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Huckleberries Online

Archive for April 2008

Will CdA OK $31M School Levy?

Item: Levy under fire: Community members question where funds from 2002 levy went/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene press

More Info: More than 80 people came out Tuesday to Lakes Middle School to hear Coeur d’Alene School District officials discuss a $31.1 million school plant facilities levy voters are being asked to approve at the polls May 20. Rising property taxes, demands for accountability and a loss of trust in those running the school district were the main issues on the minds of community members who came forward to ask questions about the proposed levy.

Question: Will the Coeur d’Alene School District’s $31 levy pass? Why? Why not?


OfCoffee: Hunting, GOP Vote Key To Idaho Being

You have to be born here to be a native (or be born to two native parents who were temporarily out of state but moved back), but if you grew up here and went to school here, then clearly you have the culture, understanding, and heart to be an Idahoan. Adults who move here take a much longer time to make the transition, depending on where they came from. E.g., a Montanan can the transformation pretty quickly. metropolitan Californian or New Yorker - probably take 15-20 years. And that is with annual renewal of their hunting license. When they start voting Republican, it moves them forward quite a bit as well. I may have to write a book about this/OfCoffee.

TUBOB: Idaho Driver’s License Exam

1. A squirrel enters the roadway do you:

a. Apply your brakes rapidly but safely while scanning your rear view mirror for vehicles behind you?
b. Hit the Jake Brake on your Peterbuilt and scare the living bejeezus out of it?
c. Accelerate - Dinner!

2. Two Subaru Brats enter an intersection (a convergence of two logging roads) at the same time. One is traveling from the East (where Mr. Sun wake up from!) and one from the West (where Mr. Sun go sleepy from!), which one yields to the other?

a. The one from Mr. Sun wakey up direction
b. The one from Mr. Sun sleepytime direction
c. Both yield simultaneously
d. Neither! It’s the first of the month and them welfare checks is in.

3. When approaching a traffic light showing yellow do you:

a. Speed up
b. Slow down and prepare to stop on the red
c. Ask your sister-aunt to stop giving you hickeys on your neck cuz you can’t see them there not red and not green colored lights when she is all in your lap.

Question: Can you suggest any other test questions?

Vacation Wild Card — 4/30/08

I listened to you guys who advised that I should find a legit barber rather than the fast-clip joint that I was going to. As a result, I could a nice, personalized haircut from Robin (Headliners in Hayden) that included a neck shave with a razor and even a electronic back massage. The cut took an hour. And is the best one I’ve had since Dick Bird closed Best Avenue Barbers. $14 plus tip. Tell her I sent you. I have plenty for you below. I’ll probably be more absent today and in the coming days as my wife and I prepare for Amy Dearest’s graduation. But Thuy and Betsy are here for you. Now, for your third Vacation Wild Card …

Sali Asks Condi To Delay Boise Consulate

Item: Rep. Sali asks Condoleeza Rice to delay Mexican consulate in Boise/Idaho Statesman

More Info: Rep. Bill Sali has asked Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to delay a Mexican consulate in Boise until the government promises the facility won’t “foster the continued presence of illegal aliens in Idaho.” State Department officials showed more concern over local zoning regulations than illegal aliens in Idaho, said Sali spokesman Wayne Hoffman.

Question: What do you think of Congressman Sali’s request?

Take driver test on a touch screen?

The Idaho Transportation Department has finished installing automated touch-screen driver license testing systems in every county, and now they’re operational. The idea is that people can take their tests quickly, scoring and record-keeping are automated, and there’s less opportunity for cheating or distribution of the tests. “That provides a safety benefit because there is a greater likelihood that only qualified drivers will be issued drivers licenses,” ITD said in a press release today. Funded by a federal grant, the new system is only for the written test (the “knowledge test”) – no driving simulators here.

Question: What should they really test for on the driving test?

Sali wants new consulate delayed

Idaho Rep. Bill Sali sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice today asking Rice to delay the opening of a Mexican consulate in Boise. Sali expressed concern that a consulate could aid illegal aliens, saying it could help them get ID cards that could be used for banking and “gain illicit ‘legal’ standing in Idaho by taking advantage of the good offices of a consulate in Idaho.” Click here to read Sali’s press release.

Question: What is the role of a consulate?

Eye on Boise: Jim Risch and the ‘millionaire’ rule

The Federal Election Commission has a little-known rule, known as the “millionaire’s provision,” that says if a wealthy candidate for the U.S. Senate contributes more than a certain amount to his or her own campaign, opponents then are subject to much higher limits for individual contributions to their campaigns, plus, in some cases, their state or national political parties can make unlimited coordinated expenditures on behalf of the candidate. The amounts that trigger the provision are set by a formula based on voting-age population in the state; in Idaho, the provision is triggered when a candidate puts in $387,340 to his or her own campaign. At that level, the Senate candidate’s opponents would see their limit on individual contributions to their campaigns triple to $6,900 per election. Higher amounts bring bigger boosts.

So why does this come up? Because Jim Risch loaned his campaign $380,000 in the last campaign finance period. That’s not enough to trigger the amendment – it’s short by $7,340. If Risch gives just a bit more, his seven primary opponents could step up their fundraising from individuals by a factor of three./Betsy Z. Russell, SR Eye on Boise – more here

Question: Should wealthy candidates have an advantage in running for office?

APhoto of the Day — 4/30/08

APhoto cutline winners for Tuesday


Victor Calzada/El Paso Times, AP
Canutillo Elementary School student Isabel Alvarez, center right, let out a yawn as she and her classmates participated in a Chi Gong session with teacher Carlos Aceves in preparation for their math Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test on Tuesday in Canutillo, Texas.

ThomG: Alas, I’ll Never Be An Idahoan

I’m a New Yorker, my wife is a Hoosier and our children are Idahoans, though not born here. I have lived in Kootenai County, Idaho, longer than anywhere else with the exception of New York City. I plan on spending the rest of my life here, too. But I will never be an Idahoan, not really. And Idahoans will never let me forget that. I lived in 9 cities, in three states, in between leaving New York City in September of 1987 and arriving in Coeur d’Alene in January of 2001. Nowhere along that journey did anyone ever care where I was from, or how long I lived in whatever town, or state I was in at the moment. Until I moved to Idaho. There seems to be a certain obsession with that around these parts, but I haven’t figured out why/ThomG.

Question: How long do you have to live in Idaho to be considered an Idahoan?

EricS: Which Country Does Idaho Resemble

RE: I’ll take a Californian over an Easterner
I love it when people turn states into sovereign nations. This is America the united states of, in which any of us can live in any part of it we want. That’s the beauty of it all and the point many forget. If each state were their own country what current country would Idaho be most like? North Korea, Germany, Guatemala? South Africa?/Eric Seaman.

Question: Well, which current country would Idaho most be like?

ITK: Journalists Have Lost Credibility

Journalists have morphed themselves into being “know it all difference makers”. Instead of reporting what is happening, today’s journalists have been taught that they should “change” the world. They started to report about themselves rather than what is happening. Notice all the shows on Sunday that have journalists interviewing journalists; it’s not just on Sunday its everyday on television. Journalists need to get down off their high horse and just do their jobs. No wonder media is having such a hard time of things now days….they are barely credible/ITK.

Sam The Reporter’s reply

Question: Which media, general or specific, do you trust most? Why?

Wally: Paranoid Otter Ushers In 1984, Idaho Style

RE: Otter Watching Idaho agencies’ contact with media
Not only is this paranoia of the highest order, it’s harmful to the public good. Government agenices are not always on the same page, which is natural and healthy, if the conflict is honest and open. To line up all the troops and not allow open discussion of the issues that these agencies are quite often at odds over, then the public really doesn’t get to see its government at work. It’s like the Republicans closing their caucuses and deciding what it going to happen during the Legislature before the session ever even adjourns. It’s like the Republicans closing their primary elections to party members only. It’s like … “1984”! It’s bad, IT’S BAD! Really. I’m not joking, in the slightest/Wally.

Sisyphus sez Otter has control issues

Question: Is Wally over-stating the case? Or has Gov. Butch Otter stepped way over the line?

Honest George: Idaho Picks Potlatch Over Lewiston

RE: Potlatch sends mixed message on toxic emissions
In the past the emmissions from the pulp mill were so toxic that it actually affected the paint on homes. “Smell the pulp mill? Sure - its the smell of money” was the popular local response. But as time passed citizens became more demanding with the realization that it had become a danger to health as well as a major irritant. It’s a problem that presently is at least partly under control because of efforts by the EPA and local activists, But now that DEQ has primacy and IACI is carrying Potlatch’s water it really looks like Lewiston is being led to the slaughter house by the the Idaho government and the Ada County rich toads that run this state/Honest George.

Question: Do you think the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality does a good job protecting the environment and Idahoans?

Teacher Wanted On Sex Charges Surrenders To ISP

A camp counselor and Tumwater teacher, wanted by Idaho authorities for five counts of lewd conduct with a minor, has turned himself in to investigators and currently resides in the Latah County Jail. Timothy Andrew Kellis, 38, surrendered Monday to the Idaho State Police. The most recent warrant charges him with five counts of lewd conduct with a minor under the age of 16. The five felony counts are in addition to previous charges filed when Kellis was arrested April 12. During that arrest, Kellis was charged with two counts of lewd conduct with a minor and one count of sexual abuse of a child/SR. More here

Editorial: Potlatch sends mixed message on toxic output

Susan D. shares an interesting read from Jim Fisher published in the Lewiston Tribune. Here’s an excerpt of this editorial:

Potlatch sends mixed message on toxic output

Surely Idaho has not rejected new coal-fired power plants to block their airborne mercury emissions in order to permit an existing mill to pump mercury into the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley.

If that is not Potlatch Corp.’s intention as it seeks authorization to burn municipal garbage and demolition scrap for fuel, why does it oppose a call to tighten lax state standards on the hazardous pollutant?

Click here to read the rest of this story, which lives over yonder at the Lewiston Tribune (you’ll need to have an account).

Obama Finally Throws Pastor Under Bus

Item: Obama Calls Wright’s Remarks `Ridiculous,’ Offensive/Bloomberg

More Info: Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama denounced “ridiculous” statements made by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, using his strongest language to date to distance himself from his former pastor. Obama cited Wright’s contentions, repeated yesterday, that the government may have had a role in spreading AIDS in the black community, that U.S. actions overseas were partly to blame for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and about the importance of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Wright’s statements “offend me, they rightly offend all Americans and they should be denounced and that’s what I’m doing very clearly and unequivocally today,” Obama said in a news conference in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Question: Is this effective damage control for Barack Obama? Or is it too little too late for Obama because his pastor’s remarks have already caused extensive damage?

APhoto of the Day — 4/29/08

APhoto of the Day cutline winners for Monday


Mike Derer/AP Photo
First lady Laura Bush and Jenna Bush react to a child at a book signing for a children’s book they co-authored, “Read All About It!,” at a book store in Glen Rock, N.J., recently. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Laura and Jenna are stumped in the opening round of “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader”/ThomG.
2. His classmates always liked the trick. Around school, Johnny’s claim to fame was the removal and showing of his glass eye/MikeS.
3. “That’s amazing,” said Jenna, “you read that book faster than my daddy!”/Nic.

HM: Pacman

PETA Offers Reward For Pigeon Dart Shooter


Franziska Edwards/PETE, AP Photo
In this April 2008 photo provided Monday by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a pigeon with a needle-like dart piercing its head is shown in Seattle. PETA is offering a $2,000 reward for information about the recent shootings that have left some Seattle pigeons impaled with darts, but still alive.

Uncle Kev: Defiling Chardonnay Redux

RE: Defiling Chardonnay
Great going Sam. DFO steps away for one minute and see what you do? As if journalists don’t have a bad enough reputation as elitist, pandering snobs who would rather comb hummus out of Osama bin Laden’s beard before standing in a grocery line with a beer-drinking, blue-collared American, here you go spouting off about your Chardonnay being aged in fine working man steel instead of precious oak casks beloved by Frenchmen and stamping your tassel-loafered foot in a petulent tantrum. And you haven’t even thanked Bob for once again selflessly riding his loofa pony to rescue your sorry ass, steering the thread into butt-gusting manly humor and away from your preppy whingeing. Dammit Sam, when will you learn? It’s Night Train, never Chardonnay/Uncle Kev.

Question: Do you think journalists are elitists?

ITK: Enviros Using Wolves To Kill Hunting

Related: 12 groups sue feds over wolf delistment
If anyone checks the news out of Montana they will find our friends from Defenders of Wildlife have sued the Feds over turning over wolf mgmt to the States. A prediction that came true from the website saveourelk.com.
It seems these groups will bargain, gain a hold then say thats not enough and want more. When is it ever going to stop. This is not about wolves, its about loosing ones hunting rights/InTheKnow.

Question: Some conservationists have suggested that limited hunting of wolves might be the best way to establish a balance in the wilderness. Do you support a limited hunt of wolves, a no-holds-barred hunt of wolves, or no hunt at all?

Honest George: Wright Hurt Black Community

RE: Pastor Wright’s rebuttals fuel trouble for Obama/Boston Globe

When half-wits like Hannity and Limbaugh played the continuous loops of Wright’s comments I don’t blame him for wanting to defend himself - especially being as neither of the two appear to be half the man that Wright appears to be. But I think that his comments today before the Press meeting was a self-centered exercise that damaged the moderate black community/Honest George.

Question: How would you deal with Rev. Wright, if you were Barack Obama?

Time To Get Studs Off Vehicles


Jerome A. Pollos/Coeur d’Alene Press, AP
Dave Caverly removes a studded tire from a car Monday at Best Tire and Auto in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Motorist have until Thursday to remove their studded tires in order to avoid a $52 fine.

Question: Did you put studded tires on your car(s) this year?

In the News: Man confesses to imprisoning daughter for 24 years


AMSTETTEN, Austria (AP) — A man has confessed to imprisoning his daughter for 24 years in a windowless cell with a soundproofed door and fathering seven children with her including three who “never saw sunlight,” police said Monday.

Josef Fritzl, now 73, also told investigators that he tossed the body of one of the children in an incinerator when the infant died shortly after birth, said Franz Polzer, head of the Lower Austrian Bureau of Criminal Affairs. Read the rest of this story

The photo there is from the AP, of the entrance to the hidden room.

Question: Any and all questions you have before even clicking on “Read the rest.”

Poll: Don’t Look Now, But Hillary’s Ahead

Item: AP Poll: Clinton leads McCain, doing better than Obama/Associated Press

More Info: Hillary Rodham Clinton now leads John McCain by 9 points in a head-to-head presidential matchup, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll that bolsters her argument that she is more electable than Democratic rival Barack Obama. Obama and Republican McCain are running about even. … Helped by independents, young people and seniors, Clinton gained ground this month in a hypothetical match with Sen. McCain, the GOP nominee-in-waiting. She now leads McCain, 50 percent to 41 percent, while Obama remains virtually tied with McCain, 46 percent to 44 percent.

Question (for Dems): Are you sure you want to throw Hillary Clinton under the bus?

Eye On Boise: Thieves Create New Camping Hazard

If you see burnt stuff in a fire ring at your next campsite that looks like long, grey, ashy jumbles of burnt rope, beware. The BLM is warning of a new phenomenon that’s cropped up several times in the Boise area in recent months and is occurring on public lands throughout the region: Meth-heads steal insulated copper wire, then burn off the insulation to get the valuable metal wire to sell. But the insulation is full of dioxin and other hazardous stuff, and requires haz-mat cleanup. So don’t toast your marshmallows over it/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here

Question: What is your biggest safety concern when you go camping?

Sam: Defiling Chardonnay

Today I learned that there are wine makers who are producing unoaked Chardonnays and I must say I’m completely aghast at this. They’re using steel now apparently to get rid of, what I consider, the signature aromas and flavors of that type of wine. Sure, the grape itself is how each wine is defined and termed, but I am of the belief that the process by which the wine is made births the soul of that wine. A Chardonnay that doesn’t have the smokey, buttery flavors that a wood barrel provides is no Chardonnay to me. Friggin’ sacrilege. All because people have a hard type finding good “food pairings” for their Chardonnays. That’s their problem!/Sam.

Question: Are you a wine drinker?

007: Arrest Of Duncan Lawyer Could Delay Proceedings

This should be very big news in northern Idaho and even Boise tomorrow morning: One of Joseph Duncan’s attorneys was arrested early Sunday morning for DUI and drug possession. Probably translates into delay in the legal proceedings. God, I’m glad I am not involved in any way with that jury pool!/James Bond.

Question: How will this arrest affect the Duncan sentencing proceedings?

Here Kitty: Aryans Were Dangerous As Well As Losers

Ask Father Wasmuth if the Aryan threat was real? They bombed his parish residence. The federal building was bombed and so was a business on NW BLVD. I worked downtown the day that happened and it was real. The Aryans may have been (they were) a motley crew of social misfits, malcontents and losers but they were an issue. A very amateurish group of haters but they also were a part of the Matthews bunch that bombed Widbey Island and Butler served time for counterfeiting as well. They harassed those of jewish decent, practicing or non practicing and they harassed blacks and racially mixed couples and children. They were menaces to society. I attended one of their parades, from the comfort and safety of the high-rise apartments nearby. There were militia-like swat teams on hand that really seemed surreal. It was an unpleasant era and as a native resident I ignored it Poolman says he did, but I was simply being naive?Here Kitty. More here

Question: Did you ever meet Richard Butler or any of the other Aryans who made headlines for committing crimes?

Wild Card/Sunday — 4/27/08

I experienced one of those days in the ‘hood that hasn’t happened this year — neighbors pausing from yard work to visit other neighbors. Earl Hunter, the 93-year-old neighbor who has lived across the street for more than 22 years, started the visiting when he brought over a copy of his recently published autobiography: “Designed for Rigor.” Later, my next-door neighbor and I swapped borrowed goods. I need his thatcher to go over my lawn. And he needed my shop Vak to clean out his pickup. Then, his wife came over. I probably spent half my afternoon gabbing in the sunshine. I didn’t get as much done as I had intended to do. But it felt real good anyway. Now, for you Sunday Wild Card …

LaCrosse, Anyone?


Shawn Gust/Coeur d’Alene Press, AP
Spectators look on with Kert Whitaker of Coeur d’Alene, right, as Lake City’s Daniel Koontz tries to save the ball from going out of bounds during North Idaho Lacrosse League play Friday in Coeur d’Alene.

Question: Have you ever played an unusual sport?

Truly: Stop Me From Killing Squash Plants

Can anyone tell me what squash leaves look like? I have been on the internet and I am not seeing what I’m seeing if you know what I mean. I hate to kill these plants ( but I didn’t plant them). These folks who lived here before us have left us with all kinds of surprises that sometimes some in the strangest of ways after we have been here 5 years or so. So back to the squash? Can anyone help? I know there are many varieties but I have no idea what the hell this is or if it is even squash- maybe it’s a weird weed that should die. But before I kill it I await your answers/Truly.

Poolman: Aryan Visit Revealed Pathetic Losers

As a true native to North Idaho I get a little stirred up any time I see white supremacists associated with North Idaho. That’s because I grew up here - very close to the compound as a matter of fact. As a teenager I drove to the compound with a few buddies once during the heyday. Quickly we realized this was a group of sorry pathetic losers. The dogs didn’t bark or show their teeth – they merely looked for a handout (like their masters I suppose). The fences where shabby and had big gaps. Even the swastika flag had rips and stains. It was like seeing the Wizard hiding behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. The problem I have is this, and it has really nothing to do with you r blog. This myth was propagated by people that were not native to area. They (the Aryans) were not native to the area and the media that immortalized them were not native to the area. The local papers sold a lot papers and the local news channels sold a lot of (whatever it is they sell). It was good print and good TV but it was never a legitimate part of the area. They in no way reflected the essence of North Idaho. And the essence of North Idaho did not allow them to have an impact/Poolman. More here

Wild Card/Saturday — 4/26/08

I’ll be armed with have-to-do’s and honey-do’s to get the place fixed up for Amy Dearest and company in the days ahead. Shellacking. Painting. Planting. Repairing. You name it. But I’m looking forward to two weeks off with family. Five of my six siblings and my mother will be in one place for a week. One stop for the guys is sure to be Rustler’s Roost for breakfast. We’ll also hit the coffee shops downtown. And the Boardwalk, of course. Where do you take out-of-town family when they pay you a visit? I’m open for new ideas. Now, for your Wild Card …

Chronic Discontent: Pluses, Minuses Of Blogging

Blogging at Chronic Discontent is like running my own newspaper, without deadlines or complaints, and everyone at my newspaper makes the same amount of money - zilch - so you don’t have one guy in circulation who has to work two jobs to pay rent in a crappy apartment and another guy over in the business office with a summer house and two boats and kids in private school. No one pays me to write and no one spikes my stories over sacred Chronic Discontent.

Question: Feel free to continue the thread re: why you blog, read blogs, or comment on blogs?

JeanieSpokane: Living It Up In Purple

Yes! I am a member of the Scarlett Snickerdoodles. We have 15 or so members and most are from the Coeur d’Alene area and a handful from Spokane. It is a totally wonderful group of women. The rule is we have no rules! Our Queen Mum (president to you lay people) elected herself and invited her friends to be in this particular chapter. She appointed her best friend as Vice Mum. :) We are between the ages of 51 and 65. We have slumber parties, tea parties, hat parties, eating parties, lunch parties, dinner parties (we revolve around FOOD), and massage parties (where we bring our own food). We wear red hats and decorate them to the nines with ribbons, feathers, flowers, pins, jewels, anything that’s pretty. We like to wear purple too because our mothers always told us “have you really looked at yourself in the mirror??? Do you realize that you clash???” And so we exuberantly, energetically, noisily, raucously clash/JeanieSpokane. More here

Handle X Hucks: LCHS Alum Debuts On Broadway

Put your hands together for Bill and Kathy Booth’s wunderkind son, Steve. Who opens on Broadway in the lead role in the rock musical “Glory Days” on May 6. Steve cut his teeth as a thespian on Sandra Seaton’s stage at Lake City High and has performed in a number of roles with the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre. Now, he’s getting a variety of write-ups for “Glory Days,” from the Washington Post to Playbill, from USA Today to Theatermania. Which provides this capsule about the play: “The show is about four high school buddies reuniting for the first time about a year after graduation. While they banded together for mutual support during high school, they find that they’ve now changed.” Nick Blaemire (music and lyrics) and James Gardiner (book) produced the play of 15 songs that runs for 85 minutes without a break. Ticket cost: $97.50. You can preview the music and hear brief interviews with Booth and the other cast members (Andrew C. Call, Adam Halpin and Jesse JP Johnson) on YouTube by searching for “Glory Days” and “Steven Booth.” In an e-mail exchange, Bill Booth reminded me that I once wrote that Junior was the CdA summer theater cast member “most likely to play Broadway.” Dang, I love it when I’m right/DFO, Handle Extra Huckleberries. More here

Question: What play did you see when you last attended a local theater production, including high school, community theater on up to the traveling Broadway shows that come to Spokane?

Parting Shot — 4/25/08


Steve Lautenbach/AP Photo
Recently, Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns asked if bears were still hibernating. This photo provided by caretaker Steve Lautenbach taken on April 13 should answer her question. It shows two bears on the snow covered Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National Park, near Babb, Mont. Lautenbach had the company of the two bears after more than six months of solitude. There aren’t many signs of life around Many Glacier Hotel in the winter, so when Lautenbach came close to mama and baby bear, it was an adrenalian rush, and maybe a little bit unsettling.

Idaho Lucky On Flu Front

Item: Idaho luckier than most other states this flu season/Idaho Statesman

More Info: Idaho is luckier than much of the rest of the nation this flu season.
The state still is recording fewer flu deaths than during an average year, even though federal health experts are calling this one of the worst seasons in recent years nationwide. One more Idahoan, a man older than age 50, has died of flu complications in the southeastern corner of the state within the past two weeks, health officials say. That brings the statewide total to nine for the season. The flu season in Idaho generally runs from late November through May.

Question: Did you catch the flu this long winter?

Uncle Sam: Your Check’s In The Mail

Item: Bush says rebates going out Monday should help economy: Centerpiece of government’s $168 billion stimulus package/Associated Press

Question: President Bush says the economic-stimulus tax rebates will begin going out Monday and will help people cope with lofty energy and food prices, as well as giving the economy a jolt. The rebates range from $300 to $1,200 and are the centerpiece of the government’s $168 billion stimulus package, enacted in February, to brace the teetering economy. Roughly 130 million households are expected to get them.

Question: What do you plan to do with your rebates?

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 4/25/08


Andy Tullis/Bend Bulletin, AP Photo
Anniston Ward, a nine-year-old third grader, foreground in the pink jacket, races around a spiral snow track made by her school mates, during play time in the snow before class time started at High Lakes Elementary School in Bend, earlier this week. Happily, we in the Inland Northwest might finally be headed toward spring this weekend.

*Let’s enjoy this sunny weekend/SR
*UI retirees plan to sue over benefits/Associated Press
*Long-time Idaho ag commissioner, candidate undergoing cancer treatment/Idaho Statesman
*Boise State to add 2000 beds to campus housing/KTVB
*Idaho cities see more gas drive-offs/KTVB

In The News Daily Double — 4/25/08

… A Special Child


Al Grillo/AP Photo
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, left, and her husband Todd Palin hold their baby boy Trig in Anchorage, Alaska Wednesday. The Palin’s fifth child was born with Down syndrome, a genetic abnormality that impedes physical, intellectual and language development.

… A Special Olympian


Nikki Carlson/Havre Daily News
Havre Special Olympics volunteer coach Mandy Hansen gives Curtis Nez Perce of Harlem, Mont. his gold medal for the 50-meter walk in the Havre Middle School Assembly Room during the Great Northern Area Games on Wednesday in Havre, Mont.

Question: Do you have a special needs child or adult in your life? How has s/he affected you?

AndrewZ’s SR Today In Pictures — 4/25/08


Sandy Huffaker/AP Photo
Two women console one another after viewing the body of a 66-year old swimmer who was killed by a shark while training with a group of triathletes off the coast in Solana Beach, Calif. on Friday. For Andrew Zahler’s SR Today In Pictures, click here.

Question: Which creature would be scarier to encounter in its own environment: A grizzly or a shark?

When I Am An Old Woman …


Heather Ainsworth/Observer-Dispatch, AP
Marcia Osvoldik laughs with fellow Red Hat Lady Bugs today at the fifth annual Red Hat Society Day luncheon at Hart’s Hill Inn in Whitesboro, N.Y.

Poem: Warning/Jenny Joseph

Question: Are you a Red Hat Lady?

Day Of Silence Protesters Face Off

On one side were supporters of students inside the school expressing their support of gays and lesbians. On the other side were those protesting the school district for allowing the student-lead observance. Police kept both sides apart and tried to control the crowd with yellow tape. “They want to have the day of silence? Be like other clubs. Do it before or after school, not messing up the classroom,” said Rev. Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond. “For anyone to say that the Day of Silence does not interrupt the school, they’re dead, blind or just plain prejudice”/Associated Press. More here

Question: Is today’s annual Day of Silence for gay and lesbian students worthy enough to put up with some disruption in the classroom. Or should it be limited to demonstrations before and after school?

