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Archive for November 2007

Councilman MikeK Recalls Knievel Action Figure


Thom George Illustrations
Top: Young MikeK playing with Evel Knievel action figure; bottom: MikeK receives inspiration from his childhood friends before leaving for a Coeur d’Alene City Council meeting.

I had a classic Evel Knievel motorcycle riding action figure when I was a kid. The stunts my brothers and I would stage for that motorcycle toy were legendary (riding out a second story window, chasing the dog around the house without getting chewed to ribbons, you name it). RIP Evel. I wonder what happened to Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man who played the role of Evel’s arch-nemesis in the boyhood action figure wars?/Councilman MikeK.

Question: What was your favorite action figure/doll when you were little?

BrentA: Still Cherish Evel’s Autograph

I met Evel in Coeur d’Alene before one of his annual rides around the lake, which I was writing about for The Press. It might have been 1998. It was the only time I “crossed the line” from journalist to fan and asked for an autograph from someone I was interviewing for the paper. I’ve never been starstruck but being around Evel Knievel was truly being close to an American legend. And he was so nice, too. On one of his business cards Evel wrote, “To Brent, Happy Landings, Evel Knievel.” The card goes everywhere with me; it’s one of my favorite things. Evel was a good person, demonstrated quite recently by the fact that he forgave the rapper Kayne West before he died. I guess that was one of his last acts. “Happy Landings,” Evel. RIP/Brent Andrews.

Seamus: PC Attacks On Xmas Deserve Woodshed Treatment

re: School district leaves Christmas out of December

Aside from comments about historical reasons for why December 25th was chosen, the fact remains that believers in Christianity use that day to commemorate the birth of our savior. If the school district took time to list holidays for other religious groups, and then “overlooked” the religious holiday that provides for the winter break, and is observed by the VAST MAJORITY of people in the district, state, country, I find their backpeddling very hard to believe. That aside, it really is trivial to argue over the day, but the politically correct panderers need to be called to the woodshed when their moronic attempts at extinguishing references to the religious aspect of December 25th are exposed for all to view/Seamus.

Washington State Rallies Over Baylor, 67-64

Right: Baylor’s Aaron Bruce (14) battles to get past Washington State’s Derrick Low (2) in second half action in a men’s college basketball game tonight in Waco, Texas. Washington State won, 67-64. Left: Washington State’s Nikola Koprivica (4) celebrates with Robbie Cowgill (34) after the tight win. Game story and boxscore here.

Duane A. Laverty/AP Photo

Parting Shot — 11/30/07

Craig Osborne/AP Photo, Foster’s Daily Democrat
SWAT team members take Leeland Eisenberg of Rochester into custody after a nearly six hour hostage and standoff situation at the Hillary Clinton campaign office in Rochester, N.H. on Friday.

Hillary’s Hostage Crisis Winners: Hillary Clinton, New Hampshire, local journalists, Bill Richardson and Rudy Giuliana; Losers: Commentators, Republicans, 2nd Amendment advocates, Secret Service and Mike Huckabee. Read Trailhead blog here.

Breaking! Duncan Expected To Plead Guilty Monday

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review File Photo
Joseph Edward Duncan III, right, is shown during a hearing at the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department Justice building in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in this Oct. 16, 2006, file photo. Duncan, who has been charged with kidnapping two north Idaho children in 2005 and killing one of them, is scheduled to enter a guilty plea on Monday in federal court. KREM2 story here.

Question: What’s your thoughts on the possibility of Duncan entering a guilty plea?

Dogwalk: Info More Important Than Uncivil War

Item: Housing, education tops LCDC’s list: Group did not set priorities throughout end of its term/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press

Dogwalk Musings: For those who consider themselves watchdogs, perhaps it’s time to put the pitbull image to rest an let a more likeable image take its place. For both sides, it’s the perfect time to de-emphasize the “war” and emphasize the “civil”. Full post here.

Question: In an editorial after the Coeur d’Alene City Council election, Brand X called for a dialogue between the city and the losing parties. Do you think that would be beneficial? or would it continue to provide a platform for the challengers to attack again? How do you approach this controversial local issue in a civil matter when the losing side hasn’t put down its arms?

Best Thread: Evel Knievel, 69, Dare Devil, RIP

AP File Photo
Evel Knievel is shown standing in front of Snake River Canyon, Idaho. Knievel would later jump over Shoshone falls at Snake River Canyon in this Sept. 8. 1974, file photo. Knievel, the hard-living motorcycle daredevil whose exploits made him an international icon in the 1970s, died Friday. He was 69. Story here.

Question: What’s the most dare-devilish thing you’ve ever done?

New West Open Blog Thread …

Jill Kuraitis, publisher of New West Boise, has dipped her pinky toe into the blogosphere today with her “Boise Blog Cache and Open Thread” post in which she spotlights a Huckleberries Online discussion. Jill writes: Like the rest of the virtual globe, the Idaho blogosphere is heavy with terrific writers, lively debates, and interesting multimedia. “It’s also sparkling with nutjobs and meanies, but it depends on your point of view which is which.” Click here.

KREM2: Car Crashes Into CDA Post Office

Kootenai County emergency crews are responding to a car into the Post Office at 111 N 7th in CDA. No word on extent of injuries. KREM 2 has a crew on the way to the scene and will bring more information as it becomes available/KREM2.

HBO’s Best of the North Idaho Blogs — 11/30/07

MeghannC/The Skinny On North Idaho
Meghann & Taryn/The Skinny On North Idaho paused to snap this photo of Bayview on Lake Pend Oreille during a trip to see Sweet & Sour Herb.

*Sara Anderson/F-Words rolls her eyes when talk turns to power panties, stiletto heels and other tight-fitting clothing that’s painful and humiliating here.

*Contrary to her father’s advice, Marianne Love/Slight Detour sez, there are times when you do accept wooden nickels and stick beans up your nose here.

*Our Witch With A Gun gives the Moscow mayor a piece of her mind for pushing to ban weapons in public buildings and deny Idahoans their Second Amendment rights here.

*In Sparky’s Notes, Sparky tries to decide which Coeur d’Alene at 4 o’clock in the morning is real — the frenzied Black Friday one or the one that was dolled up for “Good Morning America” here.

*Thanks to a benevolent elementary school secretary, the excuse Katrina/Notes On A Napkin gave for her daughter’s absence from school worked, although the girl was “not exactly sick” here.

HBO Numbers: 9149 page-views, 5386 unique views.

Meanwhile, A Butterfly Moment counts her blessings here; Arch Druid opines on the news here; Cis is tired of government protection here; Frum Helen Back gets good news on the health front for a beloved grandchild here; ThomG proclaims, “the eagles have landed,” here; and Un-Muted Mumblings searches for answers, comes up with common sense here.

Breaking! Man Takes Hostages In NH Clinton Office

Charles Dharapak/AP Photo
Campaign workers field questions from supporters of Democratic Presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. in Vienna, Va., Friday, after her appearance was canceled due to the hostage situation at her campaign office in New Hampshire. Story here.

Update: No one hurt in 5-hour standoff/ABC News

Another Light Show?

Yep. During lunch, a Berry Picker noticed the bright sign at the northern entrance to Riverstone, along Seltice Way, during lunch advertising a Christmas lighting ceremony at John Stone’s development. Sez the Berry Picker: “I’m all for it, as long as there’s no fireworks or ‘Good Morning America.’”

HBO Geography Challenge …

… A Family Runs Through It sent me a cool geography quiz a few weeks back. I did OK. Sixth or seventh level for those of you who think I don’t know much about geography. Mebbe you can do better here.

Extra! LCHS’ Hout Idaho Gatorade Player Of Year

Lake City football star Byron Hout (pictured) was named the Gatorade player of the year for Idaho on Friday. Boise State University-bound linebacker Byron Hout was named the 2007 Gatorade Football player of the year for Idaho on Friday. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Lake City High three-year starter had a team-high 88 tackles including 20 tackles for loss as he led the Timberwolves (8-3) to the 5A state semifinals. Also a starter at offensive tackle, Hout had seven forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, three interceptions, three sacks and 10 hurries/Greg Lee, Sportslink. Full post here.

School District Leaves Christmas Out Of December

Item: School district newsletter omits Christmas from list: Officials apologize for ‘honest mistake’/Amy Cannata, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Hanukkah, Human Rights Day, winter break, the Islamic holy day Eid al-Adha, first day of winter and Kwanzaa all made the list, but Spokane Public Schools snubbed Christmas. Yuletide was left off a list of “important dates” in a December newsletter sent to elementary school students’ families, drawing complaints from some parents that in an age of political correctness, Christians are being overlooked in favor of other cultures and beliefs.

Question: “Honest, unfortunate mistake”? A Freudian slip? Or something sinister?

Mary Souza: Must We All Think Alike?

Transparency has been trumped again here in our Lake City. In a now common pattern of behavior, the City Council has tried to squelch questions and control the flow of information. Last week, they relegated me to a distinguished list of city volunteers who have been removed from their positions for asking too many questions. The mayor and council would like you to believe they are open and willing to have questions brought forward. But when legitimate concerns are raised, they grill the questioner about college credentials or wag a scolding finger at them. And if the advocate persists, they can expect personal attacks, fabricated allegations and embellished investigations/Mary Souza, Coeur d’Alene Press. Full column here.

DFO: Mary was part of an attempt by the right wing of the local Republican Party to make inroads into the local City Council. She slammed Mayor Sandi Bloem, the council and urban renewal efforts week after week in her Coeur d’Alene Press column. She got the comeuppance, which I predicted before the City Council elections, when the council dumped her from the P&Z commission on Mayor Bloem’s birthday, Nov. 20. Now, she readily assumes the mantle of martyr to the cause of open government. No circumspection going on here.

Worlds Collide: Evangelicals Give Hillary Standing O

Item: Hillary gets standing ovation at Rick Warren’s summit: ‘I saw a softer side of her that I hadn’t seen before’/WorldNetDaily

Question: Should Rick Warren have invited Hillary Clinton to speak on AIDS at his church?

1. Yes, of course – he invited all the major presidential candidates to address the conference
2. Yes, Hillary has great ideas about fighting AIDS
3. Yes, Rick Warren seeks common ground between movers and shakers of different ideologies to find solutions to big problems
4. Yes, everyone needs to come together to fight AIDS
5. Hillary shouldn’t be pandering to right-wing Christians – she’s too good for that
6. No, neither Rick Warren nor Hillary Clinton knows anything about fighting AIDS
7. No, AIDS prevention is a matter for health specialists, not politicians
8. No, Warren is letting a politician hostile to many Christian values use his church to further her campaign
9. No, Rick Warren has strayed so far from the truth of the Bible, it’s hard for me to trust anything he does
10. Other

TUBOB’s Deep Thoughts

Life is a monotonous drone of habituated responses occasionally interrupted by watershed moments of opportunity for new learning and experience which are usually missed because we’re late for work.

PDX Pup: Older Books Graphic, Violent, Too

In high school, some of the books we read as a part of the curriculum included “Romeo and Juliet” (unrequited teenage love leads to suicide), “The Catcher in the Rye” (liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality and teenage angst as it follows a 16 year old boy), “To Kill a Mockingbird” (Racism and lynchmobs), “Beloved” (slavery, violence, sexual abuse), “Hamlet” (more teenage angst which leads to multiple murders and suicides), “Lord of the Flies” (the perils and barbarism of human nature among 6-12 year old boys), “The Scarlet Letter” (ADULTERY!), “The Pearl” (which was actually for religion class, but explores the the very dark nature of the human spirit and how willingly people take advantage of those less fortunate than they) and finally “Fahrenheit 451” (this book covered just about every major theme: propaganda, censorship, knowledge vs. ignorance, religion and apathy), among many others I didn’t list here. Is it because these books are really old and written by “well-known” and “famous” writers that they get the pass? While “Snow Falling on Ceders” was written a mere 12 years ago and therefor couldn’t possibly hold any educational value? I would say that the scenes depicted in “Snow Falling on Ceders” are not any more graphic or violent than some of the books I’ve mentioned above/PDX Pup.

The Falls: Top of the Morning

You can read Shawn Vestal’s blog, The Falls, here.

It’s Friday, Nov. 30, 2007. The first skiers hit the slopes around here. As usual, Lookout Pass was the first ski hill to open. More will follow soon.

And there’s no Santa Claus, either: There is no war on Christmas. The whole idea is just trumped-up nonsense used to fuel the sense of martyrdom that a lot of people seem to thrive on. Christians are the majority of people in the country, and Christmas rules this time of year, whether store clerks say, “Happy Holidays,” or not. The latest non-example of the non-war-on-Christmas is the omission of the holiday from a list of important events at the Spokane Public Schools. A district spokeswoman said it was a simple mistake and we believe her. Read Amy Cannata’s story.

What a relief: “This is not the end of the property tax discussion. It’s really kind of the kickoff.”

—Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, after the Legislature reinstated the 1 percent property tax cap on Thursday. Read Rich Roesler’s story.

Weather: Highs in the 20s for the next couple of days, with snow possible over the weekend. Here’s the five-day forecast.

Today in History: One hundred and seventy-two years ago, Sam Clemens – later to write under the name Mark Twain — was born in Florida, Mo. From

The morning drive: Check the traffic and the most recent gas prices.

In passing: Harry E. “Spud” Garber. “He is a member of the Spring Creek Grange. He enjoyed fishing, gardening and raising Dahlia’s, carpentry and woodworking and spending time at Dean’s Drive-In with the coffee group. He was a World War II Army veteran. Harry ran the score clock for the Reardan Basketball games for many years in the old Smith Gym.” For more of this and other obituaries, go here.

Wild Card/Thursday — 11/29/07

I just experienced one of those moments when your past sneaks up on you. I was perusing the AP Photo wire one last time when I saw a familiar face looking back, former Red Bluff (Calif.) Daily News colleague Bill Goodyear (pictured). He has died, at age 57, of natural causes following a long illness. Bill, SR columnist Doug Clark and I all worked for a stuffed shirt named Fenrick at the Daily News in the mid-1970s. It was a miserable paper, owned by the horrible DonRey Media chain, with a tiny news hole that included ads on the only sports page and a circulation of 6000 or so. I stayed there 4 years. Clark interned for a year. Goodyear became the editor after Clark and I left — and remained editor until his death. He played basketball on my church team although he wasn’t particularly religious. He encouraged me to date my wife of now 32 years, although she was six years younger. He was a good guy. I’ve been meaning for years to call him to see how things were going. I guess I know now. Here’s your Wild Card …

Coeur d’Alene Bus, Jeep Fender Bend In Hayden

At 3 p.m. today, a maroon 1989 Jeep Cherokee slid into a Coeur d’Alene School District bus at N. Sandpiper Way and Prairie Avenue. The driver of the Jeep was trying to turn on icy streets and slid into the right front tire area of the bus. No one was injured. Only minimal damage to the Jeep was reported. The Kootenai County Sheriffs Department believes the Jeep driver was going to fast for icy conditions.

Wanted: Extraordinary Local People

On Jan. 1, The Spokesman-Review editorial board will recognize five people for extraordinary contributions to their communities this year. Readers are encouraged to let us know of Inland Northwest citizens you consider deserving in the following categories:

•Citizen activist
•Government official
•Nonprofit worker
•Lifetime achievement

Except for the lifetime achievement catetory, nominations should be based on accomplishments during 2007. Please support your suggestions with details and submit them by e-mail to or by postal mail to Doug Floyd, editorial page editor, The Spokesman-Review, 999 W. Riverside Ave., Spokane, WA 99201.

Question: Who would be good choices from North Idaho for each of the categories above?

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 11/29/07

Chris Peterson/Glacier Geographics, Muse You Can Use
Chris Peterson/Glacier Geographics explains how baby goats are made here.

*Kevin Richert correctly points out that kayakers and canoeists shouldn’t be barred from attending a meeting to discuss charging them for using Idaho waterways, another of Gov. Butch Otter’s closed meetings, here.

*Put your hands together for Bubblehead/The Stupid Shall Be Punished, Meridian’s most read blogger, who got out of him PJ’s and decided to cover a news story re: the opening of an I-84 overpass here.

*Idaho Escapee commemorates the sixth anniversary of the death of George Harrison, the “economy-class Beatle,” here.

*For Toadman/Synaptic Disunion, winter means: “Sorel boots battle footsy elements while L.L.Bean coats battle upper body temps. Snow piles up. Deep.” Click here.

*In case you were wondering what happened to former KootCo resident Norm Semanko after he lost his congressional bid to Bill Sali … Fort Boise found him doing what he does best here.

*Despite a bad seeding to begin the NCAA women’s soccer tournament, PDX Pup’s alma mater, University of Portland, has been dominant as it prepares to face No. 1 UCLA Friday here.

HBO Blog Numbers (for Wednesday, Nov. 28): 8777 page-views and 5173 unique views.

Meanwhile, Randy Stapilus enjoys his week in BlogNetNews spotlight here; Adam’s Blog takes up the debate: “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” here; MountainGoat Report provides her regular Bill Sali vote update here; IdaBlue proffers an unusual use for duct tape here; Inland Empire Girl discovers the roads are too slick to take many photos here; and Blogspotter singles out the “only female, gay, Jewish, blogging taxi driver in New York” here.

Noah: Real Meaning Of Christmas?

Noah Kroese/Special to Huckleberries Online

Virginia’s R’s Want Loyalty Oath, Too

Wow. Check out this Washington Post story about the fight over open primary elections in Virginia, which has eerie echoes of the debate here in Idaho on the same issue. In a little different twist, however, Virginia’s Republican Party has decided to deal with the issue of non-Republicans crossing over and voting in their party’s primary by requiring all those voting in the GOP primary to sign a “loyalty oath” stating, “I, the undersigned, pledge that I intend to support the nominee of the Republican Party for President”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Boise Weekly: Idaho Newspapers Hurting

The Spokesman-Review announcement was the most dire, but newsrooms across Idaho are smaller than they were before. That includes the Idaho Statesman, which over the past several months has declined to fill some positions as they go vacant, including a state reporter position and a business section editor. But Vicki Gowler, editor of the Statesman, said her newsroom underwent a major reorganization in September and that it isn’t as simple as mere attrition. The reorganization includes more focus on getting material online, and faster. The shrinking statehouse reporting team, she said, is due more to the shrinkage of the statehouse itself than to financial issues. Still, she acknowledged, “this is the most challenging time I’ve seen as an editor.” In Lewiston, Paul Emerson, the managing editor of the Lewiston Tribune, said that even though his smaller market is different, and more stable than others in the state, he’s still delaying new hires as long as he can. The Spokesman-Review layoffs, he said, sent shock waves through his newsroom and others. “Everybody pays attention when something like that happens,” Emerson said/Shea Andersen, Boise Weekly. Full story here.

DFO: I fear that the future of the news media in Idaho is more “Good Morning America” puff pieces and fewer freedom-of-information act stories to force public officials to release information. With all the technology of the 21st Century, we may be about to enter a media dark age in this state. Alas.

Lee: LCHS Heavily Favored To Win Cage Title

Item: Lake City High gets early Christmas gifts with transfer of New Hampshire brothers/Greg Lee, Spokesman-Review

LC is heavily favored to capture the Inland Empire League championship. Coach Jim Thacker, who won nearly 500 games in three decades at Walla Walla, figured he’d have a team that would be in the mix as he begins his third year at LC. But then an early Christmas present – make that plural, as in presents – landed in his lap in late October when brothers Nate and Ben Frisbie moved from New Hampshire. Both are juniors (they’re not twins, one is older). Nate is a 6-foot-4 post and Ben is a 6-1 guard. They were starters as sophomores at Kearsarge High, a school of 680 in North Sutton, N.H. The school plays up a division in Class I, the second-largest classification in the state. Kearsarge advanced to the Class I semifinals. Ben, who started the last 14 games of his freshman season, was selected as the player of the year by two area newspapers and was a first team all-state pick last year.

Question: Do you follow local high school basketball?

Jerry Falwell Must Be Rolling Over In His Grave …

Item: Hillary set to speak at evangelical megachurch: Candidate addressing AIDS summit at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church/WorldNetDaily

Quote: The first thing is that this is not a church service, and, second, there isn’t a pulpit on stage,” said Warren, author of the best-seller “The Purpose-Driven Life.” “And it’s not a worship service. This is a summit, which does include people from every kind of background.”

Question(s): Should Evangelicals keep a distance from Hillary Clinton? And/or: Should Evangelicals be more involved with fighting AIDS?

Back To Future: John L. Smith For WSU Coach Job?

John L. Smith has seen the country during his coaching career but a little home cooking still appeals to the veteran. Smith said Wednesday by phone he is interested in returning to Washington State, where he was an assistant in 1987 and 1988, to fill the Cougars’ coaching vacancy. “Definitely, without a doubt. There’s no hesitation whatsoever,” Smith said. The 59-year old with 18 years of head coaching experience is an advance scout for the St. Louis Rams/Marcus Potts, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Full story here.

Question: Would you want to see former University of Idaho/Michigan State football coach John L. Smith return to the Palouse to coach Washington State?

NI Skinny: Meghann’s Excellent Adventure

I awoke about midnight. 12:01 a.m., actually. I followed my standard morning routine, hopping on the computer to make the usual web site checks. Drudge Report. Facebook. New York Times. Huckleberries. Drudge Report again. Drudge hadn’t been updated in a while, it seemed. That reminded me. It was 12:01 a.m; 3:01 a.m. East Coast time. Matt Drudge was asleep. I’d been planning my adventure for a good 12 hours now. Good Morning America was in town. Plus, it had snowed. The possibilities for adventure seemed endless. Snow and I have an interesting relationship. There’s history there, but not a lot of it. I long for it like I do Cafe Yumm, yet I fear it like I do a career in public relations. I grew up in a place where a brushing of snow meant no school. It happened every few years or so. Roads shut down. Kids stayed home and played in the snow, as it should be. But North Idaho is different. Talk like that about the snow up here and you’ll be scorned like a Californian. Still, I can’t help my fascination. It’s powdery, yet crunchy. Beautiful yet ass-freezing cold/MeghannC, The Skinny On North Idaho. Full post here.

Question: What do you think of snow?

HBO AM Headlines — 11/29/07

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

The world’s tallest Christmas tree, at 161 feet, is more than twice the size of the tree at New York’s Rockefeller Center (75 feet tall). The 120-year-old Grand Fir (Abies grandis) overlooks Lake Coeur d’Alene from the waterfront home of Duane Hagadone (outlined in lights in the background of this photo) and features a 10 ft. tall star on top. The Coeur d’Alene Christmas tree is green in more than one way, decorated with LED lights, which use 90 percent less energy than conventional light bulbs. The bulbs will use the same amount of power as 21 average household light bulbs/Kerri Thoreson, OnLocation North Idaho.

*Swearing in schools common/Meghann M. Cuniff, Spokesman-Review — My head would pop if I had to listen to foul-mouthed punks spewing in a school hallway. (Side Note: ‘Tis nice to see my young former colleague’s byline in the SR again. She must have written this before she left.)

*Prosecutor cracks down on builders, contractors: Officials hope actions will get attention of those who willfully ignore ordinances/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press — Controversial Prosecutor Douglas has been getting a lot of Brand X publicity (with mug shot) that shows how tough he is on various violations. Seems Duane wants to keep him around for 4 more years.

*A helping hand, close to home: As Idaho money runs out, waiting list grows at agency for the aging/Erica F. Curless, Spokesman-Review — This’ll test how compassionate Idaho Republicanism is.

*Hough wins contest, visits with family on TV: ‘Dancing with the Stars’ winner gets to talk with grandparents on ‘GMA’/Sean Garmire, Coeur d’Alene Press — Nice photo of Grandma and Grandpa Hough by HBOer Kerri Thoreson. (Side Note: I almost got in trouble with Mrs. O because I was checking out the AP photo wire at home and discover that Julianne and Helio had won “Dancing With The Stars” moments before the announcement was made Tuesday night. That’s why I had the winners photo posted within one minute of the announcement.)

*Early flu shots urged as season sees first case/Amy Cannata, Spokesman-Review — So far this year, I’m tackling winter with Airborne sans flu shot. It’s worked to date.

*Offer pending for Sandpoint bypass right-of-way/Keith Kinniard, Bonner County Bee — Just do it.

Q: Should Kayakers, Canoeist Pay Boater Fee, Too?

Item: Governor’s office sets up meeting to talk about registering drift boats, kayaks, canoes and rafts/Pete Zimowsky, Idaho Statesman

More Info: Owners of non-motorized boats in Idaho could find themselves charged a registration fee like the one paid by motorized boat owners to help pay for boat ramps, restrooms and search and rescue efforts. The governor’s office assembled a non-motorized boating work group with state officials, law enforcement and representatives from boating groups who will meet Friday in Boise to look into the issue.

Sam: Currently we pay to launch our non motorized boats at various state parks and ramps. We already pay fees to boat some of our major rivers. Small, non powered boats do not make noise, emit smelly exhaust fumes or leave oily residues on our water. These boats have almost no impact on the environment. What is the real purpose of these proposed fees?

Question: Should nonmotorized boats pay a fee each year to use Idaho waterways?

Tenacity: GMA Publicity Will Ruin Good Thing

You thought it was bad now with all the new people moving in. I’ll bet this publicity just enticed the next wave to relocate here with this ‘Good Morning America’ appearance. Sounds like to me like whoever set this little show up sure could care less about the good people here or the consequences to this area that may be the result of morning’s publicity. Your area is getting flooded out with people, the very place you love and hold dear and it’s not by the local people’s doing. Why then do you go along with it?

Henry: “Good Morning America” Greeting Overblown

By my count, this morning’s coverage of Coeur d’Alene on ABC’s “Good Morning America” was much less than “15 minutes of fame” scattered over two full hours in fragments as fleeting as two brief bursts of fireworks overshadowed by tragic headline news and inane moderator chatter. And the real message to national television viewers? A simple portrait proclaiming an “ours is bigger than theirs” phallic Christmas tree competition via a voice over stating that ours “…is twice the size of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York…” Mr. Hagadone, we know you are a capitalist but are you a Christian? What might Jesus really think of such a crass display dedicated to his memory? Are we moving forward or are we moving backwards? This reader thinks we are moving backwards, and in my humble opinion, this morning’s program contained much more hype than “sizzle.” Let’s leave “Dancing with the Stars” to the vanity of Palm Springs, and the spirit of Christmas to the real citizens of Coeur d’Alene. Which community do you really claim as your own? I ask, because some of us have a difficult time recognizing you on the streets in this town.


Joe Heller: New Songs Of Christmas

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Hump Day Wild Card — 11/28/07

I debated getting up at 3 in the morning to participate in the Coeur d’Alene welcome for “Good Morning America.” But that thought gave way to reality as I was still up at 1 a.m. reading Robert Ludlow’s “The Bourne Ultimatum.” After a slow start, I’m having trouble putting the book down. David Webb has given way to his dark alter ego, Jason Bourne, to save his family from the Jackal, a cold-blooded assassin. I didn’t like the movies all that much. But I’m hooked on the books. But enough of my excuses for not braving the early-morning, waterfront weather. It’s time to play the Wild Card …

Dogwalk: Hayden Street Upgrade Lacking

It has been bad enough for the three seasons the construction has been going on. There are actually businesses on that stretch of Government Way we try to patronize. One way traffic through ruts as deep as your bumpers was bad, the drop offs into parking lots worse, but we lived with them if our businesses did. Now, with construction finished, we’re wondering if the business owners are going to bring their lots, if they have one left, up to grade. The center islands come close to blocking many of the entry drives. If you drive a large SUV or truck, turns are almost impossible unless you run over a curb/Dogwalk Musings. Full post here.

DFO: What’s with the lamp poles in the middle of the new Hayden sidewalks on Gummint Way?

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, with one being lousy and 10 being superb, how would you rate the reconstruction of Govt Way through Hayden?

APhoto of the Day — 11/28/07

Glenn Moore/Tracy Press, AP Photo
Patricia Brown gives ‘Broccoli’, her 250-pound pot bellied pig, a kiss Monday in Tracy, Calif. Broccoli was rescued by firefighters on Saturday after falling in to the family pool. Brown was unable to lift the pig out of the water and called 911. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. A ‘boared’ Broccoli ‘barrows’ an old line that you reap what you ‘sow’ and therefore has no ‘gilt’ about the pool rescue, although he rooted for its success — John Austin.

