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Archive for July 2008

Parting Shot — 7/31/08

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo
Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, walks to a waiting car as he leaves federal court in Washington where he pleaded not guilty on charges that he lied about hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts from an oil services contractor, Thursday, July 31, 2008. Stevens, 84, is accused of concealing more than $250,000 in gifts and home remodeling services he received from VECO Corp., in exchange for federal grants and contracts benefiting the company, its subsidiaries and business partners. Stevens is the Senate’s longest-serving Republican and has been a dominant figure in congressional politics for a generation. Story here.

OTV’s Picks: Randy Owen @ Casino Tonight

OrangeTV sez he hates Randy Owen because he’s the man responsible for writing the song “Mountain Music”, which he popularized in 1982 along with his band Alabama. However, OTV sez, “this is Idaho and Country music reigns despite my point of view. Judging by Alabama’s extreme popularity and longevity, I’m sure the Coeur d’Alene Casino will be packed to the walls tonight at 7 p.m. for Owen’s solo appearance, the scents of tanned leather and old spice mingling to create a heavy pong in the air.” You can read the rest of OTV’s post about Owen and his entertainment picks for the week here.

DFO: Speaking of entertainment, I plan to attend this evening’s outdoor concert at Riverstone Park, which begins in 15 minutes and lasts until 7:30 p.m. Anyone know who’s playing?

Headlines @ Closin Time — 7/31/08

Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It
“When you’re picking huckleberries in the wild woods of North Idaho,” posts Family Phil, “your fingers will quickly become stained purple.” He goes on to show why you have to be careful where you sit when picking huckleberries here.

*Hells Angels roar into Missoula and order — Kool-aid/Missoulian
*Archaelogical dig started at Pulaski Tunner Trail/Shoshone News-Press
*Seattle trades pitcher Rhoads to Florida/Seattle PI
*No charges in Dover inquiry/Bonner County Bee
*Moscow-Pullman area Guardsman prepare for deployment/Moscow-Pullman Daily News
*1 Idaho fire contained, another 1 grows/KCBI
*Passport changes on the horizon at the border/Bonner County Bee
*Bonners Ferry sex offender to face trial in Shoshone County/Shoshone News Press
*Firefighters battle Spokane Valley cardboard fire/KREM2
*Bison dead of anthrax on Ted Turner’s ranch/Missoulian

Question: Are you going to pick huckleberries this year?

Plan: $24 More In Vehicle Registration For Roads?

Kootenai County cities and highway districts yesterday submitted a ballot proposal to the county clerk to give voters the chance to weigh in on a Proposed Vehicle Registration Fee at the polls this November. If passed, the fee would add $24 to the price of registering your vehicle each year for the next 20 years, to help fund road maintenance and improvements in Kootenai County. Here’s a look at some frequently asked questions about the proposal and how it would affect you and me/Kootenai MPO.

Question. Do you support this proposal?

Road Survey: Idaho 14th, Washington 39th

Idaho ranked 14th in overall performance and cost-effectiveness. In last year’s rankings, Idaho ranked 10th overall. Idaho is 14th in urban interstate congestion, with 35.96 percent congested. The state ranks 24th in rural interstate condition and 41st in urban interstate condition. Idaho ranks 14th in deficient bridges—19.05 percent of the state’s bridges are deemed structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Idaho is 36th in the nation in fatality rates per 100 million vehicle miles traveled/Reason Foundation. List here. Bridge ranking here. Full Reason Foundation study.

Question: Are Idaho roads really that much better than Washington’s? Or is gridlock a factor here, too?

Oral Arguments Set In Craig Sting Case

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig’s Minnesota appeal attempting to withdraw his guilty plea in an airport men’s room sex sting has been set for oral arguments, which will take place in September. The Minnesota Court of Appeals has scheduled the arguments for Sept. 10 at 12:30 p.m. in St. Paul. A three-judge panel will hear oral arguments from attorneys on both sides; the judges assigned to the panel are Thomas J. Kalitowski, Natalie E. Hudson and Louise Bjorkman/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Extra! Ex-NIC Player Bay Part of Ramirez Trade

SR File Photo
In this April 8, 1998, SR file photo, Jason Bay practices his swing as part of the now defunct NIC Cardinal baseball team.

A baseball source has confirmed Ramirez has been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, has learned. The Red Sox will pay remaining $7 million of Ramirez’s contract,’s Peter Gammons reported. Jason Bay (a former North Idaho College/Gonzaga player) is going to Boston as part of the deal,’s Jayson Stark reported. And the Pittsburgh Pirates get four minor leaguers as part of the three-way deal/ESPN. Story here.

IVA: Cohabitation Dangerous For Women

RE: Boise man admits killing live-in girlfriend/KTVB
While cohabitating instead of marrying has become a growing trend, many women are dangerously unaware of the risks of living together. Studies have consistently revealed that the incidence of domestic abuse is remarkably higher in cohabiting households than among couples who have made a marital commitment to each other. In fact, research I did in preparing to give testimony before the 2007 Idaho Legislative Task Force on the Family revealed that aggression is twice as common among cohabiters than among marriage partners, and that women in cohabiting relationships are an astonishing nine times more likely to be killed by their partners than women in marital relationships/Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance. More here.

Question: Do you agree with the conclusion that women are more vulnerable to physical harm in a cohabitation situation than in a married one?

Breaking! Field Burning Could Resume This Fall

The Environmental Protection Agency has signed off on Idaho’s field burning plan, clearing the way for bluegrass farmers in North Idaho to resume the practice of torching fields as early as this fall. The EPA will publish its new rule governing Idaho field burning in the Federal Register on Friday. The rule’s approval is effective Aug. 31/AP. More here w/audio.

Question: What do you think of the EPA decision?

Poll: LaRocco Trails Risch By Only 10%

A new poll out today commissioned by Democratic blogger Markos Moulitsas’ Daily Kos shows Republican Jim Risch with a 10-point lead over Democrat Larry LaRocco in the Idaho Senate race, with independent Rex Rammell trailing at 5 percent. Moulitsas writes that he commissioned the poll “on a whim” after meeting LaRocco. The poll of 500 likely Idaho voters, conducted July 28-30, has a margin of error of 4.5 percent. “It was independent, it was a surprise to us,” said Dean Ferguson, spokesman for the LaRocco campaign/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

LaRocco’s ‘Working For The Senate’ Strategy

Courtesy: LaRocco for Senate campaign
I haven’t paid much attention to U.S. Senate wannabe Larry LaRocco’s “Working for the Senate” strategy in which he has worked a day each at 30 different jobs in 23 towns throughout the state since he launched his campaign. He did something similar years ago when he was running for the U.S. House. It was successful. However, as a sports fan, I can’t ignore his next gig, working at a Boise Hawks game as a concessionaire and the mascot Friday night. In the photo above, LaRocco drags the infield as part of the grounds crew.

Question: How much of an impact is Demo Senate wannabe Larry LaRocco making on voters with his “Working for the Senate Campaign”?

Dogwalk Musings: Talk, Talk, Talk

I never listen to talk radio for just that reason - it’s noise. Free speech aside, sometimes I think the whole concept should be banned. (Rush Limbaugh) claims, what, 20,000,000 listeners a week? For many its like Hub, in the car for a brief time or for background noise, but never-the-less people do listen. They do buy into the venom he spews. You can tell by the comments from his “ditto heads”. He’s not alone. There is Hannity and Ingraham and Savage and on and on. Conservative and Liberal. Each promoting their political ideology with, to be kind, loose facts and meanness of spirit/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: Which radio or TV political talk-show host (not counting the Leno, Letterman types) is your favorite?

AM Headlines — 7/31/08

Kathy Plonka/SR
Swim instructor Le’tana Lickfold during classes at LeStar Aquatics Starfish Swim School in Post Falls on Tuesday. Story here You can read all of today’s online Prairie Voice stories (scroll down to “Fuel costs drain police budgets”) here.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Handle Extra columns: Huckleberries: Big stink in Bonner County/DFO; Gas prices curbing life as we knew it/Mary Jane Honegger; and Athol Daze honors 99 years/Herb Huseland
*State reviewing diploma list: Agencies work to determine whether any employees bought fake degrees/Jim Camden, SR
*Friends rally for Putzier: PF grad, ex-NFL player clings to life after shooting/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Crews battle blaze near Blanchard/Meghann Cuniff, SR
*Watchdog group critical of jail cost/Tom Greene, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Amazing ‘Ant’: Anthony “Ant” Rankin’s rare bone condition means tough decisions for his parents/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

Question: How did you learn to swim?

North Idaho Fair Spot No. 1

First of 4 YouTube spots that North Idaho Fair (Aug. 20-24) manager Chris Holloway and fair spokeswoman Laura Umthum sent to me this morning. Good stuff. Enjoy.

Question: What do you think of the spot?

Smith: No Plans To Cut Staff

A Little Birdie: I would like to know if it’s true that the Spokesman is preparing for another round of layoffs. Dave, could you please address this or have Editor Steve Smith address this.

Steve Smith: We have been asked to continue to control costs. we have cut our newshole (the amount of space devoted to news). we are always looking at other cost controls. I have told the staff that workforce reductions may be necessary in the future. but there are no plans currently to reduce staff.

Hump Day Wild Card — 7/30/08

Something nice has been happening around here this month. HBO has attracted more than 10,000 — 10,000! — page-views for six of the last 12 weekdays. When I started this blog in February 2004, I had hoped to hit 1,000 PVs. Editor Steve Smith said at the time he’d be satisfied if I hit 2,000 someday. I was jazzed when I hit 5000 for the first time. Now, this. I once thought I’d take my marbles — what’s left of them — and go home if/when HBO hit 10,000 on a non-election day. Now, HBO is doing it in the middle of summer. Which is usually the dead season for SR blogs. The new blogware will debut after Labor Day. So I’ll stick around a little longer, if you don’t mind. Now, for your Wild Card …

Buells’ Friends Dispute Police Account

Richard Schumaker and his wife, Lana, both St. Maries residents and friends of the Buells, were with the commissioner and his wife on a boat ride July 20 at 12:30 p.m. when tribal officers asked them to stop just north of the former swing bridge that is now the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes bicycle path. Mr. Schumaker said the police stop was uneventful. “It was really a non-incident,” he said. The police reports, according to Mr. Schumaker, inaccurately depict what happened. “I did not hear the term “Indians” used, period,” he said. “Jack said that ?You do not have jurisdiction over a white man in Benewah County.” “That’s all I heard him say that could have been construed as racial”/Ralph Bartholdt, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here.

St. Maries Gazette-Record editorial

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 7/30/08

Kathy Plonka/SR
Firefighters worked to secure a brush fire off of Red Neck Road North of Blanchard on Wednesday. Story here.

A man who shot a horse near DeSmet won’t be fined for killing the stallion with a shotgun slug. Charges against Chad Chittenden were dropped after witnesses verified that the horse he killed last month was a public nuisance, according to the Benewah County Prosecutor’s Office. “I got letters and phone calls from a host of neighbors complaining that this horse was loose and dangerous,” said Benewah County Prosecuting Attorney Doug Payne. “I had a stack of them”/Ralph Bartholdt, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here

*Wolf seasons on hold in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming/Idaho Statesman
*State investigating legitimacy of BYU-Idaho police/Idaho Statesman
*Ex-Canyon County worker pleads guilty to child porn charge/KTVB
*Centennial High coach remains hospitalized/KTVB
*$37M BSU Bronco Stadium expansion nearly complete/KTVB
*Athol residents blast rock quarry plan/Bonner County Bee
*Shoshone County P&Z director leaving after 9 years/Shoshone News-Press

KCSD Revokes River Rat Rage Permit

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department has revoked the marine event permit issued for the “River Rat Rage 2008” event scheduled on Saturday on the grounds that the event has been publicly advertised in a manner exceeding the scope of the permit application, and in violation of Idaho law. Specifically, the event has been publicly advertised that a band will be performing, which was expressly precluded from occurring on water under the terms of the permit.

Letter: SR Wrong To Give Diploma Mill Names

I am absolutely appalled that the Spokesman-Review has made a list of the fake diploma mill recipients available. They have no right to abuse their privilege as a news reporting entity. They violated the privacy of many individuals who may have chosen to not use the fake credential(s) thus rendering them for entertainment purposes only. Further, they have jeopardized the good name of persons who, unfortunately, share the same name, or a name so close to one on the list that identities may be confused/Candace Johnston, Hayden Lake (letter to Coeur d’Alene Press). More here.

Question: Do you agree with the letter-to-the-editor writer above that the SR shouldn’t have revealed the names of individuals who received fake diplomas?

Scanner Traffic — 7/30/08

4:17 p.m. Teens in ATVs and golf carts running amok through neighborhood at Wilbur Avenue and Winterview.
3:17 p.m. Fireworks reported on Prairie Trail underneath I-90.
3:01 p.m. ISP: Clark Fork woman hurt in H200 rollover here.
12:35 p.m. Homeowners are trying to put out a five-acre wildfire near Blanchard. Firefighters are responding to the scene on Redneck Road. KREM2 update (w/slide show).

SR Blogs: Avista Earnings, Rates

The story is still developing, of course. But I suspect many of you saw the online report that Avista’s second quarter profits rose 69% year over year. (Link here) Utility financials are more complicated than those of the newspaper industry. So I’m the last person to question whether such profits are too high or just right. But from a PR standpoint, I can predict Avista will be in for another rough ride. Natural gas rate hikes already have been foreshadowed for this fall, and they will be steep/Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation. More here.

*Who would do what at Duncan hearings/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise
*Stevens’ indictment is big news in Alaska/Gary Graham, News Diary
*New home sales off locally, nationally/Parker Howell, Here’s The Dirt
*Updates from the publisher/Thuy Nguyen, Daily Briefing
*Wednesday’s political briefing/Jim Camden, Spin Control 2.0

Question: What’s your reaction to the news that Avista is asking for big rate hikes at a time when its earnings are skyrocketing?

Local Blogs: Garwood Saloon Shutting Doors

S&S Herb/Bay Views
“The Garwood Saloon has been in existence for so long, nobody still alive remembers when it first opened,” posts S&S Herb, Bay Views. “Recently bought by the Idaho State Department of Transportation for a new highway project, this icon will close permanently July 30, with a going away bash on the 19th, which I attended.” More here.

Movie Review: “No Country for Old Men” won award after award. I watched it last week and it just didn’t do much for me. That’s unusual. I’m the epitome of the easy to please movie viewer, but I felt cold at the end of “No Country for Old Men”, not so much because of the content of the movie, or the fact that it was told from three perspectives, and certainly not because of its unrelentingly stark and gorgeous pictures. No, it was for another reason/Raymond Pert, Kellogg Bloggin’. More here.

HBO Numbers (for Tuesday, July 29): 10,116 page-views/5598 unique views

*Street fair/OnLocation North Idaho
*How accurate is that gas pump/Kootenai MPO
*Kristi is …/Here In Idaho
*Shark attack/A Family Runs Through It
*Election takes/Arch Druid
*Stuff, stuff and stuff/Slight Detour

Question: Have you ever had a brewski at the Garwood Saloon?

Gazette: Lake Incident Wasn’t About Racism

But while racism is the stuff of racy reporting, last week’s dustup between the Coeur d’Alene Tribal police and a Benewah County Commissioner (Jack Buell, pictured) has a whole lot to do with jurisdiction and very little to do with race. There will come the day n we can hope n when reporters with area news outlets will come up to speed on the issue of jurisdiction when it comes to Indian tribes and non-tribal members. Perhaps when they do Governor Otter and our attorney general, Lawrence Wasden, will begin to pay attention. Until then, however, folks who read the Spokane daily newspaper will “know” that Benewah County is populated by racists/Dan Hammes, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here.

Question: Do you agree that the incident between Jack and Eleanor Buell and Coeur d’Alene tribal police was simply a misunderstanding about jurisdition?

HBO @ Noon: Best Summer, Best Friend?

Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns

Question (courtesy of Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns): Do you remember your best summer and your best friend of your Wonder Years?

Sign of the Times — Coffee For Gas?

MamaJD Photo
“Depending on what you drink,” e-mails MamaJD with the photo above, “isn’t the coffee cheaper? Kickers Espresso is located on Dalton Avenue and Highway 95 in Skate Plaza’s parking lot.

Idaho Blogs: Obama Mania Waning?

During this year’s primary campaign season, was John McCain your first choice? Second choice? Maybe he wasn’t even your third choice. That is probably the case for a lot of Idahoans. And how about Barack Obama? Did friends and neighbors seem to be jumping on the “change” bandwagon? Sure. Change sounds good, right? But what kind of change is Obama suggesting?During the primary, it didn’t seem to matter. Obama mania was almost palpable. The dedication of some was so blind that they came to be known in some circles as “Obama zombies” — marching forward, arms extended forward, chanting “change, change…”Now that, too, seems to be changing/Idaho GOP chairman Norm Semanko, Adam’s Blog. More here.

*Who gives a hoot?/Idaho Conservation League
*I can’t help myself: campaign button snafus/43rd State Blues
*What’ll it take to outlaw cockfighting in Idaho?/Unequivocal Notion
*IDEQ director has tall order to reverse ozone growth trend/Rocky Barker
*Tennessee on my mind/Red State Rebels
*Got bullying?/Palousitics

Question: Is Obama Mania on the wane?

Finish This Sentence …

… By the end of summer, I predict gas will go down to $3.50 per gallon and …

TUBOB’s predictions here

Dogwalk Musings: Earthquake!

RE: Southern California earthquake Tuesday
The first (earthquake) that I remember was in Simi Valley. I was in the back yard picking up stuff when the Eucalyptus trees began swaying and so did I. Wow, I thought, was happy hour yesterday that bad?? I struggled to hold my balance then everything was fine. Until I went into the house and found the results of what was not a monumental hangover all over the floor. Aha! Earthquake! They became rather common place after awhile. Anything from a 3 to a 5 were strong enough to be felt but not to the extent that damage was done. We learned a lot, quickly, about securing book cases to the walls and using museum wax to secure valuables on display to their shelving/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: Have you ever had a close encounter with an earthquake?

Online Poll: Gas Prices Going Down

Question: Gas prices are going down. Do you think we’ll see prices at $3.50 a gallon by the end of the summer?/KREM2


Bob Paulos, Ex-Press Publisher, 83, RIP

Paulos, 83, who served as editor, publisher and executive with the Hagadone Corp. for more than half a century, died early Tuesday at an assisted living facility in Stillwater, Okla., from natural causes after a brief illness. “Bob was a brilliant newspaper mind with an unbelievable passion for the newspaper business. He contributed greatly to our company’s success, but he also fell in love with this community and helped it grow and prosper, too,” said Duane B. Hagadone, owner of the Hagadone Corp. and Paulos’ employer for more than 50 years/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Question: What will Bob Paulos be remembered most for?

Wild Card/Tuesday — 7/29/08

We have Art on the Green dead ahead this weekend and Julyamsh in the rear-view mirror — not that I’m a big fan of Art on the Green. I hate to be a heretic here. But I don’t enjoy massive crowds and overpriced artsy stuff. However, my wife loves the event. So I usually go with her to browse through the NIC grounds and gab with folks. The bigger deal for me is all the activities that are available at this time of year, from concerts in City Park, Sherman Square and Riverstone through the week to simply walking the Dike Road or the Centennial Trial. I’ve said more than once that you can’t beat Coeur d’Alene’s summer fun. Now, for your Wild Card …

Online Poll: Favorite Designer Dog?

Question: What is your favorite “designer dog”?/Idaho Statesman

*Schoodle (schnauzer-poodle)
*Labradoodle (Labrador-poodle)
*Goldendoodle (golden retriever-poodle)
*None of the above

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 7/29/08

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho
“A beautiful bride deserves a beautiful backdrop and the Hayden Lake Country Club fills the bill,” posts Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho. “The historic club is 101 years old this month, opened on the site by Spokane and Inland Empire Railroad as the Bozanta Tavern and known nationwide as a posh resort and home to socialites from the country.” More here.

Accurate Gas Pumps: State officials say gas pumps around Idaho are much more accurate than they were three years ago. Figures compiled by the Idaho Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Weights and Measures in 2005 found that five percent of the pumps surveyed statewide were not pumping accurately/KTVB. More here.