HBO @ Noon: CDA Area Customer Service Bad

Customer service in general here in the CDA area is the worst I have ever seen. From McDonalds to the haughty taughty eateries downtown. Granted there are times it works but for the most part this area is horrible. I travel a lot and have seen both extremes and no one area overall gets it right all the time, but, CDA is on the lower end. I’m not so much complaining as stating what is what. I can handle it as I’m a BS’er and can make the most of any situation on a social level/Eric Seaman.

Question: How would you rate customer service in general in the Coeur d’Alene area: Above average, so-so, most clerks/waiters/receptionists. should be fired from his/her day job.

Boise Weekly: Sali ROMPs In DC

The D.C. Republicans are taking care of their own. In a party last night, U.S. Rep. Bill Sali picked up $66,000 worth of campaign cash. The fundraising came courtesy of House Majority Leader John Boehner and the party’s Regain Our Majority Program. The ROMP program is designed for candidates who are “politically vulnerable and/or have been targeted by the Democrats for defeat,” according to the National Republican Congressional Committee. Boehner has been a good friend to Sali, who faces a primary candidate in Matt Salisbury, followed by the well-funded Democrat Walt Minnick in November. The new money would also augment Sali’s relatively weak fundraising record so far/Shea Andersen, Boise Weekly. More here

*Bill Sali press release
*Demo Reaction: GOP riding to Sali’s rescue/Red State Rebels; and: Sali, Minnick & money/MountainGoat Report; and

Kuraitis: Craig’s Wide Stance Costly

Funny footwork in airport bathrooms doesn’t pay. Idaho Sen. Larry Craig has racked up more than $400,000 in legal fees to his lawyer Billy Martin since the June 2007 incident in which Craig was arrested, and pled guilty to, disorderly conduct in a Minneapolis airport men’s room. The fees have been paid, largely out of campaign funds. But according to the Washington Post, Craig hasn’t used any campaign funds – something the Senate Ethics Committee warned him against continuing - to pay legal bills since his February admonishment by the committee. Craig has recently made an $80,000 payment to Martin’s firm out of personal funds/Jill Kuraitis, New West Boise. More here

Idaho Blog Roundup:
*How misogynist is this?/Left Side of the Moon
*Subtle Ron Paul factor in Idaho/Adam’s Blog
*Blog Rundown/43rd State Blues
*Petra principle/Fort Boise
*Debating my opponent/Clayton Cramer
*Sali, Minnick & money/MountainGoat Report

AM Headlines — 4/25/08


Shawn Gust/Coeur d’Alene Press
Bill Greenwood, Coeur d’Alene Parks Department supervisor, steadies a tree as Bill Andrews moves the load to the ground for planting Thursday in Coeur d’Alene. The Idaho Transportation Department approved a grant for the city to place 56 karpick maple trees adorning the center median of
Ramsey Road. Story here

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Norovirus sickens 575 in area/John Stucke, SR
*‘It’s a miracle place’: Lynn Peterson leaves legacy of love and enthusiasm at St. Vincent de Paul/Bill Buley, Coeur d’Alene Press
*This woman’s army: Three female cadets face their fears and stereotypes in UI’s Army ROTC program/Savannah Cummings, UI Argonaut
*Clark Fork man who shot at deputies sentenced/Bonner County Daily Bee
*PF’s major crime in decline: Total calls for service continue to rise/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

U.S. Military Deaths Down Despite Iraq

Item: U.S. military deaths below 26-year average: Annual toll in Bush years down despite 4,000 fatalities in Iraq/WorldNetDaily

More Info: Even in 2005, the deadliest year of the Iraq campaign, U.S. troop fatalities around the world, including Afghanistan, were lower than the first nine years of the study – when the Cold War was still raging in a time of relative peace. In 2005, a total of 1,942 U.S. military personnel were killed in all causes, including accidents, hostile action, homicides, illnesses, suicides, etc. That compares to 2,392 in 1980, the last year of President Jimmy Carter’s administration.

Question: Are you surprised by these statistics?

NIC Eyes Foregone Taxes To Buy Mill Site

Item: NIC needs $10M for mill: Officials could tap into forgone taxes/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: NIC trustees will discuss purchasing the 17-acre mill site at the next board meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the student union building. The final decision is expected on May 28. NIC President Priscilla Bell said the college needs to act quickly if it wants to make the long-talked about education corridor a reality.

DFO interview w/NIC Trustee Mic Armon

Question: Do you support North Idaho College using foregone taxes — about $33/year for the average home in Kootenai County — to buy the DeArmond Mill property?

Online Poll: Inflation

How is inflation affecting you the most?/Idaho Statesman

*Gas prices
*Food prices
*Utility bills
*Travel expenses
*Business costs
*Other

Christie Wood: NIC Isn’t Selling PF Center

Shoestring: Ask Mic if they’re selling the (Workforce Training Center in Post Falls) to help pay for this.

Trustee Christie Wood: Shoestring, thank you for your question about (the Workforce Training Center). The Board has said several times in public meetings there are no plans to sell WTC. It is highly successful, and a tremendous opportunity for students to receive training and enter the work force. If anything, we would like to work toward partnerships with the City of Post Falls, and enhance the opportunities available to our students at WTC. For more public comment on the proposed process to begin the purchase of the DeArmond Mill property, please attend the NIC Board meetting on April 30th.

Signe: Hillary Women Trump Obama Girl


Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Wild Card/Thursday — 4/24/08

Colleague Meghann Cuniff passed along a Web posting from an Oregonian who lived for 8 years in Sandpoint. He tried to describe to his blog readers what North Idaho is all about, opting for “libertarian-isolationist” and finally xenophobic. In the Rob Dow’s World post, the blogmaster also attacks a letter printed in the Bonner County Daily Bee, which he considered “ridiculously racist.” All in all, it was an interesting perspective from an outsider who used to live here. You can comment about the post under or simply play your own thread on this evening Wild Card …

Headlines @ 5 — 4/24/08


Don Ryan/AP Photo
Sea gulls watch as a sea lion tears apart a salmon in the Columbia River near Bonneville Dam in North Bonneville, Wash., today. State agents have begun trapping Columbia River sea lions for relocation, mainly to zoos, to keep them from eating endangered salmon.

*Spokane’s dental health ranked 3rd worst in nation/KREM2
*Rain to give way to sun this weekend/SR
*Idaho wages rise faster than national average/KTVB
*Sen. Craig now paying own legal bills/KTVB
*Spokane Valley high school to use breath tests at prom/SR
*Lakeland chooses new superintendent/SR

Spokane Valley May Boot ‘Fill The Boot’

Item: ‘Fill The Boot’ firefighter fund-raiser may get the boot/KREM2

More Info: Spokane Valley may extinguish firefighters’s ability to collect donations from motorists at Sprague and Sullivan. Despite the fact firefighters made $24,000 in six hours for Muscular Dystrophy, Spokane Valley city officials are citing an ordinance banning aggressive panhandling as a potential reason to put an end to the practice.

Question: Do you support the annual muscular dystrophy fund-raiser in which firefighters around the region stand at busy intersections to collect donations?

NIC Trustee Mic Armon Discusses Mill Purchase

RE: North Idaho College plans to pursue purchase of DeArmond Mill site from developer Marshall Chesrown

DFO: Is it correct that the NIC trustees are taking steps to buy the DeArmond mill?

NIC Trustee Mic Armon: We will make a motion at April 30 board meeting (6 p.m. Wednesday in the college student union building) to direct staff and administration to begin the process of buying the DeArmond mill. (A final decision will be made at their May meeting when the trustees set their budget.)

Kroc Center Coming Right Along


Photo/A Family Runs Through It
“I had a chance to tour the Kroc Center construction site a few days ago,” e-mails Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It. “The place is massive. You really don’t get a feel for just how big and impressive it’s going to be until you’re down there in it. One year to go until opening day.”

Idawa: Dissed By Best Buy

I just had a horrible experience at Best Buy and I’ve written them a letter? Do these letters ever do anything, am I wasting my time, is the letter too much? Am I just a whiner who should suck it up? Anyone have any thoughts/suggestions?/Idawa.

DFO: Of note, Idawa’s experience happened at a Seattle Best Buy.

Question: How do you handle poor or rude service at a retail outlet?

CDA Contractor Refuses To Fix Sinking Home

Item: Sinking hopes: Company refuses to pay for repairs to home built on unstable ground/Sean Garmire, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Cultice’s son bought the home for her in 2003 from previous owners for $174,000. About two years after moving in, Cultice, a Hospice nurse began to gradually notice a creeping problem o cracks forming along walls and corners in her kitchen and hallway. Her doors, she said, grew stiff on their hinges, and became impossible to close. Months later, a gap opened between the wall and floor. The gap would continue to expand as the home sank as much as 6 inches in places. The gap would eventually grow to about 2 inches; wide enough to allow the weather to blow through between the exposed nails.

Question: Who should be responsible for repairing this home that was built on shifting dirt?

TXT: China Net Use To Surpass USA

That is our feeble attempt to recognize the news that China is about to surpass the U.S. in total number of Web users. China’s Internet users now number 221 million, tying the United States for the largest number of people online, according to government data reported Thursday. By Friday this week, we will certainly be No. 2, due to China’s rapid growth, not to mention the number of people being hired to work as official censors of what people can view or download/Tom Sowa, TXT. More here

*One week left in North Idaho softball, baseball schedules/Greg Lee, SportsLink
*Ah, animals/Thuy Nguyen, Daily Briefing
*Thursday’s Quickie Political Briefing/Jim Camden, Spin Control 2.0
*Brooklyn is for lovers of spring/Dan Webster, Movies & More

HBO @ Noon: Christian Specialty Plate?


Photo/Associated Press
This handout photo supplied by Craig Dobson from Faith in Teaching on Thursday shows a proposed specialty license plate.

Item: Florida lawmakers debate offering a Christian license plate/Associated Press

Pro: Rep. Edward Bullard, the plate’s sponsor, said people who “believe in their college or university” or “believe in their football team” already have license plates they can buy. The new design is a chance for others to put a tag on their cars with “something they believe in,” he said.

Con: The problem with the state manufacturing the plate is that it “sends a message that Florida is essentially a Christian state” and, second, gives the “appearance that the state is endorsing a particular religious preference,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida.

Question: If you could, would you put one of these plates on your car?

Cramer: Campaigning As Educative Tool

You know, even if you don’t get elected, campaigning for public office is a way to educate people about important issues. (Or so you tell yourself, when you start to confront the likelihood that you aren’t going to win.) I spent some time last night talking to representatives of the Idaho Education Association (the teachers’ union). I was surprised that when I opened the conversation with my support for vouchers, they didn’t seem horribly angry. I also used the opportunity to point out that in most industries, if a simple employer dominates the market, it is generally not good for the wages of workers—and this alone is a reason why public school teachers should be supportive of more private schools/Clayton Cramer. More here

Idaho Blog Roundup:
*Statesman endorses 10 Commandments attorney/Idaho Values Alliance; Also: The surprise endorsement of the year/Adam’s Blog
*More anti-vax nonsense/BinkyBoy, 43rd State Blues
*Send Jim Risch a shovel/Larry LaRocco, Red State Rebels
*It’s now about race/Morialekafa

DFO: Clayton has hit on an important point above. The late Ron Rankin lost election after election, including an Independent race for governor, until he finally broke through and won two terms as a Kootenai County commissioner. He theorized that you can win even when you lose by seizing the public forum that a candidate has to push his ideas. In this way, he finally persuaded the state — after his death — to take school funding off the property tax. As I’ve said before, candidates are foolish to skip forums where they have no hope of endorsement because they influence the public outlook.

Doug Clark Tries His Hand @ Recycling

One of the best things about Earth Day is that there are so many ways to enhance the planet. You could, for example, get some friends together to watch that Al Gore movie, “An Incontinent Truth.” One downtown Spokane bank actually turned its lights off during lunch hour. Fortunately, no bandits took advantage. Well, I don’t want to brag, but I spent Tuesday’s Earth Day doing more than sitting around or flipping a light switch. I got my mom’s electric blue 1973 Dodge Dart running, licensed and registered in my name. It’s called recycling, people. It’s what we REAL environmentalists do/Doug Clark, SR. More here

Question: Which movie would you gather a bunch of friends to mock: Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” Ben Stein’s “Expelled” or Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” (or other suggestions)?

Swinton Cleared Of RPS Conflict Of Interest

Item: Investigation finds no ethical breach by RPS lawyer Swinton/Jim Camden, Spokesman-Review

Editor Steve Smith: And, without saying “I told you so,” I believe it confirms my own view that the complaint was merely another baseless extension of the loopy conspiracy theories perpetrated by Connor and his fellow travelers. This bunch will do everything they can to perpetuate the RPS debate until the day Betsy Cowles is publicly executed on the streets of Spokane — by Connor, Shook and their goofy gang. Anything short of Cowles blood will not satisfy. More here

Question: Are you satisfied with the finding?

Online Poll: Surge Commander Petraeus

U.S. Gen. David Petraeus, the Army commander behind the Iraq surge, was promoted Wednesday to be the leader of all American forces in the Middle East. Do you think he deserves the promotion?/Idaho Statesman.

*Yes
*No
*Don’t know

Cis: We Can Quit You, DFO … Yes We Can

RE: “I’m planning to be gone for at least a week and mebbe more “
Cis: Gone again!!! ok, gang that is it!!! when DFO gets back from his vacation, we will all go on vacation at the same time…. leaving him alone here for 2 weeks, he can talk to himself like we have to, when he is gone… we have to get tough here. Otherwise this wise guy is going to take a month off next time. Are you with me? (tongue in cheek) … have a great time with Amy Dearest … know you and Brenda will be proud …

DFO: Amy Dearest told us yesterday that she already has landed a full-time job in the PR field and will start a week after she graduates. She plans to spend a week with us in CdA before entering the working world. I hate to leave you guys to your vices. But I can’t pass up a chance to see her graduate and then spend a week with her. I hate to drop a series of Wild Cards on you. But …

Parting Shot — 4/23/08


Greg Kreller/Idaho Press-Tribune, AP
Three wolves are loaded into a trailer on today before being transported to Big Oak Wolf Sanctuary in Florida. Authorities say they are removing wolves, bobcats, house cats and dogs from deplorable living conditions at a private residence in Owyhee County. Story here

Best of the HBO Blogosphere — 4/23/08


Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho
A ring-necked pheasant runs in a farmer’s field alongside the road on the Rathdrum Prairie.

Last Friday, I finally had the snack sign up list making the rounds for parents to fill in. One of our mothers asked me what I was doing to ensure that the snacks provided were healthy. I responded that I would be asking parents to do what they can to bring nutritional snacks for the kids to eat. This mom then responded that we should really only bring fruit or veggies because even the nutritional snacks are not healthy enough. She then went into a long dissertation on calorie counts and sugars vs. calorie burning during T-Ball. I tried to change the subject. She recognized my ploy and didn’t fall for it/MamaJD. More here

HBO Numbers (for Tuesday, April 22): 9139 page-views and 4909 unique views

*Welcome to the Huetter rest stop/Dogwalk Musings
*Lying liars/A Family Runs Through It
*Scary things/Arch Druid
*Post-Pennsylvania partum/Atmospheric Ruminations
*Older & happier/From A Simple Mind

Question: Have you ever encountered the equivalent of the Snack Nazi parent? How did you handle the situation?

APhoto of the Day — 4/23/08


Kevin Sanders/AP Photo
Lucy, owned by Carol and Dave Zentgraf, of Peoria, Ill, takes a break at the 29th Annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest in Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday. The competition attracts the ugliest and prettiest of bulldogs from around the midwest to represent Drake University, whose mascot is the bulldog. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Reality TV reaches a new low as producers hold auditions for female bulldogs to appear on “The Bachelor: Gonzaga’s Spike Calling” — Shannon.
2. The Gonzaga Mascot laments yet another disappointing season in which the Bulldogs didn’t go all the way in the NCAA Tournament — Idaho Escapee.
3. “My ancestors were the powerful, hard working dogs of the slaughterhouse. That was then. Now I need a nap. Breathing is difficult” — MikeS.

HM: JeanieSpokane & BrentA

KREM2: Smile, You’re On Security Camera

Security cameras at Wal Mart in Post Falls caught a thief on camera as he swiped a woman’s purse from her shopping cart while she was distracted. Police say thefts like this are common—perhaps more common than many women suspect. At the Post Falls Wal Mart alone such incidents happen at least once a month/KREM2. More here

Question (for women): What do you do to prevent your purse from being stolen?

SMGR Columnist: Bantering w/Barbers

I dig on barbers. You know, people who cut hair for a living. Not those ancient Central Asian people n Barbars - although I can’t say I have anything against them either. I like barbers because I feel like they are looking out for me. It has to be the ultimate customer service profession. Barbers are part psychiatrist, part surgeon and part hub of neighborhood information. And the best part is: a visit costs ten bucks. Much less than a psychiatrist! I don’t ever tell a barber what to do. They are the professionals in this arrangement. The only thing I bring to the table is hair and a ten dollar bill/Tim Trainor, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here

Question (for guys): Do you have your hair cut at a barbershop or beauty salon?

Anti-Wolf Petition Drive Falling Short

Item: Wolf petition drive failing as deadline to file approaches/Ralph Bartholdt, St. Maries Gazette-Record

More Info: The initiative petitions, part of an effort by a group called Save Our Elk, are circulating throughout Idaho. If 47,000 registered Idaho voters sign petitions, the initiative will be placed on November’s ballot. “It will be up to the citizens of Idaho to vote and determine if this initiative petition is enacted into law,” said John Nelson, an anti-wolf activist and founder of the Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition. The law would mandate that the state and federal government remove wolves from Idaho.

Question: Would you sign the initiative petition?

MGR: Sali Joins Boys in the Band

For several years Idaho has been known, good or bad, for the musical inclinations of our members of Congress. There was Senator Larry Craig, of recent wide-stance infamy, who was a member of The Singing Senators. Now The Hill is reporting that Bill Sali has taken up the torch, joining the congressional band, the Second Amendments. Due to retirements, the band was in need of two additional members and tapped Sali to join the group on drums. He’s been sitting in on practice sessions for at least a week. Catch a video of the group pre-Sali here/MountainGoat Report. More here

Idaho Blog Roundup:
*Barack “2007 New York Mets” Obama/Adam’s Blog
*I’m officially scared by Clinton/Aaronius’s Blog, 43rd State Blues
*Did H&W cost-cutting save any money?/Clayton Cramer
*Amazing/Morialekafa
*The imminent environmental castrophe, circa 1970/Palousitics
*Ron Paul in Idaho & the crazy train/Unequivocal Notion
*ICL endorsement process under way/David Ripley, Idaho Chooses Life

HBO @ Noon — Grizzly Bears


New Line Cinema/AP Photo
In this still image taken from video released by New Line Cinema, actor Will Ferrell prepares to wrestle “Dewie the Killer Bear” played by Rocky the bear in a scene from the recent comedy “Semi-Pro.” Three experienced handlers were working with the grizzly Tuesday at the Predators in Action wild animal training center in Big Bear, Calif., when the bear attacked and killed trainer Stephan Miller. Story here

Question: Have you ever seen a grizzly in the wild?

Wal*Mart Plans Hayden, 2nd PF Store

Item: Wally’s world: Developer announces second store near Cabela’s/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press; and: Hayden store to begin construction: Store to face Honeysuckle, sport Northwest look/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Construction on a new Wal-Mart Supercenter at the southwest corner of Honeysuckle and U.S. 95 in Hayden is expected to start this summer, city officials said. The company has purchased the property, and the city has commented on the site and building plans that were resubmitted about two months ago, city administrator Jay Townsend said. “I think they’ll look to start construction sometime this summer if everything goes OK with the site plan review,” Townsend said.

Question: Do you consider 2 more Wal*Mart stores in Kootenai County to be good news?


And It Continues


Jacqueline Larma/AP Photo
Confetti drops as Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. addresses supporters on Pennsylvania primary night in Philadelphia, Tuesday. Analysis of Hillary Clinton’s win in Pennsylvania here.

LastDemoInIdaho: The reality of this stupidly-long race has finally emerged in Penn. as expressed by the anti-Obama (anti-black) votes linked clearly to racist white, Catholic, so-called “Reagan Democrats”. Many of us knew all along that the race issue would eventually emerge. More here

Question: In the story link with the cutline, an analyst contends that white women and blue-collar voters put Hillary Clinton over the top in Pennsylvania. LastDemoInIdaho believes racism was a factor in Pennsylvania. How much will race be a factor in the presidential race, if Barack Obama wins the Demo nomination?

TUBOB: Down Syndrome Babies Take Toll

re: Alaska Gov. Palin’s new baby
Well, her smile looks a bit more authentic than Congresswoman Cathy McMorris’s (R-Wa) did holding her Down’s Syndrome baby (sans husband) but Mr. Palin’s smile looks somewhat strained. They aren’t “God’s little angels” they are children with a chromosomal abnormality that causes a host of physical malformities and problems including mental retardation. Their life spans are much shorter than normals. They can bring great joy to some parents and great sadness to others. Mythologizing them isn’t appropriate/TUBOB. More here

Question: Has a Down Syndrome child affected your life?

Joe Heller: Spring Seeding


Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Parting Shot — 4/22/08


Seth Wenig/AP Photo
Today’s weather for Earth Day was fine for twins Hilly, left, and Abby Silver, 2, who play near a bed of blooming flowers in Central Park, New York.

Best of the HBO Blogosphere — 4/22/08


Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho
“White water kayaking on the Spokane River at Corbin Park was chilly on Saturday, even though the sun broke through in the afternoon,” posts Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho. “Below the Post Falls dam is a favorite spot for spring kayaking.”

I am, as many of you know, the happy recent recipient of an iPod Nano from Phil over at A Family Runs Through It. … Listening to some of my collected musics on this device has been ear opening. For some, it’s like rediscovering the music all over again. For example, I can now hear every click, buz, whir and whispered vocal of every Radiohead album after The Bends. … I can hear every finger slip, scratch of bow against guitar string, and quiet distant drumbeat on Sìgur Rós’ album ( ). I can hear every scratchy and endearing imperfection of the mellotron when it’s used by either Porcupine Tree or Steve Hackett. In short, I think I’m hearing exactly what the artists wanted me to hear, for the first time/Toadman, Synaptic Disunion. More here

HBO Numbers (for Monday, April 21): 8201 page-views/4858 unique views

*HoT Haiku and Fractal/Tumblewords
*Whiteout at dawn/Silver Valley Girl
*God bless the USA/Otis G Experience
*You know what’s really, really evil? Tequila/PDX Pup
*Confusing your readers — bad idea/Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts
*About the flies: Laurie’s theory of relativity/Slight Detour
*Ask me!/TUBOB
*Senioritis? C’mon/Mrs. Mac Energetic

Question: How many of you have iPods?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 4/22/08


Charles Dharapak/AP Photo
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., is given a doll of her likeness to sign as she campaigns at Wilson Senior High School in West Lawn, Pa., Saturday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. First time Bill ever called Hillary a doll — Cabbage Boy.
2. Look I have taken heat all week because George and Charles went easy on me the other night but what the he** am I supposed to do with this Diane Sawyer doll? — KeithinCDA.
3. What Hillary didn’t see at first was the sword embedded in the doll’s back — A Token D.

HM: JohnA, Family Phil, Shoestring & Co. Great collection of cutlines today

WSU Columnist: ‘Expelled’ Only Propagates ID Myths

Item: ‘Expelled’ only propogates ID myths: Scientific research far more important than unproven, evidence-free religious myths, despite Ben Stein’s movie/Nickolas Conrad, WSU Daily Evergreen

More Info: Ben Stein’s new movie, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” is an argument to make his metaphysical belief of intelligent design a valid scientific viewpoint while assailing evolution. He argues against the ideas of evolution by saying it led to the Holocaust, it is dogmatic and it leaves no room for an alternative view. He is wrong on every account and is merely attacking what he feels is a heathen-dominated field.

Ben Stein explains “Expelled”

Question: Are you a creationist? An evolutionist? Or a hybrid — a person who believes God got things rolling and then let them evolve?

Dinner w/Bob (A Tribute To His Cuisine)

Squirrel on the barbie,
rabbit hit by a car,
a half rack of Ice House
and a Rum Crook cigar.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

AG Wasden: Strengthen Open Meeting Laws

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says state lawmakers need to revamp Idaho’s open meeting law to remove ambiguities that make it difficult to enforce. The problem became apparent in February when Wasden concluded the state Board of Education may have violated the state’s open meeting law on December 6th by going into executive session behind closed doors. But Wasden says penalizing board members with a $150 fine was not an option because of the burden of proving they “knowingly” violated the law, which is how Idaho’s open meeting law is interpreted/Associated Press. More here

Question: Do most elected officials respect Open Meeting Laws?

Bond: Swiss Know How To Deal w/Long Winters

The Swiss have no such temerity opposing the perfidies of Nature. Unlike us, they do not whine. When they are tired of Winter, they burn it down and then they blow it up in a splendid festival called Sechselauten – meaning in contemporary English, the Sixth Ringing Festival. Every year, third Monday of April in Zurich, Zurichers haul an effigy of Winter, which looks like a snowman and named appropriately the Boogg, into the old town square, parade and drink around it for far too many hours, then they set fire to the 100-foot-high pyre of straw and hay and wood he sits upon. If the fire doesn’t do its job in a timely manner, they blow the Boogg up. It’s a nasty, magnificent sound that reverberates around the Norman and Parisian style architecture of the Old City and heralds Springtime, whether Nature agrees or not/David Bond, Wallace Street Journal. More here

HBO @ Noon: So Much For Loving Thy Brother


Jessica DeVault/Spartanburg Herald-Journal, AP
A sign reads “Obama, Osama _ humm, are they brothers” outside a Jonesville, S.C., church Monday. A South Carolina pastor says he wasn’t trying to be political when he posted a sign in front of his church linking Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden. Story here

DFO: I’m saddened when American Christians display bigotry, especially when it involves an attack on another Christ follower. Barack Obama sez he’s a Christian. And that’s good by me. Too many American Christians, conservative and liberal, dis those who don’t subscribe to their particular practices or doctrine. This pastor owes Obama and fellow American believers an apology for dishonoring the God he claims to serve.

Cramer: Idaho Teachers Make Decent $$$

One of the Idaho Education Association’s goals is to have the legislature mandate a minimum starting salary for teachers of $40,000 a year. Look, I do think that teachers are generally underappreciated and often underpaid. But here’s a reality check. In Ada County (where the capital is located), and the median household income in 2004 was $50,754 per year, this would mean that a starting teacher would be making probably $10,000 a year more than the average worker (figuring that many but not all of those households have both husband and wife working). Okay, you could argue about this a bit I suppose; a lot of non-teachers here don’t have college degrees—although a lot do. But many of those non-teachers have filthy, disgusting jobs that involve significant risk of injury, don’t have health insurance through their employer, have no hope of tenure, and work twelve months of the year—not ten/Clayton Cramer. More here

Idaho Blog Roundup:
*Mike Simpson Report: Proud, embarrassed, proud/Adam’s Blog
*Earth Day 2008: Is it really that long ago?/Left Side of the Moon
*When art collides/Political Game
*Pullman: The land Spokane forgot/Palousitics
*Yale student stages abortion-as-art hoax/Idaho Chooses Life blog

Question: Are teachers paid enough in Idaho?