2. Scientists continue to study the phenomenom of pets and owners who look alike — Nic.

3. Realizing that she may have the same problem some day, Patricia tells Broccoli that they’re going on an exercise program — Digger.

HM: In The Know

KXLYer Gives Behind Scenes Look @ GMA Morning

At last check, I’ve now been awake for 30 straight hours, so you’ll have to forgive the grammatical and spelling errors I’m certain to make. I’m about to head to bed, but I had to write first about an absolutely amazing morning in Coeur d’Alene. For the community, the Flip the Switch event was a chance to get together with a couple thousand of your neighbors and show America what the spirit of Coeur d’Alene is all about. For us at KXLY, it was the culmination of weeks of intense planning and a long, hard week - and, we couldn’t be happier with how it all played out. If you didn’t see it live, just go to the homepage of kxly and you can watch highlights from today’s Good Morning America event. You can decide for yourself if you think it was as amazing as I did. The purpose of this blog, though, is to give you some idea of what went on behind the scenes/Melissa Luck, KXLY. Full post here.

IVA: Alaska Air Imposes Surcharge On Heterosexuals

Item: Alaska Air imposes 10% surcharge on heterosexuals/Idaho Values Alliance

More Info: When an employee complained that this was “reverse discrimination,” since there is no “micro-website” for heterosexuals (or for Blacks or Hispanics for that matter), the employee was informed essentially that moral values don’t matter to corporate officials because the LGBT community represents a “gigantic profitable segment of the market.”

SReporter Tom Sowa: I checked with a Paul McElroy, an Alaska Airlines spokesman on whether there is a “heterosexual” penalty for some tickets. No, there isn’t. McElroy said any discount being marketed directly through Alaska to gays, lesbians and transgender people is the same discount anyone else can get for those same Alaska routes. So why do it at all? McElroy said the airline really wants to market to that group, and does so through (this link).

Question: Reverse discrimination? Or good marketing strategy?

North Idaho Skinny: Bambi’s Safe … for Now

We spent a day and a half hunting in the Benewah County woods. I was decked out in blaze orange because, as the man said, it’s a war zone in the woods during hunting season. That’s how it sounded. Gunshots and four wheelers firing off all around us. I felt pretty safe, though. Until I got lost. He pointed out the stand of tamaracks from the road and I felt confident as he dropped me off a half mile from where he planned to hike into the forest. Hell, how hard could it be for an Idaho girl to get from Point A to Point B and rustle some deer out of the brush? Problem is, those brown-topped tamaracks look a whole different from the road than they did when I was standing beneath them. So different that I didn’t even recognize them and pretty much (OK, entirely) missed the tamaracks I was supposed to walk through. I knew I’d screwed up somewhere when I found myself back at the truck/Taryn Hecker, The Skinny On North Idaho. Full column here.

Question: Have you ever been lost in the woods?

Phil: No Toys For My Tots This Christmas

There will be no toys this Christmas! No, I haven’t become the toy-hating Burgermeister Meisterburger. I have decided that we will not be buying toys for our kids this Christmas. This has nothing to do with all those recalled Chinese toys of recent months. The decision mostly comes because our house is overflowing with toys. We are overtoyed! Did I just make up a new word?/Phil, A Family Runs Through It. Full post here.

Question: Have you thought at all about reining in your Christmas gift giving?

Non Sequitur: What Goes Good w/Layoffs?

Wiley Miller/Non Sequitur

Dunno why this was cut out and sitting on my keyboard this morning. Gulp!

JoanH: Huckleberries Needs Print Presence, Too

Joan Harman: Don’t see your column in its usual place at the S-R any more. That is on the front page of the Northwest. Only when I go blogging am I likely to swing by for a visit. Best talk to Smith about at least part of your page views come from the fact that you are also published in hard copy. And that you are clearly visible to people who may not have time for the news that the S-R no longer covers in N. Idaho and look for you and the opinion pages instead. That’s what I do.

DFO: You’re on the money with this observation, Joan. Huckleberries Online definitely needs a print presence to continue to grow. Editor Smith has mentioned the possibility of two, full-length Huckleberries columns for print. But everything’s on hold (as it should be) while he tends to his dying father. I’ve been pleasantly surprised that the HBO numbers have held steady despite the disappearance of the Huckleberries columnet late last week. With proper exposure and promotion, Huckleberries should begin hitting 10,000 page-views per day next year.

It’s My 2 Cents — Duane Hagadone

In response to the Huckleberries Poll below today, Gary Ingram commented that at 4 this morning he was “wandering through the crowd looking for DaveO hoping he changed his mind and would be there, now that he is feeling so much more kindly towards Hagadone and his generous Chiristmas Spirit.” Yeah, it was a friendly jab. But Gary makes an interesting point. Obviously, the quarter-century North Idaho media war between The Spokesman-Review and the Coeur d’Alene Press ended on Black Friday when 7 members of the North Idaho bureau were laid off or transferred to the Spokane office. Brings You GMA Video of CDA

Good Morning America was in Coeur d’Alene Wednesday morning to kick off their holiday ‘Flip the Switch’ campaign. Approximately five million viewers around the country watched as national weather personality Sam Champion lit up the Coeur d’Alene sky. Coeur d’Alene was selected for participation in the event for having one of the best holiday light displays in the country. Around 1.5 million lights are used in the 225 local displays, which crews started setting up for in October. KXLY story here.

Blanchette: WSU Shouldn’t Bring Mike Price Back

The funniest variation had Price becoming head coach and Doba agreeing to serve again as defensive coordinator, as he did for nine years before his big break. Because, you know, orchestra conductors who get fired always want to hang around to play second violin. The Internet traffics in almost everything, except dignity. And speaking of dignity, it was certainly thoughtful of WSU athletic director Jim Sterk to acknowledge to a Seattle newspaper that Price “would be somebody on a list of coaches that I would obviously consider but by no means is he the guy” – before the Apple Cup and thus purportedly before Doba’s fate had been decided. You’d think Sterk could have found something on which to scribble his shopping list besides the back of Doba’s pink slip/John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review. Full column here.

Question: How much do you HBOers care about Washington State athletics?

“Good Morning America” On TV Now

Don Sausser/Special to Huckleberries Online

MamaJD/Special to Huckleberries Online
Sam Champion of “Good Morning America” and a Coeur d’Alene fan.

I’m watching Coeur d’Alene on “Good Morning America” the right way this morning — on TV from home. So far, all I’ve seen is ABC weatherman Sam Champion, cold and in a beanie, explaining what Coeur d’Alene means (“heart of an awl”) and touting that the Coeur d’Alene Resort tree is 161 feet tall or twice the size of the Rockefeller Center tree in New York. (commercial break) … Now, the “Good Morning America” camera is on Bob Hough and his wife in Coeur d’Alene talking to “Dancing with the Stars” winner Julianne Hough (with her dance partner Helio Castroneves) in the New York studio. Mrs. Hough is telling her granddaughter that all her cousins and other Mormon relatives voted for her. … Just before commercial break, GMA showed the faux Coeur d’Alene parade this morning and a dark early-morning scene of the waterfront.

Nic: “Good Morning America” Show Letdown

But once the swtch was flipped, the excitement of the moment dwindled. There was a noticable delay between the switch flip and the lights turning on. The parade was just odd. Santa’s horse drawn carrage, LCHS marching band, red hot mamas, antique fire truck, CHS marching band, modern fire truck, repeat. Two laps for the parade and that was it - whole thing took less than a half hour. Everybody migrated to warmer locations (Java was packed). About 5:30 they announced that GMA would be filming again. They were going to show the lighting of the world’s tallest Christmas tree, but oops… it was all ready lit. So instead they talked about how eco-friendly the tree lights are and they were done with us/Nic, Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts. Full post here.

The Falls: Top of the Morning

You can read Shawn Vestal’s Spokane blog, The Falls, here.

It’s Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007. There’s a new mayor in town. Mary Verner took the oath of office at a ceremony yesterday evening. “I submit myself in service to you, the members of my community, and I look forward to serving you as your mayor,” she said in her speech. We should all thank departing Mayor Dennis Hession for his time in a tough job, and wish Verner well. Here’s Jonathan Brunt’s story on the swearing-in.

Today in Your Sexy Government: It appears a two-pronged property tax strategy is shaping up for Washington’s legislative special session – put back the 1 percent tax cap, and allow low-income households to defer part of their taxes until they sell their home. It sounds like a dubious form of “relief,” but it’s being touted as such. Rich Roesler does the math here, and finds financial experts consider it a “trivial benefit.”

Someday this case will end: Several Idaho school districts have taken the long-running legal challenge over school funding to a new level – suing individual Supreme Court justices. The districts have won their case for better school funding in court but repeatedly failed to see any concrete change. Read Betsy Russell’s story.

Taking the deal: “It was up to Zack whether he wanted to flip a coin for his future.”

– attorney Frank Cikutovich, referring to his client, Zack St. John. St. John was the only one of the Spokane 17 – the Fourth of July protesters who got into it with police – to face a felony charge, and he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor Tuesday. Read Jim Camden’s story.

Weather: Again, cold with the possibility of snow. Here’s the five-day forecast.

The morning drive: Check the traffic and the most recent gas prices.

In passing: Sherwood “Woody” Jones, 81. “He grew up in Sprague, graduating from Sprague High School in 1944. After graduation, he was drafted for service in WWII. He served with General George Patton’s Army, 94th Division, in the Battle of the Bulge. He served in Europe for two years, returned to Sprague and attended Eastern Washington College. He met the adorable Miss Adams County, Sara Ann Cooke, of Ritzville in 1949, and they married five weeks later. They celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary this year.” For more of this and other obituaries, go here.

Helio Castroneves, Hough Granddaughter Win Star Dance

Carol Kaelson/AP Photo, ABC
This image provided by ABC shows the two-time Indianapolis 500 Champion Helio Castroneves, right, and his professional partner Julianne Hough who were crowned champions on the fifth season of “Dancing with the Stars,” during the two-part finale on Tuesday. Julianne Hough, who is the reality show’s first back-to-back winner, is the granddaughter of Coeur d’Alene’s Bob Hough, former talk show host at KVNI-AM radio. Her brother, Derek, finished in the top four with his star partner. Story here.

School Districts Sue Justices Over Funding

Item: Idaho schools sue court justices over funding/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise

More Info:What if there were a big lawsuit, one side won, and the losing side refused to go along with the decision? A group of Idaho school districts says that’s what happened after they sued the state Legislature over inadequate funding for school construction. The Idaho Supreme Court declared the current funding system unconstitutional, but then closed the case without ordering any changes. Now the schools are suing the individual justices in federal court, contending they deprived them of their constitutional rights.

DFO: I’ve never been able to figure out why Idaho’s high court didn’t have the guts to force legislators abide by its decision on the long-running school suit. I applaud this lawsuit to force justices to do what they failed to do last time — force Idaho lawmakers to obey the state Constitution.

Wild Card/Tuesday — 11/27/07

If I can’t sleep, I may get up at 3 in the morning to watch the “Good Morning, America” festivities on Sherman Avenue. But I wouldn’t count on it. I doubt that I’d blog past 1 tomorrow afternoon if I did. So here’s the deal. I’d appreciate if some of you early risers post your impressions of the early-bird fireworks show and “Good Morning America” welcome in the comments section of Huckleberries Online afterward. Photos, too. I’ll make sure that they’re posted out front first thing after I arrive for work Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, you can start other threads with this Wild Card, too …

Eye On Boise: Judge Tosses Closed-Primaries Case

Seventy-one dissident Republicans who sued to try to keep anyone but registered Republicans from voting in Idaho’s GOP primary have lost their case. A federal judge today tossed out the lawsuit, ruling that the dissidents lacked standing to sue. “It is for the Idaho Republican Party, and not the Court, to decide how best to govern the associational rights of its members, and Plaintiffs lack the ability to substitute their judgment for that of the Party,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Mikel Williams wrote in his decision/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. Full post and judge’s decision here.

Butterfly Moment: 2 Thumbs Up For “August Rush”

The movie is about an eleven year old boy who has been separated from his parents since birth. He is played by the amazing Freddie Highmore. From the opening scene when this boy is standing in a field of tall grass directing the orchestra he was hearing in the nature around him, I loved him. August turns out to be a sweet, brilliant child and before long I wanted to adopt him myself. He ends up going out into the world looking for his lost parents because he can hear their music and thinks that if he makes music too, they will be able to hear him and find him. He has adventure after adventure searching for his parents. And finds out a lot about himself and the world on the way. But the best part of the movie is the music/A Butterfly Moment. Full post here.

Question: Have you seen this movie?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 11/27/07

Danny Moloshok/AP Photo
A court side spectator loses his food as Los Angeles Clippers’ Ruben Patterson jumps over him and other fans while running for a loose ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Monday in Los Angeles. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. The local health district went to extreme measures to prevent people from eating high-fat foods at the game — A Token D.

2. A spectator reaches for his tomato during auditions Monday for Dancing with the Stars — Jojo.

3. Guy on right with blue cap: This ruben on rye doesn’t taste right. It could use a little more kick! — Cabbage Boy.

HM: KeithinCDA

SR Poll: Who Should Be Next WSU Football Coach?

Former Cougar football coach Mike Price leads Dave Christensen by 2 votes, 411-409, and the rest of the potential field by much more in The Spokesman-Review Sportslink poll. You can add your voice to the mix by clicking here.

Question: Would you want WSU to bring back Mike Price?

North Idaho Skinny: Heads, Hides Dumped Here

Courtesy Photo/Bob Gibson

An unofficial collection site has been set up at the intersection, with two garbage cans and a large bucket for deposits and a couple of handmade signs asking hunters to leave their unmounted deer heads and hides. When Robert Gibson saw the buckets and signs earlier this month he stopped to take a picture to send to friends and family. “Only in North Idaho,” said Gibson, who lives nearby. On his way to church Sunday, Gibson noticed more containers overflowing with carcasses, deer skins and the head of an animal that appeared to be a calf. Some say it looks like a goat. “I can’t tell,” Gibson said. “And I was sitting there looking at it. It was frozen”/Taryn Hecker, The Skinny On North Idaho. Full story here.

Question: Better than nothing?

Sheriff Wants Duane Hagadone’s Casco Bay ‘Cabin’

Kootenai County Sheriff Rocky Watson is negotiating with Duane Hagadone and several contractors to buy and move Hagadone’s Casco Bay “cabin.” Watson confirmed for Huckleberries Online today that the talks are well under way for the historic home, which can be barged in two pieces to Watson’s future home site on Cougar Bay. Watson bought John Pointner’s home site on Cougar Bay three years ago. Much of the rest on Pointner’s property has been spared as a wildlife preserve. Hagadone has planned to dissemble the cabin to make way for a new lakeside house before a potential buyer on Highland Drive stepped forward. When that deal fell through, Watson expressed his interest in the structure. Hagadone wants the deal done and house moved by spring when he plans to begin building his new Casco Bay house.

Lookout, Silver To Open This Week …

Break out the Salomons and Burtons, and get those boots and goggles out of storage. Ski season in the Inland Northwest will begin this week, starting in the Idaho Panhandle. Full story here.

Question: Are you ready to ski/snowboard?

530 Pounds Later

T.J. Hamilton/AP Photo
Nancy Makin, 51, of Grand Rapids,Mich. is photographed standing behind her 108” waist skirt Friday. Makin is going to be on the Oprah Show next week to talk about how she lost 530 pounds. An agreement with the Oprah show bars her from allowing a full-length photo of herself before the show airs.

Question: What is the most weight that you’ve lost as the result of a diet or exercise program? Did you keep it off?

News: No Action Yet On Sims-Macy Campaign Flier

City Attorney Mike Gridley told Huckleberries a few minutes ago that he plans to meet with City Clerk Susan Weathers today to discuss a controversial anti-incumbent election flyer. “We’re not going to just let the matter go away,” Gridley said. “Whatever we do there will be some controversy. We need to make sure that we’re right and that we treat everyone fairly.” The city clerk believes that the flyer, circulated near the end of the municipal election by Kathy Sims and Tom Macy, violated campaign finance disclosure laws. Among other things, the organizers apparently failed to fill out the paperwork properly, turned their campaign finance paperwork into the wrong government agency, and collected money without turning in the proper paperwork.

Question: Should the city pursue this possible campaign finance violation?

Online Poll: Level Of Education

Idaho ranks near the bottom of the nation in awarding four-year college degrees, but ranks above the national average in the number of two-year degrees awarded. What is your highest level of education? — Idaho Statesman.


“Good Morning America” Praises Coeur d’Alene Lights

Item: “The Super Bowl of Christmas”: “Good Morning America” officials praise Cd’A”/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press

That won’t be a Martian invasion or the start of World War III before the crack of dawn tomorrow. It’ll be a double-barreled fireworks show kicking off and then concluding ABC’s “Good Morning America” broadcast. At 4 a.m., a power-packed 60-second fireworks show will blossom over Lake Coeur d’Alene. A similar lighting of the skies will take place at 6 a.m. While the extremely loud explosions that typically accompany fireworks displays will be muted, there will be some sound — and certainly, a whole lot of light. Sponsors of the fireworks shows promise that they will be more spectacular than the grand finale last Friday night.

DFO: Two of our CDA staffers received automated calls this morning from Kootenai County Safety alerting them to the “Good Morning America” fireworks display at 4 o’clock.

Question: Do you plan to attend the “Good Morning America” fireworks display festivities early Wednesday morning?

AliceR: I Was Privileged To Be Near Dying Dad

I consider myself tremendously blessed to have been able to care for my father for the several weeks before he crossed over. He had been operated on for prostate cancer years before. The doctor said they had “gotten it all”. He didn’t undergo chemo. When he started having back pain, he went to a chiropractor at first. He was always a lean, trim, active man and didn’t have many illnesses. Finally, he went into the hospital for tests. They discovered that cancer had spread to his spine. He was terminal. They sent him home to die/Alice Rankin. Full comment here.

ThomG: In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida Caused Early Casualty

In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida destroyed my mothers brand new stereo! It was 1970, my parents purchased one of those huge 6 foot wide piece of furniture stereos from Macy*s. The day after it was delivered dad was at work, mom had gone to the store and a kid from across the street came by with his Iron Butterfly album. We cranked volume and Bass up to max and put the LP on the turntable. We heard the first note and then total silence! We quickly put all the settings back down and left the house. Macy*s came and exchanged the “defective” stereo for a new one and I told my mother—17 years later, when our family was sitting around telling stories during my father’s wake/ThomG.

Parting Shot: Meeting Of The Minds — 11/26/07

Chris Peterson/Glacier Geographics
“During the trip I was hoping to get bighorn sheep rams cracking heads together,” posts Chris Peterson/Muse You Can Use, Glacier Geographics. “Most of that activity was over, but younger lambs went at it anyway, with much sharper horns, but less vigor. They were more like love taps.”

Get Out! Review: Moon Time

To me, the Moon Time on East Sherman in Coeur d’Alene is like a beloved old friend that I don’t visit nearly often enough. She’s always friendly and welcoming, with a totally down to earth personality. Her style is kind of plain, a little bit folksy, but certainly endearing. Actually, she’s kind of a hippie, but without the burn-out factor and stinky layers of patchouli. She’s all about everyone getting together and just feeling the love and good vibes. She’s starting to show some signs of age on her face, a few wrinkles here and there, but they just add to her charm and attractiveness. Miss Moon Time is always a pleasure, and when I do visit I feel guilty for sometimes forgetting her and not dropping by more often/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. Full post here.

Question: Have you stopped by Moon Time recently?

HBO’s Best of the North Idaho Blogs — 11/26/07

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho
“Hundreds of starlings descended on a Post Falls (Syringa Street) neighborhood, blanketing front lawns and trees in their search for food,” writes Kerri Thoreson, OnLocation North Idaho. “It was incredible to see them darken the overcast sky, swooping and flying in unison. The starling is a song bird and can mimic other sounds. According to the Birds of Idaho field guide, starlings gather in the hundreds in the fall and feast on insects, seeds and fruit.”

*In the 21st Century, the elementary school secretary has replaced the Tooth Fairy as the go-to individual for prizes when a tooth goes missing, according to A Family Runs Through It, here.

*Notes On A Napkin continues to give thanks for the ordinary things in life — like high-speed Internet connection and health insurance for the entire family here.

*Un-Muted Mumblings explains why Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul are the only two presidential wannabes that he’d consider voting for here.

HBO Blog Numbers (for week of Nov. 18-24): 43180 page-views and 25574 unique views.

Meanwhile, our Arch Druid shares thoughts about Christmas greetings and the local Black Friday activities here; Sweet & Sour Herb responds to two Brand X trolls here; Cis has bought a new computer here; Frum Helen Back becomes a pre-school teacher here; Here In Idaho would stop John Wilkes Booth, if time travel was possible here; our Witch With A Gun offers food porn here; Live, Love, Laugh, Hope swaps Black Friday for a quiet Sunday with moose here; Granati is praising modern technology here; Silver Valley Girl reflects on her family via video here; and Mrs. Mac Energetic lists her likes here.

Cabela’s Runs Into Trouble In Montana

Cabela’s has become accustomed to being revered by hunters and anglers, but in Montana, many sportsmen and women now have the opposite attitude, disdain—and they’re sending back their catalogs with promises never to spend another penny there. When opening a new store, Cabela’s expects the local hunters and anglers who have lusted for years to have a store nearby to more or less kneel on the doorstep, but if Cabela’s doesn’t stop endorsing the loss of public hunting, the corporate VIPs might see people picketing the Billings store opening with anti-Cabela’s placards/Bill Schneider, New West Boise. Full post here.

Question: Does the activities of Cabela’s real estate division concern you?

Dogwalk Musings: Souza Provides Invaluable Insight

Now granted, Ms. Souza was not politic in criticizing those who appointed her. On the other hand, who better could point out the discrepancies of behavior, law, spirit of the law and the ignoring of it? Who will fill that informational void? The press as a whole does not give detailed reporting of the meetings and not everyone can dig through the minutes on the internet. Should this not be their responsibility to the community? Warm and fuzzies are nice; community news should be an essential. While Ms. Souza’s points were not always made as clearly, nor backed up as fully, as they could have been, she was an opinion columnist; not a reporter. But she did try. Whether an appointee or not, she is still a citizen and as such has the right to question and point out problems as she sees them. The CDA Press thought so to the point of running her column/Dogwalk Musings.

Full post here

Dancing With The Houghs

Carol Kaelson/ABC, AP Photo
In this photo provided by ABC, actress Jennie Garth and dance partner Derek Hough perform on week nine of ” Dancing with the Stars,” last week. Garth, who played Kelly Taylor on “Beverly Hills, 90210” from 1990 to 2000, was eliminated from ABC’s No. 1-rated show Tuesday night. Derek, along with his sister, Julianne, are grandchildren of former KVNI talk show host Bob Hough.

Question: I know some of you HBOers are following this competition. Who do you want to win? Marie Osmond and partner? Julianne Hough and partner? Third team?

High Court Rules Against Nettleton Gulch Developer

Residents in the Best Hill/Nettleton Gulch area can finally breathe a sigh of relief as their long-fought legal battle has finally come to a close. The Idaho Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that a recent amendment to the Nettleton Estates Protective Covenants, limiting the lot size on the affect properties to a minimum of 2 acres is valid and enforceable.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest Online — 11/26/07

Taryn Hecker Photo/The Skinny on North Idaho

Spotlight: Here comes winter.

1. An Eastern Washington University student died Saturday after being dragged as many as four miles behind a pickup truck down a rural Pend Oreille County road by a teen who told police he thought he was being chased by an ax-wielding assailant/Sara Leaming, Spokesman-Review. Click here.

2. An eastern Idaho dog owner has filed a tort claim against Teton County, after the man says a police officer tied up the family pet and shot it while children watched w/graphic video/KTVB. Click here.

3. Online Poll: A plurality of 35% of 265 respondents to a Lewiston Tribune poll said they deal with winter driving by staying “with my all-season radials and carry chains in case of snow and ice.”

4. News Roundup: KMC’s Festival of Trees gala raises $272K/Coeur d’Alene Press; Spokane mayor prepares City Hall departure/Spokesman-Review; Soldier who lost legs gets warm homecoming/Spokesman-Review; Nampa family wins $200K, thanks to visiting relative/Idaho Statesman; and WSU No. 6 in coaches’ poll/KHQ.

5. Blogosphere: Idaho will help pick Demo prez nominee/Eye On Boise; Confusion says/Dogwalk Musings; When snow comes/Slight Detour; Yeah, it’s personal or MountainGoat’s rant/MountainGoat Report; Gregoire defends decision to restore property tax cap/Eye On Olympia; and Do voters respond to candidates’ YouTube videos?/Txt.

6. IMHO: Open range in Peckerwood Hollers/Ralph Bartholdt, Skookum Features, The Skinny On North Idaho; Let’s drink to war only with Kool-ade/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune; Pullman should pass “anti-fight club” ordinance/Spokesman-Review; Alternative ending to scary story/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press.; and Win shouldn’t alter Doba decision/John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review.

Orbusmax Special: Dead former WSU player had an affair with coach’s wife, sez family here.

Question: What About 1-11 Akey’s UI Job?

Another rally. Another tantalizingly close encounter with victory. And in the end Saturday, another difficult loss for the Idaho Vandals. Utah State played a turnover-free game as the Aggies held off the Vandals 24-19 in a Western Athletic Conference season-ending football game before a holiday-light crowd of 8,102 at the Kibbie Dome. Idaho lost for a 10th straight time to finish 1-11 overall and in the conference basement at 0-8/Greg Lee’s story re: UIdaho’s final 2007 football loss.

Question: Sports fans in the Inland Northwest are waiting to see if Bill Doba continues as coach of the 5-7 WSU Cougars. Meanwhile, Robb Akey finished 1-11 in his first season as head coach of the UI Vandals. How would you rate his season: 1. Give ‘im the boot; 2. Rebuilding from scratch year; 3. Give ‘im another year or two before deciding; 4. Vandals’re turning things around; or 5. Wake me up when UI hits .500 again.

In The News: Sen. Lott Calling It Quits

Alex Brandon/AP Photo
Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., speaks during a news conference in Pascagoula, Miss., Monday. Lott, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, announced Monday he will retire from the Senate before January, ending a 35-year career in Congress in which he rose to his party’s top Senate job only to lose it over a remark interpreted as support for segregation. Story here.

It’s My 2 Cents — 11/26/07

We’ve officially entered that time of year at Huckleberries Online when things stop. The campaigns and elections are over. The fallout from those elections is mostly over, too (read: Mary Souza got the boot from the P&Z commission. But we’re still waiting to see what/if any action is brought against Kathy Sims and Tom Macy for a possible campaign finance disclosure violation.) The Spokesman-Review returns to one edition this week, as it adjusts to a smaller role in the Inland Northwest market. Reporters and editors are waiting for new assignments in wake of Black Thursday (Nov. 1). Ditto for Huckleberries Online. Editor Steve Smith has said publicly that HBO will be the linchpin for the SR strategy in North Idaho. I could return to writing one or two full-length columns per week, for the Handle Extra and/or Post Falls Voice. I know real-time video is in HBO’s future b/c the order has been given to install video equipment in the North Idaho office. I also know that there will be a more collaborative online effort between HBO and the two reporters who’ll be assigned to this office. I’ll continue to bide my time until I receive my new marching orders. I still have 7 vacation days to use or lose before the end of the year. At this point, the most exciting news seems to be that “Good Morning, America” is coming to town this week to shoot a faux parade in this small town, America, for its 5 million viewers. That’s cool. But I’ll sleep in and let the CDA Press continue to effuse about that.

Question: Huckleberries has always been a joint effort involving you commenters, bloggers and blurkers. With this pause in the action, it’s a good time to ask you what you’d like to see added here.

APhoto Of The Day — 11/26/07

Kevin P. Casey/AP Photo
Washington States’ Brandon Gibson, left, celebrates with quarterback Alex Brink after Brink threw a 41-yard touchdown during the first quarter in the annual Apple Cup college against Washington, in Seattle, on Saturday. WSU won 42-35. You write the cutline.

CDA Prepares For “Good Morning America”

Item: Groups vie for Good Morning America time/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Other groups looking to be a part of the Good Morning America performance include the Red Hot Mamas, Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce Commodores and Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy. Commodores parade chairwoman Patricia Richardson was confident the group will be part of it.

