Advertise Here

Huckleberries Online

Archive for December 2008

Vacation Wild Card No. 12 — 12/31/08

Mrs. O and I’ll be ushering out the old year with my siblings, their spouses, and my mother at Frito Ray’s place tonight. Mebbe a movie first. ‘Tis nice to have family around for holidays and special occasions like birthdays and graduations. I raised two kids in the Northwest without a lot of family around. Belatedly, they’ve begun to be acquainted with the extended families on both sides. I hope you’re enjoying the holiday season between storms and are gearing up for the 2009 debut of Huckleberries Online. I can’t wait to begin pestering Blogmeister Ryan again re: special features and layout of the blog. For example, I want my cartoon mug switched to this blog and I want the color changed to a nice huckleberry purple. Meanwhile, I’d like to draw your attention to the photo above of Junior getting ready to snowboard on Schweitzer last Friday. Now, I’ll play the Wild Card and hold my breath that peace will continue in the comments section for 5 more days …

Vacation Wild Card No. 11 — 12/30/08

Our visit with the kids ended Monday morning, when Junior and his lovely wife braved commuter traffic and two Spokane Airport closures to return to Denver only a coupla hours late. Amy Dearest returned to Portland and decent weather the night before. All of them were still raving about the brunch at the Coeur d’Alene Resort that I treated them to Sunday. In fact, my daughter-in-law declared that all future visits will end with brunch at the CDA resort. Pricey, but worth the memories. In a rare twofer, you’ll also notice that I posted the resort’s North Pole scene at Casco Bay, which appears on Councilwoman KerriT’s OnLocation North Idaho blog. Meanwhile, I’ve asked Blogmeister Ryan to switch the blogrolls from the old HBO to the new site before I return next Monday, so I can hit the ground running. I’ll just be posting Wild Cards and photos for the rest of the vacation. This is the 11th of 16 Wild Cards.

Vacation Wild Card No. 10 — 12/29/08

The snow is off my roof, just in time for another storm or two to come blasting through the area. I still have to remove the small mountain that is blocking the path leading to my front doorway. But I’m confident that I made the right decision to hire someone to shovel snow off the main part of my two-story house, which includes a steep front roof, especially after I saw one of my neighbor’s back-yard sheds smashed by snow this morning. Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho, who snapped the photo above of a man shoveling his roof in Fernan, quotes weathermeister Cliff Harris on her blog saying more heavy snow is on the way this morning through Wednesday. So it might be time for you to consider shoveling the roof or hiring someone to do so. I can put you in touch with the guy who shoveled mine, if you’re interested. Now, for another in a series of vacation Wild Cards …

ThomG: Dared Into Polar Bear Plunge

This past spring I helped arrange a “GOP Women for Minnick” event, in Coeur d’Alene. MamaJD was one of the attendees. I wandered up to MamaJD while she was engaged in conversation with Congressman-elect Minnick and for some reason the conversation on this warm spring evening turned to the Polar Bear Plunge. In front of Walt, MamaJD said something to the effect of “I’ll vote for Walt if you’ll jump in the Lake.” I agreed. Walt owes me for this. Big time!/ThomG.

Question: Have you ever participated in a Polar Bear Plunge?

Dogwalk: No Pay For First Ladies

There seem to be more and more talk regarding the role of first lady. Whether there should be a job description and whether or not she should receive a salary. The latest was a column in the Spokesman Review by Lauren Stiller Rikleen . Ms. Rikleen is a partner in a law firm and executive director of the Bowdich Institute for Women’s Success. I was pretty sure I knew where it was going before I read it! This is one of those times I find myself smack in the middle of the generational divide! I don’t think there should be either/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: Should a job description be written for Michelle Obama and other First Ladies who follow her? And should they be paid during their time in the White House?

Richert: Forgettable ‘08 Words

My friends and colleagues on the National Conference of Editorial Writers e-mail listserv have been spending the past few days kicking around phrases that deserve to be booted from the lexicon. I’ll save you the trouble of rummaging the archives. I¹m sure some of these words and phrases have found their way into one of my columns, blogs or editorials. I am just an imperfect writer describing a perfect storm. More on that later. How’s that for telegraphed foreshadowing? But today is all about moving forward. The losers, please. Some of these clunkers need little elaboration. “Game changer?” Only if you¹re writing about a kid who has graduated from Hungry, Hungry Hippos to Scrabble. And, as long as we¹re being all competitive, how about “win-win situation?” Sorry, pal, you lose. Some words, to torture a sports metaphor, are perfectly fine words playing out of position. They are nouns forced to act like verbs: impacted, tasked. And, of course, gifting. “First, we kill all the lawyers, who are responsible for this phrase,” writes Naomi Schalit of the Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel in Augusta, Maine. “‘Gifting’ is a legal term that has infiltrated everyday life with ugly results”/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Which new words or phrases that bug you?

Bubblehead: Fuhgeddabout ‘Valkyrie’

Normally, I’d go see a movie like “Valkyrie”; I like WWII movies, and I like murder conspiracy movies. In this particular case, however, I’m not planning on seeing it for one reason, and one reason only — it stars Tom Cruise. In the previews, he looks so unsufferably bad that I’m convinced he’s made a film that’s about Tom Cruise being an “important actor”, rather than an historical figure/Bubblehead. More here.

Question (from Bubblehead): Are there any actors/actresses/directors who will make you avoid a movie you’d otherwise see?

TUBOB: Clint, Button & Me

The one I really want to see, and will this week between ski trips if REI ever gets the bindings mounted on my kiddo’s new twin tip K2s, is Gran Torino. Maybe Clint’s swan song, definitely a culmination of the whole Clint Eastwood solitary morally ambiguous revenge-taker icon, it’s a must see for me. As an aside, and I must say this is no small indictment of my pathetic maleness, I was barely engaged and frankly, kind of sleepy, during the early part of Benjamin Buttons but when the sea battle occurred, the only remotely violent mannish thing in the entire movie, I was instantly hooked and remained so the rest of the movie/TUBOB. More here.

Question: Do you have a must-see movie airing this winter?

KT: If Tom Cruise Assassinated Hitler:

If Tom Cruise had assassinated Hitler: Churchill, Roosevelt and a freed Germany turn on Stalin and beat the Soviet Union into plowshares and crappy sedans. THUS: Ronald Reagan lives out his life doing voiceovers in commercials and is not in a position to electrify a young DFO into becoming a Republican. THUS, a long-haired DFO runs an organic eggplant stall in the farmer’s market in Petaluma and never launches HBO. THUS Bob is voted Rookie of the Year (1988), Most Improved (1993, 2000) and Most Prolix (2003-07) in the Skamania County Ridgeline Owners Club … known as Honda Boys Only … or HBO. Sam buys an AK/Kevin Taylor.

Question: What public person or event affected your life?

Wild Card — 12/28/08

At Simple Mind, Cis has the right idea — look forward to spring rather than focus on all the problems caused by the snow. The thought hit me yesterday that spring training begins in a little over 6 weeks. Also, Gonzaga and Washington State begin playing their conference schedules in a few days. Then, there’s a garden to plan. After the first of the year, of course, we return to some serious blogging here at HBO Central with an early focus on the state Legislature. I have one more day with the kids and then a week to relax and catch up on a lot of odd jobs. Meanwhile, let me know via the comments section or by calling me at home if you need someone to shovel off your roof. The unemployed framer (Brian) who did mine yesterday did a dyne-oh!-might job and will be doing HBOer Steve Sibulsky’s today. But he has time to do more as long as the snow persists. I’ll leave you with a Kathy Plonka shot of an ice crystal is framed by the snow covered roof of a home at Hauser Lake — and the daily Wild Card, of course …

Online Poll: When Will Recession End?

Many experts think the recession will last until the fourth quarter of 2009. What do you think?/CDA Press.

*When spring 2009 arrives, so will a better economy.
*I think we’ll have to sweat it out until summer.
*I agree with the experts; next fall or winter.
*Not ‘til 2010; sorry

D.J. Nall: Sentence Diagrams? Bah

I hate the term “diagramming sentences.” I hated diagramming sentences. I forgot all about it since it’s been so many years since I was required to do it. Now the memory is back and I need a valium or a bottle of whiskey/D.J. Nall.

Question: Can you remember how to diagram a sentence? Did you enjoy that part of your high school English classes?

Tubob: Up On The Roof

I just got down off my complex cantilevered-peaked angled roof plane surfaces with my youngest, the six foot five TOWWSG son. It was a nighmarish job of breaking huge slabs of snow to send ripping over the edge plunging into huge detonating hits on the sidewalks, deck, and yard below. I got snow down my boots and down my butt and I was wearing Columbia ski pants and they got soaked. Standing near the vent pipes blasting methane gases generated by a household of huge men through melted holes in the 4 feet deep snowpack, I could scarcely maintain consciousness as the waves of sewer stink nearly overcame me and sent me sliding like some ungainly comatose walrus across an ice floe on some godforsaken frozen arctic hell-land/TUBOB. More here.

Question: What part of winter 2008-09 have you struggled to deal with?

Stickman: HBO Family Has Passion

t’s the passion of course, why else do we visit here each day. The passion of Bob, and Cindy, and Digger, and Truly, and ThomG of course, and Gary, and Mama, god I would hate to forget her, such an passionate person is she, and TT, and Brent, and Marmite, god bless her, and Jbelle, a tear for that, and John, such love of life, and Toad, such a beautiful family, and Jen, what a wonder, and bent, such a brew, and Christie, what she has to put up with in the name of service, and all the Blue, such fine young men, and MikeK, such service to us all, and to the mayor Sandi, such a nice woman is she, and the police chief, such a man is he, and can I possibly forget keith, one of a kind, and everyone else that has happened by here and maybe someday will, we have such a beautiful group here, let us not ever forget that/Stickman. More here.

JeanieSpokane: Be It Resolved

I have such good intentions
Making New Year’s Resolutions
Why is it that my ambitions
Fall short of absolution

JeanieSpokane/Nuts & Nonsense

Question: Have you made a resolution(s) for the new year?

I’m An Addict, My Name Is Herb

I’m an addict. Not to drugs or alcohol, but to writing. Like all addictions, it started innocently. I just started opining on my blog. Soon, I had delusions that I could make a difference. Be a communicator. While I still maintain my blog, I mostly do it because of the cutbacks at the Spokesman-review. Also I do it because so many snow birds tell me it’s their link to the community during the winter/S&S Herb, Bay Views. More here.

Question (for citizen journalists): Why do you blog or comment on blogs?

OTV Random Review Of 20089

Many businesses emerged anew this year and just as many went the way of the K-Mart Cafeteria and ceased to exist. Some of the more memorable new local haunts this year included Baja Bargarita, 315 Martinis & Tapas Bar, Fleur de Sel Bistro, Morgio’s Sandwich Shop, Babak Kebab, the Chicken Basket, and Wagner’s Hofbrau. The “Oh, Finally!” award goes to Thai Bamboo which we weren’t sure would ever finally open. We get a little choked up thinking about some of the landmark places that have passed on to the great Yellow Pages in the sky, including Senor Froggy (demolished), China Gate (fire), Taco Johns (general ickiness), and Rogers Ice cream (vacant, for sale). Also on the Restaurant Grim Reaper’s hit list this year were Joey’s Smokin’ BBQ in Riverstone and Scott-Ja-Mama’s BBQ downtown/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Which new North Idaho business do you enjoy the most? Which did you hate to see close shop in 2008?

Wild Card — 12/27/08

Dan Dolezal clears the snow from the roof of his business, Camera Corral, in Coeur d’Alene earlier this week. (AP Photo/KATHY PLONKA, The Spokesman-Review)

I posted some of your comments of the last few days out front today. My son and daughter-in-law from Denver drove to Schweitzer to snowboard Friday, while my wife & I braved the crowds at the Spokane Valley Mall. I couldn’t help but think that accompanying women to shop in a women’s clothing store is as close to Purgatory as I ever want to come. I finally put my foot down at The Gap and told my daughter that it was time to go — after I was fairly sure that she was done shopping. I have two more days with the kids. And I plan to enjoy them to the max. And, speaking of enjoyment, here’s your daily Wild Card with which to start your own threads …

Sparky: Shoveling Roof, Farm Style

Sparky: So my husband is a farm kid. For those of you that are farm kids you know that you can do anything from the tools or crap you have around the house. Hubby just backed up his pickup full of show. He put an old dining table on top with the base down and jammed into the bed then he took the 6 foot ladder and jammed it between the table and the side of inside of the pickup. I banged on the side of the house for me to come out and hold the table down then up he went. I am a little impressed in the midst of the fear-fest. Of course, I am the one that falls in snow bank not once but twice trying to get to his darn truck. While the pain in my butt stood on top of the roof shoveling snow at me. Hubby told me that there is about fourteen or sixteen inches on one end of the house and over four feet on the other. I guess he was right to get up there but …

Question: Have you shoveled your roof? Or do you plan to shovel your roof soon?

JimmyMAC: Passion Drives HBO

JimmyMAC: This has been a heated year at times on this blog considering all of the elections but I want to know that I have grown more fond of each and every one of you as a result. There is one thing that rings true of an HBOer: PASSION. And personally, passion is one of the traits that I find most admirable in a person. I am thankful for all of the personal relationships I have here and cyber ones equally. I hope you all find comfort today and wish you all the best in the new year to come. God Bless each and every one of you.

Question: How many Merry Hucksters have you personally met?

OTV: Still Missing James Brown

OrangeTV: I feel a twinge of blue in remembrance of Soul Brother Number One James Brown whose energizer bunny finally quit exactly two years ago today.Time to put on his timeless, funky Christmas CD and eat cookies and fudge and dance around. Santa Claus, go straight to the ghetto!

Question: Which celebrity who died this year do you miss most?

CindyH: Grinch Swiped Snow Shovels

CindyH: Here’s the first Bah Humbug of the day: When I realized we were going to be enduring another Snowmapalooza, I went out and bought extra snow shovels. One for each kid. No more fighting about who got the “best” shovel. This morning we woke to find all three shovels stolen. The kids had stuck them in a snow bank right next to the front door. What kind of loser steals three snow shovels on Christmas morning? Grrrr

Question: Anyone else deal with a Grinch or Scrooge character this Christmas?

TT: More Christmas Music, More

Transplanted Texan:  I am so grateful that 98.1 FM is still playing Christmas music, not stopping right at midnight as in past years… we’ve still got 11 days of Christmas left, folks!

Question: When should radio stations quit playing Christmas music?

Tubob: Driving A Honda & Loving It

Tubob (To Keith): Undoubtedly you are one of those lovelorn admirers of craptacular American-made automobiles, and let me add, enjoy them while they are still actually, you know, manufacturing. I’m guessing you would rather have a Camaro than a Ferrari. And that’s cool, I guess. And if you’ve defined down “luxury car ride” to what a proletariat GMC Crew Cab with what is only loosely defined as actual suspension via typical GMC thudding solid axles vs Honda’s excellent unibody construction and four-wheel-independent suspension, well then I guess you probably do think you’re driving some state of the art machine. State of the art, I must say, in 1967. More here.

Question: What kind of car do you drive — American? Or foreign?

Brent: The House Is Too Quiet

Brent Andrews: Yesterday I had my wife and two children and a potential daughter-in-law laughing and exchanging presents and eating wonderful food and having a grand time in my home, and today they’ve all left for Memphis leaving me to an empty house and coffee with leftovers. Worse, my easy listening radio station has replaced the Christmas songs I’ve been listening to since November with its old stable of light rock tunes, most of them depressing in nature. I’m left to silence, and an empty house but for three dogs and a has-been writer - which is to say a place full of sensitivity and cunning, but lacking much immediate potential. Certainly it’s a big change from yesterday morning, and all those unopened presents and excited voices … thank goodness for YouTube and Hank III. More here.

Question: Anyone else experiencing a post-yuletide letdown after a fun & full time w/family?

S&S Herb: We Don’t Need You, DFO

DeeFo, you in trouble. It was one thing to wander off into the “gathering twilight” as it is said, but to desert us in our hour of need? It isn’t enough to suggest that our needs would only satisfy the appetite of a Science-fiction flick, no!!! You have created the machinery of your own destruction! Yes! You took a vacation. Now everyone that has struggled through corporate politics knows, YOU ARE EXPENDABLE …While in the past, those in the Ivory Tower thought that only the Blog Meister could rein in this unruly crowd of sociopaths, it has proved out wrong. While DFO is levitating 6 inches above the tropic beach he has rented, the truth be known. We all got along without you!/S&S Herb. More here.

Wild Card — 12/26/08

I only have a Wild Card for you today, Merry Hucksters. I’m totally into vacation mode and enjoying my family this Christmas vacation. We ran out to Spirit Lake Christmas Day to enjoy a dinner and gift opening with my sister and her husband. I encountered a coupla clowns along the way who didn’t realize the roads were slippery. Honked at one of them. Otherwise, it was a fun day of food and family. I’ll post more after the kids have left. Meanwhile, Councilwoman KerriT @ OnLocation North Idaho continues to carry the Wild Card with her fine photography, like the shot of the two deer in Fernan above. Now, for your Wild Card …

Christmas Wild Card — 12/25/08

I’m not posting much today, Hucksters — a swell rendition of “The Night Before Christmas” by John Austin and The Bard’s observation re: Santa’s annual visit. Today is a day for you to enjoy your family and/or friends. I appreciate how much you guys have enriched my life — and I hope Huckleberries Online has added a little brightness to yours. I spent a good part of the day shoveling the roof, wrapping presents, visiting in-laws, and playing the “Seinfeld” game with my wife, daughter-in-law, and two kids (Dr. Junior won). We’ll be celebrating Christmas with my side of the family today. I’ll leave you with the nice card that Gov. Butch Otter and his First Lady sent to Councilwoman KerriT. Which she posted at OnLocation North Idaho. And the Wild Card, of course …

Bard: A Visit from St. Nicholas — 2008

If a clunk and a clang
on the rooftop you hear
it’s because old St. Nick
has the chains on this year.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

( God bless us, every one )

JohnA: Night Before Xmas, HBO Style

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the blog
Not a creature was stirring, not even ol’ Bob.
The avatars hung by the posters with care,
In hopes that St. DFO soon would be there;
But the master was nestled all snug in his house.
While visions of page views still danced with his mouse..

With mamma in Boise, and I with her cat.
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out from my keyboard arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.
Away to the laptop I flew like a fright.
Tore open the Windows and threw up the site.

More below

Wild Card — 12/24/08

I finally got all the kids in, from Denver and Portland. The Denver duo arrived uneventfully around 12:30. But the one from Portland almost got stuck on the runway when the last flight of the evening iced up. She was scheduled to get in around 10:15 p.m. She finally got in after 12:30 this morning. We got back around 2. Only saw one crash to the airport and back, although a coupla fools were cruising at 65 or better on icy roads where 50 mph was pushing it. Now, I plan to hunker down with the kids. Mebbe buy a coupla more gifts. And prepare for Christmas. Of course, I’ll leave this Wild Card for your amusement — and another waterfront photo from Councilwoman KerriT (of the Centennial Trail as it cuts through City Park) …

Jeanie: Snow Grounds Xmas Cards

JeanieSpokane: No travel plans, except to get across town to my son’s house on Christmas Day. However, my best laid plans of getting Christmas cards out has been waylaid. I have now decided to send out New Year’s cards. Maybe. I had a plan, you see, to send out my cards on Friday and then take the next two weeks off from work. But two snow days later, the cards, letters, stamps, labels still sit at work and I am pretty much snow bound. We did manage to get out of here this morning and trek to Spokane - I ducked into my office and grabbed “Santa’s presents” that had been hiding under my desk. The cards etc remain on the desk. I hate being late! So now I’ll send something after the New Year.

Question: Are you ready for Christmas? Or do you still have something to do today to finish preparing?

S&S Herb: Sweet Potato Pie, Yum

S&S Herb: Interesting that Bob would bring up sweet potatoes. While they are huge down south, most people around here aren’t really acquainted with them. I am making a sweet potatoes pie for the potluck at the Captain’s wheel tomorrow. This will be my first try. I have a very old recipe book from, I think, the forties. The reason is that it reffers to margerine as oleo margerine. That was back when you had to squeeze the coloring into what looked, and probably was, pure crisco. More here.

Question: Do you have a specialty dish that you prepare for family and/or friends for the holidays?

JeanC: Santa Wraps Gifts, Of Course

JeanC: when I was growing up Santa always wrapped our presents, but didn’t have name tags on them. We knew which ones were ours as Santa always piled them in separate piles and took our stockings off the mantel and put them on the correct pile of presents for us kids. Presents from family were always under the tree with tags on them.

Question: Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

Ryan: Faster I Go, Behinder I Get

Blogmeister Ryan: As for other limits, it has nothing to do with being “less interested” in explaining anything, and everything to do with this site being a LOT bigger than just this blog. FWIW, I’m on about 8 straight 10- to 12-hour days of dealing with site launch issues and requests, both internally and externally. I monitor blog comments as much as possible (especially on the Site Update blog, naturally), return phone calls and emails, and that feedback form on the bottom of every page on this site is a firehose into my inbox. And I’m sure I *still* can’t answer everyone’s questions. More here. You can read Ryan’s current projects list here.

CindyH (w/DFO’s mega-ditto, for the two Rush fans on HBO): Personally, I appreciate the enormous amount of work Ryan and the online team have put into this project. He’s answered every one of my vague and incomprehensible e-mails. Or is that vaguely incomprehensible e-mails? Anyhow, Ryan and team you are doing great work. Thank you.

Truly: Tired Of Mailbox Patrol

Truly: Anyone else out there ticked that you are the only one in the neighborhood that shovels out the mail boxes for the mailman? My new neighbors are really trying my Christmas spirit and one of these days their mail may just be undeliverable.

Question: Who clears snow from the mailboxes and fire hydrant in your neighborhood?

Tubob: Top This, O’Henry

Tubob: Now if I was entering an O.Henry short story contest, I’d write a story about a starving mom whose been forgotten by her family and she’s snowed in and broke and has to cook the macaroni angel because it’s all she has to eat in the house, having devoured the last can of alpo liver chunk stew several days before and now she’s just trying to stay alive and all but she doesn’t know that her son has just gotten out of prison for a murder he didn’t do and he’s rushing to his mom’s, not even bothering to call her first, and he’s stopped at a store and bought tons of food, like turkeys and hams and sweet potaters and sprite and he’s flooring the Taurus to see his ma, and all he can think about is his poor ma and the macaroni angel he made her that one year and how she always hung it on her x-mas tree and (well you know the rest but I’d add a twist involving a pretty airline attendant stuck in a ditch or something)

Question: How do you think Tubob’s story ends?

CindyH: Goodbye, Ugly Ornament

CindyH: As angels go it was pretty ugly— its cherubic smile rather disturbing. But my son bought it for me at the Dollar Store when he was four. His dad helped him wrap it and Alex was so excited for me to open it. “Open mine! Open mine!” he yelled on Christmas morning. So I carefully opened the lumpy package. The cheesy gold coating was already flaking off. “It’s an angel, Mommy.” Alex said. “A Christmas angel.” I smiled and lied like all good mothers. “It’s beautiful, Alex. Thank you so much.” The next year when I got out the Christmas decorations Alex watched carefully. I thought he might have forgotten about it but he didn’t. “Where’s the golden angel, Mom?” So each year for the past 12 years that gaudy angel has dominated our Christmas display. Like an ungainly, ugly stepsister she hovered over her more lovely angelic companions. Until tonight.

Question: Describe the ornaments that your children made for you that still bring back memories?

Vacation Wild Card No. 4 — 12/23/08

Don’t tell Bob, but I’m going to put studs on the car today. I know, I know, some of you guys have driven up the side of Mount Everest without studs. But I feel safer with them on my car. So does my wife. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Meanwhile, you can enjoy another of Councilwoman KerriT’s photography of the winter waterfront. A little fog, a little sun … and voila … you have a somewhat mystical view of the floating boardwalk. I have a bunch of posts below from the main comment thread of Huckleberries Online. Now, for your Wild Card …

Online Poll: Christmas Plans

Has the white Christmas put a kink in your holiday plans?/Idaho Statesman

*Flights postponed
*Roads Closed
*Fighting through it
*Staying home
*No travel problems

Druid: DanG Thinks Christie’s Divisive?

Arch Druid: saw a DanG letter in the CDA Press this morning that had me chortling. DanG is chastising Christie Wood for having a “divisive attitude.” She is supposed to be representing all the people, etc. What was DanG himself running on as a platform when he RAN FOR OFFICE not so long ago. Would he have been prepared to respect the people who disagreed with him and would he have represented more than the CAVErs? Brave of the fellow to talk, don’t you think?

