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Archive for March 2007

Extra! UIdaho Student Found Shot to Death

A 21-year-old University of Idaho senior was found shot to death early today in his Moscow apartment.
David Robert Boss, a history major and Boise native, was found dead by a roommate about 2 a.m., Moscow police officials said. Boss’ roommate apparently arrived at the apartment at 1218 S. Main St. about 2 a.m. and found the victim on the floor in the kitchen area of the apartment, according to a press release. The roommate called police. The death is being investigated as suspicious, said Moscow Police Department Assistant Chief David Duke. The apparent cause of death is a single gunshot wound to the head. No gun was found in the apartment, Duke said.

APhoto of the Weekend — 3/31 to 4/1

AP Photo/The Sun, Larry Steagall

Savannah Ladd, 12, of Bremerton, Wash., looks up for help as she does push-ups in front of a U.S. Marine Corps recruiter Saturday, March 31, 2007, at the Kitsap Mall in Silverdale, Wash. The mall sponsored the annual Military Appreciation Day which featured military demonstrations, static displays and a kids’ boot camp.

OrangeTV: Help Me Compile List of Public Art

Hey y’all - For various reasons, including a possible column, I am trying to compile a list of all the public art in the Cd’A-PF-Hayden-Sandpoint-Etc area. Doesn’t necessarily have to be officially sanctioned to qualify for the list (folky and iconic - ie Paul Bunyan - can count too). I’s appreciate your help pointing out the ones I might not know about or forgot. (btw I’m not at all interested in your opinion of public art or a debate on it’s merits, just the facts, ma’am.) The list so far:

The feathers (NW Blvd)
Harding Family Center (15th St.)
Art Spirit bear (Sherman Ave.)
Various moose (hospital, Doma, CDA North condo balcony, ???)
NIC gym Jonas bronze sculpture
NIC library Jonas sculpture
NIC Balazs sculpture
NIC - ???
Youth Ranch thrift store rock-n-roll mural
St. Vincent de Paul mural
2nd & Cd’A Ave running horses mural
Paul Bunyan sign
Kate & Leopold statues at Higgins Point
Eagle, bear, raccoon stump art in Cd’A city park

What else?

2007 Legislature Adjourns w/Boise Raking Off Highway $$$

Issue: Lawmakers adjourn for the year after reaching a deal on highway money/Idaho Statesman

More Info: The Idaho Legislature put an end to two things Friday: The 82-day legislative session and the intrusion of Statehouse politics into highway priorities. The Idaho Legislature put an end to two things Friday: The 82-day legislative session and the intrusion of Statehouse politics into highway priorities. Lawmakers cut a deal on a $250 million Year 2 installment of the Connecting Idaho road-building plan, assuring between $90 million and $173 million to widen Interstate 84 and begin the process of extending Idaho 16 from Idaho 44 south to I-84. The Idaho Legislature put an end to two things Friday: The 82-day legislative session and the intrusion of Statehouse politics into highway priorities.

DFO: The 2007 Legislature was awful. The 2007 North Idaho delegation didn’t accomplish much that I can see — other than give a green flag for Boise to gobble up much of the $250 million in road construction funds available for the next phase of GARVEE bonding. F’shame

Question: Can you think of a dang thing accomplished by Gov. Shoot From The Hip and the merry lawmakers this year?

Idawa: UIdaho Campus Provides Great Learning Environment

The UofI was an awesome experience for me and my wife. The campus/Moscow is wonderful environment for student to learn, make friends, and learn about themselves. Your able to dedicate yourself to college, it’s a lot like other college towns like Ithaca, etc. An interesting note is that the U of I campus was designed by the same firm that designed U of Washington, Cornell, Stanford, etc… I don’t know what top 25 list you are referring to Bob, on the Princeton review rankings Stanford isn’t even in the top 10, but I admit it is a nice place. I think that Pepperdine is a most beautiful campus in the America, my oh my - on those cliffs overlooking the pacific. I don’t agree with Bob about WSU. I think that U of I and WSU are pretty comparable, but the student environment for study is much, much better at Idaho. The only advantage would be if your kids planned to live in Washington then they would have a better alumni network in state. If they plan to stay in Idaho, WSU just isn’t worth the out of state tuition. I think when I have kids I’ll probably try to encourage my kids to go to either: 1) Stanford, 2) USC 3) UW 4) UofI 5) Whitman 6) UofO. Then again, who knows what the schools will be like in 20-30 years? (you can see by my picks I have a west coat bias!)

Idawa/Word Forge

Question: Where would you want your kids to go to school?

Deanna: LCDC Projects Provide Community Value

I serve as one of the Councilmen on the LCDC board. I can tell you that the volunteers on that board are community supporters, who not only serve on LCDC, but also serve the community in other ways. Jobs Plus, KMC Hospital Board, Casa to name a few. They put their money and their time where it counts, to make our City a better place. Can we do it better, sure, and we all work at making sure what we do is right for the people. We can talk all day long about the value of what LCDC provides for the community, but the bottom line is that there are successful projects that provide community value. The negotiations for Mill River are one example. What came from that: Infrastructure along Seltice way, Water and Sewer, Sewer to the City of Huetter and a backup water access. (protecting the river from septic tanks) 1500 feet of public park and access to a beautiful sandy beach on the river, (how much would that cost with the price of waterfront property today.never happen) Several hundred good jobs with benefits and a decent wage, US Bank with the property donated by the developers to attract the bank, which by the way, was in some pretty heavy competition with other states who wanted those jobs in thier areas. Would all this have happened without LCDC, possibly, but you can bet there would not be a public park along the waterfront. That would make an excellent location for some more big homes instead of a place for the public.

Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander

Parting Shot: 3/30/07

Chris Peterson/Glacier Geographic, Muse You Can Use

“The annual rite of spring in Glacier National Park is when the mountain goats drop down from their lofty perches to the goat lick on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. They come down to the river not only to eat vegetation, which is slowly, but surely, greening up, but to eat (or lick) mineral soils,” writes Chris Peterson/Glacier Geographic, Muse You Can Use.

Eye On Boise: Eiguren, Miller to Keep Law Licenses

Boise attorneys Roy Eiguren and L. Edward Miller will keep their licenses to practice law and no longer face charges stemming from their involvement in the University Place saga, the Idaho Business Review reports. The agreement between the attorneys and the Idaho State Bar was filed today; read the full story here.

Huckleberries’ Best of the Local Blogs — 3/30/07

Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It explains why this image was a horrible sight, indeed, here.

*Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise reports that the Idaho House has passed the GARVEE bonding bill 48-17 and adjourned for the session; the bill now goes to the Senate here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour challenged her readers to tell their “never told” stories re: smoking, church, food, watching TV, report card and lying here. Cis responded here. Wondering responded here.

*Vice Commander Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns is sending out a mass invitation to HBO bloggers, commenters and blurkers to the Priest Lake Yacht Club Commodore’s Ball April 28 here.

*Dr. Jim/CastMD writes: “Chest pain is generally considered the second most common cause patients show up at the Emergency Room (ER) doorstep. Yet only about 20% or less of patients admitted with chest pain to the hospital actually have significant coronary artery disease” here.

*At Scurvy Jake’s Pirate Blog, Jake wonders what’s the big deal about (drum roll, puh-LEEZ) — Hudson’s Hamburgers. Writes Jake: I can cook a hamburger the same way at home, and I won’t even be able to tell the difference taste-wise here.

Meanwhile, Mommy Dearest/BrodH20 reveals who’s the kid with the mohawk in the thread below here, Mari/Dogwalk Musings wonders if we need another kill facility here, and Katrina/Napkin Notes details her father-in-law’s pending marriage here.

Inside Huckleberries — 3/30/07

*A sign on the wall of the Torch Lounge bikini bar today announced that it’ll be celebrated its fourth anniversary at its downtown location Saturday. My, how time flies when you’re not paying attention.

*For those keeping score at home, HBO posted a first this morning — the first seven-day total that averaged over 6000 page-views per day. Also, HBO registered the first nonpolitical daily total of more than 7500 Thursday. The numbers for this week (with unique views in parenthesis): Monday — 7247 (4104), Tuesday — 6349 (3851), Wednesday — 7099 (4036), and Thursday — 7540 (4269). Seven-day PV total: 42478. Thanx for your support.

*Mike writes: “Dave, I find it interesting that you have not said a word in regard to the hearing coming up on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. in court room number 1. Is the SR going to do an in depth article reminding the public of the importance of the hearing and how it effects them. This is history in the making Dave thanks to the SR. I plan on being at the hearing to hear the arguments as do others of the HBO crowd.” (DFO: HBO’ll be all over it Monday.)

*TC asks: “Have a problem that I hope our HBOers can help solve. I have several old computer monitors, a keyboard and a printer that I need to find a home for. Does anyone know of a charity that takes old computer stuff? Or know of any place to who might benefit from these items? Thanks!”

*HBO has encountered a weird situation with the comments section. The posts can be made but the time is messed up. In other words, a post at 11:30 a.m. will wind up in the comments thread marked for an hour earlier. I’ve alerted Blogmeisters Ryan and Joe about the problem.

*I’m trying to figure out why Brand X published another one of its anti-LCDC bashing columns without properly identifying the writer. On the Op-Ed page today, M.K. Sims joins DanG, Mary Souza and a coupla Pachyderm Club types in the anti-LCDChorus in a screed, titled: “LCDC is spending cash like it’s play money.” Is M.K. Kathy Sims, owner of Coeur d’Alene Honda and former KCo Repub chairwoman and appointed Idaho senator? If so, why doesn’t the Press ID her as such. Inquiring minds want to know.

*Opinion Editor Doug Floyd circulated the following message to the Editorial Board from reader Chris Anderlik a few minutes ago: “In my eighty years (60 of which I am aware) I have never seen a more insightful, clever, appropriate, ingenious, creative (ad infinitum) cartoon than that of Noah Kroese on Thursday March 29.”

An Ode to the 2007 Idaho Legislature

Out on the Moyle highway
You’ll need no social engineer
It’s a slippery slope where they tax your food
And the end of the session is near.

There will be no smoking while bowling
But they’ll try to keep mom at home
Here at the Idaho Statehouse
Mini-wings will sprout from the dome.

So watch for the nose of that camel
It’s poking right under your tent
Sit back and enjoy the politics
And watch where your tax dollars went.

Betsy Russell
Eye On Boise

Item: WSU’s Bennett Selected Coach of the Year …

… first Cougar basketball coach to win the award ever/Associated Press

DFO: And the first Cougar coach to return the season after taking his team to the NCAA tournament. Class act all the way around. Hat Tip to Dick Bennett for bringing his family west. Hat Tip to Tony for staying to see just how good the Cougs will be next year.

Sgt. Wood: CPD Blue Taking Over City Animal Control

Captain Steve Childers announced that starting next week the Coeur d’Alene Police Department will be responsible for animal control within the City of Coeur d’Alene. The Police Department has taken measures to streamline and organize animal control services. The Department has purchased a vehicle to respond to animal control calls for service and has hired Debbie Slater as the Animal Control Officer. Slater will be enforcing animal control laws which include issuing citations, taking reports for vicious dogs or dog bites, and impounding of dogs.

Daylight-Saving Time Bug Hits HBO?

It seems HBO and the SR internal blog clock has been hit by that daylight-saving time bug. Posts that are made now are registering an hour earlier. That’s my personal analysis. Our techs took care of the problem when daylight-saving time was moved back a coupla weeks. But this might be a new twist on it. The techs are working on this problem, too. Carry on.

Councilwoman Goodlander: “I’m for Healthy Economy”

I will stand on the side of a healthy economy, of which, growth is a component. Having lived through the 1980’s in Coeur d’Alene when the logging and mining economies died and it was very nearly ” the last person out of town, please turn out the lights” I think we need to balance growth and new jobs and businesses. Think about how many jobs today here are tied to growth and imagine how many of your neighbors would be losing their homes if we shut the door. I think we need to pay attention to how we are growing to keep our quality of life. (example: the Hillside Ordinance in Coeur d’Alene that regulates how building accurs on our viewsheds to protect views and vista’s.) Too bad the County did not think of that ordinance a long time ago. We might still have houses on the hillside, but they could not be white.

Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander

Online Poll: What Goes Best w/Fries?

What goes best with french fries? — Idaho Statesman

*Hot dogs
*Fried fish

DFO: Huddyburger? ;-)

Fortier: Butch Knows Bowling

For the rest of the column by Marty Fortier/Coeur d’Alene Press, click here.

There are certain things that just go together. Beer and pretzels, hotdogs and baseball, apple pie and vanilla ice cream, T-shirts and jeans, peanut butter and jelly, laptops and Starbucks. You know what I’m talkin’ about — little slices of Americana that should not be messed with. You know it, I know it, and thank God, the governor knows it. My man Butch stood up for all Americans and the American way of life when he vetoed a bill that would ban smoking in bowling alleys. Ban smoking in bowling alleys? Yeah right! You might as well ban mullets at NASCAR races or white tank tops in trailer parks — Marty Fortier/Coeur d’Alene Press.

DFO: Are you glad that the Legislature overrode Butch Otter’s veto?

007: Today Is Big Day for GARVEE Bond Fiasco

Friday is the big day on GARVEE. What will the Legislature do? Clearly, there is a LOT of buyer’s remorse on this thing, as I have long predicted. At best, the Legislature was given negligently rosy figures and projections when Dirk Kempthorne and the GARVEE benefactors (Washington Group, CSHQA, and Tamarack Resort) pushed it through 2 years ago. At worst, the Legislature was intentially deceived. Now, they are in a position where early promises cannot be kept. Even what little projects are left will REQUIRE tax increases in the future. The Idaho Transporation Department has been gutted. Idaho’s entire transportation system has been uprooted and set back years because of this disaster known as GARVEE. What the Legislature should do tomorrow is tell Idaho they made a mistake 2 years ago that has cost too much. They need to gut it completely and ask Governor Otter and ITD to spend the next few months getting things back on track, making transporation the issue of 2008. Meanwhile, the “consultants” who were the beneficiaries of these so-called GARVEE bonds (the people got nothing—NOTHING—from this deal, even though millions have been spent!) can go back to the drawing table. Shame on the Legislature 2 years ago for letting this thing happen when they were put into a corner by our then governor at the last minute, without sufficient information! It was such a scam! Shame on them.

James Bond

DanG v. MikeK: Questions for Both Sides

DanG: Just because I question something doesn’t imply that I don’t like it. We have a right in this country to question things, to ask whether government is providing us with all the services we pay for. While on one hand you encourage me to keep asking the questions, on the other hand you pop up and accuse me of not “liking” such-and-such thing the government does. So which is it? Do you want me to keep asking questions and will you pillory me for doing so? Do I have a right or not to question my own government?

Councilman MikeK: Dan; thanks for the pithy and poll-tested response. The issue is whether urban renewal is a positive for the community. It is - witness the improved economic climate, the public parks, the public library, the public owned access to waterfront, the miles of public paths. Can it be improved? Sure. But you don’t want people to call your group when they make mistakes and attack volunteers? I think you can’t have it both ways. As to your dismay because someone points out your patterns, I say it’s also an American right to be clear about the whole issue with all the facts. Question everything, Dan. But don’t expect everyone to agree with you. You aren’t seriously going to say that you aren’t outwardly anti-government in your view of the world are you?

Parting Shot — 3/29/07

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

Contestants are silhouetted as they rehearse for the Miss America Pageant at the Aladdin hotel-casino in Las Vegas in this Jan. 27, 2007, file photo. The Miss America Pageant has been dropped by Country Music Television, leaving the 86-year-old pageant without a TV outlet for the second time in three years.

Question: Do you watch beauty pageants?

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 3/29/07

Don’t look now, but Marmitetoasty/Twaddle and her Fred are raising chameleons here.

*Put your hands together for Idawa/Word Forge, who celebrated his first blog-o-versary Wednesday here.

*Chris Peterson/Muse You Can Use begins a post about his son, Boy Wonder: “When they tell you your son is autistic, your first reaction is to get into your car, tightly fasten your seatbelt, and drive off the nearest bridge. Instead I went under said bridge and cried for about an hour.” Click here.

*Toad/Synaptic Disunion introduces us to his two sons, whom he understandably “loves to bits,” and is anticipating the arrival of a third child here.

*Idaho Escapee/Atmospheric Ruminations disagrees with those who contend that snoozepapers are going the way of the dinosaur, to be replaced by online versions, b/c, well, he needs them — to line his parakeet cage, if nothing else here.

*Inland Empire Girl/Gathering Around the Table admits she used to be a night owl who regularly tuned into Letterman but prefers being a morning person today here.

*Sam The Reporter/Vandal Sense is celebrating b/c he’s a candidate for LASIK surgery, $1000 per eye, and only 20 miles from the Canadian border here.

*JBelle/The ‘Kan EWA Notes has finished her home work assignment from “The Psycho Therapist” to highlight the books she’s read from a list of 100 given to her here.

APhoto of the Day (w/tTop Cutlines) — 3/29/07

Illustration: Thom George

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talks to President Bush at the Radio and Television Correspondents Association annual dinner, Wednesday in Washington. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Pelosi: See, you push on this shoulder and he says “stay the course” and push on the other one and he says “we can work with the Democrats”. You poke him in the side and he snickers and says “Brownie, you’re doing a hell of a job”. If you step on his foot, you says “I support Alberto”. If you pull his finger, well, you know what happens when you pull his finger… — Whippersnapper.

2. Bush: “Rove? Rove! Are you there? Tell me what to say to this woman! Rove? Is your equipment working?” — A Token D.

3. “Y’know darlin’ I’m only one stuck pretzel and one floating deep vein thrombosis away from bringing the military home and invading Brazil and seizing their entire supply of Botox … so watch it, Chimpy” — RSPA.

HM: Nic

Albuquerque PD Tries Fresh Recruiting Approach

This image provided by the Albuquerque Police Department shows the department’s ad that will appear on several digital billboards across Albuquerque, N.M. next week. “Running away from your current job? Call APD recruiting,” the ad reads, above a photo of Officer Trish Hoffman grabbing the veil of a bride, adorned in gown and tennis shoes. The ads were inspired by runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks. (AP Photo service)

Question: Clever? Over the Top?

CQ: Moscow D Already Taking Aim @ Sali

For the complete Congressional Quarterly story, click here.

You know that the fast-starting 2008 congressional election cycle has begun in earnest when challenger candidates start publicizing their bids for next year’s elections in places not known for hot competition — such as Idaho’s strongly conservative 1st Congressional District. Democrat Rand C. Lewis already has established his plans to take on freshman Republican Rep. Bill Sali in that western Idaho district. It is far from clear, and may not be for quite a while, whether Lewis — a retired army colonel with a Ph.D. in history — will have the Democratic field to himself. Local politics watchers are awaiting word from the 2006 Democratic nominee, former Micron Technology executive Larry Grant, who lost to Sali but by a margin of just 5 percentage points, 50 percent to 45 percent, with three other candidates splitting the remaining 5 percent — Jesse Stanchak/Congressional Quarterly.

Question: Would you prefer to see Larry Grant run again against Congressman Bill Sali? Or would you like to see a Demo newcomer, like Rand C. Lewis take his shot?

Eye On Boise: House GOP Kills Garvee Bill to Hurt D’s

For full post on debate, click here and here.

House GOP leaders pulled one of the six highway projects – the Orchard to Isaacs Canyon project on I-84 – out of the program at one point in negotiations on the bill because it benefits a district represented by Democrats, senators said in their debate against SB 1245, the GARVEE bonding bill that just was killed in the Senate on a 23-12 vote. “There was one of those six projects that was removed altogether,” Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, told the Senate. “Why? Because the senator and the representatives from that district were from the wrong political party.” He added, “It’s time for us to step back.”

Update! Baugher Caught in Colorado, Kids Safe

For the rest of the story, click here.

John Baugher was arrested today in Idaho Springs, Colorado after a multi-day Amber Alert search to locate him and his two children. His two children, four-year-old Remi and two-year-old Lars, are safe and in the FBI’s care, according to FBI spokesman Fred Gutt. “That’s the best part of the story,” Gutt said.

Breaking! Kidnapped WW Kids En Route to Salt Lake City

Fuhrman Show is reporting that father purchased a bus ticket in Missoula, MT to Salt Lake City, UT. Bus is delayed by snow approaching Denver, CO. This story is developing — Rocket’s Brain Trust

Item: Deputy in Hayden shooting ID’d …

… Man he shot called suicidal, threatening/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

DFO: For the life of me, I can’t figure out why police agencies keep names of officers involved in shootings away from us — and by extension, the public — for as long as possible. If an Average Joe or Jane is involved in the shooting, we know their names ASAP and can get them out to the public, unless a next-of-kin situation exists. Everyone’s going to find out eventually anyway.

Napkin Notes: 5 Things I Learned Today

1. Those signs on the gas pump that say: “Please don’t top off your gas tank!” are there for a reason. Does anyone know how to get a petroleum stain out of gabardine?

2. I’m not low-maintenance like I’ve always thought. In point of fact, I am an undulating, mutating, inexplicable bundle of moods and neuroses. My husband deserves a medal.

3. You can teach a four year old to spit, but you can’t make him stop.

4. The statistical likelihood that company will unexpectedly drop in to visit you is inversely proportional to the cleanliness of your living room.

5. Only a fool buys an 8-year-old a joke book.

Katrina/Notes on a Napkin

Question: Have you learned something today?

James Bond: I’d Register As An Independent

James Bond: Betsy’s Blog talks about another primary election bill being pushed by a citizen’s group led by Keith Allred. He’s NOT a Republican—he’s a good guy that I met once and was real impressed with. Anyway, the bill would permit people to register as Independents and to pick which primary ballot they wanted in private. It would also give clerks a couple years to implement it. This is the best solution, given that we already know our current system will be stuck down in court. I like this approach. I would definitely register as an Independent!

DFO: So would I. I wonder if the Repubs might find themselves facing a situation, if they passed this legislation, where there were more Independents than Repubs in this state? I know a lot of Independent thinkers in both parties that probably would sign up that way rather than pick a party designation — for spite if nothing else.

Parting Shot — 3/28/07

AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Rob Schumacher

Tourists walk on the glass-bottomed Skywalk that extends 70 feet over the edge of Grand Canyon West’s Eagle Point Wednesday in northwestern Arizona. The Grand Canyon Skywalk opened to the general public on the Hualapai Indian Reservation.

Question: Have you ever visited the Grand Canyon?

Go Figure: Free the “Moscow 12”

Item: ‘Haunted’ old hospital horror story for students: UI group arrested at Colfax building/Amy Cannata, Spokesman-Review

Officer Obie is back, alive and well!
Free the Moscow 12!
Free the Moscow 12!
Come on now—say it with FEELING!

What in the world were these college students thinking. Underage (18-19 years old), not drinking, not smoking pot, not vandalizing school structures … well, that pretty well limits the cultural activites in the Palouse … but no, these reprobates were going to, going to, going to explore … I hate to mention it, on a ‘G’ rated blog site, but here it goes, they were exploring, investigating, and otherwise evaluating a “haunted abandoned hospital,” in Colfax … Colfax Washington, that is. There were no ‘no trespassing’ signs, no you will be shot on sight signs, no no loitering signs and no most certainly no free beer signs … and the doors were not locked. No, no, but the, but the, but the neigbors, they were alert, observant, and on the look out for these college pranksters bent on mayhem — Starr Kelso/Go Figure (full post here).

Question: Should the “Moscow 12” be freed and charges dropped?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 3/28/07

Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’ posts: “One of the things that so deeply endears my dog, Snug, to me is that he loves to ride for long distances with me in the car. You can tell, I think, in this picture.”

*OrangeTV/Making Flippy Floppy faced a tough crowd at open-mic Monday at Mic-n-Macs and he also hosted a 17-year-old godson from Seattle who loves Senor Froggy’s in a compilation post here.

*Sara Anderson/F-Words takes issue with the way I phrased the question re: the U.S. Marine Corps’ new ban on tattoos for lower arms and legs (and I think she has a new mug shot, too) here.

*Ryan Collingwood/Panhandle Preps offers a feature on the Lake City High baseball team, which has the best group of underclassmen players in the Inland Empire League, here.

*KaleJ/un-Muted Mumblings comes to the defense of Idaho legislators who defeated proposed day-care regs b/c they believe a women’s place is in the home here.

*Mommy Dearest/BrodH20 was enjoying Sophie Kinsella’s “Confessions of a Shopaholic” — and even identifying with some of the main character’s financial flaws — until she realized that the character was a journalist with ethical problems here.

Meanwhile, Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It posts last photos and thoughts about Disneyland here, Marianne/Slight Detour laments she has too much to do and too little time here, Silver Valley Girl enjoys a simple gift of music from her daughter here, Nic offers a weird quote from his dad here, Melanie/Plaid Toaster asks about pop tarts here, JeanC/Cathouse and Shooting Society visits Spokane to get scratched, poked and to visit White Elephant here, Erin/Idaho Native is off to Florida for three weeks here, Cis/From A Simple Mind still ain’t buyin’ global warming here, Mari/Dogwalk Musings understands the importance of having someone to love you here, and Bayview Herb laments that the Mustang Ranch is no more here.

Photo of the Day (w/Top Cutlines) — 3/28/07

Pecky Cox, the effervescent blogger from Priest Lake (As The Lake Churns), snapped this self-portrait of her shoe, a favorite bruskie and the scene beyond recently while chillin’ in Mexico. I smile every time I see it. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. After several tequilas with cerveza chasers, Pecky is pleasantly surprized to discover the worms in her Tequila were really shoe laces — Paul L. Ferguson.

2. Dear Dave, I’m really enjoying my retirement, thanks for all of your encouragement as I considered this major life change. Sincerely, Bill Douglas — Brent Andrews.

3. Lefty always felt looked down upon when Righty drank no matter what the circumstances — MamaJD.


Huckleberries Hears …

… that the local GOPachyderm Club attack dogs were out in force when North Idaho College interim prez Priscilla Bell came calling to speak recently. One asked if she thought the faculty matched the community politically, dredging up the flap in which student Linda Cook demanded her money back after part-time English instructor Jessica Bryan regularly jabbed verbally at Repub politics. Another demanded to know if she was a candidate for the position she’s now holding on an interim bases. She deferred the question to NIC PRmeister Kent Propst, while the Elephant went on to opine that she was gumming up the search process if she was. Finally, “European-American” activist Stan Hess went off on such a tirade that Repub Fred Ostermeyer told him to pipe down or leave. Hess did. Then, he returned in a huff, to leave a tip.


For her 35th birthday earlier this month, Jen/A Butterfly Moment wrote down 35 things that she’s learned so far, including these 12:

*Sunny days make me feel better than gray days.
*A child’s laughter is the best sound on earth.
*Good meals are best shared with good friends.
*God’s timing is perfect.
*Change little boys’ diapers as fast as possible.
*Father (and Mother) really do know best.
*It’s fun being married to my childhood sweetheart.
*Always order the combination plate (and be prepared to share).
*God did not give me a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.
*Wear pajamas as much as possible.
*Summer vacation is best spent on the beach.
*A clean house makes me feel good.

Jen/A Butterfly Moment (for the full list, click here)

Question: Can you add to the list?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 3/28/07

Amber Alert: Lars Baugher (left) born 2004-06-04, age two, is a white male child with blonde hair and green eyes. Baugher is 2‘7” and weighs 29 pounds. He was last seen wearing a brown or green jacket, blue jeans, black Converse shoes. Remi Baugher (right) born 2002-05-24, age 4, is a white female child with blonde hair and hazel eyes. Baugher is 3‘1” and weighs 37 pounds. She was last seen wearing a pink jacket with heavier yellow jacket over the top, blue jeans, Strawberry Shortcake shoes. See Item No. 3.

KREM2: Washington State University has announced plans for a 3 p.m. news conference regarding head basketball coach Tony Bennett. A spokesperson would not elaborate on what will be announced.

1. The two highest-ranking officials in the WSU Police Department have acknowledged using their office computers to view and transmit pornographic images via e-mail. During depositions from last fall in preparation for a lawsuit, Police Chief Steve Hansen and Assistant Chief Scott West told lawyers they “occasionally” used department computers to look at sexually explicit photographs and jokes here. More: here and here.

2. Leslie Green started to notice things missing from her laundry. A pair of panties here, a bra there. When eight pairs of underwear turned up missing from one load of laundry, she grew suspicious and notified the Pullman Police Department here. Related: Panty thief: “I have an addiction” (w/KREM2 video, photos) here.

3. The weekend was supposed to be joyous, a time for John Baugher to be reunited with his children, whom he hadn’t visited unsupervised for about nine months, according to a Walla Walla police report. But the overnight visit didn’t go as it should have, after Baugher failed to return his 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son to their mother Sunday afternoon here. Related: FBI releases Amber Alert surveillance tapes here.

4. Two former Jerome County (Idaho) Sheriff’s Department employees have been charged, respectively, in separate cases with felony rape and misdemeanor assault, being intoxicated in public, and disturbing the peace. “It’s an embarrassment,” Sheriff Jim Weaver said Tuesday. “It’s tough. It’s just difficult to find good” deputies here. Related: 2 other southern Idaho deputies charged with having sex with female inmates here.

5. Winds flooded a small neighborhood northwest of Bozeman, Mont., with tumbleweeds Tuesday, covering sheds, burying mailboxes and blocking driveways. Residents on Shooting Star Lane in the Springhill area were forced to use snowplows and pitchforks to clear the debris here.

6. IMHO-NW: Chris Peterson/Hungry Horse News (Welcoming back the blues), Brandon Scheller/WSU Evergreen (WSU’s Clark: “I was done bad”), Rev. James R. Hillbrick/Moscow Pullman Daily News (Partial birth abortion shouldn’t exist), Gary Trauner/New West (Less Gummint, Wyoming style), and Idaho Statesman (Change in ethics law overdue).

Online Poll: 54% of 154 respondents to a Lewiston Tribune poll believe WSU basketball coach Tony Bennett will stay around one more year because he has a strong team returning.

*Fourth Puget Sound baby born in rush-hour traffic this year here.

*Weak Washington “Idol” wannabe gets online support here.

*2 arrested for racial graffiti around Pullman here.

*2 Montana fourth-graders suspended over BB gun incident here.

Orbusmax Special: Washington woman to inherit $10M Jell-O fortune here.

Dick Haugen Sighting …

Dick Haugen, the Voice of North Idaho emeritus, dropped by Doma a few minutes ago to say hi and provide an update on his current employment status. Dick has landed on his feet. He’s working full-time for KGA (1510-AM). He and Larry Weir (voice of the Eastern Washington U. Eagles and Spokane Shock) are handling morning talk duties (5 to 8 a.m.) before giving way to Mark Fuhrman. Dick was hanging out with NIC AD Al Williams downtown when he read that I was at Doma. He wants his loyal listeners to know that part of his new gig is covering North Idaho and he plans to incorporate some of his regular guests in the good old days of KVNI morning broadcasts into his KGA programs.

Update: Dick left and returned with Al Williams. Al told me that he had good excuses for not turning in his NIC Sentinel assignment (re: what students plan to do during the spring vacation) on time. First, everyone told him that s/he planned to kick back and do nothing. Then, he forgot about the assignment. Then, there was the NCAAs on TV. Etc. I informed him that any of my many editors over the years woulda eaten him alive, if he’d tried to give them those excuses. Still, there’s a saving grace here. I contends that he’s a good writer. So, I’ll be waiting for prove in the next NIC Sentinel. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Al and badgering him about the Sentinel assignment. Good man. Good sense of humor.

Butterfly Moment: Kindergarteners Show & Tell

Today for show and tell in kindergarten we had:

1 Polly Pocket
1 Barbie Horse
1 stuffed puppy named butterfly
2 Batman dolls…I mean action figures
1 Roboreptile
1 pink make-up purse


1 “Gardening” Angel “to watch over me and keep me safe.” :) — A Butterfly Moment

Question: What is the coolest thing you ever took to school to show and tell?

Quotable Quote

For the rest of the op-ed piece in the Idaho Statesman by former Gov. Phil Batt about House Speaker Lawerence Denney’s strong-arm leadership style, click here.