Question: Do you plan to be on hand at 4 o’clock Wednesday morning to be part of the “Good Morning America” broadcast from Coeur d’Alene?

SteveS: Laughs And Tears

Last night, for a time, it was just me and my son in the room with Dad. He was having a bad night, I guess, as if there were such a thing as a good night these days. I was sitting at the bed mostly just watching him struggle. Sam sat in a chair at the side of the room watching me watch Dad. I suppose it was one of those circle of life moments. Me watching my dad die, Sam watching his father watch his grandfather die, both of us looking in the face of our own mortality. Some day I’ll be in the bed, Sam will be spoon feeding me pudding and his son will be watching the scene. I found that realization both sobering and uplifting. Life truly does go on, but always on its own terms and in its own way and time. We don’t really know what the timeframe here is. He is breathing more easily, but sleeping nearly all the time, a near coma, they tell me. His organs are failing, but he is in no pain as far as anyone can tell. It could be tonight, it could be two weeks. But it is soon/Editor Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation.

Full post here. Previous post here.

DFO: SR Editor Steve Smith has been sharing his thoughts as he and his family watch his father die. Some at Huckleberries Online have posted comments here or e-mailed him. He appreciates those responses.

WSU To Make Doba Announcement Today

Item: WSU to make announcement about Doba today/Craig Smith, Seattle Times

More Info: Washington State is expected to announce today whether it is hanging out the “help wanted” sign for a head football coach or sticking with Bill Doba. A third possibility is an announcement delaying the decision until later in the week. Doba repeatedly has said he won’t resign.

Question: Should WSU fire Bill Doba and begin looking for a new football coach?

Hat Tip: Idawa

Idawa: End Of WSU-UI Game Not All That Bad

I was a little bummed by the end of the WSU/Idaho game as well until I read more about it. Both schools agreed to end the annual game as it severely limited their non-conference choices with one game tied up with each other. Also, the coaching staff are apparently really close (the Palouse is a close community) and the coaching staffs would like to “compare notes” and have more contact with one another, something that they couldn’t do if you have each other as opponents during the season. They have agreed to play once every three years (I believe) and this will ensure that every Coug and Vandal will play once during their careers.


Anderson: True Meaning Of Christmas?

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

SteveS: Death Watch

My father is dying. He has been desperately ill for years, dying by inches. Prostate cancer. Diabetes. Congestive heart failure. Kidney failure. So getting the call on Thanksgiving that I needed to get home “right now” was no surprise. Still I wasn’t prepared for what I saw when I walked into my father’s nursing home room Friday evening. He is dying. His color is pale, so pale. He is short of breath, the oxygen mask doing nothing to ease his discomfort as he moves his head from side to side, up and down tryting to grab a breath. His hands are in constant motion, but not controled movements. He reaches out, he balls his fists, he grabs and twists his blankets. He can’t eat. He doesn’t want to drink. His blood pressure and his blood sugar level are both too high. He mostly sleeps, if that is what you can call this state. But periodically, his eyes blink open and he looks about with a blank stare. Sometimes he mutters some nonense, dreaming, hallucinating, drifting/Editor Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation.

Full post here

DFO: I hesitated before I posted this. Steve Smith has pulled back the curtain to reveal the very personal pain that many of us Baby Boomers have experienced or will experience as our parents slip from old age to death. My father was killed in the prime of life in a car wreck. As painful as that was, I find solace that I never saw him bed-ridden, waiting for death. My thoughts and prayers are with Steve and his family at this time.

POST Graduation: Don’t suffer PTSD, cause it

Item: Officials ‘mortified’ over PTSD slogan: POST graduation program causes a stir/Betsy Z. Russell, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Idaho’s newest police officers are not being trained to inflict post-traumatic stress, the head of officer training for the state says, despite a slogan to that effect that was featured prominently in the program for the latest police academy graduation. “Don’t suffer from PTSD, go out and cause it,” urged the slogan, which was printed above the list of the 43 graduates of the Idaho Police Officer Standards and Training Academy’s latest basic academy.

DFO: And so of you thought this was a hoax when I posted it last week here. Tsk. Tsk.

CDA Council Limits Sledding On Streets

Item: City Council limits street sledding: Members cite safety concerns as main reason/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: The decision eliminates sledding on Garden Avenue west of 11th Street and Fruitdale east of 15th. Sledding remains possible on Lost Avenue from Dollar to 14th Street, and on Boyd Avenue west of 11th Street. To facilitate sledding, the city attempts to leave snow on the streets and does not sand them heavily. Sledders have been using the roads for decades.

Question: Good call by the City Council? Bad call?

Wild Card/Saturday — 11/24/07

Another holiday season was officially ushered in this evening in Coeur d’Alene, with the annual winter parade and Coeur d’Alene Resort fireworks display and light show. As I mentioned in the comments section, the fireworks display and light show was as good as usual. But the parade was better than ever. It was also nice to look across Sherman Avenue at the impressive new Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce building — yet another example of the good things that have been happening in the Lake City during the last 3-4 years. Coeur d’Alene has come a long ways since I moved here in 1984. I miss the quaint community of 23 years ago. But I thoroughly enjoy some of the niceties that are becoming a big part of the local community, including such amenities as the library and Kroc center. The Black Friday community celebration is another of those things that make this place a nice one to live in. Now, for your Saturday Wild Card …

Feminist Mystique

Item: Study indicates that women who push for gender equality often have strong partnerships and better romantic relationships/Judy Peres, Chicago Tribune

More Info: Take a feminist out to dinner. That’s the advice of a social psychologist who concludes in a new study that feminists make better partners and have stronger romantic relationships. Laurie Rudman of Rutgers University had found in earlier research that negative stereotypes of feminists – that they’re unattractive, man-hating lesbians, in a nutshell – cause young adults to distance themselves from the “F-word” and tone down their demands for equality.

Question: What do you think of feminists?

Bob: Mary Cared too Much, Unlike DFO

I too have read the archives. EVERY SINGLE ARCHIVE ON HBO about Mary. And it’s obvious to me that DFO has been spearheading a vicious SMEAR campaign against the civically gentle and warm Mary Souza. Every SINGLE ONE of her columns in the Press were 100% completely grounded in FACTS without a single word ever typed that was innuendo or opinion or speculation. MARY LOVED HER COMMUNITY and DFO and your baying minions of Coeur D’Adonkeys owe her one REALLY big apology! Mary’s biggest criticism is quite simply SHE CARED TOO MUCH and was put upon by the vicious ankle snapping pitbulls of this community led by, yes you know, D.F.O. Now they’ve silenced her, now they’ve removed one soft quiet voice advocating for the event planning and resort service industries of this little town by the really big lake. I’m going back and reading ALL of the archives again and creating an epic country and western saga about how a hating town took down the sweet lady columnists of the publisher guy who used to kind of own the town but doesn’t anymore and now EVERYONE WANTS A STUPID piece of him. Mary! Never give up! Keep fighting the man!


Digger: Strategizing Christmas Shopping

Digger: I don’t do my shopping until next weekend and every subsequent weekend thereafter. I take one weekend and decide to shop for a partictular person or group of people. Never mind if I find something someone else may enjoy, they’re not until later on in my shopping. It helps me keep things in perspective and keeps me from being going nuts in a single trip.

Question: Do you have a strategy for Christmas shopping?

UIdaho Women Play Basketball, Too … But Fall To UW

Jim Bryant/AP Photo
Washington’s Sarah Morton, center, goes for a loose ball against Idaho’s Charlotte Otero, left, and Katie Schlotthauer, right, during the second half of a basketball game in the Husky Classic today in Seattle. Washington beat Idaho 73-57. Game story here.

MamaJD: First Day Of Open Shopping Season

I was shocked to find the parking lot of Kohl’s at 3:45 am to be full. The line to enter the building extended from the north entrance to the south side of the parking lot, then turned west and went up the block. When I finally got into Kohl’s, I was able to throw an elbow or two and accomplish my mission within 10 minutes. It took another 40 minutes to pay and retreat to my vehicle. Next stop was Best Buy. Black Friday Best Buyers are hard core. The employees were handing out coupons at 3:00 am to those in line for “Doorbuster” sales. There were tents pitched, sleeping bags strewn about, and even an RV that served as a base station for someone. I noticed a lone sleeping bag without a tent, but included a half-rack of beer. Beer or not, it must have been cold. Someone even brought their backyard firepit and set it up to tailgate through the night. The doors opened at 5:00, but I didn’t make it inside until 35 minutes later. The staff at Best Buy know their customer base can be hard core, so they limit the number of people in the store at any one time/MamaJD

Full post here

Question: How did you do shopping today?

OrangeTV’s Get Out! Review Of Downtown Parade, Light Show

I’ll admit, it’s hard not to get emotional as the Duane and Mr. Jaeger appear on the risers and speak their feedbacky, nearly inaudible words to a hushed and reverent crowd. People peacefully light white candles, including those up in the Resort garage dripping painful hot wax on passersby below. Suddenly, three billion lights come on all at once and fireworks explode over the lake as the loudspeakers blare Manheim Steamroller’s synth-punk classic “Deck the Halls.” Moments later, most of the crowd shuffles off homeward to dream festive dreams of sugarplum fairies and dancing candy canes. The rest of us shuffle off to one of the lounges for a nice rum and coke/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho.

Full review here

APhoto of the Day — 11/23/07

Mile Kepka/San Francisco Chronicle, AP Photos
Activists Jess Walsh, left, and Doug Featherbeard pose naked for a photo shoot in a disputed grove of oak trees on the University Of California, Berkeley campus in this file photo in Berkeley, Calif. School officials have won the legal right to oust a band of tree-sitters who’ve taken up residence in an oak grove standing in the way of a new sports center. But just how do you do make a tree-sitter quit? You write the cutline.

GaryI: CDA Mishandled Executive Session In Dumping Souza

The law is not wrong, it is just not being followed. As I see it at least 3 violatons occured in the executive session as the vote taken after they came back into regular session was nothing more than a pre determined decision made behind closed doors.
(1) They had to come to a consenses on what action to take - a decision
(2) They had to decide who would make the motion and second it - a decision
(3) They had to decide what the question would be for them to vote on - a decision.
While the minutes have yet to be published, the statement by the mayor that it was for “cause” is far from sufficient.

Turkey Day Roadkill In Peckerwood Hollows

From Taryn Brodwater’s blog, The Skinny On North Idaho:

It’s the first snow. We saw it coming yesterday when the chimney smoke disappeared into a sky the color of a dingy work shirt and the temperature hovered between pucker up and goose pimples. Just in time for the Holidays. The next morning two pickup tracks cut the fresh snow on the gravel road like a travois. It was neighbors going to work. I’m on my way down the mountain too and rounding the second corner under a dawn sky like tallow when a rig comes my way. I veer right. The driver doesn’t even tug at the wheel. I see the cigarette glow in the cab and three figures hunched shoulder to shoulder inside. I can almost smell the stale beer from last night’s tonk at the honks. The men have rifles between their legs/Ralph Bartholdt, St. Maries Gazette-Record.

Full column here

Thanksgiving Day Wild Card — 11/22/07

I’m off until Monday. But you still can find plenty of discussion fodder below this post. Of course, I wish you and your family a good day of eating, sleeping, and mebbe watching parades and sporting events. We’re hosting the family that’s stayed in town, on both sides of the family. I plan to sleep in as long as I can. Go for a walk. Carve the turkey. Watch football with my Green Bay Packer-loving, Montana cowboy brother-in-law. And then watch a movie with Brenda and Amy Dearest, after everyone leaves. Now, for your holiday Wild Card …

Online Poll: What Do You Do After Thanksgiving Dinner?

What’s your favorite thing to do after Thanksgiving dinner? — Idaho Statesman.

*watch football
*plan shopping trips
*decorate for Christmas
*eat leftovers

APhoto of the Day — 11/22/07

Ahn Young-joon/AP Photo
A South Korean drummer performs at the Inaugural General Assembly of the World Toilet Association conference in Seoul, South Korea earlier today. Launching a global “toilet revolution,” the World Toilet Association kicked off its inaugural conference Thursday seeking to save lives by improving sanitation and breaking taboos about what happens behind closed bathroom doors. You write the cutline.

AliceR: Thank God For Washers, Dryers

re: MamaJD’s question: What things do you take for granted as basics that others regard as luxuries?

Alice Rankin: An automatic washing machine and dryer. All my married life. And through five children, and to today. My grandmothers used wash boards when their children were young. They heated tubs of water over wood fires. When I was young, my mother had a wringer washer, where she had to wring the clothes into a stationary tub to rinse, then wring again into baskets to take out and hang onto clothes lines. So in three generations we went from wash boards to automatic washers and dryers. I am thankful I was in the third generation. I don’t take it for granted, but I am sure in many countries they would be considered luxuries.

Question: Any other suggestions?

Ballad Of A Soon-To-Be Metropolis

‘Good Morning America’s in town
With TV cameras all ‘round
And it won’t be too long
‘till the masses will throng
To the town that G-M-A found.

Idaho Escapee/Atmospheric Ruminations

Whippersnapper & GaryI: We Studs Use Studs

Whippersnapper: The few cops I’ve met told me that Idaho cops, for the most part, don’t use studs. Some cops have jumbo SUVs though. But if they get stuck, they call for a tow at their employer’s expense, and it happens a few times per season from what I hear on scanner traffic. For some, not all, getting into an accident or getting stuck is not an option. I will bolt on my studs (on snow wheels) at home when the snow gets here. Thanks for yet another condescending swipe at the state of Idaho, Bob. Thanks for playing, again.

Gary Ingram: Yeah, I went along with the BS about all season tires being ok for winter driving until I did a 360 on an overpass on I -90 in Montana a couple of years ago and ended up scrunched up against the middle concrete barrier, with my car half destroyed and my head and hands and legs banged up good and bleeding. Let’s hear it for studs. They grip and hold. All seasons don’t! And I am alive!.

DFO: Again, I’ll put stud on my wife’s Honda, which takes her to work and back and around town. I’ll probably buy top-of-the-line, all-weather tires for the 4Runner and keep my fingers crossed.

Parting Shot — 11/21/07

Karen Nichols/AP Photo, The Daily Inter Lake
Elvis the female turkey sports a crocheted hat that a Kalispell nursing home resident made for Donna Allen’s pet bird. Six months ago, the baby turkey was given to Allen as a gift; since then, it seems the hen doesn’t realize she’s a turkey. Allen was holding the pet turkey at her Kalispell home recently.

Eye On Boise: Studs Legal, Not Advised

The Idaho Transportation Department wants folks to know that studded tires are legal in Idaho from Oct. 1 to April 30, but they advise against using them “unless extreme conditions warrant.” The reason? “Driving on studded tires may cause undue wear on bare roadways,” the department said. “All-season tires with good tread or ‘studless’ (snow) tires are good alternatives for most winter driving conditions.” For holiday driving conditions, they advise calling 511 or checking for updated road conditions, including images from 70 web cams around the state/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Question: Will you put studs on your car this year?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 11/21/07

Robin Loznak/AP Photo/Great Falls Tribune
Dahl’s College of Beauty student Carime Mury gets her hair sprayed by fellow student Chrystal Kerr Wednesday before the start of a runway fashion and hair show in Great Falls, Mont.

*Rather than share the 16,672 things for which she’s thankful this Thanksgiving holiday, Kristi/Here In Idaho boiled it down to 26 — the ABC’s of Thanksgiving here.

*Sometimes I get frustrated with my kids because they can’t seem to remember the simplest little things, like putting their dirty clothes in the hamper instead of on the floor,” posts Phil/A Family Runs Through It. … “Then I realize I’m no better. In fact, I’m worse.” Click here.

*Silver Valley Girl remembers a particularly tough Thanksgiving 11 years ago as part of her Silver Valley siblings’ writing assignment here.

*Un-Muted Mumblings assures others that his kids aren’t angels all the time, although they sit fairly still during Mass, unless they aren’t fighting over a book, here.

HBO Numbers (for Tuesday, Nov. 20): 8355 page-views and 4855 unique views.

Meanwhile, Slight Detour remembers her Grandpa Tibbs here; A Butterfly Moment shares thoughts re: American Music Awards here; CastMD looks at the lead toy scare here; Live, Love, Laugh, Hope catches a carrot thief here; Not So Fast may share a Nov. 20 birthday, too, here; Granati enjoys his Nightmare Before Christmas ornament here; The Skinny On North Idaho tells us about holidays and heroes here; and Mrs. Mac Energetic and family are eating at The Coeur d’Alene Resort this Thanksgiving here.

Another Dirne Manager Quits, But …

Apparently, Beth Clemens resignation from the Dirne Clinic was not suppose to be released to the press. Clemens sent the bold-face statement to Huckleberries this afternoon. Her resignation letter follows.

It is with regret that I learned that my resignation letter intended for, and sent only to the Dirne Board of Directors was released to the press this morning. I did not intend for this document to go beyond the auspices of this organization, and it was released without my knowledge or consent. Please respect my intention not to discuss my decision to leave Dirne publicly, particularly in the light of this breach of confidentiality” — Beth Clemens.

Resignation Letter:
“I thank my past Chief Executive Officers and Chief Medical Officer for the opportunity to work as the Chief Operations Officer for the past 3 years. I had found my dream job and didn’t know I was looking for it. I had looked forward to many years participating in the success and future of the organization. My time is done as part of the management team. The new direction is not condusive to the team work of the past.”

CDA Canuck: Local Gendarmes’ Cell Phone Policy?

I was driving north on Atlas this morning about 8:45. I got to Hayden Ave. and stopped to make a left turn. Facing me going south was a Kootenai County Sheriff rig also signaling a left turn. I noted with some chagrin that the deputy driving the patrol car was talking on a cell phone as he navigated through traffic. What a wonderful example of what not to do for the rest of us. Hasn’t the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office heard that driving while talking on a cell phone is statistically more dangerous than driving drunk? I’d like Capt. Wolfinger to comment on the sheriff’s cell phone policy. Incidently, I’ve seen Cd’A blue guys talking on the cell phone while driving also/CDA Canuck.

Question: Christie, Ben … do you guys have a policy re: officers’ use of a cell phone while on duty?

It’s My 2 Cents — Deodorant

I rarely go to the grocery store with my wife. If/when I do, I usually hang out at the magazine rack, reading a sports magazine — or wondering around the video section looking for a movie I haven’t seen. Last night, however, she gave me an assignment as I was reading about WSU’s chances in the PAC-10 in The Sporting News College Basketball issue: Get whatever deodorant you want. Simple, hunh? I had no idea there were so many different kinds of deodorant. Some played on after-shave names, like Old Spice and Brut. Others offered three-way treatments. Some were scented. Others not. I figured I’d better go with an unscented one b/c more and more people have discovered they’re scent intolerant. Then, it was a matter of deciding … deodorant? Or anti-perspirant? Spray? Or roll-on? Name brand? Or take your chances? When I spotted the Arrid roll-on with 2 X’s, I gave in to that TV commercial: “Arrid extra dry, to be sure.” At this point, I’m only sure that it cost more than the other brands. And that I don’t like to make shopping decisions.

Thanksgiving Day Forecast

AP Photo

Whether skies are
blue or murky
won’t much matter
to the turkey.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

HBO In Briefs — 11/21/07

North Idaho College Photo
Caryl Johnston, executive director of United Way of Kootenai County, (left) helps Bill Langer of the Area Agency on Aging and Lucy Hein and Sarah Garcia of North Idaho College draw winning raffle tickets following NIC’s annual fund-raiser for United Way. NIC donated $8,181 in funds raised through an annual pledge card campaign and a basket raffle this year.

On Monday, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department in partnership with the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police worked an emphasis patrol in Southwestern Kootenai County. Each agency provided additional officers for this patrol that targeted traffic violators and wanted persons. By the end of the day, 27 traffic citations were issued, 8 total arrests including one traffic, three on outstanding warrants and four drug arrests were made. One of the drug arrests was for possession with intent to deliver and resulted in the seizure of a vehicle used to transport the drugs and approximately $4,200 in cash.

Berry Picker: “Good Morning, America,” In Town

My mother noticed some people with cameras on Sherman Avenue today outside the Christmas on the Lake Store. They were setting up with tripods, etc. Mom said it just looked outside the norm, given that Camera Corral is right next door. Mom spoke with them and asked if they were with Good Morning America. They confirmed that they were. They are around town taking some advance shots. They told my mom that “this town is so neat”/A Berry Picker.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest Online — 11/21/07

Robin Loznak/Great Falls Tribune, AP Photo
Snow piles high on a statue of Paris Gibson, the founder of Great Falls, in Gibson Park in Great Falls, Mt., Monday. Several inches of snow fell in the Great Falls area an Sunday and Monday.

Spotlight: Top 100 Apple Cup plays of all time/John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review. Click here.

1. Washington State rejected a chance to host the only 2008 vice presidential debate after it failed to be chosen as one of three sites for the presidential debates/Thomas Clouse, Spokesman-Review. Click here.

2. Idaho ranks near the bottom of the nation in the number of four-year college degrees it hands out and must improve to remain competitive with top states and countries, according to a national study released Wednesday. But the state also ranks above the national average in the number of two-year degrees that are awarded/Idaho Statesman. Click here.

3. After 16 years in the NFL, former Mead High/WSU kicker Jason Hanson still gets a kick out of playing Green Bay on Thanksgiving day/Kevin Taylor, Inlander. Click here.

4. News Roundup: Larry Craig has become U.S. Senate’s invisible man/Idaho Statesman; Rex Rammell challenges Risch for GOP Senate nomination/New West; Spokane bishop prays, asks for forgiveness/; Spokane man arrested for making silencers/Spokesman-Review; Idaho family outraged that deputy shot pet dog in yard/; and Larry Grant: Critics of my campaign are wrong/New West.

5. Blogopshere: Thank you for my country/Notes On A Napkin; Thayn family values/Randy Stapilus; Timothy McVey archives/News Diary; Unusual Thanksgiving/Kellogg Bloggin’; Divorced from reality/Adam’s Blog; and Bill Sali roundup/Mountain Goat Report.

6. IMHO: UI Jazzfest accolades long overdue/Murf Racquet, Moscow-Pullman Daily News; Happy PC Thanksgiving from Seattle Public schools/David Horsey, Seattle PI; Tom Grant responds/Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation; Hospice House proves society facing reality/Spokesman-Review; Only 5% of 732 say they’ve completely lost airline bags/Idaho Statesman poll.

Orbusmax Special: Man suspected of using Internet sex ring profits for child support here.

Souza Dumped From P&Z Commission

On a unanimous vote following an executive session last night, the Coeur d’Alene City Council dumped outspoken critic Mary Souza from the P&Z commission “for cause.” The motion was made by Dixie Reid, seconded by Deanna Goodlander, and approved without discussion. The action took about 3 minutes after executive session. The council then adjourned.

Update: Mayor Sandi Bloem said she couldn’t comment on Souza’s ouster b/c it was a personnel issue. She stated only that she probably won’t make appointments for the vacancies involving Souza and John Bruning, who was elected to the City Council earlier this month, until January.

Idaho Statesman: Has Your Bag Gone Missing

Airlines are losing more baggage than ever. Has your bag ever gone missing? — Idaho Statesman.

*Yes, but recovered
*Yes, lost forever

DFO: No, but my daughter’s has. When she returned from Rome during the Christmas holidays 2006, her bags stayed at the port of entry for a coupla days. To its credit, the Spokane airport drove them to Coeur d’Alene when they finally arrived.

KevinR: Why I Don’t Feel Sorry For Steven Thayn

I’m trying to feel sorry this morning for Steven Thayn. And I just can’t do it. I certainly feel sorry for Thayn’s daughter-in-law, and wish the best for her and the baby she is carrying. I even feel a little sorry for Damon Mathias Thayn — to a very limited extent. Damon Thayn’s domestic battery arrest and subsequent guilty plea on a disturbing the peace charge wouldn’t have even made the newspaper, were it not for his state representative father. But Steven Thayn? I can’t feel sorry for him. Thayn, an Emmett Republican, has tried to present himself as some sort of a leader of family values issues. He has headed up a House of Representatives Family Task Force, to study “the magnitude of the decline of the family since 1950.” Back when this task force was merely a bad joke, I thought it was sorely in need of a theme song: “Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1949.” Oh, but Thayn was serious all right. The first-term lawmaker and father of eight acted as if he had all sort of answers about how 1.4 million Idahoans should run their households. He set himself up as an authority. He set up himself — and his family — for unpleasant scrutiny/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman.

Full post here

Question: Must Family Values champions have squeaky clean families?

Stickman: Ace Walden Remains Local Treasure

Stickman: DFO; Happy Birthday of course, but please don’t think you are old or getting older. I had a very special visit from one that is much older than we. Mr. Don Sausser, bless his soul, brought by Mr. Ace Walden today to visit me, he just had to meet me. The honor of course was mine, as he is 100 years old. Makes me feel like a kid, and I’m 60. A real pleasure to meet someone that has been in this beautiful city of ours for 97 years. I can’t even imagine. He is as sharp as a tack and I hope many of you get a chance to meet him. He is a true treasure of this area, I felt honored meeting him. Thanks Ace. He still gets out and about and is a booster for NIC, which to me is a very nice thing indeed.

DFO: So, you’re saying I still have 42 more years to go. Do ya think Don Sausser would mind driving me around when I’m 100?

ChristieW: Don’t Celebrate Too Hard, DFO

Christie Wood: The night is still young. Hit the bars, whoop it up, and I will see if I can get you a police escort. Of course it would not be to your home. There would be a slight detour to 5500 N. Govt. Way. Just kidding. I hope you have a nice night with your family. Happy Birthday.

DFO: The birthday celebration was pretty tame b/c my wife gave me gifts earlier this month and we’re going to have an official observance with the family Thursday. We picked up Amy Dearest at the jam-packed Spokane airport last night. She brought me a T-shirt from a fall break trip to Guadalajara, Mexico. Beyond that, I retired with a smile on my face last night, after seeing Amy and Brenda sitting on the couch with their arms around each other. To still have the love of grown children is always a great birthday gift.

Top Of The Morning (from The Falls) — 11/21/07

You can read Shawn Vestal’s Spokane blog, The Falls, here.

It’s Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2007. Good luck if you’re traveling.

It’s a special week… and not because it’s Thanksgiving. Saturday is the 100th Apple Cup, which is a milestone even if, as John Blanchette writes, it “does not always make for great football – or, as this year, even much in the way of anticipation.” Blanchette compiled the top 100 Apple Cup plays of all time.

Never underestimate bad drivers: “They got me from both ends. The weather was beautiful today. I thought it was going to be great for driving, and it was for a while.”

Marjorie Gorman, who was trapped in the middle of a four-car crash Tuesday on Division. For whatever reason, more than 65 car crashes were reported in Spokane yesterday.

Weather: Sunny and cold in the next couple of days, with highs in the low 30s. Here’s the five-day forecast.

Today in History: In 1980, 350 million people found out “Who Shot J.R.” In case you don’t remember, it was Kristin Shepard, J.R.’s former mistress and wife’s sister, and he had it coming. From

The morning drive: Check the traffic and the most recent gas prices.

In passing: Delmer Charles Nokes, 73. “Delmer began working at the age of 9 delivering newspapers in the Country Homes area. In 1951 he began working for the Spokane Country Club watering and mowing the greens. Delmer graduated from Mead High School in 1952, and then drove a dump truck for J. P. Sicilia. Delmer then apprenticed for Krueger Sheet Metal, and began his work there for 16 years. Delmer and Shirley Elizabeth Bessler were married at Whitworth Community Presbyterian Church in 1955 and they shared over 52 years together. Delmer and Shirley purchased a dairy farm on Halfmoon Prairie in the early 60s and farmed together for 32 years.” For more of this and other obituaries, go here.

Parting Shot — 11/20/07

Michael Smith/Wyoming Tribune Eagle
A Starlet sits on a power line as storm clouds roll across the sky obscuring the sun on Del Range Blvd. Tuesday in Cheyenne, Wyo. The weather forecast for the area calls for a 50 percent chance of snow showers and cloudy with a high near 26F, with wind chill values as low as 0F.