*Rafters helped save ex-ISP director’s life/Idaho Statesman
*WSU student diagnosed with rubella/SR
*KootCo prosecutor says killing self-defense/SR
*Ex-Idaho Steelhead hockey player sent to prison/Idaho Statesman
*Driver survives 200-foot fall down Lucky Peak Dam/Idaho Statesman
*Cockfighting arrest made at southern Idaho dairy/KTVB
*Escaped inmate buys Ford Mustang after 2 Boise bank robberies/KCBI

Courthouse Peeper Pleads Guilty

A federal security guard who watched women undress through the lens of a security camera atop the U.S. Courthouse complex in downtown Spokane pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony voyeurism. Darin Earl Wanless’ agreement with prosecutors called for the 33-year-old high school graduate to plead guilty to one count of voyeurism for separate incidents last year where he ogled a naked woman in the West 809 condominiums at Main and Lincoln and another woman at the Davenport Hotel/Karen Dorn Steele, SR. More here.

Question: Given the guidelines in the story, what would be an appropriate sentence for the peeper?

Singer Ted Nugent Makes PF Pizza Stop

Sunday night my first son-in-law, father of my first two grandsons, stopped in at the Post Falls’ New York Pizza to discover Ted Nugent having pizza with his family. Ted was nice enough to sign a pizza box for my #1 grandson, absent from the sighting, who had traveled to Kellogg in the afternoon to watch Ted perform. I don’t know how Ted felt when my son-in-law told him that he was the first concert he ever attended back in 1979/Frum Helen Back, Hauser Thoughts.

Question: Have you ever met a major entertainment figure?

Local Blogs: Sticker Shock — Simple Mind

Remember The Roxy/OrangeTV
At Remember The Roxy, OrangeTV offers this 1950s shot of downtown Kellogg and other new posts of old places here.

Sticker Shock: The King and I went grocery shopping. We went to get our staples so to speak. Meaning those things you buy fairly often. And all I can say is holy flaming cows!!!! The margarine we normally buy, which we did buy 2 weeks ago.. was $1.69 at that time. Today… it is $3.19!!!! A $1.50 jump! Cheese, we buy Jalapeño Jack cheese by Tillamook. At our usual has been $6.99. Today, it was on sale for $8.99 with the price listed below of normal..$9.94. Two flaming dollars more. Apples, were 89 cents 2 weeks ago when we bought some. Today …$1.49. Corn 89 cents each.. use to be 2 for $1/Cis, From A Simple Mind. More here.

HBO Numbers (for Monday, July 28): 9289 page-views/5197 unique views

*Twin Lake, 2008/Synaptic Disunion
*Haiku Blossoms/Tumblewords
*Never again/Dogwalk Musings
*Stevens indicted/Wayward Episcopalian
*Hillary Clinton and me in Washington, DC/Silver Valley Girl
*Blank screen syndrome/Slight Detour
*I love the work of Jennifer Jason Leigh: “The Machinist”/Kellogg Bloggin’

Question: What grocery item has caused you to suffer sticker shock as the result of increasing prices?

It’s My 2 Cents: Higher Education

I appreciate the fact that high school graduates are jamming next year’s freshman classes at UI, WSU, Gonzaga and other colleges in the Northwest. Higher education was my ticket out of the hum-drum life on a dairy and subsequent job as a grocery store clerk. The exciting last 38 years as a journalist, editor, columnist and now blogger wouldn’t have happened without an affordable community college and state institution near my home. Mebbe that’s why I’m so passionate about higher education and the Education Corridor. And why I pity families with bright kids I know who simply don’t have a college mind-set.

SR Blogs: Fuhrman Sidekick Returns To Radio

(On Monday) we launch “On The Record w/ Rebecca Mack.” The hour long program will air weekdays at 11am on 790 kjrb, and will be a mix of news, talk, listener interaction and segments with columnists from the Spokesman Review. Rebecca is well known in the community, having been the producer and fill in host of “The Mark Fuhrman Show.” She also writes a weekly “Hard 7” column for the Spokesman/Dan Mitchinson, On The Air. More here.

*It’s Tabloid Tuesday/Gary Graham, News Diary
*Spanking & discipline/Virginia de Leon, Parents Council
*Content study group report/Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation
*Street View is blurring facial images/Tom Sowa, TXT
*Love is hard: 10 must-see films/Dan Webster, Movies & More

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 7/29/08

Mike Vogt/Idaho Press-Tribune, AP
Thomas Stephan, 11, of Nampa, Idaho lifts his face from the cow pie eating contest in the 11-14 year old bracket at the Canyon County Fair in Caldwell, Idaho Friday.

BSU Gators? If you were browsing the racks for a Boise State ball cap at your local Wal-Mart, you might have noticed something a little… off. The retail giant had several different varieties for sale – including one Bronco hat that featured a Florida Gators logo. The mixed-up white hat features the famous blue and orange Bronco head on the front – but a blue, orange and green gator insignia on the bill. The back of the hat includes the Boise State trademark lettering/KTVB. More here.

*Twin Falls cops hurt in brawl w/Hells Angels/Twin Falls Times-News
*UI retirees sue over change in benefits/Lewiston Tribune
*Police: Inmate on work release responsible for 2 bank robberies/Idaho Statesman
*1200 Idahoans tell Congress how gas prices hurt families/Idaho Statesman
*Kamiah woman killed in farming accident/Lewiston Tribune

Orbusmax Special: 2nd Washington firefighter dies fighting California blaze here.

Richert: R’s Ignore Blogosphere To Own Peril

I can understand why Republican veterans such as Risch are suspicious of the blogosphere — and not just when a mischievous blogger fits Risch with a goofy gnome’s cap. The Idaho blogosphere leans clearly to the left. But Republicans dismiss this medium at their peril. There’s a reason why traditional newspapers encourage writers like me to spend time blogging; we see a growing medium that allows us a new forum to connect with readers. Increasingly, candidates such as Minnick are viewing it as a way to connect with voters/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

DFO: Kevin’s picking up on a comment I made Monday re: the different approaches the two major political parties in Idaho take toward the blogosphere. The Demos are fully engaged with it. The R’s eschew it.

Breaking! Alaska Sen. Stevens Indicted

Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator and a figure in Alaska politics since before statehood, has been indicted on seven counts of falsely reporting hundreds of thousands of dollars in services he received from a company that helped renovate his home/Seattle PI. More here.

Company Explains ‘Wrong Larry’ Button

“We did nothing wrong in the design of the Barack Obama button that mistakenly featured a photo of Larry Craig. When our designer sat down to make this button, he positioned his mouse pointer over a photo of Larry LaRocco. This particular designer uses a fairly wide pointer arrow, which may have been in contact with a photo of Larry Craig. A visual aid has been attached to illustrate our assertion that we are not at fault.” “Let us be clear: We do not stand behind Larry Craig; we never have stood behind Larry Craig”/Jill Kuraitis, New West Boise. More here.

Seattle Adopts Grocery Bag Fee

Item: City OKs 20-cent fee on plastic, paper bags: Council also outlaws foam food and drink containers/Seattle PI

More Info: Seattle became on Monday one of the first major American cities to discourage the use of paper and plastic shopping bags by requiring grocery, drug and convenience stores to charge 20 cents per bag. In a related action, the City Council also banned plastic foam food and drink containers. Both laws will go into effect Jan. 1.

Question: Would you be willing to pay 20 cents per grocery bag or to bring your own grocery bags to the store to reduce waste?

WND Poll: Wikipedia’s Suicide Instructions

Question: What do you think of Wikipedia publishing suicide instructions?/WorldNetDaily

1. Suicide is everyone’s right. Wikipedia is therefore providing a public service
2. It’s Wikipedia’s First Amendment right to publish anything it wants
3. With the growth of the right-to-die movement, it’s just providing necessary, how-to guidelines
4. The information is valuable to those suffering, but I’m concerned about exposure to kids
5. It could prevent a lot of misery for people who will kill themselves anyway
6. Information on killing yourself has been around for years, so Wikipedia is not doing anything new
7. Does anyone at Wikipedia have a conscience?
8. Knowing the reliability of Wikipedia’s information, the suicide methods are probably inaccurate
9. Wikipedia has to be among the most irresponsible sites on the Internet
10. Wikipedia’s lack of credibility combined with its lack of any moral compass make it one of the worst websites
11. Wikipedia is unsafe for children and other living things
12. Wikipedia is completely immoral and evil
13. Other

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Monday — 7/28/08

I love a good laugh in the morning to start the day. And the Obama-Craig button provided just that, thanks to 007 in Boise and my old Lewiston Tribune pal, Bill Hall. Serephine provided the second yuck by YouTubing Jim Risch. At least, I think that’s Serephine’s handiwork. BTW, we need ThomG or one of you other talented photoshoppers to give us a Larry Spencer version of that button — for Spencer’s mother and all his Huckleberries Online fans. Now, it’s time to play the Wild Card and see what else you can produce today …

Smith: The Diploma Mill List

If you haven’t seen it yet, we have just posted the full list of recipients of the phony degrees handed out like candy through the now-defunt Spokane diploma mill. Here is the link to Bill Morlin’s exclusive report and the link to the actual list. As you will recall, the feds had decided they could not release the list because of Department of Justice policy. Thwarted through those official channels, Morlin obtained the list in the tried and true manner of all great investigative reporters. He worked his sources and contacts. Obviously, we will not be disclosing the source/Editor Steve Smith, SR. More here.

Question: Where did you get your college degree?

Scanner Traffic — 7/28/08

5:58 p.m. Injury accident involving black Ford and bicyclist in KMart parking lot on Neider Avenue is turning into a physical fight.
5:46 p.m. 20YO male weaving in an out of traffic on a scooter has ridden onto the Prairie Trail near the Coeur d’Alene Place subdivision.
3:53 p.m. Fiftysomething neighbor has fallen approximately 15 feet off a ladder from a tree and is moaning on the ground in the 1800 block of Pennsylvania Avenue. Reporting party is wheelchair bound and can’t tell how badly the man is hurt.
3:13 p.m. Driver in silver Toyota on Honeysuckle is tailgating and screaming profanities at other motorists.
11:27 a.m. A motorist is traffed in a white pickup against a tree on the lake side after rolling his vehicle, near 4887 E. Fernan Lake Road. Extrication equipment is needed. (Update: Motorist extricated from vehicle at 11:57 a.m. and being transported to hospital.) KREM2 story.
10:56 a.m. Bicyclist reported illegally riding on sidewalk in City Park.
8:10 a.m. A car is illegally parked on Military Drive in the Fortgrounds area, where parking is banned on one side of street.

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 7/28/08

Thomas Haentzchel/AP Photo
France’s Antoni Mazzer, front, and South Africa’s Gregori Parry, right, are seen during competitions of Life saving World Championships in northern Germany Sunday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Officials for the world Life Saving Championships were puzzled by the fact that no one takes them seriously. “Sure we wear funny hats and are afraid to go in the water, but we are buff and we are tan and if you have a sand emergency, who are you going to call?” Antoni Mazzer, winner of the Sand Diving gold and the bronze for Funniest hat/CindyH.
2. They didn’t score high at this year’s Summer Olympics in Beijing but sports analysts are not counting them out yet - it was the Polish Swim Team’s first competition, after all/TnTopHat.
3. OMG! Help me! Help me! I lost my Suntan Lotion on the beach.. save me number 73!/Pecky.

HM: A Token D

Sali Files Late $$$tatement, Raises More ???

But if today’s numbers are correct, Hoffman’s earlier assertion that the campaign has been successfully paying down its debt was in error. Today’s report shows the Sali campaign with $139,245 in contributions during the reporting period, $250,248 cash on hand and $135,673.74 in debt. That debt figure is the exact figure the campaign reported as its debt in its pre-primary election report on May 15. Hoffman just got back to me to say, “Here’s the bottom line: We’ve been working on this for more than a month with the FEC, and unfortunately the problems still haven’t been fully corrected.” The number for the campaign’s debt should’ve been roughly $9,000 less, Hoffman said/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

PIO Propst Leaving North Idaho College

North Idaho College Vice President for Community Relations Kent Propst announced Monday that he has accepted a position with Peru State College and will leave his post at NIC Aug. 25. In his new position, Propst will serve as the executive director of the Peru State College Foundation, the private nonprofit corporation that supports the college. In that role, he will direct fund-raising, alumni relations, grants and other private support for the four-year college in southeast Nebraska. Peru State College, Nebraska’s oldest college, is Propst’s alma matter, having earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1981 and gone on to work at Peru heading public relations for the college for more than 20 years/North Idaho College news release. More here.

Local Blogs — TUBOB Survive Upper Priest

Canoe camping on Upper Priest Lake was dreamy, narcotic, a lake of the Gods where even the few weekday powerboaters seemed insignificant and the water and sun and sand enveloped us in a bliss-state. I’ve never experienced a lake time like that. It was hard to leave/TUBOB. More here.

The show for the night was “Once Upon A Mattress” and none of us really had any idea about it except that it was based on the princess and the pea story. It turned out to be a whole lot of good, clean fun. From the obnoxious queen to the meek prince to the mute king to the lovable princess, every minute was completely entertaining. I knew from the second that we met the mote swimming Princess Winnifred that I would love her. And I did. At intermission I told the girls that we had to take her with us to dessert afterwards/A Butterfly Moment. More here.

HBO Numbers (for week of July 20-26): 54,036 page-views/30,666 unique views.

*I love the work of Jennifer Jason Leigh/Kellogg Bloggin’
*What is local real estate market really like?/North Idaho Real Estate
*Despicable, dastardly, yet coveted cell phone/Nuts & Nonsense
*‘Journey’ with 3D glasses not worth it/Hauser Thoughts
*Grin and parrot/Atmospheric Ruminations
*Hardwood Grill opens in Priest Lake/As The Lake Churns
*Dandelion vs. hollyhock: Who does he fink he is?/Marmitetoasty
*A disgraceful event/Bay Views
*Lovin’ Lovett in Ste. Michelle/Dogwalk Musings
*Lessons learned at the Oregon Coast/Gathering Around the Table

Question: Have you been to a play at the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre this year? Did you like it?

Hedberg: ‘Locavore’ Concept Taking Hold

There’s a new word for people who wish to eat only the food they raise or can procure from producers within a 100-mile radius of their homes: “locavore.” You were thinking, maybe, “appetite-challenged?” This trend of eating locally really seems to be catching on - especially since people are discovering that the term “organic” has various definitions and even “natural” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Cigarette tobacco is natural, for example, and could also be organic. Lard is natural, and also possibly organic. Few of us make a meal of a slab of lard and cap it off with a smoke/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Are you in any way a “locavore’?

HBO @ Noon: Niehaus Lands In Hall Of Fame

Mike Groll/AP Photo
Dave Niehaus delivers his induction speech at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., Sunday. Niehaus, the voice of the Seattle Mariners, is the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting.

DFO: I grew up listening to Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons broadcast Giant games, Vin Scully describe play-by-play for the Dodgers, and Dizzy Dean and PeeWee Reese handle Saturday broadcast. I’m also a huge fan of Al Michaels and Jon Miller. I don’t think Dave Niehaus is in the same category as these guys and deserving of hall of fame honors.

Question: Should Seattle Mariners announcer Dave Niehaus be in the baseball Hall of Fame?

Capt. Ben’s Weekly Honor Roll — 7/28/08

In Capt. Ben’s weekly honor roll of wanted felons (from left), Rachael Lyn Henderson, 23, of Coeur d’Alene is wanted for grand theft/burglary, lottery violation ($20,000 bail); Cassie Christine Stephens, 21, of Sagle is wanted for probation violation for forgery ($40,000 bail); and Donald Eugene Webb, 31, of Coeur d’Alene is wanted for burglary/grand theft ($25,000 bail). You can read the rest of Capt. Ben’s wanted honorees here.

Risch Isn’t Cuh-razy About Idaho Blogosphere

Serephin has fun at 43rd State Blues at Lt. Gov. Jim Risch’s expense. But he might also have captured Risch’s attitude toward the Idaho blogosphere.

Question: What role will the Idaho blogosphere play in the 2008 U.S. Senate and House campaigns in Idaho?

Judge: Duncan Can Represent Himself

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge has granted Joseph Duncan’s motion to act as his own attorney in his death penalty proceedings. “Do you feel that you’re ready to go forward with your trial on these sentencing issues?” the judge asked the convicted murderer. “Yeah, I believe so,” Duncan responded. Asked by the judge if he had any reservations, Duncan said, “I’m not a perfect person, and I make mistakes sometimes … My only reservation is that I’m a human being.” The judge ordered jury selection in the death penalty sentencing proceedings to resume next Wednesday. “We’re not going to delay this thing any further,” the judge declared/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: What do you think of this development in the long-running sentencing phase for murderer/molester Joseph Edward Duncan III?

Richert: Obama Outraises McCain In Idaho

Through June 30, Idahoans gave $375,586 to Barack Obama, the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee. Presumptive GOP nominee John McCain received $228,938. Statewide, Mitt Romney — the preferred candidate of most leading Idaho Republicans — raised more than Obama and McCain combined. But the fact remains that Obama has raised 64 percent more than McCain in Idaho, with four months left in the election/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Obama realized his greatest victory margin during the primaries in Idaho. Now, he’s outraising Repub frontrunner John McCain in Idaho. What do you make of his success in a Republican dominated state that continues to battle a racist image?

AM Headlines — 7/28/08

Dan Pelle/SR
Damon Billy, age 39 from Pendleton , Ore., dances his way through the 11th Annual Julyamsh Grand Entry with hundreds of other dancers, Friday evening in Post Falls.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Painting sells for $5M at CDA art auction/Reno Gazette-Record
*US judo offical resigns over sex allegations during Spokane coaching stint/AP
*Coeur d’Alene awaits Kroc Center opening/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Phil Batt: Fixing highways requires sacrifices/Idaho Statesman
*No sign of downturn downtown/Patrick O’Brien, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Body of missing swimmer recovered near state line/KREM2
*Day Break Center opens to nearly full house/David Gunter, Bonner County Bee

Kendramama: What Happened To Book Club?

DFO, what the heck happened to the book club? Did it die a not-so-dignified death (albeit a quiet one) after the girly book, “Love Pray Menstruate” or whatever that thing was called? I want to revive that club, this time with a book that I mentioned on another thread a few days ago: The Shack. This is a book, cheaply bound and published by some no-name press in Oregon, which has skyrocketed to the top of the NYTimes Bestseller List, as well as Amazon’s (#7 at my last glance), and for damned good reason: it’s powerful. It’s Christian, sure, but could just as well be a story with a strong life-changing message between it’s well-written lines/Kendramama, More here.

Question: Do you guys want me to restart the book club? Does anyone have a copy of this book to loan me?

Wild Card/Sunday — 7/27/08

I ran into Councilman Woody McEvers at Costco today. We exchanged pleasantries. And then the topic of Souzagate came up. OK, I brought it up. But we were no more than a sentence into the conversation when I realized that in the current climate I’d better be sure that I wasn’t being secretly tape. So I asked Woody if he was wearing a hidden tape recorder and pretended to pat him down. We both cracked up. Which was the purpose. And my purpose here is to post the Sunday Wild Card …

Ah’m Your Huckleberry: When Marmots Call

Photo courtesy of Mike Kennedy

So, what do you do when a marmot crawls into the undercarriage of your car and refuses to leave? If you’re Councilman Mike Kennedy, you call together a crack team of highly technical and creative colleagues — and then poke, prod, honk at, and drive around for three hours in a desperate attempt to dislodge the varmint. Which was more humane than the sage advice given to Mike by Sheriff Rocky Watson: “Shoot it.” In a phone call on another matter, Mike mentioned the marmot problem. And Demo-turned-Repub Rocky concluded immediately that the critter was a Democrat and deserving of death after he heard that the marmot had a “foul temper.” Earlier, a Demo in the marmot posse had concluded that the animal was a Republican for ignoring reasonable demands that it get out of the car. In an e-mail to Huckleberries, Mike said, “So the political affiliation of the marmot remains undetermined.” The marmot was finally driven out without permanent damage to the car. “I now know just how much organic material — solid and liquid — a frightened marmot can create when trapped in an engine block,” Mike concluded. “Not pretty.” See another shot of the marmot in comments section.

Julyamsh Runs Through Weekend @ Post Falls

Item: Chance to dance and enjoy life: More than 100 American Indian tribes gather in Post Falls for the annual Julyamsh Powwow/Pia Hallenberg Christensen

More Info: That’s why the grand entry at Julyamsh always begins with the horses. “It’s a memorial ride to remember the old people from back then, and to remember the horses,” SiJohn said. Julyamsh continues today and until 10 p.m. Sunday at the Greyhound Park and Event Center in Post Falls. Gates open daily at 8 a.m. Drummers, almost 1,000 dancers, artists and horse people from more than 100 tribes gather at Julyamsh, a traditional celebration resurrected in 1998.