Mansfield Sez LaRocco Can Beat Odds, Risch

Then, I spent time getting caught up this afternoon on the upcoming Idaho US Senate race, featuring Jim Risch’s Primary ooponents: a cast of thousands. As I read on about the folks running for this seat two things hit me: 1. How easy it will be for Jim Risch to beat these well-meaning GOP opponents, and 2. How much like Helen Chenoweth’s ‘94 race, Larry LaRocco’s comeback may be, 14 years later/Dennis Mansfield. More here (scroll down)

Question: Do you think Lt. Gov. Jim Risch is a shoo-in to win his party nomination and then beat Dem Larry LaRocco in November?

Pennsylvania Primary Could Decide Hillary’s Quest

Item: Democratic presidential contest turns to Pennsylvania/Associated Press

More Info: A six-week, increasingly hard-edged Pennsylvania primary contest between Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama culminated today as voters registered their choice — a decision that could save or sink Clinton’s flagging candidacy. The candidates questioned each other’s character and readiness to be commander in chief in last-minute television ads and barnstormed the state in a final pitch for votes in the most populous and delegate-rich state remaining in the nominating contest. Some 4 million Democrats were eligible to cast ballots, with 158 delegates at stake.

Question: Who will win the Dem primary in Pennsylvania and by how much?

Earth Day 2008: Enviros Have Come A Long Ways

Item: 38 years after the first Earth Day, its goals have become mainstream: Many Idahoans now make green living a personal crusade, and ‘environmental’ is no longer a political insult/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman

More Info: A few short years ago, the word environmentalist was a pejorative in Idaho, wielded like a weapon against people loggers, miners and farmers blamed for destroying their industries. The industries have changed - and so have environmentalists. Today, Idaho industry is as much about high-tech or service as it is farms or forests. Protecting the air and water has wide support. And environmentalists, like the Idaho Conservation League, have become more practical, said Ken Burgess, a partner in the Boise public affairs group Veritas Advisors.

Question: Would you consider yourself an environmentalist? Why? Why not?

Milt Nelson: Why I Left People’s Republic Of Kalifornia

re: Survivalist fear meltdown, eye Idaho
Consider the situation in ‘The People’s Republic of Kalifornia’ when I left there in 2001 and settled here. Governor ‘Gray-Out’ Davis in Sacramento; Senators Feinstein and Boxer and Reps. Waxman, Waters and so many others in Congress; not to mention Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle Dummer running for Mayor in Left Angeles … aaggghhh … I was so glad to settle in a place that had some space left and beautiful scenery not over-run with people, but as LastdemoinIdaho said I’m repelled by the ‘growth-at-any-cost’ mentality which begins by capitalizing on the ‘country’ atmosphere and leads to its destruction! Have you seen how the Rathdrum Prairie is being plowed-under and replaced with ‘Ticky-Tacky’? I would so hope all this surge in population isn’t really harming the aquifer. I love it here and have acclimated to the colder weather, snow, etc. My relations back in L. A. love to visit here and are delighted by the photos I e-mail them of the wildlife (Moose especially) that wander thru my place. Someday when my kids inherit my 5-acres here I hope they’ll enjoy it as much as I do/Milt Nelson.

Parting Shot — 4/21/08


Dan Pelle/Spokesman-Review
Spokane Razorbacks Kurt Fatupaito stiff arms his way through the defense of the U of Montana Jesters at Franklin Park. Story here

Drudge Report: Hillary Excited About PA Poll

Item: Hillary internal poll shows 11-point lead: Report says controlled excitment building within inner circle/Drudge Report

More Info: Controlled excitement is building inside of Clinton’s inner circle as closely guarded internal polling shows the former first lady with an 11-point lead in Pennsylvania! Clinton is polling near to nearly 2 to 1 over Obama in many regions of the state, a top insider explained to the DRUDGE REPORT. A strong coalition of middle-class and religious voters has all but secured a Clinton victory Tuesday, with headline-making margins, the campaign believes.

Question: How well will Hillary Clinton have to do in Pennsylvania Tuesday to get back into the Demo prez sweepstakes?

Headlines @ 5 — WSU Fires


Dean Hare/Moscow-Pullman Daily News
A firefighter smiles as Stephenson Hall residents file back into their dormitory on the campus of Washington State University early on Monday in Pullman. Eight fires were set on the campus within slightly more than an hour early Monday, and one of two men seen running from one of the fires was arrested and has confessed, police said. SR story here

*A glimpse into Duncan’s ideology/Eye On Boise
*Huge load coming through Spokane tonight/SR
*Man gets probation, community service for burning brother/Idaho Statesman
*Spokane Valley woman, daughter killed in Oregon crash/SR
*Workers spend day editting Grant, others from ballot/Idaho Statesman

Weather Service Issues Haz-Weather Warning

The National Weather Service has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook effective for portions of the North and North Central Idaho, and throughout most of the Central and Eastern parts of Washington. Expect unsettled weather to continue across the region through tonight/KREM2. SR story

From Pot Bust To Nampa Fund-raising Headliner

Driggs resident Dawn Wells, best known for her character Mary Ann in the “Gilligan’s Island” television series, was the main attraction at a fundraiser for the renovation of the Pix Theater in Nampa. Event organizers say the $100-a-plate dinner Saturday helped raise money toward the $2 million to $3 million it will take to fix the landmark after its roof was damaged several years ago/KTVB. More here

Redux: ‘Gilligan’s Island’s‘ Dawn Wells caught with marijuana/Newsday (3/11/08)

Question: I know that Americans are forgiving people. And I like that. But I’m amazed that actress Dawn Wells bounced back so quickly from her pot bust a month ago. Are you?

HBO Poll: Earth Day

Although Earth Day officially is observed Tuesday, people around the world already are celebrating the event. In a clever editorial cartoon, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist David Horsey/Seattle PI, tongue firmly cheeked, depicts noted enviros including Al Gore sending Earth Day greetings to Mother Earth. Do you observe Earth Day?

*Yes, it reminds us that we’re to care for the world and environment around us
*Sometimes, it depends if I’m around enviro family and/or friends
*No, the earth and environment aren’t as sensitive as people think
*What’s Earth Day?

Adam’s Blog: Edit Board Interviews Waste Of Time

re: Giving Steven Thayn credit where due/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman

It was nice of Thayn to meet with the Board, but I can understand why Bowers didn’t from the perspective of a former candidate. I met with the Statesman board when I ran for the Legislature in 2004 along with my primary opponent, Tom LeClaire and we talked about many issues ranging from education to tax reform during a wide-ranging hour meeting. I wasn’t so much bothered that the Statesman endorsed my opponent, but that it dismissed my candidacy in one paragraph that explained I didn’t support the 2003 Sales Tax Increase, something the Statesman board could have learned by simply reading my response to their questionaire. While the two members of the Statesman board I met with were professional, I left feeling as if my time had been wasted/Adam Graham, Adam’s Blog. More here

Question: What value do you place in Editorial Board endorsements?

HBO @ Noon Trifecta — Bond, James Bond


Matt Dunham/AP Photo
An employee from the Fleming Collection looks round as she poses for photographs in front of an image of actor Daniel Craig from the James Bond film Casino Royale during the press launch for the “Bond Bound” exhibition in London today. Before James Bond became a screen icon, he was a paperback hero. A new exhibition in London gathers Bond book covers from around the world to look at the enduring appeal of the fictional spy. The “Bond Bound” show includes books in English, German, Japanese, Greek, Hebrew and Italian.

HBO Trifecta Question: Who is your favorite Bond girl? Who is your favorite Bond villain? Which is your favorite Bond movie?

Adam’s Blog: Idaho Conservative Scorecard …

… shows dramatic shifts in legislative votes between 2007 and 2008 here. Among North Idaho senators, John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, was most conservative over the past two years with a rating of 92% and Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, was most liberal with 50% rating here. Among North Idaho representatives, Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Post Falls, was most conservative with a 100% rating, while Rep. George Sayler, R-Coeur d’Alene, was most liberal with 14% rating here.

AM Headlines — Someone Wants Currie Out

“There were two trucks (Friday) night parked on 95 with similar signs,” e-mails a Berry Picker. “(A third one, top photo) was parked across from the Mica Grange. The farm truck (bottom photo) was parked on US 95 just north of the Mica turnoff on Sunday afternoon. My guess is that it’s not either of Currie’s opponents who are behind the anti-Currie truck signs, but regular citizens who are simply opposing his re-election.”

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, Spokesman-Review
*Knutsen crowned Coeur d’Alene Junior Miss/Sean Garmire, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Sunday cold beats 115-year-old record/Spokesman-Review
*Fires reported on WSU campus, 1 arrested/Associated Press
*A classic job: Joe Lenz took the leap into hot rod culture to pay the bills, and he doesn’t regret it/Suzanne Jacobson, Coeur d’Alene Press

Question: Anyone know who’s behind the anti-Rick Currie signs that have been showing up around town?

Riverstone Red Robin To Open Today

Item: Red Robin ready to take flight: Restaurant officially opens Monday/Rick Thomas, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: The 5,184-square-foot Coeur d’Alene Red Robin restaurant will seat 269. There are four additional restaurants in Idaho, including one corporate owned location in Boise. Mach Robin, LLC, a franchise partner of Red Robin, also owns and operates locations in Boise, Meridian and Nampa.

Question: Do you plan to check out the new Red Robin within the month? As a rule, do you enjoy checking out new eateries?

Melting Antarctica Hype Ignores Record Ice Growth

Item: Media hype on ‘melting’ Antarctic ignores record ice growth/Cliff Harris, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: “… the media is once again hyping an allegedly dire consequence of man-made global warming. This time the media is promoting the ice loss of one tiny fraction of the giant ice-covered continent and completely ignoring the current record ice growth overall on Antarctica. Contrary to media hype, the vast majority of Antarctica has cooled over the past 50 years and ice coverage has grown to record levels since Satellite monitoring began in the 1970s, according to peer-reviewed studies and scientists who study the area.”

Question: Are you concerned about reports that Antarctica is shrinking?

TUBOB: Nothing Good About Getting Old

Aging denies me my youthful exuberance and carefree joie de vivre instead burdening me with the overbearing knowledge of what a brutal and hellish craphole this world has become. Seriously. We’re being gouged by Big Oil our petrolust and petroejaculations have created a warming earth steaming with carbon dioxide like the vile breath of a murderous thug about to pop a cap in you before he steals your car and beats your pomeranian to death for yapping at him after he dumps you in some godforsaken landfill in the swamps of New Jersey, but I digress,

Heller: Not Easy Being Green


Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Hating In Washington, D.C.


Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP Photo
I know this photo is unsettling. I looked at it quite awhile tonight. I’m amazed that anyone would indoctrinate a small child into a life of hate. Here, a member of the National Socialist Movement, right, holds the hand of a young child during a demonstration in front of the U.S. Capitol, Saturday in Washington.

Snow In April Forecast Today, Monday

Item: Guess what’s in the forecast: 4 letters, rhymes with NO!/Spokesman-Review

More Info: Old Man Winter keeps reappearing like a bad rash. Scattered snow showers are in the forecast tonight, the National Weather Service office in Spokane says. The overnight low will be around 27 in Spokane, 25 in Coeur d’Alene. You may want to sit down for this next part. Sunday’s forecast calls for 50 percent chance of snow showers, with “new snow accumulation of less than one inch possible,” followed Sunday night by an 80 percent chance of precipitation and “new snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.” And Monday? “Periods of snow showers. High near 40. … Chance of precipitation is 80 percent,” the forecasters say.

Question: Is this now officially the worst winter that you’ve endured?

Idawa: Thoroughly Disgusted By Pro Sports

I’ll be disappointed if Seattle’s stand against the corporate socialism that is professional sports doesn’t set precedent and we loose the Sonics for nothing. If this catches on, and other cities stand up to these guys and let them know that we won’t subsidize millionaire players and billionaire owners anymore, then it will have been worth it. In the end though, I don’t think anything will really change. The Sonics will be gone and the NBA, NFL, and MLB will continue to milk the public coffers. I love going to the Safe on a sunny day and watching the M’s play as much anyone, but that fact that we were duped into that damn stadium chaffs my hide every time they roll back the roof. Right now I’m thoroughly disgusted with professional sports; the only saving graces are the NHL and the MLS/Idawa.

Question: Do you enjoy professional sports?

Dems Clash Over Death With Dignity Initiative

Item: Dems differ on Death With Dignity/Jim Camden, Spokesman-Review

More Info: At the convention, that opposition surfaced in a letter circulated to delegates before (former Washington governor Booth) Gardner arrived. In it, Chris Carlson, a Spokane-based public policy consultant who heads a group opposing the initiative, said he too suffers from Parkinson’s but doesn’t agree people have a constitutional right to “death with dignity.” Carlson said the initiative was promoting suicide, and that Gardner and other supporters’ contention that it wasn’t is “disingenuous.”

Question: Do you view Death With Dignity to be the same as suicide?

18-year-old Canoeist Missing


Brian Plonka/Spokesman-Review
Rescue workers, law enforcement and volunteers examine a damaged canoe believed to be owned by an 18 year-old man who is missing in the area of Plese Flats along the Spokane River at Riverside State Park in Spokane. Story here

UI Pope Cartoon: Timely, Topical? Or Wide Of Mark?


Julio Cesar Ponce/UI Argonaut

Honest George:Tasteless - and way off mark.

Cabbage Boy: ugg, you sure this one deserved publishing DFO. It is poor art even if it didn’t, as HG said, miss the mark.

TJ: I beg to differ. As the editor who chose to print it originally, I found it both timely and topical. And as for the artwork, it looks like the Pope to me.

Question: Was this cartoon in poor taste and wide of the mark? Or was it timely and topical?

Ingram: Not Enough Talk About Assessor Snafu

There has not been, imho, nearly enough dialog, if any at all, about the screw up in the county assessors office that resulted in a number of taxing districts getting shorted on expected tax income to meet their budgets. A remedy apparently has been worked out where the shorted taxing disticts will be allowed to increase their forgone balances so they can meet their budgets. Also a number of taxing districts were paid too much but they will not have to reduce their forgone balances. They just get to keep it. I have no sympathy what so ever for the poor little old taxers. If they can reopen their budgets, like CDA did last year to increase spending, they can also reopen their budgets to reduce their spending to accomodate the shortage. And the unidentified taxing districts that got too much should be identified and forced to give it back to the taxpayers by having their forgone balances reduced. Who are they?/Gary Ingram.

Question: Rather than reclaim 2006 taxes lost through an assessor snafu, should Kootenai County taxing districts simply eat their losses?

Is Duncan Trying To Cross-Examine Shasta Himself?

Item: Judge may let Duncan act as his own attorney: The confessed killer and rapist would have to pass a mental competency evaluation/Patrick Orr, Idaho Statesman.

More Info: Confessed killer Joseph E. Duncan III likely will be allowed to act as his own attorney in his upcoming death penalty hearing - a decision that could further delay the start of the sentencing. This could put Duncan in the position to cross-examine Shasta Groene, the sole survivor of a spree of murder, sexual abuse and abduction that led to the 10 federal crimes Duncan pleaded guilty to in December.

Related: Charles Manson tried this stunt, too/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise; andd: Orbusmax: Crime victims appalled at prospect

DFO: I can’t think of a question to ask here. I’m horrified by the idea that Duncan could be trying to maneuver court proceedings to allow himself one more conversation with his victim. I would rather see a plea bargain that allowed the perv murdered to be sentenced to life without possibility of parole rather than execution — to prevent Shasta Groene from ever dealing with this monster again.

Russell: Grant’s Name On Many County Ballots

When Democrat Larry Grant dropped out of the 1st District congressional race, one thing few knew was that many counties already had printed their ballots for the May primary election – with Grant’s name on them. “It’s more than a few,” said Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa. As a result, counties in the 1st District, which stretches from Boise to the Canadian border, have to decide whether to reprint ballots or just black out Grant’s name with a Sharpie or other suitable implement. Ada County has hired 60 temporary workers to wield the marking pens this weekend and make the necessary crossouts on that county’s 1st District Democratic primary election ballots. Kootenai County is reprinting ballots/Betsy Russell, SR Handle Extra. More here

Huckleberries: Weaker opponent not always loser/DFO, SR Handle Extra

Question (for Democrats): Do you really think Congressman Bill Sali is going to be a push-over this fall?

Parting Shot — 4/18/08


Mark Fox/Summit Daily News, AP
An Osprey tears away at a fresh rainbow trout while perched on a utility pole after a successful fishing trip Friday morning, north of Silverthorne, Colo. The Osprey and its mate returns annually to their nest atop a platform near the Colorado mountain town.

Best of HBO Blogosphere — 4/18/08


“Flickers are probably the most flighty of the woodpecker species in Glacier,” posts Chris Peterson/Glacier Park Blog. “They’re fairly shy unless you find them at a nest, then it still takes a long telephoto to get a decent shot and usually a remote setup (using a radio remote to fire the camera). At any rate, this female yesterday flew right up to me and fed in the lawn of the Lake McDonald Lodge.”

Ok. … I came home late yesterday afternoon….. things did not go as smoothly as expected, but hey, this is me we are talking about and its par for the course with me lol. … I cant type for long, cos Im wellabit poorly at the moment. …BUT … Im home. … not sure if thats a good thing yet or not LMFAO. … and get that word ‘stubborn’ right out ya heads lol. … I want to fank everyone for their outpouring of love and best wishes and thoughts…. I will get around to answering the previous comments….. but please give me a few days, I aint up to much at the moment/Marmitetoasty. More here

HBO Numbers (for Thursday, April 18): 8259 page-views/4577 unique views

*Attack of robot roaches/Notes on a Napkin
*4 questions/From A Simple Mind
*Money choices: Big Tobacco or Islamic jihad/Chronic Discontent
*Warning: Staples are sharp/A Butterfly Moment
*Unfortunately, Goldberg doesn’t get it/Arch Druid
*I gave my doctor the finger/Atmospheric Ruminations
*Child Protective Services/Bay Views
*An even keel/Dogwalk Musings

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 4/18/08


Bullit Marquez/AP Photo
A Manila police officer attempts to cover PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) activists from left, American national Istara Bon Gundry, Filipino Katrina Lugartos and Canadian Ashley Fruno. clad partly with fresh lettuce as they protest at a square in Manila, Philippines this morning. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. I like my salad without dressing — Machiavelli.
2. (tie) Members of PETA pan the mood which in Manila envelopes the crowd — John Austin, and: These women turn over a new leaf, after they produce their newest documentary, ‘Lettuce be Free’ — Deena.
3. (tie) Chick salad wrap! — Blogmistress, and: On the menu today: Iceberg wedgy— MikeS.

Off The Cuff: Hippie-condriac

Hello, my name is Roger, and I am a hippie-chondriac. Despite the fact that I wear Chacos and Burks, and I once lived in a VW van for a couple months, I fear becoming a hippie. I fear patchouli oil, the dark leathery skin, Kombucha, vegan diets, and Red Stripe. The reason that I fear it? Perhaps it’s because I would be such a good hippie. I have to learn to walk the line, the line between small-town Idaho boy and free-thinking hippie … sandals and all/Roger D. Rowles, UI Argonaut photo editor. Off The Cuff

Question: Are you or were you ever a hippie?

EOB: Duncan Doesn’t Want More Delays

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge called the parties back into court this afternoon and said it appears they won’t be able to find a local evaluator to do the necessary mental evaluation of Joseph Duncan – so the alternative is sending him to the Bureau of Prisons in Seattle for a review that would include observation for 30 to 45 days. Duncan was taken aback by that, saying he didn’t intend to delay his sentencing proceedings/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here

MamaJD: Dreaded Little League Mom

You may remember my previous rants about the dreaded Mommy Clusters. To give you a brief synopsis, you know you have encountered a Mommy Cluster if you can answer yes to the following two prong test: 1. Is there a gathering of two or more mommies? 2. Did they start bombarding you with questions that began with, “Have you started …?” Or, “You’re going to… aren’t you?” I am here to report that the dreaded Little League Mom takes this notion to a whole ‘nother level. The Little League Mom is a mom that is somehow affiliated with Little League. Beyond that, there are subsets of Little League Moms (Summary here)/MamaJD.

Question (for HBO mothers): Are you now or have you ever been a Little League mother or part of another Mother Cluster?

Smith: Why SR Doesn’t Report Bomb Threats

There was a bomb threat (Thursday) at EWU that led to the evacuation of hundreds of students faculty and staff from campus buildings. We had a brief on the threat and evacuation posted on our website for a time. But our policy, in general, is not to report bomb threats unless the threat or evacuation actually has a more newsworthy impact or unless a bomb is actually discovered or some other specific factor makes the threat news. The reason we generally don’t report threats is that the prankster/vandals who make empty threats get off on the public attention their dispruption causes. The more empty threats you report, the more threats occur/Editor Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation. More here and: Daily Briefing discussion here

SR Blog Roundup:
*MasterCard of disguise/Amy Klamper, Cart Shark
*Friday’s Quickie Political Briefing/Jim Camden, Spin Control 2.0
*What is journalism revisited/David Laird, Community Comment
*Cyberbegging — the latest trend/Doug Floyd, A Matter of Opinion

Question: Should we report bomb threats in the paper and at SR.com?

HBO @ Noon — Poetry Month

In honor of our two resident poets, The Bard of Sherman Avenue and Tumblewords, as well as in recognition of National Poetry Month, Huckleberries Online wants to know:

Question: Which poem is your favorite and/or who’s your favorite poet?

Winger Faces Blogosphere For 1st Time

Back during Jim Winger’s first go-around as the Lake City High boys basketball coach, it was rare that he heard criticism about his coaching. He had his share of detractors, don’t get me wrong. There just wasn’t a public forum in which they could air their displeasure. Winger knows his return at LC will not go unnoticed. Winger understands he’s entering a new world – the blog world – where 99.9 percent of the criticism will be made without a real name attached to the comments. I posted a story Friday evening about Winger returning. By Wednesday morning, there were 40 comments – split down the middle between those supporting his return and those criticizing him, among other things. “I don’t really think it is criticism unless you put your name behind it,” Winger said. “I don’t deal with anonymous things. If you’re going to be anonymous, I don’t put any weight on it at all”/Greg Lee, SR SportsLink. More here

Question: Back-to-the-Future LCSC cage coach Jim Winger puts no weight in anonymous comments posted on blogs. Do you?

TGIF Headlines — Ken Starr To Visit UI


1998 AP File Photo
University of Idaho will host Kenneth Starr, the attorney and scholar who has become an instant political litmus test over his investigation of President Clinton. Meanwhile, former White House spokesman Tony Snow will speak at Eastern Washington U. Shawn Vestal’s SR story here

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Judge orders mental evaluation of Duncan/Betsy Russell, SR
*Macy’s plans expansion at CdA store/Journal of Business
*Learning the job of parent: Fearing she could hurt her children, one mother called for help/Erica F. Curless, SR
*DEQ: Smog culprits still hazy: Tests will show if Spokane pollution contributes to Kootenai County levels/Suzanne Jacobson, Coeur d’Alene Press
*School, city officials talk cooperation: Officials discuss issues like walkways, workforce development, levy/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

Question: Do the appearances of Ken Starr and Tony Snow at Inland Northwest colleges counter the claim by conservatives that conservative speakers aren’t welcome on campus?

Quotable Quote

“Idaho is a sex offender friendly state. It’s just utterly amazing that he’s allowed to molest kids and there’s no punishment. It’s sickening” — angry father James Franz in CDA Press re: the sentencing of 19-year-old Aaron Edward Smith to just six months of jail for the statutory rape of girls 15, 16 and 17.

Question: Do you agree with Judge Charles Hosack’s sentencing in this case?

Richert: Mike Simpson’s Political Football

I’m well aware that the blue turf of Bronco Stadium resides within Mike Simpson’s 2nd Congressional District. But seriously: Can’t Simpson find something else to do with his time, aside from taking on the college football bowl system? Simpson has signed onto a resolution calling for the Justice Department to investigate college football’s Bowl Championship Series for possible antitrust violations. The resolution would put Congress on record in support of a playoff that would disband the BCS. The Republican Simpson is co-sponsoring the bill along with Reps. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, and Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga. And who says they can’t cross party lines on Capitol Hill?/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here

Question: Do you think this is a worthy cause for an Idaho congressman?

Online Poll: Should Bowl System Be Replaced?

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson is one of three lawmakers who say the college football bowl system should be changed because it illegally restricts trade. A bill they’ve introduced would put Congress on record as supporting a college football playoff. Should the bowl system be replaced with a playoff?/Idaho Statesman.

*Yes
*No
*Don’t know

CindyH: How You Know You Live In A Small Town

1) The social event of the year is the annual Home School Association’s squirrel barbecue.
2) You call the mayor, Daddy.
3) You graduated with a class of 14, and they were all your cousins.
(More)

Parting Shot — 4/17/08


Trent Nelson/Salt Lake Tribune, AP
A group of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints men arrive for a hearing at the 51st District Courthouse in San Angelo, Texas on Thursday which will decide the fate of 416 children removed in a raid from the Yearning For Zion ranch.

Zelda: Spokane’s A ‘Small Town’?

Did anybody get a chance to read Timothy Egan’s “Lost Town Blues” op-ed in the NY Times today? He starts out talking about hard times in Spokane, then goes on to discuss Obama’s remarks about “bitterness.” It’s worth it to read the blog comments from Inland Northwesterners. It didn’t go unnoticed that he called Spokane a “small town”/Zelda.

Question: What do you consider to be a “small town” in terms of population?

Headlines Near Closin’ Time — 4/17/08


WSP Photo
Todd Ellsworth crashed on his motorcycle on the Geiger offramp in Spokane today. Ellsworth says his helmet saved him a trip to the hospital. Story here

*More snow showers expected this weekend/Spokesman-Review
*Plan would remove ban on field burning in Idaho/Twin Falls Times-News
*Spokane firefighter hurt on duty/Spokesman-Review
*Spokane police make arrest in double stabbing/KXLY
*400 evacuated in EWU bomb scare/Spokesman-Review

SR Blogs: ‘The Peak’ Is Back — On The Air

Another radio format change in Spokane. But this time, something new is actually something old. On Friday, April 11th, “The Peak” was re-launched on 105.7. The Peak had been missing from our airwaves for five years, since the format was dropped in 2003. It them became “The Buzzard,” playing hard rock. That format never really caught on, the way the Peak did before it. The re-launched 105.7 will play pop alternative rock music from the 90’s and today, including Nirvanna, REM, Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters/Dan Mitchinson, On The Air.