Passports To Be Required To Enter Canada, Mexico

Item: Passports to be required soon: Could cut down on trips to Mexico, Canada/Gwen Albers, Hagadone News Network

More Info: Starting in 2008, anyone driving from Canada to the United States will need a passport. For the Hittles of Bonners Ferry, 10-year passports will cost $97 apiece; for their three children — who are 10 and 6 years old and 10 months — it will cost $82 apiece for 5-year passports.

Question: Would the passport requirement prevent you from visiting Canada after Jan. 1?

HBO’s Best of the Friends Blogs — 11/20/07

Kathy Plonka
Matt Smith, top, greets fellow Coeur d’Alene firefighter Justin Wearne (cq) near the top of an 85 foot tree near downtown Coeur d’Alene on Monday. The fire department helped decorate to top of the tree.

Spotlight: Don’t forget to check out the Idaho Statesman’s Talking Points to read releases straight from the Idaho congressional delegaton here.

*Surprise! Surprise! posts Bubblehead/The Stupid Shall Be Punished — Idaho drivers are the best in the nation, according to an insurance company survey here.

*Julie Fanselow/Red State Rebels warns fellow Demos that local races are as important as those higher up the ticket here.

*Brent/Chronic Discontent posts about a 44-year-old skateboarder, “Big Mike” Jeansonne, who suffered a head injury and died at a Nashville, Tenn., skate park here.

*Somewhere between Star Wars costumes for Halloween and Santa Clauses at department stores, we’ve lost Thanksgiving, complains Inland Empire Girl here.

*Marmitetoasty/Twaddle Everyday Rubbish tells her now 18-year-old son, Sam, that’s she’s grown him and now she’s pushing him into adulthood here.

HBO Blog Numbers (for Monday, Nov. 19): 8406 page-views and 4894 unique views.

Meanwhile, Free In Idaho reminds us that today’s National Ammo Day here; IdaBlue is worried about the Idaho Demo message here; Rob’s Idaho Perspective spotlights influential people in life here; Idaho Escapee admits he’s never been a rah-rah person here; Mrs. T has finished her quilt here; Toad’s “Atrophy” here; JBelle’s check list here; and Idawa wonders where all the engineers have gone here.

A Successful Hunt

Thom George Illustration

In this photoshopped illustration, CDA council members (from left) Ron Edinger, Dixie Reid and Al Hassell show off their trophies from Election Day 2007.

In The News: Munchkins Still Answer Curtain Call

Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo
Munchkins from “The Wizard of Oz” celebrate receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, site of the film’s 1939 premiere, in Los Angeles earlier today. The Munchkins from left: Mickey Carroll, Jerry Maren, Ruth Duccini, Margaret Pelligrini, Meinhardt Raabe.

SteveS: Brawling In WSU Frats

If you saw the front page this morning, you read about WSU fratsters arguing they should have the right to engage in brawls without fear of citation. It was an amazing story. Apparently there are frequent brawls between frats, kind of like gang or Mafia wars in urban centers. I don’t think this is typical. My son thumbed his nose at his father’s history by joining a frat at the University of Denver. He’s been there three-plus years now and there hasn’t been a single brawl between frats in all of that time. And his frat raises thousands of dollars per year for charities and good works. He tells me that is one of the main goals of Greek life. That is the norm at most schools as far as I can tell/Editor Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation.

Full post here

Question: Were you ever a “frat rat” or belonged to a sorority in college?

ChrisB: Chauteau de Loire Decision Coming Dec. 6?

The commissioners heard testimony from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm last night from those in support of the project. Testimony from those opposed to the project continued from 8:00 to close to midnight. Rebuttal concluded at about 12:30 am. The commissioners decided to conduct a site visit on December 4 and then follow up with deliberations and presumably a decision on December 6.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest Online — 11/20/07

AP Photo
Severely injured soldier Brandon Adam, shown here with President Bush earlier this month, will return to Sandpoint this weekend. Marianne Love/Slight Detour sez he’s looking forward to meeting the public at an informal gathering at the First Assembly of God Church Sunday here.

Coming Wednesday in Spokesman-Review: Top 100 Apple Cup plays of all time.

1. Bernard von NotHaus is anxious to prove his American Liberty Dollars are perfectly legal in the face of a federal investigation with ties to North Idaho. The self-described monetary architect didn’t seem fazed that he could soon be facing a host of charges, including money laundering, wire fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy and making or possessing likeness of coins/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press. Click here.

2. State Rep. Steven Thayn (R-Emmett), Idaho’s self-appointed arbiter of family virtue who, according to the Idaho Statesman, “sees the breakdown of the traditional family structure as the root of societal ills such as drug abuse, crime and domestic violence,” has been less than forthcoming about his own family problems/Mountain Goat Report. Click here.

3. Online Poll: 60% of 651 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say Idaho school districts should install seatbelts in their buses.

4. News Roundup: First car theft suspect nabbed by new I-90 cameras/Coeur d’Alene Press; Gregoire catches heck from both sides for special session call/Eye On Olympia; Romney touts trade, immigration views during Idaho, Washington stops/Idaho Statesman; Pickup hits, kills Spokane pedestrian/Spokesman-Review; and Spokane Valley father sues son’s drug supplier/Spokesman-Review.

5. Blogosphere: Thanksgiving by the numbers/The Fresh Sheet; Review: “Beowulf”/Clayton Cramer; Spare Us! Another strike!/Dogwalk Musings; Fatigue/Kellogg Bloggin’; and Sali’s love-hate relationship with federal spending/Kevin Richert.

6. IMHO: Give generously, then promote it/Doug Clark, Spokesman-Review; A cosmic disconnect/David Horsey, Seattle PI; Dawg has plenty of yap in him/Jim Moore, Seattle PI; Combining programs right move for WSU, UI/Craig Staszkow, Moscow-Pullman Daily News; Internet? More like Inter-not/Mark Samuels, NIC Sentinel.

Orbusmax Special: Community upset that Cesar Chavez street renaming would run through Chinatown here.

Q&A: What Happened @ Chateau de Loire Hearing?

Question (from Bent): Does anyone know what happened at the Chateau hearing last night? Did the commissioners take any action to approve or deny the project?

Answer: Opposition speaks out against Chateau/Sean Garmire, Coeur d’Alene Press

DFO: Looks like the jury’s still out. BTW, I met CDA Press newby Sean Garmire at the Walt Minnick announcement last week. He’s a UIdaho grad and, I believe, former Argonaut staffer. Nice to see a Vandal graduate to a daily job in North Idaho.

Jim Risch — Flying High (LaRocco Ad)

LaRocco press release re: YouTube ad here

Question: Will ads like this influence your vote in the 2008 U.S. Senate race in Idaho?

Hat Tip: Scott Maben

Question: Ticketing All Fighters

Item: Pullman punching back: Police seek ordinance to ticket all fight participants/Thomas Clouse, Spokesman-Review

More Info: A spate of violence between Washington State University fraternities – including a fight in which a fraternity member suffered a severely broken jaw – has re-energized a months-long effort to pass an ordinance that would make fighting a civil infraction that would cost brawlers $250 for the first offense and $500 for the next.

Question: Is it fair to ticket all combatants in a fight.

JimF: Sali Shocked By Pork He Helped Lard

Here’s another trip through the looking glass with Bill Sali. The U.S. House member from Idaho’s 1st District wants his constituents to know he inserted half a million dollars for widening U.S. Highway 95 in a federal spending bill. But he also wants them to know he then voted against the bill, which passed without his help. Why did he vote no? Because the bill was laden with pork, Sali says. Pork of course is the spending that people from other districts and states want. Spending in one’s own district is important/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune.

Full editorial here

I Told You I Seen A White B’ar, Fellas

Lewiston Sentinel/AP Photo
I’m not anti-hunting. But this photo ticks me off. Here, Tom Wisniowski, of Acme, left, stands next to a female albino black bear weighing 47 pounds he shot on the first day of bear season Monday in Center County, Pa. Some of the other successful hunters on opening day include Richard Marther, center, of Erie, and Jeff Gowen, of Evansburg. In other words, Wisniowksi sees a nature oddity and he has to blast it so he can prove to his friends that he saw it? F’shame.

In The Know: BSU Put Idaho Sports On The Map

In The Know: Really, how many Vandal fans enjoyed Oklahoma getting their tail whipped by BSU, and with trickery to beat. Boise State put Idaho athletics on the Map. Too bad had to say it. Idaho cannot even come up with a logo nor a slogan, who are they and where are they? The biggest non school around. I cannot believe U of I actually charges tuition. How is that for stirring up a hornets nest DFO?

DFO: You stir hornets nests well, ITK.

Idaho Escapee: Possible Prizes For Page-View 2M

Idaho Escapee provides choice of prizes being offered by Huckleberries, to the 2-millionth viewer:

*Worn-out keyboard used by DFO until he got his laptop computer.
*Official S-R gavel, just like the one used to begin editorial and other staff meetings.
*An aerosol can of “Flame-B-Gon”; when applied directly on the forehead, reduces inflammatory tendencies when posting.
*Cushion for the posterior, which ties around the waist, so the door doesn’t hurt you on the way out when it shuts, similar to the ones used on “Black Thursday”.

Question: Any other suggestions?

Top Of The Morning (fromThe Falls) — 11/20/07

You can read Shawn Vestal’s Spokane blog, The Falls, here.

It’s Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007. The next time Chicken Little starts squawking about property taxes and the inevitable tax-raising properties of Your Sexy Government, remember yesterday’s vote by the Spokane City Council to allow a temporary tax increase to expire. Spokane would collect 9 percent less in property taxes next year, and sales taxes are expected to surpass property taxes for the first time as the chief source of city money. Read Jonathan Brunt’s story.

You call that an emergency? Speaking of property taxes, you can tell it’s an election season as Gov. Chris Gregoire and Dino Rossi wrangle over how quickly the state must rush to reinstate the 1 percent cap on tax hikes. Gregoire said yesterday that she would call a special session Nov. 29 to put the cap – which was tossed by the courts earlier this month. We’re not really convinced of the urgency here. Are cities and counties going to gorge themselves on tax increases before January if legislators don’t step in? Sounds like a political emergency. No one ever lost a vote pandering to voters over taxes. Read Rich Roesler’s story.

Western values? Mitt Romney raised a little money in our region yesterday, stopping in Boise and Seattle. Along the way, he said that there is something inherently Republican about the values of the West. “I just don’t think that the Democrats’ platform is in any way consistent with the views of the people of the American West,” he said. Read Betsy Russell’s story.

Good luck, officer: “You don’t speed through Colfax. We want it known that you don’t fight in Pullman.”

Chris Tennant, commander with the Pullman Police Department, which is trying to stiffen penalties for fighting. Read Tom Clouse’s story.

Weather: It’s supposed to be chilly and partly cloudy in the next couple of days, with highs in the low 30s. Here’s the five-day forecast.

Today in History: In 1945, the Nuremberg war crimes trials began. From

The morning drive: Check the traffic and the most recent gas prices.

In passing: Ruth Dixon King. “After graduating from the University of California, Ruth had a daily radio show on San Francisco’s KLX and was a writer for the Oakland Tribune. In 1945 Ruth auditioned and accepted an invitation from the USO Camp Shows to entertain U.S. Military Forces in New Guinea and the Philippines. Her World War II adventures inspired her book “Songs from the Girl Back Home.” On her return, Ruth was a columnist for the San Francisco Examiner and Berkeley Daily Gazette as well as becoming San Francisco KRON-TV’s first Director of Women’s Affairs. Later, she taught at four Bay Area colleges and had a radio program “Focal Point” on KKIS that won top awards from the Associated Press.” For more of this and other obituaries, go here.

Parting Shot — 11/19/07

Robin Loznak/Great Falls Tribune, AP Photo
A bird forages for food in deep snow in a field on the east side of Great Falls, Mont., today. The Great Falls area received several inches of snow Sunday evening and Monday.

Butterfly Moment: Hungry PG Women Shouldn’t Shop

Pregnant women should not go shopping when they’re hungry. I ended up with a huge jar of dill pickles, Johnsonville Beddar Cheddar hot dogs and the expensive buns, a cheddar and bacon cheese ball, and a pound of monterey jack cheese. (Am I seeing a pattern with the cheese?) I did, however, resist the coconut cake and the tortilla chips and cheese dip. Barely/A Butterfly Moment. Full post here.

Question (for women): What was your weirdest craving during a time of pregnancy?

Grant To Sali: Return Halliburton Money

Democratic congressional candidate Larry Grant called on Idaho GOP Rep. Bill Sali today to return a $1,000 contribution from Halliburton, but Sali’s campaign said it’s not seriously considering Grant’s request. Grant, a former Micron Technology executive, pointed to two votes in Congress that he said made it even worse that Sali took campaign money in August from Halliburton’s company PAC. In both votes, Sali was part of a small minority opposing legislation to tighten federal contracting practices and provide more protections to whistleblowers. “Bill Sali votes against oversight on no-bid contracts and protections for the whistleblowers and then takes campaign contributions from one of the very companies under suspicion,” Grant said. He added, “I think Sali should give Halliburton’s money back. I would”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Full post here

Question: Should Congressman Sali return the Halliburton $$$?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 11/19/07

Guillermo Arias/AP Photo
Spanish bullfighter Jose Tomas is butted by the bull during a bullfight in Guadalajara, Mexico, Sunday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. The cost of health care would not be nearly as high if proctologists didn’t have to put up with getting stuck with swords before every exam — Go Figure.

2. Jose Tomas the famous body piercing expert loved finding new bobyparts to practise his self piercing methods upon — Marmitetoasty.

3. Ole’! Or in English, enema — Cabbage Boy.

HM: Brent Andrews

Capt. Ben’s Honor Roll: Outstanding Warrants

You can find out why sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger wants (from left) Robert Hahn, Robert Donahue and Chris Gray by reading his weekly list of outstanding warrants here.

Is It Rook? Or Rowe?

I’ve known for some time that John Rook, the former KCDA-FM owner and pioneer radio station manager, and Spokane newscaster Charles Rowe were brothers. Above, you see a photo of John and Charles in 1939. The brothers also have a sister, Dottie, who lives with John at his Mica Flats home. Their real surname is Rook. But John embraced the name Rowe when he was encouraged by Tennessee Ernie Ford and Rock Hall of Famer Eddie Cochran to become a disc jockey. Someone said he looked Greek, like the god Rho. So, Johnny Rowe hit the airwaves in Denver and Salt Lake City. Charles embraced John’s new surname when Charles left the service and entered broadcasting. Later, John reclaimed the family name when he moved from being a DJ to a program director who introduced such hall of famers, via airplay and concert, as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Tom Jones, the Supremes, Neil Diamond, and many others.

From John Rook’s online book, “Passing Thru.”

Spud: Spend $$$ On Hungry, Not Downtown Lights

Well, I use to really enjoy watching the lights go on and the people holding candles when this first all started. Now it is just so many people. And the $$$ spent on the huge display, fireworks, etc. Don’t you think that could maybe go to Food Banks this time of year or some charity? Downtown is lit up like Las Vegas, except, how many businesses are benefiting from this? Is anyone spending their money downtown. As you can tell, I am not in favor of all this “glory” of the big parade, etc. Especially the day after Thanksgiving/Idaho Spud.

Question: Would you prefer that the money for the big downtown light and fireworks display go to food banks?

Q: How Much Do You Trust Winter Weather Reports?

By Sunday afternoon, snow was coming down over lookout pass, and although it was not sticking to the roads, transportation crews are already warning or treacherous driving conditions. With more snow expected Sunday night and throughout Monday, winter’s beauty can sometimes turn ugly for drivers in the inland northwest/Karina Shagren, Full post here.

Question: So what happened to the snow? How much do you trust weather forecasting this time of the year?

HBO @ Noon: Charles Rowe To Retire Nov. 30

Holly Picket/Spokesman-Review
Charles Rowe is leaving KREM television after 20 years at the anchor desk, Spokane.

Item: Anchor away: Longtime KREM-2 personality Charles Rowe looks back at his distinguished career/Jim Kershner, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Rowe has been at KREM-2 for 20 years, plus long stints in L.A. and Chicago, yet before that he served as the state capital reporter at a Sacramento TV station from 1967 to 1969. That’s where Rowe accumulated his store of Reagan anecdotes.

Trivia: Rowe and HBOers John Rook, the former KCDA-FM station owner, are brothers.

Question: Who’s your favorite Spokane newscaster? And why?

HBO Book Club — I’ve Reached “Love” Part Of EPL

I’m headed toward the finish line re: Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” — the book of the month here at Huckleberries Online. Frankly, I would have never read this book beyond the first third, if it wasn’t the book of the month. Too much chick stuff (first third). Too much eastern religion stuff (middle third). And I’m bracing myself for the final third — the love part. Which could mean a return to the chick stuff. However, I’ve learned more from this book than I do from, say, the average Stephen King horror story, which I generally pick up when my creative juices are ebbing. I’ve learned about the language and mind set of Italians. I’ve learned about the few parallels between Hinduism and Christianity — and the vast differences. And I’m amazed re: how much stock Gilbert places in a Bali medicine man. On the other hand, I ran into the Thom Georges at the Jazz Christmas symphony at NIC Saturday. Thom’s wife told me that several divorced women she knows have read the book and simply love it. Mebbe they’re better judges than I am re: the book.

Question: What facts have you learned from reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love”?

Question: Closing Idaho’s Primaries

The close-the-primary wing of the Republican Party had its day in federal court Thursday — and the group’s attorney didn’t sound too confident afterwards. U.S. Magistrate Judge Mikel Williams seemed skeptical about the lawsuit, brought not by the Idaho Republican Party, but by a group of about 70 Republicans. The party doesn’t support the lawsuit, which aims to close the GOP primaries. Afterward, the attorney for the Republican plaintiffs sounded downcast — yet combative. Christ Troupis told the Associated Press that he sensed Williams wanted to dismiss his suit/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. Full post here.

Question: Do you support the effort by 70 Repubs statewide to close Idaho’s primaries, to prevent Demos and Independents from voting in Repub elections?

CDA Council To Mull Extending LCDC Boundaries

Item: Council to weigh in on extending LCDC: New boundaries would include Sorensen, Winton schools/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press

Quotable Quote: “It certainly is a positive for the school district, the fact that there is rationale that allows them to at least discuss expanding the boundaries. We certainly are hopeful they can find their way clear to get them (the schools) into their boundaries”/Steve Briggs, schools finance officer.

Question: Should the urban renewal boundaries be extended to include the two old elementary schools?

Paulos: I Still Loathe Spokane

“I’ve decided not to bore you with a long commentary about the latest developments involving the last remaining daily newspaper in Spokane and the fact that it cut its news staff by 40 persons in what employees called “Black Thursday,” columnizes Bob Paulos/Coeur d’Alene Press. “It also announced a new program for its North Idaho edition, one of which may be even more impractical than the several it has tried so far. On the death of its latest effort one Review staffer remarked, “The Review’s tombstone will be more readable than The Coeur d’Alene Press.” Now perhaps the mental giant who came up with that remark will figure out a way to deliver tombstones to North Idaho homes each morning and get people to pay for them. That idea is dead on delivery as they say. The Review is one Spokane business that still refuses to believe that North Idaho has become its own ‘Inland Empire’ and not part of theirs.” Full column here.

DFO: Coupla things. Sixteen were laid off in the SR newsroom, not 40. About 40 were laid off companywide. Secondly, I’m as much of a fan of Coeur d’Alene as my old buddy Bob. But you’d have to be blind not to see that there’s all kinds of revitalization energy going on in downtown Spokane. “Inland Empire” is an old name that means little to newcomers. I prefer Inland Northwest — and to enjoy what’s happening on both sides of the state line.

Jazzyvandal: Idaho Sports Belong In WAC

The money in the Big Sky is just not there.
Just look at the amount of revenue a WAC team gets verses a Big Sky team. WAC teams get bowl money, more sponsorships, more donations, etc., etc. I do not want Idaho to play in the Big Sky. I won’t watch the games, maybe for exception of Montana. The other teams do not interest me at all. Yes, I agree, losing does lower morale. However, Idaho has won at this level. It just makes me mad the administration didn’t take advantage of it. The other non-revenue sports do pretty good in the WAC such as volleyball, cross country, track, etc. This is just Idaho’s third year in the WAC. Interestingly enough, the other new WAC members aren’t winning a lot of football games either. When Idaho has some stability in the program, they will win more games. Let’s face it, Idaho hasn’t had stability in a long time/jazzyvandal.

AM Hucks: Stickman Goes To The Wall

Stickman is one of the more colorful commenters at Huckleberries Online. The Coeur d’Alene resident has brightened the lives of local schoolchildren and numerous HBO readers by giving away walking sticks he carves from tree limbs he largely finds on Tubbs Hill, often accompanied by a jar of homemade huckleberry jam. Stickman is also a Vietnam War vet who feels he finally received the proper welcome home during the Veterans Day observance this month in Washington, D.C. Not only did Stickman chat with Dan Rather, Colin Powell and Secretary of Interior Dirk Kempthorne, but he was part of a parade of Vietnam vets who marched down Constitution Avenue toward the Vietnam Wall. “It was glorious, with thousands cheering us on from the sidelines,” Stickman commented on Huckleberries Online. “Vietnam vets needed that cheer as we never got it when we came home.”

Anderson: Tight Security

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

APhoto of the Weekend — 11/17-18/07

Larry Steagall/Kitsap Sun, AP PhotoTwo month old Reilly Repking of Bremerton doesn’t know what to make of the guy in the red suit at the Holiday Gift & Food Fair at the Kitsap Sun Pavilion Friday. The Holiday Gift & Food Fair event runs until Sunday. You write the cutline.

OTV: Hey, When’s Press Going To Update Web Site?

OrangeTV: Hmmm…whoever was running must have gone off to Tahiti or something because the poor thing doesn’t seem to have been updated since Thursday. Really sad. I could apply for the job but I’d rather poke my eyes out with a petrified geranium than work for Hagadone again. The SR may have abandoned NI for the most part, but at least they keep a fairly mean website (even though it really should be free).

DFO: OTV; It’s Steve Smith’s goal, I believe, to someday offer free access to the SR online. Meanwhile, I don’t understand why the Press doesn’t have an automated computer system to post stories online. I know that the online product is simply an afterthought. But I agree that there some be some attention to it on the weekends.

Jazzyvandal: Idaho Will Find Its Way As Oregon State Has

Please with the Big Sky comments. Oregon State had 28 straight losing seasons, and did they drop down? How about Utah State? Florida International? New Mexico State? North Idaho is growing, and they can draw from the area. Idaho has a facility plan in place. This is what it will take to help improve the program. You don’t win a lot of games when you have three head coaches in three years. When you dismiss 17 players, your depth is going to suffer. Idaho has some good talented players. In a few years, they will have that stability and depth they need. Being in the Big Sky would be a huge loss for the Vandals. Heck, the University of Montana lost a lot of money in a year. For those who think the Vandals need to go back to the Big Sky, who will replace them? And don’t say the University of Montana because they have said publicly they want to stay where they are.


Boise State 58, Idaho 14

Joe Jaszewski/Idaho Statesman, AP Photo
Idaho’s Deonte Jackson scores a touchdown against Boise State during a college football game today at Bronco Stadium in Boise. Jackson’s touchdown was one of only two scored by the Vandals in a 58-14 loss to Boise State here.

Online Poll: Boise State vs. Idaho

How badly will once-beaten Boise State beat one-win Idaho this year? — Huckleberries Online.

*1-10 points
*11-20 points
*21-30 points
*More than 30 points
*Idaho will pull the WAC upset of the year

You can talk smack at the Idaho Statesman with other Boise State and idaho fans here.

Audobon By Any Other Name Isn’t The Same

Item: Golf developer goes for green label: But this Audubon certification has nothing to do with birds/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

More Info: This Audubon has no connection with the National Audubon Society, the century-old birder group named for wildlife artist John James Audubon. Confusion between the two is as common as a swarm of swallows. People hear “Audubon” and assume the golf course has the equivalent of a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval from the renowned bird and conservation group. Giving that impression, some critics have charged, is a marketing ploy to help golf projects with image problems.

Question: Are Chateau de Loire developers trying to cash in on confusion over the Audobon name to get their project built? Or is their hiring of Audobon International a coincidence?

Mary Souza: Will She Be A Hero? Or Goat?

OUCH! Is there a whistle blowers clause when serving on a city commission? To give Mary the boot at this juncture will give the appearance of a post election smack down on a private citizen who’s publically called into question the actions of elected officials.
The next elections in two years will likely see fall out from more than just a small faction of the public who will resent strong arm tactics, even if they’re not a Mary Souza fan.

Fairness: I wonder how any developer could get a fair hearing from P&Z with Mrs. Souza sitting on that commission. I would ask for her recusal from any hearing based upon her open hostility to development in Coeur d’Alene. By the way, don’t all commissioners serve at the pleasure of the mayor? Would the President keep someone in his Administration if they accused him of lying?

Question: If Mary Souza gets the boot from the P&Z commission Tuesday, will she be viewed by the public as a martyr? Or a crank who got her just desserts for belittling the mayor, City Council members and community developers in her CDA Press column?

In The Know: What Happened To Ziggles?

In The Know: Hey DFO, what happened to ZIGGLES? Have seen no hide nor hair of the poor boy-girl. (I have to admit its been nice around here lately)

DFO: Remember how Ziggles used to taunt me that I’d never guess who he was? His luck ran out on Black Thursday when he made a cross-post under another name. We found out who was behind the new pseudonym and then discovered that he shared the same IP as Ziggles. We’d developed a fairly good profile of Ziggles. For example, we knew he used a laptop and Verizon wireless card. We also knew some of the spots from which he posted. Then, there were clues we picked up along the way from what he posted here. It didn’t take Blogmeister Ryan long to figure out who he was once Ryan devoted time to checking it out. I must admit I have less tolerance for trolls after dealing with Ziggles for months.

OrangeTV: I’ll Watch WoodyTV Even w/o Mary Souza

re: Channel 19 is going to lose a viewer if Souza goes.”

OrangeTV: I know, huh. She’s one of the more interesting characters on that show, especially when she really turns on that cute little haughty attitude and flips her hair just so. Don’t know how they could replace someone with such a magic screen presence. I’d still watch though, just cuz it’s fun trying to figure out what the mumbling guy is going on and on about. Weren’t they supposed to be moving to some fab new studio in the Library? What’s up with that?

DFO: The city will begin moving the council chambers into the next library in January and conduct the first City Council meeting there on the first Tuesday in February.

Elaine: What Isn’t HBO Following Pullman Arson Fires?

Elaine: I am so sorry that Pullman is not interesting to you and we are the equivalent of a snow fall. We don’t feel that way. Frankly, we can’t get enough news and are constantly looking for new information regarding the arsons. Perhaps, just perhaps, the TV news people recognize that fact, even if smug, secure bloggers do not. Pullman is not used to massive fires, all occuring at the same time. Coeur d’Alene must have them all the time, as it is boring, repiticous news according to this blog. Get over yourselves and realize that not everyone in the Spokane TV broadcast area lives in CDA. If you don’t care, all it takes is to not say anything.

DFO: Elaine, Huckleberries Online is an Coeur d’Alene-based blog that focuses primarily on North Idaho and Idaho issues. The arson fires, of course, are interesting. But I let the SR online edition and Shawn Vestal’s blog, The Falls, handle it while I concentrate on what’s going on here. You can’t be all things to all people.

TGIF Wild Card — 11/16/07

Huckleberries is about 13,000 page-views away from 2 million for the year as I type this. At 5 p.m., HBO had registered 1,986,840 page-views for the year. Typically, it gets 7000-8000 on weekends. So, we should be registering page-view No. 2,000,000 Monday afternoon. As always, thanks for being part of the crazy ride of almost 4 years that has gotten HBO to this point. BTW, my Monday print column is about Stickman’s trip to the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C. Now, for your TGIF evening Wild Card …

UI Has Waiting List for Pirate History Class

Item: It’s a pirate’s life for UIdaho students: New history class about real Jack Sparrows fills seats/Lianna Shepherd, UI Argonaut

More Info: Dotted across the campus, neon colored flyers bearing the image of Captain Jack Sparrow have started a buzz among students.
“Pirates of the Caribbean and Beyond” is one of three special topics classes the history department is offering for spring semester. Before 7:30 p.m. on the second day of registration, the class had filled all 82 seats and was developing a wait list.

Question: Do you know anything about pirates that you didn’t learn from “Pirates of the Caribbean” or “Princess Bride”?