“Now in the Idaho House of Representatives, the fate of legislative proposals seems to be gauged by the level of support given to the speaker in his contest for the job. It has even come to the point that no legislator or lobbyist can expect his bills to have a fair chance if he supported the loser in the speaker’s race. This is outrageous. The people of Idaho are entitled to have their representatives base their votes on the merits of a bill, not on who backed the loser in a speaker’s contest.”

Phil Batt
Former governor of Idaho

Question: Have you formed an opinion on new House Speaker Lawerence Denney?

007: Eliminate Grocery Tax, Don’t Tinker w/It

James Bond: I see on Betsy’s Blog that the Legislature and Butch are apparently at an impasse of sorts on the grocery sales tax issue, and Butch is now saying he’ll let it slide until next January, hoping they could implement it right away in 2008. Time? They need more time? Fine. Take your time, but when you’re rubbing your foreheads trying to think of how to handle this issue, here’s some nice, simple advice: Just eliminate the sales tax from the purchase of food in a manner than mimics the Washington approach. Tax credits are silly—the government still gets the money, and the folks who need the money the most don’t get it until and unless they file state taxes. Remember: Your job as a Republican is to cut taxes, cut and make government more efficient, and protect and defend the liberty of the people.

DFO: 007 is dead on. Gov. Warbucks and the Legislature, indeed, are out to lunch on the grocery tax issue. They should find ways to eliminate the regressive grocery sales tax, not tinkering with a tax credit. Then, that would mean this Legislature might accomplish something. And that would be totally against its nature. Ditto for shoot-from-the-hip Butch.

Mary Souza: P&Zers Shoulda Been on TV

DanG: Hey Mary Souza! I was looking forward to seeing you on TV last night, but the P&Z meeting wasn’t on Channel 19. Did Mayor Sandi & the pro-LCDC crowd “accidentally” pull the plug on you?

Mary Souza: Dang, I was very surprised that the meeting last night wasn’t on TV! We are always televised. And the place was packed with concerned citizens. The Agenda was short. It started with Tony Berns giving a lesson on LCDC and how they are using our tax dollars to build huge private luxury condo buidings that will pump up our tax base. Tony and I had some lively discussion—Oh, but you all didn’t get to see it—no Channel 19 last night. Then the East Mullan neighbors, about 50 of them—as well as several developers who own property in that area—had an energetic discussion about the future plans for their neighborhood. It was a great evening of community involvement. Too bad it wasn’t on TV for everyone to access. When I asked, at the end of the meeting, why we weren’t on TV, staff said it was kindof close to spring break and they kindof had some trouble getting someone to run the equipment. Hmmmm.

DFO: Every city meeting of consequence should be on TV. Period. That’s one of the two reasons I’ve stayed with Time Warner after the Fiesta Bowl fiasco — to see local programming. BTW, county commissioners should also take steps to broadcast important county meetings.

Parting Shot — Why Did the Bison Cross the Road — 3/27/07

A lone bison crosses a road ahead of a pack of snowmobilers in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. in this Jfile photo. Snowmobiles would become a permanent winter fixture in Yellowstone National Park under a proposal released earlier today that would allow up to 720 of the machines in the park daily. (AP Photos/Craig Moore, file)

Shinie’s Review: Thumbs Up for Wingstop

I stopped in at WingStop on Government Way to pick up dinner tonight. Word of mouth is the Atomic Wings are dangerously hot. I took the cautious route and ordered a split of Original Hot and Garlic Parmesan. The Original Hot were, “Almost as good as Chili’s,” according to (hubby). That was after I had to reheat the wings, since he got a late dinner break. My Garlic Parmesan wings were good - the first couple of ones anyway. After that, the excess of cheese and garlicky butter was too much. I was impressed with the service. The employee who took my order was friendly and polite. Plus she paid extra attention to Munchkin and gave him a balloon. That always earns points in my book. I got a side of carrot and celery sticks (a must with wings). I was surprised by the quantity of veggies in the order. It’s not often a restaurant offers a healthy choice that is cheaper than fries. Then again, they have to counter balance the deep fried, oil/butter drenched chicken wings somehow — Shinie/This Is Growing Up.

Cost: $10.99 for 20 wing pieces; $.69 for carrot/celery sticks

DFO: I’ve never heard of this place before. Then, it sounds like a place I now have to avoid, given the current diet. Pause (for sympathy purposes). ‘Tis nice to have another reviewer in the blog pack.

APhoto of the Day (w/Top Cutlines) — 3/27/07

AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Irfan Khan

After crashing a rare $1.5M Ferrari Enzo owned by movie producer Daniel Sadek during a practice leg for a celebrity charity event, actor Eddie Griffin, center, who was unhurt, jumps over a barrier at the Irwindale Speedway Monday in Irwindale Calif. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Gasoline: $25
Paint job: $5,000
Rare Ferrari Enzo: $1.5 million
Watching Eddie Griffin run like a scared rabbit for a mile with Sadek in hot pursuit screaming “My car! My beautiful car!”: Priceless — A Token D.

2. “Oh man, I picked a bad day to wear white pants!” — Family Phil.

3. Griffin in the phone: Um, Mr Sadek? Um, remember that cool red car you loaned me? Yeah, I know it’s expensive. Yes, I know it’s very rare. Um, do you have insurance? I mean, really good insurance? What? No, no! The car’s fine. But I’ll be out of the country indefinitely, so I’ll leave the car at the track with the keys in it so you can pick it up. I have to catch a plane. Mmm-kay. Buh bye now — Whippersnapper.

HM: JohnA

Update: Alleged Panty Thief Bails Out

A 24-year-old Pullman man charged with stealing hundreds of pairs of women’s underwear has posted bail. Garth Flaherty faces 12 charges of 2nd degree felony burglary and one felony charge of 1st degree theft. Police say they recovered bearly 100lbs of bras and panties from his home and car. (full KREM2 post with photo of alleged Captain Panty here)

Inside Huckleberries — 4/27/07

*Danelle Reagan (pictured above with Sophie the Goat and an Old Goat), chairwoman of the local Wishing Star Foundation, tells Huckleberries Online she’s pretty sure that Sophie’s alive. Sophie? That’s the goat that sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger dropped on me a coupla weeks back. It cost me a cool $75 to send it along to P&Zer Mary Souza. Who, in turn, tried to drop it on Mayor Sandi Bloem. But the mayor couldn’t be found until time ran out. Danelle and volunteers from both Spokane and Coeur d’Alene raised $24,000 from the drive-by goatings. Of Sophie’s health, Danelle said: “I would have heard (if something had happened to the kid).”

*Stebbijo found some porn on a 2005 HBO Best of the Local Blogs link to a former blog that she wrote as the “Angry Commentator.” Seems she abandoned the site and a porn company picked it up. She explains it here.

*I posted in the comments section a few days ago about a private meeting in late January among The Duane, Coeur d’Alene Press M.E. Mike Patrick and three anti-LCDCers. But I didn’t name names. Now, I will: Duane Rasmussen, Matt Roetter and Dan Gookin. Huckleberries hears … that Patrick insisted on the meeting. And that The Duane had some reservations about the anti-LCDCers point of view. However, he did accept a pile of information from them. Since then, of course, Mary Souza has launched her weekly column attacks in Brand X against LCDC with Larry Spencer and Gookin getting into the act lately. Meanwhile, Rassmussen and Roetter try to hide in the background (except when they joined Gookin for that wild goose chase involving that misguided tip about Marshall Chesrown illegally diverting the Spokane River). Interesting, hunh?

Chronic Discontent: In Praise of 4Runners

For the rest of the post by Brent Andrews/Chronic Discontent, click here.

I drove that red 4-Runner another hundred thousand miles through the best four-wheeling trails Middle Tennessee has to offer and on epic road trips almost everywhere. After I put in a new stereo and limo-tinted the windows that red 4-Runner was good to go on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, across the horrible Texas desert, or down the Sunset Strip while I stared goggle-eyed at the sights. That 4-Runner took me all over the country and never once coughed. Dad changed the timing belt when it was time and I changed the oil once in a while. Dad made sure I had good tires while I was out making memories. The 4-Runner took me on trips that would make good fodder for books, and already has as I round 34. There’s nothing like being on the road in your own car with a good stereo, but the special touches on the 4-Runner make it all the better. The back window, the way back window, rolls down to let in the breeze. In the city you just get exhaust but out in the country, on the plains, man you get the wild dusty wind and the sharp pine and all of it in through that back window. I had the best of times in that 4-Runner —Brent Andrews/Chronic Discontent.

DFO: I’ve owned a 4Runner for about a month now. And already it’s soaring up the list of my favorite cars. Dunno if it’ll pass my 1968 Camaro convertible. But it’ll give it a run for the money, for some of the reasons that Brent mentions in his blog post.

Question (for SUV owners): What do you like about your SUV?

Brian & Tricia Frey: Saying Hello, Goodbye to Eden

For the full post by Tricia Frey about her daughter, Eden, click here.

Around 12:30, we are ready and the other doctor comes in and removes her tube. For the first time, we see our daughter’s whole face. Brian lifts her up and holds her, free of tubes. She makes a crying face twice, then settles. Tricia asks to hold her. In her embrace, Eden attempts maybe three slight breaths over the course of minutes. Otherwise, she is still. We sing and cry and pray her into the arms of her heavenly Father. At 1:20, the doctor comes in to listen for a heart beat. There is none. Our daugher has gone home to our Lord. Someone comes in to get ink foot and hand prints and to do plaster castings of both feet and one hand. We carry her to our room in the hospital to bathe her. Our nurse helps us set up and then a photographer from the hospital’s “Forget-Me-Not” program comes in to take pictures as she had on Eden’s second day. After the pictures, Tricia dresses Eden and we pack up our things. The funeral home driver comes and Eden is taken out of the hospital in the arms of her mother to be placed in his van — Tricia Frey/CDA Frey Family.

DFO: Brian and Tricia Frey are a young couple with two small children in my church, Hayden Bible/Miles Avenue. Earlier this month, they lost their daughter, Eden, after a lengthy battle to stabilize her in the womb and 10 days or some watching her struggle for life. Eden was born with abnormalities that put her survival chances at nil. Tricia chronicled those few precious days with her daughter in a wonderful testament to her faith. Some of you know that I lost a daughter at birth 23 years ago. Amanda. Tricia’s words touched me deeply. I’m grateful that she and Brian allowed me to share them with you. The best way to read the diary is from the bottom up. (BTW, you can read my own commentary from Feb. 9, 1984, the day we lost Amanda here.)

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 3/27/07

Chris Peterson/Glacier Geographics, Muse You Can Use blog

The mountain bluebirds have returned to Glacier (National Park),” writes Chris Peterson/Glacier Geographics. “The males are bright blue, the females have blue, but are mostly brownish gray. They like burned over areas because there’s lots of cavities to nest in (plenty of dead trees). Plus, the open areas have lots of bugs to eat. They seem like they’re a week or so early.”

Leaning Straight Up: Congress plays pork card … this is a new direction here?

1. Bill Scott, better known to his many fans as “Bill the Beerman,” died Sunday night from complications of colon cancer originally diagnosed in 2001. He was 58. For more than 20 years, Scott led cheers in the Kingdome, starting in 1976 as a beer vendor who spontaneously encouraged fans to shout at Seahawks and Mariners games here.

2. The search to find a Walla Walla man and his two children continued this morning after the van he had been driving was located in Stevens County, about 200 miles north of Walla Walla here.

3. The 2007 Idaho quarter will soon begin filling vending machines and parking meters across the nation. Idaho’s entry in the U.S. Mint’s State Quarters program is next in line - set for production in the next few months. Before Idaho gets its turn, Washington’s coin will go in to circulation here.

4. Steve Groene may not be fit as a fiddle, but doctors are singing a tune that must be music to his ears. The former blues musician and father of the lone survivor of the May 2005 Wolf Lodge murders said on Monday his cancer doctors have told him there are “no areas of concern” following his latest testing here.

5. 12 UIdaho students were arrested for trespassing early Monday while they were looking for thrills in a “haunted” former hospital in Colfax, Wash., here.

6. IMHO-NW: John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (Gonzaga assistant finally goes), Tom Forbes/Palousitics (Theme-Park mentality), Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (These cars chug-a-lug), Idaho Statesman (Don’t rush new primary rules), and Bert Caldwell/Spokesman-Review (Sterling fights for principal — and principle).

Online Poll: 31.7% of 2079 respondents to a Seattle PI poll say they take their lunch to work every day. Another 24.2% take their lunch to work 2 to 4 times per week.

*Reacting to on-campus opposition, UIdaho won’t abandon starburst logo completely here.

*Handcuffed Idahoan is seriously injured after stealing Oregon police car, rolling it here.

*Montana’s average income 9th fastest growing in ‘06 here.

*1% for Tetons hits milestones in an effort to preserve famous mountains here.

Orbusmax Special: F&W shuts down eastern Washington mole trappers here.

National Mint Unveils Idaho’s Nondescript Quarter

In 2007, the Pacific/Inland Northwest finally has a chance to strut its stuff on the national quarter scene — and Montana (left) and Utah (middle) does. Unfortunately, Idaho is stuck for the next 50 years or so with that stupid quarter foisted on us by former governor Dirk Kempthorne. A peregrine falcon? Nearly meaningless. I’d take a reintroduced wolf any day. Then, the southern Idaho legislator farmers would never abide by that. Thanks, Dirk — for nothing — DFO.

Question: Is there a worse quarter than Idaho’s?

Hat Tip: Lesley Presley

Item: 12 UI Students Arrested in “Haunted Hospital”

Issue: ‘Haunted’ old hospital horror story for students: UI group arrested at Colfax building/Amy Cannata, Spokesman-Review

More Info: The dozen students were charged with trespassing when Whitman County sheriff’s deputies discovered them roaming the halls of St. Ignatius Manor Hospital shortly after midnight. The students told deputies they had heard it was a “haunted insane asylum.”

Question: What is the dumbest thing you ever did without getting caught?

RSPA: Thinking About Running Away from HBO …

SOMETIMES I THINK ABOUT RUNNING AWAY, RUNNING AWAY FROM THIS STUPID BLOG. I would run and run and end up on a cold, damp riverside with my stick on my shoulder and my bundle of clothes and baseball cards and a chocolate bar and there by the river would be a hobo encampment and squatting around the fire would be a tribe of surly hobos and they would be Wondering, The Queen of the Hobos, and her mean son Anymouse and his nasty cousin Claude D Waalz and his grizzled boyfriend The Heimlich Maneuver and maybe a few more bums who ran away from here and now they’re just creepy riverfolk and I’d be like NO WAY MAN! I AIN’T GONNA END UP LIKE THEM! and I’d sprint back here and jump on DFO’s lap and yell I’M SORRY I RAN AWAY I’LL NEVER RUN AWAY AGAIN AND I’LL CLEAN UP MY LINKS AND NEVER LEAVE MY HTML OUT IN THE RAIN AGAIN! And he’d send me to my room without dinner but in the morning I’d get up and find some popcorn or top ramen or something outside my door and I’d be all like I’M GONNA CLOSE ALL MY TAGS AND GET ALL OF THOM GEORGE’S BUBBLEGUM, MAN!

Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel

AM Hucks: WSJ Plays Catch Up, Praises Hudson’s

Raymond Sokolov of the Wall Street Journal didn’t mean to dis Hudson’s Hamburgers when he set out on his coast-to-coast adventure to find the best hamburger in America. He simply hadn’t heard of the historic Sherman Avenue establishment that’s celebrating its centennial this year. As a result, he ballyhooed lesser burger places in print, including: Miller’s Bar in Detroit; Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage in Cambridge, Mass.; Red Mill Burgers in Seattle; and Slow’s Bar BQ in Birmingham, Ala. And was besieged by hundreds of Americans who protested that their fave joint offered equal or better burgers. No one, however, presented a better case for a second opinion than Dr. Tom Gumprecht and six others who lobbied for the Huddyburger. As a result, Sokolov traveled eight hours by air and another by car to belly up to the Hudson’s Hamburgers counter with Drs. Ann and Don Gumprecht and Dr. Larry Garvin and his wife, Patricia. In his WSJ article Saturday, “Best Burgers: Readers weigh in,” Sokolov acknowledges Coeur d’Alene briefly as “a gorgeous town.” Then he gets down to the crucial business of analyzing Hudson’s fare: “The Huddyburger is certainly the best $2 burger in creation. I liked the double burger, but the plain burger was even better. The Platonic ideal of burgerdom. It’s the burger Dr. Ann orders, with pickles but no onion. She eschews the secret pink sauce and the ketchup, opting for hot mustard. I tried it that way and was converted.” Of course. (Huckleberries Online will link to Sokolov’s stories this morning.)

Story: Best Burgers: Readers weigh in/Raymond Sokolov, Wall Street Journal
Related Story: Best burger ever

Parting Shot: Pulling for Each Other — 3/26/07

(AP Photo/Kitsap Sun, Larry Steagall)

Kevin Smiley, right, pulls his sister, Katie, with his bike, as Katie walks their dog Sadie in Silverdale, Wash., Sunday.

Wild Card/Monday — 3/26/07

I’m feeling overwhelmed by numbers and new devices today. I’m still in awe of the show-and-tell session young friend Philip Munson provided last night with the Mac laptop. (At one point, he showed me how to make the Mac Book sound like a light saber.) Then, there’s the whole health thing for the next three months of watching starches, sugars and other things that I’ve been putting in my tank. Meanwhile, I’m still clicking buttons in the new-old 4Runner to make the windows go down — and the doors lock. I’m a journalistic dinosaur, dagnabit. I’m suppose to cling to a typewriter and be crotchety. Instead, I’m being pushed into the technology age, kicking and screaming. ‘Tis scary. Now, for your Wild Card …

MamaJD: Stepping Out w/My Own Boy Toy

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

I went out on a date Friday night. Yes, my husband knows. Who is the boy-toy you ask? I can tell you that he is a part-time student, does not work, still lives at home with his parents, he didn’t have any money so I bought the tickets and popcorn, he didn’t open any doors for me, and he had a tendency to be a little clingy at times. We did, however, kiss good night. I plan on seeing him again and can’t wait for the next date. It was in the middle of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as our greasy hands touched each other in the buttered popcorn bucket, I realized that I never knew it could be so much fun enjoying a “date night” with my five year old son. I leaned my head back into the seat and just watched my son belly laugh, rub his greaseball hands through his hair, wipe his nose on his sleeve and then dig into the popcorn. I am sure that the movie was on its own pretty awful for any adult but I don’t remember it that way — MamaJD.

DFO: I used to take my own kids out for coffee when they were younger. In fact, I still do — when they visit. We talked about everything, from current and future studies to what to look for in a mate. I first learned of my son’s desire to pursue an MD/PhD study course at one of the coffees and then watched it come to fruition. My daughter needed encouragement to break up with a boyfriend when she was 16. She didn’t want to hurt him. But didn’t see a future with him b/c she wanted to travel and he wanted to get serious. He’s now married with a child. And Amy Dearest has gone to school in Europe and just returned from a week of Broadway plays in New York. Those coffee dates are among my fondest memories of my children.

Question: When is the last time you took one of your children on a date?

Huckleberries Best of the Local Blogs — 3/26/07

“Fire in the sky” from last night’s sunset by Family Phil.

Priest Lake this morning by Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns.

*Bayview Herb/Bay Views has a beef with the SR re: jumps and that half-page flap that covers part of the Sunday comics — and he’s not going to take it any more here.

*Mari/Dogwalk Musings sees a vicious cycle of fear and hate emanating from that North Idaho College flap involving the part-time instructor who dissed Repubs and the Repubs who counter-attacked here.

*JeanC’s Cat House and Shooting Society passes along an e-mail that informs the brand manager of the feminine hygiene division of Always maxi-pads what he can do with that happy little packaging slogan, “Have a happy period,” here.

*In Panhandle Preps, Ryan Collingwood is featuring sister softballers Kala and Afton Allred of the Timberlake High team and promoting his new Prepzone Podcast, which will begin tomorrow, here.

*Despite what the miserly Boundary County Property Owners Association believes, Wondering sez that a civilized society has an obligation to properly educate it’s children here.

Meanwhile, Cis/From A Simple Mind sez it ain’t bad being a half gen in front of the Baby Boomers here, Starr/Go Figure suggests you avoid the movie, “Shooter,” here, Granati/Orange Frog does the Union Gospel Mission again here, Melanie/Plaid Toaster is finally pain free here, Marianne/Slight Detour needs help figuring out the latest Daily Bee “Who Am I?” here, Trish/Wading with the River Journal pushes her multi-tasking to the max here, Shinie/This Is Growing Up likes vacations better than Christmas here, and Bill/Whitecaps claims people are beginning to wake up to the LCDC “masquerade” here.

Inside Huckleberries — 3/26/07

*Huckleberries hears … that there’s a reason the North Idaho Sentinel was published without a story by Al Williams, a newby journalism student and NIC athletic director. He didn’t turn his story about area outdoor pursuits into the editors or time. Too bad, so sad.

*My Amy Dearest is looking for a marketing/PR internship in Kootenai County this summer. She writes: “Essentially, I am looking for an internship in the field of Event Planning, Public Relations, or Marketing/Advertising to gain some hands on experience in the workplace. I’d love to do something related to planning a fundraising endeavor, putting together events for a school or company, being on a creative marketing team, creating advertising materials, working with businesses to develop branding strategies, and so forth.” (You can find her list of accomplishments in extended entry box below. Sorry for the blatant announcement, but I’d like to get my talented offspring home for one more summer.)

*MamaJD sends along the autopsy report for Anna Nicole Smith by Dr. Joshua Perper, who lists among his conclusions, the “anus is unremarkable.” (Just one more reason you should avoid an autopsy when you check out.)

*Duane Rassmussen has found another wi-fi site: “On the east side of Government Way and just across the street from the Hayden Starbucks, you can find Hayden Creek Coffee where the Wifi is free and the atmosphere just as nice or better than Starbucks. It is a new place for me to roam the internet on my laptop.” (I need to post a list of free wi-fi sites in one of the rails.)

*I’ve written off Starbucks as a wi-fi facilitator. On Sunday, I stopped by, after a haircut at Sure Cuts, to borrow the Starbucks signal — only to be told that it’d cost $9.95 for a “day pass.” Seems T-Mobile cuss-tomers can get the service free. But everyone else pays through the nose to use Starbucks wi-fi. No thanks — $1.75 for a mid-sized coffee is bad enough. Or is that called a “tall” coffee? I never pay attention to the tall, grande, venti thing.

*Rocket’s Brain Trust: “Say what’s up with the S-R headline editor — (Sunday’s) B Section Page 1 above the fold? “Officer shoots man - Dead man ran, fought before being shot.” What is it a runaway cadaver from the Human Body Exhibit?

*You guys missed a terrific jazz ensemble concert at NIC Friday night. Decent attendance. HBO’s MarkR was playing the bass guitar for the troop. The free entertainment at NIC may be one of this community’s best-kept secrets. BTW, Mr. and Mrs. MarkR are expecting a baby. Second piece of trivia: He’s part of a family commenting combo here at HBO.

Pecky Cox: Are You A Doormat Or A Dreamgirl?

Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns e-mails: “(At LAX recently) My husband read ‘my Bible’ although I didn’t want him to do so. I am not trying to sell this book, I do not know Sherry Argov, the writer, but my daughter came out of a sick relationship thanks to this book and now our older daughter is at it too. Don’t we all know someone who could use this advice? My husband wishes now his daughter read this 13 years ago and probably is sorry that I did read it. ‘Nough said. Are you a doormat or a dreamgirl?”

DFO: We all have different experiences, of course. In my case, I’m blessed to be married to one of the sweetest women I’ve ever known. I’m amazed at times to realize how much she loves me. I’m unworthy of that love. I doubt that I could have loved a “bitch” for almost 32 years. Then, I’m not totally sure what the word means as it applies to women in this instance.

Question: Do men really love “bitches”?

Fort Grounds Resident: Don’t Need You in ‘Hood, DFO

Related: Razed house raises questions about Fort Grounds neighborhood future.

As a long-time Fort Groung resident, I am acutely aware of the changes in my neighborhood. The replacement of original homes by lot line to lot line, more-money-than-taste structures without regard to the historic character of our area saddens me. However, I am not comfortable with disparaging someone based on assumption and speculation. Have you seen the plans for the home to be built at Military and West Garden? Are you aware that the house was virtually uninhabitable as it stood due to previous pet presence, outdated wiring and plumbing, broken pipes and asbestos issues? Your little tirade smacks of sour grapes that you did not have the means or foresight to purchase the property years ago. You can comfort yourself with the thought that you won’t be bothered by young people seeking higher education, people parking on public streets and visitors to our area. I’ll comfort myself with the knowledge that there will be one less negative, judgemental person in the neighborhood.

Deb Bell
West Garden Ave. ( since 1983 )

Amber Alert: Father Snatches 2 Kids from Waitsburg

Full post here. And: Photos of kids, alleged abductor and Amber Alert info here.

The van connected to a Washington State Patrol Amber alert has been found in Stevens County, near Ford, but authorities are still looking for the two children – 2-year-old Lars Baugher and 4-year-old Remi Baugher – and their father, John Baugher. The Stevens County Sheriff’s Office is searching for the children on the ground and from the air. The trio was last positively seen Saturday afternoon in Waitsburg, Wash. Washington State Patrol officials say that John Baugher has recently been having mental health issues and that the children are in danger. Recent reports had him at 1 a.m. today, buying children’s clothing in a Poulsbo Wal-Mart.

Q: What One Condiment Needed for Good Burger?

Story: Best Burgers: Readers weigh in/Raymond Sokolov, Wall Street Journal
Related Story: Best burger ever, and

“The Huddyburger is certainly the best $2 burger in creation. I liked the double burger, but the plain burger was even better. The Platonic ideal of burgerdom. It’s the burger Dr. Ann orders, with pickles but no onion. She eschews the secret pink sauce and the ketchup, opting for hot mustard. I tried it that way and was converted, thus falling in line with most of the condiment-forum disputants. Beef, bun, mustard: It is a recipe for happiness — Raymond Sokolov, Wall Street Journal.

Question (from Wall Street Journal): If you could have only one thing on your burger, what would it be?

*Keep it clean
*Something else

DFO: Ketchup

Question: Your choice?

Trib Columnist: English Is Ticket Out of Underclass

For the full column by Michael Costello/Lewiston Tribune, click here.

Very few issues expose the perversity of this country’s cultural left wing more vividly than the debate over English as the official language of the land. The surest way to evoke its hyperventilating, name-calling and threats is to advocate English as the official language. It worked again last week when Washington State University’s College Republicans stood on the mall and advocated a law that would make English fluency a prerequisite for citizenship. Sure enough, the barking moonbats rose to the chum, accusing the Republicans of all the usual clichs that they keep in their unimaginative intellectual quiver. It is frankly indefensible that anyone would wish to condemn a fellow human being to poverty by linguistically isolating him from the economic mainstream. Alarm bells were sounded earlier this week when it was reported that 36 percent of Washington, D.C., adults were functionally illiterate. Functional illiteracy is characterized by an inability to fill out a job application or understand a bus schedule — sort of like Paris Hilton — Michael Costello/Lewiston Tribune.

Question: Agree? Disagree?

Letter Writer: Shocked by Portland Protest

Hat Tip: Little Green Footballs/Leaning Straight Up

I was shocked and deeply saddened today when I saw pictures from a peace rally last Saturday in Portland showing masked anti-war protesters burning a soldier in effigy. Burning a soldier in effigy? What a sick and disturbing behavior to display not just to our fellow Americans in the U.S. but to those fighting for us around the world. Such hateful behavior reeks. My son joined the Army one year ago. When I asked him why he wanted to join, he simply said he wanted to serve his country. Not hate, but love of country – to help protect his fellow brothers and sisters. My son and hundreds of thousands of others were willing and are willing to give their lives for this country so that the rest of us can enjoy the freedoms our forefathers fought to attain. They are willing and able to fight for you and stand up to those that want to annihilate us. Burning a soldier in effigy – what a disgrace. I mean showing this kind of hatred – at a peace rally – in America?

Bob Carter

Snedaker: No Planning for Congestion Downtown

Susie Snedaker: The Planning and Zoning Commission was told repeatedly that traffic impact was not an issue when addressing subdivisions as the streets were adequate. The city has encouraged increased density downtown without considering what impact that traffic would have on the surrounding stable established neighborhoods whether it be auto emissions, tire dust, noise, speed. As the traffic increases, drivers will utilize our neighborhoods as short cuts to avoid congestion. The city should have addressed this issue prior to increasing the density.

Eagle Eye: If you think downtown traffic is going to be a problem, just wait till you get the traffic on NW Blvd from the US 95 to Interstate 90. That will be a mess.

AM Hucks: Life’s Too Short to Endure Bad Office Mags

Izzit me, or can most waiting areas use an upgrade re: reading material? I did an inventory of the waiting room in the office of Docs Don Chisholm and Dave Chambers on Friday while waiting for the dire results of my recent checkup. It had the staples: Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, TV Guide, Men’s Health, Women’s Health and Sports Illustrated. I give props for any waiting room that has SI (but I had to deduct a few points from the Chambers/Chisholm room because the SI was a mid-February issue). American Baby, Trailer Life and Golf mags also were available. A decent selection. Orthodontist Brent Unruh earns props for keeping an old copy of Gary Larson’s best of “Far Side” around, along with recent National Geographics. Supercuts in Ironwood Square gets a passing grade because ESPN Sports and GQ are part of the mix generally devoted to hair style and entertainment mags. My Huckleberries Online gang offered their fave waiting room reading materials, too. Stebbijo: “Those really trashy news/gossip celeb papers that catch folks like Tyra Banks looking too fat. I love those things. They are a great break from reality.” Duffer: “Instructions for disinfectant wipes!” Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel: “May 1993 Trailer Life, August 2005 Cuisine, October 2003 AARP, April 2002 AARP, June 1974 Readers Digest. Oh wait. You said mags that should be in waiting rooms. Not mags that are in waiting rooms. My bad.” How about you? Join the fun at HBO this morning by nominating the best/worst waiting rooms for reading materials.

Wild Card/Sunday — 3/25/07

I had a decent opening day on the food front today. But I’m not going to talk about the adjustments to my diet ad nauseum (mebbe something occasionally when I can see some humor in it). I’d rather talk about the very nice numbers run up by HBO last work week — between 6503 and 7157 page-views and 3652 and 3948 unique views. The seven-day average almost topped 6000 PVs per day for the first time. In other words, things are still hopping here. And I thank you for helping make that possible. Now, for your Sunday Wild Card …

DFO: True Believers of All Stripes Equally Nasty

For the rest of my column in today’s paper, click here.

Jessica Bryan came out on the short end of a tit-for-tat exchange with the conservative press and blogosphere this month. The part-time North Idaho College English instructor was the focus of a nasty e-mail campaign that was triggered nationwide when her disparaging classroom comments about President Bush and Republicans and her college e-mail address were published by conservative Web site WorldNetDaily. Several addressed her with a slang name reserved for female dogs. One threatened to sodomize her. Others hinted that she and like-minded liberals should be shot. Nasty stuff. But Bryan isn’t without blame. Apparently, she used her authority as a college instructor to routinely jab at the current administration in particular and Republicans in general. On the first day of class this semester, according to former student Linda Cook, she told students that “George Bush was elected president because people in this country can’t read.” On Feb. 12, she ignited the firestorm that eventually engulfed her by stating: “I believe in the death penalty. … First, we line up everyone who can’t think and right behind them, anyone who’s ever voted Republican.” Dumb comments, although said with a smile — D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review.

HBO Gang: Think of What You Can Eat

GreenL: Given what we know about your ability to cook, it is key that the Mrs. is on board with your new diet regimen, DFO. Yes, you’ll miss those “comfort” foods and snacks, but most likely, once you get back on track, you’ll find you can still enjoy some, in moderation, like once or twice a week, not every night. Try a variety of healthy snack foods, veggies or whatever, ‘cause breaking that snack habbit is really hard. Take care of yourself man, we all want you around for a long time.