Question: Have you ever attended a powwow?

Tn_Top_Hat: Gonna Drive, Hang The Cost

RE: 55 MPH: Would you support double-nickel?
I do not support lower speed limits where it cannot be proven that lives are in danger - so this should be done state by state, highway by highway. Otherwise it’s just another stricture on freedom - in this case mobility. As to whether energy savings is really a national priority right now, I think that’s more in who you ask. Me, I see a country that spent 75 years building highways and pimping automobiles turning on its people all of a sudden - save gas! It’s an emergency! - because the goverment’s broken the bank fighting a corrupt war. And it now faces an economic crisis at home. In those things, in the highway building and the Detroit-pimping and the wars, where is the sense that energy savings is a national priority? The automobile is my birthright - uniquely American. I’m going to drive, whatever the cost/Tn_Top_Hat.

Question: Do you resent drivers who own SUVs and other gas-guzzling cars?

DeePee: Only Way To Brew Coffee

RE: HBO Poll: Home brewed or barista brewed?
Working at home brings the luxury of brewing at home. You get to drink out of a porcelain cup, and savour the aromas of your own ground beans. Start with decent whole beans: we get ours at the Minneapolis airport (apologies to Sen. LC) at the Caribou kiosk. You can also internet order them. Best this side of Kopi Luwak, IMHO. Throw away that fancy electric bean-smasher and get a good old-fashioned burr-grind hand-grinder, a nice mix of brass, case-hardened steel and woodwork — Zassenhaus (Germany) or Peugeot (France) make the best hand-grinders, under $70. Pour the requisite beans into the grinder, swing the handle as fast as you want. A hand-grinder generates no heat, and no bitterness, and you’re making friends with your new brew/DeePee. More here.

Question: Can anyone improve on DeePee’s approach to brewing his own coffee with hand-ground beans?

WND Poll: Rush Going Strong After 20 Years

Item: Talk-radio king celebrates 2 decades: ‘I’m having more fun than a human being should be allowed to have’/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you think about Rush Limbaugh’s impact in 20 years of broadcasting?

1. I’ll never understand how such an ignorant buffoon can attract and hold an audience for 20 years
2. His bitter rantings have divided our nation even more
3. I can’t wait for the return of the Fairness Doctrine
4. Rush is funny and entertaining but politically he’s out of touch
5. I don’t listen to his program
6. He was once the heroic voice of conservatism but he’s become little more than a Republican Party lackey
7. That he’s amazingly still on top after 20 years shows he’s connected to the American people
8. Thanks to Rush, I’m no longer a liberal
9. He singlehandedly transformed conservatism from being rigid, angry and old to something young, positive and hip
10. He’s more responsible for the modern conservative movement than anyone except Ronald Reagan
11. He’s inspired a new generation of national and local talkers who’ve radically altered the world of broadcasting
12. I only have one thing to say about Rush — Dittos!

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

TGIF Wild Card — 7/25/08

I rode the bike to Riverstone Park after work last night, to check out the new stretch of Centennial Trail running along the river (fabulous) and to test my riding skills in heavier traffic along Ironwood Drive and Gummint Way on the way home (scary). You encounter several switchbacks with stop signs on the new section of trail, which requires care, but the path opens up onto a beautiful view of the river and runs along Black Rock’s new condos on the river. There’s a bench or two at vista points along the way for those who want to stop and reflect. City Attorney Mike Gridley and city officials deserve a monster hat tip for dealing with the railroad to add this section. I’m surprised the CAVErs haven’t announced there opposition to it. With that thought, I’ll play this Wild Card …

Duncan Defense: Make Torture Video Public

Item: Duncan’s defense wants graphic video made public/KHQ

More Info: Defense lawyers for convicted child killer Joseph Edward Duncan III have asked a federal judge to make public a video that depicts Duncan torturing the child he later killed. The defense team made the request in a motion filed Friday, siding with media organizations who have argued for greater openness in Duncan’s death penalty proceedings.

Question: Should the video of Duncan torturing Dylan Groene be made public?

Illinois Worst, Montana Best In Spam Wars

Top 10 spammed states:

1. Illinois
2. South Dakota
3. Oregon
4. New Hampshire
5. Wisconsin
6. North Carolina
7. Indiana
8. Texas
9. Pennsylvania
10. Alabama

And from Tom Sowa/TXT
44. Idaho
45. Washington
50. Montana

Question: How would you rate the spam you receive at work or home? Heavy? Moderate? Light? Nonexistent?

CDA School Administrators Change Jobs

From left, Lana Hamilton, Warren Olson and Jim Gray will be playing musical chairs when the Coeur d’Alene schools open this fall. Each has a new assignment. District PRmeister Janet Feiler tells you all about it here.

Hydroplane Races Hit Tri-Cities Saturday

When Chris Denslow attended his first Tri-City Water Follies as a boy in 1973, he was blown away by the hydroplanes’ awesome speed and power. “You have big, loud boats shooting hundreds of feet of water behind them,” he said. “What’s not to be captivated by?” Follies fans like Denslow are looking forward to a competitive weekend of races as boats hit the river today for qualifying and testing, and rev up for heats Saturday leading up to the final races Sunday afternoon/Michelle Dupler, Tri-City Herald. More here.

Question: Do you regret that Lake Coeur d’Alene no longer has hydroplane races during the summer?

Video Journal: Maggot Farm

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Raising maggots is a fetid but serious job. Pam and Dennis Ponsness of The Forked Tree Ranch in Boundary County, Idaho have made a profitable business out of selling fly larvae/Colin Mulvany, Video Journal. Story by Erica Curless/SR here.

INKster: Kempthorne For (UI) President?

The rumor that circulates when there is an opening for president at the University of Idaho has surfaced again - Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne. There is a problem that he might lack the proper educational credentials, but when did a little thing like following procedure ever stop the Idaho Board of Education? Without doubt, Dirk could count on the support of board member Paul Agidius of Moscow, who behaves like a giddy teenager panting after a rock star when in the presence of the former Republican Idaho governor/Vera White, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Would Secretary of Interior (and former Idaho governor) Dirk Kempthorne be a good pick to be the next UIdaho president?

HBO @ Noon: Girls Measuring Up In Math

Item: In math, girls and boys are equal/Seattle Times

More Info: Sixteen years after Barbie dolls declared, “Math class is tough!” girls are proving that when it comes to math, they are just as tough as boys. In the largest study of its kind, girls measured up to boys in every grade, from second through 11th. The research is in the new issue of the journal Science.

Question: Are you good at math?

Because You Asked … Kage Mann

Question: How much of the trail did LCDC fund? — Kage Mann.

DFO: City Attorney Mike Gridley explained the complicated process to me on the phone a few minutes ago. Basically, LCDC helped the Centennial Trail Foundation secure a $2.5M loan to purchase about 60 acres of the trail that stretches out onto the Rathdrum Prairie (about 5 miles, with a sticker value of $6 million). LCDC agreed to pay the interest on the 4-year loan. The trail foundation has raised between $600,000 and $800,000 to pave the trail. More below.

Inside Huckleberries — 7/25/08

Kevin Taylor/Inlander
Quanah Matheson of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe stands in front of the root ball of the tribe’s centuries-old Medicine Tree. Former SR buddy Kevin Taylor e-mailed the photo after I published his story about the tree Thursday here. Kevin also provided a lead for Stickman to get some wood from the tree. And Stickman tells HBO that he’d like to make some of his renown sticks for the tribe. I’ll post another photo of the tree in the comments section.

*I’ve added 3 bloggers to my “friends” blogroll: Collingwood Corner, Angry Young Woman, and Bill Sali Hates Idaho. I’m in the process of reinstating another blogger. I generally delete any link that hasn’t posted in a month. But you can get back on my blogrolls simply by asking and then being more consistent with your posting.

*Cis/From A Simple Mind e-mails a Snopes report that verifies the concerns circulating on the Net that sugar-free gum is harmful to dogs.

*The Idaho Parks & Rec department has launched a blog site for the Idaho Centennial Trail here. Hat Tip to SReporter Taryn Hecker for passing the news to HBO.

HBO Poll: Home Brewed Or Barista Brewed

At A Matter Of Opinion, HBO’s CindyH started a thread within a thread in which she wondered whether ‘tis better to brew your own coffee or have someone at a coffee hut or shop do it for you. Each option takes about 40 minutes. You can read Cindy’s clever argument for and against each side here. How about you?

Question: Do you prefer to make your own coffee, mochas, frappuccinos, etc.? Or would you rather drive to a coffee hut/shop to have your favorite made while you wait?

Media Donations Favor Demos 100-1

Item: Putting money where mouths are: Media donations favor Dems 100-1/William Tate, Investor’s Business Daily

More Info: The New York Times’ refusal to publish John McCain’s rebuttal to Barack Obama’s Iraq op-ed may be the most glaring example of liberal media bias this journalist has ever seen. But true proof of widespread media bias requires one to follow an old journalism maxim: Follow the money.

Question: Do you see a problem here?

Richert: Risch Should Debate On IPT, Too

Republican Senate candidate Jim Risch has agreed to a second debate in October — but that may be the end of the road. Earlier this week, Risch said he would take part in an Oct. 8 debate in Lewiston. He is also committing to a Oct. 21 event sponsored by a media group headed by KTVB. “Those are the debates that we are doing,” Risch told KFXD radio this morning. This suggests Risch has no interest in taking part in the 10-city October road show orchestrated by Democrat Larry LaRocco and independent Rex Rammell. No surprise there; Risch has pooh-poohed these debates from the outset/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Should Risch also schedule a third debate against LaRocco and Rammell, on Idaho Public TV, which would be broadcast live statewide?

AM Headlines — 7/25/08

Kathy Plonka/SR
Wes Hanson, of Coeur d’Alene, who uses a well as his water source, attends a water adjudication meeting Thursday. The Northern Idaho Adjudication District Court will have a hearing Aug. 28 in Coeur d’Alene. The court is then expected to begin the adjudication process, which will catalog and confirm 100 years of water use in the Coeur d’Alene-Spokane river systemStory by Erica Curless/SR here.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Lawsuit filed in Valley View fire/Meghann Cuniff, SR
*Overturned boat closes I90 near Huetter/KREM2. (ISP report in extended entry section)
*Boys & Girls Club eyes new Lakes Middle School location/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Businesses face salvage job after downtown Spokane fire/Spokesman-Review
*Ironwood Athletic Club set to move, change name/Ryan Shelton, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Kellogg police investigate recent gas thefts/Ty Hampton, Shoshone News-Press

Question: Will you be following the water adjudication process for North Idaho at all?

Avista Defends Rate Hike Requests

Item: Avista defends request for 15.8%, 5.8% increases/Alecia Warren, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Avista requested in early April for the commission to increase electricity rates by an average 15.8 percent, and gas rates by 5.8 percent. If the commission grants Avista’s full increase request, the monthly bill for an average electric customer who uses 977 kilowatt-hours a month would increase to $78.08 from $67.58. An average gas customer who uses 65 therms per month would see an increase to $80.05 from $75.14 per month.

Question: Are you sympathetic to Avista’s request?

Signe: Tour de France 2008

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Parting Shot — 7/24/08

Matt Slocum/AP
A tarantula clings to a fence to escape the flood waters from Hurricane Dolly, Thursday, in San Benito, Texas.

CDA To Straighten Kathleen Ave Curves

Construction begins Monday to straighten the curves on Kathleen Avenue from Player Drive to St. Michelle. Safety concerns prompted the straightening of the roadway, as more and more bicyclists and outdoor enthusiasts began using Prairie Trail. A pedestrian-activated crossing light will be installed where Prairie Trail crosses Kathleen Avenue/Kootenai MPO staff. More here.

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 7/24/08

Lido Vizzutti/Flathead Beacon, AP
A Glacier Raft Company boat navigates Bone Crusher rapids on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River near West Glacier, Mont., earlier this month. Darwon Stoneman and Onno Wieringa started the business in 1976.

*Caldwell officer accused of fondling girl/Idaho Statesman
*Idaho congressman says surge is working/Idaho Statesman
*Young plane crash survivor gets help in his recovery/KTVB
*Researchers gather DNA from Idaho basques/KTVB
*US Supreme Court takes Idaho union politicking case/Boise Weekly
*WSU students join protest over trees/Moscow-Pullman Daily News
*Idaho ACLU looking for new leader/KHQ

Question: Have you been whitewater rafting?

Scanner Traffic — 7/24/08

6:32 p.m. Ambulance is on the way to Mile Post 94 on Highway 97 where 2Y0 is in a car, suffering a rash over 90% of his body after swimming nearby.
6:22 p.m. Shoplifter caught at Shopko.
5:59 p.m. Four males wearing backpacks attack a lone male near the bandshell at City Park.
3:53 p.m. Juvenile problem at Children’s Village.
3:42 p.m. A 50YO man was knocked unconscious temporarily when he fell from a standing position at Idaho Veneer in Post Falls.
3:12 p.m. A resident in the 1900 block of Front Avenue reports that a motorist regularly parks his car in front of his property and passes out after being at Chillers all day.
2:21 p.m. ISP: 2 hurt in Bonners Ferry accident here.
1:18 p.m. Animal reported abandoned in car at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.
1:09 p.m. ISP: 71YO Clark Fork biker hurt in Sandpoint crash here.
11:10 a.m. A 91YO man is showing symptoms of a stroke at the American Legion post on Highway 41.

Local Blogs — 7/24/08

From A Simple Mind Photo
“What is it about construction equipment sounds, that bring out men, like boys to an ice cream truck?” posts Cis/From A Simple Mind under this photo. “Here is a few sidewalk superintendent’s watching and I am sure adding comments. There is actually 3 work men. and 2
sidewalk supers … You bring down any street, a cat, bulldozer, backhoe, or any other such equipment and the men start coming out of the yards from everywhere.”

Pet Peeves: Why is it that people have gotten so lazy that they can’t put on some actual clothes when they go to the store? Now, I’m not saying that people are running around naked, thank goodness, but many are without actual clothes. There are so many people running around in their pajamas all day, in public, and it really drives me crazy. I don’t want to see your belly, or other parts that are hanging down to your belly because you forgot to put on under garments, popping out of your too small tank top pajama shirt/Live, Love, Laugh, Hope. More here.

*Julyamsh/OnLocation North Idaho
*What’s The Buzz: Crunchy Pea & Icky Chicken/Get Out! North Idaho
*A bright black cherry burst quilt in an otherwise dark week/Soul Doubt
*Pamela Anderson: The perfect oxymoron/Dogwalk Musings
*3BT: Memoirs, mom & juice/Kellogg Bloggin’
*A mazing weekend/Slight Detour
*3WW Haiku/Tumblewords
*The dark past/Synaptic Disunion

HBO Numbers (for Wednesday, July 23): 9633 page-views/5309 unique views

Question: Why are men fascinated by construction equipment?

EOB: Duncan Competent To Face Death Penalty

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge has issued an order declaring Joseph Duncan competent to proceed in his death penalty sentencing hearings, rejecting a motion from defense attorneys to declare the convicted killer mentally incompetent/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

SR Blogs: How Loud Is Too Loud? — Vox Box

Surely some teens, myself included, have the habit to turn the ipod or mp3 player up high. But experts are worried it poses big risks to teens later on. When turning up ipods and personal stereos is becoming more common to block out the noise of daily commutes, hearing-loss experts worry about the dose of noise from say, a bus engine, plus the noise from a personal playlist/Adrianna, Vox Box. More here.

*Free digital science fiction/TXT
*Smaller papers can cover big news, too/News Diary
*Wulff, Gibson talk to the media/Sportslink
*Choosing child care/Parents Council
*Who will be the next Joker/Movies & More

Question (from Adrianna/Vox Box): Do you listen to your music loud? Do you believe … hearing-loss experts are worrying excessively? Or should we really turn the music down?

Press’ Patrick: NIC Pro-Tech Budget Not Cut

Some open positions (in the professional technical departments at NIC) won’t be refilled, and some class choices reduced. The budget itself increased by nearly $200,000 (not cut), but that’s mostly for an across-the-board salary increase. New EMT and med-tech programs were added this year, and auto programs actually expanded/Sholeh Patrick, Coeur d’Alene Press columnist. More here.

Mary Souza disagrees, of course (see comments)


At 10:28 a.m., Huckleberries Online received the following “action alert” from Chuck Oxley, Idaho Demo PRmeister:

Folks, apparently Jim Risch has decided to poke his head up from his bunker and go on KFXD tomorrow at about 7:30 a.m. We would love to hear calls to 342-6363 asking tough questions. The show can be heard on AM 63 in the Treasure Valley area. Here’s some ideas. Gook luck, and let’s light up that board!

At 10:40 a.m., Oxley sent the following message to the media:

Members of the media: A few moments ago, you received the message below. It was intended to be sent to my list of Democrats who are active in this kind of thing. I didn’t intend to send it to my media list. However, if you DO feel like calling Jim Risch and asking tough questions, The Idaho Democratic Party would support that 100 percent.

TUBOB: Buells Got Off Lucky

I think the Buell’s should be very very thankful that the CDA tribal officer chose to exercise restraint and not summon through his warrior song his spirit-brothers, the Osprey and the Bald Eagle, to come to his defense. I can scarcely imagine a vision more delightful than a sky full of Ospreys and Bald Eagles screaming in at 100 mph with talons locked and loaded to teach Eleanor a very important lesson in not messing with our Indian brothers on their lands/TUBOB.

Toad’s SOS — Fruitless Tomato Plants

Someone explain this to me.. I have a couple of large tomato plants…all have bloomed and stuff.. but no fruits AT ALL! My others are putting on fruits, but these aren’t fruiting at all! What gives?/Toadman.

Question: Alice Rankin hasn’t been around to help on gardening questions this year. Can anyone tell Toad what’s going wrong?

Buell Sez Tribal Police ‘Looking For A Fight’

One officer wrote in his report that he believes “Mr. and Mrs. Buell’s attitude was due toour race and (they do not believe we have any jurisdiction on Lake Coeur d’Alene.” … Jack Buell called the assault and racist charges “ridiculous.” He said the officers were “looking for a fight.” “They were looking for it in my opinion, but we didn’t bite,” Jack said Wednesday. “It wasn’t a big deal — it really wasn’t. But, if they want to go there. fine”/Tom Greene, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

DFO: I’m printing Buell’s comments from the Coeur d’Alene Press because Buell didn’t return phone calls to the SR.

AM Headlines — 7/24/08

Christopher Anderson/SR
Spokane firefighters fight a multiple alarm fire at the Joels building in downtown Spokane this morning. Story by Jody Lawrence-Turner/SR here.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Spokane River series: Reflections at the end of the ride/Becky Kramer, SR
*Prairie Voice columns: DFO’s Huckleberries, Herb Huseland’s Bayview News, and Mary Jane Honegger’s Rathdrum Prairie News.
*High court ruling could affect Duncan case/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise
*Groups in attack mode on wolves/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press
*CDA superintendent will continue community forums/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press
*USC picked 1st, WSU 10th in PAC-10 football/Sportslink

Parents Could Escape Spanking Citation

Item: Spanking charges from parade incident could be dropped/Tom Greene, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: The mother cited for injury to child during the Fourth of July parade will have the charge dismissed if she and her husband attend parenting classes, according to an agreement with the prosecutor. “It will be dismissed when you get through ICARE,” said Tim Van Valin, Rathdrum’s city prosecuting attorney after an arraignment Wednesday for 21-year-old Melissa Farrell.

KREM2 video w/Melissa Farrell

Question: Is this the proper resolution to this controversial case?

Heller: We Should Be So Lucky

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Hump Day Wild Card — 7/23/08

I applaud you guys for following thru after I put out that 2 Cents note asking you to tell your family, friends & co-workers about HBO. Immediately, the numbers jumped from the 8000-8500 range to more than 10,000 (three days last week and again yesterday). Equally important, the unique views (individual computers used to check into HBO) has jumped from about 5000 to the 5500-6000 range. HBO probably reaches 6500-7000 on a given week — or mebbe half the circulation as the CDA Press and mebbe 2/3s the circulation of the SR in Kootenai County. Thanx for making HBO a strong alternative voice in the community. And keep telling others about this zany part of cyber world. Now, for your Wild Card …

Sportslink: Vandals Footballers Picked 8th

The University of Idaho Vandals were picked eighth in both the coach and media polls at the Western Athletic Conference’s football media days at Salt Lake City. Vandal coach Robb Akey is intent on changing those predictions as he begins his second season/Sportslink. More here.

