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Huckleberries Online

Archive for October 2007

Video Journal: The Cataldo Mission

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Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

The Coeur d’Alene Tribe, the Idaho State Parks Department and other donors and interested citizens gathered today to break ground for a new visitors’ center and museum on the grounds of the Cataldo Mission, where the Coeur d’Alene Indians and the Jesuit missionaries first met more than 150 years ago. The new center will have display areas for exhibits and performances. Milton Nomee, an elder of the Coeur d’Alene people, talks about why the site is so important to the Coeur d’Alene tribe.

HBO Book Club: Divorce Like Bad Car Crash?

CDA Librarian Bette Ammon is preparing the first questions for the HBO Book Club discussion of Elizabeth Gilbert’s self-discovery book, “Eat, Pray, Love.” I’ll have them tonight and post them early tomorrow to launch the discussion. Until then, I’d like to get you ready for the online chat about the New York Times bestseller by noting that Gilbert compared her nasty divorce to having a bad car wreck every day for two years.

Question: How would you describe the impact of divorce?

Top Cutlines — 10/31/07

Susan Walsh/AP Photos

Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., lefts, laughs as Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., right, dresses up as Sen. Biden for Halloween Wednesday on Capitol Hill. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. With his two-faced support of his colleague, Chuck Hagel appears to be Biden his time in the Senate today — John Austin.

2. “This may be a Sen. Bidden costume, but I’m voting for Steven Colbert!” — Nic.

3. Only the Nixon gesture betrayed which Biden was wearing the paper mask — LynnS.

HM: In The Know

KCSD Investigates Animal Abuse Case

Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department news release: On Wednesday, Oct. 24, Animal Control Officers from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department along with an Agent from the Idaho Department of Agriculture executed a search warrant at the old Coeur d’ Alene Auction Yards located on Seltice Way near Atlas Road. The Search Warrant was issued as a result of information received from a non-involved party which indicated there was evidence of animal neglect and/or abuse at that location. Upon executing the warrant, officers located two deceased horses on the property. Both horses were in a condition that could indicate a lack of nourishment. Additionally, thirteen other horses were found on the property, eight of which showed signs that could indicate a lack of proper nourishment.

Eye On Olympia: Rep Quits Over Tryst Allegations

State Rep. Richard Curtis, R-La Center, has resigned amid nationwide publicity over a sex-related confrontation with a man and an ensuing blackmail attempt in a Spokane hotel last week. “While I believe we’ve done some good and helped a lot of people during the time I served in the Legislature, events that have recently come to light have hurt a lot of people,” Curtis said in a short statement emailed to reporters this afternoon. “I sincerely apologize for any pain my actions may have caused.” He said he today submitted his resignation to Gov. Gregoire, effective immediately/Rich Roesler, Eye On Olympia.

Full post here

Vets Sculpture To Be Displayed @ Kibbie Dome

A tenacious bunch of veterans are two weeks away from completing a multi-year project to honor soldiers who came before them and soldiers serving today. The product of their quest - a bronze sculpture called “I Am an American” - will go on display a final time Saturday at the University of Idaho football game in the Kibbie Dome. “If I had the money and time, I’d kinda like to take it all the way to Coeur d’Alene or Seattle,” said the project’s chairman Doug Olsen, a Vietnam veteran. “My pockets are pretty thin.” The veterans who are raising $90,000 for the sculpture of a soldier with a wounded child on his lap and the placement of the bronze at the Veterans Home in Lewiston are mostly Korean War and World War II veterans. The sculpture will be the first memorial of its kind in the north central Idaho and eastern Washington region/Dean Ferguson, Lewiston Tribune.

Full story here

JBelle Offers $50 for Fill-in Blanks Halloween Tale

Cut and paste this verbage skeleton from Seattle Daily Candy into the comments section and tell your Halloween Tale. The Chows will judge them at midnight tonight, announce the winner and award a $50 gift certificate to the restaurant of your choice. Let’s hear your story! — JBelle/Notes from The ‘Kan EWA.

It was a dark and ____ ____ [adjective for Northwest weather] Halloween night.
At home in ____ [The ‘Kan EWA neighborhood], ____ [name of person in room] was listening to ____ [overhyped indie band], drinking ____ [cheap hooch], debating whether to wear ____ [hideous early ’90s clothing fad] and go as ____ [Saved by the Bell character] or a rumpled ____ [article of clothing] and ____ [comfort shoe brand] to go as ____ [local prominent real estate developer]. Suddenly, he/she heard a ____ [spooky noise] in the basement.
With visions of ____ [low-budget slasher movie] and ____ [early-career Jack Nicholson character] in mind, ____ [same person in room] grabbed the ____ [overpriced but brilliantly marketed cell phone/PDA model] and went to investigate.
Peering into the darkness, he/she yelled “____!” [gangsta rap lyric] and punched the air like ____ [aging action hero]. Startled, ____ [name of other person in the room] screamed and dropped his/her ____ [(unusual) prop].
Clearly, both thought to themselves, this was going to be a ____ [salacious adjective] Halloween.

Citizens For Positive Change, Against Naysayers

Here’s a list of the individuals who signed that direct-mail letter circulated this week, warning citizens of naysayers (but not mentioning their names): Ruth Pratt, Bill Drake, Mary Lou Reed, Michael Bibin, Barb Bradley, Nancy Flagan, Denny Hague, Doug Fagerness, Paul Anderson, Dr. Douglas Stafford, Caroline Crollard, Lonne Jordahl, Dr. Steve Moss, Laura Jordahl, George Sayler, Katie Sayler, Michelle Fink, Jeanne Emerson, Greg Helbing, Jack Dawson, Jim Addis, Jo Ann Nelson, Kay Nelson, Steve McCrea, Mark Jackson, Allen Dodge, Ann Bonner, Ann Smart, Cheryl Shields, Darrell Dlouhy, David Larsen, Dr. Mary Sanderson, Dr. Richard Smart, Dustin Ainsworth, Eden Moreland, Elaine Smith, Judi Jackson Messina, Judy Drake, Kevin Jester, Kristen Theis, Lois Bruce, Lori Mayfield, Marlo Faulkner, Mary Dee Dodge, Nancy White, Neville Smith, Paul Olscamp, Rick Baron, Roberta Larsen, Ron Nichols, Sandy Clark, Sandy Emerson, Scott Fisher, Scot Reed, Tom Cronin, Jan Jesberger, Ken Koep, Mark Faulkner, Bob Bennett, Pat Whalen, Lora Whalen, Greg Torline, Jon Hippler, Janet Torline, Sheila Gary, and Fred Harris.

Huckleberries Gone Wireless w/Nils Rosdahl

I’ll be interviewing Nils Rosdahl, North Idaho College instructor and the man with the nose for biz news, at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, for my weekly Huckleberries Gone Wireless feature. If you have a question for Nils, you can post it under this thread …

Trib: What Name Would Jesus Call Moscow 3?

Today’s lesson is from the Gospel According to Dave. Dave Glasebrook of Moscow, the seldom-mentioned 13th apostle, also took dictation from Jesus. His notes, however, differ from those of St. Matthew. Matthew records Jesus saying, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Glasebrook distinctly remembers Jesus adding, “Unless they really tick you off.” Just kidding. Glasebrook never attributed that quote to Jesus. Saying he did was just a sarcastic way to raise public awareness. You know, like how Glasebrook described his protest in downtown Moscow Monday. He held a sign calling city council candidates Aaron Ament, Linda Pall and Tom Lamar members of the “bigot party.” “This is a Christian protest, not a vote protest,” Glasebrook says. A Christian protest? Interesting. What names would Jesus call people?/Tom Henderson, Lewiston Tribune.

Full post here

Question: How should a Christian protest?

Current Events Quiz, week of Oct. 29 - Nov. 2 — Vox Box

1. In recent years what would have happened last Saturday night/Sunday morning but now is occurring this coming weekend? (HINT: The change confused not only people but also some electronics devices as well.)
2. A suicide bomber in Iraq killed 29 this week, but he wasn’t a car bomber. What did he use for transportation?
3. What term did a study released this week from Johns Hopkins University use to describe schools with fewer than 60 percent of incoming freshmen
eventually graduating?
4. News media are reporting guards employed by Blackwater USA, the security company under investigation for its activities in Iraq, may have made statements about what happened in exchange for some kind of what?
5. A tropical storm in the Caribbean has already killed almost 20 in the Dominican Republic and might become a hurricane later this week. What is its name?
6. What singer and movie star, first famous for his role of Sir Lancelot in “Camelot,” died this week while waiting for a lung transplant?
7. What ripped as it was being installed on the international space station?
8. What did the U.S. Navy help a North Korean ship off the coast of Somalia successfully fight this week?

Erin Daniels/Vox Box will post the answers later.

Panhandle Teen Killed During Police Chase

A 16-year-old Desmet, Idaho, driver was killed Tuesday evening during a high speed chase on U.S. Highway 95 in Benewah County. An Idaho State Police corporal patrolling the southern part of the county at about 7:25 p.m. saw Ethan Horlacher approaching at a high rate of speed, said Idaho State Police Capt. Clark Rollins. When the corporal pulled over, Horlacher raced past. Full story by Amy Cannata/SR here.

Citizens For Positive Change Strike Before Spencer

I received a mass mailing from Citizens for Positive Change in the mailbox today (Thursday). Basically, it told “Concerned Community Member”: “The Sky is NOT Falling in Coeur d’Alene.” The letter was sent out by a raft of community leaders, from Ruth Pratt, Bill Drake and Mary Lou Reed to Denny Hague, Paul Anderson and Bob Bennett. Here’s a sample of the message: “As Election Day approaches, beware of the voice of Chicken Little telling you that “the sky is falling” with negative acusations lacking factual support. In fact, Coeur d’Alene is getting better all the time.” It doesn’t mention support for any candidates. I’d guess that this is a preemptive strike against Spencer’s poison-pen letter that’ll hit this weekend — and a response from community leaders to the months of bashing from Gookin, Spencer, Mary Souza and the Coeur d’Alene Press. I’d guess that Citizens for Positive Change will be mailing a follow-up letter this weekend with its endorsements. We’ll discuss this development Wednesday morning.

‘Today’ Does Halloween 2007

Richard Drew/AP Photo

Matt Lauer, right, co-host of the NBC “Today” television show, as Herman Munster and correspondent Tiki Barber as Spot the pet dragon, appear during the program’s annual Halloween show in New York’s Rockefeller Center this morning.

Question: How are you going to observe Halloween today? 1. Get dressed up and go to a party; 2. Hand out treats at the door; 3. Take my children trick or treating; 4. Take my children to a “safe” Halloween party; or 5. I don’t do Halloween.

Sam: HBOers I’d Like To Have A Beer With

People I’d have a beer with at HBO: MikeK, Bob, RSPA, DFO, Noah, GL, Herb, Taryn, Meghann, Toadman, OrangeTV, MamaJD, Raymond Pert, Digger, Phil, JimmyMac, John Austin, Cis, Wondering … and probably tons more. Of course I’ve already had a beer with some of these people. I’ve already had a beer *around* some of these people. And I know some of these people don’t imbibe hoppy libations. I don’t care!

Bob: Sam, my friend RSPA and I thank you for picking us in your top 3. We would love to toss a few foamy ones with you. :) We also would like to thank you for taking the time and effort to rank order your HBO drinking companions list. We know how much time and trouble that was but also how valuable it was to show the HBO world who the cool kids are. You the man.

DFO: You put me in 4th place behind MikeK, Bob and Pony? Where have I gone wrong, Sammy?

Question: Which HBOer would you like to have a beer with?

AM Hucks: Teachers Brace For Sugar Rush Day

Now that Halloween’s here, we should pause for a moment of silence for elementary school teachers who’ll be dealing with sugar rushes today. While you spruce up yard displays and calculate candy reserves, some teachers are bracing for a trying day. A local kindergarten teacher who goes by the name Jen on her blog, A Butterfly Moment, lists Halloween as one of her most difficult days. Others are: the first day of school (because 5-year-olds “don’t have a clue about anything”). Also, sez Jen, any day with a field trip or an assembly can be harrowing “because it’s out of the normal routine and causes extra excitement.” The first snow creates a “buzz” and “causes kindergarteners to bounce off the walls.” Holidays are worst of all. Not Presidents Day. Nor Columbus Day. Nor Memorial Day. But ones that involve gifts, parties or candy – or all of the above. “A regular kindergarten day is enough to suck every ounce of energy from Wonder Woman,” writes Jen on her blog. “But as soon as you throw in costumes or sugar or Santa or wrapping paper, it’s like that MySpace video with the (Diet Coke) and Mentos.” (Think: Old Faithful geyser in a 2-liter plastic bottle.) Jen admits she’s banned the word “Halloween” from classroom discussion. On most days, she’d concur with the parents of the 13 Munchkins in her charge that they’re little angels. Today, however, she easily can see her baker’s dozen dressed as those flying monkeys from Oz. Before Dorothy melts the witch. Oh well, she sighs, at the end of her post in A Butterfly Moment, a few more days and it will be over – “until mid-November when Christmas trees appear.” Let’s hold off wishing Jen a “Merry Christmas” for as long as possible.

Parting Shot — 10/30/07

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Ernie Stensgar, right, speaks to the assembled crowd earlier today at the Cataldo mission about the plans for the new visitors’ center and museum that the Coeur d’Alene Tribe is helping to build at Old Mission State Park in Cataldo. The tribe held a groundbreaking Tuesday. Ernie Stensgar is a former long-time chairman of the tribal council.

The Falls: Justice In Sandifur Case Comes Cheap

We were wondering just how much justice Paul Sandifur’s settlement will buy for the victims of Met Mortgage’s collapse. Works out to about $4.74 per investor. Sandifur settled his case with the feds – which alleged he oversaw fraudulent deals that backfired on investors – for a total of $151,000. About half of that may go to investors. Around 16,000 investors lost about $470 million in the company’s collapse, so Sandifur’s getting an excellent deal. Round it off and call it .03 percent of a penny on the dollar. Maybe he’s a better businessman than it appears. Not to mention the fact that he faces no criminal liability – unlike his right-hand man. Here are a few things Sandifur’s $4.74 per investor will not buy.

*A Quarter-Pounder meal with fries and a drink.
*A five-pound chicken at a local grocery store.
*A quart of oil for your car’s leaky old engine.
*Any time at all with a bankruptcy attorney.
*A life savings.

Question: What are some other things you can’t buy for $4.74?

Cross-Posted from Shawn Vestal/The Falls

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 10/30/07

Brent Andrews/Chronic Discontent

*At Bellemaison, JBelle/Notes from The ‘Kan EWA baits Colorado Rockies fans (of which I was one until the bandwagon ran into Red Sox Nation) with back-yard play involving her Chows (notice the red socks on their feet) here.

*”I have a big beef with all of today’s sports programs, and especially professional football games,” posts Idaho Escapee/Atmospheric Ruminations. Tonite’s Monday Night Football crew has three people in the booth, plus a couple of breathless pseudo-reporters who report on every little scrape, scratch, or bump on the field here.”

*As October draws to a close, Inland Empire Girl/Gathering Around The Table asks that everyone continues to “think pink” as she remembers her mother and three friends who survived breast cancer here.

*Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’ remembers his father in a week that the paterfamilias would have celebrated his 77th birthday if he was still alive here.

HBO Numbers (for Monday, Oct. 29): 8164 page-views and 4725 unique views.

Meanwhile, TUBOB posts about the “Zoltran Dilemma” here; Mrs. T visits Moscow here; Marmitetoasty provides more twaddle here; Toadman thanks God that his wife keeps him sane here; The Perambulator posts again — finally — here; and PDX Pup enables Britney Spears here.

Actor Robert Goulet, 73, RIP

Tina Fineberg File/AP File Photo

Actor Robert Goulet arrives at the 2005 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York, in this June 5, 2005, file photo. A spokesman for Goulet said Tuesday the singer has died in a Los Angeles hospital while awaiting a lung transplant here.

Movies & More: Top 10 Spine-Tingling Horror Shows

AP File Photo

1, “Funny Games”
2, “Audition”
3, “The Ring”
4, “”The Blair Witch Project”
5, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”
6, “The Exorcist”
7, “Alien”
8, “The Woman in Black”
9, “The Vanishing”
10, “Burnt Offerings”

Full post by Dan Webster/Movies & More here

Question: What scares you?

Political Beer Test

If I recall correctly, George W. Bush passed the beer test with voters in one of his elections — 2000 against Al Gore or 2004 against John Kerry. The beer test? It goes something like this: Which candidate would you feel most comfortable drinking a beer with. I can’t imagine having a beer with either Gore or Kerry. So Bush won by default, in my mind. So, let’s apply the beer test to your municipal election.

Question: Which candidate(s) would you like to hang out with at Capone’s drinking a brewski or two? (For Post Falls residents, the Capone’s mentioned here will be the future rebuilt one.)

HBO @ Noon: Do You Prefer Feisty Or Blah Campaigns?

Item: Protester accuses incumbents of bigotry against Moscow pastor: ‘This is a Christian protest, not a vote protest’/David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune

More Info: Standing on the sidewalk at the intersection of Main and Third streets, Glasebrook carried a yellow sign that read: “Vote the Bigot Party - Ament, Lamar, Pall.” He said the slogan was a sarcastic way to raise public awareness. Aaron Ament, Tom Lamar and Linda Pall are incumbents running for re-election. Glasebrook claimed the three are part of a continued campaign by city government to harass Wilson, his church and New Saint Andrews College located in downtown Moscow.

Question: Would you rather have a feisty campaign with accusations flying, like the Moscow municipal races or the mayoral one in Spokane between Hession and Verner? Or a relatively mild one?

It’s My 2 Cents: Gookin Has A Pretty Good Yard Sign

I must admit that former Huckleberries Online antagonist Dan Gookin has pretty good yard signs for his City Council election campaign. They mimic the design of the computers-for-dummies books that he has authored — yellow, black and white. My neighbor across the street has one in his front yard, along with one for Jim Brannon. I, of course, wouldn’t vote for Gookin, if he was running unopposed. I simply think that his agenda to dismantle our progressive urban renewal district is wrong-headed. However, I’m tempted to give him two thumbs up for the best yard signs for the 2007 Coeur d’Alene City Council elections.

Question: Have you seen a better yard sign than Dan Gookin’s?

Vox Box: Risque Cheerleading Outfits

I’m personally not a fan of cheerleading in general, but the uniforms can be a bit more conservative. The excuse that they are “easier to move it” doesn’t work in my book because they are so tight they can’t walk right!

Not okay
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Much better
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Question: Do cheerleading uniforms violate most dress codes? Are you offended when you have to see some girls butt when you are just trying to cheer for your school?

Cross-posted from Vox Box

Your Endorsements?

In Newspaper World, we regularly tell you why to vote for this candidate or that one. Let’s turn the tables and ask you to endorse candidates. Here’s the slate in Coeur d’Alene. (We’ll do Post Falls Wednesday):

*Ron Edinger and Dan Gookin
*Jim Brannon, Al Hassell, Chris Patterson, Jerry Weaver
*Anita Banta, John Bruning, Wayne Frisbie, Joseph Kunka, Susan Snedaker

Question: You be your own Editorial Board. You pick a slate of candidates and tell other HBOers why you support that slate.

SR: Luna Merit Pay Plan Warrants Look

Item: Pay plan merits look: Schools chief, Idaho teachers need mutual respect/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board

More Info: (Idaho Superintendent of Schools Tom) Luna’s proposal, which has the backing of Gov. Butch Otter, addresses a couple of serious issues right out of the chute. Recent rankings place Idaho 32nd among 50 states and the District of Columbia in teacher salaries and 45th in per-pupil spending. By sweetening the pot by $60 million, the state superintendent’s idea would immediately elevate Idaho somewhere above those embarrassing standings.

Question: Do you support the concept of merit pay for Idaho teachers?

Noah: Win,Win For Everyone But Inmates

Noah Kroese/Spokesman-Review

Sue: Schools Shouldn’t Observe Halloween, Xmas

Halloween is a pseudo-religious holiday. I still think it doesn’t belong in public schools. Whenever I helped at the schools during this time, inevitably there would be some students not participating, and obviously feeling uncomfortable about it. I don’t think the religious side of Christmas needs to be emphasized at public schools either, for the same reasons. and I’m not agnostic or atheist.


AM Hucks: Chick Book Should Be Fine, Men

It didn’t take long to realize that I had selected a “chick book” as Huckleberries’ Book of the Month: Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love.” In fact, the first six words of Gilbert’s New York Times best-seller gave it away: “I wish Giovanni would kiss me.” Then, she explains why a kiss from Giovanni would be a bad idea, beginning with the observation that Giovanni is 10 years younger and that she’d pledged to remain celibate for the next 12 months. A pledge that would come back to haunt her within a few short chapters. No wonder blogger MamaJD mentioned at a recent blog get-together that she chuckled every time she read through some heavy-duty chick thoughts in “Eat, Pray, Love.” She knew that Huckleberries Online regular Thom George and I would be gagging on them. Gilbert’s book was recommended by several female bloggers and commenters at Huckleberries. None of the men mentioned it as I sought nominations for the October Book of the Month. That should have been my first clue. However, I didn’t find descriptions of the book that threatening, like this one by Jennifer Egan/New York Times: “Reeling from a contentious divorce, a volatile rebound romance and a bout of depression, she decided at 34 to spend a year traveling in Italy, India and Indonesia.” I figured the book was equal parts travel and spiritual journey. As an Evangelical, I was intrigued by Gilbert’s yearlong spiritual quest that has its roots in Christianity but veers quickly toward Eastern religion. She’s a terrific writer. Coeur d’Alene Librarian Bette Ammon will lead the online discussion of “Eat, Pray, Love” beginning Thursday. I think I’ll be OK with “Eat, Pray, Love,” if I can get past Giovanni and his 25-year-old twin brother “with those giant brown liquid-center Italian eyes” that “just unstitch” the author.

Jailed CDA Rocker Had Previous Brushes w/Law

Item: Musician suspected of fondling teen’s feet: Schierman prosecuted previously for stealing girl’s panties/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

A professional musician who just released a CD on a national label is charged with sexual abuse for allegedly fondling the feet of a Coeur d’Alene teen. At least nine teen-age girls in Coeur d’Alene have reported 26-year-old Nate Schierman asked for their socks and if he could rub their feet. Some of the teens - mostly middle school students - said Schierman offered them money in exchange. Coeur d’Alene Police say Schierman, also charged with a misdemeanor count of enticing a child, could face additional charges as the investigation continues. He was arrested Thursday on a charge of sexual abuse of a child under 16, and remains in the Kootenai County Jail on $100,000 bail.

Wild Card/Monday — 10/29/07

I’ll defer this morning to an e-mail that ex-CDA P&Zer Steve Badraun sent this weekend: “Here it is, the final lap, the last week. All the candidates are tired, nervous and counting the hours toward election morning. “Have I done enough? “What if I had just knocked on one more door?” “What if I had put out one more yard sign or shook one more hand?” All of you are winners. … You put yourself out there and faced the unforgiving public and let them raise you up or shout you down day after day. The people of North Idaho are richer for your decision to want to lead them into a bright future. Congratulations to you all. I will be thinking of you on election night.” Now, for your Monday Wild Card …

Fanselow: Senate Race Offers Digital Divide

First, the Internet is where young voters live — and by “young,” I mean everyone under 40, and quite a few of us above. By and large, young voters aren’t listening to talk radio, watching network TV or taking home delivery of the newspaper. Many have no landline phone, and they sure as shooting don’t read direct mail. The Internet is where they go to communicate with friends, download music and TV shows, research purchases, read the news (a fact the Statesman recognizes with its increasing online presence) and — yes — learn about political candidates. This will be even truer in 2008. It’s no surprise that every major Internet site from YouTube to MySpace is giving politics a prominent spot, holding online debates and hosting candidate videos. LaRocco has pages on both Facebook and MySpace, and his supporters are posting videos on YouTube. Risch likely doesn’t have a clue what these things are/Julie Fanselow, Red State Rebels.

Full post here

Question: How much attention should Lt. Gov. Jim Risch pay to blogs and the Internet as he seeks to become Idaho’s new U.S. senator?

Hard 7: Add “Boston Legal” To Craig Plot Lines

Denny Crane, the lovable right-wing loon lawyer played to perfection by William Shatner on “Boston Legal,” will be charged with trying to consummate a bathroom hookup on the Nov. 13 episode, Slate’s Bruce Reed notes: “Beyond the superficial similarity of the names Denny Crane and Larry Craig, it’s easy to see why the show’s writers couldn’t resist the temptation to exploit the longest running joke of the fall season. Denny Crane is a classic Hollywood conservative, who joins Stephen Colbert, Thurston Howell III, Michael Keaton, and Krusty the Clown on Wikipedia’s list of ‘Fictional United States Republicans.’ TV conservatives always play the part for laughs; Craig plays it straight, with the same result. …

HBO Book Club: Oops! I Picked A Chick Book!

It didn’t take me long to realize that I had selected a “chick” book as the HBO Book of the Month: Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat Pray Love.” In fact, it took me all of six words to start Ms. Gilbert’s New York Times bestseller to figure it out: “I wish Giovanni would kiss me.” Then, she goes about explaining why that would be a bad idea, beginning with the fact that Giovanni’s 10 years younger and then there was the pledge she’d made to herself to be celibate for 12 months. A pledge that would come back to haunt her a few short chapters later. No wonder MamaJD mentioned at the ethicsfest that she chuckled every time she read through some heavy-duty chick thoughts in the book. She knew that ThomG and I would be gagging on them. However, the writing’s good. As an Evangelical, I’m interested in Gilbert’s year-long spiritual quest that has its roots in Christianity but obviously will veer toward Eastern religion later. I think I’ll be OK, if I can get past Giovanni and his 25-year-old twin brother “with those giant brown liquid-center Italian eyes” that “just unstitch” Ms. Gilbert.

County Western Singer Porter Wagoner, 80, R.I.P.

Stephen Chernin/AP Photo

In a file photo country music legend Porter Wagoner performs July 24 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Wagoner, the rhinestone-clad Grand Ole Opry star who helped launch the career of Dolly Parton by hiring her as his duet partner died Sunday. He was 80.

Poll: Hillary Makes Scariest Halloween Costume

Item: Clinton, Giuliani top picks for costumes/Associated Press

More Info: Once again, Hillary Rodham Clinton leads in a poll. This time, she was top choice when people were asked which major 2008 presidential candidate would make the scariest Halloween costume. Asked about costume choices, 37 percent in an Associated Press-Ipsos survey this month chose New York Sen. Clinton, the front-runner among Democratic presidential contenders. Fourteen percent selected former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who leads Republicans in national polls. No other candidate exceeded 6 percent.

Question: What are you going to dress up as, for Halloween?

Huckleberries Best of Idaho Online — 10/29/07

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Coeur d’Alene Parks trail coordinator Monte McCully, right, talks with Waltraut Johnson, left, and Pam Waller, center, about the future of a new 24-plus-acre park on the side of Canfield Mountain Saturday. here.

1. 1. State Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna has been speaking out about his teacher merit pay proposal and pitching his proposed public schools budget, but as he made public appearances last week, he also faced questions about the case of his brother, 43-year-old James Luna of Nampa/Eye On Boise here. KTVB story here.

2. School has always had rules: No gum. No talking. No roughhousing. “No Halloween costumes” may seem an unlikely addition, but holiday fluff may soon go the way of Wrigley’s Spearmint for many students in the Treasure Valley/Idaho Statesman here.

3. Online Poll: 50% of 863 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll believe students should be allowed to wear any costume they want to Halloween parties at school. The remainding 50% believe that costumes should be reined in or there should be no costumes at all at school.

4. News Roundup: Cabela’s STAR funding could become a model/Spokesman-Review; Residents concerned about students campaigning for mayoral candidates/Idaho Statesman; Family mourns after police shoot daughter 8 times/KTVB; Aspiring musician faces sexual abuse of a child charges/Coeur d’Alene Press; Priest Lake auction sale flops/Spokesman-Review; and Boise State back in Top 25/KTVB.

5. Idaho Blogosphere: Dave Barry dresses up as Larry Craig/Red State Rebels; Craig: Arrogant or unstable/Mountain Goat Report; Reviews: “Dan In Real Life” and “Across The Universe”/Bubblehead; A reasonable request that will likely be ignored/Adam’s Blog; and Reaching out to NW churches/Randy Stapilus.

6. IMHO-Idaho: It’s nice to know if your surgeon is Daffy Duck/Tom Henderson, Lewiston Tribune; INL hides nuclear weapons past/Rocky Barker, and Idaho Statesman; “Higher” ed refers to price/Coeur d’Alene Press.

