 86 Subaru Brat)
Rathdrum Cadillac (photo of 86 Subaru Brat)
Blanchard Cadillac (photo of 86 Subaru Brat on cinderblocks)
North Idaho Dog Show (photo of Kootenai Humane Society cages with mangy, barking dogs)
When my libertarian turned green I visited Dr. J for a cure!
What’s cookin’ Gookin?
Larry Spencer, say what?

Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel

Hucks Gone Wi-Fi w/Dick Haugen (Full Interview)


Spokesman-Review Photo

In 1999, Dick Haugen, then with KVNI, asks 9-year-old Heather Hendry if she snuck into her brothers’ rooms to collect loose change for Hayden Lake Elementary’s donation of $515 in loose change to the 1999 Child Abuse Prevention Campaign Thursday morning.

DFO: Were you surprised when KVNI fired you?
DH: I think shocked was more the word. I remember having to go to Spokane for a meeting and then being toasted over there and sitting in my car wondering what the hell just happened. They fired me and made me walk outside around the building. They wouldn’t let me walk through the building. Pretty bizarre.
DFO: Have you figured out what happened yet?
DH: I got an idea but I don’t dwell on it much any more. I’ve moved on. Their loss is KGA’s gain, in my opinion.
DFO: Is there any such thing as job security in the broadcast business?
DH: Not unless you own the station.

Newspaper interview here, complete interview in Extended Entry.

Parting Shot — 7/12/07

I was invited to photograph the J24 Districts on Flathead Lake with one of my good friends Tony Devoe, owner of a J34 – Whitestar. We motored around shooting and enjoying the race. I opted to shoot the entire time with the 400mm 2.8 on so I could get some tight shots. Sailing is very different up close vs. from a distance. It’s a magical harmony of crew members and amazing to watch. After shooting for three hours I was getting tired of bouncing up and down with only a 4 degree window of view through the 400mm lens — Craig Moore/Glacier World here.

Noah: Texas Welcomes Idaho Prisoners


Noah Kroese/Spokesman-Review

Related: Idaho to move 125 prisoners from Texas facility after concerns/John Miller, Idaho Statesman

Beating The Heat? SR Needs Your Input — Pronto


Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Victoria Wells, 7, is showered with frigid water on the splash pad at Bluegrass Park in Coeur d’Alene Thursday as temperatures go above 100 degrees.

Attention, HBOers; Regional Editor Scott Maben is seeking online input from tomorrow’s print Handle section re: the heat. Friday is suppost to be the hottest day of the year. So, put on your thinking hats, answer this question, and you might find yourselves in the print Handle section tomorrow:

Question: What are unique ways to beat the heat?

Online Poll: How’s It Going Financially

How is your financial situation? — Idaho Statesman

*Paycheck to paycheck
*Decent living
*Well off
*Retire
*Other

Update: By a margin of 49% to 37%, a plurality of 945 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say they live from “paycheck to paycheck” over “decent living.” Five percent said they were “well off.”

Breaking! Overturned Cattle Truck Closes Down 95

An overturned cattle truck has shut down U.S. Highway 95 in Idaho just north of Athol, the Idaho State Police reports. It is anticipated the closure will remain in effect at least until 5 p.m., the agency said. Motorists should expect long delays in both directions.

Groom Wants Help ‘Splaining NI to Future Bride

I am a big fan of your column and enjoy seeing some different perspectives in an otherwise stale media environment here in North Idaho. I am hoping that you could help me out with my wedding. I grew up in St. Maries and I am marrying a beautiful young woman from Buffalo, NY. To try to break the ice with her family (the wedding is going to be in Buffalo in September) I would like to give a little presentation on fun facts of Idaho. Things
like: “no, its not Iowa, or Ohio” and “not everyone here grows potatoes.” I would assume you have a lot of this type of material and I was hoping that you could share some of it with me.

Groom-to-be Gregory S. Thorhaug

Question: Anyone have some fun facts — or cultural insights — about North Idaho?

Aw

“You have to remember Friday is pajama day,” Boo told me as we were driving home tonight.

“OK, I’ll write it on the calendar,” I said.

“You have to remember because my brain is small,” Boo says. “I can’t hold lots of memories.”

Mommy Dearest/BrodH20

Parents Council: Should I Have Said Anything?

Last weekend we watched the parade in Bayview. Three children, ages probably 7 or 8, sat in front of us and gathered up quite a large share of the candy that was being thrown from the floats. There was no room in front for my eight year old son, so when the candy was thrown he got about 1/5 of what the three in front got. Those children never bothered to share or to move aside, and even accused my son of stealing from their huge piles (I was right beside him and know he did no such thing). But what really irritated me is that when the parade was over their mother came to get them and they all walked away, leaving a huge pile of candy wrappers on the ground where they sat. I watched this family gathering up their stuff and moving away and it was clear that their mother saw their mess but had no intention of picking up or having her children pick up their wrappers. I was already peeved with the children’s selfishness and accusations so I wasn’t in the mood to clean up their mess, but my question is this: should I have said something about their candy wrappers? I thought about saying, “Don’t forget your candy wrappers” in a friendly way, but I didn’t.

Rachel/Parents Council Blog.

Question: What would you have done?

Wanted: More Certified Nursing Assistants

Joni Coombe, who recently completed the Certified Nursing Assistant program at the North Idaho College Workforce Training Center, takes the blood pressure of current CNA student Shaun Quinn.

Dressed in purple scrubs, Joni Coombe gingerly lifts her patient’s arm and secures a print cuff around it. She then places one end of the stethoscope on the patient’s forearm, inserts her ear pieces and inflates the cuff, all with deliberate and carefully practiced motions. She stares intently at the pressure reader and listens closely. “110 over 80,” she says triumphantly over the final air hisses of the cuff. “That’s normal.” Coombe, a 53-year-old from Post Falls, received her official pin recently in a ceremony honoring the latest class of 15 graduates who completed the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program offered through North Idaho College’s Workforce Training Center in Post Falls. She is one of more than 200 CNAs who graduate from the program and enter the health care field each year.

You can find out at the end of the “extended entry” section why this post is special to me.

Chamness Corrects Kroc Miscommunication

Note: Major John Chamness of the Salvation Army sent the following after Family Phil found a Huckleberries Online post that said the Kroc Center would be built 4-5 feet above street level. In forwarding information from the project engineer to HBO, PRster Megan Beck erred in thinking that “grade level” meant “street level.” The grading plan that Major Chamness gave me this spring clearly shows that the Kroc Center was to be built below street level. You can find a link to the Q&A with Megan below.

I have avoided responding to Larry’s (Spencer) and others comments because all of their facts are plain wrong and I just don’t have time to deal with someone who is not after the facts. In the past when we presented the facts they (he) ignored the facts and continued with their (his) campaign of misrepresentation and false allegations. They have never spoken with anyone on the design team regarding any of these issues. If somewhere Megan or Steve said this then they made a mistake. We can go back at least one year maybe two and show how the building has always been designed below the surrounding properties. The building will be 3-5 feet above the parking lot so maybe this is where this is coming from but again the building has always been designed to fit below the surrounding grade as it was to expensive to fill to the street level, additionally we wanted to hide the parking as much as we could and reduce some of the street noise to the community rooms. The plans I brought with me during our interview has these elevations to prove this. Members of our design team will be responding publically this coming Tuesday night at the city council meeting.

Major John Chamness
Salvation Army

Fisher: Otter’s Call for More Tax to Fix Roads Is Right

If a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged, a tax raiser might be a tax opponent who’s driven some of Idaho’s roads. Someone like Butch Otter, say. Idaho’s governor is no friend of big government, or big taxes, but he knows that rants against higher taxes don’t build or fix highways. Dollars do. Tax dollars. Idaho’s roads need more of them, and credit Otter for recognizing that, and for being willing to tell it to his constituents. “I feel obligated right now to step up forward and say, ‘Folks, I’m sorry, but we’ve got to have it,’ ” the governor said the other day. “I think we’ve got to prepare the environment, and when folks say, ‘I’m sick and tired of paying taxes,’ well, folks, I’m sick and tired of paying taxes. But we’ve got to look to the need. We’ve got to look to the economy.” No liberal ever said it better. But no matter who says it, it’s true — Jim Fisher/Lewiston Tribune Opinion Editor.

DFO: I’d agree, except I wonder how much of the increased taxes will make its way to Highway 95 and North Idaho. The Kingdom of Ada has a habit of glomming onto road dollars, sometimes with the help of well-meaning Republican legislators, like Frank Henderson. Jim Risch knew how to protect North Idaho. Butch Otter hasn’t shown that same tendency so far.

Question: Do you support higher taxes to fix Idaho’s roads?

Christie Wood: SPD Blue Thinks SR Picks on Them

Item: Double standards/Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation

So (Steve) do realize that there is a perception that the Spokesman picks on Spokane Police? Some PD officers will tell you it is more than a perception, that is is actually fact. As an outside observer I can see why they feel that way. Doug Clark grinds away week after week. At one point last summer I ran into some Spokane officers who were in CDA enjoying the lake. Even off duty and away from the rat race they were questioned by individuals about what was in the paper that morning. I have to say they appeared pretty sad about it.

RSPA: Things That Give Me the Willies

1. Buying a plastic 2-liter bottle of soda in a convenience store and looking up to see Spokane Police Officers suddenly entering.
2. My first day on a job at a Walmart photo studio and having Dan Gookin show up and ask for “a glam shot that will make me look Mayoral”
3. Same as #2 but with Mike Kennedy ;)
4. Finally meeting Dan of the County at Twin Lakes and having him ask me if he could snap pics of me rope swinging nude on Lower Twin.
5. Finally meeting Bayview Herb and having him bludgeon me with his banjo and when I wake up I realize I’m buried in a red ant nest and I’ve got a really tasty potato salad smeared all over me.
6. Same as 5 except Herb’s loaning me a fiver and I notice it’s kinda damp as I fold it and put it in my wallet.
7. Wondering.
8. Wondering.
9. Getting hooked on Lower Twin Lakes by a couple of bubba fishermen trying to snag trophy sized pike.
10. Stumbling into a huge North Idaho marijuana field with resinous buds the size of my fist and meeting an AK-47 packin’ and bandoliered Alice Rankin who says “It’s the mulch, skippy, now vamoose before I cut you up like a homemade banana bread”

AM Hucks: Hot, Hunky, Able to Fillet Squirrel

At Huckleberries Online on Wednesday, Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel and Whippersnapper (shown in parentheses) debated what North Idaho wimmen want in their men. RSPA: Owns two (2) 1986 Subaru Brats and one runs! (W: WRONG! The Nickels Worth ad clearly says “… neither runs, but could make one good one from the two cars …” RSPA: Has jumper-cabled power AND cable TV to his singlewide. (W: WRONG! A woman oughta be fine with rabbit ears, else she’s a golddigger.) RSPA: Can cook up a batch of meth while making Top Ramen for her 7 kids for dinner. (W: WRONG! Ramen takes three minutes; meth takes at least a day and half.) RSPA: Sexy SS, swastika and Peckerwood gang tattoos on his forehead. (W: WRONG! SS tattoos go on the neck, gang on the back and only the SWASTIKA on the forehead.) RSPA: Prison pecs! (W: WRONG! Women love biceps and needle tracks just as much as pecs.) RSPA: Likes slow moonlit drives in the rain while humming romantic country music songs and jack-lighting deer. (W: CLARIFICATION: A real woman can handle the spotlight while riding redneck in your 1974 Ford F250.) RSPA: Knows which beer to serve with squirrel. (W: WRONG: Squirrel only goes with malt liquor.) RSPA: Never forgets his wife’s birthday because she’s his twin! (W: WRONG! For the record, twins marryin’ ain’t common. Cousins are OK, if they’re over 12.) Any questions?

