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Huckleberries Online

Archive for September 2007

Wild Card/Sunday — 9/30/07

After listening to part of the Idaho-Hawaii game on the radio and watching part of the WSU-Arizona game on TV today, I’m already looking forward to Gonzaga basketball. The Cougs are getting worse and worse under Doba. While Akey had Idaho headed in the right direction. But this already is looking like a lost season all around on the Palouse. Oh well, mebbe there’s another state title hanging out there for Lake City High. It’s going to be a long fall other than that. But we can take comfort that the City Council elections in Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls should be fun. Mebbe we can catch lightning in a bottle again — and the challengers in the CDA election will reprise the Tinfoil Brigade of the Rami Amaro judge race. Be still my beating heart. Meanwhile, this Wild Card should help us get through Sunday …

Online Poll: To Pledge Or Not To Pledge

Item: Pledge-protesting campus ripped as ‘intolerant: National group says students, principal both need educating/WorldNetDaily

Question: What are your thoughts on school’s handling of students protesting Pledge of Allegiance?

1. The Pledge of Allegiance is an archaic tradition and public schools shouldn’t have to be dealing with it
2. This is a simple free-speech issue – students who do not believe in God should not be compelled to listen to others say ‘under God’
3. The school handled the matter with just the right balance of respect, firmness and common sense
4. The principal was right to commend the students for standing for their beliefs and expressing themselves democratically
5. If other schools can suspend students who draw pictures of guns or wear T-shirts critical of homosexuality, this school can suspend disruptive malcontents who walk out of class in protest
6. If students walked out of class to express allegiance to the Confederate flag, the principal would be singing a different tune
7. If we reinstituted the draft, these privileged kids would have something real to worry about
8. Students shouldn’t be pledging allegiance to the flag – they should be pledging allegiance to the Constitution
9. Both the students’ confused and misguided actions and the principal’s praise are sad commentaries on the state of America’s public schools
10. Other

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Saturday — 9/29/07

I plan to spend the weekend taking care of the few things that are left to get done before winter — stacking wood, replacing a snow cap and mebbe putting the garden to bed a bit. (Note to self — Ask Alice Rankin how to protect that white-rose tree that I bought this summer.) Otherwise, I don’t have much plan. Mebbe I’ll do some reading. Or walk along the lake. Or simply vege in front of a college football game. We’ll all say goodbye to the Mariners, who’ll close out the season at least 10 games over .500 and mebbe 14. All in all, they’ve done well this year when you consider they haven’t have a winning year for four years. Now, if the Cougs and Vandals could only win this weekend … Here’s your Wild Card …

Jane Q. Makes Shameless Plea For Pseudonym Votes

Jane Q. Citizen: Okay, I’d like to make a case for Jane Q. Citizen (currently in 5th place!!!!) If it weren’t for the lovely and talented Jbelle reigning supreme in the lead, I’d think there was fix in. But in all fairness, there should be bonus points/votes for using a middle initial, given name and surname. Miss Manners would think so. vote early, vote often as Dan of the County would say. :)

DFO: Voting for the best Huckleberries Online pseudonym will continue through the weekend until 10 a.m. Monday. JBelle and Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel were tied for first after the first 130 votes cast, with Marmitetoasty hanging close by in third. HBO Poll rules are the same as those held dear by the old Fighting Creek Tavern Mayor’s Race. Participants are encouraged to lie, steal, bribe and ballot stuff to win the contest.

Idaho Escapee & Elaine re: Religious Proselytizers

Idaho Escapee: I don’t like my peace of mind interrupted by on-fire-fanatics who think it’s their God-given duty to louse up my day by witnessing to me. Religion is a very private matter for me, and I don’t want someone interrupting my life to share the ‘good news’, for crying out loud. That’s another thing that’s wrong with society; too many people trying to manipulate too many people.

Elaine: They’re just passionate about their cause. If no other groups are willing to be that vocal and make thier prescense known, that’s their problem. Be thankful it is a group that won’t kill or hurt or be too mean to you. They’re christians. The best way to deal with someone trying to chase you down to talk about God is to say, “I respect you for your courage and passion for your cause, but I’m not interested.” if they still persist, say, “Why did God make the platypus?” They’ll gladly leave you alone.

Question: What do you do when religious people knock on your door to proselytize you?

Parting Shot — 9/28/07

Marianne Love/Slight Detour

I’m not sure who’s with SReporter Erica Curless in this photo, taken by Marianne Love/Slight Detour, at the Dover Community Hall earlier this month. But Erica’s all smiles after being the subject of a bridal shower. Randy Curless, her father and mayor of Dover, will marry Erica and beau, Matt, a week from tomorrow. I thought this photo was a nice way to end a busy week.

It’s 5:25 On Friday Evening … And Do You Know Where …

… your local sheriff is? As I write this, KootCo Sheriff Rocky Watson’s preparing to enjoy an Elton John concert in Missoula. You just don’t know what to expect of Republicans any more.

Bumpersnicker …

… sighted on a blue Honda CRV with a youthful blonde at the wheel at 95 & Neider, by Councilman MikeK, a yellow bumpersnicker with black type that said: “Tap your foot if you (upside heart) Larry Craig.” Dunno exactly what that upside down heart means.

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 10/28/07

Joe Jaszewski/The Idaho Statesman, AP Photo

Boise State safety Jason Robinson (5) celebrates with cornerback Orlando Scandrick (8) after Robinson broke up a pass in the second half of a college football game against Southern Mississippi on Thursday in Boise. BSU won easily. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Shocked Boise State fans and players watch as the rapture takes only Robinson and Scandrick to Heaven, leaving the rest to ponder what went wrong — Toadman.

2. Players react to Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction in this Freaky Friday File Foto — Brent Andrews; and: Jason and Orlando are excited to learn that they’ve been selected to appear on “Dancing with the Stars” — Deena.

3. (tie) Robinson and Scandrick realized they had one too many Red Bulls before the game — A Token D; and: They’re holding hands, but deny being “light in the loafers” — Whippersnapper.

HM: LynnS (fantastic cutlines all)

MGR: Craig, Crapo Vote Against Gay Hate-Crimes Bill

Full post here, how senators voted here.

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate voted 60 to 39 to pass the Matthew Shepard Act which extends federal hate crimes protections to include violence based on sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability. It also gives increased federal assistance to local jurisdictions prosecuting hate crimes. The bill was attached to an Iraq war spending bill and some Republicans are warning that the president may veto the legislation/Mountain Goat Report.

Question: Are you surprised that Craig would still vote against the Matthew Shephard bill?

Ziggles States Case For HBO Poll Inclusion

Ziggles, take a bow; this one is brilliant. BTW, I have a little surprise for you, if you check the HBO poll in the lefthand rail. You start off far behind the pack. But the poll runs through 10 a.m. Monday.

Idaho College Offers Casino Course

Hit me! That’s just one of the gambling and card playing commands students may soon be learning when the College of Southern Idaho’s Community Education Center begins offering casino classes.Sylvia Jensen, the college’s director of community education, says the class provides an opportunity for students to learn the fundamentals of shuffling and betting and proper decorum for dealing blackjack, poker or baccarat. Students will learn online using interactive software and instructional videos. After completing the course, students can get job placement and support from the curriculum designer, Texas-based Gatlin Education Services. Tuition is estimated at $1,400, Stevens said. Stevens said the course is a good bet for people in southern Idaho looking for a career change considering the state’s proximity to the gambling crazed state of Nevada/Twin Falls Times-News.

Question: Would you have a problem if North Idaho College offered a similar class?

Argonaut Columnist: Too Much Christianity @ UIdaho

Full post here

Christian-based groups are by far the most visible and entrenched on campus. Flip open the UI planner and you are likely to see a date and time for a Christian youth event. Walk around campus enough and you are likely to hear a variety of Christian messages, prepared and served for your consumption. There are other religious groups on campus, but the sheer volume of Christian groups drowns them out. University campuses are a great place to hold academic conversations about religion, but sometimes non-Christian students are bombarded and overwhelmed by the many attempts to proselytize them/Sean M. Aguilar, UI Argonaut.

Question: What do you think of the Argonaut columnist’s complaint that there’s too much Christian presence at UIdaho?

Huckleberries Best of Idaho Online — 9/28/07

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Richard Kohles, representing the Coeur d’Alene Board of Realtors, asks a question about the study of the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Aquifer that was presented Thursday afternoon at the Coeur d’Alene Greyhound Park, where regional representatives gathered to talk about managing the region’s sole source aquifer here.

Spotlight: IQ Idaho mag claims media hype, ratings to blame for fall of former Boise mayor Brent Coles/Boise Weekly here.

1. It’s a lonely U.S. Senate for Larry Craig, whose uncertain status has upset his social and political standing in the clubby chamber. Yet Craig went to work Thursday, as he has since he returned to the Senate last week after a two-week absence here.

2. The 2007 University of Idaho homecoming committee is trying to revive a lost tradition with a bang this year for the annual homecoming bonfire. Jeremiah Penberthy, the chair of the homecoming committee, said the committee hopes to see more financial donations from local business and private sponsors for the fireworks show it’s planning here.

3. Online Poll: 47 percent of 635 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll said they were looking for to another TV series this fall, whether than the five listed. “Heroes” finished a distant second here.

4. News Roundup: Craig leaves lasting mark at UIdaho/UI Argonaut; Girl, mom harassed after Lewiston hate beating/Spokesman-Review; Minnesota airport to extend bathroom stalls after Craig arrest/Spokesman-Review; USA Today lauds Idaho’s economic ingenuity, lifestyle/Coeur d’Alene Press; and CSI offers casino classes online/Twin Falls Times-News.

5. Blogosphere: I’m a phony soldier/IdaBlue; If I ran the circus/A Family Runs Through It; Idaho senators vote no on Matthew Shephard Act/Mountain Goat Report; God’s plan for evangelism/Adam’s Blog; and LDS Dating: A study in complicatedness/The Stupid Shall Be Punished.

6. IMHO-Idaho: Message lost/T.J. Tranchell, UI Argonaut; Hey, who said anything about fighting overseas?/Tom Henderson, Lewiston Tribune; Watch where you spread the word/Sean M. Aguilar, UI Argonaut; Lingering Larry’s echo of intransigent George/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune; and Words to drink by/Tyler Wilson, Coeur d’Alene Press.

TXT: Seattle Online Papers In Top 10, SR 88th

Originally posted in TXT

The Seattle Times and Post-Intelligencer are the only Pacific Northwest papers that score among the country’s 10 most-viewed online news publications, based on a recent survey. And they are ranked eighth only because their total online viewers were counted together.
The Newspaper Association of America produced the data, based on daily Web use on Aug. 16 of this year. The top three spots among online newspapers belonged to The New York Times, the Washington Post and USA Today. Other Northwest papers among the top 100, based on unique visitors, were The (Portland) Oregonian, ranked 42nd; and The Spokesman-Review, ranked 88th.

Question: Which online papers do you read regularly?

Dick Haugen To Interview SR Editor Steve Smith

Editor Steve Smith will be on Dick Haugen’s “On The Road” show this morning for a full hour, beginning at 11:05 a.m. You can tune in at KGA-AM (1510). If you have any questions for Dick to ask Steve, you can post them here. Dick checks this site regularly …

JimF: Craig Wasn’t First To Give Idaho GOP Fits

Full editorial by Jim Fisher here

Listening to Idaho Republicans speak publicly about Larry Craig’s clinging to the seat he said he would leave is reminiscent of the defenses party leaders offered more than two decades ago of another troubled politician who refused to leave quietly. In the early 1980s, 2nd District Rep. George Hansen also got crosswise with the law. He was convicted of failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans and other transactions as required by the federal Ethics in Government Act. Yet even as he was scheduled to serve a prison term, Hansen in 1984 remained in and sought re-election to his seat in the U.S. House/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune.

Question: Anyone remember Dishonest George?

EMS Board Forgives Bernie’s Return Trip Bill

re: 9/24 Huckleberries column about Bernie Hague here

Yesterday afternoon at the EMS Joint Powers Board Meeting the bill for the return trip from the hospital for Mr. Hague was forgiven. Our EMS Chief Tom Greif immediately called him to let him know. You should know we were trying to help Mr. Hague with this prior to its appearance in Huckleberries and we had had discussions with the county and the hospital on the matter.

Kenny Gabriel
Fire Chief

Minnesota Airport To Install New Bathroom Walls

Item: New stall walls planned for airport restrooms/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review

More Info: The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is getting new men’s room stall walls to cut down on restroom sexual activity in the infamous bathroom where Idaho Sen. Larry Craig was arrested. The new dividers will go all the way down to a couple inches above the floor. The current ones stop 12 inches above floor level. “Sometime this fall we hope to have the new dividers in place,” said Patrick Hogan, spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission.

Question: Craig’s wall? What’s a good nickname for new, longer, public restroom walls?

Uncle Jay Explains “Blog”

Katrina has found a video in which a character who calls himself “Uncle Jay” discusses blog. It’s must-see for anyone who takes too seriously what we do here and what you do out there.

Huckleberries Gone Wireless w/Dixie Reid

Full Gone Wireless interview here, print version here.

Spokesman-Review File Photo

Coeur d’Alene City Council Candidates Dixie Reid, left, and Chris Copstead, right, look over early Election Night 2003 results with Reid’s husband Tom Reid Tuesday Tuesday night at Cricket’s Restaurant in Coeur d’Alene.

DFO: What were you like as a child growing up in this town?

DR: I was a wallflower. I wasn’t the most popular kid in school. I was just there, trying to figure out who I was and where I was going, like any teen-ager. I wasn’t an athlete. I was totally uncoordinated. I was president of Future Homemakers of America. The first time I spoke in front of people was through that organization. It scared me to death. I could never remember what I said. But it empowered me to speak in front of large groups of people and not be nervous about it.

A print version of this interview was published in the Handle section of the Spokesman-Review this morning.

“The Curse of Oscar Mayer”

The hot dog is a lurid meat
comprised of eye balls, snouts and feet
and nameless organs pink and pasty —
yet even so I find it tasty.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Wild Card/Thursday — 9/27/07

A special message for those who work or receive care at the North Idaho Cancer Center. My sister, Charlotte Mitchell, is celebrating Birthday No. 56 today. Wish her a happy birthday for me — and let her know that I appreciate the reminder that my 58th birthday is just around the corner. This is the year that I and my five siblings celebrate even-number birthdays: 62, 58, 56, 54, 52 and 48. Funny how that worked out. But it does make it easier to remember how old the rest of them are. If my dad was still alive, he’d be 86. Mom’s 82. So it goes all through the family. As you get older, it’s nice to have helpful hints like that. Now, for your Wild Card …

AMOO: Bill O’Reilly Said — What?

Originally posted at A Matter of Opinion

Seems the Fox News commentator had a racial epiphany while dining at a soul-food restaurant. Excerpt: After eating dinner at a famed Harlem restaurant recently, Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly told a radio audience he “couldn’t get over the fact” that there was no difference between the black-run Sylvia’s and other restaurants. … “It was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun,” he said. “And there wasn’t any kind of craziness at all.” He really needs to get out more.

Question: So, will Mr. No Spin be able to spin his way out of this one?

(AP photo)

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 9/27/07

Nick Ut/AP Photo

Rockette Krista Harvey, right front, demonstrates a kick during a joint practice session for the Los Angeles Lakers and other Rockettes, from left, Vladimir Radmanovic, Alyssa Epstein, Brian Cook, Autumn Withers, Alexis Thebolt, obscured, and Sasha Vujacic for a promotional event Tuesday at the team training facility. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Kobe Bryant proudly announces to his teammates that he gets first shot at his favorite yuletide Rockette, on account of a clause in his new contract (aka his Santa clause) — John Austin.

2. White women can’t jump, but they can kick — Whippersnapper.

3. It may only be September, but it is never too early to start shopping for Christmas toys — Cabbage Boy.

HM: Kendramama

Dogwalk Musings: Blurred Vision

Full post here

My previous diatribe on his total lack of judgement aside, I wonder that Craig has no shame. He has humiliated his wife, his
children and himself. He has made a mockery of his political party and his state. Yet he does not have the good grace to retire with some degree of decorum. Ego. It isn’t just Larry Craig. It’s the David Vitters, Rudy Giulianis, Ted Stevens, William Jeffersons and yes, Ted Kennedy from decades ago and Bill Clinton for their “in your face” behavior with full expectation of a pass. Far too often they get one. Celebrities have gotten away with it for years. Politicians as celebrity now seem to have joined the ranks of the immune/Dogwalk Musings.

DFO: I’m delighted that Dogwalk Musings has posted examples of bad boys on both sides of the political divide. Partisans tend to defend their side’s foibles while jumping on the shortcomings of political opponents. If we all treated these skunks with contempt and called for their heads when they blow it big time, they’d straighten up. Or at least that’s an idealistic theory.

Sausser Photo: Float Plane Brightens City Beach

Don Sausser/Special for Huckleberries Online

A colorful float plane just pulled up on the sand of City Beach (at 10:15 a.m. today). The owner of the Super Cub flew from Thompson Falls this morning to pick up a package & visit his dad from Rathdrum. He grew up in Spokane and frequented the beach in his youth - to ‘see the beautiful girls!’” e-mails Don Sausser, along with his photo above.

James Bond: GOP Must Be Quaking In Boots

The more I think about this, the more I realize how fun it would be for the National Republican Party and the Idaho Republican Party to go through the process of having his plea withdrawn and have a trial on the merits of the case. If such a trial wouldn’t draw the attention of the nation, I don’t know what would. Months and months of discussion about trolling for toilet sex, the habits of those who seek it, the special signs, etc. Plus, Larry Craig’s supporters, like Crapo, Simpson, and Sali would be defending him through it all. My Lord, it would be better than ANYTHING we ever saw with OJ or Clinton/James Bond.

Question: What do you think of the scenario painted above by James Bond? Accurate?

Huckleberries Best of Idaho Online — 9/27/07

Jason Hunt/Coeur d’Alene Press, AP Photo

Army 1st Sgt. Scott Dale receives a hug from his daughter, Jenna, 10, during a welcoming ceremony for the Company B, 321st Engineer Battalion (Combat) at the Army Reserve Center in Hayden Wednesday. See Item No. 2.

1. Austin Askens, a 19-year-old Central Valley High School graduate is back home in Liberty Lake from Boise, but memories of the day a stranger shot him and two other Northwest Lineman College students outside a party still haunt his dreams, and he faces multiple surgeries to fix damage to his tongue and teeth here.

2. A few hundred family, friends and well-wishers welcomed about 32 members of a U.S. Army Reserve unit back home from Iraq on Wednesday at a boisterous ceremony in Hayden here.

3. Online Poll: 76% of 843 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say they disagree with U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s decision to stay in the Senate for now here.

4. News Roundup: Craig’s not quitting, yet/Spokesman-Review; “Dead” Moscow man struggles to get life back/Spokesman-Review; Otter: Craig successor should keep staff in place/Idaho Statesman; BSU player discusses baby named for him/KTVB; and Meridian teen admits to raping female classmate/KTVB.

5. Blogosphere: Bleeping men/A Family Runs Through It; Cold dead hands or cold dead culture/Free In Idaho; Holier than thou/Fort Boise; Calls made difference on health care vote/Red State Rebels; And don’t let the door hit you …/Adam’s Blog.

6. IMHO-Idaho: Larry Craig Airport Commode Quiz/Doug Clark (Spokesman-Review); Divorce got you done? Take your gun to court/Tom Henderson (Lewiston Tribune); “I will continue …”/Randy Stapilus (Ridenbaugh Press); Send illegal aliens home now/Robert B. Murray II (Idaho Statesman); and How does Favre look in blue/Brian Murphy (Idaho Statesman).

USA Today Spotlights, Idaho, Coeur d’Alene

Full story from this morning’s USA Today here

With all due respect to Phoenix, Las Vegas and Orlando, the heart of American’s biggest economic boom is right here in Idaho. In Idaho, the state with the nation’s fastest-growing economy, homebuilding hasn’t crashed as it has across much of the USA, and a two-decade run of prosperity continues. Chalk it up, in large part, to chips — computer chips and potato chips. And to a state whose climate and rugged outdoor beauty are attracting highly mobile, white-collar newcomers who could work or live most anywhere. Idaho has drawn national attention from the recent sex-sting arrest of Larry Craig, its senior U.S. senator, and, in the 1990s, from occasional standoffs between law enforcement and white supremacists. What’s less known is that Idaho has been competing with Arizona, Nevada and Florida to be the USA’s most vibrant boom state. And unlike those hot-weather states, Idaho is having a boom that shows little sign of fading/Dennis Chauchon, USA Today.

Question: Are you delighted or bummed when the national media brings more attention to your Idaho community?

Hat Tip: Eric Seaman, JimmyMAC

Johnny Comes Rolling Home w/Fanfare

Attached is a picture of the Idaho Patriot Guard riders escorting the soldiers home yesterday. We had a great time bringing the soldiers (of the 321st Engineer Battalion) home. Heroes one and all. I thought your readers on the blog might like it/Army Vet GregZ.

DFO: You are absolutely right, Greg; you and the others who escorted our soldiers home deserve a monster hat tip. BTW, I enjoy receiving your photos to post here.

Doug Clark: Larry Craig Airport Commode Quiz

Columnist Doug Clark’s complete 10-question quiz here

Q — Having the ACLU on Larry Craig’s side is like:

A. The Hells Angels booking the Village People for a clubhouse weenie roast.
B. Donald Trump dating Rosie.
C. Iran hosting a gay pride parade.

Q — Should Congress turn the now-infamous Larry Craig airport toilet stall into a national monument, it would be called:

A. The Grand Can.
B. The Stinkin’ Memorial.
C. Mount Flushmore.

Question: Can you think of any multiple-choice bonus questions to add to columnist Doug Clark’s Larry Craig Airport Commode Quiz?

Family Phil: 3 Investigators Tops Hardy Boys

Mary Otto/Washington Post, AP File Photo

Ann L. Hudak, assistant curator at the University of Maryland library, standing amid the new exhibit ” Nancy Drew and Friends, which she organized in fall 2005.

However, the one I’ve remained most stubborn about my entire life is The Three Investigators versus The Hardy Boys. I came down squarely on the side of Jupiter Jones, Pete Crenshaw, and Bob Andrews. To this day I still have my cherished collection of first edition Three Investigators novels. I’ve read most of them to my son, wanting to enjoy them all over again with him, and he’s become as enthralled as I was with the three clever friends who solve ghostly mysteries. The problem is he’s playing both sides and finds equal enjoyment in reading about those bumbling Hardy brothers. He has his own growing collection of Hardy Boys books, which I give disdainful glances whenever I’m in his room/Family Phil, A Family Runs Through It.

Full post here

Question: As a child, what was your favorite book series?

RSPA: Ain’t Gonna Get Rich Bloggin’

Only a miniscule proportion of bloggers make anything remotely approaching a livable wage from it … The Dooces and Perez Hiltons of the blogosphere can make their mortgages but the other 99.99% of bloggers aren’t even going to pay a weekly Starbucks bill. But don’t give up your dream if it’s staying home and getting rich blogging. Just be realistic. Blogging for me was never a commercial enterprise, God forbid I couldn’t have complete creative control over my own frickin’ blog. Even when I was bloggin’ hard and had thousands of uniques a day I never wrote a thing that wasn’t just for me … the fact that people were interested in what I had to rant and wax poetic about was both continually surprising and somewhat disturbing to me ;) But I never wanted to be dependent on a certain level of production or content. And I’ve never had to be. The only good money I’ve personally found in writing was a few years ago when I was writing chapters in training manuals for universities and fed govt agencies and billing $800/day. That was nice work. Blogging is more fun but tech writing can buy a new boat or cheerios with honey nuts/Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel

AM Hucks: CAVE Prompts Acronym-onious Discussion

With city elections looming, Huckleberries Online had a rip-roarin’ debate this week over labeling groups, specifically those dubbed “CAVE” in Coeur d’Alene. Or Citizens Against Virtually Everything. A woman pseudonymed Wondering launched two threads that attracted a combined 200 comments with the statement: “I find (CAVE) a dangerous term as it intimidates people from speaking out in their own name. It creates prejudice and it’s a harmful label.” She made a decent point. So did others, including:

Thom George: “CAVE isn’t derogatory, it’s descriptive.”
Dennis: “The problem as I see it is that the CAVE group has alienated themselves to the point that even if they have a ‘valid’ question or concern, no one wants or is willing to take them seriously.”
Dogwalk Musings: “It would seem CAVE includes many who have questioned a process and/or a project into an overall category as being against everything. Lumping everyone into a group because they choose to question seems unfair and negative to me.”
Family Phil: “It’s easier to call them CAVE people instead of ‘Citizens Against Community Centers, Libraries, Parks, Trails, Greenbelts, Education Corridors, and Beautiful New Retail Developments.’ “
Sweet Herb: “I probably lean toward considering words or terms such as CAVE as an attempt to belittle, dehumanize a person, rather than attack the position specific of that person. A debate by its very nature, has people on both sides, otherwise, it’s a love fest within a group. For the majority to use a belittling term actually subtracts from the debate, and not only insults the target, but makes the accuser lose stature.”

DFO: Dunno who the SR writer was for the headline above. But it’s one of the cleverest ones I’ve seen.

Huckleberries Gone Wi-Fi (Part 2) w/Dixie Reid

DFO: We have a beautiful new library and community center and the Riverstone project is a model project. Where would these things be without the LCDC?
DR: They wouldn’t be. Had LCDC not purchased land for library and helped out with funding we would not have the library. In order to obtain the Kroc Center we had to provide the land. LCDC helped purchase that land. Without the land we wouldn’t have moved forward in obtaining that building. Riverstone Park is the huge thing for the citizens — a six-acre lake and five-acre public park. Every cent of that money will come back from LCDC from Riverstone’s tax base. This negativity from Gookin and Souza and Larry Spencer … they had to look hard to find anything negative. They must have been digging for some time to find anything. The people are supporting what’s happening and LCDC is the funding catalyst that makes it work. If you want to put a stop to the good things that are happening, pull the plug on LCDC. I’d like to see Dan Gookin, Larry Spencer and Mary Souza come up with a better idea.

DFO: What’s one thing that few people would guess about you?
DR: I’ve been married for 46 years and I own my own business, Dixie’s Inside Connection. It was years before people realized I was married. People thought someone as outspoken as I am couldn’t be married. He is my support system. I couldn’t have done this for 10 minutes without him.

DFO: Did you business progress play a role in your decision not to seek re-election again?
DR: Yes. It’s a time factor. I was getting spread too thin. My business is doing well. I had to pick and choose.

DFO: You mentioned in the story about your decision not to seek re-election that you’ve lost your passion. Can you explain that?
DR: I have a very strong faith and believe totally that my life is directed by God. He’s been gently tapping me on the shoulder for a year and a half and saying it’s time not to do this any more. I’ve spent my life serving the citizens. Now, he has another plan for me. So, I’d better listen. He arranged it as the months went by that my passion began to wane. If you don’t have the passion, you shouldn’t go through an election and commit to serving the people if you can’t do it well.

DFO: Did you have second thoughts as you saw a challenge from individuals you didn’t want to see on the council?
DR: Absolutely. It was a difficult struggle for me b/c the competitive nature in me came out. That made the decision difficult until I realized it wasn’t my problem. I’ve served and served well until I realized that it was time for me to go. Running for re-election for that reason would have been the wrong thing to do.

DFO: What is the biggest change in Coeur d’Alene from the time you started on the council in 1975 until now?
DR: It’s basically the same. It’s the scale. We have a better ability to solve the problems that we did in 1975. The tax base is larger. I can’t say enough about our staff. They’re so creative and inventive and so wonderful at doing their jobs. The ability to solve the problems is better today.

DFO: Let’s play a word association game: John Stone (visionary); Duane Hagadone (he has given back to the community); Ron Edinger (a challenge); Mike Kennedy (enthusiasm).

DFO: Do you ever foresee the day that Coeur d’Alene will have a downtown memorial garden?
DR: I doubt it.