APhoto of the Day — 11/16/07

Paul Sakuma/AP Photo
Birds sit on a closed pier in Half Moon Bay, Calif., Thursday.

Top Cutlines:

1. The Half Moon Bay SPS (Seagull Positioning System) was temporarily malfunctioning early Thursday, leading to long delays in takeoff and landing from the busy dock — Pia.

2. A gully good time appeared to be taking place at ‘The Featherbrained Birdbrain Party Caucus.’ But many took wing, claiming the encounter was half-mooned and strictly for the birds — LP.

3. The 80 percent that didn’t vote gather to complain about getting the government, policies and taxes they didn’t choose — Nic.

HM: Cabbage Boy

Nation Observes Adoption Day

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Country music artist Rodney Atkins, right, and his son Elijah, left, take the stage during a celebration of National Adoption Day Friday in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Rodney Atkins, who was adopted, is a spokesperson for the The National Council For Adoption.

Question: Were you or any of your family adopted? What are your feelings about being adopted or adopting someone?

End Of The P&Z Line — For Souza?

Damn Yankee posted this outtake earlier today from the Coeur d’Alene City Council agenda for Tuesday:

I.C. 67-2345
Subsection B: To consider the evaluation, dismissal or disciplining of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent …

Hilarious’: From the looks of the council’s executive session agenda, I’d say Souza is about to kiss her place on the planning commission goodbye. Too bad, really. I was able to catch a mini-fight between her and Rasor on Channel 19 and laughed like I hadn’t laughed in a long time. Channel 19 is going to lose a viewer if Souza goes. Also, it would be tremendously bad PR for the city to boot a woman from a commission who’s been criticizing them incessantly. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes…

DFO: I left a message for Mayor Sandi Bloem to interpret what this is all about. Stay tuned.

The Slice: Turn Out The Lights

Paul Turner has a modest proposal in this morning’s Slice:

What if this coming Christmas season, the Spokane area did without outdoor holiday lights?

Then each family could estimate the savings on their November and December electricity bills and donate that amount to a deserving charity.

Question: What do you think?

Fortier: Time For UI Slogan Wars

Enrollment is down at the University of Idaho. Oh no! What do we do? Isn’t it obvious? You change the school’s slogan of course. The fact that it didn’t work last year when they changed the slogan — and spent $900,000 marketing it — is not relevant. Late last year “From Here You Can Go Anywhere” was ditched for “No Fences” and “Open Space. Open Minds.” OK, I can understand dumping “From Here You Can Go Anywhere.” You gotta admit, it’s kind of stupid. It’s true you can go anywhere from Moscow. You just have to gas-up and pack a lunch. And if you think about it, can’t you go anywhere from anywhere? Why doesn’t the school just be honest and change the slogan to: “You Can Get Anywhere from the Middle of Nowhere”/Marty Fortier, Coeur d’Alene Press. Full column here.

Question: Which institution, school, government body has a good slogan?

Paul Tong: A Thanksgiving Wish

Paul Tong/UI Argonaut

Duane Hagadone’s Sailboat “Sizzler” …

… is captured in photos in the Sailing Anarchy blog here. The blog’s motto sez it all: “Where the status quo blows.”

Hot Potatoes: Taxpayers Pay Tab For Sex Romp

*Ex-lawmaker’s Spokane visits cost thousands: Taxpayers picked up $77 Davenport tab for Curtis’s sex romp/Rich Roesler, Spokesman-Review — Hot Potato: In this instance, the taxpayers got the old scroogie and paid for it, too.

*Idaho dock rules sent to Legislature/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review — Hot Potato: Commercial marina owners shouldn’t be allowed to sell boat slips, condo style. The public still owns the waterways. Not them.

*Travel: Be prepared in passes: Snow may fall after Thanksgiving; pricey gas shouldn’t deter travel/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press — Sweet Potato: My favorite kind of snow is the kind that stays in the higher areas and leaves local roadways alone.

*Broncos vs. Vandals: Talking smack can get you in the paper/Idaho Statesman — Sweet Potato: The trash-talking encouraged by the Statesman is fun. I particularly liked this entry in the link above: “You know what you can do with a degree from bsu? Hang it in your rear view mirror and park in the handicap spot.”

*Chateau de Loire hearing set for Monday: Meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in Kootenai County Administration Building/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press — Hot Potato: Aren’t these the guys that were yapping about racial discrimination after the project was turned down the first time? Sounds like a decent project — in the wrong place. The road around the lake can’t handle that many new Hummers and SUVs.

Mark Fuhrman: Smart Guy, Bad Radio Host — Coyote

MF was really very good when he was talking crime or police issues. That is when he could be riveting. However when he tried to cross over into politics he really did come off as political neanderthal with no real moral or philosophical compass. Yet he talked about politics with the same tone and inflection that he talked about crime and it gave folks the idea that he may have had an idea what he was talking about. When he was probably just winging it (I mean I hope he was winging it an not really serious in those moments). In the end I figured it just had to be a matter of time before they dropped his show. It was local talent, which costs more money than syndicated talent. And it was local talent that was too ascerbic to create much local revenue/Coyote, NW Republican. Full post here.

Question: Has Fuhrman accomplished enough as a writer and talk show host to improve his image since the O.J. Simpson investigation?

Artist Has Passion For Congo Primates

Taryn Hecker/The Skinny On North Idaho
Careywood artist Glenice Moore is raising money for the Dian Fossey Mountain Gorilla Fund. Story by Taryn Hecker/The Skinny On North Idaho here.

Hard 7: Prosecutor Douglas’s Sixth Sense

This week’s column pokes fun at the possibility Kootenai County Prosecutor Bill Douglas consulted a dead attorney for advice on a case—but then details some potential advantages of the practice. And (Thursday night) comes word via Huckleberries Online that Douglas has filed his promised correction to the record: “Rather than ‘driving it by Glen Harmon,’ Douglas explained, he’d in all likelihood said ‘writing by Glen Harmon’ and been misunderstood by the transcriber. Douglas: ‘At the time I made this statement I had full knowledge that Mr. Harmon was deceased, and in no way was my testimony meant to represent that I had communicated with Mr. Harmon about any issue relative to this case.’” Mr. Harmon was unavailable for comment/Frank Sennett, Hard 7.

Question: Does Prosecutor Douglas have a reasonable explanation for the snafu in his recorded deposition?

AM Hucks: Andrus Playing Faves @ Minnick Event

Former Idaho guv Cecil Andrus was in top form this week when he introduced Demo congressional wannabe Walt Minnick to a group of about 40 partisans at CdA’s Harding Family Center. Spotting former state Sen. Mary Lou Reed in the audience, Andrus exclaimed, “my favorite senator.” Which prompted Minnick to point out another former state senator in the audience, Denny Davis. Unperturbed, Andrus responded, “If you look at Mary Lou and Denny, who would you take?” … Minnick was accompanied to the announcement by his wife, A.K., and his 10-year-old adopted daughter, Denali, who was abandoned on the steps of a police station as a baby in China. Denali may be the only child in Idaho to have a mountain named after her. Or at least that’s what Walt and A.K. have told their daughter all her life, tongues firmly cheeked … After the Minnick announcement, your Huckleberry Hound congratulated Councilman Ron Edinger on his “landslide” victory over challenger Dan Gookin in the municipal election earlier this month. Edinger, who finished as the leading CdA council vote-getter yet again, beat Gookin by only 366 votes in a hotly contested race. He admitted he was nervous on Election Night after the absentee ballots provided a lead of only 100 votes or so. But his wife, Nancy, remained philosophical throughout the evening. She told Ron that any margin of victory was a landslide. Even a single vote … Edinger, by the way, told Huckleberries that if he’d lost he was prepared to give political activists Kathy Sims and Tom Macy a piece of his mind for their last-minute campaign mailing under the umbrella of Concerned Taxpayers of Kootenai County. The direct mailing contained dubious claims about the city’s urban renewal work and urged voters to oppose incumbents Edinger and Al Hassell.

Ramirez: An Innocent Question?

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Parting Shot — 11/15/07

Robin Loznak/Great Falls Tribune, AP Photo
A mule deer buck looks through a fence at the Anaconda Hills golf course in Great Falls, Mont., on Thursday. On the other side of the fence were several doe mule deer in which the buck was showing interest.

Broadway Strike Sidelines Play About Idaho Inventor

One little tendril runs out West from the Broadway stagehands strike: A play about Idaho native Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of TV.

Farnsworth – who grew up in Rigby, Idaho – was determined to invent the television even while working in his father’s potato fields, the AP reports. He had his “eureka moment” at age 14.

Just six years later, he transmitted the image of a horizontal line from one room to another in his San Francisco lab. This was the first demonstration of electronic television, an instrument that could “transmit live moving images from here to there at the speed of light.” At least, that’s how the precocious young engineer (played by Jimmi Simpson) pitches his grand idea in “The Farnsworth Invention.” Full post here.

Question: Television – vital communications technology or blight on society?

Cross-posted from Shawn Vestal’s blog, The Falls.

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 11/15/07

Frank Franklin II/AP Photo

Ron Howard joins protesters with The Writers Guild of America as they gather in Times Square Thursday in New York. You write the cutline.

In The News: Bonds Charged

AP Photo
San Francisco Giants’ Barry Bonds rounds the bases after hitting his 756th career home run in the fifth inning of their baseball game against the Washington Nationals in San Francisco, in this Aug. 7, 2007, file photo. Bonds was charged today with perjury and obstruction of justice, the culmination of a four-year federal probe into whether he lied under oath to a grand jury investigating steroid use by elite athletes.

Question: How should Major League Baseball deal with Bonds’ home run record?

Stickman At The Wall

AP Photo

He read their names
while rain fell thick
like tears around
our Mr. Stick.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Post: Stickman: Going to the Wall for comrades lost/Huckleberries Online

In The News: Hastert To Quit By Year’s End

Susan Walsh/AP Photo

Former House Speaker, Rep. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., walks through Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday after delivering a speech on the House floor where he announced his plans to leave the House of Representatives by the end of the year.

Question: Who’s your favorite House speaker of the last quarter century: Tip O’Neill, Jim Wright, Tom Foley, Newt Gingrich, Dennis Hastert, or Nancy Pelosi?

Two Views On D Primary: 007 & CDA Canuck

James Bond: The Idaho Statesman’s Dan Popkey wrote a column a few months ago that detailed how Larry Grant alienated the Democrat Party, especially the national party that was pumping money into the race. My best guess is that Larry Grant really alienated the Democrat bosses. He’s being tossed aside. It’s inside baseball, mostly, because I don’t think the voters at large know about it or care much about it. Minnick and Grant are probably about equal in terms of their starting position against Sali.

CDA Canuck: I’m concerned. I think it’s a democratic screwup. I’m not very familiar with Minnick, but I know Larry Grant very well and think he is an outstanding candidate. With Andrus’ support he would have just as good a chance of beating Sali as Minnick in the general election. All Minnick’s candidacy, and Cecil’s support of it, is going to do is split the party and strengthen Sali. Sali is probably salivating.

The Falls: It’s The End Of The World As We Know It

Pullman’s been hit by a rash of fires early this morning, and it’s created a lot of damage, one injury and strained local firefighters. You can read about it here. Still, we can’t help but feel the fires, troublesome as they are, don’t quite warrant the graphic treatment above, from the KREM-2 website.

Question: Are you turned off/attracted by TV news that overplays stories?

Cross-posted by The Falls

Question: Does This Make Minnick D Choice?

Thom George/Special to Huckleberries Online
DFO with former governor Cecil Andrus over his right shoulder.

Blunt-spoken former Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus had this to say yesterday about why he’s now backing Walt Minnick for the 1st District congressional seat, though Minnick has joined a race that also includes Larry Grant, whom Andrus endorsed in the last election: “Our current incumbent in that office is ineffective, an embarrassment – not as big an embarrassment as Larry Craig, but almost. … This is a man that can win in the fall”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise Full post here.

Question: Have the D’s thrown Larry Grant under the bus? Does Cecil Andrus’s support make Walt Minnick the odds on favorite to win the Demo nomination? Do you agree with Andrus that Minnick can beat Sali. But (by deduction) Grant can’t? What’s going on here?

City: 500 Tons Of Leaves Entering Day 3

Day 3 of Leaf-fest 2007 is underway and we are currently working east of 7th street between Sherman and Harrison. Today we will be working in the areas below: Currently we are on Par with where we should be. To date, so far this year we have captured around 500 tons of leaves/Street Super Tim Martin. Today’s schedule: 1. 7th -15th Sherman to Harrison; 2. 15th to the easterly boundaries; 3. Cherry Hill; and 4. North of Harrison 15th to 9th.

Bush Tries To Cut Airline Delays

Item: Bush tries to cut airline delays: Will announce series of measures ahead of holiday season/Associated Press

Question: Did your plane arrive and take off on schedule the last time you flew?

Statesman Launches Link For Political Commentary

I’d like to get you to point your mouse at our newest online political site. We’re calling it Talking Points, a clearinghouse for guest opinions and commentary from Idaho political leaders and candidates. I hope this grows into a useful resource for voters: one stop that helps you compare what the candidates and politicos are talking about. Frankly, it also gives us an online home for the many political guest opinions we receive — far more than we can possibly publish as Reader’s Views. And it should give us a little more room to accommodate Reader’s Views on topics other than politics. So I think this is a winner all around. The site is still in its infancy, kind of the like the 2008 election itself. But I hope you’ll click here to get an early look at the site and bookmark the address. We’re just getting this rolling, so I’m eager to get your comments and suggestions/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman.

DFO: I’ve added a link to Talking Points under the Idaho Politics subhead in the right rail.

Talkin’ Trash: Broncos V. Vandals

The World’s Ten Shortest Books

10. The Bronco Guide to Fashion
9. The Difference between Reality and Boise
8. “Things I Wouldn’t Do for Money” by Bob Kustra
7. America’s Most Popular Broncos
6. Career Opportunities for Boise State Grads
5. Boise - A Travel Guide
4. Different Ways to Spell “Bronco”
3. “How to Sustain a Musical Career” by the Bronco Marching Band
2. Buster Bronco’s Guide to Dating Etiquette
1. “Beauty Secrets” by the Bronco Cheerleaders

Provided by OfCoffee

AM Hucks: Campaign Attack Report Late, Lacking

The other shoe hasn’t dropped in that last-weekend, direct-mail attack against three Coeur d’Alene City Council members, spearheaded by political activists Kathy Sims and Tom Macy. The pair, who castigated the council for a routine budgetary maneuver earlier this year, belatedly filed campaign finance papers with City Clerk Susan Weathers on Tuesday. But the report had “huge deficiencies,” according to City Attorney Mike Gridley. In filing the financial disclosure statements for “Concerned Taxpayers of Kootenai County” a week after the election, Sims and Macy (whose name is misspelled “Macey” on one line of the report) failed to include the required cover page. The cover page discloses the purpose and reporting period of the filing. Also, the report sent to the city in an envelope without a return address failed to detail expenditures as required and raised a red flag with the city clerk by claiming an estimated 156 contributions of less than $50 for a total of $3,500. “In my 21 years as city clerk, I’ve never seen a report with (so many) people who gave less than $50,” Weathers told Huckleberries.

Anderson: If I Only Had … An Energy Policy

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Joseph Duncan: Whose Humanity On Trial? — Noah

Noah Kroese/Special to Huckleberries Online

Thursday: Great American Smokeout

From Great American Smokeout site: The Great American Smokeout traditionally takes place on the third Thursday in November (tomorrow). The concept dates from the early ‘70s when Lynn Smith, publisher of the Monticello Times of Minnesota, announced the first observance and called it “D Day.” The idea caught on in state after state until in 1977, it went nationwide under the sponsorship of the American Cancer Society. If past Smokeouts are any indication, as many as one-third of the nation’s 46 million smokers could be taking the day off from smoking.

Question: Have you ever quit smoking for a day during the Great American smokeout observances?

CPD Blue: Spirit Lake Man Jailed in Child Enticement

CPD Blue report: Earlier today, Coeur d’Alene Police Detectives arrested Benjamin C. Buroker, 30, of Spirit Lake Idaho for child enticing. The incident occurred at 3:05 p.m. Monday in the 6000 block of Harcourt Drive. The mother of a 13-year-old female victim reported that at 2:55 p.m. she received a phone call from her daughter, requesting that she pick her up at her friend’s house. Her daughter told her that a stranger tried to get her to get into his vehicle.

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 11/14/07

Jerret Raffety/Rawlins Daily Times, AP
A cat took shelter under an sport utility vehicle as a mule deer buck grazed in the cat’s front yard on Monday in Rawlins, Wyo. You write the cutline.

Cutline winners below

‘Landslide Ron’ Edinger Satisfied w/Win

Looooong-time Councilman Ron Edinger was among the listeners at Walt Minnick’s congressional announcement this afternoon. Afterward, I approached him, stuck out my hand, and said: “Congratulations, Landslide.” Ron, the perennial top vote-getter in the council elections, beat challenger Dan Gookin by only 400 votes. He admitted that he was worried when he held only a 100-vote lead after the absentees were counted. Usually, the absentees boost him pretty far along to victory. He also said he would have spoken his mind re: the last-minute slime flyer circulated by Kathy Sims and Tom Macy under the Concerned Taxpayers of Kootenai County banner. Of his tighter-than-usual win, Ron said that wife, Nancy, considers any margin of victory to be a landslide. Even a single vote.

‘Bubblehead Bob’s‘ Granddaughter, Right?

Michael Conroy/AP Photo
Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, left, and his ” Dancing With The Stars” partner Julianne Hough perform during the Indiana Pacers-Miami Heat basketball game in Indianapolis Friday, Nov. 2. Her older brother, Derek, also is participating in the television hit show. If memory serves me correctly, aren’t Julianne and Derek grandchildren of former KVNI talk-show host, “Bubblehead Bob” Hough?

Related: Dancing is a Hough family affair/Kerri Thoreson, Coeur d’Alene Press

Question: Is “Dancing with the Stars” a guilty viewing pleasure of yours?

Statesman: Let’s Talk Smack Bronc, Vandal Fans

It’s rivalry week — Boise State vs. Idaho on Saturday afternoon in Bronco Stadium.
There’s nothing like a big college football rivalry to get the gums flapping and we want to put your smack talk and your picture in the newspaper. Send your BSU-Idaho smack and a favorite fan photo that has something to do with the rivalry to Statesman. Full post here.

Question: You can use this thread to try out your BSU/UI smack talk before the big game Saturday.

High Winds Level Lewiston Drive-In

Item: High winds demolish Grangeville drive-in/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune

More Info: The Sunset Auto-Vu Theater here has withstood the vagaries of the movie business, the caprice of audiences and the ups and downs of the economy. But on Monday, the 52-year-old drive-in theater succumbed to hurricane-force winds of up to 81 mph.

Question: What’s the last movie that you saw at a drive-in?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest Online — 11/14/07

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter listened to comments at the Wallace Senior Center as part of his “Capitol for a Day” program in Wallace Tuesday. A mother and her home-school child were the only nonofficials to attend the event here.

Spotlight: Idaho Demo Walt Minnick kicks off his campaign for Congress at 1 p.m. today at CDA’s Harding Center here. Idaho Statesman report here.

1. In Seattle in about an hour and a half, People for Our Public Schools will make “an announcement” that will presumably be a declaration of victory in the tight race to make it easier for school districts to pass property tax levies here/Rich Roesler, Eye On Olympia.

2. A member of the Idaho National Guard was the $200,000 Powerball winner from Saturday night’s draw on Veterans Day. The winner will be announced at a news conference at 2 p.m. (PST) today here.

3. A U.S. Border Patrol official confirmed Tuesday that agents investigating human smuggling on commercial bus lines arrested more than 100 illegal immigrants in the Twin falls area over the past week here/Twin Falls Times-News. SR: Idaho groups urge acceptance of immigrants here.

4. News Roundup: Kaiser Aluminum profits soar/Spokesman-Review; Man bit in groin by police dog seeks $1M/KTVB; Starbucks rising prices put company in slump/KREM; Former CBS exec selected for Murrow award/WSU Daily Evergreen; and UI students feel targeted by noise rule/KTVB.

5. Blogosphere: Senate ethics committee veep sez “stay tuned” re: Craig/Eye On Boise; Big money, no whammies/The Skinny on North Idaho; On Fred Thompson’s pro-life endorsement/Adam’s Blog; Ride the spiral/TUBOB; and Opportunism/Morialekafa.

6. IMHO-INW: It’s not easy being green/Pia Hansen, Spokesman-Review; Sometimes an activist judge does you a favor/Tom Henderson, Lewiston Tribune; Spokane County responsible for too many sex offenders/Spokesman-Review; Early birds will get big break/Kerri Thoreson, Coeur d’Alene Press; and Boise State/UI rivalry not as lopsided as it looks/Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman.

Orbusmax Special: Archbishop Murphy football team won’t be reinstated here.

Charter Academy: Walk On Seeded Area, Keep Walkin’

From the “daily announcements” of the Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy today: “Any student caught walking on the newly seeded field and hillside will be suspended.”

Hat Tip: ThomG

Q: Flag Burning: Free Speech? Illegal Activity?

Item: Law prof: Idaho’s flag-burning law won’t wash: Elizabeth Brandt says 1981 law likely would not withstand a constitutional challenge/Dean Ferguson, Lewiston Tribune

More Info: A 1981 law makes it a misdemeanor for anyone “who publicly mutilates, defaces, or tramples upon or burns, with intent to insult, the flag, standard, colors ensign of the United States or of the state of Idaho.” Just because a law stays on the books doesn’t mean it is constitutional, Brandt said. “I can’t even imagine that law is constitutional,” she said.

Question: I know most of us are appalled at the thought of someone burning the American flag. But do you see it as a right allowed under the First Amendment? Or such an egregious act that it should be criminalized?

‘Morning’ Appearance Will Help CDA Fight Image

Item: CDA leaders anticipate ‘Morning’ appearance/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: “Obviously this type of national exposure benefits the Coeur d’Alene area hugely in terms of tourism and also helps to put a face on Idaho as a whole,” said Carl Wilgus, state tourism director. “However, this goes beyond just tourism and really involves our entire economic development strategy, including new business development and the like. It gives Idaho the spotlight, something we couldn’t afford to do in a paid commercial on “Good Morning America” … there’s just no way we could afford that on our own. This kind of exposure, you just can’t put a price tag on.”

Question: Is North Idaho still fighting its image as a haven for anti-government/racist types? Or is that a thing of the past?

Noah: Idaho’s A Dropout Factory?

Noah Kroese/Special to Huckleberries Online

Spencer: Are You Sure It’s Only 16 Cancellations?

Meanwhile, the SR has lost only 16 North Idaho subscribers since Black Thursday.

Spencer: I would believe you if you said that they have only lost 160 or 1600 since then, but 16? I would have thought that many would fall off every day. Did you mean that 16 people canceled and sent you a note that said that it was because of black Thursday? Are you sure that you didn’t forget a zero or two?

DFO: Here’s the direct quote from the managers meeting Tuesday: “We’ve lost 16 subscribers in Idaho following downsizing of the bureau there. Circulation thinks the eventual hit could be a few hundred.” Spencer, I’ve been posting harsh criticism of our moves in North Idaho since Black Thursday. Why do you think I’d lie to you? If we lost 1,600, I’d tell you we lost 1,600. We’re going to lose more when subscriptions run out. Is it the company you keep that makes you so suspicious of others?

Analyst: Mebbe DFO’s Going To Take Buyout?

Analyst: Has anyone considered that DFO might be considering the lucrative buyout offer for seasoned veterans by the SR in context with Taryn starting her own blog and Mr. Smith making daily appearances on HBO? Just saying that perhaps DFO might be considering taking the high road with the Cowles family, a la Chris Peck, in all of this.

DFO: Interesting theory, Analyst. Ain’t happenin’. I enjoy blogging too much to be enticed by filthy lucre. Besides, what would you guys do, if I retired early? Embrace conspiracy theories and migrate to the Press blogs?

The Falls: Top of the Morning

You can read Shawn Vestal’s blog, The Falls, here.

It’s Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2007. The simple-majority resolution for school funding seems to be passing, thanks to King County. The measure – which would toss out the supermajority required for school levies – was trailing by 8 percentage points on Election Night. Yesterday, it went up by a mere 7,198 votes. A simple majority. Read Rich Roesler’s story.

Today in Your Sexy Government: If you’ve got a family-friendly business with $130,800 to spare in the next five years, and you’d like to get a little good PR, Spokane County has a deal for you. Under a proposal being considered by commissioners, such a sponsor could get their name on the North Side Aquatics Facility. A business could get a discount by agreeing to sponsor the South Side Aquatics Facility, now under construction. Read John Craig’s story.

What if they threw a dog-and-pony show and nobody showed up? “I’ve never seen so man suits in Wallace in my life. Someone drove by a little while ago and asked who died.”

—Wallace Mayor Ron Garitone, referring to the heavy turnout of government officials and employees for Gov. Butch Otter’s “Capitol for a Day” event in Wallace. Besides government representatives, just one woman and her 10-year-old son showed up. Read Erica Curless’ story.

Weather: Chilly and cloudy, with a high of 43. Here’s the five-day forecast.

Today in History: On this day in 1851, Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick” was published and it flopped. It wasn’t until after Melville’s death that the novel’s reputation as an American classic was established, to the chagrin of high school students everywhere. From

The morning drive: Check the traffic and the most recent gas prices.

In passing: Joyce Monica Toreson Johnson, 76. “She graduated from Lewis & Clark High School in 1949 and went on to earn her Elementary Education Degree from Eastern Washington College in 1953. She participated in synchronized swimming during college and she was voted the Sacajewea honor during her senior year. Joyce taught one year in Bend, OR. and three years in Seattle elementary schools. She married Lloyd Johnson December 26, 1955 at Central Lutheran Church in Spokane. They lived in Spokane with a young family from 1957-1966. They moved to Colfax in the fall of 1966 where they owned and operated Tick Klock Drug until their retirement in 1987.” For more of this and other obituaries, go here.

Wild Card/Tuesday — 11/13/07

For hose keeping score at home, Huckleberries Online has almost doubled its page-views from a year ago and more than doubled its unique views. I’m paying particular attention to these things this week b/c HBO is within days of hitting 2 million page-views for the year. Through Monday, HBO had 1,954,423 page-views and 1,144,103 unique views. Through Nov. 12, 2006, HBO had 1,053,922 page-views and 536,209 unique views. I’ll quit annoying you with the statistics when we hit the 2 million mark (mebbe by as early as this weekend). Now, for your Wild Card …

Page-view count for year as of 5:45 tonight: 1,960,814.

Halftime: Gonzaga 36, Idaho 30

Ingrid Barrentine/Spokesman-Review
Idaho’s Jordan Brooks puts pressure on Gonzaga’s Micah Downs in the first half of a basketball game going on now in Spokane.

Question: Do the Vandals have a better chance of beating Gonzaga’s basketball team tonight? Or the Boise State Broncos in football Saturday?

OTV: I Really Do (Heart) CDA Press

OrangeTV: I actually DO love the Coeur d’Alene Press for the reasons I stated. In fact, I’m considering a subscription for the first time ever. Maybe it has to do with the afternoon I spent at the library, digging through old copies of the Press from the 40’s-the 80’s and realizing that it has quite a history here and is quite important to our little mini-culture and it really hasn’t changed too much over the years. Either that or it’s the meds talking, I dunno.

DFO: I actually find myself considering a subscription, for the first time in 23 years. I came thisclose to buying a Press at Albertson’s Saturday, to find out if anything happened b/c the Brand X Web site is pretty poor. On Sunday, the thought crossed my mind again that I should pick up a subscription. So far, I’ve resisted temptation. Meanwhile, the SR has lost only 16 North Idaho subscribers since Black Thursday.

HBO’s Best of the Friends Blogs — 11/13/07

Sweet&Sour Herb/Bay Views
Sweet & Sour Herb snapped this sunset from Bayview about an hour ago.

*The University of Portland women’s soccer team, of which she once was goaltender, was screwed when national postseason pairings were announced, according to PDX Pup here.

*JBelle/Notes from The ‘Kan EWA forgets that her neighbors a Washington state celeb, until protesters with telephoto lenses show up at her doorstep here.

*Among random facts that he has posted, Idaho Escapee/Atmospheric Ruminations notes that humans are the only creatures who blush b/c the animal kingdom doesn’t have anything like Larry Craig here.