SR Blog Roundup:
*Race track deal should be black-flagged/Rebecca Mack, Hard 7
*WSU lands Washington 4A player of year/Vince Grippi, Sportslink
*Pope bath products, buy a button instead/David Laird, Community Comment
*Rabbit, Dems debate, Peter Goldmark, thin slices/Thuy Nguyen, Daily Briefing
*Is YouTube, MySpace to blame for Internet beating/Erin Daniels, Vox Box

Question: Which radio station do you listen to most?

Dogwalk: Rathdrum’s Better, Has Ways To Go

You’ve got some great people trying to pull you into the current century but many of the old timers are still resisting everything that looks like progress. True, Main Street has come a long way. When I first saw it the only two buildings that had any semblance of what the town could be was the Chamber Building and City Hall. Now new facades are being added and the buildings are being occupied by viable businesses. You’ve got the Rathdrum Star in one and the Salsa Factory in another. You’ve got the skate board park and an insurance office, hair salon and what else?. The new book store/ coffee stand. Let’s face it, really, One Eye’s, the biker bar, while a downtown fixture, is not a place most would choose to pop into for a quick refreshment. And the Westwood is hardly known for fine dining/Dogwalk Musings. More here

AndrewZ’s SR Today In Pictures — 4/17/08


Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press
A member of the Catholic clergy waits to offer Holy Communion during the Papal Mass of Pope Benedict XVI at Washington Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. For Andrew Zahler’s SR Today In Pictures, click here.

Simpson To GOPoobah: Let ‘Em Protest

GOP Congressman Mike Simpson is considering moving his district offices in Idaho Falls if his landlord – former state GOP Chairman Blake Hall – keeps blocking peaceful protesters from his offices. According to an article by reporter Phil Davidson in the Idaho Falls Post Register today, Simpson said his constituents are welcome to speak or peacefully protest at any of his four Idaho offices at any time. “If I am unable to reconcile these two rights with the building’s owners, I will begin considering my options for alternative office space,” Simpson told the Post Register/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here

Question: Should Larry Craig and Mike Crapo also move offices, if former state GOP leader Blake Hall refuses to allow protesters on property?

UI Gets OK To Conceptualize Boise Law School

University of Idaho Law School got permission Thursday morning to develop a concept for a second campus in Boise. The State Board of Education voted 5-0 to let U of I start shaping plans for a Boise-based school, but the U of I will have to return to the board for approval of specific pieces of the school/Bill Roberts, Idaho Statesman. More here

Question: Do you have misgivings about this proposal?

HBO Poll: Placating Mother Nature

In the old days — and in bad movies today — some cultures appeased their angry gods by tossing someone into a volcano. As the Mother of All Inland Northwest Winters drags on, with a prediction of more snow on the way for Friday, I was wondering — tongue firmly cheeked — which local weather person should we toss into a volcano in order to coax Mother Nature into allowing spring to arrive:

*Brian Albrecht/KHQ
*Mark Peterson/KXLY
*Kris Crocker/KXLY
*Tom Sherry/KREM
*Michelle Boss/SR Handle Extra
*Randy Mann/Spokesman-Review
*Cliff Harris, Coeur d’Alene Press

Idaho Blogs: Tuning Out ‘Little Girl Voices’

Coming into the house just now I sat down to watch a bit of the news. Earlier on MSNBC, there was a clip earlier of some of the mothers from the Texas polygamy complex talking about their children. What struck me - besides the obvious evasion of answering certain questions - was the tenor and tone of their voices. That would be fairly high-pitched, fairly ‘feminine.’ It grates on my nerves because there’s a certain phony manipulative quality to it/Left Side of the Moon. More here

Idaho Blog Roundup:
*Walt Minnick launches new Web site/Red State Rebels
*Porn as an idea/Adam’s Blog
*Some banks want to own foreclosed property/Debbie Holmes’ Blog, 43rd State Blues
*What does divorce cost?/Clayton Cramer
*Cindy Luna writes letters/Unequivocal Notion
*Bill Sali votes (4/16/08)/MountainGoat Report
*Obama didn’t have a bad night/Morialekafa
*Home from the hospital/F-Words

Question: What odd detail strikes you hardest re: the situation involving the Yearning For Zion polygamist sect?

Senate Guru: Risch Misquotes Reagan

The historically inaccurate quote of the day comes from Republican Senate candidate Jim Risch:

“You know what Ronald Reagan said? Numbers are stubborn things,” Risch said.

No, Jim, Ronald Reagan didn’t say that. Reagan said something else - and what he said, he wasn’t trying to say. What he was trying to say was a quote from our second President, John Adams:

John Adams, our second president, famously said: “Facts are stubborn things.” In a 1988 slip of the tongue, Ronald Reagan said: “Facts are stupid things.”

See: Gigantic Wednesday night rundown/Senate Guru

Question: Are missteps and “misquotes” by politicians anything more than good fodder for chuckles. Or do they negatively affect their campaigns?

Local AM Headlines — 4/17/08


Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review
Post Falls High School softball player Lauran Nagrone prepares to bat during practice at the school. Greg Lee’s Prairie Voice story here

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, Spokesman-Review
*Huckleberries: The naked truth? It was an arm/D.F. Oliveria, SR Prairie Voice
*Husband, daughter find woman’s body in lake/Meghann M. Cuniff, Spokesman-Review
*Bayview Mercantile owner wins $120,000 on scratch ticket/Caroline Lobsinger, Bonner County Daily Bee
*Safety, streets focus of PF budget: Use of foregone taxes approved for police/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Sandpoint councilman raises serious EMS concerns: Lockwood recommending an outside investigation/Keith Kinnaird, Bonner County Daily Bee
*Spirit Lake road repair on hold: Streets need to thaw before patching, sealing/Taryn Hecker, SR Prairie Voice
*GPS will track juvenile delinquents: Those likely to run away would be candidates to wear the bracelet/Suzanne Jacobson, Coeur d’Alene Press

Pope Wows Washington, D.C.


Pier Paolo Cito/AP Photo
Pope Benedict XVI arrives in the Popemobile to celebrates an open-air Mass this morning at Washington Nationals baseball Park in Washington.

Question: Do visits from spiritual leaders such as Pope Benedict and the Dalai Lama have any lasting effect on Americans?

IStatesman: Idaho Edgy About Economy

With bad economic news coming in nearly daily, it should come as no surprise that Idahoans are concerned about their short-term future. What’s more surprising is that these same Idahoans seem determined to convert angst into action. A February survey of Idahoans - released this week by the Minnesota-based Northwest Area Foundation, a group dedicated to fighting long-term poverty - found an electorate that isn’t necessarily angry but is definitely edgy. Thirty-five percent of Idahoans worry that they won’t be able to pay their bills. Asked to rate the local economy, 47 percent handed out a grade of “fair” or “poor,” and a sobering 66 percent are worried that things will get worse in the next year/Idaho Statesman. More here

Question: Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?

BrentA: How Are Popes Named?

How are Catholic Popes named? The Pope is Benedict XVI - have there been 15 Pope Benedicts already?/Brent Andrews.

Nic: Obama On Defensive During Debate

Any one see the debates last night? I actually feel bad for Obama. Between Clinton’s comments and the moderator’s questioning - Obama looked like a lion cub backed into a corner by bunch of hungry hyenas. (not to mention, Clinton has the facial structure of a hyena) And did any one catch CNN’s typo? I heard they misspelled a name: “Bark” Obama in their post-debate coverage/Nic.

Stantis: Food? Gas? Vicious Circle


Scott Stantis/Birmingham News

Hump Day Wild Card — 4/16/08

In a post Tuesday evening, Smith Kennedy asked: “Can i just ask why all the articles regarding Bryan Fischer lately?” To which Whippersnapper responded: “DFO is whoring for posts. Good job, DFO.” Indeed, I appreciate the page-views and comments that Bryan’s posts attract. More importantly, though, I’m constantly in search of compelling topics to launch discussions here. That’s why I search newspapers and blogs throughout the state. Whoever has the hot hand goes out front. That goes for HBO’s main comment thread. You want to get out front? Write something that has broad interest. Or controversial. Or extremely clever. You should know by now that I don’t have to agree with you to run it out front. Now, for your Hump Day Wild Card …

Best of the HBO Blogosphere — 4/16/08

Dan has been counting down his Top Ten TV Shows, which got me to thinking about some of the shows my family used to watch together when I was a kid. Mostly I remember variety shows. Those must’ve been big in the seventies. The Burns and Schreiber Comedy Hour was a big favorite, along with The Mac Davis Show, The Carol Burnett Show, Sonny & Cher, Ken Berry’s Wow Show, and The Shields and Yarnell Show. But I think the one that made me laugh the loudest was The Flip Wilson Show. I have no idea why, but characters like Geraldine and Reverend Leroy were absolutely hilarious to my 6-year-old mind/A Family Runs Through It. More here

HBO Numbers (for Tuesday, April 15): 9201 page-views/4981 unique views

*Bitter? Darn right/From A Simple Mind
*Good day sunshine (or a visit to Stickman)/A Butterfly Moment
*Floating crap game/Dogwalk Musings
*Cutting bandages for Africa/Gathering Around the Table

Question: Which TV show did you enjoy watching most as a child with your family?

APhoto of the Day — 4/16/08


Zachary Kaufman/Columbian, AP
Aurel Mikityuk holds on to an ice cream cone after his 18-year-old son drove his SUV through the window of a Baskin Robbins while trying to park it in Vancouver, Wash., Tuesday. The teenager mistakenly hit the gas instead of the break, but nobody was hurt in the incident. You write the cutline.

Top Cutline:

1. “Do you have any Jack Daniels-flavored ice cream? I could use a triple scoop of it right now!” — Shannon.
2. Baskin-Robbins adds a 32nd flavor: Chevy Tahoe — ThomG.
3. “Sorry, can’t talk right now. An officer requested that cones be place around the wreckage” — MikeS.

HM: Nic

IVA: Expect Dem Crossover Against Sali

Because the legislature did not enact legislation enabling the Republican Party to close its May 27 primary, which is required by party rules, Democrats and independents will be able to cross over and vote in the GOP primary even though they have no affinity for Republican Party principles. Expect Matthew Salisbury (shown being hugged by his kids after his return from Iraq in October 2005) to draw unexpectedly high numbers, in his challenge to incumbent Bill Sali, despite a campaign that’s been barely visible to this point. In the 1990s, due to crossover voting, Helen Chenoweth’s primary opponent got 30% of the vote one year despite the fact that shortly before the election he took his clothes off during an interview with Channel 7 and had to hauled off to the psych ward of a local hospital/Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance. More here

Question: Will Idaho Democrats cross-over in big numbers to vote against Congressman Bill Sali, now that they no longer have a primary showdown between Larry Grant and Walt Minnick?

Rathdrum Star: Batch Plant Plan Isn’t Popular

A proposed zoning change and request to build an asphalt batch plant could pit neighbor vs. neighbor in a rural Rathdrum subdivision. Last month, Kootenai County Planning Department hearing examiner recommended denial of a request by Coeur d’Alene Paving to swap the zoning, from agriculture to mining, on two 20-acre parcels of land in the Stepping Stone subdivision just north of Highway 53 between Ramsey and Atlas roads. The move would open the door to construction of the asphalt batch plant along the highway right-of-way instead of on a 30-acre plot further south inside the subdivision/Dave Turner, Rathdrum Star. More here (pdf)

Also in today’s Rathdrum Star: Merritt Park project back before council, Vandals destroy irreplaceable jail artifacts, and Community supports Greg Hyatt family.

SR Blogs: K-County Home Sales Down 21%

Kootenai County home sales from October through March dropped 21 percent from the same period a year prior, while prices saw modest declines, according to Coeur d’Alene Multiple Listing Service data released Tuesday. The MLS recorded 655 sales of site-built homes on lots smaller than one acre, compared with 828 during the same six-month period in 2006-07. The average price fell 2.5 percent, to $235,772, while the median price decreased 4.6 percent, to $196,500. About 6,180 properties were on the market at the end of March, compared with 5,755 a year ago/Parker Howell, Here’s The Dirt.

SR Blog Roundup:
*A man named Judd/Jim Camden, Spin Control 2.0
*Prom closet/Jesse Tinsley, Video Journal
*Social conservatives roll eyes at Dalai Lama/Rich Roesler, Eye On Olympia
*Wednesday pope factoid/Rebecca Nappi, A Matter of Opinion
*Audio slideshow, pasta, notes about summer camp guide/Thuy Nguyen, Daily Briefing

HBO @ Noon: Duncan Jury Selection Difficult

Of the first six prospective jurors questioned, three were dismissed for cause. One told the court, “I am strongly opinionated toward the death penalty.” Another said he has a 9-year-old son – the same age as Duncan’s victim, young Dylan Groene. Asked by the judge if he thought he could be fair in this case or not, the young father struggled with his answer, then said, “No.” Even among the three prospective jurors who weren’t challenged for cause this morning, horror over the nature of Duncan’s crimes was clear. One said he wondered “how messed up someone would have to be to do that,” and said, “Sometime I think death is too easy. Sometimes I think it’s too easy a way out”/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here

Question: Why would you be disqualified for sitting on the Duncan jury?

Breaking! Duncan Asks To Be Own Attorney …

Joseph Duncan now wants to act as his own attorney in his death penalty hearings, his lawyers told the court this morning. “He has requested that we recognize his desire to exercise his constitutional right to represent himself,” attorney Mark Larranaga told the court. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge testily said he’ll defer the request until Friday morning. “I’m sure counsel are well aware that there’s a number of facts we have to take into consideration. We’ve got jurors waiting,” Lodge said/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here

Local AM Headlines — 4/16/08


Jerome A. Pollos/Coeur d’Alene Press
Kate Hull, 14, an Idaho Virtual Academy students, uses a cutting torch during a demonstration at the “Hard Hats, Hammers and Hot Dogs,” Tuesday at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, Spokesman-Review
*Many say they’re willing to help prevent abuse, neglect: Survey finds majority are ready to volunteer/Jim Camden, Spokesman-Review
*Post Falls projects avoid more delay: Foxtail, Landing requests approved; History commission to be formed/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press
*UI law school branch campus in Boise would cost $6M per year/UI Argonaut
*3 vye for Shoshone commissioner post/Ralph Bartholdt, St. Maries Gazette-Record
*Missing Post Falls teen shows up in Spokane/Thomas Clouse, Spokesman-Review
*State superintendent: Legislature made a lot of progress: Luna says iSTARS measure not passing by only one vote is not a failure/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

Is Hayden Going In Right Direction?

Item: Hayden design standards hit snag/Suzanne Jacobson, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Proponents say it’s integral to the town’s ultimate vision. Opponents say the architectural design standards are overly restrictive and would render many of the existing business non-conforming.

Question: Is Hayden going in the right direction as it tries to create a viable downtown via urban renewal and design standards?

Keyes Considers Joining Constitution Party


S. John Wilkin/Times Leader, AP
Former Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes speaks during a meeting in Hazelton, Pa., on Tuesday. He announced Tuesday that he has left the GOP and is considering joining the Constitution Party. Keyes once packed the North Idaho College auditorium during a run for president.

Hindu: Benedict’s Leading Us In Right Direction

Benedict’s visit is perfectly timed. The church has largely been purged of the priests who preyed on young boys. As a Catholic, I think now is the time to support the church and this pope who is leading us in the right direction/Hindu.

JimmyMAC: What Should I Do That Stays In Vegas?

I’m heading to Las Vegas-FOR BUSINESS-on Thursday. Just an overnight trip but I have never ever been there before. Staying at MGM and i’ve got 5 co workers going with me. Now this could be a loaded question(no pun intended :), really) but what do I ABSOLUTELY have to do or see while i am in town for one night?? We’ll surely play some cards and dine well but is there anything specific someone can recommend?/JimmyMAC.

Tax Day Wild Card — 4/15/08

I can’t believe that I forgot to post the Wild Card before I hit the hay last night. You guys jump on me for a lot of things. I’m surprised you didn’t jump on me for that. In the “Better Late Than Never” Dept … here’s your Tax Day Wild Card to enjoy before rushing to the post office to pay your taxes …

Best of the HBO Blogosphere — 4/15/08

Last night I saw the Dali Lama speak on a local station. In broken English he said: “What use, anger?” What use? Sometimes I get angry about things. I’m sure you do to. Most people do. Anger hurts others, and hurts yourself. I sometimes get angry with my children. When I show this anger to them, it hurts them, and it hurts me even more. But anger is a beast, and hard to contain sometimes. The Dali Lama said one of the challenges in life is to contain one’s own anger, replacing it with compassion/Toadman, Synaptic Disunion. More here

HBO Numbers (for Monday, April 14, 2008): 8,662 page-views/4,908 unique views

*Review: Elton John concert/Note from The ‘Kan EWA
*Start writing out my Christmas list now/TUBOB
*I want just the facts about prez wannabes/Nuts & Nonsense
*Party on, Room 1117/Otis G Experience
*No excuses, play like a champion/PDX Pup
*The alternative route/Slight Detour

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 4/15/08


Ken Paulman/Spokesman-Review
“What we are seeing here is a run-of-the-mill beer truck making a run-of-the-mill delivery in downtown Spokane,” explains SR features editor Ken Paulman, who snapped this shot this afternoon in downtown Spokane. “The truck is pulled as far to the right as possible and has its four-way flashers on, a good 100 feet or more from the intersection (where I’m standing). The driver, as you can see, has stepped out of the truck. More about the logjam.

*Gregoire, Brown, Chopp, Sims: Not so fast, NBA/Rich Roesler, Eye On Olympia
*Seahawks 2008 schedule includes Thanksgiving game/King5.com
*Survey: One third of Idaho worries about covering living expenses/IStatesman
*Idaho student math scores continue to slip/IStatesman
*3 charged in 12K vandalism at Lewiston cemetery/IStatesman
*Spokane criminal believed dead in western Washington blast/KXLY
*Boy Scouts to honor ex-Scouts who exposed molester/KTVB

Beginning To Look A Lot Like Winter w/o End


As The Lake Churns Photo
Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns snapped this photo at the Conoco station in Priest Lake around 1:45 p.m. today. Dunno which is scarier — snow on April 15 or the gas prices. Still, it’s nice to know that you can get a good tan in Priest Lake no matter what time of year.

Zag Pargo Declares For ‘08 Draft

Gonzaga’s starting point guard Jeremy Pargo will declare himself eligible for the 2008 NBA draft, but will not hire an agent, retaining eligibility if he chooses to play his senior year. In declaring for the draft, Pargo gains the opportunity to play in workouts for NBA teams and the annual NBA Pre-Draft Camp, held in Orlando, Fla. According to NBA.com, the deadline for early entrants-players under 22 years of age- to withdraw their name from eligibility for the daft is June 16/Gonzaga Bulletin. More here

Daily News: No ‘Free Pass’ In School Zone

Idaho state Sen. John Goedde can expect some ribbing the next time he runs into one of his fellow lawmakers. He certainly deserves it. Goedde was the last person we expected to see speeding through a school zone after he sponsored a bill during the recent legislative session that ups the ante for anyone caught committing that particular faux pas. Yet he pleaded guilty to the crime and shelled out $141.50 in fines after being caught going 32 mph in a 20 mph zone earlier this year in Boise. In doing so, the Republican from Coeur d’Alene unwittingly proved the need for his legislation. Keeping children out of harm’s way is paramount for schools and the parents who send them there, and a slap on the wrist isn’t enough for those who don’t heed warnings to slow down in school zones/Doug Bauer, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here

Question: Did Sen. Goedde defuse this embarrassing incident by owning up to it upfront and not making excuses? Or will it cost him politically at the polls, like the flap about “the bear” two years ago?

AndrewZ’s SR Today In Pictures — 4/15/08


Rafiq Maqbool/Associated Press
A U.S. soldier of the 101st Airborne division is seen during a patrol in Khost, Afghanistan. U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan now top 32,000, the highest number of American forces in the country since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Taliban. For the rest of Andrew Zahler’s SR Today In Pictures, click here.

Only 2% Of Missoula Teens Are Fit

Item: Missoula high schoolers flunk fitness: Survey shows only 2 percent meet national fitness guidelines/Betsy Cohen, Missoulian

More Info: Here’s a shout out to get Missoula’s youngest citizens up and moving: Only 2 percent of the city’s high school students meet national fitness guidelines and only 11 percent meet national health guidelines for physical activity. The data come from recently released results of a groundbreaking research project and collaboration between the University of Montana and the Missoula City-County Health Department.

Question: How does this country address the need to encourage youngsters to be more physically active?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 4/15/08


Walt Disney Studios
This photo released by The Walt Disney Studios shows legendary Disney animators Ollie Johnston, seated, and Frank Thomas in May of 1957, animating the three fairies from the Disney classic “Sleeping Beauty,” released in 1959. Johnston, the last of the “Nine Old Men” group died Monday of natural causes at a long-term care facility in Sequim, Wash. He was 95.

1. Two guns used in the deadly shooting spree in Moscow last year will not be included in an upcoming firearms sale by the city’s police department. Instead, authorities say the semi-automatic weapons used by Jason Hamilton will one day be destroyed here.

2. Here’s a shout out to get Missoula’s youngest citizens up and moving: Only 2 percent of the city’s high school students meet national fitness guidelines and only 11 percent meet national health guidelines for physical activity here/Missoulian.

3. A rash on his arms was the last thing Nick Biggs remembers before he nearly died last week. Biggs, 19, a UIdaho civil engineering student, had contracted bacterial meningitis. Quick action by Kappa Sigma men may have saved his life here/Joel Mills, Lewiston Tribune.

4. Blogosphere: Can Minnick beat Sali?/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press; Tax reform ‘08 ends w/whimper/Kevin Richert, IStatesman; More Idaho inmates shipped out of state/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise; Education no longer primary at Boise State/Bryan Fischer, Trish&Halli; and Arizona biz wants more road, transit spending/Rocky Barker, IStatesman.

5. IMHO: Goedde learns there’s no free pass in school zone/Doug Bauer, Moscow-Pullman Daily News; Something’s happening in Idaho/Joan McCarter, New West Boise; AP wrong to label most Idaho R’s ‘arch-conservative’/Rod Beck, IStatesman; Could polygamist sect find Idaho a good haven/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune; and Water in West more valuable than gold/IStatesman.

*News Roundup: Demo Minnick has raised $638K for Idaho Congress race/New West Boise; Native Montanan held in Nigeria/Billings Gazette; Bar-Jonah died from blood clot/Billings Gazette; and Jurors sought to decide Duncan’s fate/IStatesman; and Governor wants games removed from state employee computers/Helena Independent-Record.

Orbusmax Special: Boy survives butter knife in head (warning: graphic video) here.

PFPD Blue Locates Post Falls Runaway

The Post Falls Police Department has been notified that Charleen Cooper was picked up by the Spokane Police Department. Charleen Cooper, 15, ran away from home on April 7. She was listed as an endangered runaway. The Post Falls Police Department had learned that Charleen was checking her “My Space” accounts on a regular basis. Through team work with our citizens and other local law enforcement we were able to keep track of when and where she was logging onto her account. We were notified that she was actively on line at the Spokane City Library in downtown Spokane, Washington. We were able to coordinate with Spokane PD, who responded and picked Charleen up without incident.

LA Times Poll: How Bitter Are You?

OK, with all this talk about “bitter” Americans, how do you feel? Are you bitter about your life and financial and other circumstances?/LA Times

*Yes. I’ll show you bitter when I vote.
*Yes, but it isn’t any politician’s fault.
*No. Actually, I feel pretty good.

Hat Tip: Fort Boise

Local AM Headlines — 4/15/08


Fallen blossoms from a flowering tree collect rain drops Monday, April 14, 2008, in Lewiston.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, Spokesman-Review
*State marriage rate sinks: Annual report lists Idaho birth, death, divorce stats/Suzanne Jacobson, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Under-billed owners to get higher tax bills: 2006 Kootenai County error will be corrected this year/Kevin Graman, Spokesman-Review
*Silenced by the law: Idaho’s laws make prosecuting rape difficult from all perspectives/Greg Connolly, UI Argonaut
*Sidewalk LID still stirs up Sandpoint/Conor Christopherson, Bonner County Daily Bee
*Developers seek Post Falls’ OK to proceed: Foxtail, Post Falls Landing projects face hurdles/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

Bait-And-Switch Keeps Proles Voting Repub

“This theory of white working-class alienation from the Democratic Party derives from Thomas Frank’s compellingly argued 2004 book, What’s the Matter With Kansas? To Frank, the proletariat suffers from a form of “derangement” in believing that its woes derive from the decline of traditional values—patriotism, organized religion, self-reliance, the heterosexual two-parent nuclear family, etc.—when the true source of its troubles is a set of economic policies that favors the rich. Republicans have come to win blue-collar votes in elections by portraying Democratic tolerance of racial and cultural diversity as depravity—”abortion, amnesty, and acid,” in the famous slogan used against George McGovern in 1972. (This is not a new trick.) GOP officeholders typically set their conservative cultural agenda aside after the election is over to concentrate on cutting taxes, reducing regulation, busting unions, and so forth”/Timothy Noah, Slate. More here

Question: What can the Dems do to win back working-class voters who are attracted to Republican talk of traditional values?

Online Poll: How Many Books Per Month?

How many books do you read a month?/Idaho Statesman.

*None
*1
*2
*3
*4
*5 or more

Family Phil: Give Me Ringo, Any Day

Don’t mind MamaJD, IE, she’s still high from inhaling Elton fumes down in Pullman yesterday. She’ll be back down to earth in a few days and realize that Sir Elton hasn’t had a Top Ten single since that Lion King song in 1994. And he seriously hasn’t released a solid album since 1975. All the “favorite songs” people keep mentioning are from over thirty years ago. Elton has basically been on an oldies tour since 1978. I’ve been a Beatles fan practically my whole life, not just for one weekend in April/Family Phil.

Heller: Pope’s Sky Flight Friendly


Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Parting Shot — 4/14/08


Richard A. Chapman/AP Photo
A towering sculpture of eight cars impaled by a steel pipe, officially named Spindle, is shown in a May 24, 2005, file photo in Berwyn, Ill. A towering sculpture of eight cars made famous in the movie “Wayne’s World” is up for sale on eBay. Bids open at $50,000, and the auction closes Thursday.

Best of the HBO Blogosphere — 4/14/08


OnLocation North Idaho Photo

Kerri Thoreson of OnLocation North Idaho has beach blankets dancing in her head as all of us are wishing for summer weather.

Elton John is a genius on the piano. He truly is the rare person that can actually do something that most people can’t. He would start a song with an unbelievable arrangement, almost improvisational, and play for a couple of minutes before the audience would realize what song he was playing. For me, Rocket Man was the most impressive song played in his set. When he played Rocket Man, he went through at least four different variations of the song (before I lost count) without repeating anything. This song went over 15 minutes of straight playing ( I believe it was more like 18 minutes). There is something magical in hearing such a recognizable song in a way that made it completely new again/MamaJD. More here

HBO Numbers (for week of April 6-12): 48391 page-views/28286 unique views

HBO Blog Roundup:
*Get Out guide to Rathdrum/Burger Heaven/Get Out! North Idaho
*Boise sees upskirts differently/Chronic Discontent
*Toilet paper roll effect/From A Simple Mind
*Double oh no/Notes on a Napkin
*How to win rap battles and influence people/Here In Idaho
*No sweat/A Family Runs Through It
*Discussing the opinion/Arch Druid
*Strictly commercial/Atmospheric Ruminations

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 4/14/08


Joel Philippsen/The Republic, AP
A train of ducks cross the center line of an intersection following their escape beneath a fence on Henry Whipker’s farm, Sunday in Columbus, Ind. Shortly after, Whipker retrieved the ducks and brought them back to his property.