Hump Day Wild Card — 7/11/07

We’re more than halfway through the week, HBOers. Remember that I’ll be on KGA-AM’s (1510) “On the Road with Dick Haugen” tomorrow at 11:30 p.m. Dick’ll interview new NIC prez Priscilla Bell first and then turn his attention to this blogosphere. Somewhere below this post, he has asked HBOers for questions that he might ask me. Feel free to post them. Until Thursday, you can use this Wild Card for your own threads …

After the Saffron Flowers

Drawn toward the land
of wind-polished stone
arroyos breeding rabbit brush
Joshua trees that curl
where hawks knife endless sky
and death is dry and clean.
I place my palm
on alabaster marble,
Buddha belly of
the newborn boy,
watch the desert
brown and cracked
crawl across my hand.

Sue Turner/Tumblewords

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 7/11/07

First, listen to Mike Wagoner’s “Going to the Lake,” and then read all about this talented North Idaho performer at Pecky Cox’s As The Lake Churns here.

*Put your hands together for Jen/A Butterfly Moment who is celebrating her 15th anniversary today with her best friend, hubby Arty, here.

*”As an adult,” writes Shinie/This Is Growing Up, “I just can’t seem to tolerate the heat. I don’t like to be cold. I don’t particularly enjoy extended time in overly air conditioned buildings. In the middle of winter, I’m dreaming about summer days, but at this minute, I’m dreaming about snow covered roads” here.

*In a routine update, Doug/Live Love Laugh Hope reports that Brandon Adam, the horrifically wounded soldier from Sandpoint, already is trying out his new legs here.

*Bayview Herb, a relative newby to the writing biz and nuance, suffers one of those down moments when your best intentions are misread and you’re castigated by someone that you respect here.

*If she were single again, Cis/From A Simple Mind, doesn’t think she could be one of those older women who shared their house with another woman for reasons of companionship or finances here.

HBO Numbers Tuesday: 4958 unique views, 8767 page-views.

Meanwhile, Not So Fast provides a summer reading list here, Freedom of Expression doesn’t trust medical e-records here, Slight Detour shares good family news here, The Pert Family Bloggers blog together here, BrodH20 describes her whirlwind week here, Un-Muted Mumblings provides 5 reasons why he loves Jesus here, Dogwalk Musings decrees that Sen. John McCain is past his prime here, F-Words cuts loose her Jane mag subscription here, Go Figure has barking dogs on the mind here, Notes on a Napkin warns us not to leave little boys unattended in a bathroom here, and JeanC can’t understand how anyone could leave a baby in a hot car here,

Camille’d Better Keep An Eye on Charles …

… He appears to be getting hands with one of the Brit troops here/TMZ.com

Hat Tip: MamaJD

Extra! 71 R’s Sue Ysursa to Close Idaho Primaries

A group of 71 Republicans is suing Idaho’s Secretary of State Ben Ysursa to force him to close Idaho’s GOP primary elections to Republicans only. The group, led by former state Sen. Rod Beck of Meridian, said Idaho’s open primaries violate their constitutional rights of association as Republicans. They are asking the federal court to find Idaho primaries unconstitutional and force Ysursa to close Republican party primaries to declared party members only.

Full post here

DFO: Now, let’s see if the D’s can capitalize on this latest Republican assault on Idaho citizens.

Question: Do you agree with this move?

Lady Bird Johnson, First Lady, 94, R.I.P.


AP File Photo

Then-President Clinton, left, leans in to listen to former President Bush, right, over Lady Bird Johnson during a dinner in honor of the 200th anniversary of the White House in this November 2000 file photo, in Washington. Lady Bird Johnson, a pioneering spirit who professionalized the first lady’s office and transformed the nation’s landscape, died Wednesday here.

DFO: One of my funniest missteps at the SR involved Lady Bird Johnson. Years ago, I wrote a column in which I mentioned the “late” Lady Bird Johnson, figuring she was pushing up daisies like her husband. As you can see, I’m finally right. But the sports writers never let me hear the end of it.

Question: Do you have any fond memories of Lady Bird (other than amazement that she married such a homely old coot like LBJ)?

Question: What to Do When Child Left in Car?

There is no excuse for leaving a child unattended inside a car, no matter the temperature. That was tragically illustrated recently in Orofino and Lewiston. A child is dead and a family is grieving as a result. On July 4, a 15-month-old Orofino-area boy was left alone inside a vehicle for several hours with temperatures soaring into the triple digits. He was dead by the time he was discovered, and his step-grandmother has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Less than a week later, a Lewiston woman has been charged with one count of felony injury to a child after leaving her 9-week-old son inside a scorching-hot car for more than 30 minutes. Fortunately, the child survived despite temperatures in the car having reached as high as 140 degrees — Moscow Pullman Daily News.

Full post here

Question: What would you do if you saw a small child alone in a car?

Online Poll: Ever Been Laid Off, Fired?

Have you ever been laid-off/fired from a job? — Idaho Statesman.

*Yes, more than once
*Yes, once
*No

DFO: Yes, three times — twice under age 20.

OnLocationNI: It’s LARGE …


Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

This week the largest pleasure vessel to sail the waters of Lake Coeur d’Alene will make its maiden voyage. The 60 ft. long, 14 ft. wide custom-designed sail boat belongs to Duane Hagadone, of Coeur d’Alene Resort fame. Duane is a life-long resident of the City by the Lake and known for doing things on a grand scale in his home town.The beautiful cobalt blue sailboat was created at Resort Boat Shop in Post Falls, Idaho, a work in progress since November 2005 — Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho.

Full post here

Mike Kennedy w/Dick Haugen …

The following is paraphrased from conversation going on at this moment between Dick Haugen and Councilman Mike Kennedy.

Dick Haugen: What about the attack video? It uses video to show you in a bad light.
Mike Kennedy: It is the silly season. The Press reported this morning that Dan Gookin did that. God bless Dan Gookin. He’s written a bunch of Dummy books — and he knows how to photoshop and use the Internet. My only disappointment is that they couldn’t edit out 30 or 40 pounds. At the end of the day, it is the political season. I would compare these guys to the Swift Boat group but that would embarrass Swift Boaters all around the country.

Dan of the County Needs You

One of the on-going challenges of administering local elections is planning for the number of ballots that will be needed for each election. It’s a bit of a studied art of educated guesstimates about past patterns and trying to predict how “hot” an upcoming election will be. You want to make sure you have plenty of ballots printed but try not to produce too many wasted ones either. Therefore I’m asking HBO readers to make some of their own predictions about the city elections this fall, especially the CDA race (we usually also conduct them for Hayden, Post Falls, and Rathdrum as). Looking back at the last 3 CDA city council races (one with the mayor position and two without) the turnout has been about 25% which translates into around 14,000 ballots — Dan of the County.


Question: So how many ballots should we order for this time?

And just for the fun of it, how many candidates do you think we will have for the 3 seats that are up? Actually, for all of the smoke, heat, and flame so far I am fairly surprised that no one including incumbents have actually declared. Will it end up being all smoke and no flame? It’s certainly not easy these days to be in public office or even run for one so I commend all who try.

Q: Why Are County Repubs Attacking CdA Council

I sincerely hope they replay the City Council meeting which took place, July 3. The people of Cd’A should see their council in action. I was there and I was shocked! Councilwoman Dixie Reid’s behavior was appalling. She verbally abused and lashed out at a concerned citizen as if she were a subject asking for something outlandish. I do not know the woman’s name who was there with a request, but the request was valid and sincere; she was polite and well-spoken — M. Kathleen Sims (former Kootenai County Republican chairman and state senator) in letter to Coeur d’Alene Press today.

DFO: I’ve been watching the whole Spencer/CAVE attack on the LCDC, Kroc Center, library and now council members Dixie Reid and Mike Kennedy with increasing interest. Do you realize that the attackers (Dan Gookin, Larry Spencer, Duane Rasmussen, Matt Roetter, Kathy Sims, and Sharon Culbreth) are all Republican stalwarts? Toss in Don Morgan, who circulated the controversial video this week, and you have the uberconservative wing of the local Republicans in full-assault mode against Mayor Sandi Bloem and the City Council (who are almost all Republican and possibly the most progressive council in my 23 years in Coeur d’Alene). So what gives? Is the official policy of the county Republican Party to attack the Coeur d’Alene council? (Remember: Republicans were also involved in the attack ads against Demo Mike Kennedy in the 2005 elections.) Or have these uberconservatives taken over control of the local party? This inquiring mind wants to know.

Question: Do you want the local Republicans to continue to inject party politics into nonpartisan Coeur d’Alene council elections?

Idaho Escapee: Coeur d’Alene Is Going, Going …

I honestly think it’s far too late to do anything about the CDA lake situation. And, I could literally feel CDA’s oppressive growth with every consecutive day. There are all these people in Kootenai County, and it’s staggering to think about the very limited lake access that exists for those who don’t have megadollars. I suppose this is no one’s fault; it’s just natural that things are more crowded. Of course, Sanders Beach wasn’t purchased by the City, either, even though there was a heckuva lotta time in which to do that. I can see a time when it’s gonna be difficult to see the river from the new portion of the Centennial Trail that extends west of CDA. And I saw a foto in the online Spokesman-review that showed, for all to see, how big, ugly and obtrusive the new condo near the golf course is. I used to like the relative privacy of the Rutledge Trailhead; now, there’s barely a skimpy line of trees between it and the Condo building. Coeur d’Alene is disappearing. Growth is uncontrolled and rabid. And it will get worse.

Idaho Escapee/Atmospheric Ruminations

AM Hucks: Mudslinger Uses Dirty Tricks

This fall’s Coeur d’Alene City Council election officially began Tuesday at Huckleberries Online when I embedded a video hatchet job on council members Dixie Reid and Mike Kennedy. It started unofficially when an anonymous producer posted the 102-second video on Google. The video portrays Reid and Kennedy as uncaring and tone deaf to citizen input. An inaccurate depiction. In one sound-bite exchange, which is interspersed on the video with such wording as “The Inquisition,” Kennedy challenges gadfly Larry Spencer after Spencer attacks the Kroc Center at a council meeting earlier this year. “Do you have a degree in construction management?” Kennedy asks. “Do you have a degree in engineering? Do you have a degree in municipal finance?” The video then interjects that Spencer is qualified to ask questions by virtue of his status as “a taxpayer” (although he lives in the Spirit Lake area). The attack agents catch Reid during one of her notorious mini-lectures reserved for residents who annoy her. “You can’t rebut me,” sez Reid when she’s interrupted by a speaker. “I listened to you. Now, you listen to me or leave. I don’t care which.” Reid tongue-lashed Spencer and Dan Gookin of CAVE (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) when they were misbehaving in the audience this spring. She’s facing re-election this fall. Ron Edinger and Al Hassell are, too. It won’t be a cakewalk.

OrangeTV: My favorite part of the video is when Sandi appears, riding on a cheesy fly-in video effect, looking pretty in pink, and appearing for apparently no other reason than to appear slightly amused during Mike K.’s “inquisition”. Also, I’ve always loved Dixie’s shred-em-up attitude. Here is a woman whose s**tlist you do not want to appear on. Word to tha lay-dees!

Related: Council conduct spawns Internet video: Clip is titled, ‘Dissent is Not Allowed in Coeur d’Alene’/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press; and: Reid, Kennedy target of viral video attack/Huckleberries Online

Question: Who do you think was hurt most by the Dan Gookin attack video: Dixie Reid, Mike Kennedy, Coeur d’Alene City Council, Gookin, Spencer, Citizens Against Virtually Everything, or the local Republican Party?