*After quite a break, Green Libertarian makes his 100th post, with photos, videos, flashbacks and commentary here.

*”I think about ghosts all the time,” writes Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’. “It’s because I don’t think history is a reality that is behind us. I am certain that what we call the past lives with us all the time. It’s in the present. My way of understanding the ever present reality of the “past” is through ghosts.” Click here.

HBO Numbers (from Monday, Nov. 12): 10,068 page-views and 5441 unique views.

Meanwhile, TUBOB offers the part of his memoir that he had to swear was true here; Chronic Discontent shows what you do with a bunch of leaves here; Gathering Around The Table reaches the end of the quarter here; Marmitetoasty decrees “it’s a boy thing” here; Toad and his family are feeling better here;

Fourth Moon: Don’t Blame Bikers For Canfield Mess

Having just now read your article about litter on Canfield Mt., I know you think that’s old news and “who cares”, but, I couldn’t just let it be. I think your “Berry Pickers” are guilty of “Manufacturing Dissent”. First, what berries can you pick in November? Second, why do they blame motorcycle riders for the trash at the trailhead? Every year for as long as I can remember, a motorcycle club cleans up the trailhead and hauls off tons of trash. The sheriff’s dept. or the Forest Svc. could probably let you know that most of that is from partying teens that use the site after dark. Third, the trails were made for and paid for by the motorcyclists purchasing their off road stickers each year (by the way, very little of this money is used for that purpose, most is funneled off into the general fund).

Dogwalk Musings: Us Against Them

Item: Us against them/Dogwalk Musings

It was, however, cause to re-look at this morning’s copy of each more closely. Yep. The main story in the CDA Press is touting the news that Good Morning America is going to be in town to cover the Holiday Light Show as part of a series featuring the best light displays across the country. Wow! Such excitement. How small town! Right. It’s fun. Absolute fun. Other front page stories covered an improved 911 system, the disturbing resignations at a clinic that serves the un- and under insured of the area and how the United Way is having trouble meeting its goals. All stories vital to our community here in northern Idaho!/Dogwalk Musings.

DFO: Mari, before you jump on the Brand X bandwagon, you need to consider a coupla things. One, I, as a 23-year resident of Coeur d’Alene, ran OrangeTV’s clever post in my print column. I take full credit for the post. The Spokesman-Review wasn’t picking on anyone. Brand X didn’t automatically become a better paper simply because Black Thursday occurred at the SR CDA office. Secondly, I posted the resignation of Dr. Rosseau on the day it happened. While you’re touting Brand X, you might want to ask yourself where was the coverage of KEA/IDEQ concerns about Hagadone’s Blackwell Island plans and the probable campaign finance violations by anti-LCDCers Kathy Sims and Tom Macy late in the recent elections. Brand X is good for fluff stories like the “Good Morning, America” piece. But you’ll still need the SR (which will gain another reporter in the CDA office soon) and HBO for the rest of the story.

Junior Rolls Car Spinning Brodies @ Lakes, Smirks

A local boy didn’t seem too upset after he rolled his 1996 Dodge truck with three passengers after spending 10 to 15 minutes spinning brodies on the west lawn at Lakes Middle School. In CPD Blue Bangs report, the kid merely and laughed when informed that he’d caused about $5,000 damage to the school grounds and was facing a felony. Bangs and another officer arrived to find teen-age girls running from the scene. The girls told the officers that they tried to get their friend to stop because he was driving too fast, scaring them. They climbed out the windows of the pickup after the driver rolled the truck on its side. No one was injured. A male passenger also ran from the scene. The driver was charged with leaving the scene of an accident. He told the officers that his dad would fix his truck. When the father arrived on the scene with a tow truck and was informed about the charges his son was facing, he simply said: “OK.”

Question: How would you react if your child had pulled this same stunt?

Skinny On NI: Name This Bridge

Taryn Hecker/Skinny On North Idaho

Taryn’s asking readers of her blog, The Skinny On North Idaho, to name this bridge.

KevinR: Will 3-Way Race Help, Hurt Idaho D’s?

DFO’s online interview with former governor Cecil Andrus about this race here.

A three-way congressional primary could be the worst thing that could happen to Idaho Democrats. Or, perhaps, the best thing. On Wednesday Walt Minnick jumps into the race to take on 1st District Republican Bill Sali (click here for the story). It sets up — maybe for the first time in years — an interesting Democratic primary. Minnick, the Democrats’ U.S. Senate candidate in 1996, joins Larry Grant, the former Micron attorney who lost to Sali a year ago, and Rand Lewis of Coeur d’Alene, an international affairs expert. This three-way race could hurt Democrats. It could create some splits within the Democratic base — and those fault lines are already starting to form. Minnick will tour the district Wednesday with the Idaho Democrats’ undisputed kingpin, former Gov. Cecil Andrus. This certainly ups the ante, especially for Grant, who enjoyed the party’s backing in 2006/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. Full post here.

Question: Will a three-way race for the gubernatorial nomination help or hurt Idaho Democrats?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest Online — 11/13/07

Brian Plonka/Spokesman-Review
A chimp act is a hard act to follow. You don’t have to tell Roger Fouts this. He has been following one for some 30 years. But Monday’s memorial service for a very special chimpanzee named Washoe was the toughest act yet for the primate researcher and his family here/Kevin Graman, Spokesman-Review.

1. A Spokane County judge is refusing to dismiss charges against 17 protesters arrested in Riverfront Park on July 4, saying a trial is needed to determine whether the cases violate their constitutional rights here/Jim Camden, Spokesman-Review.

2. Caldwell police are still trying to determine if criminal charges will be filed against some college students who hit a College of Idaho security guard with their car late Monday after they tried to pull a prank on campus here/Idaho Statesman.

3. Online Poll: By 24% over 19%, 635 respondents to a Lewiston Tribune poll said they listen to country music over talk radio on their car radio. Seven other choices got fewer votes.

4. News Roundup: Hearing for rapist Coe postponed/Spokesman-Review; Late ballots turning tide for Washington schools’ simple majority/Spokesman-Review; Improved 911 system aids in robbery arrests/Coeur d’Alene Press; Schweitzer worker killed doing maintenance ID’d/Bonner Daily Bee; and Former WSU basketball star missing in Brazil/KHQ.

5. Blogosphere: Pumpkins, tamaracks fading fast/The Skinny On North Idaho; Us against them/Dogwalk Musings; Who can write what?/Randy Stapilus; Your 2008 presidential primary ballot, the early version/Eye On Olympia; and In memory of WWII casualty Uncle Bill/Kellogg Bloggin’.

6. IMHO: Workshop calls Scouts honor into question/Doug Clark, Spokesman-Review; Family task force stuck in 1950s/Idaho Statesman; Sexual assault victims deserve fast, expert care/Spokesman-Review; Is 3 a crowd or opportunity for Idaho D’s?/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman; Don’t rule Broncos out of BCS yet/Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman.

Asbestos Scare Knocks Radio Free Moscow Off Air

Low power KRFP-FM at 92.5 (RADIO FREE MOSCOW)/ is off the air after it and other tenants of the Anderson Building had to evacuate due to asbestos contamination. A contractor installing skylights at the building accidentally scraped asbestos from an interior ceiling, sending tenants out of the building. The station says it hopes to be up and running again between WEDNESDAY (11/14) and MONDAY (11/19) and has set up temporary office space in another building for now.

Hat Tip: John Rook

Q: Your Favorite Idaho Guv Of Last 25 Years

*John Evans (1977-87)
*Cecil Andrus (1971-77, 1987-95)
*Phil Battf (1995-99)
*Dirk Kempthorne (1999-2006)
*Jim Risch (May 2006-January 2007)
*Butch Otter (2007-now)

Wanted: North Idaho Enviro Blogger

I don’t understand why local/regional enviros don’t appoint someone to blog about issues that concern them. If there’s ever a niche to be filled in the North Idaho blogosphere, it’s this one. I mention it every time I talk to an enviro of any kind of authority. Basically, I tell them that it’s OK to huff and puff — and even demonstrate — but what good does that do, if you have to rely on newspapers to get the word out. If the issue involves the Hagadone empire, that word might not get out. For example, you didn’t see anything about Idaho DEQ’s continuing concerns about Hagadone’s plans for Blackwell Island in the CDA Press. You had to read about those concerns here. I can publish releases from the Kootenai Environmental Alliance and the Idaho Conservation League at Huckleberries Online. But they will largely disappear as they’re replaced by the following day’s thread. The region needs a blogger that will constantly be following these issues — and to whom Huckleberries Online can link to provide a bigger audience. I’ll work and help promote anyone who can fill this important niche.

EOB: Gays Pressure Boxer To Drop Craig Investigation

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and several other groups reportedly are pressuring Sen. Barbara Boxer, chair of the Senate Ethics Committee, to either drop the ethics investigation into Idaho Sen. Larry Craig’s arrest and guilty plea in a restroom sex-solicitation sting, or open an investigation into Sen. David Vitter’s alleged patronizing of prostitutes. Though the Senate launched an ethics investigation shortly after news of Craig’s case became public, it’s taken no action against Vitter/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. Full post and link to story by The Hill here.

Question: Has Craig survived the airport bathroom scandal?

Noah: Holy Joes Win Birth Control Pill Squabble

Item: Druggists don’t have to sell Plan B: Pharmacists hail birth control decision/Jonel Aleccia, Spokesman-Review

Noah Kroese/Special to Huckleberries Online

Gwynne: Badly Injured Girl Recovering, But …

re: Child strikes young teen near Lakeland High

I am Leesa’s grandmother. I can tell all the readers of this site that this has been a horrifying experience for our family. Leesa was seriously injured and will be recovering for some time. She should not have been hit. It may have been dark and many people may have crossed the street that night but the bottom line is the driver didn’t stop. I deeply appreciate the people who helped her that night and the ones who have called to see if we are okay. This is not the first child hit in Rathdrum. WE NEED TO PAY ATTENTION!!!!!!


AM Hucks: Blogger Finds Brand X “Guilty Pleasure”

In interest of fair play, I turn Huckleberries Online over to my blog buddy Patrick Jacobs (aka OrangeTV) … to praise the Coeur d’Alene Press. I’ll try to hold my breakfast down while OTV holds sway: “I know it sounds totally bananas, but I just decided I love the CDA Press. As much as I tend to pick on it, I couldn’t let a morning slip by without it. It’s a guilty pleasure like Star or the National Enquirer, except instead of gossip and innuendo about Brad Pitt and Britney Spears, it’s gossip and innuendo about Bill Douglas and Dixie Reid. “The paper has no scruples whatsoever, which can make it quite a fun read. The columnists struggle for material so they fill column inches with delightful pointlessness. I love reading the records section and finding out that Miss Popularity from high school is now a meth-addicted mother of five (awaiting) sentencing for probation violation and getting sued by a debt collector for $20,000 in unpaid hospital bills. “I love the hokey check- passing photos and stomach- turning cute kid (pictures). I love the typos and the photo- caption mix-ups and the utter lack of editorial control. I love Lynn Berk’s traffic cone hair. I love the Business Journal for Women. The comics section is actually good these days, and the crossword puzzle makes me feel smart because I can always finish it. I love reading the obituaries – other paper’s obits can be so dry, but with the Press, they let the obit writers inject some personality into their loved one’s life story. I love the classifieds, too: ‘Free: 3 goats, must have own pick-up.’ “All in all, I say it’s now totally uncool to dis the CDA Press, and the new hip thing is to admit how much you can’t live without its loveable tackiness.” Yeah, it’s damning with faint praise. Still …

Signe: Veterans Day “Gifts”

Signe Wilkinson/Washington Post Group

Wild Card/Monday — 11/12/07

For those keeping track at home, Huckleberries Online has received 1,950,521 page-views for the year through 6 o’clock tonight. The chances are good that the 2 millionth page-view will occur shortly before or on the birthday I share with Mayor Sandi Bloem, Nov. 20. I’m amazed and humbled by the success of this little experiment that began almost 4 years ago. Thanks for being part of the long, crazy ride. I’ll give you an update each day as HBO approaches 2 million. There’s always room for more. Remember to tell your friends and family about Huckleberries. Now, for your Wild Card …

Perspectives: Is This What You Call “Dialogue”?

This past week saw the Coeur d’Alene Press publish an editorial about taking the high road and not publishing smears, rumors and innuendos, despite having done just that for months on end. On Sunday, the editorial called for dialog between those who lost their races for City Council and the City. It was echoed, on the same page, by a letter from one of the defeated candidates. And yet, the negativity from their side continues. One of the strongest supporters of this group, in a posting on his blog, continues to allege corruption at City Hall, despite offering no evidence. A commenter on his site, fueled it would seem by this continued smearing, has invoked the health of the city’s mayor who faced cancer surgery this past summer. The anonymous coward posted: “this Mayor with malignant melanoma. Just desserts I say.” So when do you guys wanted to sit down and have this civil dialog?/ThomG, Perspectives. Full post here.

Question: If you were Mayor Sandi Bloem, would you pay attention to the group that had bashed you and your government for the last 9 months?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 10/12/07

Tao Xiyi/Associate Press
In this photo released by the Chinese news agency Xinhua, athletes of the Hubei team compete at the 60-meter men’s wooden shoes final of China’s 8th National Traditional Games of Ethnic Minorities in Guangzhou, south China, on Sunday. The Hubei team won the gold medal by 10.30 seconds. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines below

Ready Or Not, Here Comes Beowulf

AP Photo/Paramount Pictures
This photo provided by Paramount Pictures shows Ray Winstone during a scene from “Beowulf.”

Question: Have you ever read — or been forced in an English class to read — “Beowulf”? Did you like it?

HBO In Briefs — Anderson To Retire (11/12/07)

Paul Anderson, retiring Avista area manager
Photo Courtesy of Avista

Avista has named Patricia J. Shea regional business manager for the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, area of its service territory effective last Monday. Paul H. Anderson, long-time area manager in Coeur d’Alene, officially will retire on Dec. 31. Shea joined Washington Water Power/Avista in 1979 and has held positions throughout the customer service and utility operations areas of the company. Her experience includes management of gas operations, electric and gas construction design, and energy emergency services. Most recently, Shea served as a regional business manager for the greater Spokane region, actively directing and supporting company external relations strategies, and fostering economic development activities/Avista news release. Full release here.

MamaJD: Something Big Coming From Hagadone?

Maybe it has something to do with the big mysterious announcement to be made tomorrow on KXLY with the help of the CdA Press. Good Morning Northwest anchors this morning discussed this “major” announcement but also said it was so major they didn’t know what it was/MamaJD.

Question: Anyone else hear about a big announcement from Hagadone Central Tuesday? Or have an idea re: what it might be about?

Short Takes From Editor Smith’s KGA Interview

On KGA this morning, SR Editor Steve Smith made the following comments:

*When everything shakes out, there will be two reporters and a Handle Extra reporter assigned to the North Idaho bureau of the SR. (Erica Curless is already assigned here. High school prep writer and a photographer also are assigned to Coeur d’Alene.) Layoffs are over for now. We are hoping to rehire some of the individuals laid off on Nov. 1.

*The SR acknowledged the reality that it’ll always be a second buy in a North Idaho market that has a hometown paper. We can’t compete with the quantity of the report but we will remain a “substantially better paper.” Readers will still subscribe to us in North Idaho b/c they’re interested in our business, sports, features, national and international report.

*The SR has failed to add substantial circulation in North Idaho despite a major financial commitment over a quarter century.

*Huckleberries Online will continue to be a major focus of the North Idaho strategy, although it might change some. Smith noted that HBO is approaching 2 million page-views, which he considers extraordinary considering the limited size of its market.

*Despite trolls, spammers and flamers, the SR is going to continue to allow open access to its blogs b/c that approach is important to our online vitality.

Why Did The Duane Open That Skating Rink?

We were debating in the North Idaho office — yes, Virginia, there’s still a North Idaho office on the second floor of the SR building — about that ice skating rink that opened on the front step of The Coeur d’Alene Resort. One staffer suggested that The Duane has gotten religion and is trying to balance the scales as he enters the sunset years of his life. Another suggested that he’s trying to attract traffic downtown for his boat cruises and expensive hot chocolate. What say you?

Question: Why did The Duane open the skating rink?

HBO @ Noon: Cabela’s

Special to The Skinny On North Idaho
“Cabela’s is a pretty neat place,” writes former colleague Meghann M. Cuniff/The Skinny on North Idaho. “I’ve never even been hunting before, and I was entertained for hours. About four hours, to be exact. All the who’s who in the Inland Northwest outdoor sporting goods world were there Thursday night, as well as elected officials and a whole bunch of people I didn’t recognize.” Click here.

Question: Have you visited Cabela’s yet? What did you think of it?

Poll: Will Gas Prices Change Thanksgiving Plans?

Will high gas prices put the brakes on your Thanksgiving travel plans? — Idaho Statesman.

*We’re flying instead

Get Out! Review: Pizza Schmizza Gets Thumbs Down

When I learned that Pizza Schmizza had opened recently next to the Regal Cinemas in Coeur d’Alene’s Riverstone zone, my immediate reaction was disdain for the name. It seemed as though they were dismissively mocking the very product they were supposed to be promoting, an irony which I would not fully understand until after I had dined there. I realize whoever founded the fast-growing national franchise probably thought it was a real cutesy idea, but would you really want to eat at a place called Burger Schmurger? Maybe Pho Schmo? Sarcastic rhyme schemes are not necessarily great for stimulating the appetite/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. Full review here.

Question: What’s your reaction to the fare offered at Pizza Schmizza?

Skinny On NI: Caring For Angels In Iraq

Ralph Bartholdt/Skookum Features
Chief Warrant Officer Jim Patterson, a Marine nuclear biological and chemical defense specialist volunteered to operate the Mortuary Affairs unit at Camp Taqaddum when he was assigned to a second tour in Iraq. He and fellow members built the facility from scratch. “There were no standard operational procedures,” he said/The Skinny on North Idaho. Full story by Ralph Bartholdt here.

Dr. J: Vietnam Wall Visit “Humbling”

Seen twice in D.C., the Wall is extremely humbling. A family friend and a friend of my Vietnam-Medic brother is “on” the Wall. It is a quiet place of peace and authentic remembrance. One cannot listen to the stillness and not be moved. You can stencil the name of your friend, loved one, or family member with the help of the Veteran Volunteers. It is with great misunderstanding and anti-American rhetoric that Universities and Colleges disallow our military and our Flag to be ceremonially respected. It is a mistake of dishonor for such flawed thinking. Locally, it is a good approach that the middle schools try to take students there, along with the visit to the Tomb of the Unknowns…another respected moment of belief in American spirit and democracy’s privileges.

Dr. J

AM Hucks: Attorney’s Brush w/Tree Launches Quip

Coeur d’Alene attorney Rollie Watson started Election Day with a bang. Nah, he wasn’t shooting off that cannon that caused a hubbub with neighbors several years ago. He and his green 1999 Porsche got up close and personal with one of the trees in the median along Government Way, near the Kootenai County Courthouse. Seems Rollie, Sheriff Rocky Watson’s brother, was eastbound on Garden Avenue, alongside the old part of the courthouse, when he attempted a lefthand turn to head north on Government Way. What happened next is anyone’s guess. Rollie told CPD Blue Rory Johnson that he’d made a required stop and then punched the gas pedal to avoid being hit by a southbound vehicle speeding along Government Way. He said his accelerator stuck, he lost control – and the rest was his-story. And her-story? Donna Fuller, the driver of the second car, said she thought Rollie had possibly run the stop sign and was going “pretty fast.” She told Officer Johnson that she “laid on the horn” and almost hit Rollie’s Porsche. In the rearview mirror, she saw Rollie’s car jump the curb and hit the tree. Rollie suffered a head scrape for his troubles. But nothing more. Officer Johnson didn’t cite anyone as a result of the inconsistencies in the two stories. Watson, however, was admonished to keep his vehicle in good working order. The courthouse, of course, was buzzing about the mishap. Magistrate Benjamin Simpson knew about the crash by the time he convened a conference call with Watson later. Tongue firmly cheeked, the judge suggested that Watson change his vanity plate from “HATCHET” to “SPLITTING MALL” in memory of the tree Rollie splintered.

Stantis: Thanking Our Veterans

Scott Stantis/Birmingham News

Car Strikes Young Teen Near Lakeland High

A 13-year-old girl was injured when she was struck by a northbound car Saturday as she and a boy tried to cross Highway 41 near Lakeland High School. The 1990 Geo Prism was driven by Kenneth E. Jones, 63, of Spirit Lake (who was wearing a seatbelt and was uninjured). The injured girl, Leesa Sherman of Rathdrum, was taken to Kootenai Medical Center. The incident is still under investigation. No citations have been issued yet.

Wild Card/Sunday — 11/11/07

I treated myself to a lazy day Saturday. Slept in. Then, my wife and I took my 82-year-old mother to see the Coeur d’Alene High production of “High School Musical.” CHS is loaded with musical talent this year. Not only were the four leads strong — as is critical for this modern version of “Grease” — but the secondary singers are strong, too. My wife and I went for a walk after the play and then bought “Ratatooie” to watch at my brother’s place in exchange for lasagna dinner. I peeked in her a coupla times but didn’t see much troll activity. One more day of R-n-R and I’ll be ready to return to the grind. You can use this Wild Card to start your own threads …

TUBOB Review: La Chicorée Frisée E/scarole Arrogante

When Belgian witches first established their coven settlement in 1647 near the present site of the Coeur D’Alene City Park, they undoubtedly could not have predicted the rapid growth of fine eateries in this pleasant little town by a very large lake. But there was no doubt these witches had plenty of culinary excitement brewing in their cauldrons - they named the lake “Coeur D’Alene” which is Belgian for “heart of an owl” which one can only speculate was what restaurant chefs call the “zinger” in their recipes. The zinger being that one ingredient that really makes the dish sing. We’ve often wondered why they don’t just call it the “singer” but we are a food critic not a chef. So it was with a heady mixture of nostalgia for the days of large cast iron pots bubbling over white pine cookfires tended by cackling frontier witches and optimism for what present gustatory pleasures we might discover at the brand new Coeur D’Alene restaurant “La Chicorée Frisée E/scarole Arrogante”/TUBOB. Full post here.

Question: Here’s your chance. Bob’s been tough on some of your reviews. Now, he enters the fray with his own review of a Sherman Avenue biz that might be a figment of his imagination. You have to decide that.

Family Phil: Check Out New UIdaho TV Ads

Have you all seen the new University of Idaho TV ads playing on Spokane stations the past week?

Question: What do you think of the TV ad?

ATV Accident Kills Athol Man

A 49-year-old man from Athol, Idaho, was killed early Saturday when he wrecked his ATV. Stephen B. Gesinger, 49, was trying to make a u-turn on a gravel road when the accident occurred, the Idaho State Police reported in a press release. He drove the Polaris Sportsman ATV off the road and onto a grassy shoulder, where it overturned. Gesinger died when was thrown from the machine. He was not wearing a helmet, the ISP reported. The accident occurred about 1 a.m., near East Sarah Loop and Targhee Street in Athol.

Skinny On NI: Walkin’ In Holly Golightly’s Shoes

here’s something about Tiffany’s. That was what Holly Golightly said. It was where she’d go when she got the Mean Reds, which was worse than the blues. When you didn’t know how you felt and, moreover, didn’t know why you felt how you felt, she said. I’ve had a bit of the Mean Reds myself lately. My divorce became final on November 2. I got the call from my lawyer couple hours after I got word that I was being layed off. Had just hauled 6 years worth of career into my living room in a single cardboard box. Set it beside my empty Donald Trump-trademarked desk organizer. I kind of see a bit of myself in Holly Golightly. When I have a case of the Mean Reds, I pop in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Grab some good ice cream — the kind that comes in small cartons and has a lot of milk fat — and a glass of wine/Taryn Hecker, The Skinny On North Idaho.

Full post here

Question: Have you ever experienced Holly Golightly’s “Mean Reds”?

Wild Card/Satuday — 11/10/07

Huckleberries Online should reach its 2 millionth page-view this year by my 58th birthday in 10 days. This blog is sitting at 1.935M as I write this early Saturday morning. I’ve received about 90,000 hits in the first 9 days of the month. Then, it has been an unusual 9 days, beginning with Black Thursday, the day of the layoffs and carrying through the municipal elections. Things should settle down next week, although the blog has experienced one of its occasional upticks. Mebbe folks who tuned in here for the first time for the elections have stuck around. We’ll see. I’ve been happy with the main threads this week. I’ve tapped new sources to keep things interesting here. It’ll be interesting to see where Taryn Hecker takes her blog. It’ll also be interesting to see what the downtown office has in mind for Huckleberries Online once things settle down in Spokane. Meanwhile, you can play this Wild Card to start your own threads …

Shinie: Seafood Fettuccine Hits Spot At Tomato Street

Tomato Street offers everything you might expect in an Italian restaurant thousands of miles away from Italy: checkered table clothes, soft lighting and red plastic tumblers. It also offers somethings you might not expect: entertainment for the kids and an extensive menu. The most surprising thing about Tomato Street for me was their perfect Seafood Fettuccine. Yes, I said perfect. Too often Italian restaurants skimp on the seafood, under cook or charge a fortune for it. None of the above apply to Tomato Street/Shinie, This Is Growing Up.
Full post here.

DFO: Amy Dearest had an unhappy summer waitressing at Tomato Street two summers ago. She and other waitresses experienced a lot of management induced stress. She much preferred waitressing at Chili’s the past summer.

Question: Is Tomato Street a regular stop of yours?

DickH: It Kills Me To Be Home On Friday Nights

Dick Haugen: It kills me to give them props but catch my good buddy Jeff McLean on 1080 KVNI.

DFO: I agree. Jeff McLean’s voice broadcasting a high school football game on Friday nights is one of the many things around here that’s part of fall for me. Whatever happened to that color man of his?

Dick Haugen: Which one? The guy that replaced me was also fired. Jeff’s partner from years ago, Kevin Hagen replaced him but is on vacation, so Jeff is flying solo. FYI, Jeff will do the Lakeland playoff game tomorrow afternoon at 4pm from Corbit Field. It has always been one of our favorite places to do a game. Check out the LakeCity game on I’d give up a body part to be able to do the games again with Jeff. Kills me to be home on Friday nights.

Question: How often do you listen to KVNI?

CindyH: Motherhood Prepares For Career After Kids

LukeB: What employer is going to hire someone whose resume only has “18 year parent” on it?

Cindy H: I’m back in the work force after 15 years at home with my kids. Who’s going to hire me?? Good golly, Luke, I’ve been a parent not hiding in a cave in the backwoods! I’ve kept up with my writing skills and improved them while at home with my kids. I wrote for non-profits and volunteered all over town. Now, when I need sources for a story I’ve tons of contacts. Contacts I wouldn’t have made slaving away 9-5 in a windowless office.
I haven’t given up my economic power; I’ve invested in four healthy young men.

Tumblewords — “Still”

Tumblewords Graphic

My mother was gone
by this age I am,
she may have shared
are nowhere found,
there’s no track
to follow
no clues to see,
she didn’t go here,
it’s all new to me.

I write my life
by first-hand view
no warning words
no clearcut signs
an unmarked path.

I want to ask.

Sue Turner/Tumblewords

Frum Helen Back: Another Bad Day For Brand X

It was another one of those crazy, mixed-up articles on the front page of The Press today. The picture of Mayor Elect Werst is actually a picture of newly elected Councilman, Bill Madigan. I was looking at the article while waiting for a booth at Hunter’s. The wait wasn’t long enough so I didn’t get to read all of it, but did notice they said that Don Werst was a write-in candidate for Councilman 2 years ago. While he did run two years ago, he was NOT a write-in candidate/Frum Helen Back, Hauser Thoughts.

Shinie: Should I Eat At Top Of China?

I’ve had a crazy idea to eat at Top of China in Coeur d’Alene. I don’t usually like buffets. Should I do it or not?/Shinie.

DFO: Shinie, I’ve eaten 4 buffet dinners over several years at Top of China. I thought the first was scrumptious. Two of the last 3 were lousy. The third so-so. I persuaded my wife to take me to Top of China for my birthday last Nov. 20 — and ended up apologizing to her. Mebbe it’s me.

Question: What do the rest of you think about Top of China’s buffet?