Question: Who do you think is more divisive: Dan Gookin or Sgt. Christie Wood?

Marmitetoasty: Bury Cats Quick, Deep

When our cat died years ago … I didnt have time to bury it proper before I went to work (back then I worked for the Ministry of Defence) but I didnt wanna leave a dead cat in the house, so I quickly dug just a little hole in the veggie plot, but so I could remember where I had buried it, so I could do it proper when I got in from work, I left its tail sticking out of the ground like a flag pole LMFAO … tall and sticking straight up in the air :) … when I got in from work I buried it deeper, but the fox kept digging it up every night for about a fortnight we would find bits of the cat all over the garden and have to re-bury it, but each time there was lest to bury LOL/Marmitetoasty.

Question: Do you bury your dead pets in your yard?

Nic: Pimp Your Blogs In HBO Profiles

Nic: While awaiting the return of the blog rolls… I’m dismayed at how few have links to their blogs in their profiles. (kudos to Bob, Jen, InEmpGirl, etc. for the links in your profiles).But there’s a few that I’m surprised haven’t taken that step yet - i.e. Sam & KT. (and Sam, I know you’re computer savvy enough to do it.)

DFO: Nic makes a great point. You Hucksters should use the profile section — and the comments thread while we’re waiting for the blog rolls to move from the old site — to pimp your blogs. Seriously, you should put your URL in your profile and also drop a portion of your new posts into the comments section here, with a link at the end, so other Hucksters can keep up with your comments and thoughts while I’m on vacation.

Fighting Cabin Fever The Tubob Way

Using tunafish, bait traps each day to capture neighbor cats. Bring the cats in and dress them in silly clothes and photograph them and upload them to your computer and enter funny slogans for I Haz Cheezburger and other LOL cats sites. After you’ve finished a photogallery for each captured cat, drown it in your bathtub while singing and laughing. Remember, cabin fever isn’t so bad when it makes you laugh maniacally and see funny things in your head/TUBOB. More here.

DFO: Bob was kidding about drowning cats.

Question: Any other ideas re: fighting cabin fever?

Digger: When’s Blogfest 2009?

We really need to get a date set for BlogFest so I can design the new T-Shirts. And get the date set on my calendar - I’m sure many others would like to as well. It can’t be the 14th due to the lover’s holiday, but the Saturday either before or after would fall within tradition/Digger.

DFO: I lean toward Feb. 21. But I need to get the OK from new Editor Gary Graham re: picking up the tab for the pizza and pop. Dunno if Capone’s is big enough to hold us again.

Question: When and where do you want to hold Blogfest 2009 — the 5th anniversary of Huckleberries Online?

TT: Going To The Inauguration

Transplanted Texan: I jjust got a call from the office of Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH), my college congressman - I got inauguration tickets!!

Sisyphus: You bastard! I’m jealous. But as I understand it the tickets aren’t that difficult thing. Its the lodging

Bent: TT, I had tickets lined up too, but I had to turn them back because I couldn’t find a room. I was going to take my eighth grader, but I guess I really underestimated the historic nature of the event. The closest room I could find was in Tennessee …Transplanted Texan: was a little worried about that at first, Bent, but the power of being a college kid majoring in Govt is I know many poor recent grads in DC, so will crash on a friend’s floor for a few nights.

Question: Would you go to the inauguration if you have tickets and lodging?

Sis: NIdaho Feasts On Bailout Pie, Too

Here’s news of a local bank that will be a recipient of the federal bailout proceeds. Nathaniel Hoffman is using his hound like senses to root out the fact that Intermountain Community Bancorp applied and got approval for $27 million of the free, newly printed money. Intermountain is the holding company for Panhandle State Bank based out of Sandpoint and has branches in Nampa and Gooding. Trouble for Nathaniel is that CEO Curt Hecker won’t return his phone calls to see what the money is for or why it was needed. Still absolutely zero oversight on the bailout despite Treasury Department assurances and a Congressional mandate. Panhandle’s mission statement promised to invest community money back into the local economy but there is no requirement that bailout funds be loaned out at all/Sisyphus, 43rd State Blues.More here.

Question: Do you think the massive federal bailout has proper oversight?

HBO Comments, CindyH, Gift Wrapping

ere is my confession. While I excel in many of the domestic/and or womanly arts, I am an utter failure at gift wrapping. I’ve spent the better part of the afternoon wrestling with gift wrap, scotch tape, self-adhesive gift tags, ribbons and bows. I know I could throw everything into gift bags but that seems like cheating. Besides, ripping into a gift bag isn’t the same as ripping into a festively wrapped mysteriously-shaped package. One year my mother-in-law said, “Oh, how sweet. The boys wrapped the presents.” I didn’t say anything. Now they wrap better than I do/CindyH.

Question (from CindyH): Am I the only one whose gifts end up looking like a kindergartener using blunt scissors and hopped up on paste wrapped them?

IE: Dealing w/Bad Days

dread bad days. Trouble is, I can’t see ahead to know when they’re gonna happen. I usually don’t realize I’m having a bad day until I’m about 2/3’s of the way thru it, preceded by perhaps just a tad more anxiety than usual which turns in upon itself, and all of a sudden, I’ve got to get home, away from everyone and everything. Actually, though, after my recent visits to the Dentist, I haven’t had much chance to actually dread anything, due to the fact I’m still having to get used to these new teeth in my cranio-facial cavity which more or less feel like a hockey puck right about now/Idaho Escapee. More here.

Question: When do you know you’re having a bad day, and how do you deal with it?

Vacation Wild Card No. 3

I have some treats for you below, for those who are waiting for the old HBO blog rolls to be switched to the new, improved version. You’ll find posts from A Butterfly Moment, Slight Detour, Dogwalk Musings and others to launch the conversation today. Above, of course, you should be able to recognize the swell photography from Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns, who keeps us in touch with the life and beauty surrounding Priest Lake. Now, I’m hitting the sack to sleep in. But I’m leaving this third of 14 Vacation Wild Cards behind for you to start your own threads …

Detour: Get Thee Behind Me, Dec. 20

Dec. 20 is a significant day in our family. Every year I’m always glad when it has ended–safely for all we know and love. As I mentioned yesterday, this is the 24th anniversary of the day we watched our house burn down. As I read the front page of today’s paper, detailing all the disasters, including two devastating fires—one the Idaho Club Lodge, the other a home north of Sandpoint—memories of our own catastrophe were all the more vivid. Knowing the community, however, the hands of generosity will be busy. An understatement! Since our fire, this day continues to make me nervous. Five years ago today, Willie rolled his grandfather’s pickup after driving it for less than two miles. It was just a month after Harold had died. Willie and his grandmother worked out a deal for him to purchase the pickup, which needed snow tires/Marianne Love, Slight Detour. More here.

Question: Is there a day of the year that you dread?

TUBOB: 3,897 Ways To Make Me Cry

Here is what is pissing me off this morning. I have been observing, with some deep trepidation and gut curdling fear, the rapid growth of a volcanic cone on Mt. Krapatoa, our kitchen garbage can.  The proud spawn of my loins, or is that the spawn of my proud loins, are building a mountain of garbage one  pepsi can (no, we don’t recycle here as we believe recycling is the behavioral and social pre-determinants of a metal-world where robots can reproduce themselves to the endless horror of future enslaved generations) taquito box, large fountain soda cup, mess coffee filter at a time.  And yes, I have contributed to the mountain, yet I didn’t not cause the mountain’s snow crap to grow over the lip of the can, which is, of course, the demarcation point of a full to overfull TAKETHEGARBAGEOUTKID elevation/TUBOB. More here.

Question: You can brag about your kids or point out something they do that bug you, in the comments section below this post.

Dogwalk: Nomadic Life Has Benefits

I’ve asked many people why they’ve chosen to stay in a particular place. Especially ones that are economically depressed. Places where making a move would improve their lives. It’s so beautiful is an answer. Or I’ve never had any desire to live any place else. What is lacking? Plain old curiosity. That’s what I don’t understand. No adventuresome spirit. When Kodak was dieing in Rochester, NY and jobs were available in operations in other cities, people would not move. I would guess it’s the same in any company town”. Like Detroit with the auto industry. Like northern Idaho with the demise of the timber industry/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: Would you move from the Inland Northwest if you or your spouse had a better job offer elsewhere?

OTV Review: An Icy Benatar Night

I sat shivering on a large rock in front of the Teriyaki Tiki hut, my posterior frozen to the rock’s frosty surface, the seat of my pants stuck like cheap Velcro. I was considering the irony of a sunny little Hawaiian hut serving summery BBQ take-away in the midst of a very wintery Idaho cold snap when suddenly another customer came roaring into the scene. She stepped out of her SUV like some kind of backwoods celebutant, tossed her gorgeous mane of brunette curls to and fro, stepped up to the window and from underneath a pair of huge sunglasses ordered simply “Kalua Pork. Two orders please.” I watched as she received her change and did something remarkable and amazing, something I hadn’t thought of for some stupid reason. She got back inside her nice warm, comfortable vehicle to wait for her order, lit a cigarette and turned up the radio. It was Pat Benatar singing “Love is a Battlefield”/OrangeTV. Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Which local eatery have you “discovered” as a result of reading an OrangeTV review?

Butterfly: It Sounds LIke It Looks

have encountered a problem that I wasn’t expecting when we named Julianna. Some people pronounce it Juli-aw-na. But it’s Juli-anna. Just like it looks. Don’t get me wrong. Juliawna is a fine name, but it’s not my daughter’s name. So what do I do? So far I have let it go if it’s someone we rarely see, like the doctor. If it’s someone who we see often I just make sure to say her name correctly a few times hoping they’ll catch on. I honestly never thought there would be a problem with the pronunciation or spelling of her name. (Apparently you can spell it Juliana, too.) I hope that she doesn’t spend her life correcting people about her name. I can just see her in 15 years rolling her eyes and saying, “It’s Juli-ANNA”/A Butterfly Moment.

Question: Do people have trouble pronouncing or spelling your name?

Nic: Xmas Music For Bah-Humbuggers

For some people, Christmas music has the tendency to spark that corner of the mind that triggers a mild form of temporary adult onset Tourette syndrome: excessive blinking, uncontrollable twitches, and random bouts of profanity. It is these people who fear the first sound of sleigh bells and “ho ho ho.” There are those like Marcus Kellis at the UI Argonaut who complains that Christmas music is nothing more than “the same songs year after year from the same performers.” Many true music fans (and I do consider myself a true fan of music) despise Christmas music; they believe that the soundtrack to the holidays is nothing short of atrocious. I can empathize with them. During my days working at Old Navy, I dreaded the holiday shopping season. It wasn’t just the savage shoppers, slogging through tables of sweaters and rugby polos like Hurricane Santa. It was the awful Christmas music - think Bing Crosby meets the Macarena. However, aside from the holiday music torture offered by stores like Old Navy, I typically enjoy Christmas music/Nic, Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts. More here.

Question: What’s your favorite Christmas song?

Vacation Wild Card No. 2 — 12/21/08

As you can see below, I pulled several posts from the comment section out front for more comment while I’m on vacation. It doesn’t take long at all to do it. So I don’t mind. I may not be able to do it every day while I’m on vacation. But I’ll do it when I can, to encourage you to keep in touch with one another. Also, I want to remind you that today is the shortest day of the year. After today, every day will be a bit longer as we point toward spring. Finally, the photo above comes from the camera of our talented OnLocation North Idaho blogmistress/Councilwoman Kerri Thoreson — of the floating green, of course. Enjoy the short day today, Merry Hucksters. It’s all uphill afterward. Now, for your Wild Card …

TUBOB: More Characters Please

Brent, thank you for that elegant yet slightly ejaculatory metaphorical support for the 3000 character diet we are all hungering on, while, in most cases, a 3000 character limit seems adequate and particularly efficacious for those, like you, apparently, Brent, trying to distill and winnow their wordiness down to a Haiku like precision, there are, I must confess not entirely objectively, others who are able to trust in the brains God gave us to rapidly filter, sort, screen, and reorganize large amounts of text and still, in a nearly miraculous manner, make sense of it all. I do not need my posts boiled down to some hideous and nightmarish caramelized spoonful of Walla Walla Sweet Onions to festoon my large drippy rare ribeye post thread steak/Bob. More here.

DFO: Blogmeister Ryan was tweaking the comments thread Saturday, his day off fuhcryinoutloud. I don’t know if he increased the size of potential posts. But I do know that he hears the voice of my peeps. I’m sure eloquent posts like this will go a long ways toward expanding the number of characters for everyone.

TT: 2 To 3 Is Enuf, Not 8

I’m really interested in this one girl, but I know it would never work because she’s got her heart set on 8 kids (as well as a career in child care), whereas for me 4 would be a compromise, with 2-3 the ideal. When I think about 8, and heaven forbid this other women’s 17, I think, how can you spend quality one-on-one time with them? There are certainly benefits to large families and having people around, but there are also benefits to solitude and individual attention. Maybe the ideal for our culture is a big neighborhood full of active small families, like in Tim Russert’s book “Big Russ and Me”?/Transplanted Texan.

Question: Do you have as many kids as your parents did?

Sam: HBO Takes A Double Hit

Wow, what a horrible time for the blog leader to leave the blog. Page views dying due to people hating the new system and DFO leaves for vacation. Understandable, but unfortunate. I’m actually laughing at the irony of it/Sam.

DFO: I consider this to be a perfect time to take a breather. Not only do I need one (badly), but also I learned the new software fairly well last week and hit my goal of 2.5M page-views for the year. Yeah, the page-views are off by about a third. But that has more to do with Google and other search engines not finding the new HBO yet. The strength of the blog is indicated by the strong comment section that has already migrated here. HBO’ll be fine when we kick back in gear Jan. 4. It might take awhile to get back up to speed. But we’ll get there. And we’ll eventually get this site custom made like the old site was.

Marmitetoasty: Crimbo Card’s En Route

avieboy - if your off on holiday does that mean you wont be around to recieve ya crimbo ‘thingie’ that is winging its way in the post to your office at Dingleberries, thats IF ITS GOT THRough SECURITY LOL….. but, it should of been there by now, so Im thinking they didnt let it through :) Dam and bugger, I wanted to see your comment IF it arrived…… lol/Marmitetoasty.

DFO: Ah, do you guys remember the impact Marmitetoasty’s Crimbo card had on the CDA bureau last year? I swear I didn’t take a vacation to avoid getting another bomb scare this year. I can’t wait to see it when I get back. Bob, if you never do another thing in your life, you deserve a monster hat tip from introducing Marmitetoasty to Huckleberries Online. Indeed, we need to bring her out next summer to enjoy a good old Yank 4th of July.

Tubob2: An Inventory Of MIA Hucksters

I am peforming a quick inventory on old HBO commenters I miss who haven’t crossed over to the neo-golden age post-modern cyberlarity of the new HBO. Here is my list (and it isn’t rank ordered):

1. Stickman - He is the calm quiet in the center of this textual maelstrom. His peaceful vegetarian ways provides a much needed antidote to the meat chomping hate buffet too many of us gorge our swinish selves at here. Stickman is a must have! (Now present & accounted for)

2. Kage Mann - I know, I know. I miss his simplistic musings on things. He is the yang to my overheated verbosity. Plus, he makes me chuckle every time he types “Helen DeGeneres” or many of his other quite amusing misspellings. I’ve even grown used to his non-standard spacing technique and consider it nearly a free verse prosaic structure of interest.

More below


Stickman: Make Right Choices For Kids

The world is already way too crowded. Have the children you want and that you can take care of, properly. Children are the work of the gods, but let’s not take advantage of that fact. I had three, and they are all very special and making a difference in this world. I also know of a mother who has eight, and they are all headed for prison. Who’s fault. The parents? Definitely, so make the right choices for your children, they will be very happy you did/Stickman.

Question: Are you to blame if you child turns out bad? Or do you deserve most of the credit if your kids turn out good?

KevinT: Cat Dies, No Help In Sight

And I don’t know about y’all but I got home last night to find my cat curled up dead in the house … an effective if extreme strategy to get out of helping me shovel. And I don’t know about all this blather on the teevee about the blizzard creating “community” and blah blah blah but both nights I was out shoveling knee- and thigh-deep snow the people of my neighborhood were hustling past me to the mini mart to, as one cheerfully sang out: “Gotta go get some beer and cigarettes. We might be laid up in the house for awhile!” Now that’s the Spokane spirit!/Kevin Taylor.

Question: What kind of pet do you have? How important is it to you?

Vacation Wild Card No. 1 — 12/20/08

I’m outta here for 14 days, to endure the snow, to enjoy Christmas, and to spend time with my wife and our three kids who are flying in from Denver and Portland: Junior, Amy Dearest (above with me in Denver this spring), and Lovely Daughter-In-Law Stephanie. While I’m gone, I want a group of you to head over to Stickman’s, show him how to comment on the new site, and set him up with an avatar. The technology has made him nervous. And Huckleberries isn’t the same without Stickman settling everyone down with his observations about life. BTW, Blogmeister Ryan told me that one of his priorities is moving the blogrolls to this site. So you can keep up with one another while I’m gone. You should also feel free to publish links to your latest posts in the comments threads to let people know what you’re doing. Or you can post a whole blog entry, if it’s short enough. Enjoy yourselves. Here’s your Wild Card …

Snow Day Wild Card — 12/19/08

I’m off for the next couple of weeks to enjoy holidays with my three kids, which includes daughter-in-law Stephanie. I hate to leave you like this in one way, with everyone feeling there way in this brave new blog world. But there is some symmetry to it. I hit my goal of 2.5M page-views this week. And began a crash course on the new system. I’m starting to get it. And I can see already that this system will be vastly superior to the other. Blogmeister Ryan told me today that we can customize this site to look differently. Mebbe put the main thread down the middle of the page, as it was in the old Huckleberries. Also, we need to move the HBO & Friends blog rolls to the new Huckleberries. All in time. We’ll get there together. ‘Tis nice to have all my blog children back and playing nice together. I’ll check in, of course. But the posting will be very sparse. Mebbe a coupla things for tomorrow & Sunday. But Wild Cards afterwards. See you after the new year …

Parting Shot — 12/19/08

Emma Burke, 12, and Jessica Fortis, 13, ski down the sidewalks on Sherman Ave. in Coeur d’Alene Thursday, as snow continued to fall from the massive snowstorm that blanked the region.  Though it was only eight days until Christmas, few shoppers braved the conditions in downtown Coeur d’Alene.  JESSE TINSLEY The Spokesman-Review.

Who’s Idaho’s Person Of Year?

So Time magazine named Barack Obama Man of the Year. No real surprise there. One man said on the radio this morning the media should get the honor because the media got Obama elected. For starters, I’ll just throw out a few names: Gov. Butch Otter, Walt Minnick, Bill Sali, Judge Edward Lodge, Joseph Duncan, Coach Pete Petersen, and JR Simplot/Editor Vicky Holbrook of the Idaho Press-Tribune. E-mail: More here.

Question: Who do you think is Idaho’s 2008 person of the year?

OTV: 10 NIdaho Gift Ideas

2. “Mudgy and Millie” book by Susan Nipp website: This Moose-Mouse combo are the coolest Cd’A children’s book characters since…aren’t they’re the only Cd’A children’s book characters? At least they’re the only ones to have not only a series of awesome sculptures around downtown Cd’A to climb atop and pose nude on in the middle of the night, but they also have their own cool theme song. It’s repetitive and catchy (“Mudgy and Millie all around the town…Mudgy and Millie all around the town”) and can be downloaded as an MP3 from their website. Can a syndicated animated series be far behind?/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

DFO: Librarian Bette Ammon provided the photo above of Mudgy enduring Snow Storm 2008.

Question: Can you add to OrangeTV’s list?

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 12/19/08

A charter bus sits perpendicular across a side street and with it’s front end tangling over Interstate 5 Friday in Seattle. Two charter buses crashed today on a Seattle street, pushing one through a guardrail next to Interstate 5 and leaving its front wheels dangling 20 feet above the freeway. Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman Helen Fitzpatrick said 11 young adults were taken to Harborview Medical Center with minor injuries. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

*Big storm misses Bonner County/Bonner County Bee

*3 more storms looming before new year/SR

*New chain-up law working on Lookout Pass/SR

*65YO Spokane climber plans Everest attempt/SR

*Man gets 20 years after teen’s body found in barrel/KTVB

*Senate Pro Tem Geddes moving to Boise/AP

Scanner Traffic — 12/19/08

5:50 p.m. 2 males driving recklessly on a snowmobile on Seltice Way @ 41.

5:21 p.m. Several vehicles involved in a collision, just east of the Sherman Avenue off-ramps on I90.

4:45 p.m. R/P reports a pipe has burst in Riverway Place (& Huetter), and water is running down the street.

4:28 p.m. A female nabbed for shoplifting is threatening to sue the store.

‘Deep Throat’: Idaho Grown, Schooled

William Mark Felt was born on August 17, 1913 in Twin Falls, Idaho,[1] the son of a Jewish carpenter[2] and building contractor Mark Earl Felt and his wife, the former Rose Dygert.[3] After graduating from Twin Falls High School in 1931, he received a BA from the University of Idaho in 1935, and was a member and president of the Gamma Gamma chapter of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

Question: Is this something of which Twin Falls and the University of Idaho should be proud?

Idaho Roots: Olympia Nativity Scene Has

You are well aware by now of the way in which Washington governor Christine Gregoire has bollixed up the issue of holiday displays in her state capitol building. After first saying she had to put up an atheist statement next to the Nativity scene because she was compelled by freedom of speech requirements to do so, she has subsequently forbidden any additional free speech displays of any kind. What is less well known is that the Nativity scene that started all this ruckus was crafted by a former Idaho legislator, whose son serves today in the Idaho House of Representatives. Dieter Bayer built the manger itself and a friend donated the figurines/IVA. More here.

Question: What do you think of this development in Olympia’s battle over Christmas?

Adam: Inauguration Important To All

The inauguration is an event that is for all Americans, even those who did not support the President-elect. It is a fundamental reminder that we’re still a free country where we decide our differences at the ballot box rather than a box of bullets. While I’m not thrilled with whose being sworn in, I’m thankful that a transition has come about through a democratic process rather than bodies piled up in the streets, which is the case in countries around the globe/Adam’s Blog. More here.

*Mountain Goat & Political Game begin Zeb Bell watch blog

*Sali in line for Rothenberg Award/Randy Stapilus

*5 presidents Felt ‘Deep Throat’ presence/Dennis Mansfield

Question: How important are presidential inaugarations to you?

Local Blogs — 12/19/08

At Remember The Roxy, OrangeTV offers a 1950s photo of Woodcock’s Drug Store @ 4th & Montana. Anyone remember Woodcock’s Drug Store?

*Why not call it a blizzard/Arch Druid

*Bayview snow report from Gary MacDonald/Bay Views

*Brand X Ranch slide show/Brand X Ranch

*Bushed Bush/Dogwalk Musings

*My Christmas card list/Simple Mind

IVA: BSU Targets Religious Clubs

Item: BSU policy discriminates against religious clubs on campus, claims IVA/Idaho Values Alliance

More Info: “And worse, BSU is the only one of Idaho’s seven colleges and universities that engages in this kind of bigotry. This flagrant disregard of the First Amendment needs to be corrected immediately.

Question: If all other Idaho colleges and universities view religious clubs in the same light as other ones, is Boise State out of step, and perhaps discriminatory, in not funding religious clubs?

Colbert: Spuds Dominate Idaho Day

A typical Idaho day, he says, consists of planting potatoes, growing potatoes, harvesting potatoes, eating potatoes, going to the rodeo, going to Utah, ridiculing anybody that currently or wishes to reside in Utah, being snowed on in the morning and having 115-degree weather in the afternoon, and “excitedly awaiting layovers in Midwest airports just for the great shopping”/satiricist Stephen Colbert’s discussing Idaho in his Wikipedia knockoff.

More from Steve Crump’s column

Question: Who do you like to watch more: Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest

Mike Terry, age 21 of Spokane, Wash., works to free his car from under a snow berm near the corner of 8th and McClellan today.  It took Terry 2 1/2 hours to dig out the 1999 Acura and the first fifteen minutes were spend just finding the car.  DAN PELLE The Spokesman-Review

*Delays outnumber cancellations @ Spokane airport/KREM2

*40YO Borah High female teacher arrested on sexual battery charges/Idaho Statesman

*Idaho’s ‘stupid’ town gets new mayor/Idaho Statesman

*Regulator: Idaho banks, credit unions in good shape/Idaho Statesman

Idaho business leaders to lawmakers: Consolidate highway districts/Idaho Press-Tribune

HBO @ Noon — 12/19/08

Michelle Duggar holds her newborn daughter, Jordyn-Grace Mikaya Duggar, as 16 of her other children and husband Jim Bob, second from the top right, watch today in Rogers, Ark. Jordyn-Grace was born on Dec. 18, 2008, and weighed 7 lbs. 3 oz. and was 20 inches long. The cable network TLC broadcasts a weekly show about the Duggars, called “17 Kids and Counting.” (AP Photo/Beth Hall)

Question: How many kids is too many kids?