JBelle: btw, I eat those unsalted, unflavored almonds from the Costco cooking section. They taste like … what was that term Taryn’s little boy used to describe the mashed potatoes? Only they really do taste like that. And it’s all good because try as you might, you can’t eat more than 12 of ‘em ever. yuk.

Dr. J: Some genetics allow tall, thin doctors that patients go to. You will not be like that ever. No fear however DFO. Exercise and eating alot of soluble fiber are the keys. But the really big key is “portions.” Eat what you want, but eat alot less. Good luck as Lent is almost over so fasting is out, eating is in! Have you had any of that “Bambino’s” White Cloth Pizza yet? This will be your test of “portionality”.

MamaJD: According to the You! Diet by Dr. Oz, you can have wine. Red wine has lots of anti-oxidents. Since this book was on Oprah, and Dr. Oz is one of Oprah’s “friends” on her radio network, this must work and must be true.

Jane Q. Citizen: Don’t think of everything you can’t eat, think of the things you can. I avoid fried foods, packaged foods and fast food. But I can assure you there’s a lot of food out there that’s good for you that’s pretty tasty.

Wild Card/Saturday — 3/24/07

I had trouble with my computer, server or router last night and was unable to post the usual Saturday lineup. Sorry. I’m posting this Wild Card Saturday morning, so you can start your own threads while I try to figure out the problem w/the home computer. I enjoyed MarkR and the NIC jazz ensemble last night. And I’m looking forward to kicking back for a coupla days despite the overcast weather outside. Enjoy your weekend …

My 2 Cents: First Day in the Rest of My Life

I just had my first breakfast on the first day of the rest of my life — after going over my results from my physical exam Friday with Doc Chisholm. He said changes were needed in my diet. Or bad times were ahead. I won’t go into numbers or anything like that b/c that’s not my style. Nor will I go into what bad times may be ahead if I don’t change my eating habits. It’s not that I’m a glutton. I’m not one of those all-you-can eat types who graze at Top of China. Any more. I’m more of a snacker that eats the right kind of nuts late at night. But eats too many of the right kind of nuts.

The results of the physical were sobering. I’ve tried to work myself back into shape solely by exercise — walking. The doc credited that routine with saving me from even worse numbers in certain areas. For example, this is the first time in several exams over the years that I wasn’t getting lectured re: blood pressure. But walking apparently isn’t enough when you’re a night owl — as you know I am — and a grazer. Now, it’s time to watch what goes in the tank. Goodbye ice cream. Goodbye pies. Goodbye jams and jellies. So long cheese and whole milk. ‘Twas nice to know you — at least for the next three months.

I feel sorta like the Pony did a couple years ago when he bid adieu to smokes after undergoing a physical — scared straight. I know it’s time to get a handle on this important part of my life. I’m looking forward to seeing my exam numbers right themselves and my weight go down even more. I’m at 16 pounds off and holding since the first of last year. But I know it won’t be easy. Fortunately, I have a tremendous wife who reacted immediately to the news from the doctor and went out this morning to buy good food. I started with cantaloupe and some fake eggs in a weird taco-type wrap. For the first time, I actually read a list of food do’s and don’ts that doctors have given me over the years. I’m sorta excited about taking control. Then, I still haven’t encountered my first snack period. I’ll let you know how things go.


OrangeTV: LCDC Posts Make Eyes Glaze Over

I’m going with the Pony on this one. This topic is played out. I see LCDC and immediately I start mentally drifting. Sometimes HBO seems like nothing more than the LCDC blog, with about 3-5 commenters that bicker endlessly about it. It is boring. Anyway, I actually like the idea of my tax money going toward the construction of some nice tall buildings, I think they’re pretty cool. It creates a more urban ambience downtown, which is something I like. If I were to obsess about how every dime of my taxpayer money was spent by the government, I’d develop ulcers and probably end up in therapy. One question: Can we somehow spend some of that URD money on a new Museum of North Idaho? - it’s badly needed, the old one is getting very crusty.


Don Quixote: Stop Before We Destroy This Place, Too

Given that we really have no idea about any of the following:

1) How much water can the aquifer provide?
2) Where are we going to put any additional treated wastewater?
3) Where will we be sending the overflow from our garbage dumps?
4) How many prisoners or other non-productive residents can we support?
5) What solutions are available for the accommodating the increased traffic?
6) What provisions will be made regarding the displaced wildlife that will suffer a loss of habitat?

I haven’t heard or seen anything from the pro economic development folks who believe that we should ‘pack em in till they’re tight’ that might address these and other practical questions. I’ve lived in large cities in several parts of the country and I did not enjoy the experience. I was hoping this place was far enough away from growth that I could hide. WRONG!!! Until and unless we solve the practical problems of added growth, we should stop it where it is.

Don Quixote

Mike: How About A Road Trip to Hear E-mail Ruling?

Mike: Speaking of Kalani. Don’t we have an Idaho Supreme Court ruling coming up in April over the Douglas/Kalani emails? Is the public allowed to witness an Idaho Supreme Court case? If so, HBO should organize a Blogfest road trip to Boise for the big fight over the coveted Douglas/Kalani emails. I know I would be willing to pay to see the fight. What do you think DFO?

DFO: At this point, I believe, it’s all over but the final decision. The arguments have been made. The high court simply has to render a decision. In any other state, I’d say it’d be a slam-dunk. We’d get those e-mails. This is Idaho, however. Politics reigns at every level. I still feel fairly confident that we’ll get those e-mails. On the other hand, a road trip might be a nice folo to Blogfest ‘07. Katrina was asked me at the library last week about the next blogfest.

Noah Kroese: Tolerance, BSU Repub Style

Political Cartoon: Noah Kroese

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 3/23/07

Family Phil photo

Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It continues to recount his family’s recent adventures at Disneyland. His photos alone are worth the price of admission (if he charged admission) here.

*Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns is back from a vacation in her native Mexico and provides a cool photo by Jennifer Price of ice breaking up on Priest Lake here.

*Dr. Jim/Cast MD warns that Baby Boomers are entering the decades when they might find it hard to deal with depression — 60s, 70s and 80s — and, therefore, might be prone to suicide here.

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings understands the decision by Demo prez wannabe John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, to go forward with the campaign despite the recent news that Elizabeth is fighting cancer here.

*Starr Kelso/Go Figure pens a melancholy rhyme/tune to Peter, Paul and Mary’s “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?” that tells of what’s happened to the “other guy” at the hands of IACIstan’s employers here.

*Newby Shinie/This Really Is Growing Up sez that families can live without cable or satellite TV. She and her family survive on rabbit ears. But she hates the infomercials here.

Meanwhile, Bayview Herb sez being 69 is better than the alternative here, Cis/From A Simple Mind got that hometown Sandpoint feeling while looking for a cane for the King here, BrodH20 deals with a Tantrum Marathon here, MamaJD wonders, Is Barbie wearing a thong now? here, Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’ offers more thoughts on the Jessica Bryan flap here, Marianne/Slight Detour writes of 60-year-olds and stuff here, Wondering comments from the lighter side here, and Bill/Whitecaps seems to think an institutionalized Dirty Harry is running the Lake City here.

Inside Huckleberries — 3/23/07

Marina & Dolly

*I think Huckleberries Online has attracted another Brit blogger: Peanut. She’s a matie (right Brit word?) of Marmitetoasty. She’s also posting comments in the HBO section. Join me in welcoming Peanut aboard (her blog here).

*I missed this one this morning from Larry Spencer: “New development in my life, I am a father again this morning to a healthy baby girl, Sarah Elisabeth Spencer. Mom and baby are well.” Monster Huckleberries Online props to the proud parents. (BTW, can anyone tell me how many little Spencers are out there?)

*Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander had a small problem getting on the blog this p.m.: “I had to give Dave O. a call to help me figure out why I could not get on the blog….suffice to say, computer knowledge is not my strong suit.” It was an easy fix. I’m not printing this here to embarrass Deanna. I’m delighted she called, so I could help her fix the problem. I consider her input here invaluable. If you’re having a problem that prevents you from posting on the blog, please call: 765-7125. I want you posting.

*From Lake City Playhouse newsletter comes word that Marina Kalani will play Dolly Parton’s character Truvy Jones in the local production of “Steel Magnolias.” Kalani, of course, is the other half of the county e-mail controversy that continues to dog Prosecutor Bill Douglas. (Hat Tip: Taryn Brodwater)

*Stickman e-mails that Katrina/Notes on a Napkin and her two urchin dropped by his house for a visit and one of his cool Tubbs Hill-refined watching sticks. Sez Stickman, the more the merrier.

*HBO has added two more blogs to the North Idaho Blogroll: Panhandle Preps and I Guess This Is Really Growing Up. PP, by Ryan Collingwood, is more of a Web site dedicated to North Idaho high school sports. Ryan posts his own features, stats and all-star teams each week. I Guess This Is Really Growing Up is a starter blog written by a Post Falls woman that I’ll identify only as “Shinie.” She discussed life without rabbit ears TV and reviews a local doughnut shop to kick things off on her new blog.

*Rocket’s Brain Trust and Mary Souza both e-mailed to say that the font was tiny in the post about Larry Schwenke and below. I had written in the code improperly. It should be working now.

Lordy, Lordy, Look Who’s … 69!

Comments Stebbijo: “I was over at Bay Views - checking out the blogs. I found out that today is a special day for Herb and I don’t want him to miss the interactive birthday experience! Special thanks to Taryn at Mommie Dearest for the ‘photo shoplift.’”

In The News — The Other NCAA Tournament

Vivian Johnson/AP Photo

David Hosch, center, of Oklahoma State, competes against Southwest Minnesota State players Nathan Peitz, right, and Nathan Douglas, during the Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Championships at Edinboro University Thursday in Edinboro, Pa. Nine college teams of athletes with ailments ranging from congenital defects to spinal cord injuries are competing at this year’s tournament.

Online Poll: Favorite Late-Night Talk Show Host?

Who is your favorite late-night talk show host? — Idaho Statesman:


UI Sorority Links Arms w/Anti-BSU Repub Protesters

For the rest of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News story, click here.

Students at the University of Idaho are refusing to let the actions of the Boise State University College Republicans go unanswered. The women of Lambda Theta Alpha Sorority are spinning what they consider “a shameful and racist event” into something that can help the immigrant community of Idaho. The sorority is holding a pledge drive to raise money for each word that was said Thursday night by former Canyon County commissioner and Congressional candidate Robert Vasquez. His speech titled “America’s Illegal Alien Invasion” has raised controversy throughout the state because of the promotional fliers posted by the BSU College Republicans in advance of the event. UI’s Director for Multicultural Affairs Francisco Salinas said the pledge drive by the UI students shows the ease of communication between the Latino and Chicano communities on the two campuses. “Even though we are hundreds of miles away we are thinking about them and concerned on their behalf,” he said.

Question: How will this flap end?

Take 5: Or Mags That Should Be in Waiting Rooms

While waiting for Doc Chisholm’s analysis of my various tests a coupla weeks ago, I perused the reading matter in the waiting room: Family Circle, Reader’s Digest, American Baby, Good Housekeeping, health mags for men and women, TV Guide, Trailer Life, People, Sports Illustrated, Entertaintment Tonight. Golf. Good reading material is important, whether you’re waiting for a physical or a haircut. So, I considered which reading materials are a must for a waiting area:

1. Sports Illustrated
2. Current edition of local newspaper
3. People/Us, etc.
4. Entertainment mag of some sort
5. National Geographic

Question: What would you add?

North Idaho Census: Growing, Growing …

Kootenai County: 131,507
Benewah County: 9,347
Bonner County: 41,275
Boundary County: 10,831
Shoshone County: 12,180

Idaho: 1,466,465

Question: How much is too big?

CHS AD Schwenke, Thanks for the Memories

OK, this photo’s a bit dated, but it’s a cute one: Larry Schwenke and his granddaughter Julia Jaworski, 2, watch the the 2001-02 Coeur d’Alene Viking girls basketball team warm up at the Idaho Center in Nampa, Idaho, where the Vikings went on to lose to the Madison Bobcats in the opening round of the 5A girls state tournament.

If Larry Schwenke could go back to the future, he would live life the same way. His lone regret is he’s a little more than two months away from walking into official retirement after spending 35 years wearing numerous hats at Coeur d’Alene High, the last 14 as activities director. Schwenke, who will turn 60 in June, leaves on his terms. First-year Coeur d’Alene High principal Randy Russell wouldn’t allow Schwenke to leave quietly, though. Russell called a news conference last Friday, essentially forcing Schwenke to formally announce what he had shared in his letter of resignation two days earlier.” Iwould have preferred to just slip away in June and let it be unnoticed,” said Schwenke, who took a few minutes Tuesday to reflect on his career — Greg Lee, Spokesman-Review. (rest of the story here)

Question: Do you have a good memory to share re: retiring CHS AD Larry Schwenke?

RSPA: Is Anti-URDers Conspiracy Theorists?

Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel: It may or may not be a complex issue but these questions (re: the urban renewal district) have been answered ad nauseum in here and frankly, this is boring me to tears. If it’s boring me, it’s probably boring others even worse because I’ll read almost anything and I’m constantly yearning for the truth and searching for meaning in every aspect of life. It seems you anonyweenies just want to take shots at Mike and continue to lose yourselves in the trees and never realize there is a forest to see. I don’t think this stuff even rises to the level of tempests in teapots. URDtaskForce is what? Four guys drawing conspiracy theories on napkins with Sharpies and asking the waitress at Dennys if she could bring some marionberry syrup for their pancakes?

DFO: I’ve wondered about the same thing myself. How many people really are concerned about the urban renewal district? Four? Six? A dozen? A whole bunch? The movers and shakers dismiss the noise out there re: the URD as being from a half dozen individuals who have access to media (Coeur d’Alene Press, HBO). I think there’s much more. Frankly, however, I can’t tell how many. Does this thing really have legs — enough to affect the City Council elections? Or are people happy with what’s being done with URD revenue that has enticed developers to do things right in upgrading the downtown area and waterfront? I’m still in the latter group.

AM Hucks: Judge Orders Humor in the Court

Earlier this week, Magistrate Gene Marano was stringing together one-liners better than Jay Leno does during his opening “Tonight Show” monologue. The 1st District Court judge was ready when a defendant offered an excuse for failing to show up for Sheriff Rocky Watson¡¦s work detail. During first appearances Tuesday, the county jailbird said he’d sent a letter to Judge John Luster explaining his situation. Replied Marano: “Judge Luster is off in South Africa someplace chasing lions. I don’t know. Or maybe being chased by lions.¨ (Rimshot.) When the inmate mentioned that his probation officer was Mary Marano, the judge looked to his clerk and said with a shudder: “How would you like to have her for a probation officer?” For those keeping score at home, Mary Marano is the wife of sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger and daughter of the aforementioned judge. (Insert another rimshot here and mark your calendar for the next Marano family get-together. After all, Capt. Ben reads Huckleberries.) Finally, a prisoner who¡¦d been busted for allegedly driving drunk got his turn in Judge Marano’s dock. Marano read aloud the address where the sot had been apprehended right in front of the office of Sheriff Rocky and Capt. Ben on Gummint Way. (At least, he didn’t have to go far to be booked into jail.) Continuing, Marano asked the guy if he was single. “Yes,” the defendant replied. Then, he clarified himself: “Divorced.” Said Marano, without missing a beat: “That’s still single.” Badabump.

Wild Card/Thursday — 3/22/07

I was a little off my game today. First, I got up at 6 a.m. — 6 in the morning! — to get to dentist Jim Unruh’s office for some teeth work. That’s never good when you go to bed at 12:30 a.m. I need 6.5-7 hours to be rested. I decided to get all the work done at once, both sides of my mouth. So, I drooled most of the morning (more than usual) and then bit my inner lip. I didn’t take the Ibuprofhen until around 4. I got tired of toughening out the syringe shots. I’ll be back on my game tomorrow. Until then, here’s your Wild Card …

Napkin Notes: A Quick Lesson in Birds, Bees, Boobs

For the rest of the post, click here.

This morning, while I was helping him get dressed for the day, Caleb made an observation.

Caleb: Mom, what is that fing on your tummy?

Me (looking down and pointing at the tie on my pajamas): You mean this?

Caleb (poking me painfully in the chest): No, that fing!

Me (trying to remain matter-of-fact): Those are breasts, honey. Grown up girls have them.

Caleb: Breff?

Me: No, breasts. There are two of them, and they’re private, so it’s not nice to poke them. Okay?

Caleb (laughing): There’s not two of them; there’s five!

Me (Finally losing the fight against laughter, and wondering just where four year olds get their information): Whatever you say … just leave them alone, okay?

Caleb: Okay.

DFO: Art Linkletter was right.

APhoto of the Day (w/Top Cutlines) — 3/22/07

AP Photo/Tulsa World, Tom Gilbert

Jodi a mother chimpanzee, holds her one-month-old baby, at the Tulsa Zoo in Tulsa, Okla., Wednesday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. If only we had regulation on the Chimp daycares, this mother could be “productive” — Cabbage Boy.

2. Moments later, the baby leaped from his mother’s arms, saying to the zookeepers “Who’re you calling a chimp pansy?” — JohnA.

3. Public defenders prepare photographic evidence to prove that Joseph A. Peterson is not mentally fit for trial; all he wants is a hug — Nic.

HM: KeithinLA

Kootenai County Realtor Gone Wild?

If you’d visited the women’s restroom of the White House Grill in Post Falls Wednesday, you might have seen an official looking notice, wrapped in plastic, on the wall, warning people to stay away from a local real estate agent. Why? He’s no good. Let me back up. The White House Grill called Cliff Hayes’ gendarmes to report the discovery of the notice, which bore some resemblance (in the owner’s eyes) toa paper that might have been circulated by PFPD Blue or the county SO. The faux notice refers to a contact person at PFPD Blue (Bridget Eismann). The police report doesn’t say who’s thought to be no good. But it did provide the warning on the paper: “Women stay away from him. He’s no good.” Be careful out there.

Wondering: “Californicator” juvenile, unimaginative

Item: Idaho House dumps film incentive on fears of ‘Californicating’ Idaho/

More Info: One lawmaker argued, “Let’s not Californicate Idaho.” Still another said, “Let’s don’t help Hollywood.”

Wondering: When is the stupid sophomoric term “Californicator” going to be dispensed with. It is juvenile and indicative of a mind totally lacking in imagination…or someone with a 65 word total vocabulary. Enough…it is just plain stupid.

DFO: I’ll bet more Idahoans were born in California than in Idaho. The “Californicator” comment not only is stupid, but it’s so 1970s. Then, some of our Idaho legislators are living about 30 or 40 years behind the time.

Question: Do you know of anyone who still uses the term, “Californicate”?

Eye On Boise: Otter Vetoes Bowling Smoking Ban

Gov. Butch Otter has just vetoed HB 121, the bill to ban smoking in Idaho bowling alleys. “Given legislative concerns about ‘social engineering,’ particularly in regard to my proposal for targeted expansion of the grocery tax credit, in the interest of consistency it seems reasonable to conclude that such concern would extend to this legislation as well,” Otter wrote in his veto message. “Social engineering by government should be of special concern when it also involves the private property rights of our citizens. H 121 imposes an unreasonable burden on private property rights as well as legitimate and lawful business activities.” Idaho three years ago banned smoking in restaurants and most other public places where children under age 21 are allowed; only bowling alleys were left out. Student bowlers from throughout southern Idaho came to the Legislature this year to testify in favor of the bill, saying they shouldn’t have to endure a smoky environment to bowl — Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise.

Question: What do you think of Otter’s veto?

Wondering: Handicapped Man Plays System

Item: Prosecutors reluctant to press charges in child porn case: Peterson has been deemed unfit to stand trial on two previous occassions/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press

Wondering: I just caught the absolute tail end of an interview with Christie Wood on KREM. Apparently this man has a guardian who says he is totally harmless. His hobby is just taking pictures of people in the neighborhood. He is not a pedophile. Then explain please the child porn on his computer. Explain the previous incidents. The problem here lies not with the CDA police, but with the public defender who gets him off the hook each time. And with a judge who goes along with the PD without having him evaluated. wrong. … If the court cuts him loose, there is nothing the police dept. can do.

DFO: I can’t remember if I mentioned it yesterday, but I met this fellow at a garage sale a coupla years ago. I remember him b/c he’s very small, with a distinctive appearance. Also, he had all kinds of computer equipment for sale. His adopted mother was there, too. I can see how he’d be a natural for bullies to pick on. I’d guess he’s pretty harmless. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for determining what the state does with him, one way or another. Tough call.

NI Counties Not Among Idaho’s Fastest Growing

Item: Ada isn’t fastest-growing county: That honor goes to Valley County, which grew by 6.3% last year/Cynthia Sewell, Idaho Statesman

More Info: Ada County is No. 4; Kootenai County wasn’t listed in the story. Canyon County is the only one to make the Census Bureau’s list of 100 fastest growing U.S. counties.

Current State Population: 1,466,465.

Hat Tip: Dan of the County

Cabela’s Breaking Ground in Post Falls

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review photo

Kyle Coryat (cq) left and Sean Plumer (cq) of Mountain Crest Enterprises out of Mead pounded in some markers at the future site of Cabela’s sporting goods store in Post Falls on Wednesday.

Related: House spikes online sales tax: Cabela’s among businesses that would have been affected by measure/Parker Howell, SR; and: Developers may get reimbursed $20M; Urban renewal agency working out details for infrastructure repayment/Hope Brumbach, SR

Question: Are you happy Cabela’s is coming to the area? Or miffed that it should be paying more of its own way for sales tax, infrastructure?

Truthseeker: More Trade Ed, Not Liberal Ed

I would have a much easier time voting yes on education when the district wants to spend money on the many, many kids who need an alternate course to follow. That course is a technical rather than a purely academic path. This area screams out for more technical training. Here we are creating a service based economy, yet cater to traditional college-based preparation for professional careers. Let’s get some trade schools established. This is one avenue that will allow many of our sons and daughters to actually stay here in the area and make a life instead of leaving for pastures more suited to their skill sets. Ask Stephanie Bennett at the Bridge Academy about the kids she salvages from the high schools who are not cut out for a “normal” high school curriculum. There is a need and it needs to be addressed. I wish the same concerned citizens who took Paul Burke at NIC to task over this issue would take that same message to our public school directors.


AM Hucks: Watch Facial Hair for Signs of Age

Frum Helen Back (aka D.J. Nall) of the Hauser Thoughts blog started things rolling at Huckleberries Online on Wednesday by declaring that she and hubby Dave were “old.” The realization dawned on her as she was taking Dave to see their “very young and attractive lady doctor” to check out his sore knee. They talked about their thinning hair and how it was growing elsewhere on their faces. D.J.: “Dave is growing very long eyebrows that need haircuts and I am turning into a man by the looks of the hair above and below my lips.” Later, Frum Helen Back asked the VYAAL doctor if Dave should have felt pain when he tweaked his knee. “No,” the doc responded, “he’s old.” Not to be outdone, HBO commenter Grumpy said he realized he was old “when I started hiring people who were born after I started (his current) job.” Here’s how other HBOers responded to the question: When did you know that you were old? Inland Empire Girl: “When I couldn’t recognize one song or group on the top 10 hits of the week.” Annette: “When my children were watching Scooby Do and I said that I had watched that when I was a kid. Their response?! ‘In color?!’ Brats I tell ya.” … Al Hassell: “When my knees and back started going out more often than I did.” … Cis: “When you go to bed in just fine condition and wake up to something wrong. Your knee hurts, your ankle is out of whack, or you can’t raise your arm high.” … Me? When a pimply clerk at Hayden’s KFC glanced at me and unilaterally rung up a senior discount without asking

Hump Day Wild Card — 3/21/07

As you can see below, Katrina/Notes on a Napkin proclaimed spring to have arrived Monday. As you know, I determine that winter is over on Feb. 2, Groundhog’s Day. That helps me mentally to get through the remaining 6 or 7 weeks when the sun grows stronger and the crocuses pop from the soil. No one can argue that spring is officially here today. We’ve made it through that long cold time ushered in around Thanksgiving. ‘Tis time to celebrate. Or at least head over to the Coeur d’Alene Library with my laptop this afternoon to say hello to Librarian Bette Ammon and to blog a bit. ‘Tis tough work. But someone has to do it. Meanwhile, I have the weekly Edit Board meeting to endure. So, I’ll slap this Wild Card on you …

Silver Valley Girl: Hoorah for Nancy Drew

When I reached about third grade, I was drawn to a certain special shelf at the Kellogg Public Library that held a series of books and I decided I was going to read every one of them. These were the Nancy Drew books. Each mystery took me to River Heights, into the world of Nancy Drew and her family and friends who would often stumble on a mystery to solve, or would get some help find the mystery from her lawyer father Carson Drew. However she would find her mystery, the words on the page sucked you into Nancy’s world. I remember some of the books described her hair as titian. I always wondered what color titian really was…but I guess I knew she was some kind of blond. And she drove a blue convertible — Silver Valley Girl/Silver Valley Stories.

DFO: As a youngster, I read almost all of Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz series. There must have been at least 20 of them. But the book that made the greatest impact was Bernard Malamud’s “The Natural.” It was the first grownup sports book that I read. An arrogant freshman English teacher named Parley Melvin Anglin assigned the book to me b/c he felt it was time that I put away my childish reader. I never liked the man. But he was right about the book.

Question: Did any book play a pivotal role in your formative years?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 3/21/07

Mommy Dearest/BrodH20: “The Boo started laughing as soon as he saw my new haircut on Friday. ‘You look funny, mommy,’ he said. ‘You ‘unny momma,’ Goo repeated. And The Otis just kind of stared and didn’t really say much of anything. When he finally spoke, I think he described the new ‘do as ‘interesting.’” Click here.

*Family Phil & Co. have been having the time of their lives in Disneyland — and he has oodles of good photos to prove it, including one of Phil with a babe on his arm who looks like the spitting image of Cruella Da Vil here.

*Again, Bayview Herb/Bay Views takes up the issue of possible conflicts of interest involving public servants: ” … when a regulator quits and immediately goes to work for the regulated, it opens the door for suspicions as to when that person actually started advocating for the new employer. Before, or after they left the job at Kootenai County.” Click here.

*When Starr/Go Figure encountered problems re: sending an elk skull across the Atlantic to Marmitetoasty, he turned to a sure-fire source to get it there. UPS, FedEx, USPO? No. He approached Frank @ Coeur d’Alene Taxidermy here.

*In keeping with the spirit of NARAL Pro-choice America’s Back Up Your Birth Control Day, Sara/F-Words explains her approach to her birth-control regimen here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour provides a weather report from her vantage point in Bonner County: “Any morning that we can see those ski runs is a good morning because that means they’re not socked in by dreary, rain-filled clouds. Today’s spring christening lacks the hint of any cloud in the vast blue sky” here.

Meanwhile, Mari/Dogwalk Musings doesn’t appreciate prez wannabe John Edwards’ coyness and smugness here, Wondering discusses the last flight of an American hero here, Cis explains why she isn’t comfortable with absentee voting here, JeanC’s almost laid low by a paper cut here, Kristin/Not So Fast discusses laundry room etiquette here, Road King is Mexico dreamin’ here, and KaleJ/unMuted Mumblings and his daughter consider the number 3 here.

Hanging w/Mr. Nike @ NCAA Tourney

In the “Indeed, Ducks Hang Together” category, SR colleague Meghann Cuniff, a 2005 UOregon grad, was running w/some big dogs at the NCAA opening weekend at the Spokane Arena last week. Pat Kilkenny, who will take over as the Duck athletic director April 1, is behind her on the left. The guy on the right is Phil Knight — that’s Knight as in owner of Nike’s shoes and a monster sponsor of UOregon athletics. All three Ducks enjoyed themselves as Oregon escaped the upset bid by Winthrop and now is in the Sweet 16.

Mac Book Adventures: I’m Off …

… to meet Coeur d’Alene Librarian Bette Ammon, her fine staff and blog for a coupla hours at the soon-to-be former library on Harrison Avenue. In the trivia category, I was present when then mayor Ray Stone dedicated the old L-P building as Coeur d’Alene’s new library shortly after he took office in 1986. Jim Fromm, the former mayor instrumental in opening the new library, checked out the first book: Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” My how time flies …

Update: I chatted with Bette Ammon for a bit when I got here and looked over the plans for the new library, sitting on her desk. She’s excited that the building is starting to take shape near the lake and that her staff gets its first shakedown tour of it Saturday. It’s going to be stunning. Plenty of wi-fi access, including in the room that’ll serve as Coeur d’Alene City Council chambers and along windows looking out onto Tubbs Hill, where wi-fiers will be able to sit at cafe style tables with electrical outlets. I’m seeing the wisdom of the insistence by city library planners in locating this building in the heart of the most picturesque part of the city. The new library will open in August. I’m going to be interested to see how McEuen Field is incorporated into the overall setting.

Update 2: CDA Trustee/Wastewater Super Sid Fredrickson (with one E) stopped by the library to say hi and discuss things like the school levy and sewering the NW quadrant of the city area of impact (think Atlas Road). We also talked about the work Chesrown and Stone are doing along and river and concluded that we blew it 20 years ago when we didn’t invest in the right property that’s now light years beyond our reach.

Update 3: Katrina/Notes on a Napkin dropped by with her two younguns in tow: Katie and Caleb. She promised to attend the next blogfest. And I suggested to her that she take the kiddies by Stickman’s to pick up a coupla cool walking sticks.

Plaid Toaster: I Want

I want my house clean and organized.
I want granite countertops.
I want my body back.
I want new flip flops.
I want a tattoo.
I want to find my remote control.
I want the laundry done.
I want my bills paid.
I want leaves on my birch trees.
I want a Nikon D70.

What do you want?

Melanie/Plaid Toaster

Frum Helen Back: It’s Official! We’re Old!

Last week Dave had a very swollen knee. He said he hadn’t hurt it but it did feel strange. The next morning the swelling of the knee was gone. Then Friday morning he discovered his ankle on the same leg was swollen and bruised and his shin was swollen and yellowish. I was worried he had the right wing disease of the VP and had a clot in his leg. Definitely it was time to go see our very young and attractive lady doctor. On the way to her office we talked about our thinning hair and how it was growing elsewhere on our faces. Dave is growing very long eyebrows that need hair cuts and I am turning into a man by the looks of the hair above and below my lips. We decided we must not be getting old anymore, we are old. The beautiful, youthful doctor checked out Dave’s leg and casually said he had probably tweaked his knee and that caused all the problems. She was sure it wasn’t a clot, later confirmed. I made the mistake of asking if he shouldn’t have felt it when he injured his knee bad enough to cause all of this. So matter-of-factly she said, “No … he’s old.” Guess it’s now official — Frum Helen Back/Hauser Thoughts.

Question (for Middle Agers): When did you begin to suspect that you were getting old?

It’s My 2 Cents — 3/21/07

I was knee deep in weeds last night, scrounging for discarded landscape pavers and cement blocks, when the thought hit me — I must be an Idahoan. Only an Idahoan would risk the tires on a freshly washed rig to drive across a field of discarded material for a few bucks worth of cast-off ornamental rock. My wife had gotten the OK to pick through a house, garage and yard along Government Way before the bulldozers knock everything down to make room for even more storage units.

I’ve lived in North Idaho (if you extend that definition to include Lewiston for 25 years). I’ve lived in the NW 30 years, as of the Fourth of July. In that time, I slowly evolved from being a Californian by birth into a man without a state and then something more neutral. Since I came from small-town Northern California (3,500 population), it wasn’t hard to embrace the values and viewpoint of Kalispell, Mont., Lewiston, Idaho, and now Coeur d’Alene. But I haven’t felt part of any of my adopted communities until the last few years, here, in Coeur d’Alene.

A lot of it has to do with the decisions by a sister, a brother and my mother to move from Montana to North Idaho. I’m more part of my own family than I ever have been. Mebbe it has to do with the interactivity that this blog has produced. Mebbe it simply is knowing where to take your car for repair without getting gouged. Or which place to go for a haircut. Or where to go on a moment’s notice after work to pick up a few discarded ornamental blocks for the garden. At some point, I stepped across the line an became part of North Idaho — not just an observer of it. As Tevya and Golda concluded after they realized they loved each other after 25 years of marriage, it doesn’t change anything. But it’s nice to know — DFO.