Wild Card/Tuesday — 7/10/07

It’s been pretty lively today on the blog, with the advent of the “Dissent in Coeur d’Alene — The Video!!!” (Don Morgan’s exclamation points, not mine.) We’ll be talking about this again Wednesday b/c I wrote my print columnette about the attack video. Also, the Coeur d’Alene Press is doing a story about the Google video. Until tomorrow, you can start your own threads with this Wild Card …

Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 7/10/07


Photoshop: Idaho Escapee

Idaho Escapee/Atmospheric Ruminations used this HBO photo post as part of a post about remembrances when things were cheaper here.

*I look back over the nearly forty years I have struggled with clinical depression, and one damning reality stands out: The harder I try to get my way, impose my will; the harder I try to hang on to something or someone, the more what I want becomes slippery and shoots, like a fresh perch, out of my grasp — Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’ here.

*In her latest 10-mile road trip, Inland Empire Girl and her escort ride the Barnaby Creek Loop and have photos to prove it here.

*Toadman/Synaptic Disunion writes:
“I must be naive. I must be a silly person with no grasp on reality. I have this sense in me that hopes against hope that people, specifically, the people I do business with, are being honest with me” here.

*Wayward Episcopalian has mixed emotions about the prostitution scandal that has enveloped Repub U.S. Sen. David Vetter of Louisiana here.

Meanwhile, Marmitetoasty and a matie see singer Rufus Wainwright in concert here, Sadness stalks Peanut here, Red State Rebels reacts to Micron layoffs here, and JBelle wishes a happy birthday in photos to PDX Pup here.

Huckleberries Hears …


Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

… that Duane Hagadone is launching his ha-huge sailboat at the Yacht Club on Blackwell Island, even as we speak. A crane was necessary, of course. According to a Berry Picker, it’s as out of place on Lake Coeur d’Alene as his 30,000sf house is on Sun Desert, with a 30-foot extension on the back that raises questions re: whether it fits within state guidelines for vessel square footage. Sez my source: “It’s a mega-yacht that belongs in the Adriatic Sea not Lake Coeur d’Alene.”

These Kids Know How to Jump in a Lake …

Although this was posted on YouTube a year ago, it shows some cool footage of gymnasts flipping off the rocks at Tubbs Hill (including one great belly flop). This short video came to mind because my brother Ray called again this afternoon from North Idaho College Beach to tell me how nice the water is. Ray’s pretty faithful in reporting how much he’s enjoying the North Shore while I’m working. He gets Sunday through Tuesdays off from his job at Frito Lay.

Question: Have you been swimming in one of our North Idaho lakes this summer?

Which Harry Potter Character Dies Next?

Which Harry Potter character dies next?
The latest Harry Potter movie is out, with the last book in the series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” to follow later this month. J.K. Rowling has hinted at the demise of one or more of the series’ main characters. Who do you think is most likely to die?

*Harry Potter
*Ron Weasley
*Hermione Granger
*Ginny Weasley
*Draco Malfoy
*Severus Snape
*Rubeus Hagrid

DFO: Draco

You can participate in the SR online poll at this link.

Hucks Gone Wi-Fi w/Dick Haugen


Spokesman-Review Photo

In 1999, Dick Haugen, then with KVNI, asks 9-year-old Heather Hendry if she snuck into her brothers’ rooms to collect loose change for Hayden Lake Elementary’s donation of $515 in loose change to the 1999 Child Abuse Prevention Campaign Thursday morning.

D.F. Oliveria: How long have you been in radio?
Dick Haugen: 34 years

DFO: Why radio?
DH: I originally wanted to be a Washington State Patrol officer but I was too short. I was 5-10 and at that point in time you needed to be 6-0 (without college degree), 5-11 (with two years) and 5-10 (bachelor’s degree). I had taken the civiol service tests in Tacoma. And I finished second in my class in the physical and the top 10 percent in the written. I used to hang out at a radio station in Tacoma when I was a junior in high school. And I liked what they did. As a senior, we built our own station at school.

DFO: What do you enjoy most about radio?
DH: I like talking to people. You have an opportunity to meet some interesting folks. It’s not physically hard. You get to meet interesting folks.

DFO: How has radio changed since you started?
DH: My first radio job was in Longview, playing records. I lived in Tacoma and drove to Longview. I made $2 per hour and worked weekends. So I made $24. My car got 8 mph. I slept in a cot in the back of the station. I cleared about $5 per weekend.


Up, Up And Away in my Beautiful Balloons …


Pete Erickson/Bend Bulletin

Balloons suspend Kent Couch in a lawn chair as he floats in the skies near Bend, Ore., Saturday, July 7, 2007. Couch, on his way to Idaho, carried a global positioning system device, a two-way radio, a digital camcorder and a cell phone. Story here.

Hat Tip: MamaJD

Study: Women Prefer Men w/Muscles

Item: Study: Women drawn to men with muscles/Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters

More Info: Muscular young men are likely to have more sex partners than their less-chiseled peers, researchers at the University of California Los Angeles said on Monday. Their study, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, suggests muscles in men are akin to elaborate tail feathers in male peacocks: They attract females looking for a virile mate. “Women are predisposed to prefer muscularity in men,” said study author David Frederick of UCLA.

Question (for women): What physical attribute do you find most attractive in a man?

Online Poll: Favorite Summer Treat?

What is your favorite summer treat? — Idaho Statesman.

*Ice cream
*Lemonade
*Popsicles
*Salads
*Fresh fruit
*Other

Richert: Sali Right in Seeking Congress Transparency

Item: Sali aims to increase transparency with submission of two new bills: Congressman is still looking for co-sponsors to helpback his legislation/Shawna Gamache, Idaho Statesman.

Kevin Richert’s: I think Sali is right on this — and that’s not something I say too often. It’s frustrating to try to track what Congress is doing and explain to readers (and prospective voters) where their elected officials stand, based on how they vote. And if a part-time state legislature can find the time to pass stand-alone, single-topic bills, then certainly a full-time Congress can get it done. Subjects are bundled into kitchen-sink bills in the name of horse-trading — and in the interest of hiding the ball. It doesn’t make the process more efficient. Full post here.

Question: Do you pay much attention to the votes and actions of your congressional delegation?

Idawa: Parents Surprised by CdA Resentment

Idawa: Here an interesting observation from my parents who moved away from Cd’A last July. They were in Cd’A for the 4th of July weekend and at all the parties they went to they heard friends tell them how “bad” it was getting in Cd’A and listened to a general tirade against growth (Kroc, new Hagadone Condos, etc). They were taken aback by the change in tone of their friends in only a year. They thought that people in Cd’A forget how good they have it. In Pocatello, where they’ve moved, progress has stopped. The city looks exactly the same as it did 15 years ago. The downtown is dead. The city is stuck in the 1980’s. All in all, it’s a boring, lifeless place. Be glad for change Cd’A, as a community it’s what keeps you young.

DFO: Indeed, the progress taking place now was something that we could only dream about in the early 1990s. Yet, some people want to turn back the clock or are fighting as hard as they can against the progress taking place. Amazing.

AM Hucks: Coming Clean on Coming Late

I’ll tell you a secret, if you don’t rat me out to CdA Parks Director Doug Eastwood and his wife, Dee. I enjoyed their daughter Valerie’s wedding reception at the Greenbriar Inn on Saturday. But I didn’t officially attend her wedding. Remember that “My Fair Lady” song – “Get Me to the Church on Time”? I didn’t make it. The wedding was at 6 p.m. An hour earlier and 15 miles away, I was at Rolane Hopper’s Vintage Barn Antique Show, near Garwood School, loading my wife’s Shabby Chic goods into a U-Haul. (Aside: I knew I’d entered an Estrogen Zone earlier when I heard one woman say to another: “I just spent $250 on two booths. What am I going to tell my husband?”) My wife did well at the show. So there wasn’t as much to haul back. Still, it took 45 minutes to load the van. I figured I could shower and sneak into the back of the church before the rice flew. All was going according to plan when we arrived at the church 40 minutes after the wedding march, except there was only one car in the lot. Moments later, after my wife and I rushed home to double check the time and date, we learned the wedding had lasted only 18 minutes. Jack and Candy Smetana caught us sneaking into the reception at the Greenbriar, pretending we were legitimate witnesses. I’m coming clean here because my conscience is acting up. However, I didn’t feel guilty enough Saturday to stop from going back for seconds on the stuffed mushrooms.

Wild Card/Monday — 7/9/07

Today is the first day in the rest of my summer. No shabby chic on the horizon, other than a garage sale this weekend to sell the items that survived the Vintage barn sale, including a coupla swell dressers (and a bunch of ‘60s albums that I’m finally parting with). The blog numbers continue strong despite the call of the beach this summer. Three days at or above 8000, including the 8868 from Tuesday. I can’t wait to see how far we can push the daily number this fall when local council races are sure to have an influence. But that’ll have to wait a coupla months. It’s time to play the Wild Card again …

Q: What Do You Do w/Barking Dog in the Hood?

It’s 1 a.m., and the dogs next door are barking again. Actually, 7:27 p.m. on the white-noise-machine clock, which never says the right time because I unplug it and carry it from room to room to hit “rain” or “crickets” or “ocean” to drown out the barking dogs next door. Sometimes I turn up music. I blast the fan in the winter, keep the windows closed in the summer. The dogs bark the split second I open a book in bed. They bark while the coffee is brewing at the crack of dawn. My dreams in between are filled with the timbre of snarling dogs. Let it first be said that I love dogs. Our messy house is a menagerie of children and animals – we have three kids, two dogs, two cats, two finches and a low-maintenance hermit crab. But the dogs next door bark and bark and bark — Kerry Madden/L.A. Times.

Full post here

DFO: This one hits close to home today b/c I was awakened at 4 o’clock this morning by the high-pitch bay of the yappy Beagle next door. The mutt starts baying the minute her owners’ let her out the door. Fortunately, the owners seem to realize this and usually are pretty careful when they let the dog out.

Question: How do you deal with barking dogs in your ‘hood?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 7/9/07


Bill Hughes, AP Photo/Bloomsburg Press Enterprise

Matt Grozier, 8, nods his approval as he drinks lemonade he purchased from his neighbor, Alyssa Boyd, 5, at her lemonade stand near Lightstreet, Pa., Sunday. Alyssa’s mom, Lorie, said the stand was her daughter’s first venture into entrepreneurship. Alyssa said she plans to put the money she earned into her piggy bank. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. “I hope my lemonade sign isn’t bigger than what the local ordinances allow!” — Idaho Escapee.

2. “And if you marry me, you can have all the lemons you want, big Guy” — Sweet Herb.

3. Hey, did you see those emails? Oh, yea, someone is gonna be in BIG trouble — Daug Gone.

HM: A Token D

Extra! Gag Order Issued in Duncan Case

Item: Gag order issued in Duncan case/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

More Info: U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge has issued a gag order in the federal case against convicted killer Joseph Duncan to quell pre-trial publicity. Attorneys in the death penalty case, all witnesses and prospective witnesses are barred from talking about the case, other than quoting from what’s already in the public record, according to an order Lodge issued Friday. “There is a reasonable likelihood that a fair trial by an impartial jury will not result unless appropriate steps are taken concerning the conduct of the trial and extrajudicial statements by parties, witnesses and prosspective witnesses,” Lodge wrote.

Question: Can Joseph Edward Duncan receive a fair trial in Idaho?