Top Cutlines

1. Supporters of the CDA School Levy have all their ducks in a row and appear to be making progress despite those who believe CDA is a no passing zone — ThomG.
2. When the Rev. Wright (Obama’s pastor) was asked why the ducks were crossing the road, he replied “Why does it matter? The ducks aren’t black! They don’t know what its like to be a black duck in America!!!!” — Digger.
3. Duck, duck, duck, TRUCK!! — Shannon.

HM: Cabbage Boy

April Showers


Associated Press Photo

The moisture from heaven
that will bring May’s delight
tends to freak people out
when it comes down in white.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Eye On Boise: Otter Vetoes Tax Break Repeal

Gov. Butch Otter has vetoed HB 664, a measure that sought to repeal a 5 percent tax credit for research activities by businesses. The bill was one of just two that passed after a summer interim legislative committee recommended a sweeping review of dozens of Idaho’s existing tax breaks to see if they’re still appropriate; the House Revenue & Taxation Committee refused to consider reviewing most of them, but did pass three bills to repeal existing breaks/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here

Costello: Dying Media Offends Many Customers

I cannot imagine that there is any other sector of the economy that is so contemptuous of its customer base as the mainstream news. The media regularly offend roughly half of those who might purchase their products. At a time when newspapers are suffering declines in circulation and advertising revenues, the only adjustment they can imagine is cost cutting. Why not consider producing a more attractive product? Adapting to market demands is essential to success. When Edsels didn’t sell, Ford took them off the market. They didn’t offer a cheaper, stripped-down version/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune/Palousitics. More here

Question: What can newspaper do to be more appealing to you?

Does Obama Have A Disconnect w/Rural USA?

Item: Montana commissioner picks Clinton after Obama’s gun comments/Billings Gazette

Barack Obama quote (in San Francisco, April 6): You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothings replaced them…And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Question: All presidential candidates make missteps as they’re on the campaign trail. Will this gaffe by Obama hurt him badly in rural America?

HBO @ Noon: How To Be Nice To Those You Hate

Of course you don’t hate anyone. Hate is such a harsh and ugly word. At least that’s what I’ve heard people say. Personally, I believe honesty trumps liking everyone. So yes, there are individuals I hate. The beauty of reading this blog right now is that you can agree that you hate people, too, without feeling guilty about it or being pressured to lie about it. (Or you can stick to your values and claim to only dislike people)/Angela, Happy Lists. List here

Question: The first three of 10 items on the list of “How To Be Nice To People You Hate” are: 1. Don’t be, 2. Ignore them, and 3. Avoid them. How do you deal with people you can’t stand?

Duncan Case Turns Boise Center Into Courthouse

Hundreds of potential jurors starting lining up outside Boise’s convention center as early as 7:30 this morning, in a line that snaked through the city’s central Grove plaza, to start the process of deciding whether Joseph Duncan should die. The 327-person jury pool is the largest ever called in federal court in Idaho, said court administrator Cameron Burke. Of the 327 Idahoans from 16 southern Idaho counties, 325 came, Burke said. One of the two who was missing had a medical emergency. “It’s a good reflection of our citizens that 99.9 percent of our citizens showed up,” Burke said/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here

Related: Sentencing phase likely to last a month/Idaho Statesman

Smith: Why We Didn’t Review Elton John Concent

But I did get a couple of calls demanding to know why we had no mention of Elton John’s Pullman concert Saturday night in the Sunday paper. Well, this is another case that begs the question (and you’ve heard this before) what is news? We had given the concerts substantial advance play. He showed up Saturday night, apparently wowed a crowd of 12,000 and will do it again thsi afternoon. But is any of that “news” that warrants a live story from the event? We rarely review superstar concerts. They are usually one-night events so there are no repeat showings. That means a review doesn’t fulfill one key purpose — to let folks know whether or not the event is worth the ticket price/Editor Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation. More here

Question: Should we have written a story or reviewed the Elton John concert for The Spokesman-Review?

Duncan Juror Selection Begins Today

Item: Duncan juror selection begins today/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise

More Info: The federal death penalty has been carried out only three times in the past 40 years, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Those executed were Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in 2001, and two Texas murderers in 2001 and 2003. There are 54 inmates on federal death row. Thirty-seven states, including Idaho and Washington, have the death penalty for state crimes. Overall, there have been 1,099 executions under state death penalty laws since 1976, including one in Idaho, four in Washington, and 405 in Texas.

Question: Do you support the death penalty?

Online Poll — Tax Day Minus One

Tax Day is tomorrow — Tuesday, April 15. Have you finished your tax returns yet?/Idaho Statesman.

*Yes
*Almost
*Haven’t started

Sue: Idahoans Undecided About President

Just got back from a dinner party. The presidential elections came up. Thought I’d share: a lifelone republican, in her 60’s voting for Obama because she genuinely likes him; a conservative democrat voting for McCain, because of the we broke it, we need to fix it idea where Iraq is concerned. Cynical younger group voting for Ralph Nader. Many undecideds, or so they say. Idaho won’t be the deciding state, I’m sure, but thought the mix was interesting/Sue.

Question: Have you made up your mind whom you support for president, if that person’s name makes the ballot.

Wild Card/Sunday — 4/13/08

I did as advertised Saturday, HBOers — worked in the garden from morning until I had to break for our church spring banquet. I spent most of my time pruning rose bushes. But there were quite a few side projects as I worked my way around the garden. The sun. felt. so. dang. good. At one point, I took my shirt off to soak in even more rays and to officially declare the long winter of our discontent over. It. felt. so. dang. good. Today, I’ll have a paint brush in hand to attack outside trim that needs repainting. I’m not as excited about that as I would have been with another day gardening. But it has to be done. And I’ll still be outside. You can play this Wild Card while I’m playing with a paint brush …

Could You Serve On Joseph Duncan Jury?

Item: Duncan jury pool at 350, but is that enough? Prosecutors may have a tough time finding 12 people and 3 alternates to decide whether the confessed killer should die/Rebecca Boone, AP.

More Info: His guilt is beyond question, his crime beyond comprehension. The issue for the jury will be whether Joseph Edward Duncan III deserves to die for kidnapping two young siblings in a bloodbath at their home and whisking them away to the remote wilderness of western Montana, where he tortured and raped them, and then killed the 9-year-old boy. Some 350 jury candidates are expected to show up at a downtown Boise convention center on Monday, when attorneys will begin to winnow the pool down to the 12 jurors plus three alternates who will decide Duncan’s fate. Duncan pleaded guilty in December to federal charges that could bring the death penalty.

Question: Could you serve as a juror on the Duncan case?

Spokane County GOP Opposes McCain War Policy

Item: County GOP goes against McCain/Jim Camden, Spokesman-Review

More Info: The Spokane County Republican Party formally rejected the Iraq policy of their current president and their party’s likely nominee, saying American troops shouldn’t be on overseas missions for more than six months without a formal declaration of war. At a county convention that some party leaders said may have set an attendance record for Republicans in Spokane, supporters of presidential candidate Ron Paul Saturday handily defeated an attempt to scale back the platform’s stringent limitation on using American troops on foreign soil.

Question: Did the Spokane County GOP do the right thing in challenging McCain on his Iraq War stance?

Investigators Cite Pervasive Drug Use @ WSU Frat

Item:

  • K-County Will Seek More In 2006 Taxes

    Item: County seeks more ‘06 taxes: Data error caused $1.4M shortfall two years ago/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press

    More Info: An error with the data used to collect property taxes caused a $1.4 million shortfall in 2006 and now there’s a plan to get money from residents. “Kootenai County apologizes for any inconvenience this has caused to the taxing districts and the taxpayers,” Commission Chairman Rick Currie said Friday. “Are we happy about this? No.” The county and Idaho State Tax Commission have worked out a solution that gives each taxing district the ability to effectively go back in time to collect money they should have received two years ago.

    Question: Is this a good thing to be happening now for Commissioners Rich Currie and Todd Tondee, who are facing voters in re-election bids this year? Or will their constituents realize it was an unfortunate snafu?

    Wild Card/Saturday — 4/12/08

    I was reminded of the old days this week as we returned to the three-ring cyber circus here at Huckleberries Online. Passionate debate. Cluster posting. Commenters calling for one another’s heads. A timeout or two. And I even got pulled into a coupla tussles — and did so-so. I can lose my temper, too. Hey, I’m human. All in all, we survived the week and now can spend a coupla days off recuperating for another week next week. Enjoy your time in the sun this weekend. I’m gardening. But I’ll play this Wild Card first …

    Rosdahl: Chocolate Co. Moving To Plaza Shops

    Hoping to become the most popular corner store in downtown Coeur d’Alene, the Wild Idaho Chocolate Co. plans to open May 1 in the northeast corner space of the Coeur d’Alene Plaza Shops. With the former Anna Leigh’s Kid’s Corner space being changed into a rustic cabin décor, Wild Idaho will offer much more than chocolates. It will include a specialty of 15 varieties of caramel apples, ice cream, popcorn, cotton candy, Aunt Annie’s Penny Candies and truffles and other chocolates. Brownies and cookies will be baked in an attached kitchen, and customers can win prizes by spinning a huge roulette wheel. Richard and Carolyn Rosanova are expanding Wild Idaho Chocolate from their four-year location at 2415 Government Way, which they will retain/Nils Rosdahl, SR Handle Extra. More here

    Question: When did you last buy something at one of the Coeur d’Alene Plaza Shops?

    Online Poll: Are You Prepared For Hard Times?

    How prepared are you for an economic slowdown?/Idaho Statesman

    *Tip-top shape
    *Good, but not great
    *So-so
    *Falling behind
    *Uh-oh

    JS: 21st Century Females Still Dealing w/Barbie Stigma

    re: Barbie project gets artistic teen in trouble

    I liked the Barbie-chair. Art is one of those things that is highly subjective - truly “in the eyes of the beholder.” And it is after all, ART. The whiners and complainers don’t have to look at it. They just have to think about it - about all the falsehoods attached to women through the decades! What we have been hearing for more years than I can count is “A woman should be pretty and nothing more - good to sit on.” Thus, the Barbie-Chair. It was asked yesterday, where did the feminist movement go? Where, in deed. I’m not saying we need to be feminist boot-wearing boot-kicking militants. But we (women) are definitely not “Dumb Barbie” any more. I thought this high school senior spoke volumes of a stigma that women STILL face. And we are into a new century for crying out loud/JeanieSpokane.

    Shannon: Real ‘Barbie’ Woman Couldn’t Stand Upright

    re: Barbie project gets teen artist in trouble

    Shannon: I’m glad that my daughter doesn’t like them. With very rare exceptions, women don’t look like this without being surgically modified. I’ve heard that if a real woman had the same proportions as Barbie(about 42-18-32), she would not be able to walk upright.

    MamaJD: Barbie is the least of my worries for my daughter. Barbie does things: Doctor Barbie, Teacher Barbie, Veterinarian Barbie, Blogger Barbie, Blah Blah Barbie. The dolls I worry about are the Hoochie Mama dolls that don’t do anything but show midriffs, wear bar bait makeup, and go to the mall. That’s the message I don’t want anywhere near my daughter. The Hoochie Mama dolls (like Bratz) make Barbie look wholesome.

    Question: What kind of dolls did you (or your kids) play with?

    Sportslink: Winger Back As LCSCage Coach

    The last time the Lake City High boys basketball team qualified for state was 2001-02. That year, the Timberwolves played in the championship game. Jim Winger was the coach then and he coached one more year before stepping down. Winger, 42, believes LC should be qualifying for state on a regular basis. To that end, Winger has decided he wants to get the T-Wolves back to where he left the program. Winger was named head coach Friday pending approval by the school board at an early May meeting/Greg Lee, Sportslink. More here

    Parting Shot — 4/11/08


    Victor Calzada/El Paso Times, AP
    A goose carries a little passenger at Ascarate Park today in El Paso, Texas. Jose Angel Sanchez said he placed the duck on the friendly goose’s back when it waddled up to him during an outing to the park. The goose was totally oblivious to his passenger and headed in the opposite direction when the couple walked away after the duck fell off.

    Best of the HBO Blogosphere — 4/11/08


    I drove past the turnoff to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument last year about this time, going 85mph. Looks like Family Phil & Co. stopped. Story here

    When Will and I first moved to North Idaho in 2005, we were very aware of the ‘granolas.’ Granolas are the hippie types. The dreadlocked ones with their pot-smoking, dreadlocked babies slung to their backsides, the braless, shoeless ones, whose husbands have long mangy beards and a I’m-totally-not-digging-the-government aura about them. Oh, how we judged. … Now here we are, almost three years later, literally eating our words. Literally eating granola (the food, not the people)/Kristi, Here In Idaho. More here

    HBO Numbers (for Thursday, April 10): 7404 page-views and 4437 unique views.

    *10 ways to get motivated for home work/Happy Lists
    *Hold me closer, Tony Danza/MamaJD
    *“I hate Obama” letters/Arch Druid
    *Parents!/A Butterfly Moment
    *Exhausting politics/Atmospheric Ruminations
    *Another Bob Holland miscue?/Bay Views

    Question: Have you ever tried to be a vegetarian?

    APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 4/11/08


    Mary Altaffer/AP Photo
    Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., pays for a slice of pizza at Verrazano Pizza after campaigning in the Brooklyn borough of New York Thursday. You write the cutline.

    Top Cutlines

    1. “All right, buddy, I want the whole pizza No more Mr. Slice Guy” — Deena.
    2. Trying to sound Presidential, Sen. McCain greets his server: “Here, Johnson, take this Lincoln and three Washingtons. You look like a true man to me, a little bushed maybe, but never nixin’ your chance to grant a guy something he can af-ford. I’m John McCain, and I approve this pizza” — John Austin.
    3. “Choosing toppings on a pizza is sure a lot easier than choosing a running mate!” — Idaho Escapee.

    HM: Family Phil

    Breaking! Meningitis Confirmed In UI Student

    The North Central District Health Department Friday afternoon received laboratory confirmation of bacterial meningitis in the University of Idaho student previously suspected to be infected. The health department is working with UI officials to identify anyone who may be in need of antibiotics. The student is considered communicable from March 26-April 9/Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here

    Stapilus: Breaking Down Grant’s Withdrawal

    Andrus mentioned in passing that he’d just learned of Grant’s decision today, but thin rumors were floating around Boise yesterday. There were matters of timeliness. One was that, as Grant said, the time was about to arrive when the candidates would need to get into doing comparatives against each other - some sort of attack, direct or subtle. If Democrats wanted to avoid that, now would be the time for dropout. There’s also word that Minnick’s fundraising - expected to be released within a few days - has gone well, crossing the half-million line and running ten times or more what Grant has raised so far. There’s also the point, raised at the press conference, that the national Democratic Party has targeted the Idaho 1st this year, but couldn’t get involved while the primary contest was ongoing. So this could bring them in earlier/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here

    DFO: Thom George is correct. So far, this is the best analysis of Larry Grant’s decision to withdraw from the 1st congressional district Demo primary.

    Hat Tip: Thom George

    AndrewZ’s SR Today In Pictures — 4/11/08


    Ronda Churchill/Associated Press
    Alicia, left, a prostitute at the Chicken Ranch, sits in front of Randolph College students visiting the historic brothel in Pahrump, Nevada. Students of the liberal arts college in Lynchburg, Va., toured the brothel as part of their American Culture Program studies. More of Andrew Zahler’s Today in Pictures

    Barbie Project Gets Teen Artist In Trouble

    Teacher Marty Scanlon gave his advanced art class at Helena High School an assignment to make a chair out of the material of their choice. The only requirement was that it be useable as a chair. Senior Jana Barros designed a chair adorned with pink ribbon and strategically attached unclad Barbie dolls. The chair also had the word “false” written a couple of dozen times in pink glitter glue. Barros said she was trying to send a message about the unrealistic body image Barbie dolls represent. But the chair, which was among pieces in a hallway art display, was offensive to some female staff members who voiced their concern to Claudia Morley, the school’s assistant principal/Alana Listoe, Helena Independent-Record. More here

    Question: All in all, are Barbie dolls good for young girls? Or do they create unrealistic expectations re: personal appearance?

    HBO @ Noon: 14 Reasons To Go To Work

    For those of us who are tired of working, it can be difficult to find the motivation to get to work. Some days, it may feel impossible. Why not just stay in bed all day? Why not call in sick…again? (For those of you who love your job and jump out of bed with excitement each morning, select a different topic)/Angela, Happy Lists. Angela’s 14 reasons to go to work (Check out Angela’s site under the new link on HBO’s North Idaho Blogroll)

    Question (from Happy Lists): Other than the obvious reason to go to work (earn money to pay the bills), why should you go to work?

    Unequivocal Notion: Only Bloggers Blog

    ATTN: Media RE: Bloggers
    As much as I loath the term “blogger”, I do realize that it does have a specific meaning:

    blog (blg)
    n.
    A weblog.
    intr.v. blogged, blog·ging, blogs
    To write entries in, add material to, or maintain a weblog.
    [(we)blog.]
    blog·ger n.

    So it’s just mildly annoying when you see people who comment in web forums identified as “bloggers”. Similarly annoying are the people who post in the seeping swamp of bile known as The Idaho Statesman’s comment section that refer to themselves as “bloggers” — no, idiot, you’re a “commenter”/Unequivocal Notion. More here

    DFO: Unequivocal Notion is making an important distinction here. Only bloggers blog. Commenters post comments. They don’t blog comments. Or post blogs. Hat Tip to UN for the blog lesson.

    HBO Poll: County Administrator Or Not?

    In a guest editorial in the Coeur d’Alene Press this morning, Post Falls senior planner Collin L. Coles recommends that Kootenai County change the way the commissioners office does business. He supports adopting a form of county government that’s run by part-time commissioners and a county administrator. Which of the following forms of county government do you support?

    *Current (3 full-time commissioners)
    *Administrator (w/3 part-time commissioners)
    *Commissioners run show (w/prosecutor, clerk, treasurer and coroner as appointive positions)
    *Other

    CQ Following Sali-Minnick Race

    Democrats have targeted the race, however, because of Sali’s relatively tepid showing in the 2006 election. Sali won the five-candidate Republican primary with just one-quarter of the vote and won the general election with 49.9 percent of the vote while Grant received 44.8 percent. Democrats argue that Minnick’s strong fundraising makes him a better candidate this election cycle. Grant spent $468,000 in the entire election cycle in 2006, while Minnick already has raised nearly that much/Marie Horrigan, Congressional Quarterly. More here

    Redux: Worst Smell? Deer Head Left In Trunk

    re: Thursday Question: What is the worst smell that you’ve ever smelled?

    My cousin forgot to deliver a boxed up dead deer head to the taxidermist one winter- just left it in his trunk. Come spring, no one could stand to ride in the car, and he tried cleaning it and airing it out repeatedly, but neglected to check the very back of the trunk. After finding maggots meandering around the backseat and rear floorboards, he finally ripped the car apart and got a clue. But omigosh, what a stench/Kendrama.

    Question: Any others?

    Fortier: Hillary Can’t Spin Yarns Like Bill

    (Hillary) just doesn’t have Bubba’s ability to bend the truth. Bill was the best. He could look me in the eye, lip quivering, and convince me he did not have sexual relations with that woman. (At least until the blue dress surfaced.) Hillary, on the other hand, couldn’t convince a fat porcupine that he is a big — well, maybe you get the idea. Bill had it. He was a pro. Bubba would sigh and soccer moms would cry. For years Hillary watched him get away with lie after lie. He made it look easy. And like a wanna-be Tiger Woods trying to back-up a pitching wedge only to roll off the green and into the water, it seems Hillary is penalized a stroke every time she opens her mouth/Marty Fortier, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here

    Question: Why did Bill Clinton get away with bending the truth while his wife can’t seem to do so?

    Online Poll: Changing Flight Plans?

    As more airline cancellations disrupt service, are you changing your summer travel plans?/Idaho Statesman.

    *Still flying
    *Driving
    *Not traveling

    DOTC: Teaching Birthing Classes

    I talked (to expectant parents) about the importance of thinking about what style of discipline you both were comfortable with and the fact that unless we make a conscious decision to change it, people naturally parent in the way they were parented themselves. I told them why it’s important to try and decide together what are going to be your own boundaries before you need them. And that parenting is a constant re-adjustment of those boundaries based on age and maturation levels. And above all else—the dance lessons, the top pre-school, any material gifts you can name, the absolute best gift you can give your children is a strong, stable, and lasting marriage/Dan of the County. More here

    Question: What advice would you give a young couple about to have its first baby?

    Wild Card/Thursday — 4/10/08

    According to the weather report Wednesday night, spring arrived about an hour ago when the temperature was suppose to hit 50 degrees. Mebbe it has. I see some sunshine outside the office window. The temperature’s suppose to hit 60 on Friday and 68 on Saturday. If that forecast holds, I might be able to finally work outside in the yard this weekend. I still haven’t been hit by the gardening but. But that could occur when I turn over the first shovel of soil in the garden. Then, it’s on to the roses and some trim that needs touching up. While we wait, you can play this Wild Card …

    Parents Council: Preparing For Birth

    When I was pregnant the second time, we considered having a doula with us at the hospital. At that time, I knew many couples who sought the expertise of a doula – a person who is trained to help during labor and after the birth of a baby. In the end, however, we decided against it – not because we didn’t think a doula would be helpful, but my husband and I felt that the two of us along with our midwife would be fine. Penny Simkin, the mother of the doula movement, was recently featured in The Seattle Times for her work with expectant parents. According to the story, having a doula at birth helps decrease labor time by as much as 25 percent. It also reduces the Cesarean-section rates by one-third/Virginia de Leon, Parents Council. More here

    Question: How did you prepare for the birth of your child(ren)? What was the experience like for you and your partner?

    HBO’s Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 4/10/08


    Dan Pelle/Spokesman-Review
    Dan Mitchinson reads the news over the Spokesman-Review airways while broadcasting from KJRB in Spokane. You still have time to catch the SRadio show at the bottom of every hour from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. today at KJRB-AM 790. Dan tells you about SRadio at his On The Air blog here.

    *New leads revive search for Benewah County man: ‘06 disappearance thought to be homicide/Meghann M. Cuniff, Spokesman-Review
    *Spokane County buys 300-acre raceway for $3.9M bid/SR
    *Sterling Financial slammed by market woes/Spokesman-Review
    *Crapo introduces new wilderness bill for Owyhee Canyonlands/IStatesman
    *In Spokane, it’s winter without end/AP
    *Sleepless in Boise DJ recognized by Congress for child abuse prevention crusade/KTVB
    *E-mails reveal Sonics intended to bolt/Seattle Times

    NYTimes: Silver Valley Returns To Mining Roots

    The strangest thing happened here in the Silver Valley as it began the transformation from historic mining camp to yet another Western confection of ski slopes and condos for newcomers with money. The real estate market slowed, and the price of silver soared. Two condominium projects under construction in Kellogg, just west of Wallace, are stalled, while once-struggling or -shuttered mines like Lucky Friday, Galena and the historic Sunshine Mine have been revived and are expanding into the hillsides/William Yardley, New York Times. More here

    Hat Tip: David Bond

    Did A Naked Woman Make Cheney Smile?

    Links below provide White House photo by David Bohrer
    He shot his hunting partner, but Vice President Dick Cheney apparently doesn’t fly fish with naked women. Since Wednesday, the blogosphere has been atwitter over a photograph on the White House Web site of Cheney with a caption that said he was fly-fishing on the Snake River in Idaho. The photo is a tight shot of Cheney’s face sporting dark sunglasses and his trademark grin. What’s stirring all the buzz is the reflection in the vice president’s dark glasses. Some thought that the reflection looked like a naked woman and, this being Cheney and this being the Internet Age, they immediately shared that thought with the world/Kevin G. Hall & George Bridges, McClatchy Newspapers More here

    Question: If it’s not a naked woman, what could the reflection be of?

    Quotable Quote — Chris Mathews

    Someone from Matthews’s staff mentioned that the office of Senator Larry Craig, the Idaho Republican who got in trouble for his “wide stance” in an airport men’s room, had been looking for interns. “Ha!” Matthews exploded, a trademark outcry. “Guess what, Mom and Dad, I just got an internship with that senator from Idaho, you know the one. “Ha!”/Chris Mathews, in New York Times article to appear Sunday. More here

    Hat Tip: Boise Weekly

    SR Blogs: Online Or Print? That Is The Question

    We had an interesting discussion this morning on Gov. Gregoire’s visit to Spokane yesterday. It was a campaign stop during which she delivered what will be her opening stump speech to a crowd of about 200. We had previewed the appearance and the speech at the top of the Northwest section on Tuesday. Jim Camden attended yesterday’s event. He captured some audio for our radio broadcasts. And he wrote an item for his political blog, Spin Control. But he didn’t write anything for print and no one asked him to do that. This morning, when it came up, my first, reflexive reaction was “how did we miss that?” But as we discussed it, I quickly came to the conclusion there was no reason to write a story for the print paper/Editor Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation. More here and: Spin Control 2.0 coverage here

    SR Blog Roundup
    *Birth/Virginia de Leon, Parents Council
    *Therapy on horse back/Video Journal
    *Flickr lets pro members add video/Tom Sowa, TXT
    *Gregoire, horses on video, West Plains Voice debut/Thuy Nguyen, Daily Briefing
    *Keeping mum for LGBT teens/Jill Wagner, Out on the Town
    *What do we do now without college hoops?/Gary Graham, News Diary

    Question: Did we make the right call? Does the visit of a governor or other dignitary to your town automatically mean that it should be in the paper? Or is it enough to report the event on the air and online as the SR can now do?

    HBO @ Noon: How Did College Affect You?


    Toadman/For Huckleberries Online
    Toadman spotted this student sitting in a cage on the Eastern Washington U campus Wednesday. Comments Toad: “There was no sign. Just the guy in the cage. It was a performance art installation, actually. The guy was out there from 11:30am to 2pm that day.”

    For all it’s weirdness, and to some, “tired”-ness, this is why I love working at a university. This is where the kids get away from mommy and daddy and start really forming their own ideas and opinions. Sometimes they’re misguided, sometimes they’re just plain wrong. But the point is, they’re thinking about stuff outside of the world view handed down to them by their parents, and I think that’s the best thing a college kid can do to become an adult/Toadman. More here

    Question: How were you changed by attending college?

    Eye On Boise Talks To Larry Grant

    Larry Grant says it was “purely a strategic political decision” for him to drop out of the 1st District congressional race. “The object of this game is to take advantage of something that only happens every so often, which is a real opportunity to take a seat for a Democrat,” Grant said. “And we really needed to be working together. Looking at the next two months of what could turn out to be a contentious primary didn’t make any sense. … I mean, right now Bill Sali’s getting a free pass and we need to be out working together to get him, rather than dividing the party up”/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here

    Question: Will Demo Walt Minnick beat Repub Congressman Bill Sali this fall in bright-red Idaho? Realistically?