Question (for transplants): When did you feel as though you belonged in the Inland NW?

Brand X Writer: How Did CDA Spawn Liberal Campus?

Item: NIC: School could use more balance in class/letter writer Jim Korver of Post Falls in Coeur d’Alene Press

Main Thought: How is it that this relatively conservative community has spawned an institution of “higher” learning such as NIC? (I’ve heard that there is only one conservative member on the board of trustees!) I applaud Linda Cook in her quest to get a refund. That’s the least she should do in my opinion. Frankly, I wish she would remain a voice for reason in that so-called English class.

DFO: Unfortunately, North Idaho College takes it on the chin in the community when a partisan instructor promotes her political views under the guise of intellectual challenge. Sure, you might say that colleges are suppose to challenge students to think. Would you be as apt to make that statement if Jessica Bryan routinely pushed conservative views? In a conservative community, where the college is supported by local tax dollars, instructors should be more sensible not to create this kind of flap.

Q: How Do You Deal w/Crime by Handicapped Man?

Item: Disabled man free in child-porn case: Previous charges had been dismissed/Taryn Brodwater, SR

More Info: In recent years, Peterson has twice been charged with sex offenses. In both cases, the charges were dismissed after his attorneys argued that he was mentally incompetent to stand trial. Though Peterson has been released, the latest case has not been dismissed.

DFO: Cynthia Taggart wrote a story about Joseph Peterson when she was our Close To Home columnist. She wrote in 1995 that “Joe is different from other 28-year-olds. He’s the size of a second-grader — 50 inches tall, 59 pounds — with an adult’s whiskery face. His voice is high, his self-control low. His brain quit growing with his bones — his IQ is 85. Like a kindergartener, he craves hugs, says inappropriate things and acts on impulse.”

Question: So, what do you do with a case like this?

And I Barely Passed Algebra & Geometry

AP Photo

In a computer generated illustration supplied by the American Institute of Mathematics, the E8 root system related to the Lie group E8, which is 248 dimensions, is seen. A math problem so complicated that its solution would cover the island of Manhattan if written out was cracked by researchers after going unsolved for more than a century. The 18-member team of mathematicians took four years to solve the problem.

MamaJD: Nothing to Do w/PC, Simply Poor Taste

re: Boise State Republicans drawing for a Mexican restaurant dinner to promote an appearance by U.S. Senate wannabe Robert Vasquez here

Truthseeker: It’s not politically correct, so it must be wrong.

MamaJD: Truthseeker, political correctness has nothing to do with this. It is the equivalent to having a dinner consisting of fried chicken and watermelon served by Aunt Jemima and Little Black Sambo in celebration of Martin Luther King. This moved out of the realm of political correctness when this college club singled out a legitimate small business. It was mean spirited, poorly thought out, and just plain irresponsible. I always wonder how many people get converted by the the Hellfire and Damnation types that scream at passers-by. I wonder what makes the Hellfire and Damnation types think that is an attractive promotion that would draw anyone in? This is the same type of thing to me regarding this club. What part of this is attractive so that others would want to join their cause?

Parting Shot — 3/20/07

Boise State University Republicans Web site

Here’s the Boise State Republican poster that has Treasure Valley Demos and human-rights activists stirred up. At the bottom of the poster, the young Repubs said: “The College Republicans are not racist, and do not wish to offend anyone. We simply want to bring attention to the problem of illegal immigration in America, and have chosen a humorous approach to draw interest and student involvement. While the drawing for dinner is all in good fun, the topic is serious, and the College Republicans have chosen a serious speaker. Robert Vasquez is one of Idaho’s leading Latino citizens, and an authority on the subject of illegal immigration. Please join us as we celebrate Cesar Chavez Week by discussing this important issue.”

Craig’s Office Condemns Flyer

While Senator Craig always supports a healthy debate of the issues, tasteless promotion of stereotypes — simply for the sake of shock value — have no place in that debate. The goal ought to be to provoke thoughtful dialogue, not revulsion and anger. North Idaho has led the way in the effort to dispel the false perception that our state is a bastion of racists, but flyers like this only undo that work, putting the entire state in a negative light — Sid Smith/press secretary for U.S. Sen. Larry Craig.

Jessica Bryan: Classroom Satirist? — Raymond Pert

For the rest of the post, click here

As a Democrat and a fairly liberal one at that, I enjoy Ann Coulter’s satire. With friends, I can be kind of an Ann Coulter myself and it gets tricky because it becomes double satire: I’ll satirize something Coulter would satirize while, at the same time, satirizing Ann Coulter!! If nothing else, Jessica Bryan has experienced, in a frightening way, something we English teachers often say when we teach satire: satire is flammable, unpredictable, prone to being read at face value, combustible. Many times satire falls on tin ears. When it does, often the fit hits the shan — Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’.

DFO: Hat tip to my cyber friend Raymond Pert for trying to understand what really went on in the classroom of North Idaho College English instructor Jessica Bryan. I’m writing my bi-weekly column about student Linda Cook’s close encounter with Bryan over the teacher’s Repub jabs that takes a different approach. The more the merrier.

Question: Have you learned anything from the flap involving NIC instructor Jessica Bryan?

APhoto of the Day (Top Cutlines) — 3/20/07

Kyle Underwood, 9, of Las Cruces, N.M., checks his sneakers for smell in the annual National Odor-Eaters Rotten Sneaker Contest in Montpelier, Vt., Tuesday. Katherine Tuck, 13, of Tooele, Utah, beat six other contestants from around the country to claim the title of rottenest sneakers in the country. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

Top Cutlines

1. Thinking he was smelling an easy victory in the Rotten Sneakers contest, Kyle was abruptly taught a lesson about the agony of da-feet — KeithinCDA.

2. After Kyle’s kitty became ill during the contest, an organizer asked him “Pardon me, boy, is that the cat that chewed your ‘phew’ shoes?” — JohnA.

3. “No, these shoes aren’t that stinky. Not…really…stinky….at…” (thump) — A Token D.

HM: Deena

CPD Blue: CdA Man Charged w/Child Porn

At 11:57 a.m. Monday, Coeur d’Alene Police detectives arrested Joseph A. Peterson, 40, 3755 N. 4th Street, for Possession of Child Pornography. Peterson had in his possession three hard drives for his computer that contain child pornography. Officers were called to the residence after a neighbor complained that Peterson had taken a digital photo of a minor. Peterson had been at the child’s grandmother’s apartment working on her computer. Her 14 year old grandson was also there.

Peterson: Swans Take Wing Off Freezeout Lake

Chris Peterson/Muse You Can Use, Glacier Geographic shot these snow geese taking flight from Freezeout Lake last weekend. Freezeout Lake is a series of large ponds between Chouteau and Fairfield, Mont., about an hour south of Browning (on the eastern edge of Glacier National Park). I’ll post another shot of the swans by Chris in the “Best of the Friends’ Blogs” later this afternoon. Or you can sneak a peak of his series of shots here.

Question: Which CDs Do You Take on a Trip?

Full post here

Reflecting back on decades of song titles that have enriched my life, it is always a difficult task to pull out CDs to fill my holder when preparing for a trip. I agree with Copland that there is meaning to music. As we listen to a song, it takes us back instantly to another time, another place, a slice of life that is unforgettable. Can I state what the meaning is? Perhaps not. Does it matter? No. For me it is that strong feeling, whether past or present the music evokes. The feeling connects with slices of my life, creating a music tapestry. I always try to select an eclectic collection of CDs to match my many moods. Instead of the new question “What is on your I Pod playlist”, for me it is “What is in your CD holder for the trip?” That collection represents those slices of my life — Inland Empire Girl/Gather Around the Table.

DFO: We always borrow library CDs of Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” shows and books on tape, which are usually murder or detective mysteries.

Question: Well, which CDs do you take with you on a trip?

Blogging Live from Bakery by the Lake

I’m in the process of discovering a new place in the downtown Coeur d’Alene area — Frank (and son Andrew) Pigott’s Bakery by the Lake. It’s in the old Insta-Print’s building at 314 N. Third St. Andrew’s at the counter. Frank’s baking. The shop features rustic breads, baked in a deck oven. Also, European pastries — scones, muffins, etc. I’m about to bite into a mixed-berry scone. Also, Italian roasted coffee and a traditional scratch bakery. The Pigotts opened shop 10 days ago and are introducing one or two products every other day. Frank sez the biz will be operating with a full line of tasty products within three weeks. I’ll be here for about an hour. Drop by and say, hi …

Update: Several residents have dropped by to thank the Pigotts for opening a bakery in the neighborhood. One couple had just worked out at 24 Hour Fitness (or whatever the old Sta-Fit is called now). She lamented: “Did you have to open so close to the gym?”

Update 2: I’m now sampling the Poticelli extra virgin olive oil on fresh French bread that’s for sale at Bakery by the Lake. Yum.

MamaJD: Okay, as someone mentioned yesterday, DFO has the best job around. Do you have to flaunt it so much? Why don’t you start dropping by and visiting with a regular commenter once a week. Bringing fresh muffins, pastries, specialty breads and/or coffee would help gain entry. You could visit our worlds for an hour or so. See how we incorporate HBO into our daily lifestyle. Did I mention that you could deliver muffins, pastries, breads, etc? Or just go back to suggestion A: Stop flaunting!

Wi-Fi: Ah, Mebbe Wireless Isn’t Safe After All?

Item: Security risks encircle Wi-Fi: Not seeing what you’re getting into leaves you vulnerable/Dan Fost, San Francisco Chronicle

“With wireless networks, your data is being transmitted over the open air. Anyone can grab those data packets. And they can jump on your home wireless network to do bad things to you, and to other people. It’s as if they came in your front door and plugged into your network. They can look for vulnerabilities, out-of-date security software, unpatched operating system holes,” and they can set up your computer as a ‘bot’ or ‘zombie’ that they can use for other attacks. Wireless gives them a semblance of anonymity. They can launch spam on other people, launch virus attacks on other people, steal pirated material, and the homeowner is the one who is going to get the knock on the door from the FBI.”

Stu Elefant, senior product manager at McAfee Inc., the security software firm in Santa Clara, Calif.

Item: Divisive Chateau de Loire, Canfield Projects …

… Are ba-a-a-ack after mediated agreements with Kootenai County/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

DFO: This looks like a war of attrition. The developers keep coming back, hoping to find sympathetic public oafishals and to wear down community resistance. In the case of these two projects, the opposite may be happening. The public has gotten organized and turned up the heat on the public oafishals. Dunno how these two will turn out. But the battle has been joined.

Question: Should Car Cell Phoning Be Banned?

Item: Legal hang-up: Legislation can curb driver-distracting cell phones/Spokesman-Review

More Info: Fortunately, the Washington Senate earlier this month passed a bill banning drivers from talking on hand-held cell phones, and just last Tuesday the House of Representatives passed a similar ban on text-messaging while driving. These measures have the potential to penetrate that bubble of denial. Their only real flaw may be that they don’t go far enough. It’s misleading to exempt hands-free devices from these bans, says the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. They’re just as distracting as cell phones.

Question: Is it time to ban cell phone use while driving?

Idawa: Not A Just World for Shasta Groene

re: defense request to put off Duncan trial until next year, possibly after the death of Steve Groene.

Idawa: This is not a just world; Shasta has had one of the most unfortunate lives one could imagine. When you combine the poverty she was born into, the horror imposed at the hands of Duncan, and now the impending death of her lone surviving family member, the unfairness of it all seems sole crushing. Despite this, the defense has rights no matter how heinous the crime accused and those rights should be honored, abridging justice does not lead to a more just outcome.

DFO: On an intellectual level, I agree with Idawa (although, for the life of me, I can’t figure why the defense needs more time to try to save scumbag Duncan from the gallows). On an animal level, I think it’s a shame that Duncan hasn’t experienced vigilante justice.

AM Hucks: There Goes the Neighborhood

My wife and I enjoy spring and fall walks along Lake Coeur d’Alene on the dike road that rims two sides of Coeur d’Alene’s Fort Grounds area. Sometimes, we meander through historic Fort Grounds, commenting on the yards and who lives where. Inevitably, we discuss what might have been. Some 21 years ago, we briefly considered buying a three-story blue house at the corner of West Garden Avenue and Military Drive. At the time, we decided against the purchase because we didn’t want to endure the summer traffic, the North Idaho College parking problems and the inevitable rowdy parties from the student housing nearby. I’m told former North Idaho college theater director Tim Rarick bought the place. At the time, it was selling for about $70,000. I saw a flier on a for-sale sign in front of the house last fall advertising it for five or six times that much. Beyond the rapid appreciation of the property, I’ve thought that it would have been grand to live at that location, near the lake, the college, and The Spokesman-Review building that was constructed a coupla blocks away on Northwest Boulevard. I mentioned the house to my wife for the umpteenth time, as we walked north on Military Drive Sunday – only to discover that the building and garage were gone. Only the lot was left. Obviously, some Warbucks wannabe had purchased the property, scraped the buildings and plans to build a monster house, like the owner of the McMansion across Military Drive did. ‘Tis a sign of things to come for the historic neighborhood. Not necessarily better things.

Wild Card/Monday — 3/19/07

Twenty-one years ago, I almost bought a home on the righthand side of Garden Avenue in the Fortgrounds area. We didn’t look too hard at it b/c my wife didn’t like the fact that it had a room on each floor. We didn’t want the kids to be separated from us by a floor. We passed on the house. Afterwards, I expressed buyer’s remorse, not b/c the house was anything special. But the location was, a coupla blocks from the lake. As my wife and I walked through the Fortgrounds area at sunset Sunday, I mentioned the near-buy. Then, to our amazement, we approached the location of the house — and discovered it was gone. It’d been scraped, probably to make room for a monster house, like the new one on the corner across the street. Ten years from now, I’d wager that the lower-end houses in Fortgrounds (which probably are selling for $400,000 or more) are gone, replaced by these monster homes. Now, for your Wild Card …

Brain Challenge: How Smart Are You?

Kristin Hoppe/Not So Fast provides a link to a short IQ quiz, “Smart or Stoopid,” that’s challenging b/c you’re answering against a clock. The average score is 17.5. Kristin sez she scored 26, which makes her 44.6% smarter than the average bear: “And I clicked the wrong button at least once. So I’m smarter than I am coordinated. Or something.” You can try your luck here.

Drummergrrl: “Gut Deer?” Needed Question Mark

Drummergrrl: Hey Dave - As promised, I’m interacting on the blog. But only to clarify - the Bumper Snicker should have a question mark at the end, “Gut Deer?” It makes more sense that way. I suppose my inflection didn’t come across clearly as we chatted at Java. That’s the downside of communicating in person, eh? On cyberspace you can make your punctuation very clear. Now with your forays to the local coffee shops and watering holes, you get to experience the best and worst of both cyberspace and personal space. Be careful out there!

DFO: Believe it or not, I’ve had an e-mail two phone calls, including one from Sandpoint, in which readers tried to figure out what I meant with the question-markless bumpersnicker in today’s print Huckleberries. The Sandpoint fella, Larry Bower (sp?) said he didn’t understand the snicker and asked 15 others who also didn’t understand it. I took it from the get-go to mean that either the driver of the bumpersnicker stating that he’s a hunter or asking other motorists if they were. All this, from a line in a Huckleberry re: my wi-fi experience. Which tells me that the print Huckleberries is read closely. Also, Frank Pigott read the Huckleberry and e-mailed to say his Bakery by the Lake on Third has wi-fi. How cool is that — from a 6-inch column?

APhoto of the Day — 3/19/07

Natalia Godunko of Ukraine performs with a club during the rythmic gymnastics World Cup 2007 tournament, in Ukraine’s capital Kiev, on Sunday. Bessonova won the competition. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Follow jump for today’s winners …

LCHS Soph Named 5A Girls’ Player of the Year

For all of the top players and all-star teams in today’s Idaho Statesman, click here.

Kathy Plonka photo/Spokesman-Review

Last year, Lake City’s Katie Baker received a single vote in balloting for the 5A All-Idaho girls basketball team after she scored 33 points in three games at the state tournament and was recognized as her league’s top newcomer. But a year later, 5A coaches voted the 6-foot sophomore post the All-Idaho Player of the Year after she led Lake City to its first state title since 1995 with 60 points and 25 rebounds in victories over Borah, Twin Falls and Coeur d’Alene. “Last year, I just brushed it off and knew not making the team would make me work harder,” said Baker, who set a single-season scoring record at Lake City with 401 points — Jesse Zentz/Idaho Statesman (for the rest of the story, click here).

Breaking! Phone Service Out in Athol/Farragut

About 2,000 homes are without telephone service in the Athol and Farragut areas of North Idaho as a result of a cut service line, accordiong to the Kootenai County Office of Emergency Management. Verizon expects service will be restored around 3:30 p.m. today. In case of emergency, go to the Timberlake Fire Station, 5985 E. Highway 54 in Athol for assistance.

Item: Groene Urges No Delay In Duncan Trial …

… Father of young victim says he may be dead by summer 2008/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review

DFO: In a truly just world, Steve Groene’s wishes — not the wishes of convicted killer/perv Joseph Edward Duncan III — would be paramount in this case. Here’s hoping that Steve Groene lives to see Duncan receive the death penalty in the federal case.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 3/19/07

Steve Elgar, right, calls out “Turn!…turn!…turn!” as his wife, Britt Raubenheimer, skis down Schweitzer Mountain Thursday morning. After losing her vision, Raubenheimer adapted and skis regularly with the help of her husband. People are often amazed at her ability to ski challenging slopes without sight here. (Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review)

Eye On Boise: Idaho House OKs tougher requirements for teen drivers here.

1. Steve Groene told a federal court today that he’s dying of throat cancer – and if Joseph Duncan’s trial is put off for a year and a half, as the defense has requested, Groene’s daughter Shasta may have no parent to support her through the trial here.

2. A Boise State University group has angered area Hispanic leaders and other organizations by promoting a speech with a “food stamp drawing” that requires climbing through a hole in a fence and offering fake identification for a shot at wining a dinner at a Mexican restaurant here.

3. Seventy-one-year-old Virginia Crawford and her husband, Charlie, 76, have adopted her five great-grandchildren. “At my age, I’m on my knees to God every day asking, ‘Please give me the energy for another day,’” Mrs. Crawford said after adopting a boy and four girls, ages 3 to 8, last week in District Court here.

4. A 21-year-old WSU student returned early from vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, with a terrifying tale. Senior economics major Andrew DeLorenzo said he was finishing up a night of drinking with six friends at a downtown Puerto Vallarta club on March 12 when he was seized by Mexican police officers. DeLorenzo said he was then bound, robbed and abused for more than 12 hours here.

5. The Idaho Stampede basketball team and local businesses have helped remodel the home of an Idaho Air National Guard veteran who has trouble walking after becoming ill while serving in the Middle East here.

6. IMHO-NW: Tom Forbes/Palousitics (Pullman: The land that time forgot), U.S. Sen. Larry Craig/Idaho Statesman (VA system offers quality health care), John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (Don’t let Tony Bennett leave WSU), Brandi Swindell/Idaho Statesman (Should students choose BSU speakers?), David Johnson/Lewiston Tribune (1937 Texas blast survivor speaks out), and WSU Evergreen (Men’s basketball team united WSU campus).

Online Poll: 53% of 195 respondents to a Lewiston Tribune poll disagreed with the ban on Idaho field burning.

Ex-BSU basketball player Coby Karl to undergo second surgery for thyroid cancer here.

*Boise State looking to sell naming rights to Bronco Stadium here.

*Montana governor signs bill banning picketing at military funerals here.

Orbusmax Special: Passenger relieves himself in airsickness bag during flight from Boise here.

WND: Anti-GOP NIC “Prof” Not Smiling Now

Issue: Anti-GOP teacher not smiling now: Death threats: Professor called for executing ‘anyone who’s ever voted Republican’/WorldNetDaily

More Info: Among the allegations: Bryan reported President George W. Bush won the election “because people … can’t read,” and, regarding the death penalty: “First we line up everyone who can’t think and right behind them, anyone who’s ever voted Republican.” “Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that anyone would take it seriously,” (Jessica) Bryan, who doesn’t deny making the statements, told the newspaper. “They were always said with a smile.” She said the comments were an attempt “to get my students to think.”

Question: Will this controversy have a stifling effect on academic freedom at North Idaho College?

Bay Views: Are Public Servants, Developers Too Cozy?

Rumors floating around that Bob Holland, Owner of Waterford Park,LLC has Rand Wichman as a consultant. Rand, after leaving his Planning Directorship, has popped up as a consultant for most of the high profile developments in the area lately. Following in his footsteps, it appears that Jan Gera, Senior Secretary for the department has recently accepted a position with Gozzer Ranch. One can only wonder how long it will take before this one will be seen speeding along knocking off fishermen with huge wakes this Summer. Maybe she was hired to teach the employees good manners, hmmm? Wealthy developers are apparently hedging their bets with the hiring away of Planning and Building Department employees, in an apparent attempt to have “insider” advocates on the payroll. Maybe it is time for Kootenai County to adopt a law similar to Federal Employees regarding a two year wait for employment before going to work for an industry that one previously regulated.

Question: Should North Idaho counties adopt a policy that prevents planners and other key employees from going to work for someone in private industry closely associated with their county job?

Question: Will Spokane Gangsters Hit NI Next?

Issue: Street fight: Increasing gang membership and related violence have mobilized Spokane law enforcement agencies, which say it’s time the community faces the problem/Jody Lawrence-Turner, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Spokane has a growing gang problem, police say, a fact they’re anxious for people outside law enforcement to acknowledge and begin addressing before the community starts seeing violence on the scale of gang-saturated Tacoma. Since summer, police say, the number of confirmed gang members in Spokane has risen by 350, to more than 900 members representing some 50 gangs. The dramatic increase in recent months is partly due to a concentrated law enforcement focus on identifying members.

Question: Are you concerned that Spokane’s gang activity will spill over into your North Idaho community?

JBelle: Heyvelt Should Go Quietly into the Night

JBelle’s full Sunday post here

Neither Josh or his large, loving extended family will ever know the sacrifice and the tenancity that many families undergo in connection with a Gonzaga education. That’s because Josh is a full scholarshipped DI athlete, driving a brand new SUV around town. Many of the students I talk to tell me that they are afraid that very image is what people will think Gonzaga students are. None of the students that work in my office drive to work; know why? They don’t have cars. They walk from the Gonzaga campus to downtown Spokane to work to pay tuition. They are at the top of their game, too. All have been on the President’s List every semester at Gonzaga. That would give them a collective GPA of at least a 3.7. On the nights before big tests, they are at home, studying hard. They all express impatient disbelief that Josh would be in Cheney at midnight the night before a big, big game, in possession of felony drugs to boot. They do not think that Josh honors the Gonzaga experience, but rather think he’s a spoiled, privileged brat, not old enough or willing enough to understand what’s at stake — JBelle/The ‘Kan EWA.

There’s No Joy in Pullman … the Cougs Have Rimmed Out

Washington State’s Aron Baynes dunks the ball in the first half as Vanderbilt’s Ted Skuchas, second from left, Dan Cage, left, and Jermaine Beal look on during the second round of the NCAA East Regional basketball tournament at Arco Arena in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday. Vanderbilt won 78-74 in double overtime to eliminate WSU and put an end to the Cougs’ remarkable season. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

NCAA Women’s Tournament: Middle Tennessee 80, Gonzaga 46 here.

A Technical Difficulty?

Apparently, there’s some sort of technical difficulty going on in the rail to the right — that cuts off “recent comments” and the entire blogroll. I’d guess it has something to do with a missing end tag from the new INWBA bug I had reinstalled. I may have to pull the bug again to get that popular feature back for the weekend. Or experiment and see if I can find the problem if/when I go to the office this weekend. Sorry for the inconvenience. It’s not as much fun this way. Then, it’s a nice day to be outside anyway …

Q: Would You Allow Heytvelt Back on GU Team?

You can read letters sent to the sentencing judge in support of Josh Heytvelt, including one by Gonzaga Coach Mark Few, here.

The Spokesman-Review today obtained several letters sent to Superior Court Judge Michael Price in support of Gonzaga University basketball star Josh Heytvelt. The letters include one from Coach Mark Few, which was not released under a previous verbal request. In his letter, Few said the university is willing to give Heytvelt another chance. But the 6-foot-11 sophomore from Clarkston will have to wait until next fall after Gonzaga was eliminated Thursday night from the NCAA tournament by Indiana. Most of the letters come from Heytvelt’s relatives. They also include letters from a doctor, a pastor and the mother of a girl who has a child with Heytvelt out of wedlock.

Question: In his letter, Coach Few said the program is willing to give Heytvelt a second chance. Presumably, that means he’ll be playing basketball for Gonzaga next year. Would you allow him back on the team?

Huckleberries Compiles K-County Wi-Fi List

Java On Sherman — yes
Bella Rose — no
City Perk — yes (but the place is depressingly dark … and empty)
Doma — yes (but haven’t tried)
Kootenai Coffee — yes (from Fotoman)
Starbucks near CdA Albertsons — yes, but you have to pay for it.
Hastings coffee shop — no.
Coffeeville —yes (from Thom George).
Seattle’s Best on 4th Street, north of I-90 — yes. (from Thom George)
Coffeeville (in Midtown) — yes (from Thom George).
Coeur d’Alene Library (old and the soon-to-open new one) — yes (from library director/blurker Bette Ammon)
Riverstone Starbucks — probably (KeithinCDA)
Coeur d’Alene City Hall — no.
NIC SUB and Library — yes (Holly)

Any others? How about wi-fi places elsewhere in Kootenai County and/or in Bonner County and/or the Silver Valley? Let’s put together a decent list and I’ll post a standing link to it somewhere on the rail.

RP: Men Are from Idaho, Metrosexuals from Washington

Ifn’ I had WA plates I’d probably get a hankerin’ to (with apologies to RSPA):

1. Learn how to clam.
2. Take up figure skating.
3. Buy a few more raincoats.
4. Drink more Ranier.
5. Paint my house forest green.
6. spend a lot of time trying to figure out whether or not I had to take off my studded tires.
7. Put a space needle up in my back yard.
8. Get a manicure.
9. Go drive around in Idaho, gawk at the natives and then get lost and stuck in a snowbank.


DFO: Both Sides Hate Equally Well

DFO: I remember the lousy stuff that was posted on the Daily Kos when Helen Chenoweth-Hage died. Many celebratory. Basically, I think, the true believer can’t help him/herself when it comes to piling on the other side. No question that uber-conservatives can be hateful. But so can uber-liberals. Repubs and D’s are a reflection of each other. Neither is immune from the hate.

RSPA: DFO…the difference is right wingers tend to go overboard and take it to the real world… is notorious for campaigns of real life harassment of people, including a guy in Seattle who was dying of cancer and they accused him of lying about it and actually interfered with his job, his medical care, and his insurance payments. Both sides can hate. The right tends to take it over the line.

Katrina: These emails are repugnant, and unfortunately, this kind of mouth-breathing vitriol is common at both extremes of the political/social spectrum. All you have to do is pop on to Free Republic or Democratic Underground on any random day to find similar examples. The relative anonymity of the internet apparently releases some people from both their inhibitions and their cognitive processes.

Parting Shot — 3/16/07

Don’t despair, Zag fans, including Marianne Love/Slight Detour, ‘tisn’t over yet. As Yoda would say, “There … is … an … other.” Gonzaga forward Stephanie Hawk stretches during her team’s practice in Stanford, Calif., earlier today. Middle Tennessee will play Gonzaga in the first round of the West Regional of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament Saturday. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

OrangeTV: O’Shay’s Irish Pub Ready for St. Pat’s

Full Post (for OTV’s Handle Extra column Saturday, with North Idaho Music & Arts calendar) here.

Like any pub, O’Shay’s has its faithful regulars, and it seemed that this evening some of them had been warming their stools for quite awhile. Michelle was quite an affable hostess, and the laid back vibe of the place made me want to stick around. I had to chuckle when someone was leaving and couldn’t quite manage to push the door open and Michelle told them to “give the door a good Irish kick!” They did and it worked. She kept the conversation rolling up at the bar, from bad high-school photos to the rules of horseshoes, and she rescued our drinks each time they almost fell over on the warbly copper counter. I chatted with Harvey Stanley and told him I wish I’d have made it in time to see him perform. He was cool enough to crack open a copy of his debut CD “Go Harvey Go’ for me and autograph it. It’s an enjoyable album of witty, original Americana songs and no doubt I will be returning to O’Shay’s on a Thursday in the near future to see him out in person — OrangeTV/Making Flippy Floppy.

Question: Which pub is the best in town?

APhoto of the Day — 3/16/07

Malgorzata Stanaszek holds up a hand-stitched lace thong in the village of Istebna, near Koniakow, Poland, earlier today. Koniakow lace long graced church altars, but the lace tradition was dying out until Stanaszek’s company turned to making thongs and bras, reviving the sagging cottage industry. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Top Cutlines

1. (tie) Bob Hope’s estate sues when “Thongs for the Mammories” premiers — JohnA; and: Now draping altars of a different sort, men still found the lace holy and continued to pray before it — RSPA.

2. Not only has Staaszek’s company revived the sagging Polish cottage industry, the company is now reviving many sagging parts of Polish anatomy — Nic.

3. Republican student Linda Cook shows how her ‘shorts got in a knot’ after she was forced to listen to opinions that were different from her own — Thom George.

HM: Brent Andrews

Original Post: 10:14:31 a.m.

PF Dad: Soon, DFO Will Be Wi-Fi War Driving

PF Dad: You just gotta love DFO on the go. I wonder if he is going to next take Wardriving - thats where you drive around loking for wifi hotspots and map them on google maps so you can blog on the run.

DFO: PF Dad brings up a good point. I’m starting to map out the wi-fi places around town. Here’s what I have so far:

Java On Sherman — yes
Bella Rose — no
City Perk — yes (but the place is depressingly dark … and empty)
Doma — yes (but haven’t tried)
Kootenai Coffee — mebbe
Starbucks near CdA Albertsons — yes, but you have to pay for it.


RSPA: If I Drove A Vehicle w/Idaho Plates Too Long

That hug a tree line is great (bottom item), I wonder what impulses I would experience from driving a car for very long with Idaho plates … hmmm. …

1. Wish my 2006 Honda Ridgeline with a leather interior was a 1984 Subaru brat with a torn and stained vinyl interior.
2. Hug a sheep.
3. Learn how to field strip a Stihl chainsaw in 42 minutes while chugging Schmidt beer and shooting at things, small furry things, with my heavily modified “Randy Weaver Commemorative model” AR-15.
4. Tinfoil the inside of my Cat Diesel Power ballcap
5. Play tic tac toe with one of my 14 baptised Catholic home schooled kids using spray paint I stole from a True Value and playing it on the plywood skirting of my 1972 Marlette singlewide.
6. Take Common Sense Girl out to the movies and make out in Larry Spencer’s driveway.
7. Teach Family Phil and his kids how to make bombs out of lye and blow up small beaver ponds to collect the stunned and twitching rainbow trout.
8. Vote for Bill Sali!
9. Borrow some money from Jayson Ronk
10. Learn how to make orc-method methamphetamine in a Spirit Lake trailercourt using a weber barbecue grill, gasoline, some industrial solvents, and squirrel gravy.

Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel

Daily News: Idaho Road Plan Benefits Boise Mostly

Moscow-Pullman Daily News editorial: Potholes and politics don’t mix in Idaho

Perhaps the state should consider renaming its “Connecting Idaho” highway plan “Connecting Ada County.” That appears to be the state’s primary objective, as evidenced by the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee’s recent decision to divert $44 million in funds earmarked for U.S. Highway 95 improvements to projects in and around Boise. The money was supposed to help pay for a U.S. 95 project in Kootenai and Bonner counties, but plans for a proposed interchange were scrapped and the money will be funneled to the south instead. State Rep. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, said the funds could have gone toward other needed work on U.S. 95, but her voice apparently wasn’t loud enough to be heard. Southwestern Idaho lawmakers said safety issues, not politics, were the primary factor in the decision. We find that hard to believe, and so do some legislators. “Those with the power get those projects,” said Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert. “Those without the power do not.”