DFO: If a movie was made of your life, who would play Dixie Reid?
DR: It’s never been about me. I’ve never been important. It’s the job and responsibility that I held that was important. I can’t understand why anyone would want to play me.

DFO: What would you like to see happen to McEuen Field, now that the library is in place at the northeast corner?
DR: The city made a commitment not to take anything off McEuen until it could be replace with equal or better value. One of the stumbling blocks has been relocating the American Legion field. Mebbe we should relocate it on that field instead of relocating it. I’m beginning to think it would be a mistake to remove it. Mebbe we should move it over by City Hall.

Question: Of all the projects that are left, which one now is the most important for the city of Coeur d’Alene?
DR: The Education Corridor is huge. Universities and higher education are always located close to a downtown area. The jobs from an education corridor would be huge. We have the Kroc Center. The arena at the fairgrounds is important also. But so often you have to do things when the opportunity surfaces. We’ve been building for the opportunity for the education corridor for about 10 years. We’re getting close for something to happen. Marshall Chesrown has been a good partner in his purchase of the mill site. To be able to give our citizens opportunity for higher education is a gift beyond measure.

DFO: What now?
DR: Maybe I’ll be able to spend more time with my little grandkids. Certainly with my husband. We’re reaching the point that we’re slowing down a bit. And I’m looking for the direction God’s going to leave me. When he changes the direction you’re going, it’s always better. It’s going to be fun.

Parting Shot — 9/26/07

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Two-year-old James Deahn laughs as he is nuzzled by his dad, Cpl. Nathan Deahn, an Army Reservist who returned from Iraq to a homecoming Wednesday at the Army Reserve Center in Hayden.

Eye On Boise: “He … Is Not Breaking His Word”?

‘Technically not breaking his word’
Greg Smith, an Idaho pollster and political consultant who once served as Craig’s regional director, said, “He technically is not breaking his word, but it is kind of strange that Sept. 30 will have come and gone and he’s going to stay put. I’m a little surprised by that.”


Here’s a reaction to Sen. Craig’s statement today from longtime Idaho political scientist Jim Weatherby: “I think it leaves us all puzzling over the future of our senior senator, and leaves Idaho politics in general disarray as to who will be serving in the United States Senate in that position over the next several months. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 9/26/07

I forgot to highlight OrangeTV’s latest Get Out! review — Lincoln’s $10,000 Silver Dollar Bar, on the Montana side of the Continental Divide here.

*In Soul Doubt, Kendramama tells of playing in her grandparents’ old neighborhood as a child 20 years ago and how it has deteriorated since here.

*Arch Druid Joan Harman takes the U.S. military to task for planting bomb-making components on the ground and then killing people who pick them up here.

*Dogwalk Musings continues to be amazed re: how much exposure she’s received in the blogosphere. Now, she’s on Ronni Barrett’s blogroll and being sought out by a Boston publisher to review a book here.

*The best female writers in North Idaho hang out at HBO. But they’re as unpredictable as they are fine penswomen. Such was the case with MamaJD, who announces that it’s time to “dress like a slut” here.

*In Perspectives, ThomG announces this is family is facing the slow, inevitable departure of their mother — and the difficult decisions that brings — here.

HBO Numbers (for Tuesday, Sept. 25): 8566 page-views and 4711 unique views.

Meanwhile, Tumblewords gives us “Once upon a Moon” here and “Key of Sea” here; A Butterfly Moment tells us what she learned today here; JeanC can see again here; Notes on a Napkin is happy with her small-group marriage ministry here; Plaid Toaster’s wondering where he commenters went here; Nic hearts Halo 3 here; Slight Detour wipes the egg off her face from the aborted Rudyfest here; Shinie is Bzzing Listerine whitening today here; and Un-Muted Mumblings is worried about the online media here.

JohnA: Johnny’s Marching Home As We Speak

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

1st Sgt. Scott Dale gets a hug from a member of his family as he walks from the bus to the Army Reserve Center where hundreds waited to greet a busload of soldiers from the 321st Bravo Co. of the Army Reserve as they returned from their year-long deployment to Iraq this afternoon.

There’s a cool event happening across from the Kootenai County Airport right now. The reservists from the 321st Engineering Brigade are due to arrive at any minute. A large crowd is accompanied by a marching band from Central Valley High School. I imagine it’s been a long 14 months away from their families, and should make for a great homecoming.

John Austin (posted at 2:32)

Question: When Will You Retire?

Steven Hausler/Hays Daily News, AP Photo

Waldo McBurney, a 104-year-old beekeeper who was recently declared America’s oldest worker, smiles in front of his store in Quinter, Kan. About 6.4 percent of Americans 75 or older, or slightly more than 1 million, were working last year. That’s up from 4.7 percent, or 634,000, a decade earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. (AP Photo/Hays Daily News, Steven Hausler)

DFO: At one time, I thought it’d be swell to work until I’m 70 b/c that’d mean I was a professional journalist for 50 years. In recent years, I’ve adjusted that downward to retirement at 65. Then, the SR might just boot me out of here someday.

Question: When do you plan to retire?

Craig Responds To Legal Proceedings

Idaho Senator Larry Craig issued the following statement regarding today’s legal proceedings in Minnesota: “Today was a major step in the legal effort to clear my name. The court has not issued a ruling on my motion to withdraw my guilty plea. For now, I will continue my work in the United States Senate for Idaho.”

DFO: Is it just me, or has the tone of Craig’s comments changed? Now, he sounds as though he’s claiming he didn’t do it. It also sounds as though he’s going to play through until the decision. Am I reading this right?

Inlander: CDA’s Reed Tries To Explain Idaho To US

Full Inlander story here

File Photo

Bruce Reed, center, and his wife, Bonnie LePard, left, talk with President Bill Clinton at the White House, along with newborn daughter Julia. The baby was born in the first 100 days of the Clinton administration, making this photo circa 1993.

In the aftermath of the Craig scandal, the nation has been treated to a peek inside our little corner of the country. And one of the best tour guides around has been Bruce Reed, whose “The Has-Been” column on has been all-Craig, all-the-time lately. Ironically, Reed may be the most important politician from Idaho; it’s ironic because he’s a Democrat. The former chief domestic policy advisor to President Bill Clinton, Reed now serves as president of the influential Democratic Leadership Council in Washington, D.C. Like Frank before him, Reed seems to be wondering aloud, “What’s the matter with Idaho?” And it’s personal, as Reed grew up in Coeur d’Alene, where, his dad Scott reports, he was a bit of a late political bloomer; he waited until he was 4 years old to haul his first campaign flyers around the neighborhood/Ted S. McGregor, Inlander.

DFO: Betcha Kootenai County R’s are simply tuh-rilled that Local Boy Done Good Bruce Reed, a DEMOCRAT, may be the most influential political figure from Republican Idaho.

Huckleberries Best of Idaho Online — 9/27/07

Jim Mone/AP Photo

Spotlight: Post Falls Mayor Clay Larkin (Reporter Dave Turner returns to the North Idaho w/a story for the Inlander: “Mayor on a Mission” here.)

Reporters get checked off as they wait to go through security at a hearing earlier today in Edina, Minn., where attorneys for Sen. Larry Craig are seeking to wipe away a plea by Craig resulting from a mens’ room sex sting arrest on June 11 at the Minneapolis airport.

1. Sen. Larry Craig’s lawyers appeared in court Wednesday afternoon seeking to overturn his guilty plea in a men’s room sex sting. But Hennepin County District Judge Charles A. Porter Jr. made no immediate decision, saying he would issue a ruling no sooner than a week from today here.

2. Lewiston police have arrested a second woman in the beating of an American Indian girl earlier this month. Ashley Grant, 21, was arrested Monday afternoon on a warrant accusing her of felony malicious harassment in the Sept. 12 attack on a 13-year-old girl. Idaho’s malicious harassment law makes it a crime to harass or intimidate someone because of race here.

3. Online Poll: 86% of 590 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll selected “Huh, what’s ‘Halo’?” when asked “What do you think of the new “Halo 3” video game?”

4. News Roundup: Boise cyclist Armstrong wins silver medal at world championships/Idaho Statesman; Possible riot at Boise prison/KTVB; Reality show shot in Idaho has controversial history/KTVB; Gooding inmate escapes twice, suspected of repeat burglaries/Twin Falls Times-News;

5. Blogosphere: What exactly is free speech/Dogwalk Musings; If he did it/IdaBlue; Hyperbole on the march/The Stupid Shall Be Punished; Best of the Best/Fort Boise; Sali vote, 9/25/Mountain Goat Report;

6. IMHO-Idaho: Just like Kansas? Ted S. McGregor/Inlander; Sali, McMorris Rodgers and health care for kids/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune; Another elk rancher angers neighbors/Rocky Barker, Expensive studies a gamble at best/Coeur d’Alene Press; and Idaho Statesman; Simpson, Sali, SCHIP and spin/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman.

Craig Lawyer: He Just Wanted To Go To Restroom

Full post here

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig’s lead criminal attorney, Billy Martin, just told reporters in Minnesota, “Sen. Larry Craig denies that he went into that restroom for anything other than to go to the restroom.” Martin said he’s “hopeful” that a Minnesota judge will go along with his arguments that what Craig did in a Minneapolis airport bathroom wasn’t a crime, even though an undercover police officer said it was consistent with actions soliciting sex. “He had no purpose other than to go to the bathroom,” Martin said/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

007: Why Aren’t You Or Betsy @ Craig Hearing?

James Bond: DFO: I am disappointed that you or Betsy is not at the hearing. I understand the judge has put the clamps down on live reporting, but still … Is any media in Idaho there?

AP reporter Joshua Freed in Minneapolis reports that media presence is heavy outside the courthouse in suburban Edina, Minn. where Idaho Sen. Larry Craig’s lawyers are about to try to persuade a judge to let Craig withdraw his guilty plea in a sex solicitation sting. About a dozen TV cameras and a media tent are set up in the courthouse parking lot/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. Full post here.

Question: Do you think it’s important to have an Idaho media presence at the Minneapolis hearing today?

Idaho Parks Group Recognizes LCDC

Item: LCDC receives parks award: Group honored for contributions to recreation/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Coeur d’Alene Parks Director Doug Eastwood nominated LCDC for the award. He cited the development corporation’s partnerships in creating both Johnson Mill River Park and Riverstone Park. Wrote Eastwood: “This would not have happened without LCDC. They have given a very tangible gift to the community that will be enjoyed by many generations.”

DFO: I couldn’t resist posting this one.

Vox Box: College Paper Prints A No-No

Item: Profane editorial spells trouble at Colorado State/UPI

The Rocky Mountain Collegian newspaper is in trouble this week after printing an editorial that began “Taser this…F– Bush,” however their version didn’t include the censorship. Editor-in-chief, J. David McSwane, plans to defend their decision in front of the Board of Student Communications today. The editorial is claimed to spark conversation and interest.

Question (from Conor/Vox Box): Do you guys think this is appropriate for a college paper?

DOTC: Voter ID Fair, Reasonable

I was glad to read the Supreme Court will be hearing a case about requirements for Voter ID’s. As the county elections guy I am glad it will apparently be settled before the 2008 elections even though Idaho does not require voter ID’s at this time. Here are a few thoughts I have about this very important issue.
1. Many, many actions in our society require official ID these days. Most have far less consequences then voting, especially the chance of fraudulent voting.
2. While I have not seen much evidence of voter fraud in our county or anywhere else in Idaho, that does not mean it doesn’t or couldn’t exist. Common sense says that the greater number of people on the voter rolls the more odds of someone trying to cheat.
Continued here

Dan of the County

Wondering & DFO: There Can Be Dialogue

Wondering: DFO, I am pleased to see that you are considering not using the “C” in reference to people who oppose the working of city government. I think the library and the Kroc Center are great additions to the community (there would likely have been no bitter controversy if the city officials had been upfront about the use of our tax money. As far as Riverstone I believe the controversy is about the appearance of “milking the taxpayer” to enrich developers. However, I would never label you over your opinion, as it appears you will not label me over mine. I hope this means peace and continued dialogue.

DFO: You launched a wonderful thread today with your observation, Wondering. As I followed it down, I was reminded that I set the tone. I’m not going to ban commenters from using the C-word or most any other word. But I personally am going to try to be more accurate out front. Indeed, CAVE is a dismissive word. I’ve seen both you and Gary Ingram enjoying the library. So, I know you support that facility, although neither of you are thrilled about LCDC. Anti-LCDC might not be accurate either, if you support the concept of urban renewal, but not the particular way it is being played out in Coeur d’Alene. As you know, I’m happy with the way the LCDC performs here. But that doesn’t mean we can’t communicate and enjoy our disagreement. I appreciate the fact that you hang out here. And introduced yourself at the library.

Hat Tip: Raymond Pert

Heller: New Fall TV Show Lineup

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Parting Shot — 9/25/07

Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News, AP Photo

Four moose (bull, cow, and two calves) bed down for hours in a yard at Nanook Trailer Court in Mountain View as it rains on Monday in Anchorage, Alaska.

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 9/25/07

Chris Peterson/Muse You Can Use, Glacier Geographic

As you can see, winter is moving into the high country in northwest Montana — and Chris Peterson was waiting for it with his camera here.

*Raymond Pert/Kellogg Mining finally publishes his poem, “Free,” a fiction piece about the miners who survived the deadly 1972 Sunshine Mine fire in the Silver Valley here.

*”My life seems to be defined by television commercials,” writes Idaho Escapee/Atmospheric Ruminations. “Or, at least, when the commercials come on. For when they do, that’s my license to get up and get something to eat, or take care of, well, other functions” here.

*Brent Andrews/Chronic Discontent misses his college son on most days, but none more so than on days that he has to cut his lawn here.

*Toadman/Synaptic Disunion shares the opinion of many that fall — or Indian summers — are the best time of the year here.

HBO Numbers (from Monday, Sept. 24): page-views 7668 and unique views 4422.

Meanwhile, Sam The Reporter reflects on his first year of marital bliss here; Inland Empire Girl brings poetry alive here; and Marmitetoasty discovers the wildlife is different in the states, too, here.

Spin Control: What’s Link b/t Craig, Child Obesity?

Full Spin Control post here

Stop Childhood Obesity Now, a campaign from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, has a new commercial it plans to start showing this week, which will excoriate Congress for taking money from the meat and dairy industry, then making it easy for schools and food assistance programs to get federally purchased bacon, burgers, meat and dairy products. So what does that have to do with Craig?/Jim Camden, Spin Control.

Eye On Boise: He’s Got Those “Ol’ Housing” Blues

Originally posted at Eye On Boise

Jack Beebe, a prominent Coeur d’Alene real estate broker, has been appointed chairman of the Idaho Housing and Finance Association’s board of commissioners by Gov. Butch Otter. The appointment hardly comes out of the blue; Beebe, who’s served on the IHFA board since 1997, was previously vice chairman, so you might even call him a blue-chip candidate. No explanation has been offered, however, for what appears to be his striking bright-blue complexion in this photo that was distributed along with the announcement/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Fire Chief Responds To HBO re: Ambulance Ride

re: Huckleberries column about a CDA man charged $327 for a two-mile ride home from KMC

How goes it? Glad to see you back in the saddle full time, it has been missed. I just got back from a short vacation and saw the Huckleberries article about Bernie Hague and his ambulance bill. Our Chief of Emergency Medical Services Tom Greif had a phone conversation with Mr. Hague and explained that our folks have nothing to do with any billing. It was at the request of an E.R. nurse that we take Mr. Hague back home as we agree we do not want folks charged twice. When someone from ER requests any type of a transport a call is generated, which in turn generates a bill. All of this is done through the Kootenai County Emergency Medical System, not the CDA FD. Please know it is not the policy of the CDA FD to do anything but deliver superior customer service at all times. We will continue to help Mr. Hague in a resolution to this issue.

Fire Chief Kenny Gabriel

Huckleberries Best of Idaho Online — 9/25/07

This photo of the new Idaho NRA license plates are posted on Free In Idaho’s blog. It’s one of four new plates introduced in Idaho. As an extension of the theme, you can also read Free In Idaho’s post about “An Evening Hunt” here.

Spotlight: Dean Miller, former SR colleague turned Idaho Falls Post Register editor turned Nieman Fellow, contacted HBO to tout a two-part PBS Expose feature on his newspaper’s award-winning investigative coverage of alleged pedophilia by local Boy Scout leaders, beginning tomorrow night. More here.

1. Idaho Senator Larry Craig has a critical court appearance set for tomorrow in Minnesota - as he tries to get his guilty plea to disorderly conduct reversed. Craig says he will not make an appearance at the hearing in that Minnesota courtroom tomorrow/KTVB here.

2. Picture this: Young twin brothers grow up next to a California freeway and spend their leisure time watching CHiPS, a TV show about the adventures of motorcycle cops. They make guns from Lego blocks and wood scraps, and tear around on tricycles. Fast forward a couple of decades: They’re still at it, but now it’s for real/Cass Friedman, Twin Falls Times News here.

3. Online Poll: A plurality of 47% of 622 respondents to a Lewiston Tribune poll say: Sen. Larry Craig’s “waffling is disgraceful and he should quit by the end of the month.”

4. News Roundup: Post Falls man dies in train crash/Coeur d’Alene Press; Idaho 4th- and 8th-graders outperform nation/Idaho Statesman; Ex-Boise mayor Coles speaks about City Hall scandal/KTVB; Treasure Valley commute time almost that of Las Vegas, Seattle/Twin Falls Times-News; and Otter moves energy office to direct oversight/Twin Falls Times-News.

5. Blogosphere: No. 2 in Idaho, but why? Adam’s Blog; Craig: The nature of the offense/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press; Idaho NRA vehicle plates/Free In Idaho; Wesley Clark endorses LaRocco/Mountain Goat Report; and It’s all Latin to me/The Political Game.

6. IMHO-Idaho: Craig seeks what he doesn’t support/Adam Cohen, New York Times; Bringing hazing into open/Savannah Cummings, UI Argonaut; New numbers ratchet up anti-wolf rhetoric, Kevin Richert/Idaho Statesman; Pre-K shouldn’t fall prey to legislative feud/Idaho Statesman; and Family values shot to hell/T.J. Tranchell, UI Argonaut.

Alice’s Garden Spot: Cover Garden, Plant Garlic

Autumn is a second spring
when every leaf is a flower

Albert Camus

Now that Autumn has officially arrived and the days are getting shorter, can our first frosts be far behind? Some of you may have already been “visited”. At my place, temperatures have gotten down into the mid to high 30’s several times, but no frost yet. To buy time, and take advantage of the usual few warm weeks of Indian Summer, it pays to try to cover and save your tender veggies from those “icy fingers”. I have my sheet blankets at the ready to quickly throw over my tomatoes and summer squash. It is important to trap the warmer daytime air underneath to protect your plants. Then remove the covers when the temps rise above freezing the next day. You may use anything you have for covers: sheets, tarps, plastic, or even several thicknesses of newspaper opened at the center fold. You need to keep the frost from actually touching the vegetable or else it “burns” it. Last year, I had a scare of 34 degrees on September 15th, but my first frost waited until October 9th to come my way. My killing freeze, where everything turns black and is frozen solid, didn’t arrive until the night of October 29/30th. So I had almost three weeks between the two. I feel our first frost is going to be earlier this year. Are you ready for it?/Alice Rankin, Alice’s Garden Spot.

Full post here

DFO: If anyone has a question for Alice re: your fall garden, don’t hesitate to post it here.

Dick Haugen To Interview Keck, Editor Smith

From radio buddy Dick Haugen: “A couple of heads-up for “On the Road” with Dick Haugen on 1510 KGA. Today, we’ll talk about the petition drive to save the old Post Falls City Hall. At 11:05 am, we’ll talk to City Administrator Eric Keck. Then @ 11:35a we’ll talk to Bob Templin. Should be interesting. BTW, on Friday (9/28) a full hour with S-R Editor Steve Smith. We’ll cover it all … changing roles at the S-R, blogs etc. Call in questions always … toll free from North Idaho 866-568-1510.

KootCo Commish Might Dissolve Merit Board

Item: Review panel’s role in jeopardy: Deputies’ appeals process may change/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

More Info: A citizen board that reviews the suspension and firing of sheriff’s deputies is upset that the Kootenai County Commission might forgo the volunteer board in favor of a paid hearing officer. The county commission is considering the change on the recommendation of its insurance company, saying it’s a way to reduce the county’s chances of getting sued. Kootenai County is the only Idaho county insured by Idaho Counties Risk Management Program that has a three-member volunteer Merit Commission.

Question: Would you prefer a merit commissioner or a hearing examiner to review firings and suspensions of sheriff’s deputies?

Breaking! Post Falls Teen Stabbed This AM

A Post Falls teenager was stabbed early this morning near Poleline Avenue and Mackenzie Drive as he walked home. The 18-year-old man said that a dark colored Honda pulled up beside him and then a person inside jumped out and attacked him with a knife. According to a Post Falls Police release, that suspect is unknown, but the victim said the attack may have been related to a dispute with his ex-girlfriend. The victim was treated at Kootenai Medical Center for a four-inch cut to the arm and then released. Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call Post Falls Police at (208) 773-3517.

Wondering: Doesn’t Term CAVE Violate Blog Rules?

re: Des Moines Register blog rule against “Derogatory phrases to define a group of people.

Wondering: DFO, can you stick to the one about “derogatory phrases” concerning groups? Your CAVE reference is a classic example. It brushes anyone who wants the city and county to follow the law with the same brush. I find it a dangerous term as it intimitates people from speaking out in their own name. It creates prejudice and its a harmful label. Now you know how I really feel.

DFO: Wondering brings up an interesting point. CAVE — or Citizens Against Virtually Everything — definitely marginalizes a group of individuals, led by council candidate Dan Gookin, who opposes the Lake City Development Corp, certain aspects of the Kroc Center, and some library funding. It’s not a new term. It’s not a new term. It’s in general use among those who oppose the agenda of Gookin & Co. In this instance, I’d say it’s descriptive of the ringleaders. I’d hate to muzzle legitimate criticism of a high-profile group with a public agenda to win council seats. Mebbe they wouldn’t have the name if they’d change their ways. BTW, this is a guideline from the Des Moines Register. Not a current guideline for this blog.

Question: What do you think?

Kendramama: Point Of Clarification

Not that this has anything to do with any of the previous posts, but I just read the print edition of the Spokesman, and while I want to thank DHO for getting the word out there about my blog (like he said, a voice like mine is one that really just isn’t heard from that often), I also need to clarify something. I am not, and never ever have been, a “meth mom”. This may seem like splitting hairs to some, but to me it is a very important point. My one and only child is only five months old, and I have been clean from ALL mind altering substances for almost three years. I would like to think that in my previous life as a practicing addict, had I become pregnant I would have immediately cleaned up my act. I’ve always felt very strongly about drug use around children, let alone the horror of crack babies and the like. However, it’s a moot point, since I was never seen fit to be blessed with a child until well into recovery. Just wanted to get that clear. :)


Ramirez: Stature

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s business Daily

Parting Shot — 9/24/07

The Live Love Laugh Hope blog continues to provide updates on the recuperation of Sandpoint soldier Brandon Adam from his life-threatening injuries in Iraq. Here, he’s adjusting to his new legs.

Slight Detour: Why Can’t Sandpointers Get Along?

Full post here

With all due respect for Joy, I’d like to see the All-Bonner County Rock Fight become a moot point in Sandpoint. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could finally agree that fighting over a piece of necessary progress so that we and all the other swarms of people we’ve invited here could get along a little better is just not worth it–-and move on–through town with ease. I never liked all the industrial expansion that gradually stole away all our beautiful farm fields and our rural way of life over there west of the airport, but I was also realistic enough to know that it was inevitable. I view the Byway the same way. If we could put all the energy that’s been devoted to fighting about the Byway over the five or so decades into more productive issues, think of what we could do to enhance our lives here/Marianne Love/Slight Detour.

Question: Which North Idaho community is most contentious?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 9/24/07

Michael Moore/AP Photo/The Keene Sentinel

A .45 caliber pistol and ammunition are slung around the waist of John Byrnes, of Keene, N.H., during a GOP fund-raiser at the Cheshire County Fish and Game Club in Sullivan, N.H., Sunday. A billboard advertising presidential candidate Tom Tancredo, who took part in the event, is in the background. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Hearing John was retiring after one last shot from a cannon to help the fundraiser, Tom Tancredo was sad, saying “It’ll be hard to replace a man of your caliber” — JohnA.

2. Next time them there Romney folks come to draw a mustache on our billboard, we’ll be a ready and waitin’ — Cabbage Boy.

3. “Yup, I’m using my second amendment rights to keep our borders safe. Ya gotta keep those durn Maine people on their side of the border, or they’ll take our jobs!” — A Token D.

HM: Daug Gone

Another Don Sausser Sunset …

Don Sausser/Special for Huckleberries Online

… from Saturday night, after the small storm

Vox Box: Sorry, No Car For You

Originally posted at Vox Box

108 Chinese cities go a day every year when no one is to use their cars. Their goal is to help reduce pollution here. Great idea I think, but living on a rather large hill, I would have a problem with it… maybe because I don’t have a bike… But what do you think?

Question: Could you survive the madness? Would you just stay home all day? How would you feel if our city started this “tradition”?

Question: Do You Watch Stewart’s “Daily Show”?

Full post here

What interests me is the apparent requirement to appear on the Daily Show as part of the promotional tour. Just in the past couple of weeks Jon Stewart hosted both Alan Greenspan and former President Bill Clinton. Pretty impressive guest list for a show known for its satirical take on the news and sophomoric humor. It must be a requirement cooked up by the publishers who don’t realize Stewart’s audience is most unlikely to read a book by the likes of a Greenspan. Often times, however, Stewart has read them. His questions are too penetrating to have come from staff notes. That’s why I enjoy watching him. He also has the ability to cajole his sometimes stuffy guests into showing a human side/Dogwalk Musings here.

Question: On a scale of 1-to-10 (with one being “never watch” and 10 being “wouldn’t miss it — ever”), how would you rate yourself as a viewer of Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show”?

Huckleberries Best of Idaho Online — 9/24/07

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Members of the Marine Corps League, including former Black Sheep pilot Garth Haddock, right, listen to the opening prayer of the dedication ceremony to rename the airstrip at the Coeur d’Alene Airport as Pappy Boyington Field Saturday. A large crowd gathered for the ceremony at the airport here.

Spotlight: The Idaho Statesman has launched its interactive comments feature — and is getting a real earful re: the question: “Is Idaho ready to forgive Larry Craig?” here.

1. Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press, Idaho’s political observer emeritus (even though he now lives in Oregon), breaks down the right and wrong approach that media have taken to Larry Craig’s current situation and hints of impropriety in the past here. Meanwhile, Gary Graham’s News Diary discusses an Idaho Press Club discussion of the Craig coverage here.

2. Whomever Gov. Butch Otter names as Sen. Larry Craig’s successor should be a consensus builder willing to reach across the aisle, several veteran Idaho politicians and political observers say. It won’t hurt to be steeped in the issues of federal land management, either here.

3. Online Poll: 88% of 911 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say they’d prefer that cable and satellite TV viewers by allowed to select channels a la carte rather than bundled together, as is the current practice.

4. News Roundup: Sunshine Mine work moves ahead/Spokesman-Review; Buyers pony up for Owyhee County horses/Spokesman-Review; Indictment: Woman barraged boy w/inappropriate messages/KTVB; Another new Idaho license plate hits street/KTVB; and UI plans to attract grad students w/bigger stipends/Twin Falls Times-News.

5. Blogosphere: Adam’s Blog, Where’s Obama? Clayton Cramer, John Edwards’ two Americas; Free In Idaho, Giuliani at the NRA; Rob’s Idaho Perspective, Autumn in central Idaho; and Mountain Goat Report, Elk remains attracting grizzlies.