Positive Change Group: Tired Of CDA Chicken Littleism

The City of Coeur d’Alene has been the target of pointed criticism in recent weeks and months. While we think constructive criticism is an essential component of any democracy, we’re frankly tired of the barrage of nay-saying and insinuation. Like Chicken Little in the children’s story, the perpetual critics are using every means possible to convince us that “the sky is falling!” So in response to the drumbeat of negativity, we’d like to emphasize some of the positive things we see happening in Coeur d’Alene today. For a refreshing change, let’s talk about what’s going right for our community!/Citizens for Positive Change steering committee (Ruth Pratt, Bill Drake, Mary Lou Reed, Barb Bradley, Doug Fagerness, Dr. Steve Moss).

Full comment here

Question: Is Coeur d’Alene going in a positive direction? Or a negative one?

H95 Emphasis Patrol To Start On Halloween

CPD Blue News Release: (On Wednesday), there will be a multi-agency aggressive driving emphasis patrol. Coeur d’Alene City Police, Idaho State Police and the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department will be working together to reduce crashes on US95 between mile makers 427 on the south and mile marker 434 to the north. (South of the Spokane River bridge to Lacey Ave.) This will be a ZERO-tolerance emphasis. It will include following too closely, failure to use turn signals, unsafe lane changes, speeding and any other hazardous violation. We will also be looking for equipment violations that could lead to hazardous conditions for the surrounding motorist. The goal of the emphasis is to reduce injury crashes in and around Coeur d’Alene. Were asking the public to Slow down, Back off, Buckle Up and Be aware.

Online Poll: School Halloween Costumes

Some public schools are opting for politically correct, neutralized Halloween celebrations. What kind of Halloween costumes do you think are appropriate at school? — Idaho Statesman.

*Anything goes
*Nothing scary
*No costumes

Larry Craig Toilet Display For Sale In Hayden

You can find this toilet for sale on Idaho Road between Hayden and Wyoming, in Hayden. Its owner furnished the following explanation: “Happy Halloween guys. JR and I made our first ever Halloween display. I was trying to sell that darn toilet. Grandma had a fit because the toilet was ‘sitting’ out front like we were white trash (not that we are not any better but it’s good to pretend.) So, we thought fast and negotiated a deal, the toilet could stay if it was manned by a dummy in a Halloween display. First came the Dummy that JR made, while working in the shed we found a years old Craig sign and Blamo the ideal hit. Happy Halloween, you know, sometimes you just have to make lemonade out lemons.”

Sunset Mag Spotlights Hudson’s Hamburgers

Item: 100 years of hamburgers: Hudsons Hamburgers celebrates a century of Huddyburgers in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho/Peter Fish, Sunset

Quotable Quote: By 11 the place is packed, and Todd’s hands are moving like a Vegas blackjack dealer’s, slicing onions and shaping patties and slapping them down on the Depression-era grill. It is time for me to try my double cheeseburger. And it is … superb. In terms of food expertise, I’m no Raymond Sokolov, but the entire bun-cheese-burger package seems perfect in its simplicity, like a Shaker chair. When I ask Todd Hudson the secret of the Huddyburger, he modestly credits his beef supplier. But surely his dexterity at the grill counts for something, not to mention the spirits of past Hudsons looking over his shoulder.

Question: When did you last eat a hamburger at Hudson’s?

Noah: Blow, Santa Ana Winds, Blow

Noah Kroese/Special to Huckleberries Online

BrentA: Waiting To Exhale

have been holding my breath hoping there’s not some long list of rules coming out of the Ethicsfest. One of the things people do when they get together is make lists of rules - everyone wants to add to it and make his mark on the world. Witness Congress, or your local city council: What those groups do sometimes only amounts to making new rules to add to the list. People seem to love telling others what not to do. I do this too. But HBO has been different. You could say what you want, here. The Blogmeister didn’t mind you expressing yourself in front of the huge audience he brings to the table. There’s not a lot of places where you can talk to a huge audience of friends and Idahoans absolutely free. I hope this blog continues to be a free forum.

Ramirez: Squawking From On High

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Huckleberries Online: The Ethicsfest

ThomG/Special to Huckleberries Online

Some participants did not know a camera would be present and Sweet&Sour Herb observed that pseudo-anonymous posters should not have their true identities revealed without their permission. (Pictured and identifiable: Mike Kennedy, foreground, Editor Steve Smith, behind Mike, and a muffin that gave its life for the cause.)

Wild Card/Saturday — 10/27/07

Things are never dull at Huckleberries Online. The week began with the editors circling your blogmaster and HBO like Great Whites after I printed the name of the NIC suicide victim in a Sunday post here. I lost that battle. Then, it concluded with the HBO ethicsfest at the Fort Ground Grill, where 8 regulars met with Editor Steve Smith and me to discuss ground rules here — and decided to keep things pretty simple re: posters. Keep personal insults to a minimum. That was followed Friday afternoon by the controversial call to post the Wonkette post by a gay man who claims he had hasty sex with U.S. Sen. Larry Craig 20 years ago. You never know what you’re going to find here. Then, you know that. That’s why you keep coming back. Right? Now, for your Saturday Wild Card …

Rhyme Of The Misguided Columnist

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
My, how your bitterness grows.
With words of bile,
Meant to defile,
Falling short of meaningful prose.


SteveS: RPS Blog Comments Mimic Broken Record

I first became involved in News is a Conversation and, later on, the various other blogs, because invested in writing, and that I also believe in the talented people who make newspaper journalism what it has been and is today. I have always wanted for my journalism, the articles I read to be concise, on-target, accurate and well-written. As strident as this demand might seem, I wish that Blogs ascribe to those same lofty goals. I challenge anyone who Blogs regularly to reach for those goals; make me laugh, cry or simply educate me in new or unusual pathways, but please do not bore me. Most of the comments I have read today in the various blogs about River Park Square increasingly sound like an old 78 RPM record that is stuck in the same track, playing the same fragments of a tune over and over again, until someone comes along and judiciously bumps the needle.

Full post here

MamaJD: Man’s Sex Claim re: Larry Craig Questionable

re: claim by gay man that he had sex with U.S. Sen. Larry Craig 20 years ago.

After I read the nasty details, which I wouldn’t have without this thread, I believe that this is a concocted story. I don’t buy David Phillips’ assertion that his alleged encounter with Larry Craig has brought on near Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Let me be clear - I believe that Larry Craig is doing a great disservice to Idaho and he should be ashamed of his ego. I believe that Larry Craig is not being completely honest. I believe that Sid Smith and Dan Whiting have the hardest jobs around. I know Dan Whiting and this would be a difficult subject to work around. I will not, however, believe every Tom, Dick and Harry that will crawl out of the woodwork making claims such as Phillips’. After reading more about Phillips in conjunction with his story, his credibility is questionable. … DFO linking to this story will not hurt Larry Craig any further than what Larry has already done to himself. If anything, Larry Craig earned some sympathy from me over this because it can’t be easy/MamaJD.

Full post here


wind rains pinecones
needles and hail
twists saplings
shatters old growth

wind unzips the sky
dumps hemlock seeds
to set fresh roots
in farflung spots

wind invisible
as the trail of a bird
spreads within
to strike end notes of time

Sue Turner/Tumblewords

Napkin Notes Reviews HBO Ethicsfest

Though different organizations have come up with various lists of rules and guidelines, Dave prefers to keep it simple: no personal insults. Common sense, it is to be hoped, covers all the big “no-no”s—libel, threats, racism, psycho stalker behavior, etc. I think most of us are intelligent enough to know the difference between attacking a person and attacking their ideas or opinions. (Pop quiz! Of these two offensive comments, which is more likely to be deleted by DFO? Comment #1: “Christians are so hypocritical, and they’re ruining the country by getting their faith and their politics mixed up!” Comment #2: “Christians eat babies!”) In the end, it is the blogmaster’s discretion that rules the day, and hopefully his judicious deleting of comments that cross the line will keep the threads of community interaction moving in a positive direction/Katrina, Notes On A Napkin.

Full post here

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 10/26/07

Molly Miron/AP Photo, Bemidji Pioneer

John Keers steadies Billy, his Suffolk draft horse, as Dr. Richard Bowman files the rough edges of the animal’s teeth Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2007. The metal device holds the sedated horse’s mouth open so the veterinarian dentist can work. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Lusting after freedom and tired of his dependent role in the welfare state, Billy builds up the resolve to bite the hand that feeds him — LynnS.

2. This horsie would win all the races/But then was outfitted with braces/He wiggled his chin/Gave a sparkling grin/And said “Dr. Bowman will still sing my praises!” — Kendramama.

3. “You only think I’m sedated. Go ahead, stick your hand in my mouth again” — Digger.

HM: Digger

Dogwalk Musings: Huckleberries Still Evolving

Editor Smith left feeling comfortable with the prevailing attitudes. Blogmeister Oliveria, I think, left feeling he isn’t out there alone. His commenters and bloggers have his back. And those of us in attendance, again, I think, left feeling we are still part of an ever evolving local community, the whole of which draws its strength from the sum of its members/Dogwalk Musings.

Full post here

Eye On Boise: “No Other Arguments To Make”

A University of Minnesota law professor who’s been following Sen. Larry Craig’s case in his state says he’s not surprised that Craig’s lawyers are putting forth the exact same arguments on appeal that were such a loser for him in district court. “They don’t have any other arguments to make,” said Stephen Simon. “They’re just saying that based on the relevant law, the judge decided wrongly. Now, it’s an uphill battle, because appellate courts tend to defer to trial courts, especially in discretionary areas such as this”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

UI Argonaut: Trick Or Treat

When did you stop trick or treating? — UI Argonaut.

*Before age 10
*18 +
*I’ll never stop!

Huckleberries Best of Idaho Online — 10/26/07

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Coeur d’Alene High School 10th grader Kaylee Kosareff reacts to an exploding water balloon during the second intramural event of the year at the school in Coeur d’Alene on Thursday. Each team won 25 points per successful toss.

1. A sweeping proposal from state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna that would give substantial pay raises to teachers who give up tenure, work at high-performing schools, assume leadership roles or take difficult-to-fill positions drew praise from local school leaders Thursday for its innovation/Meghann M. Cuniff, Spokesman-Review, here.

2. The mayor here and in Moscow on Thursday blasted cable television giant Time Warner for attempting to strip the two city governments of authority to review and regulate charges for basic service. But neither city will make a legal challenge/David Johnson, Moscow-Pullman Daily News, here.

3. Online Poll: 40% of 623 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say they believe in ghosts, UFOs and extra-sensory perception.

4. News Roundup: Government Way shops suffered during road work/Spokesman-Review; Sagebrush state Idaho shows its spirit/Idaho Statesman; Idaho gas prices among nation’s highest/KTVB; Deputies shoot, kill armed man/KTVB; and Coeur d’Alene to unveil proposed Canfield trails/Coeur d’Alene Press.

5. Idaho Blogosphere: Big brotherism run amok/Dogwalk Musings; Idaho gets new reports of cattle mutilations/Rocky Barker; The travel game/Adam’s Blog; Anti-American?/Morialekafa; and Johnny Cash time/Dennis Mansfield.

6. IMHO-Idaho: Craig supporters waiting for next shoe to tap/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune; Foolish or dishonest? Some choice/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman; UI Repubs don’t join WSU Repubs in hatefest/T.J. Tranchell, UI Argonaut; Knowledge is healthy/Spokesman-Review; and Truthfulness and justice for all/Holly Bowen, UI Argonaut.

Editor Smith OK w/Current State of HBO

I’m back to the ethicsfest, where Steve Smith and I met to discuss HBO blog rules with the following regulars at the Fort Ground Grill: Thom George, MamaJD, Dogwalk Musings, Notes On A Napkin, Sweet Herb, MikeK, and Dan of the County. Fort Ground Grill owner Steve Widmyer was invited to sit in, too. Good discussion. The main focus was on the comments section of this blog. Editor Smith said he didn’t see a big problem with the comments section now. And didn’t want to impose hard and fast rules because he wants to see the community dynamic continue. He said he’s never seen a vehicle for community interaction like Huckleberries Online during his 35 years in the news biz. The key, he said, is to maintain civility and passion without personal insults. He indicated that the crackdown on personal insults that began 6 to 8 weeks ago seems to be working fine. I mentioned that I cracked down too hard at first. But have reached a happy middle ground since. I’d appreciate if others who attended the meeting would provide their impressions, too.

CBS Public Eye Interviews Popkey About Craig Story

re: investigative reporter Dan Popkey discusses Larry Craig scandal w/CBS Public Eye

“The intensity of it was something I wasn’t prepared for. The urgency of the requests for interviews was surprising – they initially asked for me, but we started using other people from the paper, like the editorial page editor and the managing editor. This is Idaho, we’re not accustomed to network vans coming here and staying for days. Another thing? More often than I would have thought, people working for major news organizations didn’t do their homework. For example, they’d call me for comment on a story not having read the 3,800-word piece that we published the day after the arrest and conviction became known”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman.

Question: Should the Idaho Statesman have run Popkey’s story before the scandal in Minnesota broke?

Letter Writer: No Excuse For Kootenai Electric Fatality

It was sad to read about another work-related fatality when a Kootenai Electric Cooperative lineman was electrocuted Tuesday (“Electric lineman killed setting pole,” Oct. 24). Almost as disheartening was the way this tragedy was dismissed by the management as the “nature of the business.” First, I couldn’t agree more with General Manager Robert Crump as his thoughts and prayers go out to the family and employees. But then he is quoted as saying, “It’s dangerous work.” Any industrial work is dangerous if there isn’t adequate pre-job preparation through hazard identification, safe work procedures and training. If they “knew that” and the victim “knew that” then why weren’t the proper precautions taken? The last sentence sent chills up my spine, where the worker Jake Booth was quoted earlier as saying, “The first day you are out climbing. They put you right out there and let you start doing it.” I don’t think there is any good excuse for a life to be needlessly lost, and I would bet that OSHA feels the same way. I hope the S-R continues to follow this story so we can all learn what preventative actions Kootenai Electric Cooperative is going to take to make sure that something like this never happens again.

Jack Dayley
Owner, Dayley Industrial Safety Consulting LLC

BrentA: Some Holds Barred?

Brent Andrews/Special to Huckleberries Online

OrangeTV: If I Were HBO Blogmaster …

OrangeTV: When the posts first started evaporating, it bothered me a bit. I always liked the reckless vibe that used to keep things popping around here. I was afraid of things becoming to nicey-nice, but I think it actually seems fine the way it is now. I admit, it’s sometimes torturous to wonder what the deleted posts said that got them deleted in the first place. And we always know when they’re deleted because DFO always mentions it when he does. I’ve been on the receiving end of a few nastygrams around here, and it didn’t feel very good. No one likes to have their feelers hurt. I think it’s okay to civilly dissect and debate someone’s ideas or point of view, but there’s really no logical reason to take things to a hurtful personal level. Full post here.

DFO: OTV’s post above provides an opportunity to remind you of the Huckleberries Online ethicsfest today. Eight HBO regulars will meet with Editor Steve Smith and me to discuss how we do things here. It should be fun.

Question: How would you do things differently, if you were the Huckleberries Online blogfather?

Huckleberries Gone Wireless w/Wayne Longo

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Ginny Longo, pinned the Coeur d’Alene Chief of Police badge on her husband Wayne Longo during his swearing in ceremony at the Coeur d’Alene Police Department on Monday, Sept. 17.

DFO: Have you ever had life-on-the-line close calls?

Wayne Longo: Yes. Two come to mind. I was on a tactical team that went into Ruby Ridge to pull out (US Marshal) Bill Degan’s body. I was with the first responders. It took us about five hours to go mile and a quarter. We were afraid of snipers behind every tree. The other was a meth house in Coeur d’Alene in 1999. The house exploded on us while we were inside. We pulled two people out. I and another guy went back into the house to find a third person. That guy passed out and almost died in my arms. I also had to pull my partner out.

Full interview here; Spokesman-Review story here

Wild Card/Thursday — 10/25/07

A long day at HBO Central is almost in the books. Don’t look for me TGIF at any time near 7 o’clock in the morning. Such an ungodly hour. I still need as much input as possible re: the ethicsfest that will take place tomorrow with 8 HBO regulars, Editor Steve Smith and me. I know you’re no bashful. For anything else you might want to say tonight, you can use this Wild Card …

A Downloadable Larry Craig Mask …

… to spice up any Halloween Party this year. Ah-ha. Click here and pdf here.

Hat Tip: Meghann M. Cuniff

Get Out! Goes West — to Review Fusion Teriyaki

The question has been bouncing back and forth in my head lately like a Swedish meatball: Should I or should I not spread the Get Out tentacles across the state line into Spokane? I mean, the idea was always to keep my coverage pretty much confined exclusively to North Idaho. But there’s no denying the pull of our big ugly sister to the west. Like death, we all have to go sometimes. Okay, there are a few things about the Lilac City that aren’t totally depressing, like the historic beauty of Manito Park, the Museum of Arts and Culture, or the newly reopened Magic Lantern Theater. Most importantly, there are certain types of cuisine you simply can’t find here in the Panhandle. Where can you go over here if you’re having a wild craving for Schnitzel and Spatzle? Chicken Tikka Masala and Naan? An all-you-can-eat Slavic Buffet? Nowhere, and that’s why I’ve decided it’s okay to occasionally write up some of the more unusual dining experiences Spokane has to offer/OrangeTV, Get Out! Goes West.

Full post here

Question: What Spokane County place has a cuisine that you simply can’t find in North Idaho?

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 10/25/07

Bubblehead Photo

Wayne Hoffman (left), spokesman for Congressman Bill Sali, and Bubblehead got together for hot chocolate and smoothies in the Boise area Wednesday. Bubblehead/The Stupid Shall Be Punished looks at the flap that resulted when two or three bloggers from 43rd State Blues attacked Huckleberries Online for being too soft on Congressman Sali during an online interview last week here.

*TUBOB feels better healthwise now that he’s been away from smokes for two years but he’s concerned about “the growling fetus of feet” he packs around his torso here.

*Inland Empire Girl/Gathering Around the Table writes for herself, her profession and her young students. She also knows the importance of praising budding writers, as well as offering constructive criticism, here.

*”My first act as King of the Land of Autonomy would be to decree that people let each other live their lives and do their work without smothering oversight and interference,” decrees Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’ here.

*PDX Pup sings the praises of her XM Radio, which she bought in 2002 and which has been with her in two different cars, and approximately 22 states and two countries here.

*In a tale, Toadman/Synaptic Disunion discovers how easy it is to whittle universes and beyond here.

HBO Blog Nos. (for Wednesday, Oct. 24): 8738 page-views and 5065 unique views.

Greg Lee Predicts PFHS To Beat CHS Tonight

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

The obvious pick here is the Vikings. I think CdA, overall, is the better team. At least it has the better defense. But I’m going against conventional wisdom. Since my boss took CdA, well I, quite frankly, am left with the Trojans. PF ends its skid, forcing a three-way tie for the second berth. PF 28, CdA 24/Greg Lee, Spokesman-Review.

The rest of the Panhandle Picks here

Luna: “No Comment” re: Brother

“I’m not going to talk about those personal matters,” — Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna earlier today in Coeur d’Alene re: news that his brother James has been indicted for alleged lewd conduct with a minor.

SHS Grad Brandon Adam Recalls Near-Fatal Attack

Photo provided by Brandon Adam’s family

Sgt. Brandon Adam: “I’ve pieced this together from what people have told me. I remember about 30 seconds after I got hit. I slumped over, fell and was all disoriented. It was dark. I couldn’t see. There was smoke everywhere. I was more worried about my buddy who was sitting where the hole was. I thought he had died. I tried to get up and couldn’t … suddenly it felt like a million hot needles in my legs. I yelled out twice that I thought my legs were on fire. They found me, dragged me out and immediately my best buddy John put a tourniquet on my left leg. The right leg was too mangled for a tourniquet. They have these things like a patch that coagulate the blood. They couldn’t really control the bleeding on my right side”/Marianne Love/Slight Detour, River Journal.

Full post here

Q: Would You Want Your Family Under Microscope?

John Duh is right that for the average citizen family shouldn’t be dragged into the spotlight for the various action of other family members. But this privacy element changes when people enter public life, it is an accepted reality. My older brother is being pushed to run for state house in Southern Idaho and we realize that it might draw our family into some measure of scrutiny; it is just something that come with public life/Idawa.

Question: Would you be willing to have your family scrutinized by the public as the result of the political ambitions of a relative?

Eye On Olympia: Rossi To Take On Gregoire Again

Speaking in Issaquah a few minutes ago, former GOP candidate for governor Dino Rossi said, yes, he’ll run again against Democratic incumbent Chris Gregoire. … In a pre-announcement interview with the Associated Press, Rossi said his campaign will focus on Gregoire’s “trail of broken promises,” including tax hikes and not doing more to cut through the state’s bureaucracy/Rich Roesler, Eye On Olympia.

Full post here

Related: Bland B. Blanderson runs for governor again/Frank Sennett, Hard 7

Online Poll: Which Natural Disaster Do You Fear Most?

Which natural disaster do you fear most? — Idaho Statesman.


LynnS: Read Election Letters, Too

It’s election season, and that’s just as exciting at the letters desk as, say, elk season for bow hunters. Though the flow of letters we’re receiving is tame compared with last year’s election campaign and tamer compared with what we’ll see throughout the 2008 presidential campaign, it’s decidedly picked up. There’s good reason for it, too; ballots are in voters’ hands now. It’s now or never for city council, school board and mayoral candidates. Vast campaign structures loom behind the 200-word missives that finally make their way into our inbox and onto the Roundtable page. The staff of the S-R Opinion pages has often pondered and discussed the best way to handle letters during election seasons. It isn’t just that we sometimes tire of hearing meaningless talking points slung back and forth between campaigns; readers also have mentioned that they just skip over the letters that look like election plugs/Lynn Swanbom, Spokesman-Review.

Full column here

Question: Do you read election letters to the editor?

Government Way Bridge Work Tonight

The Idaho Transportation Department is warning drivers that work tonight to repair a water pipe on the Government Way Bridge in Couer d’Alene will reduce traffic on the bridge to one lane in each direction. The work is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and last until 6 p.m. Friday. At times the bridge may be reduced to one single lane with flaggers directing traffic.

Noah: To Adjudicate Or Not To Adjudicate?

Noah Kroese/Special to Huckleberries Online

DOTC: Where Are The City Voters?

I’ve been back and forth to the elections department today and saw several voters coming in to vote, hooray, hooray…the only problem was that about 2 out of 3 of them were in the county so they have no election to vote in! Those voters definitely get an “A” for effort and determination but we’re still wondering where all the voters are who actually can vote in a city election now through November 6th.

Dan of the County

AM Hucks: We Host An Equal Opportunity Book Club

At Huckleberries Online, the commenters, bloggers and blurkers are reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Eat, Pray, Love” in preparation for our book-of-the-month club online discussion. Librarian Bette Ammon will lead the discussion, which begins Nov. 1. But first I need to introduce you to Parley Melvin Anglen, my old English teacher at Gridley (Calif.) Union High School. Parley Mel had three characteristics that I recall. He was arrogant, he was a bully, and he didn’t like me. I was his personal pincushion from the time I fractured my first diagram of a complicated sentence during my freshman year until I turned in my final assignment in his yearbook class in my senior year. He so belittled me that I wouldn’t have gone into journalism if I hadn’t been encouraged to write by junior English teacher Jim Roulsten. Parley Mel deserves credit for introducing me to author Bernard Malamud and “The Natural.” It was time, he said, for me to quit reading boilerplate sports stories with happy endings, like “The Kid Who Batted 1.000.” OK, he also forced me to read John Hersey’s “Hiroshima” and “The Wall.” Maybe he was frustrated because he saw potential in me but couldn’t access it. One day, Parley Mel made a statement that I haven’t forgotten. He didn’t read books by women, he said, because “women can’t write.” The guy was so in my head by that time that I believed him. I didn’t read a book written by a woman for years, unless assigned to do so in a high school or college class. Now, I know better. Maybe it’s Freudian that the first three Huckleberries Online Book Club selections have been written by women: “Water for Elephants,” by Sara Gruen, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” by J.K. Rowling, and now “Eat, Pray, Love.” You’re welcome to join the discussion. Extra copies are available at the library. Eatcher heart out, Parley Mel.

Parting Shot — 10/24/07

Remember: HBO Gone Wi-Fi will interview Chief Longo live online Thursday morning, beginning at 7 o’clock.

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Chief Wayne Longo, right, and officer Scott TenEyck, left, of the Coeur d’Alene Police play dodgeball with kids at the afternoon program run by CDA4Kids and the Boys and Girls Club at Lakes Middle School Wednesday. Longo and other police officers were at the school to show support for the fundraising efforts. The Boys and Girls Club organization is trying to raise money to expand and start an afterschool program in Post Falls.

No One Charged Yet In Bayview Hunting Death

The shooting took place at about 6 p.m. near the Careywood Cutoff Road. David Howard, 22, of Bayview died minutes later. He had been shot once in the side of the chest with a .300 Winchester magnum rifle, according to Wolfinger. A third member of the hunting party was a short distance behind the victim and was able to help investigators piece the scene together.

Full story by Jim Hagengruber/SR here

Shinie Reviews Toro Viejo

The bright new sign along Seltice Way advertising the new businesses in Riverstone keeps taunting me. When I’m driving to or from Coeur d’Alene, I see just a flash of “All you can eat tacos.” It’s a taco addicts dream come true and I know what it’s referring to: the all you can eat taco deal at Azteca on Tuesdays. It’s only $5 and comes with all the tacos, rice, beans and salsa you can eat. However, I’ve indulged in the feast at the Spokane locations and know that even though it’s a good price and decent food, I’d rather spend five dollars on one limited size, high quality meal at Toro Viejo. Like any other restaurant with multiple locations, I believe that there are variations between Toro Viejo outlets in Coeur d’Alene, Hayden and Post Falls. The Coeur d’Alene always has been the best, in my opinion. I was reminded of why when I visited for lunch today/Shinie, This Is Growing Up.

Full post here

Question: Which Toro Viejo do you like best?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 10/24/07

Larry Steagall/AP Photo, Kitsap Sun

A seagull rests on a light post while the moon glows in the dusk sky at Lions Park in East Bremerton, Wash., Tuesday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. While discussing pending layoffs at the newspaper this week, editor Steve Smith pointed to this picture of a one-legged seagull and said, “If he can do it, so can The Spokesman-Review!” — Brent Andrews.

2. “Well, at least they can’t say I have a wide stance” — LynnS.

3. Despite losing a leg in an intense online debate over his abilities, cartoonist Kroese vowed to “fly on and fight again” — Brent Andrews.

HM: Nic

Spokesman-Review Blog Numbers — 10/24/07

In the post below, Managing Editor Gary Graham mentions that a veteran reporter monitors the SR blog numbers. I’m that veteran reporter. If you’re interested, you can read the numbers of our Top 10 newspaper blogs for Tuesday below. (In recent days, Sportslink has regularly topped Huckleberries in Unique Views.)

1. Huckleberries Online (DFO) — 9,412 pageviews, 5,313 unique views.
2. Sportslink (Sports Dept.) — 6,924/4,635
3. News Is A Conversation (Steve Smith) — 2,641/1,908
4. Video Journal (Colin Mulvaney) — 934/687
5. The Falls (Shawn Vestal) — 890/529
6. A Matter Of Opinion (Editorial Board) — 617/384
7. Vox Box (Erin Daniels & youths) — 588/409
8. Eye On Boise (Betsy Russell) — 501/423
9. Daily Briefing (Thuy Nguyen) — 350/277
10.Eye On Olympia (Rich Roesler) — 224/192

Idaho Miss USA Hails From Post Falls

There’s beauty all around and Post Falls’ Tracey Brown became the fairest of them all on Saturday at Albertson College in Caldwell when she was crowned Miss Idaho USA. Tracey is no novice to all things sparkly and royal. She was Post Falls Junior Miss and went on to take the Idaho’s Jr. Miss title in high school. In 2005 she was crowned Miss Idaho and took the stage at the Miss America Pageant. Now she’s earned a place on the Miss USA stage in 2008. Tracey is more than just another pretty face, she’s a talented ballerina and an honor student at Whitworth College. *see the “Think Pink” post in the Sept. archives for one of her noteworthy accomplishments of late. Moments after being crowned Tracey phoned her father with the news. Congratulations to Tracey, her parents Bill and Debbie Brown and her big sister Shannon/Kerri Thoreson, OnLocation North Idaho. Story here

Question: Have you ever won a contest?