HMoffsuite: Enuf Bilingualism Already

HMoffsuite: Obama just named Calif. Rep Hilda Solis as his Secretary of Labor. Her acceptance speech was delivered with the normal thank you(s) to her family, etc. Then gave the speech in Spanish. I have a real problem with this bi-lingual stuff. This is America, if you live here, speak the language. Idaho, as I recall, is an official English speaking State. Good for us.

Question: Without resorting to name calling here, do you agree or disagree that people who live in America should speak English?

Online Poll: Obama’s Stimulus Package

How aggressive should Idaho’s state and local leaders be about getting money from Obama’s potential stimulus package?/Idaho Statesman

*Don’t waste more money
*Get anything available
*Just on real needs

APhoto of the Day — 12/19/08

An unidentified postal service employee runs south on Lincoln with a shovel and wearing shorts even though the snow is several feet deep this morning.  You write the cutline. CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON The Spokesman-Review

New CDA Press Posting Guidelines

MamaJD spotted these new commenting guidelines in the CDA Press:

NEW- You must REGISTER in order to post on this forum. None of the information you provide will be used for anything that could be considered commercial in nature. The Press simply uses this information as a means to identify the poster.
- Do not use the comments area to promote commercial ventures.
- Use good taste
- Be positive whenever possible
- Do not Spam - post an advertisement or flood forum with the same message.
- Do not type entire post in CAPITALS - it means you are screaming. 
- THINK BEFORE YOU POST and ask yourself these questions;
Is it a positive remark?
Will I be hurting anyone?
Children can come to this site, is it appropriate for their eyes?
Most importantly, would I want my name on this forum?

Question: Which guidelines would you like to see here? Would you never want to see here?

Idaho Native ‘Deep Throat’ Dies

Reporters Bob Woodward, right, and Carl Bernstein, whose reporting of the Watergate case won a Pulitzer Prize, sit in the newsroom of the Washington Post, May 7, 1973. Woodward’s name is synonymous with anonymous sources, “Deep Throat” and reporting that uncovered a scandal that brought down a presidency. Some three decades after Watergate, the outing of Woodward in the CIA leak investigation underscores the change in anonymous sourcing and revives the criticism of the media’s use of unnamed officials to curry favor. (AP Photo)

Item: Idaho native Mark Felt, Watergate’s ‘Deep Throat’ dies at 95/Idaho Statesman

More Info: W. Mark Felt, the former FBI second-in-command who revealed himself as “Deep Throat” 30 years after he helped The Washington Post unravel the Watergate scandal, has died. He was 95.

Question: What impact did Watergate have on you?

Idaho Club Burns To Ground

Fire destroyed the clubhouse and lodge at an upscale golf and luxury home community near Sandpoint on Thursday. More here.

*Bald eagles dispersing from Lake CDA/Rich Landers, SR

*Emergency crews battle blizzard, shelters open/Alecia Warren, CDA Press

*Streets of CDA adventurous for cars, plows/Tom Hasslinger, CDA Press

*St. Vinny’s won’t go to federal building/Tom Hasslinger, CDA Press

Let’s Hear It For Winter Storm Heroes

One of the local news stations last night had a segment in which it applauded the neighborhood heroes who helped others out during this Mother of all Snow Storms. There’s one in my ‘hood. A man down the street has access to a large front-end loader. He plowed out the entire street, which was virtually impassable, as well as driveways — both during lunch and after work. Incredible. At my mother-in-law’s home in Coeur d’Alene Place, two teens shoveled her driveway for free. But she gave them $10 apiece and chocolate.

Question: How about you? Does your ‘hood have a Snow Storm ‘08 hero?

Edwards: Bring Back Regular Programs

When are the TV stations going to resume their regular programming?  Enough is enough.  We are doubly punished, first by the storm, then by the long-boring coverage of the storm, repeating the same stories, with the same pictures… and it’s been 24 hours! Hey, TV stations, we’re ready to go back to hearing the national news.  We get it.  There’s a lot of snow out there?/Gary Edwards.

Question: Are you tired of the coverage of the snowstorm by the Spokane TV stations and would like to see more regular programs, like Gary? Or do you think the coverage is appropriate, given the nature of the storm?

Technical Difficulties

I’m experiencing technical difficulties posting photos at my home HBO Central today. I tried to post a photo of that Idaho Club fire in Sandpoint yesterday afternoon. I may have to run text for awhile until I get things straightened out. Stay tuned.


Before I begin posting in earnest again, I want to share a thought with you. In the spirit of the season, I’ve been thinking about granting amnesty for all those who have been coolered for some time. I mean everyone, including those who go back a ways. I don’t think there’s many in there. Mebbe a half dozen. I’ve forgotten the wrongs some of them did. They are easier to control on this new blogware. If they misbehave again, they’re out of here for good. What do you think? (Huckleberries, of course, would continue to block the one or two who have been banned rather than coolered.)

Question: Should I grant amnesty as a gift to our former blog mates?

Snow Day Wild Card — 12/18/08

In the middle of the switch over to the new blogware and this Mother of All Snow Storms, I reached a goal that I set at the beginning of the year for the blog: 2.5 million page-views. Huckleberries Online hit that Wednesday. The blog was about 16,000 page-views short when Blogmeister Ryan pulled the switch on the new site and blogware. The page-views ran about 22,000 over the last two days. I remember former editor Steve Smith telling me that he’d be happy if Huckleberries reached 2000 page-views per day. At this dull time of the year, the blog was running between 9000 and 9500. And, of course, during the glory days of the recent presidential campaign, it topped 10,000 page-views regularly. I expect the numbers to drop until readers grow accustomed to the new site. But the future still seems fairly bright. Thanks for coming along for the ride. Now, for your evening Wild Card.

Parting Shot 12/18/08

Sherri Gittel shovels out the sign in front of Gittel’s grocery store Thursday on Government Way in Coeur d’Alene.  Coeur d’Alene and Kootenai County received approximately two feet of snow from the latest storm.  JESSE TINSLEY The Spokesman-Review

Question: What did you do today while the snow fell?

My 2 Cents: How It Is w/Me

I’m still trying to get my lets under me as I learn this new blogging system. I’m exasperated by some of the things I can no longer do easily. But impressed by new capabilities. At my SR office Wednesday, I hit my stride in the afternoon — and posted quickly. I hit my “zone” for mebbe 90 minutes Wednesday evening when I approached my “blogging at the speed of light” barrier. Today, however, I’m back to clunking along at home with my laptop. I still struggle with the mix out front. It doesn’t feel right on the strange new blog front page. I miss my blogrolls. I like the avatars but I’m not comfortable with the main comments thread yet. I see the potential of the new blog. But I have so much muscle reflex to un-learn that it’s frustrating. I thought this old dog was through learning new tricks. On the other hand, I’m glad so many of you have followed me over.

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 12/18/08

 Kyle Dosch pushes a passing car through several inches of snow until the car gained enough momentum to go by itself Thursday in Coeur d’Alene.  Dosch was out snowshoeing with his wife when the car slowed to a near stop.  (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Jesse Tinsley)

*Gonzaga’s game with Texas Southern still on/KHQ

*DUI teacher gets 180 days for killing woman/Idaho Statesman

*Animal rights group gives Idaho poor ranking/Idaho Statesman

*Idaho cities catch bailout fever/Idaho Statesman

*Cold snap blamed for plumbing woes/Bonner County Bee

*Braving the elements: They’re out there when no one else wants to be/Shoshone County News-Press

BSU Christians Claim Discrimination

Item: 6 religious students claims Boise State discriminates/Idaho Statesman

More Info: Six Boise State University students have filed suit in federal court complaining that Boise State Universities does not permit use of student activity fees for religious groups. Attorneys for Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law & Religious Freedom in Springfield, Va., filed the lawsuit Thursday. The complaint alleges the school’s policy violates the First Amendment and is viewpoint discrimination. The suit asks that BSU be prevented from requiring and allocating student activity fees until it stops its policy.

Question: Does Boise State’s policy discriminate against student religious groups?

More Local Blogs — 12/18/08

Since the blogroll remains at the old HBO Central site, I’ll post more of the local blogroll so you can check out what your North Idaho blog mates are doing. Above, Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns has fallen in love with a critter that braves the Priest Lake winter.

*Snow Day/A Butterfly Moment

*Brutal weather affects holiday travel/Bay Views

*What qualifies one for the U.S. Senate?/Dogwalk Musings

*Christmas a long time ago/Simple Mind

*R is for Rockwell as in Norman/Gathering Around The Table

*Chow List: 10 North Idaho Christmas ideas/Get Out! North Idaho

*Christmas parTEE/JeanC’s Cat House & Shooting Gallery

*The Storm, Part 2/Live, Love, Laugh, Hope

Question: Are you superstitious?

New Christmas Hats

Don Sausser notes in an e-mail that so much snow fell that the heat from this streetlights couldn’t melt it. Now, the lights have their own Christmas caps.

Scanner Traffic — 12/18/08

5:16 p.m. H41 near MP 6m south of Rathdrum, is blocked due to a slid off semi.  The highway is restricted to one lane with intermittent closures while the truck is removed.  Please avoid this area for the next several hours.

3:18 p.m. Little boys are creating a safety hazard @ 12th & Syringa by throwing snowballs at passing motorists and then running away.

2:39 p.m. Lights not recycling @ Sherman Avenue & Lake Coeur d’Alene Drive.

2:13 p.m. Woman at Lake Villa reports that her ex-boyfriend is sitting in his show-covered Pontiac Grand Am at the entrance to the apartments, possibly drinking.

Neiwert: Still Clueless After All These Years

I know that Hartgen knows all about Dear Abby, because he published it for years at the Twin Falls Times-News, where he was my boss for a year (1984-85). I fled as soon as it was reasonably possible because it became clear in short order that he was a clueless, rather pointy-haired boss. Nowadays he’s an equally clueless Idaho legislator. Here’s a reality check for Steve: A lot of people use pseudonyms because they face employment or other personal repercussions for making their real opinions public, particularly if they criticize the powerful. (I know you know all about that, too, Steve.) Taking away that cover will remove valuable voices and important perspectives from the public dialogue. Of course, I suspect that’s what people like you have in mind anyway, since those dirty bloggers are treading all over the media’s nice carpet. What you’re attempting is a form of censorship that clearly tramples all over free speech. Nice trick for a former newspaper guy, eh?/David Neiwert’s Blog. More here. (Hat Tip: Unequivocal Notion)

Randy Stapilus re: Hartgen

Idaho Radio News re: Hartgen

Question: Who do you think is the most clueless lawmaker in the Idaho legislator?

Folo Breaking News Blog

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department advises that the following county roads are closed until further notice:

* Lancaster Avenue between Huetter and Meyer roads
* Wyoming Avenue from state Highway 41 to Meyer Road
* Meyer Road between Hayden and Meyer avenues
* Greensferry Road north of Prairie Avenue due to drifting snow
* Corbin Hill Road from U.S. 95 to Rimrock Road

You can follow all the breaking news by using the new SR Breaking News site here.

IdaBlue: Anonymity Fits Me

Well, some of us would lose our jobs if we were exposed, but that’s an argument for some other time. My chief beef with Richert’s opinion is that he confuses commenters with bloggers. Folks who leave some comment under a fake name on a blog aren’t bloggers. Bloggers maintain a blog. Udapimp, for example since s/he is referred to by Richert, doesn’t have a blog that I know of, is not a blogger. Leaving comments is not the same as blogging. Anonymous commenters can be bomb throwers, kind of like a drive-by shooting. They [a few of them, not all] pop up and post some angry comment and move on, leaving no trail. We semi-anonymous bloggers might throw a bomb, but we have a more substantial presence by which Richert can tell “where [we’re] coming from.” Just read our blogs/IdaBlue. More here.

Question: Why did you choose to be anonymous?

CDA Sets Record For Snowfall

Coeur d’Alene blew through its 24-hour snowfall record with 25 inches reported at the mouth of the lake with about 3 additional inches expected through today. The old record was 16 inches set on Feb. 6, 1955/Mike Prager, SR

Love: Surviving Drive To CDA

While drivng to and from Coeur d’Alene yesterday (both trips taking a few minutes shy of two hours to cover the 45 miles), I could think of only two other times I’d been so fearful of the possibilities of meeting my maker. And I drove defensively every moment/Marianne Love. More here.

Question: Are you comfortable with winter driving?

Local Blogs — The Xmas Newsletter

he JD’s have finally written our first Christmas newsletter. Every year, I get them from friends and relatives updating us on events that happened since the last newsletter. I have felt inadequate when I receive them because I have never taken the time to really do a newsletter. A newsletter now appears to be expected since we have two school-aged children and I don’t have a “real” job. So, why wouldn’t we do a newsletter? Writing a newsletter is like walking a tightrope. Maybe because I assume that everyone reading my letter is as cynical and irreverent as I am while I read theirs. There is a fine line between informing your friends of events throughout the year and coming off as bragadocious/MamaJD. More here

*Oh, the weather outside is frightful/Notes On A Napkin

*It’s made with figs & bacon/PDX Pup

*Songs of cheer in inconvenient times/Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts

*Dear Isadora/Tumblewords

*O’Malley’s Sports Bar & Grill/TUBOB

Question: Do you write Christmas newsletters? Do you enjoy getting Christmas newsletters?

The Real Bells Of Christmas

 A bell ringer for the Salvation Army solicits donations on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York, Wednesday.  (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Question: How often do you give to the Salvation Army bellringers during the yuletide: Every time you hear the bells ringing? Occasionally, if I have loose change? Rarely? Other?

Because You Asked

Question: Are we going to get the blogroll back? That was one of the most useful parts of the old site/Bubblehead.

s Absolutely. That was one of my favorite features of the old site. I’ve asked Blogmeister Ryan to transfer the blogrolls to this site and then take down the old HBO. It’s there for your viewing pleasure until then.

Question: How often do you use the HBO Central blogrolls?

HBO @ Noon: New York Senate Seat

 The Rev. Al Sharpton, right, stands beside Caroline Kennedy as they field questions, during a press conference outside the famed soul food restaurant Sylvia’s in Harlem, New York, Thursday.  The late President John F. Kennedy’s daughter acknowledged Wednesday she’s seeking to be appointed to the Senate seat held by Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has been nominated by President-elect Barack Obama to be secretary of state. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Question: Would you like to see Carolyn Kennedy be appointed to take Hillary Clinton’s spot in the U.S. Senate.

Expert: Don’t Shovel Roofs Yet

Should you worry about the snow piling up on your roof? Probably not — at least not yet, says Rick Simmet, roofing manager for Specialty Home Products. This snow’s really light, so I don’t think it’s going to be an issue like it was last year with that really heavy snow,” he said. Some carports in apartment complexes collapsed following last year’s biggest accumulations of snow. Simmet says it may not be a bad idea for homeowners who can safely clear snow to do so, but doesn’t see it as a pressing concern/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: Did you shovel your roof last year?

Longo: Stay Home

Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Wayne Longo is telling citizens to stay home due to hazardous road conditions. “The roads should be utilized for emergency vehicle travel only,” Longo said in a news release. Police and Fire units are responding to an overwhelming number of stranded motorist calls for assistance. If emergency travel is needed, motorists should stay off all side streets. City snowplow crews are working as quickly as possible, the release said. Police are asking residents to assist each other with shoveling and snow blowing and to check on elderly or infirm neighbors. Question: Is everyone heeding the chief’s advice? Or are you one of those who has a reason to be out and about?

Upgrade Thread

ThomG suggested that I set up a thread that can be used by commenters to discuss the recent switch to the new system. So here it is. Post your observations and suggested tweaks here.

APhoto of the Day — 12/18/08

South Korean elementary school students yell during a winter survival camp at Marine Training Center in Gimpo, west of Seoul, Thursday. Some 50 students participated in the three-day camp to strengthen themselves mentally and physically. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

IVA: Warren Will Test Multiculturalists

Item: Tyrants of tolerance go after Obama, Rick Warren: Voices of tolerance, diversity, multiculturalism come unglued/Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

More Info: Obama’s criminal offense is that, in a move that ought be celebrated by all who claim that America’s strength is found in its embrace of diversity, he picked an evangelical pastor who supports natural marriage and the sanctity of life to deliver the invocation at his inauguration.  Rick Warren of Saddleback Church has been tabbed for the task, despite the fact he openly supported Prop. 8, which elevated protection for one-man, one-woman marriage into the California constitution.

Question: What kind of reception will Evangelical Pastor Rick Warren get when he presents the invocation at Barack Obama’s inaugaration?


Sisyphus: Idaho’s Answer To Drudge

And tool could be accurate. Loaded and slanted questions, daily WND posts, Cramerica, he’s Idaho’s answer to Drudge. I thought he was going to ah, um, a, blow a load when McCain picked Palin and then when we had the audacity to point to her embarrassment of deficiencies he got downright defensive. Remember he started it as a pro-Bush site. I give him credit for allowing the likes of us and expect him to always look for a reason not to. As you well know. I miss you up there and have advocated for your release. Glib too. I still haven’t figured out the basis of your coolerization.

DFO:  At 43rd State Blues, Sisyphus responded (above) to a comment by potty-mouth BinkyBoy, who got tossed from here last fall when he overheated more than usual. Seems Sis & Binky are upset that I post Idaho Values Alliance comments on my Web site. I try to represent all points of view here. The IVA is one of those points of few. Nothing More. And I thought Sis liked me.

Question: What do you think of the Idaho Values Alliance posts?

Lawmakers More Sophisticated, But …

 was asked a great question the other day. Roughly paraphrased, do I think Idaho has a better class of state legislators than it had 20 or so years ago? I didn’t have a quick answer at the time. I’m not sure I have a good answer now. But it’s too good a question to let pass without some rumination. On balance, I think lawmakers are more sophisticated than they were in the mid-1980s, when I first started covering Idaho politics. But I also think lawmakers are less inclined to build common-sense consensus/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: How would you compare today’s Idaho lawmakers to those of years gone by?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 12/18/08

Andrew Gumprecht was killed when his sedan collided head-on with a semi truck late Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008 after Gumprecht headed westbound on the eastbound lanes of Interstate 90 at the Sherman Avenue exit in Coeur d’Alene. SR Story here. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos)

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR

*Region paralyzed by snow/Mike Prager, SR

*CDA lawyer arrested on drug charges/Meghann M. Cuniff, SR

Online Poll: Steekeen Cold

How cold is it?/Coeur d’Alene Press

*Psshaw. I’ve shivered harder before.

*I swear I saw a dog stuck to a fire hydrant this morning.

*Just tell me when it’s over

Snow Thread: Let It Snow?

Let’s use this post as our weather thread today. You can let other Merry Hucksters know how things are going at your place by posting comments here.

Anderson: Senate Seats

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Lawyer Nunley Arrested On Drug Charges

A Coeur d’Alene lawyer arrested on a conspiracy to distribute the prescription drug OxyContin appeared in federal court Wednesday. Shawn C. Nunley, 37, worked as a Kootenai County deputy prosecutor about three years ago before opening his own practice. Nunley was arrested Tuesday night and booked into Kootenai County Jail before a judge released him following his appearance in U.S District Court in Coeur d’Alene Wednesday, said Nancy Cook, the assistant U.S attorney handling the case/Meghann M. Cuniffs, SR.More here.

Wild Card — 12/17/08

In the news this snowy day, Chrysler has announced it will shut down all production for  a month here. Pro-Life Rick Warren will deliver pro-choice Barack Obama’s inaugaration invocation here. Rod Blagojevich has announced he won’t appoint someone to fill Obama’s U.S. Senate vacancy here. And you can continue to play today’s Wild Card below …

Parting Shot — 12/17/08

“This neighborhood Santa shows the snow that began falling in North Idaho today and will continue with several more inches overnight. City streets, highways and I-90 have been tricky to travel with a layer of ice now being covered in snow,” sez Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho, adding: “Be careful out there.”

SR’s Today In Photos

Pro-Lifer To Give Obama Invocation

Item: Pro-Life Rick Warren to Give Invocation at Obama Inauguration/The Brody File

More Info: Pro-life pastor Rick Warren will give the invocation at President-Elect Barack Obama’s inauguration. It makes a whole lot of sense. Even though Warren and Obama disagree on the life issue, they do see eye to eye on many social justice issues. This move is also classic Obama because it is a signal to religious conservatives that he’s willing to bring in both sides to the faith discussion in this country. Obama has never shied away from that.

Question: What’s your reaction to the fact that pro-life minister Rick Warren will deliver the invocation for pro-choice Barack Obama’s inaugaration?

Richert: Idaho Needs Public Transportation

U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson is a decade removed from his time as speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives. But I hope current lawmakers will listen to what the old speaker has to say. Simpson says lawmakers are making a “fundamental mistake” by trying to shoehorn local-option tax language into the state Constitution. And he says lawmakers need to get serious about expanding public transportation programs around the state — and finding ways to pay for them/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you agree that Idaho should expand its public transportation system?

Scanner Traffic

Kathy Plonka Photo/SR

5:46 p.m. R/P reports that a semi has jackknifed on Highway 95 near Garwood. It’s in a ditch and not blocking the road.

4:58 p.m. Vehicle over the side of Highland Drive, a quarter mile from Riverview.

4:40 p.m. A vehicle is submerted in Granite Lake in Bonner County. A sheriff’s deputy on the scene said he sees no individual in the car. Or footprints in the snow on the bank.

4:14 p.m. R/P reports 4-5 horses are in a field @ Idaho & Hayden, without shelter, food, or water.

Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch

Remember that Vanity Plate that a Merry Huckster spotted in the Fortgrounds area that mimicked the abbreviation for Huckleberries Online: HBO? I posted it Nov. 11. Well, now I hear from a Berry Picker that he knows a northern Kootenai County councilman, who shall remain nameless, who bought the plate for his sweetheart — and that it stands for “Honey Bunches Of Oats.” Or something like that. Now, don’t you appreciate the fact that I work diligently on your behalf to provide information that inquiring minds need to know?

Idaho D’s: Don’t Raise Solon Pay

Back in June, a citizens committee recommended that state legislators get a 5 percent raise this year, from $16,116 to $16,921, effective this month. The committee’s recommendation takes effect unless lawmakers reject it by concurrent resolution prior to the 25th day of the upcoming legislative session, which starts Jan. 12. Now, Democratic legislators are calling for rejecting the raise. “Simply put, we are unwilling to take the pay raise recommended by the compensation committee at a time when so many Idaho families and small businesses are hurting,” said Sen. Les Bock, D-Boise, who said he’ll introduce a resolution in the Senate in January to reject the pay boost/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Should Idaho legislators raise their own pay next session?

JeanieSpokane Has Blast w/Cheap Gas

“I about danced a jig in the middle of the service station, in the freezing cold. Who cares!!!!” posts JeanieSpokane. “Gas was $1.49! I sat at the light by the station and saw the price and my tank was nearly empty and I jumped (in my seat) for joy! Who would think I would WANT to fill my gas tank! Woo Hoo! I think I’m going to frame my receipt! This is better than any heavily wished for Christmas present. This is even better than the yearly anticipated bonus check at work. This is a SCORE!”/JeanieSpokane, Nuts & Nonsense.

Question: Have you had the same reaction to low gas prices that JeanieSpokane did?

Marianne Wows 3C’s Luncheon

Earlier this morning, Marianne Love posted this: The day has come. It’s been nearly a year since Betty Cheeley called me up and asked me to speak about my book “Lessons with Love” to the 3 C’s Book Club of Coeur d’Alene. If all goes well, by shortly after 10 a.m., I’ll be standing at the podium in one of the coference bays at The Coeur d’Alene Hotel. A potentially large number of women, many of them Coeur d’Alene’s shakers and doers, will be sitting there looking back at me with expectations. I anticipate several trips to the bathroom before that moment. And, Betty knows to plan her Oly and Lena joke to sunchronize with the last time she sees me head for the john. More here.

DFO: Now, former colleague Erica Curless said Marianne not only drove from Sandpoint in this miserable weather but she wowed some 100 women waiting for her at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. Seems Merry Hucksters aren’t scared of a few snowflakes.

Question: Are you afraid of public speaking?