6. IMHO-Idaho: Bill Hall/Lewiston Tribune, Only burritos, lawyers run on time; Jim Fisher/Lewiston Tribune, Homeowner exemption a gift that keeps giving; and Idaho Statesman, One powerful voice can reshape salmon debate.

Question: Wild Cats

Taryn’s video and voice over below

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Item: Kootenai County crawling with wild cats: Coeur d’Alene mayor admits she has no solution to problem/Taryn Hecker, Spokesman-Review

More Info: There has been nowhere for Kootenai County residents to drop off stray or unwanted cats since the Coeur d’Alene Animal Shelter closed in February. Animal advocates say the county is crawling with thousands of stray and castoff cats, which mate at rabbit-like speed for an increasing population of wild cats.

Question: Are you having trouble keeping wild cats out of your yard?

Online Poll: How Do You Feel About Craig Now?

How do you feel now about Sen. Larry Craig? — Lewiston Tribune.

*He’s one of Idaho’s finest public servants and should remain in office.
*He made a mistake but it’s not enough to force him out.
*I’ve always supported him in the past but I’ve lost all respect for him.
*I respect his efforts to clear his name, but he’ll be ineffective and it’s best that he step aside.
*His waffling is disgraceful and he should quit by the end of the month.

KevinR: Statesman Embraces Interactivity, Anonymity

Full post here

But I think we all realize the emerging online debate plays by a different set of rules — including one that invites anonymity. As someone who has to stand behind every word in my blog (and yes, even in “unsigned” editorials, which reflect a six-member editorial board), I’m a bit conflicted by anonymous comments. But it’s part of the online medium. Newspapers can either take part in the discussion or sit on the sidelines. That second option is not an option at all. Local newspapers have a unique niche to fill as facilitators of this discussion. We’re invested in this community. We have been leading a community discussion, through editorial pages, for decades. No disrespect to the citizen bloggers, but as an institution, local newspapers can bring resources to bear to facilitate an online community discussion. The citizen bloggers have an important role to play, and so do local newspapers. And local newspapers’ future hinges, in large measure, on how we build our role in a changing and complex multimedia world. How we handle online comments is but one piece of this process. I look forward to your comments — no names required/Opinion Editor Kevin Richert/Idaho Statesman.

DFO: Kevin has worked his way through a debate that the SR Editorial Board had several times — the role of anonymity in the emerging newspaper cyber world. He’s come to the correct conclusion. To harness the new interactive online energy, you have to allow the anonymity that most newspapers don’t allow on their letters to the editor page. Now, it’ll be interesting to see how long it’ll take him to reign in the trolls that anonymity attracts.

ThomG: I’m Diggin’ Brave New HBO Video World

HBO commenter Thom Georg sez hello via video from the Lolo National Forest.

Sweet Herb: Total Political Control Isn’t Healthy

Sweet Herb: I will add, (other than my separatist tendencies) that no political body is healthy, while controlled absolutely by one political party. When I lived in Western Washington, it was a total control by Democrats. That wasn’t and isn’t healthy. Neither is the total control of Idaho’s legislature. Balance is the key. When one or the other control legislation, the extreme of either parties take control. Pretty near everyone knows that about 40% of the people in this country are Republican, and about 40% of the people are Democrats. The other 20% controls national elections. The middle, those people that still focus on issues, actually control the outcome … Or if a charismatic candidate shows up, controls the slide into the abyss.

DFO: I realized while walking over the weekend that I’m almost equally repulsed by Republicans as I am by Democrats. In Independent circles, that’d be called political growth.

Ramirez: Remembering Other “Victims” Of 9/11

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Vets Welcome Pappy Boyington Back To CDA Airport

Jesse Tinsley Photos/Spokesman-Review

People attending the renaming ceremony at the Coeur d’Alene Airport got to look at two Marine Harrier jets, which flew in for the occasion Saturday. The airport received the name Pappy Boyington Field Saturday.

Greg Boyington, Jr., in the red cap, sits with his family and listens to the the dedication ceremony to rename the airstrip at the Coeur d’Alene Airport as Pappy Boyington Field Saturday. A large crowd gathered for the ceremony at the airport.

Marine veteran Rick Seward, standing, smiles at former Marine pilot Garth Haddock, seated, before the dedication ceremony. Haddock flew with the Black Sheep squadron in WWII. A large crowd gathered for the ceremony at the airport.

World War II Marine Corps fighter ace Gregory “Pappy” Boyington got his due on Saturday when the Coeur d’Alene Airport was officially dedicated as Coeur d’Alene Airport/Pappy Boyington Field. Hundreds of people, including a strong contingent of military veterans, gathered along the tarmac at the western edge of the Kootenai County-owned airport for an afternoon ceremony that paid homage to the late Boyington, a North Idaho native, and all veterans.

1st Video Response To HBO From Comments Section

You can’t imagine my surprise when I opened the comments section this p.m. and discovered my kids hanging out there. Above, you’ll meet my sweet daughter-in-law, SRAO … who answers the question posted below: “Have you ever owned a horse?”

Wild Horse Sale Today @ KootCo Fairgrounds

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Rusty Palmer of Post Falls checks out the wild horses up for auction at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds Friday during a preview of Saturday’s auction of wild horses gathered from Bureau of Land Management land. The horses will be auctioned and those that aren’t will be offered for free adoption Sunday here.

Question: Have you ever owned a horse? Tell us about it.

Supermodel, 13, Causing Waves On Runways

Item: How young is too young for girls to model? World’s first supermodel worries what could befall 13-year-old Australian/Mike Celizik, iVillage

More Info: Maddison (Gabriel) turned 13 on Sunday; she was still 12 when she was chosen as the “face” and official ambassador of the Gold Coast Fashion Week in Australia. At 5 feet 7 inches, the blue-eyed girl has the looks and the moves to model clothing — some of it provocative — designed for women two and three times her age.

Question: Is 13 too young to be a model?

I Should Be The One Who Sez Thanks, TTexan

Transplanted Texan: Dave, I just want to say thank you. For showing me a small rope or two when I was in high school, for the great print columns, for your earnestness and sincerity in all you do whether I/we agree with or not, and for the blog that keeps me in touch with ID whilst I’m in NH, thank you. You provide a very real service and it is so appreciated, at least by this one. I read Daily Kos, I post on the front page of MyDD, I read a number of NOLA blogs, but above all, yours is my number one, even when I’m too busy to comment. Thank you for mattering to CDA, and to me.

DFO: I deeply appreciated these kind words from Transplanted Texan. But that isn’t the reason I posted them out front. They provide a launching pad to express something I’ve been thinking about for quite awhile. Not only does this blog provide a chance to promote my friends and colleagues at the SR — and to let you know about some of the fine journalists throughout Idaho — but it allows me to herald your writing achievements through your blogs and the comments section. I enjoy highlighting your work out front. And interacting with you throughout the day, in discussing weighty matters and just fooling around. I’m absolutely thrilled that this cyber spot has attracted such an array of quality individuals, stretching all the way back to Cis Gors in the beginning to my newby cyber friend Kendramama now. I celebrate your blogiversaries along with you b/c I know how hard it is to keep posting — and I hope that HBO has had a small part in encouraging you to keep going. I’ve said before — the interaction with you has changed me in a significant way. I know that ideas, politics and religion are important. But people are more important. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your lives.

Parting Shot — 9/21/07

Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns

Of “Sunset At Priest,” Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns writes: “I remember holding my breath shooting this picture.” I understand why.

A Live Video Chat w/DFO

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

I’m going to close this week by moving my first office video to the top of the TGIF thread. You can expect to see more of these in the days ahead. I’ve already asked some of my colleagues in the Idaho newsroom if they’d mind making videos that I can use to promote or explain stories. You’ll be seeing them crop up here, too.

Today’s Number: 102,788

Huckleberries Online was brought to you today by the Number: 102,788. Or the number of views that SR columnist Doug Clark’s parody video of the Larry Craig scandal, “Tap Three Times,” has received on YouTube. Or Clark and his Trailer Park Girls obviously have a hit on their hands here.

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 9/21/07

Ernest Coleman/AP Photo/The Enquirer

Wiener dogs take part in the John Morrell “Running of the Wieners” at Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati Thursday as part of a kick off event for this weekend Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. An now, by special announcement from the offices of Gov. Butch Otter, the four weinerdog brothers have been added to the list to fill Larry Craig’s shoes — Daug Gone.

2. Numerous CAVE people showed up, mistaking the event as the “Running of the Whiners” — JohnA.

3. At the Michael Vick Barbecue the loser is served with mustard and onions — ThomG.

HM: Brent Andrews

In The News: Giants To Cut Bonds Loose In ‘08

Eric Risberg/AP Photo

San Francisco Giants’ Barry Bonds waves goodbye to the fans at AT&T Park after making his final at-bat in the sixth inning of their baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in San Francisco, in this Oct. 1, 2006 file photo. Bonds was told by the San Francisco Giants that he won’t play for them in 2008, he said on his Web site today.

Question: Will Bonds be remembered as a Hall of Fame player? Or as someone who cheated in an era of baseball cheaters to set the lifetime HR mark?

Do Not Call List To Expire Soon

Item: Do Not Call list to expire/Associated Press

More Info: The cherished dinner hour void of telemarketers could vanish next year for millions of people when phone numbers begin dropping off the national Do Not Call list. The Federal Trade Commission, which oversees the list, says there is a simple fix. But some lawmakers think it is a hassle to expect people to re-register their phone numbers every five years.

Question: Are you on the federal or state Do Not Call list?

Separated @ Birth: Brad Dugdale & Charlie Nipp?

SR File Photos

Brad Dugdale (left) and Charlie Nipp

Eye On Boise: Craig Prosecutors Go Into Detail

Full story by Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise here.

Not only did Minnesota prosecutors file objections yesterday to the ACLU of Minnesota’s brief in support of Sen. Larry Craig, they also went into great detail about the restroom sex solicitation sting that ensnared the senator and exactly what he’s accused of doing. The sting, which nabbed about 40 men in a four-month period in an airport men’s room, included plenty of other cases where suspects followed “the very same pattern of conduct,” then engaged in sex acts on the spot, the prosecutors wrote. Because of that, they contended, and because the venue was a busy international airport, the ACLU’s argument that signals under a stall wall could be an invitation for private sex elsewhere, and thus constitutionally protected, are “simply absurd”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise

Question: The ACLU obviously believes that Craig was the victim of an unconstitutional sex sting operation. Do you think Craig was a victim?

It’s My 2 Cents — Civility Revisited

I received the following message from a long-time blogosphere friend this week: “Dunno how talking smack about some of our favorite Press bloggers is consistent with the New Rules of the Convenant (commonly referred to as WWSD). Know that I am not calling on you to clean this up, too, but rather wondering with you, if fueling the fire with the ex-pats is consistent with the new watchword at HBO.” The note arrived at a time when I was wondering about this, too.

I’m delighted with the new civility that has taken hold at Huckleberries Online (although, I know, a handful of you aren’t). As this blog expands into other parts of Idaho, I feel that mini-flames, name-calling and one-upping one another is inconsistent with what I want to do here. I’ve deleted some posts. But not many. I appreciate that you’re all trying to live by the new rules. It’s hard to extend that civility to the Brand X bloggers who constantly criticize the SR/DFO/HBO/HBOers regularly. Some of them were driven off here during the flame wars of old. They retaliated by reforming at the Press and devoting themselves to venting against us. Most of them were valuable contributors here before they left. I’m responsible for allowing the environment that drove them off. Whether or not they ever come back, I’m responsible for setting the tone toward them here. I’m going to try my darndest to address Brand X bloggers, only if they make the news or are in the news — like Spencer and Dan Gookin. I’m also going to ride shotgun over comments about them. If any of them return, they will be welcomed and protected from nasty comments here. I’m not saying that HBOers can’t post about the Brand X bloggers in the comments threads. I’m simply saying that I’m not going to be part of the fun — and I’ll reign in things about the Brand X posters, if I feel they’re out of line.

BTW, I’ve gotten enough feedback from the rank-and-file posters and blurkers to be convinced that most of you enjoy this new civility.


HBO Poll: Ugly Buildings

I decided to go with a different poll today than the one I was leaning toward (best HBO pseudonym). Today’s poll question asks: Which is the ugliest new building in Coeur d’Alene:

1. Parkside (20-story Monte Miller/Dick Stauffer building on Sherman, between 6th & 7th)
2. The Lofts (7-story Mike Dodge building on Sherman, between 6th & 7th)
3. The Terraces (Duane Hagadone condos on East Lakeshore Drive)
4. Coeur d’Alene Press print building (windowless building on 2nd street)
5. RiverView Tower (5-story Charlie Nipp/Steve Meyer combination building by Days Inn on NW Boulevard)

Thursday Poll: By 181-141 (with a lot of ballot stuffing), you HBOers said that Councilwoman Dixie Reid doesn’t have the right to make statements about City Council candidates during a council meeting.

KevinR: Now They’re eBaying Craig Toilet Paper

Full post by Kevin Richert here

In the eBay economy, it seems, everything is up for bid. Including toilet paper which, according to its sellers, came from the infamous Larry Craig stall at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. Which all goes to prove three immutable truths. 1. Never underestimate the free market’s never-ending power to match demand with supply. 2. Never underestimate the power of the Craig story — which, as if weighted with concrete blocks, can always manage to sink a foot or two lower. 3. If P.T. Barnum were alive today, he’d be hawking junk on eBay/Opinion Editor Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman.

DFO: You’ve gotta be kidding me.

Question: What’s the most worthless thing you’ve purchased at a yard sale, auction or online?

KeithE: CAVErs Will Fail Miserably

Keith Erickson: Dave, thanks for the council report. Very interesting. I always try and catch it on Woody TV, but missed this one. Doesn’t it make you miss the old days when you covered city hall? That beat will be a lot of fun in the weeks ahead, for the reporters who get to cover it and all of us interested in the election. My prediction (I know, it’s an easy one) the CAVE people will fail miserably.

DFO: I agree that the incumbents should win easily. Formula: name recognition + quality service + time in community = re-election. Susie Snedaker might have a shot at Dixie’s seat b/c she’s run before. But P&Z Chairman John Bruning will be formidable in a five-way race b/c he’s well respected and will have gale-wind support of the rest of the council. On the other hand, Mary Souza will return from Europe to cheer-lead for the anti-LCDC challengers named by Dixie Reid Tuesday. The CDA Press will be on their side, too. They’ll attract some votes and move their agenda to neuter LCDC ahead a little. Saying that, I agree with you that Oliveria and Erickson should mount up again to cover one last council race. That’d be fun.

Huckleberries Gone Wireless w/Ruth Pratt

Text of complete interview here

Don Sausser/Special for Huckleberries Online

Centenarian Ace Walden and Library Foundation Director Ruth Pratt check out the new Coeur d’Alene Library Monday, Sept. 10.

DFO: What kind of rumors were out there about the library before and even after it was built and opened, and did they amuse you?

Ruth Pratt: My favorite was the one that suggested we built the library in that location so it would be close to Sandi Bloem’s jewelry store. We found that quite amusing. We were looking for some great deals on jewelry. But that didn’t happen.

DFO: Given the favorable reaction to the new library, do you think anyone would be foolish enough to try to make it a negative city council campaign issue?

Ruth Pratt: There are always people foolish enough.

You can find the print version of this interview in the TGIF Handle section.

Wild Card/Thursday — 9/20/07

I spent quite a bit of time today trying to learn the procedure for posting personal messages to you via my Mac laptop. I’ll try to post my first message tomorrow — something 30 to 60 seconds long with a simple message. It doesn’t look that hard. But the video from certain angles sure can make you look bad. I’ll have to experiment with angles. Meanwhile, Taryn was working on a video piece about feral cats. So, you can see, the SR is beginning to move to the next level in this new world of journalism. Until we do, however, the rules for the Wild Card remain the same …

ThomG’s Need For Speed Ends Poorly

Full post here

Or not. I got a speeding ticket last week, on the way home from a fly fishing trip on the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River. The worst part about it isn’t the $75.00 I have to shell out to pay it, it isn’t even the rinky-dink, Mayberry RFD style speed trap the Shoshone Sheriff recently set up on a 1 mile stretch of River Road. It’s the fact that muy wife was with me. Two things are constants in my life: 1- My wife never goes fishing with me. Not ever. Not once in my life. (until last Sunday) 2- My wife tells me to slow down every time we are in the car together/Thom George, Perspectives.

DFO: Put your hands together for Thom George, the long-time HBO poster who’s now posting again at his newby blog, Perspectives.

Question: What is a “constant” in your life?

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs

Sam The Reporter and the lovely Mrs. T on their first anniversary here.

*”I just got back to New Hampshire from my brief ‘summer break’ home in North Idaho,” posts the Wayward Episcopalian. “I must say, over the past few months I’ve come to realize just how much I prefer the Inland Northwest to New England” here.

*Idaho Escapee is a little under the weather so he took Beatle John Lennon’s suggestion and spent time reshuffling The Beatles here.

*Toadman/Synaptic Disunion found some interesting people on Spokane transit buses after the family’s one and only car tried to give up the ghost here.

HBO Blog Numbers (for Wednesday, Sept. 19): 8160 page-views and 4569 unique views.

Meanwhile, Inland Empire Girl explains why she loves sedum here, Kellogg Bloggin’ provides three more beautiful things here, Marmitetoasty provides text and photos of her trip to the states here

APhoto of the Day — 9/20/07

AP Photo

Tampa Bay Devil Rays rookie players, from left, Justin Ruggiano and Jeff Ridgway, clubhouse attendant Jamie Greene and player Josh Wilson pose in Hooters hot pants, part of a traditional rookie hazing ritual, as the team prepares to leave Angel Stadium after their baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. DFO mistakenly posts tomorrow’s “The Way We Were” submission from the office of Larry Craig — Sider.

2. The ACLU’s “dream team” of defense attorneys met with Larry Craig’s staff yesterday for a strategy session — Brent Andrews.

3. Idahoans for Larry Craig attempt to educate others on wide stances and communicating through hand gestures at a recent rally — MamaJD.

HM: Kevin Taylor

Sightem …

… in the men’s restroom in Bayview — a hand-printed sign that sez: “No senators allowed.”

34 Miles To CDA In Under 30 Seconds

the Flash Player to see this player.

Blog Tech Joe Barrentine made the following video today after his drive from the Death Star in Spokane to CDA.

Question: Was She Too Sexy To Fly?

Full Vox Box post here

Earlier this month, 23-year-old Kyla Ebbert came forward to the media to tell her tale of being thrown off a Southwest Airlines flight due to her outfit being too skimpy.
Ebbert was flying from Southern Cali to Tuscon for a doctor appointment. She has made several TV appearances showing off her outfit, which you can judge for yourself here and hear her tell her tale of woe:

Kyla was asked to cover up before she was allowed back on the plane, and says she was humuliated. She hasn’t decided if she will sue. Some are screaming she was harassed—her mommy sure isn’t pleased…

Question: What do you think?

Strange Bedfellows: Craig & ACLU — Trib

Full editorial here

You know who is responsible for all this Larry Craig folderol? Liberals. All would be well if not for a bunch of left-wing conspirators out to destroy the American way of life. If you’re conservative, and you can’t find a liberal to pin this on, you’re just not looking hard enough. Round up the usual suspects. Start with the press. Liberal journalists are supposedly out to get Idaho’s senior senator for pleading guilty to disorderly conduct in an airport men’s room. They gave Bill Clinton a pass for his sexual shenanigans but regard Craig as the spawn of Satan. This argument makes sense - if you live in an alternate universe. The press gave Clinton a pass? Oh, brother/Tom Henderson, Lewiston Tribune.

Vox Box: Measure Your Enviro Awareness

American Public Media has unveiled a free online game called “Consumer Consequences.” The interactive game let’s you see the “environmental consequences” of our lifestyles on Earth. Click here to play.

Players’ scores are based on the number of “Earths” it would take to support their lifestyles. Thanks to my SUV, it would take about 3.4 Earths to sustain my evil ways.

Unless you grow your own food, never throw anything away, and don’t use heat, you are probably doomed to lose the game. I’m told these carbon footprint games are all the same—propaganda to get everyone to feel guilty for not recycling and buying new things.

But it’s still fun! Try it: How do you do?

KevinR: CC Trustees Still Have Final Say

Full post here

When voters said yes to a new community college in Southwest Idaho, affordable education was part of the sales pitch. Introductory-level courses for high school grads who cannot afford tuition at a four-year school. Work force training and professional-technical courses at a fraction of the price charged by the four-year colleges such as Boise State University. Keep that in mind. An interesting debate over community colleges looms — again — in the Legislature. The State Board of Education decided Wednesday to try to double the tuition cap for the state’s two-year schools, including the College of Western Idaho. The current cap is $1,250/Kevin Richert/Idaho Statesman.

Question: What message would you give to your legislator re: the proposal to double the tuition cap at the state’s community colleges?

CDA Schools Face Girls Sports Discrimination Charge

Item: Idaho Title IX case reopened: Coeur d’Alene School District accused of discriminating against girls in sports/Meghann M. Cuniff, Spokesman-Review

More Info: The complaint consists of three allegations: That the “interests and abilities” of girls aren’t given equal treatment, that coaching staffs are unequal and that the district failed to designate a Title IX coordinator.

Question: Do you think your school district treats boys sports and girls sports equally?

Question: Close Encounters w/Dangerous Wildlife

Item: Encounters with bears increase across region: Several spotted looking for food at Priest Lake/Rich Landers, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Despite pleas from wildlife managers to remove food sources that attract the animals, bears are in conflict with campers and cabin owners this month, from California through Montana. Huckleberries and other natural bear foods are in short supply in many areas, experts have warned. Garbage, pet food and unharvested fruit trees are the biggest problem, luring bears closer to people where the animals cause damage or safety concerns.

Question: Have you ever had a close encounter with a dangerous wild animal?

Noah: For A Good Time, Call 208 …

Noah Kroese/Special for Huckleberries Online

Related: We need to be proactive with new area code/Idaho Statesman

PDX Pup: Spirit Lake Can Only Wish It Was CDA

PDX Pup: Mr. Spencer, is this why you have to come over to Coeur d’Alene to meddle in their government affairs? Spirit Lake’s government is just too darn small for your brand of muckraking? I mean, since they don’t do things like build libraries or community centers for you know, THE BENEFIT OF THE COMMUNITY, especially since they can always just trot on over and use Coeur d’Alene’s first-class facilities? (Geez, I just had to delete a great little follow-up sentence because I think it goes against the rules of civility here. Dang rules. :p)

DFO: You make a great point, Pup. I don’t know why Spirit Lake Larry and Post Falls Macy are sticking their noses in CDA’s business. Last time I look, they probably pay taxes in 7 or 8 local districts that they could pester as a constituent, chief of which is Kootenai County. Spencer’s attacks on the Kroc Center are legendary. Macy gets credit for teaming up with Kathy Sims to knock down the popular local-option tax a few years ago. So, what happens. The Legislature closes the constitutional loophole and Kootenai County voters approve it again. In other words, these guys are not only out of step with county residents but they’re trying to mess things up in areas where they aren’t even constituents. Macy, in particular, was out of line when he used words like “ignorant,” “incompetent” and “criminal” to describe the actions of the Coeur d’Alene City Council. He deserved Dixie’s wrath. (BTW, Pup, I also struggle to keep it between the lines when I’m dealing with CAVE people.

AM Hucks: YouTube Fames Goes To Her Head

You knew that Councilwoman Dixie Reid wouldn’t ignore that YouTube slam forever – the one produced by council wannabe Dan Gookin this year. Reid and Councilman Mike Kennedy are edited during a council meeting to appear stern and/or unapproachable to the public. They were YouTubed after Reid lectured Gookin and fellow activist Larry Spencer for not paying attention in the audience during a youth drug presentation. On Tuesday, Reid attacked again. Seems she was fed up that the two gadflies hadn’t sat through a meeting on an important neighborhood planning issue. Earlier Tuesday night, Gookin, Spencer and other foes of CdA’s urban renewal district listened while Post Falls activist Tom Macy challenged CdA’s right to open the budget to include expenditures that were expected but not appropriated for the new library, Kroc Center, public safety and other large-ticket items. Macy, who along with Kathy Sims tried unsuccessfully to get Prosecutor Bill Douglas to investigate the complaint, used phrases like “completely ignorant,” “incompetence” and “criminal contempt” while beating this dead horse. Then, the council approved the bookkeeping maneuver on a 6-0 vote. Later, Reid thanked residents who’d stayed until 11 for the planning hearing in the ‘hood, including council wannabe John Bruning. Angry, Reid noted that Gookin and wannabes Susie Snedaker and Jerry Weaver hadn’t. She named them by name. Also, she ignored Councilman Ron Edinger’s friendly counsel to be cautious, stating she wasn’t seeking re-election. Then, she opined that Gookin & Co. were more interested in politics than key city issues. She ended by saying she’s going to enjoy the fall campaign. Stay tuned.

Hump Day Wild Card — 9/19/07

Doggone it, I didn’t get around to adding Thom George’s new blog to the North Idaho links, nor one for Stebbijo, whose celebrating the pending marriage of her lovely daughter. Also, I ran out of time to do Huckleberries Best of the Local Blogs this afternoon. I was tracking down the story for tomorrow’s Huckleberries print column re: the Dixie fireworks that went off at closing time at the City Council meeting. Sorry. Now, I have to get out of here. I’ll leave you this Wild Card to play until we meet again …

Napkin Notes: Dear Girl Doctor …

Full post here

Warning* The following post uses the words “cervix”, “naked”, and “origami.” Proceed at your own risk.

Considering that I already told you all about my disastrous pregnant home bikini waxing experience, my first parental sex talk, and the horrors of bathing suit shopping, it might surprise you to know that there are still a few things that I don’t feel are entirely appropriate fodder for my blog. Things like acerbic political mudslinging, breathless reports on the latest misadventures of Britney Spears, or detailed accounts of my annual woman’s health checkups, for instance. However/Katrina, Notes on a Napkin.

Question: On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being bad, how would you rate complete physical examinations?

APhoto of the Day — 9/19/07

Jae C. Hong, Pool

Marcia Clark, who was the chief prosecutor in O.J. Simpson’s murder trial, sits in a Clark County Justice courtroom during Simpson’s arraignment in Las Vegas this morning. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Exhibit A in this malpractice case, Your Honor: No responsible plastic surgeon should ever grant the patient’s request to look like Kathie Lee Gifford — MamaJD.

2. Showing three inches of cleavage, a bad facelift AND a bad bleach job, former prosecutor Marcia Clark arrived at O.J. Simpson’s hearing yesterday hoping some network - any network - would hire her as commentator — BackboneJones (w/help from Brent Andrews).

3. Marcia Clark waits in line to audition for FOX’s upcoming who wants to prosecute OJ” reality series — Nic.

HM: Average Joe

Craig’s Office: Business As Usual

Full news release here

The Japanese American Citizens League recognized Idaho Senator Larry Craig’s work to conserve the Minidoka National Historic Site. Craig stated, “During times of war, countries often make mistakes with the best of intentions. The treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II was a dark period in our history, and one we could repeat if future generations forget. Conserving the sites of the camps and establishing educational opportunities will help ensure we don’t repeat our past mistakes.” Craig and the rest of the Idaho Congressional Delegation are currently sponsoring legislation to expand the Minidoka National Historic Site to include Hermann Farm. The Farm is significant because it was originally part of the Camp and was part of a program to give land to veterans of World War II upon their return. As one of the few “Farm-In-A-Day” promotions, local community members turned the land from desert to a farm in one day by joining together and demonstrating the same American tenacity and ingenuity that won the War.