SteveS: Should We Cover Cabela’s Opening?

We had a spirited discussion at this morning’s meeting about whether or not a feature story about Cabela’s — the new outdoor recreation/hunting superstore — belongs on Page 1 tomorrow. Deputy City Editor Dan Hansen, an outdoor enthusiast and expert, and Assistant Photo Editor Liz Kishimoto, toured the new store today as part of a staged media event. The store won’t open to the public until Nov. 9. Cabela’s certainly isn’t a typical retail store. It’s size — humongous — and its status as a tourist destination separate it from its competition. But, in general, we don’t cover staged news. And we try not to overcover retail developments, although we did give modest Page 1 coverage to the opening of Kohl’s Department Store a few weeks back. So the debate this morning was spirited and there was no firm resolution/Editor Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation.

Full post here; Thuy Nguyen expands on this topic further in her Daily Briefing post here.

Question: Is a Cabela’s staged media event front-page news?

Huckleberries Gone Wi-Fi w/Wayne Longo

Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Wayne Longo will be my guest for the weekly Huckleberries Gone Wi-Fi interview. It’ll be an early-bird special, too — 7 o’clock Thursday morning. Which means I’ll have to go to bed at least by midnight tonight. And that I’ll probably be incoherent until the coffee kicks in or until after the chief leaves. I’m the worst of the morning people. Anyone have questions for the chief?

Eye On Boise: Guv, Sho-Bans Reach Gas Tax Pact

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Chairman Alonzo Coby signed a fuel tax agreement this morning, the second Indian nation in Idaho to reach such an agreement before a Dec. 1 deadline set last year by state lawmakers. Like the earlier agreement between the state and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, the pact requires the tribes to charge their own 25-cent-per-gallon fuel tax on reservation gas sales, and to raise their tax if the state raises its gas tax, so that the two stay even. The Sho-Bans, like the Coeur d’Alenes, also committed to spend their fuel tax revenues on transportation needs on their reservation/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Full post here

Congressman Sali Answers Yet More Answers

Congressman Bill Sali continues to answer the questions you submitted to Huckleberries for an online interview Thursday. Sali spokesman Bill Sali sez the congressman is going through the last batch of your questions now:

Kim O’Connor/Idaho Statesman

David Larsen: There seems to be concern over offering healthcare coverage for children whose families exceed a certain income level. Shouldn’t citizens be equally concerned about furnishing healthcare to our politicians who clearly exceed the income level proposed for SCHIP coverage?

Bill Sali: Certainly. The taxpayer should be concerned with where Congress spends all of its money. The benefits, including wages provided to Congress, are determined by Congress. While I’ve only been here a short time I share your concern on responsible spending when it comes to even my own income, and cast a vote earlier this year against an appropriations bill because it allowed for Congressmen to get an automatic pay increase. I didn’t believe such a pay increase was the responsible use of your money. More in extended entry portion.

Previous questions here
Original interview here

Trib: Don’t Put Out Food, Blame Bears For Eating It

Tom Holman uses corn to lure deer to his property in northern Idaho, but don’t blame him for the grizzly bears the food attracts. Blame the bears. Silly bears. Corn is for deer. You can also blame the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. In fact, you can blame just about anyone except Holman himself. He not only sees himself as an innocent victim, but as a martyr for the cause of private property rights. Whatever. People are entitled to their delusions. The fact remains that grizzly bears are an endangered species. Holman’s reckless actions only make them more endangered/Tom Henderson, Lewiston Tribune.

Full editorial here

Question: Who’s to blame here?

In The Knows: SoCal Fires Continue To Ravage

Hans Gutknecht/AP Photo, LA Daily News

A fire fighter works the Meadow Ridge Fire in Newhall, Calif., Tuesday. Fires in California have burned across nearly 600 square miles, killing one person, destroying more than 1,800 homes and prompting the biggest evacuation in California history, from north of Los Angeles, through San Diego to the Mexican border.

Question: Do you know someone who has had to evacuate his/her home as a result of the southern California fires?

Escapee & DP: Do Your Hunting In Butcher Shop

Idaho Escapee: I hear the woods are more and more crowded with every hunting season.

DeePee: A true fact, EscapeE. Not safe to walk your dog up King Street in Wallace this time of year. And it’s not just the number of hunters. It’s transplants from certain other states who think they need a Weatherby magnum that taps out 1,000 yards when a brush-loaded ‘30.30 or .30-‘06 will do the trick. I do my hunting in the butcher’s department at Wayside Market in Smelterville these days. But don’t blame the guns; it’s the butt-hooks who pack them.

Craig Uses Campaign Chest To Pay Legal Expenses

Item: Craig uses campaign funds to defend himself: U.S. senator paid advisers $23,000 since news of arrest at airport became public/Erika Bolstad, Idaho Statesman.

More Info: Craig, who has said he has no plans to run for re-election, has $474,666 in his campaign account, according to his FEC report. FEC rules on tapping campaign contributions to pay legal bills are fairly broad. The money can’t be used for personal expenses, but generally the only requirement is that the spending be related to legal bills connected to an officeholder’s role as an elected official.

Question? I won’t even ask you to tell me what you think about this.

AM Hucks: Good Friends Love Us, Dirt & All

Katrina, the Notes On A Napkin blogger, introduced Huckleberries Online to the term, “Dirty House Friends,” this week. Dirty House Friends are ones you can invite on a moment’s notice to watch “The Phantom of the Opera.” And they come, says Katrina, “despite the fact that you’ve made them watch ‘Phantom of the Opera’ six times already (rewinding all the good parts with Gerard Butler). They sit on the couch next to your unfolded laundry with their feet resting on the wooden blocks and puzzle pieces and Happy Meal toys that are scattered around the living room like shrapnel from an explosion in Santa’s workshop, and they don’t see a thing.” What’s more, she says, “you never say, ‘Sorry about the mess!’ to a Dirty House Friend, because they don’t care, and when you’re with them, neither do you.” Sounds like my kind of people.

•If you’re a good speller and speaker, you might consider the duties of pronouncer at an elementary school spelling bee to be an easy gig. Think again. Retired Sandpoint teacher Marianne Love/Slight Detour will warn you about the hidden hazards of the job. In January, she was pronouncing away when she crashed head-on into the word “thong.” Take it away, Marianne: “I did a pretty quick two-step in my brain to come up with something appropriate for fourth-graders. I made sure the kids knew in context that thongs used to be worn on the feet.” They did?

•It happened sooner than later. ABC’s “Boston Legal” has this story line for its Nov. 13 episode, “Oral Contracts.” Quoth “Alan defends Denny when he is accused of soliciting gay sex in a bathroom by two undercover cops.” Seems U.S. Sen. Larry Craig has replaced the Aryans as an Idaho fountainhead for TV story lines. (Hat Tip to Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press for drawing this to my attention.)

Wild Card/Tuesday — 10/23/07

I’m not going to sugar-coat this, HBOers. News of the pending layoffs has hit the newsroom hard. This is the third or fourth go-round for many of us. Survivors have seen many talented colleagues go out the door for no other reason than they were expendable under previous administrators or lacked seniority now. It’s a precarious time to be in the news biz, when print journalism is struggling to stay afloat. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of the new online world, for almost 4 years. But online journalism doesn’t help much with the bottom line. I warned a class of prospective journalists at North Idaho College recently not to go into journalism unless they simply couldn’t help themselves. Mebbe that’s why I’m still a journalist. I can’t help myself. I still love this business. Now, for your Wild Card …

Sweet Herb Takes Noah To Wood Shed

From time to time, old farts like me, like to dispense unsolicited advice. Today is one of those days. I first met Noah at the blogfest we held at Capone’s last year. I felt then, and do now, that while Noah is one of the best caricaturists I’ve seen recently, he is still an immature young man. His drawings remind me of my favorite cartoonist, David Horsey, also a political liberal. Unfortunately, his youth and inexperience with life, has caused him to go too far off the deep end, too many times. The unfortunate side of being as good as he is, is that he genders much more attention to his opinions than his lack of experience justifies/Sweet Herb, Bay Views.

Full post here

DFO: I remain a ha-huge Noah Kroese fan; he’s growing into his talent.

Question: Agree w/Sweet Herb? Disagree?

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 10/23/07

Chris Peterson/Glacier Geographics, Muse You Can Use

“So I’ve been working the last of the aspens as they turn colors and it was a gorgeous day,” posts Chris Peterson/Glacier Geographics, Muse You Can Use. “This particular stand of aspens has a lot of thick nasty underbrush and I heard this rustle and looked and looked and didn’t see anything and then Voila! This doe poked her head out of the brush and began feeding on rose hips.” More here.

*At Atmospheric Ruminations, Idaho Escapee still suspects he caught a flu bug during a visit to a doctor’s clinic, despite assurances to the contrary, here.

*Sore glutes and achy thighs remind Idawa/Word Forge that he’s not as young as he used to be, as he runs a half marathon and hosts a former frat brother here.

*”God, driving here is totally like roads of Spokanorons times a multiplier of eleventy eight gabillion,” posts TUBOB. “It’s hideous. Truly. Plus, I-5 is packed full of semis, so you got idiots on the left of you and forty ninety tons of screaming metal on the right” here.

*As an answer to her latest Silver Valley Sibling assignment, Inland Empire Girl/Gathering Around the Table offers a slide show she made re: what she likes about rain here.

*Sam The Reporter And Future Law School Student/Vandal Sense realizes now that he’s part of the greater Huckleberries Online family, now that we’ve blown his cover about studying law here.

HBO Nos. (for Monday, Oct. 22): 8112 page-views and 4867 unique views.

Electrocution Accident Claims Electric Co-op Worker

Spokesman-Review File Photo

Jake Booth is shown atop a power pole in this January 2005 photo taken at the Jake Stewart Lineman School in January 2005.

A lineman with Kootenai Electric Cooperative was electrocuted this morning while working south of Coeur d’Alene. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death of Jake Booth, 23, of Rathdrum. Booth had worked for the utility since May 2005. He had a wife and infant son. “We are deeply saddened by this tragedy,” KEC General Manager Robert Crump said in a press release. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and our employees during this difficult time.” Spokeswoman Erika Neff said the accident happened at 10:30 a.m. at 12777 W. Cougar Gulch Road. Booth was helping place a power pole, Neff said.

Full story by Taryn Hecker/Spokesman-Review here; sheriff’s press release in extended entry section; link to MySpace page here.

The Falls: Not w/A Bang But A Whimper

This is just the latest step in the industry’s three-step waltz down the cellar stairs: 1) Newspapers lose readers and advertisers. 2) Newspapers eliminate reporters, photographers and editors. 3) Newspapers lose more readers and advertisers. There’s more to it, of course. But all the while, the nation’s newspaper publishers have treated the industry like a sinking ship – unloading as much treasure as possible while ignoring the leak. We’re not aiming this at our keepers here at the S-R. Things have been worse at other papers. But the layoffs throughout the industry have not been done to keep newspapers profitable. They’ve been done to ensure an acceptable level of profit – in an industry that has a gluttonous idea of what’s acceptable, attempting to preserve profit margins of 15 percent, 20 percent, 25 percent. And no one, meanwhile, seems to think that investing in improved journalism will pay off in any way/Shawn Vestal, The Falls.

Full post here

Question: Do you see hope for the newspaper industry?

Question: Why Are CDA City Campaigns So Quiet?

As of today, there remains only two weeks until election day in the city of Coeur d’Alene. Except for yard signs and an occasional candidates’ forum, there doesn’t seem to be much going on out there. Even key City Hall and political sources can’t figure out what’s going on. I can’t imagine that challengers Dan Gookin and his sympathizers are going quietly into the night, after a year of trying to make the Lake City Development Corp. into the pivotal issue in the fall campaigns. So what gives?

*The yet-to-be-disclosed opposition ticket plans to hit hard and hit late, as part of a partisan strategy one or two challengers learned back East.
*Polling by challengers shows the upset bid is hopeless.
*Most candidates don’t have enough money to be heard above the fray.
*Spencer hasn’t written his direct-mail, anti-incumbent letter yet.
*An 11th-hour surprise is coming.

DonS: Brilliant Sunset Over Cougar Bay

Don Sausser/Special to Huckleberries Online

Last night’s brilliant sunset first cast yellows then slowly changed to red & orange. It was unique as it covered the sky from the Resort west into Cougar Bay.

Daily Briefing: SR Staffers Are Nervous

Transparency was still part of the conversation though. Editors agreed reporter John Stucke’s reporting and writing was accurate and fair, and that it was a good decision to have a reporter write this story rather than a manager. And to further keep operations separate, editor Steve Smith and managing editor Gary Graham passed the editing of that story to Carla Savalli, senior editor for local news. Stucke is also a board member of the Spokane Editorial Society (SES, local journalist union). Managers aren’t supposed to share details with union folk before negotiation, which starts today. As a result, one fear was that a manager would be more reluctant to share industry details to a member of the union, but then again, editor Steve Smith said he essentially shared details that he could safely share with the public/Thuy Nguyen, Daily Briefing (full post with video).

More Info: Editor Steve Smith wonders if we’re spending too much time obsessing about our internal affairs in his blog here.

Question: Are you interested re: what is going on in The Spokesman-Review newsroom?

KootCo Commish Wants To Delay H20 Adjudication

Item: Officials want to halt water adjudication: Five northern counties to send resolution to governor/Tom Greene, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Kootenai County commissioners intend to join four other North Idaho counties in a joint resolution asking Gov. Butch Otter to hold off on the water rights adjudication process. Two of Kootenai County’s commissioners said Monday they will sign the resolution at today’s regular commissioner meeting. Commissioner Rich Piazza said he has some questions before he makes his decision.

Question: Do you think commissioners in the five North Idaho counties are right in trying to delay water adjudication?

WorldNetDaily: Do Actors Influence Your Vote?

Item: Chuck Norris picks ex-Arkansas governor Huckabee to lead U.S./WorldNetDaily

Question: Do celebrity endorsements in politics make a difference to you?

*Yes, most Hollywood celebs have insightful political views
*Yes, if the celebrity is someone I really respect
*Yes, whomever a celebrity endorses, I tend to vote for someone else
*Yes, when the celebrity is Chuck Norris, you bet!
*Yes, if you’re talking about the likes of Barbra Streisand
*No, if you’re talking about the likes of Barbra Streisand
*No, not to me, but they do influence other celebrity-obsessed people
*No, I make my mind up solely on the issues
*No, celebrities for the most part are political morons

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

TJ Tranchell: Who Cares If Dumbledore’s Gay?

It is a major step to have a homosexual character in such a popular fiction series. Bravo to Rowling for putting herself on the line like this. But I wonder, what exactly is it she has done, other than reveal her own thoughts on a character she wrote? She mentioned one instance, a battle between Dumbledore and a minor character that will never show up in a movie, as the indication of Dumbledore’s sexual orientation. So many questions are running through my mind. How will this affect the movie versions left to film? Why didn’t I see that Dumbledore’s solitary, secretive life was a sign of his homosexuality? Just how much did he like Harry Potter? Last, but not least, who cares?/T.J. Tranchell, UI Argonaut.

Full post here

Question: Why do you think author J.K. Rowling revealed Dumbledore’s sexual orientation, after the fact?

Online Poll: Do You Want To Know About Near Misses?

An unprecedented national survey of pilots by the U.S. government has found that safety problems like near collisions and runway interference occur far more frequently than previously recognized. But the government is withholding the information, fearful it would upset air travelers and hurt airline profits. Would you want to see the results of the survey? — Idaho Statesman.

*No opinion

Editor SteveS: Spokesman Newsroom Facing Layoffs

In August, I first alerted readers of this blog to pending downsizing of our newsroom (here is a link to that post and thread). At the time, I said we would do everything possible to avoid layoffs, but that we definitely would have fewer staffers by the same time next year. Since that original posting, the newspaper’s long-term financial situation has taken firmer shape. And in the last several days, it has become obvious that newsroom downsizing won’t wait until next year and layoffs cannot be avoided. This afternoon, Publisher Stacey Cowles sent a memo to the company outlining steps the newspaper as a whole will take to control costs. There will be staff reductions in other company departments, although I am not yet privy to the details. But I can address cuts in news staff and the likely impact on our news report. A news story written by reporter John Stucke with comments from me and Stacey has been posted online and will appear in the Tuesday paper in the Business section (here is a link to the online story) Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation.

Full post here

Sgt. Wood: Police Report Info Belongs To Public

re: Reporting name of suicide victim on Huckleberries

I have been unavailable all day and most of the night so I am commenting late. I appreciated watching your meeting. It was very informative. As I watched your editors discuss and struggle with what is the right thing to do, I felt a kinship with the media like I have never felt before. My job is to release the facts, not my edited version of the facts. I redact what I am legally able to. I have learned a lot in the last several years about trying to withhold information from the media. What I know to be true is the information contained in police reports belongs to the public, not the police department. Under certain circumstances we withold police reports, but that is always supported by the laws governing public information. Victims of suicide are not exempt from disclosure. I was very uncomfortable releasing the information on the young victim. I knew it would be up to the editors whether it would be printed or not.

Signe: An Occasional Peacenik Is OK

Signe Wilkinson/Washington Post Group

Wild Card/Monday — 10/22/07

In a comment over the weekend, Dan of the County said that absentee balloting for the Coeur d’Alene City Council elections has been slow. I don’t know how to interpret that, other than the obvious — that the long campaign to make an issue of the Lake City Development Corp has yet to take hold. That doesn’t bode well for the three or four challengers who have made that a key issue in their campaigns. On the other hand, a partisan campaign strategy for nonpartisan races could be to strike late and strike hard, so favored candidates don’t have a chance to respond adequately. Is it possible that the electorate in general isn’t interested in this year’s Coeur d’Alene elections? You can answer that question or start your own thread with this Wild Card …

Coldwater Creek Downturn Shelves Sandpoint/UI Plan

Item: UI Sandpoint campus plan shelved/Spokesman-Review

More Info: The Wild Rose Foundation said late today that it’s putting on hold its proposal to finance a University of Idaho campus in Sandpoint due to a downturn in the foundation’s financial portfolio. Timelines for the project have been put on indefinite hold based on the financial considerations, foundation director and Coldwater Creek founder Dennis Pence said in a statement.

Huckleberries Best of the Local Blogs — 10/22/07

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

“Norwegian Heritage Day at the Harold Haarfager Lodge of the Sons of Norway in Post Falls celebrated the local group’s one year anniversary at their new location,” sez Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho here.

Silver Valley Girl has started on the HBO Book of the Month, “Eat, Pray, Love,” by Elizabeth Gilbert here. Have you?

1. With video and word, Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns pays homage to the late Dwight Pool, who started the Spokane Falls Community College football program and had a cabin on the lake here.

*In “Leveling the playing field,” Mari/Dogwalk Musings observes: “I have found, on the positive side, that bloggers are pretty much wysiwyg (what you see is what you get). That has been my experience on the local level anyway. When I’ve met fellow bloggers who’s work I enjoy, I find that I also like the person.” Click here.

*”When one is attempting to write a story, one must take all criticisms from one’s husband with a grain of salt,” posts Kristi/Here In Idaho. “One’s husband is very smart and wouldn’t criticize flippantly. One must not be so sensitive.” Click here.

*”Dirty House Friends,” sez Katrina/Notes on a Napkin are the ones that can be invited over at any time to watch “Phantom of the Opera” — even though they’ve already watched it with you six times here.

*Being the enunciator at a Spelling Bee for fourth-graders isn’t easy when you’re required to provide a definition and sentence context for “thong,” writes Marianne/Slight Detour here.

Blog Nos (for week of 10/14-20): 46,913 page-views and 27,604 unique views.

Meanwhile, Family Phil recommends a book with “Dadditude” here; Arch Druid parts company with Leonard Pitts here; Sweet Herb observes that retirement is wearing him out here; Cis turns back the clock with song here; JeanC’s collecting rain water here; and Morialekafa forces himself to watch GOPrez debate here.

UI/Sandpoint Project Now On Hold

Quote: “It’s my understand that the project is on hold indefinitely,” said Coeur d’Alene resident Sue Thilo, a member of the state Board of Education. “All parties want it to happen; the timing just needs to change.”

Story in about 10 minutes

Eye On Boise: Why Public TV?

It’s a question Idaho legislators have asked periodically over the years: Why do we need public TV, when there are now hundreds of channels available out on the private, commercial TV market? Paula Kerger, president and CEO of the Public Broadcasting Service, who was in Boise today visiting Idaho Public Television, has a ready answer: The programming on public TV is “just different work” from what’s on cable or the networks/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Full post here

Question: How much Public TV do you watch?

DonS: Work Begins On Resort Skate Rink

Don Sausser/Special for Huckleberries Online

Construction started today on the Resort Ice Rink to enhance the holiday celebration, reports Don Sausser. The skating surface will be 50-by-78 feet and rental skates will be available. It is scheduled to be open Nov. 9.

Kendramama: Burden Of Proof On Meth Moms

re: Pahl seeks custody of remaining child; full comment here

I have especially strong feelings about cases such as these, having been a meth addict myself. I am also a mother, and could not imagine combining those two lifestyles: my former tweeked-out, selfish, mind scrambled self, and how I am now- clean several years, comfortable with my day-to-day life, and wholly dedicated to my young son. The two just don’t mix. Anyone who tries to tell you they can be a good parent while on meth or in very early recovery is either lying or sadly deluded. I’ve seen it! And in my opinion, anyone who uses while pregnant should be immediately imprisoned for the duration of their pregnancy, and either have the child taken away upon delivery, or be kept under extremely close supervision until deemed stable in her recovery (depending on the severity of the situation).


The Falls: SR Blogs, Paper Should Have Same Rules

Item: A debate arose on some blogs here Sunday and today about whether blog reporting should have different standards than material for the print newspaper. It came up after the name of a young woman who commited suicide was posted at Huckleberries Online — something that typically wouldn’t be published in the paper. the name came up because Dave posted a police press release verbatim. Steve Smith raised the question at his News is a Conversation blog : Should the blog be subject to the same policies that apply to print?

Shawn Vestal/The Falls: We don’t believe there should be different news standards for blogs. Lots of people want to argue that the world of blogs is somehow so transformative that regular standards for news don’t always apply (i.e., the allowance of anonymous and psuedonymous comments on blogs). We can’t really think of a good reason for it, however, and think that the journalistic standards of the paper should apply.

Question: What do you think? Does the very nature of blogs, online interactivity change the foundation for the way news should be reported?

HBO @ Noon: Which Tavern Is Your Favorite?

Item: Blotter Fodder: The silly season spreads like fire/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: The attorney for Richard Hanlon, who is accused of burning down Capone’s in Post Falls, made an argument during his client’s preliminary hearing that I didn’t follow. Capone’s is a bar that caters to Democrats, while Paddy’s is geared toward the Republicans. What? I know it’s election season, but I missed the “No Dems” signs at Paddy’s or the “Reps Get Out” at Capone’s.

Question: Do you have a favorite bar? What kind of clientele does it attract? Demos? Repubs? Other?

WorldNetDaily Poll: GOP Prez Debate

Item: GOP rivals argue who’s most conservative: Most aggressive debate to date of race for White House/WorldNetDaily

Question: Who won last night’s Republican presidential debate?

1. Rudy Giuliani
2. Mike Huckabee
3. Duncan Hunter
4. John McCain
5. Ron Paul
6. Mitt Romney
7. Tom Tancredo
8. Fred Thompson
9. I didn’t watch it
10. The debates have become meaningless

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

DougC: Initiatives I’d Like To Vote On

In his Sunday column, Doug Clark/SR listed 5 initiatives he’d love to see on his ballot this November, including:

•Up the Wazzu Initiative:

Destroyed by Oregon last week and now festering with a winless record at the bottom of the Pac-10, Washington State University football is a blight to the gridiron. This measure would make it a criminal offense to display any “Go Cougs” bumper stickers, WSU license plate holders and logo-festooned foam fan fingers until Coach Bill Doba is tarred, feathered and fed to Butch the Cougar. Should WSU boosters be…

*Pitied – ( )
*Pummeled – ( )
*Imprisoned in a gulag somewhere in the Palouse – ( )

Question: What oddball initiative would you love to see on your ballot this November?

ACL Injury Sidelines Ex-Zag Morrison For Season

Item: Morrison’s sophomore season over with ACL tear/Charlotte Observer

More Info: Morrison, the Mead High School and Gonzaga University standout, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in an exhibition loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. The team anticipates him needing season-ending surgery.

Question: Have you followed Adam Morrison’s exploits in the NBA?

Blogspotter: Hard To Make Money Blogging

People hoping to make a living from advertising-supported blogs probably won’t be able to quit their day jobs any time soon – if ever. That was the reality check BlogAds founder and CEO Henry Copeland delivered at a Networked Journalism Summit hosted by the City University of New York this month. After first saying mere “dozens” of the 1,500 bloggers affiliated with BlogAds earn their keep solely from advertising, Copeland later told the number’s closer to 100. But even then, he’s talking about less than 7 percent of a fairly sophisticated sample set of bloggers – which includes those behind and – generating significant ad revenues. And the ratio of high-revenue blogs is even lower in the overall blogosphere/Frank Sennett, Blogspotter.

Full post here

Question: Do you make money blogging?

Bubblehead: Who’s Blog Traffic King of Idaho?

Bubblehead: I’m challenging you today for the “blog traffic king of Idaho” crown, DFO! I got linked by a national publication (Navy Times) on a submarine story that’s been floating around for about 10 days that just made the national press today, and I’ve already got over 600 uniques and 1,500 page views since midnight. (DFO will still probably kick my butt.) Here’s a question — while there seem to be more active blogs in NorId than down south, are there any blogs (other than DFO) that even come close to the daily traffic that Clayton Cramer and I get? (We both get about 1,500 page views per day over the last year or so.)

DFO: I’ve cut loose most of my national links and contact with regional bloggers to concentrate on Idaho. It cost me a little traffic. But I still get between 7500 and 8500 page-views per day and around 4500 unique views per day. My goal is to reach 10,000 page-views per day someday and 5000 unique views. Those are within reach. And I’m content with what I’m doing here. I don’t know what the numbers are re: other North Idaho bloggers. But I do know that several of them are hard to beat, quality wise.

AM Hucks: Bloggers Questions Go Right To Source

Congressman Bill Sali and I made Idaho history last week, as far as I know. On Thursday, I interviewed him online by telephone from his Washington, D.C., office, after soliciting questions from my blog readers and Idaho bloggers. This, shortly after he cast a key vote supporting President Bush’s veto of children’s health care legislation. It might have been the first time a blogger has interviewed an Idaho congressman live online with questions provided by a statewide audience. I was impressed by Sali’s candor and wit. I asked him for his thoughts on the lousy rating of Congress (11 percent) and President Bush (24 percent) in a recent poll. “I think the American public might be gracious,” he responded. Sali told Huckleberries Online that he doesn’t have time to blog or read blogs – a subject that provided blog fodder statewide recently when U.S. Senate wannabes Demo Larry LaRocco (yes) and Repub Lt. Gov. Jim Risch (no) were asked the same questions. Also, he said he only saw a small portion of Matt Lauer’s NBC interview with embattled U.S. Sen. Larry Craig and hoped his wife had recorded it for later viewing. On other matters, Sali said: “the best thing I can do for the people of Idaho is to help Sen. Craig be as effective as possible.” And: “We’re making real progress over there (Iraq).” And, when asked to compare himself with the late Helen Chenoweth-Hage: “Helen was such a classy woman. I’m not sure I’m classy.” Congressman Sali saved his best for the last question: “What’s it like for Bill Sali to sit in a chamber that is presided over by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi?” He responded: “Honestly, Nancy Pelosi is not in the chair most of the time. Ninety-five percent of the time, I never see Nancy Pelosi. And I’m fine with that.”

NIC Student Apparently Kills Self On Campus

Coeur d’Alene Police Department Press News Release: At 12:38 this morning, Coeur d’Alene Police responded to the report of an unconscious female in a dorm shower room on the campus of North Idaho College at 518 College Drive. Officers discovered (an 18-year-old student), originally from Pennsylvania, a victim of an apparent suicide. A roommate of Watts stated that (the student) had gone into the shower at approximately 9:00pm. The roommate left the dorm and returned at approximately 10:00pm. She noticed the shower was still running and grew concerned. The door was locked so she notified the Resident Hall Aide. The aide was able to unlock the door and open it enough to discover Watts and then he immediately called 911. Coeur d’Alene Police Detectives also responded to the scene and have preliminary determined (that the student) committed suicide with a .380 caliber handgun that was recovered at the scene. Chief of Police Wayne Longo expressed his sympathy to the family and College with his statement of “Our thoughts and prayers are with not only the family and friends of Hannah but also the college community. These incidents affect many people, including the responding investigating officers”. Watt’s family has been notified of her death.