    HBO Poll: Best/Worst NIdaho Delegation?

    The 2008 Legislature is over (thank goodness). Now, it’s time to select the best and worst delegations from North Idaho:

    District 1: Sen. Shawn Keough; Reps. George Eskridge and Eric Anderson
    District 2: Sen. Joyce Broadsword; Reps. Mary Lou Shepherd and Dick Harwood
    District 3: Sen. Mike Jorgenson; Reps. Jim Clark and Phil Hart
    District 4: Sen. John Goedde; Reps. George Sayler and Marge Chadderdon
    District 5: Sen. Jim Hammond; Reps. Frank Henderson and Bob Nonini

    Grant Withdraws From Congressional Race

    Former Micron executive Larry Grant said Thursday morning that he will not run for the U.S. House in Idaho’s 1st congressional district.
    Instead, Grant endorsed Walt Minnick, a former timber executive who ran for the U.S. Senate in 1996. Grant’s withdrawal leaves Minnick alone among Democratic contenders. Another candidate, Rand Lewis, an international affairs expert from Coeur d’Alene, dropped out earlier/Heath Druzin, Idaho Statesman. More here

    Larry Grant press release

    Question: How much does Larry Grant’s withdrawal improve Walt Minnick’s chances of unseating Republican Bill Sali?

    Bush Threatens Veto Over Troop Withdrawal

    Item: Bush embraces pause in troop cutbacks: Will veto bill that calls for withdrawals/Associated Press

    More Info: President Bush on Thursday ordered an indefinite halt in U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq after July, embracing the key recommendations of his top war commander. Bush said that Gen. David Petraeus will “have all the time he needs” to consider when more American forces could return home. Bush’s decisions virtually guarantees a major U.S. presence in Iraq throughout his term in office in January, when a new president takes office.

    Question: Should the US keep the current troop level in Iraq through much of next January?

    Huckleberries: Close Kerfuffle Encounter

    I never encountered a kerfuffle until Opinion Editor Kevin Richert of the Idaho Statesman brought one to my attention a few weeks ago. Now, I’ve found two. A “kerfuffle”? My American Slang dictionary describes one as “disorder, confusion.” The dictionary then illustrates the word by using a quote from Maureen Dowd: “Don Imus … has thrown the capital into a kerfuffle.” It’s a noun. An old one. From 1813. Richert used kerfuffle in discussing the commotion created when House Speaker Lawrence Denney asked Statehouse journalists to join representatives in pledging allegiance to kick off the day or leave the House floor. Last week, I noticed that we had a kerfuffle on our hands here in North Idaho. Or at least that’s how the Air Force Times addressed the confusion surrounding the Navy’s initial decision to prevent local Iraq war vets from receiving $103 Buck knives as gifts for their service. “A brief Internet kerfuffle.” In an April 3 story, staff writer Philip Ewing broke down the “miniature scandal” for Air Force Times readers, noting blogosphere criticism of the Navy stand. And how quickly the problem was resolved when Navy officials found a loophole that allowed them to save face as they did an about face. In the end, the Legislature adjourned. Local Iraq vets got their knives. And many of us learned an old slang word/DFO, Prairie Voice Huckleberries. More here

    Question: Would you use the term “kerfuffle” to describe the spat that we had this week at Huckleberries Online?

    DeePee: Alas, Fraternal Organizations Decline

    I think you’ve struck a chord re: the death of fraternal organizations. Elks, Masons, the Grange. Nobody has time any more, and society is the worse for it/DeePee.

    Question: Are we worse off because the Elks, Masons, Grange, etc., are going the way of the dinosaur?

    JeanieSpokane: In A Word: Content

    re: Single sentence/Live, Love, Laugh, Hope

    In one single sentence to describe me, I am an extremely happy, content, well-adjusted single mother of two grown sons who think I walk on water while I am a legal secretary who can read the minds of my attorneys and have the file they are talking about on the phone in front of them in five seconds while being a pseudo nurse and care giver for my mother-in-law when I am not writing on blogs and continually and miraculously find fifteen minutes a day to – be quiet/JeanieSpokane.

    Question: Can you produce a single sentence that would describe your life?

    Heller: Calculating Vacations


    Joe Heller/Hellertoons

    Best of the HBO Blogosphere — 4/9/08

    As I reflect on my life and this quote, I wonder what people would summarize my life as, in one or two sentences. What type of legacy am I leaving behind right now? What am I choosing to show those that come in contact with me each day about myself, whether those who are close to me or those who just cross my path on that particular day? Am I leaving a positive sentence for others to summarize my life with, or would I be embarrassed and ashamed with the sentence some may say about me?/Live, Love, Laugh, Hope. More here

    HBO Numbers (for Tuesday, April 8, 2008): 8787 page-views and 4798 unique views.

    *Damaged/A Family Runs Through It
    *The winter of Quebec/Nuts & Nonsense
    *A call to repudiate, renounce and reject/MamaJD
    *9 silly questions: Kim Blaylock/Get Out! North Idaho
    *LCDC redux/Dogwalk Musings
    *Sprung/A Butterfly Moment
    *Hottest Topics/Arch Druid
    *Outstanding in my field/Atmospheric Ruminations
    *A break from moving/Chronic Discontent
    *Judging “Dancing with the Stars”/Here In Idaho
    *I dink I cot a colb/JeanC’s Shooting Gallery
    *An administrative assistant 2.0/Notes on a Napkin

    Question: How would you sum up your life in a single sentence?

    APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 4/9/08


    Rick Roach/Vacaville Reporter, AP
    Cooper Bouffard, 5, of Vacaville, Calif., misses a catch while playing with his mother Tuesday at Alamo Park in Vacaville, Calif. You write the cutline.

    Top Cutlines:

    1. Cooper picked the wrong time to practice his “YMCA” song dance moves — A Token D.
    2. After claiming Clayton was serving up pop flies, the lefties on the blog still couldn’t catch anything he tossed at them — Cabbage Boy.
    3. And this is why you’re always picked last, Cooper — Nic.

    HM: Digger

    Vox Box: Should You Let Teens Drink @ Home?


    Lisa Adams/NYT

    Parents always want to share their passions with their children. Whether you’re a fan of baseball or the blues, sailing or tinkering with old cars, few things are as rewarding as seeing a spark of receptivity in the eyes of the next generation.

    I can’t help hoping that my sons might share my taste in music and food, books and movies, ball teams and politics. Why should wine be any different?

    Full article… More Vox Box

    QUESTION: Should teenagers be allowed to drink at home and learn how to do so responsibly? Should it be legal to do so?

    Kootenai Canvas: Ode To The West Way


    Tom Davenport/Spokesman-Review
    Still a little early for a dove or sun tanning, a moose works on its summer coat by nibbling branches in front of one of the most treacherous bridges in the area. - Photo by Tom Davenport - The Dover Bridge looms above a moose as it nibbles branches from a tree at the Dover Bay Subdivision in Dover. You’ll see this photo and the winner of the biweekly Kootenai Canvas contest identified Thursday in the Prairie Voice and again Saturday in the Handle Extra.

    Poet Gary Buck didn’t win the Kootenai Canvas contest because his entry focused more on the Dover Bridge (the 7th worst infrastructure in the U.S.) than the scene. However, I’ve reprinted his entry below because it’s a good one, titled “Ode To The West Way”:

    O elusive West Way, thou orphan of I.T.D.
    Thou, whose unsightly bridge the locals dead
    Have driven, like post into muddy squeezing.

    Mashed Potatoes Closes I-90

    Seems a crash between a semi truck and a car on the east side of Fourth of July Pass has closed Interstate 90 at this moment. The truck and car were westbound. But the truck’s load — potatoes — are scattered over all four lanes of highway.

    Editor Smith: Huckleberries On Air?

    Would you listen if DFO had a radio version of Huckleberries Online? (Don’t panic, Dave. It’s an idea without form, just something to noodle.) But if we did move a piece of Huckleberries to radio, what should it look like? Call-in talk show? Idaho news report?/Editor Steve Smith.

    DFO: We’d get sued for something I said off he cuff.

    HBO @ Noon — Staying Awake

    It seems to be the topic around watercoolers across the Treasure Valley this week: how long could you stay awake? Twenty-four hours? 48? How about 175? KSAS/103.3 Kiss FM DJ KeKe Luv is on the home stretch of an impressive feat – staying awake for a record-breaking 175 hours… straight/KTVB. More here

    Question: How long do you think you can stay awake?

    Smith: Radio SR Debuts

    We made our debut this morning on KJRB. Good work by Dan Mitchinson and Dick Haugen gives us a professional sound right off the bat. Our two-minute news cut-in at the bottom of each hour showcases our staff’s growing breaking news capability. So far today, each newscast has been fresh with the latest news off our website. But I don’t want people to think “that’s all there is.” The brief news cut-ins are just the beginning. We hope to have an hour-long daily news and talk show up and running by mid-May. That format will give us time for more long-form work. And we’ll continue to branch out from there/Editor Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation. More here

    SR Blog Roundup:
    *Radio shazam/Daily Briefing
    *Idaho preps: Where are they now?/Greg Lee, Sportslink
    *Seniors who will go out and change the world/Vox Box
    *Hot & sour chicken soup/Lori Hutson, Fresh Sheet
    *Wednesday quickie political briefing/Jim Camden, Spin Control 2.0
    *Parenting Inc/Virginia de Leon, Parents Council
    *Hump Day, April 9, 2008/David Laird, Community Comment

    Question: Would you tune in if Huckleberries Online provided a link to the radio show?

    Idaho Blogs: Great State of Ada — IdaBlue

    Some folks who don’t live in Ada County call it the Great State of Ada. I see quite a bit of this anti-Ada/Boise sentiment by N. Idaho commenters at Huckleberries Online. Here’s an example. DFO, the proprietor of HBO, poised the first question below, and a poster (Spencer) reframed it against Ada County. “Question: Who’s to blame for the Legislature’s failure to provide funding for Idaho road repair this session — Otter? Or Republican leaders? (Spencer: How about asking if the legislature did the right thing by not raising $200 million in taxes to fix Ada county roads?)” I guess the point is, gee, they don’t want their tax money spent in Ada Cty, which is understandable but parochial. So, let’s have a look at the facts/IdaBlue. More here

    Idaho Blog Roundup:
    *Sali’s Mexican consulate outrage/IdahoDem4u’s Blog, 43rd State Blues
    *Dead tree dinosaur watch/Palousitics
    *Bill Sali Roundup 4-8-08/MountainGoat Report
    *Gossiping liberals/Adam’s Blog
    *Closed primaries in Idaho, Part Zwei/Dennis Mansfield
    *WWJD (about illegal immigration)/Unequivocal Notion
    *Crocker reprises 2007 performance/Morialekafa
    *House highlights/Rep. Tom Loetscher, Trish&Halli.com

    Question: Do you view Boise and/or Ada County in a positive or a negative light?

    Paglia: Hillary Surrounds Herself w/Girlie Men

    I agree that the male staff who Hillary attracts are slick, geeky weasels or rancid, asexual cream puffs. (One of the latter, the insufferable Mark Penn, just got the heave-ho after he played Hillary for a patsy with the Colombian government.) If I were to hazard a guess, I’d say Hillary is reconstituting the toxic hierarchy of her childhood household, with her on top instead of her drill-sergeant father. All those seething beta males (as you so aptly describe them) are versions of her sad-sack brothers, who got the short end of the Rodham DNA stick/Camille Paglia, Salon. More here

    Question: Agree? Disagree?

    US Chamber Honors Craig w/Award

    The United States Chamber of Commerce today presented Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) with its prestigious Spirit of Enterprise Award for his support of pro-growth legislation during the second session of the 110th Congress. “Senator Craig has proven to be an effective ally to the business community, supporting legislation that helps grow the economy and creates new jobs for hardworking Americans,” said Tom Donohue, Chamber president and CEO. “The Chamber is grateful for Larry’s commitment to these important issues and is proud to present him with this award”/US Chamber of Commerce News. More here and here

    Press: 199 Want To Be CdA Fireman

    Item: Nearly 200 want to be CdA firefighters/Suzanne Jacobson, Coeur d’Alene Press

    More Info: High turnout for a shot at a job with the firefighter department isn’t unusual. “We typically have very good responses for firefighters,” said human resources director Pam MacDonald. Firefighter turnout is typically higher than for police, she added, though police test more often.

    Question: As a youngster, did you ever dream of being a firefighter or a cop?

    Online Poll: Should Cops Carry Assault Rifles?

    The Boise Police Department and Ada County Sheriff’s Office have been gradually acquiring and equipping patrol officers with AR-15 assault rifles for the past several years. How do you feel about officers carrying assault rifles?/Idaho Statesman.

    *For it
    *Against it
    *No opinion

    Sisyphus: If The Bigot’s Shoe Fits …

    I don’t envy your job as moderator DFO. But I question the zapping of posts that utilize descriptive terms that people or things have earned. I mean that if bigot can be defined as one who perpetuates negative stereotypes, once that has been established its just easier to type five letters than to repeatedly justify the use of the word. But I also see where that could be pejorative and subjective. It may detract from civility but so can facially questionable assertions based upon wrongful innuendo. I know at least one gay blogger who was so offended by Clayton’s diatribe that he became too emotional to engage and I wonder how you as moderator address his concerns, especially the use of questionable statistics to paint a negative picture of all gay people. Its a fine line from enforcing civility to censorship. Again I don’t envy you/Sisyphus. More here

    Heller: Hillary’s Nomination Flame


    Joe Heller/Hellertoons

    Tuesday/Wild Card — 4/8/08

    We finally broke that old Spencer thread record with the one from yesterday that was launched by Bryan Fischer’s post on the Idaho Values Alliance re: Christians and politics. At last count, the number of comments on the thread stood at 260 and counting. That old Spencer thread topped off at 250. It’s been interesting to watch this one sprout. Both Unequivocal Notion and Adam’s Blog have discussed the new Mother of all HBO threads in recent posts. I appreciate all who participated in it. Now, here’s your replayed Wild Card from earlier in the day …

    HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 4/8/08

    Mining is hard, thankless work, a hot steamy pit in the ground full of rocky dirt and grimy men digging deeper and deeper. Fraught with danger, too, I think, although Tony tries to persuade me otherwise. He can’t quite argue the fact that both his father and grandfather died either directly or indirectly from Sunshine Mine- his grandpa in the big fire, his dad after an injury led to hospitalization, then a fatal medication error. So of course the pattern could continue, at least in my morbid fantasies/Kendramama, Soul Doubt. More here

    HBO Nos (for Monday, April 7, 2008): 8431 page-views and 4795 unique views

    *Haiku Trio/Tumblewords
    *Scrubbing coffee cups/TUBOB
    *Stuff/Slight Detour
    *Now, go away or I shall taunt you a second time/PDX Pup
    *Discovery/Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts
    *A poem for today/Silver Valley Stories
    *Props to Biden & Crapo/Wayward Episcopalian

    Question: Have you or any of your loved ones been involved in mining in the Silver Valley?

    APhoto of the Day — 4/8/08


    Chitose Suzuki/AP Photo
    The world’s largest album, measuring 4m X 3m, weight 1,000 kg, is unveiled in Hanoi, Vietnam, Tuesday. The album titled, ” Women of Vietnam” has secured a place in the Guinness Book of World Records and it includes more than 53 photos taken by Japanese photographer Hitomi Toyama. You write the cutline.

    Top Cutlines

    1. “Oh my gosh! I hope they skip my picture. I had a really big zit that day” — A Token D.
    2. A red letter day occurs in Viet Nam, as they turn the pages of history — S&S Herb.
    3. After seeing this, me thinks it is time to turn the page on the Guinness Book of World Records — Cabbage Boy.

    UI Argonaut: Remembering David Bose

    Item: A tragic journey: Remembering UI murder victim David Bose/Ryli Hennessey, UI Argonaut

    UI Argonaut Editorial Board: The personal nature of these events is the first element to be forgotten. Maybe this is because remembering more than the cold facts of a tragedy can bring up the pain experienced in the hours and days after it occurred. It is one of the most important elements to keep alive, however, because it can offer comfort and healing when it seems that only sorrow is left. Boss was a meaningful part of many lives in Moscow and Boise. He is remembered as being a great friend who was passionate about soccer and all sorts of music — everything from death metal to Huey Lewis and the News. Several of his professors spoke to Boss’ parents to share how much he had contributed to the UI community. In the May 2007 graduation ceremony, Boss’ parents received a standing ovation when they accepted a degree on his behalf. More here

    DFO: I appreciate this news story and editorial by the UIdaho Argonaut staff. Too often, we focused on the deranged psychopaths who commit these crimes. (See: Joseph Edward Duncan) We need to remember the victims as humans who enriched our lives, even when it hurts to do so.

    Sportslink: Tony Bennett Will Return To WSU

    Tony Bennett, Washington State University men’s basketball coach, told The Spokesman-Review Tuesday that he will remain at WSU next season. Bennett has been the subject of much speculation as a possible candidate for coaching jobs at other schools. The university was expected to release a formal announcement later Tuesday/Vince Grippi, SR Sportslink.

    AndrewZ’s SR Today In Pictures — 4/8/08


    Dmitry Lovetsky/Associated Press
    South Korea’s first astronaut Yi So-yeon, left, and Russian cosmonaut Cmdr. Sergei Volkov speak prior to the launch of their Soyuz-FG rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. The two are crew members of the 17th mission to the International Space Station. For the rest of Andrew Zahler’s SR Today In Pictures, click here.

    KREM2: Real Cost Of Driving — 54 Cents/Mile

    AAA says it will cost the average driver 54 cents to drive a car one mile. At that rate, take a car from Spokane to Seattle and it will cost you $151. Every mile the rubber meets the road is costing drivers about 2 cents more than it did last year. Anthony Peters works in the Navy in western Washington. Every weekend when he’s not deployed he drives 342 miles to visit his wife who is based at Fairchild. In 2008 AAA estimates that driving 15,000 miles per year, at 54 cents mer mile, will cost Peters $8,100/Othello Richards, KREM2. More here

    Question: Are you driving as much this year as last?

    Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 4/8/08


    Charles Krupa/AP Photo
    Boisean Bill Buckner, the former Boston first baseman who was considered the goat of the 1986 World Series, throws out the ceremonial first pitch for the home Opening Day baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Boston. See Item No. 1.

    Spotlight: Spokesman-Review to launch radio site tomorrow/On The Air.

    1. Boisean Billy Buckner, a former Major League Baseball player best known for making a crucial error in the sixth game of the 1986 World Series, received a standing ovation when he threw out the first pitch in Boston’s home opener today here/IStatesman.

    2. An effort by the Republican party to close primary elections to non-party members is a “big mistake,” Republican Gov. Butch Otter said Monday here/IStatesman

    3. W.R. Grace & Co. said Monday it has reached a $3 billion agreement in cash and equity to resolve current and future asbestos claims against the company, which would allow it to emerge from bankruptcy without further obligations for asbestos injury here/Missoulian.

    4. Blogosphere: Obama delves into West issues deeper than Clinton/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman; Butch Otter owns up/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press; Robert Vasquez’s $61,000 legacy/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman; Otter gives session mixed reviews/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise; and Gregoire skips coffee klatch on way to announcing re-election/David Postman, Seattle Times.

    5. IMHO: Airlines shouldn’t be proud of record/Steve McClure, Moscow-Pullman Daily News; Blunt talk about the bank bailout that wasn’t/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune; It’s your parents fault/T.J. Tranchell, UI Argonaut; Verner needs to re-think newly created position/Spokesman-Review; and In Montana, Obama, Clinton give stage for Western issues/New West.

    6. News Roundup: Tentative deal struck for Metro Mortgage affiliate/SR; Relicensing draft puts more water over falls/SR; Wyoming’s wolf policies prompt boycott call/IStatesman; McCall councilman resigns after charges of overbilling customers/IStatesman; and Junior high fight lands student in jail/KTVB.

    Orbusmax Special: Washington Mutual to raise $7B from outside investors here.

    F-Words: Ew, A Tampon!

    Via Zombie Z, Bitch PhD has a great post (if you’re in public reading this, beware the link’s bum-exposing photo) discussing the way that people treat menstruation like it’s a bizarre and embarassing body function that we should all ignore as completely as possible. It’s only because people assume that professional people and people in public are going to be men that I have to spend my Coke money on a tampon in a vending machine. Why aren’t they provided for free in public restrooms, like toilet paper?/Sara Anderson, F-Words

    Idaho Blog Roundup:
    *A primer for Christians in political life/Adam’s Blog
    *War casualties and the media/The Unequivocal Notion
    *Lies being spread about national D support for Grant/Red State Rebels
    *Money (investors) and power (closed primaries)/Dennis Mansfield
    *The cost of war as a friend dies in Iraq/Debbie Holmes, 43rd State Blues
    *PERPS/Morialekafa

    DFO: ‘Tis nice to see Sara bouncing back from her recent surgery. The post above is vintage F-Words. Welcome back, Sara.

    IVA: Taxpayers Group Ranks Sali As Frosh Star

    It’s always gratifying to see a candidate for public office actually keep his promises once elected. Bill Sali ran on a platform of fiscal restraint in 2006, and recently received an “A” rating from the National Taxpayers Union for his freshman year votes in 2007. Sali earned the NTU’s “Taxpayers’ Friend Award,” granted to less than 10% of members of the House of Representatives. The grade was based on a staggering 427 House roll call votes on issues that affect tax, spending, regulation, trade and debt burdens. Sali was ranked 26th (out of 435 Representatives) for voting to protect taxpayer interests 87% of the time, and was included among the NTU’s list of “Freshman House stars.” In comparison, senators and presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both received an “F,” for voting to protect taxpayer interests just 3% and 5% of the time respectively. Sen. McCain missed so many votes he didn’t qualify for a rating/Idaho Values Alliance. More here

    Question: How important is the National Taxpayer Union ranking to you?

    Online Poll: Favorite Childhood Toy?

    Wham-O is celebrating 60 years. What was your favorite childhood toy?/Idaho Statesman

    *Slip ‘N’ Slide
    *Frisbee
    *Hula Hoop
    *SuperBall
    *Hacky Sack
    *Other
    *None

    ‘Hood Wants Park Before Dogs Get Theirs

    Item: Landings residents: Dogs or kids? 380 citizens sign petition for park to take priority over canine facility/Suzanne Jacobson, Coeur d’Alene Press

    More Info: After the city’s dog park plans were made public, residents of The Landings at Waterford were left wondering if space for their dogs to romp would precede room for their kids to play. On Saturday, 380 signatures were gathered on a petition designed to convince the city that Landings park, which has been languishing for two years, should be a priority. On April 10, the city will meet to discuss next year’s priorities, parks among them.

    Question: Should the dog park or The Landings Park have priority for city funding?

    In The News: India Worships 2-Faced Baby


    Gurinder Osan/AP Photo
    Father Vinod Singh holds his daughter Lali at his residence as visitors touch the child’s feet in reverence in Saini Sunpura, 50 kilometers (31 miles) east of New Delhi, India, Tuesday. The baby with two faces, two noses, two pairs of lips and two pairs of eyes was born on March 11 in a northern Indian village, where she is doing well and is being worshipped as the reincarnation of a Hindu goddess, her father said Tuesday.

    TUBOB: Just Say No To Pol HBO Pimping

    TUBOB: For those of you who are metaphorically challenged, my point was I hope HBO doesn’t grow to be dominated by political candidates who use these comment threads to merely pimp their campaigns. I’ll give Mr. Clayton some credit though for being original and unpredictable, he’s not taking the standard route to winning voters, in fact, he’s not, to my awareness, taking any route here that will actually gain him many voters, perhaps more the opposite.

    DFO: I don’t mind pols pimping their campaigns here. In fact, I’m surprised that more of them don’t take advantage of HBO’s numbers to do just that. But HBO has a fairly tough crowd. And most politicians have fairly thin skin. Dan of the County, MikeK and occasionally Shawn Keough, Clay Larkin, Deanna Goodlander & Woody have taken advantage of this forum. As far as Clayton goes … I don’t see his foray into North Idaho as being anything more than a match of wits because North Idaho votes won’t help him win in his southern Idaho district.

    WorldNetDaily Poll: Condi For Veep?

    Item: ‘Condi’ author making book campaign issue: Rising speculation that Rice to be McCain’s running mate/WorldNetDaily

    Question: Sound off on Condi Rice as John McCain’s potential running mate

    1. Another good reason to vote for the Democrats
    2. I love it, it will ensure defeat for the GOP
    3. It doesn’t matter since I’m not voting for a Republican
    4. Big mistake, Rice has been a disastrous secretary of state
    5. She’s just another Bush appointee who needs to leave
    6. I’d rather see McCain choose someone better for vice president
    7. Rice is pro-choice, and McCain really needs a pro-lifer to excite the GOP base
    8. A brilliant choice to counter a black or woman on the Democrat side
    9. Rice is far more qualified to be president than either Hillary or Obama
    10. Other

    For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here

    Wild Card/Monday — 4/7/08

    At church Sunday, I heard a California transplant exclaim in a loud voice: “Hey, why didn’t someone tell me that this place had 9 months of winter.” At which point, I informed him that we’d only had five months of winter to date. So we might be in for four more months. That didn’t perk him up any. My brother-in-law who hails from eastern Montana added: He’s not the only one sick of the weather. It’s time for spring when even the oldtimers are rattled. Now, for you Monday Wild Card …

    Huckleberries Hears …

    … that insiders are calling Duane Hagadone’s proposed Casco Bay dig “the tree house.” Why? Because it’s going to be built on pilings, like his the worldwide Hagadone Corp HQ. Sez my sources: “You’re not going to be able to miss it.” Stay tuned.

    APhoto of the Day — 4/7/08


    Lionel Cironneau/AP Photo
    British actress Tracey Ullman poses for photographers during the International Television Programme Market Monday in Cannes, southern France. She’s promoting the TV series “State of Union.” You write the cutline.

    Top Cutlines:

    1. Tracey Ullman displays her new line of temporary tongue tattoos. Coming soon,Gene Simmons-sized tattoos — Shannon.
    2. Ten years later, a weather-beaten Monica Lewinsky finally tells all (with photos) about her “experience” interning at the White House — LynnS.
    3. America….Love it or eat it! — DickH.

    HM: Idaho Escapee

    Goodlander: Deed Stops NIC Relocation

    There is a deed restriction that states the the Winton Lumber Company donated the land where the primary building at NIC and located. The restriction states that the land was donated to the county to be used for a hospital or education. If it is not used for that purpose, the land goes back to Winton heirs. The buildings on that ground along with some ground purchased later are worth around 60 million dollars. This makes it a very bad decision to relocate NIC..The proximity value of the location of the Mill site to the college’s students is extremely efficient. The value to the citizens of Coeur d’Alene in terms of jobs,payroll, effective use of taxpayer dollars and long term economic health is enormous/CdA Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander.