Columnist Wilson: Movie Watching Rules

I didn’t think it would come to this, but some people still need to be told how to act in a movie theater. As ticket prices increase, the demand for a positive experience at the theater is as important as ever. There’s nothing like seeing a movie on the big screen, but it’s not difficult to understand why so many people wait for the DVD nowadays. So let’s recap a few rules … for those lame-brains who still fail to understand common sense/Tyler Wilson, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Question: What bugs you most about movies: 1. People talking, 2. Viewers arriving late, 3. Cell phones, 4. Over-the-top laughing, 5. Other?

LCHS-Capital Coverage Via Greg Lee, HBO …

… will be coming tonight. SR prep writer extraordinaire Greg Lee told HBO a few minutes ago that he’ll provide details of the Lake City-Capital 5A playoff game to Huckleberries tonight. You might want to check back in.

Brandon Adam Meets President Bush

Gerald Herbert/AP Photos
Army. Sgt. Brandon Adam, of Sandpoint, Idaho, who lost both his legs while serving in Baghdad in May 2007, exercise while waiting for President Bush to visit the physical therapy lab for wounded soldiers at the Center For The Intrepid at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, Thursday.

HBO In Briefs — 11/9/07

Coeur d’Alene Police are investigating a possible arson attempt at the Japan House Restaurant, 605 W. Appleway, that occurred sometime between 9:30 p.m. Sunday and 1 p.m. Monday. Glen Lauper of the CDA fire department found a small burned pile of paper that appeared to be in a plastic bag, about 12 inches from the north end of the building. CPD Blud E. Johnson reports: “I could tell the burnt items were at one point inside a plastic bag. There was also some sort of dark cloth material inside the bag. Restaurant owner Kim Kuppan told police that he knew someone who might try to burn down his business. CPD Blue has classified the matter as a “third-degree arson.”

Idaho Records
Idaho Calendar

Below: Priest River’s Beardmore, Silver Mountain Season Pass Party and bonfire, and Congressman Bill Sali’s latest press release.

Q: Should UI Jocks Register First?

Student athletes may get a chance to compete for classes earlier next year with a carried motion by the Faculty Council Oct.23 that would allow athletes in any grade to register for classes at the same time as seniors. The change in policy was proposed by UI senior Joslynn Miller, a member of the swim team and student member for the President’s Athletic Advisory Committee. She said athletes should be able to register early because of their busy schedules and concerns with practice and competition times/Brandon Masz, UI Argonaut. Full post.

Question: Should student athletes at University of Idaho and elsewhere be allowed to sign up for classes earlier than other classmates?

Poll: Should Gov’t Urge Moms To Stay Home?

The Idaho House of Representatives’ Family Task Force is considering controversial solutions such as repealing no-fault divorce laws and finding ways to encourage mothers to stay home with their children. Should government encourage mothers to stay home with their children? — Idaho Statesman.

*Yes, full time
*Yes, part time
*In some circumstances
*No opinion

HBO @ Noon: Could You Write A Larry Craig Gag?

On Monday, I floated the idea that striking writers should execute an entertainment version of the old “strike paper” concept and produce nightly online monologues for the comedy-news starved populace. Others subsequently floated similar proposals. But absent such a viral video monologue revolution, how will Americans grasp the absurdity and hypocrisy of politics just as the campaign season kicks into high gear? (Well, there are always political blogs—but who reads those or listens to their spiritual cousin, CNN’s Jack Cafferty?) So now Sen. Larry Craig can pursue the appeal of his guilty plea and host Super Tuber cookouts without a care in the world/Frank Sennett, Hard 7.

Full post here

Question: Would you be clever enough to write a Craig gag for a Leno or Letterman monologue?

Sam: The State Of Newspapering In CDA

But I digress - the Press will not deliver the same depth of real, hard news that North Idaho deserves. It’s not because they’re idiots - it’s because of constraints placed on them by management and their owner. Even if that wasn’t the case the stigma attached to their brand at this point is just too hard for me to trust. Talk to anyone in the Northwest about the Press and they’ll tell you nothing good. Just being from Cd’A has made me the butt of journalism jokes and it’s embarrassing/Sam The Reporter, Vandal Sense.

Full post here

Question: Do you think Huckleberries Online can carve out an even bigger audience to play a role in news coverage and commentary? Or does the Press have the whole field to itself?

Some Lawmakers Want To Tight Family Regs

Item: Lawmakers look for ways to keep moms at home to strengthen families: Task force blames breakdown of traditional family for social ills/Heath Druzin, Idaho Statesman

Worried HBOer Sam Crawford: I think it’s time the religious right leaves my family alone. They continue to ignore childcare and early education. They want to make divorces more difficult to obtain. Why? Their “values” tell them these things are wrong.

Question: Are these lawmakers headed in the right direction?

Question: Which Dead Guy Would You Talk To?

If you could seek advice from a dead guy or gal, who’d you want to talk to?

1. Ghandi
2. Mohammad
3. Confucius
4. King Solomon
5. Dale Carnegie
6. Other

Douglas: No Charges In Accidental Shooting

Item: No charges in accidental shooting: Friends were about 70 feet apart in wooded area with thick brush during incident/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: After an investigation, Douglas determined James D. High didn’t intend to kill David L. Howard, 22, in a wooded area outside Bayview. “I deemed this was an accident in which Mr. High shot his best friend,” Douglas said Thursday. “My heart goes out to both families. I think by making this decision, it will assist with the healing process.” Susan Howard, David’s mother, supported the decision to not prosecute High.

Question: Right decision?

ThomG: Yes, Native, HBOers Vote

Native: I am getting the impression that HBOers tend to vote….not sure that means anything.

ThomG: Native, the folks who post here and blurk here are involved in this community and the communities in which they live, work and worship. That translates into voters. When you look at the turnout in our local elections I think you are seeing a trend that reflects many things, apathy, powerlessness, self-centeredness, a lack of roots in the community, just to name a few. it is the “central air conditioning/ big screen TV” syndrome. We have lost touch with are neighbors.

Chris Patterson: I agree with thomg! So the tough question … How do we change this trend?

DFO: Reading and participating in HBO — and telling your friends and family to do so, too — is a good start. Seriously. Anecdotal evidence shows that individuals get engaged when they come here b/c we talk about local subjects and politics all. the. time.

MamaJD’s New Blog Word — Souzativity

Souzativity: a seemingly upbeat optimistic attitude that appears to be open to change while still maintaining a critical mindset based on the certainty of definite “facts” as determined by Mary Souza.

The Falls: Top of the Morning

Check out Shawn Vestal’s blog, The Falls, here.

It’s Friday, Nov. 9, 2007. Tonight’s the Cork and Keg, the yearly festival of food and drink put on by the Spokane chapter of the state restaurant association. For 40 bucks, you can taste a whole lot of wine and beer and food. Call 467-7744 for information.

Today in Your Sexy Government: The justice wing of YSG can be a complicated terrain. Yesterday, an appeals court rules that Spokane’s city court system violates state law because District Court judges – who were elected partially by people living outside the city limits – have been presiding over Municipal Court cases for more than a decade. The decision puts thousands of misdemeanor convictions between 1995 and Jan. 1 of this year in jeopardy. Read this reports report by Thomas Clouse and Karen Dorn Steele.

From the Great Beyond: A court transcript shows that Kootenai County Prosecutor Bill Douglas named an attorney who’d been dead for 10 years as the person he consulted before joining a lawsuit over CdA’s popular and controversial Sanders Beach. Douglas said he misspoke, and that he actually consulted the expert’s writings. But we like the idea of legal advice from the afterlife. Might be cheaper. Here’s Erica Curless’ story.

Parting Shot — 50 & Downhill — 11/8/07

In her latest post on her blog, Twaddle: Everyday Rubbish, HBO’s favorite Brit Marmitetoasty writes: “Ok … I know it was a while back, actually it was as far back as the middle of September … I started the next phase of me life … I turned 50 … and so now beginneth the slow downward ride to me lonely old age…LOL” Rest here.

Question: How do you view 50: 1. Beginning of a slow downward ride into old age? 2. Don’t want to go there? Or 3. The best is yet to come.

Wild Card/Thursday — 11/8/07

I’ll be introducing my new Huckleberries In Briefs insignia, courtesy of Thom George, sometime today. (invisible ink) Thom can you rework that to say “HBO In Briefs”? i think that’s what i’m going to call it. thanx. (invisible ink off). Again, thanks for the increasing interest in HBO. BTW, HBO hit 1.9 million page-views for he year on Election Day. As I’ve always said — from my pal Cis Gors/Kootenai, who encouraged me to keep going in the beginning to a new blurker who called a few moments ago — I couldn’t have done this without all of you. Now, for your Wild Card …

HBO Book Club: When Fate (?) Intervenes

The Huckleberries Online Book Club continues to discuss Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestseller, “Eat, Pray, Love.”

What else do folks want to say about Gilbert’s book? Here’s one of the discussion questions provided by the publisher: “After imagining a petition to God for divorce, an exhausted Gilbert answers her phone to news that her husband has finally signed. …After struggling to master a 182-verse daily prayer, she succeeds by focusing on her nephew, who is suddenly free from nightmares. Do these incidents of fortuitous timing signal fate? Cosmic unity? Coincidence?”

The Falls: Spokane Vs. Boise

People often compare Spokane and Boise, with good reason. They’re both cities of 200,000, give or take, and they share a regional geography. So we thought we’d stage a statistical cage match between the cities, based on a range of the most recent federal statistics.

*People with a college degree: Spokane, 25.4 percent; Boise, 33.6 percent.
*Rate of home ownership: Spokane, 58 percent; Boise, 64 percent.
*“Female persons”: Spokane, 51.8 percent; Boise, 50.5 percent.
*Population age 65 and older: Spokane, 14 percent; Boise, 10 percent.
*African-American population: Spokane 2.1; Boise, 0.8.
*Burglary rate, per 100,000 people: Spokane, 895; Boise, 671.
*Unemployment rate, 2006: Spokane, 5; Boise, 3.

Question: How do you compare Spokane and Boise, on a non-statistical scale?

Cross-posted from Shawn Vestal/The Falls

Skinny On NI: CDA Biz Block Watch Launches

A stabbing in the back alley, parking lot drug deals and problems with loiterers pushed a group of Coeur d’Alene business owners to form the city’s first Block Watch for businesses. “The premise is the same as a neighborhood watch,” Coeur d’Alene Police Sgt. Christie Wood said during a meeting with Appleway Square businesses. “The whole idea is neighbors helping neighbors.” Wood said the businesses at Appleway Square, at Highway 95 and Appleway Avenue, will be a model for the police department’s new Business Watch program. Neighboring businesses are asked to report suspicious people or problems to police, then alert the other businesses/Taryn Hecker, The Skinny On North Idaho.

Rest of the story here

Question: Are you part of a Block Watch group?

HBO In Briefs — 11/8/07

Tonight: President Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise of Idahoans For Openness In Government will be doing a Public TV show about the organization at 7 (PST) tonight. For more info, click here.

Bayview Herb: I just got a call from Charlene Soppit. She runs the Bayview Liquor Store amnd is one of the last to be forced out of the Bayview Trailer Park. It turns out that the new owners gave her permission to remove plants and small trees that she had nurtured over the years. When she got through with the moving, she trekked down to the old place to find that neighbors, or others helped themselves to everything in sight. After all she has been through, that one stung!

Thom George Illustration

Extended Entry:

Wayside Market in Smelterville vandalized
26th annual NIC math contest winners named
NIC nursing director gets appointment
ITD to hold discrimination hearing in CDA
Kootenai Fire tackles 23 illegal burns
Seatbelt crackdown to start Monday

S&S Herb: Quit Using Progressive To Describe People

Please, oh please, stop using the word “progressive” to describe people. It is a generality that reeks of false values and has been misused by ultra-liberals for decades to make their agendas sound main stream and un-assailable. Progressive denotes all good stuff and rejects all bad stuff. It is the most misused term I have ever heard. I grew up listening to my “progressive” father describing folks that were left of Frankin Roosevelt. An adjective should have a serious meaning. This one does not. It is a shield that is all good sounding, with no substance/Sweet & Sour Herb

Question: Can you think of a better word to describe individuals — and I don’t mean liberals — who support progress in a community?

UI Embraces 3rd Slogan In 2 Years

The University of Idaho hopes to turn around slumping enrollment with a new slogan, its third in less than two years. But some students wonder if cash for the ad campaign couldn’t be better spent elsewhere. “A Legacy of Leading” will replace the Moscow school’s current slogans of “No Fences” and “Open Space. Open Minds.” Those short-lived taglines, complete with billboards on the sides of buses showing a person hopping a wire fence, were launched in late 2006 to replace “From Here You Can Go Anywhere.” The new campaign will cost $900,000 this year, including $400,000 in state money and $500,000 from the private University of Idaho Foundation/KTVB.

Question: Are slogans dumb, or what?

HBO @ Noon: Protests

Shmuel Thaler/Santa Cruz Sentinel, AP
A University of California at Santa Cruz police officer pushes student protesters back from a police line during a protest at UC Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, Calif., on Wednesday. University police at UC Santa Cruz used pepper spray and batons on protesters today after things got a little unruly at the site of a proposed parking lot.

Question: were you ever been involved in a student protest?

Peanut Gallery Q: Jim Brannon

Do you think that if Jim Brannon hadn’t aligned himself with Gookin and Souza, he would have come out on the winning side in the election?/Curious

Skinny On NI: Hunter Orange Debate Hits Beer Aisle

Ralph Bartholdt/The Skinny On North Idaho

Animal beer. That’s what the guy in the beer and wine aisle said. He was one of those articulate types who wears a white shirt and Merona tie to work and often flies to Boise for the meetings that many people think are caviar luncheons, but are closer to McDonald’s grab-a-bites-and-let’s-wrap-this-deal-ups. He said his dad drank the stuff on summer fishing weekends. It is called Schmidt’s and it has paintings of wildlife on the labels/Ralph Bartholdt, Skookum Features. The rest of the story at The Skinny On North Idaho here.

Question: Do you care about the can design for your favorite brewski?

KevinR: Secularists Seize Boise? Give Me A Break

Item: Boise elections: A big win for the secularists? Give me a break/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman

Bryan Fischer (Idaho Values Alliance): “The beauty of America’s political system is that we get to choose our own leaders, and for good or for ill, Boise voters have spoken. Twelve of Boise’s 15 state legislative seats are now in the hands of left-wing, big-government lawmakers, and now the city is firmly in the grip of those who oppose the public acknowledgement of God and support the right of sexually confused men to wear dresses to work and use the ladies’ room if they want to.

Question: Is religion playing more or less of a role in elections at all levels of government?

DFO’s Most Colorful Local Pols Of Last 25 Years …

1. Ron Rankin
2. Ray Stone
3. Lois Land-Albrecht
4. Peggy Hopkins
5. –––-

Question: Who would you recommend to finish my list?

What Message Were CDA Voters Sending?

Item: What were Cd’A voters trying to say Closeness of races has different meaning for elected officials/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: The vote carried two messages, said Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander. “No. 1, nasty, negative stuff doesn’t work,” she said. “I think this is the nastiest campaign that we’ve had in Coeur d’Alene in my memory. “When the election’s this close, you need to really take a look at what you’re doing.” Councilman Woody McEvers said the vote means the city should communicate better with citizens. “Truly, that’s my vision. We just need to do a better job of educating everybody,” he said.

Question: What message do you think the Coeur d’Alene voters sent?

JimmyMAC: Kennel Was Hopping For Zags Exhibition

Originally posted Wednesday evening

Ingrid Barrentine/Spokesman-Review
Gonzaga fans cheer their team on to a 101-70 victory in an exhibition basketball game against Emporia State in Spokane.

Item: Zags thump Emporia State; Bouldin sprains ankle/Jim Meehan, Sportslink

Just got back from the Zags Exhibition. The Kennel was jumpin tonight for the Zags who are ranked 14th in the nation preseason. Kuso started and Heytvelt came in about 4 minutes into the game with mighty applause. Josh only entered the game twice and I don’t think he played more than 7 minutes total. Few is obviously keeping Josh in check. Emporia State was shooting lights out like Butler did against the Zags last year and the Zags only had a 3 or 4 point lead at the half. The second half was all Zags though and they were up by 20+ when I left with 3 minutes left. Pargo played very well and Few rotated players a TON. Two players shined and you will hear a lot out of them this year and the next three years if they don’t leave early. Robert Sacre, the 7 foot tall freshman had a solid performance and Austin Daye may have outshined everyone. The 6‘10 freshman looks like Reggie Miller and can play any position, Magic Johnsonesque. Seriously, the kid, no manchild, is gifted…a phenom! I have high hopes…but I always do/JimmyMAC.

Question: Do you follow the Zags?

North Idaho Old Timer: Are You Kidding Me, SR?

North Idaho Old Timer: You have GOT to be kidding. The S-R just completely wrote off North Idaho, but Mr. Smith and Mr. Higgins are expecting us to continue to subscribe and advertise in their Spokane-only paper? Unbelievable. Your cuts to the Coeur d’Alene office sent a very clear message… You are no longer interested in what happens on this side of the state line. And Mr. Higgens and Mr. Smith, we no longer care to support your printed product. Whether it be in a subscription or an ad. Period. What was Mr. Smith’s comment last night?? Gosh people …. we wish this would have turned out differently. Excuse me? Your decision to turn your back on the 100,000+ people of North Idaho is perfectly clear. You will NOT see another ad from our company in your paper any time soon. How long will it be when the beautiful Spokesman Review building on Northwest Boulevard becomes the D.A. Davidson Building? Or the Idaho Trust Building? Sorry DFO, Becky, and Erica…… I’m guessing you’ll soon be commuting to an office quite different from the one you now call home. Again….. how sad.

DFO: Nah, North Idaho Old Timer; I won’t be heading out from here any time soon. If anything, Huckleberries Online will become bigger than ever. It’s going to become the focus of a unique experiment that could blaze a trail for online newspapering. Don’t write me off just yet. Huckleberries Online already has between 6000 and 7500 readers. The SR has about 10,000 readers in Kootenai County and mebbe 16,000 to 18,000 throughout North Idaho. With a little promotion, this blog could reach five digits in the not too distant future. If anything, what we’re doing here will become more interesting.

The Falls: Top of the Morning — 11/8/07

It’s Thursday, Nov. 8, 2007. It’s getting closer to time to call it – wish (probable) Mayor-elect Mary Verner good luck as she gets ready to take over the helm of the city wing of Your Sexy Government. Here’s this morning’s story on the election tally, and a Doug Clark column on the Curse of the One-Term Mayor.

Today in Your Sexy Government: It takes money to make YSG go. But we don’t want to give it any, apparently. Tim Eyman’s latest pre-emptive strike on taxes wins big. A sensible proposal to make it easier for schools to raise money falls to the inexplicable hostility and miserly suspicion that exists in a lot of quarters about education. And voters in Spokane County don’t seem to want to pay an extra tenth of a cent in sales tax to restore Crime Check. Here’s the reports on where things stand with that measure.

There’s a lot of room in Manito Park: “If they were camped like this on the South Hill, they wouldn’t be there long.”
— Christina DesChamps, who lives near the homeless tent camp set up in northeast Spokane. More than 30 people are camped out in 24 tents on a private lot at Sinto and Napa. Read Kevin Graman’s update on the camp here.

Weather: It’s rainy again, with highs forecast in the low 50s. We seem to be turning the corner into winter. Here’s the five-day forecast.

Today in History: Sometimes history is all about what didn’t happen. On this date in 1939, Adolf Hitler survived an assasination attempt. From

The morning drive: Check the traffic and the most recent gas prices.

In passing: George Kelbell, 89. “After graduating from Coeur d’Alene High School in 1936, he manned the forest service lookout on Colt Mountain for two summers. At the beginning of WWII, he did electrical work on ships being built at Bainbridge Island. Until he was drafted, he helped with the construction of Farragut Naval Base at Bayview, where he later went through boot camp. Honorably discharged from his tour in the Pacific, as Electrician’s Mate Third Class, he began his family in Spirit Lake. Over the years he was a construction electrician on local dams, schools, hospitals, mills and missile sites.” For more.

Compiled by Shawn Vestal/The Falls

Morning After Wild Card — 11/7/07

Well, it doesn’t look as though the sun came out today. But it should have. The city of Coeur d’Alene had a brush with the 1980s this fall, as an anti-progress ticket came thisclose to grabbing some seats on the City Council. (Aside: Al Hassell should send flowers to anti-LCDCer Jerry Weaver, who diverted enough votes from Jim Brannon to enable Hassell to keep his seat.) You can find plenty of threads below to discuss election topics. However, if I missed something or you want to start a nonpolitical thread, you can use this Wild Card to do so …

Parting Shot — 11/7/07

This manipulated photo, shot at Corbin Park, was posted at by David Leeth, aka Jibby! To see more of his work, go here.

Hat Tip: Shawn Vestal/The Falls

Update: Train Hits Logging Truck Near Chilco

Train tracks are blocked near the intersection of Chilco Road and Highway 95 in Hayden, Idaho after a train collided with a logging truck. No one was injured in the crash, dispatchers said. About 3:20 p.m., a southbound freight train hit a westbound logging truck at the Chilco Road railroad crossing. The damage to the train’s engine was extensive, so the tracks will be blocked for several hours, said Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Tom Knight. Deputies are investigating the crash.

Hat Tip: Stebbijo

Huckleberries Best of the Local Blogs — 11/7/07

Ralph Bartholdt/Skookum Features

The sun sets over the St. Joe River, silhouetted through a stand of Ponderosa pines along Hells Gulch Road north of St. Maries. Also read Ralph’s column, Wood gathering in the peckerwood hollows here/Courtesy of Taryn Hecker/The Skinny On North Idaho.

*After trying in vain for hours to get Bonner County election results Tuesday night, an exasperated Cis/From A Simple Mind lamented today that the faster we go with computers in our lives the behinder we get here.

*At Tumblewords, Sue Turner offers three more delightful fractuals under the common heading, “Currents,” here.

*Notes on a Napkin and her hubby haven’t been getting a lot of sleep of late, but it’s not what you think. There are other reasons for sleeplessness here.

*Of that waterboarding thread that we had at HBO recently, Sara/F-Words writes: “I mean, really, do we want America to be the country that pretty much doesn’t torture? The country that’s just barely on the acceptable side of human rights? I’d like my country to stay well within the purview of acceptable behavior, myself” here.

HBO Numbers (for Election Day 2007): 14,956 page-views and 7,287 unique views.

Meanwhile, Soul Doubt talks about a day in her life here; Not So Fast forgot to vote here; our pregnant Butterfly Moment has a rash of classroom birthdays here; Arch Druid tackles conspiracy theories and schizophrenia here; out Witch With A Gun isn’t happy with Moscow election results here; and RR&RT has a new puppy (w/photo) here.

Inside Huckleberries — 11/7/07

*Kendramama/Soul Doubt just picked up her $50 gift certificate and plans to take hubby, Tony, to Outback Steak House to celebrate JBelle’s generosity. JBelle awarded three certificates for her fill-in-the-blank Halloween contest. I’m still holding certificates for In The Know and Shinie.

*The lead pastor for the CDA Assembly of God Church (where I voted yesterday) has an extremely appropriate name: Dan Christ. It’s pronounced “Krist,” but still.

*Bumpersnicker (spotted in Boise Tuesday by CDA Councilman Mike Kennedy): “My senator’s not gay, but my governor is Butch.”

*Give credit to colleague Erica Curless for the best one-liner after the Black Thursday layoffs: “The Spokesman-Review tombstone will read better than the Coeur d’Alene Press.”

*OK, I confess, I did say the following to Al Hassell and John Bruning prior to the vote count last night at Cricket’s: “If I can survive the last week, you can survive tonight.”

EOB: Full House For Payette, Priest Cottage Hearing

About 100 people are crowded into a meeting room at the state LBJ building this afternoon for a public hearing on lease rents and terms for state-owned cottage sites on Payette and Priest lakes. Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said, “We kind of expected the crowd, but not this large.” As he spoke, a cell phone went off in the crowd. “I forgot to announce, if your cell phone goes off, it’s a hundred bucks to the public schools fund,” Ysursa said to good-natured chuckles/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. Full post here.

Noah: A Political Judiciary?

Noah Kroese/Special for Huckleberries Online

Gookin: I Am Not Niles, HBO Nasty, Vile Place

” Now that I am no longer a candidate, I can proudly write here that I AM NOT NILES. I have no idea who Niles is. Remember: I blog under my own name. Further: I do not blog at Huckleberries. I don’t been blurk there. Nasty, vile place. “

Dan Gookin
Coeur d’Alene Press blog (12:05 p.m. Nov. 7)

Hat Tip: MamaJD

Statement From SR Marketing/Sales Director

The following statement was drafted by marketing/sales director Shaun O’L. Higgins for our CDA sales staff. Word had reached us that CDA staffers were told in a meeting that the SR had closed its CDA sales department. Not true.

We have no plans to reduce our advertising and circulation efforts in North Idaho, nor do we plan to close the office or cease covering news of significance to North Idaho. Period! (And, hopefully, end of topic!) This morning’s story states clearly that we are shifting to a regionally inclusive focus in our news distribution strategy. We will maintain editorial staff in both Idaho and Spokane that is devoted to coverage of Idaho state news (our Boise bureau) and in Coeur d’Alene. Also, the Handle Extra is being maintained. There are reductions in news staff that impact Idaho, of course, but a reduction is not equatable to “closure” or “abandonment.” North Idaho represents a significant contribution to our overall success as a regional publication. We have a major investment there in staff, past promotional and circulation efforts and in our splendid physical facility. The decision to continue to provide zoned advertising for Idaho underscores our commitment. A change in strategy and approach to coverage should not be interpreted by anyone, least of all folks at the Press, as an indication of withdrawal from the market. They would be clearly misreading the situation if they believe that.

Shaun O’L. Higgins
SR Director of Sales/Marketing

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 11/7/07

Dan Pelle/Spokesman-Review

Mary Verner celebrates with Mickey Thompson after hearing election results broadcast on TV at the Red Lion River Inn in Spokane here. News Is A Conversation: Hession shot credibility by withholding information here.

1. Residents of Hailey, Idaho, voted Tuesday to legalize medical marijuana, make enforcing pot laws the lowest police priority and decriminalize industrial hemp. But they rejected a companion measure that foresaw the city regulating and taxing legal pot sales here/Idaho Statesman.

2. Defense attorneys for Joseph Duncan, the convicted murderer who’s facing a January federal trial here on capital charges involving the kidnapping and molesting of young Dylan and Shasta Groene of Coeur d’Alene and the killing of 9-year-old Dylan, now say Duncan’s federal indictment should be thrown out here/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

3. Online Poll: 57 percent of 469 respondents to a Lewiston Tribune poll say that it’s time that Idaho switch to vote-by-mail.

4. News Roundup: Grizzly killed by photos (the photos)/Mixed results for Washington initiatives, referendums/KHQ; One vote carries Star, Idaho, councilman to win/Idaho Statesman; Schools step up sanitizing efforts/Coeur d’Alene Press; Still bogus after all these years/Boise Weekly; and Amtrak train searched/Bonner County Bee.

5. Blogosphere: Super Wednesday!/TUBOB; Reaction to Ron Paul’s November the 5th/Adam’s Blog; Bill Sali, “Mr. No”/Morialekafa; Rehearsal dinner; Darjeeling Limited/Kellogg Bloggin’; Blogging the Boise area elections (w/Statesman results)/Red State Rebels.

6. IMHO-NW: Idaho needs an ethics law change/Idaho Statesman; Beyond Neanderthal/David Horsey, Seattle PI; Dunn deserves more than a drink in the face/Tom Henderson, Lewiston Tribune; What it pays to be paranoid about Idaho water/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman; Spokane’s low-income housing crisis still exists/Spokesman-Review; and Statesman’s endorsement scorecard/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman.

Orbusmax Special: Photos, blog posts from UW student held in Italian murder here.

My 2 Cents — A New Type Of Campaigning

Warning: Part of the following is a self-serving announcement.