PM Question: Mid-Year Resolutions

We’ve all heard of New Year’s Resolutions, when we resolve to improve ourselves in the new year. But how about mid-year resolutions? I heard someone mention that July 1 is a good time to assess how we’ve done with the resolutions made between helpings of Christmas candy and New Year’s parties, to renew our commitment to them — and/or come up with some new ones. Two questions:

1. Have you kept your New Year’s resolutions?
2. What do you resolve to do between now and the end of the year?

Breaking! I-90 Blocked btn CdA & Post Falls …

Interstate 90 between Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls is blocked in the eastbound lane due to two separate crashes, according to Idaho State Police dispatchers. Traffic in the eastbound lane is backed up for some distance. One person suffered minor injuries in a two-vehicle crash near the Huetter rest area, according to reports over the police scanner. The crash involved a white passenger car and a black SUV, dispatchers said. Details on the second crash were not immediately available.

BrodH20: Recapturing Reba’s “Fancy” @ Karaoke Idol

Above, Mommy Dearest/BrodH20 tries to impress the Karaoke Idol judges with her version of Reba McIntire’s “Fancy.” But Jesse Tinsley wowwed Randy, Paula and Simon to win annual BrodH20 karaoke sing here.

Eye On Boise: Error-Reduction Bonus Had Error

In recent years, after staffing cutbacks, Idaho’s food stamp program was criticized by federal authorities for unacceptably high error rates. Then the state invested in more staffing, and error rates dropped. Now, the USDA is congratulating Idaho with a bonus for reducing its error rates. “I personally want to commend you for your achievement and encourage you to continue your efforts to improve program integrity,” Undersecretary of Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Nancy Montanez Johner wrote to Gov. Butch Otter on June 29th. “Proper administration of this important nutrition assistance program results in public confidence as we work together to provide services to needy Americans.” That letter said Idaho’s program had won a bonus of $541,679. But then, Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Roberto Salazar followed up with a July 3 letter to Otter saying, “We regret to report that there was a mistake in the formula we used to calculate the award amounts. As a result, the amount of your bonus in the June 29, 2007 announcement letter was incorrect.” The correct amount: $484,888. “We apologize for any inconvenience this revision may cause you” — Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise

Full post here

Question: Neighbors Who Don’t Care for Yards

In Orem, Utah, a 70-year-old widow and grandmother was arrested and hauled off to jail for not watering her lawn for the past year. Betty Perry told broadast reporters, “I never thought they would ever do anything like that to a person that is 70 years old. I’ve never bothered anybody, I’ve never hurt anybody.” I’d be more sympathetic except I have a neighbor at the entrance to our block off 15 Street that has allowed knapweed to grow in the public right of way alongside his house. It’s a lousy entrance to our stretch of homes. You can read about the Utah case here.

Question: Do you have a neighbor who has let his yard go to weeds or dead grass?

Update: Book Club (“Water For Elephants”)

Dunno where you guys are re: reading “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen, the first Huckleberries Online Book of the Month. But I’ve read the prologue and first three chapters. And am blown away by the writing and the tale. Hat Tip to the individual who suggested it for our first book. The prologue hooks you with a long-ago murder, an intro to the main character whose ninetysomething and reflecting back, a tragedy that pushed him into a life as a circus hand, and the rough underbelly of circus life in the old days. I’ve tried to limit myself to a chapter a day, simply to enjoy the writing and the tale. We’ll begin discussing this when Librarian Bette Ammon gets back from vacation.

OrangeTV: Local Thrift Stores Hold Treasures

I’ve been thrifting in this town for eons, and there have been times when I’ve come perilously close to joining the mad cult, but normally I prefer just casually looking around to see what random items turn up. I’ve come to know the local thrift stores and all their quirks. Seasoned thrifters know that each store has its own personality with high points and low points. We are fortunate to have a killer thrift mecca located right here in Midtown Coeur d’Alene, with no less than six stores perfectly arranged all on the same small stretch of land. I recruited my friend M. to provide a needed female perspective, and we headed north on 4th street for a sunny day of bargain hunting mania — OrangeTV/Making Flippy Floppy.

Full post and analysis of local thrift stores here.

Question: Which local thrift store is your favorite?

LCDC Spruces Up Fortgrounds Rentals

Item: Rundown CdA rentals get some pseudo-repairs: LCDC spruces facades of buildings headed for wrecking ball/Becky Kramer, Spokesman-Review

More Info: The agency spent $8,000 to paint the front of the houses, tear down rotting fences and hire a lawn service after Fort Grounds neighbors complained that the agency charged with removing blight was promoting it.

Question: Is this a good use of urban renewal district money?

Richert: Crapo Sez CNN Done Him Wrong

Sen. Mike Crapo says CNN did him wrong. The Idaho Republican became a poster child for the evils of congressional budget earmarking in in a June 28 piece on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees program. The program asked each senator to disclose his or her earmark requests. Here’s what CNN correspondent Drew Griffin said about Crapo. “One Senator’s office actually had a most creative response to our request. Republican Senator Mike Crapo’s press secretary told us that to release the Senator’s earmark requests to us would violate federal privacy laws. “According to Senator Crapo, telling the American people how he wants to spend your money is against the law. Of course, we did immediately ask for an interview. And his press secretary declined, saying they saw no benefit in explaining that.” (Click here for the full CNN transcript.) CNN didn’t tell the whole story, Crapo told the Statesman editorial board Friday — Kevin Richert/Spokesman-Review.

Full post here

Question: Is Crapo trying to spin this to address political fallout? Or was he done wrong by CNN?

Pia: Close Encounter w/Hendrix, Danish Postal Service

My dad … ordered (1960s) albums from England that you couldn’t yet buy in Denmark. I guess I was too little to understand the coolness factor of that - but I do remember my dad’s reaction when the mail-carrier couldn’t stuff the rather large, flat, cardboard envelope, containing one long awaited Hendrix album through the mail slot: We heard commotion at the front door - and arrived just in time to open the door and see the mailman *break* the box over his knee so he could stuff it through the offending slot. We lived on the fifth floor … I’ve never before or since seen my dad run down the stairs so fast … No, I don’t think the Danish postal service ever paid a dime for the album.

Pia

In Copland, We Need Protection From Cops

In Copland, the boys in blue act out their thuggery on teenagers playing dress up in black anarchy t-shirts with scary signs!,

In Copland, Otto Zehm was a badass who needed takin’ down,

In Copland, the stormtrooprz show the little kids picnicking in the park how far that stoopid US Constitution really takes you,

In Copland, the Prosecuter de minimus, Steve “check out this chip shot, boys!” Tucker will never charge the protesters because he knows his hacks could never match legal wits with the furious protectors of Free Speech who would love to go to court and tie his suits into pretzels and dunk them in beer,

In Copland, we all need someone to protect us from all the cops in Copland.

Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel

Signe: Running The Wall Street Journal


Signe Wilkinson/Washington Post Group

Online Poll: Favorite Thing to Do on Vacation?

What’s your favorite thing to do on vacation? — Idaho Statesman.

* Sleep in
* Eat
* See new things
* Spend time with family
* Visit friends
* Other
* What vacation?

BrodH20: Spreading Good Tears

Anyone who frequents here will know that I’m a bit of an amateur filmmaker. Normally, I make stuff that is either funny or at least entertaining (hopefully!) This past week I had a somewhat different assignment. Some of you may recall that our good friend, Gretchen, was in a horrible car accident about a month ago. She was seriously injured, and her brand-new husband Derrek was killed. Mommy Dearest and I were really excited to meet Derrek. Gretchen is one of our MOST spunky friends, and we figured he’d be the same. She was living down in California with Derrek, where he was in the Navy. She was planning on bringing him up for our Karaoke Idol party to meet. Instead, we attended his funeral today. So, I did what I could for Gretchen… I spent much of the last week making a memorial video for the service. It was a little strange for me to do… normally I’m trying to make people laugh with my videos. This one was supposed to make people sad. But I did it with gusto — The Otis/BrodH20.

Full post and Otis’ video here

DFO: Thanks, Otis.

Question: What’s the best way to help a someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one, particularly one who has died unexpectedly?

Question: Do You Feel Lucky Today?

Item: Do you feel lucky today — 7/7/07?/Tim Woodward, Idaho Statesman

More Info: Getting married today? You have plenty of company. The same is true if you’re betting on the ponies, spending the weekend in Jackpot or catching a plane to Vegas. For those who believe that seven is a lucky number, today is literally a once-in-a-lifetime event. The combination of the seventh day of the seventh month of the seventh year won’t come again for, well, another century. Yes, some women are planning to induce labor or have cesarean sections on Saturday, giving their children a special birth date that will last a lifetime. Nationally, three to four times as many weddings are planned for today as normal for a July Saturday. Prospective newlyweds consider the number seven as lucky in love as it is in gaming, where three sevens add up to a jackpot or a winning hand in Blackjack.

Question: Well, do you?

Toad: Is SR Looking for Video of Protester Arrests?

re: arrest of protesters in Riverfront Park by Spokane police on Fourth of July

Toadman: You know, with all the people down there, there’s bound to be a home video of this incident out there somewhere…is the SR going to do anything to see if there’s a citizen out there with a video?

Editor Steve Smith: FYI, we were offered a video taken by a protester. It shows St. John’s arrest but not the alleged assault that came before. The audio is not usable and the video isn’t that good. We decided not to post it online. We’ve been looking for additional video or photo documentation, but nothing else has surfaced.

Question: Do You Want to Know More About Reporters’ Lives?

Item: Do you want to know more about the personal lives of journalists/Editor Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation

Sam The Reporter: The entire reason why I have a personal blog is so that people in the public know more about me and realize that I’m just a normal person like them. I feel like too often people read the newspaper and equate what they read with the “corporate, liberal media” (kind of an oxymoron) rather than someone who lives in their town whose goal is to inform them. I am a normal person. I like to have fun, I have a wonderful wife and great friends and we do lots of great things. I know that the things we do are, for the most part, some of the same things that many of the people who read my articles do. I want them to see that the person writing their news is like them - and that I care about providing them with as fair and accurate information as I can provide. It might sound cheesy, but I really mean it.

Mebbe you guys who comment and blurk here can answer that question better than Sam, BrodH20, other journalist bloggers and I can. You’ve read us — in my case, for 3 1/2 years. You’ve seen us, for better or worse. Do you like that. Or do you like us spouting objectively (in news reports) and from ivory towers (columns and editorials). When you read our priceless prose in the news columns, does it help you fill in the corners of the picture by knowing us better from our blogs and interacting with us on the blogs?

TGIF Wild Card — 7/6/07

I got up at 6 this morning (which many of you know is an ungodly hour for this night owl) to U-Haul my wife’s Shabby Chic goods to that Vintage Barn sale in the Rathdrum area (22277 Ramsey Road, past Garwood School). Rolane Hopper’s 10 acres were crawling with vendors by 9 a.m. when I left. Editors for Country Living Magazine are suppose to be there tomorrow to chat up shoppers. But that’s not why I’m enthused about the show tomorrow. I’m celebrating b/c this is going to be her last sale. Translation: I get the other half of the garage back soon. While I’m celebrating, you can play this Wild Card …

BTW, I will interview Dick Haugen at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday for next week’s Huckleberries Gone Wi-Fi, to promote his new “On the Go with Dick Haugen” show in which he’ll interview local newsmakers for an hour, 11 a.m. until noon, weekdaily for KGA-AM 1510 radio.

Q: Should Residents Pay to Fix Sidwalks?

Item: Sidewalk repairs fall on residents: Property owners must fix concrete or face a tax lien/Melissa Pamer, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Some of Coeur d’Alene’s sidewalks are in such bad shape that city leaders are ordering repairs and invoking a 1909 law that requires adjoining property owners to foot the bill. City Hall last month sent out 182 letters to residents and business owners informing them they will have to pay to fix cracked and crumbling sidewalks adjacent to their properties.