DFO: For the life of me, I can’t figure out why Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, is crowing about this legislation. Basically, North Idaho got screwed out of its place in the road construction line. And you know as well as I do that money has a way of drying up when it comes to North Idaho projects.

More Sample of NIC Hate E-mail Targeting Instructor

“Screw you, Communist B*tch. Even though you are entitled to your opinion we all have freedom to vote anyway we please. You would do well teaching in Iran hating Jews. Bottom line I feel the same way about Liberal A**holes such as you.”

I hope you lose your position and cease poisoning the flower of our future who enroll in your class with your leftist indoctrination.

Die in a gas fire, you (expletive deleted) … 50,000,000 abortions since Roe v. Wade eqauls (sic) 30,000,000 illeal webacks, biotch (sic) … But hey, it’s just debate and with a smile!

Now you are the one who is ofended (sic). Typical leninist radical, throw a bomb and when caught, whine and dqueal like a porcine harlequin. … Pray that there’s never a right-wing coup d’etat in this beautiful nation because if you don’t get to split in time, you’ll be one of the first ones floating on a river like your cronies did in Argentina nd Childe. And some of them were accomplished swimmers.

Why don’t you just kill yourself (signed by “a Libertarian who thinks Democrats should all be executed.”)

“You contemptuous excuse for an instructor. If you are trying to start another civil war and it comes about, I hope your family will be targeted first. As a Republican, I take umbrage at your suggestion that I should be shot. You’ll find that Republicans can shoot back.”

Inside Huckleberries —3/16/07

*I’m hanging out at Java On Sherman again today. I ordered my 16-ounce coffee black before I remembered that OrangeTV recommended the Bowl of Soul. Usually, I go for coffee straight up. No froo-froo. But I’ll make an exception next time I’m in here. Owner Sam Wallin explained Bowl of Soul to me. Sounds pretty darn good.

*I’m $678 poorer as a result of my close encounter with the local DMV. Unfortunately, my brother-in-law lives in Oregon, where there’s no sales tax. Therefore, I paid it instead. That extra penny in sales tax last summer cost me $110. Oh well, at least I can take the Oregon plates off the 4Runner, and put on good old red-white-and-blue Idaho ones. I was beginning to feel an impulse to hug a tree after driving an Oregon car for three weeks.

Item: Avista Salaries Increase in 2006 …

… Compensation paid to top 5 Avista Corp. executives was $2.28 per cuss-tomer in 2006/Rick Thomas, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Gary Ely, Avista’s chairman of the board and chief executive officer, earned a total of $3.3 million in 2006, which included a $510,404 increase in the value of his pension plan.

DFO: And almost every year, these cads return to the public utility commission, hat in hand and crying great crocodile tears, and ask for higher rates. The Power Company Formerly Known As Washington Water Power is moving up on my list of least favorite corporations.

Question: What would be legit compensation for the money grubbers running The Power Company Formerly Known As Washington Water Power?

Zogby Poll: 83% Say Media Bias “Alive and Well”

Full Story: Poll: Bias ‘alive and well’ in press/Washington Times

The vast majority of American voters detect the presence of political bias in the mainstream news media, according to a Zogby poll released yesterday in conjunction with the George Washington University Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet. Sentiment is strong: 83 percent of likely voters think bias is “alive and well.” Of that number, 64 percent said the press leans left, while slightly more than a quarter — 28 percent — said there was a conservative bias. Naturally, there’s a partisan divide, and a pronounced one. Among Republican respondents, 97 percent said the press was liberal. Two-thirds of political independents agreed with them, with less than a quarter of the independents — 23 percent — saying there was a conservative bias.

Question: Do you think the media is biased?

007: IACIstan Lapdogs Pimping Anti-Worker Bill

James Bond: Betsy’s Blog has a frightening, funny, and pathetic exchange about the Senate debate on an IACI bill to strengthen noncompete agreements in Idaho. Denton Darrington, a gasbag of a politician that epitomizes the need for term limits, became so outraged with Boise Democrat Senator Elliot Werk’s use of the phrase “by God” when he was debating against the crazy bill, that Denton—God bless him — asked that Senator Werk’s blasphemy be noted forever in the Senate Journal. … Why? Does Denton think God might read it sometime? Does Denton think that God doesn’t KNOW Senator Werk said it? Does Denton think people CARE about others saying “by God?” The bill, of course, is crazy — another attempt by IACI to turn Idaho into IACIistan. The more troubling thing to me, however, is that as a Republican, I seriously hope that the leaders in my party, like Denton Darrington, don’t think the people care about crap like that. We want lower taxes, less and more efficient government, and freedom. Denton Darrington and the other IACI lapdogs in the Legislature (mostly Republicans) should be ASHAMED for pimping this bill, which would RESTRICT freedom for workers in the same logical way that the closed shops restricted worker freedom. Yet, sadly, those same IACI-loving legislators tout the freedom granted by the Right to Work law.

DFO: 007, you just made HBO history by providing a new word for our corner of the blogosphere: IACIstan. Wunnerful. Most people don’t realize that Idaho isn’t controlled by the Repubs. It’s controlled by the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry. When those souless biz gurus say, “jump,” the solons start hopping. Thank you for continuing to call them as you see them behind enemy lines.

Wild Card/Thursday — 3/15/07

Coming Tomorrow in the SR (from reporter Tom Clouse): Prosecutors insist Gonzaga University basketball star Josh Heytvelt received no special treatment. But it turns out Heytveldt is the only felony drug suspect from Spokane County ever approved for enrollment in the diversion program that could eventually clear his name.

Here’s your Wild Card …

Question: Best of the Spokane TV News Web Sites?

As I compile Hucklberries Best of the INorthwest daily, I view the news Web sites of the three Spokane stations. I’d like to know which of the three do you think is best?


Question: How Do You Read Huckleberries Online

I’m blogging live from Java on Sherman again this morning. I enjoyed visits from Gary Hoffman/Quest, Fotoman, and fellow Azorean, Patricia Johnson, who is married to retired dentist, Clarence Johnson. I asked Fotoman how he reads HBO. He told me that he looks for post with a lot of comments when he’s considering weighing in. Generally, he said, he doesn’t pay much attention to the posts in the middle of the day b/c he’s busy working. He also sez he likes to weigh in on pertinent national/international items. At the end of the day, he takes time to consider the Best of the Local Blogs and the questions that close out the evening. I’ve been considering rearranging things at HBO. I’d planned to move Best of the INorthwest up a bit b/c it takes my entire lunch hour to compile. So, I have a question for you:

Question: How do you read HBO (in terms of things you always peruse and things that you don’t read at all)? What are you looking for here?

Original Post: 11:15 a.m.

Inside Huckleberries — 3/15/07

*Kelly McBride, a former CdA/SR bureau colleague who’s now an ethics group leader at the Poynter Institute (a training center for journalists in St. Petersburg, Fla.) opines in a about the similarity between the Scooter Libby crowd and high school adolescents here.

*Post Falls Dad: “I am drawn to (HBO) like Republicans to lobbyist. I can’t function without seeing what’s new and hearing from those all around the area. I rarely comment but love to see what people are thinking and how they deal with local issues. … It all started when DFO hammered me regarding a public debacle years ago and can’t stay away. I read it mobile, at work and at home. Is there a HBO-Anonymous meeting in town?” (DFO: If there is, I need to check into HBO-A, too. I’m addicted to blogging this.)

*Did you notice in the cutline below the Best of the INorthwest photo of the WSU/Oral Roberts BB game, that Taylor Rochestie was driving past Shawn King and Ken Tutt. Offered former SR colleague Kevin Taylor: “Did you notice in the basketball picture you posted that Rochestie is
beating King-Tutt? What’s that? Drive like an Egyptian?”

*Capt. Ben e-mails: “Judge Scott Wayman has approved the media to tape the first appearance proceedings against Victor Leon (Hayden guy who led gendarmes on wild chase after getting shot in the chest), today at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 12 at the Kootenai County Jail. This is a video court appearance and all recordings will be done from the monitor.”

*I returned from Java on Sherman a few minutes ago. At the Sherman Avenue coffee shop, I enjoyed shooting the breeze with Fotoman and former college Susan Drumheller of Sagle, who was escorting other Idaho Conservation League types around. Also, I met Gary Hoffman/Quest, Nic Casey/Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts, Patricia Johnson and her retired dentist husband, Clarence, and Java owner Sam Wallin (who bought the place from Jim Pierce.) As I was walking up Fourth to my car, I ran into former legislator Don Pischner, too. We kibitzed re: how terrible the current Idaho House is. Don was one of the area’s best solons in his day. In all, a fruitful morning on the street.

KREM2 Item: PF Nurse Charged with 3rd ‘07 Sex Crime

If guilty, this guy who needs a three-strikes-and-you’re-out sentence here.

SR Edit: Time for Prosecutor Douglas to Go

For the rest of DFO’s editorial in today’s SR, click here.

The reputation of the Kootenai County prosecutor’s office has been damaged beyond repair by the controversies. As long as Douglas continues as the elected office administrator, it won’t recover. Douglas should have resigned when Baughman’s illicit e-mail scandal overwhelmed the office. He was responsible for promoting Baughman and for modeling questionable conduct with his own e-mail controversy. Now, he must accept responsibility for courtroom shortcomings by his office that prompted the appeals court to overturn the 2004 conviction of a man who allegedly threatened a woman with a pickax. Again, it’s time for Douglas to go — D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review.

Question: Agree? Disagree?

Item: Florida Bat Scares Spec-Taters …

… Or, you can never be too careful around a flying bat. It may be rabid.

Florida Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez’s bat flies into the stands after slipping out of his hands while at bat in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros during a Grapefruit League spring training baseball game in Kissimmee, Fla., Thursday. No one was injured. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Poll: Gloomy Mood Tied to Income Level

For the rest of the story, click here

How gloomy Americans are about the direction of the country and President George W. Bush’s leadership depends on how much money they make. Twenty-three percent of all Americans said the country is on the right track, a 15-year low, according to a new Bloomberg poll. Among those with higher incomes, 43 percent said the country is on the right path. Three-fifths of Americans disapproved of the job Bush is doing, compared with 38 percent who approved. Among those with household income higher than $100,000, the gap is smaller, with 53 percent disapproving and 46 percent approving. “That’s the history of the world and it’s also the history of the United States,” said Stephen Hess, a presidential scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington. Public opinion “is always very directly related to how well you’re doing and how well you think you’re going to do.”

More Info: Wealthier Americans also have a more favorable opinion of Bush’s handling of the economy, with 52 percent approving of Bush’s record while just 43 percent of all Americans approve. About 2 in 10 U.S. households have income of more than $100,000.

Question: If you had a few more bucks, would you be more optimist about the direction this country is headed?

Halftime: Oral Roberts 28, WSU 26

You can follow the game online on this link or turn on CBS and watch the game.

Item: NIC Student Complaint Brings $379 Refund

Issue: NIC student gets refund after protesting teacher/Meghann M. Cuniff, Spokesman-Review

More Info: North Idaho College will refund the course fee paid by a student who claimed her instructor spent more time bashing Republicans than teaching. Longtime GOP supporter Linda Cook said she’s “thrilled to death” that NIC Vice President for Instruction Barbara Hanson decided to refund the $379 she paid for English 102 with part-time instructor Jessica Bryan.

Question: Is this a good outcome? Or will it have a chilling effect on classroom dialogue?

Take 5 — Or How You Can Tell Whether You Like …

… the Cougs or Zags better as NCAA March Madness kicks off today?

Washington State (25-7) takes on Oral Roberts (23-10) today at 11:30 a.m. and Gonzaga (23-10) faces Indiana (20-10) at 6:45 p.m. in the NCAA Tournament’s Sacramento subregional. Both will be shown on CBS.

1. You still have the stub from WSU’s last trip to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
2. You think Ryan Leaf was misunderstood.
3. You regretted that Kelvin Sampson left the WSU basketball program back when — until Dick and Tony Bennett arrived on the scene.
4. You believe that WSU’s logo is the best in the country — and you’re right.
5. You hate all things U-Dub with a white-hot hatred.


1. You hope former Gonzaga BB coach Dan Monson lands on his feet somewhere, now that Minnesota has given him the boot.
2. You scour the sports agate to see how Dan Dickau (Portland), Adam Morrison (Charlotte) and Rony Turiaf (Los Angeles) did the night before.
3. You want justice to be done in the drug case involving Josh Heytvelt, but you also want to see him back in the Kennel in 2007-08.
4. You gaze into the distance fondly when the names Casey Calvary, Matt Santagelo and John Stockton are mentioned.
5. You still get ticked when a sports announcer pronounces the school’s name Gone-zah-ga.

RSPA: Missildine, Blanchette Are 2 Different Types

Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel: (Harry) Missildine was a helluva sportswriter, very old school, very good ole boy network, booze swilling, cigar chomping sportswriter. Blanchette represents a newer type of writer, more ironic and a remarkably high stylist but much less boosterism. Missildine put more of himself into his writing, you felt like you were sitting next to him in the stands while he scribbled notes or drank beer, you don’t get that personalized feeling with Blanchette, he maintains a much greater emotional and personal distance from the reader. But it gives him the freedom to do stuff that Missildine couldn’t. Two different styles. Two different times. Both were/are great. Here’s the interesting question, DFO prefers Blanchette but which of the two types of writers do you think he is? Detached and uber-ironic, clever stylist, or Personal, down to earth, straight ahead stylist?

DFO: I feel there are two types of journalists: writers and reporters. I’m in the second camp, with a deep appreciation for those who can make words sing on paper: Doug Clark, John Blanchette, Dave Boling (Tacoma News-Tribune), Art Thiel (Seattle PI). I used to envy them until I understood my wiring better. I’ve done OK for myself by embracing the short-form, three-dot style … of Walter Winchell and Herb Caen. But I’m a sucker for good writing and story telling. OrangeTV and Bob Salsbury know how to turn good phrases. Too bad they didn’t go into journalism, too.

AM Hucks: The News from Hootenanny County

First, you should know that Deputy Dawg Kevin Mumford is a perennial winner of the Kootenai County Substance Abuse Council’s Top Cop Award – for catching the most DUI drivers in a given year. However, he didn’t win this year. In joking about Mumford’s uncanny ability to sniff out DUIs on Wednesday, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Marty Rapp told of a suspect who was seen tossing beer cans out of his car window. Sez Marty: “He was chumming for Mumford.”

•Yeah, that was your Huckleberry Hound test-driving my Mac Book at wireless Java on Sherman on Wednesday. I’ll be back between 10:30 and noon today. Drop by and say hi.

•A Berry Picker adds to OrangeTV’s list of things to do in downtown CdA (Huckleberries, Monday): Order bouillabaisse or flank steak at The Wine Cellar and listen to live blues (and other stuff) in the winter when you need to warm up. Or on any warm summer night, walk the Boardwalk (or boat to the Third Street dock), and have dinner downtown (then, boat back in the dark – romantic!) Or you can always view the huge diamonds that Dan (Clark’s Jewelers) has in the back corner. (“If your husband is not with you,” she sez, “you can ask to try one on!”)

■When you do a spell check for the word “Kootenai,” according to colleague Meghann Cuniff, one suggestion you get is “hootenanny.”

■Huckleberries hears … that the motto, “Kill an Otter, save a wolf,” is catching on among the enviro set, particularly the ones attending a recent wolf delisting hearing in the Spokane Valley. Aren’t enviros suppose to be peaceful?

Parting Shot — 3/14/07

Sacajawea Elementary School 6th-grader Justin Dean, 12, smashes a whipped cream pie into his math teacher Tara Rosipal’s face during “Pi Day” celebration earlier today in Great Falls, Mont. Dean won the chance to “Pi” his teacher after he memorized the value of Pi to 127 digits after the decimal point. (Robin Loznak, Great Falls Tribune/AP Photo)

Heart-Warming: Treating UO Faithful to Big Dance

Full Story: Kilkenny surprises Pit Crew with tickets: Oregon’s new athletic director informed die-hard fans that he is footing the bill for their trip up north/Dan Jones, Oregon Daily Emerald

Sophomore Michael Konowitz said he showed up at the Autzen Stadium South Ticket Building on Monday around 3:30 p.m. expecting to wait in line for hours and eventually pay $56 for a ticket to see the Ducks’ first round game against Miami (OH) in Spokane, Wash. He waited - for about 18 hours for that matter, working on homework until his hands got too cold - but Konowitz and 54 other Pit Crew members were rewarded several times over. First, they got a surprise visit from coach Ernie Kent at around 7 a.m., who Konowitz said delivered doughnuts and cartons of coffee and hot chocolate to students and thanked them for supporting the team. About 30 minutes later, he said new athletic director Pat Kilkenny arrived with his wife Stephanie and more breakfast. “He just really appreciated that we were so dedicated,” Konowitz said. Then a surprise announcement came just before 9 a.m. Right before the ticket office opened, Konowitz said a representative of the athletic department informed the group that, in appreciation of their dedication, Kilkenny decided to pay for all of their tickets. At $56 per ticket, he will spend $3,080 in total for 55 tickets, representing 10 percent of Oregon’s allotment of 550 tickets, and Konowitz said Kilkenny will also pay for a charter bus to take at least 55 Pit Crew members to Spokane and back.

Question: What was the nicest thing anyone has done for you?

Huckleberries Best of the Local Blogs — 3/14/07

Katrina/Notes on a Napkin has returned home from a wedding anniversary trip to Seattle — and has props for the hands-on Pacific Science Center here.

*Put your hands together for another HBO commenter who has taken the plunge into the North Idaho blogosphere, as Keith introduces Road King Ramblings today, explaining: “I chose the name Road King Ramblings because I own a Harley Davidson Road King Classic and enjoy riding it whenever I can. I figure I’ll use some of the rides I venture out on as subjects for posting” here. Next?

*Mommy Dearest/BrodH20 tells readers how she reacted when her sweet son looked up from his delicious plate of food, with a sweet smile, and said: “Mommy, these potatoes taste like crap” here.

*Writes Marianne Love/Slight Detour, “Every day seems to be a moose day here at the Lovestead lately. This morning’s sighting has already occurred in the woods just off the fenceline and not far from the house. We speculate this big gal is Gary Finney’s moose from across the road, which I’m sure could get easily confused as one of his Percherons” here.

*”It may seem odd to write about a road,” sez Silver Valley Girl/Silver Valley Stories, “but this highway has played a very important role in my life and has taken me to some very interesting places” here.

*Melanie/Plaid Toaster is having a tough time sleeping as a side effect from a medicine that she’s been taking and from her husband grinding his teeth at night here.

Meanwhile, Kristin’s afraid her brother in Alaska is turning into a hippy here, Sweet Herb continues his rants about misconceptions about region water here, Tumblewords whips the grandkids at their own games here, Dogwalk Musings wonders what Billary would bring back to the White House here, OrangeTV’s thinking about expanding his list of downtown CDA to-dos into a full-length column here, JeanC’s getting answers to medical questions here,

APhoto of the Day — 3/14/07

A beagle drinks water after it was rescued by members of the Blount County Fire Department who rappelled about 30 feet down the side of a ridge Tuesday in Walland, Tenn. The dog spent four days on a foot-wide ledge 125 feet above U.S. Highway 321. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Knoxville News Sentinel, Robert Wilson)

Top Cutlines:

1. After hearing firemen comment that the beagle still had all his body parts - feet, tail, ears, nose and eyes, newspaperman Dave Oliveria muttered “shoot, well I might use it for the cutline contest, anyway” — RSPA.

2. Albert,the Beagle, cools off after spending 4 days on a ledge protesting Global Warming caused by American cars on US Hwy #321 — Paul L. Ferguson.

3. “Bottled water? After what I went through with that fireman and his tight little rope? How rappelling!” — JohnA.

HM: A Token D

Original Post: 9:59:57 a.m.

Extra! Deputy Shoots Hayden Man Who Rammed Car

Victor Leon

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office reports that deputies responded to a call of a violent domestic disturbance at 11877 Kelly Rae Drive, north of the City of Hayden shortly after 9:30 this morning. When the first deputy and Idaho State Police officers arrived at the scene, the suspect reportedly rammed the deputy’s vehicle then attempted to hit the deputy with his car. The deputy fired at the suspect, striking him at least once in the upper torso. The suspect was able to flee the scene and led deputies on a chase that went through the Cities of Hayden, Dalton Gardens and Coeur d’Alene to Interstate 90. Deputies attempted to stop the vehicle with spike strips on two different occasions, but the suspect was able to get around the spikes. Once on the Interstate, the suspect went eastbound, getting by three more sets of spike strips by going into the center median on the interstate, finally taking exit 51 at Kellogg. Speeds during the pursuit through town were approximately 65 miles per hour. However, once on the interstate, the suspect only drove between 50 and 65 miles per hour. For the rest of the news release, click here.

Capt. Ben Wolfinger
for Sheriff Rocky Watson

Eye On Boise: No Crackdown on Senate Freeloaders

Sen. Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, just rose on the floor of the Senate to announce that he has a list of senators who haven’t paid their Senate lunchroom fees, and as of tomorrow, their names will be posted in the lunchroom and they’ll “no longer be welcome there.” A few minutes later, Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis said, “The statement made by the senator from 35 will not be enforced,” and all senators are still welcome in their lunchroom, even if they’re slow with their payment. Asked about it afterward, Siddoway said, “I was just kidding – they’re just about all paid up.”

Other Eye On Boise posts: Hot debate on GARVEE in JFAC; A squabble over highway bonding here; Otter makes Brandt county commissioner here; and Otter unhappy with tribe tax bill here.

Item: Bayview Offers Man Shoots Truck Story

Item: Bayview homeowner shoots rampaging truck/Spokesman-Review

A Bayview homeowner shot the tire and radiator of a truck Tuesday evening as the driver repeatedly drove over and damaged the man’s yard, fence and other property. Kootenai County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 8:30 p.m. call from residents who said that someone was driving through their yard at 35220 N. Collins Road. According to the crime report on the incident, Monte L. Cook and his wife Katherine Cook, reported hearing an engine revving outside their home. When Monte Cook went out to investigate, he saw a truck that appeared stuck in the dirt driveway.

Update: Bayview Herb called at 2:50 p.m. to say that he doesn’t know either of the guys involved.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 3/14/07

Lance Mackey, of Fairbanks, Alaska, runs his dog team up the finish chute of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome, Alaska Tuesday to become the first musher to win both the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race in the same year. (AP Photo/Al Grillo)

Eye On Boise: Prez wannabe Mitt Romney heckled by anti-Mormon spectator during Boise visit here.

1. 2007 Mariner commercials: The Seattle Mariners have posted their batch of funny commercials for the 2007 season on their Web site. (Check out the one entitled “Serious Heat,” starring Felix Hernandez first. Funny.) Click here.

2. The unicorn wasn’t driving. In a case of crossed e-mails and misinterpreted attorney slang, Yellowstone County Attorney Dennis Paxinos said this morning that widespread reports of a Billings drunken-driving defendant who told police that a unicorn was driving when his truck crashed into a light pole are inaccurate here.

3. A Corvallis (Mont.) High School alumnus who was cited for confronting boys’ basketball coach Jon Kedrowski after a season-ending loss has been banned from attending games at the school for a year. The Corvallis school board approved the ban against Will Fehr, 28, last week. The one-year ban was the maximum allowed under school policy here.

4. Red’s Trading Post of Twin Falls, one of Idaho’s oldest gun shops, can trade no longer. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has revoked the business’s license to buy, trade or obtain guns after an ATF audit found Red’s employees sold guns improperly numerous times between 1999 and 2004 here.

5. After a decades-long absence, vintage yellow tour buses return to Yellowstone National Park this summer. Eight buses, built in the 1930s and refurbished over the past year, will provide tours for Yellowstone visitors starting June 4 here.

6. IMHO-NW: Tom Henderson/Lewiston Tribune (Captain America deserved better), Dan Hammes/St. Maries Record-Gazette (Discounting senior discount), Idaho Statesman (Bikinigate = poor use of ISP budget), Helena Independent-Record (Getting a say on Iraq war), and Chuck Pezeshki/Moscow-Pullman Daily News (Learning from life among chimps).

Online Poll: 74% of 873 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say the Idaho Senate did the right thing in voting to ban smoking in bowling alleys.

*Drug/alcohol arrest dims future for Seahawks’ Jerramy Stevens here.

*Washington woman wins $1.8M during first time playing lottery here.

*Off-duty Boise cop involved in accident looking for dog here.

*A Jewish philanthropy group has financed a full-time rabbi for Bozeman, Mont., here.

Orbusmax Special: Oregon push to ban junk food from schools encountering resistance from parents, vendors, kids here.

Poll: Should Smoking Be Banned in Bowling Alleys?

The Idaho Senate endorsed a bill to ban smoking in bowling alleys. Do you think smoking should be banned in bowling alleys? — Idaho Statesman

*No opinion

Thoreson: Anniversaries Bring Back Memories

Full Column: Main Street: Apples don’t fall far from family tree

Tomorrow Michael and Anna Pearce will celebrate their 21st wedding anniversary. It’s not hard to remember their anniversary since Bert and I were married the same date, same year. Looking back at us in 1986, we looked so young. But not so young we were … I was 33 and Bert was 28. He married me and three daughters, two of whom were teenagers. Talk about trial by fire for a first-time husband and instant father. In 21 years we’ve had a lot of adventures. We’ve watched all three daughters marry and welcomed sons-in-laws and grandsons. These two decades and a year have been full of everything that makes life good. We’re blessed — Kerri Rankin Thoreson, Coeur d’Alene Press.

Question: How has your life changed since 1986?

Arpie: Even Non-Sports Fans Should Read Blanchette

Arpie: John Blanchette is a hell of a writer and deserves all the awards he gets. Even when he’s writing about a sport I don’t follow he’s worth reading just for the joy of it. Today’s column is agreat example.

DFO: Blanchette is one of the best writers in the U.S. — sports or no. If you aren’t reading him, you should be. Doesn’t matter if you’re a sports enthusiast or not. He’s that good. The Washington sportswriters award he received this week indicates there’s no one better in a state that includes the Seattle and Tacoma newspapers.

AM Hucks: ‘Tis Hard to Listen w/Ear of Corn

You might want to read the following if you’re tempted to tell someone to stick an object where the sun doesn’t shine. In an ear, of course. Family Phil, a stay-at-home Coeur d’Alene father, was planning dinner one evening when his daughter said she had a popcorn seed in her ear. Seems the darn thing simply jumped in her ear as she rested on the couch. And it was beginning to hurt “a teensy tiny bit.” In his blog, A Family Runs Through It, Family Phil explains how he thought his daughter was joking – until he grabbed a flashlight and peeked. “Sure enough,” posts Phil, “there was a shiny little popcorn kernel.” Dinner plans were put on hold as Phil took his daughter to the ER. That’s when things got interesting. The attending physician had little trouble extracting the kernel. But he wasn’t done. “Wait a minute,” he said, “there’s another one.” Out came a hard piece of wax that looked like a popcorn seed. And that still wasn’t all. “I see something else,” he declared, continuing to fish in the child’s ear. At last, he pulled out a small piece of pink foam that Phil figures “might have come from a birthday party my daughter attended” a week earlier. Afterward, the doctor gave Family Phil’s daughter the mandatory warning re: not putting anything bigger than her elbow in her ear. She received a popsicle, too. With all the joking and the treat, Phil’s daughter had a good time – so much so that on the way home she declared: “That was fun. Let’s do it again.” Phil groaned and wondered where he could find earmuffs “until she figures out not to stuff things into her ear!”

Wild Card/Tuesday — 3/13/07

I installed my wi-fi router at home, but for some reason haven’t been able to contact to it via my Mac Book. My lack of technical expertise picks the strangest times to bite me in the tail. Obviously, I’m not doing something correctly, and I’ll have to contact DanG to hold my hand and walk me through my cyberspace problems. Till then, here’s your Wild Card …

Idaho Escapee: Why I Don’t Dine @ Japanese Eateries

Another tale from my sordid past: I lived in Spokane in the later ‘70s, and I washed dishes for the Sukiyaki Inn on Bernard St. One of my duties as a dish-pig was…well, every order went out with a little monkey dish full of fruit cocktail. As I was washing dishes, if it “looked” like the customer hadn’t partaken of his fruit cocktail dish, I was expected to put it back on the shelf, to be served again with another meal. Also, I remember having to fill the soy sauce containers. You know how, when you siphon gas, you suck it thru a hose to get the gas flow going? That’s what we did with soy sauce. I’d suck on that plastic tube until the soy sauce was pouring out. Nothing is quite as much fun as a mouth full of soy sauce. Oh, and I haven’t eaten in any Japanese restaurants since that time, either.

Idaho Escapee

Oldman: IACI, Indeed, Runs Idaho, Not Legislature

Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry. Ah, what is that smell? It truly does run the state. And guess what? No matter what political party you belong to, you don’t get to vote for who is on the executive committee of IACI. Oh, and those Republican Caucus meetings, that the press is always whining about being closed to the public? That is a Red herring. What is worse is that the press knows it. It’s not nice to upset mother IACI, if you expect to sell ads and get “inside” information. The real business of the state is done at the Arid Club and by the exec committee of IACI (usually at the Arid Club). It was a fun place when Steve Ahrens was the head of IACI and he was married to Gov. Batt’s Director of the Department of Administration. I used to be a member, and on a blue ribbon committee, until one day I called the head honcho a liar and documented it 14 ways to Sunday. He was, but that didn’t matter. Naively I didn’t realize that it isn’t about truth, it is about power/money. Heck, I may still be a member, but it has been a very very long time since I was sent a bill for dues. There is a reason why big posters tell all who pass through Boise International that Idaho is a good place to do business. It is. Just don’t expect it to be a good place to work for a living.


APhoto of the Day — 3/13/07

Nebraska-Kearney coach Carol Russell, who gave birth to a baby boy hours before game time, talks to Liz Fischer (22) during a timeout in a basketball game against North Dakota in the finals of the NCAA Division II North Central Regional Tournament Monday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks, N.D. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Grand Forks Herald, John Stennes)

Top Cutlines

1. Difficult? Difficult? You’re trying to tell me that putting a 9” ball into an 18” rim in is difficult? Try pushing an 8 lb baby through your cervix and then you’ll know what difficult really means — Idawa.

2. Fetus the bawl! — RSPA (plus collected work)

3. Point guard Liz Fischer reacts in shock to coach Russell’s news about the child’s birth. Up until game time, Fischer belived babies were delivered by storks — Nic.

HM: JohnA

Original Post: 10:18:53

Question: Which Is Your Fave Seuss Book, Character?

Jim Carrey, who previously inhabited the world of Dr. Seuss as the title character in the smash hit “The Grinch,” will voice the role of the immortal Horton, the elephant who knows that a persons a person, no matter how small. (Photo: Business Wire)

DFO: I may surprise you here re: my favorite Dr. Seuss book. Horton’s cool. So is The Cat in the Hat. But my favorite Seuss book was his first one, “And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street,” published in 1937. After the Dick and Jane reader series, it was the first book that made an impact on me. (BTW, I totally enjoyed Jim Carrey as the Grinch and am now looking forward to his portrayal of Horton.)

Question: What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book/character?

DFO’s Take 5 — Or What To Do w/Extra Hour of Sun?

1. Work
2. Blog
3. Take long walks along the lake w/Sweetheart
4. Walk the dog
5. Sit inside and watch March Madness
6. Fret about New Year’s resolutions that now appear at a distance in rear-view mirror
7. Fret about winter fat now that you realize summer, indeed, will be on the way soon
8. Hike Tubbs Hill
9. Bike Centennial Trail
10. Other

Mic: Bistro Soy Bean Appetizer Took Away Appetite

Mic Armon: I can relate to the bad service experience at Bonsai Bistro. One Sunday afternoon my wife & I also had a desire for Asian food & stopped in to BB. We ordered an appetizer of edamome(Soy bean pods), if you have ever eaten these you know that you squeeze the beans out of the pods into your mouth, and you have empty pods left. When our order arrived, we were very shocked to discover that our order was an entire bowl of previously eaten pods. Somebody had made a mistake & given us a bowl of discarded pods instead of our order. The wait person seemed a little shocked but only offered to get us the proper order. We were not offered any explanation or to comp even the order. As I left I mentioned it to the Manager & he was even more disinterested in offering any customer service. At this point I was quite disapointed in the entire Bonsai Bistro response & felt it was appropriate to make Hadadone Hosp. mgt. aware. I sent an email to Jerry Jaeger & never received a response.