Sgt. Christie Wood
Coeur d’Alene Police Department

WAC: New Mexico State Bests Vandals 45-31

AP Photo/Las Cruces Sun-News, Shari Vialpando

Idaho running back Deonte Jackson soars over New Mexico State strong safety Matt Jones, front, and linebacker Dante Floyd during the second quarter of a football game Saturday in Las Cruces, N.M. Idaho lost to New Mexico State 45-31 to fall to 1-7 on the season. Story here.

Guess: Playing Politics w/Nobel Peace Prize

Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize…Peace? He has enlightened us all with his globe-trotting jetfuel trails yelling about co2 emissions. What a hypocrite. The left-wingnuts hold him up like a false god to rub. The Pike Street Market hog might bring better luck. He lost the election by the law. His awareness of a potential problem is good, but not the Peace Prize. There must have been others. (from the nytimes: “The Nobel prizes are meant to be apolitical, and are awarded independently of one another. (The peace prize is awarded in Oslo, while the others are awarded by various academies in Sweden.) But a number of recent winners have expressed their opposition to Bush administration policies. The 2005 literature winner, the British playwright Harold Pinter, turned his Nobel address into a blistering indictment of American foreign policy since the Second World War. A co-winner of the peace prize that year, Mohamed ElBaradei, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, made no secret of his opposition to the American invasion of Iraq and has angered the Bush administration by his measured methods for trying to rein in nuclear proliferation, particularly in Iran.”


MamaJD Does It Matter That Dumbledore Was Gay?

According to J.K. Rowling, Dumbledore is gay. As reported by the AP here, Dumbledore was “outed” by Rowling while speaking at Carnegie Hall. Rowling reportedly filled in some of the gaps around Dumbledore’s past. His feelings for rival Gellert Grindelwald was Dumbledore’s “great tragedy,” according to Rowling. So I ask myself, “Does this change anything for me as a fan of the books?” No. Does this make a difference whether or not I will read these books with my children at the appropriate age? No. Dumbledore’s sexuality was never central to the book when assumed that he was heterosexual. Why should his sexuality be a focal point now? I have a feeling, however, that this revelation will become another battle cry that the books are evil/MamaJD

Full post here

Question: Does author J.K. Rowling’s announcement that Dumbledore was gay make a difference re: how you view the Harry Potter books?

F&W Official: Careless People Caused Grizzly’s Death

Item: Grizzly’s death a senseless mortality/Jim Hagengruber, Spokesman-Review

Photo courtesy of Karen Dingerson

Colleague Jim Hagengruber tells Huckleberries: “This 2-year-old male grizzly bear was shot and killed near Priest Lake on Oct 4. Biologists first attempted to relocate the bear, but the animal returned to the Nordman to resume feeding on piles of corn and sunflower seeds put out by one or more local residents. The bear needed to be killed, biologists say, because it had lost its fear of humans. Only about 40 grizzlies are believed to be living in the Selkirk Mountains, making the population one of the nation’s most endangered. One of the state Fish and Game officials called in to kill the bear said the episode was “horrible.” He went on to tell Reporter James Hagengruber “I’ve been up here almost 20 years trying to recover bears, now we’re making a conscious decision to kill one. Yeah it was horrible.” The official went on to say he would like to see state or county laws that would allow game officers to halt the backyard feeding of wildlife in certain cases, including situations like this, where threatened and endangered species are put at risk. Another bear expert told The Spokesman-Review that feeding wildlife typically ends in disaster for the creatures. ‘A fed bear is a dead bear,’ he said.” See the story in Sunday’s SR.

T-Squared: Souza Attack Made Me Reach For Wallet

T-Squared: How pathetic that someone as decent and hardworking as John Bruning is attached by the self-appointed town scold. I have two Bruning signs in my yard and am not a developer, contractor, or downtown business owner. I am a long term resident who has know John for many years and I believe you could not find a better person to sit on the council. He has the experience to make the right decisions. He will listen to both sides before deciding. People like Mary only see black and white, when in reality it takes shades of gray to govern a city. What Mary has motivated me to do is open my check book and send John a donation.

DFO: I busted a gut Friday afternoon when an office wag referred to Mary Souza as Coeur d’Alene’s Ann Coulter.

Northerner & Sweet Herb: Predators, Humans Can’t Coexist

Northerner: If the Sierra clubbies want to keep all the wolves alive and the grizzlies, I have absolutely no problem giving the critters to them. We can just load em up and drop em off in Central Park and Golden Gate park. Then they can see just how gentle and loving they all are.

Sweet Herb:Grizzly Bears and Wolves were exterminated or driven out for very practical reasons. Settlers, livestock and the stray child, can’t co-exist with them. Well meaning city dwellers, living in their High Rise condos in San Francisco, and other lairs of the Sierra Club, want to return us to the time when people didn’t live here. These dreamers have managed to convince the Feds that we need to move over and let these animals take over again. One only has to read the chronicles of the Lewis & Clark Expedition to learn just how aggressive these grizzlies are. On top of that, the feds are trying to teach these predators how to differentiate between domestic livestock and wild game. Impossible! Can’t be done, unless in the infinite wisdom of the Feds, they find a way to teach these predators to read, at which time the ranchers can paint signs like”cow, Sheep, et. on the animals.

TGIF Wild Card — 10/19/07

I’m sure Kootenai County Demos wouldn’t mind if you showed up to listen to the CDA City Council candidates’ debate at noon at the Iron Horse today. Should be interesting now that the candidates have a debate or two under their belts already. The Q&A afterward can be the best part, especially when a crusty old partisan takes after a wannabe. Meanwhile, we’re rushing to the end of the week. I need to prepare a Greg Lee Panhandle Picks video for you. So, I’ll see you back here with that and Huckleberries Best of Idaho Online. Now, for your Wild Card …

Huckleberries Hears …

… that CDA Superintendent-to-be Hazel Bauman and former CDA superintendent David Rawls will be marching up the aisle sometime in November.

“Measure of Blue”

From Tumblewords Web site

Lesser finches churn the chill
to a threnody of summer,
ten thousand golden leaves
trill their melody of release.

Impassioned by August heat
and shackled by its passing,
I shuffle through a frosty fall
chastened by its blazing pigments.

Sue Turner/Tumblewords

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 10/19/07

Associated Press Photo

Amazon biologist Scott Dowd, left, carries the front portion of Kathleen, a 14-foot, 90-pound anaconda, at the New England Aquarium’s Medical Center in Boston, Thursday after an ultrasound test performed on the large constrictor failed to conclusively show whether she is carrying a brood. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Gookin & Spencer give Mary Souza a hand moving in to her new office at the Mess — Dennis.

2. While the doctors examined his anaconda Joey concentrated on a roadkill he had seen this morning and banished from his mind all thought of the girl he saw at the grocery store the other day — Brent Andrews.

3. Larry Craig: Officer, I was just looking for someone to hold my snake. It’s nickname is “anaconda” — Whippersnapper.

HM: Sweet Herb

In The News: Russell’s Run

Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

Defense attorney Francisco Duarte uses toy cars to make a point to the jury in his opening argument in the trial of Frederick Russell today in a courtroom in Kelso, Wash. Opening arguments began Friday in the vehicular homicide case against Frederick Russell, with prosecutors insisting the former fugitive was the sole cause of the accident that killed three college students and left several other people badly injured. Latest here.

Question: Are you interested in this eastern Washington case? Should I be providing better coverage of it?

SteveS: Page 1 Centerpiece? You Be The Editor

In the newsroom, at least, there was a bit of consternation with today’s Page 1 centerpiece on the bombing in Pakistan yesterday. It has been so long since we centered with a wire story that the page just felt different, maybe less relevant than usual. And, frankly, wire stories are almost always stale by the time they hit the print edition. Deciding what to put on Page 1 on any given day is a process of judgment, limited by what is available. Yesterday, there were no good story/photo options for Page 1 from the local budget. Just one of those days. A story or two fell through, a story was held and you get to 4:30 p.m. with a bare cupboard. So turning to the wire becomes a logistical necessity. Still, we might have made other decisions earlier in the day had we simply concluded we would NOT centerpiece with a wire story on Page 1 for any reason/Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation.

Question: So, what do you think? Was the Bhuto story old news? Would you rather see a softer local centerpeice — say the bannana boy from the Northwest cover — than a harder news wire package from halfway around the world? What decisions would you have made differently today?

43rd State Blues Disses Huckleberries Online

You can read list of your questions that I submitted to Congressman Sali’s office this morning here

Journalists are always holding forth about how bloggers fail to understand ‘Journalistic ethics’. And when it is someone I respect, I’ll listen and learn. But too often, I’m underwhelmed by what I see practiced by contemporary journalists. Take a nitwit scribbler that goes by the moniker DFO, for example. He spammed 43sb yesterday begging me and anyone else to drop by and feed him questions for his Congressman Bill Brainfade Sali puffery fest this morning. Against my better judgment, I checked in recently, if only to reaffirm my disdain for DFO’s half-assed journalistic standards. Alas, mission accomplished: DFO has documented rather vividly why I take ethics rhetoric with a grain of salt/D2’s Blog, 43rd State Blues

DFO: Here’s a good example of why the 43rd State Blues blog isn’t ready for prime time. I sent out an e-mail to Idaho bloggers asking for questions re: my interview Thursday with Congressman Bill Sali. Not spam. An e-mail. Sisyphus and other rabid partisans at 43rd State Blues were disappointed that I didn’t display bad manners and play gotcha journalism during the online Sali interview. They have no idea what professional journalism is all about. I linked to 43rd State Blues in my blog roll on the right in an effort to give minority Idaho Democrats a voice. But I rarely feature links to this blog in posted roundups b/c it offers little more than mini-rants against Republicans and name calling. I’d be embarrassed if it was the main blog for my political party. Huckleberries Online has evolved into a place where all but the most strident on either side feel welcome. It has become a place of fun and dialogue. I treated Republican Bill Sali with the same respect Thursday as I treated Democratic Policy Council president Bruce Reed Tuesday. As a result, I’m sure they’ll answer again the next time I call. I doubt Sali would waste time with individuals associated with 43rd State Blues. In fact, I no longer will either. Which is their loss. You’d think a group of low-level Daily Kos wannabes who desire to make an impact in Idaho for their minority party would appreciate some attention in North Idaho. If you want a decent Demo group blog, go to Red State Rebels. If you want to ensure that your friends and family vote Republican, show them the juvenile posts at 43rd State Blues.

Movies & More: Good To Be INW Movie Fan

For the second weekend in a row, the Spokane/Coeur d’Aene area is being engulfed with movies. Ten, count ‘em, 10 new movies are opening in regional theaters. We’re heading off this morning to see the 11:05 showing of “Gone Baby Gone” at the downtown AMC Theatres. I’ll be curious to see a movie that Ben Affleck has directed. After that, who knows? We have our choices of “Things We Lost in the Fire,” “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” “Rendition,” “Feel the Noise” and even the vampire flick “30 Days of Night.” I could watch movies the entire weekend and still not catch up. Sounds glorious/Dan Webster, Movies & More.

Question: Is there a movie that you’re dying to see?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 10/19/07

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Kootenai County building inspector Scott Weitman recalled on Thursday the exact moment he saved a duck hunter out of Medicine Lake, East of Coeur d’Alene near Medimont. The hunter capsized his float tube and had been in the water for most of the morning on Wednesday. Story by Taryn Hecker here.

Main Event: Coeur d’Alene City Council candidates will debate at noon today at the weekly luncheon of the Kootenai County Democratic Club.

*Public defender shortage looming/Taryn Hecker, Spokesman-Review — And this is a bad thing, right?

*CdA’s 1-0 wonders: Vikings continue state trend; Sandpoint loses/Mike Saunders; and: CdA responds in second half: Vikings advance; Lake City falls short/Greg Lee; and: Idaho Prep Roundup: Bonners Ferry advances/AP — Go Viks (and all other North Idaho teams playing in state tournaments).

*City Council candidates mixed on LCDC proposal: Group wants to include Winton, Sorensen schools in its boundaries/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press — Jim Brannon is sounding more and more like a Gookinite.

*Flu shots available to the public: Officials say supply shortages from last year will not be a problem/Tom Greene — Good. I won’t have to travel to the Spokane office for a flu shot this year. I had a flu shot last year. No flu. I didn’t have one the year before. Flu. Get the picture?

*Idaho police blotter here
*Idaho calendar here

Tape Erasure: CPD Blue Investigating Possible Crime

Item: Meeting record erasure alleged: Police investigating possibility of crime/Erica F. Curless, Spokesman-Review

Related: Spencer: Planner Howell has done nothing wrong

More Info: Coeur d’Alene police are investigating whether a Kootenai County senior planner broke the law by ordering the destruction of a recording of a public meeting. After the Sept. 24 Planning Commission workshop adjourned, some members allegedly criticized the Kootenai County Commission and county Planning Director Scott Clark. The planners realized that an audio recorder was still on. Senior Planner Cheri Howell allegedly ordered an administrative secretary to delete the audio file, which contained the alleged comments and the recording of the entire workshop on the rewrite of the county growth plan.

Question: Do you think that the audio recording should have been part of the public record?

Huckleberries Gone Wireless w/Bruce Reed

In this 1996 photo taken in the White House, Bruce Reed and wife, Bonnie, are shown with their children, Bruce’s mother, Mary Lou Reed, and then President Bill Clinton.

DFO: How in the world did a Clinton adviser spring up from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho?

BR: I come from the greatest political family anyone could ask for. My parents (Scott and former state Sen. Mary Lou Reed) loved politics for all the right reasons, because they care about the environment and expanding opportunities. For them, it has always been a cause more than a campaign. They taught me to love campaigns, too, even losing ones. I learned more about America trying to hand out Democratic bumper stickers to guys with pickup trucks and gun racks at the county fair than anything I ever learned in college or here in Washington.

Full interview here

Sisyphus: Sali Interview “Weak”

re: Huckleberries Online interview with Congressman Bill Sali Thursday afternoon.

Sisyphus/43rd State Blues: Weak. He dodged the first question right out of the gate. And there was no follow up. Craig can’t be impeached? I’m certainly not going to bother next time this site wants to engage in some modern day “journalism” ala Judith Miller.

Whippersnapper: It seems that a lot of you blue partisans are terribly disappointed that Sali isn’t the devil or the wild-eyed idiot you would like him to be. So you have to blame DFO for being too easy on him because obviously he has something to hide. Bizarre. I am a conservative who voted for Larry Grant. But Sali is doing okay so far.

DFO: Given the measuring stick Sisyphus uses, I suppose my interview with former Clinton domestic adviser Bruce Reed was weak, too. After all, I should have grilled him about the Clinton scandals, right? He was right there. Mebbe he had a hand in them. Sheesh. Ideologues — right or left — don’t understand that their partisan agendas aren’t everyone’s. That most Idahoans are more interested in what makes their congressman tick than seeing him shown up on a blog site. I enjoyed the interview with Rep. Sali. He was sharp, candid and as conservative as advertised. By not playing partisan attack politics, I expect you’ll see more of him and his spokesman Wayne Hoffman here.

Coming …

The hand waved from the tall, yellow grass. Kootenai County Building Inspector Scott Weitman wouldn’t have seen the stranded duck hunter if he hadn’t detoured off State Highway 3 on Wednesday to use the restroom at the Rainey Hill Boat Launch. “He was blue when I saw him,” Weitman said. “I could see he was blue from 30 feet away.” Ricky Lee Barrett of Coeur d’Alene was duck hunting early Wednesday when the float tube he was sitting on flipped, dumping him into the dark waters of Medicine Lake near Medimont/Taryn Hecker, Spokesman-Review.

You can read the rest of Taryn Hecker’s story in The Spokesman-Review Friday morning …

Wild Card/Thursday — 10/18/07

Change has always been the name of the game here at Huckleberries Online. In the morning staff meeting in the SR/CDA office, we discussed how to make the Idaho print operation even more interactive with Huckleberries — you know, break more news, use more video with staffers talking about stories, etc. You’ll see how that plays out fairly soon. Meanwhile, we’ve already made a significant tweak this morning, replacing the HBO Poll (that’s been fairly compromised by people who know how to manipulate numbers) with the “latest SR blog posts” in the upper lefthand rail. Now, you’ll be able to see the good stuff being produced by the SR’s talented bloggers as it goes online. Blogmeister Ryan also moved the HBO Book Club bug to the lefthand rail, where it’ll come into play when we start the discussion on “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. Let me know what you think of the changes. Now, for your Wild Card …

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 10/18/07

All it took was a bag of hazel nuts for Lori Hutson/Fresh Sheet to understand why friends go ga-ga over Trader Joe’s here. You can check out another SR blog that debuted this month with a focus on food here — and answer Lori’s question at the bottom of this post.

Spotlight: For those keeping score at home, fellow SR blogger Shawn Vestal/The Falls has started his own best-of-blogs version for Spokane — and Toadman made the cut today here.

*Idawa/Word Forge has a thoughtful piece re: the value of the Internet and blogosphere, stating that he enjoys Google, Blogger, Huckleberries Online, MySpace, Facebook, various podcasting services, etc., but he wouldn’t pay to browse them if it came to that. Click here.

*Brent Andrews/Chronic Discontent was merely being a nice guy when he stopped the car to flick a bee off his arm — and was rewarded for his good deed with a sting he won’t soon forget here.

*JBelle/Notes from The ‘Kan EWA and her chows are enjoying the nasty campaigning in Spokane this election cycle, preferring snarky cheap signs to the attack ads on TV here.

“So, I’m at work yesterday minding my own business and a system wide email arrives,” posts TUBOB. “I open it. I am horrified. I am once again seized with paroxysms of wracking sobs and feel my stomach turning over and over and I am, once again, drenched in the cold sweat of bitter regret for moving here to Pugetopolis.” More here.

HBO Blog Nos. (for Wednesday, Oct. 17): 7706 page-views and 4665 unique views.

Meanwhile, Inland Empire Girl honors orange here; Kellogg Bloggin’ offers three more beautiful things here; and Toadman offers thoughts on the LAX International Terminal here.

Question (from Lori Hutson/Fresh Sheet): What do you buy in bulk and haul back to Spokane when you stop into Trader Joe’s?

CHS Soccer Girls 1, Boise 0 In State Tourney

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Coeur d’Alene Vikings’ goalkeeper Amanda Wemple snags a corner kick out of the air during the first half against the Boise Braves in the first round of the state tournament this afternoon at Post Falls High. Wemple’s had several saves that held the Braves at bay, allowing the Coeur d’Alene girls to win 1-0.

When Pigs Fly

That fabled day you’ll gaze on high
and see hogs gliding through the sky
and sows alighting in the trees
while piglets frolic on the breeze.

Then swine will flock in city parks
and soar the clouds like meadows larks,
but whilst they gambol in the air
best don a helmet and beware.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Quotable Quote

“This is the month of male testosterone in Idaho” — Rian Van Leuven, president of United Steelworkers of America local 608. He’s paraphrasing a quote from the late former Gov. Ann Richards of Texas.

Hat Tip: Becky Kramer

HBO Interview w/ Congressman Sali @ 2 PM

I’ll be interviewing Congressman Bill Sali online by phone at 2 p.m. … It’ll be an interview of 8 to 10 questions. Questions that aren’t answered, and are in good taste, will be forwarded to Sali’s office for response later today. The responses also will be posted here.

SteveS: Identifying Story Subjects By Race

A couple of stories in the last week or so highlight the problems associated with identifying story subjects by race or ethnicity. As a rule, such identification is included in a story only if it is considered significant to the story. So this week, in editing stories on Shonto Pete, we were careful about referencing his Native American heritage. For example, in today’s hard news story on his auto theft trial, link here, there is no mention of Pete’s race. But in the secondary story about his mother’s vigil at the trial, link here, Pete’s Native American ethnicity is central to the story. … Sensitivity to racial identification can lead to some fairly amazing self-censorship. One of the nation;s top dailies a few weeks ago, wrote about an at-large criminal suspect including some important physical attributes in their description of the dangerous fugitive, but not telling readers the suspect’s race. He is black/Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation.

Full post here

Question: Is that political correctness run amok? Where is the line between appropriate sensitivity and failure to deal with critical information?

Huckleberries Best of Idaho Online — 10/18/07

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Edith Schuyler of Hope, Idaho smiles as students from Clark Fork High School file in to The Dock of The Bay restaurant in Hope Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007. Edith donated $500,000 to the school to use as a college scholarship fund here/Meghann M. Cuniff, Spokesman-Review.

1. Zeyad Tarek Abdel Okhawa and his family were resettled in Boise in June, and when asked to compare his past four months in Boise to his life back in Iraq, the former factory owner said, “Heaven to hell.” Between 100 and 150 more Iraqis will soon join him in Boise here/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review.

2. Chilly, windy and wet. That’s the forecast for Spokane and Coeur d’Alene,in the first of two nasty storms moving into the area. The afternoon brings rain and wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph. Highs will be in the mid-40s here/Amy Cannata, Spokesman-Review.

3. Online Poll: A plurality of 46% of 642 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll says that the New York Yankees should bring longtime manager Joe Torre back for another season. Forty percent had no opinion.

4. News Roundup: Dramatic audio tape illustrate woman’s last minutes/KTVB; Sandpoint Bypass plans headed to Boise/Bonner County Bee; Family of 14 found living in the woods/KTVB; Candlelight Fellowship brightens old Showboat Theatre/Coeur d’Alene Press; Judge sets hearing date on Idaho’s closed primaries/KTVB.

5. Idaho Blogosphere: “60 Minutes” report on fires, global warming highlights Idaho/Rocky Barker; Larry Grant’s demogoguery on health care/Adam’s Blog; Luna saga continues/Mountain Goat Report; Keeping tabs on Bill Sali/Red State Rebels; and The Traitorous Times/Palousitics.

6. IMHO-Idaho: Sen. Larry Craig’s own private Idaho/Twin Falls Times-News; Since when is marital love only about sex/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune; and If a much-ballyhooed interview falls in the forest/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman.

A Matter Of Opinion: Bush Wins On SCHIP

Veto override fails by 13 votes.

In the Washington state delegation, U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings remained the lone opponent to the bill that would’ve expanded the program. Republican colleagues Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dave Reichert voted to override the veto.

In Idaho, U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson voted for the override; Bill Sali voted against it.

Now what?

Joey Bishop, 89, Rat Pack Member, RIP

AP File Photo

This file photo, originally provided by Warner Bros., shows, left to right, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop star in the 1960 Warner Brothers’ movie, “Ocean’s Eleven.” Bishop, the stone-faced comedian who found success in night clubs, television and movies but became most famous as a member of Frank Sinatra’s boisterous Rat Pack, has died at his home at age 89.

Question: Which member of the Rat Pack did you like best?

Lewiston Trib: Otter Pulls Coup On Indian Gas Tax

All praise to Butch Otter for his agreement with the Coeur d’Alene Tribe over tribal gasoline tax collections, but even if the governor can reach similar agreements with other tribes he will be pulling his own gun from his head. That’s because Otter signed legislation early this year limiting the time he had to negotiate these deals. Legislators, who have tried repeatedly to impose the state tax on tribal sales over the years, sent him a bill requiring him to reach settlements with the tribes by Dec. 1, lest the state tax take effect on the reservations. Why Otter signed such an incursion on his own prerogatives is anyone’s guess, but if he succeeds with other tribes, including north central Idaho’s Nez Perce Tribe, as he did with the Coeur d’Alenes, it will be a real coup for him/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune.

Full editorial here

Question: Do you consider the agreement over gas taxes between the state and the Coeur d’Alene Indian tribe to be a good thing or a bad thing?

Questions For Congressman Sali?

I’ll be interviewing Congressman Bill Sali live on Huckleberries Online at 2 p.m. today. It won’t be as extensive as a Huckleberries Gone Wireless interview. But it still should be interesting. I have a coupla questions in mind to ask him. If you have a question, you can post it under this thread. BTW, Sali spokesman Wayne Hoffman told me via e-mail that the congressman’s office will continue to answer questions posted here after the interview is over …

LCDC Wants To Include Winton, Sorensen

Item: LCDC wants to expand boundaries to include Winton, Sorensen schools/Spokesman-Review

More Info: The Lake City Development Corp. approved a plan Wednesday recommended by a Boise legal consultant that calls for expanding the urban renewal districts to include Winton Elementary School and the adjoining park as well as Sorensen Magnet School for the Arts and Humanities and the Coeur d’Alene School District’s administrative office. The school district and LCDC have been looking for ways to fund repairs at the schools using urban renewal money.

Question: Seems OK to me. How about you?

Digger: I’m Family’s Black Sheep b/c I’m Gay

re: Does your family have a black sheep?

Try to be a gay, Christian, Republican from St. Maries who’s whole family is either Nazarene or southern-esque Baptist in their thinking. Now compound that with an uncle who says that you shouldn’t hold his new grandchild (your new cousin) because “90% of gay people have AIDS and I don’t want the baby to catch anything”. Compound that with your own father calling you a “faggot”. Yeah, I’m the black sheep, and all I did was be born this way.


Sparky: No Homeless In CDA? What Are You Drinking?

re: Coeur d’Alene OKs homeless plan

So we have no homeless in Coeur d alene? So we will have homeless because if you build it they will come? Holy crap! Where do you live because I live in Coeur d’Alene and I have seen them. Do I need to do a field trip to make you see what you refuse to acknowledge? There is a young man who is staying in his car behind where I work. He has a job! He is clean, polite, and shows no signs of drug abuse. I know his employer because I told him about the job opportunity. He shows up to work and does a great job. His mother threw him out of the home when her boyfriend moved in. He struggled to finish school and graduated. He has been saving money to get his own place but his car broke down and gas costs a fortune. He has no credit history and people hesitate to rent to single young guys. He lives in his car and once in while he sleeps on friend’s couch or has camped out. But he must not be homeless because there is no such thing, right?


Heller: Livin’ Large

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Hump Day Wild Card — 10/17/07

As you can see below, the SR endorsements were published today for the City Council races in Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls. No close calls in Coeur d’Alene. The Hissong-Alexander and Thoreson-Johnson races were close calls. I guess this signals the official beginning of the fall election season in North Idaho. Absentee voting should start soon. Pay attention. Now, for your Wild Card …

Romney, Giuliani Collect From Idahoans

Full post w/fun map function here

New October 2007 quarterly campaign finance reports show that among presidential candidates, Mitt Romney raised the most of the pack in Idaho – $457,248 – followed by Rudy Giuliani with $161,500, John McCain with $77,694 and Barack Obama with $48,175. The only thing is, all but $2,540 of the contributions to Romney came from southern Idaho. Meanwhile, most of Giuliani’s contributions were from up north, with $94,700 from the Panhandle alone. McCain’s center of support in Idaho seems to be the Twin Falls-Sun Valley area, which also accounted for nearly half of Obama’s Idaho contributions/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Question: Have you ever contributed money to a political campaign?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 10/17/07

Toby Talbot/AP Photo

Four Holsteins peer from a barn doorway at the Lilley Hill Farm in Calais, Vt., Monday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. After his interview with Senator Craig, Matt Lauer witnesses more of his bullsh@t out back — John Austin.

2. Jim Brannon, Al Hassell, Chris Patterson and Jerry Weaver await the announcement of The Spokesman Review’s CdA City council Seat three endorsements — Nic.

3. The Wild Goose Chase Gang emerges from its regular 9 o’clock Thursday morning breakfast meeting to see if the FBI has responded to its call for an investigation of Coeur d’Alene City Council incumbents seeking re-election — DFO.

HM: A Token D

Movies & More: Queenie Tale All Soaped Up

After seeing “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” this evening, I had to agree that it wasn’t a complete fantasy. There was an English queen in 1585, and her name was Elizabeth. Pretty much everything else is a wash. But even if you could make a case that what director Shekhar Kapur was historically accurate, and you can’t, that’s hardly the worst thing about the film. Much of the first half is so choppy it looks as if it were edited by someone with ADHD. And much of the second half wastes the talents of the great Cate Blanchett, her generation’s version of Bette Davis, by making her Elizabeth as much of a needy-whiny as the big screen has ever seen. Continued below/Dan Webster, Movies & More.

Question: Name a recent movie you’ve seen that was a waste of money?

Originally posted at Movies & More

Inside Huckleberries — 10/17/07

*You can find all the published candidate profiles for the City Council races in Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Rathdrum here. Also, the site takes you to audio links for the interviews conducted by Erica Curless with Ron Edinger and Dan Gookin.