DFO: I saw a young girl trip on the uneven sidewalk on 7th, north of Sherman, as we walked in the darkness to our cars after the Fourth of July fireworks. There’s a coupla horrible stretches there, caused by the roots of big trees.

Question: Is it fair to make residents pay for adjoining bad sidewalks?


HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 7/6/07

Family Phil’s caption for this: “I’ll help you down, Daddy. Don’t be scared.”

*Nic/Rants, Raves and Random Thoughts had the unhappy duty today of trying to explain to his 2-year-old that the family dog, Chara, died here.

*Mari/Dogwalk Musings is concerned that Al Gore is a man with a Messianic vision for the world and one who’s playing a cat-and-mouse game re: the presidency here.

*Frum Helen Back/Hauser Thoughts experienced her first bad Fourth of July celebration in 30-plus years at Hauser when a bunch of drunken yahoos with illegal fireworks started punching each other. Read July 5 entry first here.

*Mrs. Mac Energetic/Whatever Happened To … sez its time to pick up her father’s tradition of meticulously documenting important events in the year on a wall calendar here.

*MamaJD is trying to nurse “Sickly Pete” back to life after the sparrow survived what she calls the carnage of “Li’l Beirut” on the Fourth of July here.

*Marianne/Slight Detour posts memories of another Fourth of July in Sandpoint, including the one of being bumped twice in line while waiting to use the porta-potty here.

Meanwhile, Tumblewords pens a “Change of Pace” here, A Butterfly Moment sez every day has something to do with Jesus here, Al Turtle provides relationship tips here, Freedom of Expression had a blast camping here, Cis has no excuses for not getting things done now here, Live Love Laugh Hope eyes the beauty of garden flowers here, Silver Valley Girl celebrates a birthday and opens the Sixth Street Melodrama here, the Radon sage ends for Shinie here,

Quotable Quote —

“I don’t want to be here. I’m not into (messing) up my life for a cause” — protester Zach St. John from the Spokane County Jail re: his arrest for allegedly assaulting an officer during a Fourth of July protest at Riverfront Park.

Story here

AMOO Blog: Sad News for Gore, Good News for Prius


Al Gore III leaves the Orange County Jail on Wednesday afternoon in Santa Ana, Calif.

Anytime a young person gets arrested for a DUI, it’s a sad day for him or her and the rest of the person’s family. It can be a good wake-up call about driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Al Gore III was arrested yesterday for speeding 100 mph in his Prius. He was found with marijuana and other drugs in the car. But bloggers everywhere are marveling as some of us on the editorial board did: 100 miles an hour in a Prius! So much for its wimpy image. The irony here: Gore’s arrest could be the best boon for the image of the Prius. And the more people who drive hybrids, the better for the environment. A cleaner environment is Cause No. 1 for former vice president Al Gore.

To read some of the blog reaction on slate.com, click here.

Question: Which was affected most by Junior’s bout with booze/drugs: Papa Al’s image as a father? Papa Al’s image as an enviro?

Take 5: Priscilla, Priscilla, She’s Our Prez …

… Or Huckleberries Online reasons why interim prez Priscilla Bell prevailed to become NIC’s next Top Cardinal:

1. Dominant Republicans can’t tell whether or not she’s a closet Democrat.
2. Finalist Leah Bornstein pulled out of the running
3. She can schmooze with community movers and shakers
4. NIC will become the only college in the country with a female president whose middle name is Jeffrey
5. Finalist Ronald Kraft didn’t want the job
6. NIC faculty can’t tell whether or not she’s a closet Republican
7. Despite being born to a well-to-do family, she washed elephants and milked cows for Six Flags Over Texas to earn college spending money
8. She has endeared herself to towns people by asking them to call her Priscilla rather than Dr. Bell.
9. She hasn’t ticked off local businessmen more than they already are at the college
10. Kent Propst didn’t want the job. Nor did Jessica Bryan, Linda Cook, or the Cardinal mascot.
11. She looks so much like Mayor Sandi Bloem that oldtimers thinks she’s one of Crimp family
12. Other

Noon Question: Were You A Flower Child?


AP Photo

Item: Of Love and Haight-Ashbury: Missoulians who were there reflect on San Francisco’s Summer of Love, 40 years later/Jamie Kelly, Missoulian

More Info: San Francisco’s Summer of Love, 40 years old now, changed a lot of things. It brought the hippies out of obscurity and introduced them in a big way to the public. Who could ignore hundreds of thousands of people in one place? The hippies made their mark with fashions and ideas that were viewed by many as subversive, with ideologies that poked two fingers in the eyes of 1950s conformity, with drugs and music - and ultimately a self-absorption that would eventually destroy the movement.

DFO: I graduated from high school in 1967 in the small rural town of Gridley, Calif. I remained isolated for a year while I worked. But I encountered and lived among hippies as a college student from 1968 to 1972. Mebbe that’s where my Flower Child strain comes from.

Question: What were you doing during the Summer of Love 1967?

Smith: Spokane Cops Mum About Protest Arrests

There was considerable newsroom discussion this morning about the ongoing park arrests story. I have several questions I hope we’re able to answer through aggressive reporting. But – big surprise here – we’re not being allowed to talk to the principals in law enforcement. We were unable to reach Chief Kirkpatrick yesterday and Assistant Chief Nicks would not respond to specific questions, according to reporter Tom Clouse. I’d like to know if Kirkpatrick was involved in the decision to, first, disperse the small protest and, second, to begin arresting demonstrators. If Kirkpatrick was not involved, then what was the chain of command? Was this a series of decisions made in the field and, if so, by what officer? Do police photographers routinely photograph individuals involved in protest demonstrations? And on what grounds is such surveillance permitted? Didn’t we just have a dustup over police monitoring of PJALS? — Editor Steve Smith/News Is A Conversation.

Full post here

Related: Spokane paramedic switched Fire Department drugs with saline/Nick Eaton, Spokesman-Review

Question: What are Spokane area cops and firefighters always getting into trouble? And then why do the higher-ups always do something stupid like refuse to talk to the public via the media?

Richert: Public Has Right to be Weirded Out By E-mails

Item: “Shotgun” and “Uzi” and a tawdry trail of e-mail/Idaho Statesman Opinion Editor Kevin Richert’s blog

I argue both for the public’s right to know and for the public’s right to feel weirded out, which may actually tie together. Did this program collapse in 2005, in part, because of what appears an unstructured relationship between an elected official and a subordinate? It’s fair to ask. One other question: What were these two thinking? This is the kind of cyberchatter that can and does cost private sector employees their jobs. As Douglas said last week, in a considerable understatement, “It was a mistake to use my e-mail in such an informal way and I sincerely apologize.” Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, to his credit, has logged considerable miles going around the state to teach local officials about what the state Public Records Act requires of them. Does someone else need to follow up with a remedial lesson in the appropriate, professional use of e-mail?

Related: Prosecutor’s racy e-mails with employee termed just “sarcastic banter”/Seattle Times


SR: Higher Spokane Meter Rates Serve Purpose

Item: Our View: Metered response: Spokane has valid reasons to boost parking rates/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board (sans DFO)

Parking meters have been a sore point in Spokane since the days you could get 12 minutes for a penny, and the arguments for and against reflect 75 years of consistency. As the city considers a meter rate hike supported by Mayor Dennis Hession, expect to hear that on-street parking expenses will drive shoppers away, especially those from out of town. Also, that it’s just a way to bleed the citizens. The city of Spokane started considering “park-o-meters” in 1935, right after the first ones were introduced in Oklahoma City, and opponents quickly uttered the same criticisms we hear today. And then as now, the arguments for meters were simple. They produce revenue and they keep a handful of motorists from monopolizing the on-street parking.

Question: Agree? Disagree?

Pia: Spray-paint ban Won’t Solve Graffiti Problem

Let’s see: we have a graffiti problem – what should we do? How about we ban spray paint in the hands of teenagers, that should make it go away. Come to think of it we also have an obesity problem, so let’s ban bacon and throw in butter for good measure. That should take care of those extra pounds and heart disease, too. And there’s that meth problem that refuses to go away, so let’s make meth illegal now that we’re at it. You say what? Meth is already illegal? But then the meth problem should be gone – or I don’t understand the reasoning behind a ban at all. Spokane City Councilwoman Mary Verner is proposing an ordinance that would ban the selling to, or possession of, spray paint aerosol containers by anyone under 18. It’s going to curb our graffiti problem, says Verner, a candidate for mayor. I have a hard time believing it’s that simple — Pia Hansen/Spokesman-Review.

Full column here

Question: What’s the best way to address a graffiti problem?

Howard Martinson: Longo Great Choice for CDA Top Cop

Howard Martinson: Captain Wayne Longo is a fabulous choice for chief. Superb background in both practical police work and academically. I consider Wayne a great community leader and a friend. How many of you know he was the driver for the CdA Pirate Ship Float in the July 4 parade? I’ll continue to feel much safer here than in my hometown 30 miles to the West. Congrats, Wayne!

DFO: Speaking of Wayne Longo, Dick Haugen, the “Voice of North Idaho,” has lined up the new police chief for his first “Dick Haugen on the Road” interview Monday. Dick and Wayne will discuss Wayne’s new job from 11 a.m. to noon on Monday on KGA-AM 1510 at Great Floors. Dick tells Huckleberries that everyone is invited to drop in and say hello. He’ll be doing interviews with local newsmakers for an hour each day. You’ll find his featured speakers listed here.

Thomas Paine: Few Attorneys Want Prosecutor’s Job

Thomas Paine: Let’s face it, the desire to do the right thing is often not the only consideration when one thinks about running for prosecutor. As some have pointed out, it would probably involve a pay cut for many attorneys, a hard choice to make if you have a family depending on your income. And in light of recent events, anyone who chooses to run against Mr. Douglas will be put under a microscope by the media and the public. I know a lot of good attorneys who could do the job, but not many of them want to subject themselves or their families to that kind of scrutiny. Finally, its a political reality that they have to be a member in good standing in the Republican party if they have a prayer of being elected. What with closed primaries the next prosecutor will be picked in the next primary, not the general election. This of course raises an important point, where is the local leadership of the Republican party in this whole issue? By their silence they seem to be tacitly supporting Mr. Douglas on this issue. I suppose its better to have a tainted member of their own party than anyone from another party? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

DFO: Bill Douglas has made the prosecutor’s job controversial. Without the e-mail scandal, he would have been set up for the rest of his career in the prosecutor’s office. I can’t help but think there’s another enterprising young attorney who would like to have the power and prestige of being the county’s top law enforcement officer. Also, I’d guess, not all attorneys are earning more than Bill Douglas is right now.

Wild Card/Monday — 7/5/07

I’m on Shabby Chic duty one last time this summer, early tomorrow morning and Saturday. Translation: I get to drive the U-Haul loaded with my wife’s shabby chic wares to The Vintage Barn Antique Show in the Rathdrum area (22277 North Ramsey Road) tomorrow morning before work. The show is takes place from 9 to 5 Saturday. You can read about it here. How does it affect what we’re doing at HBO? I’ll probably arrive late for work Friday morning. But I’ll post some stuff tonight to get us going. Now, I gotta get outtahere to get the U-Haul. Here’s your Wild Card …

Green Libertarian: What Does This List Describe?

Without looking, can you guess what Green Libertarian has listed below and where he compiled his list? Guess before you look here. And don’t give it away afterward.