DFO: Mic, I think you win the can-you-top-this-for-bad-service contest. Yuk. And welcome to HBO.

Question: Do You Wear Green on St. Pat’s Day?

Question: Do you wear green on St. Patrick’s Day? — Lewiston Tribune

*Yes, I’m proud to be Irish.
*Yes, even though I’m not Irish.
*No, I don’t want anybody to think I’m Irish.
*No, but I do drink green beer.

Q: With $3 Gas Ahead, Do You Get Good Mileage?

Full Column: Get free gas for beating his ghastly guzzler

Gasoline prices are again soaring higher than a Gonzaga University rebounder on magic mushrooms. Analysts say we may soon be looking at $3-a-gallon gas, which could provoke more panic at the pump. That could really put a crimp in summer vacation plans. For Spokane residents, it might mean skipping a trip to see the bears feed at Glacier National Park to stay home and watch the bare freaks at High Bridge Park. But I feel your gas pains. So today I am launching my Infernal Combustion Contest to help lighten the load. The rules are easier than running a red light at Sprague and Monroe. All you have to do is convince me that your land yacht gets even WORSE gas mileage than my 1967 Oldsmobile Vista Guzzler. The top three gas hogs will each win $25 worth of free fuel — Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review.

Question: What kind of mileage does your gas guzzler get?

007: GARVEE Blows Up in Idaho’s Face

Issue: Big highway plans falling short: Too little money is available for even scaled-back Connecting Idaho projects, raising specter of more cutbacks or even tax increases/Shawna Gamache, Idaho Statesman

James Bond: Tuesday morning, the Idaho Statesman has a front page, above the fold story about the failed Garvee Bonding Scheme ramroded by former Governor Kemthorne. The story is the deathknell of the program. Kempthorne’s Garvee scheme was full of “inflated promises,” his “cost estimates were too low,” and his “borrowing limits were too high.” Lawmakers were snookered by Kempthorne and his army of construction industry lobbyists. Now, they want out. Sadly, there is more to the story, and that is the utter destruction of the Idaho Transportation Department. Why are we no longer building roads anymore? What happened? Garvee happened, that’s what. Instead of ITD’s huge staff of engineers and planners doing the groundwork, Kempthorne’s scheme resulted in vast quantities of money being funneled to those who lobbied for the program to the planning work. We’re paying them to plan while ITD toils, and nothing is being built! Now, lawmakers are being asked to significantly raise taxes (primarily Idaho’s already high gasoline taxes) to cover roadbuilding costs. What a mess the Republican Legislature allowed us to get into, at Kempthorne’s behest. What a mess!!!

DanG: So Phil Hart was correct when he came out against GARVEE two years ago and everyone thought he was nuts? Figures …

DFO: Even a broken clock is right two times a day, DanG. James Bond is the one who deserves the hat tip here for persisting that GARVEE was hookum while others, mainly myself, criticized him. Mea culpa.

AM Hucks: Saddle Up for Some Naked Bear Riding

At Huckleberries Online, the writer of the Making Flippy Floppy blog is known as “OrangeTV.” You know him as Patrick Jacobs, the new local restaurant/nightlife reviewer for our Handle Extra. Over the weekend, OTV accepted a challenge to list reasons to visit downtown Coeur d’Alene, beginning with a disclaimer: “Granted, it’s pretty much been overrun by chi-chi little touristy galleries and ‘boutiques’ but I wanted to challenge myself to come up with some good reasons to make the trip downtown now and then.” Here’s an abridged version of OTV’s list: George Nolan’s Books; ghost hunting at Señor Froggy’s; a dozen folk-guitarists in a dozen wine bars and cafes, all playing Dave Matthews covers; the spectacularly fabulous Candy O’Brien in her salacious fashion boutique for rich drag queens and lady mayors; a cruise through the resort driveway to watch a valet run out before you speed off, cackling; hot baristas and Wi-Fi at Cafe Doma; a ride on the metal bear statue at Art Spirit naked at 3 a.m. (which includes pictures); Pita Pit; $5 student haircuts at Headmasters; 2-for-1’s at Iron Horse with free mega-appetizers; a Bowl of Soul at Java; a trip to Beverly’s dressed in full evening wear just to order coffee; Camera Corral; the Eagles Lodge, where you can get bombed with the old folks; sweaty basketball on the city park slab in the summer when it’s hot; permanent eye makeup at Crown Design; and a visit to Thomas Kinkade Gallery to rant loudly about right-wing conspiracy and UFO cults. Can you add to OTV’s list.

Wild Card/Monday — 3/12/07

UOregon alum Meghann Cuniff was desperate enough to land tickets to the Ducks NCAA March Madness game at the Spokane Arena that she was willing to pay $150 a pop for two of them. Some tickets to the game on eBay were going for $1000 and more. That’s a pretty good return on the money, for a scalper. The face value of the original tickets are $50 or so. I don’t have any pony in the show at the Arena. But I’ll be interested in what happens down in Sacramento with the Zags and Cougs. Here’s hoping they can produce two or three wins between them. Now, for your Wild Card …

Extra! Heyvelt Cuts Deal to Avoid Prosecution

For the rest of the story, click here.

Suspended Gonzaga basketball star Josh Heytvelt struck a deal with prosecutors today that could leave him with a clean criminal record. Heytvelt, 20, agreed to a diversion program in which the drug possession charge against him will be dismissed if he stays out of trouble for a year. But if he tests positive for drugs or gets into any other criminal trouble over the next 12 months, the case would be revived and Heytvelt would return to Spokane County Superior Court.“I’m sorry to all the fans and the public, and the community of Spokane,” Heytvelt said outside the courtroom. “I’m sorry to my teammates and coaches.”

Question: Are you satisfied with the way this played out in the legal system?

APhoto of the Day — 3/12/07

Nazareth players celebrate their win over Laneville during the UIL Class 1A Division II boys basketball final in Austin, Texas, Saturday. Nazareth won 52-43. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Rodolfo Gonzalez)

Top Cutlines

1. Arm-y of One — JohnA.

2. In a blur of flailing arms, raised fists, finger pointing, and outcries the members of team ‘Nahz’ swiftly offered up their best, hopefully convincing, proclamations, Hey-tvelt! We really, really don’t know anything ‘bout that Mary, that you claim you found in our locker-shroom! The only Mary we know ‘bout goes by, Magellan, not Jane. And, we ain’t Joshin’!” — Superman.

3. “Could somebody give me a hand?” — A Token D.

HM: Cabbage Boy

Original Post: 9:16 a.m.

Editor: Tell Sweden About Are Blogging Experiment

re: Steve Smith sent the following post from Sweden, where he’s participating in a high-power conference about interactivity and blogging. He would like your input, so he can provide it directly to his audience in the morning. Seems it’s the middle of the night in Sweden now.

Greetings from Kalmar, Sweden. Tuesday, Swedish time, I am speaking to a group of European journalists about the transparent newsroom initiative. I would like to know what our readers think of the (blogging/interactivity) initiative, what works, what doesn’t work, positives and negatives. In short, tell me what I should say to this group remarkably sophisticated and very. very smart journalists and educators about The Spokesman and our imperfect efforts to be more transparent and more accountable. Have our efforts lived up to the promise? Have we let you down? What more should we be doing?

Question: What do you think of The Spokesman-Review’s approach to bloggin/interactivity/transparency?

Question: Would You Wear A Used Prom Dress

Freeman High School seniors Leah Huotari (cq), left, and Jennesa Miller twirl Saturday while trying on prom dresses in Freeman, WA. (Brian Plonka/Spokesman-Review).

Issue: Girls find frills and thrills at Freeman fundraiser/Virginia de Leon, Spokesman-Review

More Info: The coveted dress was among more than 100 gently used gowns at the Prom Dress Extravaganza, a senior all-night fundraiser organized by parents of Freeman High School’s Class of 2007. For a seller’s fee of $10 per gown or $25 for three, girls or their mothers could sell all the formal attire hanging in their closets. For a $5 admission, girls who didn’t want to spend a hefty sum on a new prom dress could try on dresses at the high school and buy the gowns for a fraction of the price.

Question: Would you wear a used gown to a prom?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 3/12/07

Gonzaga guard Josh Heytvelt (42) looks for help as Virginia defenders Laurynas Mikalauskas (11) and Will Harris (1) put on the pressure during a college basketball game at the John Paul Jones Center in Charlottesville, Va., Wednesday, Jan. 3. Heytvelt will be arraigned on drug charges this afternoon. See Item No. 2. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

March Madness: Gonzaga closer to home and with better seed than expected here, WSU grateful for good seed here, Bracket analysis: WSU here, and brack analysis: Gonzaga here.

1. A California company that offered ultrasound body scans here last summer which it claimed could detect future health problems has been ordered to stop practicing medicine in Montana without a license. The state’s cease and desist order against Ultra Life Inc. resulted from a complaint by a Great Falls radiologist who saw patients after they received incorrect diagnoses from the scans here.

2. Suspended Gonzaga basketball player Josh Heytvelt will be arraigned at 4:30 this afternoon at the Spokane County Courthouse on felony drug possession charges stemming from his arrest Feb. 9th in Cheney, WA. Officers allegedly found hallucinogenic mushrooms in Heytvelt’s vehicle here.

3. Merck & Co.’s painkiller Vioxx contributed to an Idaho postal worker’s heart attack, a jury in Atlantic City ruled Monday, reversing the verdict in the man’s first trial and awarding him and his wife $20 million in damages. The verdict in the case of Frederick “Mike” Humeston, who was granted a second trial in light of new evidence, means Merck has now won nine cases and lost five in the mushrooming litigation over its former blockbuster arthritis pill here.

4. Restaurants in Washington state have reported their best year in nearly a decade with a record number of customers in 2006, but it’s no easier to succeed in the business, according to an industry group here.

5. While more than 17 million women have been raped in their life, according to a Department of Justice 2006 report, American Indian women reported the highest numbers of rape of any other racial or ethnic group in the United States, at a rate 2.5 times higher than the national average here.

6. IMHO-NW: John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (Spend Mad Money on gas, coffee, antacids), Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Harmonicas, guns could be volatile mix), Rep. George Sayler/Idaho Statesman (Solons put ideology ahead of kids’ safety), Jim Fisher/Lewiston Tribune (Outdoor writer falls from grace), and Ed Iverson/Moscow-Pullman Daily News (Darwinists busy keeping science classes pure).

Online Poll: 80% of 520 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say they won’t participate in an NCAA bracket pool this spring.

*Personal information for about 2,700 University of Idaho employees was inadvertently posted at the school’s Web site for 19 days in February here.

*2 Boise women thwart car-jack suspect here.

*Plea agreement made in “mob attack” on landlord here.

*An Idahoan has taken the question of whether or not he is required to wear the seat belt in his pickup all the way to district court here.

Orbusmax Special: Berserk house cat sends owner to the hospital with more than 20 bite wounds here.

Dumb Crime: We Tried Growing MJ, But Couldn’t

From Latah County Sheriff’s Office:

(At approximately 10:48 a.m. Saturday) two deputies from the Latah County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence after receiving a request to check the welfare of minor children in the residence located at 3425 Highway 6 in Princeton. The Deputies contacted both parents and spoke to them about the concerns involving the children. While at the residence, Deputies detected the smell of marijuana and began to question both subjects. Consent was given to search the residence. Deputies found potting soil, grow lights and planting pots; equipment used in a grow operation in the cellar of the residence. Subjects admitted to attempting to grow marijuana but stated they had been unsuccessful. No one was taken into custody, however criminal charges are pending.

Question: Are You A Decent Speller?

Issue: Home-schooler wins regional spelling bee: Seventh-grader will move on to national competition/John Stucke, Spokesman-Review

Mommy Dearest/BrodH20: If only macrame had been my word. When I was in elementary school, I was a spelling bee champ. I smoked the classroom competition and the district contest and then — at regionals — I was eliminated on the word judicious. I sounded it out and put an “sh” where the c should have gone. It was a foreign word for me. Judicious. As a third-grader, I don’t think I’d ever heard that word used in conversation. But macrame? Macrame was certainly part of my vocabulary. For rest of post, click here.

Question: Are you a decent speller?

Idawa: When Will It Be Vandals Turn to Go March Mad?

Currently, I’m down in Palm Spring visiting family (the retired wing that holds up in California for the winter and returns to Spokane, begrudgingly, in late May). I’m surrounded by all these old Uncles who went to Gonzaga back in the fifties/sixties when the only reason to go to Gonzaga was that you were, well, Catholic and an Eastern Washington farm boy. They relish the new found glory that is March madness and the prominence it has brought to their little school (although they’d like to kick a couple of the newcomers off the bandwagon). Someday it would be nice to see the same thing happen for my Vandals …


AM Hucks: Sometimes @ DMV Death Not That Far Off

Didja hear the one about … Dead Man Walking who showed up at the local DMV Wednesday to renew his license? And was proclaimed “deceased”? Seems a coupla Senior Berry Pickers (Nos. 43 and 44) were waiting their turn in line when No. 42, another Seasoned Citizen, approached an open window. After punching his name and license number into the computer, the courthouse worker bee looked at the applicant as though she was seeing a ghost. Ah, she said, the computer sez you’re dead. A goner. Kaput. The applicant was surprised, too (especially after checking his pulse to verify that he, indeed, was alive). Moments later, the Not Quite Dearly Departed got a reprieve from his bureaucratic death sentence when the county system crashed – and everyone took a break. Close call. But I wonder if the oldtimer checked the obit page in the local snoozepapers Thursday morning – for a second opinion?

• Remember our debate re: what constitutes a “rig.” An anonymous caller offered a basic element for rigdom: “A rig has to be born in the United States.”

• Gotcha: Sweet Herb/Bay Views wonders where the Bat Out Of Hell at the wheel of an Idaho Industrial Commission car (license No. X3695) was going Wednesday afternoon. Herb was entering the passing lanes south of Athol, headed toward Coeur d’Alene, when the bureaucrat blew by him. He tried to keep pace with her but decided to back off when she hit 80 mph. Be careful out there. Huckleberries has eyes and ears in many unsuspecting places

WSU Coach Takes Break from Bracketology for Young Fans

Isn’t this a great photo? Washington State coach Tony Bennett, left, autographs a placard for his daughter, Anna, 6, center, and her friend, Taylor Roberts, 6, second from right, in Pullman, Wash., during a break in the live television feed as they wait to find out where Washington State will play in the NCAA college basketball tournament Sunday. (AP Photo/Dean Hare)

Wild Card/Sunday — 3/11/07

I saw the second and last hockey game of my life tonight — a 2-1 shootout victory by the Kootenay Ice over the home-standing Spokane Chiefs. It was the Chiefs last home game of the season. The Spokane Arena was packed. More than 10,000. For the life of me, I can’t understand what anyone sees in hockey. I mean the skating was nice as players flashed up and down the ice. It was cool to see them bang and another into the boards. But there were no fights and little scoring to keep my interest. I was sitting at center ice about 6 or 7 rows back. So, we were close enough to see the faces of the participants. But it was boring. 60 minutes of sheer boredom. Give me Arena Football any day. I’ll pass next time the church guys want to head over to Spokane to see the Chiefs. Now, for your Wild Card …

RSPA: Fuhgeddabout Pit Bulls, Fear labradoodles

My friend Bob once wrote this tongue in cheek letter to the editor to the S-R (which they actually published and sparked a firestorm in the Labradoodle breeding world and with the S-R’s ombudsman) explaining how pitbulls were pikers and you gotta worry about those labradoodles.

New breed to make us jumpy

In response to the March 16 letter “Pit bulls given a bad rap,” the point made is beyond absurd, and I won’t argue it, as we all know the pit bull was bred for fighting in what is known as “The Pit,” and inner-city police officers have for years been required to learn the use of “The Jaws of Life” (normally a firefighter’s tool) to release bites from a pit bull’s “Jaws of Death.”

No, the real issue isn’t the devil we know; it’s the devil we don’t. That, of course, is the Labradoodle (a cross breed of Labradors and Poodles). This breed was originally developed in Australia to hunt and kill Kangaroos, which is does in a vicious manner.

Now imported here, under the guise of a lovable family pet, it’s only a matter of time until this hideous breed begins chasing and attacking children on pogo sticks, trampolines or jump ropes.

Please think very carefully before buying Labradoodles until we know much more about these “Dangerous Dogs from Down Under.”

Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel

JBelle: Another List of Downtown Favorites

Patrick, I love your list. As I have said many a time re OTV: what’s not to love?

*Can I expand your concept in a less mischievous quadrant?
*My favorites in downtown Coeur d’Alene are these:
*Walking the sidewalks from the Resort Shops up to the Masonic Temple and back down the other side of the Sherman with the tourists. Love to eavesdrop.
*Car d’Alene in front of Simple Pleasure with lawn chairs and very well stocked coolers.
*Art Spirit Gallery any day, any time.
*Artists’ Cooperative (what is it called?) for pictures of the lake by Alison Myers
*Pita Pit. sigh.
*Beer at the old candy store on the corner.
*Garlic noodles at Bonsai.
*Silver spoons at Worthington’s.
*Hudson’s for both a burger and a piece of pie.
*Looking deep into each and every face, in vain, for someone I know.
*Trying to see if OTV is on the prowl, researching his latest column!


DFO: Don’t Think Physical Exam, Think Tune-Up

For the rest of my Saturday column, click here.

Every middle-age man I know makes fun of the rubber-glove treatment associated with a physical examination, epitomized by Chevy Chase singing a high-pitched version of “Moon River” as he undergoes a colorectal exam in the movie “Fletch.” Yet, for all the black humor about the colorectal checkup, many – most? – guys I know turn into Jell-O at the thought of being probed. Some, I suspect, decline to undergo annual exams to avoid that part of the regular routine. I had other reasons for not undergoing a physical for three years until I scheduled one this month: I was in insurance limbo for part of the time. I couldn’t get the doctor I wanted. I’m a procrastinator. Lousy excuses — D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review.

DFO: I ran this out in HBO first as a “My 2 Cents” piece earlier this month. Here, you’ll see how I stretched the same info into 20 inches worth of op-ed space. Stay tuned for the sequel: The Long-Hose Treatment. Alas.

Question (for other middle-age men): So, what are you waiting for?

Wild Card/Saturday — 3/10/07

Brother Ray’s chicken-and-shimp chow mein for dinner Friday night was one of the best meals I’ve eaten this year. Nice to know one of the men in the family can cook like that. I’m getting pretty spoiled on this forced bachelorhood gig. Erica provides Hudson Hamburgers for lunch. Ray comes through with chow mein. Sister-in-law Joanie with home-made soup last night. Pancakes and sausage at the church this morning. And I still haven’t tapped into the lasagna or pot pies. I’m in better shape than I thought I’d be after 5 days of forced bachelorhood. Now, if I can figure out a way to post APhotos from home using the Mac Book, I’d have this weekend knocked … Here’s your Wild Card …

Online Poll: Least Fave Household Chore?

What’s your least favorite household chore? — Idaho Statesman.

*Clean toilets
*Wash windows
*Yard work

OrangeTV: Her Sandiness Made for Paparazzi

You know, it’s quite hard to find good (or any) photos of her Sandiness anywhere on the web. What gives? Her wild and “unique” sense of fashion is screaming for the cameras. Isn’t there anything in the SR photo archives? I’m going to have to go after her like paparazzi, leaping from the bushes - “Sandi - Who are you wearing?” and she’ll say “Liz. Liz Claiborne, vintage 1986” and her salt-and-pepper ‘do would rustle in the wind just so, then she’d hop into her limo and ride off down 7th Street into the night, cackling.


007: Pit Bulls Should Be Eliminated Altogether

There has been more chaos and death involving Pit Bulls in Boise. I believe very strongly that Pit Bulls should be banned in law and the breed itself should be eliminated systematically. Pit Bulls were bred for one purpose: To kill. Pit bulls are killers. We have discussed this on this site before. I sure wish the media would take a larger role in this issue. We read pretty regularly about Pit Bulls killing kids and attacking people. Why has something not been done. The Legislature should simply ban them, making it a crime to own and breed and transport them in Idaho. Bottom line: Pit bulls should be eliminated from the face of the Earth.

James Bond

Joan: Something Attracts Extremists Up Here

Hate groups will always be around as long as they think they have an audience. But just for your info, folks; being born in North Idaho, I grew up knowing about how kooks some people can be. Why would the Aryan Nations crowd show up here? Because the Posse Comitatus preceded them. Why would the Posse C show up? Because there were John Birchers in the area. Why would the John Birch Society show up? Because we hate the Californians since the early 70s. Keep going back through history and North Idaho becomes much like someone’s mad uncle in the attic. As DFO likes to write, Coeur d’Aloonians. Yeah. And I take the time to inform Dave, he lives here now.
Joan Harman

Rocket: We Need HBO in Spokane, Too

A suggestion though HBO needs to be cloned in the Spokane political sandbox. Interests here, while regionally smiliar do have specific topics that may not be of interest to CDa’ers and Northern Idaho e.g:

Jack Lynch
Phil Harris
Ralph Baker
Dr. Thorburn
Kendall Yards
Riverpark Square
The recent sheriff’s campaign
The selection of thenew Spokane police chief.

Rocket’s Brain Trust

DFO: You’re going to get one form of HBO at the end of the month when the Editorial Board unveils its blog, A Matter of Opinion. Then, you’ll be able to post comments re: the news of the day. One of the assignments that I have as a blogger at large is to teach a couple individuals in rural areas how to do what we’re doing here. I think Spokane Valley and Deer Park have been mentioned as blog centrals.

Q&A: Would SR Let You Write If You Ran, DFO?

Invisible Man: DFO, if you decided to run for city council would your columns and editorials still appear in the S-R?

DFO: The SR would drop my columns and editorials the minute I thought of running. Having said that, I have no itch to run, now or ever.

Rob: CDA Walkers Face Obstacle Course

For the most part I think Coeur d’Alene is a walking town. The Centennial Trail is fantastic. But I don’t consider the older neighborhoods to be very pedestrian friendly. This is where my wife & I have lived for 30 years and walk a lot. There are many streets with absolutely no sidewalks. And the neighborhoods have been there for over 50 years or more! So we end up walking in the street, around parked cars and snow berms in the winter. This can be very dangerous. I’m not sure why the city hasn’t found the money to complete the sidewalk system after all these years. But once this gets done it will truely make Coeur d’Alene a walking town and maybe we can make the list.

Rob Moore

Photo of the Day — 3/9/07

A bit of sunshine has reduced red-neck snowman on Fourth Street to a puddle. You write the cutline/Kerri Thoreson, fyinorthidaho.

Top Cutlines

1. Upon her return home, Mrs. O. is shocked to see how her man has fared while trying to fend for himself — J. Frank.

2. “Global warming is.. a… hoax…” sayeth the puddle — Cabbage Boy.

3. I didn’t know rednecks gave a damn about globalization — Fourth Paddler.

HM: Nic

Original Post: 10:46 a.m.

Crime: Who Was That Unmasked Man?

The gendarmes got a pretty good view of the guy who robbed a Kellogg bank at noon today. Do you recognize him? Read all about it here.

Silver Valley Girl reports: As my daughters are returning home from school, I found out the Kellogg schools were in a lockdown from about 12:30 pm to 2 pm because there was either a robbery or attempted robbery at the Wells Fargo Bank uptown.

Scanner Traffic …

3:55 p.m. woman is disoriented after falling in the pool room of the La Quinta Inn and hitting her head on cement.

12:49 p.m. ER crews are rolling to imminent child birth on West Emma Avenue. Update: response teams are transporting 24-year-old woman with contractions five minutes apart to KMC.

12:32 Deputies en route to check out an injured lab on English Point Road, north of Hayden Lake.

12:17 p.m. 23-year-old man without a history of heart problems complaining of chest pains at the Coeur d’Alene Bingo Casino.

11:24 a.m. someone has hit a natural gas line in the 500 block of 22nd Street. Stay tuned.

11:38 a.m. injury accident at East Garwood Road and Highway 95. Responding officers are calling for extrication equipment.

Promo: “Bagels Like Vaginas, What’s Not To Like”

For the rest of the column, click here.

Boise restaurant River City Bagels found out this concept this week when an ad in the Boise Weekly caused a public stir and, consequently, long lines at the downtown shop. The small ad on the side of an inside page features a stack of fresh bagels and reads, “Our bagels are like vaginas: What’s not to love?” Sure, it sounds like a very direct slogan applying the “sex sells” ploy, but it wasn’t supposed to be so arbitrary; there was an accidental oversight that neither owner Jodi Kummermehr nor the ad designer nor the Boise Weekly noticed before it appeared in thousands of copies of the free alternative weekly. “It is Vagina Monologues (the play) season, and we sponsor the event every year,” said Kummermehr. “The ad was supposed to say, ‘Proud sponsor of the Vagina Monologues,’ so it all made sense, but we didn’t catch it.” Kummermehr isn’t upset or embarrassed though; traffic through the store has increased significantly and everyone wants to talk about the ad — J. Gelband/New West Boise.

Question: Is this going too far? Or is it smart promotion?

Jeepers Creepers Extreme Tans Has A Peeper

A local femme was planning to catch a few faux rays at Extreme Tans on Kathleen Avenue Wednesday afternoon when she had a sneaking suspicion that someone was looking at her. She was nude at the time, rubbing tanning lotion on herself. Glancing up, she reportedly saw Steven Lynn Bowen watching her from the top of an eight-foot wall that separated the tanning booths. She immediately put her clothes on and called the gendarmes. She was still shaking and emotionally upset, according to police reports, when CPD Blues Cunningham and Martin arrived. She wanted Bowen to go to jail and agreed to put him under citizens arrest. Bowen admitted to CPD Blue Martin that he looked over the wall. He was charged with trespass of privacy. Sounds like the tanning salon should do something about that 2-foot space at the top of the wall separators. Or warn cuss-tomers about possible Peeping Steves.

Brand X: Why Wasn’t CDA Considered Walking Town?

Issue: Madison, pshaw; Cd’A is a real walking town/Dave Turner, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Madison, Wis., was recently named tops in the nation for walking in a recent survey of the country’s 100 most populated cities. Coeur d’Alene didn’t make that list. … Madison, with a population of about 250,000, received top honors in a survey published by Prevention magazine. It named the Wisconsin capitol — 1,300 miles north of sunny Miami — as the most walkable of the country’s 100 most populated cities. The list was commissioned by the American Podiatric Medical Association based on certain criteria. It ran in editions of the magazine released this week. Madison beat out the likes of Austin, Texas (No. 2), San Francisco (No. 3) and Miami, which barely cracked the list at No. 98.

DFO: I’ve walked 900 miles since the first of last year. Frankly? I don’t see many others walking — unless you consider strolling along the lakeshore during the summer to be walking. I’d say Lewiston, Idaho, probably has far more walkers than we do because it has a wonderful pedestrian walkway system along the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers. I still miss those wonderful walks on the Lewiston dikes during lazy summer evenings.

Question: Do you consider Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls or any other North Idaho town to be a walking town?

Truthseeker: Does Equal Time Apply to Print, Too

Truthseeker: I love what Mary said. I often think she sounds very over the top, but this is a very rational, well, thought out piece. If she is given space in the Press and does run for something, isn’t that a paper’s right? Didn’t Mike Kennedy enjoy the benefit of having Huckleberries as a public forum on the Spokesman’s Blog? (which, I thought was great) I suppose the paper itself has to live with it’s own decision. I’m curious if “equal time” rights apply to print media as on television. Can anyone answer that?

DFO: MikeK understood and used this forum as well as anyone as he successfully planned and then ran for higher office. He ran an outstanding campaign and woulda won, with or without Huckleberries Online. However, I believe, this forum helped him. Mary has had some rough patches here, mainly b/c she was so focused on her loss to MikeK, at first. (Can’t recall third candidates name.) However, she’s recovered and holds her own here. Dan of the County is the master at using this forum. Then, he’s half computer geek like the rest of us. I’ve often wondered why other elected officials don’t take advantage of this forum to promote their ideas and inadvertently themselves. Mebbe they’re intimidated by the instant feedback that happens here. (BTW, to answer your question directly, Truthseeker, the print media is not obligated to provide equal time to candidates as the TV industry is. However, at HBO, we have all the space in the world to do so.

AM Hucks: DanG Shows HBOers How-To Style

To download “Bloggers Guide to HTML,” click here.
Dan Gookin, the Coeur d’Alene wunderkind behind those how-to computer books for dummies, has done it again. He’s put together a short labor of love for people like you and me who are relatively clueless re: how to doll up online conversations. Think: smiley faces squared. In his 26-page “Blogger’s Guide to HTML,” Dan tells you how to make your reader see red – literally. Or blue. Or green. Or whatever color. In simple terms, with illustrations, he also tells bloggers, commenters and blurkers how to post bold, italic and strike-through text. How to add a link to posts (so readers can click on it and read more from other sources). How to post photos. How to center paragraphs. How to publish text in gray-screened boxes. Et cetera. Dan said he got the idea for the manual from reading the lively comments section of Huckleberries Online. Occasionally, he or one of the other computer text-wise commenters would post something with a feature, like blinking text, and someone else would ask how he did that. The material for the blogger’s guide has been scattered on Dan’s hard drive for some time, some bits dating back to 1991 when he launched the how-to computer series with “DOS for Dummies.” That was more than 100 books in 32 languages, including Swahili, and 7 million to 14 million sales ago. Dan told Huckleberries he was going to write a cheat sheet for the motley crew at Huckleberries Online. But it grew into a tutorial. (You can find a link on HBO by 9 a.m.) Now, HBOers will be armed and more zany than ever. Alas.

Wild Card/Thursday — 3/8/07

Sage advice from Kick Shoe Kooy: Put the dishes on the floor and let the dog take care of them. Two birds with one brick. We use bricks here. I’m en route home, as soon as I type this, Kick Shoe. I’ll consider your suggestion. I see the merit in it. Will report back tomorrow. Meanwhile, I’ll leave this Wild Card behind …

Small-d: Nothing Wrong w/Metrosexual Men

Keep in mind that many “metro” guys also happen to be a very cultured and educated. It seems that only in this country is a man that can appreciate fine wines and dress in a manner that doesn’t degrade himself is that looked down upon. I can’t speak for any of the other people in this article, but Travis Malone is one such person. Sure he may straighten his hair and be better dressed than some of his girl friends, but I am pretty sure that he is one of the better guys out there. On a boyfiend level he’d probably treat you a bit better than the Skoal chewing, crotch scratching, and cheap beer guzzling guys that inhabit the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene area. Personally, I have to disagree with Jessica Schreindl. I don’t want a guy who’s going to burp after every meal and spend more time on his truck than me. Take me out for that wine tasting and know how to enjoy a good opera! So my advice men, embrace your metrosexiness! Enjoy your facials and pedicures, keep on drinking your fine wines, and if you feel the need to straighten your hair because it makes you look damn good, DO IT!


Bent: God’s Good, No Regrets re: Empty Cartridges

I have been shooting blanks for 11 years now (but not often enough according to LukeB and RSPA) with no spiritual regrets whatsoever. Before that, my body was producing king salmon capable of overcoming any obstacle in their paths to rendezvous with a stork who knew my wife on a first-name basis. I had four kids by age 31. In fact, our family doctor offered me a free vasectomy right in the delivery room after our third child was born. The whole praying through someone to get my message through to God thing is what soured me on all organized religion (and I have studied and tried many). I have believed since my earliest childhood memories that I have a personal relationship with my maker. I had a Methodist pastor chew me out at age 10 in front of my entire Sunday school class for believing that. He believed that I needed his help to communicate with God. I didn’t believe him then, and I still don’t. God has been good to me over the years, and hasn’t stopped yet — blanks or not.