It’s My 2 Cents — Guilty Pleasures

I gotta admit that I watched the two-hour season premiere of “Beauty and the Geek” last night. Actually, I watched about 90 minutes of it b/c I took my evening stroll while the producers were airing an hour segment re: how they choose the contestants. I was captivated re: how dumb the beauties were. One potential contestant asked whether the moon and the sun were the same thing. One of the lucky 10 beauties listed Arkansas and Boston among the countries she was asked to list in alphabetical order. If anything, I determined that the beauties were more to be pitied than the geeks (although the geeks were to be pitied, too). I was doing some miscellaneous things in my home office, but I kept being drawn back to the set. For all the goose eggs the reality-TV producers lay, there’s a coupla of them that I find fascinating, chief among which is “Survivor.” I also wasted my share of time catching snippets from “Dancing with the Stars” last season — and that was before the gal won who’s related to KVNI’s old Bubblehead Bob Hough. Mebbe I’m fascinated that people are so hungry for money or publicity that they’re willing to be humiliated on TV as being a geek. Or a dumb beauty. Or a lousy dancer. Mebbe I’m experiencing a guilty pleasure b/c I realize I would never have the nerve to do what they’re doing.

Question: Do you have a favorite reality show?

HBO Poll: Should UI/WSU Rivalry Continue

On Sunday, colleague John Blanchette made a good argument why the college football series between the University of Idaho and Washington State University should continue here. On Saturday, the Vandals made a better argument by playing fiercely against their PAC-10 rival before turnovers and penalties finally did them in, 45-28. Idaho scored the first touchdown and was tied at 21 before WSU pulled away. Late in the game, the score was still only 38-28. The game marked the final scheduled one in the series. Many would like to see the series continue. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that UI won two straight games in the series.

HBO Poll Question: Would you like to see the series continue?

Huckleberries Best of Idaho Online — 9/19/07

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Skyway Elementary 3rd grader Braden Farrar worked his was through the second day of ISAT testing at the school in Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday. The state board cut the testing requirement for second graders and ditched the winter round of testing for grades 3-9 here.

1. Idahoans who own the homes in which they live will get up to a $100,938 tax exemption for 2008. The Idaho Tax Commission released the number Wednesday, though it won’t go into effect until next year. The rate is based on home values increasing around the state here.

2. The Idaho State Board of Education will meet Wednesday and is likely to approve proposed 2008 legislation, including a measure that would allow community colleges to double their tuition limit to $2,500 annually to cover the rising cost of education here.

3. Online Poll: 51% of 833 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say that U.S. Sen. Larry Craig shouldn’t have returned to the Senate Tuesday here.

4. News Roundup: Boise family may have been bitten by rabid bat here; Craig surprises Senate colleagues with return here; BLM OKs $23M to restore landscape charred by Murphy fire here; Spirit Lake looks forward to new bank here; and Private prisons possible in Idaho here.

5. Blogosphere: Free In Idaho, Idaho senators support amnesty; Adam’s Blog, Class warfare and firefighting; Mountain Goat Report, Sali vote, 9/18/07; IdaBlue, A shocker: Otter’s court pick; and Fort Boise, Huckabee’s the one.

6. IMHO-Idaho: Marty Trillhaase/Idaho Falls Post Register, (A grizzly food train; Tom Henderson/Lewiston Tribune, Hats off? Over my dead body; Idaho Statesman, Idaho needs to be proactive with new area code; Steve Crump/Twin Falls Times-News, Will you be 208? Or something else?; and Desire Aguirre/North Idaho College Sentinel, Age with style and grace.

Hucks Gone Wi-Fi w/Ruth Pratt Under Way …

… I’ve completed my Q&A interview with Ruth Pratt, the delightful Library Foundation executive director. You can read the uneditted version in its entirety at the start of today’s thread, in posts made at 8:06 and 8:07. Or by clicking here and here. I’ll edit it after lunch and repost the entire interview w/a Jesse Tinsley photo of Ruth, around 2-2:30 p.m. On Friday, I’ll compile a print version for Huckleberries Gone Wireless.

Arsonist To Go Free, Young Galpal Faces 20 Years

Item: Arson suspect agrees to plea deal: No statutory rape charges filed even though man admitted sexual affair with 16-year-old girlfriend/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: The 20-year-old man who admitted torching the Lake City Junior Academy might not spend a day in prison, but his underage girlfriend could spend 20 years there thanks to his testimony.

Question: Can anyone tell the Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office what’s wrong with this picture?

Trib: This, Mr. Sali, Is What Hate Crime Means

Full editorial here

If Rep. Bill Sali, R-Idaho, remains hazy about what constitutes a “hate crime,” he should check out a Lewiston police report from Sept. 12. A 13-year-old Indian girl received a bloody beating for questioning a group of people who were allegedly standing in front of an apartment complex and verbally abusing passersby while chanting “white power” and “white pride.” “What about native pride?” the girl reportedly asked. That was enough - according to the police - for the girl to get hit in the face. When the victim hit the ground, the attacker’s mother allegedly joined in. The police report says she literally kicked the victim when she was down. Meanwhile, half a dozen young men allegedly cheered for the attackers. And that, Congressman, is a textbook description of a hate crime/Tom Henderson, Lewiston Tribune.

Question: Do you have a problem with defining “hate crime”?

This Just In: “Help Me!”

Scanner Traffic: A few minutes ago, I dispatcher who was stifling back a laugh announced that the 911 center had received a desperate call from a 6-year-old who punctuated his distress with the words: “Help me!” Before the gendarmes rolled, however, his mother got on the phone and cancelled the call. Seems Junior simply didn’t want to go to school today.

Hat Tip: Kathy Plonka

Wondering: “Red Dave” Is Really Pinkish

Wondering: Red Dave, I’d rather have you where we neos can watch you. I admit you are not truly red, just sort of pinkish like a tomato riping on the vine. (I thought to add like a ripe tomato before it gets rotten, but you, my dear, you will never get to that point. Any friend of Alice Rankin is a keeper in North Idaho. Perhaps you are a neo in disquise, sort of like a spy. I think you may have learned these tricks while watching Bullwinkle. (suppose you are too young to remember him). Seriously, I think before I judge, I need to key into more of your national politics…not just local.

DFO: Wondering; easy key re: my politics: state Repubs = monolithic and arrogant; national Demos = don’t let them near the treasury or elect any of them to the presidency in time of crisis of war. national R’s = don’t share a public restroom with them.

Hucks AM: “Night of the Grizzlies” w/Happy Ending

First, you need to know that last month marked the 40th anniversary of the “Night of the Grizzlies.” The now-deceased Jack Olsen wrote a book by that name about the night in which two 19-year-old women were killed by two grizzlies in two locations at Glacier Park: Aug. 13, 1967. The story is known by everyone who has lived near Glacier Park, such as Ben and Mary Sue Haverman, now of Spokane Valley. And B.C. and Cammy Corpron, of Kalispell, Mont. And my northwest Montana-born and -raised sister-in-law, Lisa. A few weeks ago, the Havermans, Corprons and my brother Ray and Lisa’s family were camping at Priest Lake when they had their own close encounter with bears. Some were camped in a trailer. Some in a cabin. Some in a tent. The ones in the tent – Cammy Corpron’s three older children, ages 16 to 21 – were the ones who emerged from the weeklong camping trip with the best tale. Seems they’d stayed up to watch a lunar eclipse and were treated to an unexpected second feature attraction, introduced by sniffing and clawing. They didn’t realize that danger lurked nearby until a bear cub tore through the porch screen in the Havermans’ cabin to steal some chips and bear claws. Worse yet, the cub’s mother paced between the porch and the tent. All the three could do was sit and shake until the bears left. The Corpron children knew the mother bear was big. But they didn’t realize she was a grizzly until the two bears returned the next night, drawn by the bacon grease in a burn pit. The grizzlies were finally driven off by noise made by Ben Haverman. The outcome of this tale won’t inspire a book, like “Night of the Grizzlies.” But it does make for a happier ending.

Hucks Gone Wi-Fi w/Ruth Pratt

DFO: You’re probably one of the few high-profile people that I don’t know at all. Can you tell me when you got to Coeur d’Alene and why you came here?

Ruth Pratt: I arrived here on July 4, 2002. We built a house here in absentee. We were living in Bellingham, Wash. Whe came here because of kids and grandkids. Our son is Adam Olscamp. He’s an orthopedics surgeon. He had moved here with 2 of our grandchildren.

DFO: Isn’t your husband a retired university president?
RP: Yes, he is. That’s how we met. In 1975, he became the youngest president at Western Washington University, and I joined the faculty in communication disorders (speech therapy). We got married in 1978. Then, he left and became president at Bowling Green University in Ohio. So you can tell Don Sausser that his name is not Pratt. He’s done some interim presidencies since he retired from Bowling Green in 1995.

DFO: From the moment you arrived in Coeur d’Alene, it seems you’ve been involved with the library?
RP: I was looking for a way to meet people and get involved in the community, so I would feel comfortable here. Paul was doing an interim presidency in North Dakota. The whole first year he wasn’t here. I had a party and invited all my neighbors. One of my neighbors was Dr. Mary Sanderson. I told people I was looking for ways to get involved. So she said, why don’t you volunteer at the library foundation.

DFO: How easy is it to raise millions of dollars in a community that was also being tapped for millions of dollars by Kroc Center supporters?
RP: We actually were engaged in campaign for new library long before city got the Kroc grant. The foundation started in 1995 with the thought of raising money to build a new library. At that time there were no public funds to assist. It was a long process of sometimes two steps forward and five steps backward. Trying to keep energy sustained over long period of time. Get the political will to create public facility. So there was lots of lobbying. And then to educate the public re: importance of great library to the community. For many years, I felt I was selling a pig in a poke b/c I didn’t have anything more to sell than a vision.

DFO: How would you describe yourself?
RP: I’m pretty much the glass is half full kind of person. I have, from my mother, a sense of humor that gives me some much needed perspective on life and issues. I’m one of those people who could be called a pollyanna, when I was younger. I tend to be optimistic and to figure out that there are ways to get things done.

DFO: That pollyanna outlook must have helped when you encountered individuals who opposed the cost and location of the library?
RP: We tried to do it by continuing to stick to the positive message points re: what a great factor a library is for the community in terms that it’s an economic engine, an information resource, a community living room. In my opinion, libraries are the seminal symbol of a democratic society b/c there is access to everyone. No exclusion. It levels playing field.

DFO: Let’s switch gears. I’ve heard you sing twice now, at Riverstone. I thoroughly enjoy your Big Band voice. How did you get involved in singing?
RP: I started singing in high school. I did musicals concerts in high school and college. I sang with a combo to help pay my way through college. It’s always been my artistic outlet. I sang jazz standards before arriving here. Here, I got involved with Coeur d’Alene Big Band through Stan Schedler who plays trombone with that band. I’ve been singing with them for four years. I’ve recently started doing vocals for Tuxedo Junction Big Band b/c Ernie and Judy Carlson are retiring from the band at the end of the year. I started the trio with J.J. Dion and Ray Clemons last January. We’re doing a play for NIC booster cruise on Sept. 28.

DFO: What’s your favorite song to sing?
RP: That’s tough b/c I’m so eclectic in my musical tastes. That’s why we named the band, Eclectics. I enjoy all genres, although I’m not good at rap. Ella Fitzgerald is my idol. She’s the greatest female jazz vocalist. I sing a lot of Ella’s tunes.

DFO: If your life was made into a movie, who would play Ruth Pratt?
RP: Carol Burnett.

Question: What If Mother’s Ruled The World?

Full post here

Sally Field is the perfect example of a an actress without a script. It reminds me of some of our inexperienced local news people who don’t know how to ad lib when the camera is rolling. The statement and point Ms. Field was trying to make, though, was important, if misguided. “And, let’s face it, if the mothers ruled the war, there would be no (expletive) wars in the first place,” Field said. If you equate women with mothers the statement is blatantly untrue. Mother’s rule. Not always well; but none of us would be without them/Dogwalk Musings.

Question: How would the world be different, if mothers ruled?

Wild Card/Tuesday — 9/18/07

It’s a sign of general distrust of the media, I guess, that several people have asked me whether I truly wanted my new duties as a full-time blogger/columnist. Or whether I was demoted. Even my mother asked me that over the weekend. Now. Listen. Closely. My interest in the Editorial Page began to wane when we decided to eliminate signed editorials. I fought that move vigorously several years ago. Meanwhile, I started this blog and have been captivated by its immediacy and growing influence. With gale-wind support from Editor Steve Smith, more and more of my time has been shifted here. In a meeting with him earlier this month, he suggested that I leave the Editorial Board to concentrate of blogging and columnizing when I mentioned that I no longer had time to do things like the Huckleberries Gone Wireless Q&A on Fridays. The words were hardly out of his mouth, when I said: “Let’s do it.” He then left it up to me whether I wanted to keep doing “Hot Potatoes” on Thursdays. I decided not to do so b/c it really doesn’t fit in my new Huckleberries Only world. I’ve envied colleagues who had full-time column gigs. Now, I are one of them — and it’s hard to stop grinning. Now, for your Wild Card …

Vox Box: Nebraska Legislator Sues God

Democrat Says He’s Making A Point — Seeks Permanent Injunction Against Almighty

(AP) Nebraska State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha, a self-proclaimed agnostic who skips morning prayers during the legislative session and often criticizes Christians, said he filed the lawsuit to show that anybody can file a legal action against anybody for any reason. Story here

Yup. Chambers is asking a court to “order the Almighty and his followers to stop making terrorist threats.”

Check out the actual suit. The dude has a few points…

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 9/18/07

Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

Rory McDermott, 4, has a bandage on his left foot at his home in Vienna, Va.. The boy’s Croc-clad left foot was recently caught in an escalator. Crocs and other soft-soled shoes, such as flip-flops, can be prone to escalator entrapment. You write the cutline.


1. See ya later, escalator. After awhile, crocodile — Average Joe.

2. Although a shoe-in for success, little Rory doesn’t have a leg to stand on as the debate further escalates about what a croc his footware appears to be — John Austin.

3. What happens when you toe tap the wrong person at the airport — Daug Gone.

HM: Dick Haugen

Idaho D’s React To Supreme Court Appointment

“Gov. Butch Otter’s decision to appoint Joel Horton to the state Supreme Court means Idaho will be served by a well-respected jurist. However, it also means that the only perspective on the state Supreme Court will that of white men over 50. I find it hard to believe that of all Idaho’s lawyers and judges, Otter’s Republican administration could not find room for even a single woman or minority. And as you can see by Horton’s reference to ‘Saint Phil’ in his comments to the Associated Press, the Republican Good- ‘Ole Boy network has again installed one of their own. The next important Idaho appointment – to replace Sen. Larry Craig – is expected to be handed down very soon. Yet of all the potential replacements, only one is a woman; the rest are middle-aged white male. It is extremely troubling that this perspective is the only one that seems to matter to Idaho’s Republican leaders.”

Richard Stallings
Chairman, Idaho Democratic Party

Online Poll: Encountering A Grizzly

What would you do if you encountered a grizzly bear in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness? — Lewiston Tribune

*Head for the nearest tree.
*Shoot it.
*Nuke it with pepper spray.
*Play dead.
*Offer it a beer.
*Run over it with my ATV.
*Throw the bacon to my friend and run like hell.

IdaBlue: Stop The ACLU?

Thom George Photoshop

Everybody has jumped on this. Look for jokes on Leno and Letterman next. I guess the reason is that it has such a man bites dog aspect. I haven’t looked, but I’m sure if I did I could easily come up with quotes or video of Craig complaining about the ACLU. All of which makes me wonder, will Craig hold fast to the extreme conservatism he’s known for? Or will these experiences cause him to rethink some of his beliefs. Kind of reminds me of Sherman, the protagonist in Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities. He starts out as a “Master of the Universe,” and ends up pretty low, but does rethink and change his views along the way. Will toe tappin’ Larry do the same?/IdaBlue.

Katrina: What Determines Tone Of Blog?

So I guess the question is: Which element determines the tone of a blog — the variety of voices heard or the tenor of the loudest ones?

Katrina/Notes on a Napkin

Question: Anyone?

OrangeTV: Canton Still Best On A Good Day

Full post and best-Chinese restaurant poll here

Since taking over in 2005, the ever-smiling Alex Kim and his family have risen to that challenge and have generally succeeded.
I’ve said there aren’t any truly great Chinese places in town, but Canton probably comes the closest. When the food is great, it’s really great: fresh and light, tasty, good sized portions. The problem lies in the unfortunate fact that they just aren’t very consistent. I’ve never been served anything truly horrid here, but sometimes it’s just bland, or slightly off-tasting, or maybe it’s been simmering in the pot too long. You never what you’ll get from day to day and this can make the place seem a little iffy/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho.

DFO: Canton is a special place for my family. When the kids were home, it was the place they preferred. It was also the place where my son told me he had fallen in love with his future wife, Stephanie. I quit going there b/c it became a crap-shoot re: the food. After reading OrangeTV’s review, I might have to try it again.

Way We Were: No Coal Miner’s Daughter, Just Cis

Cis Gors explains “Way We Were” photo of her, published over the weekend here.

Question: Do you have a “Way We Were” photo of yourself that you want published at HBO. (DFO: I’ve turned a couple down b/c they were poor quality. I you send one in, please explain the who, what, when, why, where, etc.)

Otter Bypasses Women, North Idahoan to Pick Judge

Full story here

Gov. Butch Otter today appointed 4th District Judge Joel Horton to fill the Idaho Supreme Court vacancy left when Justice Linda Copple Trout stepped down Aug. 31. “It was a close and difficult call earlier this summer when I appointed Warren Jones to succeed Justice Gerald Schroeder on the Supreme Court. I was very pleased when the Judicial Council decided to advance Judge Horton’s name to me for this vacancy as well,” Otter said. “His insightful legal scholarship, keen intelligence, integrity and independence will make him a great asset to the court.” Horton, 47, is a Nampa native with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and a law degree from the University of Idaho. He will serve the remainder of Trout’s term, which expires in January 2009, and will stand for election in May 2008/Idaho Statesman.

DFO: Otter blew it. Symbolically, Idaho should have a woman on the high court, unless, of course, Joel Horton is head and shoulders above the two female finalists. If that be the case, I doubt that he’s head and shoulders above respected Coeur d’Alene attorney Ken Howard, who was the other finalist and a significant figure in the civil prosecution that brought down the Aryan Nations. A North Idaho representative on the high court would have been nice. I find solace in the fact that Horton is a UI grad.

Ad Victim Offers $1500 Reward for Mean Prankster

Item: Puppies, political views aren’t as advertised: Fake ads have business owner’s phones ringing/Taryn Hecker, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Patrick Rotchford, who owns a Coeur d’Alene window tinting company, can’t get bargain hunters to leave him alone after bogus ads appeared in the latest issue of Nickel’s Worth claiming he had cheap cars for sale and free puppies in need of homes. But that’s not all. Another prank ad describes his company, Tint Works, as a proud supporter of a group that promotes consensual sex between men and boys, as well as a civil rights organization and a liberal Internet site.

Update: Patrick Rotchford called a few minutes ago to say that he’s offering a $1,500 reward for information re: the individual who pulled this nasty prank against him.

HBO Poll (9/18/07) — Abbreviating Coeur d’Alene

I have an offbeat HBO Poll question for you today — one I’ve wondered about for awhile. I’ve gone back and forth for 23 years, trying to decide which abbreviation for Coeur d’Alene works best. I’ve used three different variations. There’s at least four that seem acceptable. I do have a favorite. But I want to know which variation appeals most. (Sorry, our software doesn’t allow apostrophes in the poll in the side rail.)

Monday Poll Results: 44% of the respondents to Monday’s poll say they would be more inclined to embrace an Evangelical church that supported environmentalism. 33% check off: “Who needs church?”

OfCoffee v. JBelle re: “Squaw”

News Is A Conversation discusses this issue today here

OfCoffee: The idea that squaw means vagina (to use the polite term) first found its way into print in a polemical 1973 book, Literature of the American Indian, by Thomas E. Sanders and Walter W. Peek. Sanders and Peek, without offering evidence, advanced the theory that squaw derived from the Mohawk word ojiskwa’ (sources vary on spelling), meaning vagina. This notion appealed to a certain mind-set and was circulated widely in the activist community. (Rest of post here)

JBelle: I just don’t see it as a political correctness issue. Our neighbors down in Worley don’t like this name because they believe it demeans their women. I know very little about it because this local area is not my ancestral homeland nor the hunting grounds of my people. If our neighbors don’t like it, I say let’s make change. Let’s move on. We have kids to educate, sick people to heal, roads to build and truth to be found. That’s gonna go so much smoother if we can all work together, respecting each other in the sincerest of manners. I have a good friend who has been a linguist with the Smithsonian for 20 years. We have enough collective history between us that I feel comfortable speaking for her. In a nanosecond, she would say this: change it. now.

DFO: I’m with both sides here. Political correctness, I believe, is part of this. I’m not certain that “squaw” meant “vagina” in the general American Indian population of old. But I know that it does today. Therefore, it’s a put-down to a significant segment of the U.S. today, including the three North Idaho Indian tribes, and should go, as a measure of respect, if nothing else.

AM Hucks: Who’s Got Soul And Library?

Some Coeur d’Loonians continue to second guess the cost and downtown location of the new library. But Opinion Editor Jim Fisher of the Lewiston Tribune doesn’t. He’s urging readers to drive to visit Lake City to see the tremendous effect the week-old library has had on the community. In an editorial Sunday, Fisher quotes CdA Mayor Sandi Bloem as saying of our library: “It is truly the soul of the community. It gives a sense of who we are today, and imagination for the future. And that’s what soul is: past, present and future.” The comment from Her Sandiness set up Fisher’s observation: “Lewiston remains short on both heart and soul after repeated attempts to finance a new library failed to meet the state’s admittedly stiff requirement of 66 percent approval for bond issues.” In 2004, Lewiston turned down a $3.5 million proposal for a library, although it received 61.4 percent support. Last year, a $4.5 million request received only 56.5 percent. By contrast, Coeur d’Alene combined a $3 million bond levy with urban renewal, city and private contributions to build its $6.6 million library. Fisher goes on to challenge the notion pushed by some in his community that “a building housing books is obsolete in today’s technological world,” noting that the CdA library has 60 computers and wireless access. He concludes: “To Lewiston’s naysayers who wonder why their cramped, parking-deprived miserable excuse for a library needs replacement, here’s a suggestion: Drive to Coeur d’Alene.” It’s nice to be envied for a new library building. Now, if only we had a Starbucks in our library …

HBO Open For Biz In 5 Minutes

Sorry for the late start, HBOers; I’m back to meeting with my padre Tuesday mornings. I’ll begin posting in 5 minutes.

Wild Card/Monday — 9/17/07

My wife and I ran into Councilwoman Dixie Reid and her husband, Tom, near Independence Point Friday night. I enjoyed exchanging pleasantries with Dixie. And I passed along my attagirl for all her years of service to the city of Coeur d’Alene. As I’ve said before, Dixie and I crossed swords at times, while I was a City Hall reporter and later when I was an opinion writer. But everything’s cool now. She has the same concerns I have for this community today. It’s going through some incredible, quality growth despite the best efforts of some to stop it. Whoever replaces her needs to have her vision for the community. Just a thought. Now, for your first Wild Card of the work week …

Butterfly Moment: 5 Ways To Tell 6YO Is Sick

1. He falls asleep on the couch in the principal’s office at school and sleeps through the lunch rush going down the hall.
2. You take him into the store to get some medicine and he doesn’t ask for a toy or candy or pop. Just for a bottle of water.
3. He doesn’t utter a peep the whole 25 minute drive home.
4. He lays on the couch watching old Tom and Jerry cartoons so quietly that you think he’s asleep.
5. His mommy can’t even appreciate the quiet because her baby is sick.

Jen/A Butterfly Moment

Question: Can you think of any others?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 9/17/07

Dawn Wendzel/AP Photo, Gull Meadow Farms

In this aerial photo provided by Gull Meadow Farms, a maze in a cornfield in the likeness of the nation’s 38th president, the late Gerald R. Ford, is seen recently at Gull Meadow Farms near Richland, Mich. A company that specializes in corn maze design drew up the plans for the Ford portrait, which says PRESIDENT FORD across the top and THANKS below. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. In the field nearby is a likeness of Dick Nixon, with the caption “Pardon me, Jerry” — John Austin.

2. Just as the photographer was snapping this picture, the helicopter pilot encountered some turbulence, causing the words “FOR NOTHING” to be omitted from the bottom of the shot — Kendramama.

3. Aliens thanked President Ford for being a true believer by stamping his image in a cornfield. “He believed in extraterrestrials and had an extra testicle,” they said in a press release — Brent Andrews.

HM: Mrs. Mac Energetic

Thom George: Local Public Art Lovers?

Thom George Photoshop/Special for Huckleberries Online

Thom George captures the essence of the new public-art heart in front of the Coeur d’Alene chamber building, framing a coupla local art lovers.

2nd Combatant In Old Rankin Fight Dies

From Marianne Love: “I just learned from his niece that Merle Parsley died Saturday night in Boise. For anyone who wishes to send cards, the address right now is Cloverdale Funeral Home, 1200 North Cloverdale Road, Boise, ID 83713. Merle taught next door to me for my first two years of teaching back in the early ‘70s. (Parsley, btw, is a former legislator who got into an infamous fight with the late Ron Rankin at a Democratic convention at Bob Templin’s old North Shore resort way back when.)”

Extra! ACLU Backs … Larry Craig

Full Eye On Boise post here

The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota has filed a brief backing Idaho Sen. Larry Craig in his Minnesota court case, in which Craig is seeking to withdraw his guilty plea in an airport restroom sex solicitation sting. The ACLU contends that the whole sting was unconstitutional. “The actions of police in this restroom, the sting operations, are things that have been conducted against gay men forever,” said Chuck Samuelson, executive director of the Minnesota ACLU. “The object of the exercise, fundamentally, was never really to stop solicitation of sex but rather to ‘out’ gay males”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Vox Box: Tattoo Regret?

Originally posted at Vox Box here


ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — Laura Hathaway initially had no regrets after getting a tattoo on her lower back when she was 21. But now, 10 years later, she wants it gone.

The American Academy of Dermatology reports tattoo regret is common in the United States. Among a group of 18- to 50-year-olds surveyed in 2004, 24 percent reported having a tattoo and 17 percent of those considered getting their tattoo removed.

Check out the full article and video here…

Apparently dermatologists are seeing a “boom” in customers that want that tattoo they got when younger removed. But having it removed is costly and painful.

The video is cool because you can actually see a tattoo being removed. Ewww…

Question: What do you think is a good age to get a tattoo? Is there an age where the chances of regreting it later is slimmer?

It’s My 2 Cents — 9/17/07

While splitting wood for my brother-in-law in Spirit Lake Sunday, I spent time reflecting on the new civility that I’ve been trying to introduce on this blog. Especially after I killed another thread Saturday night in which several posters were carrying on a personal argument here. In the past, I let those things go b/c, frankly, it’s hard to block or ban a computer-savvy individual. I didn’t want to spend my spare time trying to rein in what we’ve come to know as a “blog troll.” As a result, things got too loose here, with fierce, personal interaction at time supplanting debate and the fun that Huckleberries print and online are known for. Some left b/c they tired of the rancor that would crop up unpredictably. So, I’m recommitting myself to squelching name calling, personal attacks and debates, and other venomous exchanges. If necessary, I’ll begin deleting the posts and block as best I can the individual who’s responsible. I have the full support of Editor Steve Smith on this. I’m make mistakes on judgment calls. I’ve asked Steve to work with me re: gray areas. I don’t want to sacrifice legitimate fun and interchange for heavy handedness. But I’m only human. Even the refs at the WSU-UIdaho game missed a call or two. Some have predicted that a commitment toward civility will be the death of HBO. I don’t think so. In fact, I’d urge those who have been driven from here by the slap-happiness to give Huckleberries Online a second chance. In September, HBO has posted record page-view and unique view numbers. I don’t see that changing much.

Spin Control: Larry Craig Goes To Emmys

Further evidence that Sen. Larry Craig has become a ubiquitous laugh line — and because of that, his political days are likely numbered. On Sunday night’s Emmy Awards, Craig was the butt of not one, but two jokes. One was a pre-produced faux news documentary that introduced nominations for comedy writing. It showed a series of tapping feet under the stall doors in a public restroom, set to music. There was no mention of the Idaho senator at that point, but a few minutes later, Joely Fischer zinged Brad Garrett with a line that he couldn’t get on Craigs List “…well, maybe on Larry Craig’s list”/Jim Camden, Spin Control.