Blush Hip
Buff Beauty
Carefree Wonder
Complicata
First Kiss
Irresistible
Cherish
Intrigue
Happy Thoughts
French Lace
Playboy
Pucker Up
Summer’s Kiss
X-Rated
Stretch Johnson
Sexy Rexy
Home Run

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 7/5/07


Toadman/Synaptic Disunion

Toad wonders: “I’ve lived (in Spokane) for almost four years and have seen this sign just off Northwest Blvd. in Spokane since we moved here. It’s always been confusing to me, and a little humorous. Can anyone explain this to me?”

*JBelle/The ‘Kan EWA posts a letter to his family in Germany from her cousin, a new immigrant in this country in June 1846, here.

*Idaho Escapee/Atmospheric Ruminations not only considers Dubya to be the worst prez ever, but he has a photoshopped stamp to go along with his contention — along with a photoshopped picture of the nudist wranglers down Worley way here.

*”I haven’t seen Linda Davis since that night at Prichard Days,” writes Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’. “I have and always will consider her the Mother Teresa of kindness for how she helped me. But that’s the end of the story. Let me move to the beginning.” For the rest of the story, click here.

*Seems someone forgot to tell Marmitetoasty/Twaddle that you shouldn’t open the door to a washing machine while it’s loading, unless you plan to do a lot of mopping up here.

*”Celebrating Independence Day to me is awesome. I really enjoy the fact that we have a day where we can celebrate the fact that each other has the right to have a different opinion and voice that opinion without fear,” sez The Perambulator here.

Meanwhile, Inland Empire Girl presents the Fourth of July in her small E. Washington town here, PDX Pup is bracing for hot weather here, Red State Rebels is peeved that Idaho D’s get no respect here, Spokompton writes an open letter to President Bush here, and Wayward Episcopalian keeps us updated on the situation in Louisiana here.

Online Poll: What Do You Want Out of a Job?

What do you want most out of your job? — Idaho Statesman.

*More money
*Healthcare benefits
*Retirement benefits
*Work/family balance
*Other

Update: By 42% to 27%, respondents to the Idaho Statesman online poll say they want “more money” most out of their job, following by work-family balance.

Otter Puts Smiley Face on Future Road Tax Increase

Item: Otter grows into role as governor: Realizing that fixing Idaho roads means higher taxes is just one of the adjustments he’s made in his 6 months on the job/Gregory Hahn, Idaho Statesman

Butch Otter, whose mother named him Clement Leroy, has spent many years dreaming about being the governor of this state. But if you ask him whether one of those dreams was to tell Idahoans that he needed to raise taxes by some $200 million, he has a simple answer. Now that he’s six months into the job, though, he knows that’s exactly what he’s going to have to do. Some Idaho roads are deadly dangerous. Others are so congested they threaten local economies — Gregory Hahn/Idaho Statesman.

Full story here

James Bond: This one on one interview with the Idaho Statesman by Butch Otter … (is) in reality … Butch’s announcement that he will be supporting a $200 million dollar tax increase this year for roads. Unreal. I posted the information about how our state budget increases have FAR outpaced both inflation and population growth since the complete Republican takeover in Idaho in 1994, and this is just going to make it even worse. Government just keeps growing in Idaho under the Idaho Republican Party.

Question: Would you support another $200M in higher taxes for Idaho roads?

Movies & More: Thumbs Up for “Transformers”

I went to see “Transformers” yesterday and, despite the fact that it was directed by Michael Bay, I was pleasantly surprised. The film, which includes more self references than a Larry King interview, is a perfect example of a film’s quality emanating from its script. As one of the secondary characters says, “This is easily a hundred times cooler than ‘Armageddon,’ ” proving that Bay, all evidence provided by “Pearl Harbor” to the contrary, has an actual sense of humor — Dan Webster/Movies & More.

Full post here

Related: Transformers is explosive insanity/Tyler Wilson, Coeur d’Alene Press

Question (pick one or both): Do you plan to see the summer blockbuster, “Transformers”? Or, did you buy your kids transformer toys when they were little?

Editor Smith: Were E-mails Worth $$$ SR Spent?

After a couple of years of litigation, we’re getting our first look at the suspect e-mails involving Kootewnai County Prosecutor Bill Douglas and his employee, Marina Kalani. The story is still developing. Another 600 e-mails have yet to be released. But what we do have is sad stuff; sophomoric sex-talk between two public employees who ought to have been spending their time doing the business of citizens instead of making moon eyes at each other on the county’s clock. Recognizing we have hundreds of e-mails yet to come, (was Tuesday’s) release worth the tens of thousands of dollars we spent fighting in court for access and the time and the money Kalani and Douglas spent trying to keep their communications private? — Editor Steve Smith/News Is A Conversation.

Take 5: Who Looks Worst in Douglas-Kalani Flap?

Item: Douglas e-mails released: Drug court tensions revealed/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review, and: Flirtation called innocent joke/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

Question: You’ve read an account of the latest batch of e-mails between Prosecutor Bill Douglas and former youth drug court director Marina Kalani. Now, you tell Huckleberries Online who you think looks worst in this whole sordid affair?

1. Bill Dougas
2. Marina Kalani
3. Rick Baughman
4. ICRMP
5. County commissioners
6. Comic Relief
7. Spokesman-Review
8. Coconut Willy
9. Uzi
10. Other

Faces of CDA’s Parade — Patton Command Car


Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Reviw

Here’s the parade entry that caused to much controversy prior to the Fourth of July — a replica of General George Patton’s command car with a theatrical 50-caliber gun that was suppose to fire off loud bangs. Fortunately, the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce decided it wasn’t worth fielding the complaints again this year — and muzzled the gun. However, the entry was fairly entertaining to see, with legislators John Goedde and Marge Chadderdon riding in the back.

Question: Which was your favorite parade entry?

Sanders Beach Owners Hire Private Security

Item: Sanders Beach owners turn to private security/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Sanders Beach property owners have hired private security to patrol the popular Coeur d’Alene beach nights, weekends and holidays such as Independence Day. The owners say it’s a way to educate the public about where private property ends and public land begins while getting better security than what the Coeur d’Alene police provide.

DFO: I have no problem with this arrangement, as long as the Sanders Beach owners know that their property ends at the waterline — and their security has no right to intimidate anyone who’s wading just off shore.

Question: Do you still use Sanders Beach?

Q: Did Spokane Cops Squash Protesters’ Rights?


Dan Pelle/Spokesman-Review

Protesters with their hands bound behind their backs yell and cry out to police after their arrest near the clock tower in Riverfront Park in Spokane Wednesday.

Item: Celebrating, clashing over freedoms/Jonathan Blunt & James Hagengruber, Spokesman-Review

This is a disgraceful way for the police to behave. That it happened on the 4th of July and placed the rights of a corporate event sponsor over those peacefully protesting abuses of police power are no small ironies. Since when did donning a uniform give officers the right to behave like common thugs? “Under the Clocktower in Spokane’s Riverfront Park, 17 people protesting police brutality were arrested about 6:45 p.m. as people gathered in the park for Neighbor Day and the annual firework displays. “Officers charged the group, which included self-proclaimed anarchists and other teens and young adults, after ordering them to disperse. One arrest was after what police say was an assault on an officer. Protesters dispute that” — Frank Sennett/Hard 7.

Full post here,

Question: Did Spokane police overdo it?

I Lova Parade — Grand Marshal Ace Walden


Don Sausser Photo

At the Fourth of July Parade Wednesday, Grand Marshal Ace Walden, Kerri Thoreson and Ruth Pratt enjoy their moment in the sun.

Question: Which entry was your favorite?

Gone Wi-Fi w/ “Full Monty” Actor Robby French Today

OrangeTV: Remember last summer when I wrote about that hilarious drag queen show featuring a couple of the Summer Theater actors? You should ask Robby French if he’s heard if “Miss Vera” and “Black Diamond” are planning a show again this for summer (I don’t remember their real names). He didn’t actually have anything to do with it, but it seems like he would know the details if it were happening…that was one of the funniest shows I’ve seen in my life, I swear …

DFO: Indeed, I’ll ask Robby about “Miss Vera” and “Black Diamond” when I interview him online live, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Robby’s a Lake City High grad. I’m looking forward to the interview, as always. Anyone else have questions?

Hot Potatoes: Nickled, Dimed in Downtown Spokane

A close encounter with Meter Readers has transformed another motorist into a former downtown Spokane cuss-tomer. Seems “Janette” tried to beat the Spokane parking jinx June 27. At 4 p.m., she pumped 20-plus nickels into meter No. 2575, near The Onion restaurant. In fact, she pushed in an extra nickel to ensure that she was covered until 6 p.m. However, she noticed she didn’t get extra time for that last nickel. It was a sign of things to come. In reading Janette’s comment on Huckleberries Online, I was reminded of my January encounter with Diamond Parking as a result of a botched attempt to use the confusing automated machine in a parking lot near the Opera House. But let’s return to Janette’s story. She found a ticket on her windshield when she returned to her car and noticed that the meter had shorted her 40 minutes. Her reaction? “I’m thinking twice about my next parking-necessary visit if the city can’t get its meters working right,” she said. “I can walk to a salon near my house. But I prefer the atmosphere and service of downtown business.” And you wonder why “shop local” themes resonate elsewhere in the Inland Northwest? (You can find remainder of today’s Hot Potatoes in Extended Entry)D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review.

Question: When did you last get a parking ticket?

Fourth of July Wild Card — 7/4/07

In a way, it’s a shame that we’re off today — what with the new Douglas-Kalani e-mails and all. We have a lot to discuss. But that can wait until Thursday. Today, we have a parade to attend, picnics to eat, family and friends to visit, and another great Fourth of July show to watch tonight. On Thursday, I’ll interview former Lake City High thespian Robby French for Huckleberries Gone Wireless at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Robby’s one of the stars of the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre production of “The Full Monty.” Until then, you can use this Wild Card to start your own threads …

Online Poll: Your Favorite ‘80s Article of Clothing

What is your favorite article of clothing or accessory from the ’80s? — Idaho Stateman.

*Leggings
*Pegged jeans
*Anything neon
*Wide belts
*Skinny ties
*Big jewelry
*Other

Imagine, Idaho Escapee Style

Imagine there’s no clothing
I wonder if you can
No need for jeans or tank tops
A nakedhood of man
Imagine all the people
Living life unclothed…you-ooo..
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
The world will remain a nice place
If we just keep our clothes ON.

Idaho Escapee/Atmospheric Ruminations

OrangeTV Lists Personal E-mail Faves

Nothing TOO outrageous, really. Maybe the next round will be juicier. Meantime, these were my personal favorite moments:

1. Bill dressing up as “Puff Daddy Combs” for a party
2. Marina’s proposed Christian music CD
3. Bill turning his “boomer bass” up to 30 and “thumps with Sean Paul?” Wow, Reggaeton? Who knew the guy was so up on the musical trends.
4. Bill Douglas wears a “John Kerry coat”
5. Marina: “Thinking about you.” Bill: “Me here, ditto.” Ditto? What a romantic guy.
6. Bill wants Marina to wear a “blue sequined gown” for the drug court brochure photo shoot. Isn’t that overdressing a little?
7. Bill refers to his PC as his “pewter”
8. Marina needs a drug fix so bad she’d “settle for cold medicine”
9. Marina’s mad when Bill offers to give her a laptop, and she doesn’t even get to sleep with him for it.
10. Bill: “Nerds Control the World”
11. Marina possibly gets paid $300 just to sing the Hawaiian wedding song.
12. They look forward to dining out at Thai Bamboo. Thai Bamboo totally rocks.
13. Marina quotes Bill some really cheesy Heart lyrics, and then breaks down, typing “When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When? When?” and so forth like an insane person.