    Marmitetoasty SOS: Knee Surgery

    Huckleberries received word this morning that our favorite Brit, Marmitetoasty, is going into surgery Wednesday morning (Tuesday night, our time) to have total knee replacement surgery. Sez she in an e-mail that her doctor told her “judging by me Xrays I shouldnt even be standing let alone walking around, he said having a high pain tolerance is not always a good thing cos the bones are so badly worn that if he dont do this op NOW then there wont be much good bone left to make a good job of the replacement.” Complicating matters, Marmitetoasty almost died following reconstruction of her ACL and PCL a few years ago, which was a minor surgery compared to what she’s facing this week. She’s also facing hard times financially since she’s self-employed and looking at a long r-‘n-r. Bottom line? She’s scared and feeling lonely about the surgery and beyond. So, I hope you’ll take a moment to type out a message here to cheer her up. Also, keep her in your prayers and thoughts in the coming days/DFO.

    AndrewZ’s Today In Pictures — 4/7/08


    Jacques Brinon/Associated Press
    A Pro-Tibet protester escapes a police officer during the Olympic torch relay in Paris. Security officials extinguished the torch four times Monday as chaotic protests against China’s record on human rights and Tibet interrupted the relay. See all of Andrew Zahler’s SR Today in Pictures.

    News Diary: NYTimes Covers Helm Acquittal

    The Sunday edition of the New York Times contained a lengthy story and photos about the death of the five Schrock children and the ensuing trial of Clifford Helm. The story was headlined, “In Deaths of 5 Children, a Friendship Born of Forgiveness.” The piece recounts much of what’s already been reported by the Spokesman-Review and other media. The only thing I hadn’t read or heard before is that according to the Times report, Helm helped expedite what Jeffrey Schrock said was a $500,000 insurance settlement. The photos accompanying the story include one by S-R photographer Jesse Tinsley/Gary Graham, News Diary.

    SR Blog Roundup:
    *Movie criticism is all about words/Dan Webster, Movies & More
    *Michael Pollan in my kitchen/Lori Hutson, Fresh Sheet
    *Monday’s quickie political briefing/Jim Camden, Spin Control 2.0
    *Calling in your letter to the editor/Thuy Nguyen, Daily Briefing
    *Equal Rights Washington commits blunder/Jill Wagner, Out on the Town
    *Crossword snafu redux/Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation
    *Idaho high school baseball and softball standings/Greg Lee, Sportslink

    Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 4/7/08


    Steve Hanks/Lewiston Tribune, AP
    Another dose of winter coats the Palouse with a layer of snow Saturday, near Genesee, Idaho.

    1. Ellen Craswell, a born-again Christian and conservative Republican stalwart who served in both houses of the Washington Legislature and ran for governor, is dead at 75 here/SR.

    2. The Idaho Statesman has been named a 2008 Pulitzer Prize finalist for its coverage of the Larry Craig scandal that began with his arrest and guilty plea in an airport restroom last August here/Statesman.

    3. U.S. Sen. Barack Obama sampled a french fry at the M&M Bar and Cafe on Saturday afternoon in Uptown Butte, but he politely declined one of Stevie Faulkner’s famous shoeshines here/Billings Gazette.

    4. IMHO: Debate at WSU: Liberals talking/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune; Romanticizing war/David Horsey, Seattle PI; Rehabilitation efforts are worth it/Rebecca Nappi, SR; McDermott should have been suspicious/Tom Henderson, Lewiston Tribune; and Truckers set example we can follow/Doug Bauer, Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

    5. Blogosphere: GOP complains about Gregoire’s polling & listening tour/Rich Roesler, Eye On Olympia; Room for mischief/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press; Hillary: Tested and ready?/Dogwalk Musings; Rammell on religion/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman; and Spring chinook return at snail’s pace/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman.

    6. News Roundup: Missoula embraces Clinton after rockin’ to Obama/Missoulian; Ambassador Crocker: Premature Iraq exit would be devastating/SR; Wife of long-time WSU/UW cage coach dies/Seattle Times; Loose bison lead police on low-speed chase/KTVB; and Prostitution ring operator leaves court a free man/KREM2.

    Orbusmax Special: Oregon State picks Obama’s brother-in-law as new basketball coach here.

    Suspected Killer Brinnon’s New Mug Shot

    Sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger sent William Brinnon’s new mug shot to Huckleberries Online a few minutes ago. Brinnon is accused of strangling his wife to death before shooting himself in the head. He survived the attempted suicide.

    Fischer: Christians must be involved in politics

    It is unconscionable for Christians to absent themselves from the public arena on the grounds that “Christians shouldn’t be involved in politics,” when the Bible they profess to believe tells them that political power comes from the very God they worship. I’ve had people tell me that Christians shouldn’t be involved in politics because it’s so “messy” or “dirty.” Well, I tell them, I was a pastor for 25 years, and I’ve never seen anything as messy at the statehouse as I have seen in the church. So if messiness is a reason to avoid participation and contact, we all ought to stop going to church immediately if not sooner. And it’s utterly illogical to abandon the supervision of our public life to those who have no respect for the God who grants them their authority/Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance. More here and here

    Question: Since Bryan Fischer didn’t spell out what he meant by Christian here, I’ll assume he means Evangelical or religious conservative. With that guideline, I’ll ask the question: Should religious conservatives be involved in politics?


    Condi For Vice President?

    Item: Condoleezza Rice Is Pursuing the VP Spot/ABC News

    More Info: ABCNews’ Mary Bruce Reports: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is actively courting the vice presidential nomination, Republican strategist Dan Senor said. “Condi Rice has been actively, actually in recent weeks, campaigning for this,” Senor said this morning on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” According to Senor, Rice has been cozying up to the Republican elite.

    Question: Would Condi Rice make a good vice presidential pick for John McCain?

    UI Administration Building Turns 100

    Item: University of Idaho administration building marks centennial/Associated Press

    More Info: The stately Tudor Gothic-style building in the middle of campus has long been the model of choice for the University of Idaho’s advertising campaigns and the hub of the school’s operations. During a normal school day, hundreds of students, professors and administrators pass through the building’s heavy wooden doors, barely stopping to notice the worn marble under their feet or the sagging stained-glass windows in the auditorium. The historic Administration Building is quietly celebrating its 100th birthday this year, but few realize the building has reached the century mark.

    Question: Do you have any fond memories or observations to make about UI’s century-old administration building?

    Hat Tip: Idawa

    Online Poll: Memphis? Or Kansas?

    The NCAA men’s basketball championship will be decided Monday night. Who are you rooting for?/Idaho Statesman.

    *Memphis
    *Kansas
    *Don’t care

    Blogging May Be Hazardous To Your Health

    Item: In Web world of 24/7 stress, writers blog till they drop/Matt Richtel, New York Times

    More Info: Two weeks ago in North Lauderdale, Fla., funeral services were held for Russell Shaw, a prolific blogger on technology subjects who died at 60 of a heart attack. In December, another tech blogger, Marc Orchant, died at 50 of a massive coronary. A third, Om Malik, 41, survived a heart attack in December. Other bloggers complain of weight loss or gain, sleep disorders, exhaustion and other maladies born of the nonstop strain of producing for a news and information cycle that is as always-on as the Internet.

    Question: Have you experienced health-related problems as a result of blogging?

    Hat Tip: Kendramama & Truly

    Wild Card/Sunday — 4/6/08

    I appreciate that controversial ad that TUBOB posted in the comments (which you can find directly below this post). It talks about a controversy in the blogosphere involving an Absolut Vodka ad that provides a wishful view of America through Mexico’s eyes. Seems it has the right side of the blogosphere up in arms. I mighta missed that if it hadn’t been posted in the comments section. You should take note of that. If you see something good while you’re wading through blogs and Web sites, you should drop a link to it in the comments section, where I and others will see. Who knows? I might front-page it. So we can all discuss it. Now, for your first Wild Card of the week …

    Bumpersnicker

    I saw a car w/Arizona vanity plates that said TOETAPN. I wondered if 1) the driver was Larry Craig or 2) if the real owner had any regrets now about their plate/MamaJD.

    DFO: MamaJD, where did you spot this vanity plate?

    Dogwalk: Keep Guns Out Of National Parks

    Regulations to keep firearms unloaded and inaccessible in our National Parks is being reconsidered by the Interior Department, currently headed by our (Idaho) own former governor. I hope the urging by former directors to leave well enough alone prevails. Yes, crimes are committed within the boundaries of the Parks. These have included rapes, killings, assaults, robberies and kidnappings. Just like the general population. This is divvied up among some 391 parks, monuments and recreation sites and 270 plus million visitors. Would carrying loaded weapons help this number of incidences decrease? If anything I’d think it might increase. Those who would suffer the most would be the wildlife who have few places left to call home and be safe except from the dictates of nature/Dogwalk Musings. More here

    Question: Do you agree with Dogwalk Musings that guns shouldn’t be allowed in national parks?

    Handle X Hucks: Hagadone Fighting Ed Corridor

    You originally saw the lead to Saturday’s Handle Extra column last Monday here

    Somewhere between Jobs Plus and the proposed education corridor, Duane Hagdone lost his vision for Coeur d’Alene, unless that vision was simply that locals should serve rich guys attracted here by the tourism industry. Some 20 years ago, Hagadone, Tom Richards and others who raised a million bucks to kick off Jobs Plus were hailed as visionaries for their far-sighted attempt to diversify the local economy as the mining and timber industries slumped. Today, Hagadone and his Coeur d’Alene Press are trying to stop or hamstring one of the most important projects in 21st-century Coeur d’Alene: a proposed education corridor at the site of Stimson Lumber’s soon-to-close DeArmond Mill on the Spokane River between the University of Idaho center and North Idaho College/D.F. Oliveria/SR Handle Extra. More here

    Avista Wants 15.9%, 6.5% More From Idahoans

    Avista Utilities has filed a request with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to increase electricity bills by 15.9 percent and natural gas by 6.5 percent, according to a company press release. That would translate into a $10.70 cost increase for a customer using 977 kilowatt hours of electricity, or $4.91 for a customer using 65 therms of natural gas, per month. Avista CEO Scott Morris said in a press release that the rate increases are primarily driven by increased prices for fuel, higher costs for purchasing power and investments made to aging infrastructure to keep up with growing demand/Spokesman-Review. More here

    Question: Do you think these are legitimate increases?

    Poll: 81% Say Country Headed In Wrong Direction

    Item: Weak Economy Sours Public’s View of Future, New Poll Finds/By David Leonhardt and Marjorie Connelly, New York Times

    More Info: Americans are more dissatisfied with the country’s direction than at any time since the New York Times/CBS News poll began asking about the subject in the early 1990s, according to the latest poll. In the poll, 81 percent of respondents said they believed that “things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track,” up from 69 percent a year ago and 35 percent in early 2003. Although the public mood has been darkening since the early days of the war in Iraq, it has taken a new turn for the worse in the last few months, as the economy has seemed to slip into recession. There is now nearly a national consensus that the country faces significant problems.

    Question: What concerns you most re: the direction this country is going?

    OrangeTV: Passion Is Just Down The Street

    From the time the sun crawls up over the purple hills in the morn until the last fry is frenched at 2 p.m. sharp, tables and booths percolate with a wildly diverse lot of regulars, each drawn back in for some more of the passion. On our recent visit alone, we ran into random folks including a local R&B singer and her bandmates, a friend who specializes in exotic body piercings, an old teacher from NIC, even the neighborhood Avon lady. Emo rockers were seated in booths next to Mennonites. Yoga ladies in unitards shared the Sunday paper with grizzled and grouchy veterans. We even took in a Tammy Faye lookalike, loudly chatting on the phone in her Southern drawl over the din of the breakfast rush. Down the Street seems to have a simple philosophy; treat the customer well with fast, memorable service and have no inconsistencies foodwise/OrangeTV. More here

    Question: Which breakfast spot is your favorite?

    PTLeahy: Ridiculing Press ‘Beneath You’

    Regarding the blogs at the SR, several months back I found hbo’s constant ridiculing of the CDA Press classless. I haven’t seen you go after the CDA Press recently but I did think it was unprofessional and beneath you. Sure the CDA Press is a competitor and they may have started it but man o’ man it was silly. Is this what an award winning journalist is supposed to do? I don’t read the CDA Press on a regular basis and I do think they aren’t much of paper; however, the SR is supposed to be a big-time paper with real journalists/PTLeahy. PTLeahy rates local media here

    Cabbage Boy: DQ Takes Cake For Cuss-tomer Service

    At our local DQ, my wife and I ordered PB Parfaits to go. I casually watched them being made but didn’t think of the ramifications until I tried to eat it. The girl making them got to the bottom of the peanut jar. So instead of getting more peanuts, she just dumped the remains in. Once I got to the layer of “peanuts” and fudge, I got a spoonful of peanut husks and salt. Not quite what was expected. So I drove back and took the half of the parfait in. The girl behind the counter asked ME what she should do about it. A bit taken back, I said I would like a new one. So she made me a new half of a parfait. Now that was cuss-tomer service/Cabbage Boy.

    WND Poll: Global Temperatures Stable Stable Since 1998

    Item: Global temperatures have not risen since 1998: Prompting some to question climate change theory/BBC News

    Question: Do you feel threatend by global warming?

    1. Yes, it’s the gravest threat facing mankind today
    2. I agree with Mayor Bloomberg – global warming is more dangerous than Islamic terrorism
    3. Yes, the industrial world needs to change its ways to prevent catastrophe
    4. Yes, but I’m not convinced global warming is the result of human activity
    5. I’m concerned but uncertain about how severe the problem really is or what we can do about it
    6. No, the recent warming trends are merely part of a natural cycle
    7. No, but I am concerned about global cooling
    8. No, the science used by the global-warming alarmists is increasingly being shown to be flawed
    9. No, but the politicians using the threat of global warming to gain power are very dangerous
    10. Other

    For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

    Parting Shot — 4/4/08


    Phil Coale/AP Photo
    Two sea gulls have a tug of war over a piece of fish Friday in Apalachicola, Fla. The gull on the right ended up eating the fish.

    Best of the HBO Blogosphere — 4/4/08


    Kyle Mills/Lewiston Tribune, AP Photo
    Brian Haning of Lewiston sits high atop the roof of the new Syringa Bank painting on Thursday in the Lewiston, Idaho.

    For the most part, I don’t know what to say. Where do I begin? I remember good times and bad times. I remember always being proud of him, and I also remember his temper fits and his yelling, yelling, yelling. I remember how hard he worked, I remember the fantastic fried chicken he used to make sometimes, I remember going to basketball games with him, I remember being afraid to swim “over my head”, and him jumping in the water and imploring me to take the leap, which I did. I remember, also, letting him down a lot and disappointing him quite often/Atmospheric Ruminations. More here

    HBO Numbers (for Thursday, April 3, 2008): 7366 page-views and 4208 unique views

    HBO Blogosphere Roundup:
    *Energy at farmers market/Tumblewords
    *Thinking about home-schooling/A Butterfly Moment
    *Waterford’s at it again/Bay Views
    *More on Hauser mayor recall flap (scroll down)/Hauser Thoughts
    *The irony of it all/Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts
    *The John Farmer editorial/Arch Druid
    *Purple Ducky Designs/JeanC’s Cat House
    *A day no snow would fall/Slight Detour
    *Universe within reach/Synaptic Disunion

    Question: Do you have bittersweet memories of your parents?

    APhoto of the Day — 4/4/08


    Daniel Ochoa de Olza/AP Photo
    Couples participate in a mass kiss during a promotional event in Madrid Thursday, April 4, 2008. You write the cutline.

    Top Cutlines

    1. While Spanish couples Basque in the spotlight, the local bishop is disturbed by the idea of a Mass kiss — John Austin.
    2. DFO releases this close up of one of the new pages of his book,”Where’s DFO?” — Shannon.
    3. Felipe had been dating Rosie Palm and her five beautiful sisters for so long that it only seemed right that he should bring them as his date to the mass kissing event — Ciaobino.

    HM: MikeS

    Conservative Speaker Stirs WSU Ruckus

    Item: D’Souza offered valid points on American racism/Chris Johnson, WSU Evergreen; and: D’Souza speech destroyed opportunity for dialogue/Elaine Wood, WSU Evergreen

    Director Edward P. Weber/Foley Institute: As Director of the Foley Institute, and as a scientist and teacher who embraces the marketplace of ideas, I am saddened by those who choose to characterize D’Souza’s ideas as polarizing and those who challenge the very right of D’Souza to share his conservative views on race with WSU. One thing I am certain of is the Foley Institute did WSU and the state of Washington a great service by enlivening the debate over race precisely because it directly challenged and broke the monopolistic hold at WSU of a singular, politically correct view on the race issue. This should be our mission in higher education, because great universities thrive and embrace, rather than shrink from the marketplace of ideas. Nor do they allow offended parties to dictate the substance of dialogue. More here

    Question: What do you think of this flap at WSU over the appearance of guest speaker Dinesh D’Souza on campus?

    JeanieSpokane: Google’s Eye In Sky Scary

    Item: Pittsburgh couple sues Google over spycam/Tom Sowa, TXT

    JeanieSpokane/Nuts & Nonsense: We just discovered this feature! At first it is awesome and amazing – you can view your property from a virtual camera in front of your house – you can look on either side of the house, up at the sky, down at the ground. Then it is a little disconcerting as you see your prized 1970 Dodge Challenger in plain view in the side yard. Oh, and that stack of $200/each chrome wheels. And the…. [fill in your treasured find]. All viewable from around the world. What an invitation to prowlers lurking the streets at night to find priceless parts for the Mopar they are rebuilding.

    Question: Does this new Google feature make you nervous?

    AndrewZ’s Today In Pictures — 4/4/08


    Matt Rourke/Associated Press
    Raindrops dot a daffodil, illuminated with a flash in Philadelphia. For Andrew Zahler’s complete SR Day In Pictures feature, click here.

    News Diary: Jordan, MLK — Comparable Trauma

    Paul Turner’s excellent piece today on the assassination of Martin Luther King and its impact on Memphis prompted me to relive an unfortunate and similar experience. Vernon Jordan, then director of the National Urban League, was severely wounded by a racist sniper in my hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana, late on the night of May 29, 1980. I was then a regional editor at the News-Sentinel, an afternoon newspaper in a two-paper town. Jordan survived the shooting and credited a Fort Wayne surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Towles, with saving his life/Gary Graham, News Diary. More here

    SR Blog Roundup:
    *Executive sessions in Whoville/Rich Roesler, Eye On Olympia
    *Dog park’s popularity not unnoticed/Rebecca Mack, Hard 7
    *The Scientology revolution/David Laird, Community Comment
    *Elvis Costello is not coming to Big Easy/Isamu Jordan, Sound Wave
    *Friday’s quickie political briefing/Jim Camden, Spin Control 2.0

    Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 4/4/08


    Courtesy/Lewiston Tribune

    Donnelly Coplan and Tiffany L. Giles of Moscow can literally stop traffic while on their day job of flagging at construction zones. Their weekend job as exotic dancers parks customers in their seats to watch them at The Torch Lounge in Coeur d’Alene. Story by David Johnson/Lewiston Tribune here

    1. The Democratic Party’s historic nomination battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is descending on Montana this weekend in the run-up to the June 3 primary. The two candidates will be in the state vying for Montana’s 17 pledged delegates here/New West. Also: Montana band pens love song to Hillary/AP.

    2. Eastern Washington University football player Ryan Kelley can’t believe how close he came to dying last month. Kelley went to bed one night thinking he had the flue or food poisoning, but his girlfriend worried and called 911. Doctors told him he had bacterial meningitis. It turns out that that phone call saved his life here/KREM2.

    3. Rumors and speculation about Tony Bennett’s future at Washington State may continue right up to the first jump ball next season, but WSU president Elson S. Floyd said Thursday that Bennett has tentatively agreed to a new contract as the Cougars basketball coach here/Seattle PI.

    4. Blogosphere: Larry Craig? A green porker?/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman; Distorting Nazi history to attack enviros/David Postman, Seattle PI; and A somber anniversary/Andrew Zahler, Daily Briefing.

    5. IMHO: It’s the economy, stupid/David Horsey, Seattle PI; In praise of a painful process/Benjamin Ledford, UI Argonaut; and Asbestos victims win one, for now/Kalispell Daily Inter Lake.

    6. News Roundup: Spokane mayor’s chief of staff resigns/Spokesman-Review; Developer picks new site for proposed Idaho N-plant/KTVB; Idaho scientists win grant to map geological landscapes/Idaho Statesman; 13-year-old charged with robbing hair salon/KTVB; and Killer, ACLU sue to halt Montana execution by injection/Billings Gazette.

    Orbusmax Special: Boise radio DJ to stay awake for 175 hours here

    How They Voted 2 — Modified Primaries

    SB 1507: The bill approved by the Senate would make a public record out of whether voters choose Republican, Democratic or other party ballots. It also would let Republicans pay for their own primary elections, if they still weren’t satisfied.

    Correct Vote: Hell no. (At the last minute, Senate R’s tried to appease archconservatives who threatened to sue unless the Legislature voted to close the state’s popular 36-year-old primary system. The extremists are going to sue anyway. So Senate R’s should have taken a stand and supported the current system. The House chose not to hear this matter.)

    Good votes (against): John Goedde & Joyce Broadsword
    Bad votes (in favor): Shawn Keough, Jim Hammond & Mike Jorgenson

    How They Voted 1: Personal tax on business equipment

    Online Poll: Political Finance Disclosure

    IdaBlue regularly posts finance disclosure information on his blog. Today, he asks his readers — and I also wonder about this — if they like to see posts about candidate and PAC finances?

    *Stop! Please! Yer killin’ me.
    *Snooze.
    *Can be interesting, but the ones on this site aren’t
    *Eh. Take ‘em or leave ‘em.
    *Okay once in a while, but a little goes a long ways.
    *Usually at least somewhat interesting.
    *I like reading that stuff.
    *Thank god somebody is doing it. More please.

    Fisher: Anti-Wolf Leader Nothing But Hot Head

    Ron Gillett no doubt has had better weeks than the last one. Tuesday, the Stanley outfitter who leads the Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition was arrested after a confrontation with one of his neighbors in the small community, wolf advocate Lynne Stone. He later pleaded innocent to misdemeanor charges of assault and battery, and was released on his own recognizance. Friday, the federal government did something Gillett had predicted it never would: It removed the Rocky Mountain gray wolf from the endangered species list. If these incidents don’t make the people Gillett has enlisted in his crusade to exterminate every wolf in Idaho - including the scores of them who have attended Gillett’s appearances in Lewiston - suspect he might be a hothead given to spouting unreliable information, you wonder what will/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune. More here

    Question: Did anti-wolf leader Ron Gillet diminish in your eyes when he confronted a pro-wolf opponent and later was charged with battery?

    You Can Settle Organ Donation Question Now

    Item: Sign up to give life: More organ donors needed to help save lives/Spokesman-Review

    More Info: Surely no one thought of Nevaeh Miller as an organ donor until the last desperate hope for her recovery flickered out. It’s just not the way you look at a 7-month-old’s future. As the grim reality became clear, though, the little girl’s loved ones found a way last week, despite their grief, to make a generous, humane decision that allowed other families with endangered children to benefit from Nevaeh’s heart, lungs and kidneys.

    Question: Have you indicated on your driver’s license that you want to be an organ donor?

    Eye Opener: Rolling Stones Or Beatles?


    AP File Photo
    As I went through my teen years in the ‘60s, I considered The Beatles to be my sisters’ band while I preferred the bad-boy Rolling Stones. The Beatles, of course, are now considered the greatest rock band of all time. But The Stones continue on like, well, rolling stones. Now, Martin Scorsese has produced a documentary on the long career of Mick Jagger and his band. Story here

    Question: Which band do you preferred — Rolling Stones? Or Beatles?

    Best of the HBO Blogosphere — 4/3/08


    A Family Runs Through It/Photo

    You can win a free X-L T-shirt if you can guess where Family Phil took his family for spring break here.

    When I was very little, my mother tells me that I had a “small” case of polio. Now, I’m not sure that wasn’t a fabrication on my mother’s part or if indeed you can have a “small” case of polio. Anyway, when I was in Fourth Grade, we experienced one of the first mass physical examinations in the state of Washington - all of us ten-year-olds, boys and girls, in our jammies, in the school gymnasium, entering one at a time, into the “doctor’s office” (formerly known as the coach’s office), to get a physical exam. I have no idea why this was done, but they discovered I had curvature of the spine and was extremely pigeon toed and my mother said it was a result of my small case of polio/JeanieSpokane, Nuts & Nonsense. More here

    HBO Numbers: 7559 page-views and 4494 unique views

    *Marching on/Here In Idaho
    *Grace remarkable/Chronic Discontent
    *Especially for me matie Toadie or anyone who gives dam/Marmitetoasty
    *God, I wish I knew …/From A Simple Mind
    *Sadness/Bay Views
    *Charles C. Haynes v. Adams Blog/Arch Druid
    *Bloggers gumbo/Atmospheric Ruminations

    APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 4/3/08


    David Y. Lee/Fitness, AP Photo
    In this photo provided by Fitness magazine, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice exercises under the watchful eye of her trainer Thomas Tomlo at the gym at the State Department in Washington. You write the cutline.

    Top Cutlines

    1. Condi trains for her post-Bush Administration job as an American Gladiator starting next January — Shannon.
    2. Thats good, lift Ms Condi, and next session we will put some weights on each end of the bar — Marmitetoasty.
    3. Help, Iraq has fallen and I can’t get up — Cabbage Boy.

    HM. A Token D

    Huckleberries Hears …

    … that the Coeur d’Alene Press has fielded a boatload of calls about that April Fool’s Day story re: a long dock that could block all boating from Lake Coeur d’Alene. Coming on the heels of Lands Department approval for Duane Hagadone’s 177-foot dock, it struck a cord and sounded a little too true. Dogwalk Musings provides her take on the April Fool’s Day story by Editor Mike Patrick that back-fired here.

    It’s My 2 Cents: Traveling Green


    Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho
    North Idaho is feeling the pinch at the pump … but this Spokane Street service station in Post Falls is covering all of their bases with serving customers’ alternative transportation/Kerri Thoreson, OnLocation North Idaho.

    I’m not much for causes, having watched the flower-children movement of my youth degenerate into a drug-addled society. I admire those who have enough passion about something to take to the streets to protest. Or to travel to a public meeting to speak up. Mebbe being a journalist is part of my problem. I’m trained to be an observer. Not to get involved. But there’s one cause under way in the area that intrigues me. Travel Green re: transportation. No, I’m not about to become a granola head. But the cause proposed by our Editorial Board this morning — cutting down on the use of vehicles to get to work and other places — comes at a time when I’ve already cut back. By default.

    On The Air: Former Spokane DJ Dies

    Darian O’Toole, who hosted a morning show here in Spokane at 105.7 The Peak, died Monday. O’Toole, whose real name was Karin Begin, also worked in New York and San Francisco/On The Air. More here

    On The Air: Spokane Media Quality On Decline?