Related: Ex-UI coach Pfeifer makes transition in Billings

Witness Describes Gozzer ‘Sucker Punch’

“While Gary and Stroud were visiting, (Holloran) and others came up to Stroud and began hasseling him. Halloran had a glass of wine in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other. Gary thought that Holloran was intoxicated. After a brief confrontation, Holloran took off his glasses, handed his wine glass to one of his friends and “sucker punched” Stroud in the throat. Gary said that Stroud said nothing to cause Holloran to react and punch him”/witness Gary Wozow, in KCSD report. Report narrative here. News story here.

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 7/23/08

Misha Japaridze/AP Photo
Women run in a high heel race at Red Square in Moscow, Saturday, July 19, 2008. Participants of the high heel run were challenged to race in stilettos of at least 9 cm (2.54 inches) tall. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. The running of the bulls is for sissies. Real daredevils travel to Red Square for the Stiletto Stampede. This year’s race was more spirited than usual when it was revealed that the first 25 ladies across the finish line would receive a free Mormon missionary calendar — CindyH.
*Look Girls!!! It’s DFO!!!!! — John Duh (whom I’d mistaken for Aliasjax)
3. One of these ladies will win a month of free gasoline and a lifetime of orthopedic shoes — JeanieSpokane.

HM: Shannon & Salmon Run

My 2 Cents: Bicycle Rules? C’mon

That crackdown by Portland cops on scofflaw bike riders caught my eye when I saw it posted at Orbusmax and again at Kootenai MPO. Why? I’ve been riding my bike back and forth to work the last week or so. And I see myself reflected in the following comment by an MPO staffer: “Okay, I admit it. When I ride my bike, I rarely follow the same rules I would ordinarily follow in my car. I can see where that could become problematic, so I will vow to change my ways.” I admit: I don’t stop at all stop signs. I ride the bike at night without a headlight. I cross over to the wrong side of the street when preparing to turn. I occasionally will ride on sidewalks if I’m in a heavily trafficked area like Appleway. I don’t signal. I don’t know any bicyclist who completely follows the rules of the road. Does that mean we’re bad people?

Question: Do you always follow the proper road rules while biking?

A Sign Of The Times

D.P. Bond sends this “Sign of the Times” photo to Huckleberries Online from his front row seat in Wallace of the mining industry in the Silver Valley. Jazzyvandal sends along an explanation of the photo above at this link.

Question: Do you have any roots in Silver Valley mining?

Odd Couple

Courtesy of ThomG
Kootenai County Demo kingpin Thom George (right) with U.S. Rep. Bill Sali, R-Idaho.

Question: Which man above would most likely want this photograph destroyed?

McCain: Media Fawns Over Obama

Item: McCain montage focuses on media bias: Video says news coverage unfairly fawns over Obama/Los Angeles Times

More Info: After months of frustration about what it sees as fawning media coverage of Barack Obama, John McCain’s campaign went on offense Tuesday with a Web video called “The media is in LOVE with Barack.” The montage, which features news anchors and correspondents discussing “Obamamania” as Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” plays, was sent to supporters to raise campaign donations in a week when McCain has been largely overshadowed by coverage of Obama’s overseas trip.

Question: Do the media favor U.S. Sen. Barack Obama over U.S. Sen. John McCain?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 7/23/08

Andy Carpenean/Laramie Boomerang, AP
A Wyoming Department of Transportation maintenance truck used for paint striping sits on the shoulder of I- 80, eight miles west of Laramie, Wyo. on Wednesday after a Monday accident involving a tractor-trailer and the work truck.

ATVers Dis Smokey: A group that advocates motorized recreation is asking the Forest Service to withdraw a public service ad featuring Smokey Bear. The group says the ad sends the wrong message that riders operating off-road vehicles in a legal manner can start forest fires. In the ad, Smokey Bear tells two ATV riders not to start their vehicles in a national forest/Matthew Daly, Spokesman-Review. More here.

*Centennial High coach, X-country athletes hurt in deadly crash/KTVB
*Prosecutor: ‘sexfest’ suspect tried to buy off victims/KTVB
*Preseason polls split on Boise State’s chances/KTVB
*More charges leveled against former Camp Grizzly counselor/Moscow Pullman Daily News
*Silent auction features Evel Knievel’s stuff/Billings Gazette
*Survey: Wyoming teens misinformed about meth/Billings Gazette

Orbusmax Special: Portland police cracking down on bicyclist traffic infractions here.

ShenelleK: Erring Hillary Right About ‘Village’

Hillary Clinton and I don’t get along too well. When we first crossed paths in 1991 I didn’t like her haircut and the fact that she encouraged her daughter to do ballet instead of basketball was just appalling to me. Then again I was 10 at the time and didn’t even know the word politician. The second time I recall hearing a lot about the First Lady was during the “Monicagate” scandal her husband got himself into. I didn’t like her then because she publicly forgave him took him back in. Even as a 16-year-old young woman I knew that if my boyfriend even kissed another girl I would kick him to the curb, school council president or not! And through the circus of her bid for the Democratic presidential candidate I wasn’t that fond of her campaign, even though I was proud that a woman was finally willing to “step up to the plate.” It wasn’t until just three weeks ago that I realized Hillary was absolutely right about one thing: it does take a village/Shenelle Kraack, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Hillary Clinton and Shenelle Kraack that it takes a village to raise a child?

Idaho Blogs: National D $$$ Won’t Hurt Sali

Idahoans have never been attracted by big DC political campaigns. It’s just not in our DNA. Typical national Dem or GOP campaign strategists do their third-party “media buys” for “typical Idahoans” from the East Coast in a milky-white homogeneous fashion of what they think Idaho is about, photoshoping the local-yokle’s image onto stock footage (which is usually very beautiful) print and video. They forget, I suppose, that in the summer, Idahoans have tans…some are even people of color (!)….and year-round, we have brains/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

*Zeb Bell’s demented ranch/MountainGoat Report
*Michael Savage attacks autistic kids/Angry Young Woman
*Fred Phelps: Father of new leftist tactics/Adam’s Blog
*Regarding open carry/Clayton Cramer
*Sali’s pro-life stand honored/IVA
*Smokey’s new ad makes ATV users angry/Rocky Barker
*Wayne Hoffman is an idiot/Unequivocal Notion

Question: Do you agree with Dennis Mansfield’s analysis that the $349,000 that national D’s plan to pour into Walt Minnick’s campaign could backfire on them?

AM Headlines — 7/23/08

Kathy Plonka/SR
“With the price of gas these days I think it’s really needed,” Marcie Black of Post Falls said about the raise in minimum wage, as she served lunch at Golden Dragon Chinese/American restaurant in Post Falls. The Idaho Department of Labor estimates that 42,000 Idaho workers are now paid less than the new minimum wage of $6.55 per hour; they’ll get raises on Thursday. SRtory by Erica Curless here.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Hayden council denies Hayden Canyon proposal/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Sex offender sent to prison for probation violations/Ryan Shelton, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Commissioners OK troublemaker ban ordinance for county parks/Alecia Warren, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Another cool day before warmup/SR

Question: Have you ever worked for minimum wage?

Redux: CindyH’s SOS: Co-Sign For Adult Child?

Have any of you co-signed on a loan for your children (18+)? Whether for a car, school, apartment. Do you recommend this?
I need to know before my son comes home at 11:00/CindyH.

DFO: I’m rerunning this post from last night (7:42 p.m.) because it’s a great example re: how this blogosphere community rallies around one another.

Crazy John: NI Bosses Are Skinflints

In general North Idaho employers are the biggest skinflints I’ve ever seen. They always argue that their wages are competitive. Competitive with what the other skinflint down the road? In the early 70’s and 80’s I had a trash hauling business. Most of my employees were minorities and they did a great job for me. They were paid accordingly, and felt good enough about their jobs that they threw a union organizer off our property, not once but several times. We provided full health coverage for them and their families and as an added bonus allowed them to purchase gas for their cars from our own gas tanks in the ground that we bought bulk from Chevron. As a conservative I’m all about personal resposibility and hard work, but requiring folks to work at minimum wage in today’s economy is shameful/Crazy John. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Crazy John that North Idaho employers are skinflints?

Wild Card/Tuesday — 7/22/08

I was planning to listen to the Coeurimba band tonight at Sherman Square Park. But the rain on the windsill tells me that my plans are going to change. I also was planning to ride my bike home from work tonight. Now, I’ve called for a ride — and must remember to turn the automatic sprinkler system off at home. I don’t mind rain in the middle of summer. I look forward to curling up with a good book after a day of barking in the HBO center ring. Now, I’ll replay the Wild Card …

MaryB: Walking The Talk

Actually LukeB I don’t eat beef or pork or lamb or veal. I do not wear fur and avoid leather unless its tack for my horses of which most now is biothane or cloth. So dear, your wrong. I can live with myself. I raise my own eggs free range and all the animals I have were rescues or strays that I have taken in and spayed neutered and do regular vacines. I donate to local shelters, try to teach people that spaying and neutering is better for their pets and have taught children to ride in the past. Also teaching them to love and respect all creatures. Sorry but I try to live what I preach/MaryB.

Question: What cause are you most devoted to? And how does that devotion affect your life?

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 7/22/08

Robin Loznak/News-Review, AP
Leslie Harris competes in the Beer Keg Toss event during the 4th annual Hawg Wild Rodeo motorcycle rally at the Meadow Wood RV Park and Campground near Glendale, Ore., last weekend. The weekend featured live music, bikers sports events, group rides and lots of partying.

*Suspected poacher escapes w/misdemeanor after confessions lost, improperly records/Shoshone News Press
*Smoking banned @ College of Southern Idaho/KCBI
*Idaho Shakespeare actor dies of natural causes/Idaho Statesman
*Prosecutors charge ex-nurse w/raping own children/KREM2
*Swimmers circumnavigate Lake Pend Oreille/Bonner County Daily Bee

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 7/22/08

Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Tracy Roberts, 33, of Rockville, Md. has her toes nibbled on by a type of carp called garra rufa, or doctor fish, during a fish pedicure treatment at Yvonne Hair and Nails salon in Alexandria, Va. last week. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. The doctor fish had to be called in for Erica Curless, as she learned that maybe flip flops were not the proper foot attire for researching her latest piece on maggot farming — Indy.
2. Accidentally dropping her purse into the water, Tracy witnesses the first instance of carp to carp walleting — John Austin.
3. (tie) Pecky, JeanieSpokane, Aliasjax.

‘Golden Girls’ Estelle Getty, 84, RIP

Tony Garza/CBS, AP
In this March 10, 2000, file photo, Betty White, left, reunites with two of her “Golden Girls” co-stars Estelle Getty, center, and Rue McClanahan. Getty, 84, an actress best remembered for her Emmy Award-winning role on “The Golden Girls” as an abrasive octogenarian robbed of her “tact cells” after a stroke, died today at her home in Los Angeles. Story here.

RR&RT: Hating Homeowners Associations

I hate HOAs. Especially the HOAs that are controlled by retirees with nothing better to do than spy on their neighbors or find things to complain about. Are all HOAs like that, or just ours?/Nic, Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts. More here.

Question: Do you share RR&RT’s loathing of homeowners associations?

Digger Chastizes Mayor In Moscow Paper

It’s budget time again in Moscow and Mayor Nancy Chaney has rolled out her $55.5 million dollar city budget. I applaud the efforts of the mayor and city staff for doing a great job at putting it together. Well, most of it. There is some information that seems to have been lost in the shuffle regarding the process, including an increase in our property taxes by the full 3 percent allowed by law. See, in the world of tax and spend liberalism in which the mayor lives it’s just that simple. Raise taxes and voilá, you’ve got a city budget. Surely there is a way to maintain essential city services without raising taxes. To borrow a phrase from the movie “Airplane,” “Yes there is, but don’t call me Shirley”/Henry Johnston (aka Digger), Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Do you pay attention to the various budgets rolled out by the dozens of taxing districts in your county?

HBO @ Noon: Blogging Is Online Pole-Dancing?

“I avoided blogs as long as I could. Some of them make me smile — is my favorite — but many send me seeking cover in the corner of the shed, particularly the commenter sections. Blogging comes in the form of the written word, but blogging is writing about as much as working the pole is dancing. Blogging is more of a one-way conversation than anything else, a neighbor who bangs on your door in the morning to complain about the fella down the street who won’t cut his front lawn. … Blogging, essentially, is talk radio on steroids”/sports columnist Norman Chad, Washington Post. More here.

Question: Do you consider what we do here to be “talk radio on steroids”?

Hat Tip: GaryC & CindyH

Smith: Print No Longer SR Main Focus

In the SR newsroom, we MUST understand and then embrace the notion that print is no longer our primary focus. As advanced as we are in the digital delivery of news … we are still too print focused. We need to devote FEWER resources to print. Our editors ned to spend far less time worrying about print. And all of us need to be focusing on how to improve and expand the scope and quality of our digital news and information (and that includes radio). This is a huge cultural leap. The push back will be extreme. Work schedules will have to change. Skills will have to be refined or re-taught or learned for the first time/Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation. More here.

Smith post shakes up SR newsroom

Question: Is the SR headed in the right direction by pushing hard to embrace the digital age?

Sgt. Christie: We Got Our Men, Er, Boys

DFO; You requested follow up info on the photo I sent out of suspects using a credit card to steal gas. Detective Mark Knapp was able to crack the case. A anonymous witness (who was an original suspect) ID one of the suspects in the photo. That suspect led us to two other suspects. In total 3 males have been charged with multiple crimes. Two of the males are juveniles at 15 and 16 years of age. The adult is Thomas J. Bartlett, 19 years of age of Coeur d’Alene. They have each been charged with 2 counts of auto burg, 1 count of grand theft of the credit card, 1 count of criminal possession of a financial transaction card, and two counts each of a business burglary of Advanced Garden and Landscaping. Thanks for putting the photo on HBO/CPD Blue Sgt. Christie Wood.

Idaho Blogs: DCCC Gives $349,000 To Minnick

And in the Idaho 1st, where Republican Bill Sali’s financial situation has been surprisingly bad (weak fundraising, slow debt payoff, still-high debt from the last campaign, difficulty getting proper reporting done), the national Democrats weighed in too. Democrat Walt Minnick has had solid fundraising (he ended the last quarter nearly doubling Sali’s cash of hand, and Sali’s debt amounted to about half of the cash on him). To that, the DCCC has added $349,000 for media, which at the moment would mean that Minnick has an unencumbered $800,000 or so, while Sali has an unencumbered (debt-free) $125,000 or so. It makes for a hell of a disparity/Randy Stapilus. More here.

*Guilt by association/Political Game
*Sali says no to the UN/Adam’s Blog
*Harry McTruman & Barack O’Dewey/Dennis Mansfield
*Popkey: ‘Extreme’ means conservative/IVA
*Idaho’s Teflon congressman/Kevin Richert
*A compromise for open carry/Unequivocal Notion
*Is Tamarack finally down for the count?/Left Side of the Moon

Question: In terms of percentages — 51% to 49%, for example, how would you rate Walt Minnick’s chances of unseating Congressman Bill Sali?

AM Headlines — 7/22/08

Jesse Tinsley/SR
Riders scream as they spin to and fro on the new roller coaster, Aftershock, at Silverwood Theme Park Monday. It was the first day for the ride. The ride takes riders as high as 191 feet above the ground, 65 miles per hour and up to 4.5 G’s. You can read Erica’s story here, and see Jesse’s slideshow here.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*KMPO releases transportation improvement program/Alecia Warren, Coeur d’Alene Press
*CDA parks dept. to accept bids on Landings Park/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press
*‘Latte Effect’ causing Spokane Starbucks to close/KREM2
*Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes coming up short/KXLY
*Kootenai Co. mulls park ban for rowdy users/KXLY

Question: Do you plan to ride Aftershock this year? Or do you generally avoid ha-huge roller coasters and other scary rides?

Portland: Most Inclusive City Ever

People wonder why Portland is so full of hate groups, like some of the nastiest skinheads ever, well Portland to its credit and detriment is one of the most inclusive cities ever - everyone, from 13 year old heroin slamming street junkie kids to 30 something computer engineers are welcome. Including haters. They know they can chill there. Portland for all it’s wonderful goofiness and beauty is also the city where Light Rail riders one morning were traumatized by the sight of two naked heroin addicts who had hung themselves off a bridge in a mutual suicide right in direct view of the rail line. It’s a city of contradictions, for sure/TUBOB. More here.

Question: Which U.S. city — and by that I mean one the size of Spokane are bigger — is your favorite?

Neighbor Sez Gozzer Honcho Hit Him

Item: Gozzer official faces battery charge: VP of development Andy Holloran accused of punching man in throat/Tom Greene, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Gozzer Ranch’s vice president of development is being accused of punching a Harrison man in the throat over letters to the editor of The Press. Pat Stroud, 61, filed a battery report Saturday with the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department against Andy Holloran, the day after the incident that allegedly occurred Friday at 11 p.m. in front of Eddie’s Bar and Grill on Arrow Point Drive. “Andy slugged me in the throat,” Stroud said. “He’s punching a 61-year-old man who is his neighbor.”

Question: Can you think of anything sillier than getting into a hubbub over a letter to the editor?

Wild Card/Monday — 7/21/08

Huckleberries Online is open for business this week, as you can see by the various threads below. I enjoyed the time off, moving my daughter into a new place in Portland. Powell’s bookstore picked up a little of my money. I saw “The Dark Knight” on opening night and then “Prince Caspian” the following night when one of those cool McMennamin’s dinner theaters. My right knee is barking as the result of carrying heavy objects up and down narrow staircases. But I’m good to go today. Now, for your Wild Card …

Hoity-Toity Oregonians

At a McMennamins restaurant restroom in northwest Portland last week, Amy Dearest spotted graffiti that underscores the smugness of urban Oregonians. The first post notes that the toilet paper in the women’s restroom is from Michigan, complaining, “But we’re in Oregon.” To which another added below: “”Yes, but we are snobs who require imported TP.”

Question: Do you consider Oregonians to be cultural snobs?

Scanner Traffic — 7/21/08

6:05 p.m. Bicyclist down and bleeding after suffering a possible broken foot in a crash near a local Shell station.
5:45 p.m. 14-year-old girl has a bloody nose and reportedly can’t remember hitting her head in the wave pool at Silverwood.
5:08 p.m. Possible grass fire in Bayview area.
3:07 p.m. Several callers report an accident in the westbound lane of I-90, between Highway 41 and Seltice Way. A woman reportedly is trapped in a rolled-over Suburban, complaining of head and leg injuries.
10:39 a.m. Female on female physical fight reported between in-laws on Tuolonne Drive.

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 7/21/08

Justin Connaher/The Reporter, AP
Anthony Pagor, left in black T-shirt, Dale Meyer, center, Brandon Meyer, second from right, and Justin Williams, partially seen, of Team Deliverance wrestle a hog during the Eldorado Community Picnic in Eldorado, Wis., Saturday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. 1. North Idaho foreplay. 2. A Silver Valley Sadie Hawkins dance gone awry. 3. A ham on rube sandwich — TUBOB.
2. Rising grocery prices prompted this all-out brawl in Eldorado, Saturday Shoppers, disgruntled by the $4 per pound squirrel prices, saw the mayor’s pet hog Sally Mae, wander by. “I saw her first,” grunted Anthony Pagor. It was unclear whether he was looking for breakfast or a date — CindyH.
3. Don’t give up! I smell Victory (Dale) no - It smells like bacon.. (Brandon)
- “It smells your sister!!”..(Anthony) — Pecky.

HM: ThomG and Kevin Taylor

Summer Fun

Bashful Dan Photo
Jason Johnson, an Engineer in Sandpoint, hooked up a float that looks like a B2 Stealth Bomber behind his jet ski, reports photographer Bashful Dan. His daughter, Ashley, 7, a second-grader at Washington Elementary, climbed aboard the float. “A few minutes later,” Bashful Dan e-mailes, “she went airborne with a smile on her face.”

Tribe Offers $5G’s For Bomb Threat Info

The Coeur ‘d’Alene Tribe is offering a $5,000 reward in hopes of tracking down the person who last week called in threatening that there were bombs in the Coeur d’Alene Casino. The call came in just before midnight on July 15, and the suspect has been described as a young woman in her late teens or early 20s. She made the call from a pay phone outside the Benewah Market in Plummer/Amy Cannata, SR. More here.

Local Blogs: 10 Years Of Dating — MamaJD

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho
Everyone knows you have to crawl before you can walk. This youngster appears to be crawling on Spirit Lake … If you look closely you’ll see he’s actually playing on a slightly submerged piece of adrift dock/Kerri Thoreson, OnLocation North Idaho.