*I forgot to mention that Family Phil sent a link, telling about the Coeur d’Alene Library eAudiobook project in which you can now downtown audio books here.

*Blogmaster Ryan is featuring the latest postings of the Spokesman-Review blogs more prominently on are newspaper Web site here.

*I appreciate the fact that PF council wannabe Anthony Skarisky stopped by HBO to comment about his qualifications today. However, the link he provided for his Web site isn’t working.

*Blurker Kelly Johnson provided a link to that USA Today candidate match game — you know, the one in which you answer questions and the computer figures out which of the current prez wannabes most closely matches your views. We’ve done this one before but it’s still fun. Click here.

Inquiring Minds Want To Know …

… Why Bob Templin’s concerned about preserving the non-historic current Post Falls City Hall … when he tore down the old Weekly Advance newspaper building in 2005 and razed the Don’s Pool Hall block with some historic buildings about a decade earlier? Anyone?

Vox Box: Does Your Family Have A Black Sheep?

Surprise, surprise. Dick Cheney and Barack Obama are cousins. Eighth cousins —distant enough they could marry in states that recognized gay unions, but I digress. While researching her ancestry for her new book, “Blue Skies, No Fences,” a memoir about growing up in Wyoming, Lynne Cheney found the tie. “Sen. Obama is a descendent of Maureen Duvall. This French Huguenot’s son married the granddaughter of a Richard Cheney, who arrived in Maryland in the late 1650’s from England,” said Ginny Justice, a spokeswoman for Lynne Cheney. “This is such an amazing American story that one ancestor … could be responsible down the family lines for lives that have taken such different and varied paths as Dick’s and Barack Obama,” Lynne Cheney told MSNBC. A spokesman for Obama offered a tongue-in-cheek response. “Every family has a black sheep,” said spokesman Bill Burton.

QUESTION: Does your family have a black sheep?

Originally posted at Vox Box

The Onion: Meaningless BS Will Decide Elections

Warning: Liberal use of the BS word

Poll: (BS) Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

For a majority of likely voters, meaningless (BS) will be the most important factor in deciding who they will vote for in 2008.

Hat Tip: Ralph Bartholdt

Reuters/Zogby Poll: Bush 24%, Demo Congress 11% …


Question: Is this the proverbial “a pox on both houses” from the American people? What should R’s and D’s read from this poll?

Popkey: Craig Maneuvering For Lobbyist Gig

Full column by Dan Popkey here

There is a model for the rehabilitation of a disgraced senator, and Sen. Larry Craig knows it well. Craig sat on the Ethics Committee that recommended the expulsion of his friend Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore. After the committee’s unanimous vote in September 1995, Packwood resigned, ending a fight that lasted almost three years. But 12 months later, Packwood hung up his shingle. By 1999, his company was billing more than $1.5 million a year to lobby Congress alone. His clients have included Northwest Airlines, Marriott, the AFL-CIO, and energy, finance, trucking, telecommunications and health care industries. Craig appears to be engineering a campaign to reconstruct his image and make him employable. He’s following the lead of Packwood and a second man humiliated by sexual misconduct, Bill Clinton. Craig advocated Clinton’s removal from office, only to see him become an asset to his wife’s presidential ambition/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman.

Question: Regular HBO commenter James Bond believes Popkey’s theory has merit. Do you?

Question: Drink Tax?

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

“They make plenty of money off of this stuff,” said Ronald M Wadford while drinking a beer at the Tam O’Shanter bar in Sandpoint on Tuesday. Sandpoint voters will decide in November whether to adopt a 2 percent “drink tax” on the by-the-glass sales of wine, beer and liquor. Story by Becky Kramer/SR here.

Question: Would you support a drink tax in your town?

SR Endorsements: Edinger, Hassell, Bruning

Item: Spokesman-Review endorses Edinger, Hassell, Bruning for Coeur d’Alene City Council/SR Editorial Board

Of Ron Edinger: Much of Edinger’s success over the years owes to his candor and independence as well as his understanding of the plight of average citizens.

Of Al Hassell: Hassell has demonstrated his competence on the job over an extended time. There’s good reason to believe his leadership has contributed to Coeur d’Alene’s prosperity.

Of John Bruning: John Bruning is not a member of the Coeur d’Alene City Council, but his 25 years on the Planning and Zoning Commission – 20 as chairman – makes him a key part of the municipal team that has taken the city along a progressive and successful path.

Any comments?

007: Is Craig Rehabbing For Future Lobbyist Job?

Dan Popkey raises a good point about Larry Craig’s likely future ambition to cash in by becomming a lobbyist. We often seem to assume he’s going to go quietly away, back to Midvale. Of course he wants to cash in, which makes this whole, weird, Quioxtic public relations rehabilitation campaign make sense, albeit in a hopeless kind of way. Popkey points out that Bob Packwood did it! It’s refreshing to know our nation’s public policy is being formulated and influenced by guys like Packwood and Craig. No wonder the Islamofascists hate our culture.

James Bond

AM Hucks: Show And Hotel Brings Oohs, Aahs

Some things don’t change, even in our ever-changing world. Take show-and-tell, for example. Or, as it’s called in one local kindergarten class, “show-and-hotel.” A kindergarten teacher who chooses to remain anonymous writes an entertaining blog about her experiences in the classroom: A Butterfly Moment. Recently, one tyke was so excited about showing off a possession to her classmates that she dubbed the venerable exercise “show-and-hotel.” And what do kids show-and-hotel today? A Butterfly Moment lists a dozen things: One art kit with a book in which you can color anything; one Spiderman sticker book that brought “oohs” and “aahs”; one story about visiting grandparents who apparently can do back flips and somersaults; one dinosaur play set with dinosaurs that try to eat cars; one soccer trophy; one set of orange and red pom-poms; one little bag of “thousands” of polished rocks (more “oohs” and “aahs”); one stuffed polar bear; one “Bedtime Bear” Care Bear; one leopard-print umbrella in a case that matches; one stuffed, blue Scooby Doo; and one story: “It was my birthday and now I’m this many (5 fingers) and then I’m going to be this many (3 fingers).” No iPods. No cell phones. No calculators. Yet.

Eye On Boise: Craig Sez He Laughed At Leno

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, in his first interview since news surfaced of his arrest and guilty plea in a bathroom sex-solicitation sting, said on TV tonight that he’s laughed at some of the jokes at his expense on late-night shows like Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show.” KTVB, the Boise NBC affiliate that’s airing an interview of Craig with reporter Mark Johnson prior to another Craig interview with NBC News reporter Matt Lauer, showed video of a Leno shtick that showed the Tonight Show’s men’s room, with Leno checking to see whether any toe-tapping was going on. In adjacent booths, the occupants began tapping and then went into a “Riverdance” type tap-dance extravaganza. But Suzanne Craig noted that the couple has watched lots of the Food network in the past month and didn’t watch lots of the jests at Craig. Read my full story here, which I’m updating periodically, on Russell, Eye On Boise.

Parting Shot — 10/16/07

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Idaho State Police trooper Chris Yount, right, investigates the scene of a car train crash near Hayden Ave. and Greensferry this afternoon. A woman driving an Oldsmobile pulled in front of a speeding train around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon and survived the impact, which was witnessed by a Kootenai County Sheriff’s deputy who was stationed there to ticket those who run the stop sign.

Vox Box: Will You Dare Not To Swear?

Item: Dare Not To Swear campaign returns to Bremerton High/James Mange, Bremerton Patriot

More Info: More than 1,000 students swore not to swear in the inaugural program at the school last year, not only pledging not to swear in school themselves, but to enthusiastically encourage others to clean up their language as well. The program has attracted national attention, with features posted on the NEA and Education World web sites, and written in Techniques Magazine. Some of the individuals who have expressed support for “Dare Not To Swear” include Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna, Vanna White and First Lady Laura Bush.

Question: Would you participate in this campaign? How do you feel about swearing?

Originally posted at Vox Box

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 10/16/07

“Well, never one to leave enough alone, I flipped (Pecky Cox’s shot of a golf ball splashing down at the Priest Lake Golf Course) over,” writes Idaho Escapee, ” … so it looks like the ball has ruptured the sky…and it brought to mind a little song by Blood, Sweat and Tears.” You can read the latest Atmospheric Ruminations here.

*TUBOB is doing food reviews now. He introduces his Hilltop Tacoma 7/11 one with: “I’m not a professional food critic. I’m not a “foodie” which sounds like an effete nomenclature for cork sniffing arrogant French snot machines. I’m an American and I know good convenience cuisine from bad.” More here.

*T-Boy’s wedding reminds Chronic Discontent how hard marriage can be. Even after 13 years, he notes, sometimes you simply have to decide not to choke each other to death here.

*In her Sunday scribblings, Inland Empire Girl writes about her “First Job, Worst Job, Dream Job” as she recalls her experiences as a waitress at the Humdinger Drive-in in the summer of ‘72 here.

*Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’, a Silver Valley sibling, focused on the single worst work day of his life as part of the same writing assignment — mucking out a launder — here.

*I think I have fairies in the middle of me garden,” posts Marmitetoasty/Twaddle, “cos this morning in the rain I spied (a toad stool) here.”

*At Meet The Taylors, Mrs. T discusses a possible life change: “Mr. T and I are looking into going to Law School in the near future. We bought a LSAT prep book and are working our way through it. We aren’t planning on going to Law School until 2009 though so we have some time to study and take the LSATs” here.

HBO Blog Nos. (for Monday, Oct. 15) 7386 page-views and 4349 unique views.

Meanwhile, PDX Pup covers the largest fake disaster drill in history here, and Toadman sees quiet peace in whittling here.

Didja Know …

… that the Sandpoint City Council will consider the following amendment to the obscene conduct ordinance Wednesday night:

“It shall be unlawful for any person to look, peer, or peep into or to be found loitering around any partition or divider within or about any public restroom or public dressing room with the intnt of watching or looking through said partition or divider to observe any person in the act of dressing, undressing, urinating or defecating or wtih other lewd, lustful, lascivious and voyeuristic intent.’

DFO: I guess you can call it Larry’s Law.

Winter’s Comin’

Item: Pacific weather phenomenon could bring wet snowy winter to Idaho/Idaho Statesman

More Info: The Northwest and northern plains are expected to have colder and wetter conditions than normal, while the rest of the country is anticipated to be warmer and drier.

Question: Which of the following songs sums up your approach to winter: “Let it snow,” “Dreamin’ of a White Christmas,” “California Dreamin’”; or “Help!”

It’s My 2 Cents — Adjustments

I’ve been making adjustments today re: Huckleberries Online. I’m returning to the things I enjoy doing here, rather than simply blogging for the sake of blogging. I’ve been posting like a madman since I got the approval to blog and columnize full time. As a result, I’ve lost track of the things that make Huckleberries work and simply shoveled copy here to feed the insatiable Blog Beast. As you know, Huckleberries Online is a work in progress. It works best when there’s interaction among bloggers, commenters and me. It doesn’t work as well when I’m shoveling material without rhyme or reason. I took a step back today and reintroduced Huckleberries Best of Idaho Online. I began that feature to Idaho’s opinion makers in print and the blogosphere, as well as keep you posted on state stories. Compiled as a whole, it helps me maintain balance more effectively than when I break out pieces of the feature into their own separate entry. “Inside Huckleberries” offers a chance to pass along e-mail I receive from you and to tell you what’s happening within the newsroom and my part of the blogosphere. As a means of getting out of the office more, I also plan to post from 8:30-10:30, go wi-fi’ing several days, and then return to do Best of Idaho Online and the early afternoon features. As always, it’s a work in progress — and only works because you tune in.

Sheriff Rocky Looking For Arson Suspects

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office is asking for your help to locate a girl who ran away from home. Jacquline C. Smith (left), 17, ran away from home on Sept. 26. She was last seen with her boyfriend, Jason D. Howry (right), 20, near the Idaho/Washington State Line on September 28th. Both of them are from the Rathdrum area. Both Smith and Howry are suspects in an arson case in the City of Coeur d’Alene from last June. Smith was suppose to appear in court on September 27th, but failed to appear. A warrant for her arrest has been issued with a $30,000 bond.

Huckleberries Best of Idaho Online — 10/16/07

Courtesy: Montana Meth Project

“The Idaho Meth Project, which hopes to kick off in January, will “saturate” Idaho with the often-shocking ads developed by the Montana Meth Project, which feature actors and fake blood and sores, in an attempt to persuade young people not to try the drug, not even once,” posts Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise here. You can read Betsy’s complete story in the news roundup below.

1. The Today Show’s Matt Lauer said his interview with U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, which airs Tuesday night, was hard for him — and he can only imagine what it would have been like for Craig and his wife, Suzanne/Idaho Statesman here.

2. Idaho and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe have reached a historic agreement on fuel taxes, with Gov. Butch Otter and tribal Chairman Chief Allan inking the deal this morning in the governor’s office/Spokesman-Review here.

3. Online Poll: 73% of the respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say that they won’t change their mind against U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, no matter what he says during his TV interview with Matt Lauer tonight.

4. In The News: Graphic anti-meth ads hint at what’s to come/Spokesman-Review, Savings from Albertson’s merger boost Supervalu/KTVB, Idaho soldier accused of murder will get open hearing Nov. 10/KTVB, Colin Powell makes brief stop in Idaho/Idaho Statesman, and Kootenai County Halloween rules target sex offenders/Spokesman-Review.

5. Idaho Blogosphere: Back atcha/Randy Stapilus, Idaho’s climate problem/Adam’s Blog, Why does Gore drive right-wingers nuts?/Fort Boise, Alcohol was involved/IdaBlue, Donate toys to support kids’ health/Red State Rebels, and Sali Vote (10/15/07)/Mountain Goat Report.

6. IMHO-Idaho: Why is New Yorker telling us how to manage West’s wilderness? Twin Falls Times-News; Sometimes it’s OK to surrender parental duties, Tom Henderson/Lewiston Tribune; Free stuff is always good, T.J. Tranchell/UIdaho Argonaut; Name change will benefit former Albertson College, Bob Hoover/College of Idaho president; Plenty of blame to go around for poor BSU defensive showing, Brian Murphy/Idaho Statesman.

Craig Try To Clear Name Begins w/Lauer Interview

Item: Sen. Larry Craig lashes out at GOP, Romney in TV interview: Talk with Matt Lauer will air Tuesday; Crapo suggests lower profile would benefit Idaho/Erika Bolstad, Idaho Statesman

More Info: U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s high-profile interview with NBC won’t air until Tuesday night, but the Idaho Republican’s efforts to use the prime-time exposure to clear his name and restore his credibility are already off to an uncertain start. One of Craig’s most steadfast supporters, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, suggested it might be best for Idaho if his Republican colleague were to have a lower profile.

Question: Will you watch the interview tonight?

HBO Poll Question: Alexander Or Hissong?

We’ve looked at two Post Falls City Council races since Friday — the three-way race among Jack Evans, Kristi Reed Johnson and Kerri Thoreson. And the three-way race among Keith Hutcheson, Anthony Skarisky and Linda Wilhelm. In the HBO Poll, you picked Kerri Thoreson and Linda Wilhelm as your favorites. You also voted overwhelmingly in favor of tearing down the current City Hall when the new one opens. Now, for the third race, between former Post Falls chamber CEO Angela Alexander and former councilman Skip Hissong.

*Alexander promises to be voice of the people
*Skip Hissong vows to be financial watchdog

HBO Poll Question: Which candidate do you prefer in this Post Falls City Council race — Angela Alexander or Skip Hissong?

Results (from Monday HBO Poll): Linda Wilhelm 34, Keith Hutcheson 18, Anthony Skarisky 6.

Souza: To Arms! To Arms!

Item: It’s election time, let’s follow the money/Mary Souza, Coeur d’Alene Press

Quoth Mary: So, if you were a power broker and did not want new blood on the council, what would you do? Maybe you would have your people label any new candidates as crazy, angry or extremist. After all, character assassination is so much easier and more eye-catching than discussing the issues, especially if the issues reveal questionable decisions and failed oversight by your current officials. You might also start a fear campaign, throwing out the suggestions that new candidates will stop progress in our town; that they are anti-everything; that they will limit education and cut back on public services — all fabrications created by whispers and rumors.

DFO: Mary never fails to disappoint with her obsession with Lake City Development Corp and contention that the leaders of our progressive community are lacking. This, despite assurances from on high that she won’t be allowed to focus (read: attack) solely on LCDC. I missed this in Sunday’s Press b/c management had announced that her column was going to begin appearing on Friday. That’s why it’s late in coming to you. Enjoy.

GreenL v. Sam re: Spokesman’s Transparency

Thread that started discussion here

Green Libertarian: I have no illusions as to the S/R and their chicanery over the years, decades, really. They have some good stuff going on, and they have some really bad stuff going on too. I’ve said that all along. Canning an ombudsman after just a few weeks is a MAJOR red flag. Either their hiring decision was bad, or the ombudsman got a little too close to the truth about things in a way that disturbed the Powers That Be. Either way, it’s bad.

Sam The Reporter: the Spokesman is really an extremely transparent publication. That’s why I was so surprised that the new ombudsman was canned for being critical. That’s their job, so I don’t understand the full justification. I don’t think all the details are being released, which can also be a detriment to transparency. But you’re not going to find a more transparent newsroom than the Spokesman. I challenge you to do so. Aside from watching the daily news meetings online, and reading all the blogs like this one and News Is a Conversation, etc. etc., you can likely call up any reporter at the Spokesman and get their thoughts on articles and issues and work with them to get something in the paper.

DFO: BTW, you can read about Sam’s intention to become an attorney here.

AM Hucks: Gookin Wouldn’t Win Friends In Hayden

Posted by dang|5 Jan 2:34 PM

Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem shouldn’t appoint Dan Gookin as her ambassador to the city of Hayden, if the City Council wannabe upsets veteran incumbent Ron Edinger in the Nov. 6 election. Not that Coeur d’Alene and Hayden exchange ambassadors anyway. Huckleberries Online regular Thom George discovered an interesting entry by Gookin while digging through the archives of my blog this weekend – a graphic posted as a comment on Jan. 5 by the local activist in which a Nazi swastika was used to symbolize Hayden urban renewal. I had launched the thread by posting a story by Erica Curless, titled: “Hayden searching for its center: Brainstorming sessions seek ways to transform strip into ideal downtown.” I asked this question: “What would be the first step Hayden would have to take to develop a legit downtown core?” The question attracted 22 comments. Midway down the thread, Gookin posted his graphic: “Downtown Hayden Revitalization Plan ‘N.’ ” It consisted of a swastika-shaped building in the middle of a circular area. Lines pointed to various amenities in and around the swastika “building”: medical center, shopping, City Hall, art gallery, library, theater, etc. One commenter said he needed to wipe the spittle off his computer monitor because he was laughing so hard at Gookin’s graphic. The Huckleberries Online crowd often are irreverent. I viewed the graphic as over-the-top political incorrectness but within bounds of political discussion on the blog. Ten minutes after Gookin’s post, I commented on the blog that I didn’t have the nerve to run the graphic on the front page of Huckleberries Online, addressing Gookin: “You heard that Richard Butler didn’t win that mayoral race back when, right?” So, you see – the media aren’t the only ones who keep unfortunate stereotypes alive.

Wild Card/Monday — 10/15/07

We have quite a bit ahead this week, HBOers. On Tuesday morning, I’ll interview online Local Demo Done Good Bruce Reed re: Hillary, Larry Craig and life as prez of the Demo Leadership Council. On Thursday afternoon, I’ll interview Congressman Bill Sali. You can post questions for them under this Wild Card. Or you can start your own threads …

Get Out! Gimme A Cheese Pizza Any Time

There’s nothing more simple and delicious to me than a perfectly done cheese pizza. Ellen DeGeneres says she’d eat it for lunch every day if she could. And actually, so would I. Throw even one topping on there and it’s an entirely different thing. The topping always becomes the main attraction. With cheese pizza, cheese is the star of the show, and when it falls under the heat of the oven, it gets all bubbly and crisp - brilliance/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho.

Full post here

Question: What is your favorite kind of pizza?

SteveS: SR Parts Ways w/Ombudsman

After careful consideration and reflection on the exchanges between Steve Blewett, our new and part-time ombudsman, and me and other members of the staff, I’ve decided to terminate our agreement with Steve. Our contract with Steve had a built-in Dec. 3 expiration with an extension possible if both parties agreed. But given a profound disagreement between us and Steve over standards and practices (particularly over the need to speak directly with people about whom he was writing) it seemed better to end the relationship now. If you’re interested in a better understanding of our disagreement, you can review some of the earlier threads on this blog where the issue was debated. I’ll begin looking for a replacement immediately. And will keep you all posted as that process progresses/Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation.

Huckleberries Best of the Local Blogs — 10/15/07

Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It

Family Phil’s daughter lends a hand to local firefighters as Phil & Co. check out the new training facility. Post here.

Huckleberries Online welcomes another newby to the North Idaho blogosphere, Kristi/Here In Idaho, who describes herself as: “I am a Libertarian, home-schooling mother of three from South Texas. My hobbies include doing the laundry, wiping bottoms and reveling in the phrase ‘mommy blogger.’ I write Here in Idaho because I can’t afford therapy.” You can check out here latest post, “I’m the most depressed! No, I am!” here.

*Kendramama/Soul Doubt checks on her son, Jameson, often — just to marvel on the wonderful little being that she, Tony and God created here.

*”It’s fun when you have high-speed Internet and don’t have to wait five minutes for every photo to upload to your blog,” writes Marianne Love/Slight Detour. “It’s also a lot of fun in Vancouver” here. Photos of her trip here.

*Arch Druid reacts to criticism that the media aren’t reporting the good news that’s happening in the battle for peace in Iraq here.

*In Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts, Nic sez he had to resist the urge to be over-protective when his boy tackled the big playground equipment by himself here.

*In the “better late than never” category, Silver Valley Girl responds to an assignment from her siblings to think of a poet that inspired her by selecting old Bill Shakespeare and Sonnet 29 here.

HBO Blog Nos. (for Oct. 7-13): 47,685 page-views and 27784 unique views.

Meanwhile, Tumblewords thinks of her scribbling job here; Al Turtle provides a list of his top relationship posts here; Dogwalk Musings is alerting CDA voters to pay attention to coming elections here; From A Simple Mind and the King go for a Sunday drive here; JeanC loves car races as much as shooting here; OnLocation North Idaho considers fall colors to be a gift here; Orange Frog 76 is caught up in fall, too, here; and Mrs. Mac Energetic sums up her last week in photos here.

Eye On Boise: Craig’s Appeal Doesn’t Say Much

Full post here

Sen. Larry Craig has filed his appeal in his Minnesota sex-solicitation case, and here’s what it says: Not much. Really. There’s just notice that he’s filing an appeal, and that the required $500 fee is being submitted. That’s it. The way the Minnesota Court of Appeals process works, now that Craig’s filed this notice, a transcript of the district court hearing in his case will be delivered to the Court of Appeals, which likely will take up to a week. Then, Craig will have 60 days to file a brief laying out his case/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Pecky: So Much For Par On This Hole

Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns

Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns was trying to shoot the reflection of trees and clouds on the water during the fall golf day at the Priest Lake Golf Course, when she heard a distant “fooorrrreee.” You can see where the ball ended up.

CDA Attorneys Threaten Bayview Chamber w/Suit

re: the letter to the Bayview Chamber of Commerce from Wetzel, Wetzel Bredeson & Holt, of Oct. 2, threatening a lawsuit for “defamation of character.” (Herb Huseland, who provided a copy of he letter, provides his thoughts about the threat here and here):

“It has come to our attention that certain members of your organization have made repeated defamatory references to our law firm, formerly known as Wetzel & Wetzel P.L.L.C. Although we were not at the meetings in question, we are informed by reliable sources that Mr. Hobart Jenkins and Mr. Jere Mossier publicly referred to our law firm as “Weasel & Weasel.” “This disparagement is actionable defamation in the State of Idaho. To successfully prove a case for defamation it must be shown (1) that you communicated information concerning our firm to others; (2) that the information was defamatory; and (3) that our firm and/or its members were damaged because of the communication. The issue of damages is easily met in this case because the law provides that damages are assumed when disparaging a profession, such as the practice of law. “Statements relating to attorneys impute business misconduct and are slanderous per se where they tend to show a lack of character or a total disregard of professional ethics, or where they accuse an attorney of unprofessional conduct.” 50 American Jurisprudence, Second Edition, Libel and Slander S 213.

AM Headlines: Templin Tilting @ City Hall Windmill

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Bob Templin is the driving force behind saving the old Post Falls City Hall building. He talked about the issue in Post Falls on Thursday.

*Around Post Falls, the talk of the town is old City Hall/Paula Davenport, Spokesman-Review — I’m with City Administrator Eric Keck and the Post Falls City Council on this one. Tear it down. It’d be a waste of money to upgrade and maintain a building that has no historic value.

*A blast of winter will fix of those wine-mooching yellow jackets/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune — My wife almost got stung by a yellowjacket Sunday. And I almost got nailed by a bunch of them a coupla weekends ago while chopping wood. Chopped right through a nest in a log. Luckily they were sluggish because the morning was cold. They’re now dead. Who needs winter when you have wasp spray.

*Congress weighs wilderness bill: Proposal may affect nearly 10 million acres in Idaho/Matt Christensen, Twin Falls Times-News: If this goes through and locks up 10M acres of Idaho wilderness willy-nilly, the Idaho delegation has only itself to blame for not reaching compromise legislation to settle this issue once and for all.

*Craig to appeal plea decision: Senator, wife speak in two TV interviews/Spokesman-Review, AP — Larry Craig definitely has gotten into our heads. As we watched the Colorado-Arizona playoff game last night, my wife asked: “Is that what you call a wide stance.” I immediately thought of airport bathrooms rather than a batter with a legit wide stance preparing to hit. Alas.

*Luna proposes $60M in merit pay for teachers/Anne Wallace Allen, Idaho Statesman — Is one of the requirements for merit-pay consideration to be that a teacher has no affiliation with the Idaho Education Association? Just asking.

In The News — Plane Crash That Killed Skydivers

.AP Photo/National Transportation Safety Board

In this undated photo released by the National Transportation Safety Board, the wreckage of a Cessna 208B (N430A) is shown where it crashed near Yakima, Wash.. Search personnel located the missing wreckage on October 8, in remote steep mountainous terrain at about 5,000 feet mean sea level. All 10 persons aboard the airplane were fatally injured.

Family Phil: Movies That Put Me To Sleep

Movies that have put me to sleep during the past few months: Girl With A Pearl Earring, The Life Aquatic, I Heart Huckabees, Idiocracy, The Big Lebowski, Prick Up Your Ears, (and) Bandits. I used to pride myself on never falling asleep while watching a DVD at home. But this past year I’ve found myself totally exhausted at the end of most days. If a movie doesn’t capture my attention right away, chances are I’m not going to make it all the way through. Most of the above films I didn’t even bother finishing the next night. I just popped them into their envelopes and mailed them back to Netflix/Family Phil, A Family Runs Through It.

Question: What movie has put you to sleep?

Online Poll: Asking For Parents’ Blessing?

Before a man proposes marriage, should he seek permission from his girlfriend’s parents? What do you think about this practice? — Idaho Statesman.

*Noble tradition
*Suitor’s choice
*Silly and outdated

MSNBC: Craig Ready To Fight, Disses Romney

Item: Craig says he will fight to clear name:
In NBC interview, senator blasts Romney for abandoning him after arrest

More Info: In an interview with Matt Lauer, anchor of NBC’s TODAY morning program, Craig bitterly criticized Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, for whom he had worked as a liaison to the Senate, for abandoning him in his hour of need.

DFO: Craig has a good point re: Mitt Romney throwing him under the bus at warp speed. Say what you will about the rest of the Idaho delegation. But it at least stood by Craig is his hour of need. That’s the definition of friendship. Or at least fair play.

Hat Tip: Eye On Boise

Noah: A Fish Tale

Noah Kroese/Special for Huckleberries Online

MikeK: Gookin’s True Thoughts Linger In Cyberspace

MikeK: Dan Gookin has countless words published here and other places that indicate his real views and beliefs that an ultra-conservative campaign school in the east coast would smartly encourage someone to play down. Because they are radical, scary, and intellectually dishonest. I believe in the voters of CDA and am confident that Ron will win resoundingly.

Dan Gookin (from 9:11 March 26): “And, of course, the City Coucil still puffs the vapors of the Education Corridor (or whatever it’s called this week), fixating on that pipe dream, which will cause even more traffic congestion and wear on downtown’s already straining resources. The Educational Corridor. It is good. Om!”

DFO: You mean, like this?