Question: Who’s more likely to be censored at the Emmys — Larry Craig or Sally Field?

HBO Poll (Final Results): Douglas Legacy

48% of the 132 respondents to the weekend Huckleberries Online poll said that Kootenai County Prosecutor Bill Douglas will be remembered most for his relationship with Marina Kalani. Overall 73% said he’d be remembered for office e-mail scandals, including those involving Kalani and former Chief Deputy Prosecutor Rick Baughman.

New poll at 10 a.m.

Evangelical Boise Church Has Enviro Focus, Too

Item: Evangelicals and environmentalists are surprising allies: Creation care divides evangelicals in Idaho and the nation, and a Boise congregation and its pastor are among those at the heart of the debate/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman.

More Info: Boise Vineyard Christian Fellowship Pastor Tri Robinson broke down the barriers for his evangelical Christian congregation two years ago by making it OK to express environmental values as a part of their faith. Now, he’s helping environmentalists break through the walls between their core values and their faith. Church members recycle. They feed Boise’s poor from their organic garden. They are learning how bringing simplicity to their lives can be more rewarding and help them live a Christian life. And their ministry is catching on nationwide.

Question: Would you be more apt or less apt to attend an Evangelical church that had embraced environmentalism?

SR: Panhandle Septic Regs Need Serious Update

Item: Septic realities: Panhandle standards need serious update/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board

More Info: Under policies followed by Idaho’s seven public health districts, a one-bedroom house needs a drainfield to handle 150 gallons of discharge a day. For more bedrooms, add 50 gallons each. Unfortunately, that figure is thought to be well below the actual flow. Of 11 Western states, the other 10 all assume higher figures. Few if any states anywhere in the union assume lower flows than Idaho. The federal Environmental Protection Agency expects a three-bedroom house to generate 400 to 500 gallons a day. No wonder that during recent meetings with the health district, stakeholder groups broadly agreed that Idaho’s standard should be increased.

Question: Do you support the Panhandle Health District’s plan to tighten septic regs?

AM Hucks: Local Boy Yearns For Less Millionaires

Bruce Reed, the local boy who served as a White House adviser for President Bill Clinton, tries regularly to explain conservative Idaho to his liberal Slate online readers. In “The Has-Been” column last week, he said that ex-New York mayor Rudy Giuliani “came out to Idaho a few days before Larry Craig did.” (Badabump) Scott and Mary Lou’s son continued: “If Giuliani is a national hero, somebody forgot to tell the folks back home. His ticker tape parade consisted of a dozen people holding signs endorsing Ron Paul for president.” Reed noted that Giuliani is the first prez wannabe to visit CdA since Ronald Reagan, adding: “My hometown used to mimic ‘Twin Peaks,’ not Sun Valley. Now so many rich people summer there, candidates come from Manhattan to meet our millionaires.” To get to his fundraiser at John Magnuson’s ritzy lakeside home, Giuliani had to drive past the Paul Bunyan restaurant, “the only place in America you can get a huckleberry shake underneath a giant statue of the folk legend,” Reed said. Probably, Giuliani was more impressed by Duane Hagadone’s floating green and “mammoth bloc of $5 million vacation condos” nearby, “which will draw more millionaires the way huckleberries attract grizzlies.” Of CdA, Reed concludes: “It’s a nice place to live, and a shame so many rich folks have to visit.” Alas.

Wild Card/Sunday — 9/16/07

I’ll be chopping and loading wood today, HBOers. As I mentioned earlier in the week, fall is the time of year to prepare for Jack Winter. There’s no better time to do that than on a nice weekend. I took care of a rain-cap problem with my wood stove today. I’ll sweep the chimney next week. Then, I’ll turn my attention to putting the garden to bed. Which means we’ll need Alice Rankin’s advice again. I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend. If you need to say something today, you can play this Wild Card …

Wild Card/Saturday — 9/15/07

It’s getting to be that time of the fall when I start thinking about winter things, like ordering wood, fixing the rain-cap on my wood-stove pipe, checking heaters, etc. I love the Indian summers. But I know that winter comes hard on autumn’s heels. We have to take advantage of nice fall weekends while we have them. While I’m taking care of the home fire, you can use this Wild Card to start your own threads …

It’s My 2 Cents — New HBO Civility

We’ve made it through our first week of neo-civility under the new WWSD Rule (What Would Steve/Smith Do?). It hasn’t been easy, as we’ve all had to learn not to throw elbows. Including myself. It hasn’t been easy editting insults out of the comments section. Last night, I found a free-for-all going on among 4 or 5 regulars when I began to post the regular Saturday morning stuff. It was difficult to figure what should go and what shouldn’t so I killed the entire tail end of the thread. Including a coupla clever posts. I don’t like deleting stuff. But I do like the new level of civility here. I don’t think we’ve lost much under the WWSD Rule. In fact, some of our old faces who shied away from HBO have begun to post again. Also, most of you have discovered that it’s still relatively easy to post passionate, edgy comments. If you’re going to level an insult, the key is to make the comment generic rather than pointing it specifically at another commenter or blogger. I hope most of you enjoy blog life under the WWSD Rule.

Kendramama: KootCo “Gangsters” Few, Immature

Just to draw a little from my own experiences on the OTHER side of the fence (being a hardened criminal and all)- I have to say that in the Kootenai County Public Safety Building at least, the “gangsters” are very few, and laughably immature. We’re talking a couple of skinny teenybopper white boys with shaved heads and piercings, pants saggin’ in an effort to look authentic, calling themselves the “Kootenai County Killaz” and nonsense like that. I sincerely hope that in whatever efforts the Department is planning to put forth to eradicate this “problem”, they also manage to target the real root of the issue: that is, the drug usage and sales that the gangs revolve around.


TGIF Wild Card — 9/14/07

We’ve reached the last work day of the week in one piece, HBOers — most of us, that is. I’m beginning to enjoy having time to get out again with my laptop and get caught up at the office. The blog numbers have settled down a bit since the beginning of the Craig airport escapade. But they’re still at historic highs, running between 7600 and 8900 per day this week. They’ll probably cross over that magical 10,000 barrier occasionally as we approach the municipal elections. I look forward to the day when we’re regularly over 10,000 page-views. Until then, you can use this Wild Card to start your own threads …

Get Out! Review — Wing Stop

Full post here

I’m not shy about admitting it. I hate chicken wings. Ever since my vegetarian phase in high school, I’ve been squeamish about eating chicken on the bone. I can handle a nice, juicy breast on the bone if it’s done right (hello, Chester Fried!), but otherwise my domestic fowl needs all the bones and gristly bits removed before it crosses my dinner plate. I always picture the gruesome scene in John Waters’ classic “Serial Mom” when the neighbor couple is eating chicken dinner and the camera lingers on close-ups of the couple’s mouths ravaging a greasy bird in near-pornographic fashion, grunting and licking fingers during what would turn out to be their last meal before Kathleen Turner gave them the works. Chicken wings remind me of suburban football parties or a night out at Hooters - these things just aren’t my style/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho.

Question: Which part of a chicken do you enjoy eating most?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 8/14/07

Jeffrey Hage/AP Photo/The Daily Journal

A donkey sits trapped in an abandoned well before being rescued Thursday at the Bryan Nelson residence about 10 miles northeast of Underwood, Minn. Firefighters dismantled the well to free the donkey which had some bruises and lost some fur where it rubbed against the concrete walls of the well, but was otherwise fine. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. People for the Ethical Treatment of Donkeys In Wells complained yesterday that their favored animals are not getting enough media attention, suggesting a conspiracy was afoot among media outlets favoring pictures of horses on racetracks. “It’s horseism!” complained a PEDIW spokesman — Brent Andrews.

2. This Democrat has dug itself into a hole so deep that it can’t celebrate ANY progress in Iraq for fear Bush might get some credit — Whippersnapper.

3. Rescuers had feared they would find the other missing donkeys in holes one through eight, but only found an assinine — John Austin.

HM: Daug Gone

Mag: Do D’s Practice Values R’s Preach?

Full New York mag post here

Theirs is also the party of moral righteousness in which the Reverend Ted Haggard, Congressman Mark Foley, and Senators David Vitter and Larry Craig were all, only a year ago, leading lights. And consider the personal backgrounds of the top Republican presidential contenders, who seem more mack daddy than Father Knows Best. Rudy Giuliani contrived to annul his fourteen-year-long first marriage to his cousin, then publicly cheated on his second wife, and now, having married his mistress, has alienated both his children. Notoriously alley-catting Fred Thompson impregnated the mother of his children in high school and then married a babelicious, 24-years-younger second wife—and, lacking much (manly, paternal) taste for hard work, has by all accounts let the wives push him along in politics. It’s ironic, and a bit awkward, that the only GOP candidate who’s had just one wife, Mitt Romney, is the Mormon great-grandson of polygamists. Although Hillary still has her swinger husband to worry about, she and he are still married, and indeed the three leading Democratic candidates, by comparison to most of the Republicans, are the very pictures of traditional family values—even-keeled, good providers, long marriages to just one spouse, children who evidently like them/Kurt Anderson/New York, “Who’s Your Daddy Now.”

Question: When it comes to morality, does one of the major political parties have an edge over the other? Or are both capable of being equally bad?

Hat Tip: The Perambulator

Otter Reveal’s List Of Craig Wannabes …

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter issued a list today of the individuals who so far have expressed an interest in being appointed to the U.S. Senate if a vacancy occurs with the resignation of Senator Larry Craig: State Representative Scott Bedke of Oakley, Bob Cox of Boise, Steve Coyle of Star, Lawrence Gardner of Meridian, Ben Jepson of Nampa, State Senator Mike Jorgensen of Coeur d’Alene, Thomas Kim of Island Park, David Leroy of Boise, State Representative Russ Mathews of Idaho Falls, State Senator John McGee of Caldwell, Christopher Patterson of Coeur d’Alene, Blaine Price of Malad, Steven Ranstrom of Burley, Lieutenant Governor Jim Risch, State Representative Ken Roberts of Donnelly, State Senator Gary Schroeder of Moscow, Larry T. Smith of Nampa, Sheila Sorensen of Boise, Tom Stevenson of Gooding, Robert Vasquez of Canyon County, Jim Waite of Idaho Falls, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Dane Watkins of Idaho Falls, Jay Wilde of Glenns Ferry.

Hat Tip: OfCoffee

Butterfly Moment: Which Road Should I Travel?

I almost hit a deer, a big one, just after leaving home. Had she not chosen to run parallel with the car for a few seconds, which gave me time to slow down, I surely would have hit her. Strike one for lowering my anxiety. And then shortly after that, a truck passed me and a squished pop can flew out of the back of his truck right in front of me. Not a big deal, but it caught my attention and startled me. Strike two. No sooner had that happened than out of the corner of my eye in the rear view mirror I saw a big brown tarp fly out of the back of the same truck. At least that’s what I thought it was. Until I focused on my mirror. It wasn’t a tarp at all. It was a moose!* A huge moose with huge antlers. And it hadn’t flown out of the back of his truck but was tripping and staggering across the road right between the truck and a car going the opposite direction. If I had been three seconds earlier it would have crossed right in front of me. Strike three/A Butterfly Moment.

Full post here

Question (from A Butterfly Moment): So, here’s my dilemma. Do I take the highway and put my life in the hands of all the drivers going 65 mph around me (including numerous logging trucks)? Or do I take the back roads and risk encountering a thousand pound animal who doesn’t look both ways?

Missing CDA ATVers Found

Kootenai County authorities say three missing ATV riders from Coeur d’Alene have been found in the Canfield Mountain/Fernan Saddle area. At about 11:10 a.m., the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the families of the missing men that the men had just left the County Lane Resort on the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River and were headed back to their vehicle at the Canfield trailhead. Delbert Napier, 71, his son Dean Napier, 41, and Aaron Howard, 45, were in good health and, after eating breakfast, were heading home, the sheriff’s office said. The men left their vehicle at the Canfield Mountain trailhead around 3 p.m. Thursday.

SR Letter: Whale Attackers

Originally posted on A Matter of Opinion

OK, blog-mates, enough procrastinating for me. Here’s something to chew on:

The wounded whale was headed toward the Pacific Ocean when it died due to being shot 21 times and harpooned by five members of the Makah tribe (Sept. 9). These five so-called Native Americans deserve the severest penalties provided by law. Their elders and ancestors must be weeping with shame. Their cultural rights may have been restored by an 1855 treaty with the federal government, but how about the wounded, bleeding whale that finally died due to this cowardly act? I for one think it is time the immigrants from Asia assimilate into the culture of the country in which they live. They have their special rights, their reservations, their nontaxable status and affirmative action, not to mention their gambling cartel. I guess in a way one should thank these punks because of the disgust the rest of us have for their mean-spirited, cowardly act. We can only hope some good can come from exposing these five as having committed a crime even the federal government cannot protect from our outrage.

Howard Roach

Question: Which will win out: cultural sensitivity to the tribal traditions or concern for the whale population?

AP photo

Chateau Backer Alleges Bias In “Aryan State”

Item: No to Chateau: Supporter alleges racial discrimination in ‘Aryan state’/Tom Greene, Coeur d’Alene Press

In the Aug. 29 public hearing in front of hearing examiner Lisa Key, project supporter Sharon Rogers said she had worked with Las Vegas-based Kirk-Hughes Development for 14 years and “watched them grow from a small office to what they have now.” … “And here they are in a state known to be a little resentful — an Aryan state,” Rogers said. After Key gaveled down an outburst from the crowd, Rogers added “I’m sorry if I insulted anybody.”

Question: Why do you think the proposed Chateau de Loire subdivision has been rejected to this point?

WND Poll: Petraeus/Crocker Testimony

Question: Everyone else has had their say – what’s your reaction to Gen. Petraeus’ and Amb. Crocker’s testimony?/WorldNetDaily

1. I agree with – they were there to ‘betraeus’
2. They were just carrying water for the Bush administration
3. They weren’t persuasive – they merely slapped a smiley face on a hopeless situation
4. Members of Congress were too easy on them – they were let off the hook
5. The way they were treated was a disgrace to our men and women in uniform and our country
6. I’ve never been so proud to be an American as when I watched Gen. Petraeus testify so honorably before Congress
7. It proved we need to rely on the generals in the field, not the know-nothing, power-hungry Congress
8. They were persuasive – I’m comforted the war is going so well
9. Regardless of their words, the undeniable fact is the U.S. cannot cut and run without unleashing chaos in the region and beyond
10. Other

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Christie: Eyes Opened To CDA Gang Activity

Full post here

The truth is a month ago I would have agreed with you because I was ignorant of the gang activity in our community. Our Crime Analysis Unit began to see a strong correlation between some of our most violent crimes and some very bad repeat offenders. The Unit spent a considerable amount of time studying police reports and connecting the dots to documented gang members. Some of them have moved in from other cities, but we also have our very own homegrown gang members that have become increasingly more aggressive and violent in their activity. The Chief made a decision a month ago to dedicate a few more personnel to the detective side of the house and focus efforts on apprehension of our most violent offenders (stabbings, robbery etc.)In the two weeks that followed, the officers on loan had documented several gangs not just members, living and operating in the City. They were also directly responsible for several arrests in some very recent violent crimes/Sgt. Christie Wood, HBO.

Poll Results: In light voting, HBOers said the biggest concerns new CPD Blue police chief Wayne Longo will face are: gangs and public relations (each with 26% of the vote).

Anderson: Same-o

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

HBO Poll — Police Problems

“Gangs” and “traffic” are leading the HBO Poll re: concerns new CPD Blue chief Wayne Longo will face in early, light voting. “Traffic” and “politics” are running third. The polls will be open until 10 a.m. Friday.

Vox Box: News Headlines Or Scoobey Do Plot?

Originally posted by Erin/Vox Box

At the Mental_Floss web site: Ten stories… Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to determine which are actual news headlines and which were episodes from Scooby Doo.

Go ahead and try it. “Virtual Scooby Snacks to anyone who gets 100%”

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 9/13/07

From: Kellogg Bloggin’

Kellogg Bloggin’ offers a photo of sister Inland Empire Girl during her less-than-inspired days as a reporter for the old Kellogg Evening News, offering: “I’m glad she gives her blog more energy and passion than she apparently gave to her job in the newsroom!”

*Has it been a year already since Sam The Reporter and Mrs. T marched down the aisle and then departed for Bellingham and a new newspaper adventure? In Meet The Taylors, Mrs. T discusses a perfect anniversary weekend here.

*Synaptic Disunion breaks from tradition in which he views a single song as a part of a larger album effort to provide music to a song that moves him every time he hears it here.

HBO Blog Numbers from Google Analytics (for Wednesday, Sept. 12): 8898 page-views and 4816 unique views.

Meanwhile, Wayward Episcopalian celebrates his first blogiversary here, Inland Empire Girl’s cat Finnegan has returned here, Leaning Straight Up contrasts how liberals and conservatives observed 9/11 here, and PDX Pup offers another thought about Britney’s meltdown here.

Bruce Reed Provides Latest Slate Column Thoughts …

… on Larry Craig here and Rudy Guiliani’s visit to Coeur d’Alene here. For those living in a cave, Reed is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton and the son of attorney Scott and Mary Lou Reed of Fernan

Hat Tip: Arpie

Larry Craig: I Shall Not Return?

Sen. Larry Craig has been sending press releases from Idaho commenting on U.S. Senate matters including U.S. Iraq war policy. But the Idaho lawmaker who is under fire after his guilty plea to disorderly conduct during a Minnesota airport bathroom gay sex sting said today he may never return as a lawmaker to Washington, D.C. Sid Smith, a spokesman in Boise, says the 62-year-old Republican remains in Idaho. Smith says, “He doesn’t have any plans to go back to D.C. next week. We’re still debating about whether he’ll be returning to the Capitol, at all”/Associated Press.

Full story here


Ryan Pfeiffer/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder, AP, CP

From left: Carsten Mitchell, one, Gavin Adams, three, and Carter McDonald, two, snack on apples from the Beautyrock Plantation on Cornwall Centre Road in Cornwall, Ontario, today.

Katrina: We Finally Made Out Our Wills

Katrina/Notes On A Napkin: We finally got our ducks in a row last year and made our wills. Not that we have so much to leave behind, but it’s nice to know who will be raising your children and that your World of Warcraft account will be going to someone who truly appreciates it.

DFO: The will my wife and I wrote must be 15 years old or so. Some of the provisions no longer pertain. For example, neither of our kids are now minors. So the part re: guardians is obsolete. They get everything. Any attorneys out there who could advice re: the need to update my will. Or is the provision “they get everything” sufficient to spell out my wishes?

Question: Do you have a will?

Raymond Pert: Words Of Advice For Kendra

I hope she sticks with three things she talks about:

1. Church for spiritual sustenance and a positive social life.

2. Pursuit of a college degree, which can have the benefits of church, but it a secular setting: spiritual susentance, positive social life, and intellectual nourishment.

3. Take things a day at a time. These have been heady days for Kendra. She’s been through a lot, mostly for the better. In time, the high tide of publicity and the crest of elation brought on by being released from jail and reunited with her baby and husband will subside into the mundane rhythms of work, taking care of a child, and maintaining a household and a marriage. It’s in these mundane times that the “one day at a time” approach to recovery is the most meaningful. Things can get tedious once back into the routines of everyday grinding it out. One day at a time. Living day to day with a degree of tedium is far better than whatever fake boost drugs might give, I think.

Raymond Pert/Kellogg Bloggin’

Question: Do you have any words of advice or encouragement for Kendra?

Huckleberries Best of Idaho Online — 9/13/07

Shawn Raecke/Idaho Statesman

A group from the Boise Police and Idaho Fish and Game work to lift a a young bull elk shot with a tranquilizer dart in a field near Boise, Idaho, Wednesday. The elk was loose for nearly three hours before being captured. Story here.

Spotlight: Kevin Richert of the Idaho Statesman sez Larry Craig is a gift that keeps giving comedic jokes. And provides a link to them here.

1. Since Congress returned Sept. 4 from a monthlong break, Sen. Larry Craig has missed dozens of votes while he’s been in Idaho working to undo the legal ramifications of getting caught up in a sex sting at the Minneapolis airport here.

2. The son of Canyon County Prosecutor Dave Young has been arrested for possessing child pornography. Marcus Young, 31, was booked into the Canyon County Jail this afternoon and charged with five counts of possession of sexually exploitative materials and four counts of destruction of evidence here.

3. Online Poll: By 34% to 31% a plurality of 849 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll said they lived 6 to 15 minutes from work, compared to 16-30 minutes from work and three other choices.

4. News Roundup: Boise shooting victim discusses “senseless act”, 2 Idaho bear attacks reported, More students at NIC, Service planned for Moscow councilman, and Hailey mayor involved in accident.

5. Blogosphere: Adam’s Blog (What Risch wouldn’t do), Clayton Cramer (2nd unexpectedly pleasant car repair of year), IdaBlue (Craig’s replacement), Rocky Barker (Boise gets in way of elk migration), and Dennis Mansfield (Big shop of horrors?).

6. IMHO-Idaho: Tom Henderson/Lewiston Tribune (Repubs build fence, but will they pay for it?), Bill Cope/Boise Weekly (Pity the fool), Brian Murphy/Idaho Statesman (Chip back on BSU’s shoulder), Ginny McConnell/Moscow-Pullman Daily News (Craig situation is shameful — for him and Idaho), and Kaisie Brede/St. Maries Gazette-Record (Good reason for blisters).

New Chamber Building Gets Thumbs Up

I had a sneak preview of the new building last evening. It’s way beyond spectacular. Many thanks to the building committee, chaired by Rob Elder, and to everyone who made this very complex project happen. It took them nine years,and they got it right. The public grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony is this afternoon at 5 pm. They’ll have food, refreshments, entertainment and most important, tours of the new Chamber digs and visitor center.

Howard Martinson

Poll: How Long Does It Take You To Get To Work

How long does it take you to get to work (in minutes)? — Idaho Statesman.

*Less than 5
*More than 30

DFO: 6-15 (about 8 minutes)

Smith: Stonewalling Always Makes Situation Worse

Newspapers follow tips all of the time. Some are truly outrageous and many never, ever produce stories. I always tell the folks who are the subject of such reporting not to confuse the questions with the story. We ask really outrageous questions, but if the stories don’t pan out and the stories never hit print, then the damage is isolated to the reporter/source relationship. But when officials refuse to respond to reporters, use the system to obfuscate or delay, then our questions end up being asked in public. That happens when the only way we can determine the truth of a situation is to go to court. Of course there will be a story if the e-mails show nothing wrong. We’ve reported such stories before re: other subjects. What some public servants seem to have forgotten is that stonewalling ALWAYS makes a situation worse. Be up front and forthright and a lot of this stuff never becomes an issue/Editor Steve Smith, Spokesman-Review.

New Sheriff, Er, Chief In Town

Click on that little box in the right corner to fill your computer screen w/Longo interview

the Flash Player to see this player.
Produced by Joe Barrentine/SR

Item: New CdA police chief ready for transition: Longo ready to take CPD Blue reins/Taryn Hecker, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Longo, whose new job as Coeur d’Alene’s police chief begins Monday, answered questions from residents concerned about everything from gangs to drugs to violent crime. He talked about confronting those problems head on.

Question: What do you think is the biggest problem that will confront the new Coeur d’Alene police chief (also today’s poll question)?

the Flash Player to see this player.

Question: Should Old PF City Hall Be Torn Down?

Item: Post Falls hall may go to vote: Many sign petition in fight to halt building demolition/Paula Davenport, Spokesman-Review

More Info: “We have more than 500 names, and we only need 264 (signatures) to be certified,” said Bob Templin, who’s spearheading a petition drive that could give voters the ultimate say in the matter.

Question: Should the old Post Falls City Hall be torn down?

Noah: Mebbe We Should Love ‘Em To Death

Noah Kroese/Special for Huckleberries Online

Paine: SR ON A Wild Goose Chase?

Thomas Paine: Seems to me this is all a tempest in a teapot. After all the controversy surrounding the last set of e-mails it would boggle the mind to think that Mr. Douglas would once again use his e-mail for inappropriate purposes. He can’t be that stupid. Of course, fighting the release of those e-mails simply fuels idle speculation. Mr. Douglas should probably just release them immediately. What if the e-mails are entirely innocent/harmless? Will the S-R publish this as a story, that they were leading us on a wild goose chase?

DFO: We don’t know what those e-mails contain. But, as Editor Steve Smith explains here, we’re pursuing them to see if Douglas used the power of his office to try to influence his son’s case. He has shown extremely poor judgment in the past in using e-mails to flirt with hireling Marina Kalani. As hard as it is to believe that he’d be foolish enough to use them again on his son’s behalf, it’s something we can’t discount out of hand. No matter how this turns out, it won’t be a wild goose chase. We’re simply following a tip. And we’re paying through the nose in legal fees to protect your right to know.

AM Hucks: CAVE Men Get No Respect

I almost spit out my coffee when I read in the Coeur d’Alene Press Wednesday that City Council wannabe Dan Gookin was unhappy that a city-commissioned report referred to local Luddites – my word, not the city’s – as CAVE people. Or “Citizens Against Virtually Everything” (a term like NIMBY that’s been around awhile). Dunno if the CPD Blue survey specifically fingered Gookin and other CAVEmen who are trying to take over City Hall. But I know that the term fits. Gookin and/or his buddies have complained about the use of urban renewal money or tax dollars to construct the Kroc Center, Riverstone, the new library and other amenities that have made viewtiful Coeur d’Alene even better. I also know that Gookin isn’t bashful about using pejoratives. In a post on a Coeur d’Alene Press blog in May, he labeled respected Trustee Christie Wood of the CDA School Board “a snake.” Why? He disagreed with the board’s decision to use urban renewal money to upgrade Sorensen School for handicap access. Then there are all those times that he and other posters have called me DOF and/or DOoF on the Brand X blogs, a disrespectful mangling of my initials. Which I don’t mind. It’s clever. And it provides free advertising for Huckleberries Online on a competitor’s Web site. (In interest of full disclosure, I’ve ID’d Gookin on my blog as the leader of the “Wild Goose Chase Gang.” Which refers to the time in April when he and several CAVErs staged a media event on the Spokane River after they were tipped incorrectly that developer Marshall Chesrown had illegally diverted the Spokane River.) My point? If you’re going to call names, you shouldn’t act like a victim when someone returns the favor

Hump Day Wild Card — 9/12/07

I need to run to the new Coeur d’Alene Library (which was built in the right spot for an understandable amount of dollars, mostly doughnated or approved by CDA residents) … to turn in an overdue book, Ludlow’s “The Bourne Supremacy.” It was due yesterday. The books on tape that I borrowed at the same time are due today. I can’t get enough of that new building. Colleague Becky Kramer said she visited the library for the first time last evening and never made it out of the children’s area. She was that fascinated with the design and public art there. Some might prefer a cinderblock building with shelves on concrete blocks. But Coeur d’Alene deserves better than that. Now, for your Wild Card …

Online Poll: Saving For First Home

How long did you save to buy your first home? — Idaho Statesman.

*2 years
*5 years
*10 years
*Still saving
*Didn’t save first

DFO: Didn’t save first

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 9/12/07

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

NIC Trustee Judy Meyer and Councilwoman Dixie Reid styling at Sunday’s dedication of the new Coeur d’Alene Library.

*Family Phil considers himself a veteran as he enters his second year of home-school teaching his son, who’s now a fourth-grader, here.

*Bayview Herb offers a blog hodge-podge today, including a photo and comment about that new mural at Athol Elementary and a lament about Mommy Dearest quitting her blog here.

*Dogwalk Musings comments that there are two groups of disenfranchised people in this area — lower-income people who have lived here awhile and newcomers searching for a better way of life here.