Ten years ago today, I went on my first date with PapaJD. We had met in a murder-for-hire trial he was prosecuting a month earlier. I was a goner the minute he stepped in front of the jury box for voir dire. It took him a little longer. He first needed to send in another prosecutor to be a wingman. Only after she gathered sufficient evidence that I might be okay, did he make his move/MamaJD. More here.

*Seriously?/Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts
*Tante Doris/The Skinny On North Idaho
*One guilt trip, all expenses paid/Soul Doubt
*Motoring freedom lost/A Family Runs Through It
*The beer test/Dogwalk Musings
*Through the generations/From A Simple Mind
*Surgery time/JeanC’s Cat House & Shooting Gallery
*My big fat Greek Radio Shack in Kellogg?/Kellogg Bloggin’
*A kabota’s eye view of Center Valley/Slight Detour
*Rock is dead, long live rock/Synaptic Disunion
*Sound of money, smell of success/TUBOB

Question: Can you remember the first time you laid eyes on your Sweetheart?

Police Chief Cracks Down On Saggy Pants

Item: Chief to ACLU: Droop dead/Ben Schmitt, Detroit Free Press

More Info: Flint’s police chief isn’t backing off from his crackdown on saggy pants. The American Civil Liberties Union said last week that today would be the deadline for Chief David Dicks to halt the stopping and searching of individuals with low-riding pants exposing underwear or bare bottoms. Legal action may be forthcoming because Dicks said he isn’t changing anything.

Question: Do you support the Michigan police chief’s crackdown on saggy pants that expose underwear or butt cracks?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 7/21/08

Jesse Tinsley, SR
“Here’s a picture I snapped on my point-and-shoot camera Sunday along the Coeur d’Alene River Road,” e-mails SR colleague Jesse Tinsley. “This young male was wading in a creek off the road, gathering a crowd of passing campers who were on their way home.”

Osmond Matron Honored: A cabin in southeastern Idaho where the mother of entertainers Donny and Marie Osmond was born has been dedicated in a ceremony that drew some of the Osmond clan. Residents of the tiny town of Samaria on Saturday dedicated the reconstructed cabin where Olive Osmond was born in 1925. She died in 2004/KTVB. More here.

*Wily vet subdues youthful attacker with wrestling moves/KREM2
*Idaho AG warns telemarketers to change tactics/Idaho Statesman
*13YO impregnated, Boise man arrested/Idaho Statesman
*87YO man found alive after 3 days lost in wilderness/KTVB
*Snake escapes, slithers along busy road/KTVB
*Truck accident spills frozen seafood into back yard/KTVB
*Body of missing WSU student found/KHQ

Smith: Secret Taping ‘Unethical’ In Idaho

HBO Question: Would you condone a reporter or a columnist secretly taping a news source to gather information for a story or column?

SR Editor Steve Smith: Doing so in Idaho would be unethical. We would not condone it and it is, in fact, against policy. In Washington, it’s also illegal. There is no disputing that. Any exception in Idaho would be tied to extraordinary circumstances and require the editor’s explicit approval and fall under our deception clause which establishes clear criteria for such an action.

Suspect Held In 3 Post Falls Home Invasions

A brazen Post Falls burglar entered three unlocked and occupied homes over the weekend, startling three women as he looked for valuables to steal. The man was captured early Saturday morning by Post Falls Police after one woman’s husband chased him out of the house. “He admitted to being on methamphetamine and looking for something to pawn for a quick fix,” said Post Falls Police Lt. Pat Knight. Knight said that 28-year-old Stephen Hess confessed to the burglaries. In one case the victim said she awoke to feel Hess pulling on her clothing/Amy Cannata, SR. More here.

Idaho Blogs: Too Much Coverage Of IVA?

To hear several bloggers tell it, Bryan Fischer and Brandi Swindell are a two-headed soundbite-spewing monster created and sated by the media. Including the Statesman and its opinion page. Wow, and all for doing my job: Ensuring our Opinion pages make space for a variety of opinions. The bloggers seized on Dan Popkey’s Thursday column on the seemingly never-ending Ten Commandments monument. Popkey blasted Fischer and Swindell as publicly hounds, and criticized the media for giving these two conservative activists so much ink/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here. IVA’s reaction to controversy.

*Open carry of guns is new black helicopter/Unequivocal Notion
*Limbaugh listeners vs. NPR listeners/Clayton Cramer
*Advice for Popkey/IdaBlue
*Thank you, Wal*Mart supporters/Palousitics
*On the gas line in Idaho/Randy Stapilus

Question (from Kevin Richert): Should we quote conservatives? Or should we ignore them?

Court Tosses FCC ‘Wardrobe Malfunction’ Fine

Awout David Phillip/AP
In a Sunday Feb. 1, 2004, file photo, entertainer Janet Jackson, left, covers her breast after her outfit came undone during the half time performance with Justin Timberlake at Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston.

A federal appeals court today threw out a $550,000 indecency fine against CBS Corp. for the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show that ended with Janet Jackson’s breast-baring “wardrobe malfunction.” The three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Federal Communications Commission “acted arbitrarily and capriciously” in issuing the fine for the fleeting image of nudity. The 90 million people watching the Super Bowl, many of them children, heard Justin Timberlake sing, “Gonna have you naked by the end of this song,” as he reached for Jackson’s bustier/Associated Press.

Question: Do you agree with the court decision?

TUBOB: Handle Xtra Not Bad For Fish Wrapper

I’ve finally read an actual “Handle Extra” which I picked up outside of Dashco in Rathdrum* last night while scoring some ibuprofen for my dirt bike ridin sore back and a single scoop cone of some sort of weird brownie icecream concoction (they have the best hard ice cream cones in the world). Here’s the thing - I was pleasantly surprised. I expected the Handle Extra to be some lightweight little community paper throwaway full of recipes for pineapple upside down cake and gardening hints (well, it did have the gardening section). It was remarkably content rich and varied./TUBOB. More here.

Question: Have you read either of the two SR weeklies in North Idaho: Handle Extra or Prairie Voice?

Online Poll: Alcohol’s Impact On Your Diet

How big of an impact do alcoholic beverages have on your diet?/Idaho Statesman.

*Big impact
*Little impact
*I drink only light beer
*I have a glass of wine with dinner
*I don’t count calories
*I don’t drink
*No opinion

OTV Review: Fisherman’s Market & Grill

I knew we were up for an excellent sushi experience right away when I spotted Travis Whiteside behind the small rounded sushi bar, an island floating separately from the main counter. Whiteside is somewhat of a sushi celebrity in the Inland Northwest, having spent ages studying under the master chefs at Takara before moving on several years ago to become the visionary behind the raw fish menu at Bonsai Bistro. For whatever reason, that arrangement apparently didn’t work out and Whiteside is now performing his amazing sushi magic at the Fisherman’s Market and Grill, which was opened behind Super1 on West Kathleen Avenue late last summer by Eugene, Oregon transfers Bob and Jennifer Palm/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Do you like sushi?

Wild Card/Sunday — 7/20/08

One more day to contend with the Wild Card only — and then the center ring on this three-ring circus becomes a whirl of activity again. Bob should have some special squirrel recipes for us after spending a week at Twin Lakes. Mebbe Family Phil has a tale to spin re: spotting Thong Man at City Beach. Or Ralph Bartholdt has a column to regale us with at The Skinny On North Idaho. I’ve been having fun on my four-day break. But it’ll be fun to start tossing fodder your way again Monday to see what attracts attention and what doesn’t. You surprise me sometimes. Until then, I slap this Wild Card on you — and hope you give me some fodder for the two print columns that I write every week …

TGIF Wild Card — 7/18/08

In the post below, you’ll find 10 things that CindyH hates about HBO when this cat’s away. Item No. 4 caught my eye: “Too many comments on old threads— which means excessive scrolling to find new comments, which generally aren’t worth the effort on my poor, tired fingers at the end of a long, hard day.” I hope you guys know that you don’t have to click on the individual comments threads to monitor this blog. You can find all the latest comments from all the latest threads by clicking on “more recent comments” under the “comments” box in the right rail. The comments are posted in order that they’re received from all the threads, beginning with the latest. It makes checking out all the zaniest here much easier. I’ll be back Monday. But I’ll leave this Wild Card before I kick back some more on my mini-vacation.

Wild Card/Thursday — 7/17/08

I won’t have anything for you guys except a Wild Card for the next 4 days. I’m going to kick back and enjoy the glorious sunshine that’s visited us for some time now, making the long winter and the nonexistent spring nothing more than memories. You can enjoy yourselves by playing the Wild Card. Or go out and get some sunshine yourselves. Mebbe take a dip in the lake. Or hike Tubbs Hill. Mebbe I’ll see you out and about somewhere.

Parting Shot — 7/16/08

J. Scott Applewhite/AP
A trio of humpback whales break the surface of the water as they work together in a group behavior known as “bubble feeding” off the coast of Cape Cod near Provincetown, Mass., recently. In a group activity unique to the endangered humpbacks, they dive below a school of fish then blow huge a huge bubble cloud to help bring their dinner to the surface where they feed with the seagulls.

Mayor Bloem Tells Huckleberries …

… that she’s trying to get ahold of Spokane Mayor Mary Verner to discuss the Coeur d’Alene Press editorial this morning — you know, the one in which the Press slams Spokane people for trashing the Lake City weekend after weekend. Mayor Bloem told Huckleberries Online that she wanted to assure the Spokane mayor that she welcomed Spokane visitors and didn’t share the sentiments in the Press editorial at all.

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 7/16/08

Kyle Mills/Lewiston Tribune, AP
Darion Wilson, 7, of Las Vegas, Nevada reacts as his LEGO robot makes its first turn through an obstacle course during Lewis-Clark State College’s Kids’ College Wednesday in Lewiston.

National ‘Gaurd’: Evans, 73, is a woman on a mission. It began the day she buried her husband at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery. Ralph Evans, a Navy veteran, died in 2002. The cemetery wasn’t finished then, but veterans were being buried there. And a monument had already been erected in honor of all the branches of our armed services. It was the monument that launched Evans’ mission. Specifically, a misspelled word on the monument. A misspelled word carved in stone/Tim Woodward, Idaho Statesman. More here.

*Ysursa files response to GOP closed-primaries lawsuit/SR
*Judge: Duncan hearing will be open/SR
*Elvis impersonator charged with battery/St. Maries Gazette-Record
*Juvenile arrested for robbing Kingston bar/Shoshone News-Press
*Deputies arrest 2 women who reportedly robbed same home twice/Idaho Statesman
*Army deserter from Boise in Washington jail/Idaho Statesman
*Idaho reaches lottery deal with Nez Perce Tribe/AP
*Police seek casino bomb threat suspect/SR

Scanner Traffic — 7/16/08

5:17 p.m. City Beach lifeguard reports that a park user is chasing a thief who’s riding off on his Schwinn Predator bike toward Independence Point.
5:13 p.m. Now, the reporting party is saying that the bus he saw stopped under the overpass was a charter bus — not a CityLink one.
5:09 p.m. Coeur d’Alene police are still trying to check on the welfare of the driver of the CityLink bus. His next stop is at Super 1 in two minutes.
4:47 p.m. A passing motorist reports that a CityLink bus might be in the process of being held up. The motorist said that the bus was stopped under an I-90 overpass westbound and the driver appeared to have his hands up.
3:01 p.m. Lakeview Drive (Hayden) home owner reports that a worker is unconscious in a willow tree at his house, about 30 feet up. He doesn’t know if the man has been drinking.
2:01 p.m. A motorist reports that a car load of kids are shooting bottle rockets out of the windows as they drive around CDA.

Richert Offers Another Hartgen Story

Hartgen hired me in the summer of 1996 to work as The Times-News’ city editor. The move was a big jump for me — partly because the city editor, the air traffic controller supervising a reporting staff, has the toughest and most stressful job in any newsroom. It was also a jump since I would be working for a new publisher. I didn’t know Hartgen too well firsthand, but after 11 years in Idaho newspapers, I’d heard enough rumors to suggest he’d be a tough boss/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

St. Maries Couple Faces More Charges

The St. Maries couple charged with severely abusing their 3-year-old toddler will face additional charges. The girl’s mother, 26-year-old Christina Haynes, and her mother’s boyfriend, 29-year-old Charles William Smith, initially faced charges of felony injury of a child. Haynes and Smith now face two counts each of aggravated battery and injury to a child/KXLY. More here.

Press Edit Against Spokane Has Support

To the writer of this editorial….I thought I was the only person that felt this way. The only difference is that the locusts leave, Spokanites don’t. I believe there has been some sort of unexplained event in the state of Washington that has dried up all their lakes and waterways because they all bring their boats here and clog our beaches. They don’t have any trash cans there either. If you notice, they leave their trash everywhere which tells me they don’t know what a trash can is or how to use one/commenter OMG, at Coeur d’Alene Press Online. More here (and scroll down).

A Matter Of Opinion has started a thread about this, too

SR Blogs: Rosemary’s Baby Plus 40 Years

Roman Polanski may be a criminal. He may be a pervert. He may be a spawn of Satan for all I know. Whatever else he is, though, he’s a hell of a filmmaker. “Chinatown” proves that. As does “The Pianist.” And so does “Rosemary’s Baby,” Polanski’s 1968 adaptation of Ira Levin’s novel about a young New York couple who become unwitting dupes of a satanic circle. If you’re familiar with the film, you might be interested to know about a “Rosemary’s Baby”-themed contest that Moviemaker Magazine is holding. Set up as part of a promotion for the film’s 40th anniversary, the contest is titled “Whatever Happened to Rosemary’s Baby?”/Dan Webster, Movies & More. More here.

*Scrabble fans: Switch? Or stick with Scrabulous on Facebook/TXT
*Liberation in practice/News Is A Conversation
*Show & tell, thick slices, and French cheese/Daily Briefing
*KGA to power down night time signal/On The Air
*Wednesday’s quickie political briefing/Spin Control 2.0

Question: What do you think happened to the devil’s spawn after “Rosemary’s Baby”?

AG: Secret Tax Deals Were Legal

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s office has issued a 12-page opinion concluding that there was nothing illegal about the secret tax deals struck by the state Tax Commission with large multistate corporations, excusing them from paying part of their Idaho taxes. The deals were revealed in a whistleblower’s report submitted to the governor and Legislature by a longtime state tax auditor, who complained that the deals have become so frequent that such corporations now routinely protest their taxes in order to get their “Idaho tax break”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you agree with AG Lawrence Wasden’s analysis of the secret tax deals between the Tax Commission and large multistate corporations?

Dogwalk Musings: Taping Was Way Over Line

On a more serious note, I must say I am appalled by what’s going on. Even if taping is legal, when is it and when is it not ethical? For keeping track of the facts about a policy question, why not just announce that you’ll be taping for the sake of accuracy? I have long since given up trying to understand our merry band of caped crusaders; their obsession with everything that goes on and their unending search for misdeeds. I have my own thoughts on how they might be more successful in their attempts but any suggestions, given long ago, fell on deaf ears. So be it. This obsession, however, is now turning ugly and I must say I would never trust one of them again/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Meanwhile, commenters are pressing Mary Souza on the OpenCDA blog to admit or deny whether she secretly taped a private conversation with NIC Trustee Christie Wood as Christie claims. Mary’s supporters are urging her to ignore the question. Click here (and scroll down).

Idaho Blogs: The Medicare Override

The House voted more lopsidedly, 383-41, to override. As you might expect, all of the region’s Democrats voted to override. But so, it turns out, did five of the six Northwest Republicans - all from Washington and Oregon along with Representative Mike Simpson of Idaho. The lone Northwest House member to vote for the veto, for the 11% cut in payments to doctors: Idaho Representative Bill Sali/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

*The password is … defenestrate/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman
*Boise as Caesar/Adam’s Blog
*The part of Idaho where no one lives/Clayton Cramer
*Bill Sali should sprint to finish line/Dennis Mansfield
*Negativity toward Democrats/BinkyBoy, 43rd State Blues
*Craig’s alternative forest history/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman

Question: What do you think of the votes by Idaho congressmen Larry Craig, Mike Crapo and Bill Sali to support a veto by President Bush that would have cut Medicare reimbursement to doctors by 11 percent?

TUBOB: Worst Summer Job Ever

The worst summer job I had was picking raspberries. Bar none. My mom got sick of us kids fighting and whining all summer around the house and made us go pick raspberries at some hideous Spokane Valley raspberry farm. I only remember doing it a couple of days and quitting, just flat out refusing to go back. It was hot nasty work, picking those little raspberries, spending all day pushed up against spider infested raspberry canes, which as I recall had thorns, thorns as big as your index finger, and making only a few dollars for picking flat after flat of the horrible things on a hot sunny day much more suited to floating on a raft down at the river/TUBOB. More here.

Question: Which summer job of yesteryear would you describe as simply dreadful?

Online Poll: Coast ‘Gaurd’ Inscription

A stone at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery that honors the men and women of America’s armed services includes the following typo: ‘U.S. Coast Gaurd.’ Who should pay to fix it?/Idaho Statesman.

*Coast Guard
*Company that made the monument
*No one — leave it alone

Keyboard Commando: DFO, Et Al, Going To Jail

All the money in the world won’t keep these people out of prison. Meyer, Nipp, Kennedy, Oliveria, et al. Their opposition to putting the spotlight on the LCDC is simply a cover for not wanting the spotlight on them. When all is said and done, all of the major players of LCDC-Gate will end up doing jail time. The attorney general is already exploring the web of lies and deceit spread by these people. The proof is in the documents. I wouldn’t be surprised if Berns and Co. are shredding files at this very moment/Serious Concerns, CAVEr keyboard commando, in Coeur d’Alene Press Online comments section.

DFO: In the comments section of the CDA Press article about the LCDC’s PR firm Tuesday, keyboard commando Serious Concerns escaped his padded cell long enough to express his/her wishes about my future. I’ll be amazed if this person stands upright. However, if s/he’s right, I want a cell with Kennedy. That’d be a hoot. On the other hand, I tip my hat this morning to Press Editor Mike Patrick for ordering all the CAVEr cut-and-paste items about Councilman MikeK from this site removed from his.

Hat Tip: Dennis

Update: More Details In Tragic Carlin Bay Accident

A 13-year-old Washington boy died after suffering traumatic injuries from a boat propeller while wakeboarding with family on Lake Coeur d’Alene Tuesday. The boy’s grandfather, Marvin Markham, 70, of Spokane Valley, was operating a 1997, 21-foot inboard Maxium boat with Leisha Konrad, 39, of Spokane, and five juveniles when the boy was hurt, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department. Authorities believe the boat was in neutral when the boy, who was in the water, decided to switch life jackets and came in contact with the propeller about 3:30 p.m. near the 34000 block of Highway 97, about 300 yards south of the Carlin Bay Resort, said Kootenai County sheriff’s Lt. Dan Soumas./Meghann Cuniff, SR. More here.

Parting Shot — 7/15/08

OrangeTV/Remember The Roxy
In the latest offerings at Remember The Roxy, OrangeTV publishes a photo that many old-timers will remember — the old Coeur d’Alene Junior High building. Which also was the high school building. Later, a community center. By the time I got here in 1984, the facility was closed. And a community effort led by Bob Macdonald, a former councilman and county commissioner, failed to save it from the wrecking ball.

Question: Anyone else have memories of the two brick buildings that stood at 7th & Montana for years?

OTV Recommendation: Big Band Sound Tonight

Handshake Productions deserve a handshake indeed, or at least a high-five for bringing us a ton of live music every summer for many moons now. These are the folks who always put together the concerts at Cd’a and Hayden City Parks, Riverstone concert series, and the concerts at Sherman Square downtown. Speaking of which, you might want to call your favorite Auntie and invite her to Chinese dinner at Canton and to be-bop and swing the night away with the Coeur d’Alene Big Band starting at 6:30 p.m. at Sherman Square Park/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho.

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 7/15/08

Clay Lomneth/Reno Gazette-Journal, AP
Michael Bolanda lays down in the parking lot of a flooded gas station in the Stead area of Reno, Nev. as friend Chance Barnes rides by on his bike Monday. Heavy rain from fast-moving thunderstorms caused flash flooding Monday in Stead, knocking down fences, filling roads with mud and flooding intersections. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Can’t quite make it out, but I think the shirt sez, “If you can read this, I am probably floating belly up in a pool of mud” — Cabbage Boy.
2. Left with no other choice, Christie Wood rolls around in the mud slung by Mary Souza, totally not affected! — FatLadySings.
3. Little Mikey knew it was a gamble to go to Reno so he took a mud bath in Stead — John Austin.