AM Hucks: Hunting Bring’s Out North Idaho Flavor

I almost wished I hunted after reading a comment about the sport by John Austin at Huckleberries Online Friday: “I love hunting season. It’s North Idaho in rut. Most of all, I love seeing the annual ritual of the hunt. I love seeing the old, vintage 16-foot trailers, freed from their year-long hibernation, towed just the once each year behind the ‘76 Power Wagon. To elk camp they go, with friends, family and four-wheelers, to be reunited with the other rusting relics of their fall tradition. No modern conveniences, these. No (generator) sets, (satellite) dishes or global positioning, just good ol’ campin’. Nothing but beer, brats and burgers, whiskey, whiskers and wishful thinking. And, that’s just the women. It’s North Idaho during the hunt, and I love it.”

Wild Card/Sunday — 10/14/07

I watched the “debates” featuring the three races for Coeur d’Alene City Council this evening. Dan Gookin out-talked incumbent Ron Edinger. Then, that shouldn’t coe as a surprise. Edinger isn’t a great orator. I wanted to hear Jerry Weaver and Jim Brannon in the four-way race against incumbent Al Hassell. Weaver sounds like an echo of Gookin with his LCDC bashing. Brannon struck me as Gookin Lite. He showed he had little understanding of CDA’s struggle for a community center when he held up the lopsided 1999 vote against the center — not realizing that Hagadone, athletic club owners and anti-taxpayers groups did a nice hatchet job to cloud people’s minds re: the costs. Ditto for the 1985 vote. John Bruning and Suzie Snedaker did well discussing the issues in the race for the seat being vacated by Dixie Reid. We’ll start talking about these races in earnest next week here. Now, for your Wild Card …

Video Journal — Brothers In Arms: The Goodbye

Item: Lance Cpl Shipp deploys to Iraq/Jim Hagengruber, Spokesman-Review

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Video Journal, the blog of colleague Colin Mulvaney, (along with photographer Brian Plonka and the Spokesman-Review) has been chronicling the military journey of Hauser Lake brothers Matt and Robert Shipp. In the latest Video Journal, Colin writes: “Since Matt and Robert Shipp have graduated from boot camp their lives have changed. Matt has grown from an Idaho kid to a well-trained U.S. Marine and now husband. Matt married Jessica in May, telling her three days before the wedding that he volunteered for duty in Iraq. This story tells of their love and Matt’s commitment to his dream to defend our nation at war.” Huckleberries Online is delighted to present the latest video and links to other Video Journal posts about the twins.

*Brothers In Arms: The Beginning
*Brothers In Arms: The Crucible
*Brothers In Arms: The Graduation

Wild Card/Saturday —10/13/07

As you can see by the time of the postings this morning, I crashed for awhile after Colorado’s victory over Arizona (sometime around midnight) and woke up 4 hours later to do some posting. Now, I’m going to hit the sack again for the rest of the 8 hours I allow myself on Saturday mornings. Things are beginning to heat up in the City Council races. Then, U.S. Sen. Larry Craig will be inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame tonight (with Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise providing blogosphere coverage). Next week, I have online interviews with former Clinton adviser Bruce Reed (10:30 a.m. Tuesday) and Congressman Bill Sali (2 p.m. Thursday). So, this place continues to hop. Before that, however, I have a big honey-do on my weekend work list — splitting wood for the winter. So, I’ll leave you with this Wild Card while I return to bed and think of big blocks of wood that need to be tapped with a splitting mall …

A Matter Of Opinion: Will You Watch Craig Interview?

On Tuesday, Larry and Suzanne Craig will be interviewed by NBC’s Matt Lauer in prime time.

Question: Will you watch? What do you expect them to say? Will it be as uncomfortable as this press conference with U.S. Sen. David Vitter and his wife, Wendy?

(Item via Talking Points Memo)

Originally posted by A Matter Of Opinion

Cis’ Easter Egg: Halloween Hangman

Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind e-mailed a fun game for the season: a Halloween version of Hangman. You get about 6-8 wrong guesses before the completed skeleton says, “I hate this part,” and drops into eternity (or until you play the game again). I toyed with it for 10 minutes or so and scored 280 at one point. You can try your hand here.

Online Poll: How To Pay To Fix Idaho Roads?

Item: Who should pay for highways? Most say: Someone else: But the real solution may require politicians to think about entire state, not just their little corner of it/Cynthia Sewell, Idaho Statesman.

Question: A recent survey shows residents think Idaho’s transportation system is in dire need, but when it comes to paying for it, they point their fingers at others. What do you think is the best way to solve Idaho’s highway funding backlog? — Idaho Statesman.

* Rental car tax
* Impact fees
* Gas tax
* Sales tax
* Car registration fees
* Other

Parting Shot — 10/12/07

Bob Pennell/Mail Tribune, AP Photo

A herd of Elk make themselves comfortable in a field in Medford, Ore., Tuesday. The herd has been in this semi-urban area for years but is rarely seen out in the open.

Huckleberries Hears …

… that zillionaire Duane Hagadone has ordered his historic old “cabin” on Casco Bay taken apart, board by board (and numbered, to be reassembled elsewhere), to make room for a mega-mansion. The rumor has been out there for awhile. Work should begin within a coupla weeks.

Mrs. Mac Energetic: ‘Girly Girl’ Or ‘Manly Woman’?

Full post here

So I’m having a conversation yesterday with my seventeen year old daughter, Ann. She is the epitome of all things girly (since birth) and is not suited for the “snakes and snails and puppy dog tails” type of existence. Having a way with word faux pases, she said, “Mom, have you always been a manly woman? Did you ever wear ribbons or skirts or dress up?” I, all the while flabbergasted, dropped to the floor laughing. Most days I wear comfy jeans, roll up my sleeves, mow the grass, gather firewood, put up canned goods, burn leaves, and enjoy both typical male and female type of work around the house/Mrs. Mac Energetic/Whatever Happened To …

Question (for the Women of HBO): Are you a “girly girl” or a “manly woman”?

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

Rick Rycroft/AP Photo

Camels and their riders break from the gate to start the sixth race at the Harold Park Paceway in Sydney earlier today. The novelty races were instigated after Australia’s New South Wales state suspended horse racing after an outbreak of equine influenza. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. “Hey, you bumped me!” “No, I just have a wide stance” — A Token D.

2. One camel named Joe was heard to wheeze to his neighbor, “Man, I can barely breathe. I wish I’d quit the smokes years ago” — LynnS.

3. Al Quaida charged into battle but to Osama’s dismay the American forces had graduated from horses to Humvees sometime in the past century. His Director of Strategic Planning was fired on the spot — Brent Andrews.

HM: Phil Thompson

Hear Candidates Yourself …

… in our never-ending quest to improve election coverage, the Spokesman-Review has developed another feature that should help you and your friends get important information about the City Council candidates — an audio tape of their interviews with our reporters. In the Idaho section of our SR online site, you can hear an introductory statement by the various candidates and/or the full interview. We just posted incumbent Ron Edinger’s introductory statement here and his full interview (with Erica Curless) here. You can read all the election profiles to date for City Council races in Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls here. Audio for challenger Dan Gookin’s interview will be available Saturday.

What If …

… U.S. Sen. Larry Craig announces on the Today Show w/Matt Lauer next week that he’s tired of fighting his inner impulses and admits he’s gay? What if … he asks for forgiveness from the people of Idaho for his actions in the airport bathroom in Minneapolis and admits that he needs to finish out his term to get the best pension possible b/c he’s not a rich man. In other words, what if he’s totally honest and vulnerable. Will that make a difference in regaining some credibility and your sympathy?

Greg Lee’s Picks: LCHS, CHS Will Win Tonight

Originally posted at 4:47 p.m. Thursday

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Greg Lee, North Idaho prep sports scribe extraordinaire, sees good times ahead on Friday night for Lake City and Coeur d’Alene high schools. In the video above, Greg tells you why. You can read his predictions as well as his guest’s in this week’s edition of Panhandle Picks here.

“Pushing Daisies” Producer Fuller From Clarkston

Scott Garfield/AP Photo, ABC

This undated photo, provided by ABC, shows actors Lee Pace and Anna Friel in a scene from the new NBC series ” Pushing Daisies.”

Item: Clarkston High grad is ‘Pushing Daisies’: Bryan Fuller found success in L.A. writing quirky TV shows; latest effort airs on ABC/Jennifer K. Bauer, Lewiston Tribune

More Info: Growing up in Clarkston in the 1970s and ‘80s Bryan Fuller marinated his young brain on a diet of Stephen King, “Star Trek” and “The Twilight Zone.” TV was a passage to another world but he never imagined he would one day be on the other side of the screen, orchestrating his own fantasies from his own office at Warner Bros. studios. The 38-year-old is writer and producer of one of the season’s most critically acclaimed new series, the supernatural fairy tale “Pushing Daisies,” which airs at 8 p.m. Wednesdays on ABC.

Question: What’s your reaction to the new ABC show, “Pushing Daisies”?

Idaho Blogosphere — 10/12/07

(Marion) Jones isn’t alone in throwing honesty to the winds. Idaho Sen. Larry Craig was back in the news last week, reneging on his vow to leave Congress if his disorderly conduct conviction was upheld. As with Jones, Craig’s story has been filled with denials and blaming of others after an incident in a Minneapolis airport restroom. The question for his Idaho constituents and fellow senators has become not what he did in that restroom to get arrested and convicted — but whether he can be trusted to tell the truth. The answer is no. But Craig doesn’t care. He just wants to hang onto his Senate seat, just as Jones wanted to hang onto her Olympic fame. For generations, folk wisdom has taught that “honesty is the best policy” and “cheaters never prosper.” People such as Marion Jones and Larry Craig seem to have missed that lesson/Salem (Ore.) Statesman-Journal (courtesy of Kevin Richert/Idaho Statesman.

Idaho Blogosphere:

*Joe Albertson would have been pleased now/Randy Stapilus
*Smell the fear/IdaBlue
*Risch doesn’t (heart) blogs/Adam’s Blog
*Interesting definition of tyranny/Clayton Cramer
*Bendover, Idaho/Free In Idaho
*How can I not speak/Morialekafa

Question: Do you honestly believe that cheaters never prosper?

Inside Huckleberries — 10/12/07

*So, anyone know what happened to Mary Souza’s column for the Coeur d’Alene Press Editorial Page today? She’s back from Europe. Brand X published her first Friday column last week. Inquiring minds want to know.
An HBO Blurker e-mails: “Maybe you can dig out the reason (s) for the delay in getting the new signs for Post Falls done. These are the ones that are at the Spokane Street Exit of I-90. They have been “under construction” now for well over a year and nearing 2. They tore out 2 great looking signs and seen to be putting in some type of water features but there has been very little work done on them this summer.” Anyone?
*HBO Theory: Could Dan Gookin be running against hard-to-beat incumbent Ron Edinger as a means to get his name out in the community … for a GOPrimary run for the Legislature next spring? Just asking.
*Sorry, I’ve been offline for a bit, chatting with Councilman MikeK, who showed up TWO WEEKS EARLY for the Huckleberries Online ethics confab. Eight of the nine invitees — representing a good cross section of this local blogosphere — have RSVP’d that they’re going to attend the meeting with Editor Steve Smith and me. BTW, our receptionist gave MikeK a cup of fresh-brewed coffee, so his trip to the SR wasn’t totally wasted.

PF Council Race: Thoreson, Johnson or Evans?

In Post Falls, the City Council is expanding from four seats to six seats. The resultant council races have attracted a number of top-flight candidates, as you can see by the three vying for one seat below. You can read the profiles by colleague Paula Davenport that were published in the Spokesman-Review this week. And then comment on the race. Huckleberries Online will begin spotlighting races in Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and possibly beyond in the days ahead.

*Jack Evans aims to bring foresight to growth
*City Hall tops Kristi Reed Johnson’s concerns
*Kerri Thoreson wants to bring city together

HBO Poll Question: Which of the three candidates for this Post Falls City Council seat would you support?

HBO Thursday Poll Results: 66 of 87 respondents said Post Falls should tear down the old City Hall after the new one opens.

Al Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Item: Gore, U.N. panel share Nobel for peace: For efforts to spread awareness of ‘man-made climate change’/Associated Press

More Info: Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change jointly won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Friday for their efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change and to lay the foundations for fighting it.

Question: Now that he’s won the Nobel Peace Prize, should Al Gore run for president again?

Average Jane: Leaning Toward Gookin

Thom George/Perspectives On Today

Average Jane: Average Joe - where are you getting your information from? I went to Gookin’s Website and he is for expanding the parks and protecting green belts. He is for URD, just not our tax dollars paying for anything that we, the public, would not own - ie: siding on a developer’s building. He seems to proactive, not this anti-active person you keep bashing. Makes me wonder what YOUR agenda is Average Joe. Are you a developer? That’s it YOU ARE A DEVELOPER!!! problem solved! Average Joe is a Developer in CDA. I wonder how many people will believe that Ave. Joe is a developer just because it appeared on a blog? That just goes to show - how ridiculous your agenda is - I guess a blog is the only place you can be somewhat taken seriously. I’m still undecided, but you are pushing me more and more to Gookin’s corner to ask questions, read about his issues. And that is healthy. becoming an informed voter.

DFO: We’ve been getting some newbies here saying what a great guy Dan Gookin is. This, after I’d been warned by an insider that I might start seeing new pseudonyms that support challengers in the CDA council races. Consequence? Either way, they’re welcome to post. BTW, Average Joe is not a developer.

Office Sex Harassment Alive, Well In Corp America

I actually used to think that this kind of sexual hanky panky didn’t exist in the private sector until I recently spoke a friend of my wife who worked for one of the top three law firms in LA. She was assigned to the unit that specialized in sexual discrimination/harassment suit. Her job was to help defends companies from these types of suit. In her first year, every case that came across her desk was a legitimate claim that would have won in court. If the perpetrator was a rank and file employee than they were let go on the spot, but if they were an executive or key employ they stayed. Regardless, her job was to stall and generally make the plaintiff’s (victim’s) life so miserable so that they would either settle early or simply walk away. It made her sick about corporate America and the way they defend themselves in court. She quit her 145K job within the first 11 months and is thinking about leaving the law altogether. So, although I would hope these practices would be long gone by now from private America, they are not.


Anderson: Softball Questions

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Thursday — 10/11/07

Candidates for the Coeur d’Alene City Council are now appearing live on Public Channel 19, answering questions tossed at them by KVNI’s Dave Walker. Incumbent Ron Edinger and challenger Dan Gookin were first to respond. I’m sure the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce forum will be rebroadcast several times on the local access channel. You can tune in for the next 90 minutes or so. I’ll catch it later. Now, for your evening Wild Card …

Culbreth To Host Gookin Meet-and-Greet Sunday

E-mail Forwarded by HBO regular

Dan Gookin for Coeur d’Alene City Council
(author of the computer books for DUMMIES)
Sharon Culbreth’s house this Sunday Oct. 14th at 4:00pm - 6:00pm


CPD Blue: Maxx Joins CDA Department

Christie Wood news release: The Coeur d’Alene Police Department is pleased to introduce our new police dog Maxx. He is a 15 month old German Shepherd from Belgium. He is from a registered blood line and came fully micro-chipped, tattooed and has a perfect health rating. Maxx was purchased in Belgium for the Coeur d’Alene Police Department by Rick Farley with Alabama Canine. Once Maxx got his international passport he was shipped to Alabama where Rick Farley trained him for approximately 4 months on drug detection work. Maxx arrived in Spokane on 9/22/07 and was picked up by his current handler Detective Eric Paull. Maxx lives with Detective Paull and is also by his side the majority of their off duty time.

Top APhoto Contest Cutlines — 10/11/07

Bernd Kammerer/AP Photo

Dr. Ruth Westheimer presents her book ‘Sex for Dummies’ at the International Frankfurt Book Fair ‘Frankfurter Buchmesse’ in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007. The world’s largest book fair with this year’s focal theme on Catalan Culture is open to the public from Oct. 10 to 14. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Dr. Ruth Westheimer presents the new Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office employee handbook — LynnS.

2. Rule No. 1 in Dr. Ruth’s new book “Sex for Dummies” is “Never solicit sex in a public toilet” — Brent Andrews.

3. Not realizing people who are too dumb to get the hang of doing it are almost certainly too dumb to read as well, this book is destined to collect dust on store shelves nationwide. Fortunately, it’ll have lots of company: “…. for Dummies”, “…. for Dummies”, and let’s not forget that all-time stinker, “…. for Dummies!” — Kendramama.

HM: Joan Harman

For the rest of the cutlines, click here.

In The News: Bond Meets “Jaws”

Mark J. Terrill/AP Photo

Actor Roger Moore, right, who played the part of James Bond 007 in seven films, poses with actor Richard Kiel, who played the role of Jaws in “The Spy Who Loved Me,” during a ceremony honoring Moore with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Moore’s star is aptly located at 7007 Hollywood Blvd.

Question: Who is your favorite James Bond villain?

Breaking: “Albertson” College To Return To Roots

Item: Albertson College of Idaho to drop ‘Albertson’ from name; foundation gives college $50 million/Vicki Ashwill, Idaho Statesman

DFO: I guess it isn’t Joe Albertson’s four-year college any more.

DFO’s Animals: 3-Legged Racing Dog

Stephen Morton/AP Photo

A three-legged dachshund named Longfellow runs to the finish line to win a race at the Annual Savannah Wiener Dawg Races Saturday in Savannah, Ga. Longfellow missed last year’s races after being hit by a car and losing one of his hind legs. After recovering for the year, Longfellow joined more than 175 dachshunds from around the South to compete for prizes during races at the Oktoberfest Festival on the Historic River Street Waterfront.

Idaho Blogosophere: Off The Rails

If you’re reading this you probably already know that LaRocco has hosted several live-blogging sessions, has an online fund-raising page through ActBlue and hired Idaho’s premier blogger, Julie Fanselow of Red State Rebels, to his campaign staff. LaRocco has embraced a variety of online communities in his quest to engage voters. Contrast that with the stodginess of Risch; just three years LaRocco’s senior, but you can almost smell the Old Spice and stogies as he dismisses blogs as just “people’s personal opinions.” This is typical arrogance from the “old guard” Idaho Republicans, dismissive of anything that doesn’t fit their nostalgic vision of Idaho politics. These guys will wake up someday as obsolete as a carton of 8-tracks, wondering what happened/Mountain Goat Report. Full post here.

Idaho Blogosphere Roundup:

*Off the rails/Morialekafa.
*Sen. Larry Craig and “In The Navy”/The Stupid Shall Be Punished
*Maybe Mitt Romney is presidential/Fort Boise
*Open borders employers win a round/Free In Idaho

Question: Who’s more blog savvy — Democrats or Republicans?

HBO @ Noon: Scary Little Girls Horror Challenge

I don’t watch horror movies. Especially ones with creepy little girls … But others do! And it’s a pretty popular horror movie genre: Scary chicks hanging out with the dead. Or undead. Or soon to be dead. Or should be dead. Or… You get the picture. Here’s another fun quiz brought to us by Mental_Floss. Match the scary little girl to her movie.

How did you do? (DFO: Only 3 out of 11)

Originally posted at Vox Box

HBO Poll: What To Do w/Current PF City Hall

In our morning editorial, the Spokesman-Review Editorial Board recommended that Post Falls voters reject a ballot measure to save the current City Hall once the new one opens. Bob Templin’s and St. Vincent de Paul’s are trying to preserve the block building for other uses. In my Huckleberries Gone Wireless interview this morning, City Administrator Eric Keck said it would cost the city $1.25M to retrofit the building and grounds for preservation and at least another $60,000 per year to maintain. The HBO Poll question (in the left rail) asks what you think should be done with the building.

HBO Poll/Wednesday: Two-thirds (50-24) said the Fort Ground Grill billboard with the retro Vargas girl waitress is “fun, cool.” One-third said it was “Hooters like.”

Separated @ Birth: Wayne Longo … Robin Williams?

Separated @ birth: Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Wayne Longo and comedian Robin Williams?

KTVB Exclusive: Otter Sez Craig Should Step Down

Full story with video here

KTVB: How do you feel about the off-again on-again, now off-again resignation?

Butch Otter: Well I understand it, you know I understand when your reputation is put at risk you know really when you come in and go out of this world you leave in terms of your reputation, and that’s really all you leave with in Congress Sometimes you do have to change your mind. Now, you have to have a good reason, you have to be able to explain that, and whether or not Larry has sufficiently done that, whether or not he has good reasons I say once again I think Larry is going to have to deal with that himself. I can’t blame Larry for trying to clear his name, and he thinks he has a better chance of doing that while he’s still in office. I have personally told Larry, and I have said so publicly what would be best for the state obviously would be for Larry to resign, but I never asked him to resign, he still has to make that decision himself.

Online Poll: Are You Going Hunting This Year

Are you going hunting this season? — Idaho Statesman.


Bonus Question: Why?

SR Edit: Tear Down Old Post Falls City Hall

Full post here

What’s being described in Post Falls as “old City Hall” is a misnomer. The building, which is scheduled to be torn down next year after city government moves into quarters now under construction, isn’t even 30 yet. Probably most of the people who work there are older. So “current” City Hall is a better term, even if it lacks the subtle implications about historic preservation. The structure’s fate has become a divisive issue in the growing Kootenai County community as voters approach the Nov. 6 general election when they will decide whether to proceed with demolition or spare the ‘70s-era structure and require city officials to revisit a number of decisions – and costs – associated with the new City Hall/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board.

Question: Agree? Disagree?

MamaJD: Douglas Allowed Baughman Behavior

Baughman had a lengthy career with the prosecuter’s office. His behavior was long standing over a number of years. He was not reprimanded but instead he was promoted during the time period in which Mr. Douglas was carrying on a “friendship” with Marina Kalani. Mr. Douglas should have put Baughman on notice that this behavior would not be tolerated and then give Baughman time to correct his behavior. This did not happen. Instead, Baughman was promoted. Baughman was allowed to continue his behavior. I feel sorry for Baughman. As piggish/harassing/disgusting/embarrassing as these emails are, Mr. Douglas seemingly did nothing to prevent them. I am not excusing Baughman for his actions. BUT — how many of us would want to find out that our boss may have seen a problem, didn’t do anything to advise us, and now everyone in the county is reading every dirty detail about our antics that should have been prevented long ago?


AM Hucks: CDA Council Races Could Get Ugly

In the “Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop” Department, CdA City Council incumbents and City Hall insiders are bracing for a last-minute attack by challenger Dan Gookin and a possible ticket of sympathizers that has yet to emerge. In a Huckleberries Online video this month, I described a scenario that has become conventional wisdom locally. Gookin, who is known for his diehard opposition to urban renewal efforts, has an uphill battle against popular incumbent Ron Edinger. However, I predict Gookin will put up a good fight, with the possible support of Duane Hagadone’s Coeur d’Alene Press and Press columnist Mary Souza, a former council candidate and Gookin ally. Some believe, as I do, that Gookin & Co. will try to bring partisanship into the nonpartisan races by targeting fellow Republicans in a get-out-the-vote effort. Finally, insiders expect political busybody Larry Spencer to circulate one of his infamous last-weekend mass mailings to unsuspecting CdA residents, ripping incumbents Edinger and Al Hassell and trumpeting the stands of candidates who oppose the Lake City Development Corp. Edinger is busy putting out his yard signs and running scared. Which is good. The popular councilman has been the leading vote-getter in at least the last three elections. He should beat Gookin easily. But he’s been a locally elected official long enough to know that smugness and complacency are enemies at election time.

Question: Are you still undecided re: your vote in CDA City Council races?

Parting Shot — 10/10/07

AP Photo/Courtesy Craig Family

In this 2007 photo provided by the Craig family, Casey Craig, left, is shown skydiving with his sister Ivy Green, lower right, and his brother Kelly Craig, upper right. Casey Craig was one of ten people who died Sunday night in the crash of a plane carrying skydivers returning from an event in Idaho. Story here.

A Matter Of Opinion: When Do You Tip?

A sign at a lunch counter prompted this post. It said something like, “What is ‘pita’ backwards? A tip!” Next to the sign was a tip jar. I tip based on tradition. I tip servers at restaurants and bars. I tip baristas. I don’t generally tip “sandwich artists.” But I’m beginning to wonder why. Is making a coffee drink any more tip-worthy than making a sandwich? I can’t see why. Now, I can choose to stop tipping baristas, but that is so ingrained. So, now what?

Who do you tip and why?

AP Top Cutlines — 10/10/07

Jack Dempsey/AP Photo

Colorado Rockies pitcher Taylor Buchholz winds up to throw during baseball practice Monday in Denver. The Rockies will take on the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Championship Series starting Thursday in Phoenix. You write the cutline.

Top Cutline

1. Izzit the 2-seamer? Only the shadow knows — Kevin Taylor.

2. Denver Rockies players are used to playing in the shadows of more famous teams — Thom George.

3. The ghosts of the vanquished Chicago Cubs, who’d hoped to be their opponent, haunt the Rox as they prepare for the next round of the playoffs — John Austin.

HM: LynnS and In The Know.

Blast From Past: Baughman E-mails Released

Story here

E-mails Baughman exchanged with Lochrie suggest the two were more than colleagues.
“I must be getting old,” Baughman wrote Lochrie in a June 2, 2006, e-mail. “I think I’m ready for a nap!”
Lochrie replied, “you’ll never get old baby. Can I take one with you?”
Almost immediately, she sent Baughman another note: “but we may not get any rest.”

She suggests in other e-mails, “let’s get together” and asks Baughman what his plans are for the afternoon.
“I’ll try to see if I can get away if you can and want to,” she wrote in a May 18, 2006, e-mail.

On May 11, 2006, Baughman asked Lochrie, “wanna earn 5 bucks?”
“Are the does included?” she asks.
Baughman repeats his question: “wanna earn $5.00??”
“Depends on what I gotta do,” she said.
Baughman’s response: “very little.”

DFO: Another story that keeps on giving.

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

Sweet Herb/Bay Views

The CDA law firm representing Bob Holland demanded and received a public apology from two residents who are outspoken about the Bayview developer, reports Sweet Herb here.

*At her Cat House and Shooting Gallery, JeanC is planning a proper send off for her pet Kiki, replete with viking bonfire, for two reasons here.

*Katrina/Notes on a Napkin has picked out a good book to give to her daughter at the appropriate time, to explain the changes that are happening to her as she enters puberty here.

*In “Shopping 101,” Sparky’s Notes describes Kohl’s as “JCPenneys with higher prices here and there but a bigger selection. I bought an outfit without looking at price tags and still walked out there spending $50 dollars. Not great prices but it could have been a lot worse” here.

*Granati/OrangeFrog76 knew he was in for a long wait at the driver’s licensing bureau when he opened the door and saw people “lined against the walls like cattle waiting to be butchered” here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour was planning to enjoy a bike ride on what may have been the last nice day of the year Tuesday. But she didn’t count on being out after dark and dealing with her bear phobia here.

HBO Blog Numbers (for Tuesday, Oct. 9): 7797 page-views and 4545 unique views.

Meanwhile, Jen/A Butterfly Moment celebrates her son’s birthday here; Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It remembers John Lennon here; Sue Turner/Tumblewords enjoys old-time radio the right way here; Frum Helen Back/Hauser Thoughts gets a Halloween greeting from her male chauvinist pig here; Live Love Laugh Hope gets a timely card from a friend here; Plaid Toaster also has a child celebrating a birthday today here; and Nic/Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts isn’t impressed by KREM-2’s coverage of the Larry Craig story here.

Because You Asked …

Curious: What is the process for the S-R making endorsements, especially if you’re not involved, DFO?

DFO: I just talked with Opinion Page Editor Doug Floyd. He said he plans to listen to the tape recordings that SReporters Paula Davenport and Erica Curless have made with the candidates (and which will be available at Huckleberries Online soon). Then, he will arrange conference call meetings with the candidates and the SR Editorial Board. He has asked me to be part of that conference call and provide feedback. I’ll be glad to do so, if I can fit it into my new schedule with my online duties.

HBO Poll: Fort Ground Grill Billboard?

Today’s Question: What do you think of the controversial Fort Ground Grill bulletin board:

*Hooters Like
*Cool, fun

Tuesday Poll: By 55 to 28, HBOers say they still hold a grudge against former UI/WSU football coach Dennis Erickson for leaving his job prematurely.

Pearls Before Swine — Larry Craig?