Update: I90 Crash Kills Bar Trendsetter

A veteran Spokane bartender who was one of the trendsetters in the nightlife of the Inland Northwest was killed Tuesday night when the vehicle he was driving was involved in a head-on collision on Interstate 90 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho State Police reported today/Mike Prager, SR. More here

Local Blogs — 12/17/08

At Remember The Roxy, OrangeTV has posted this shot of a 1942 ticket to a Sandpoint High School Band concert. This was so far back that I doubt Marianne Love remembers who was playing. But I’m not sure. Check out the ticket price. Can you remember paying 25 cents for a ticket or gallon of gas?

*Oh great! Just what we needed/Community Comment

*Outside views/Arch Druid

*Signs of a South Coast winter/Atmospheric Ruminations

*Brutal weather affects holiday traffic/Bay Views

*Christmas long ago/Simple Mind

*Q is for Qualified Snowperson Collector/Gathering Around The Table

HBO @ Noon: Avatars, Anyone?

I noticed in the New & Improved Comments section that Bent congratulated HBO’s southern gentleman, Brent Andrews, on his comments avatar. I congratulate you guys on pretty clever Avatars. I’m using one from this summer when Chris Wagar & I were involved in that press conference involving the couple who were cited for spanking their children at the Fourth of July Parade. I encourage you all to register (easy smeasy) and find a cool Avatar.

Question: Who has the coolest avatar so far?

Protesters Join Iraqi Shoe Tosser

Code Pink members Fred Bialy, left, and Toby Blome, right, both of El Cerrito, Calif., hang shoes outside a Marine Corps recruiting station during a protest in Berkeley, Calif., Wednesday. In solidarity with an Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President Bush during a Baghdad press conference Sunday, the anti-war activists held up shoes during an event billed as a Farewell Kiss Shoe-In.(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Question: Do you think it’s patriotic for Americans to show solidarity with a protest in which an Iraqi journalist showed his distain for George Bush by tossing his shoes at the American president?

Adam: Handicap Parking Fines

You want a classic example of why newspapers are in trouble? Look no further than today’s riveting Idaho Statesman Editorial alleging that Idaho’s too lenient on those parking in disabled parking places, saying, “Meanwhile, state law sets a $100 fine that doesn’t provide much deterrent.” They suggest following the example of Oregon and raising it to $190 for the first offense and $450 for second and subsequent offenses. I actually think a $100 fine is plenty of deterrent. This isn’t like it was in the early 1990s when I lived in Montaa where the fine for speeding was $5. A lot of folks would consider that just an entertainment expense/Adam’s Blog. More here.

Question: How much should be fined for handicap-parking violations?

APhoto of the Day — 12/17/08

Sarah Palin, the Sandpoint-born governor of Alaska, finished second only to President-elect Barack Obama as Time magazine’s “Person of the Year.” In the photo above, Palin winks as she speaks during her VP debate against U.S. Sen. Joe Biden at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite/File)

Top Cutlines: 1. Arch-conservative Sarah Palin demonstrates how she maintains her ideological myopia, “I see everything from the right by only using my right eye,” she explains — Aliasjax. 2. Sisyphus here. 3. Dagnabit, got beat out again! Youbetcha. And a shout out to Time for even considering me — Arch Druid. HM: JeanieSpokane

A Work In Progress

As you can see by now, there’s some bugs in the roll-out of the new Huckleberries Online. But I can already see the plusses outweigh the minuses. Blogmeister Ryan & Co. fixed a bunch of things yesterday. And had 60 more work orders this morning to handle re: the new online site and blogs. He’s monitoring this site and your comments to continue to make improvements. Please use this post to provide your thoughts re: the new site.

PF Man Killed In i-90 Crash

Andrew Gumprecht, 32, of Post Falls was killed Tuesday night in a head-on collision with a semi truck on Interstate 90 @ M/P 14 (15th Street exit/Coeur d’Alene). The crash occurred at 11:14 p.m. Tony Love, 42, of Swan Lake, Mont., was the driver of the truck. Love wasn’t injured. You can see the initial ISP report in the box below.

KREM2 story here

Craig Gets 2 Standing O’s

Item: Boise chamber welcomes Larry Craig at luncheon; he receives 2 standing ovations: Retiring senator says he’s formed a consulting firm, accepts thanks for work on Idaho issues/Idaho Statesman

More Info: Retiring U.S. Sen. Larry Craig came before a friendly audience Tuesday at the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce and received two standing ovations for his 28 years of work in Congress.No one mentioned the sex sting operation in a Minneapolis airport that snared Craig in 2007.Craig is leaving the Senate when the 110th Congress ends Jan. 2 after serving there for 18 years. He told the audience that he has formed a consulting company, and he told a TV station that he is still considering whether to appeal his latest legal defeat in the sex-sting case.

Question: Are you surprised by the reception that Larry Craig got in Boise?

Time Names Obama ‘Man of the Year’

This image supplied by Time Magazine shows the cover of the magazine’s Dec. 29 issue naming President-elect Barack Obama as its “Person of the Year” for 2008. The news magazine’s cover is by ex-street artist Shephard Fairey, whose early poster of Sen. Obama became a populist image of the campaign. (AP Photo/Time).

Question: Can anyone disagree w/the choice of Barack Obama as Time Man of the year?

Online Poll: Driving More? Or Less

Have you changed your driving habits as the gas pirces have risen and fallen?/Idaho Statesman

DFO: The buttons don’t work.

Larkin Sez PF In Good Shape

Item: Larkin delivers State of the City: Post Falls caps ‘interesting’ year, looks ahead to 2009/Brian Walker, CDA Press More Info: Linda Panabaker, among those who attended, said she realized Post Falls has a lot to cheer about despite the economic downturn after hearing Larkin’s address. “Post Falls is doing pretty well despite the economy,” she said. “But the key will be keeping people working.” Larkin said a key cog in 2009 will be whether the new water quality standards for the Spokane River will be even achievable with the best technologies at the city wastewater treatment plant. Question: Mayor Larkin sez Post Falls is “in good hands, solid financial shape and preparing for the future and its challenges.” Are you as optimistic re: Post Falls.

Breaking! Fatal I90-CDA Crash

The police scanner is reporting a head-on collision between a semi and a wrong-way driver on I90 at the Sherman Avenue exit that has closed a stretch of the freeway and the 15th Street ramp. Apparently, a driver drove the wrong way on the Sherman Avenue ramp and struck the semi head-on. At least 100 gallons of fuel have spilled. The coroner and funeral director have been called. Sounds as though the semi driver survived. I caught the last of the scanner traffic. So I don’t know more details. The ISP will have full details in the morning.

Fog On The Waters

Don Sausser sez of this photo that he snapped Tuesday morning when the temperature had dipped to 1 degree: “The point of Tubbs Hill is silhouetted by morning sun illuminating lake fog on a one degree morning.”

Wild Card 12/16/08

I’m about to call it a today, Merry Hucksters. It hasn’t been a good day. The blog certainly didn’t provide material that you’ve come to expect. But we muscled our way through it. You didn’t see a lot of photos b/c I’m still trying to come to grips with the process. Soon, Blogmeister Ryan will flip the switch. And you’ll all be headed over here by default. Some of you have said that you don’t like the look of the new site. Or you’re bothered by registration. Or it doesn’t have the feeling of the old one. We’ll address many of those things in short order. For example, we’ll add blogrolls — and other things that you became accustomed to with the old site. I’m out of my comfort zone. You are, too. But things should continue to get better as I figure out what I can do with the new site …

Best of Marilyn

In this Sept. 9, 1954, file photo, Marilyn Monroe poses over the updraft of a New York subway grating while in character for the filming of “The Seven Year Itch” in New York.(AP Photo/Matty Zimmerman, file) Question: Which Marilyn Monroe film is your favorite?

Scanner Traffic

5:56 p.m. Vehicle versus deer or elk @ M/P 8 on Highway 53, near Hidden Valley Road. 5:51 p.m. An SUV has gone over an embankment near Riverview and come to rest near the Spokane River. A small crowd has gathered around. 3:53 p.m. Traffic light @ Prairie & Highway 95 not recycling. 3:40 p.m. Officer has stopped a black Suburban for school bus violations. 2:36 p.m. 2 different R/Ps have called 911 to report an elderly man in a Pontiac Grand Am who is weaving in and out of traffic and going to fast for road conditions between the state line and Post Falls.

Torture Reform Illuminates US Atrocity

To paraphrase one of the more ignominious comments from the Iraq war, “We go to war with the defense secretary we have, not the one that we want.” A bipartisan Senate committee recently released a torture report that highlights then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s endorsement of the abuses of detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq and at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. He certainly didn’t act alone, as the report points to several top administration officials, including President Bush. But the Senate Armed Services report points to Rumsfeld as the brains behind a venture outside traditional military protocols and the Geneva Conventions when it comes to the treatment of prisoners/SR Editorial Board. More here. Question: Can the US be forgiven some of the torture techniques it used in the Middle East wars b/c it was dealing with thugs who major in torture?

Tribe, Avista Reach Dam Deal

Item: CDA Tribe, Avista reach deal for hydroelectric dam on Spokane River/AP More Info: Avista will pay more than $150 million over the life of the deal to compensate the tribe and to protect the environment of the lake. The tribe owns the lower one-third of the scenic lake. “This agreement finally compensates the tribe for Avista’s use of tribal lands to bring power generation to the region at the turn of the 20th century,” said Chief James Allan, Coeur d’Alene tribal chairman. Question: Does the Coeur d’Alene Tribe do a good job protecting the water quality of Lake Coeur d’Alene? Or do you prefer to see the lower third of the lake remain in the hands of the state of Idaho.

Former Senator McClure Suffers Stroke

Item: Former Idaho Sen. Jim McClure suffers stroke/Idaho Statesman More Info: Former Sen. Jim McClure, who represented Idaho in Congress for 24 years, suffered a stroke on Friday and is in the intensive care unit at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. McClure, 83, was stricken at home in Garden City, according to his son, Ken, a prominent lawyer in Boise. Early Saturday, doctors diagnosed the stroke, Ken McClure said Tuesday. Question: How many of you remember McClure from his U.S. Senate days?

Online Poll: Panhandlers

When it comes to panhandling (from Lewiston Tribune) …

I give then money when I can.
I don’t give them a cent; they don’t deserve it.
I offer to pay them for work they can do for me.
I trust that my regular charitable contributions are enough to help the people who need it.

Local Blogs — 12/16/08

We, ourselves, should be more accountable. When did we decide we were entitled to all the toys NOW, and pay for it later. Credit is fine for a house, a car, and small purchase to get you thru to payday. But houses, cars, (the newest and best) sometimes 3 cars and trucks of the latest years? Motorcycle, snowmobiles, boats, and alike. All just fine, if you pay for them cash, or finish paying for one before you charge the next. The American way sees to be who can have the most toys, yet we feel the gravy train will always be there. We are our own worse enemy/Simple Mind . More here.

*A blast of gas /Nuts & Nonsense

*Numbers, unlike children, don’t lie /PDX Pup

*Oklahoma City editions /Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts

*The shepherds eyes are open /Silver Valley Stories

*The frigid farm /Slight Detour

*Holiday respect /Synaptic Disunion

*A round moon /Tumblewords

*Musical chairs at MSNBC /Wayward Episcopalian

*Walking in a winter wonderland /Mrs. Mac Energetic


HBO Numbers (for Monday, Dec. 15): 9419 PVs; 5218 UVs


IVA Declares War-On-Xmas Win

Two weeks ago, “Christmas” was virtually absent at Costco’s website and stores. But thanks to the volume of emails and complaints the cRight-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. ompany received when the American Family Association exposed their holiday purge, receptionists now answer the phone at corporate headquarters with “Merry Christmas,” and Christmas is now featured on their website and email promotions. Boise’s Costco has a banner announcing the sale of “Christmas” trees at its front entrance, and although “holiday” shows up much more frequently than “Christmas” on merchandise displays inside the store, the store has an entire retail island devoted to paintings of Jesus Christ. So I suppose we can cut them some slack over their “holiday” cards/Bryan Fischer , Idaho Values Alliance. More here .

Question: Are you celebrating Costco’s change of mind, too?

How About That Preview Button, Hunh

So what do you think of your ability to preview your comments now? Anyone having trouble registering or using the comments feature?

ThomG Blogs School Books Hubbub

You’ll find ThomG’s excellent blow-by-blow coverage of last night’s CDA School Board meeting re: the text book controversy here (SR story here ): 5:03 — Meeting just called to order. Full house, about 100 people. 5:06 — Edie brooks just said no duplicate comments— if someone states your views, just stand in support.  5:08 — Rosie Astorqia is reviewing the novels to be voted on, by grade level. 6th grade books— all recommended for approval by ad hoc committee. 5:14 — All 7th grade books recommended for approval. 8th grade books all for approval. 9th grade— all yes. 10th grade— all yes for approval. 11th grade— disagreement on Catcher in the Rye-i all other yes for approval. 12th grade books—all yes for approval by ad hoc committee. Lots of ad hoc committee votes are consistently 2 NO votes. 5:15 — Lots of high school students here.  5:22 — Public comments just begun.


I can see now that this is going to be a slow day at Huckleberries Online — until I can figure out the new software bells and whistles. You have to crawl before you learn again how to walk. I’m a little frustrated. But I plan to soldier on. I hope you’re figuring out the comments feature. I finally understand why it provides more control over trolls. We’re on a journey together, HBOers.

Huckleberries Online Switch Over Begins @ 10

Huckleberries Online will be offline for awhile as Blogmeister Ryan and his Junior Blogmeisters switch over our online system and blogs to the much-anticipated new one. See you back here then.

APhoto of the Day — 12/16/08

Bullit Marquez/AP Photo
Naked members of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity offer red roses to students as they weave through a crowd during the fraternity’s annual naked run dubbed “The Oblation Run” at the University of the Philippines, the country’s premier university Tuesday at Manila’s Quezon city. You write the cutline.

Statesman: Jorgenson-Hart Pushing Bad Bill

Sen. Michael Jorgenson (pictured), R-Hayden Lake, and Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, will try again with a bill that could suspend or revoke the business license of any employer who knowingly hires illegal aliens. In arguing for his bill in a recent Coeur d’Alene Press article, Jorgenson actually exposes one of its weaknesses. “The state’s only recourse to curb illegal immigration is enforcement through employers.” Bingo. The state cannot possibly address the other factors that contribute to a dysfunctional immigration system. Only the federal government can set up a security system that keeps people from crossing the border illegally, address the status and the fate of the estimated 12 million people in America illegally, and set up a guest worker system that ensures employers can find the laborers they need/Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you think Sen. Mike Jorgenson of Hayden Lake and Phil Hart of Athol understand the repercussions of the flawed immigration reform bill they’re pushing?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 12/16/08

Kathy Plonka/SR
“This is their Black Friday,” Janine Vichi, of Post Falls, says as she carries her packages into the post office in Post Falls on Monday. Mike Prager SR story here .

*Idaho Records /Sherry Adkins, SR
*Bitter cold blast here through mid-week /KREM2
*Mortgage re-negotiator reopens in CDA /Bert Caldwell, SR
*19YO rape suspect may have impregnated two under-age girls /Tom Greene, CDA Press
*Osburn man dies in rollover /Dan Drewry, Shoshone News-Press
*Homeless explain why warming shelters are bare /KXLY

Kato: Christmas Gifts On The Cheap

Stasia Kato/UI Argonaut

Question: Describe a cheap but good Christmas gift that you’ve given or received?

CDA Trustees Return 26 Books To Shelves

Item: CDA School Board approves reading list/Alison Boggs, SR

More Info: Reversing a previously split vote, the Coeur d’Alene School Board on Monday unanimously approved the Aldous Huxley classic “Brave New World” as required reading for seniors, along with 25 total other novels for grades 6 through 12. “It’s gratifying. They did the right thing,” said Eric Louis, a Coeur d’Alene High School English teacher who was among more than 100 people at a special board meeting to consider the novels. “We’re a district that understands … honoring academic freedom. It’s a good day for the district.”

Question: Did the school board come to its senses? Or cave in?

Heller: Shoe Brigade

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Parting Shot — 12/15/08

Steve Bloom/Olympian, AP
Maggie Hanson,the Democratic Elector from the second congressional district raises her hands after the votes were officially accepted on behalf of President-elect Barack Obama Monday in Olympia, Wash. Meanwhile, Idaho’s 4 electors cast their ballots to John McCain today.

Question: Do you prefer election by electoral college? Or would you prefer that presidents be elected by direct vote?

Scanner Traffic — 12/15/08

3:49 p.m. A small, elementary-school child has his tongue stuck to a metal pole @ Miles & Maple in Hayden. R/P made reference to “A Christmas Story.” And urged rescuers to hurry b/c the child, who had been walking home from school, is getting cold.

5:01 p.m. Cow is standing at the corner of 95 & Brunner.
4:08 p.m. Social worker has called law enforcement to Kinder Lane & Government Way/Hayden where middle-age bipolar woman is having a “psychotic episode.”
3:40 p.m. Green 2000 Dodge Ram w/Kootenai plates left w/o paying for gas @ Holiday pumps on Prairie.
2:15 p.m. R/P reports elderly male driver almost hit her in Fred Meyer parking lot.
2:05 p.m. Structure fire w/flames shooting through the roof @ Penny Lane & Schilling Loop, south of Spokane River.
1:56 p.m. Loose mule on Ohio Match, just west of Highway 95.
1:09 p.m. Accident involving vehicle and pedestrian in front of Ken’s Electric, 1705 NW Blvd. 31YO female pedestrian complains of pain in her right side.

HBO’s Best of the INorthwest — 12/15/08

Courtesy: OnLocation North Idaho
At OnLocation North Idaho, Kerri Thoreson posts: “The water features at the I-90 exits/entrances to Post Falls on Spokane Street are dressed for the season in ice. Temperatures in North Idaho will continue to fall below zero in the coming week so bundle up!”

*Obama to replace Kempthorne w/Colorado senator/Idaho Statesman
Supreme Court rejects Hanford appeal/SR
*Gonzaga drops to No. 8 after loss/SR
*Sea-Tac sets record low/Seattle Times
*Suspicious power sent to Gregoire harmless/Seattle Times
*High court rejects appeal by Hanford contractors/Seattle PI

Local Blogs — 12/15/08

Courtesy: As The Lake Churns
Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns didn’t need caption information to explain this bus stop shelter at Priest Lake. Sorta reminds me of the old “chamber of commerce” behind the Fightin’ Creek tavern — a two-hole outhouse.

*Monday Music: Scatterbox/Get Out! North Idaho
*Ramblings/A Butterfly Moment
*Outside views/Arch Druid
*Feels like a dinner plate stuck in my mouth/Atmospheric Ruminations
*It’s kinda chilly out/Bay Views
*A word a day: Golconda/Community Comment
*Long winter nights of long ago/Dogwalk Musings
*Goodbye, Boston Legal/Simple Mind
*Remember December: O is for ‘Over Their Flocks’/Gathering Around The Table
*Morrison can’t get it going/Kellogg Bloggin’
*The Force/Live, Love, Laugh, Hope

HBO Numbers (for week of Dec. 7-13): 56711 PVs/31923 UVs.

Angry Iraqi Throws Shoe @ Bush

Mr Bush received the taste of local resentment as he stood with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad to celebrate the approval of a security agreement that establishes the basis for a continued US military presence in Iraq. During a press conference with the two leaders, the Iraqi journalist took off his shoes and threw them at Mr Bush, one after the other. Throwing a shoe at someone is a grave insult in Iraq and is meant to show extreme disrespect and contempt — it means that the target is even lower than the shoe, which is always on the ground and dirty. When US forces helped topple a statue of Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein after rolling into Baghdad in April 2003, jubilant Iraqis beat the statue’s face with their shoes/Australian. More here.

Question: If you are inclined to insult someone, how would you do it?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 12/15/08

Larry Mayer/Billing Gazette, AP
Tonya Martin looks over one of eight sheep killed by a wolf at her family’s ranch near Two Dot, Mont. in March 2008. A record number of endangered gray wolves have been shot this year by government wildlife agents and ranchers in the Northern Rockies, as the predators’ continued attacks on livestock met with an increasingly aggressive response. Story here.

David Horsey/Seattle PI ‘toon

*Idaho ranked near bottom in emergency care/Twin Falls Times-News
*Autistic Billings boy 2nd in national book report contest/Billings Gazette
*Jorgenson, Hart propose immigrant legislation/Idaho Press-Tribune
*5th grader rewarded for honesty after finding $200/KTVB
*5YO girl dies in sledding accident/KTVB
*Idaho justice order resentencing for murder of BSU student/Idaho Statesman
*Idaho’s 4 electors cast ballots for McCain today/Idaho Statesman
*Thief takes Idaho football team’s gear/AP

DFO: Don Robertson of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle alerted me to the police reports on his paper’s Web site. Some pretty funny stuff there. I’ll provide a link today under my Friends Blogroll.

My 2 Cents — Technologically Disadvantaged

I made a new year’s resolution in January 2007 not to be intimidated by technology. As a result, I opted for a Mac Book rather than a PC laptop when I began the now-defunct Huckleberries Gone Wi-Fi features last year — with mixed results. In the same vein, I bought a 1000-channel police scanner this weekend for my home office. I’m not as technologically clueless as I am mechanically clueless. I can figure out an instructor’s manual, if it’s written for fifth-graders or below. The one I bought at Radio Shack on Appleway wasn’t. It was so complex that I had to return the next day and ask for help simply to make the dang thing scan the hundreds of North Idaho frequencies that Radio Shack worker bees downloaded onto it. It scanned about four channels in Shoshone County.

Hall: Montezuma Avenged Himself On Me

I was also taught some Mexican history the hard way by experiencing the vengeful tendencies of Montezuma II. He was the Aztec ruler when the Spanish began their conquest of Mexico and it made him cranky. Today, he is given the blame for several forms of gastric turmoil that afflict visitors to Mexico. It is said that the common torment of tourists known as Montezuma’s revenge is his payback to the Spanish invaders and perhaps to others who have done Mexico wrong. My own theory - born of personal experience - is that the old boy is roughest of all on his victims from the United States, probably because we ripped off Texas, California, Nevada and Utah from Mexico, along with parts of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Have you ever suffered Montezuma’s revenge while visiting Mexico?

Rural Fire Departments Can’t Keep Volunteers

Item: Rural fire districts are burning for volunteers: As lives get busier and families move more often, it’s harder to find and retain firefighters, several rural Idaho fire chiefs say.

More Info: But times have changed, and volunteer fire departments are finding it harder to recruit and keep volunteers. Volunteer rescue crews account for more than 80 percent of the firefighters and EMTs in Idaho and, although emergency calls have doubled, the number of volunteers nationwide has fallen more than 20 percent in the past two decades. Those who volunteer are more difficult to retain. Turnover rates are higher, and many don’t stick with it longer than a few years.

Question: Have you ever been or are you now a volunteer firefighter? Would you be interesting in being a volunteer?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 12/15/08

Charlie Litchfield/Idaho Press-Tribune, AP
Two-year-old Danielle Keith smiles as she sleds down a sidewalk after being propelled by her father Dale Sunday in Nampa.

*Cougar fan has eye on new highway name/Mike Prager, SR
*Huckleberries: Another NIC ASB prez quits/DFO, SR
Handle On Business: Wallace brewery pays homage to town’s colorful history/Nils Rosdahl, SR Handle Extra
*Ramsey fifth-grader builds skyscrapers in basement/Tom Greene, CDA Press
*Shalena breakfast raises $7400/Rick Thomas, CDA Press
*Warming center numbers low/KXLY
*Judge: No juvenile detention facility expansion w/o vote/Keith Kinnaird, Bonner County Bee

Question: What is your favorite winter sport?

Online Poll: Let It Snow

Happy about the snow?/Idaho Statesman

*No, it is too cold and wet
*Love it, can’t wait to play in it
*Don’t care about the snow
*Wouldn’t be Christmas without it

Minus-10 Or Colder Expected Tonight

Item: Region still faces wind chill advisory/SR

Even colder temperatures are expected tonight with lows hitting -10 degrees or colder as a result of clearing skies. Snow is expected Wednesday evening with moderate accumulations, and again over the weekend when there is a chance of significant snow likely on Sunday, forecasters said.

Question: Do you have to do anything outside today that will expose you to the wind chill and low temperatures?

Recent Grads Face Uncertain Future

Tyler Tjomsland/SR
Elizabeth Roberts a graduate with a bachelors degree in Sociology from Washington State University smiles during graduation on Saturday at Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum in Pullman Wash. In an SR story, Dan Hansen reports that these graduates will be facing an uncertain future here.

Question: What were job prospects like when you graduated from either college or high school?

Arsonist Targets Palin’s Home Church

Al Grillo/AP
A snow covered tree sits outside of the fire damaged Wasilla Bible Church in Wasilla, Alaska, Saturday. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s home church was badly damaged in an arson fire. No one was injured in the fire, which was intentionally set while people, including two children, were inside.