*”I do agree that the skimpy outfit (on Britney Spears) was not flattering,” writes MamaJD. “On the other hand, I am critical of the critics for saying (that Spears) … is of a woman who is “embarrassingly out of shape.” It is sad to see the media perpetuating the message that you must be skinny-skinny to be in shape here.

*You ain’t “got tomatoes” until you picked one of those monsters that are grown in Slight Detour’s garden — tomatoes that take two people to eat here.

*Cis contends in From A Simple Mind that some of the worst druggies are the ones who get their supply from inattention doctors here.

Blog Numbers (for Tuesday, Sept. 11): 7969 page-views and 4213 unique views.


Mark Wilson/Roswell Daily Record

Justin Koonce, a firefighter for the Roswell Fire Department, in Roswell, N.M., descends a ladder after rescuing a kitten from a tree in the backyard of Jeanette Schaffer on Wednesday, with the assistance of three of his colleagues below. Schaffer, who was unsure who the cat belonged to, said a dog had chased it up the tree about a day or so ago.

T-Shirt Snicker — from Bayview Herb

Seen on the back of a t-shirt in Bayview, and severely edited: “Fool with me and you fool with the whole trailer park”

Vox Box: More On Being Too Skinny …

Originally posted at Vox Box by Erin Daniels

There has been a lot of coverage about Miss Britney’s performance at the MTV music awards. If you have been in a cave and missed it:

Her performance aside, we have been discussing that girls feel too much pressure to be TOO skinny. (My co-worker Lisa wants to send Angelina a cheeseburger…) Some have made comments about Britney’s new body. (For those still in that cave, she’s had two kids via c-section since her “Oops” days…)

Question: What do you think? How does Britney look? What message do we sent Britney’s audience when critics say she looks too chubby during these performances?

Huckleberries Best of Idaho Online — 9/12/07

Shawn Raecke/Idaho Statesman, AP

A young bull elk, first spotted on Warm Springs Road and across town to here at Ann Morrison Park in downtown Boise, Idaho, makes his way to Katheryn Albertson Park this morning. Fish and Game and officials have not been able to catch the elk yet.

Spotlight: Palousitics has scheduled its second Palousitics Blogfest here.

1. Kevin Taylor of the Inlander covered that Kootenai County Republican CC meeting for Newsweek, only a day after the disclosure about U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s airport bathroom escapade. You can read his Newsweek report here.

2. It’s half the length but just as intimidating. On June 1st, 2008 the City of Boise will host an Ironman 70.3. The 70.3 mile race and it will put Boise on the racing map, with other cities like Monaco and Cancun – which host similar events here.

3. Online Poll: 50% of 662 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say they didn’t save first before buying their first house.

4. News Roundup: NC senator gets Craig’s role on panel, KootCo prosecutor’s son gets jail, Legal-services-for-sex attorney pleads guilty, Boise ranks 3rd as hottest job market, Funeral for BYU student Cleverley set for Boise, and Horizon Air cancels nearly 30 Boise flights.

5. Blogosphere: Clayton Cramer (She cut off her - what? Testicles?), Rocky Barker (Craig salmon rider has uncertain future), Adam’s Blog (A little bit of ignorance), Fort Boise (A moment of candor), and

6. IMHO-Idaho: Tom Henderson/Lewiston Tribune (Mentally challenged can’t avoid executioner), Dan Hammes/St. Maries Gazette-Record (Anniversary shopping), Idaho Statesman (More advice for Otter on Craig appointment), Jim Fisher/Lewiston Tribune (After that ad, respect for sponsor is moving on), and Idaho Mountain Express (Craig indicts himself).

Release: Sen. Craig Reacts to Petraus Testimony

General Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker testified before the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees today regarding the troop surge in Iraq. … “Unfortunately, many were quick to prejudge the surge, as well as the testimony of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker,” U.S. Sen. Larry Craig said. “However, I believe their testimony told a positive story. Our soldiers are making progress on the ground to provide breathing room for the Iraqi government, and we have seen a significant decrease in violence across the country, and most importantly, in Baghdad. That being said, the Iraqi government must stand up and prove to their people that they can govern and secure their country from violence”/News Release, Larry Craig’s office.

Full news release here

DFO: Craig spokesmen Dan Whiting and Sid Smith are earning their money these days.

Hat Tip: Gary Crooks, A Matter of Opinion

Wannabe Gookin Complains About Name-Calling

In a Coeur d’Alene Press article by Lucy Dukes this morning, Coeur d’Alene council wannabe Dan Gookin complained about the name-calling in a $33,000 city-commissioned study of the police department. Seems the Results Group mentioned the “CAVE People” (known at Huckleberries Online as Citizens Against Virtually Everything. Calling people names is unproductive, Gookin said, “I’m proud of my public record of demanding government accountability and demanding that certain laws be followed.” The report states that CPD Blue shouldn’t yield to CAVE People.

DFO: I almost spit my coffee out when I saw this. Unfortunately, Brand X didn’t publish the story online, so I have no link to it. I don’t want to launch a thread of Gookin name-calling. But I’d like to point out that he called Sgt/Trustee Christie Wood a “snake” b/c he disagreed with a school district move to use LCDC money to upgrade Sorensen magnate school for handicap access. Then, he regularly fumbles my DFO initials around to refer to me as DOof on Brand X blogs. And that’s when he uses his real name. (Note to self: This might make a good Huckleberries print column for tomorrow.)

HBO Poll (Final): We Responded So-So To 9/11

Tuesday Poll: How would you rate this country’s response to the attacks on 9/11?

So-So: 104 (34%)
Excellent: 89 (29%)
Indict Bush: 70 (23%)
Good: 33 (11%)
Poor: 8 (.02%)

304 votes

New poll at 10 a.m.

Eye On Boise: Could Risch Appoint Himself?

Which brings up another theoretical question: Could Risch skip the suspense and just appoint himself to the U.S. Senate today? It’s been done before. In 1945, Idaho Gov. Charles Gossett resigned as governor and had his lieutenant governor appoint him to the U.S. Senate. But the move did him little good. As reported in Randy Stapilus’ book “Paradox Politics,” “Voters rebelled at his self-appointment to the Senate and ousted him in the Democratic primary.” That was the end of Gossett’s once-promising political career/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Full Eye on Boise post here

RSPA: Brand X Blog Posters Smear Edinger

Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel: I see the blogtrolls on the babyblogs are trying to covertly smear Gookin’s opponent, Edinger, by noting he’s from California and had a failed business.

Can anyone tell us about the background of Ron Edinger? I hear he is from California. Where has he worked the last 25 years and what qualifications does he have to over see a $60 + million budget and the LCDC? I hear he is a nice guy but is he capable of overseeing the complex functions of the city? CDA is no longer Smallville USA/Hoot Owl, Coeur d’Alene Press blog

DFO: For those keeping score at home, Ron Edinger has served on the Coeur d’Alene City Council since the late 1960s, I believe, including a term as mayor. He was defeated for re-election as mayor at the time of the fireman’s strike in the late 1970s, won re-election to the council, and has been the top vote-getter in council elections for at least the last three cycles. He moved with his family and brothers to Coeur d’Alene from Southern California in the 1950s. I’d say Brand X blog poster Hoot Owl hasn’t lived here long enough to respect people who have served their community well.

Question: Did Commish Deserve Another Raise?

Item: Commissioners vote to raise salaries: Piazza against increase that applies to nine elected county officials/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Piazza maintains that the previous County Commission county commissioners, including Currie, erred and bred mistrust with residents in 2005 when it voted to give itself a $13,486 annual raise, bringing the salary to $67,000. Piazza said the commissioners and other elected officials needed a salary boost for the full-time jobs but that it should have occurred in increments, not a lump sum in the year before a county election.

Question: Are you bothered that the commissioners voted themselves another raise, only two years after increasing their salaries $13,486 per year?

Signe: Dye Job

Signe Wilkinson/Washington Pos

Current HBO Poll: Bush Response “Excellent”

… The Freepers are out early tonight messing with the HBO Poll results that indicated an hour ago that “indict Bush” was the pick for the question: “How would you rate this country’s response to the 9/11 attacks?” Now, “excellent” has pushed into the lead. Cool. This is going to be fun to watch. Vote early, vote often … and I’ll be back in the morning to check things out.

9/11 Wild Card — 9/11/07

We’ve made it through another 9/11 — six anniversaries of the day that reshaped our lives in this country. I’m surprised that there hasn’t been another tragedy of epic proportions such as 9/11, given the hatred that millions have for this country. Luck? Mebbe. Increased vigilance? Mebbe. Will our luck hold? Mebbe. 9/11 is a reminder that our lives can change in a minute. Then, most of us already know that. I shoulda asked where 9/11 ranks in terms of a life-changing day in terms of 12/7, 11/22, and other dates that will live in infamy. Mebbe tomorrow. Now, for your evening Wild Card …

KootCo Elected Officials To Get 3% Raises …

… Commish OK across-the-board pay hikes on 2-1 vote. (Erica tells me that Commish Rich Piazza kept his campaign promise to vote against pay raises until he felt they were justified. It’ll be interesting to see if he accepts the raise.)

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 9/11/07

I think Marmitetoasty visited the states with one of her offspring, but I can’t break the code to be sure. Check for yourself here. BTW, I wonder if the mustachioed individual above is the mysterious Marmitetoasty. Anyone?

Warning: I’ll be purging and rearranging the blogrolls this week. Your link could be missing, if you haven’t posted in a month.

*If Britney Spears is chubby, PDX Pup sez she’d like to be that chubby, too. Pup: “For the love of rhinestone bikinis, she’s a size 6” here.

*Atmospheric Ruminations has some idea what paraphernalia from “The Beatles” early days might bring on the re-sale market today here.

*In the latest sibling assignment for our first family of Kellogg bloggin’, Inland Empire Girl writes about life as a junior higher and provides links to sibling Silver Valley Girl and Raymond Pert’s compositions here.

*Idawa dubs his wife and himself the “lamest couple in Seattle” after they squandered a beautiful sunny weekend in the Emerald City doing absolutely nothing here.

HBO Numbers (for Monday, Sept. 10): 8397 page-views and 4576 unique views.

Meanwhile, Toadman receives a wunnerful anonymous gift here, Notes from The ‘Kan EWA offers more from Russia with love here, TUBOB is wowwed by junior’s guitar playing here, and Wayward Episcopalian reacts to an innocent verdict here.

Craig: Still A Late-Night Target

Beware: Crude humor

Sen. Larry Craig continues to press his case in Minneapolis, which is not just his right, but his obligation if he really believes an injustice was done. But one has to wonder whether he and his advisers figure the “continuing butt of jokes” factor into their calculus. Any new event in the case creates more fodder for joke writers, and keeps it current enough to be a monologue target. As a previous item opined, Craig’s future got pretty black when he became a laughline on late night television. But the reports of the incident broke when The Daily Show was on vacation. Monday night, Jon Stewart was back — with a vengeance, some might say — and did not one, but two Craig-themed routines/Jim Camden, Spin Control here.

Ombudsman: “A Reduction Is A Reduction”

Originally posted at News Is A Conversation here

After reflecting a bit on the most recent staff reductions, a couple of quick comments. Steve Smith (SS after this) referred in his blog to “perceived reductions in our coverage of the local arts community.” A reduction is a reduction. When a newspaper takes a person off of a beat and doesn’t replace that person that is a reduction. Assigning that person’s responsibilities among other reporters simply means that they will have to do more with the same amount of time. That is a reduction in what they can do. Moving a full-time reporter out of investigative reporting and not replacing her is a reduction. Mincing words and parsing meaning doesn’t help lead to more credible conversation. We all know that all newspapers are facing difficult times and have to make adjustments to survive. How they make those adjustments and how they characterize them will do much to determine whether readers support or object to them. Forthrightness is essential. More on this later/The Ombudsman, News Is A Conversation.

Question: Is the SR candid enough re: what’s going on inside the paper?

AMOO: Why Do We Tolerate Higher Health Insurance?

Posted first on A Matter of Opinion here

Health insurance costs are up only 6 percent. In the world of health care, that’s considered good news. The bad news is that the rise is about double that of average wages and triple that of inflation. Fewer employers are offering coverage. Workers are picking up more of the tab. The number of uninsured continues to rise. Insurance companies show gaudy profits for the eighth straight year.

Question: What will be the tipping point for managed care in this country? We seem to have incredible patience for this mess.

Idahogie’s Blog: Let’s Help Larry Craig

Idahogie/43rd State Blues

Idahogie, who posts at the 43rd State Blues, has created Larry Craig Seal of Approval stickers to designate bathrooms that would win the approval of the embattled U.S. senator. Story here, stickers here.

Huckleberries Best of Idaho Online — 9/11/07

AP Photo/University of Idaho via The Spokesman Review, File

This undated photo provided by the University of Idaho shows part of a giant Palouse earthworm, Driloleirus americanus. The federal government is dragging its heels on protecting the giant Palouse earthworm, so environmental groups said Monday they will sue to speed up the process here.

Spotlight: Idahogie/43rd State Blues has created Larry Craig Seal of Approval Certificates for public restrooms here.

1. Breaking! Sen. Larry Craig’s request to withdraw his guilty plea in an airport sex sting will be heard Sept. 26, just four days before he has said he will step down from his Senate seat here.

2. Wildlife officials remain unsure if a Tennessee man will be charged with killing a grizzly bear in the remote Kelly Creek Drainage of the Clearwater National Forest last week here.

3. Online Poll: More than a half century ago, President Harry Truman dubbed the Spokesman-Review as one of the two worst newspapers in the country, as a result of its pro-Republican editorial pages. The SR ranked second to the Coeur d’Alene Press as the “worst newspaper” in a Huckleberries Online poll Monday, attracting 49% of the 449 votes cast. Twenty-five percent thought the SR was worst. The Idaho Statesman finished third of 10 choices with 13%.

4. News Roundup: Coeur d’Alene father held after baby’s skull fractured, Idahoan killed on 9/11 to be remembered, Morgan teaching others about space exploration, BASE jumper gets stuck on Perrine Bridge, and North Idaho loses bid for vet cemetery here.

5. Blogosphere: IdaBlue (More Craig fallout), Adam’s Blog (Remembering 9/11), Bubblehead (A submariner in Afghanistan), Clayton Cramer (Never forget), and Free In Idaho (Osama’s challenge).

6. IMHO-Idaho: Spokesman-Review (Replacement politics), Idaho Statesman (Bin Laden’s reappearance helps us refocus), David Frey/New West Boise (Resignation or not, Craig’s power over West is gone), Editors/UI Argonaut (Off the Cuff), and T.J. Tranchell/UI Argonaut (Remember first rule of fight club).

New HBO Poll: How Would You Rate 9/11 Response?

*Indict Bush

Additional comments?

HBO Book Club: Did You Think Harry Was Toast?

… and what was that noisy baby-like thing at the train station with Harry Potter and Dumbeldore?

Before we turn from Harry Potter to a new book for discussion, we need to discuss Harry’s “death.” What was your reaction when it became apparent that Harry must die if there was any hope to destroy Voldemort? Also, did you think Harry was a goner when he refused to defend himself in the final showdown with Voldemort? Did you begin reading the book thinking that Harry was going to die. Did you cheer when he didn’t die? Also, what was that thing that was making noise in the background when Harry had the strange encounter with the post-mortem Dumbledore? Why do you think J.K. Rowling had Neville Longbottom finish off Voldemort’s snake rather than a more central character like Hermione or Ron?

You can read through previous Harry Potter VII discussion threads here. Also, you can link to the latest Harry Potter discussion thread by clicking on the HBO Book Club button on the right rail.

CNN Poll: 67% Say Craig Should Resign

Item: Craig files to withdraw plea, blames stress from paper’s investigation/

An Idaho image-maker’s lament: Neo-Nazis and Russets and Larry Craig, oh my.

Noah: All That’s Needed Now Is A Coffee Shop

Noah Kroese/Special for Huckleberries Online

Brand X’s Niles: New Library? Bah, Humbug

Thom George Photoshop

Niles: The new library is certainly keeping with the trends set by our tax and spend elected officials. It sits on prime land that was grossly overpaid for. It is opulent. It is located not to serve most of the community but where it can serve the people who demand opulence in everything they own and do. Did CDA need a bright, shiny new library downtown? Did CDA have the extra $6.5 million used to build that library? Would a $2 million overhaul of the old library given us just as fine a facility and more centrally located? I guess it doesn’t matter, does it? The money is spent. The choices were made? Now the average CDA citizen gets too look up at the elite as they again are catered to by our elected officials paying the luxurious tab with our money. This would be the average CDA citizen that the same elected officials demand pay to fix the city sidewalk that the city installed on their land. The enormity of the inequity is astounding.

DFO: Normally, I ignore the magpies at the Coeur d’Alene Press blogs. But this forwarded post by someone pseudonymed Niles was too good to pass up. It represents the views of the small noisy crowd who are against everything in this town. The viewtiful new library. Kroc Center. Riverstone. Education corridor. Urban renewal financing. Etc. Thanks to visionaries, average people will forever have a million-dollar view of Coeur d’Alene’s pristine lakefront. Small-minded people like Niles would have us build a metal building with books warehoused on cheap board shelves overlooking fast-food row on Appleway. Hey, it’ll save a few bucks, right? Thank goodness that people like miserly Niles have little influence in this town.

Stantis: Never Forget?

Scott Stantis/Birmingham News

Parting Shot: Ace Finds A Spot @ New Library

Don Sausser/Special for Huckleberries Online

OrangeTV Review: Fort Ground Grill

When word got out that local chef and restaurateur Michael D. Pasquale had bought the place and was giving it a much needed
facelift, the town collectively sighed with relief. With the Fort Ground Grill, he has managed to give a modern update to an old local favorite without losing the sense of history or the fine traditional food. However, gone are the drunken old coots peering out from dark scary corners. Gone are the nicotine stained beer signs from bygone eras, and the hideous yellow carpeting turned grey with time and beer and ash. Gone are the slightly tilted pool tables and the gruff kitchen ladies, cigarettes dangling from their lips. Most notably, gone are the scariest bathrooms in town, gutted and replaced by clean state-of-the-art facilities/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho.

Full post here

Question: What do you think of the new and improved Fort Ground Grill?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 9/10/07

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

River Stone Park on Northwest Blvd. in Coeur d’Alene debuted this summer with a beautiful pond as the centerpiece. It became popular not only with the public but with dozens of Canada Geese. The geese were lovely but left droppings all over the lawns and walkways. In August, four decoy swans were placed in the pond. Lovely to look at but no droppings to worry about. For whatever reason, the geese have gone off to greener pastures or ponds, leaving the fake tethered swans to float peacefully in place.

*A basic tenant of Islamic law/religion: convert, subjugate or kill,” writes Dogwalk Musings here. “The premise filled my thoughts as I treadmilled this morning. In front of me hangs a wonderful pen and ink of New York City circa 1983 and in the right hand corner stand the majestic twin towers. It serves as a daily reminder of times past.”

*From A Simple Mind, leader of the HBO Cafeteria Party, figures that it’s as important to choose a president’s Cabinet as it is to choose a president here.

*Ryan Collingsworth/Idaho Sports North believes the Post Falls Trojans are primed to open eyes in the Inland Empire League this fall here.

*Slight Detour worried about a high school football game and frost on the tomatoes over the weekend — all for naught — here.

*Sparky’s Notes talks about that lockdown at her daughter’s school, after a coupla teens were spotted in the area with guns here.

HBO Numbers (for Sept. 2-8): 46,720 page-views and 27,743 unique views, for a daily average of 6674/3961.

Meanwhile, Tumblewords offers “Simplicity Haiku” here, Un-Muted Mumblings provides a GOP debate review here, A Butterfly Moment reaches a milestone here, Family Phil offers weekend what-not here, Plaid Toaster shows off new ‘do here, For Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts, dinosaurs intervene in trip to McDonalds here, and Silver Valley Girl tells us a little about herself here.

Ace Walden Gives Thumbs Up To New Library

Don Sausser/Special for Huckleberries Online

Centenarian Ace Walden, a community activist, and Ruth Pratt check out the new Coeur d’Alene Library Monday afternoon. Ace was duly impressed with the view from the western windows. Don Sausser snapped another photo of Ace that I’ll run as my parting shot this afternoon.

Scanner Traffic … Man w/Gun Near Memorial Field?

… Taryn’s checking out a scanner comment that there may be a guy with a gun strapped to his back, riding a bike near Memorial Field, which is right across Northwest Boulevard from my office window. I see the North Idaho College softball team practicing on Memorial Field and a coupla skaters enjoying themselves at Skate Park. But no one who looks suspicious. Stay tuned …

Statesman Editor Responds To Craig Claim

Vicki Gowler, Idaho Statesman editor and vice president, responds to Sen. Larry Craig’s attorney, William Martin, who said pressure from the Statesman’s investigation forced Craig to plead guilty:

“The Statesman has taken great care in investigating these serious allegations about Sen. Craig,” Gowler said. “From the start, it was important to us to do a thorough and responsible investigation, outside of deadline pressures. We did that. Because of the allegations made last fall, a necessary part of a thorough investigation did include trying to determine whether the senator was regularly cruising restrooms for anonymous sex. The length of the investigation was due in large part to difficulties we encountered getting information from the senator.”

Eye On Boise: The Legal Arguments

The legal arguments in Sen. Larry Craig’s filing in Minnesota this morning go on for 16 pages, followed by attachments including an affidavit from the senator and copies of the police report, transcript of the interview of Craig by the arresting officer, charging document and plea agreement. The introduction in the motion sets the stage about the “fear” and “panic” Craig felt regarding the Idaho Statesman investigation. The arguments go on to suggest that Craig interpreted the officer’s comments as a promise that if he pleaded guilty, the incident wouldn’t come to public light. “I don’t call media, I don’t do any of that type of crap,” the arguments quoted the officer saying in his interview with Craig. When Craig signed the plea agreement, “in his mind, the terms of the plea included the promise made by Officer Karsnia that the alleged incident would not be released to the media,” the motion states. Later, it notes, “Senator Craig is not a lawyer, and like any other non-lawyer, should not be expected to understand the intricacies of constitutional law”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Full post here

Related: Craig’s arguments aren’t getting best reviews

Huckleberries Gone Wi-Fi …

… I’m heading to the new library for the next 90 minutes or so. I’ll take my laptop to check in here. Mebbe post about it, too.

Local Pols/HBOers @ Library Opening — Family Phil

Councilman Mike K (left), an HBO regular, & Ironwood developer Steve Meyer

Post Falls council wannabe Kerri Thoreson, an HBO favorite with her OnLocation North Idaho blog

Family Phil Photos

Coeur d’Alene council wannabe Dan Gookin (right), a former HBOer known as DanG.

Conspiracy Theorists: Pay Attention To Us

re: letter from Chris Bishof/Brooklyn

On September 11 — tomorrow — a rally of 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists will occur at Independence Park in Coeur d’Alene, ID. The gathering site is on the shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene near the Hagadone resort area. The Spokesman-Review should cover this event. The 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists claim the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the loss of Flight 93 were perpetrated by the US Government. The same group has gathered at the same site in the past. Last month, on August 11, the 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists met at Independence Point to proclaim their views. Last month’s gathering began at 5 pm, 8/11/07. I attended last month’s rally to counter their arguments and present a factual view of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US. I live in Brooklyn, NY. However, I was visiting Coeur d’Alene last month and saw flyers announcing the gathering. As someone who lives in NY City and who had worked at the World Trade Center on the 47th Floor of Tower One, I find the beliefs of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists outrageous. Last month’s rally struck me as a newsworthy matter.

Question: Should Regional Editor Scott Maben assign coverage for this event?

UFO? Anyone Know What That Red Helicopter …

… was doing as it hovered above the ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the new Coeur d’Alene Library Sunday afternoon. Earwitnesses say they couldn’t hear the celebratory speeches b/c the helicopter drowned everything out. One earwitness said she was going to “flipped off” the helicopter but worried that it might be filming the library opening for public Woody TV.

Clerk of the City: It was Jim VanSky and Councilman McEvers doing various video projects for CDA TV. The Library Opening, Parks Department footage and some City views for the COeur d’Alene Now television program.

It’s My 2 Cents: 2nd Thoughts On Library Location

I was one of the original critics re: locating the new Coeur d’Alene Library at the southeast corner of McEuen Field. I figured then, as some of you still do, that the library should be located more toward the center of town — and that the town was continuing to expand north and west. I said at the time, however, that the movers and shakers of the community could locate the library anywhere they wanted, as long as it was built entirely with doughnated money. It wasn’t of course. A bond was passed when it became apparent that fund-raising efforts wouldn’t be sufficient to build the library. Then, the City Council agreed to toss in some more money when construction costs escalated more than expected. I realized how wrong I was about the location, however, the moment I looked out the library’s western windows across McEuen Field. What a wonderful view of that green space, Tubbs Hill, the lake beyond and the Coeur d’Alene Resort. It reminded me of the first time I saw McEuen Field a quarter of a century ago. I was with colleague Doug Clark, who was then the sports editor of the Coeur d’Alene Press. He was covering a softball game. I couldn’t believe that Joe and Jane Average could play softball on a field that beautiful in such an awesome lake setting. A few years later, I enjoyed that same privilege. I played the best softball game of my life in the late-summer Nazarene Tournament at McEuen Field No. 1. McEuen Field is holy ground, as far as I’m concerned. I’m impressed and in debt to the movers and shakers who captured that view forever by first buying the ground and then locating the library to take advantage of the McEuen Field view. They persisted when critics second-guessed them all along the way. Pleaz join me in giving them a monster Hat Tip.

HBO Poll: Worst Newspaper In U.S.?

Item: When Harry gave us hell: In two separate visits here, President Truman called The S-R one of the two worst papers in the country/Jim Kershner, Spokesman-Review

More Info: “I told Truman it was the second-worst paper in the U.S., politically, after the Chicago Tribune,” (U.S. Sen. Warren Magnuson) told S-R reporter Jim Camden in a 1988 interview. What Maggie meant was that the S-R’s editorial stance was rock-ribbed Republican. The paper was founded as a Republican paper and had been particularly tough on Magnuson. It had once implied that Magnuson had shirked his patriotic duty by resigning from the Navy to run for Congress. The editorial page had also been consistently critical of Truman’s policies and was a reliable backer of Republican congressional candidates. At the time, the heavily Republican Congress was a particular thorn in Truman’s Democratic side.

HBO Poll Question (with new poll in lefthand rail): Which is the worst newspaper in the U.S. today?

Weekend Poll Results: Iron Horse makes best cocktails in downtown CDA.

Noah: God’s Country?

Noah Kroese/Special for Huckleberries Online

SR: Good To See “Squaw” Go Way Of Dodo

Imagine tooling around the Inland Northwest and being confronted with place names like Pickaninny Prairie, Chink Channel and Beaner Basin. Oh, and over there, it’s Mick Mesa and Greaser Gulch. Cringe. Well, that’s how it can feel when a Native American happens upon Squaw Bay or Squaw Creek. And that’s why that place name is being expunged throughout the Northwest. The mini-controversy this triggers – that is, what to name it – is minor compared with the good will engendered by the understanding that the original name was derogatory. It’s a measure of progress that Spokane County commissioners didn’t complain last week that Squaw Creek was undergoing a name change when presented with optional names by the Washington State Board on Geographic Names — Spokesman-Review Editorial Board.

Full editorial here

Question: Do you agree with the name change for Squaw Bay: Neachan Bay?

MamaJD: Thumbs Down On Teletubby Spears

Mark J. Terrill/AP Photo

Britney Spears performs at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Palms Hotel and Casino on Sunday in Las Vegas.