In the Give The Devil His Due Dept., LCDC antagonist Dan Gookin & Co. ran a textbook campaign in the closing week of the 2007 Coeur d’Alene City Council elections. After almost a year of softening up Mayor Sandi Bloem’s government with attacks in the Coeur d’Alene Press, Gookin & Co. closed hard with direct mailings, street-corner campaigning, and that clever Mary Souza Design Events rolling billboard. Several insiders told me how frustrated they were that incumbents Ron Edinger and Al Hassell didn’t work harder in their campaigns. The pair relied on campaigns that featured yard signs and candidates’ forums. That approach was good under the old cattle-call system when the top three vote-getters were elected. It’s outdated under the new system when well-motivated, well-financed and computer-savvy challengers can target individual council spots. Which brings me to this point …

APhoto of the Day — 11/7/07

Matthias Rietschel/AP Photo

Tim Schreiber, wearing his historical city guide uniform, battles against windy and rainy weather on the Neumarkt square in Dresden, Germany, Wednesday. You write the cutline.

Huckleberries Shatters HBO Page-View Record

Election Day was very, very good to Huckleberries Online as this blog shattered its records for page-views and unique views. On Tuesday, HBO registered 14,908 page-views and 7,263 unique views. In fact, the Monday numbers were impressive for a non-election day: 12,153 page-views and 6,573 unique views. For the year, HBO should hit 2 million page-views sometime this month. Thanks for your support. It’s more important than ever as HBO becomes the one fairly independent voice in Coeur d’Alene and Kootenai County.

Press: No More Stories On Allegations, Speculation

If critics of the Coeur d’Alene City Council, Lake City Development Corp., Kroc Community Center, Mickey Mouse Retirement Village or any other publicly financed entities have proof of unethical or illegal activities by officials, produce it and let the proper authorities do their jobs. The Press will publish the outcomes of any such investigations upon their completion. In the meantime, our reporters will not be writing stories on allegations or speculation. Doing so would be an effective way to ruin an individual’s or organization’s credibility without due process, and we’re positive even the critics don’t want that/Coeur d’Alene Press editorial.

Full editorial here

Question: What’s wrong with this picture?

Bob: Can’t Wait For Gookin-Kennedy Battle Royale

Bob: The best part of Gookin losing is the oncoming match of Gookin vs Kennedy. The Battle of the Titans. Two men with huge appetites for power and pancakes. My God. I can scarcely imagine how dirty this one will be. Like two hungry loggers sitting down simultaneously at a great big loggers table and there is only one biscuit on the plate and they both lunge for it at once. Oh the hugemanity. And it will be dirty. So dirty. Kennedy’s union thugs brawling with Gookin’s computer nerds out on the Resort Boardwalk. Mary Souza driving a diesel-belcing Peterbuilt semi through townhonking the horn and hitting the jake brake with a lifesize photo of Dan on the trailer. I can hardly wait.

MikeK: Bob - FYI, I prefer Eggs Benedict to pancakes, just so you know - with heaping mounds of hollandaise sauce. Brings the myocardial infarction on sooner, but also easier to clean out with modern artery plumbing tools. Be up and at em in days, not weeks. Don’t count me out, big boy.

Question: What will Gookin run for next?

AM Hucks: “Concerned Taxpayers” Missed Details

First, you should know that ex-state Sen. Kathy Sims and sidekick Tom Macy of Post Falls are sticklers for the letter of the law. In years past, the two led an uphill battle that resulted in a ruling by the Idaho Supreme Court that Kootenai County’s local-option tax was unconstitutional. Then the Legislature fixed the problem and county voters approved the half-cent local sales tax again. During the summer, Sims and Macy contacted the prosecutor’s office, hinting darkly about a “criminal conspiracy” involving the way the city contributed money to the Salvation Army Kroc Center. Why am I telling you this? On Tuesday morning, Sims and Macy filed a financial disclosure statement with the secretary of state’s office as reps of “Concerned Taxpayers of Kootenai County” for a color flier that hit Coeur d’Alene mailboxes last weekend. The flier made a number of claims, including that the city had spent $50,000 on downtown parties, “raised your taxes 3 % every year,” and spent $9 million on John Stone’s Riverstone development. The flier recommended: “Vote NO on Hassell, Reid, and Edinger: We can’t trust them with our tax dollars.” (Aside: Reid didn’t seek re-election.) According to the disclosure report filed for Concerned Taxpayers political action committee, the flier cost $1,347 to print and $2,112 to mail. Concerned Taxpayers said it collected $3,500 from 156 individuals to pay for it. So, what’s the problem with Sims and Macy here? They were supposed to file their campaign finance statement for a city election with City Clerk Susan Weathers. And they were required to file “an appointment of campaign treasurer” with the city clerk before they collected a dime. Simple stuff. The penalty for violation of this Idaho code is $50 per day. City Clerk Weathers has already turned the matter over to the legal department. Stay tuned

In Sandpoint, Hellar Unseats Miller 923-627 …

… Hawkins, Sneddon, Logan win, too … Resort Tax passes easily … drink tax fails … Results here.

Ron Edinger: We Didn’t Spread Stories, Tell Lies

“When you run a campaign that is honest and straightforward with no lies you end up a winner,” said Edinger. “And that’s what happened tonight with Al, John and myself. We were out there and met the people and didn’t spread any stories or tell any lies.”

Hat Tip: Erica Curless

Huckleberries After Hours Election Wild Card …

9:42 p.m.: Final results are in. Countywide, 8349 votes were cast, with a turnout of 21.53%.

9:38 p.m.: Erica just talked to Al Hassell on the phone (he declined to comment on the numbers yet) and now is talking to Ron Edinger.

9:35 p.m.: We’ll have Athol numbers soon.

9:26 p.m.: I’ve been trying to get ahold of Ron Edinger, Al Hassell and John Bruning at Cricket’s. But they all have their cell phones off.

9:21 p.m.: Blogmeister Ryan called to say he’d fixed the problem that was preventing Allison McArthur and some of the rest of you from posting comments.

9:19 p.m.: The City of Hauser has a new mayor. The Mayor-elect (City Councilman Don Wuerst) won as a write-in candidate over Ed Peone. Peone has been the mayor for 15 years. The final count was 56 to 36. If it wasn’t 100% voter turnout it was pretty darn close/Frum Helen Back, Hauser Thoughts.

9:42 PM: Thoreson, Hissong, Wilhelm Win In PF

Post Falls Seat No. 1

Kristy Reed Johnson — 604 (30.32 %)
Jack Evans — 378 (18.98 %)
Kerri Thoreson — 1,010 (50.70 %)

Seat No. 5

Angela Alexander — 764 (37.77 %)
Skip Hissong — 1,259 (62.23 %)

Seat No. 6

Linda Wilhelm — 904 (45.11 %)
Anthony Skarisky — 279 (13.92 %)
Keith Hutcheson — 821 (40.97)

Petition to retain (old) City Hall

Yes — 510 (23.92 %)
No — 1,622 (76.08 %)

Best Of City Election 2007

Let’s play a little best-of while we wait for the results to begin rolling in. Who:

1. Was the best new candidate?
2. Ran the best campaign?
3. Had the best yard sign?
4. Will pull the upset of the night?
5. Tossed the most mud?
6. Best candidate (incumbent or otherwise)

Election Poll Watch (Evening) — 11/6/07

7:14 p.m.: At 6:35 p.m., I was voter 784 at the PF armory location. Had to stand in line for about 15 minutes. The line was about 35-40 people deep the whole time I was there — Bent.

5:45 p.m.: We’re having an exciting election at Hauser Lake. We now have 84 registered voters and 66 have voted.

5:32 p.m.: John Q. was 498 to vote about 4:30 p.m. at the Post Falls Library and the parking lot is full about 5:30 p.m. It looks like it will probably be about a 20% turnout in Post Falls.

Parting Shot — 11/6/07

John Froschauer/AP Photo

Frederick Russell, center, stands with attorneys Diana Lundin, left, and Diego Vargas, as the guilty verdict is read in the trial of at the Cowitz County Courthouse in Kelso, Wash., this afternoon. He was charged with three counts of vehicular homicide and three counts of vehicular assault in the crash on State Route 270, the highway between the two college towns of Pullman, Wash., and Moscow.

Duncans Lawyers Want Indictment Tossed

Item: Duncan’s lawyers want indictment thrown out/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review/Eye On Boise

More Info: Attorneys for convicted murderer Joseph Duncan have filed papers in court seeking to have his federal indictment for kidnapping, killing and child molesting thrown out because they contend Idaho’s grand juror selection rules are unconstitutional. A federal grand jury indicted Duncan on 10 counts last January. His federal trial is scheduled to start in January 2008.

DFO: How can attorneys file something like this with a straight face?

Top Cutlines — 11/6/07

Carla Metzler/AP Photo/Guinness World Records

This photo released by the Guinness World Records shows Jackie Bibby in a see-through bathtub with 87 rattlesnakes, in Dublin, Texas, Monday. Bibby spent about 45 minutes in the tub shattering his own record by 12 snakes.

Top Cutlines

1. Jack Bibby starts to wonder if getting into politics was worth it — Idawa.

2. Spokesman-Review editor Steve Smith met with North Idaho readers over changes in the Coeur d’Alene newsroom. “I really thought I was going to get bitten,” he said, adding, “Hey, where did I get this stupid hat?” — Brent Andrews.

3. But he failed to set the record for most snakes in a cast iron claw foot tub — Cabbage Boy.

HM: Dennis

For the rest of the cutlines, click here

DFO’s Gone Voting …

… time for me to step out from the office a bit to vote myself. Any suggestions re: who I should support in the Coeur d’Alene City Council elections. ;-)

I was No. 110 in Precinct 52 (7th Day Adventist) at 3:50 p.m.

Rogers Ice Cream … For Sale?

A Berry Picker just called to say there’s a for-sale sign outside the popular ice cream parlor on Sherman Avenue.

Family Patriarch George Osmond, 90, RIP

AP Photo courtesy of Osmond family

This undated photo released courtesy of the Osmond family shows the Osmond family, from top row left: Wayne, Tom, Virl, Merrill, center row from left: Jay, George, Marie, Olive, Alan and foreground Jimmy and Donny. George Osmond, patriarch of Osmond family singers, died Tuesday morning at his home in Utah. He was 90.

Non-Election Question: Skinny Dipping

Sparky: Cruisin in Sandpoint started and ended at the beach. Spring skinny dipping and the full fall plunge were what we did win the buzz was upon us. The type of car was never the big deal at least for me. My husband’s Camaro was a big deal to him and his buddies. Our night would begin with a football game or movie followed by cruisin unless you were invited to a party. I spent more times at parties than cruisin but I did brave a spring swim now and then.

Raymond Pert: In Kellogg we didn’t skinny dip in the Lead Creek.

Question: Have you ever skinny dipped?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 11/6/07

Robin Loznak/Great Falls Tribune, AP Photo

A male belted kingfisher perches on a barbed wire fence while hunting for fish in the Missouri River near Great Falls, Mont., Monday.

1. A man was attacked, killed and eaten by a pack of wolves in Saskatchewan, Canada. A jury decided Nov. 1 that a 22-year-old Ontario man was killed 2 years ago in a remote mining camp by a pack of wolves. The jury’s decision makes Kenton Carnegie the first confirmed killed of a human in North America by wolves here/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman.

2. Talk About Warehousing Prisoners: Idaho Correctional officials are considering a plan to shoe-horn 304 prisoners into a literal metal warehouse in the shadow of the fortress-like main state prison/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise, here.

3. Online Poll: A plurality of 37% of 740 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say the issue driving them to the polls today is “growth.”

4. News Roundup: Spokesman-Review moving to one edition/Spokesman-Review; 4-alarm fire at Caldwell plastics plant/KTVB; Horizon not planning to ground fleet of planes/KREM2; Woman in Hummer charged with killing bicyclist/KTVB; and CDA teen missing in Tacoma after interstate trip with woman/KXLY.

5. Blogosphere: Downward circulation figures/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press; Please, police officer/IdaBlue; Reporting decreasing casualties in Iraq/Adam’s Blog; and Latest global warming news: The comedy and politician’s solution/Leaning Straight Up.

6. IMHO-NW: A field guide for American policy-makers/David Horsey, PI; Micron’s fattest cats do well by doing poorly/Tom Henderson, Lewiston Tribune; Hanging in there with newspapers/Amanda Harland, Spokesman-Review; Searching Web so Larry Craig won’t have to/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman; and Can’t run from crazy/T.J. Tranchell, UI Argonaut.

Orbusmax Special: Another Washington Republican in trouble for “inappropriate” conduct here.

Election Poll Watch — 11/6/07

Use this thread to let HBOers know what’s happening at the various polls:

10:52 a.m.: Thom George called from his precinct (46-47) polling place to say that a St. Pius X poll worker said there’d been a steady stream of voters. But the turnout in those two large precincts remains under 5% at this point.

10:51 a.m.: A few minutes ago, there was a nice little group voting at Ramsey Elementary. I had to wait a couple minutes … and I didn’t mind. I was happy to see voters! I bumped into former Cd’A Administrator Dana Wetzel. Wonder how she voted? — Keith Erickson.

*10:04 a.m.: “I showed up at 7:25 only to be turned away. They don’t open the poll until 8:00? That sure limits the options for those who work out of town” — Cabbage Boy.

9:40 a.m.: “There were a few of us on the corner of Spokane and Seltice this am,” e-mails Alison McArthur. Skip Hissong and Randy his buddy, Me with City Hall (signs) and Kerri T signs, Linda Wilhelm with her signs and three others supporting her. And two of Alexander’s people and two Hutcheson people. Some of us will be back around 3 pm.”

9:20 a.m.: Councilwoman Dixie Reid checks in with her CDA City Council picks here.

8:54 a.m.: I am proud to say that (aside from absentee ballots) I was the first person to vote in precinct 46 today. The decisions were more difficult than I thought they would be, but it always feels good to vote — OfCoffee.

Originally posted at 9:18 a.m.

APhoto of the Day — 11/6/07

Carla Metzler/AP Photo/Guinness World Records

This photo released by the Guinness World Records shows Jackie Bibby in a see-through bathtub with 87 rattlesnakes, in Dublin, Texas, Monday. Bibby spent about 45 minutes in the tub shattering his own record by 12 snakes.

Editor SteveS: Tracking Blog Trolls

Recent events at the paper seem to have brought out one or two particular trolls who delight in messing things up. One whose identity is known to us, has now hacked into our blog administrative systems. That is a crime, a felony. We’ll be pursuing charges. I guess my point is you might see a bit of disruption for a few days until the schoolyard trolls tire of their game and until charges can be filed against the hacker(s). If you see odd posts or posts that just seem not to make sense, please let me know. If someone is using your name in a fake post, e-mail me directly. Try not to take the bait and respond online. It only encourages them. And this isn’t about killing posts critical of me or the paper. We have plenty of those still active and I expect many more/Editor Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation.

Full post here

DFO: Steve’s right. It’s fairly easy to spot a blog troll, particularly at HBO, where I know most posters. IPs are a giveaway, even when a troll goes out of his way to change his personal computer IP to a unique one. A new pseudonym and an IP address that produces no HBO history shouts, “troll,” if the message is nasty. There’s been an uptick in troll activity here since Black Thursday. But things will settle down. As always, Huckleberries Online moves on.

“Come Hither, Hither, Pretty Fly …”

Robin Loznak/Great Falls Tribune, AP

A black widow spider walks on a mirror in a garage at a home in Great Falls, Mont., on Monday.

JimmyMAC: DanG’s Campaign Pulls Out Stops

JimmyMAC: I gotta give it to DanG. He is really putting an effort into his candidacy. Same for Brannon. I know they have help out there but they are really pulling out all the stops. I was suprised there weren’t people with signs for Edinger, Hassell and Bruning out there this morning.

DFO: Gotta give the devil his due. The Huckleberries Online Commenter Formerly Known As DanG is running one of the textbook perfect campaigns for the ages. He certainly has cleaned up well after all those missteps early on re: name-calling and the Reid-Kennedy video. Who knows? Mebbe he’d clean up well as a council member, too? We’ll see later today.

NIC Sentinel Details Campus Suicide

Item: Campus deals with death of student: Eighteen-year-old woman commits suicide in bathroom of third-floor dorm room with .38 gun/Andrew Ford, North Idaho College Sentinel

More Info: According to Abbott, the police asked her again if everyone was all right and asked if a bullet had gone into her room. “My first question was, ‘Is everyone all right?’” Abbott said. Czirr explained that a gun accidentally went off in the room next door but no one was hurt, Abbott said. Police reassured Abbott that everyone was OK and told her to stay in her room.

Question: How has suicide affected your life?

RadRevDwh: DFO, Cowleses (Hearts) Developers

RadRevDwh: Some of the $18M was authorized by voters as a bond and an adjustment of the cerified 2006 budget may have been warranted. Authorizing $3,000,000 to fill a hole with poor quality waste dirt from a manmade lake that was estimated to cost only $1,000,000 is what is in question. LCDC ring a bell? How about the newly created private CDA Parks Foundation headed by Steve Wetzel, attorney for big development? As for DFO and the Cowles Family, I am certain they have no interest in big development in Kootenai County? Am I wrong???

DFO: Welcome to HBO, RadRevDwh (yeah, I noticed you checked in over the weekend but I didn’t know if you’d come back); I’m for development and progress, especially when there’s a public benefit connected to it — like a marvelous park at Riverstone. Or 1500 feet of lakeshore access at Mill River. Or a partnership that brings us a new library and a new community center. I enjoy being mentioned in the same breath as the Cowles’ family. I wished I was in the same income strata. BTW, don’t make yourself a stranger. HBO is a much bigger pond than the CDA Press Hate Blogosphere. And somewhat nicer.

Idawa: Cowles Will Want To Keep Spokane Voice

Idawa: Seattle can barely support 2 newspapers and the only the way that it is achieved is with a complicated joint operating agreement (the Times actually prints the PI and does their ads and circulation). I am not surprised, in this day and age, that Cd’A is a one paper town. It is possible that the Cowles might want to sell the Spokesman, but I doubt it. I once heard Warren Buffet talk about R. Murdoch buying the WSJ where me mentioned that rich people love to own the paper where they live, love it. And he knows many rich people that hold onto their papers despite the losses just because they don’t want to give up the prestige of owning the city’s voice. I don’t know if he right or not, but I think Warren has more insight into the rich than I do.

DFO: Many of us in the newsroom wondered the same thing, Idawa. In fact, it came up during a staff conference call with the downtown newsroom on Black Thursday. Editor Smith countered that newspapers don’t trim and sell. They sell and then let the new buyer trim. The cuts, according to Smith, put the SR on solid footing for years to come. You can read an extended story re: Smith’s state of the SR here.

Signe: Vote (If You Don’t Have Anything Else To Do)

Signe Wilkinson/Washington Post Group

Huckleberries Best of the Local Blogs — 11/5/07

Ralph Bartholdt/Skookum Features

Juanita “Jonesy” Woltering started hunting as a seven-year-old in West Virginia. Since moving to Idaho in 1954, Woltering, of Fernwood, has hunted annually, racking up a bookload of tales, and a room full of trophies.

*Former SR colleague Taryn Hecker didn’t take long to get back on her journalism feet. She’s just launched a new blog, The Skinny on North Idaho, with posts about new filings on the Duncan case and Wallace’s moment in the sun here.

*Put your hands together for A Butterfly Moment. She’s pregnant: “I am almost 10 weeks pregnant which isn’t long for most people, but for me it’s been 10 weeks since I’ve known.” Click here.

*Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It tried to be a hero at a spur-of-the-moment football game and ended up free-falling and amusing his kids here.

*For two of her son’s four years, Katrina/Notes on a Napkin took son Caleb to the mall on Halloween night. This year, she went the traditional door-to-door route — and she can’t get him to stop trick-or-treating — here.

HBO Numbers (for week of Oct. 28 to Nov. 3): 57412 page-views and 32091 unique views.

Meanwhile, Sweet & Sour Herb/Bay Views comments on SR newsroom layoffs here; Cis/From A Simple Mind explains why Hillary scares her here; Kristi/Here In Idaho sez the world will go on despite the Hollywood writers strike here; MamaJD wants to be a Pot Pie Woman here; ThomG/Perspectives recalls a turning point in his life here; and Marianne/Slight Detour was happy to get an extra hour of sleep Sunday morning here.

Tumblewords: Loneliness Haiku

iPod pink
dot blogspot dot com
plastic life

Sue Turner/Tumblewords

Dr. Rousseau Resigns From Dirne Clinic

Following is the letter of resignation submitted moments ago by medical director Dr. Leanne Rousseau to the Dirne board of directors.

“The Board of Directors at Dirne CHC is moving in a new direction and so this is a good time for me to take some personal time and look at a new direction for myself as well. We have come a very long way since February of 2004. We have moved seven times. We now have the SAGE center for our senior population, the dental clinic, as well as the family practice site. Soon we will have a new behavioral health site. Where the staff at Dirne meets the patient population is where the magic happens. I am very, very proud of the staff at all of our sites. They have worked hard to make Dirne what it is. I hope that in the future the Dirne board will listen to these remarkable people and that they will work together to continue to improve and expand health care access to those in need. It has been an amazing 18 year journey for me and I have appreciated the opportunity to serve my community.”

Dr. Leanne Rousseau
Dirne medical director

Top Cutlines — 11/5/07

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo

Protestors demonstrate the use of water boarding to volunteer Maboud Ebrahim Zadeh, Monday in front of the Justice Department in Washington. The demonstration was to highlight the use of water boarding as torture, to protest the nomination of Attorney General-designate Michael Mukasey. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Copy editors torture DFO for spelling it “protestors”/GaryC.

2. Fresh off their city council wins, Gookin et al institute a new city council policy for questing anyone who suggests using tax dollars for any purpose whatsoever/Idawa.

3. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee complete their questioning of Attorney General Nominee Michael B. Mukasey. When asked to comment on the process, Mr. Maukasey replied, “Are they nuts! They tried to kill me, these people are barbarians!”/ThomG.

HM: Average Joe and John Austin

All of today’s cutline entries here

ThomG Spots Gook-Mobile Outside Souza’s Biz

Thom George/Special to Huckleberries Online

Here it is, in the flesh, though not in the Coeur d’Alene Inn. It is parked in the Design Events parking lot.

DFO: As a journalist of 37-plus years, I find something seriously wrong with Coeur d’Alene Press columnist Mary Souza supporting a City Council candidate to this extent — and not declaring that. Also, there’s something seriously wrong with a newspaper allowing a columnist to propagandize against City Hall and have this kind of tie to a challenger ticket. F’shame. BTW, how come Susie Snedaker, the third person on the anti-LCDC ticket, isn’t pictured on the traveling billboard?

Police Blotter: Bloodied And Angry

At 1:48 a.m. Sunday, Deputy Dawg J. Bangs and CPD Blues J. Walther and T. Hanna responded to a battery report at Gummint Way and Cosgrove Road. Upon their arrival, they found Adrian Harthcock covered with blood. Here’s Deputy Bangs report: “I immediately called for medical personnel. Harthcock started yelling at me saying “leave me the (expletive deleted) alone.” He also said: “I don’t want medical attention, I just want to be left alone.” I informed him he was the one who called us and that I was there to help him.

Jury Deliberating Russell Highway Fatality Case

John Froschauer/Associated Press

Frederick Russell, right, 28, faces his mother Linda Russell as he leaves the court after the closing arguments of his trial on both vehicular homicide and vehicular assault charges at the Cowitz County Courthouse in Kelso, Wash., today. He accused of being drunk, speeding, and trying to pass in a no-passing zone when his vehicle was involved in the crash on State Route 270, killing three Washington State students and seriously injuring three others. A jury is now deliberating the case.

Extra! Gookin Truck Just Pulled Out of CDA Inn …

My Berry Pickers tell me that there’s a truck roaming the city, wrapped like a billboard, supporting the Lake City Development Corp foes: Dan Gookin, Jim Brannon and Susie Snedaker. One of my MPs was on the truck’s bumper as it pulled out of the Coeur d’Alene Inn about 5 minutes ago. Apparently, on the back of the full-size U-Haul (that the MP described as looking like one of the trucks Mary Souza uses for her business), it screams: “Citizens of Coeur d’Alene take back your city.” And: “No more rubber stamps on the City Council.” It also has check-marked boxes supporting Gookin, Brannon and Snedaker. On the driver’s side of the truck is a large — shudder! — photo of Gookin. On the passenger’s side, there’s a large photo of Brannon. Stay tuned.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 11/5/07

Dan Pelle/Spokesman-Review

Gonzaga basketball player Ira Brown is the new dog in town. He comes to GU as a junior transfer player who has already tried baseball and reached AA San Antonio as a pitcher here/Dan Pelle, Spokesman-Review.

Online Poll: In early returns, 68% of the respondents to a Lewiston Tribune poll say that Idaho should switch to vote-by-mail ballots.

1. Idaho has the fewest doctors per capita of any state with around 140 for every 100,000 residents, with family doctors suffering from the biggest shortage here/KTVB.

2. Closing arguments have started in the Frederick Russell vehicular homicide trial. Russell is charged with causing a crash that killed three Washington State University students six years ago on the Moscow-Pullman Highway/Spokesman-Review here.

3. At Adam’s Blog, Adam Graham provides a critique of the London Telegraph’s “Top 100 Most Influential Conservatives” here.

4. News Roundup: Operation Lights Out kept CDA sex offenders away from children/KXLY; Micron’s Appleton gives up bonus, still earns nearly $8.6M/Idaho Statesman; Boisean accused of kidnap, rape of woman responding to ad/Idaho Statesman; Boy looking for cat starts house fire/KTVB; Washington takes huge leap in American health ratings/KHQ; and

5. Blogosphere: Idaho D’s down in the roots/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press; SR layoffs: Irony or hypocrisy/Dogwalk Musings; Bison issue, like wolves, one of tolerance/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman; Importing more inmates cure to overcrowding?/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise; and Obama Idaho grand opening successful/Julie Fanselow, Red State Rebels.

6. IMHO-NW: At least some people learned from Craig mistake/Tom Henderson, Lewiston Tribune; Newspaper opinions from Idaho, West re: Western issues/Idaho Statesman; Economic outlook bright for Idahoans/Coeur d’Alene Press; and Sali and the shield law (updated)/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman; and Curious carpoolers/cartoonist David Horsey, Seattle PI.

Orbusmax: Northern California middle school cancels cross-dressing day here.

AMOO: How Do You Pay For College?

Today’s editorial discusses the high cost of higher ed.

College costs are increasingly borne by students and their families, and tuition hikes easily outstrip inflation and wage gains.
Nowadays, diplomas and debt go hand in hand.

When we met with the HEC Board, and when we discussed it among our editorial board later, we talked about how (relatively speaking) college could be in the “old days.”

Question: Which leads us to our question today: How did you pay for college? Did you go into debt? Was it worth it?

Photo of WSU campus by Jean Sherrard for The Spokesman-Review.

DFO On Dick Haugen’s Show Now

Dick Haugen and I will be discussing the city council races in Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls this morning at 11:05 on his “On The Road” show on KGA-AM (1510). You can tune in then. Huckleberries Online will begin this morning around 8 o’clock. We’ll also be bringing that ad I ran over the weekend from the anti-LCDC group into today’s thread to discuss with the full crew today.

APhoto of the Day — 11/5/07

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo

Protestors demonstrate the use of water boarding to volunteer Maboud Ebrahim Zadeh, Monday in front of the Justice Department in Washington. The demonstration was to highlight the use of water boarding as torture, to protest the nomination of Attorney General-designate Michael Mukasey. You write the cutline.

Mayor Bloem Answers Anti-LCDC Ad

Item: An anonymous group, named Concerned Taxpayers of Kootenai County, sent the color flyer above to CDA residents over the weekend. Mayor Sandi Bloem responds to the questionable statements on the flyer below.

DFO: Anti-urban renewal individuals claim that the city was $12M over budget last year?
Mayor Sandi Bloem: No, we were $18M over budget b/c we weren’t sure in last calendar year that library built and bond money (library and the fire station) would be spent in calendar year. This is simply bookkeeping. The budget is adjusted accordingly. At beginning of year, we didn’t know we’d be contracting with Kootenai County for them to do billing for us. These are things that happen during the year that are unforeseen at the time and you adjust budget. It has nothing to do with tax increases. It doesn’t mean we spent $18M we didn’t have.

DFO: Did you spend $50,000 on downtown parties?
SB: There are dollars given to downtown to support activies. Certainly not downtown parties.

Weekend thread on same subject here

Online interview continues below