OrangeTV

Parting Shot — 7/3/07


Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It

Kootenai County Sheriff Rocky Watson, who lost a brother to war, salutes the flag and those who have fallen during ceremonies at the Rankin Veterans Memorial Plaza today.

HBO’s Best of the Friends Blogs — 7/3/07


Craig Moore/Glacier Life

During his recent travels, Craig Moore/Glacier Life photographed this viewtiful scene in Rocky Mountain National Park in eastern Colorado here.

*The Wayward Episcopalian declares the mainstream media — as well as the blogosphere — a huge failure when it comes to pinpointing the continuing need for Hurricane Katrina relief here.

*”I don’t understand what the big fuss over the new iPhone is. From what I gather, it is a cell phone that you can browse the internet and listen to your music. Am I right so far? What is so revolutionary about that?” wonders the Perambulator here.

*Usually, JBelle/The ‘Kan EWA believes in a live-and-let-live philsophy at Bellemaison — no herbicides or pesticides — but you can find out why she’s packing heat now here.

*Toadman/Synaptic Disunion stops to smell the roses and look at the Eastern Washington University campus, one of the most beautiful in the area, he sez here.

*On the Oregon Coast, Idaho Escapee/Atmospheric Ruminations has ditched his parakeets b/c they were too noisy and picked up four finches here.

Meanwhile, Inland Empire Girl remembers Silver Valley Girl’s birth here, Raymond Pert reviews “Jesus Camp” here, PDX Pup knows what she should be doing but is easily distracted here, TUBOB explains why he’s been missing in action here, and Idawa provides a ranking of the top law schools in the West here.

Douglas: E-mail Content Grossly Exaggerated

While the instant efficiency of e-mails lends itself to informal conversation, my situation shows how casual communication can be preserved and misinterpreted forever. I hope these 3 year old e-mails are reviewed in their full context. In the words of the Idaho Supreme Court, they are mere “informal communications between an employee and her supervisor.” Most of the 597 e-mails addressed by the Idaho Supreme Court are simple greetings, replies, and e-mails forwarded to my office by other public officials. Both the number and content of the e-mails have been grossly exaggerated.

Several of the e-mails are sarcastic exchanges and are only making fun of malicious gossip mongering. E-mail sarcasm and humor was a way to poke fun at and deal with cruel rumors and pettiness. Some of the e-mails express frustrations by Ms. Kalani and me about the JET program. They were never meant to be taken out of context. My wife, Geri, whom I have loved during 34 years of marriage, has reviewed these e-mails in their entirety, and long ago publicly stated that she had no concern. However, it was a mistake to use my e-mail in such an informal way and I sincerely apologize.

Neither my department nor I will use county e-mail again to send jokes, express sarcasm, or transmit anything that may be misinterpreted. As an elected official I take full responsibility and ownership for my own e-mail use and my department. In our busy office, I have sent tens of thousands of e-mails in the conduct of official business. A few “will believe what they want to believe” regardless of the e-mail content. When read in their full context, they contain nothing more than innocent sarcasm, humor to brighten the spirit of an employee, and joking conversation.

Bill Douglas
Kootenai County prosecutor

Full Douglas’ statement here

APhoto of the Day — 7/3/07


Lisa Poole/AP Photo, Daily News

Lou Perry, of Gloucester, Mass., takes the flag and wins the Friday greasy pole contest during the Saint Peter’s Fiesta, Friday, June 29, 2007, in Gloucester. Perry advances to the Saturday competition. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. “It’s not unlike walking this pole to get this flag,” said Oliveria explaining how he manages a successful blog during an in-house discussion on blogs at The Spokesman Review. “That looked easy enough, eh? Now you do it” — Tennessee Top Hat.

2. Realizing he’s on a slippery slope, Larry Spencer again goes out on a limb to attack the Kroc Center — John Austin.

3. At the end of the Greasy Pole Contest, the competition organizers announced that the pole had been greased with bird excrement — Nic.

Jaybirds Aren’t Only Thing Nekkid Down Worley Way

Remember Melissa Pamer’s assignment to cover the Sun Meadows Resort (new nudist camp near Worley) Monday? Well, she did. And she snapped a coupla tactful photos to go with her Spokesman-Review story for tomorrow. CDA photog extraordinaire Jesse Tinsley shot some, too — and opined that he’s heard that the sexual tension is removed when everyone’s nekkid. I asked him if he’d tried out his theory. He hadn’t. He’s not into participatory journalism. BTW, Jesse wants me to admit that this photo is a blatant play for page-view hits.

Question: Could you see yourself unclothed at a nudist camp?

Family Phil: Old Glory Raised Over Rankin Plaza


Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It

Family Phil was on hand today with other local residents as Kerri Thoreson (lower photo) and others raised Old Glory over the Ron Rankin Veterans Memorial Plaza at the Kootenai County Courthouse. Phil remarked that it was terrific to hear Kerri read a speech by her late father, Ron Rankin.

Daily Briefing: ME Graham Changes Marks’ Story Play

I made an early evening decision on our coverage of the Jimmy Marks funeral that left more than a few of my newsroom colleagues unhappy and scratching their heads. Columnist Doug Clark and political reporter Jim Camden both attended the funeral and filed their respective reports. Both reporters, and photographer Chris Anderson, did an absolutely fine job of capturing the details of the rather unusual scene. As I was reading the stories prior to publication it occurred to me that we were about to devote a great deal of space and prominence to a funeral of a colorful and well-known character, but one whose impact in this community is certainly debatable. I felt we were about to overdo our coverage, so I asked that we move Camden’s story and Anderson’s photo inside the local section instead of using it as the main element on the Northwest page. I also felt that the Stevens County wildfire story by Nick Eaton and the photos by Anderson (a busy guy yesterday) met our daily goal of giving breaking news a high priority — Managing Editor Gary Graham/News Diary.

Jeff Bunch provides Daily Briefing coverage of same matter here.

Question: Did Editor Graham make the right call to not overplay coverage of Gypsy leader Jimmy Marks’ funeral?

Spokesman-Review Photo of the Day — 7/3/07


Bill Morlin/Spokesman-Review

Gerald O’Brien, of Coeur d’Alene, (center) was among 8 neo- Nazi skinheads who demonstrated Saturday outside the Spokane County Courthouse, commemorating the legacy of the late David Eden Lane, a member of a 1980s domestic terrorist group called The Order.

Question: Would it be possible for local racists to regroup and return to their “glory days” achieved here under Richard Butler?

BBC Poll: Global Warming Over-Hyped

Item: ‘Scepticism’ over climate claims: Poll suggest public not buying concerns by politicians, scientists/BBC News

More Info: The Ipsos Mori poll of 2,032 adults - interviewed between 14 and 20 June - found 56% believed scientists were still questioning climate change. There was a feeling the problem was exaggerated to make money, it found.

Question: Have humans had a significant effect on weather patterns?

Angela: Why Do You Rip the Press?

As a newbie to the CDA blogging world, I’m purely curious - what is the motivation behind constant criticism of the Coeur d’Alene Press? Honestly?

a. Hold the Press to a higher professional standard. (At times, I try to force the Press to cover things it might not do. Or to provide fuller coverage. At times, I’m being petty.)
b. To point out how awesome the Spokesman Review is (It is a good paper with a different mission than the Press. We focus on the Inland NW, not just North Idaho. The Press strictly focuses on the greater Coeur d’Alene area.)
c. To meet some needs based on past grievances (As a budding counselor, you’ll have to provide the psychological analysis on this one. I just write and let the chips fall.)
d. For fun (Bingo)
e. Personal dislike for specific writers (Absolutely not. I like the individual Press writers I know. Even Editor Mike Patrick and I are friendly toward each other when we meet.)
f. Hatred towards Hagadone (I have a strong dislike for the way Hagadone treats people, particularly grunt employees. But not much feeling toward him personally. I doubt that he’s someone with true friends, even in high places in his organization. He’s pretty closed off.)
g. Nothing else better to do (You read the blog, so you know that there’s plenty to discuss in this viewtiful community of ours. Generally, I wait for an interesting misstep by the Press rather than a generic one. It was worth noting that the Press didn’t cover the Kroc Center ground breaking b/c it could reflect anger by Mr. H toward Her Sandiness and the project.)
h. It’s easy (Indeed.)
i. Other…? (I feel an obligation to keep an eye on HagaCorp and its newspaper b/c few other are in a position to do so — and report on it. )

Angela

DFO: Angela, thanks for this comment post and for being part of the HBO blogosphere. I delayed posting this b/c I wanted to think about it for awhile.

Online Poll: How Do You Celebrate Mid-Week Fourth?

How do you celebrate a mid-week holiday? — Idaho Statesman.

*Whole week off
*Long weekend
*Day off
*Don’t celebrate

DFO: Day off

Smith: Insurance Blocks Local Iraq Coverage

At the start of the war, we credentialed embeds for local units. And then the units we worked with were reassigned before deploying to the war zone. Our embeds at that time, both reporters and photographers, were covered by special insurance riders that would have provided good coverage in the event of injury or death. But since 2005, our insurance companies have declined to provide similar coverage. Special policies bought on the open market would cost us $25,000 per staffer for three months, and that’s assuming they would go as military embeds. I’m not sure we could find anyone to insure someone going independently without the limited protection of the embed relationship. The big media companies self insure or they send staff without special insurance relying on waivers signed by the reporters. We can’t do the former and I think the latter is unconscionable. I just won’t do it. Staff or freelance, if we want the coverage we should pay to support it. If we can’t pay, no play. I know journalists need to be in Iraq and Americans need to know what is happening. And I honor those who make the requisite sacrifices. But I won’t be a party to helping someone go to Iraq without the financial support necessary to cover worst-case contingencies. Am I comfortable with this response? Absolutely not — Editor Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation.

Full here

Question: What would you do if you were Editor Steve Smith in this situation?

Katrina: It’s OK for Some to Touch Pregnant Belly

To be honest, it didn’t really bother me. It was mostly old ladies who would go on to excitedly regale me with tales of kids and grandkids, and I took it as their way of reconnecting with their own experience of motherhood. It truly is an amazing time, and I can understand that desire to link your experience to that of women everywhere. Of course, if it’s a weird, creepy guy in an orange jumpsuit, that’s another story.

Katrina/Notes on a Napkin

Raymond Pert: Libby Gets Break, Kendra Doesn’t

Raymond Pert: Yes. Scooter has demonstrated that he has recovered from his meth addiction. Clean and sober he is a responsible father. He needs to be home with his child. Obviously, the judge overstepped in punishing him when he has done so much to straighten out his life. Isn’t the rehabilitated Scooter exactly the sort of person we should not be punishing? Scooter knows he screwed up and he’s turned his life around. Bush has made prudent and wise use of his executive power to commute Scooter’s sentence. Oh! Wait a minute … uh, wrong story.

DFO: Indeed, Bush has time to pardon a fellow who was trying to do his dirty work — an executive overruling the court system. But Pontius Pilate Otter can’t be bothered with one of the few success stories of the penal system: Kendra Goodrick. F’shame.

Anderson: Surviving Immigration Reform


Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Parting Shot — 7/2/07


Christopher Anderson/Spokesman-Review

Bobby Marks gestures toward the casket of his brother Jimmy as the Marks family funeral procession stops outside the City Hall of Spokane earlier today.

You can here columnist Doug Clark’s new song about Jimmy Marks’ death here

Question: Much has been made of Jimmy Mark’s curse against the city of Spokane. Do you believe in Gypsy curses?

Update: Would You Vote for Hillary?

Would you vote for Hillary Clinton for president? — Lewiston Tribune.