HM: JeanieSpokane

AMOO: Would You Run This Cartoon?

… Or would you release the Hounds of Inappropriateness to hunt down David Horsey of the Seattle P-I? (Yes, this is a satire of a controversy over a satire. Thought I should explain that upfront, so people wouldn’t get upset for not getting it.)

From: A Matter Of Opinion

KXLY: Duncan Transferred To Sea-Tac Facility

Confessed serial killer Joseph Duncan has been transferred to the Federal Detention Center in Sea-Tac, Washington. According to court records and the federal inmate locator, Duncan is now being housed at the Federal Detention Center at Sea-Tac and was transferred there TuesdayKXLY. More here.

Hat Tip: Taryn Hecker

SR Blogs: KootCo Homes Sales Down 25%

The Coeur d’Alene Multiple Listing Service recorded the average home sold for $226,423 during the first half of the year, a 5 percent decrease. The median declined 4 percent, reflecting drops in sales at both ends of the price spectrum. The greatest percentage of sales decreases occurred in homes that cost more than $500,000 and in houses sold for less than $100,000/Parker Howell, Here’s The Dirt. More here.

*It’s tabloid Tuesday/News Diary
*Get your ‘Dark Knight’ tix now/Movies & More
*Hundreds have their say on transportation/Eye On Boise
*Kudos and newsroom news/Daily Briefing
*Clint Black breaks in Two Rivers amphitheater/Sound Wave

Question: Are you trying to sell your home in this current market?

OSU ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ To Be Torn Down

AP File Photo
In a in Nov. 1975 file photo, actor Jack Nicholson is shown in a scene from the movie “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”. Oregon State Hospital, the mental institution where the 1975 movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was filmed, is making way for a new complex. Most of the dilapidated, 125-year-old main building will be torn down and replaced starting this fall.

Question: Which Jack Nicholson film is your favorite?

New List: CDA 3rd In Nation For Biz Climate

“It’s a very attractive area, whether for a down-shifting boomer looking to slow down or for a person who wants to raise a family,” ( executive editor Joel) Kotkin said, adding that the region’s housing prices are also appealingly moderate. “Taxes are relatively low — well, if you live in California or New York, they seem low. It’s business friendly”/Alecia Warren, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you think Coeur d’Alene’s business climate justifies the high ranking?

KREM2: Semi Rolls, Blocks Highway 53

A semi-truck carrying construction material rolled and is blocking traffic traveling east and west on Highway 53. Authorities are working to clear this mess on Highway 53 in north Idaho. Traffic is currently being diverted onto old Highway 95/KREM2. More here. ISP report below.

TUBOB: Summertime & Living Is Easy

Summer is pretty much the Season of Tragic Unintended Consequences anyway. Not only bears and bees but fireworks, ATV’s, drunken boat operators, logging trucks with bad brakes, forgotten cases of dynamite and blasting caps left near abandoned silver mines off North Idaho hiking trails, mower blades breaking off and zipping through the air to decapitate some innocent pimply faced 14 year old mowin a lawn for marijuana money, and of course, old school slingblades wielded by insane but lovable lugs like Karl (of “Slingblade” fame in TUBOB video) up there. For years I would incur weird injuries and illnesses while on summer vacation - whiplash from a high speed rear-ending by a full logging truck near Forks, another neck injury from being blown off an exploding waverunner, injured shoulder last summer from a dirt bike crash, etc/TUBOB. More here.

Question: Have you been seriously injured while recreating during the summer?

Wall Street Journal: Sali Race ‘Competitive’

Don Soltman, an executive at the Kootenai Medical Canter in Coeur d’Alene, is a Republican who supports Mr. Minnick. “Socially, I can support him much easier than I can support Bill Sali,” he said. Mr. Soltman said that while he typically votes Republican, he finds Mr. Sali’s focus on social issues off-putting/Justin Sheck, Wall Street Journal. More here.

Question: Have you changed your opinion on the Sali-Minnick race?

AM Headlines — 7/15/08

J. Bart Rayniak/SR
Chris Hosmer looks at a picture on her camera that she took of her husband Rick, right, and Andy Dunau, executive director of nonprofit Spokane River Forum, Saturday. Rick is the creative director of the graphic arts firm Klundt-Hosmer, and is doing illustrations for a trip arranged by Dunau, a group paddling the entire length of the Spokane River from North Idaho College to Fort Spokane. The two cooled off just east of the Idaho/Washington border. Becky Kramer continues her series on the Spokane River here.

*Idaho Records/SR
*Possible charges may be filed in Spokane Valley wildfire/SR
*Zags’ Daye injures ACL, surgery expected in days/SR
*CDA elementary students improve reading scores/CDA Press
*North Idaho water rights process nears/SR
*American Legion lauds local firefighter/CDA Press
*CDA man charged with assaulting 9 girls/KXLY

IMHO: Spam King Faces 20-Year Sentence

The so-called King of Spam is being sentenced in Seattle, and it’s difficult to think of a punishment that’s too harsh. Robert Soloway, 28, is thought to have sent billions of spam e-mails over the course of his wretched career. Chances are, you’ve had some of his handiwork jamming your inbox. Authorities estimate that he sent out tens of millions of e-mails a day from his tony waterfront apartment in Seattle. When he did venture outside, he’d tool around in a late-model Mercedes Benz/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.

*Tax deals: Why sweet? Why a secret/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune
*Slow economy will hurt Otter push for road funding/Idaho Statesman
*Presidential puzzle — who can run?/Frank Mieli, Kalispell Daily Inter Lake

Question: What kind of sentence does a big-time Internet spammer deserve?

Online Poll: Whiniest Generation?

Which generation is the whiniest?/Idaho Statesman

*The Greatest Generation
*Baby boomers
*Gen Xers
*Gen Yers
*Not sure

Parade Spanking Story Goes National

Item: Spanking story goes national: Father didn’t think coming forward ‘was going to get this big’/Tom Greene, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: With national “Fox News” and “Inside Edition” calling, the husband of the mom accused of injury to child at the Fourth of July parade said by going to The Press he wanted to stand up for their rights — not start a national debate. “I never thought asking people to come forward (as witnesses) was going to get this big,” said Robert Farrell, a 27-year-old father of three from Post Falls.

Question: Are you surprised that this story has gotten this big?

River Run: Whitewater In The Heart Of Spokane?

Paul Delaney, River City River Runners
Mindy Boes of EPIC Adventures from Eastern Washington Univerisity guides a paddle raft through the Devils Toe Nail Epic on the Lower Spokane River Sunday, July 13, 2008. The float was part of a 7-leg trip organized by the Spokane River Forum.

This part of the river, with its regal basalt cliffs, was new to me. Nearly a century earlier, the Olmsted Brothers – who designed Spokane’s city parks – envisioned a “Great Gorge” greenbelt stretching from downtown to Fort George Wright, with connecting parks. In 1997, the nonprofit Friends of the Falls formed to revive that vision. “This gorge area is right in the heart of downtown,” said Steve Faust, Friends of the Falls’ executive director. “But it doesn’t feel like you’re in the middle of a city. … You’re in a canyon and you have this sense of being isolated.” A master plan calls for trails, viewing platforms and other recreational opportunities in the gorge/Becky Kramer, Spokesman-Review. More here.

Question: How important do you consider the Spokane River to your quality of life in the Inland Northwest?

Parting Shot — 7/14/08

Scott Anderson/Journal Times, AP
Canada geese feed in the waters of Lake Michigan south of Samuel Myers Park in Racine, Wis. on Saturday.

Scanner Traffic — 7/14/08

5:26 p.m. Coeur d’Alene police are holding theft suspect at gun point in the alley between Military Drive and City Park. They are also looking for an accomplice who’s wearing a black shirt and riding a bike.
5:16 p.m. Coeur d’Alene police are pursuing a man in polka-dot shorts and a baseball cap who stole money from the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce. At first, he was hiding in the bushes by the condos at 1st and Sherman. Then, he ran into City Park and toward the Fort Sherman playground.
5:24 p.m. A 9 year-old girl has fallen from playground equipment at Fort Sherman Park and suffered a bump on her head.

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 7/14/08

Vincent Yu/AP Photo
Crystle Stewart, Miss USA, falls down during the evening gowns segment of the Miss Universe 2008 beauty pageant in Nha Trang, Vietnam, earlier today. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. “Oops, guess I shouldn’t have gone out partying with Miss Washington last night!” — Shannon.
2. One disgusted feminist was heard saying, “These girls are all glam and no brains. Wouldn’t suprise me a bit if half of them can’t walk and chew gum at the same time” — LSUdabest.
3. Thinking her imitation of Janet Jackson would help her win the talent competition, Miss USA opted to perform a riskier flash than Janet used hoping it would win the judges over — KeithinCDA.

HM: John Austin

Wanted: CDA School Trustee Applicants

The Coeur d’Alene School District Board of Trustees is seeking applicants to fill the vacancy created by Christie Wood’s recent resignation after eight years of service. Applicants must submit a letter of interest, naming three references, to the board by Aug. 1. Applicants must live in Wood’s Zone 3 (west of Highway 95/Lincoln Way to Atlas Road and north of the Spokane River).

Daily News: CDA Cell Phone Ban Will Fail Fail

The Coeur d’Alene School District is considering one of the most comprehensive bans on cell phone use by students in the state. It’s a hard-core reaction to class disruptions, cheating and cyber bullying that would prohibit students from using electronic devices such as cell phones at any point during the school day. There might be some distinction that can be given by adopting the most stringent rules in the state. But what’s the point if, even before the rule is adopted, no one thinks it will be enforced? The district superintendent doesn’t think it’s going to work, and school districts in other states that have tried to put the clamps on cell phone usage had to back off the regulations/Steve McClure, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Do you think a Coeur d’Alene School District cell phone ban will be too tough to enforce?

TUBOB: What If I’m Afraid Of Bears?

Ok, I’ll admit it, I have a basic fear of bears. I don’t know if it is technically a phobia as I’m not sure it’s all that irrational and it hasn’t actually interfered in my life. But I also don’t willingly smear myself in honey and leap into a cave of hungry snarling bears just awakening after a winter of hibernation. Well, not until next week. Next week we’re going canoe camping on Upper Priest Lake which is well known black bear and, unfortunately, grizzly bear or as it’s known scientifically “Ursus Arctus HORRIBILIS (histrionic capitals mine) country/TUBOB. More here.

Question: Are you afraid of bears when you’re camping in North Idaho or Northwestern Montana? Why not?

Local Blogs — 7/14/08

Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It
Family Phil takes his youngsters on a bike ride on the new Prairie Trail. More here.

I once was a wife. A good one. I know the qualifications and duties and job description. Now, I want one. My husband often hinted that we should work it into our pitiful budget to have a housekeeper. Yeah, right, on an Airman’s salary. You betcha. I have decided the only help for me is to get a wife. I am going to post my wish on eBay this very second: Wife Wanted. They should be lining up at the back door as I write!/JeanieSpokane, Nuts & Nonsense. More here.

*Is variable pricing knocking @ our door/Kootenai MPO
*Ain’t going to be around for a bit/Marmitetoasty
*Mush/A Butterfly Moment
*Ma Nature puts on a ‘really big shoe’ when sun goes down/Atmospheric Ruminations
*Summertime/Bay Views
*JeanC goes boating & has photos to prove it/JeanC’s Cat House & Shooting Gallery
*Silver Valley Day at Salem IHOP/Kellogg Bloggin’
*Adventures in fishing/Live, Love, Laugh, Hope

HBO Blog Nos (for July 6-12, 2008): 50,687 page-views/29,191 unique views

Question: When did you last ride a bike?

CDA Prosecutor Turns Down HBO Request …

… for police report in the spanking incident involving young Coeur d’Alene mother Melissa Farrell. Sherry Adkins received this response from Mike Gridley’s office: “CDAPA office declined per Statutory Authority for Denial: IC 9-335.” I’ve called Mike for an explanation why this should be privileged information. Stay tuned.

Update: City Attorney Mike Gridley told Huckleberries a few minutes ago that the investigation in this case may be complete. He has asked the prosecutor to call HBO to explain why the report can’t be released to the media.

Update 2: City Prosecutor Jennifer Tinkie tells HBO that she’s afraid she might affect any future trial in the misdemeanor spanking case by releasing the police report. But she is willing to reconsider releasing the report later.

HBO @ Noon: Canadians Covet Sandpoint Homes

This is a part of Idaho that has always embraced the outdoor life but, with the strong Canadian dollar and a faltering American economy, it is looking north for more and more of its vacation homebuyers. Named one of the top 10 small towns in the Western U.S. by Sunset Magazine, Sandpoint has taken its natural advantages — including Lake Pend Oreille, the state’s largest lake (69 kilometres long, 179 kilometres of shoreline and, at 352 metres, its deepest) and the Schweitzer Mountain ski hill — and infused them with a cultural mosaic that includes local boutiques, artists, theatres and good restaurants. One of the largest recreation developments in the area is already attracting Calgarians, lured by the beauty and the relatively short drive — six-and-a-half hours — from our city/Calgary Herald. More here.

Question: Are you glad that the Canadians are returning to buy goods and land in the Inland Northwest?

Lost Party Boys Found In Blue Creek Area

Two young men and two boys made contact with the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department about 8:45 a.m. Saturday after being reported missing all night. The four — Allan Barata, 18, of Coeur d’Alene, Anthony W. Herrera, 23, of Post Falls, and two juveniles from Spokane and Coeur d’Alene — got lost looking for firewood while attending a party involving alcohol on private property in the Blue Creek area.

Boise: Idaho Didn’t Make Money Mag List

Money Magazine has come out with its list of the best places to live, in this case the “best small cities for families.” The surprise: Boise didn’t make the list, not anywhere in the top 100. Instead, the winner was Plymouth, Minn., followed by Fort Collins, Colo.; Naperville, Ill.; Irvine, Calif.; and Franklin Township, N.J. In fact, no city in Idaho, Oregon, or Montana made the top-100 list. Washington had just one, Bellevue at 42nd, while Orem (63rd) and Sandy (83rd) in Utah made the top 100/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: How would you rate your town as a place to live?

Introducing Hannah Yates, Talented ‘07 Jr. Miss

“Hannah Yates was CdA Jr Miss 1st runner up, then became the 2007 JR miss when things didn’t work out for the girl who won’” e-mails Howard Martinson. “Hannah went on to compete in the State of Idaho Jr Miss, and won first place. … A couple of weeks ago, Hannah returned from the national Jr Miss program in Mobile, AL, where she won a talent scholarship for singing. She was offered a four year full ride scolarship to a University in Alabama, which she accepted. I believe she intends to major in Pre-Med and eventually become a Doctor.

Sgt. Christie Corrects Mary Souza’s Latest Claims

I asked NIC Trustee Vice Chair Christie Wood last month when we met for coffee why the budget for PTE was cut when it is the No. 1 strategic goal? She said she was unaware of the cut and would look into the question, yet just weeks later, she voted along with the whole Board to approve the budget, PTE cuts and all. The Press reported last Sunday that NIC President Priscilla Bell was granted a 5 percent salary increase, which, along with additional benefits, raises her compensation package to $179,250, including $1,000 per month for housing. Trustee Christie Wood called this decision “a great show of confidence”/Mary Souza, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Sgt. Christie Wood’s response

DFO: Public officials, like Christie Wood, are hesitant to engage in a battle of words with someone like Souza who has a regular column in a newspaper. (For now.) But I’d encourage her and other public officials to demand that the Brand X brain trust correct every one of Souza’s inaccuracies and to challenge the faulty thinking that is rampant in her columns. It’s an uphill battle because Brand X obviously wants her propaganda published. But there will come a point when she again becomes a bigger minus than a plus on the op-ed page — and will be shown the door again. Or drag Brand X down with her.

Richert: Risch Campaign ‘Detached, Distant’

Risch generated a good deal of publicity and goodwill during his run as governor, and like any smart politician, he is hoping to bank on that in this year’s Senate race. Increasingly, though, this appears to be the whole of the Risch strategy. Even Risch’s ad blitz leading into the May GOP primary centered on the property tax bill. The message, delivered with little detail so far: If you liked me as governor in 2006, you’ll like me as a U.S. Senator in 2009/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

*Bubblehead covers Bill Sali townhall meeting/The Stupid Shall Be Punished
*McCain holding his own against Obama/Clayton Cramer
*I have heard of Hanford/Palousitics
*One empty chair of 3 (not 2)/Randy Stapilus
*Police search for Strunk in Shoshone County/Right Mind
*Obama inspired by Idahoans/Red State Rebels

Question: Is Lt. Gov. Jim Risch taking Red State Idaho too much for granted by leading a campaign in which he’s remaining “detached” and “distant”?

Online Poll: Favorite Batman

The new Batman movie ‘The Dark Knight’ comes out this week. Who is your favorite Batman?/Idaho Statesman

*Adam West
*Michael Keaton
*Val Kilmer
*George Clooney
*Christian Bale
*None of them

Otter, ITD Wants Your $$$ For Roads

Item: Otter, ITD seek help for roads: Transportation meetings ask how to pay for highway repairs/Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Gov. Butch Otter and the Idaho Transportation Department will launch a series of statewide meetings — “Building Roads, Building Bridges, Building Consensus” — to ask the public how best to pay for repairing, maintaining and improving the state’s crumbling roads and bridges. The meeting in Coeur d’Alene will be from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday at the Best Western Coeur d’Alene Inn. A brief introduction to the funding challenges will be presented at 4:15 p.m., 5:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. Otter will lead the presentation at 4:15 p.m.

Question: Do you really think the governor’s interested in upgrading all Idaho roads, including Highway 95. Or this is a ploy to upgrade Boise area roads with everyone’s money?

Anderson: Stop Talking Down To Us

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

APhoto of the Weekend — 7/12-13/08

Lefteris Pitarakis/AP Photo
In this combo image, two of more than 1,500 schoolchildren attempting to break the Guinness World Record for longest game of Chinese whispers are seen at the Emirates Stadium in London, Friday. You write the cutline.

Webster: Take ‘Journey’ In 3D To Avoid Dead End

“Journey to the Center of the Earth” is cinematic sci-fi proof that the Earth’s core is made of cheese. Mercifully, it’s old-fashioned, family-friendly B-movie cheese, served up in this Brendan Fraser/Jules Verne action epic for kids. Seek out this “Journey” in a theater showing it in 3-D. You’ll want the T-Rex, with his snapping teeth, the bio-luminescent birds, the gigantic Venus flytraps and that mouthwash Fraser spits down his sink all right in your face. Or lap. This is 3-D the way it used to be – playful, used for effect, but not really a technology that can lift a middling movie much beyond tolerable/Dan Webster, Movies & More. More here.

Question: Which summer movie do you absolutely plan to see on the Big Screen?

Update: Accused Molester’s Victim List Grew

With several possible incidents of sexual abuse piling up against him, the Hayden businessman arrested for allegedly molesting a child last weekend committed suicide on Thursday. Two campers came across the body of Mickey Allan Watson, 56, in the Moyie River near Twin Rivers Resort on Thursday night. The Boundary County Sheriff’s Office determined that Watson had leapt off the Moyie River Bridge on Highway 2, and was killed by the 425-foot drop to the river below. Investigators concluded the death was intentional and self-inflicted. Kootenai County officers had arrested Watson, owner of Watson Homes, on July 6 for allegedly fondling an 8-year-old girl at a float house in Bayview the day before/Alecia Warren, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Arpie: I Was There When Ugly Duck Fire Occurred

RE: Ugly Duck first of many fires Thursday/SR
Arpie: So here’s a story you may find a little strange and I find still a bit surreal. Yesterday I went to Spokane to buy a new front door for my house as we’re moving our front door as part of our ever-ongoing addition-remodel project. I went to the Ugly Duck for the first time in my life. Finding the building in an old pea warehouse took some work. The salesman that helped me told me that he had my door, he had over thirty thousand, but we may have a hard time finding it. He went on to explain that for some weird reason the lights in the main show-storage room had gone out about a half hour ago. After showing me a few doors, we narrowed it down to a stunning mahogany door with eight small windows in the top. As he was writing up the ticket and I was writing the check, a fellow came in saying the building was on fire. More here.

Question: Have you ever lost a home or possessions as a result of a fire?