Bad Times Good For Evangelical Churches

Like evangelical churches around the country, the three churches have enjoyed steady growth over the last decade. But since September, pastors nationwide say they have seen such a burst of new interest that they find themselves contending with powerful conflicting emotions — deep empathy and quiet excitement — as they re-encounter an old piece of religious lore: Bad times are good for evangelical churches/Seattle Times. More here.

Question: Have you been tempted to go back to church since the economy went sour in September?

477 Resort Homes, Golf Course Planned Near Farragut

Item: Rural areas could get more crowded/Becky Kramer, SR

More Info: For decades, the hills overlooking Cindy Oswald’s 120-acre horse ranch grew trees for North Idaho’s timber industry. The next crop could be 477 trophy homes on an 18-hole golf course. Stimson Lumber Co. plans to sell 1,500 acres of commercial forestland near Farragut State Park to a California developer who wants to rezone the property for resort development. With lumber markets in a steep decline, it’s a trend that rural residents like Oswald fear they’ll see again and again.

Question: Are huge, rural subdivision, like the one planned near Farragut State Park on Lake Pend Oreille and current ones like Black Rock, a good thing for North Idaho?

Midwife Delivers 1000th Baby

Item: Spokane midwife delivers 1,000th baby/John Stucke, SR

More Info: Kathy Bentley has done it a thousand times. Yet there’s just something about delivering babies that never gets old, says the Deaconess Women’s Clinic midwife. Early this morning it was Tyler Joseph Merritt, who was the 1,000th baby delivered by Bentley. The number is considered a midwife milestone. These special nurses play an important role for many new moms in Spokane. During pregnancy, they help women take care of themselves and the babies growing in their wombs. They coach mothers through arduous labor. Then they help moms heal.

Question: Were any of your children delivered by a midwife?

Winter Comes To Spokane International

Liz Kishimoto/SR, AP
An Alaska jet is de-iced on the tarmac at Spokane International Airport on Friday. Runways at the airport were closed for a short time Friday afternoon to allow for snow plowing. Story here.

Question: Are you planning to fly this holiday season?

OTV Review: Nate’s New York Pizza

Nate Banner, the man responsible for bringing New York pizza to a strip mall in Post Falls, says that a group of locally transplanted east-coasters were waiting outside the store on opening day last year, ready to challenge his output to see if it could stand up to the original back home. These folks ordered just a slice at first and were so impressed they immediately had to order a giant 24-inch pie to take away. Many have become regular regulars, returning sometime two or three times in one day to quell their craving for a slice of the good stuff, according to Banner. Some purists claim that there’s something about using actual New York City water in the dough that makes New York pizza what it is, and some pizzerias located outside of New York even have gallons of that city’s water shipped in so they can be authentic as possible. North Idaho might not have the same hip, fashionable Giardia and Cryptosporidium bacteria hopping from trendy club to trendy club in our boring old Rathdrum aquifer, but as far as anyone can tell, the dough, as well as the rest of the pizza pies at Nate’s, tastes just as delicious/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Which North Idaho pizza shop is your favorite?

Movies & More: Great Western Movie Lines

One of my favorite genres as a kid was the Western. So I thought I’d collect some good lines from some of my favorite oaters. Can you identify the movies? These might be a bit harder than the sci-fi lines below. “You’re a good-looking boy: You’ve big, broad shoulders. But he’s a man. And it takes more than big, broad shoulders to make a man.” “It’s a hell of a thing, killin’ a man. Take away all he’s got, and all he’s ever gonna have.” “Who are those guys?” … “A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an ax, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that”/Dan Webster, SR Movies & More. More here.

Question: Can you add any good lines from Western movies to the ones Dan Webster lists above?

Idaho Hanging Mural To Be Interpreted

Item: Idaho murals of hanging about to get some explanation/SR

More Info: Murals depicting white settlers accosting and then hanging a shirtless Native American man have been displayed openly in Idaho’s temporary Statehouse for the past year, with a note from the state Historical Society promising that interpretation of the murals is “forthcoming.” Now, after a year and a half of negotiation, the state and Idaho’s five Indian tribes have agreed on wording for interpretive plaques, which tell of the bloody clashes between the cultures that occurred as white settlers took over the Boise Valley a century ago. The plaques will go up before this year’s legislative session.

Question: Would you prefer that the state remove the murals altogether or are you satisfied with that the interpretive plaques will mitigate the scene?

Parting Shot — 12/12/08

Elaine Thompson/AP
People wait for a bus under umbrellas and in view of giant video screens behind projecting beach scenes Friday in downtown Seattle. The National Weather Service canceled a winter storm warning for the central Puget Sound region, saying the storm is tracking farther north and there is no longer a threat of disruptive snow. Up to three inches of snow is still expected by Saturday morning in the northwest interior. Riggs explains what the weather’s like in Seattle here.

SR World Snapshots

Why Do Churches Lose Members?

Item: Group asks people why they quit church/SR

More Info: Before looking for a solution, the group wanted to identify the various reasons why members choose to leave their churches. One unique kind of research the group began using Oct. 9 involves a specially painted Spokane Transit Authority bus that asks a specific question, then directs anyone interested to an online survey. The bus’ painted message asks, “Did you used to go to church?” Directly underneath, readers are invited to “Tell me why you quit” by going to a Web site:

Question: If you use to go to church and quit, could you explain why?

Scanner Traffic — 12/12/08

5:32 p.m. 13YO reports that his friend has text-messaged him that he wants to hang himself.
4:10 p.m. ISP has issued a traveler’s advisory, asking motorists to stay home unless travel is essential. Chains are required on Fourth of July and Lookout Passes.
4:09 p.m. Woman caught trying to shoplift a cart of groceries @ Super 1/Hayden.
4:05 p.m. Sand has arrived to provide traction on Mica Hill.
3:59 p.m. A jackknifed chip truck is blocking 95% of the road @ Highway 95 & Mica View Road (Cougar Gulch). A snowplow is now on the scene.

Cis: An Inch & A Half & Still Snowing

Courtesy: Simple Mind
Here’s how things looked 10 minutes ago from Cis’s front yard in Kootenai, Bonner County. Cis writes: “An inch and a half and still coming.”

DFO: According to Scanner Traffic, there’s been 5 or 6 accidents in the last half hour as a result of road conditions, including one that sounds fairly serious on Highway 41 & Diagonal. Be careful out there.

Question: How are things looking outside in your neck of the woods?

IMHO Idaho: Give Me A Break, Rep. Hartgen

Sounds like someone wants to limit free speech. Scary when you know that Hartgen used to be a publisher in Twin Falls. Newspapers generally require real names in print and monitor very carefully the content that goes on their sites, even in cases where real names aren’t required. That’s the way it should be. But that’s the nature of the newspaper business. Sure, we all want to know who says what on those many blogs. But to require it by Idaho law? Give me a break. What next, Rep. Hartgen?/Vicki Holbrook, From The Editors. More here.

*For Idaho Republicans, ideology trumps common sense/Sisyphus, 43rd State Blues; Also: Bailout Republican style
*More on Hartgen & anonymous bloggers, commenters/Unequivocal Notion
*Chronicles of futility: Libertarians turn 37/Adam’s Blog
*The Turdmaster/Bubblehead
*Women’s brains can’t take hostile work environments?/F-Words
*UAW at the trough/Free In Idaho!
*People who give Idaho a bad rep/From The Editors
*Evangelicals make necessary change at top/IVA
*Revisiting Vietnam & Whitewater/Morialekafa
*Bailing/Randy Stapilus

Anti-Smokers Look To Obama To Quit

Item: Anti-smoking groups hope Obama will be role model/Jocelyn Noveck, AP

More Info: Of all the things President-elect Barack Obama needs right now, one of them surely isn’t a new set of lofty expectations on his well-burdened shoulders. But recent attention to Obama’s on-and-off smoking habit has pinned a new kind of audacious hope to him. Anti-smoking advocates are counting on Obama as a role model for others trying to kick the habit, showing them - and himself - that while it’s hard, all things are indeed possible in America.

Question: Does Barack Obama’s nicotine addiction bother you?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 12/12/08

Courtesy: OnLocation North Idaho
“Frosty the Snowman’s belated arrival in North Idaho will be on the Arctic Express!” posts Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho. “For the next three or four days we’ll see several inches of new snow and frigid, even below zero temperatures. As these icicles on my front porch in January show, winter weather provides much beauty but it’s also the time to take precautions.” More here.

David Horsey/Seattle PI ‘toon

*Troy Mine could close, putting 180 out of work/SR
*Ex-cop accused of raping daughter for Internet play wants to ban courtroom cameras/Tri-City Herald
*3 sentenced for cat-kill spree/Helena Independent-Record
*‘Dr. Phil’ to detail murder of Montana broadcaster/Daily Inter Lake
*Idaho’s economic troubles likely to continue another year/Idaho Statesman
*White powder sent to Otter, Palin, other governors likely not dangerous/Idaho Statesman
*Idaho Tax Commission to cut staff/Idaho Statesman
*Idaho’s delegation opposed to Big 3 bailout/Twin Falls Times-News
*Ibanez signs 3-year deal w/Phillies/Seattle PI
*Montana city gets tentative OK to kill 150 more deer/Helena Independent-Record

Orbusmax Special: Seattle aims to ease stress over Styrofoam ban here.

Should Legislators Police Online Commentary?

At the root of it, Hartgen has a legitimate concern. He believes the anonymity of the Web cheapens the debate by allowing people to hurl insults that he describes, in one of his favorite quips, as “untouched by human brain.” Hartgen never was a publisher afraid of a fight, so I think he is genuinely concerned about the coarsening of the dialogue. So am I, and some of my Statesman colleagues are deeply troubled by anonymous commenters. They believe that in the chase for immediate feedback and site hits, we’ve traded away more than we’ve received. Again, that’s a business decision. Ultimately, I believe the marketplace of free expression will correct any problems. Call me an optimist, but I believe readers will grow to attach more credibility to writers who say who they are and make their points in a civil manner/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Would their posts carry added weight of individuals like Toadman, HMoffsuite, Cabbage Boy, and Sisyphus posted under their real names?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 12/12/08

Jake Barber/UI Argonaut
According to Olivia Hodges’ landlord, the bathrooms in the UI student’s apartment building have had remodeling plans delayed due to manpower problems. Story here.

*Heaviest snow expected Saturday/Mike Prager, SR
*Ex-Moscow man who infected women w/HIV looking for new trial/UI Argonaut
*Cities brace for strict discharge guidelines/Brian Walker, CDA Press
*Neighbor allegedly strangles woman/Tom Greene, CDA Press
*Bonner County jobless rate among worst in state/Bonner County Bee
*US 95 crash injures Boundary County woman/Bonner County Bee
*Oil lamp causes Smelterville shelter fire/Shoshone News-Press

Question: Briefly describe the worst apartment or house that you lived in, while at college or getting a start in the world.

Oregon Ruling Shields Anon Blog Comments

Item: Anonymous blog commenters shielded by Oregon ruling: Oregonian

More Info: When Terry Beard became the target of nasty Internet postings, the Portland businessman discovered that a quirk in Oregon law can make it impossible to clear your name, no matter how outrageous the attack. A judge in Clackamas County ruled that an Oregon law that allows newspapers to shield the identity of news sources also protects anonymous writers who post comments to media Web sites. The Web sites could not be compelled to identify the writers, Circuit Judge pro tem James Redman ruled and, under federal law, were not responsible for the comments. In other words, Beard found out, you can say almost anything about anybody on an Oregon media Web site without fear of being unmasked by a lawsuit or prosecuted for libel, defamation or invasion of privacy.

Question: Should a blog site be legally responsible for the comments posted on it?

Hat Tip: Sam

Heller: Overwhelmed

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Parting Shot — 12/11/08

Winslow Townson/AP
A pedestrian shields herself from the rain as she walks past a Christmas ornament decorating the street in downtown Boston Thursday.

SR World Snapshots

Movies & More: Great Sci-Fi Lines

If the command “Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!” is one of the all-time memorable taglines for a sci-fi film, it’s hardly the only one. Following are few of my favorites. See if you can guess the origins of each. 1. “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” 2. “I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.” 3. “The ship will automatically destruct in ‘T’ minus five minutes.” 4. “I’ve just picked up a fault in the AE35 unit. It’s going to go 100 percent failure in 72 hours”/Dan Webster, Movies & More. More here.

Question: What is a favorite sci-fi movie line of yours?

Scanner Traffic — 12/11/08

5:49 p.m. A woman’s voice on the scanner: “Can I have my clothes back?”
1:39 p.m. A man crushed his arm between the boat and a dock, according to EMT reports. (But I couldn’t catch where accident occurred.)
1:15 p.m. Utility line down @ Ramsey & Hayden.

Libertarians Celebrate 37th Birthday

The Libertarian Party is celebrating its 37th birthday today, having been founded on Dec. 11, 1971, and ranking as America’s third-largest political party. So what to get the birthday celebrant? Here’s what Idaho gave the party’s presidential candidate this year, Bob Barr: 3,658 votes. That’s 0.6 percent/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: What would be the appropriate gift for the Libertarian on your Christmas list this year?

Otter Lukewarm To Obama Bailout Offer

Item: Obama wants to offer states help, Gov. Otter isn’t sure he wants the handout/Idaho Statesman More Info: President-elect Barack Obama is offering states their share of federal economic recovery dollars to start rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure. While other states are throwing out their wish lists — some with billions of dollars in proposed projects — Idaho’s conservative governor is taking a more cautious, if not skeptical, approach. “If you are just going to give us money that is going into our general fund, you might as well keep it. That’s like giving alcohol to an alcoholic,” said Jon Hanian, spokesman for Gov. Butch Otter. “Our governor is very cautious about taking blank checks from the federal government. We do not want to add to this country’s problems.” Question: Should Gov. Otter accept money from the federal government as part of an infrastructure bailout problem (especially when he wants to raise gas taxes to fix Idaho roads)?

Evergreen: WSU am good riting

Americans don’t need to write good ether it’s all about the internet now … the only dictionary that matters now is urban dictionary now. Now, its more important to know whats going on than being able to describe it. And if we do have to describe it, we can text, or write on someone’s wall. Communication is about speed – not quality, it’s about how fast you can say what you want to say, not how you say it. Besides, if we were really getting a good education, we would get taught how to use technology faster and better: who cares about past particles or dangling moodifiers?/WSU Daily Evergreen. More here. Question: In this day of the Internet and text-messaging, is it important to be a decent writer?

Spin Control: Craig Remains Butt Of Jokes

There’s one thing Sen. Larry Craig needs to consider in deciding whether he’ll ask the Minnesota Supreme Court to review his airport bathroom case. Well there are several things, like cost, and precedents, and the law. But beyond that. How long does he want to be fodder for late night monologues? Jay Leno was able to slip a Larry Craig joke into his monologue Wednesday night. It went like this …/Jim Camden, Spin Control 2.0. More here.

Question: Will the late-night jokes about U.S. Sen. Larry Craig end when he leaves office?

Bush Opens Up About His Booze Battle

Item: Bush opens up on struggle with alcohol abuse/CNN

More Info: President Bush reflected on his own struggle with alcohol in a White House meeting Thursday that touted gains in the war on drug abuse. CNN was the only media outlet invited to attend the entire meeting, which other reporters joined in the final minutes for remarks from the president. Several in the room, including Don Coyhis of Colorado Springs, Colorado, who runs a program targeting Native Americans battling substance abuse, were recovered addicts or alcoholics. Bush, who quit drinking at the age of 40, was impressed.

Question: Are you impressed that President Bush would be so candid about his past alcohol addiction?

Survey: Less Than Third Get Flu Shots

Item: Just a third of U.S. adults got flu shots/Reuters

More Info: Fewer than a third of U.S. adults have received a flu vaccine so far this year and only about half said they intended to get one, according to a survey released on Wednesday. The Rand Corp. survey showed that 30 percent of the 4,000 adults had already been vaccinated, 17 percent planned to get one before the season ended and 53 percent said they would not get a flu shot this year.

Question: Did you get a flu shot? Why? Why not?

Otter Lukewarm To Obama Bailout Offer

Item: Obama wants to offer states help, Gov. Otter isn’t sure he wants the handout/Idaho Statesman

More Info: President-elect Barack Obama is offering states their share of federal economic recovery dollars to start rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure. While other states are throwing out their wish lists — some with billions of dollars in proposed projects — Idaho’s conservative governor is taking a more cautious, if not skeptical, approach. “If you are just going to give us money that is going into our general fund, you might as well keep it. That’s like giving alcohol to an alcoholic,” said Jon Hanian, spokesman for Gov. Butch Otter. “Our governor is very cautious about taking blank checks from the federal government. We do not want to add to this country’s problems.”

Question: Should Gov. Otter accept money from the federal government as part of an infrastructure bailout problem (especially when he wants to raise gas taxes to fix Idaho roads)?

HBO @ Noon: Family Doctors Are Unhappy

Item: Unhappy primary care doctors could be bad news for Idaho: Low pay, long hours and piles of paperwork have many nationwide looking to quit/Idaho Statesman

More Info: Many classmates of Dr. Chip Roser ended their medical training ready to practice a specialty. They morphed into neurologists, cardiologists, pathologists, dermatologists or other “-gists.” Despite advice to the contrary, Roser chose the path of family medicine, with potentially lower pay and longer hours. And he doesn’t regret it. But in a recent national survey, almost half of family practice doctors said they would get out if they could.

Question: Are you happy with your family care doctor?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 12/11/08

Alex Brandon/AP
New Orleans Hornets center Tyson Chandler falls on a photographer after saving a rebound in the first half of their NBA basketball game with the Charlotte Bobcats in New Orleans Wednesday. Neither person was injured. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. “The bald eagles had far better manners than these fellows,” Tinsley thought, wondering why he agreed to take the sports beat — Brent Andrews.
2. “I was kung foo fight—ing, I was fast
as l-i-g-h-t—ing.Oops, sorry man,I
was having a Dennis Rodman moment” — Kage Mann.

3. Chandler throws himself on photographer to avoid being in DFO’s website — Pecky.

HM: JeanieSpokane

Mickey D’s Targets Starbucks Prices

Item: Starbucks won’t slug it out in ad wars: Coffee chain says it’ll take high road/Seattle PI

More Info: McDonald’s has erected a billboard in sight of Starbucks headquarters declaring, “four bucks is dumb.” If Dunkin’ Donuts’ taste test commercials were the schoolyard equivalent of blowing spitballs at the coffee giant from afar, then the latest from McDonald’s is like pulling a wedgie. Starbucks employees driving northbound can see the billboard on their way into the city. Another billboard slogan jabs, “large is the new grande.” The two phrases are displayed on 140 billboards in Western Washington, some of them near Starbucks cafes.

Question: In the current bad economy, is $4 too much to pay for a fancy cup of coffee?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 12/11/08

Jesse Tinsley/SR
Rusty Marsh, playing Santa Claus, hands out candy canes to the kids of Spirit Lake Elementary recently. At the annual event, the kids walk from their school to the downtown area, listen to the Timberlake High jazz band play carols and then meet Santa. Prairie Voice story here.

*Serious decade winding down/DFO, Prairie Voice Huckleberries
*Raptor crashes through window of CDA home/Bill Buley, CDA Press
*Idaho Forest Groups mills announce layoffs/Rick Thomas, CDA Press
*Homeless man crushed by papers drunk 3X beyond legal limit/KTVB
*Doll helps police find sibling robbers/KXLY
*Pot, marmots & Mark Fuhrman/Kevin Taylor, Inlander
*Sharon Graham’s Chrismas Project benefits servicemen, kids/Mary Jane Honegger, Prairie Voice

Major Storm Headed Our Way This Weekend

Item: Arctic blast: Weekend forecast calls for snow, frigid temps/Tom Hasslinger, CDA Press

More Info: The storm should hit in three phases in Couer d’Alene, the first of which should touch down Friday, when a cold blast from the north hits a moisture patch coming up from the southwest. The second phase, expected to hit late Saturday or early Sunday, is expected to bring strong arctic winds causing drifting snow with wind chill temperatures dropping between 10 to 20 degrees below zero. The third phase, early next week, will bring the coldest arctic air the region has seen since January 2004.

Question: What have you done to prepare for winter?

WND Poll: Senate-Seat Sale Scandal

Who do you think will be the next indicted in the Senate-seat sale scandal?/WorldNetDaily

1. David Axelrod, Obama political consultant
2. First lady Patti Blagojevich
3. Mayor Richard Daily
4. Rahm Emanuel, incoming White House chief of staff
5. Illinois Deputy Gov. Bob Greenlee

Gonzaga 74, WSU 52

Christopher Anderson/SR
Taylor Rochestie drives down the lane to try and score against Gonzaga in Pullman Wednesday. Rochestie scored 6 points in the game, going 0 for 5 from 3 point range. ESPN game story & boxscore here.

South Carolina St 66, Idaho 59

Parting Shot — 12/10/08

Courtesy: As The Lake Churns
“We were snowmobiling with our 6 year old twins at Priest Lake,” writes Lisa Sheehan/As The Lake Churns, and climbed to the top of a huge rock outcropping. It looked as if we were standing on top of the world.

SR World Snapshots

Commish Compares MichelleO To Spider

AP File Photo
President-elect Barack Obama, left, his wife Michelle Obama, right, and two daughters, Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10, second from right, wave at the election night rally in Chicago last month.

Item: Canyon leader criticized for forwarding e-mail about Obama dress/Idaho Statesman

More Info: The e-mail, which Rule forwarded last week, featured a photo of Obama in a black dress with red markings, next to a photo of a black widow spider. Rule said the markings seemed very similar, and he thought that was funny.

Jill Kuraitis/New West Boise reacts

Question: Was Canyon County Commissioner Steve Rule acting racist when he forwarded an e-mail comparing Michelle Obama to a black widow? Or simply using poor judgment?

Scanner Traffic — 12/10/08

5:43 p.m. Injury accident involving a semi truck and a small car on Highway 95 @ Bonners Ferry. Med-Star is en route.
4:20 p.m. A twentysomething blonde drove off in a silver Ford SUV from Holiday pumps on Haycraft without paying for gas.
3:22 p.m. Albertson’s reports that a fiftysomething woman stole two six-packs and may be driving drunk in a blue Olds Cutlass.

Day w/o A Gay Achieves Mixed Results

Eric Risberg/AP Photo
A sign promoting Day Without a Gay is shown posted in the Castro District in San Francisco today. A daylong strike for which people were encouraged to call in “gay” to work to express support for same-sex marriage is drawing spotty participation. In the gay Castro district, several residents and merchants said Wednesday they endorsed the cause, but they did not think the hastily arranged work stoppage was practical given the poor economy.

Question: Did advocates of gay marriage help themselves or hurt themselves in the court of public opinion by trying to stage a work stoppage with the economy in bad shape?

Local Blogs — 12/10/08

“… the scout master would be next to the oil barrel fire while drinking his “hot chocolate” or whatever it was with the scouts running here or there, trying to sell an overpriced, dead, brown-needled, green-painted tree to those that dared step foot in their presence,” writes Granati of his family’s practice of buying Xmas trees in days gone by. More here.

HBO Numbers: 9533 PVs/5372 UVs

*Nightmare 101/Tumblewords
*Dining on shaved fish/Atmospheric Ruminations
*An historic epiphany/Bay Views
*The anticipation of Santa/Community Comment
*Oprah Winfrey: Heavyweight/Dogwalk Musings
*I don’t give Christmas presents any more/Simple Mind
*Remember December: J is for James Taylor/Gathering Around The Table
*Swing Street Christmas Concert/Get Out! North Idaho
*Overload/Kellogg Bloggin’
*What’s it mean to you/Live, Love, Laugh, Hope

Question: Where do you go to get your Christmas tree?

NIColumnist: Huge Purses Amazing

It was time to step into the lion’s den and ask a female why women as a whole now use purses the size of bowling bags. “The bigger your purses, the more attention you get” said one woman on campus, wielding quite a large (purse). “It’s like a respect thing.” This answer simply stunned me. I, for some reason, assumed that the ladies wear these Merry Poppin’ purses in order to keep things in them. But what would I know, right? I barely have a fanny pack to my name so I have no room to talk. The next lovely lady I came upon had a purse of gargantuan proportions. When asked why she would ever need such purses, the female said “It’s fashionable and a good conversation starter”/David Humphreys, NIC Sentinel. More here.

Question (for women): Why do you carry the purse you do?