*Yes
*No
*Too soon to say

Update: 68% of 538 voters in the Democratic Lewiston Tribune circulation area said they wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton for president.


HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 7/2/07

Annie Love/All You Need Is Love seems to be sitting on top of the world in this photo on the Slight Detour blog of Marianne Love here.

*Silver Valley Girl will be celebrating here 44th birthday tomorrow. So she reminisces about events and circumstances surrounding her birth here.

*Bayview Herb provides all you want to know about this weekend’s Bayview Daze and more on his Bay Views blog here.

*Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It explains why he loves living in Coeur d’Alene here.

*Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns reports with fingers crossed that Northern Lights will have the lights back on in her area by late Tuesday night and provides a 30-second video clip of the storm on Priest Lake here.

*Scurvey Jake gives thumbs up to The Office, a newer restaurant in Post Falls that features decent bistro portions and higher prices here.

Meanwhile, Shinie enjoys her 10-year reunion here, The Otis already is taking emergency measures on the Nautiyacht here, Dr. J looks at ER visits Top 10 here, Cis has a name for the big wind here, F-Words shares thoughts about Grant 2006 campaign here, Idaho Native discovers her brother is going to Iraq here, JeanC shows off her new fish tank here, John Rook is keeping tabs on singer Jimmie Rodgers’ medical condition here, Live Love Laugh Hope provides another update on Brandon Adam’s condition here, Psychobabbles is studing Japanese-American funeral customs here, Nic celebrates his awesome shirts here, Road King’s happy with his paint job here, Un-Muted Mumblings reviews “King Arthur” here, Whitecaps points out that U.S. attorneys are first responders, too, here, and Mrs. Mac Energetic loses and finds her dog here.

Inside Huckleberries — 7/2/07

*Don’t forget that flag-waving ceremony at the noon Tuesday at the Rankin Veterans Memorial Plaza at the courthouse. Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho — Ron Rankin’s daughter — will love to see you there.


*I’ve asked CDA Summer Theatre PRmistress Connie Sagona to line up a Huckleberries Gone Wireless interview for me with Robby French (the guy who kept running up the walls in “The Full Monty”). Why Robby instead of Ellen Travolta or one of the others? Robby is a former Lake City High actor who seems to be going on to bigger things.

It’s … Priscilla

North Idaho College just announced it has offered Priscilla Bell the permanent job of president. Bell was named interim president when NIC President Michael Burke left in late February to become president of San Jose City College. Bell was not one of two finalists chosen recently by the NIC board. However, both those finalists withdrew from consideration because of other job prospects, and Bell was moved up from a semifinalist spot. Bell was president of Highline Community College in Des Moines, Wash., from 2000 to 2006. That school serves about 18,000 students a year. She previously had been president of New York’s Fulton-Montgomery Community College.

You can read NIC PR release in extended entry section

In Downtown Spokane: A Sign of the Future?

Ken Paulman: “I just spotted this thing by the (Spokane) library downtown. It’s got three wheels, and said “zap!” on the side …”

DFO: I can’t imagine driving something like that, no matter how bad things got re: gasoline. I’d try a motor scooter first.

Question: What would you drive if we began rationing gas or the prices really got out of sight like they are in the Bay Area?

Q: How Many Lawyers Does It Take to Order Popcorn?

As I am walking to the restroom, Papa J.D. asks what would I like. I respond, “A medium coke and a large extra buttered popcorn.” He gives me this puzzled look and asks, “Do you mean large popcorn with extra butter?” I ponder for a slight second and confirm what I thought was obvious. “Yes,” I replied. Then I walked to the restroom. At least I thought it was obvious. Is there a difference that I am unaware of regarding “extra buttered popcorn” vs. “popcorn with extra butter”? Huh? Why did I feel as though I was corrected by Papa J.D.? He was, in fact, an English major in undergrad and, therefore, can be a stickler for grammar and wordchoice. I was a Poli-Sci major because majoring in English required too much work. So - perhaps I mis-stated something or was wrong in how I stated “extra buttered popcorn”. Was what I said wrong somehow — MamaJD.

Full post here

Off Limits: Pregnant Women’s Tummies

Item: Pregnant paws: Expectant moms say Tummy is a no-touch zone/Melissa Cassutt, Colorado Springs Gazette

Wise Counsel: “Whatever your good intentions, beware. Before you reach out your hand to feel the belly of a pregnant woman, consider whether you need that appendage. You might just pull back a stump.”

Question (for women): Do any of you think it’s OK for others to touch your stomach during pregnancies?

Grant Announces Bid Against Sali …

Larry Grant is going to try again. The former Micron Technology vice president and Fruitland resident has filed with the Federal Election Commission to run against 1st Congressional District Rep. Bill Sali. Grant lost to Sali in November/Gregory Hahn, Idaho Statesman.

Librarian Bette: “Water For Elephants” Discussion Pts.

Bette Ammon told me a few minutes ago that there are only 1 or 2 copies of the first HBO Book Club reader, “Water For Elephants,” left at the Coeur d’Alene Library. She ordered 10 for the first reading this month, courtesy of the Friends of the Library. We’ll begin discussion Aug. 1 at the latest.

Dave asked me to create some discussion point ideas to think about as you read “Water for Elephants.” I have to insert a cautionary note here, though. Sometimes “think about” discussion points can ruin the sheer pleasure of reading and we wouldn’t want that to happen. However, in case you want to ruminate within yourself before the actual discussion begins, you can take a look at the author interview and discussion questions listed in the back of the trade paperback edition or think about things like: Setting and time period. In the case of many historical novels, time periods and settings become as important as characters and plot. In “Water for Elephants,” the Depression and prohibition loom as largely as the circus. How do those times affect choices and opportunities within the story? Which characters do you care about and why? Who do you hate? How do you feel about the alternate stories traveling through time from old Jacob and young Jacob? I’ll be away for 10 days but will be checking in on Huckleberries from my mom’s very slow dialup connection — Bette Ammon/Coeur d’Alene city librarian.


Kershner: “Full Monty” Funny, G-String Rated Show

Yes, the whole thing may come as somewhat of a shock to a musical theater audience that is more accustomed to “The Sound of Music” (a show which gets an affectionate reference in this show’s dialogue). There are plenty of bare butts and men prancing around in G-strings. The dialogue is R-rated. One entire song, “Big Ass Rock,” is an extended exploration of good ways to help a buddy commit suicide (bashing him in the head with a “big ass rock” is idea No. 1.) Yet those familiar with the movie should know what they’re getting into. It’s a faithful rendition of that movie’s story and sensibility, although transported from Sheffield, England, to Buffalo, N.Y. Yet it’s not a show about sex, or even about nudity. It’s more like one of those sports movies in which a ragtag team of losers comes together to win the big game — Jim Kershner/Spokesman-Review.

Full review here

Question: Is “The Full Monty” too edgy for Coeur d’Alene?

Blanchette: Hargrove Resignation Puzzling

About the only thing Mike Hargrove didn’t say about his startling resignation Sunday as manager of the Seattle Mariners was, “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.” So thanks for sparing us that, anyway. And thanks, too, for his share of the spade work in digging out from the cave-in of 2004 and 2005 and the building to this point – the M’s not just winners of eight straight games, but 26 of the last 38 and players in both a pennant race and the wild-card mix. Maybe he wasn’t anybody’s favorite Mariners manager, but as he said himself, “Somebody has to drive the bus.” And has to get some credit for the smooth stretches of road as well as blame for the blind turns into cul-de-sacs — John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review.

More here

Question: What do you think of Hargrove’s decision to quit while the Mariners were winning?

Flag Raising Ceremony Set for Rankin Plaza

The public is invited to attend a flag raising ceremony at noon on Tuesday in the Ronald D. Rankin Veterans Memorial Plaza. The flag to be raised has significance to the community, as one that was carried by SFC Eric Cookman of the Hayden-based Company B, 321st Engineer Battalion on May 30 in the Al Anbar Province Ramadi, Iraq. The flag was in the 1st Platoon’s B-361 Buffalo during route clearance in support of the 2nd Marines Expeditionary Force. SFC Cookman served on the Kootenai County Local Emergency Planning Committee and the Office of Emergency Management Council before his deployment to Iraq in Sept. 2006, He sent the flag to Sandy Von Behren, director of the Kootenai County Office of Emergency Management this month and she wants to share the flag with the public as well as honor Cookman and all who are serving in the Armed Forces. Kootenai County Commissioners, Purple Heart recipients from Cookman’s unit and local veterans organizations will participate in the ceremony. The Ronald D. Rankin Veterans Memorial Plaza is located at the Kootenai County Administration complex on Garden Ave. and Government Way in Coeur d’Alene.

JBelle: What I Love About Hoopfest

Know what I like the best about Hoopfest? two things actually. Little girls in pink t-shirts that have their names painted in glitter on them; the little girls have ribbons in their hair and cute pink high tops and wear little matching team shorts that have ponies or barbies or cool things on them. I never have actually seen any of them play but I love to see their teams as they trail someone’s mother up the sidewalk on their way to ? yogurt at Tom and Jerry’s? The other thing I LOVE is all the people from the Rez who come to town to play and to watch. I*love*these*guys! They just play. Maybe a foul here, a bump there okay fine. Reset. Just play. Their groupies stand and watch, silent, not missing a thing. If I could play basketball, I’d adopt their demeanor rather than those idiot wannabes with their pricey shoes, tats and swagger.

JBelle

AM Hucks: A Reporter in Search of Bare Facts

It’s not as unusual to encounter nekkid people today as it was in 1970 when “Candid Camera” producer Allen Funt earned an X rating from movie industry watchdogs for his film “What Do You Say to a Naked Lady?” In the documentary, Funt shows how people react when they unexpectedly encounter a naked woman. Melissa Pamer, a Spokesman-Review intern via the University of Southern California, expects to encounter nekkid women today. And men. And mebbe children. She’s been assigned to report on the new nudist camp near Worley – Sun Meadow Resort. I mentioned that to my Huckleberries Online readers Friday. Tongues firmly cheeked, they offered a variety of questions that she could use today in her interviews: “How much sunscreen do you use, and does it go, you know, everywhere?” contributed Northerner. “Where do you put your cell phone?” – proffered Gary. Others suggested: “How do you guys sleep at night? You know, with all those full moons, it must be bright” – Cabbage Boy. “Boxers or briefs” – BrodH20. Some legitimate questions were mixed in with the har-hars: “How long does it take for the clothed person to get at ease enough to hold a normal conversation with you?” – Cis. “Ever invited a colleague to come along?” and “Who’s the most unexpected person you’ve ever met here?” – both from Pia. My question? You really want to know how I can tell that you’re cold?

Wild Card/Sunday — 7/1/07


J. Bart Rayniak/Spokesman-Review

Former Gonzaga University star Ashley Anderson used Dennis Patchin and former WNBA and Mead standout Stacey Clinesmith as a catapault in this difficult dunk during the Hoopfest Women’s Slam Dunk competition at the Nike Center Court Saturday, June 30, 2007.

The Hoopfest competition continues today in Spokane, with many North Idaho teams participating. I don’t plan to make it over. But I do plan to get the yard into tip-top shape to entertain guests on the Fourth of July. Last week, I discovered a distant relative who has been living up here for seven years or so. She didn’t know about me until someone told her to check out Huckleberries Online. She blurked for awhile before contacting me online Thursday. We chatted on the phone for a long time Saturday morning. It was fun reminiscing about family, although I can’t remember ever meeting her. It’s amazing how the Internet, blogs, and other online communication makes things happen that wouldn’t have been possible only a decade or so ago. I’m looking forward to meeting her face-to-face next week. Until then, you can play this Wild Card to start your own threads …

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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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