Developing: Nasty T-Bone Accident …

… being reported at Highway 41 and Seasons Road (near Twin Lakes), where a power pole may have been sheered and its dangling by lines.

APhoto of the Day — 3/8/07

PEOPLE reports that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been preparing to find a sibling for their three children by adopting another child - this time from Vietnam. The couple is involved in a “process that began shortly after their daughter was born [last May],” a source tells PEOPLE. You write the cutline/AP Photo.

Top Cutlines

1. Adopting a third child: Laudable.
Adopting after a natural birth: Inconceivable.
Having so much fame and fortune: the Pitts — JohnA.

2. It takes a village to raise a marriage — MamaJD.

3. LATEST!!! Brangelina stop off in Vietnam to grab some Pho soup, a child — Southwark Lad.

HM: Cis

Original Post: 10:15 a.m.

Separated @ Birth — Grace Slick, Nappi

Hat Tip: Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel

DanG: The Bloggers Guide to HTML

To read more and to download, click here; to make a $1.25 donation for the work that DanG will appreciate, click here.

I finally finished my quick-start guide for bloggers and on-line forum users to put fancy text formatting into their posts using HTML. Deep breath. It was a fun project. Despite there being only a handful of truly useful or fun HTML text formatting commands, the thing ended up being 26 pages long. But it’s 26 fun pages. I even got a chance to recycle some artwork from my old and never completed Web Publishing book (from 2002). So I hope folks enjoy it and can get a lot from it. Yes, it’s free. Sadly, however, the file is pretty big: it’s a 5.6M PDF file. I originally had a version about 560K in size, but the graphics reproduced poorly. So I lowered the compression, which increased the file size. While it may take a while to download, it will print beautifully. And I formatted it to print on three-hole-punch paper — DanG/Wambooli Lunch.

DFO: I’m rerunning this link and giving it a separate post today b/c DanG did something special here. He deserves a monster Hat Tip. And your attention. If you want to figure out how to make your blog and comment posts sing, check it out.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 3/8/07

Pictured is a billboard print sample in Helena, Mont., Wednesday, depicting a mother beaten after confronting her child for using methamphetamine. The new Montana Meth Project media campaign focuses on the adverse effects methamphetamine use has on family members and friends of addicts here/Jon Ebelt, AP Photo by Independent Record. Helena Independent Record edit here.

Rep. Tom Loertscher: Idaho day-care centers are sufficiently regulated here.

1. Basketball drove a wedge between NBA coach George Karl and his son, all-conference Boise State player Coby Karl, and basketball has brought the two back together again here.

2. University of Montana students marched into Main Hall on Wednesday afternoon, demanding the end of sweatshop-manufactured Grizzly gear. Standing outside the offices of President George Dennison and Vice President Jim Foley, a throng of students chanted loudly “Dennison Foley Grizzly Sweat-free” here.

3. Paul deLay, the larger-than-life Portland bluesman who redefined the harmonica and its musical potential, died Wednesday morning at Providence Portland Medical Center from end-stage leukemia diagnosed just days before. He was 55 here.

4. Blues Traveler singer and harmonica player John Popper was arrested near Ritzville after the vehicle he was riding in was clocked going 111 mph, the Washington State Patrol said here.

5. Rockie Jacobsen of Kamiah, Idaho, kept a family tradition alive when he won the annual pro division of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s world elk bugling contest at Reno, Nev. It was his third world championship here.

6. IMHO-NW: John Blanchette/SR (Aussie produces for Cougs), G. George Ostrom/Hungry Horse News (Aunt Mimi’s ashes), Dean Ferguson/Lewiston Tribune (In Boise, paranoia, government go hand in hand), Gary Kawamura/WSU Evergreen (Loud U.S. travelers annoying), Lenna Harding/Moscow-Pullman Daily News (Base vaccine choice on facts), Frank Mieli/Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (Morality is “inconvenient truth”), and Spokesman-Review (Don’t target newborn citizens w/pointless rules).

Online Poll: A plurality of 44% of 797 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll favor the “60s” as the ideal temperature for this time of the year in the Boise area.

*Washington ag inspectors are checking reports that numerous cows have died at a NE Washington daily here.

*Studded tires could be legalized all year ’round in Idaho and Washington – if the studs could retract at the push of a remote-control button here.

*UIdaho students protest VandalMail Live e-mail system here.

*Oregon father, girlfriend imprisoned for locking boy in bathroom for two weeks here.

Orbusmax Special: More people sought assisted suicide in Oregon last year — report here.

Online Poll: And Now a Word about the Weather

The temperature soared to a record-tying 66 degrees (in Boise) on Wednesday. What do you think is the ideal temperature for this time of year? — Idaho Statesman.


DFO: 60s would be nice. BTW, it’s suppose to rain all weekend here.

MamaJD: Anal Newcomers Ruin ‘Hood Friendliness

Issue: My (Bentwood) neighborhood is changing …” — MamaJD

I live in a centrally located neighborhood that I just love … Bentwood Park … and others are loving it, too. It seems new neighbors are moving in all the time. The Recently Localized have found our neighborhood and seem to be making their mark. And also creating some waves that ripple out among the streets in the subdivision. One new neighbor in particular, within 30 days of Localizing, began his campaign for a Property Owners Association, which is forbidden in our covenants. (The lack of an Association and its dues was a positive for my family, personally.) The neighbor enflamed the emotions of other neighbors, who up to that point, had remained quiet on hot button neighborhood issues or dealt with them privately. All of sudden, the Recently Localized rallied and began circulating petitions, setting neighborhood meetings with an agenda, and grilling City Officials. The major sticking points? First was the care and maintenance of the Bentwood perimeter fenceline (and swales) that were an eyesore on 15th Street. Second sticking point was enforcement of RV parking covenants and the requirement that boats/RV’s must be behind a fence on your property. (I have yet to see an RV parked on the street). Within two short months, the Recently Localized had us Long Timers scratching our heads. We never had problems before. Any issues seemed to get resolved eventually between neighbors without involvement from the Mayor, City Enforcement or attorneys — MamaJD.

DFO: Newbies can add energy and new ideas to a community. When the immigrants bring their anal retentive ways from their former homes, however, they force their nasty culture on others. On the other hand, Bentwood should do something about that fence that runs along 15th Street.

Question: Would you prefer to have an anal retentive individual policing your neighborhood to make sure everyone keeps up his yard and house? Or would you prefer friendliness and a few weeds?

The Ronmother: We Need Unifying Language

Alice Rankin: Here we go again! It is not SPEAKING English-only. It is English as the official language of government. Read Betsy Russell’s column. She tells it like it is. When my husband was first elected a County Commissioner, the first resolution he introduced for a vote, was to make English the Official language of Kootenai County. It passed. This is so that we don’t have to print our ballots in a dozen languages and provide interpreters in courtrooms at the taxpayers expense, or have language experts to read official documents that are submitted. My husband was then “beat up”, by letters to the editors and quotes in news articles, that he wanted to prevent people from speaking their native tongue in their own homes, on the street or among their friends. Rubbish! Those who choose to mis-state this debate as one of hostility toward those who do not have English as their first language, have a political agenda. They are setting up a “strawman” to knock down. It is simply about having one unifying language of our country. Like French in France, like Russian in Russia, like Spanish in Spain, and NOTHING else!

Thom George: Alice, if you want to know who the “namecallers” are, you need look no further than John Duh who uses one of the favorite tactics of conservative language manipulator Frank Luntz: By defining “conservatives” as “decent people” and “normal people.” therby defining Liberals as not decent and not normal. It is a typical passive-aggressive style that allows the Conservative to resort to the very name calling that they claim to despise. Too bad intellectual honesty isn’t a characteristic that Mr. Duh aspires to.

Cabbage Boy, RSPA: From Vasectomies to Mary

re: post by KaleJ/Unmuted Mumblings re: vasectomies and prayer to the Virgin Mary here.

Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel: I had a vasectomy and I’m fine … there’s a very slightly elevated risk of prostate cancer associated with them … probably less than that associated with extremely religious men who refuse to masturbate. The most interesting thing in Kale’s blog was his comment about praying to the “Blessed Mother” to convince his friend not to get the vasectomy. I’ve always found the Catholic deification of Mary to be one of the more troubling and pagan parts of their religion. Praying directly to her for divine intervention just smacks of forest dwelling druids and celts praying to Welsh witches or ancient Greeks sacrificing goats to Athena or whatever.

Cabbage Boy: Just a few words RSPA. To Jesus through Mary. She brought the Son of God to all people some 2000 years ago. And she continues to bring her children to Him even today. So, no. She isn’t a goddess we pray to. Just as you may as a pius friend to pray for you, we may as the Blessed Virgin to pray for us.

Wild Card/Wednesday — 3/7/07

Enforced Bachelorhood Day 3 — The beans and cornbread are running low. Stickman’s huckleberry jam is half gone. Out of milk. I forgot to bring my lunch to work today. So, I’ll be dining on a stuft burrito at Taco Bell or spiced chicken sandwiches at Carl’s Jr. The dog has been eating well — two squares a day, thanx to Wondering’s suggestion, plus Milk Bone treats, cheese and a dab of milk in the dry dog food. I’ll be making some tough choices soon to avoid starvation — Mom’s place or brother Ray’s place for dinner? Or I’ll have to forage to see if the Queen of the House left the frozen dinners in refrigerator freezer or the big one in the garage. I haven’t made the bed since the QOTH left. Then, I don’t have to. I sleep like a baby. No tossing and turning. So, it’s almost made when I crawl back in. The mess around the house remains static since I hardly was home yesterday. Now, for your Wild Card …

Last Demo: If You Live Here, Learn Our Language

I believe I am quite liberal in respect to accepting people of all colors/race. Have had friends who were black, Hispanic and many others of various “white” backgrounds. Also am first generation American, with both parents coming from Slovakia at a young age, speaking only their native language. But this country is bending over backwards too, too much in respect to new people who immigrate here and don’t learn the language quickly, and expect everyone else to accomodate their language needs.

My parents assimilated, with English as their primary tongue, early on, and I went to school speaking normal English. Never learned Slovak well, but could understand the dialect of my parents when I heard relatives speaking. My growing-up community was a mix of various ethnic backgrounds, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Croatian, Bulgarian, with a few real “english”!! But almost everyone in that era (30s-50s) spoke English, and there were NO signs in any other language.

I have spent many winters snowbirding in the Cochella Valley of California, where the locals (and workers) are mostly Hispanic. Most of these folks speak Spanish exclusively, or such poor English that you can’t even converse with them without sign language. The local Walmart is mostly staffed with these same folks, and it maddening to ask for help, and find the staff unable to converse in English. I don’t know whether or not an official language is needed or funcional, but I do believe we must do what is necessary to preserve our country as one nation, speaking English. If you come here to live, then learn the language!!


APhoto of the Day — 3/7/07

A piglet with two snouts and three eyes is posed between mirrors at a farm in Xi’an, in north China’s Shaanxi province Tuesday. The piglet, one of nine born on the farm Sunday, will be sent to a local safari park for professional care. You write the cutline/AP Photo.

Top Cutlines

1. And, Little Red Riding Hood says, ‘Oh my, little piggy you have two snouts.’
And, Piggy replies, ‘Yes, all the better to smell you with.”
And, Little Red Riding Hood says, “My little piggy you have three eyes.’
And, Piggy replies, ‘Yes, all the better to see you with.’
And Little Red Riding Hood said, ‘Oh my, little piggy. Now I get it! Made In China!” — Lesley Presley.

2. While the ‘Year of the Pig’ starts out badly in China, Kevin Bacon’s six degrees of separation takes on a very odd twist — John Austin.

3. The evolution of politicians feeding at the public trough too long — Duffer.

HM: Ordinary Shark

Original Post: 10:32 a.m.

Cop Blotter: Slimeball Rips Off Purse @ Top of China

Suspect description: White male, late ~O’S, tall, dark hair, wearing striped shirt, unknown further.

CPD Blue: On 03/05/07 I contacted Cynthia Williamson by phone regarding a theft. Cynthia told me the following: On 03/05/07 at 1615 hour she had her purse on the chair next to her at her table at the Top of China Restaurant. At about 1625 hours a stranger sitting at the next table, grabbed her purse and ran out of the restaurant. Cynthia was able to provide a partial description of the male suspect. Other people in the restaurant noticed the suspect male kicking the chair, causing the chair to turn. Cynthia took her purse when she went through the buffet line to get food. She had her purse on the chair next to her while she ate. When Cynthia got up and went to the other side of the table to help her mother the suspect male at the next table grabbed her purse and ran for the door. A couple eating in the restaurant at the time, saw the suspect run out with the purse. They got into their vehicle to try to track the suspect. When I contacted Cynthia those witnesses were still out looking for the suspect. Officer Buhl responded to the Top of China Restaurant to contact the victim and the witnesses of the theft. Cynthia was able to provide a partial description of the male suspect. The description she provided is listed above.

Fortune Cookie: If stranger at next table is eyeing your purse rather than your egg roll, you’d better be careful.

Item: CDA-based GarageTown Caters To Rich

CdA firm finds room to grow: GarageTown USA produces popular condo storage units/Becky Kramer, Spokesman-Review

Quotable: GarageTown USA was the brainchild of three North Idaho builders – Tom Johnson, Cliff Mort and Jae Enos. With subdivision covenants getting stricter, they frequently heard comments like, “Gee, I wish I could build a shop on my property,” or “I’d sure like to add onto my garage,” according to Berglund.

Question: Local builders Tom Johnson, Cliff Mort and Jae Enos deserve major props for filling an important niche in the upper-end market. But does that GarageTown near the Spokane River cause you to realize old Coeur d’Alene is passing away?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 3/7/07

Matt Griffin, right, checks out one of two horses he was hauling when his truck and trailer were struck by a train on Boekel Rd. near Rathdrum Tuesday morning. Griffin escaped with a small bump on the head. The horses were quickly rescued from the overturned trailer and showed only minor cuts when examined on scene/Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review.

Eye On Olympia: Bothell-based Christian group offers prayer of forgiveness for believers who failed to vote in the last election here.

1. Republican Lite? A new political group aims to draw people “who should be good Democrats” but have drifted away, an organizer says. Progressive Democrats of Montana will work to field candidates for political races and is concerned the Democratic Party will not succeed if it is “Republican Lite,” said Paul Edwards of Helena here.

2. A former Montanan who spent 24 years on the run and later prospered as a software developer has been convicted of the drowning death of a girl who’d tried to elope with in 1982 here.

3. - A former elk rancher who had more than 100 domesticated elk escape from his Fremont County hunting preserve last fall has filed a $1.3 million tort claim against the state, alleging it was negligent and capricious in its handling of the incident here.

4. A 62-year-old University of Washington professor pled guilty Wednesday to dumping a hazardous material down a laboratory sink and covering up his actions because he didn’t want to pay to properly dispose of it here.

5. Law enforcement rangers arrested a record number of people in Yellowstone National Park last year, according to an annual report. In addition, a record number of people _ 374 _ appeared to face charges at the federal courthouse at Mammoth Hot Springs, the park’s headquarters here.

6. IMHO-NW: Tom Henderson/Lewiston Tribune (Proud to be a Coulter fag), Helena Independent Record (Real ID deserves boot), Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press (A door-opening water decision), Tom Forbes/Palousitics (The Cup Runneth Over w/Hypocrisy), and Tim Trainor/St. Maries Gazette Record (One penguin at a time).

Online Poll: 53% of 300 respondents to a Great Falls Tribune poll say they don’t scrub their fruits and vegetables before eating them.

*Diamond Parking mogul dies at 99 here.

*Reardan Indian is a one-girl cheerleading squad here.

*Spokane murder victim: “You shot me in the eye” (w/KREM2 video, photos) here.

*Montana House votes to make funeral protests illegal here.

*Washington inmate allowed to marry in exchange for pleading guilty to murder here.

Orbusmax Special: UOregon dean standing by ethics award to reporter who gave $2000 to teen Internet pornographer here.

Question: Bush Bashing Wastes Demos’ Time

Issue: Bush bashing a waste of Democrats’ time/Richard S. Davis, Spokesmman-Review

Olympia last week was the scene of one of those surreal moments that occasionally mark a legislative session – a wholly irrelevant hearing on presidential impeachment. It attracted some press coverage (more on the blogs) and generated some predictable grandstanding. Of course, the Bush presidency will not be brought to an early end by the actions of the Washington Legislature. Yet, the Senate Government Operations and Elections Committee chaired by Sen. Darlene Fairley, D-Lake Forest Park, spent some time on a measure asking Congress to investigate whether the president and vice president should be impeached. The bill’s prime sponsor is the committee’s vice chair, freshman Sen. Eric Oemig, D-Kirkland. As hearings go, it wasn’t much. I watched on TVW, struck by the combination of pathos and posturing, weariness and weirdness. Republican committee members skipped it. Only five Democrats showed up. No one testified in opposition. As a theatrical statement, the hearing was a dud.

Question: Are extreme Demos hurting their party by pushing in vain to impeach the president?

Separated At Birth: Ellen & Eye On Boise?

Hat Tip: Inspector Gadget

Katrina: Christianity Today Knows Celluloid Quality

Not to draw attention away from this mouthwatering discussion of Dave’s menu, but I just read an article I thought was neat. It seems Jeffrey Overstreet and other movie reviewers of often receive indignant letters and feedback from Christian readers in response to their reviews—particularly when a good review is given to a secular movie that contains realistic language, violence, and other sinful content, or when a decidedly Christian film is lambasted for poor production or simplistic plot elements. I found this article, which he wrote in response to those complaints, very well written and insightful. I’m still chewing on it and deciding what I think about the balance between acknowledging sin and celebrating it, but in the meantime I thought others might like to read it:
Have We Lost Our Minds?

Katrina/Notes On A Napkin

WorldNetDaily Poll: What Do You Think of AP?

Question: What do you think of the Associated Press?

1. Finest news organization on the planet
2. Provides an invaluable service to newspapers and broadcasters
3. It’s so large, it accurately covers news nobody else can
4. It’s very important, but you have to take it with a grain of salt like all media
5. Obviously biased leftward, but not more than any other establishment media
6. Level of bias makes it unreliable, it’s nothing more than propaganda
7. It’s completly unethical the way it advocates for certain causes
8. It’s the worst of the media bunch when it comes to the impact of its bias due to its size
9. The Associated Press is evil. End of story
10. Other

DFO: No. 2

For the rest of the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Parting Shot — 3/6/07

With the peaks of the Rocky Mountain Front range in the background, a herd of antelope walk on a ridge between near Great Falls, Mont., Tuesda/Robin Loznak, AP Photo/Great Falls Tribune.

Oh, Cis, You’re Breaking My Heart, You’re …

Yes, I have for years wish I had a different first name. It is Cecelia. Which I got tormented with “Cecil the sea serpent”, and “Does you mother know where you are at, Ceceliaaaaaaaaaaa.” Then Simon & Garfunkel came out with Cecelia. Which I loved, until I hear the phase … “I got up to wash my face, and found someone else in my place with Ceceliaaaaaaaa” In my life time I have met 3 Cecelia’s … and only one Cis beside myself … and two Cissy (my childhood nickname, which I hated). All of this was brought on by my English grandmother. Whose name was Cecelia and had the nickname of Cis … Which was thrown on to me by her mother. Who had a common name of Mary Elizabeth. Now you know the rest of the story …

Cis (aka, Cecilia)

Bent: Spring Is On, Break Out Patio Furniture

YES! Spring is on, baby! Just saw my first Osprey fly by with a fish in talons — in downtown Spokane no less. I’m headed home to put the patio furniture back out…damn, I got the spring fever bad today. This won’t be pretty, I’m sure.


APhoto of the Day — 3/6/07

The Santa Clara bench and fans react to a foul call against the Broncos in the closing minute of the West Coast Conference championship against Gonzaga. Gonzaga won by nine points and will go to its ninth straight NCAA postseason basketball tournament. You write the cutline/AP Photo.

Top Cutlines

1. Santa Clara fans react to a Josh Heytvelt news conference, as he states that ‘Weed have won by more if I’d played” and “I guess I zigged when I shoulda Zagged” and “Just reefer all legal questions to my attorney” and finally to a heckler, “This ‘shroom’s not big enough for both of us” — JohnA.

2. After the loss, Santa Clara realizes they need a scape goat. Lacking a polician or preacher near the bench they turn on the cheer leader — Paul L. Ferguson.

3. “Hey, guys, the cheerleader had a wardrobe malfunction!” — A Token D.

HM: Keithincda

Original post: 10:22 a.m.

KREM2 Question: Where Will Zags Be Seeded?

Now that the Zags have punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament, let’s try this KREM2 online question again: What will Gonzaga be seeded in the NCAA Tournament? (BTW, where do you think the Lady Zags will be seeded? We tend to forget about their amazing season.)

*4-6 seed
*7-9 seed
*10-12 seed
*13-15 seed

DFO: They deserve a 10-12 seed. But I think they’ll be in the 13-15 range.

“Carleens” Are In Vogue In Sandpoint

Issue: The name game takes a turn for Sandpoint shopper/Paul Turner, Spokesman-Review

Carleen Hopkins seldom meets anyone who shares her first name. But the other day, she noticed that a cashier at a store in Sandpoint had a nametag that said “Carlene.” Hopkins mentioned the coincidence. The two of them agreed there are not many Carleens or Carlenes out there. “As we talked, the lady next in line behind me interrupted us and told us that her name was also Carleen,” said Hopkins. What are the odds? “I wish I had had a camera so we could have had our picture taken together,” said Hopkins.

DFO: When I first arrived at the SR in September 1984, there were five Daves working in the Coeur d’Alene bureau: Wasson, Bond, Newman, correspondent Ballard and myself. A year later, Dave Boling (now with the Tacoma News-Tribune) joined the NI office. So, I decided to go by my initials instead of my first name. Now, I’m the only Dave in the office. But the initials are old habit. I wonder if I’d have gone by my initials if there hadn’t been one or two too many Daves?

Question: Do you ever wished you had another name?

Inside Huckleberries — 3/6/07

Kerri Thoreson/

Jason Hunt/Coeur d’Alene Press

*En route this a.m., I inadvertently tuned into the KVNI show with Brett Bowers. Usually, I listen to a music CD. Bowers was interviewing Her Sandiness. In the old days, Dick Haugen woulda asked Sandi about her babe-baciousness, as noted by DanG and OrangeTV on this blog. Dunno if Bowers got around to that. I doubt it. Sure do miss Dick. But Bowers does a decent job, too.

*Huckleberries hears … that county commissioners continue to dress like chief executives and not haphazard. In the past, the commish were known to wear shorts (Gus Johnson) and polo shirts to work. Now, it’s suit and ties. Then, it’s still early in the year.

*From A Berry Picker: “That moose that’s shown being relocated is the same one that you ran a photo of on the blog last week.”

*An anonymous femme caller this a.m. left the following message on my office phone re: a “rig” (from today’s Huckleberries print): “A rig has to be born in the United States.” Bingo.

Breaking: Train, Truck, Mules In in Hayden Crash

Idaho State Police are investigating a collision north of Hayden involving a train and a truck that was pulling a horse trailer. The driver of the truck suffered only minor injuries and two mules that were inside the horse trailer are out and standing on their own. Both the truck and trailer rolled and are laying on their side. The collision occurred on Boekel Road between Ramsey Road and Highway 95 around 10 a.m.

Hat Tip: Dogwalk Musings

Legislative Info Line Provides Eternal Choice

I know it can be difficult to reach an Idaho legislator. But now you have to make heaven-or-hell choices to do so. Don’t believe me? Try dialing the info center number provided in the printed 2007 legislative directory: 208-322-1000. If you do, you’ll hear the voice of a perky woman with a recorded message that begins, “Hi there. If today was the last day of your life, would you be ready to meet God?” (This, and all you wanted to do was question Rep. Phil Hart about his income tax problems.) Then: “The Bible says there is only two places anyone can go after death: into presence of God or eternally separated from God.” (By now, you’re scratching your head, and checking the number you just dialed. That, or your calling Americans United for Separation of Church and State to see if it has time to check out the legislative number after it shuts down the Kroc Center.) But the recorded message isn’t over. It goes on to say that “everyone is invited to come to heaven but many will choose not to. … Please consider what Jesus has done on your behalf … So when your last day comes, you’ll be ready.” In the proper setting, there’s nothing wrong with that message. But it’s definitely out of context in the less-than-spiritual halls of the state’s Capitol.

Hat Tip: Tony Stewart

Gonzaga Punches Ticket To 9th Straight NCAA Dance

Gonzaga forward David Pendergast celebrates at midcourt after beating Santa Clara 77-68 to win the West Coast Conference men’s final basketball game in Portland, Ore./Don Ryan, AP Photo.

Question: Who’s the MVP of the 2006-07 Gonzaga Bulldog team?

Honest Abe: Not Exactly A Transparent Newsroom

re: letter to editor from Atlas fifth-grader Elena Johnson, entitled. “Kids should read The Press, too.”

I think kids should read the newspaper. That’s what a lot of newspapers try to get kids to do, so they must have a good reason, right? If we don’t get used to it now, we may not do it in the future. The newspaper tells about our local news. It’s good to know what’s going on around our town and neighboring cities. If we didn’t, we may not know about the new laws that had been passed or something else that’s big. I think kids should start to read our local paper, The Press — Elena Johnson.

Honest Abe: Transparent newsroom? Should they have run a note that this letter was written by Sholeh Patrick’s daughter, Editor Mike Patrick’s stepdaughter?

Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel: that’s one of the most pathetically hacktacular things I’ve ever seen. It’s not even the subterfuge…one can expect that out of a small town rag the quality of the Mess…but using your kid that way. Sad. Really. Although the only reason the painfully obvious and incredibly limited Sholeh Patrick gets to hack out a column is who she is married to. Her columns are dredged off of and fashioned like C+ work in a Current Events 101 class. Lame. The kid actually writes better than her mom, I must say.

AM Hucks: My “Rig” Hauls Brie And Wine

I’ve never owned a “rig” until possibly now. I bought a VW Rabbit when I moved to northwestern Montana 30 years ago. It lived up to its color – lemon yellow. It was followed by a 1986 Toyota Tercel wagon, which sits in my driveway and still runs, and a 1991 Honda Accord. Now, the Tercel’s on the auction block, to be replaced by my brother-in-law’s 1999 Toyota 4Runner. The 4Runner has some aspects of “rigdom” – size, gas-guzzling ability, 4WD, age and a beagle. My truck-driving brother Ray deems the 4Runner to be a “rig.” But others don’t. A Token D, a regular participant in the Huckleberries Online cutline contest, opined: “It’s a rig if the original color cannot be determined because of the mud.” And someone has written “wash me” on the back window. At Roosevelt Lake, Inland Empire Girl sez a rig “has a cracked windshield, lots of dirt caked on the body, one or more dogs in the front, and it has at least one half empty to-go cup of coffee from the gas station in the cup holder.” Idaho Escapee sez you have to step up a coupla feet to get into a rig. Also, he said, a rig has premature nicks, scratches and dents – and contains tools, a chain saw, several chains of varying lengths and a few crushed beer cans for decoration. In other words, colleague Erica Curless drives a rig – a red 1994 Ford pickup, with a spare tire, bungee cords, a discarded lock, four broken bags of sand for winter traction, jumper cables and assorted empty pop cans in the back. It’s parked next to my 4Runner as I write this. It can haul hay. It puts my, ahem, rig to shame.

Wild Card/Monday — 3/5/07

I just bought a carrying case and a wireless mouse for my Mac Book in the Mac store in Appleway Square (very last biz on the north of the block). I’m almost good to go. Tomorrow, I’ll bring the Mac into work and begin using it for a week to familiarize myself with its quirks. I have to learn three or four rudimentary things to make this work: signing on to wi-fi (looks simple), calling up two screens at the same time, so I can toggle back and forth to post links, posting photos, and, of course, the Mac language, which isn’t the same as Windows. Beyond that, it’s all gravy. Cool stuff. Now, for your Wild Card …

JohnA: Trying To Scrounge Tuition for Next Year?

“Did anyone notice the picture of they guy wanted for robbery in Spokane (on the SR site?) He’s wearing a Gonzaga sweatshirt. The article didn’t say if he was 6‘11 or not … ” (Click here) — JohnA.

Wondering: Males Have DNA Trash Flaw

I think the “taking out the garbage” thing is a DNA flaw in males. One of my teenage sons chores was to take out the trash barrel on trash pick up days and then return the empty to the garage. With reminders the trash made it to the curb for pick up. Sadly, there it often languished empty and unloved. One night in exasperation, having hauled it back in, my husband asked that I inform “the Crown Prince” that taking the garbage out, also means bringing it back in. That phrase remains in family lore to this day.


HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 3/5/07

Granati writes: “I’ve been messin’ with some macro shots and did this little ditty. I know, not the greatest, but i’m still learning.

*After a rough week reporting sad news, Mommy Dearest/BrodH20 had these plans for a well-earned day off today: “I’m going to spend the morning drinking my good coffee. Eating my chocolate and Cheetos for breakfast. I’m going to take an extra long and uninterrupted shower. Paint my toenails red. Eventually I might go out shopping for a couple hours here.”

*Put your hands together for Cis/From A Simple Mind who is beginning her third year of blogging today and plans to keep at it as long as it remains fun here.

*As a stay-at-home dad, Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It sez he’s accustomed to strange looks and inappropriate comments from people who are ignorant or jealous here.

*Trish Gannon/Wading Through the River Journal describes three ways that new technology is expanding the reach of newspapers here.

*DanG/Wambool Lunch posts: “Occasionally I’ve wanted to get back into the technical arena, but the call of some new beginner’s book was always out there. So I found myself fortunate when this past year I took some time off and actually wrote a hard-core technical book. It’s even more fortunate that the thing got published! here.”

Meanwhile, Tumblewords offers a pair of fibonacci poems here, Silver Valley Stories breaks a sword rather than a leg at the theater here, Dogwalk Musings makes an international Internet connection here, Slight Detour was into stream of consciousness Sunday here, tongue firmly cheeked, JeanC offers 40 reasons to ban guns here, sadly, Plaid Toaster’s pregnancy is going poorly here, and Kellogg Bloggin’ is trying to come to grips with Marmite here.

Huckleberries Hears …

… That the Coeur d’Alene School District is considering a new course proposal request — a course that focuses on reading fiction or nonfiction material about modern contemporary issues, called “Hot Lit.” However, the district probably will request that the name be changed because it elicits visions of racy, adult literature.

Q: Do NI Cops Do Enough To Stop Minor Drinking

Issue: Asotin County sheriff: Party’s over for under-age drinkers/Kerri Sandaine, Lewiston Tribune

More Info: In the past month, six teenagers from the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley were busted for partying at Mulberry Beach, up the Snake River from Asotin, Wash. Nine kids were caught drinking at a residence on Critchfield Road in the Clarkston Heights. And a dozen or so Washington State University students under the age of 21 were arrested at a house party on 14th Street in Clarkston. “Asotin County is no longer the place for underage drinking parties,” said Sheriff Ken Bancroft, who took office in January. “I want to make sure the people who do drink, do it legally and responsibly.” Bancroft and a coalition of 38 community members are working on a new approach to combat the problem through enforcement and education. Dan Button, coordinator for the Asotin-Anatone youth alcohol grant community coalition, said some of the goals of the group include changing the widely held perception that alcohol use is a rite of passage and to educate parents about the key role they play.

Question: Do North Idaho police do enough to stop under-age drinking? Or do they look the other way?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 3/5/07

Michaelle Dierich (cq) of Hayden was kidnapped, held captive and sexually tortured for 7 days over more than 16 years ago while living in Hillsboro, Oregon. Her alleged tormentors, two brothers, skipped bail as the trial was under way in 1991. Last October , one of the brothers turned himself in. The other is still on the loose here/Kathy Plonka, Spokesman-Review.

Stapilus: Cathy McMorris, Doc Hastings beat out Idaho delegates for most conservative congressmen from the Northwest. Rep. Jim McDermott and Sen. Patty Murray most liberal here.