Phelps’ Gang Wants Olympia Xmas Sign, Too

The Westboro Baptist Church, an extremely controversial group that has made anti-gay messages its hallmark, is the latest group asking to place a holiday sign at the state capitol. “Santa Claus will take you to hell,” it begins. The sign, the contents of which are posted below, says that “God’s hate” is to blame for the weak economy, that Santa’s a child molester and responsible for the death of U.S. troops. All of which is very much in keeping with the church’s tactic of spreading its anti-gay message with controversial signs at high-profile funerals and other events/Rich Roesler, Eye On Olympia. More here.

Question: Should Washington allow hatemonger Fred Phelps to erect a sign in the state capitol, too?

Document: Don’t Bug People In Bathroom Stalls

“Certainly the ‘privacy interest in avoiding unwanted communication’ is very strong in a stall in a public restroom. … Here it is the place in which the conduct occurred, as much as or more than the nature of the conduct, that determines its offensive nature. The conduct charged here occurred in a place in which the ordinary citizen might feel most eager to ‘avoid unwanted communication’”/Court document in Larry Craig case. More from Kevin Richert.

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 12/10/08

Randy Squires/AP
In this August 2005 file photo, Sen. Barack Obama, D- Illinois, left, laughs with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich during Governor’s Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, Ill. Blagojevich was roused from bed and arrested Tuesday, after prosecutors said he was caught on wiretaps audaciously scheming to sell now President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat for cash or a plum job for himself in the new administration. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. You know Jesse Jr. will pay a couple hundred g’s for mine but I’m telling you Hillary’s seat could go for twice that, fer crying out loud a Kennedy is interested in that one — KeithinCDA.
2. Breaking news: Illinois Governor is in critical condition after being thrown under the bus by President-elect Obama. Flim (flam) at 11 — John Austin.
3. Wait until Keith Olberman hears about this!!! That clown will try and blame Bush…God I love Keith — LSUdabest.

HM: Kage Mann

NIColumnist: Separating Sexy, Skanky

If you’re going to family dinner and you’re makeup looks like you may be making an appearance at the club, it’s skanky. A lot of times makeup can look painted and plastered on, but, seriously, save it for the big game. Clothes are a very important factor. Be careful with shirt slogans, it’s pretty obvious what looks bad. Cleavage is OK. Tight clothes do look good if they fit right as well as a limited number of holes in one’s jeans. If there is too much skin showing, it just doesn’t work. It totally defeats the purpose of clothing. Seriously, they’re meant to cover you up. As my high school volleyball coach taught us, we don’t want to see the three Bs: no boobs, butt or belly/Ann Truesdell, NIC Sentinel. More here.

Question: What’s the difference between sexy and skanky?

CDA Press: County Needs Administrator

Several citizens and panel participants informally resumed the rallying cry for Kootenai County’s Board of Commissioners to do what it has refused to do since Tom Taggart held the position years ago: Re-create a high-level county administrative position — a county manager, administrator or whatever it ends up being called. It is a move that was strongly endorsed in 2005 by a community panel that examined the structure and function of county government, and one this newspaper has ardently supported. Unfortunately, the county commission has opposed any changes to its existing governmental structure. We can’t think of a better time than now for commissioners to reconsider/CDA Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Should county commissioners re-create the position of county administrator or manager?

Online Poll: Buy Local?

Do you ever make a conscious decision to buy goods from local stores?/Idaho Statesmam


Analysis: Scandal Threatens To Dog Obama

In an interview published in the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, Obama reiterated that point, saying: “I have not discussed the Senate seat with the governor at any time.” But Obama wouldn’t answer a question on whether he was aware of any conversations between the governor and his top aides, including incoming White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. “It’s an ongoing investigation,” Obama said. “I think it would be inappropriate for me to … remark on the situation beyond the facts that I know”/AP. More here.

Question: Will Barack Obama be hurt by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s attempt to sell his Senate seat to the highest bidder?

Wild Card/Tuesday — 12/9/08

In the news, an international science exam shows US students are doing no better in science today than they were a decade ago here. Sony has announced plans to cut 4% of its worldwide work force here. The ‘Dark Knight’ is out on DVD today here. A new study finds women are more likely to die from heart attacks than men here. And it’s time for today’s Wild Card …

JeanieSpokane: Seasonal Anticipation

I felt it again driving home Friday night – first when I passed a horse drawn carriage elegantly moving along Lincoln towards Riverfront Park – beautiful, graceful horses slowly dancing down the street. Then I passed a truck carrying a Santa sleigh, totally engulfed in twinkling red and white lights, ready to be the carrier for the Great Saint Nicholas himself! You could taste the thrill in the air, the crispiness of the night, the anticipation of Santa, of holidays, of Christmas, of magic!/JeanieSpokane, Community Comment. More here.

Question: Despite all the commercialization of Christmas, and the current rotten economy, have you experienced a sense of anticipation this yuletide yet?

AM Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 12/9/08

Jesse Tinsley/SR
Kids from Spirit Lake Elementary listen to Christmas carols on Maine St. in Spirit Lake, Idaho while drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies Friday. At the annual event, the kids walk from their school to the downtown area, listen to Timberlake High jazz band play carols and then meet Santa. See Jesse Tinsley’s slide show coverage of this event here.

*Judge: Adopted sons can inherit Billy Tipton estate/SR
*Silver Valley unemployment tops 12%/Shoshone News-Press
*Stimson proposing massive Bonner County subdivision/Bonner County Bee
*Former Zags help Gonzaga prepare for WSU/KHQ
*School district seeking 2-year levy totalling $13M/Bonner County Bee
*Spokane driver arrested in fatal Highway 95 crash/SR
*Southwest Airlines to trim Boise to Portland schedule/KBCI
*ITD crews ready for coming storms/KXLY

Christmas Poem

AP Photo

Good King Wenceslas was mild,
kind and sweet and docile,
but he raised eight kinds of hell
once he chugged the wassail.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Eye On Boise: Could Craig Appeal Again?

After losing his case at the Minnesota Court of Appeals, Idaho Sen. Larry Craig could appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court, but he’d have to petition the court to hear his case. “Review is not automatic, and the court grants relatively few petitions,” said Steve Simon, a law professor at the University of Minnesota. Plus, Simon noted that the Court of Appeals ruling in Craig’s case was issued as an “unpublished” opinion, which means it has no value as a legal precedent/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here.

CommComm: Is Shopping ‘Patriotic’

An unfortunate truism, however, is that we are a country in desperate need of more shoppers. Consumer spending makes up 70 percent of the economy and, given that consumer spending is undergoing a sharp decline, the less we shop the worse our economy gets. That is if you believe the economic theory that fewer shoppers equates to declining profits for businesses, which equates layoffs which equates to even fewer Americans with the wherewithal to shop; shopping seems to be the driving factor for most of our economy. This version of economics has even led some observers to state that shopping is an act of Patriotism, such as George Bush urging us to shop after 9/11/David Laird, Community Comment. More here.

*‘Supernanny’s‘ in Spokane/Parents Council
*Idaho Preps: Lakeland’s appeal denied/SportsLink
*Proposition 8: Mini-musical/Spin Control 2.0
*PETA goes cute rating ‘Marley & Me’/Movies & More
*Food news of the week/Vox Box
*A trial lawyers group by another name/Eye On Olympia

Question: In these hard times, can it be said that shopping helps the economy and prevents layoffs; therefore, it’s patriotic to shop ‘til you drop?

Smith: Advice For Jobless Journalists

Don’t visit your former newsroom, at least not yet. For one thing, you’re not nearly as welcome as you might expect. Those who remain on the job have to believe they are doing the right thing, that their work matters (it does) and that they can continue to perform at a high level. They will not want to be reminded of the tough, emotional times. They ate a piece of your goodbye cake. They don’t want seconds. They need to focus on their future. For now, you are part of a past they must backburner. You need to respect their needs just as you hope they understand and respect yours/Steve Smith, Still A Newspaperman. More here.

Question: Former SR editor Steve Smith is targetting his advice to journalists who lost jobs as a result of the economy and the state of the industry. Are there some parts of his advice that’d pertain to anyone who loses a job?

IVA: Chief Justice To Undergo Chemo

Idaho’s Chief Justice Dan Eismann, a dedicated public servant and a strict constructionist, will be undergoing high-powered chemotherapy this week in his battle against cancer. It is possible his exposure to carcinogens goes back to his tours as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, during which he earned a Purple Heart/IVA. More here.

Is IVA Advocating A Costco Xmas Boycott?

If you shop at Costco, as our family does, consider asking to speak to the store manager next time you’re into to complain about the company’s decision to avoid the word “Christmas” in its advertising and in-store displays. Wreaths, cards and trees are advertised as “Holiday” items rather than “Christmas” items. In fact, better yet, choose not to buy “Christmas” merchandise at Costco, and let the manager know that you are going to buy “Christmas” items someplace else until they start calling them what they are. Wish the checkers a “Merry Christmas,” and see if you get “Merry Christmas” back. If you don’t, ask why. The company insists it is not directing its employees not to say “Merry Christmas.” Well, there’s a simple way to find out!/Idaho Values Alliance.

Question: Would you quit doing business with a retailer simply b/c it ordered clerks to use “holiday” instead of “Christmas” in extending season’s greetings?

Kendramama: My Xmas List Totals 40 — 40!

Yep. I made a bullet-point list on Word which contained: 1)My family’s names 2)Tony’s family 3)Our mutual family and friends. Aghast, upon printing out copies for myself and Tony, I realized there were almost 40 names on the list. That’s when we decided that we would limit each gift to a token- between 10 and 20 dollars per friend/family member. The only exception would be Tony’s daughters- their limit was between 75 and 100 apiece. Who knows what we’ll end up spending on each other, or Jameson … probably too much, as usual/Kendramama. More here.

Question: How do you trim your Christmas list to a manageable size w/o hurting anyone’s feelings?

Man Arrested In Fatal Cocalalla Crash

At 11 a.m. today, the Idaho State Police took William Deardorff into custody on charges of aggrevated DUI and vehicular manslaughter. These charges are a result of a Tuesday, Dec. 2, crash in Cocolalla in which Kimberlee Dingman of Sandpoint was killed, and another adult and child were injured. Deardorff was arrested upon his release from Kootenai Medical Center and transported to Bonner County Jail/ISP news release.

IMHO Idaho — In Defense Of Jack Noble

My husband has taken the brunt for all. He has not disgraced anyone. There is not a stranded motorist for which he will not stop. He will drop whatever he is doing to go help a fellow friend in need. I remember in Idaho how he twice helped farm someone else’s place - one farmer was serving in Iraq; the other was recuperating at a burn center. As a scout leader, he is frequently contacted by boys who have grown to be men who still remember him as a pivotal person in their lives/Tracey Noble, wife of ex-state senator Jack Noble, Idaho Statesman. More here.

*Of course, it was the money in congressional race/Unequivocal Notion
*US attorneys need ability, experience/Betty Richardson, 43rd State Blues
*When education debate has little to do w/education/Adam’s Blog
*Virtues of Wal*Mart/Clayton Cramer
*Why Minnick was what doctor ordered/Dennis Mansfield
*Dreadful squealing/Free In Idaho
*Fighting big government, Canyon County style/Kevin Richert
*Public lands projects could lift rural America from depression/Rocky Barker

Off The Cuff — Boxes Galore

I packed up my entire house today in 14 boxes and some bags. It was sad to see my life sitting in my living room, and its only destination is a storage unit/Alexis. More Off The Cuff.

Question: Do you remember when you could pack all your belongings into a living room — or even into a car?

WSU Columnist: Men Getting Pregnant

Even though Beatie was once a woman, steps are being taken, even as you read this, that would allow men to actually become impregnated. Men must first take female hormones before their bodies can adequately change to allow for a baby. I hope these hormones are not too similar to the type women deal with naturally every month, otherwise there will be too many overly sensitive people walking around. After the hormone therapy, an embryo and placenta are implanted into the man’s abdominal cavity. The fetus grows and, when the time for delivery comes, doctors perform a Caesarean section to remove the baby and placenta from the abdominal cavity. The procedure is risky and not yet available to the public. Thank God. The first test subject, artist Lee Mingwei, has yet to give the birth, so the success rate is unknown/Amanda Gibb, WSU Evergreen. More here.

Question: Would you want men to carry some of the pregnancies if a procedure for doing so became widely available?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 12/9/08

Jesse Tinsley/SR
Saxophonists Brian Tucker, left, and Alex Turbin, center, play Christmas carols on Maine St. in Spirit Lake for the kids of Spirit Lake Elementary Friday. At the annual event, the kids walk from their school to the downtown area, listen to Timberlake High jazz band play carols and then meet Santa.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Snow, arctic cold expected this weekend/SR
*Rockford Bay man killed in fiery crash/SR
*Advisory panel recommends CDA school district cuts/Maureen Dolan, CDA Press
*NIC trustees address lawmakers/Maureen Dolan, CDA Press
*Birds of Prey Northwest educates cruise patrons about eagles, future center/Rick Thomas, CDA Press
*Prosecutors want Summer Phelps’ abusers in prison for life/KXLY
*1 in 8 Latah County residents affected by diabetes/Alexiss Turner, UI Argonaut

Online Poll: Grammar & Punctuation

Do you think the United States has seen a decline in proper grammar and punctuation?/Great Falls Tribune


Craig’s Guilty Plea In Sex Sting To Stand

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig has lost his latest attempt to withdraw his guilty plea in a Minneapolis airport men’s room sex sting. A three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected the Republican’s bid to toss out his disorderly conduct conviction. Craig was arrested in June 2007 in a Minneapolis airport bathroom stall by an undercover officer who said the senator solicited sex. He pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor and paid a fine, but changed his mind after word of his arrest became public. Craig insisted he was innocent, but the case effectively ended his political career/AP. More here.

Question: What should U.S. Sen. Larry Craig do now?

Heller: Xmas Greetings That Anger People

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

1 Dead In Rockford Bay Area Crash

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a fatality accident that occurred in the area of W. Rockford Bay Road and W. Spyglass Lane in the Rockford Bay area of Kootenai County. Emergency personnel first got the call of an SUV that had struck a tree in that area around 5:40 p.m. When emergency personnel arrived they found one occupant was deceased. The name of the victim will not be released until next of kin have been notified. Sheriff’s Department investigators are still on scene trying to determine what happened. More details will be released tomorrow/KCSD news release.

Parting Shot — 12/8/08

Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News, AP
Snow College’s Regan Buck is face masked by Butler’s Deandre Howard In the Top of the Mountains Bowl football game Saturday in Sandy, Utah.

SR’s World In Snapshots

Golden Arches Attracting Business

Item: McDonald’s same-store sales jump in November: McDonald’s global same-store sales rise 7.7 percent in November, US sales rise 4.5 percent/AP

More Info: Consumers hungry for cheap meals boosted worldwide sales at McDonald’s Corp.’s established locations by 7.7 percent in November, more proof of how the fast-food leader is thriving in a downturn that has eaten into sales at its competitors. Even recession-weary consumers in the U.S. were enticed by the Golden Arches during the month.

Question: How often do you eat at McDonalds?

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 12/8/08

Courtesy: Slight Detour
Sandy Compton, Boots Reynolds, Marianne Love, and Patrick F. McManus cuttin’ up at Vanderford’s Books in Sandpoint. Marianne tells you all about it here.

*Old Spokane parking meters a hit w/shoppers/SR
*Boise State to face TCU in Poinsettia Bowl/KTVB
*Conde Nast: Sun Valley No. 6 ski resort in North America/KCBI
*Are pedicabs a good fit for CDA?/Kootenai MPO

For Those Keeping Score At Home …

… North Idaho has one more representative than Ada-Canyon counties on the powerful Joint Finance & Appropriations Committee, including Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, the vice chairman. Others from the north on the budget committee are: Sen. Joyce Broadsword, Sen. Jim Hammond, Rep. Frank Henderson, and George Eskridge. At the Idaho Statesman, Opinion Editor Kevin Richert laments the fact that the Treasure Valley has 37% of the population and only 20% of the JFAC seats. North Idaho legislators held onto three chairmanships — Sen. John Goedde and Rep. Bob Nonini (Education) and Rep. Jim Clark, House Judiciary & Rules. Besides Keough, seven other vice chairmen hail from the five northern counties. Betsy Russell provides a list of all committee assignments here.

Greg Lee Predicts Prep Cage Standings

Inland Empire League (girls)
1. Coeur d’Alene
2. Post Falls
3. Lewiston
4. Lake City
5. Moscow
6. Sandpoint

The rest of Greg’s picks

Question: When did you last see a high school basketball game?

Movies & More: ‘08 Most Disappointing Films

Lost in all the Top and Bottom 10 lists that come out in December of each year are those films that weren’t necessarily either but that, nevertheless, disappointed us. On the Web site, Karina Longworth comes up with a list of the top five films that disappointed her in 2008. I agree with one (“W.”), disagree with two (“Religulous” and “American Teen”) and haven’t seen the others (“Che” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”). I’d add “Burn After Reading” to my list and complete it with “The X-Files: I Want to Believe,” “Hancock” and “Rambo”/Dan Webster, Movies & More. More here.

*North Central X-country wins national title/SportsLink
*Does recession drive you to the arches?/Everyday Economy
*War on Christmas: A gift that keeps giving/Spin Control 2.0
*Tough break for ex-Zag coach Grier/SportsLink
*Out of exile/A Matter Of Opinion
*Me, myself & I don’t know/Vox Box
*Balancing work & family/Parents Council

Question: Which film disappointed you most this year?

Sisyphus: Idaho’s Next U.S. Attorney?

While Idaho mostly seemed to confirm its political status quo, the party shift in the national election brings some bright spots for Idaho Democrats. In addition to the scads of other federal appointments, Obama also determines the federal justice positions, including who will be Idaho’s next US Attorney, a postion currently held by Blackfoot Republican, Bush appointee, Tom Moss. Certainly the time consuming task of choosing every state’s leading federal official is a daunting one for a president, so a custom developed that substantial deference is given to selections made, and provided to the president, by that state’s ranking member of congress who shares the same party. In Idaho’s case that would be newly elected Congressman Walt Minnick/Sisyphus, 43rd State Blues. More here.

Betty Richardson’s response

Question: Who do you think has the best shot at winning Barack Obama’s nod as Idaho’s next U.S. attorney?

Kids Say The Darndest Things

I was just explaining to (son) Adam why (6-month-old) Julianna can’t have stuffed animals to sleep with. That it’s not safe for her yet. To the boy who has no less than 20 stuffed animals in his bed, that made no sense. He said, ‘Where did you hear that? You don’t always have to believe what bloggers say!’/A Butterfly Moment.

Obama’s Choices Concern Liberals

Item: Liberals concerned, angry by Obama Cabinet picks, policy choices/Politico

More Info: Liberals are growing increasingly nervous – and some just flat-out angry – that President-elect Barack Obama seems to be stiffing them on Cabinet jobs and policy choices. Obama has reversed pledges to immediately repeal tax cuts for the wealthy and take on Big Oil. He’s hedged his call for a quick drawdown in Iraq. And he’s stocking his White House with anything but stalwarts of the left. Now some are shedding a reluctance to puncture the liberal euphoria at being rid of President George W. Bush to say, in effect, that the new boss looks like the old boss.

Question: Are you satisfied with Barack Obama’s Cabinet selections and way he has conducted himself so far?

HBO @ Noon: Property Taxes

For the first time, I wrote out a check to the Kootenai County treasurer to pay the first half of my property taxes. In the past, my mortgage company has taken care of this unhappy deed. But I paid off the mortgage two months ago — and the honors are all mine. On the positive side, I still pay a couple hundred bucks less per year than I did before the Legislature increased the 50-50 homeowners exemption and removed the school M&O from the property tax. On the negative side, it isn’t pleasant writing out a check that’s due a few days before Christmas.

Question: Have your property taxes remained relatively stable in the last few years?

Dogwalk: How Do You Like Your Elk? Poached?

Our National Parks are basically sanctuaries for the wildlife that call them home. They are also a sanctuary for the millions of people who visit them. The biggest danger one should face is from ones own stupidity for hassling the animals. Tired, unruly children can cause tempers to run thin. Knowing someone who has had enough might be carrying a concealed weapon and feel called upon to use it does not give me comfort. The system for detection now is flawed. True. But why not mend it rather than making it easier? Of more importance, I think it will increase the odds for poaching some of those magnificent animals. Maybe that, too, goes on now. I don’t know, but why make it easier?/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: Do you support action by the Bush administration to allow guns in most national parks, if someone has a concealed weapons permit?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 12/8/08

Jerry Larson/Waco Tribune Herald, AP
Air Bus, a Dutch Warmblood sport horse, reaches over his stall Sunday and removes a ribbon his rider won at the Texas Hunter Jumper Association’s Thanksgiving Show held at the Heart of Texas Coliseum in Waco, Texas. You write the cutline.)

1. Air Bus could have won the blue ribbon that day, if only he wasn’t color blind — Cabbage Boy.
2. Sadly stalled in his attempt to further compete, Air Bus knows he’ll take a ‘ribbon’ from the other horses, which is why he has such a long face — John Austin.
3. Ok…the green one goes here inbetween the pink and the blue ribbon. Very nice. She better give me extra oats for this — Kibby.

HM: A Token D & Shannon

Fisher: War On Christmas? C’mon

Where would Bill O’Reilly be without people like Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation? Barker used the presence of a Christmas Nativity scene in Washington’s state Capitol to rub visitors’ noses in his own scoffing at belief in God. His group installed a sign near the symbol of Christ’s birth calling religion a myth and a superstition. He was within his legal right to do so, but his display is hardly a demonstration of the good will most believers and nonbelievers alike share in this holiday season. It was enough, though, for O’Reilly to remount his high hobby horse from which he jousts with what he calls a “war on Christmas.” The war is mostly a figment of O’Reilly’s crusade for ratings on Fox News/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Is there a “war on Christmas” going on? Or simply isolated incidents like the one attracting attention in Olympia?

SR: Idaho Should Raise Gas Taxes

For the second straight year, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter is pushing for a boost in the gasoline tax and vehicle registration fees to address the road maintenance backlog. Since no better ideas have emerged, the Legislature ought to move forward before the state falls into a deeper rut. Last year, a funding package failed to be adopted. The state faces a $240 million backlog, which is unsurprising since it hasn’t raised the gas tax since 1996. Meanwhile, the price tags for repairs and materials have risen annually. The state has tried to patch the difference with Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle bonds, which allow states to borrow against future federal highway allocations, but that isn’t enough. As Otter said, the state can’t “accomplish 2008 goals with 1996 dollars”/SR Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Is it time to raise state gas taxes and vehicle registration fees to pay for Idaho road construction and improvements?

In The News: Atheist Sign Draws Protest

John Froschauer/AP Photo
Adam Lee adjusts the balloon sculptures he made that in the likeness of Wash. Gov. Chris Gregoire wearing boxing gloves before a rally organized to oppose a sign posted in the state capitol building in Olympia, Wash. on Sunday. Next to the governor balloon is one representing Fox News TV commentator Bill O’Riley and a Christian Nativity Scene. Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation placed the sign along with other holiday displays which organizers say disparages religion. O’Reilly told people listeners to call and complain to the governor last week drawing attention to the issue. Story here.
*Groene/McKenzie murder site demolished/Jody Lawrence-Turner

Montana Judge OKs Assisted Suicide

Item: Judge’s ruling legalizes assisted suicide in Montana/AP

More Info: McCarter ruled that mentally competent, terminally ill Montanans have a right to obtain medications that can be self-administered to bring about a peaceful death if they find their suffering unbearable. The ruling says physicians can prescribe such medication without fear of criminal prosecution.

Question: Now, that Oregon and Washington have assisted suicide laws — and Montana has a court ruling in favor — do you think Idahoans would approve one, too?

Ramirez: Job Losses We Want

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Pearl Harbor Day Wild Card — 12/7/08

Today is the day that we honor the defining moment of my parents’ generation — Pearl Harbor Day. On the 67th anniversary of the “date that will live in infamy,” Newsday points out, fewer survivors are around to provide their first-hand experiences here. Meanwhile, President-elect Barack Obama is promising a $700B public works play to help the economy here. Louisiana voters bagged corrupt William Jefferson to elect the first Vietnamese-American to Congress here. A Montana judge has ruled assisted suicide is legal in the state here. And you can play this Wild Card to start your own threads …

Crapo, Simpson Seek Pardon For Idaho Soldier

Item: Crapo, Simpson seek pardon for Idaho soldier/AP

More Info: Sgt. Evan Vela, a 24-year-old U.S. Army sniper, was convicted in February and sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing an unarmed Iraqi civilian who stumbled upon him and five other soldiers sleeping on May 11, 2007. Vela also was convicted of planting an AK-47 on the dead man’s body and of lying to military investigators.

Question: Should President Bush pardon Sgt. Evan Vela?