OTV Review: Taco Trucks Provide Good, Cheap Food

I could get a clear shot at the grinning cook, however, and he looked like he had been doing his thing since around the time Arizona became the 48th state. He snapped into action pronto when he heard me order two hard tacos, one chicken and one pork and a chile relleno. Amazingly, the mystery hands returned a five and some change from the $10 I’d handed over. Cheap! Even more amazingly, by the time I was done digging in my pocket for enough change to throw in the tip jar, my food was ready. Fast! “You want hot sauce or hot hot sauce, baby?” asked the gravelly voice from beyond the window screen as I grabbed my meal. “Hot hot sauce, of course,” I said, and she chuckled ominously/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Have you ever eaten food from one of the Taco trucks in town?

Parting Shot — 7/11/08

Brie Cohen/AP
Three-year-old McKenzie Wondra runs up into her father’s, Sgt. Robert Wondra, arms with excitement before Wondra was dismissed and loved one were not yet allowed to greet their soldiers, Friday in Albert Lea, Minn.. Robert returned home from Kosovo with the other Minnesota National Guard soldiers of D Company, 2nd Battalion, 135 Infantry Regiment on Thursday.

Bubblehead: Proud Parents Are Obnoxious, But …

You know how annoying it is when parents go on and on about how smart their kids are? Well, stand by to be annoyed. I opened the mail today, and found out that #1 Son had gotten a “5” on both his Calculus AB and Physics B AP exams. As a junior. w00t! If you’re a college recruiter, please send your scholarship offers to the E-mail address listed in the profile/Bubblehead, The Stupid Shall Be Punished. More here.

Question: How much bragging is OK re: your kids? How do you shut down a parent who brags too much?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 7/11/08

Aram Boghosian/Tulsa World, AP
Spectators Curtis Broadbent, left, and Stephanie Broadbent, 22, dance in mud during the second day of the second annual Rocklahoma music festival in Pryor, Okla., Thursday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Newly slimmed down Dan Gookin and his date Mary Souza show up at the ed corridor meeting ready to sling mud — Eric Olthwaite.
2. The newest development proposal for the education corridor, an NIC student recreational mud pit, with an estimated cost of only $8 million — Bjorne.
3. Miss Washington is seen getting down and dirty at a rock festival — TN-Top-Hat.

HM: Cabbage Boy

‘Hagadone House’ Still Causing Desert Stink

L.A. Times File Photo

For some months now, Nelson has been trying to get a home built on that hillside. He has owned the property since 2002. He had not broken ground on any construction when in 2007, the council amended the city’s hillside zoning ordinance to prohibit construction on ridges. The change was prompted by what is now known as the Hagadone house. The 32,000-square-foot mansion was built at the Bighorn Golf Club by Duane B. Hagadone, an Idaho real estate and media magnate. During its construction residents at Ironwood Country Club complained about the home’s size and it’s impact on surrounding views. Nelson addressed the Hagadone home during the meeting, saying it was not the same kind of project. “Comparing this to Hagadone is like comparing apples to an apple orchard,” Nelson told the council. “This home is just not to the same scope.” But the council was unmoved/Desert Sun. More here.

Crump: Don’t Let Your Baby Become Robbie Knievel

So now we know … Robbie Knievel says his dad, Evel Knievel, tried to talk him out of jumping over large stationary objects on a motorcycle … “I remember when my dad would be in the back of some ambulance, and he’d say to my brother and me, ‘Promise me you won’t do this when you grow up,’ ” Robbie told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last week … “Obviously, I failed to keep my promise.” … The elder Knievel, of course, tried and failed - on national television - to jump the Snake River Canyon at Twin Falls in 1974 … Robbie took preliminary steps to make the same attempt in 1996, but nothing came of the idea … “Once I started, then (Evel) became my greatest teacher,” Robbie said of his father/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: How closely have you followed in your father’s footsteps?

Lewd Conduct Suspect Kills Himself

Update: Suspect allegedly fondled girl at Bayview Daze/SR

A Hayden man wanted in a lewd conduct case from last weekend has committed suicide, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department. Local detectives were notified Thursday evening after Boundary County authorities recovered the body of Mickey Allan Watson, 56, of Hayden, from the Moyie River. Watson’s body was found by campers near the Twin Rivers Resort near Moyie Springs after he had apparently jumped off the Moyie River Bridge on State Highway 2. The bridge sits about about 425 feet above the river/Kootenai County sheriff’s news release. More here.

Smith: Fire Coverage Strong, But …

I’m quite proud of our journalists this morning. Their work last night and through the morning was exemplary. Today’s paper is strong, but without portraying yesterday’s wildfire as the apocolypse. Still, the fast-moving story highlighted some of our technological weaknesses. As much as we strive to be competitive on the web, we were behind TV all evening in presenting visuals. We had photographers on the scene. But our laptops and cell phones were not working well. Calls were dropped, photos could not be uploaded, and even reporters had trouble filing their stories. We’ve equipped our staff with some of the best field equipment available, but are still overly reliant on cell networks. With the fire disrupting cell service from the field, we were at a real disadvantage/Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation. More here.

*And in other debating about debates/Eye On Boise
*Getting info on the air first, or getting it right?/On The Air
*Bacon tastes good/Movies & More
*Wildlife coverage, softball, pikas/Daily Briefing
*Friday’s quickie political briefing/Spin Control 2.0
*Spanking and discipline/Parents Council

Question: Which media provided the best coverage of the Spokane County fires Thurday.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 7/11/08

Jesse Tinsley/SR
This billboard on Third Avenue in Spokane promotes gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi and implies that shenanigans in King County gave the election to his opponent last time. The 61 billboards were put up by the Building Industry Association of Washington. Story here.

Meet Mr Pro-Life: Still, Pro-Life is his name, which he legally changed in 2006. It’s technically a surname and appears on his Idaho driver’s license with a comma and a blank after it. On Web forms, he goes by Mr (without a period) Pro-Life, but only because they won’t allow him to move to the next screen without entering something. The Social Security Administration needed a few days to figure out his new Social Security card, but now sends its government checks to “Pro-Life,” so he can buy his powdered carob and hemp protein and thrift store shirts/Nathaniel Hoffman, Boise Weekly. More here.

*Nez Perce call on community to stand against racism/Lewiston Morning Tribune
*13 houses destroyed in Spokane Valley fire/SR
*Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Boise and Twin Falls lead Idaho growth/Twin Falls Times-News
*Ketchum mayor rails against recall charges/Twin Falls Times-News
*Whitefish is fastest-growing Montana city/AP
*Immigration deportations up 40% in Pacific Northwest/AP

Art Thiel: Pelekoudas’ boldness with M’s a welcome change here.

IVA: Spank Your Kid In CDA, Go To Jail For Year

CDA police captain Ron Clark admitted that the officer who cited the mother “said there were no visible signs of injury.” According to Capt. Clark, witnesses claimed they observed the mother “slamming her on the ground,” which is patently absurd on its face, since that certainly would have left quite visible physical marks. Witnesses also accused the mother of “smothering” the child, when she was doing nothing more than holding her daughter closely to her chest to protect her from darting into traffic. Said the mom, regarding the two swats on the bottom, “I think spanking her butt would hurt a lot less than getting run over by a float.” Plus, spanking is not against the law in Idaho, as much as these bystanders may want it to be. And appropriate corporal punishment is not child abuse, as much as these bystanders may think it is/Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance. More here.

Question: Do you agree or disagree with the analysis by Bryan Fischer/Idaho Values Alliance?

Domestic Turns Out To Be ‘Computer Rage’

The sheriff’s office at 4:30 p.m. Monday received a report of a possible domestic violence incident in Oakesdale. A neighbor reported hearing sounds of a woman’s screams coming from a residence. Officers responded and the woman who answered the door said she had been screaming at her computer/Whitman County Gazette.

Question: Have you ever yelled at your computer?

Hat Tip: Palousitics

CDA Attorney Guilty Of Bankruptcy Fraud

Craig Odegaard, a Coeur d’Alene attorney, entered a guilty plea on Tuesday to one count of bankruptcy fraud for having concealed contingency fee rights in his own bankruptcy proceeding filed in October 2004. The concealed contingency fee contracts netted Odegaard $24,989 just prior to his receiving a discharge of debts totaling approximately $155,000. Shortly thereafter, Odegaard purchased a new Chevrolet Corvette automobile, and the bankruptcy trustee discovered the concealment.

Bob: Crossing Fingers For Dishman Hills

I’m hoping the Dishman Hills Natural Area, a unique natural area in the valley, the last representing what the land was like pre-white settler and one of my favorite hiking areas ever, didn’t burn up too bad. All of the news reports are focusing on the neighborhoods west and east of the Dishman Hills Natural Area which either means the fire hasn’t intruded into the actual area or they just aren’t focusing on it yet because nobody lives in the Natural Area. It has a few shady wet areas around seasonal ponds and springs which would probably avoid much fire damage but much of it is quite dry ponderosa pine forest with significant underbrush in places/TUBOB. More here.

Question: Have you ever been caught in a natural disaster?

Online Poll: Skin Cancer Exposure

How exposed to skin cancer are you?/Idaho Statesman

*Outside for hours
*Tan occasionally
*Indoor tanner
*Rarely go outside
*Not at all
*No opinion

Consultants Unveil Ed Corridor Analysis

Item: Education Corridor analysis outlined: Project would provide 889 new jobs, $18M impact/Taryn Hecker, SR

More Info: According to the consultant, the education corridor would have $18 million in economic impact; $9 million could be collected in property taxes on a private development over that time.

Documents: Master Plan here, Report on economic impact here, and Coeur d’Alene Press story here

Any other questions?

Wild Card/Thursday — 7/10/08

Taryn’s covering the Education Corridor infofest as I write this. It’ll be interesting to see if the CAVErs behave themselves when they learn that the questions again must be submitted in written form. BTW, I didn’t realize that the Hobart Jenkins dredged up today by the press as an “expert” who’s against the ed corridor is that old codger from Bayview who led Spokane Community College 30 or more years ago. Dunno how the Press could run that story with a straight face. I’ll probably head to Riverstone Park in a few minutes for its weekly concert series. Now, for your Wild Card …

Best Thread: Finish This Line …

When I see a child throwing a tantrum in a grocery store or some other public place, I …

Education Board Forum To Start

Mayor Sandi Bloem told Huckleberries Online that this evening’s Education Corridor forum will be broken down into two hour-long parts. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., two EMSI consultants will present the analysis of potential education corridor impacts that are listed below and here. Each will make a half hour presentation. After a 5-minute break, a panel will field written questions from the audience (screened by Freeman Duncan) for the next hour. The panel will include Mayor Bloem, NIC President Priscilla Bell, LCDC’s Tony Bern, and representatives from LCSC and UI. The entire two-hour presentation will be shown live on local access cable TV.

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — Elyse Umemoto

Drew Perine/Tacoma News-Tribune, AP
Current Miss Washington Elyse Umemoto listens as Mike Miller, executive director of the Miss Washington Scholarship Organization, discusses the appearance of party photos Umemoto described as “unflattering and foolish” appeared on the Internet, Wednesday at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma. You write the cutline. Story here. And (warning: obscene gestures, conduct): TMZ photos here.

YouTube video of Umemoto crowning

Top Cutlines:

1. I sure could use a shot of tequila right now — Cabbage Boy.
2. When the light shines off his head just right, on the little dent in the middle, he looks like a piggy bank — Dan Young.
3. “Ohhh myyy gawwwd, this, like, totally sucks already. People should just deal with it. I’m hot and, like, party and stuff. I din’t do, like, anything bad…did I? No. Everybody, like, does it” — Aliasjax.

HM: Collingwood

Corridor Q No. 3: Has Public Been Included?

Question (from EMSI analysis of education corridor): Has the public been included in discussions about the education corridor project?

Answer: Yes. Discussions date back some 25 years but talks have become more urgent recently with the closing of the DeArmond mill.

Corridor Question 2: Prime Real Estate

Question (from EMSI analysis of education corridor): Doesn’t building the education corridor on the waterfront remove prime real estate from the city’s property tax rolls? Wouldn’t we be better off allowing the mill site to be privately developed?

Answer: Yes and no. The project is envisioned as a mixed-use development. Only the property dedicated to education and public space would remain off property tax rolls, the rest could be developed to genrate property tax revenue.

Corridor Q: Why Not Build NIC Campus Elsewhere

I’m going to run down some questions you’ve asked and that are answered in the EMSI analytical study:

Question: “Why not build a campus somewhere less expensive?”

Answer: There are a number of reasons that make the DeArmondmill site the logical choice for expansion of the Education Corridor:

1. NIC’s campus is deed-restricted, it cannot feasibly be moved.
2. Students pursuing 4-year degrees locally must attend NIC and either LCSC or University of Idaho to gradute and are often enrolled at two schools simultaneously. Locating the 4-year schools miles away from NIC and requiring students to attend classes, meet professors and speak with advisors in both locations wouldn’t make sense.

Road Kill, Anyone?

Matt Dayhoff/Peorio Journal Star, AP
Can anyone guess what kind of dead animal this is that apparently was striped by a road crew Wednesday in Peoria, Ill.

Video: Spanking Mom Melissa Farrell Explains …

… her side of the story on video here.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 7/10/08

Eliza Wiley/Independent Record, AP
A group of four volunteers from the Lincoln, Montana area move the newly mounted grizzly bear, that was struck and killed by a passing truck in Lincoln last October, into the Forest Service ranger station located outside of Lincoln, Tuesday.

Simplot Grandson Arrested: John Edward “Ted” Simplot, the executive director and a board member of the J.R. Simplot Co., was arrested early Thursday in Downtown Boise on a misdemeanor charge of public intoxication after Boise police say he was verbally abusive and lunged at an officer who was trying to help him. The 53-year-old Simplot was booked into the Ada County Jail on the charge just before 1 a.m. Thursday and was placed into a holding cell instead of going through the normal booking process — which includes getting his picture taken — as a safety precaution because he was so uncooperative and verbally abusive towards deputies/Idaho Statesman. More here.

Spotlight: Father: Coeur d’Alene police overreacted in parade spanking incident/Meghann Cuniff, Spokesman-Review. Huckleberries Online report with comments threads here. KREM2 video here.

*Hate crime suspected at Nez Perce Tribe camp/Lewiston Tribune
*ID theft prevention specialist has ID stolen/KREM2
*Ex-Nez Perce chairwoman hurt in crash, sister arrested for DUI/Lewiston Tribune
*Accused Caldwell gang recruiter makes deal, may challenge new Idaho law/Idaho Statesman
*Judge: Alabaman who took teen to Washington is flight risk/Idaho Statesman
*Media moguls meet at Sun Valley for annual fun/KTVB
*OSHA finds no fault in hand-maiming incident at bean plant/KTVB
*Dog found with two broken legs headed home/KREM2
*Creator of self-leveling combine honored/KHQ

Orbusmax Special: Washington won’t halt top 2 primary — official here

Ed Corridor Will Provide 889 Jobs, Much More

In an advance copy of a concept plan provided to Huckleberries this morning, analyst EMSI said the proposed education corridor will provide 889 new full-time jobs and $18 million more in fiscal impacts than property taxes over the next 20 years. An executive summary of the EMSI Regional Impact Scenario and Analysis of Education Corridor Expansion will be unveiled from 5:30 to 7:30 this afternoon at the Coeur d’Alene Library community room. The major findings of the report are as follows:

*Adds $38 million to regional earnings over 20 years.

*Generates a total of $9 million more in regional fiscal impacts over 10 years than would be raised by property tax alone if the mill site was developed commercially, $17.8 million more over 20 years.

*Creates 139 temporary full-time jobs during construction phases and 889 permanent full-time jobs by 2028

UI Argonauter: White Should Pay For Own Farewell

Students are living in a different world. My car cost less than White’s party, and it’s not a beater. That amount could pay tuition and fees at UI for three in-state students. To most of us, $14,000 is a life-changing amount of money. … White was president of UI for four years, less time than it takes many students to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. His first-year salary at Riverside, $325,000, will be about $39,000 more than he was paid at UI last year. Riverside is also giving him $25,000 to relocate, an $8,916 annual vehicle stipend and a university-provided home. To him, a man of no mortgage, $14,000 is probably not a big deal. If it were not a tacky and selfish move, making White pay for his own party would make a lot of sense. He can afford it/Holly Bowen, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: What would you do with $14,000?

Judge Tells Radio Host To Remove Nazi Signs

Item: Court orders man to remove swastika signs/John Stang, Kalispell Daily Inter Lake

More Info: Neighbors of Kalispell (Mont.) radio host John Stokes recently won a legal decision to force him to remove his Nazi-themed signs near their property. … On June 11, Lake County District Judge Kim Christopher ruled that Stokes could not display the disputed signs on the back road shared by the two sides, and that he must pay $5,853 in legal costs to plaintiffs Donna and Peter Poeschel of Arlington, Wash.

Question: Were the 1st Amendment rights of hate-radio host John Stokes violated by this ruling?

Jackson: Obama Talks Down To Blacks

AP File Photo
A June 4, 2007 file photo shows Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., right, laughing after saying goodbye to Rev. Jesse Jackson, reflected left, after Obama addressed the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s annual conference breakfast in Rosemont, Ill. On Wednesday Jackson apologized comments he made about Obama during what he thought was a private in which he said: “I wanna cut his nuts off.” Jackson also said Obama talks down to blacks. The comments were said into a live mike during an interview with Fox News. Story here.

Question: Will Jackson’s candid remarks about Obama hurt the Democrats presidential candidacy badly?

Hagadone’s Press Attacks Ed Corridor Again

Item: Expert criticizes NIC: Former Spokane college president finds flaws in corridor plan/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: While at SCC and Spokane Falls Community College, Jenkins said it was his job to forecast where liberal arts and vocational-technical programs would be in 10 years. He concluded that neither campus was big enough to support all of the programs and all of the student enrollment and that a two-site campus would work better. It’s a set up he believes would work well for NIC with Bell as president of both campuses.

DFO: How many front-page stories attacking the education corridor are Press editors required to run by Hagadone until the Idaho Board of Education makes its decision on the UI lease?

Ramirez: Jackass & Gift Horse

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Inlander: Is Spokesman-Review On Way Out?

With newspapers across the country shrinking, dying and staring at bankruptcy, is the Spokesman-Review on its way out? Depends which Spokesman-Review you’re talking about, says Smith. In his sixth year as editor, Smith says that while they haven’t been hit as hard by the pressures bearing on most dailies — especially declines in real estate and automotive classified advertising — the newspaper is still feeling the pain. “We’re in exactly the same boat,” he says, with the costs of health care, newsprint and personnel going up and revenues steadily declining. However, after a re-budgeting effort undertaken last month, he says he thinks that the company won’t see any layoffs this year/Joel Smith, Inlander. More here. Steve Smith’s reaction to story here.

Question: What do you think?

Local Blogs — 7/9/08

43rd State Blues interviews HBO regular commenter ThomG, who doubles as a Demo party poohbah in this part of the state.

*Sen. McCain’s message problem/Arch Druid
*Obtuse observations/Atmospheric Ruminations
*Bayview Daze parade winners/Bay Views
*Why would an 8-year-old need a statin?/Dogwalk Musings
*Changing of our ‘hood/From A Simple Mind
*I laughed so hard a bit of wee came out/Marmitetoasty
*Doctorphobia/Slight Detour

HBO Numbers (for Tuesday, July 8): 7154 page-views/4254 unique views

Scanner Traffic — 7/9/08

4:43 p.m. Sailboat lying on its side 200 to 300 yards off City Beach.
2:45 p.m. Resident in the 800 block of Bancroft complains that door-to-door salesmen selling magazines are busy in the southern part of Coeur d’Alene.
11:38 a.m. 5 males in a white pickup are parked on the railroad right-of-way in front of LCSC facility. They acted suspicious when they saw a police vehicle pass by.
9:32 a.m. Garage fire at 1717 Davidson.
8:59 a.m.Two-vehicle, non-injury accident between a blue Hummer and a black passenger car at Foster & Gov’t Way. Fire department dispatched to clean up anti-freeze on road.
8:47 a.m. Construction worker bleeding at work site after hitting himself in the knee with a tire iron.

ISP Report: Lapwai woman injured in single-car accident near Plummer

Miss Washington Caught w/Guard Down?

Isaac Brekken/AP File Photo
Miss Washington Elyse Umemoto, standing left, and Miss Texas Molly Hazlett, standing right, watch as their fellow contestants drop and do push-ups during an elimination at the Miss America 2008 at Planet Hollywood hotel and casino in Las Vegas on Saturday. Now, Popular entertainment website has posted photos on its site of Miss Washington 2007 playing beer pong, drinking rum, giving the camera a one-finger salute and making sexually suggested poses … in some pictures wearing her crown. Story here.