Disclaimer #1: I am not a Britney fan. Disclaimer #2: Britney’s performance was her usual awful, glorious, trainwreck self. I watched MTV’s Video Music Awards purposefully to watch the Brit-Brit in what could have been a major positive moment. Her performance of her new song turned out to be just another link to an already long laundry list of stunning escapades. My thoughts, however, turned to the message that the media will be placing on this performance. Widely blogged tonight is the notion that Britney is out of shape. “Embarrassingly out of shape” is how she is referred to. I do agree that the skimpy outfit was not flattering. On the other hand, I am critical of the critics for saying the picture I have posted above is of a woman who is “embarrassingly out of shape.” It is sad to see the media perpetuating the message that you must be skinny-skinny to be in shape. Tying her “shape” to the notion of success or failure is irresponsible of the Associated Press, where this verbage is sourced. Shame on you, AP! — MamaJD

Question: What do you think of Britney Spears? And/or her performance at the MTV Awards Sunday?

RSPA: Are You Kicking Us To The Curb, DFO?

re: start-up of new Spokane-centric, HBO-type blog in a few weeks

I’m kinda torn over the new Spokane blog DFO’s trying to kick us to the curb with. On the one hand, it’s always nice to have local issues and homiez to cyber kick it with and by being Spokanistanocentric it will clearly be able to reach for more lofty cultural and aesthetic heights than anything from North Idaho … yet … sigh. On the other hand, I don’t know about you but I’ve grown rather fond of many of these North Idahoans and their quaint and disturbing ways … I’ve learned their lingo like “LCDC” and “Chipmunks R Gud!” and “Hagadonia” and joined them in much frolic and merriment at the expense of others over the last 3 years. It will be hard to let that all go. But we are a bit like ships adrift … our anchor lines cut and floating uselessly on the surface water as we try to relate to a neighboring geography and ethos that just doesn’t quite match up to our own values and morals, like our beliefs in marrying outside of the family and not stealing power for our 72 Marlettes with jumpercables and illegal boxes.

Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel

New HBO Poll: Best Downtown CDA Cocktail

I just posted a new poll in the left rail, from OrangeTV’s new GET OUT! North Idaho blog here. If you want to argue your choice, you can use this post to do so.

DFO Watches CHS Fall To Mountain View

I saw my first high school football game of the year last night at Evans Field, with Mountain View beating Coeur d’Alene 21-9. Mountain View was bigger and stronger, with a QB that didn’t appear able to throw downfield until he needed to do so. Then, he delivered on 2 or 3 big throws that broke the Vikings’ back. CHS was smaller, quicker, but couldn’t run on the Mavericks. It was a nice night to watch football. OfCoffee was sitting a few rows behind me. I don’t think this will be the year that CHS beats defending state champion Lake City. But I had a kid that graduated from each high school. So I enjoy whatever success each local school has. It’s hard to beat the type of entertainment that prep football provides for the price, only $5. The North Idaho football scores follow:

Clarkston, Wash. 34, Lewiston 21
Colville, Wash. 20, Lakeland 7
Kootenai 40, Noxon, Mont. 0
Lake City 19, Madison 9
Mountain View 21, Coeur d’ Alene 9
Post Falls 40, Caldwell 35
Pullman, Wash. 27, Moscow 13
Sandpoint 28, Boise 0
St. Maries 29, Potlatch 0
Wallace 90, Clark Fork 42

Question: Have Blogs Increased Your Political IQ?

Now that would be a good topic for a survey question. How many people think that just by having blogs (HBO and others) for people to participate in that somehow regular folks may actually be paying more attention to local politics and better yet, starting to feel strong enough various issues to actually run for office. I know for one thing, I wouldn’t be able to post these “real time” election reports. We even had one from a city clerk this week. I think somehow people may be feeling they have more of a voice. Let’s hear it for the power of blogs and other on-line forums.

Dan of the County

Question: Are you more interested in local/state politics as a result of reading Huckleberries Online and other North Idaho blogs?

Because You Asked …

… Sgt. Christie Wood answers Sparky’s question in TGIF’s comments section re: happened that caused Ramsey School to be shut down Friday.

At approximtely 1230pm a passerby in the area of Atlantic and Kathleen Ave oberved two male juveniles shooting what they believed to be a handgun near the Ramsey playground. The Ramsey children were at recess at the time. Woodland School Resource Officer (SRO) Officer Shiflett locked down Ramsey by telephone as he responded to the school with other patrol officers. They located the two boys who were actually shooting a soft air rifle aimed at their residence not the school. Ramsey was then released from lockdown. It lasted less then 10 minutes. The boys were truant from Lake City High. Their SRO Officer McCormick responded to the scene and notified their parents of the incident. Both boys are facing possible charges of discharging a firearm inside City limits. This is a City ordinance that does apply in this situation.

Parting Shot — 9/7/07

Deirdre Eitel/AP Photo, Bozeman Daily Chronicle

Ben Coleman, right, looks on Wednesday as his wife, Ariane, comforts their newborn, Chloe Sage, in the passenger seat of their truck. Chloe was born on the same seat on Sept. 1, near mile marker 59 in Gallatin Canyon, near Big Sky, Mont, while the couple was en route to the hospital.

Post Falls Council (Final Ballot Roundup)

Seat 1 (now held by Dick Harris): Kerri Thoreson, Kristy Johnson and Jack Evans
Seat 3: incumbent Scott Grant
Seat 4 (new one, for four-year term): Skip Hissong and Angela Alexander
Seat 6 (new one, for two-year term): Anthony Skarisky, Keith Hutcheson and Linda Wilhelm

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

Gerry Broome/AP Photo

Mike Nifong, the former Durham County District Attorney is led by his wife Cy Gurney as he reports to the Durham County Detention Center in Durham, N.C. this morning. Nifong was sentenced to one day in jail after being charged with contempt of court in his handling of the Duke lacrosse case. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. The American Land Rights Association just announced their intent to “Boycott” Duke University because they feel that Nifong was “Railroaded” in the same fashion as Lary Craig! — Dennis.

2. As part of his sentance, Nifong will allowed to participate various acts associated with being in Jail, the very acts he was prosecuting. Soap on a rope foundation is asking your help — Daug Gone.

3. Nifong found out what happens when you insult Duke in its home state: The Duke “Dookies” stick together and take you down — Brent Andrews.

Eye On Boise: Youngest Senator Added To Craig List

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has added a name to his short list of candidates to replace Sen. Larry Craig – state Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, the state Senate’s youngest member. McGee, 34, is a second-term state senator and chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. Otter offered no reason for adding McGee to a list that the governor’s office said now also includes Lt. Gov. Jim Risch, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, former state Sen. Dane Watkins, and former Lt. Gov. David Leroy. Otter also said he’s decided against naming a “placeholder” for the Senate seat, and then letting those who want the position permanently duke it out in the next election/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Full Eye On Boise post here

Surprise Wannabe Files For Hassell Seat …

… Jerry Weaver, a substitute teacher in Coeur d’Alene School District and subject of a Meghann M. Cuniff story last December about grandparents raising their kids’ children.

BTW, another surprise candidate will file if he can get one more signature on his petition by 5 p.m.

News Release: Lauper Promoted to Deputy Chief

Glenn Lauper, who started his career with the Coeur d’Alene Fire Department as a volunteer in 1979 before moving to full-time in 1982, has been promoted to deputy fire chief, effective Oct. 2. From 1982 until 1990, he worked as a firefighter before being hired by the stateas a deputy fire marshal. He returned to the local department as a fire inspector in 2003. He served in that position until this May when he became Interim Deputy Fire Chief.

Anita, Wayne Make 5 For Dixie’s Spot …

Two more wannabes have filed this afternoon for the open seat now held by Coeur d’Alene Councilwoman Dixie Reid — ex-county clerk candidate Anita Banta and ex-city employee Wayne Frisbie Sr. Still 2 1/2/ hours until the filing deadline. Stay tuned.

Columnist: Craig Should Switch Parts, Move To Mass.

Now Sen. Larry Craig is refusing to resign just because he pleaded guilty in a mens room gay-sex undercover sting. Who does this Idaho Republican think he is, a Massachusetts Democrat? Actually, there is a way for Sen. Wide Stance to salvage his squalid career. It would require a two-step program. No. 1, switch parties and become a Democrat. No. 2, move to Massachusetts. Problem solved, Sen. Craig will be welcomed with a brass band at Logan Airport. Yes, U.S. senators have been arrested at Logan in the past - a Republican solon from Minnesota, oddly enough, but that was for cutting a line at a cabstand and then demanding of a state cop, “Do you know who I am?”/Howie Carr, Spokesman-Review.

Full column here

Question: Would this have played out differently if Craig’d been a liberal Democrat from Massachusetts?

New West: Craig’s Restroom Wasn’t Closest To Gate

Courtesy: New West Boise

One of the things we really do is encourage people to walk around the airport,” an MSP Airport spokeswoman told me after confirming the location of their now famous airport sex club/restroom. So Craig could potentially argue that he did nothing out of the ordinary to seek out that bathroom, to target that stall where that not-so-lonely cop sat for a total of three minutes before being, presumably, hit on. But in order to argue that, he’s going to have to face a whole lot of other evidence, including expert testimony from people who know about behavior in men’s rooms. Like this guy, a buddy of mine in DC who I think was the first person to tell me about the rumors surrounding Larry Craig’s sexuality years ago: “This type of cruising represents a dying breed of gays in the states. Mostly married old men and maybe some younger repressed folks in particularly conservative states (say, like, Idaho!). But seriously, hang out in just about any fairly well trafficked public restroom and observe. This goes on a lot. I’m not sure who would be a cruising ‘expert’ per se (or who would admit to it!)…/Nathaniel Judd Hoffman, New West Boise.

Full New West column here

Can You Say Neachen Bay, Baybee?

Item: Effort to rename Squaw Bay, other Idaho/Montana places with less offensive names gains steam/John Craig, Spokesman-Review

More Info: At least three of the requests will go before the U.S. Board on Geographic Names next Thursday in Washington, D.C. Others, including Neachen Bay (Squaw Bay), may be added to next week’s agenda or the board’s Oct. 3 agenda.

Question: Political correctness? Or about time?

Craig’s Adopted Daughter Arrested In Boise …

… News goes from bad to worse for the embattled U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, R-Iowa. The Smoking Gun has a copy of Shae Howell’s arrest warrant on a contempt of court charge (from an original offense of unlawful entry and malicious injury to property here. Boise Guardian story and discussion here.

DFO: An argument is under way between the Boise Guardian and some posters re: the appropriateness of disclosing this news about Craig’s daughter in the midst of the senator’s enormous problems. What do you think?

Hat Tip: Green Libertarian and d2/43rd State Blues

DFO, Dick Haugen Now On Air @ KGA-AM

Talkmeister Dick Haugen just called to confirm that he and I will talk for a half hour today on his “On the Road with Dick Haugen” show (AM 1510), beginning at 11:05. We’ll discuss the changes in my job, plus Larry Craig, and the Coeur d’Alene City Council elections. Please tune in …

Goodman: What Did Craig Do Wrong?

I have no desire to throw myself between Craig and the madding crowd. He was never my kind of senator. I don’t want to send my grandson into a public restroom used for assignations. Nor do I enjoy watching another humiliated wife standing by her husband. But I have to agree with Sen. Arlen Specter in separating the law from the lewd, the criminal from the yucky. What law did this sad sack of a 62-year-old senator with his ludicrous explanations actually break?/Ellen Goodman, Boston Globe.

Full column here

Noah Kroese: Going, Going …

Noah Kroese/Special to Huckleberries

New HBO Poll: Snedaker v. Bruning v. Kunka

At 6:10 p.m. Thursday, incumbent Ron Edinger was leading challenger Dan Gookin 58-20 in the unscientific HBO Poll of the Day — hours before someone or several supporters of computer-abled challenger Gookin started stuffing the ballot box. But, hey, that’s OK at HBO. The virtual land of Huckleberries Online is sorta like the old Fightin’ Creek Bar at election time. Ballot stuffing, cheatin’, and buying votes is encouraged here. So, we’re going to give Gookin the virtual win over veteran Ron Edinger in the Thursday poll: 149-121. It’ll be the only win Gookin gets in an election this fall.

/Cue canned applause for Gookin …

Wasden On Short List To Replace Craig

Item: Wasden on Otter’s short list: AG could replace Craig as Idaho senator/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review

More Info: When Idaho Gov. Butch Otter walked into Lawrence Wasden’s office and asked the state’s attorney general if he’d be interested in filling Larry Craig’s seat in the U.S. Senate, Wasden said “yes.” “That’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was a boy, believe it or not,” said Wasden, who’s made his mark prosecuting crime and corruption, including among members of his own party. Now Wasden, 49, is on Otter’s short list to replace Craig, along with Lt. Gov. Jim Risch.

DFO: Lawrence Wasden would be an ideal replacement for embattled U.S. Sen. Larry Craig. He’s young enough to gain the important seniority that our state needs to keep its interests before Congress. And he’s earned his reputation as an honest man who isn’t afraid to buck party leaders.

Question: What would you think if Otter picked Wasden to replace Craig (if/when Craig stepped down)?

Idaho Held Hostage/Day 12

Scott Stantis/Birmingham News

Wild Card/Thursday — 9/6/07

Seems this is the first evening in the rest of my journalism career, now that I’ve been moved to full-time Huckleberries columnist. I’m walking on Cloud 9 — so much so that time got away from me and I no longer have time to post the best-of-the-blogs compilation this afternoon. We’ll get back to that tomorrow. Meanwhile, I’ll begin to mull over ideas I have for continuing to tweak things here. BTW, colleague Shawn Vestal will launch out on a blog in Spokane in a coupla weeks to somewhat mimick what we’re doing here (in his own style). So, RSPA, GreenL, Toad, JBelle and some of you other HBO regulars from the wrong side of the state line will have something even more in line with your own interests. Meanwhile, I need to post this Wild Card and see what happens in those last two video rentals of the first season of the TV sci-fi series “Heroes.”

Blog Numbers (for Wednesday, Aug. 6): 9017 page-views and 5359 unique views.

Did He Really Say That ?

On MSNBC a few minutes ago, reporter Dan Abrams quoted Larry Craig spokesman Dan Whiting as saying that the most likely scenario for the embattled senator is resignation. “As of October 1,” Abrams intoned, “there will be a new senator from — (wait for it) Ohio.”

Hat Tip: Opinion Editor Doug Floyd

It’s My 2 Cents: Going Full-time w/Huckleberries

I just wrote this for tomorrow’s Huckleberries print edition. I’ll expand on it in the comments section. Basically, I’ve finally reached my long-time goal of becoming a full-time online and print columnist. That means I’ll finally have time to try even more things here.

When I signed on with The Spokesman-Review 23 years ago (as of this coming Monday) I did ahso knowing that I could move around within the newspaper. I wouldn’t have to uproot my family as I’d done too many times to get a media job that I wanted. The SR was big enough to provide challenges when I tired of a beat or editor assignment. In March 1993, I made the first move, shifting to the Editorial Board after nine years as a government reporter in Kootenai County. In February 2004, I switched again, adding my Huckleberries Online blog to my Editorial Board duties. Each change rekindled the fire that drove me into journalism in the first place, the desire to know the news first and be part of the discussion. Now, I’m embarking on a new challenge that’s rooted in the change I made 42 months ago. I’m leaving the Editorial Board to concentrate on Huckleberries full-time, in print and online. It has been my goal for some time to become a full-time Huckleberries columnist. I didn’t realize in January 1985 when I started the print column (originally called Kootenai Grapevine) that there would be a computer component to it someday. Editor Steve Smith signed off on the change Thursday. Basically, it frees me up to concentrate on the print version and to transform Huckleberries Online into even more of a must-read blog for breaking news, community discussion, and access to other North Idaho bloggers and commenters. Check out Huckleberries Online today, if you never have. As I said when I launched the blog on Feb. 16, 2004: You ain’t see nothing yet.

Question: Favorite Day of the Week?

Summer days blur into each other, but now that school has started up again I’m reminded that some days are better than others. Like most people, I used to enjoy Friday the most. For all the obvious reasons. But now I think my favorite day is Tuesday. That’s garbage day in my neighborhood. It’s such a good feeling watching them haul away 96 gallons of our trash each week. It feels like freedom/Family Phil, A Family Runs Through It.

Question: Which is your favorite day of the week?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 9/6/07

Jill McLane Baker/AP Photo/Kalamazoo Gazette

A street near Northwood Elementary in Kalamazoo, Mich., has the word school misspelled on the pavement on Wednesday. Crews were expected to correct the mistake Thursday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. In nearby Milwaukee, the same crew’s shoddy work was blamed for the demise of the Schlitz Brewing Company — John Austin.

2. Road crews discover that spell check is not a standard feature for paint brushes, and: Kalamazoo eagerly await Dave’s addition of a comment preview window to HBO — both Nic.

3. if this is a shcool crossing, how do the shcools know to cross here? — Granati.

HM: Dawg Gone

No Surprises In Hayden Election So Far

Just talked with Hayden City Clerk Vicki Rutherford re: council races there. So far, no surprises — other than the fact that Councilman Chris Beck (who occasionally posts comments at Huckleberries Online) won’t seek re-electio to Seat No. 3. Chris, a geotech engineer who was first elected to the council in 1999, is moving outside Hayden’s city limits. Currently, Mayor Ron McIntire and Councilwoman Nancy Taylor are the only people to file for the fall election. Filing closes at 5 p.m. Friday.

Marine’s Lament: We Need A Draft

A Marine corporal who fought at Fallujah and elsewhere in Iraq says we need a draft to get the job done. Not a Vietnam-style draft, with all of those available deferments, but a WWII draft.

It’s what he expected as he escaped The World Trade Center on Sept, 11, 2001.

Would a draft help the U.S. achieve its objectives, or would it hasten our withdrawal from Iraq?

Simul-blogged at A Matter of Opinion

(Public domain poster from

Bruning Throws Hat In Ring For Dixie’s Open Seat …

John Bruning (pictured), the long-time chairman of the city’s P&Z commission, told Huckleberries moments ago that he has filed for the open Coeur d’Alene City Council seat now held by Dixie Reid. Former mayor candidate Joe Kunka and former P&Zer Suzie Snedaker have also announced for the seat. Bruning called his friend Snedaker earlier today to say he was filing. Also, he told HBO that he polled his four children yesterday about the possible race — and received their unabashed support. He has been a P&Z member since he was appointed by former Mayor Jim Fromm in 1982.

Extra! Brannon Files Against Hassell

Huckleberries Online has just heard that Jim Brannon of Habitat for Humanity will run against incumbent Al Hassell for a Coeur d’Alene City Council seat. Dunno if Brannon is part of the ticket with Dan Gookin and possibly Suzie Snedaker. Joe Kunka, who ran against Sandi Bloem for mayor two years ago, has filed today against Snedaker for the open seat now held by Dixie Reid. The council races are coming into focus for this fall’s election. There’s still one more announcement I’m expecting this afternoon. Also, I’ve heard that anti-property tax avocate Sharon Culbreth might file. Stay tuned.

Get Out! Introducing OrangeTV’s Bread Crumbs

Seems like whoever is building the new Thai Bamboo on 4th in Cd’A has two speeds: slow and stop. Every time I drive by it looks like there’s only 1-2 guys actually building the place. Meahwhile, the new drive-thru beverage barn two doors up the street came together in about a month and a half and is already open for business. Thai Bamboo has been under construction since last Spring and still doesn’t even have a roof! The opening date is slated for October, but I can’t imagine it. In this day and age, buildings seem to go up so fast, and it’s nerve wracking to watch them do this one like it’s 1936, especially when I want some Curry Beef and Swimming Rama right now!/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho

More Bread Crumbs here

DFO: I just posted a link to OrangeTV’s new Get Out! North Idaho blog, which focuses on reviews and material oriented more toward his SR column. You can still read his personal stuff at Making Flippy Floppy.

Statesman: Craig All But Drops Try To Finish Term

The likelihood that U.S. Sen. Larry Craig would resign grew today, as fellow Republicans all but abandoned their Idaho colleague, and the prospect of a timely legal defense dimmed. Craig, who announced Saturday that he intended to resign from the U.S. Senate effective Sept. 30, backed away from that announcement this week by saying he would resign only if he wasn’t able to clear his name first/Idaho Statesman.

Full post here

Kerri, 2 Others File For Post Falls Council Seat …

HBO’s Kerri Thoreson/OnLine North Idaho, Kristy Johnson and Jack Evans have filed for the open Post Falls City Council Seat No. 1 currently held by ex-schools superintendent Dick Harris. City Clerk Chris Pappas told Huckleberries Online a few minutes ago that the following also have filed for council seats:

Seat No. 3 (Scott Grant’s seat) — Scott Grant
Seat No. 5 (new one, 4-year term) — Skip Hissong
Seat No. 6 (new one, 2-year term) — Linda Wilhelm

Surprise Candidacy Announcement for CdA Council …

… coming this afternoon. Stay tuned.

SR: Larry Craig Should Stay Resigned

“Craig has a right to pursue a legal remedy. He and his attorneys can take the appropriate steps to attempt to restore his reputation. But it’s unfair for Craig to continue to perform the role of Idaho senator while dealing with these distractions. It’s not fair to voters who applauded his resignation announcement, it’s not fair to the governor who must replace him, and it’s not fair to the Senate itself”/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board.

Full post here

Inside Huckleberries — 9/6/07

*Under the Idaho Politics blog, you’ll now find a link to Bill Sali Fan, who describes himself on his blog as “just an Idaho Patriot who knows that Bill Sali is gonna stop Nancy Pelosi’s plans for a liberal takeover.” Don’t know much else about him except that he lives in Ada County. Click here.

*Shinie/This Is Growing Up sends along a link to that monologue in which David Letterman sez U.S. Sen. Larry Craig is from Iowa (Sept. 4 monologue) here.

Q: Should Feds Sock Single Parents To Cut Deficit?

Item: Single moms face deadbeat deficit: New law deducts $25 from cases getting $500 or more in child support/Tom Greene, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Schwalls and about 108,000 other single parents with custody of children in Idaho were notified that, because of a new federal law, an annual fee of $25 would automatically be deducted from cases that receive $500 or more in child support payments through state child support services.

Question: Should the federal government try to reduce the federal deficit on the backs of single parents?

Luciano Pavarotti, 71, Tenor, R.I.P.

AP File Photo

The Three Tenors, from left, Jose Carreras, Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo, smile at a press conference at a Tokyo hotel in this June 25, 2002 file photo. Domingo’s eyes welled with tears during a concert in Berlin at the 2006 World Cup final. Pavarotti, whose vibrant high C’s and ebullient showmanship made him the most beloved and celebrated tenor since Caruso and one of the few opera singers to win crossover fame as a popular superstar, died Thursday. He was 71 here.

Question: Do you enjoy opera?

Coulter: Craig Among Least Hypocritical

Just as liberals were reaching a fever-pitch of pretend shock and dismay at Larry Craig, it was announced that Craig was resigning. And there went MSNBC’s fall program schedule. Indignant that Craig had short-circuited their gleeful gay-baiting, liberals quickly switched to a new set of talking points. In the blink of an eye, they went from calling Craig a “deviant” to attacking Republicans for not insisting that Craig stay. Liberals said the only reason Republicans were not blanketing the airwaves defending Craig — maybe running him for president — was because of Republican “homophobia.” After howling with rage all week about gay Republicans, to turn around and call Republicans homophobes on Friday was nothing if not audacious/Ann Coulter,

Full column here

Question: Do you listen any more when either Republicans or Democrats point their fingers when a member of the other party is caught in a moral wrongdoing?

AM Hucks: Let Iowa Take Fall For Idaho

I’m checking out reports from Huckleberries Online blog commenters that David Letterman said that U.S. Sen. Larry “Wide Stance” Craig was from Iowa instead of Idaho. Idahoans should hope this is true. After all, much of the country already mistakes Idaho for Iowa. Why not turn lemons into lemonade and take advantage of Letterman’s slip of the tongue. In wake of the current airport bathroom flap that has conjured a dark cloud over Idaho, er, Iowa, it might be nice to refer to the state’s senior senator until at least Sept. 30 as “U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, R-Iowa.” Mebbe we Gem Staters could dump our surplus russets and our stereotype as a haven for racists onto Iowa, too. Iowa could use a few bristles around its soft edges. The state’s image is squeaky clean. If memory serves me correctly, the biggest problem in Iowa (outside of its convoluted motto of “Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain” is pool – which starts with a “P” and that rhymes with “T” and that stands for trouble. Idaho has a greater problem than kids hanging out in the pool room. We have a senator looking for a good time in airport bathrooms. Iowa has two U.S. senators, and it must have an airport somewhere. Mebbe Idaho can talk Sen. Craig into representing Iowa for the next 16 months, if he flip-flops on Saturday’s resignation announcement. It’d help us Idahoans get over our embarrassment. And no one outside the Pacific Northwest would notice.

Full post here

Heller: An Anniversary To Remember

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Conservatives Fleeing Craig En Masse

The fastest way to clear a room of the leaders of the conservative establishment, it seems, is to ask about the great unpleasantness surrounding Sen. Larry Craig. Gathered to praise one of President Bush’s judicial nominees, they fell silent Wednesday when asked who would like to see Idaho Republican stay in office. Not Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council or Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America or David Keene of The American Conservative Union or Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. None was willing to tackle the subject of Craig’s future; the lawmaker has pleaded guilty in connection with a men’s room sex sting at the Minneapolis airport.

Full post here

Hat Tip: Eye On Boise

Parting Shot — 9/5/07

Bill Kostroun/AP Photo

New York Yankees catcher Jose Molina, left, and Seattle Mariners batter Adrian Beltre both ask for help from the first base umpire during first inning baseball action moments ago at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Mariners are two games behind the Yankees in the Wild Card race and must win tonight to prevent the current road trip from being a total disaster.

Ethics Panel’s Response Not Promising For Craig

Sen. Larry Craig’s push to get the Senate Ethics Committee to dismiss an investigation of his case appeared to suffer a setback late today, when the committee issued a letter to GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell that, while still noting that the case is under review, appeared to undercut Craig’s main argument for dismissal. Craig has contended that his arrest and guilty plea in an airport restroom sex-solicitation sting were unrelated to his duties in Congress, and therefore didn’t fall under the Ethics Committee’s jurisdiction/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Full post here

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 9/5/07

Chris Peterson/Muse You Can Use

Chris Peterson/Muse You Can Use feels bad that his friend Dan from New York didn’t see a moose like this during his recent visit to Glacier National Park here.

*”By now, much of it seems like a dream and the edges of the startling contrasts of beauty and ugly are softened by my memory,” posts Notes from The ‘Kan EWA here. “I would go back to Russia next week. It was that poignant, that exquisite, that haunting. St. Petersburg opened the curtain on the adventure of a lifetime.”

*Atmospheric Ruminations wasn’t much of a baseball player in his youth but he became a solid baseball fan as an adult. That’s why he’s having a hard time adjusting to the Mariners’ current losing streak here.

*Kellogg Bloggin’ enjoys a Carlin Burger at Carlin Bay and Easy Ridin’ in North Idaho on the back of a powerful motorcycle here.

*”Mirrormask” isn’t “the kind of film you’d see in a theater in Spokane,” writes Synaptic Disunion. It’s just too odd, I think, for this little town. It’s the kind of film you’d see in San Francisco, New York, or various art centers around the world. It’s different. Some people wouldn’t like it, but this reviewer (that’s me, you understand), did here.

*TUBOB breathes freer en route home from the West Coast and its tiny skies through the scabland country of eastern Washington here.

*Alison Krauss and Brandon Marsalis rocked Wayward Episcopalian’s world in back-to-back concerts in the late great state of Louisiana here.

Blog Numbers (for Tuesday, Aug. 4): page-views 8019, unique views 4782.

Meanwhile, Chronic Discontent offers political cartoons here, Inland Empire Girl had a first day of school here, Idawa believes he lives but he does not blog here, and The Perambulator shows off his $100 new barbecue here.

Newsweek Columnist: Dems (Heart) Larry Craig

Item: Larry Craig, the Democrats’ best friend/Howard Fineman, Newsweek

More Info: I wasn’t ready to conclude that 2008 is going to be a Democratic year, but the metastasizing Craig saga is tempting me to abandon my reporter’s caution. Sometimes in American politics, you can’t make the stuff up: a Republican conservative stalwart, sworn enemy of gay rights, nabbed in a men’s room stall in the very city in which the GOP plans to hold its presidential convention!