Napkin Notes: The Joy Of 2 Bathrooms

I love the vaulted ceilings. I love the fenced backyard. I love the open floor plan, and the Pergo floors, and the huge garage. I love my walk-in closet. But most of all, I love having two bathrooms. Two. Bathrooms. Do you realize what that means? I can be in one, and the kids, whose bladders were apparently set at birth to go off whenever mine does, can use the other one! No more pounding on the door, no more frantic calls of “hurry, mommy!”, no more bursts of cold air intruding on my hot shower as the kids go in and out the door in search of toothbrushes and hair barrettes. It is bliss, I tell you/Katrina, Notes On A Napkin. More here.

Question: How many bathrooms do you have in your home. Have you ever had to get by w/one bathroom? What was that like?

Dogwalk: Where Will Tax On Farting Animals Lead?

Item: Proposed fee on smelly cows, hogs, angers farmers/AP

More Info: We best keep an eye on this or it could adversely affect we humans too. Not from a consumers point of view but from a consumption point of view. Think about how Uncle Charlie relaxes after too much Thanksgiving dinner? Think about what the boys around the TV emit after consuming too many beers while watching the big game! It could turn ugly. They could charge me a fee for having Bacchus. He’s been known to let loose on occasion. What about my fish? What’s in those bubbles they blow?/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: Should farmers be charged for the gas emitted by farting cows, hogs?

Wild Card/Saturday — 12/6/08

In the news this morning, Caroline Kennedy reportedly has talked to the New York governor about taking Hillary Clinton’s seat in the U.S. Senate here. Obama and McCain raised more than $1B combined for a $400,000 job here. McCain’s campaign spent $165K for 3 stylists for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin here. And you can play this Wild Card to start your own threads …

KXLY: Groene/McKenzie Murder House Torn Down

KREM2 Video: talks to neighbor re: demolition

Bringing to an end a dark chapter in North Idaho history, the Idaho Transportation Department tore down the home where three people were murdered in Wolf Lodge Bay before dawn Saturday morning. ITD officials confirmed early Friday afternoon they were going to be tearing down the home where Brenda Groene and Mark McKenzie lived with three of Brenda’s children, Slade, Dylan and Shasta Groene. McKenzie and Brenda and Slade Groene were murdered inside the home in May of 2005 by convicted killer Joseph Duncan. Duncan kidnapped the two youngest children, Dylan and Shasta, and took them to a remote campsite in western Montana where he later killed Dylan/KXLY. More here.

Question (from KXLY): Should a memorial be placed at the Wolf Lodge Bay site?

HBO Poll: Let It Snow?

Are you enjoying a relatively snow-free winter so far, or would you prefer that the snow begins to fly to boost the winter economy in North Idaho by enabling Schweitzer, Silver & Lookout to open?

*Dry roads for me
*Can’t wait to hit the slopes
*I like dry roads but I’d prefer that the resorts get the snow they need to open.

Minnick Outspent Sali 2-to-1

ne thing Democrat Walt Minnick and Republican Bill Sali agree on: Money was decisive in Minnick’s upset of the Republican incumbent Nov. 4. Minnick spent $2.5 million to capture the 1st Congressional District, becoming the first Idaho Democrat to win a federal seat since 1992. That was more than twice Sali’s spending of $1.2 million, according to new finance reports filed this week. The race was the most expensive U.S. House race in Idaho history, breaking the record set two years earlier when Sali defeated Democrat Larry Grant in a battle that cost $1.8 million/Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Is a combined $3.7M in campaign spending for an Idaho congressional race obscene? Or the cost of doing political business in 21st century Idaho?

OTV Review: Milltown Grill

Pulling into the Milltown Grill lot, the first thing we spotted was a sign touting the lofty acronym “B.B.I.T. Best Breakfast in Town.” Settling down near the door at the one empty table in the small, busy place, we discussed how we would have no choice but to take this B.B.I.T. business as a serious challenge; Frankly, the two of us have really been around the block a few times when it comes to local breakfast joints and to lay a claim to the title of THE best is rather boastful. Actually, “in town” would refer specifically to Post Falls, which narrowed down the competition quite a bit, since neither of us could really recall having breakfast anywhere else within those city limits recently enough to count. Ultimately, the Milltown Grill had us. They would have to be B.B.I.T. automatically by default/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: How do you order your eggs when you go out for breakfast? Sunny-side up? Over easy? Hard-boiled? Scrambled? Soft-boiled? Other?

Oracle: My Family Was Firstest w/Mostest In Idaho

My family has lived in Idaho since like, uhhh, 1720. They were the first settlers in the Panhandle. We used to own all of the land from British Columbia to Boise until great, great, great, great granpappy Jimmy Boyd Thompson lost it in a thumb wrasslin’ match to a fellow name of Kincheloe from over Wyoming way. We started the first school, the first hospital, the first Apothecary, the first Barber Shop, the first Mercantile, the first Haberdashery, the first Livery, the first Bordello and even the first mobile home park that featured the first month’s rent free and three pink flamingos in every yard. We put the first gallon of water in the Aquifer and dammed the river to make Lake Coeur d’Alene/The Oracle. More here.

Question: Can anyone top The Oracle’s Bunyanesque recounting of his family roots in Idaho?

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Colin Mulvany/SR
In Spokane, Chase Middle School 7th graders, Chris Nelson, Hannah Johnson and Tori Domini listen intently as Pearl Harbor survivor Sid Kennedy tells students about his experience the day the Japanese military attacked the Hawaiian Islands naval base on Dec 7th, 1941. Jim Camden’s SR story here.

Question: Do you have a grandparent or other relative who was serving at Pearl Harbor at the time of the December 1941 attack?

Parting Shot — 12/5/08

Gary C. Klein/AP Photo
Jiffy, a border collie mix dog rests in the office of the Sheboygan County Humane Society on Friday. The elderly border collie mix froze to the sidewalk when it was left outside overnight in single-digit temperatures, but the “morbidly obese” dog survived due to insulation from layers of fat, according to the Sheboygan County Humane Society. According to Carey Payne the dog weighs three times what it should weigh.

Jesse Tinsley’s Lake CDA eagle slideshow

CComm: Elder Abuse

Our family opted to have one of us there every evening and sporadically throughout the day. We observed that residents who had family members present were better treated than residents who did not. Grandmom could express herself by shaking her head, nodding, or, as we found out, stick her tongue out at people who mistreated her. One aid in particular got the tongue frequently. He turned out to have a criminal background and could only find a job as an aid/JeanieSpokane, Community Comment. More here.

Question: Are you confident that your friends and loved ones are getting proper care at area nursing and assisted-living homes?

Update! Leno Calls Burger Contest Winner

SReporter Alison Boggs just learned that 7YO Rathdrum burger wunderkind Charlie Beckett has been contacted by Jay Leno. The Red Robin contest winner may appear on Leno’s show next Friday, Nov. 12. Alison hears that Leno’s handlers love Charlie’s looks and personality. But they need him to make his burger while talking on the show — something kid chefs have a hard time doing. The family will know Monday if it’s a go.

Scanner Traffic — 12/5/08

5:09 p.m. R/P wants to speak to someone about a possible human foot he spotted along USFS Road 499.
4:10 p.m. R/P reports that a man at the Costco pumps is filling up a 500-gallon tank in a trailer that’s loaded with fertilizer. He wants a hazardous material check.
4:07 p.m. Post Falls Water District wants officers to check on a Primrose Lane home that hasn’t had water for two weeks but looks occupied.
4:03 p.m. R/P reports the guy transported a car here for sale from southern Idaho is not trying to raise the price on him.

Tumblewords: ‘December Noon’


winter sky turns vitreous
stumbles starkly near

losing its limpid look
it gears up once more

inundates the north
with a foot of white debris

Sue Turner/Tumblewords

In The News: Obama’s Birth Certificate

Jose Luis Magana/AP
Above, Theresa Cao speaks about President-elect Barack Obama’s proof of U.S. citizenship outside the Supreme Court in Washington Friday.

DFO: Conspiracy theorists on the right contend that Barack Obama isn’t eligible to be president b/c he wasn’t born in the U.S. And are demanding to see his birth certificate. A coupla Hucksters, I believe, have offered definitive proof in terms of links in the comments section that he was. I haven’t followed this too closely b/c I place these conspiracy theorists in the same categories as left-wingers who are still demanding President Bush’s impeachment.

Question: Should candidates for president be required to be born in this country?

Otis G: Livin’ The ‘00s

Life was roaring in the twenties. The thirties were consumed by the Great Depression. The forties hosted World War II. In the fifties, people started rockin’. The sixties were a blur, from what I’ve heard. The seventies (when I was born), also birthed the computer. Everyone looks back fondly at the eighties, to memories of big hair and power mullets. I was in my personal prime in the nineties, when pop culture imploded and “alternative” became mainstream. Now, we are quickly approaching 2009, and finishing out yet another decade/Otis G’s Experience. More here.

Question (from Otis G): What exactly do we call this decade?

Breaking! Simpson To Serve At Least 9 Years

A broken O.J. Simpson was sentenced today to as much as 33 years in prison for a hotel armed robbery after a judge rejected his apology and said, “It was much more than stupidity.” The 61-year-old football Hall of Famer stood shackled and stone-faced when Judge Jackie Glass quickly rattled off his punishment soon after he made a rambling, five-minute plea for leniency, choking back tears as he told her: “I didn’t want to steal anything from anyone. … I’m sorry, sorry”/AP. More here.

Question: Are you glad Simpson’s finally going to prison for something?

Update: Atheist Sign Located, Festivus Next?

The Associated Press is reporting that a man dropped the atheist sign off at Seattle radio station KMPS’s front desk around 10 a.m. The state police — who’ve made it very clear that this is theft — are apparently trying to recover the sign. Meanwhile, a growing list of groups and individuals have filed their own requests to put up a display in the state capitol, including Jim Buenzli of Olympia, who’s proposing erecting a 5-foot aluminum Festivus polewith accompanying sign: “Festivas (sic) for the Rest of Us”/Rich Roesler, Eye On Olympia. More here.

Roesler: Dear God, There Goes Atheist Sign

Rich Roesler/SR Eye On Olympia
In the Washington Capitol rotunda, Jeff Schumacher of Redmond, Wash., brought his own personal display to counter the atheists’ display that counters the Nativity scene display.

Five days after a Wisconsin atheist group erected a small sign in Washington’s state capitol declaring that there is no God, someone has stolen the sign. “We just heard that someone ran off with our sign,” Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president Dan Barker said by phone this morning. “The capitol police are mortified. They’re just as upset as we are. It’s a theft, a crime committed under their noses.” The sign was in response to a nativity scene erected by an Olympia-area real estate agent on the third floor of the capitol after a lawsuit. The capitol also features a 30-foot-tall “holiday tree,” and last year, orthodox rabbis held a menorah-lighting ceremony in the rotunda/Rich Roesler, Eye On Olympia. More here.

*Coeur d’Alene’s Christmas celebration/Video Journal
*BBC lovers, check out ‘State of Play’/Movies & More
*Deadlines for best shipping prices near/Everyday Economy
*Elder Abuse/Community Comment
*A Bunch of Zag stuff/SportsLink
*Bribery or reward?/Parents Council
*Dealing w/change/A Matter Of Opinion

Question: Good riddance? Or, how dare they steal that sign?

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Challenge Still Alive

Item: Decision keeps ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ challenge alive/Karen Dorn Steele, SR

More Info: A federal appeals court has denied a request to reconsider a decision that keeps alive a challenge to the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gay soldiers brought by a former Air Force nurse from Spokane. Major Margaret Witt, a highly decorated Air Force flight nurse, was suspended from the Air Force after a military board found she had practiced and declared her homosexuality – a violation of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” She was honorably discharged in October 2007.

Question: Do you support the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gay soldiers?

UI Columnist: Use Your Brains, Not Boobs

I remember the first time opportunities surpassed me and went to “Ms. I Wear 3-inch Heels and a Little-Shorter-Than-Appropriate Skirt to the Office Every Day.” How aggravated it made me feel someone with half the experience got the opportunities I was working my butt off for. So, what do you do? You can be mad and send evil glares her way when she’s too busy flirting with your boss to notice. But then she is invited to some gala with him where she’ll meet all the big shots, and you’re stuck in the office catching up on paperwork she didn’t get done because she was busy having “meetings.” Or you could try her approach, yet try as you might, “You have a meeting with so-and-so at 10, and your wife called about faxing over the divorce papers,” just doesn’t sound nearly as sexy as her cooing, “Morning, Ben, that’s a great shirt — have you been working out?”/Anne-Marije Rook, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: How pervasive is sexual politics at your workplace?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 12/5/08

Rainier Ehrhardt/August Chronicle, AP
Harrison Baggs, 2, left, cries as he and his brother, Hunter Baggs, 5, pose for photos with Santa Claus in Augusta, Ga. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Harrison bawls when Santa whispers in his ear that he had been a bad boy, but due to the economic crisis, even coal prices had risen to the point where he would instead be getting a lump of his daddy’s worthless 401K statements — Kendramama.
2. Cut production staff in half by laying off 350 elves, Congress denied the Northpole bail out plan, the reigndeer are boycotting until they receive affordable health care, Mrs. Clause has developed a drinking problem. And we wonder why. Why has Santa resorted to kidnapping? — Nic.
3. “Mom! Santa said he wouldn’t give me a bailout package!” — A Token D.

HM: CindyH

Urine Found In Assisted Living Center Ice

Item: Urine found in ice at senior-living center: Owner suspects disgruntled workers/Meghann M. Cuniff, SR

More Info: The soda tasted like urine, so she poured a new can into a different ice-filled glass. After another sip, Kathleen Chmura realized it wasn’t the soda that was tainted – it was the ice, taken from a bin at the By the Lake senior assisted living center she owns in Hayden. Chmura suspects the urine-soaked ice bin was the final move by an employee who’d joined two other employees in a September walkout to protest the firing of two employees three days earlier.

Question: What would be a fitting punishment for whoever is eventually convicted of this crime?

Ramirez: Teaching Snakes New Tricks

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Parting Shot — 12/4/08

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho
“There’s actually beauty in the entire cycle of life there at Higgens Point,” e-mails Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho. “The salmon weaken and die after spawning and fight the inevitable with determination. So at the shoreline you will see them spiraling in the shallow water, ironically making themselves more visible to the hunting eagles overhead.

SR’s World Snapshots

9 Words Women Use During An Argument …

And what they mean:

Five Minutes
Go Ahead
Loud Sigh
That’s Okay
Don’t Worry About It, I Got It

Question: I received this from Trish Gannon, the River Journal owner/janitor, this afternoon. It could have saved me a lot a chilly moments had I received it 33-plus years ago. Do you consider the list fairly accurate?

Scanner Traffic — 12/4/08

5:59 p.m. EMTs asked to make an evaluation on pregnant female following a domestic dispute in 200 block of 4th Street.
5:32 p.m. R/P reports strong gas smell near Avista plant @ Boekel & Meyer.
5:25 p.m. Hitchhiker in dark clothes creating a safety hazard near Stateline on I90.

Sandpoint Outfitters Gun Sales Up 400%

Calvin Fuller, owner of Sandpoint Outfitters in Ponderay, said he has seem the same action here in North Idaho. “It started about three or four days after the election,” he said. “We’ve seen sales four times what is normal. Right now, my suppliers are completely out of assault-type rifles, weapons like the AR-15 style semi-auto and handguns that carry more than twelve rounds in the magazine. Normally,” he added, “it’s 10 to 12 weeks (for a custom order) direct from the manufacturer. Now it’s 20 weeks or more.” In addition, “The price for both guns and ammo is on the rise. From what I’ve been hearing there’s concern about a proposal to implement a 500 percent tax on some of the ammunition (these types of weapons) require”/Trish Gannon, River Journal. More here.

Question: Have you bought a gun or thought of buying a gun as a result of Democrats taking control of the White House as well as Congress in January?

NIC Responds To ‘Scanner Traffic’ Entry

12:45 p.m. Officer: “Do you know if the college has initiated some sort of lockdown procedure?” Second Officer: “Nobody’s seen what sounds like anything here.”

Stacy Hudson, NIC PRster: First, there was no weapon on campus and at no time was NIC’s Meyer Health and Sciences Building in a lockdown, despite what may have crossed the scanner. During the noon hour, faculty of the nursing program located in Meyer Health and Science Building released a student from the program for academic reasons. This student was distraught over this action, and made a statement about getting a gun from his safe and using it.

Cruise Boat Takes Out Navigation Light

The navigational light between the Spokane River and Cougar Bay was destroyed by the “Spirit of Coeur d’Alene” cruise boat after the fireworks show Friday night. The Kootenai County Parks & Waterways Department will decide whether it will be replaced. The accident remains under investigation. All this, according to the sheriff’s department.

Smith: Gannett Slashing Newsroom Staffs

The bodies are stacking up today at Gannett Co. newspapers all over the country. Gannett has been downsizing its newspapers seemingly forever. But corporate moguls, for PR reasons I suppose, decided that the current cuts would be made at all their newspapers within a day or two. At corporate, this is the equivalent of removing the bandage with a single tug. But for the Gannett employees getting the axe, the pain is going to last much longer. The layoffs are being tracked at Gannett Blog, an independent monitor of Gannett activities. At last count, according to the blog, layoffs numbered more than 850 with most of the company’s properties still to make their announcements/Steve Smith, Still A Newspaperman. More here.

HBO @ Noon: Atheist Message Angers O’Reilly

A lighting ceremony for a holiday tree at the Washington Capitol at 6 p.m. Friday may draw more attention than usual. That’s because of a sign also displayed in the Rotunda at the request of the Freedom From Religion Foundation that calls religion “myth and superstition.” That has outraged Bill O’Reilly of Fox News who has been asking his viewers to call the governor to complain. O’Reilly says displaying the sign with the tree and a Christian nativity scene is “political correctness gone mad”/AP. More here.

Question: Which conservative commentator do you consider to be the most influential?

Idaho, Washington In Healthy State Top 10

1. Vermont
2. Hawaii
3. New Hampshire
4. Minnesota
5. Utah
6. Massachusetts
7. Connecticut
8. Idaho
9. Maine
10. Washington

Table here

Question: Would you rank your health to be as good as your state’s?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 12/4/08

Nick Ut/AP
Los Angeles County firefighters look at a mural on the wall of the Body Shop, a landmark West Hollywood strip club mentioned in the Motley Crue hit “Girls, Girls, Girls,” after battling a blaze at the club Thursday, in West Hollywood, Calif. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. CindyH, Mamajd, Jeanc and Jeannie pay the boys back for the free fireman calendars they just received while Digger could be heard in the background saying “c’mon fellas, give me one too” — KeithinCDA.
2. Rorschach girls gone wild — Dan.
2. “You know, Earl, I ain’t never seen your shadow look so, well, alluring” — Toadman.

HM: Idaho Escapee

Hval: Summer Phelps Story Hits Close To Home

My brother-in-law, Darrol Hval, was the emergency room physician on duty the night Summer Phelps was brought into Deaconess Medical Center. He led the medical team’s efforts to revive the badly beaten child. Though she came in with no pulse and no breath sounds, the staff did what they were trained to, and then some. They fought for her – prayed for her, and despite all their efforts they couldn’t bring her back. “After 20 minutes, I had to call it,” Darrol said, recalling that night. He has five children of his own, including a little girl with blonde curls about Summer’s age. He’s been holding that daughter especially close these last few months. While Darrol is relieved the trial is over, he’ll never escape the memories of that night/Cindy Hval, SR. More here.

Question (from CindyH): We hear a lot about a mother’s natural instinct to protect her child. Do you think fathers have the same instinct to protect their young?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 12/4/08

Nick Groff/Argonaut
Sports writer Scott Stone of the UI Argonaut presents a second in a series about Coach Robb Akey’s attempt to rebuild the Vandal football team here.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Charges pending in Shoshone County hunter death/Ty Hampton, Shoshone County News-Press
*Pend Oreille boat tragedy touches Bayview/Herb Huseland, SR Prairie Voice
*Chilliest fall night to follow sunny day/SR
*Utilities brace for assistance demand/Brian Walker, CDA Press
*IEL boys know hunt begins w/Lewiston/Greg Lee, SR
*Like old times, Eddie Ray Hall pleads not guilty/KREM2
*Post Falls superintendent wins statewide honors/Carolyn Lamberson, SR Prairie Voice
*30YO man sent to prison for sex w/13YO/Bonner County Bee

Online Poll: Which Higher Tax For Roads?

Item: Otter plans to raise taxes for Idaho roads, bridges/Idaho Statesman

Question: Which tax or fee would you be most willing to increase to pay for road building and maintenance?

*Gas tax
*Registration fee
*Trucker fees
*Retail car tax
*Auto parts sales tax

Pert: Opposing Views Enhance Enjoyment

Raymond Pert (to TT): I find that Christianity has several glaring deficiencies as a world view and that other ways of seeing the world have helped me live a fuller spiritual life. Maybe we aren’t alike in this, but when Sam said that your devoutness might keep you from enjoying “Candide,” I shuddered. My devoutness is exactly what increases my enjoyment of “Candide” and “Moby Dick” and Shakespeare and the Tao and Thich Nhat Hanh and scores of other writings that are not Christian — and that, in some cases, take a jaundiced view of Christianity. More here.

Question: Do you actively seek to read or hear views that are counter to your particular world- or religious-view?

Huckleberries: CPD Blues Brave Cold

There’s a reason you heard muted Christmas music coming from Coeur d’Alene City Park during the annual Christmas kickoff Friday. Coeur d’Alene Police Department Blue was test-driving its new public safety building for the parade, tree-lighting ceremony, Hagadone Corp. fireworks display and Festival of Trees. It worked pretty well, too, says CPD Blue spokeswoman Sgt. Christie Wood, who earned extra credit from fellow copsickles on the cold, drizzly night by showing up for work with a space heater. That, Starbucks coffee (provided by the chain’s local shop free to the officers and locals who checked out the new safety building) and a boombox boomboxing Christmas music lightened the mood for the regulars and several COPS volunteers who were assigned the stressful task of protecting 20,000 observers who crowded onto Sherman Avenue and Northwest Boulevard to see the kickoff to CdA’s Christmas/DFO, SR Prairie Voice. More here.

KREM2: 1 Dead, 2 Critical In Highway 95 Crash

Dead: Kimberlee R Dingman, 44, Sandpoint
Critical: Crystal L Bertolucci, 31, Sandpoint & William D Deardorff, 53, Spokane
Slightly Hurt: Skylar Bertolucci, 1, Sandpoint

(ISP news report in drop-down box)

A woman is dead and two other people critically injured after a head on crash on Highway 95 near Sagle Wednesday night. Police say the deadly wreck happened around 5:30 p.m. when a man driving in a truck hit an SUV carrying two women and a baby. They say the man may have been drinking/KREM2. More here. KXLY story here.

Parting Shot — 12/3/08

Ralph Bartholdt/Special to HBO
Ralph Bartholdt/St. Maries Gazette-Record e-mailed this shot with the comment: “a boat waits for next season on a dock at Chatcolet Lake.”

SR World Snapshots

Scanner Traffic — 12/3/08

5:43 p.m. Multiple, rear-end collision @ Ironwood & Northwest Boulevard.
5:30 p.m. High-speed, head-on collision on Highway 95 near Careywood Road. Officer uses the term “fully engulfed” to describe scene. Also, an air ambulance is on the way.
5:20 p.m. 3-vehicle, head-on injury accident is blocking the intersection of Prairie & Ramsey.

EOB: Rep. Anderson Survives Moose Crash

The couple was headed south to Coeur d’Alene to shop for a refrigerator just after dark – that’s about 4:15 p.m. up north – on Dufort Road, traveling about 45 mph, when the moose appeared from an unexpected location – Mark Fuhrman’s driveway. The giant animal came through the windshield of the Andersons’ Subaru Outback and landed on the steering wheel, before being thrown out into a roadside ditch. Anderson suffered a cut on his hand that needed stitches, but his wife escaped “without a scratch,” he said, and the dog was unhurt in the back of the car/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here.

*Otter wants gas tax hike, fee increase
*Key points of the governor’s plan
*Reaction mixed, mostly positive
*Spoken the way it was written
*Minnick picks 2 key staffers

MamaJD: What Happened To Resort Rink?

MamaJD: Does anyone know what happened to the Resort Ice Rink? I am assuming that they won’t be re-installing it this year since it isn’t up yet. It seemed busy enough whenever we went. Was it just for the Good Morning America cameras?

Question: Anyone?

Local Blogs — Oil Of Olay, Oy?!

Courtesy: Slight Detour
“Appaloosa homes around the world turned over their calendars to see that lovely face of Lily aka Miss December sniffing at some plastic poinsettias in the antique manure spreader,” writes owner Marianne Love/Slight Detour. “Annie snapped the photo two years ago, shortly after Lily’s arrival from Oklahoma.” More here.