    Is it me, or has the quality of news media gone downhill in Spokane? I remember coming up here to interview for a job in 2000, and was so impressed by what I saw and listened to. I thought how lucky KXLY was to have someone of Richard Brown’s caliber anchoring its news. The city had three news/talk radio stations, each offering its own style and flavor. There was a solid “mainstream” news paper, and a pretty decent weekly alternative. But, like all businesses, these stations needed to look at the bottom line. And unfortunately, it shows/Dan Mitchinson, On The Air. More here

    SR Blog Roundup:
    *Did you hear the one about the camel herder?/Andrew Zahler, Daily Briefing
    *The art of human caring/David Laird, Community Comment
    *Letter: Foster care works/A Matter of Opinion
    *Problems facing our kids/Virginia de Leon/Parents Council
    *New Hillary commercial has a familiar ring/Jim Camden, Spin Control 2.0

    Question (from On The Air): So, in your opinion, what has changed most, for better or for worst, about our local media?

    KREM2: Bomb Squad Defuses CdA Pipe Bomb

    The Spokane County Bomb Squad defused a pipe bomb yesterday (Wed. April 2) in the home of a Coeur d’Alene couple that was also forging checks. Michael D. Cornelsen, 25, and his wife, 21-year old Sunshine D. Cornelsen, were arrested for several counts of burglary and transported to the Kootenai County Jail. Coeur d’Alene police responded to a Safeway store at 121 W. Neider Ave. about two people attempting to pass a forged travelers check/KREM2. More here

    Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 4/3/08


    Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review
    “This is the last bundle!” shouted Oscar Mooney, a tugboat operator from North Idaho Maritime, as he pushes the last few logs into the mouth of the Spokane River on its way to the DeAmond Mill by North Idaho College Thursday on Lake Coeur d’Alene. The last shipment of logs from the south end of Lake Coeur d’Alene was pulled up earlier this week.

    Spotlight: Obama to visit Missoula Saturday/Missoulian

    1. By day, Moscow roommates Tiffany Giles and Donnelly Coplan are road construction flaggers, earning $28 per hour, but on the weekend they strip to the tiniest of bikinis to dance at Coeur d’Alene’s Torch Lounge here/Lewiston Tribune.

    2. WSU is investigating architecture prof Ayad Rahmani’s role in a March 27 protest with more than 100 of his students. Rahmani encouraged students in his sophomore architecture class to protest the lack of continuity, planning and design along Gishop Boulevard here/Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

    3. Online Poll: 73% of 681 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll graded the 2008 Idaho Legislature either with D’s or F’s.

    4. Blogosphere: Meridian mayor, her daughter & booze/Unequivocal Notion; Review: ‘Diving Bell’ isn’t for everyone/Dan Webster, Movies & More; More than just a uniform/The Stupid Shall Be Punished; New Idaho D exec Hansen/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press; and Washington Supreme Court rulings on local cases/Rich Roesler, Eye On Olympia.

    5. IMHO: Death with dignity initiative deserves vote/Lenna Harding/Moscow-Pullman Daily News; Parking fees will drive fliers to Spokane/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune; We get results when legislators cooperate/Idaho Statesman; What is victory?/Robert Herold, Inlander; Try commute by bus, carpool, hike/Spokesman-Review.

    6. News Roundup: Rural Moscow residents report wolf sightings/Moscow-Pullman Daily News; Idaho 8th-graders improve writing skills/Idaho Statesman; IVA: Suit likely over Moscow domestic partnership bennies/Moscow-Pullman Daily News; Glitch causes problems for Idaho cell phone users/KTVB; and Montana mayor severely injured in fall/Missoulian

    Orbusmax Special: Climbing man strangles to death on straps of beer-filled backpack here

    Idaho D’s Pick Hansen As New Exec

    Idaho State Democratic Party Chairman Keith Roark is delighted to announce the appointment of one of Idaho’s best known and most experienced community leaders to serve as the state party’s new Executive Director. Jim Hansen will lead an energetic staff not only into the critical 2008 campaign season, but beyond this year and into an unprecedented period of party rebuilding and unity/Idaho Democrats press release More: Serephin’s Blog/43rd State Blues.

    Idaho D’s Minority Report on 2008 Legislature

    HBO’s Local AM Headlines — 4/3/08


    Taryn Hecker/Spokesman-Review
    Seltice Elementary first graders Kimmie Gilmore and Alexis Collins practice writing during Seltice’s Spring Break School. Instead of summer school, the elementary is having students attend school during Spring Break to improve their reading and writing skills. Story here You can also read Taryn’s new schools column in the Prairie Voice here

    *Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, Spokesman-Review
    *Huckleberries: Pay it forward also works with plastic/D.F. Oliveria, SR Prairie Voice
    *Law could trigger Idaho emissions test: Alternatives built in, but county wants more/Becky Kramer, Spokesman-Review
    *Cd’A council increases water rates: New prices intended to encourage conservation/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press
    *Hauser citizens organizing mayoral recall: Critics cite Werst’s style; he says effort stems from removal of consultant/Amy Cannata, SR Prairie Voice
    *Work sought to protect Clark Fork bridges/Keith Kinnaird, Bonner County Daily Bee

    Playing The LDS Card In Idaho

    “Cathleen Thomas stated in a Post Register opinion piece that “Rammell crossed the line” when “he stated that his membership in the LDS church should win over voters.” She went on further to state, “church members are encouraged to vote for candidates who most represent their values and political views.” First, that isn’t what I said. In response to a question from a reporter who asked where I thought my main support would come from I replied, ‘Conservatives, farmers and ranchers, sportsmen, and LDS members.’ Second, I do anticipate a lot of LDS members and other people of faith to support me because our values and political views are the same. Ms. Thomas is quite naïve to think that I expect all LDS people to vote for me just because I am LDS”/Rex Rammell, Independent candidate for U.S. Senate. More here

    Question: How should an LDS member in good standing handle his ties to the church in a political campaign?

    TUBOB: Finding My Marbles

    Marbles. I lost mine years ago. Well, truth be told, I flung them out of a long sock packed full, onto the playground of Jefferson Elementary in Pullman when I was 10. Clearies, aggies, boulders, cats eyes, popeyes, steelies and more. Flying through the air like shot from a clown’s shotgun. Kids rushing and running and scooping them up. It was my last day there before we moved to Bellevue and I was leaving behind a gift to the schoolyard on which I wasted many recesses playing marbles with my peers. Anyway, so I’ve been decorating my little studio, and buying cool cheap crap from Ikea and putting up a few of my favorite prints from home and the place is looking damn fine, a bit spare but classy, and so it hits me the other day how cool a little glass bowl full of antique marbles would look/TUBOB. More here (scroll down)

    Question: Did you play marbles, jacks, or any other game as a kid that no longer is in vogue?

    Meridian Mayor’s Daughter Faces Alcohol Charge

    Item: Meridian mayor’s daughter, a teen leader, faces alcohol charge: Tammy de Weerd and Roanne de Weerd, 18, have campaigned against underage drinking and drug use/Cynthia Sewell, Idaho Statesman

    More Info: In January, Boise police cited the mayor’s 18-year-old daughter RoAnne de Weerd on a charge of minor in possession of alcohol. RoAnne de Weerd has been a leader locally and nationally on drugs, alcohol and other teen challenges.

    Unequivocal Notion’s opinion

    Question: Should children of public figures be subject to newspaper scrutiny?

    Blog Bickering Called Poison To Democrats

    Some say acrimony is rampant among liberal and progressive bloggers who debate the merits of the Democratic presidential candidates almost nonstop — the divisiveness potentially exacting a toll on the party itself. Fox News host Bill O’Reilly yesterday cited both “venom” and “liberals brutalizing liberals” on Web sites partial to either Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton or Sen. Barack Obama. Vitriol is brewing among Democrats, Mr. O’Reilly said, singling out the Daily Kos in particular as a “hateful left-wing Web site” that slammed Mrs. Clinton as a “coward” and “degenerative liar,” among other things/Jennifer Harper, Washington Times. More here

    Question: Do you believe impassioned liberal/progressive bloggers are hurting Demo chances to claim the White House? And: What roll will blogs play in this November’s elections?

    Hump Day Wild Card — 4/2/08

    Is that the sun outside? Mebbe we finally are headed toward spring (although we’re so close to the record for snowfall that mebbe we should consider going for it — not). The sun is shining on the SR’s Sportslink blog, which registered more than 27,000 page-views Sunday (on the day that the NCAA women’s tourney was in Spokane, and the SR broke the story that Tony Bennett’s staying at WSU). Sports Editor Joe Palmquist’s crew also hit 400,000 page-views for March. All very cool. Now, for your Hump Day Wild Card …

    Eye On Boise: Legislature Adjourns

    With handshakes and hugs all around, the Senate adjourned sine die at 6:13 p.m. Boise time. Adjournment followed nearly two hours of farewell speeches, including comments from Sen. Clint Stennett, D-Ketchum, who told the Senate, “Y’know, brain surgery was easy. I came back here 10 days later and was happy to be relieved of the pressure on my brain.” Stennett missed only a short bit of the session to undergo surgery for brain cancer, and then was back on the job/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here

    Eye On Boise Roundup:
    *Time to choke off session
    *Little parachutes falling from the balcony
    *Missed it by THAT much
    *Quote of the hour

    DFO: On the surface, I believe North Idaho legislators had a lousy session in Boise this year, particularly our House members. They followed leadership like sheep in the unanimous vote to hamstring government in passing local-option taxes. Luckily the bill was killed by one vote in the Senate today. I need to review various votes this session. But I’m glad the session is adjourned before the solons could create more mischief.

    HBO’s Headlines @ 5 — 4/2/08


    Kyle Mills/Lewiston Tribune, AP
    Idaho Congressional Candidate Walt Minnick, D-Boise, center, talks with Bob Coleman, left, and former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus, right, as they tour Coleman Oil Co. Tuesday, April 1, 2008 in Lewiston.

    *Warmer temperatures on the way/SR
    *House adjourns 2008 session after passing biz-tax reform: Senate expected to adjourn shortly/Associated Press
    *Committee dumps Idaho retirement benefits plan, despite Otter’s offer/Associated Press
    *Micron reports $777M 2nd quarter loss/KTVB
    *Idaho State AD steps down/KTVB

    SRadio Show To Take To Air April 9

    Radio station set to swap formats/Parker Howell, Spokesman-Review

    Newsroom E-mail Today: We go on the air with 790 KJRB next Wednesday, April 9 (with veteran co-hosts Dan Mitchinson and Dick Haugen, pictured). … The only requirement for the newsroom is that we continue to produce good stories, because it is our journalism that is the foundation of the radio initiative. Dan and Dick - in addition to doing some of their own reporting - will be using our content throughout the day on the air. In addition to our stories, they’ll be using our audio. … We will be presenting about 2 minutes of Spokesman-Review news at the bottom of the hour, Monday-Friday, from 6:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. It will be a mix of local, regional and state news. Depending on the event, there may be some national news. Our newsroom station is not finished yet so we’ll be spending the first couple of weeks in the KJRB studio on the South Hill. Eventually we hope to add a week-in-review show and perhaps a call-in talk show - both of which would again feature our content and our employees/Carla Savalli, senior editor for local news, Spokesman-Review.

    Seattle Mayor Wants 20-Cent Fee On Grocery Bags

    Seattle would ban foam food containers and impose a 20-cent fee on both paper and plastic grocery bags under a first-of-its kind proposal announced Wednesday morning. Restaurants would later be prohibited from using plastic containers unless they can be recycled or composted, under the plan to be unveiled by City Council President Richard Conlin and Mayor Greg Nickels. The “green fee” would apply to disposable bags distributed at grocery, convenience and drug stores. The polystyrene foam ban would outlaw items such as plates, trays, “clamshells,” cups, meat trays and egg cartons at stores and restaurants/Angela Galloway, Seattle PI. More here

    Question: Would you be willing to pay 20 cents for grocery bags to benefit environmental causes?

    Hat Tip: Orbusmax

    Kendramama: ‘But For The Grace Of God …”

    I was both bemused and saddened to see that the Fugitive of the Week in the Cd’A Press was a guy I’ve known since middle school, and incidentally, was the one who introduced me to the meth scene up here in Idaho back in ‘91. I had heard that he was clean, employed, and had a couple of kids, but apparently that didn’t last. It’s always sobering (pun very much intended) to come across evidence that the disease of addiction brings people in recovery down each and every day. The stark reminder that I could be one of them should I stop working my program always gives me pause- makes me think, there but for the grace of God go I…/Kendramama

    Question: When was the last time that you thought to yourself: “There but for the grace of God go I”?

    Andrew’s Today In Pictures — 4/2/08


    Mark Baker/Associated Press

    Mav, a New Zealand fur seal, looks through a viewing window at the preview of a new exhibit at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. The Great Southern Ocean exhibit officially opens Thursday and will feature Australian sea lions, Australian fur seals, New Zealand fur seals, California sea lions, leopard seals, penguins and pelicans. Andrew Zahler’s SR Today In Pictures

    Out on the Town: OutSpokane Billboards In Works

    Though a bit difficult to read, with the small print and overly fancy font, the billboards unveiled last spring featuring LGBTA Spokanites were fun to see. Paid for by OutSpokane, the signs were revealed gradually, a new phrase added each week until eventually they read: “Hi Spokane! We’re your family, friends and neighbors! Some of us are gay. All of us deserve equal rights.” According to the Vision Committee (an arm of OutSpokane) web site, another billboard series is in the works for 2008. It’s part of the committee’s ongoing campaign for visibility and equality/Jill Wagner, Out on the Town.

    SR Blog Roundup:
    *Public records and state audit/Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation
    *5 rock docs to spend a day with/Dan Webster, Movies & More
    *Low, Cowgill on way to Final Four activities/Vince Grippi, Sportslink
    *Wednesday’s quickie political briefing/Jim Camden, Spin Control 2.0
    *Elk’s South Hill outpost now open/Tom Bowers, Taste of the Town
    *CraigsList hoax covers from thievery/Tom Sowa, TXT
    *Gregoire signs, vetoes last bills, launches campaign/Rich Roesler, Eye On Olympia

    Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 4/2/08


    Bob Pennell/AP Photo/Mail Tribune
    Chomz wakes up and takes a spring stretch Tuesday in Ashland, Ore. Natalie Jackson owns the female tabby that makes herself at home on a warm car hood in front of Jackson’s apartment.

    1. Idaho Republican lawmakers passed a plan to alter Idaho’s three-decade-old open primary election by making a public record out of whether voters choose Republican, Democratic or other party ballots, if a political party demands it here/KTVB.

    2. 81st Arrest: Spokane police received a tip this morning and arrested notorious criminal Eddie Ray Hall. The 43-year-old convicted felon, whom law enforcement officials estimate has cost the local justice system more than $1 million, was found in a room at the Motel 6 here/SR.

    3. Online Poll: A plurality of 47% of 737 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll said the preferred “public school” as their school choice. “Private school” was second at 23% with home school fourth at 7%.

    4. Blogosphere: Science: Bear spray more effective than warm gun/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman; Should Hillary quit/Dogwalk Musings; Nerdfighting/Notes on a Napkin; Irresponsibility destroys freedom/Adam’s Blog; Controversial Web site seeks college gossip/Vox Box.

    5. IMHO: Second law school is a dumb idea/Dan Hammes, St. Maries Gazette-Record; Writer’s procrastination/Trish Gannon, River Journal; Sali can’t hide taxpayer-financed campaigning/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune; and States in best position to oversee education/Steve McClure, Moscow-Pullman Daily News; and How hard can a parakeet be to handle?/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News.

    6. News Roundup: Walla Walla pole vaulter dies from injuries/KREM2; Stimson eyes closing St. Marieslog yard/St. Maries Gazette-Record; Idaho lawmakers hope to wrap up session today/Idaho Statesman; F&G investigating wolf shootings in eastern Idaho/Idaho Statesman; and BSU suing over blue turf trademark/Idaho Statesman.

    Orbusmax Special: Boise School District drops optional calendar here.

    Idaho Blogs: Agreeing To Disagree — LeFavour

    The question is then since small business benefits from a greater share of this version of the bill and is the class of business most likely to invest the benefit back in the community, wages and health benefits and thus the ecconomy, is this then wise and equitable tax policy. I’d say yes. Far more so than the huge $120 million tax shift IACI almost forced through. What is yet to be seen is whether IACI still has any hand on the reigns. From Alex LaBeau’s face there at the other end of the row from me. Unlike some Lobbyists in here, he works hard for a client that the small business focused House might love to hate. He and Rep. Clark turned a big industry dream bill into a bill about tracking staplers and tape and about mom and pop and the lady selling hot dogs from a cart in front of the statehouse. You’ve got to give them an A for effort and strategy/Nicole LeFavour, Notes from the Floor. More here

    Idaho Blog Roundup
    *Intellectual diversity enlivens WSU debate/Tom Forbes, Palousitics
    *Changing the course of your life/Left Side of the Moon
    *I was speaking truth to power/Adam’s Blog
    *This is why secrecy was so important/Fort Boise
    *Minnick: Sali’s vote hurts Idaho businesses, drivers/MountainGoat Report
    *House-Senate panel cuts deal on personal property tax/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman
    *Insanity/Rob’s Idaho Perspective
    *Governor signs emissions bill/Kootenai MPO Blog

    Rathdrum Star: Hauser Mayor Facing Recall?

    Hauser Lake’s Ben Nelson has announced plans of circulating a recall petition against the city’s new mayor, Don Werst, accusing him of alleged improprieties, a viewpoint not substantiated by the city’s newly hired law firm. Specifically, Nelson alleges Werst erred in submitting a document seeking emergency disaster relief funds from the state. Werst further is being challenged for his termination of the city’s former code administrator Tina McCoy/Rathdrum Star. More here

    HBO’s Local AM Headlines — 4/2/08


    Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

    Atlas Elementary 3rd grader Kyndal Messenbrink listens to the Opera Plus performers during an assembly at the school in Hayden last week. Handle Extra story here

    *Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, Spokesman-Review
    *Couple had history of fights in, out of court: Husband charged in woman’s death/Taryn Hecker, Spokesman-Review; Also: 911 tapes released/KREM2
    *Site concept in works for proposed dog park, shelter: City will ask if Kootenai Humane Society, county will split planning’s $5,000 cost/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press
    *Rock blasting injures woman near Priest River/Bonner County Daily Bee
    *Mayor to get corridor feedback: Bloem will present plan at Mayors Institute on City Design session/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press


    Pastor: Christians Should Care For God’s Creation

    Item: Caring for God’s creation is a Christian duty, pastor says/Kyle Lehman, New West

    More Info: Christianity has a responsibility to protect the environment and be stewards of God’s creation, said Boise-based Pastor Tri Robinson Tuesday night at the University of Montana in Missoula. “People have to awaken to the idea that (environmental degradation) is not right and it’s not acceptable,” he said.

    Question: Should the environment be part of a church’s spiritual mission?

    Poolman: Home-Schooling Sounds Creepy

    Something about the idea of home schooling sounds CREEPY or maybe just WEIRD to me. Did I spell those correctly? - Amazing - not home schooled. My perception is that parents who choose to home school must be a least a little: a) paranoid, b) insecure c) superiority complex, d) too much time on their hands, or e) all of the above. I will say this – tenure for public school teachers has to be eliminated. Combine the easiest degree available with a guaranteed job for life after a few “good” years and you’re asking for mediocrity/Poolman962.

    TUBOB: Gifts The Navy Wouldn’t Reverse Itself On

    ifts the Navy wouldn’t reverse itself on:
    1. Hams
    2. The Michael Moore DVD collection
    3. Signed copies of the Audacity of Hope
    4. Elk antler chandeliers
    5. Commemorative inflatable life partners from the White Castle superstore.
    6. Doug Clark cd’s
    7. All expense paid cruises and dinners on Spirit Lake
    8. Mentions in Adam’s Blog or the Spokane Valley Insider
    9. A celebrity workout session with Mike Kennedy
    10. Free salad bars at the Captain’s Wheel

    Parting Shot — 4/1/08

    Tongue firmly cheeked on this April Fools Day, Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho posts: “While driving this morning near Bayview I came upon a large herd of famous North Idaho bison taking a stroll on the road. They were on their annual migration to the ancient spring feeding grounds in Cocalala.”

    Midwife Use Keeps Pace w/Idaho Births

    Item: Report finds midwife use keeps pace with Idaho birth rates/Idaho Statesman

    More Info: The portion of births being assisted by midwives in Idaho is keeping pace as the number of births rises. Midwives were on hand for 5.4 percent of the 24,185 babies born in 2006, according to Idaho Department of Health and Welfare statistics released this year. Certified nurse midwives assisted with 806 of those births and so-called lay midwives attended another 489 for a total of 1,295 births. Midwives were present for about 200 more births than in 2005, when they helped deliver 4.8 percent of the 23,064 babies born in Idaho.

    Question: Would you be comfortable having a midwife deliver your babies?

    HBO’s Headlines @ 5 — 4/1/08


    Christopher Anderson/Spokesman-Review

    Mackenzie Mortluck (left) and Alyssa Beck help plant 2,722 pinwheels Tuesday, April 1, 2008 in Spokane, Wash. outside Sacred Heart Medical Center. The pinwheels represent all the babies born at Sacred Heart Hospital last year.

    *Newspaper April Fools joke about Tamarack Resort not funny for some/KTVB
    *Legislature heads into 87th day with unfinished business/AP
    *House opposes Senate changes on personal property tax bill/Eye On Boise
    *Governor signs auto emission testing bill/Eye On Boise
    *UI students could face highest fee hike in state: University requests approval to boost student fees 7.9 percent/Moscow-Pullman Daily News (via Right Mind)

    Conservative Site Jumps On Navy re: Knife Gifts

    The flap between Navy and the local Buck knife giveaway to Iraq War vets has caught the attention of the conservative Web giant, WorldNetDaily. Now, the story is No. 2 on the site, titled: Navy prevents town from honoring vets: ‘Who’s in charge here? Dumb and Dumber?’. I’ve sent WorldNetDaily the link from below in which the Navy commander told Post Falls Mayor Clay Larkin that the knife giveaway will be allowed as the result of a loophole in the rules. But WND hasn’t updated the site yet.

    Miss Idaho Tracey Brown: Stylin’ In Las Vegas


    Courtesy/Miss USA

    Tracey Brown of Post Falls, Miss Idaho USA 2008, poses in her evening gown during Registrations and Fittings for the Miss USA competition at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada last week. She will compete for the title of Miss USA 2008 during the LIVE NBC broadcast of the 57th annual Miss USA competition from Las Vegas, Nevada, on April 11.

    DFO’s Strange Animals — Long-Billed Syndrome


    Colleen Handle/AP Photo/USGS Alaska Science Center

    In this undated photo provided by the USGS Alaska Science Center shows a black-capped chickadee, the most affected birds of “long billed syndrome”. “Long-billed syndrome” has been recorded in about 160 birds by a Skagit County researcher, mostly in Western Washington and southern British Columbia and mostly since 2000.

    Andrew’s Today In Pictures — 4/1/08


    Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

    Workers wash the dirt off the National Aquatics Center, also called the “Water Cube” in Beijing. The building’s exterior is sheathed in a Teflon-like plastic membrane. The center will be the venue for swimming and diving events during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. See all of Andrew Zahler’s Today In Pictures


    Update: PG Man To Appear On Oprah — New West

    In case you’ve missed the thousands of Internet stories posted about Thomas Beatie of Bend, a local who was born female but is legally male, you can hear Beatie tell the tale Thursday on the Oprah Winfrey show. The reason Oprah is bringing a guest from little-ol’ Bend to her show: Beatie is pregnant. In a first-person account this month in The Advocate, a gay publication, Beatie said he legally changed his name and sex about 10 years ago. He underwent a double mastectomy and started testosterone injections, he said, but kept female reproductive organs. After moving to Bend several years ago, Beatie said that he and his spouse decided to have a child/Joseph Friedrichs, New West. More here

    Photo: Drudge Report


    HBO @ Noon — A True Public Servant

    HBO was told that Police Chief Wayne Longo was the CPD Blue below. But Wayne sez it wasn’t him

    A Berry Picker waiting at the Kootenai County Courthouse to testify in a divorce settlement case was amazed by what she saw Monday morning. Seems a CPD Blue took pity on several women killing time outside the various courtrooms, asking them if they would like a cup of coffee. But it didn’t stop there. Not only did he fetch the coffee for them, but he brought them sugar, creamer and stirrers. How’s that for public service?

    Question: Which public officials in your neck of the woods model public service?

    Idaho Blogs: That Dastardly DH Rule — Richert

    After much introspection, and discussions with my wonderful family, I have decided to legally change my name to AntiDesignated Hitter in anticipation of a future run for elected office. Are there more important issues facing our nation? Perhaps. Yet I can think of no other issue that should unite all decent hard-working Americans, regardless of political background, economic status, race or religion. We are now a nation of Two Americas. One where pitchers bat for themselves. Another where pitchers pitch, unaccountable and answerable to no one, never having to face a 93 mph fastball under the chin, or buckle at the sight of a nasty 12-to-6 overhand curve/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here

    Idaho Blog Roundup:
    *Raise to the power of 10/Political Game
    *Idaho Democratic Party on McCain/MountainGoat Report
    *In Idaho, Big Navy = Grinch/Bubblehead
    *April Fool’s/Fort Boise
    *Fossil Fuels Day/Red State Rebels
    *Are we there yet/Free In Idaho
    *Drugs, jails and saving face/Left Side of the Moon
    *Review: Our bones are scattered/Morialekafa

    Question: Do you support Major League Baseball’s designated hitter rule or oppose it?

    Update: Murder Suspect Expected To Live

    A 46-year-old Rathdrum man who allegedly killed his wife Monday evening and then attempted to kill himself remains in intensive care today at Kootenai Medical Center, police said. William V. Brinnon lost an eye due to the self-inflicted gunshot wound, but he is expected to survive, a source close to the case said today. Charges have not yet been filed in the case/Taryn Hecker, Spokesman-Review. More here

    Home-Schooler Wins Panhandle Spelling Bee

    Item: Cd’A Home Schooler Wins Regional Spelling Bee/RuralNorthwest.com

    More Info: Eighth-grader Rachel Pinkerton of Coeur d’Alene outspelled 38 other fourth- through eighth-graders from the five northern counties of Idaho to become the champion speller in the fifth annual North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee March 29 at North Idaho College. Pinkerton, a 12-year-old home school student, received a Merriam Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, a $100 Samuel Louis Sugarman U.S. savings bond, a one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online Student Edition, a plaque, a medallion and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee May 29 and 30.

    Question: Does the success of 12-year-old Rachel Pinkerton underscore the claim by many home-schoolers that their brand of education is superior.

    Video Journal: Tug Captain Logging Last Trips

    Get the Flash Player to see this video.
    Kathy Plonka/Video Journal

    Oscar Mooney spent 25 years working the same five-mile stretch of Lake Coeur d’Alene and the Spokane River. Rain or shine, ice or fog, the tug captain delivered logs to local sawmills. It’s a chapter of lake history that’s rapidly drawing to a close. By Friday, Mooney will have delivered his final load to the DeArmond sawmill. The mill is the last of North Idaho Maritime’s log customers, and it’s closing in May. Story here