Question: If Larry Craig fights to hang onto his Senate seat, will he hurt Repub chances to keep the White House and regain control of Congress in 2008?

Quotable Quote — Steve Smith

“Thank you, Larry Craig,” said Editor Steve Smith, a day after bemoaning the loss of a hot news topic during a normally slow news cycle.

Search Continues For Missing BYUer From Boise

George Frey/AP Photo

Ryan Stewart looks in a thicket of brush along the Provo River Trail during the search for Brigham Young University student Camille Cleverley today in Provo, Utah. Volunteers searched rocks, brush and uneven terrain Wednesday in Provo Canyon for any sign of the 22-year-old Boise, Idaho, native missing for nearly a week.

Eye On Boise: Transcript Of Otter Interview Today

If you’re interested in the question of who might replace Larry Craig as Idaho’s next U.S. senator, check out this transcript of Gov. Otter’s conversation with reporters this morning. In it, Otter throws out two new names – former Idaho Attorney General and Lt. Gov. David Leroy, and former state lawmaker Dane Watkins – and offers a possible argument for why he shouldn’t appoint either of them or current Lt. Gov. Jim Risch, and should turn to a “placeholder” instead/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Related: Otter, Craig meet here, and Craig’s lawyer: “Don’t open that floodgate” here.

Craig Calls On Senate Ethics Panel To Halt Probe …

… Sez no precedent to assert authority over Minneapolis case

Stanley Brand, legal counsel for Idaho Senator Larry Craig, delivered a letter on Craig’s behalf to the Senate Ethics Committee today. “The letter points out that there is no precedent - in more than 220 years - for the Ethics Committee to assert jurisdiction over my case in Minneapolis,” Craig said. “It is my hope that the committee will agree, and we have strong reason to believe they will. To continue this investigation would open a whole can of worms for the entire Senate, for years to come.”

A copy of the letter is available here.

Huckleberries Best of Idaho Online — 9/7/07

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Kaeden Miller, left and Aidan Cummings, right, share a laugh during their first day of Kindergarten at Sorensen Magnet School in Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday. The school’s popularity has officials considering offering more here.

1. The University of Idaho appears to be recovering from devastating enrollment losses over the past several years. According to enrollment numbers released Tuesday, enrollment through the 10th day of classes is down less than 1 percent statewide and 1.2 percent on the Moscow campus, about 103 students here.

2. New Noah Kroese cartoon here.

3. Online Poll: By 45% to 36%, a plurality of 368 respondents to a Coeur d’Alene Press poll prefer Lt. Gov. Jim Risch to Congressman Mike Simpson as the replacement if/when U.S. Sen. Larry Craig steps down from his seat.

4. Bloggers: Adam’s Blog (The Jose Canseco of Washington politics), Faustus37/43rd State Blues (Bring out your dead), Clayton Cramer (Craig story gets worse and worse), Rob’s Idaho Perspective (Queens River backpacking), and Dennis Mansfield (What did Craig intend to mean with “intend”?).

5. News Roundup: Craig asks ethics panel to dismiss complaint against him here, Animals rescued from KootCo home here, 3 Idaho women arrested with West Nile virus here, Rival bar owner arrested in Post Falls fire here, and Large fire threatens Tamarack Resort here.

6. IMHO-Idaho: Kevin Richert/Idaho Statesman (What is Craig’s intent), Tom Henderson/Lewiston Tribune (Send in the clown), T.J. Tranchell/UI Argonaut (For those preparing to quit), Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press (The Specter scenario — reality?), and Rocky Barker/Idaho Statesman (Craig fall won’t affect Wyoming river bill).

Transcript: Larry Craig Phone Call

Latest from Eye On Boise: Craig’s Word Game here

“Yes, Billy, this is Larry Craig calling, you can reach me on my cell. Arlen Specter is now willing to come out in my defense arguing that all he know that I’ve been railroaded and all that. Having all that we’ve reshaped my statement to say it is my intent to resign on September 30. I think it is very important for you to make as bold a statement as you are comfortable with this afternoon. I hope you could make it in front of the cameras. I think it would ride the story that I am willing to fight that I have quality people out there fighting in my defense and that this thing could take a new turn or a new shape, it has that potential. Anyway give me a buzz, or give Mike a buzz on that, we are headed to my press conference now. Thank you, bye.

Pia: Craig Denials Fall Flat In Other Countries

But sitting in my mom’s kitchen in Copenhagen, Denmark, early one morning I suffered one of the biggest world collisions I’ve ever experienced, just like that, while listening to the morning news on the radio. I’d gotten up just in time to hear Sen. Larry Craig say, “I am not gay; I never have been gay,” in solid English, followed by the Danish radio reporter quipping, “As if that has anything to do with it.” Craig’s desperate attempt to un-gay himself fell completely flat when the broadcast continued with a quote in which Craig called then-President Bill Clinton a “nasty, bad, naughty boy” for fooling around with Monica Lewinsky. By then, even my mom was laughing out loud — Pia Hansen/Spokesman-Review.

Full column here

Question: What are your friends and/or family from out of state saying about the Craig controversy?

HBO Poll: KootCo To Charge Fees For Boat Launches …

… See today’s new HBO Poll in left rail

Item: County approves boat launch fee: Funds will be used for maintenance; out-of-state boaters will pay double/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

More Info: The County Commission voted Tuesday to charge users with boats registered in Idaho a $4 daily launch fee or $20 for an annual pass. Owners with boats registered out of state will pay double: $8 a day or $40 a year.

DFO: Isn’t this the same issue that former Bayview marina owner Wally Wright fought and beat some 20 years ago in District Court? Is it legal to charge out-of-state boaters more to launch than in-state boaters. In the previous court test, I believe, the county tried to charge only out-of-state boaters — and had to refund the money collected after it lost in court. I don’t know how long this is going to fly.

WND’s Farah: Constitution Could Clear Craig

AP Photo

Item: U.S. Constitution could clear Craig: Senators not subject to arrest while traveling to, from sessions of Congress/Joseph Farah, WorldNetDaily

More Info: Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, didn’t have to plead guilty to sex charges stemming from a men’s room encounter with an undercover cop in Minnesota. All he had to do was hand the police officer a copy of the U.S. Constitution – the document the senator swore to uphold upon first taking office in Congress 27 years earlier. There is little ambiguity in Article 1: Section 6, which clearly states no member of Congress can be arrested while traveling to or from official session.

Question: At this point, would it make a difference to you if charges and Larry Craig’s guilty plea were dismissed?

Craig Reconsidering Resignation — AP

Originally posted 6:05 p.m. Tuesday

Sen. Larry Craig’s spokesman says the senator is reconsidering his decision to resign. A spokesman says Idaho Senator Larry Craig is reconsidering his decision to resign after his arrest in a Minnesota airport sex sting and may still fight for his Senate seat. Spokesman Sidney Smith says: “It’s not such a foregone conclusion anymore, that the only thing he could do was resign.” Smith also says: “We’re still preparing as if Senator Craig will resign September 30, but the outcome of the legal case in Minnesota and the ethics investigation will have an impact on whether we’re able to stay in the fight — and stay in the Senate”/John Miller, Associated Press.

Full story here

Question: Should Craig have reconsidered?

WorldNetDaily: Should Craig Stay in the Senate?

Item: Craig’s ‘resignation reversal’ angers GOP: ‘It simply defies reality. You can’t make this up even if you are heavily medicated’/The Politico

Question: Should Larry Craig stay in the U.S. Senate after all?

*Yes, I believe the senator is not guilty of anything worthy of leaving the Senate
*Yes, the Constitution precludes his arrest traveling to or from the Capitol
*Yes, there are plenty of cleaner restrooms for him to solicit sex in the Senate
*Yes, he’s a shyster politician just like all the others
*No, he’s a shyster politician just like all the others
*No, this issue is too much of a distraction
*No, Republicans are under a cloud and need Craig out
*No, Craig needs to realize there are bigger (and wider) things than his own stance
*Wow, I’m about as torn on this issue as a sheet of toilet tissue on an airport-restroom floor

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here

Heller: No Mother Left Behind

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Their Dog and the First Day of School

He sits at the window
and he ponders all day
why that big yellow bus
took his buddies away.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Wanted: Harry Potter VII Questions

I’m going to kick off the HBO Book Club discussion of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J.K. Rowling Tuesday morning. I don’t want to bother Librarian Bette Ammon who’s in the middle of moving her crew, books and other libary materials into the new library. So can you give me some questions to begin the discussion Tuesday morning?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 9/4/07

JeanC, HBO’s Witch With A Gun, offers a YouTube video reminder, plus commentary, of the big storm that blew in Friday.

*Road King Ramblings drove 2400 to participate in his first and mebbe last Stugis motorcycle rally and now has penned his long-awaited report of the event (w/PG-13 photos) here.

*OrangeTV is going through a change of sorts — breaking out his SR published works onto a new site called Get Out North Idaho here and continuing his personal Making Flippy Floppy blog with some new MySpace videos including a new one dubbed, “Hagadonia,” here.

*Slight Detour admits that Labor Day afternoon before she retired from teaching was one of the worst days of the year for her b/c she never thought she was ready for the next 36 weeks here.

*Bayview Herb and the rest of Bayview are wondering if it’s time to incorporate the viewtiful little community on the southern tip of Lake Pend Oreille here and here.

*Sparky Notes has been doing a jig after several recent job offers and several months of temp jobs and soft offers, as she prepares for the next phase of her life here.

*From A Simple Mind never contacted U.S. Sen. Larry Craig to help her with a problem. She doesn’t know much about him. But she’s shocked how quickly his party threw him under the bus here.

Blog Numbers (for Aug. 26-Sept. 1): record page-views of 67,348, record unique views of 38,493, August total of 198,328 (compared to 133,392PVs in August 2006); year-to-date: 1,425,914PVs (compared to 755,000 through August last year).

Meanwhile, Silver Valley Girl’s 12-year-old continues a family tradition here, As The Lake Churns helps celebrate Priest Lake’s largest gin-fizz party here, Mrs. Mac Energetic has a new mantra to say while she tries to get a grip here, Tumblewords presents “Grandparents” here, This Is Growing Up picks a peck of peppers here, Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts enjoyed a record blog month in August here, Plaid Toaster is enjoying the freedom that school brings here, Granati gives thumbs up to St. Maries fireworks display here, CastMD contends Sen. Craig could be a spokesman for a medical malady here, BrodH20 sez toilet water suits her cat fine here, Arch Druid breaks down news and comments here, Alotta Brunk Around Here keeps time while waiting for medical results here, and A Butterfly Moment gets ready for school here.

BYU Begins Year By Seeking Missing Boise Student

Donald Meyers/Salt Lake Tribune, AP Photo

David Cleverley, foreground, and Lyanna Lee, post flyers on the Brigham Young University campus in Provo, Utah Monday to find information on the disappearance of Cleverley’s sister, Camille Cleverley. Students and staff received an e-mail alerting them to the disappearance of Cleverley, who hasn’t been seen since Aug. 30. Her bike is missing. You can read more about the missing 22-year-old senior from Boise here.

In The News: Another Surprise Visit To Iraq

AP Photo

President Bush is embraced by a soldier as he greets troops at Al-Asad Airbase in Anbar province during an unannounced visit to Iraq Monday.

Councilman Ron Edinger To Announce …

… re-election bid at 11 a.m. Wednesday at City Hall. At this point, Edinger will be challenged by anti-LCDC activist Dan Gookin. Stay tuned …

Nappi: Stand By Your Friends — Or Not

It’s eerie how quickly a news story can disappear. Larry Craig announced his resignation from the Senate Saturday, amid a sex scandal.

My colleague Gary Crooks took an interesting look at the “friend” who didn’t stand by in his Saturday column Smart Bombs.

One friend and politician showed support, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter. Jim Camden And Betsy Z. Russell of the S-R reported:

“I have known Larry and Suzanne Craig for almost 40 years,” Otter said, noting he’d worked with Craig in Boise and Washington, D.C.
“As a public servant who has made mistakes in my private life, I am mindful that you don’t really know who your friends are until you stumble,” Otter said.
“I want Larry and Suzanne to know that Lori and I stand by them.”
Otter’s career was blemished by a 1992 DUI and a win in a bar’s “tight-fittin’ jeans” contest when he was the state’s lieutenant governor. He came back from that low to later serve in Congress and be elected governor.

Catholic and Christian teachings are big on compassion, forgiveness and throwing the first stone only if you are blameless.

So the question here: What determines whether you’ll stick by a friend in really tough times? Have you done it in the past? If so, was it easier to do because you had once “stumbled” and people stood by you? And what happened in your own life because you stuck with a friend through tough times?

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

(S-R file photo from 1991 movie Thelma and Louise.)

Brand X Launches Election Coverage w/LCDC Shot

Even if you can accept this reverse Robin Hood philosophically — and the members of this newspaper’s editorial board do not — consider the widespread, long-term impact of LCDC’s operation. Taxing entities within the two districts will be deprived of those property taxes for many years. Dollars that would have gone to the school district, for example, will enhance LCDC’s overflowing coffers. Dollars that should support city services, like fire, police and street improvements, will only bolster LCDC’s bank account. As it stands today, a rich LCDC will get richer for the next 18 years, and the other taxing entities within those districts could very well grow poorer. We believe this is not what urban renewal supporters had in mind 10 years ago, and we urge Mayor Sandi Bloem and the Coeur d’Alene City Council to redefine this tremendous community’s urban renewal program. It is within their authority to immediately make changes as they see fit/Coeur d’Alene Press.

Full editorial here

DFO: City Hall insiders believe The Duane is trying to dismantle the Lake City Development Corp b/c The Duane is afraid that Marshall Chesrown will get tax increment money to help build a rival resort. Dunno if that’s true. But that’s what’s being said privately among the volunteers who are being attacked regularly by the Coeur d’Alene Press and The Duane’s anti-LCDC allies.

Sen. Craig Has Become Butt of Late-Night Jokes

“How about that poor Senator Craig from Idaho? … So he gets arrested in a men’s room there at the airport in Minneapolis. And here’s the deal now. He’s now in Stage One of a political sex scandal: defiance. Stage Two: stepping down to spend more time with his family. Stage Three: ‘I’m gay and I’m proud!’”/David Letterman, “Late Night with David Letterman.”

Daniel Kurtzman/Political Humor has a long list of Larry Craig jokes making the airwaves (beware: crude) here.

PhilT: Craig Did Great Things For Idaho, But …

Larry Craig did many great things for Idaho. He will be missed. His work defending our Gun Rights, and replacing our Timber funding for schools deserves mention. Idaho lost a lot of power and standing in DC last week. That is what really upsets me, I feel let down. All of that hard work moving up in leadership, the choice committee assignments, the prestige Idaho enjoyed is all for not. Larry Craig did himself in; he has no one to blame but himself. He did the right thing by falling on his sword. Now, forgiveness and healing can begin. This has nothing to do with political hounds. No one has mentioned this point but it’s a big one. Craig was in place to know many Highly Guarded State Secrets, Secrets about black weapons programs, war plans, foreign policy strategies… the list goes on and on. Think about it, what kind of danger would we have been in if a foreign Intelligence agency got wind of his habits before he exposed himself. The potential for blackmail is huge. At that level of the game thats a risk we should not be taking. Both parties should be aware of that and hold their politicians to the highest level of integrity. Of course, I am dreaming of a perfect world.

Phil Thompson

You Think … Risch Will Replace Craig

New poll coming in a few minutes

In the Huckleberries Online poll, which asked you to guess the identity of the individual who will replace Larry Craig as the U.S. senator from Idaho, you said:

Jim Risch 57
Butch Otter 44
Other 16
Dirk Kempthorne 12
Mike Simpson 9
Bill Sali 6

BTW, convention wisdom sides w/Gov. Butch Otter picking Risch, too here.

Online Poll: How Often Do You Buy Lotto Tickets?

Four winning tickets were sold for the estimated $330 million Mega Millions jackpot. How often do you purchase lotto tickets? — Idaho Statesman

*Once a week
*Twice a week
*Once a month
*When jackpot is big

DFO: Never

SR Today: Cost of Speeding

*In Kootenai County and Coeur d’Alene, a ticket for going 1 to 15 mph over the speed limit in a school zone is $75. The fine for going 16 mph or more over the limit is $140.

*In Spokane, the minimum fine is $189. The ticket for going more than 10 mph over the speed limit in a school zone is $210.

*In Spokane County, the fine is $189 for going 1 to 5 mph over the speed limit, $210 for 6 to 10 over, $271 for 11 to 15 over.

Question: When was the last time that you were caught speeding?

Kelly: Kids Show Love By Shedding Hair

Brian Plonka/Spokesman-Review

La Tourrette’s hair stylist Catrina Corbeill shows Mackenzie Richards, 11, of Hayden (daughter of occasional HBO poster, Kelly Richards) a lock of her hair Friday in Coeur d’Alene, during a cut to donate her hair to Locks of Love. Richards grew her hair out for over two years after being inspired to help kids with cancer after watching a television program. The several ponytails collected from Richards will be made into wigs for cancer victims.

Dave, thank you for running this here and for encouraging your editor to cover the story in the paper! I suggested coverage because Mackenzie had worked for so long and was originally inspired by another news account two years ago. By the response I’ve had to this picture, it seems lots of girls (and some boys, too) grow their hair to donate to causes like Locks of Love, mostly anonymously, without any recognition. On behalf of all those donors, as well as my daughter, thank you for drawing attention to these acts of love! This was a very personal donation for Mackenzie, as she’d “grown” quite attached to her long hair. But she loves her new haircut and really felt like she did something nice for others in need.

Kelly Richards
Proud Mama

McGreevey: A Prayer For Larry Craig

My gut wrenched when I read of Sen. Larry Craig’s bathroom arrest. I remembered my own late-night encounter with the law at a Garden State Parkway rest stop following a political dinner in north Jersey. I pulled into the rest stop, parked my car, flashed my headlights, which was “the signal,” and waited. Glancing in my rearview mirror, I saw a state trooper approaching. I desperately tried to convince the trooper of my innocence, showing him my former prosecutor’s badge, a gift from the office when I left. The trooper radioed his office and returned. “I never want to see you here again,” he said. I survived for another day. I was in my late 20s. It would be another 25 years before my parallel lives collided and I was coerced out of the “closet.” Why do grown men in their 20s, or their 60s, do such things? I can answer only for me/ex-New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey, Washington Post.

Full column here

Hat Tip: Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise

Stantis: Public Restroom Jitters

Scott Stantis/Birmingham News

Labor Day Sunday Wild Card/Borah Triangle Moderating

Borah Triangle graciously has volunteered to handle moderating duties today as I resume this experiment at Huckleberries Online after a hiatus do to my recent vacation. He’s the third to take the controls here, behind MamaJD and Rainbow Sparkle Pony Angel (although RSPA probably didn’t realize at the time that I’d tossed this thing in his lap). You can find out more info about Borah Triangle and his rules for the day below the three photos of the USC-Idaho game (which I posted for our true-blue fan, Family Phil). Indeed, the Vandals look like they’re going to be better than people think this year. There’s a coupla other things below — and all the Larry Craig stuff from Saturday. (BTW, Eye on Boise has the latest latest stuff in her blog.) If you haven’t voted in the informal poll in the left rail, please take time to do so. Now, I’m outta here. I’m playing this Wild Card for Borah Triangle …

Eye On Boise: History Indicates Speedy Replacement

All the latest coverage of Larry Craig resignation here

There’s historical precedent in Idaho for a
governor appointing a replacement for a U.S. senator who resigns – and doing it quickly. In 1921, John F. Nugent, a Democrat, resigned from his Senate seat. The very next day, Gov. D.W. Davis appointed Frank Gooding, who like Davis was a Republican. You can read my full story here about the history in today’s Spokesman-Review. But Jon Hanian, Gov. Butch Otter’s press secretary, said today that Otter is in no rush to name Craig’s replacement. Since Craig’s resignation isn’t effective until Sept. 30, he has some time. “Certainly not this Labor Day weekend,” Hanian said. “I don’t expect that’s going to happen for a while”/Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise.

Gary: A Friend In Need? Romney No Real Friend of Craig’s

On Aug. 20, U.S. Sen. Larry Craig extolled the presidential candidacy of Mitt Romney at an editorial board meeting with The Spokesman-Review. A week later, he was tossed from the campaign bus when the bathroom-stall story broke. At first, the Romney camp merely issued a brief statement saying that Craig was leaving as co-chairman of the Idaho team. But, it seems, being classy doesn’t win many votes. So, like the movie “The Trouble with Harry,” he dug up Craig and buried him … again and again. On Tuesday, Romney said he was “very disappointed” and worked in the all-important Clinton reference: “I think it reminds us of Mark Foley and Bill Clinton.” On Thursday, Romney told the Associated Press how the scandal has challenged him: “You’ll always have surprises. That’s the nature of humanity. People sometimes disappoint, and then the question is, ‘How do you respond to that?’ “By capitalizing, of course! So he goes on to say that Craig’s behavior was “disgraceful.” Hey, we get the point, Mr. Romney, you want to be president, and if it means scoring points off a devastated friend, well, that’s the nature of your humanity/Gary Crooks, Spokesman-Review.

Question: Have you changed your opinion of Mitt Romney after he threw Craig under the bus so quickly?

Borah Triangle’s Rules For Labor Day Sunday Posting

“My maternal grandfather, the son of a Methodist minister, said as the head at dinner…”all joints on the table will be carved…” so, please, keep your elbows off the table, and to yourself. Google doesn’t give the reference ”all joints on the table will be carved…” good service…thebottom line in my grandfather’s house was, just like a good roast or ham (which included an animal’s joint), do not put your elbow (a joint) on the table!! so…don’t throw any elbows…and you won’t get “carved”…let’s be civil!

Borah Triangle

Patano: Craig staff will ‘do what we’ve always done’

Sandy Patano, Sen. Larry Craig’s top staffer in Idaho, watched her boss announce his resignation this morning, then faced the cameras herself. “Larry Craig is one of the most honorable men I’ve ever known,” Patano said. “I’ve worked for him for 25 years. He has never asked me to cover up anything in my entire career. He has always been about truth and honesty and doing what is just.” Asked what Craig’s staffers will do in the coming 30-day transition period, Patano said they’ll continue “to do what we’ve always done, and what he’s always done – work for Idaho” Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise.

Eye On Boise provides complete coverage Craig resignation and reaction here.

Craig’s Office Answers Follow-Up Questions

Q: Why September 30?
A: Thousands of Idahoans come to me every year for assistance in resolving issues with federal agencies, like obtaining passports, resolving Social Security or pension problems, and I want to make sure as many of these are resolved as possible. What can’t be resolved will be transferred to my successor in an orderly way. I want to make as smooth a transition as possible for Idaho.

Q: Will you return to Washington, D.C.? When?
A: That has not been determined.

Q: Will you continue to vote and attend hearings during this time?
A: See above.

Q: Who is your legal counsel?
A: Stan Brand with Brand Law Group has been retained to handle issues pertaining to the Senate Ethics Committee investigation: (202)662-9700. Billy Martin with Southerland, Asbil & Brennan has been retained to handle all other legal affairs: (202) 383-0100.

Q: Have you filed papers in Minnesota to begin your legal defense?
A: You’ll have to speak with Mr. Martin or Mr. Brand on any questions pertaining to legal affairs.

Q: Have you spoken with Governor Otter about a replacement?
A: No.

Q: Have you had any conversations with Lieutenant Governor Risch?
A: No.

Crapo Releases Statement re: Friend Craig

“Today is a sad day for me as I recognize that Senator Craig has made clear his intentions to leave the U.S. Senate. He has been my colleague for many years, and I have enjoyed working with Larry, but, more importantly, he has been my friend. It is my hope that as history judges Senator Craig, that his successes, accomplishments and strong leadership for Idaho in Congress are taken in totality, and that those he served so admirably in Congress for five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and three terms in the U.S. Senate will recall the full measure of the man”/U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo.

Full post in Extended Entry below

Craig Resignation: Finding Support Among Audience

Greg Kreller/AP Photo, Idaho Press-Tribune

Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, receives a hug from a supporter as he walks away from the podium at the Boise Depot train station, where he announced his resignation from the Senate today in Boise. Craig’s resignation completed a stunning downfall that began Monday with the disclosure that he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge following his arrest during a sex sting in a Minneapolis airport men’s room.

Statesman: Resignation “Bow to Political Pragmatism

Idaho Statesman editorial published this morning, prior to Craig’s announceent

Whatever motivated the Republicans’ defections, Craig’s expected retirement is, as much as anything, a bow to political pragmatism. With a growing cadre of critics within his own party, Craig can no longer expect to represent Idaho interests effectively. Craig used to boast that he brought in $2.5 million a week in federal grants to Idaho. That, of course, was before Craig had become a persona non grata within the Senate’s minority party, someone who can wield only limited power for rainmaking and dealmaking. By no means was Craig a blameless victim. He set his own demise into motion/Idaho Statesman.

Full editorial from this morning here

Feedback: Democrats Want Otter to Replace Place-Holder

Democrat John Foster is being interviewed by KTVB. Sez it’s a sad day for Idaho and repeats the request that Butch Otter appoint a place-holder replacement and allow the seat to be open for a race next year.

Question: Do you think that’ll happen?

Wild Card/Saturday — 9/1/07

I’m going to keep Sen. Larry Craig’s resignation announcement at the top of today’s main thread for much of the day. It’s the news of the day. It’s historic news. In my almost 40 years in the news biz, I haven’t witnessed anything quite like this last week in Idaho, where he virtually unbeatable elected official has been transformed into an unelectable pariah. I admit I don’t feel sorry for Craig. I believe that he was caught in activity in which he has engaged for a long time. However, I feel sorry for those who surrounded him and believed in him, like Sandy Patano and Idaho spokesman Sid Smith. Craig’s poor judgment has turned their world’s upside down, too. The state of Idaho also took a monster hit. Even in the minority, Craig was in a position to protect Idaho’s interests. Now, we all turn to Mike Crapo, who has relatively little seniority, and Craig’s successor who’ll have none. Alas. However, Huckleberries Online is never about one thread. Craig will dominate the news for days still. But this is also the Labor Day weekend, which means you might have other things to discuss. So here’s your Wild Card …

Eye On Boise: Craig Will Resign This Morning

Item: Embattled Sen. Craig will announce resignation today (9:30 PDT), effective Sept. 30/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review

More Info: “It’s not a good way to end a career or try to keep one going – that’s the sad part about it,” said Northwest Nazarene University political scientist Steve Shaw. “He’s been a key player for Idaho. … It’s really a fall from grace.”

HBO Poll: 50% (50 out of 98) of you so far believe that Butch Otter will pick Lt. Gov. Jim Risch to replace Craig in the U.S. Senate.

HBO Poll: Who Will Replace Craig? (Current Tab)

If U.S. Sen. Larry Craig resigns, as a result of his recent arrest, who will be selected to replace him?

*Butch Otter 15
*Mike Simpson 6
*Bill Sali 3
*Jim Risch 50
*Other 15
*Dirk Kempthorne 8

Christie: No Reason To Look Beyond Hazel

Eagle Eye I just got off the phone with Maureen from the CDA Press. This is the first I have learned of any negative comments about our intention to offer the position to Hazel. It should not surprise you that I do not agree with you. This Board has had the advantage of working directly with Hazel for many years. You elect us to make decisions on behalf of the patrons. With the working knowlege we have of Hazel Bauman we are unanimous in our decision to support her as our next superintendent. I have been through several search processes in my career. (School Superintendent, NIC College President, Chief of Police). There have been times when it was warrented to open up a position to a major search outside of the entity, and times when it was not but it was done anyway to apease people. It is a very expensive process and should only be done if nescessary. Our belief is we have solid leadership in Hazel. Superintendent Amend agrees with us and has given unwavering support to her.

Trustee Christie Wood

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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