Stefan Pastis/Pearls Before Swine

Google’s Spudnik Tribute Ticks Off Conservatives

Item: Google’s Sputnik salute angers some conservatives/Jim Puzzanghera, L.A. Times

Seattle Times

More Info: The Mountain View, Calif., company bathes its logo in stars and stripes every Independence Day, but last week’s decision to honor the 50th anniversary of the Sputnik launch — the second “g” in Google was replaced with a drawing of the Soviet satellite — is being blasted by some conservatives. Not only did Google honor an achievement by a totalitarian regime that was a Cold War enemy, these conservatives griped, but did so without having ever altered its logo to commemorate U.S. soldiers on Memorial Day or Veterans Day.

Question: Is this a legitimate gripe? Or much ado about nothing?

Inside Huckleberries — 10/10/07

*At 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise will participate in a panel discussion about U.S. Sen Larry Craig’s recent political decisions on the Idaho Public TV show, “Dialogue,” with host Marcia Franklin. Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman and John Miller/AP will also participate.
*I’ve just made arrangements to do a short online Q&A with Congressman Bill Sali at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18. I’ll ask for questions prior to the telephone interview, which I’ll type online in real time.
*I’ll be interviewing Post Falls City Administrator Eric Keck at 9 a.m. Thursday for the weekly Huckleberries Gone Wireless feature.
*I goofed up this morning by not mentioning that SR colleague Shawn Vestal would be on Dick Haugen’s On The Road show this morning to discuss his new blog, The Falls. I’ll be adding a link under SR blogs to Shawn’s blog and Vox Box shortly.

APhoto of the Day — 10/10/07

Jack Dempsey/AP Photo

Colorado Rockies pitcher Taylor Buchholz winds up to throw during baseball practice Monday in Denver. The Rockies will take on the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Championship Series starting Thursday in Phoenix. You write the cutline.

Eye On Boise: LaRocco Reads Blogs, Risch Doesn’t

At their press conferences yesterday, both Republican Jim Risch and Democrat Larry LaRocco were asked if they read blogs and if they pay attention to the comments posted on them. Risch’s answer: “No and no.” Though he did say, “I do, however, have to tell you that from time to time friends of mine will put the printouts in front of me. Some are amusing, some are not so amusing. Blogs are a lot like letters to the editor, they’re people’s own personal opinions.” LaRocco’s answer: “I read blogs. Blogs are important. Let me remind you that (U.S. Sen.) Jim Webb in Virginia raised 60 percent of his funds on the Internet. It’s an attempt to democratize what’s going on in America. It’s a very interesting phenomenon in the United States right now”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

DFO: No one keeps track of Idaho politics in real time better than Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise. You need to bookmark her page. And to join in the discussion at her site, now that she has a functioning “comments” feature. Below, you’ll find other recent Eye On Boise posts:

*Two Craig staffers depart
*Where Wasden was
*Just to be on the safe side
*How LaRocco would spend recesses

Question: Would you rather vote for someone who is computer and blog savvy or someone who is not?

Online Poll: How Big Is Too Big For House?

Is there such a thing as too much house? What’s the biggest home you’d live in?/Idaho Statesman.

*3,000 sq. feet
*6,000 sq. feet
*9,000 sq. feet
*12,000 sq. feet
*No limit

Q: Do You Know More About Big Mac’s Than Big C’s?

Item: Ten Commandments no match for Big Mac: New survey shows more can recall burger ingredients than ‘Thou shalt not kill’/WorldNetDaily

More Info: The survey of 1,000 Americans, by Kelton Research, showed 80 percent could name the hamburger’s primary ingredient – two all-beef patties – but less than 60 percent recalled the commandment “Thou shalt not kill,” the Catholic News Service, or CNS, reported.

Question: How many commandments can you name without looking?

Fort Ground Grill Billboard Hits Home Run

From pure marketing perspective, you have definitely hit a home run. I think a restaurant off of the path of Sherman or Riverstone without a shopping center near it needs to do more to create a buzz about it than anything. As for the menu, great job on the steak and eggs. I have heard mixed reviews on the hash browns but I personally like ‘em. Ribeye sandwich is great as well. The restaurant biz is as tough a gig as anything out there. I think the fact that you come in here and admit you aren’t perfect but working on it speaks volumes of you as a person and a businessowner and is definitely nice to see. Best of luck. I’ll be bringing my co workers in for lunch next week after they shoot something over the weekend. Good luck!


Nick: Risch Couldn’t Govern Way Out Of Bathroom Stall

Full post here

It’s a joke that last year the Republicans pushed the property tax button and that’s all most Idahoans screamed about—and have now forgotten. Just like they pushed the “senority” button for years to defend a third-rate senator like Craig. After all, Craig’s senority only served to keep Idaho’s economy in the 19th century, while obstructing any move to promote ideas and policies that would’ve helped Idaho adjust to a new economic reality. And now the Republicans are pushing your buttons again. Don’t fall for Risch. He’s nothing more than a slick trial lawyer with a good ad team. He made it look like he was a “doer”, but it was all smoke and mirrors. Otter has undone almost everything Risch did—and he’s moved the state forward on energy, corrections and efficiency in state gov’t. I’m sure that Otter will be pulling for Risch, just to get him out of Idaho. Risch may be very good at politics, but he couldn’t govern his way out of Minneapolis bathroom stall.

Nick Adams

Heller: Too Much Of Everything

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Parting Shots: Risch, LaRocco Announce

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Betsy Russell/Spokesman-Review Photo

Above, former Idaho Gov. Jim Risch announced today at the Coeur d’Alene Resort that he’s running for Larry Craig’s seat in the Senate. Below, Democrat Larry LaRocco challenger is shown at a press conference in Boise Tuesday. LaRocco announced April 11.

North Idaho elected officials and GOP supporters turned out in droves for Lt. Gov. Jim Risch’s senate announcement at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Tuesday. State legislators, including Mike Jorgensen, Shawn Keough, Bob Nonini, Dick Harwood, Phil Hart, Jim Hammond, George Eskridge and Mary Lou Shepherd flanked Risch as he announced what’s long been rumored: he’s running for the United States Senate. “I’m in,” Risch told the crowd of about 100. Audience members included Jerry Jaeger, Tom Addis, Rocky Watson, Tom Cronin, Dan Gookin, Kerri Thoreson, Deanna Goodlander, Duane Rasmussen, Phil Thompson, Rick Currie, Steve Casey, Ron Vieselmeyer and Louise Shadduck, who will serve as Risch’s North Idaho campaign chairwoman. Calling Shadduck a mentor, Risch asked the celebrated writer and historian, now in her early 90s, if he’d told her she’d be going door to door for his campaign. “That’s what I’ve been doing all morning,” Shadduck yelled from the crowd/Meghann M. Cuniff, Spokesman-Review.

Vox Box: Should Prep Streak Register As Sex Perv?

Originally posted at Vox Box

A Pleasant Grove (Utah) teen might face jail time after streaking during the Pleasant Grove High School homecoming pageant. An 18-year-old student at Pleasant Grove High school is drawing attention from police for running across the stage nude in the school’s auditorium. The teen’s name is not being released until an arrest has been made. The man will be charged with lewdness in the presence of a minor, a class A misdemeanor. Police the charge of lewdness in the presence of a minor stems from the fact that many young children were present in the audience of roughly 800 people. If the teen is convicted, it is possible he will have to register as a sex offender because he is an adult.

QUESTION: What do you think? Is this kid a sex offender?

APhoto Cutline Winners — 10/9/07

Scott Mason/Winchester Star, AP Photo

Precious, right, a 6-week-old kitten, gets a meal from Honey, a 7-year-old dog in Stephens City, Va., recently. The golden retriever _ had not given birth in 18 months, but after her owner, Jimmy Martin, brought home the kitten, she suddenly found herself playing the role of mother. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Although inconceivable to Honey, and udderly ridiculous to Precious, the two became bosum buddies — JohnA.

2. On that wonderous day the lion shall lie down with the lamb and the dog shall give suck to the kitten — Apple Valley Sally.

3. Classic example of a Politicians who represent themselves as something and are really something else. They are willing to suck on any Government bosum as long as the money keeps coming — Phil Thompson.

HM: Idaho Escapee

SteveS: Blog Links To Other Media Doesn’t Hurt SR

One of the more interesting conversations I had during my Scandinavian trip was with Norwegian journalist/bloggers who told me the big Norwegian papers refuse to allow any of their bloggers to link to any outside blogs, especially those produced by other media outlets. The worry, I was told, is that readers will link out to the competing media and not come back. Today, as I was scanning our most successful blogs, including the new Shawn Vestal blog, The Falls, I noticed how we apply a completely different philosophy. We’ll link to just about any source any time, including other newspapers in our region. I have yet to see a downside to this. People are going to find this content without us. I’d much rather be the wheel point where people come for the links that interest them. And I trust they’ll come back/Editor Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation.

Question: Do you agree with Steve Smith that it’s better to be the wheel point in providing links than to refuse to send traffic elsewhere?

In The News: Grizzly Bear Attack

Eliza Wiley/Helena Independent Record, AP Photo

Roman Morris rests at his brother’s house in Helena, Mont., Monday. The Carroll College freshman wide receiver was bow hunting with two friends north of Gardiner, Mont., Saturday when a female grizzly bear attacked him. Morris, 21, of Whitewater, fought with the bear as it bit and clawed, severed his left hamstring, punctured his shoulder, chomped at his head and tossed him around.

DFO: A good friend of mine was attacked by a grizzly while he and a coupla friends were hiking in the Logan Pass area of Glacier National Park. He wasn’t severely injured. But he suffered emotional damage — and still hasn’t gotten over the attack. It’s no small thing to be attacked by a grizzly.

Question: Do you know someone who has been attacked by a grizzly bear?

Get Out! Review: Super 1 Offers Good Sushi

Complete post here

I’m not a regular Super 1 shopper at all, but I ended up at the Hayden store the other day and was amazed to see a vibrantly
colorful deli case full of little Sushi packages in at least a dozen varieties. This Sushi actually resembled the stuff they serve in a Japanese cafe - It was difficult to decide what kind to try. Even more encouraging was the sign posted saying “Made fresh daily on site” so you know you’re getting a fresh product and not something made a week ago and shipped in from Tacoma or somewhere. I chose the mini variety pack, which had a mini spicy tuna roll sliced into 6 pieces done maki style, along with several pieces done iniri style (slice of raw fish on lump of rice). The salmon piece was cold and buttery in texture, just like it should be. The Unagi (eel) selection was smoky and really good. I was quite impressed and am anxious to return and try the other varieties they offer/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho.

DFO: I don’t mind sushi, if someone offers it at a party or brings it into the CDA office to share. But I can’t see spending money on it. I enjoy Chinese food. I can’t say the same for Japanese.

Question: Do you (heart) sushi?

Eye On Boise: Could It Be?

Full post here

Here’s an interesting theory: Could the big, united GOP push for Jim Risch for U.S. Senate be designed to push current Sen. Larry Craig toward resigning after all? If Risch were appointed to the seat, he’d come into the 2008 race with an edge, gaining seniority and running as an incumbent in what’s now expected to be a nationally watched and hotly contested race for an open seat. “I’m wondering if this might serve that function,” said Jim Weatherby, BSU political scientist emeritus. “That may or may not be the intended result, but that has to be on people’s minds. I think the question that comes to most of us observers of politics in Idaho is how long can this Craig saga continue?”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Question: What do you think of Betsy’s theory?

Pearls Before Swine

Stephan Pastis/Pearls Before Swine

Pearls Before Swine/Stephan Pastis in today’s SR

Hat Tip: Sweet Herb and KeithinCDA

PI Column: Desert Perfect Place For Snake Erickson

Item: Go 2 Guy: Desert perfect place for this snake/Jim Moore, Seattle PI

I’ll bet he’s the toast of the desert, a football god in the Valley of the Sun. Dennis Erickson is 6-0 as coach of 14th-ranked Arizona State. His Sun Devils play the Huskies on Saturday night at Sun Devil Stadium and are 11 1/2-point favorites, oddsmakers thinking they’ll soon be 7-0. All of this is just not right. In fact, it’s very, very wrong. People like Erickson who treat people like dirt do not deserve unbeaten records and national accolades. I firmly believe in karma, and karma, at some point, catches up to everyone, whether it’s good karma or, in Erickson’s case, bad karma.

HBO Poll Question: Do you still hold a grudge against Dennis Erickson for abandoning UIdaho, WSU and a string of other colleges during his coaching career?

Hat Tip: Family Phil, Idawa

Noah: Licensed To Kill?

Noah Kroese/Special for Huckleberries Online

Related: Day care fight still on, a quarter of a century later/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise

Breaking! Risch Declares Senate Candidacy

Full story here

Former Idaho Gov. Jim Risch launched his campaign for Larry Craig’s U.S. Senate seat today, even as Craig continues to fight for his political life in Washington, D.C. Idaho Republicans closed ranks around Risch, with state party Chairman Kirk Sullivan and all but one of the GOP statewide elected officials joining Risch for his announcement and endorsing his run – even though the primary election still is seven months away. “It was the right thing do to – we have got to elect a Republican senator next year,” Sullivan said. “We are going to have to fight very hard”/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review.

Question (for Repubs): Will you support Risch or another candidate, like AG Lawrence Wasden?

APhoto of the Day — 10/9/07

Scott Mason/Winchester Star, AP Photo

Precious, right, a 6-week-old kitten, gets a meal from Honey, a 7-year-old dog in Stephens City, Va., recently. The golden retriever _ had not given birth in 18 months, but after her owner, Jimmy Martin, brought home the kitten, she suddenly found herself playing the role of mother. You write the cutline.

Council Forums Set Throughout Kootenai County

Item: Council forums dot Kootenai County/SR Staff Reports

More Info: City Council candidates from around Kootenai County will face off at public forums during the next two weeks, and some will be featured speakers at an evening social.

Question: Have you made up your mind yet re: who you’re going to vote for in your city election?

Sen. Craig’s New Music Video

Puppets, Larry Craig, toe-tapping, the Village People. It just keeps on keeping on — MamaJD.

From Crackle: Sen. Craig’s New Music Video

DFO: The Invites Will Be In An E-Mail Near You

DFO: BTW, Thom; you’re officially on my invited list for an HBO bloggers meeting with Steve Smith and myself to discuss the new rules of civility. It’ll be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 26. If you have a beef re: the way I’m doing things now, you’re more than welcome to express it then. I have 6 to 8 others on the list.

Bob: How awkward for DFO! Kids, this is why you don’t use your Myspace accounts to invite selected friends to your birthday party and not others I’m thinking they’ve got some sort of focus group thing going on with select members of the HBO community. Although I could be wrong, I doubt it’s an open forum for any keyboard kommando from here to show up at. Basically, it’s for the popular kids. And, for the sake of full disclosure, I wasn’t invited ;)

DFO: Indeed, it’s invitation only, boys. And I’ll do the inviting. It isn’t a popularity contest. It’s a balance issue. I want a cross section of the HBO blogosphere chatting with us. Thom’ll do a good job representing those unhappy with the new rules of engagement.

Ramirez: Screwball

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Wild Card/Monday — 10/8/07

I’m leaning toward “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert as our next HBO Book of the Month Club selection. It’s a nonfiction about a woman who had it all, suffered through a divorce, then got rid of it all and went for a year-long venture to find herself. Three of our HBO women recommended it, including, JBelle and Marmitetoasty. Can’t remember the third. If Librarian Betty Ammon can ordered some copies for us, I’ll officially select it Tuesday. While you’re waiting for the official word, you can use this Wild Card for your own threads …

A Matter Of Opinion: Daycareless

The lack of day-care regulations in Idaho sounds like a Libertarian’s dream or a working parent’s nightmare. Excerpt: Twenty-five years ago, when a day care operator was convicted of molesting two young girls in his care, the city of Coeur d’Alene decided not to wait for state laws regulating child care centers. The city passed its own licensing ordinance in the wake of the “Busy Bee Mini-School” case. Six other Idaho cities – Boise, Chubbuck, Jerome, Lewiston, Moscow and Pocatello – followed suit. But now, when a problem operator turns up and the city refuses a license, the operator can just move outside city limits.

Is this creepy or sensible?

(S-R photo of Cathy Kowalski, a Coeur d’Alene day care operator and advocate for statewide regulations)

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

Deana Ruddach/As The Lake Churns

As The Lake Churns’ good friend Deana thought this squirrel picture would be interesting to those around Priest Lake. They are Northern Flying Squirrels. She calls them the “night squirrels” - “they come for the bird seed and nuts” she says. The first time Deana saw one was on the deck railing, the squirrel took a nut, and then just jumped off and glided over to the tree.. “I thought he was startled when he saw me and tried to commit suicide…ha, ha”.

Spotlight: Don’t forget to check out Pecky Cox’s new blog, Casa Cox, which tells visitors how to get the most out of vacations to Mexico here.

*One of the not-so-fond memories Kristamama/Soul Doubt has re: her warehousing stay at the Shoshone County Jail was a close encounter with a dentist that left her jaw aching afterward here.

*Speaking of close encounters, Shinie/This Is Growing Up regrets that she gave the Spokane Valley’s Perkins a second chance after dining there with a group of friends here.

*Arch Druid applauds columnist Kathleen Parker for being right in her contention that Evangelicals should embrace a person for prez who share their values, Mormon Mitt Romney, here.

*Thom George/Perspectives enjoyed the Idaho Demo Central Committee meeting at Post Falls over the weekend, but blew his chance to meet Sara Anderson/F-Words here.

*Silver Valley Girl has a wonderful time helping her princess represent herself well in the Kellogg High School football homecoming court here.

HBO Blog Numbers (for week of Sept. 30-Oct. 6): 48,661 page-views and 27,504 unique views.

Meanwhile, Tumblewords tells of “Simple Pleasures” here; Family Phil admits that e.Coli scares affect his carnivorous family here; From A Simple Mind puts another summer to bed here; OrangeTV decides not to kill his Making Flippy Floppy blog here; Not So Fast links to the IgNoble prizes here; OnLocation North Idaho highlights Festa Italiana here; and Mrs. Mac Energetic continues to walk through time here.

Scanner Traffic: 600 Pounds, Too Few Hands

Over the Police Squawker a few minutes ago, SReporter Taryn Hecker heard this SOS from a harried ambulance attendant: Hey, chief, I need at least a coupla more sets of hands here. We’re dealing with a 600-pounder. Then, the EMTer figured he could get by with one more person’s help since he had two other assistants. Finally, he announced the good news. “We’re OK now; the calvary’s arrived.” Six hundred pounds. Whew! That’s living large — and expecting others to deal with it occasionally.

OrangeTV: Too Sexy For My Billboard?

OrangeTV/Get Out! Photo

The way I see it, if the waitresses at the Fort Ground are unhappy with their jobs since the big bad billboard appeared on the scene, they have two options. Find a new job or get over it. They’re merely staff and like any other establishment, staff has to deal with whatever decisions the owners and management make. The Fort Ground higher-ups decided they wanted to advertise the place in such a certain way and that’s their call. I honestly don’t think they intended to abuse their waitresses, they just found the image and the catchphrase to be clever and memorable. The fact that people are even talking about it means it worked very well. If they had used a buff, shirtless man instead would there still be such a kerfuffle about it? People are so darn touchy these days/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. Full post (second item of Brand Crumbs) here.

Question: Does the billboard advertising the new, improved Fort Ground Grill bother you?

My 2 Cents — Up On The Roof

I installed a new rain/snow cap on my chimney Sunday afternoon, the umpteenth time I’ve ascended my roof to either sweep the chimney or service or replace the rain/snow cap. So, what’s the big deal? I have a two-story house — and the chimney pokes through the roof near the peak, on the side with the 45-degree pitch. To service it, I work my way up the roof and then wedge myself between the chimney and the peak. I’d tumble down the roof, if I made a false move. Which brings up the question: How old is too old to be up on a roof. I’m approaching 58 and in relatively good shape. So I figure I have a few more chimney sweeps and one more house painting in me. However, I wonder about the warning the wife of eightysomething former mayor Don Johnston gave him a month or so ago not to go up on the roof any more. He ignored her, made a misstep — and is still recuperating from a broken back and several broken ribs. My wife tells me she loves our two-story house, whenever I lament about working on the roof or painting the upper portions. So, here’s my question:

Question: When are you too old to work on a roof?

Blog Spotlight: New SR Blog, The Falls

Here’s the one you’ve been waiting for — downtown Spokane’s version of Huckleberries: The Falls/Shawn Vestal

My name is Shawn Vestal, and I’ll be your waiter. We’ll be trying to serve up a diverse and interesting menu of Spokane news and
features here every day – and we’re hoping that you weigh in early and often with your opinions. It’s a little hard to describe what this place will look like, in part because readers will help determine what direction things take. But here are a few guiding principles: If we were a hamburger, we’d be a Whammy: There’ll be a heavy dose of news, features and commentary about Spokane and Washington. We’ll bring in some general interest news from the nation and world, but the idea is to have a local focus. A lot of this will be links to other places, but we’ll be doing plenty of original features that you’ll only see here, too. I’ll be shedding an opinion or two here myself, but the overall goal is to hear from readers. We want to know your opinions and reactions, and we’re interested in exploring different ways of interacting, like video posts. Full post here/Shawn Vestal, The Falls.

*Best of the (Spokane) Blogs
*Twenty-four very costly songs
*Your very sexy government: Let’s see where the candidates differ

Idaho Blogosphere: The Kingdom Of Obama?

Hat Tip: IdaBlue

U.S. Senate wannabe Larry LaRocco spends a day shearing sheep.

From CNN, in an attempt to build up his vote among some Evangelicals, Obama goes too far by saying, ” I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth.” The quote shows incredible arrogance, the suggestion being that God’s kingdom can be established on Earth through political means, with Obama as the Earthly figurehead. Whenever someone talks about establishing God’s kingdom on Earth, I say run, don’t walk (away from it). I don’t care whether it’s left or right. Now some might wonder why I’m saying this as it’s often thought this is thought to be the aim of religious conservatives. It’s certainly not my aim, nor that of most religious conservatives I know of. Sinful human beings can never establish God’s Kingdom on Earth. What we can do is insure our government is just, honest, and allow people to freely serve God. Building God’s Kingdom through human effort is not only arrogantly ambitious but foolhardy at best/Adam’s Blog Full post here.

*Owl Banding/Rob’s Idaho Perspectives
*Islamoparanoia/Free In Idaho
*Can Hillary do no wrong?/Palousitics
*VADM Grossenbacker being inducted into Idaho Hall of Fame, too/The Stupid Shall Be Punished
*All Greenspan all the time/Fort Boise
*Tom Luna’s fuzzy math/Mountain Goat Report
*Why it takes time to be a saint/Red State Rebels

Question: Can man build God’s kingdom on earth through human effort?

Poll: One-Third Bugged By Spanish Speaking

Item: Spanish Spoken Here — and Two-thirds Don’t Mind: Fewer Admit Feeling Prejudice Toward Hispanics than Toward Arabs, Overweight People/ABC News “Good Morning America” Poll

More Info: Spanish speaking in the United States is widespread and accepted by most Americans. But a third who experience this language difference are troubled by it — and they have distinctly more negative attitudes about immigrants and Hispanics generally. Just 10 percent of Americans concede any personal prejudice against Hispanics — far fewer than the number who, in previous polls, have self-reported prejudice on the basis of race, against overweight people, or against Arabs and Muslims.

Question: How do you react when you hear someone speaking Spanish?

SR: Education Important To Fight Breast Cancer

Full editorial here

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month gets under way in the United States, a new study shows that awareness about breast cancer is plentiful – and often wrong. What’s really needed, concludes the National Breast Cancer Coalition, is education. Indeed. As one example of misinformation revealed by the survey, people tend to believe family history is the main influence over who develops breast cancer and who doesn’t. Actually, while that’s a factor, it’s a somewhat minor one. More accurate understanding of that and other breast cancer basics would make it more likely that people will take appropriate steps to curb their chances of getting the disease that claims 40,000 lives a year in this country. And, probably of more importance, they’d be more apt to detect it early enough to get proper treatment/Spokesman-Review.

Question: Has your life been affected by breast cancer?

Headliner: Parks Board Eyes Riverstone Booze Permit

Item: Parks panel considers alcohol permit: Riverstone Park the only place policy would apply/Meghann M. Cuniff, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Alcohol could be served with a permit in Riverstone Park under a proposal to be considered tonight by the Coeur d’Alene Parks and Recreation Commission. The proposal would allow event-specific alcohol permits to be issued for activities in Riverstone Park only; the permits would not apply to any other parks.

Question: Should alcohol be permitted at event-specific functions in Coeur d’Alene parks (not just Riverstone)?

Eye On Boise: Idaho Provides New Yorker Fodder

Originally posted at Eye On Boise

First came the news that “wide stance” has made the Urban Dictionary as the latest new slang term, defined by that site as meaning “closeted homosexual.” Now, the New Yorker has used our senior senator’s case as a frame for political commentary on Iran’s controversial president, as seen on the Oct. 8 cover of the magazine. Ah, fame.

Question: How long will it be until a sitcom uses the Craig bathroom scenario?

James Bond: Idaho GOP Embraces Hypocrisy

The dirty little secret inside the Republican Party is that we’ve been propping up at least 2 individuals as elected officials who have, according to extremely well-known rumors, long had some serious side sexual/personal issues in their lives. I’m not a social conservative, but I have to laugh at how the Republican Party always tries to claim the high, religious, moral ground, yet has lots of really weird baggage in their own closet. Even Butch, a guy I like, has a very, very colorful past that is just not even close to being something that matches Republican rhetoric on morals and values.

Jane Q v. OrangeTV: Fort Ground Grill Billboard

Jane Q. Citizen: Have you seen the Ft. Ground Grill’s billboard on NW Blvd? Very Hooters-like and some of the waitresses at the grill have been pretty vocal about their displeasure at how the place is being marketed. The billboard says something like “there’s nothing better than a great pair of eggs” with a short skirt clad woman with a serving tray.

OrangeTV: I like the Ft. Ground Grill billboard. It’s fun and campy and extremely memorable. It’s like an old Vargas painting or something, hardly offensive. How about the Botox billboards near Riverstone? Now, that’s a little bizarre. “We accept walk-ins!” Wonder how many folks just driving by get the sudden urge to have a nice little injection or two?

Ramirez: Pinned

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Wild Card/Saturday — 10/6/07

For the first time, I plan to attend two weddings in a day, today. Colleague Erica Curless is marrying Matt Folwell at Dover Beach early this afternoon and columnist Doug Clark’s daughter, Emily, is marrying a Seattle singer this evening in Spokane. The rest of the newsroom wondered if I could blog the wedding live, with play-by-play color commentary from them. But I passed on the idea. Erica would have killed me once she got back from her honeymoon. As you can see, I’ll be busy today. But that shouldn’t stop you from using this Wild Card to interact …

Get Out! Review: Mangia Gets Italian Right

For the rest of OTV’s review, click here

Our main dishes arrived moments later, along with a steaming basket of pull-apart bread. Jessica poured some herbal-infused olive oil onto a small plate for dipping our soft bread chunks and left us to dig in. Alfredo sauce can be tough to pull off well. It’s no good if it’s not white enough, ending up too buttery and thin. It’s even worse if it’s too white, thick and pasty and bland. Mangia got it exactly right, incorporating either a light white wine or a bit of lemon juice to provide the perfect rich flavor and consistency. Also impressive was the variety of sea creatures swimming within amongst the delectable noodles – huge bits of clam, large shrimp, sweet scallops and even round calamari slices/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho.

Question: What’s Your Favorite Italian Place in the Inland Northwest?

Nappi: Anita Hill Was Ultimate Winner

Ruth Marcus’ column on our op-ed page today pointed out how Clarence Thomas’ revisionist history about the Anita Hill controversy is easy to dispute. Thomas disses Hill — again — in his recent book. He sounds like the victim. But in my biased opinion, Hill emerged the winner then and remains the winner in this battle. And her courage to speak out 16 years ago changed our culture in ways that reverberate to this day. According to the Center for History and New Media:

The Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas controversy had other long-term consequences beyond Justice Thomas life-term on the Supreme Court. Foremost, national awareness about sexual harassment in the workplace heightened considerably. According to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filings, sexual harassment cases have more than doubled, from 6,127 in 1991 to 15,342 in 1996. Over the same period, awards to victims under federal laws nearly quadrupled, from $7.7 million to $27.8 million.

Another repercussion of the Hill-Thomas controversy was the increased involvement of women in politics. The media heralded the 1992 election year as the “Year of the Woman” when a record number of women ran for public office and won. In the U.S. Senate, eleven women ran and five won seats—including one incumbent candidate. In the House of Representatives, twenty-four women won new seats. Many commentators saw this increase as a direct reaction to the Thomas nomination. His appointment dismayed many women, who felt that Anita Hill’s allegations were not taken seriously by a Senate that was 98 percent male.