1. Adam Morrison, a top-three NBA pick last season from Gonzaga, isn’t enjoying his first season of pro basketball that much, but he’s learning a lot in the school of hard knocks, according to Art Thiel/Seattle PI, here.

2. Montana is about to correct a law that had made it a crime to collect or sell old-time gambling equipment such as a 120-year-old roulette wheel with missing parts here.

3. As the second half of the state Legislature begins, the House will have this puzzler to ponder: What is a wild Montana huckleberry? State Sen. Jim Elliott, D-Trout Creek, thinks he knows and is sponsoring a bill that would bar labeling anything else with the words “Montana” and “huckleberry” here.

4. Hauled to the pokey here and need to post bail? Put it on plastic. The Missoula County Detention Center intends to accept credit-card payments for bail, as part of an effort to get people out of the building sooner and control jail crowding here.

5. After spending eight hours buried face up in the snow, a snowmobiler is facing six months in jail and a $5,000 fine for traveling in an area off-limits to motorized travel here.

6. IMHO-NW: John Blanchette/SR (Zag women dressed for success), Bill Hall/Lewiston Tribune (Why are we laughing over a dead woman?), Rebecca Nappi/SR (Kendall Yards in the cards), Michael Deeds/Idaho Statesman (Copy-protected music should be axed), and Leaning Straight Up (Coulter bad, Maher OK?).

Online Poll: 82% of 787 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll said schools should keep Pizza Hut’s Read It program — which rewards children for reading by providing pizza gift certificates — although critics say in promotes poor nutritional habits and turns teachers into corporate promoters.

*Nampan who beheaded wife, killed two others, gets life without parole here.

*Portland officer gets OK to be funny here.

*Back-country skier killed in avalanche near Big Sky, Mont., here.

*Idaho gas prices likely to hit $3 here.

Orbusmax Special: Sunriver, Ore., police no longer can ticket for speeding, seatbelts, broken tail lights here.

Online Poll: To Book It, Or Not To Book It

Idaho Statesman: Since 1985, Pizza Hut’s Book It program has rewarded young readers with free pizzas. Child-development experts say it promotes bad eating habits and turns teachers into corporate promoters. Should schools keep the program or end it?

*Keep it
*End it
*No opinion

DFO: I thought pizza was one of the four or five basic food groups. Hot dogs and hamburgers were another.

Hot Potatoes — 3/5/07

The Gonazga team celebrates after beating Loyola Marymount, 64-47, to win the West Coast Conference women’s championship basketball game in Portland, Ore., Sunday/Don Ryan, AP Photo.

*Empire exec paid $690,000: Board credits Nelson with turnaround, making ailing hospitals saleable/Jonel Aleccia and John Stucke, Spokesman-Review — I’m at the wrong job in the wrong business.

*Gonzaga women claim first NCAA berth/Steve Bergum, Spokesman-Review — While our attention has been diverted to the woes of Josh Heytvelt/Theo Davis and the struggle for Gonzaga to win an NCAA tournament bid, the Zag women have been doing just fine. No matter what happens today at the Chiles Center in Portland, we still can say, “Go, Zags,” this spring.

*Street racing crash victim improving/KREM2 — There’s not a lick of difference between the clowns involved in the Spokane race that resulted in six cars being damaged — and the one on Kathleen Avenue in Coeur d’Alene that killed a young teen-ager last year. The Spokane County prosecutor should throw the book at the idiots involved.

*UI center under investigation: Workers prompt Kootenai prosecutor to seek review for criminal conduct/Associated Press — Another center, another scandal? Legal woes haunt UI at both ends of the state — University Place in Boise and now this.

Swami Paulos Predicts INorthwest Future

“In another 10 to 15 years, Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Hayden will merge into the appearance of one city with a total population approaching and perhaps exceeding Spokane. And Spokane will continue its decline due to the absence of civic and political leadership. Meanwhile, North Idaho will march on, in step politically with the state and providing the lifestyle and amenities that will keep our numbers growing while our sence of community will keep it a wonderful place to live and raise a family. That old saying — ‘Idaho has three capital cities: Salt Lake City, Boise and Spokane’ — will change a bit to Salt Lake City, Boise and Coeur d’Alene.” Spokane? It will become a drive-by on the way to Ritzville — Bob Paulos/Coeur d’Alene Press.”

DFO: Sometimes, I’m amazed by Paulos’ hatred for anything Spokane and his never-ending kowtowing to all thing Hagadone. I don’t think the comment above is the dumbest thing he’s written. There are too many candidates. But it’s the reflection of a man — and possibly an organization — that’s still living in the 1980s. Downtown Spokane will thrive again, especially with the significant projects planned along the river. Coeur d’Alene is thriving. Why can’t we enjoy prosperity on both sides of the state line?

Trish: US Not Doing Right By Veterans

My brother, Joe, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, got this cold that’s going around and it turned into bronchitis. He went to the VA in Spokane, where the bronchitis was diagnosed, but nothing was said about why he was passing out when he coughed. He called the VA after passing out and busting his head open on the living room coffee table. They said he was likely weak and dehydrated. He drove to the VA on (Wednesday? Thursday? I can’t remember which) to talk to them about these occassional bouts of passing out. They sent him home, told him to come in next week for some tests. He passed out while driving home. Luckily, he wasn’t killed, and no one else was killed. My children and I have since taken turns being his ‘driver’ when he needs to go out. I witnessed his blackouts twice last night, and they’re very frightening. I read just a month ago about an Iraq war veteran who went to the VA because he was suicidal. They told him to come back the next week, too… but, of course, he killed himself before they could make time to see him. Please let our legislators know that our veterans need and deserve a VA that has the means and the instructions to be responsive to the medical and emotional needs of our veterans.

Trish Gannon/Wading Through The River Journal

RSPA: We Need Guid To Understand Huckleberryish

I think it’s time HBO compile a guide to understand Huckleberryish, the unique language and lexicon of this blog…besides DFO’s many contributions to the broadening and adrenalizing of the English language, I’m thinking the regulars here have generated plenty of unique and descriptive phrases and words that could be assembled (by someone with more time than me, alas, I’m just the idea guy), into an online guide linked off the front here.

I know I’ve contributed a few:

72 Marlette: Classic singlewide trailer usually aqua in color and skirted with low quality plywood and often used as an unfortunately stereotypical residential description for much of rural North Idaho.

1984 Subaru Brat: Often tri-colored with mismatched fenders and at least one color being primer gray. Rusting bed. Preferred transportation of residents of 72 Marlettes.

Rattles pearls and runs teetering on high heels from the room: Phrase best applied to burly male commenters who lose it in the comments section. May be modified with: “runs shrieking” “throws handbag” “slams door”

Anyway, those are a few and there are tons more here. RBT comes up with some good ones involving plasma cores and Dang comes up with good ones, as do many others.

Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel

RSPA: What Fictional Place Would You Like To Visit?

Oh this was much much too easy…how about pick the place from fiction you’d most like to visit and (to make this a challenge) which HBO regular(s) would you likely meet there?

Middle Earth (Toadman, Marmitetoasty)
Oz (Brent Andrews in the poppies and Katrina on the Yellow Brick Road)
Cannery Row (DFO)
A Christmas Carol - Scrooge’s home (Larry Spencer)

Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel

Silver Valley Girl: I Was Too Scared to Mess Around

Yes, youngsters can control their urges. I know for me personally, I was able to wait until my wedding night, but I don’t think it was my Christianity or the talking with my parents, because there was none that I recall. The bottom line for me was, I was scared to death of getting pregnant at too young an age without being married, and ruining, not only my life, but the child I was bringing into this world. I had plans, I had hopes, I had dreams. And having a child too early would have messed that up for me, at least that was my view of it as a high school and college student. After being married four years, my first child was born when I was 27, and I still felt too young to me a mom!! But at least we were a little more emotionally prepared and it was our plan, not an OOPS! And I am thankful for that.

Silver Valley Girl

SSands: Sweet & Sour pork gone at Safeway deli

Safeway on Neider Avenue in Coeur d’ Alene will no longer offer Sweet & Sour Pork on their selection of Chinese deli menu items. When asked why the item was no longer served, the deli staff had no comment. Safeway will continue to serve Sweet & Sour Chicken with the option of sauce on top. That’s my news for the weekend.


Jane Q: Ruthie Can Hold Her Own Vs. Liberals

Ruthie (Johnson, a former aide to former U.S. Sen. Jim McClure) is an octogenarian, about 5 feet tall in heels, a dark brown cap of curls on her head and has forgotten more about the political system than most of us will ever know. She’s passionate about the US of A and unabashedly a flag waving Republican. She is held with much deserved respect by people on both sides of the political isle simply because she’s done her time in the trenches, volunteered longer than most of us have been alive and works hard to get her candidates elected. She’s a formidable opponent in an argument. In any debate with another citizen of the liberal persuasion, I’d have to put my $5 on Ruthie.

Jane Q. Citizen

Wally: Greek System Elitist, Wonder Bread

Let me throw this thought out there: If America had conducted its immigration policies in the same exclusionary manner that the Greek system does, would we truly be able to celebrate the diversity that makes our country so unique? I think not — we’d be the United States of Wonder Bread. Again, the Greek system is elitist, snobbish and foolish and runs counter to the supposed goals of public education.


Katrina: Teens Can Control Sexual Urges

Katrina: I think we do young people (and many adults, too) a disservice by implying that we are mere victims of our sexual urges, powerless to resist their overwhelming force. Certainly the sexual drive is a powerful thing, but so is the human mind. I experienced just as much physical desire as anyone coming up through my teen years. But because I had made a commitment to abstinence and had been educated by very loving parents on ways to avoid excessive temptation, I’m happy to say that I followed through on that commitment. To communicate, deliberately or otherwise, that sexual activity before marriage is a biological inevitability is flat-out misinformation. Of course I care about disease and pregnancy, and I’m not advocating keeping kids in the dark about their causes and prevention, but it’s ridiculous to dismiss abstinence out of hand as a viable solution and something to be encouraged.

DFO: Well said, Katrina; I’m so tired of listening to people who say that youngsters can’t control themselves sexually. I know many who do.

RBT: Clark Taken To Woodshed Over Check-Up

Rocket Brain: Rebecca Mack is in for Fuhrman this week and had SR’s Doug Clark on the show (Friday) morning. They played Doug’s Ballad of Otto Zehm. Seems as though this is colo-rectal screening month. Doug hasn’t had anything checked under the hood for over ten years including a PSA test. Rebecca was all over him and was going to squeal to his wife. Doug Clark’s mincing of words was hilarious. You might rib him too :-)

DFO: I called Doug at home Friday and poked fun at him, based on Rocket’s post above. As long-time friends, we had some good yucks about my experience in the doc’s office Friday morning — stuff I can’t repeat here b/c many of you are more mature than Clark and I, when we’re yucking it up. No question that 10 years is way too long to go without a complete physical. Then, I have another colleague who admitted he hasn’t had a complete physical in 15 years. These are very bright guys. Guys simply have a phobia about a physical exam. Mebbe that’s why we joke so much about the rubber glove treatment. Gallows humor.

RSPA: Alaska, Washington Are Must Sees

Rainbow Pony Sparkle Angel: I thought the pacific nw was the most viewtiful area in the US…and it’s gorgeous, blessed with craggy alp-like cascade mtns. and huge dormant volcanoes, crystal clear lakes and fjords, thick emerald forests but then…well, then I went to Alaska to do some work in Anchorage and traveled the Kenai. Sorry, but the Pacific NW is to Alaska as dandelions are to hybrid tea roses, as rivulets running down gutters are to waterfalls scouring a mountainside clean. There is simply no comparison. I always say every American citizen should visit two places before they die: Washington DC and Alaska

Question: Can you name a place or two in the U.S. that should be included in a list of must-sees?

UI Wants To Build Pavilion, Upgrade Dome for $110M

For the rest of the story, click here.

Now that Idaho knows what it wants to do, it has to figure out how to do it. The Vandals have unveiled ambitious plans to build a 6,000-seat multiuse pavilion and make upgrades to the Kibbie Dome. The price tag for the pavilion is roughly $70 million. Dome improvements could run as much as $40 million. “We need to have a solid fundraising and revenue plan to go back to the state board,” Idaho athletic director Rob Spear said. “In my opinion, we have to have the majority of those dollars in place before we can start this. We wouldn’t be in this position if we didn’t think we could do this. It is an absolute necessity for this campus to remain a great residential campus and advance the athletic department.” The timeline and the extent of the plans becoming reality depend on how much money Idaho can raise — Jim Meehan/Spokesman-Review.

Question: $110M for both? Is this doable?

Parting Shot — 3/2/07

A Bluffton University student attends a candlelight vigil Friday on the campus of Bluffton University in Bluffton, Ohio. A bus crash near Atlanta claimed the lives of four members of the school’s baseball team, in addition to the driver and his wife here./Associated Press.

OrangeTV’s Debut SReview: Takara

For the rest of OrangeTV’s debut review for the SR’s Handle edition, click here.

I remember when Takara first opened its doors many moons ago – 1992 to be exact. Sushi in Idaho? What a shock! I’d imagine that at the time, a very miniscule percentage of locals had ever even tried sushi. My family certainly never did. Raw fish? I don’t think so. We were meat and potatoes kind of people, none of that frou-frou California stuff. In fact, it wasn’t until I was in college that I was invited to tag along with a few new friends for lunch at Takara. I really wanted to be cool and make a good impression on these folks and didn’t let on that my tummy was making flippy-floppy at the mere thought. I knew I was just going to have to go for it. So I watched the others do the ritual: pour a little soy sauce in the cute little dish, take some of the green stuff and stir it in with your chopstick. Gingerly pick up the piece with your sticks and dip it carefully in the sauce and pop it in your mouth! I held the big, pink slab of raw salmon meat and seasoned rice under my nose for moment: Wait! No fishy smell at all! And in my mouth it went.

DFO: Patrick a.k.a. OrangeTV/Making Flippy Floppy makes his SR debut in Saturday’s Handle with this review of Takara. I feel like a proud papa watching another of the kids make their way in the media world. Kudos Patrick.

APhoto of the Day — 3/2/07

A raven pecks at his reflection in the back window of a pickup truck parked at a gas station in Great Falls, Mont., Thursday. The bird appeared to tire of the company and flew off after a few minutes. Ravens are considered by some to be the smartest of all birds. You write the cutline/Robin Loznak, AP Photo/Great Falls Tribune.

Top Cutlines

1. Once I was in Montana dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Gassing up with super unleaded
bought some Slim Jims in the store,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my pickup door.
`’Tis some visitor,’ I muttered, `tapping at my pickup door -
Only this, and nothing more’ — RSPA.

2. Proud of the good results he received from his yearly physical, DFO ponders if he will ever feel ashamed when asked to turn his head and cough. DFO admires his reflection and answers “Nevermore” — Nic.

3. JBelle checks herself before she goes to work, knowing that although she’s the smartest, because she’s a girl, it ain’t enough — JBelle.

HM: Eric Seaman

Original Post: 11:16 a.m.

Huckleberries Hears That …

… GOP grand dame Ruthie Johnson is hosed about the VIP setup for Saturday night’s Lincoln Day Dinner. Seems you’re allowed to hobnob with the party’s upper crust if you buy a table for $800. But run-of-the-mill elephants who pay $50 for their seats aren’t allowed in. One planner may have said something like “this is the way to keep the riffraff out.” Dunno if Ruthie’s in or out, based on what she paid for her meal. But I’ve been on Ruthie’s bad side enough (Ed Note: Is there anyone in Kootenai County you haven’t ticked off?) to know that things can be unpleasant when she’s unhappy.

Finally …

The pink draped coffin carrying Anna Nicole Smith’s body is carried into her grave site at the Lakeview Memorial Gardens & Mausoleums in Nassau, Bahamas, earlier today/Tim Aylen, AP Photo.

Question: So when will the entertainment media quit hyperventilating about this talentless woman whose main talents were to marry well, pose nude and knock back enough prescription drugs not to feel embarrassed about her reality-show series and life?

Seattle/King County Now Is … Metronatural

Seems Seattle has embraced its metronaturalness (met-ro-nat-u-ral):

1. Having the characteristics of a world-class metropolis within wild, beautiful natural surroundings.

2. A blending of clear skies and expansive water with a fast-paced city life.

3. One who respects the environment and lives a balanced lifestyle of urban and natural experiences.

4. Seattle

Question: Are you metronatural? (Alternative Question: Do you think the new Seattle tag and associated promotional material is worth $200,000?)

Hat Tip: Rich Roesler/Eye On Olympia, who sends along the rest of the story here.

My 2 Cents — Why Guys Should Have Physicals, Too

I believe every middle-age and older man should get yearly physical exams — for peace of mind for himself and his family, if nothing else. However, I’m not cuh-razy about undergoing one for myself. That’s part of the reason why I haven’t had one in three years. There’s something about getting up close and personal with a doc that I find embarrassing. Or at least I used to do so. Today, I took a different approach. I decided to view today’s exam as if my body was a vehicle I was taking to my service manager buddy Jerry Kelly at Robideaux’s to check out from headlights to rear bumper. Rather than endure, I asked questions and had a list of things that I was concerned about. A short list. I’m not falling apart yet.

It’s difficult not to be self-conscious when a nurse asks you to step onto a scale, to pee in a bottle, and starts taking your blood pressure as soon as you step into the exam area. (I’ve often wondered what candidate endorsement interviews would be like if we required candidates to do that before we began hitting them with questions.) This time, however, I viewed the routine in mechanical terms (read: she was checking the oil, water and tire pressure). It helped me relax. It also helped her to get a legit blood pressure, rather than one that was higher as a result of my embarrassment and increased tension.

I brought a paperback copy of “The Phantom of the Opera” to read during the inevitable down time when you’re waiting half naked for the physician. Doc Chisholm entered the exam room within moments after the nurse left. I didn’t have a chance to find out what the Opera Ghost was doing to The Egyptian and Raoul in his torture chamber in the middle of the lake. (The book version is somewhat different than the movie.) The doc is a good guy with a good sense of humor. We talked over my list. He asked questions. He was interested in a home remedy that I discovered (that seems to work only for me) that helped knock out an acid reflux problem that had required the use of Prevacid. He kicked the tires. Listened to my heart and breathing. Then, he grabbed his rubber gloves and checked, ahem, under the hood. (Can’t think of a different metaphor. Sorry.) This is the part that causes males to quiver like a mouse cornered by a hungry tomcat — and to shy from physicals. And the part that our wives and galpals tsk-tsk and say, “We’ve been through worse, at a far younger age.”

The exam and blood work (transmission fluid?) was over quickly. Doc Chisholm made some recommendations. He was pleased with my walking routine. And suggested that I eat breakfast more often in an effort to break a late-night snack habit. Now, we’re waiting for numbers. But I’m not to anxious about that. For the most part, the doc said the numbers from an EKG and other tests were “boring” — and that’s a good thing. As I was leaving, he extended his hand to shake mine — and I refused to take it, at first chuckling: “I don’t know if I should shake your hand. After all, I know where it’s been.”

Bottom line, guys? Get a physical — for you family’s sake, if nothing else. It’s no big deal.

Q — Do You Support Domestic Partnership Bill?

Issue: Same-sex rights pass: Washington Senate OKs domestic partnership bill; House approval likely/Richard Roesler, Spokesman-Review

Pro (Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle): “Justice demands that we take a small step on a longer journey to end that hurt,” he said. That longer journey, he said, is the right for gays and lesbians to marry – something that this bill doesn’t do.

Con (Sen. Val Stevens, R-Arlington): “We have watched this incremental movement as it has slowly eroded the sanctity of marriage,” said Sen. Val Stevens, R-Arlington. She said the Senate is “acquiescing to gay rights” and “giving away the building blocks of society” one at a time.

Question: Did the Washington Senate do the right thing?

Online Poll: Most Disagree w/Field Burning Ban

The state has banned field-burning this summer, excluding Indian reservations. Do you agree with the decision? — Coeur d’Alene Press.

*Yes 34.0%
*No 61.4%
*Uncertain 4.6%

Total Votes: 2569

RSPA: If Bloggers Talked Up Numbers in Med Terms …

I agree with DFO on people who rote repeat their physical exam numbers … but what if bloggers were like those folks … hmmmm … what would that sound like? “Yeah, so my Webmaster tells me my UV (Unique Visitors) levels are good, I’m running about 350 but he wants me to get my RVs (Returning Visitors) up to 1000. he said the UV/RV ratio is a bit low. Yeah, yeah, he says my blog is in great shape for being this old. He was shocked when I told him I was on blogger, he said he coulda sworn it was myspace, that’s how young he said it seemed. He did a virus screen and said I was clean. Which is a really good thing since my blog is unlinked right now and y’know I’m sure I’ll be out there getting linked again … I met this really nice single mommy blog the other day … anyway … Overall, my PVs (Pageviews) are normal and he thinks I should type longer entries and I’ll probably drop a few more unnecessary adverbs by summer” — Rainbow Pony Sparkle Angel.

DFO: And you worried/hoped the Pony had gone away when his blog went away. He’s still on top of his game. Now, if I only can teach you guys the proper use of the ellipses (use it as a word onto itself with spaces on each end. I editted Pony’s copy above so the ellipses conform).

AM Hucks: Commish Fashion Plate Full @ Meeting

The three Kootenai County commissioners were styling earlier this week during their regular weekly business meeting, all wearing ties. Nah, they weren’t sporting Armani. Or anything like that. But they still looked “quite dapper,” according to a Huckleberries fashionista. Commish Rich Piazza wore a green shirt and matching tie. Commish Todd Tondee was chic in a maroon shirt with a maroon-and-white tie. Chairman Rick Currie opted for a black shirt with a red power tie. During the public comment period, County Clerk Dan English (aka Dan of the County by Huckleberries Online followers) commented on the trio’s “spiffy attire,” adding: “You would compete well against the mayor of Coeur d’Alene.” The county clerk, of course, was referring to the debate triggered by HBOer Dan Gookin when he observed that fashionable Mayor Sandi Bloem was “serious babage.” Remember? Dan emerged from a meeting about the Kroc Center with Her Sandiness and Councilman Mike Kennedy to observe: “The mayor was stunning.” As an individual who has watched City Hall for almost a quarter of a century, I’ve never heard “babage” or “stunning” applied to any Coeur d’Alene mayor. Then again, Her Sandiness remains the Lake City’s first femme mayor. Onward. Currie fielded the county clerk’s compliment seriously and responded: “We don’t want to compete.” As everyone filed out of the room, County Attorney Erika Grubbs had the final say on the matter, quipping that everyone should start referring to the commissioners as “babeishioners.” But not in e-mails

Coming Friday: One ZigZag Player Could Catch Break

The ticket has been signed charging Theo Davis with misdemeanor possession of marijuana. However, the prosecutor said she may reduce the charge. If the charge stands, Davis would most likley face a day in jail and a $250 fine. Cheney City Prosecutor Julie McKay said she often sees these charges involving college students. Since it would disqualify a student for federal financial aid, she often amends the charge to something else. Especially, if the offender has a clean record — Thomas Clouse/Spokesman-Review.

APhoto of the Day — 3/1/07

In this image from video, shown is a 60-vehicle pileup on Interstate 90 along the Snoqualmie Summit near Seattle Wednesday here. You write the cutline/AP Photo, King5-TV.

Top Cutlines

1. Semi-retirement takes on a whole new meaning — JohnA.

2. Officer, it all started with that young guy in that Spencer Trucking Freightliner up there pulling that 1957 Marlette with the bird nests in the windows and he was typing on a laptop and shouting something and next thing we knew he t-boned the Buick with the really old guy with the funny nose - RSPA.

3. As the effects of “global warming” continue to be felt, Governor Gregoire rethinks her support of an elevated roadway as a replacement ot the Alaskan Way Viaduct — Tom Forbes.

HM: Duffer and Inspector Gadget

Original Post: 10:28 a.m.

The Boys of Summer Are Back In Peoria

Seattle Mariners’ Jeremy Reed races toward third on a single by teammate Raul Ibanez against the San Diego Padres in the first inning at a charity spring training baseball game Thursday in Peoria, Ariz. The Padres won, 4-3/Elaine Thompson, AP Photo.

KREM2 Uncovers Bus Drivers w/Criminal Records

KREM2 Investigation: Who’s driving your kids to school?

More Info: A KREM 2 News investigation has uncovered more than a dozen employees for Laidlaw, the company in charge of transportation for Spokane Public Schools, have criminal records.

Question: Should parents be concerned that people with criminal history are driving school buses?

*Depends on the crime

Marmitetoasty: Those Poo Buckets Have Value

Full post by Marmitetoasy, an HBO friend from England’s southern coast, here.

So, having a bit of cabin fever lately, cos not being able to get out much with me knee, I asked me mad matie Ann if she fancied coming to the garden Centre with me, so that I could get some polys for me Poo Buckets out the front of me house. … I can hear you saying WTF are Poo Buckets. … well they are the original Poo Buckets that use to be in the outside loo that these cottages use to have when they was first built … no flushables for these houses….. we had an outside loo … in fact is was a plank of wood with a hole cut in the middle and underneath sat the poo buckets … and once a week, yep just once a week the dunny man would come with his horse and cart and empty the poo buckets … :) - well MY poo buckets are real RARE … bought them at the church fete about 20 years ago. … they had been found in the old community centre (which is our original old flint school) in a cupboard full of rubbish and junk … and only I knew what they actually (cos Im a bit of a local history phlid) were and where they came from :) … so I only paid a couple of quid for them. … well they have been for years out the front of me house planted up with seasonal plants — Marmitetoasty/Twaddle.

DFO: In Americanized English, Marmitetoasty basically said that she made a killing at a church rummage sale because she recognized the value of her rare toilet buckets. Speaking of yard sales, I once bought a 1848 first-edition book about Martin Luther at a yard sale for a dime. It was one of my better killings.

Question: Have you ever made a “killing” at a yard sale or auction?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 3/1/07

You’ve seen this itsy-bitsy spider before. Chris Peterson/Hungry Horse News wrote about it briefly on his Muse You Can Use blog here. Now, he writes about it in his weekly newspaper column here.

Doug Clark: Spokane gun-wielding cop who shot man in head suffered Oscar fever.

1. Gem County Sheriff Clint Short defended the efforts of his dive team Wednesday, saying deputies got to a submerged car in a frigid pond near Blacks Canyon Dam as soon as safely possible Tuesday morning. The dive team has been criticized for not starting rescue efforts for two hours after the accident that killed five young teens here.

2. The Washington state Senate has passed a measure that would create domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. It passed on a 28-19 vote over the objections of opponents who say the measure is essentially the same as gay marriage. The bill now goes to the House here.

3. The state Department of Corrections is scrambling to find space for inmates at out-of-state prisons after Gov. Christine Gregoire on Wednesday called a halt to the freeing of felons as a solution to prison overcrowding here.

4. A Columbia Falls man has pleaded guilty to dumping sewage from his septic-pumping truck into the Flathead River at the Kokanee Bend fishing access last April here.

5. Alan Stringer, one of seven former W.R. Grace and Co. executives accused of conspiring to conceal asbestos-related health risks posed by a Montana mine, has died of cancer. He was 62 here.

6. IMHO-NW: Jim Fisher/Lewiston Tribune (Who needs safe day care? Where’s mom?), Dan Hammes/St. Maries Record Gazette (Tax Potlatch rec land accordingly), Tom Forbes/Palousitics (The Pullman NIMBY manifesto), G. George Ostrom/Hungry Horse News (8 ways to avoid Death Row), and John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (Raivio shares top-player honors).

62% of 570 respondents to a Great Falls Tribune poll say greenhouse gases should be regulated.

*Boisean who beheaded wife also sentenced to 45 years for vehicular manslaughter, aggravated DUI here.

*9 people were hurt in a single-car crash near Burley, Idaho, including one who gave birth by C-section here.

*WSU students began lining up at midnight for tonight’s big game against UCLA here.

*NW Montana woman pleads innocent to misdemeanor in septic-tank death of 3-year-old here.

Orbusmax Special: Oregon cops investigate claim that bullies forced laxative-laces brownie on boy here.

Extra! Copper Basin Voted Down 3-0

Kootenai County Commissioners this morning unanimously rejected a zone change that would have allowed 700 homes on 290 acres of the Rathdrum Prairie. Copper Basin Construction had billed its proposal as affordable homes for workers. But commissioners said the homes would not be affordable enough to justify creation of a development that would amount to a new city on the prairie. They were concerned, too, that the development’s lagoon sewage system might harm the aquifer that supplies the region’s drinking water. Neighbors had opposed the development, as had the city of Post Falls, to the south of the proposal. The development would be off state Highway 53, between Pleasantview and McGuire roads — Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review.

Question: What do you make of this unanimous rejection of a major development proposal on the prairie?

KXLY: 6 Semis Jackknife, Block Lookout Pass

Partial white out conditions and icy roads in the Idaho Panhandle contributed to a six semi pile-up at Lookout Pass just before 7 a.m. Thursday morning. Idaho State Patrol dispatch confirmed that the six semis had either jack-knifed or slid-off the road. There were no known injuries. All lanes of traffic were blocked after the incident, but ISP now reports that they have traffic moving through the area.

Q: What Do You Say To A Busybody Church-Stater?

Item: Church-state group challenges land swap: Salvation Army deal called ‘unconstitutional’/Hope Brumbach, Spokesman-Reporter

Question: So, what would you say to a church-state separator who poked his/her nose into our Kroc Center business?

1. Thanks, I’d do anything to shut down the Kroc Center and embarrass Mayor Sandi Bloem, including placing a call to you bums.
2. OK, we’ll let you have the 10 Commandments monument on the courthouse lawn, too — just embarrass Mayor Sandi Bloem.
3. Go get ‘em. I hate bell ringers as much as I hate the trans fat in a McDonalds burger.
4. I don’t have anything against kids — as long as they’re mine.
5. Whatever you do, don’t tell anyone that I contacted you guys.
6. Who needs a community center. Those kids can swim in the lake like I did growing up.
7. It’s not a church-state thing. It’s about the dirt. But the more attacking this thing the better.
8. I don’t understand what’s going on; so I’m agin the Kroc Center. Public oafishals always lie. But the motives of those who attack them are always lily pure.
9. If you can’t beat ‘em in court, delay ‘em long enough to cause the Bell Ringers to pull their $33M from the project and spend it elsewhere.
10. Other.

Idaho: For Better Or Worse


Idaho leading the way on organ donor laws: Several states pursuing uniform rules/John Miller, Associate Press

Or Anal?

Day-care rules slammed: Idaho’s safety standards ranked last in nation/David Crary, Associated Press

Question: Which is the real Idaho?

Benway Murder Accessory Free, Sans Supervision

Cody Merritt, left, heads to court for sentencing May 31, 2002, at the Kootenai County Courthouse. The teen was present when his father, David “Coon” Merritt, killed Carissa Benway, a teenage runaway. /Spokesman-Review.

Two months after the man who helped murder her daughter was released from prison, Bonnie Heilander said she now worries he may return to Coeur d’Alene and come after her. Cody Merritt, 23, was released from the Idaho State Correctional Institute near Boise on Jan. 2 after completing a five-year sentence for his role in the 2000 rape, murder and decapitation of 14-year-old Carissa Benway. Kootenai County District Court last month denied Heilander’s request for a protection order against Merritt. Story here.

Bonnie Heilander: “I can’t even get a protection order against him because I haven’t had sex with him, and I’m not related to him. He only killed my daughter.”

Order dismissing Bonnie Heilander’s request for protection order here.

Question: Is Cody Merritt’s release another indication the system is broken? Or does he deserve to go free because he’s paid his debt to society?

Stebbijo: Bulldoze Clark Fork, Start Over

Stebbijo: I agree with you - Digger. Clark Fork has potential because of it’s surroundings - but the town is trashy. It needs a good bulldozing soon - in order to save it now. That is why I have volunteered for the job if it ever becomes available. Clark Fork will bleed into Montana in order to stay alive as one of the last frontiers. It will be a valiant effort - but the Hillbilly brothers will eventully give in and move back to Arkansas so they can live with their sisters all in the name of progress.

DFO: You mean Clark Fork actually is beyond Hope?

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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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