Oil Of Olay: I am almost 35 years old and something major in my life occurred this weekend. I broke down and bought my first bottle of Oil of Olay. (Reminder to self: Deep breath in and then exhale.) I have always been confused about the wrinkle cream thing. Do you use wrinkle cream before you get wrinkles as a preventative? OR Do you use it after you start to see wrinkles to minimize the impact of the wrinkles starting to form? I knew it was trouble when I started rationalizing. No harm in attempting to prevent, right?/MamaJD. More here.

HBO Numbers (for Tuesday, Dec. 2): 10091 page-views/5380 unique views

*Up And Down A Midnight Wander/Tumblewords
*Laff me red stripey socks off/Marmitetoasty
*Montana road trip/Live, Love, Laugh, Hope
*B is for bows/Gathering Around The Table
*Trouble children/Simple Mind
*David Gregory has met the press — and won/Dogwalk Musings
*Horsey looks at Bush remaining days/Community Comment
*Holiday season at Priest Lake/As The Lake Churns

Question: Speaking of MamaJD’s close encounter w/oil of Olay (in the gray box), what was the last benchmark in life that you passed?

‘Impeachment’ Ornament, Anyone?

Deborah Lawrence (who provided this photo for the AP) holds in Seattle the Christmas ornament she designed after being selected to decorate ornaments for the White House tree. The nine-inch ball Lawrence created is covered with swirly red and white stripes and features a picture of Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott of Seattle, a longtime Bush foe who backs impeachment. Tiny glued-on text hails the impeachment resolution. A spokeswoman for first lady Laura Bush said Tuesday that the tree will not include Lawrence’s ornament. Bush had asked members of Congress to pick artists to decorate ornaments for the White House tree to showcase all 435 congressional districts.

Close-up look at ornament

Question: Would you buy one of these ornaments as a keepsake, if artist Deborah Lawrence marketed replicas? Why? Why not?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 12/3/08

Kurt Wilson/Missoulian, AP
University of Montana football fans Mark Hettick, Brian Horner,front row right, Rob Reimann, left, Lance Hughes, wearing cowboy hat, and Patrick Mourar, right, pose in Missoula, Mont., with boxes of Twinkies that they will toss out to the crowd every time the Grizzlies score a touchdown. “We prepare every week for a lot of points,” says Brian Horner.

David Horsey/PI ‘toon

*Washington, Idaho get F’s for college affordability/Moscow-Pullman Daily News
*A tax on gassy cows? That stinks, group says/Billings Gazette
*Dance kick at Twin Falls club prompts felony charge/Twin Falls Times-News
*Hecla to pay $102K after 2006 spill/AP
*Otter to propose higher gas taxes, license fees/Idaho Statesman
*Idaho jobless rises again/Idaho Statesman
*Body found in Moses Lake pipe bomb home/SR
*Car burglars steal candy, leave behind other valuables/AP
*Moscow police chief: New jail proposal will wait/AP
*Montana’s Schweitzer heads nation’s governors/Helena Independent-Record
*Cat lost in Yellowstone survives, goes home/Billings Gazette

Orbusmax Special: U.S. Supreme Court lifts stay of Washington execution here.

Adam: Palin Powers Georgia R To Big Win

I think at the end of the day that if Sarah Palin doesn’t show up in Georgia, Saxby Chambliss still wins. But by nearly 15 points? No way. Palin’s appearances galvanized the base of the party in a way that I don’t think anyone else’s appearance did. This isn’t to say Huckabee, Romney, McCain, or Giuliani were unhelpful or didn’t matter, or that calls from the RNC and HuckPAC into Georgia didn’t help. But the big difference between the final polls and the final results seems to indicate an “x” factor and I think that factor is Sarah Palin/Adam’s Blog. More here.

*Not feeling like myself lately/Bubblehead
*About Obama’s birth certificate/Fort Boise
*More Mumbai thoughts/Free In Idaho
*Thayn’s big idea/IdaBlue
*Leading by example/Unequivocal Notion

Question: Do you agree w/Adam that Sandpoint native Sarah Palin was the “x” factor in Saxby Chambliss’ big victory?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 12/3/08

Noah Berger/AP
Nevaeh Enoch, 6, peers out from a shopping cart while waiting for a Wa-Mart to open around 5 a.m. on Black Friday in Oakland, Calif. Hoping for deals on clothes and toys, Enoch and her mom joined the line of several hundred people at 2:45 a.m. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Nevaeh watched in dismay and horror as she realized the shopping cart was dismally inadequate protection for the upcoming stampede – no seat belt, no helmet, no flak jacket, no Kevlar – all this sacrifice for a cheap thrill — JeanieSpokane.
2. Wal-Mart management issued this press release: “In light of the recent trampling incident, customers will be asked to ride in armored carts on future visits to the store” — Brent Andrews.
3. Young Nevaeh is saddened as she realizes her name didn’t originate from the Slavic word for Butterfly as she had come to believe, but rather, her mother’s favorite hand lotion on aisle three — Poolman.

HM: Cabbage Boy

Gannon: Computers Worse Than Juveniles

Misty was my first, and most difficult child to raise. I had not yet learned that trying to control a teenager was an exercise in futility, and we butted heads on a regular basis. I swear, for about three or four years straight, every single thing that child did was done for the sole purpose of irritating me. Who knew she would one day be topped by computers? Two of them, in fact. Mom’s Big Computer, and now the Mac World e-Mac. (That’s their names.) Back in October, Mom’s Big Computer decided to embark on an experiment in computer crashing. After six years of being my faithful companion in putting together each and every issue of the River Journal, MBC decided enough was enough/Trish Gannon, River Journal. More here.

Question: Did you name your computer? Is it as difficult to handle as your teen-ager?

AM Headlines — 12/3/08

Courtesy: OnLocation North Idaho
“Bald eagles enjoy Lake Coeur d’Alene as much as we do, arriving in late November in their annual migration to feed on the dead and dying salmon which have spawned in recent weeks,” posts Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho. More here.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*NIC officials seek to trim budget/Maureen Dowd, CDA Press
*Minnick ready to work on economy/Jim Camden, SR
*Cougs up in arms over Husky Stadium/KXLY
*Appeals delay Avista dam re-license process/Brian Walker, CDA Press
*Farmin-Stidwell educates parents about education/Terri Casey, River Journal
*Future bright for North Idaho health care, nurses/Maureen Dolan, CDA Press
*Ex-UIdaho coach Pfeiffer discusses life in Billings/St. Maries Gazette-Record

Police: Elderly Man Lied About Robbery

Kenneth Koch cut himself with a knife because he was depressed about the upcoming holidays, but when a friend asked about his injuries he claimed he’d been beat up and robbed for his groceries. Koch, who is in his 60s – not 87, continued to lie about the robbery after his friend took him to the hospital and police were called. Rather than admit to self-mutilation, Koch said he’d been roughed up by three men near a Safeway store near Mission and Hamilton as he traveled home to O’Malley Apartments in his wheelchair. He even described the suspects down to their clothes and facial hair/Meghann M. Cuniff, SR. More here.

Question: Does a story like this affect your willingness to help others?

Popkey: Semanko Behind In House Payments

Idaho Republican Chairman and Eagle City Councilman Norm Semanko says he has made arrangements to pay off a delinquent mortgage. A legal notice announcing a March 13 trustee’s sale of Semanko’s home appeared in the Statesman last week and is being republished Wednesday. Semanko failed to make $3,623-a-month payments from July through November and is nearly $19,000 behind in all, according to the notice. Dawn Bryant of Beneficial Finance in Elmhurst, Ill., said Tuesday that the foreclosure “has been placed on hold” and that if Semanko catches up by Jan. 2, the loan will be reinstated/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What do you think of this development?

Hat Tip: Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise

Heller: We’re In A Recession? Really?

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Parting Shot — 12/2/08

Les Sterling via Deborah Lawrence/AP
This image provided by Deborah Lawrence shows the Christmas ornament she designed after being selected to decorate ornaments for the White House tree. The nine-inch ball Lawrence created is covered with swirly red and white stripes and features a picture of Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott of Seattle, a longtime Bush foe who backs impeachment. Tiny glued-on text hails the impeachment resolution. A spokeswoman for first lady Laura Bush said Tuesday that the tree will not include Lawrence’s ornament. Bush had asked members of Congress to pick artists to decorate ornaments for the White House tree to showcase all 435 congressional districts.

SR: World Snapshots

OTV: Let Me Count Ways I Hate Wal*Mart

The people drive me insane. The shoppers, the employees, everyone. They’re slow moving like bovine and seem unaware of the world around them. On my first visit ever to the PF WalMart, I was minding my business in the office supply aisle and my ankles were rammed suddenly and forcibly from behind by a snotty teenage employee trying to navigate a pallet cart through the aisles. I yowled in pain and had to grab the shelf to keep myself vertical and the kid just goes “Uh…sorry Dood” and keeps on going All the slack-jawed shoppers just kinda stood around pointing at me and laughing about it! I was so mad I abandoned my cart and hobbled out for good. I had bruises for weeks, physical AND mental. It was a Carrie moment and if I’d been of clearer mind I would have taken pictures of my anlkes, gone to the ER and sued/OrangeTV. More here.

Question: OrangeTV despises Wal*Mart. Can you name something you despise?

Scanner Traffic — 12/2/08

5:17 p.m. R/P @ 7th & Lunceford complains that someone has left a bike on her lawn.
5:08 p.m. A teen boy is driving a motorcycle without a headlight in the Grouse Meadows subdivision.
4:50 p.m. Two males seen in a newer-model red Chevy pickup w/extended cab and Texas plates spray-painting fences in the Orchard/Prescott area of Hayden.

Parents Pull Kids From School After Contact w/CPS

Item: Couple pulls kids from school after official contacted CPS/KREM2

More Info: On Nov. 17 the children missed the bus and were forced to walk the 1.4 miles to school. The children walked along a dirt path off Highway 291 to get there. Maree Koolstra said she followed the children along as she drove in her car to monitor their progress. Upon seeing the boys walking to school, a school official there contacted CPS and that agency contacted the Koolstras.

Question: Do you sympathize with the parents or school officials in this incident?

Finish This Sentence …

*The last time I went Christmas tree hunting in the great outdoors I nearly buried my parents’ old 73 Ford Ford LTD Country Squire 36 passenger station wagon in a mud bog on a logging road. This was like in 1979.
*The last time I played a game of basketball in the driveway was a couple of months ago and my knee is still screwed up.
*The last time I went to an indoor rock concert in Spokane was ZZ Top in 1980.
*The last time I planted shade annuals (New Guinea Impatiens) was in the spring before my marriage ended.
*The last time I exceeded 100mph in a car I was driving was in 1976 in my 64 Galaxie XL 500 with a hopped up engine.
*The last time I received a moving violation ticket was in 1976 - 45 in a 35 on Pines Road. State Trooper popped me/TUBOB. More here.

Finish this sentence: The last time I …

Seattle Times Cartoonist Suffers Layoff

Elaine Thompson/AP
Eric Devericks, top right, recently laid-off from his job as an editorial cartoonist at The Seattle Times, shows off some of his artwork with his wife Brandi and children Sullivan, 5, left, Finnigan, 2, and Amara, 8, recently in Kenmore, Wash. Story here.

Question: Who’s your favorite all-time political cartoonist?

Seattle Impeachment Ornament Banned In White House

‘Tis not the season to post calls for impeachment on the White House Christmas tree. A spokeswoman for first lady Laura Bush said Tuesday that the tree will not include an ornament by a Seattle artist that supports President Bush’s impeachment.
The ornament was the only one of about 370 submitted for the White House tree that was rejected, she said. Artist Deborah Lawrence said she wanted to salute Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott of Seattle, a longtime Bush foe who backs impeachment. The nine-inch ball Lawrence created is covered with swirly red and white stripes and features a picture of McDermott. Tiny glued-on text hails the impeachment resolution/AP.

Question: Do you find this humorous? Or annoying?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 12/2/08

Elaine Thompson/AP
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, left, chats on the phone during a radio program as he sits with Issaquah Middle School student Andy Co at Co’s home before heading off to visit the school with Andy Tuesday today in Issaquah, Wash. Hasselbeck and other players across the NFL woke up before dawn on their off days and went to gym classes as part of the league’s Take a Player to School program.

David Horsey/PI ‘toon

*W.R. Grace agrees to pay $140M in asbestos case/AP
*Washington Corrections cancels execution plans/AP
*Disgraced ex-Idaho senator Noble broke labor laws, faces fine/AP
*Man let pit bull attack bar patrons/AP
*Canyon County sheriff’s credit charge not criminal/Idaho Press Tribune
*Montana charged w/felony for keying Caddie/Billings Gazette
*USPS honors UMontana women’s basketball coach w/postmark/Missoulian
*Palouse resident kills bunnies to protect property/KREM2

Orbusmax Special: Actor makes film about ex-WSU QB Ryan Leaf here.

Hagadone Offers Lola III For Sale

The Hagadone Marine Group title to ad selling Duane Hagadone’s Lola III sums it all up: “A world class ship design, with a dose of North Idaho sizzle.” And continues: “Delivered in 2008 and now offered for sale to a discriminating buyer wanting to possess a truly unique yacht, the Lady Lola III is a richly appointed 72-footer designed by one of the world’s most visionary marine designers, Duane Hagadone.” If you want to see the ad and take a cyber tour of the boat, click here.

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 12-2-08

Niklas Larsson/AP
Valeria Petkova, center, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and student Andrew Ketterer, left, test the ‘body-swap’ illusion, a method whereby people can experience the illusion that either a mannequin or another person’s body is their own body Monday in Stockholm. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. A lady was heard asking,”Can we get this with a firemans outfit”? — Charlie
2. It took magnifying glasses to do it, but student Andrew Ketterer now sees that he’s no dummy — Aliasjax.
3. Although the mannequin was a big improvement for Andrew, he makes Valeria blush as he drums up interest in having Tommy Lee’s body instead — John Austin.

HM: JeanieSpokane

Pullman Man Spins ‘Wheel of Fortune’

AP Photo
Pullman code enforcement officer Gary Labusohr will appear on “Wheel of Fortune.”

Item: Taken for a spin: Pullman man to appear on popular television game show ‘Wheel of Fortune’/Hillary Hamm, Moscow-Pullman Daily News

More Info: Gary Labusohr was excited for the first round of his appearance on the “Wheel of Fortune” game show. But the 57-year-old Pullman code enforcement officer’s enthusiasm waned and he began to fake it when he kept spinning the wheel and landing on “Bankrupt” or “Lose A Turn” while another contestant racked up $16,000. “It was really obvious I wasn’t going to be the big winner,” he said with a scowl. “Unfortunately, I didn’t play well. Only people who solve a puzzle accumulate any money, and when you can’t play you can’t solve.”

Question: Have you ever been on a TV game show?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 12/2/08

Dave Nall/Hauser Thoughts
“No, it’s not snow,” posts Frum Helen Back/Hauser Thoughts. “Some mother’s child couldn’t resist the urge to make bubbles I guess.” Brian Walker/CDA Press tells you more about it *here.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*ISP puzzled by wrong-way fatality/KHQ
*Sun might peek through today/SR
*Region’s experts back recession report/Bert Caldwell, SR
*P&Zers hear comp plan feedback/Alecia Warren, CDA Press
*Builders: Post Falls plan invalid/CDA Press

CDA Mulls Wide Variety Of Fee Hikes

Item: Council considers fee hikes: Businesses would have option of paying city for unprovided parking spaces/Tom Hasslinger, CDA Press

More Info: First time police fingerprinting fees will jump from $5 to $10; both fines for dog at large and having an unlicensed mutt will be $75 for the owner instead of $50; and homeowners with 32 gallon residential garbage cart service will be asked to pay $7.15 per month now, instead of $6.75. For commercial garbage pick up, 32-gallon cart service will cost around $5 plus the cart fee, 65 gallon will cost $10. The cart and for both residential and commercial if the garbage man has to get out of his truck and unlock the Dumpster will cost the owner $2.50.

Question: With the state and national economy in a major recession, is this a good time for the city to raise fees?

Clark: Hagadone’s Xmas Sizzles

We almost skipped that part of our hotel weekend package. I’m glad we didn’t. At the proper time we boarded one of the Resort’s large passenger vessels. Then we powered across the cold dark lake, closing in on a lighted North Pole sign that was set up not far from shore. Zap. A giant tree lit up like a rocket ship. A suspended snow machine began blowing flakes into the night sky. We were soon greeted by a real live Santa and Mrs. Claus who waved at the cruise passengers from their home in a brightly decorated boathouse. Then Santa, through loudspeakers, read off the names of each and every youngster who was on our boat and the boat next to us/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: I haven’t seen the North Pole part of Duane Hagadone’s sizzling Christmas extravaganza, but it’s hard to disagree w/Doug Clark about the rest. Any other thoughts re: the founder of CDA’s Christmas pageantry?

Heller: Grounded?

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Parting Shot — 12/1/08

Mark Baker/AP
Australia’s Cameron Sinclair falls into the water after successfully completing a double backflip on his motorbike into Sydney Harbor Monday. The event was held to promote the “Crusty Demons” extreme sports show.

A Surprise Visit To/From Marmitetoasty

I think we should all go and surprise visit Marmite! I can just a big group of huckleberrians walkin down some English country lane and DFO’s like “Kage Mann, stop throwing rocks at the sheep and stay in line” and we’d be all like “hey DFO you are SO NOT the boss here even if it is your stupid blog” and we’d be kind of bickering only cuz we’re all really drunk from some pub we visited and we’re all nervous that Marmite’s gonna be mad we up and surprised visited her and so we’re all like kind of on edge when a local constable rides up on his bicycle and rings his little police bell on the handlebar and makes us all stop and he gets off his bike and puts his hands on his hips and says “What the bleekin’ hell is this? Who shivvered yer moppuls, ya gollops?” and we’re all like wanting to be respectful because he is an officer of the local law but we actually have no idea what he’s asking and he starts turning red and gets kind of louder while grabbing his whistle “Oh, a bunch of malarkers are ye? I oughta rantler yer boopers ya maloneys, me whistle’s about to snurgle!”/TUBOB. More here.

DFO: Ok, I’ve heard the pleas of my people re: a move to bring Marmitetoasty to Blogfest 2009 (although I haven’t asked new Editor Gary Graham if the paper will pop for the pizza and pop again this year). First, I suppose, we have to decide if Marmie’s interested in attending the blogfest, then we have to find a date that’ll match her schedule (probably later than earlier), and finally we need to raise some shillings or quid or pounds or whatever else passes for currency across the pond. So I’m opening this thread for ideas and volunteers.

NW Sick: 3 Robbers Steal Groceries From 87YO

Police say an 87-year-old man in a wheelchair was attacked and robbed of his groceries Friday afternoon in Spokane. The disabled man, whom Spokane Police did not identify in a press release issued today, said his three assailants were armed with a hammer and a knife. The victim was cut on his face and neck, but apparently was not hospitalized. The man told police he was westbound on Mission Avenue near Hamilton Street when he was approached by the young men, whom he described as black with thin builds, wearing baggie pants with “greenish brown” hooded sweatshirts/SR. More here.

Atheists Post Anti-Christianity Sign In Olympia

Ted S. Warren/AP
Top: Dan Barker, co-president of the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., talks today about the sign his organization helped place at near a Christian nativity scene at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. The sign promotes the observance of the winter solstice and is critical of religious beliefs. Bottom: A permanent bust of George Washington, center, sits between a Christian nativity display, right, and the sign placed by Barker’s organization. Previous post & discussion on this topic

Izzit Just Me …

… Or do brand name over-the-counter drugs, like DayQuil and NyQuil, perform a heckuva lot better than generic store brands?

Question: How do you fight a cold when you feel one coming on? Which over-the-counter medication do you take for one?

‘Living Will’ For Pets Lets Caretaker Know Options

Item: ‘Living will’ for pets enables caretakers to know options/Betsy Cohen, Missoulian

More Info: Recently, Pet Living Wills made it’s debut at, offering “peace of mind for pet lovers.” The service is an online registry of a pet’s key health-care information, which helps ensure a pet owner’s wishes are followed should his or her animal companion fall ill or be injured when in the care of others, and the pet owner cannot be reached, Campbell said. The Pet Living Wills registry stores the owner’s directives concerning their pet’s medical care, and provides the pet’s veterinarian and other pet care providers with timely information, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Question: Have you ever been in a situation where you wished you’d have a living will for one of your pets?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 12/1/08

Kerry Maloney/Idaho Statesman, AP
Gov. Butch Otter addresses the state budget during a news conference in Boise Monday Dec. 1, 2008. Otter on Monday ordered state agencies to cut another 3 percent from their budgets because of the sputtering economy that has reduced tax revenue. Story below.

David Horsey/Seattle PI ‘toon

*Otter orders another 3% cut in state budget/SR
*Coroner: Archery death of middle schooler accidental/SR
*Edgy DUI ads hit Boise airwaves/Idaho Statesman
*Boise State Vs. Ball State in bowl game battle of unbeatens?/KTVB
*Living will for pets lets caretaker know options/Missoulian
*Montana felons can’t possess bows & arrows either/Daily Inter Lake
*Arson not suspected in Moscow’s Wingers bar fire/KXLY
*Idaho’s 2nd largest county OKs Sunday booze sales/AP
*M’s to offer Ibanez salary arbitration/Seattle PI

Orbusmax Special: Oregon State students back smoking ban here

Hard Times Ends McManus 40-Year Column Run

Colin Mulvany/SR
Patrick F. McManus of Spokane, a former Eastern Washington Univeristy writing instructor, is ending a 40-year career of writing the book-ending humor columns for Field & Stream and Outdoor Life magazines. Rich Landers SR story here.

Question: Are you a fan of Patrick McManus’ outdoor humor writing. If so, which McManus book is your favorite?

Brand X Ranch: ‘Tis The Season To Simplify

I don’t know if it is because the Holiday season makes me more aware - it shouldn’t - or that my Seasonal Affective Disorder has me looking for indignities over which I can become depressed . … but, it seems there is an explosion of the “I-me-my-mine” attitudes. I am watching behaviors become negatively modified with fast-everything, we are encouraged to not delay any gratification, buy, spend, charge it, no interest for 100 years, make it bigger, better, Super sized!! I don’t want to be a part of this. … I want simple. I want a nice pot of homemade soup, not takeout. I want a game of double 12 dominoes, or crib, not Nintendo. I want to read outloud to the family after dinner, not plug in a video/Jantri, Brand X Ranch. More here.

Question: Do you share Jantri’s sense of being overwhelmed by man’s inhumanity to man — and desire to simplify life?

Survey: Idahoans Don’t Know Much About Land Board

Forty-one percent of Idahoans have never heard of the state Land Board, according to a new state-funded poll, and 92 percent don’t know who’s on it. The panel, formally known as the Idaho State Board of Land Commissioners, is chaired by the governor, and also includes the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the state controller, and the state superintendent of schools. It’s responsible for managing the state’s endowment lands, whose earnings benefit public schools and other specific state institutions/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: OK, go ahead and impress the rest of the Merry Hucksters by telling us what you know about the Land Board?

Richert: Letters To Editor Online Only?

Every month, I get a tally of how many letters we published in the Statesman. This morning, I got two numbers, reflecting the 325 letters in print, plus 207 election-related letters published online. This grew out of necessity: an 11th-hour influx of election-related letters. But it has me thinking about how we should handle letters in the future. If we made online-only letters a regular feature, this would allow us to give more readers their say. It might also allow us to publish letters in a timelier fashion, another plus. It also gives us a little bit more flexibility for publishing syndicated columns on national and international issues. On the downside, I’m sure many letter writers would much prefer their letter appear in print and online, as opposed to only running online. I know I would. This puts us in the position of having to pick some letters to put in print and some that won’t make print/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Would you object if a newspaper posted the letters it receives online only?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 12/1/08

John Maniaci/Wisconsin State Journal, AP
“Stuck in a Truck” contestants Tommy Kempfer and Lisa Thompson - shown Nov. 12 - agreed last week to end their endurance match after two months to win a Ford F-150 pickup. Instead, each will get $10,000 toward a new vehicle, a trip to Las Vegas and $1,000 toward a mattress. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. The contest was like Thanksgiving with the family: Having to long hours sharing confined spaces with people you don’t particularly like — Whippersnapper.
2. Event coordinators stopped the competition after a DOE (Department of Ecology) inspection of the vehicle deemed it a potential Super Fund site — Poolman.
3. Lisa grins as she thinks that forgetting her deodorant actually was in her favor, that and her head cold, that she got from DFO. No smell is a good smell — JeanieSpokane.

HM: A Token D<