What are your retrospective thoughts on the Thomas-Hill controversy?

(Photo of Anita Hill from Nova Southeastern University Web site)

Originally post at A Matter Of Opinion

Otter: I Didn’t Ask Craig To Resign

Full compilation from Idaho Statesman here

“Obviously, the easiest and the least painful thing for everybody would have been for Larry to resign. No question about it. And I told Larry that. I said, ‘The easiest thing, and the best thing, would be for you to resign. But I’m not asking you to resign. I want you to understand that. You have to make that decision and you have to make it alone. But I’m telling you that in my opinion the easiest thing and the best thing for you, for your family and for Idaho, is to resign. But Larry, you have to make that decision.’ “/Gov. Butch Otter in a Q & A with Newsweek Online published Friday.

Letters to the Statesman editor re: Craig here

TGIF Wild Card — 10/5/07

I had another fun, busy day at Huckleberries Online, cutting that video with Meghann, gabbing on that Delaware radio station, and following the latest twist in the Larry Craig story. I can’t believe I’m having this much fun at this juncture of a long career. Isn’t a person suppose to be used up and looking forward to retirement as he approaches 58? I’m enjoying a second wind. Or mebbe it’s a third wind. Or a fourth. Fortunately, the SR is big enough to move around to a new job that energizes you while remaining related to your former job. With that thought, I’ll offer you the Wild Card …

Inside Huckleberries — 10/5/07

*Carl Gidlund told Huckleberries Online Thursday that he and his wife were surprised to find paraphernalia for Idaho State U and Boise State U at the new Kohl’s department store. But nothing for UIdaho, WSU or Gonzaga. He offered to buy an ISU T-shirt of hat from his alum wife, but she declined. It wasn’t all that good of a school, she said. Carl figures the lack of goods from local universities is a buyer snafu.

*Taryn told me that an advertising outfit has taken over her old BrodH20 site, keeping the header and loading the rest with ads. Isn’t there a way to kill an old blog site when you abandon it? So no one else can leech onto it?

*My Sweet Significant Other called from North Idaho College a few minutes ago to tell me about the 2008 Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre lineup: “Les Miserables,” “All Shook Up” (Elvis Revue), “The Bird Cage,” and “Once Upon A Mattress.” One of my all-time favorite books is Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables.” I didn’t like the movie all that much. I haven’t seen the play.

*Taryn’s story has gone national re: the Bonners Ferry woman who was forced to remove her bra by security guards at the CDA fed courthouse. It’s posted on The Drudge Report (lower righthand corner) and Fox News.

*HBO Poll Results (Thursday): By 150 to 83, HBOers said U.S. Sen. Larry Craig will finish his term rather than resign. And they’re right, of course. Only 5 thought he would appeal.

APhoto Contest Winners — 10/5/07

Jeff Schrier/Saginaw News

A skunk, with a glass T. Marzetti Supreme Caesar salad dressing jar stuck on its head, walks on the sidewalk in front of the Carrollton Township administration building, in Carrollton, Mich. Thursday. A Carrollton police officer used a BB gun to shoot off part of the jar but then the skunk was able to move better and it scurried off with the ring of the jar still around its head. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Another skunk with a wide stance claims entrapment — Apple Valley Sally.

2. Jarred by the gun shot ringing in her ears, she scurries away from the skunked officer, not wanting him to Caesar Salad Dressing — JohnA, and: Pepe was in a real mess when he got home. His wife would not let him in as he smelled of dressing and had ‘ring around the collar’ — Deena.

3. Lockheed Skunk Works newest secret weapon. The self propelled, self contained defensive IED detector. “We are very close to deploying this new weapon.” said a sr. official. “the glass helmet protects the skunks nose while, his back end is virtually tamper proof” — Phil Thompson.

HM: Family Phil, Daug Gone and many others.

CPD Blue Looks For 3 Who Tried To Entice Girls

Coeur d’Alene Police are looking for three men who may have tried to lure two girls into a van Thursday evening. The 9-year-old girls told police they were riding their bikes near Honeysuckle Drive and Stiner Avenue between 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. when a maroon van pulled up and the passenger asked the girls to get into the van. The girls told police they rode away on their bikes and the van left the area, too/Taryn Hecker, Spokesman-Review. Full story here.

Say, Did You Hear The One About Larry Craig …

“This morning on Capitol Hill … four bathroom fires broke out inside the Senate office building. Inside one bathroom, three big, burly firemen broke the door down, kicked in the stall, and Senator Craig said, ‘My dreams have come true.’” — Jay Leno

Daniel Kurtzman’s site compiles latest Larry Craig jokes here

In The News: Hillary Loves The Little Children …

… All the children of the world …

AP File Photo

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., left, talks to Pascale Mossin, 2, as her mother Mame McCutchin, 38, of New York, center, holds her at a news conference on children’s health care in New York in this file photo. When she talks about health care reform on the campaign trail, Clinton points to a multibillion-dollar health insurance program for children as one of her signature accomplishments.

Junior Miss: Too Sexy For Their Shirts?

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Monique Betty, 17, of Pocatello retreated to the basement dressing room after a rehearsal of her ballet routine for Idaho Junior Miss competition at Schuler Auditorium at North Idaho College on Thursday. The winner will be announced on Saturday. Story about state Junior Miss competition here.

More Info: The state Junior Miss competitors performed an exercise routine to Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy.” Lyrics include: “I’m too sexy for my shirt too sexy for my shirt/So sexy it hurts/And I’m too sexy for Milan too sexy for Milan/New York and Japan.” Compete lyrics here.

Question (posed aloud after the opening night of competition Thursday) Is “I’m Too Sexy” an appropriate song for a competition among high schoolers that’s suppose to be based on intelligence and talent?

HBO’s Idaho Friends: Thoughts On Prez Leadership

Full Free In Idaho post here

Last night our small Bible study group was discussing Titus, particularly about the idea of leadership. Our discussion was mostly concerned with the church, and the family, because that is Paul’s focus in the passage. But on the way home, my sweetie and I had a great discussion about the idea of leadership and the current pitiful state of the candidates (and incumbents) we have now. She said something that is so very on the mark, yet not many are talking about it… “there are no leaders, only players”. The first thing we talked about was how woefully lacking Fred Thompson appears right now. After the months of tease before he announced, we can detect no real change. Who is he, what does he stand for, what does he want to do? Is he a leader? I don’t think so today. It isn’t enough to say you’re a conservative, or that some of the press hypes you as the “closest to Reagan”… that means nothing. And frankly, standing up to James Dobson isn’t such a big deal no matter how tittery it makes the mainstream media. Lead, Fred. This isn’t a beauty contest/BillH, Free In Idaho.

*Craig: “I’m staying put”/Randy Stapilus
*Add “lying to Idahoans” to Larry Craig’s misdeeds/d2, 2d, 43rd State Blues
*Why have a third party/Adam’s Blog
*The shame of Alberto Gonzalez/Fort Boise
*Idaho delegation split over SCHIP: Guess who’s holding up medical coverage for Idaho’s children?/Red State Rebels

It’s True! Craig To Be Inducted Into Idaho HOF

Full announcement here, Bruce Reed’s Slate post here

The Idaho Hall of Fame, honoring “Idahoans on loan to the world”, announces the list of 2007 inductees. They are: United States Senator Larry Craig; Vice Admiral John Grossenbacher, Director, Idaho National Laboratory; Arthur Hart, Idaho Statesman Columnist; Dr. Robert Kustra, President, Boise State University; former Judge Roy Mosman; Bill New, Founder, Firebird Raceway; Fred Norman, former Director of the Morrison Center; Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter; Lt. Governor and former Governor Jim Risch; Frank VanderSloot, CEO/President, Melaleuca Company; Larry May, hotelier/businessman; Chris Petersen, Head Football Coach, Boise State Broncos Football Team. Business honorees are: Regence Blue Shield of Idaho and the Boise State Broncos Football Team, 2007 Fiesta Bowl Champions.

Question: Aren’t you so proud?

Press-Tribune Rakes Craig Over Coals

Full editorial here

Forget that Craig denied doing what the undercover police officer said he did.
Forget that the “I have a wide stance” senator handed the arresting officer his Senate business card.
Forget that weeks later the “I’m not gay” politician pleaded guilty to a little hanky panky.
Forget the fact that when word finally leaked out about the arrest and conviction, Craig pitifully blamed his woes on the big bad Idaho Statesman.
Forget that Craig told Idahoans in early September that he would resign at the end of the month.
Forget that Craig delayed his resignation until after the judge ruled — just in case the court could possibly believe his story.
Forget that the judge refused to throw out the senator’s guilty plea to a disorderly conduct charge in an airport bathroom.
Come on Larry, does Idaho really deserve unending potty jokes on late-night television? Or how about the videos on YouTube?/Idaho Press-Tribune

Hat Tip: Scoop

IMHO-Idaho: Circus Just Beginning For Craig

Full Idaho Statesman editorial here

At least the mind games are over. Unfortunately, the circus is just beginning. Sen. Larry Craig, who has danced around his intentions for two months, has finally made clear what he is going to do. And what a bad decision he made. Craig said Thursday he will continue to represent Idaho in the U.S. Senate through the end of his term. Fifteen more months. Fifteen more months of fodder for late-night talk show hosts and comics. The term “wide stance” has already become synonymous with Idaho politicians/Idaho Statesman.

*The guy who wants to impeach Larry Craig/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman
*Akey upbeat and “urgently patient” despite adversity/Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman
*In the end, Craig’s ego trumps what’s best for Idaho/Twin Falls Times-News
*The hours are long, but at least the pay stinks/Tom Henderson, Lewiston Tribune
*Time for Craig, Idaho to move on/Steve McClure, Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Corps Gives Sandpoint Bypass Final OK

Item: Army Corps OKs Sandpoint bypass: Opponents vow to ‘derail project’/Nicholas K. Geranios, Associated Press

More Info: A controversial highway project along the shore of Lake Pend Oreille to route high-speed traffic away from downtown Sandpoint won final approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week. The corps issued a final permit Wednesday that will allow the Idaho Transportation Department to begin work on the Sand Creek Byway project, which has been in the works since the 1950s.

Question: What’s your reaction to those who say now that they’re still going to stop this project?

ThomG: Going All Out For GOP

Thom George/Photoshop

Minneapolis is going all out for the GOP.

MamaJD: Time For A Third Option

MamaJD: I don’t know if there were ever a riper time for a third option. There will be some that will support LaRocco now but I doubt it will be the kind of numbers he would like. Many of the die hard conservatives in this state supported Craig not because he was innovative or on fire with great ideas. Many supported Craig because he had become an institution in this state. Larry Craig had been in office forever and he was the Republican candidate. Any other choice for republicans was considered outright sacrilege. Supporting Craig was done out of loyalty to the lockstep of the republican party. Craig offered seniority status for this state but he evolved into the very thing he would criticize often: a Washington DC insider career politician.

CCD: I’ll be the first to tell you that Craig’s behavior is selfish and self-delusional, and he should have stepped down and gone quietly into the margins as soon as his secret doings over the summer came to light. However, Idaho democrats are smoking high quality crack if they honestly believe this is going to guarantee them a senate seat. Idaho republicans by and large hate what Craig is doing, but they’re certainly not going to look at someone like Larry “I’m an average joe like you” LaRocco and say “Hey, maybe this guy is going to represent me and my interests better than Craig did before he was pulled kicking and screaming out of the closet.”

Signe: Just A Lousy T-Shirt

Signe Wilkinson/Washington Post Group

Parting Shot — 10/4/07

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Laura Olphie, 17, of Athol practiced the fitness routine portion of the Idaho Junior Miss competition at NIC on Thursday. Junior Miss competition takes place today through Saturday at North Idaho College.

Eye On Boise: Craig Tossed Otter Curve Ball

Full Eye On Boise post here

Sen. Larry Craig and Idaho Gov. Butch Otter had a “lengthy” phone conversation today, according to Otter’s office, and Otter’s not saying much more than that. Last week, Otter finished interviewing more than two dozen candidates to replace Craig should Craig resign from the Senate, and the governor made up his mind on whom he’d name – but didn’t tell that person. “He has not notified anyone,” said Otter’s press secretary, Jon Hanian. “I think that’s by design – it’s putting the cart before the horse. We don’t have a vacancy, so it makes no sense to go out and inform somebody that he’d selected them to a position that in reality doesn’t exist”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

*Risch plans to call press conference/Eye On Boise
*Delegation lines up to support Craig/Eye On Boise
*”I’m here, get used to it/Drudge Report

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

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

At the Kootenai County Courthouse clerks work on Saturdays to accommodate couples in love, writes Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho. Coeur d’Alene is one of the most popular wedding destinations in the Northwest, as much for North Idaho’s four-season honeymoon scenic beauty as for the simplicity of getting a marriage license. In Idaho, couples 18 and over need no witnesses or blood tests and there’s no waiting period.

*Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’ learned long ago that a corduroy couch bought on time isn’t that permanent when someone wants out of a marriage here.

*Continuing on the thread started at HBO Wednesday, Idawa/Word Forge wonders how anyone can say our health-care system is OK when an IV bag of saline and 8 hours equals a $2,000 bill here.

*The Unbearable Bobness of Being tells of a seance involving a group of Republican officials who are trying to figure out which one of the current crop of GOPrez wannabes is the real Reagan Republican here.

*Toadman/Synaptic Disunion realizes that it’s hard to explain to your son who’s upset by his dental problems and other maladies that life isn’t always fair here.

*JBelle/The ‘Kan EWA Notes has fully recovered from her trip to Russia and already planning for a Vietnam bike ride in November here.

HBO Blog Numbers (for Wednesday, Oct. 4): 8152 page-views and 4512 unique views.

Meanwhile, Idaho Escapee is looking at before and after photos here; Inland Empire Girl takes a field trip to remember here; Vandal Sense discovers again that “snow” in western Washington means heavier rain here.

And He-e-e-e-e-r-r-r-e-e-e Comes Sali

Congressman Bill Sali issued the following statement on Larry Craig’s decision to remain in the Senate: “Our prayers continue to be with Senator Craig and his family as they make decisions that will affect their future and Idaho’s. The people of Idaho will benefit most if Idaho’s delegation remains united in working to secure the greatest results possible for our state. I am committed to do everything I can to help make Senator Craig’s remaining months in office as successful as possible.”

ISU Men Walk Mile In High Heels To Support Victims

Doug Lindley/AP Photo/Idaho State Journal

Students, from left, D.J. Williams, Todd Hartle and Dave Resz did more than wear high heels on Wednesday for the ” Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” fundraiser at Idaho State University, they got dressed up for the occasion in Pocatello. The fundraiser was held to help victims of sexual assault.

A Wide-Stance National Logo For Wide-Stance R’s?

Dunno how legit this is. But Colin McEnroe, former long-time employee of the Hartford Courant, has posted it on his blog, To Wit here.

HBO Book Club — Nominees, Anyone?

I chatted with Library Director Betty Ammon a few minutes ago re: the next book for the monthly Huckleberries Book Club. We still haven’t smoothed out the discussions like I’d like. But we’re getting there. I consider “Water for Elephants” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” to be shake down cruises. We now have that button in the right rail in place to aid discussion. And Bette sez she’d like to end each online discussion with a face-to-face discussion at the library each month. With that, I’m now accepting nominees for the October Book of the Month …

Craig: I Will Keep Serving, Won’t Seek Re-election

Larry Craig’s statement re: ruling:

“I am extremely disappointed with the ruling issued today. I am innocent of the charges against me. I continue to work with my legal team to explore my additional legal options.

“I will continue to serve Idaho in the United States Senate, and there are several reasons for that. As I continued to work for Idaho over the past three weeks here in the Senate, I have seen that it is possible for me to work here effectively.

“Over the course of my three terms in the Senate and five terms in the House, I have accumulated seniority and important committee assignments that are valuable to Idaho, not the least of which are my seats on the Appropriations Committee, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. A replacement would be highly unlikely to obtain these posts.

“In addition, I will continue my effort to clear my name in the Senate Ethics Committee - something that is not possible if I am not serving in the Senate.

“When my term has expired, I will retire and not seek reelection. I hope this provides the certainty Idaho needs and deserves.”

NY Post Offers Best Craig Headline …

… Toilet Pol Bid Flushed/New York Post

Question: Anyone come up with a better headline for the Craig ruling today?

Eye On Boise: LaRocco Challenges GOP Wannabes

Full Eye On Boise post here

Democrat Larry LaRocco, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat now held by GOP Sen. Larry Craig, today called on the 29 Idahoans whom Gov. Butch Otter has identified as wanting an appointment to Craig’s seat to declare their candidacy and start reaching out to voters. “Idahoans want their representatives to be elected in an open campaign and not decided behind closed doors in secret,” LaRocco said. “It’s crystal clear that Senator Larry Craig will not run for re-election in 2008, and there is a very large probability he will choose to serve out his term/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Question: Are you taking a second look at LaRocco’s candidacy as a result of U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s political pratfall?

Breaking! Judge Denies Craig Request …

Full story here

Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, talks to reporters as he leaves his residence at a Yacht Club in Washington recently.

A Minnesota judge has denied Idaho Sen. Larry Craig’s bid to withdraw his guilty plea to misdemeanor charges in a restroom sex-solicitation sting. Hennepin County District Judge Charles A. Porter also denied prosecutors’ bid to block arguments from the American Civil Liberties Union in support of Craig/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review.

*Judge denies Craig’s request to withdraw guilty plea, says claim was ‘illogical’/Erika Bolstad, Idaho Statesman
*Judge won’t let Craig withdraw guilty plea: Senator could appeal, or relinquish seat as he’d earlier stated/Associated Press

CDA Resident Patty Duke To Appear w/Oprah Today

Actress Patty Duke of Coeur d’Alene will appear on the Oprah Winfrey show this afternoon to talk about bipolar disorders, a malady that affects her. That, or what a thrill it is to be the aunt of a Coeur d’Alene City Council member. So sez Councilman MikeK. I don’t know the time or channel. 4ish? Channel 2?

HBO’s AM Headlines — Otter Names Energy Czar

*Otter names energy director: Kjellander will help state get its share of power, governor says/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise — It’s probably time someone kept tabs on the energy costs in rapidly growing Idaho.

*Lewiston teen will face felony charges in alleged racist incident/Lewiston Tribune — Stupidity has consequences.

*Fish reg changes on the Joe: State considers making cutthroat catch & release on entire river/Ralph Bartholdt, St. Maries Gazette-Record — I don’t fish. So I don’t know if this proposal is a good thing or a bad thing. Catch-and-release brings to mind our immigration policy more than it does fishing on the St. Joe.

*Idaho lags in foster family payments: Reimbursements often don’t cover the cost of taking care of a child/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press
— No surprises here. When it comes to kids education and protection, I hate to admit, Idaho regularly lags behind the rest of the states.

*Craig spoof ad targets farm bill/Matthew Daly, Twin Falls Times-News — Last week, we talked about this one at HBO, with video and all. See how far ahead of the news curb you are by tuning in here?

SR: Give Iraqi Refugees Shelter

From our editorial today:

Very few Iraqi refugees, regardless of how much they helped our military and how desperate their situation may be, have been allowed to move to the United States. And yet, since this war began, more than 2 million Iraqis have been displaced within their country and an estimated 2.2 million have fled Iraq.
Among the most desperate are the translators and the workers who have helped contractors build and run U.S. military bases. After working for the United States, they often must live in fear for their lives as targets for insurgents…
Our president entered this war with the desire to “win the minds and hearts of the Iraqi people.” We can only do that by treating our Iraqi friends with fairness. That includes finding homes for the most deserving in cities across the United States – including here in the Inland Northwest.

Question: Do we have an obligation to provide shelter in this country for Iraqi refugees?

Originally posted in A Matter Of Opinion

Eye On Boise: Otters Celebrate Anniversary, Too?

Originally posted at Eye On Boise

Paul Kjellander and his wife, Radelle, told Gov. Butch Otter they had a particular reason to be happy today in addition to the governor’s having named Kjellander to be his new energy czar – today is the couple’s 20th wedding anniversary. Otter, a large photo of wife Lori visible over his shoulder, responded, “Today’s our nine-month anniversary”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

CDA Fed Security Forces Woman To Remove Bra

Originally posted 5:43 p.m. Wednesday

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

“I was shocked and disappointed,” said Owen Plato on Wednesday about the treatment his wife Lori received upon entering the federal courthouse in Coeur d’Alene on Sept. 20. She was told to remove her underwire bra to pass through security.

Instead, Plato, who describes herself as “not petite,” said she removed her bra while her husband tried to shield her from view of others in the crowded lobby by holding up his coat. She said she had to put the bra on a conveyor belt and send it through an x-ray machine. “After I got through the metal detector and waited for my bra to come through the conveyor belt, one of the security guards said, “That’s a girl,’” Plato said. She thought the guard was making fun of her/Taryn Hecker, Spokesman-Review.

Full story here

Question: Do you agree with the U.S. Marshal who contends that the woman here is “inflating” her story?

Parents Balk, MDs Back Banning Cold Drug

Item: Parents balk at banning cold drug: But doctors back FDA safety advice/JoNel Aleccia, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Word that federal safety experts might ban over-the-counter medications sold to treat sniffling babies and coughing toddlers drew praise from Inland Northwest pediatricians this week – but protests from parents who have to care for their ailing tykes.

Question: What would you tell the “safety experts”?

Anderson: Missing The Message

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

HBO Poll — Best Grocery Store Deli

I swiped this one from OrangeTV’s Get Out! North Idaho blog here. Question: Which is the best grocery store deli in Coeur d’Alene. (See left rail.) My wife usually does the shopping when it comes to grocery store delis. But I’m impressed with the Chinese food selection at the Safeway (Neider) deli. So I’ll probably check that one.

HBO Poll Final Results (for Tuesday): Huckleberries Online regulars prefer the Boston Red Sox to win the World Series, followed by Los Angeles Angels and then Colorado. Me? Go Rocks.

Controversial Books Are Required Reading

Item: Guidelines in offing for how CdA teachers should choose books/Meghann M. Cuniff, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Though district officials said repeatedly over the past few months that none of the five titles is required reading in any class, “in fact, quite often, the teachers are assigning a title from that list to the entire class,” Assistant Superintendent Hazel Bauman told the school board Monday.

Question: Does it make a difference to you that the controversial books are on required reading lists in classes rather than library books?

Dogwalk Musings: We Have Met “Old,” We Are It

Full post here

The hype that inundates us about how we’re living longer and better is thoroughly debunked with fact. She walks us through how the experts define old and how, with early retirements and more ways to retain vigor, that definition is constantly changing. Presently 65 is the end of middle age and the beginning of “new” old age. A far cry from the criteria of not so many years ago when a man retiring at 65 might expect a mere three additional years! Now we’re looking at 90 and even 100 as the boomers move into these categories. That’s a lot of life to live as our abilities to do so decrease. How many years can you be satisfied just playing golf? And how many of those years will you actually be able to do so?/Dogwalk Musings.

Question: Is there anything about “old” that’s worth looking forward to?

Question: Are You Into Postseason MLBaseball?

… Rockies win Game 1 vs. Phils 4-2

Rusty Kennedy/AP Photo

Colorado Rockies’ Matt Holliday, right, is greeted at the dugout after hitting a solo home run against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 1 of a National League Division Series playoff baseball game Wednesday in Philadelphia. Colorado beat host Philadelphia 4-2 to win their playoff opener.

Question: How much of postseason MLBaseball do you plan to watch?

Vox Box: Arrested For Stealing Final Exams?

Originally posted at

  • Bush Vetoes Bipartisan Child Health Insurance Plan

    Item: Bush Vetoes Child Health Insurance Plan/Associated Press

    More Info: President Bush, in a sharp confrontation with Congress, on Wednesday vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have dramatically expanded children’s health insurance. It was only the fourth veto of Bush’s presidency, and one that some Republicans feared could carry steep risks for their party in next year’s elections. The Senate approved the bill with enough votes to override the veto, but the margin in the House fell short of the required number.

    Question: Would this veto make you more or less likely to vote for a Republican candidate in the 2008 presidential election?

    Best of Idaho Friends Blogs — 10/3/07

    Full post here

    The current national story about Idaho politics is the continuing Senate tenure of Sen. Larry Craig (he of the Wide Stance). As you may remember, he said at the beginning of last month that he intended to resign from the Senate by September 30th; it turns out, he meant pretty much the same thing we do when we say we intend to mow the lawn at halftime when our wives go out shopping — it was a way to get rid of the pressure for a short period. While many people are calling on Craig to honor his “commitment” to resign, I’m pulling for him to stay in the Senate as long as possible. Let’s face it — anyone Gov. Otter appoints will probably vote the same way that Sen. Craig would have, and will be in about the same position to influence policy (given his lack of seniority). What Sen. Craig provides that a Sen. Risch couldn’t is much needed humor — and let’s face it, that’s something in short supply in politics nowadays. (Note that I expect him to resign at the end of the week after the Minnesota judge officially laughs at his request to vacate his guilty plea — but I can still dream)/Bubblehead, The Stupid Shall Be Punished.

    Idaho Friends Blogs Roundup:

    *State employee pay and benefits/IdaBlue
    *The lesson of 1992/Adam’s Blog
    *The Hillary juggernaut/Fort Boise
    *How many blog visitors/Clayton Cramer
    *Sali Vote 10-2-07/Mountain Goat Report

    DFO: You know, our Ada County friend has a good point here. Craig’s continued presence as a U.S. senator from Idaho does provide comic relief at a time when politics has become so dang same-o. What do you think?

    IMHO-Idaho: Things That Go Ouch In The Night

    Full post here

    Remember the roller skate left in the middle of the driveway? Remember your Dad waddling out of the garage carrying a stuffed-full 55-gallon trash can of leaves and planting his Red Wing work boot squarely in the middle of that roller skate? Remember the week he spent in traction? Well, those were the good old days. Mattel now makes 180 different Hot Wheels, and they all roll admirably over wood, tile or linoleum floors as well as concrete. The issue arises because my wife and I have a nephew who visits our home and is enamored of die-cast toy cars. You’d be surprised how effectively one can booby-trap a 1,600-square-foot house with sharp metal objects that roll out from under your foot at any misstep. Especially at night with all of the lights turned out, and even on carpet. Remarkable how big a divot a 1 1/2-inches-long Hot Wheel can take out of your instep while you’re letting the dog outside/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times News.

    IMHO-Idaho Roundup:

    *We’re jerks, but white guys rule/Tom Henderson, Lewiston Tribune
    *Former Bishop Kelly QB leads UColorado resurgence/Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman
    *Why is West still considered flyover country/Jane McCarter, New West Boise

    Question: Have you stepped on something that goes ouch in the night recently?

    HBO’s AM Headlines — Kohl’s Opens (10/3/07)

    Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

    Kohl’s manager Michele Valencia led a tour of the new store in Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday. The grand opening is today.

    *Retailer Kohl’s rolls out stores in Spokane, CdA/Becky Kramer, Spokesman-Review — “They’re similar to a JC Penney’s, but they also have elements of discount stores, such as Wal-Mart and Target”? I’ll probably visit Kohl’s as much as I do Penney’s, Wal-Mart and Target. Read: You’ll go broke waiting for me to buy anything this side of Christmas. Now, my wife …

    *Otter favors nuclear power: Says other sources too costly, wants state to back industry/John Miller, Associated Press — Frankly, I’m trying to figure out what Butch is doing re: his recently announced concern to tackle global warming. Is there a card up his sleeve?

    *Grizzly shot in Idaho likely migrated from Selkirk range/Associated Press — Shoulda stayed put.

    *Hey, old pal: Long time, no see: Erickson’s return warms heart/John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review — Overall, Inland Northwesterners have to like Dennis Erickson, even though he’s broken our hearts several times. After all, he’s part of the glory days of UIdaho and WSU. On Saturday, he’ll be part of a shellacking that the Cougs are going to get.

    *Security consultant praises safety of Coeur d’Alene schools: State superintendent secured $150K to evaluate Idaho’s education system/Tom Greene, Coeur d’Alene Press — Now, that’s something every parent with kids in CDA schools wants to hear.

    Question: Do you plan to visit the new CDA Kohl’s store sometime this week?

    Wedding Crasher Makes Off w/Newlyweds’ Gifts

    Item: Wedding crasher steals from Idaho newly-weds/KTVB

    More Info: It wasn’t until they discovered dozens of gifts cards and envelopes with cash missing that they considered that uninvited guest a suspect. “We said, ‘what if she took them,’ then we thought no nobody would do something like that, that was our day, somebody else can’t take our stuff, what’s rightfully ours,” said Sciara.

    Question: Have you ever been the victim of a low-down scam?

    Noah: Hillary