Question: In a press statement, the field director of the Washington Miss USA pageant dismisses Umemoto’s antics as foolish but said the pageant plans no disciplinary actions. Do you agree with that decision?

Hat Tip: MamaJD, Scott Maben

Meehan: Turiaf OKs Deal w/Golden State

Ex-Zag Ronny Turiaf might be on the move. The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported that Turiaf has agreed to a four-year, $17 million offer from Golden State/Jim Meehan, Sportslink. More here.

IMHO: UI White Goodbye Wasted $14G — Daily News

Going-away parties for university presidents must be one of those areas where the public and private sectors operate under different definitions. Fourteen grand (for UI president Tim White’s going-away party) might be a mere drop in the bucket when it comes to such a party, but that drop probably equals about six-months salary for a portion of the staff at the UI. With state dollars consistently tight, they might not share the university perspective that it was money well spent/Steve McClure, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

*Boise embraces gay agenda at expense of family values/Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance
*Hypermiling: Don’t try all this on the road/Idaho Statesman
*Choreographed protest no test of speech rights/SR
*Court ruling a win for trees/Coeur d’Alene Press

Question: Should the University of Idaho have spent $14,000 to stage a going-away party for former president Tim White?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 7/9/08

Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal, AP
These boys walk back for another run down the Portneuf River on their tubing adventure in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, Monday afternoon.

Oil Industry Voice: The most powerful Idahoan you’ve never heard of is no stranger to difficult causes. Jack Gerard is about to become chief lobbyist for the oil and gas industry, earning him the uncharitable moniker “the most hated man in Washington” from Washington Post columnist Jeffrey Birnbaum. Gerard, 50, is a former aide and business partner of former U.S. Sen. Jim McClure/Dan Popkey, IStatesman. More here.

*Pentagon to rebid tanker contract/SR
*Baby boy cut from womb improving/KREM2
*Boise State named ‘Best Workplace for Commuters’/IStatesman
*Silver Valley lawn removal work finished/AP
*Tourism gets boost from Idahoans staying close to home/KTVB
*Accountant to review Idaho Tax Commission/KTVB
*Bail set for Alabaman who took teen from Idaho/Tri-City Herald

Orbusmax Special: Photographer captures accident at sea that severed surfer’s arm here.

KHQ: Electric Fire Ignites @ Hauser Mill

A bank of electrical panels at Stimson Lumber in Hauser, Idaho caught fire early Wednesday morning. It broke out around 6 a.m. in the 16,000 block of west Prairie Avenue. There were employees at the lumber mill at the time of the fire, but officials say no one was injured/KHQ. More here.

AM Headlines — 7/9/08

Courtesy of Norma Mabbutt
The condition of 3-year-old abuse victim Kyra Wine of St. Maries (right, with her sister Amanda, 6, last fall) has been upgraded to satisfactory. Ralph Bartholdt/St. Maries Gazette-Record provides the latest update on Kyra’s condition here.

*Idaho Records/SR
*Bonner County officials ID shooting suspect, not deputies involved/Bonner County Bee
*Hearing addresses Hayden Canyon proposal/CDA Press
*ATV deaths bring calls for safety training/SR
*Harrison rejects car fee increase/CDA Press
*CDA schools refine novel approval for books/CDA Press

High Gas Prices Hammer Lewiston RVfest

Item: RV lovers forced to change their ways: High gas prices keep some Life on Wheels attendees at home; others find inventive ways to pay for excursions/Joel Mills, Lewiston Tribune

More Info: He said attendance is about one-third that of last year’s conference. At its peak, Life on Wheels hosted 700 people and hundreds of rigs at the University of Idaho.

Question: Are you sad to see RVs going the way of the dinosaur?

Australia Outlaws Annoying For Pope Visit

Rick Rycroft/AP Photo
Steve Maxwell wears an “Annoying T-shirt” during a protest in Sydney Wednesday to mock a law banning people from annoying those gathered for the Pope’s visit later this month. New regulations give police and emergency services workers the power to order anyone to stop behavior deemed annoying to participants of World Youth Day. Violators can face a fine of 5,500 Australian dollars (US$5,300).

Question: The U.S. government, of course, can’t outlaw protesters or annoying people in this country. If you were emperor of the universe, however, what kind of annoying people would you outlaw?

Veggies: Dubya (Hearts) German Asparagus

Item: George W. Bush loves his German asparagus/Jim Camden, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Doc Hastings engaged in a bit of bipartisan asparagus boosting when they heard about the president’s praise of German shoots. When Bush got back from Europe, they went halfsies on a case of Washington asparagus and had it flown to D.C., where staff kept it well-watered until it could be delivered to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Question: Which vegetable is your favorite? Which is your least favorite?

Heller: Energy Crisis ‘08

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Parting Shot — 7/8/08

Kyle Mills/Lewiston Tribune, AP
The steeple at St. Gall Catholic Church dwarfs Nathan Lauby, who with the help of a lift, suspends almost 100 feet in the air as he removes cedar shingles Monday in Colton, Wash.

DOTC: Different Transportation, Different Parking?

I heard an interesting bit of conversation between a couple of our workers in the hall today. They were talking about the need to perhaps reconfigure some of the county parking area to accommodate more motorcycles, scooters, bikes, etc. I hadn’t thought of that but it’s probably a coming fact of life and they do take up much less parking areas than cars, pick-ups, and the dreaded monster rigs that have two sets of double wheels on the back complete with giant fenders that stick out and take up part of the parking spaces on either side of them and require a step ladder to get into/Dan of the County.

Question: How do you think the current escalating gas prices will ultimately play out, in terms of different types of travel and even parking space?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 7/8/08

York Daily Record, AP
This photo released by Ashley Campesino via the York Daily Record, shows a red Mazda Miata at the bottom of the Campasino family swimming pool in Stewartstown, Pa. Kim Taylor thought she had set the emergency brake. But her wayward red convertible nonetheless rolled downhill, crashed through a fence and plunged into her neighbors’ in-ground pool. The car was removed from the pool the same day. Shown in the picture are from left, Kim Taylor, her husband, Bob and their daughter Alex. Your write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Global warming claims another victim, as Kim had intended on preserving her favorite Miata on ice — Cabbage Boy.
2. Kim Taylor decided to become a doctor specializing in wrist surgery because she discovered, quite by accident, that she never metacarpool she didn’t like — John Austin.
3. Carpooling. It makes even more sense on a hot day — Dan Young.

HM: JeanieSpokane & KeithinCDA

19YO Driver Injured, Cited In H-95 Crash

Krista McNeal, 19, of Sandpoint, was taken to Bonner County Hospital when she hit another northbound vehicle while attempting to make a U-turn on Highway 95 at Ponderay. McNeal’s 1980 GMC pickup collided with a 2002 GMC driven by Blair Powers, 51, of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts. McNeal was cited for inattentive driving. ISP report below

Scanner Traffic — 7/8/08

4:24 p.m. Two males are hiding on the hill above the Riverstone bus stop after telling others that they came to Coeur d’Alene to avoid arrest warrants.
3:54 p.m. A girl has fallen from her bike and is bleeding in front of St. Joseph’s Ear Nose & Throat on Spokane Avenue.
3:16 p.m. Resident reports that a blue pickup has crashed into a tree at 5000 E. Fernan Lake Road. It appears that the driver and others are walking around the vehicle.

Bay Views: Garwood Saloon Closing Soon

The Garwood Saloon, along with the adjoining rodeo area is closing permanently soon, due to the new highway construction project. If any of you out there have stories, memories and especially historical information regarding this historical watering hole, please e-mail me at, or call me at 683-9107/S&S Herb, Bay Views.

Local Blogs: Proud To Be An American

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho
“Our resident house sparrows are all raising families in the trees and in the two nesting boxes near the fence,” posts Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho. “One group of chicks is older and not long from trying their wings while another family of five are only recently hatched. Here an older chick checks out the big wide world while a duet of new babies call for their mom.” More photos here.

As to me, while I love this country, each and every state, it is being an American that means so much to me. And that has only come to me in the last ten years as I have been able to travel internationally, see other countries and cultures and then, understand fully what it means to be an American. And I am deeply proud to say I*am*an*American/JBelle, Notes from The ‘Kan EWA. More here.

*When the law doesn’t apply logic/Bay Views
*Pet owners prefer McCain over Obama/Dogwalk Musings
*William Studebaker, RIP/Gathering Around The Table
*Back to work Monday/TUBOB
*9 Silly Questions w/Family Phil/Get Out! North Idaho
*Nic’s 4th of July Parade slide show/Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts
*Welcome to my garden/Silver Valley Girl
*3 different ones/Synaptic Disunion
*I don’t get out much any more/From A Simple Mind

HBO Numbers (for Monday, July 7): 8474 page-viws/4795 unique views

Question: How do you describe your nationality?

SR Blogs: ‘Tyson Homosexual” Goes To Olympics

This is very, very funny in a twisted way. A conservative Christian news site uses software to automatically convert the word “gay” to “homosexual” when the g-word shows up in news reports. But the filter works too well as American sprint champion Tyson Gay became “Tyson Homosexual” in the site’s version of news reports out of the U.S. Olympic Trials this past week. Here is a link to the’s The Sleuth blog which offers up the details/Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation.

*Pixar has a hit w/Wall-E/Movies & More
*Radio lingo, election news, Mormon crickets/Daily Briefing
*Introducing tabloid Tuesday/News Diary
*Birth & C section rates/Parents Council Blog
*Hometown newspaper, TV news ain’t what it used to be/On The Air

HBO @ Noon: Tourist Attractions

Marianne Love/Slight Detour
Marianne Love/Slight Detour was on hand with her camera to capture the Sunday finale of the weekend open house at the Bird Aviation & Invention Center at Glengary just off the shore of Lake Pend Oreille. You can read all about it here.

Question: Where do you take family and friends when they stop by to visit — and want to see local attractions?

What Features Do You Want @ Huckleberries?

We’re finally approaching the major upgrade to our online edition and SR blogosphere. The online site will be upgraded first. Soon. With the blogs to follow in an integrated system that will include registration to further squeeze out trolls and spam (which is becoming less and less of a problem at HBO anyway). High Tech Whiz Ryan asked us bloggers Monday to suggest ideas re: features we’d like available for our sites. He sez he’s “pretty sure that we can incorporate some of the cool stuff that WordPress does — showing recent referrers, top posts, etc. etc. — into our own Django blogging platform.”

Question: What other features would you like to see on this blog?

Shootout: Suspect Died Over $40 Of Booze

A spokesperson for the Idaho State Liquor Control Board has shed new light on what led up to a deadly shooting near Ponderay Monday afternoon. The spokesperson tells KREM 2’s Erik Hedlund the suspect walked out of the liquor store in the Bonner Mall with $40 worth of booze. When the clerk confronted the man, he pulled out a wooden club and said “do you want some of this?”. Investigators on the scene of an officer-involved shooting north of Sandpoint, ID/Devon Haskins, KREM2. More here. Bonner County Bee story here.

The clerk let the man go and called police, who followed the suspect’s car out of the parking lot.

Parents Council: Vacationing w/Other Families

I’ve always enjoyed going on camping trips with other families. Having other kids around makes it easier to entertain my own children. It’s also nice to be in the company of other adults. But maybe we’ve just been lucky. I recently read about some of the problems that families endure when they go on vacation with other families. “Go away with good friends (and their children) at your peril; there’s so much that could go wrong,” warns the author of “How to survive a holiday with friends and their children”/Virginia de Leon, Parents Council. More here.

Question (from Virginia de Leon): Have you ever gone on a trip with another family? Any tips on how to make it work?

Online Poll: Making Ends Meet

The Big Squeeze of 2008 is forcing many families to re-evaluate their lifestyles and life choices. What would you change to make ends meet?/IStatesman

*Buy a cheaper house
*Change career
*Nothing, we’re doing fine
*None of the above

CDA Mulls Cell Phone Ban During School Day

Item: Cd’A School District ponders cell phone policy: Devices would be forbidden from arrival at school until final bell/Maureen Dowd, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: When school starts in the fall, it’s likely parents in Coeur d’Alene won’t be able to reach their children on their cell phones at any time during the school day. District administrators believe it’s a necessary sacrifice because portable communication devices are being used by students to do more than call home. They say they’ve become tools for cheating, bullying and distributing pornography.

Question: How would you craft a cell-phone policy for local schools?

Heller: Airport Insecurity

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Monday — 7/7/08

I was thrown off stride by that fire alarm around 4 o’clock this afternoon that cleared us out of the SR office for about a half hour. One of the employees on our floor apparently decided to microwave popcorn for 5 minutes. And the burnt offering set off the alarm. Last time we went through this drill, an attorney’s secretary on the first floor was the culprit. Oh well, no harm, no foul. We made it through the day. I’ll continue to play this Wild Card as I head for home …

Breaking! Armed Robbery Leads To Chase

Idaho State Police say an armed robbery suspect was shot and killed by police Monday, after a vehicle pursuit and shooting near Colburn Culver Road near Sandpoint. Police say the man tried to rob the State Liquor Store in the Bonner Mall at knife-point. He then fled the store leading to a police chase. During the chase the suspect tried to ram his car into police vehicles/KHQ. More here.

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 7/7/08

MamaJD Photo
A red-white-and-blue collie enjoys Coeur d’Alene’s Fourth of July Parade Friday. MamaJD has more terrific shots of the parade here.

Kootenai County could become a regional recycling Mecca by building the area’s first materials recovery facility that would allow single-source recycling. That theoretically means that Kootenai County and Spokane residents could put all of their recyclables – plastic, cardboard, aluminum cans – in one curbside bin for pickup without separating them/SR. More here.

*Another delay in Duncan proceedings/Eye On Boise
*Seahawks’ Tatupu pleads guilty to DUI charge/Seattle PI
*Bonner County canoeist drowns in Priest River/KXLY
*Police find body of drowned Idaho writer Studebaker/IStatesman
*Firefighters fund-raise for North Idaho abuse victim Kyra Wine/KREM2
*Conservation groups suing WSU over golf course/KXLY
*Pickup tumbles off I90 during 3-car wreck/KHQ

Scanner Traffic — 7/7/08

4:25 p.m. Brush fire at Poleline Road and Chase in Post Falls.

4:05 p.m. Spokesman-Review building on Northwest Boulevard evacuated after burnt popcorn set off the fire alarm in the SR newsroom. (It wasn’t I.)
3:29 p.m. Injury accident involving a vehicle and a 35-year-old bicyclist at Government Way and Spokane Avenue. The bicyclist was taken by ambulance to KMC.
3:11 p.m. A Lakeside Avenue resident reports that a male has hit a female several times as they walked by her place, near 20th Street — and that the male threatened to kill the female’s family.
2:35 p.m., accident between a blue Ford and a green Toyota has caused minor injuries to one driver, in front of 6630 Government Way.

Hiker Alleges ‘Excessive Force’ in Suit Vs. County

A man has filed a lawsuit against members of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office for using excessive force during a 2006 arrest. Kevin M. Davis says that in June 2006, he’d gone hiking in the woods to be alone and at some point fell asleep near a tree. Davis alleges that five deputies started searching for him for no reason, one of them releasing a K-9 without warning. Davis says when the K-9 found him it immediately began mauling him, dragging him from where he was sleeping/KHQ. More here.

Camden: Are You A Repub? Or A Dem?

You can be a Democrat or a Republican and say you support the troops. You can be a Republican or a Democrat and think the state should do away with the Washington Assessment of Student Learning tests. You can be either and espouse better government, encourage the grass-roots, evoke the Founders. But there are some key differences between the two major parties, as recent state conventions in Washington state highlighted/Jim Camden, Spin Control 2.0. More here.

If you don’t know which major party suits your belief system best, you can take this test and find out.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 7/7/08

Matthew Preusch/Oregonian, AP
Kent Couch, 48, flies across Oregon in his lawn chair rigged with helium filled balloons, Saturday, near Cambridge, Idaho. Couch created a sensation in the tiny farming community of Cambridge, Idaho, where he touched down safely in a pasture and was soon greeted by dozens of people who gave him drinks of water. *Story here.

Spokane Land Mine: The Spokane Fire Department removed what apparently were inert explosives that were discovered Sunday night during a brush fire at Liberty Park. When fire crews found the items, they quickly evacuated and waited for the Spokane Police Department bomb squad to remove the military Claymore mine and another explosive device found below it. The devices were not believed to have started the fire/Tom Clouse, SR. More here.

*Coeur d’Alene schools battling mold problems/SR
*Golf course owner accused of having sexfest with teens/KTVB
*Twin Falls author, poet Studebaker missing in Salmon River/Twin Falls Times-News
*Idaho Lottery gives $34M to schools, public buildings/KTVB
*Idaho fines companies for unlimited faxing/Twin Falls Times-News
*Idaho urban renewal district faces court challenge/KHQ

Orbusmax Special: Ephrata judge says prosecutor can wear Purple Heart pin at DUI trial here.

HBO @ Noon: Cover It Up, Sister?

Item: How much skin is too much at the office?/AP

More Info: In the summer heat, many employees, particularly those in their first jobs, may show up for work in rather skimpy attire that a small business owner feels is unsuitable for the workplace. The solution is to create a dress code — something that every business has the right to do.

Sara Anderson/F-Word: If I never wore a bra, I wouldn’t have to worry about offending my co-workers with my exposed bra straps in a sleeveless top. But I’d sure have to worry about offending them with my breasts. More here.

Question: Does your business have a dress code? If so, is it reasonable?

Hey, Will Someone Give This Guy A Job?

Bashful Dan Photoshop
Bashful Dan of Bonner County has some photoshopping fun with ThomG, the Kootenai County Demo king and HBO regular. The photo on the right was taken during Coeur d’Alene’s Fourth of July Parade in which the Demos marched 150-strong, suggesting that they may be on the rebound in Idaho.

If You Don’t Think Local Repubs Have Rhythm …

… follow this link to Republican Party of Idaho and click on North Idaho Pachyderms. And you thought Duane Rasmussen only listened to Lawrence Welk.

Rosdahl: New Taco Bell Open For Business

Item: Handle on Business: Taco Bell opens in new building with new look/Nils Rosdahl, SR Handle Extra

More Info: Among changes on Appleway in Coeur d’Alene is the new Taco Bell restaurant. The “old” place, built in the mid-1970s, was simply outdated inside and out, according to the owners. They wanted a bold, new look and new equipment, and it came fast. The building at 217 W. Appleway Ave. was torn down and taken away as if a tornado removed it, and the new one opened after about six weeks’ construction.

Question: What do you usually order when you eat at Taco Bell?

AM Headlines — 7/7/08

Shawn Gust/Coeur d’Alene Press
Malia Cole, 15, reads plaques that adorn one wall of the rotunda at Post Falls City Hall on Thursday. The plaques and mural, depicting Post Falls, Idaho and its founder Frederick Post, is a new feature in the city building.

*Huckleberries: Coeur d’Alene superintendent is ready to listen/DFO, SR Handle Extra.
*Council to hold Hayden Canyon meeting Tuesday/Coeur d’Alene Press
*Gathering Place chronicles North Idaho College history/Laura Umthum, SR Handle Extra
*Race the River Triathlon wins good review in first year/Patrick O’Brien, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Eye On Boise: Idahoans can put taxes on credit cards/Betsy Russell, SR Handle Extra
*Camp invention at Bird Museum sells out/Marlisa Keyes, Bonner County Bee

OrangeTV Review: Mik-n-Mak’s

“Something tells me this ain’t the Waterin’ hole anymore” I said as I examined the rainbow flags and gay pride stickers decorating the mirrors and shelves behind the bar. “Welcome to Mik-n-Mac’s Lounge” smirked the barkeep as she drew our pitcher of beer. “I’m Mac and this is my partner Mik.” Mik and Mac, also known as Rita and Kirsten had been looking for a space in which to open a “non-discriminatory establishment”, a lounge where their many friends and folks of all backgrounds and cultural persuasions could come to relax and dance and be themselves without the threat of being verbally or physically attacked for being different/OrangeTV. Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Have you ever been to Mik-n-Mac’s?

Ramirez: A Dissenting Opinion

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Wild Card/Saturday — 7/5/08

Looks like local Demo Chairman Thom George found a convert for Barack Obama while trolling among Repub Duane Rasmussen’s friends during the Fourth of July Parade. Above, Thom and Beth are dressed in Demo blue as part of a 150-strong Demo contingent that formed an entry in the annual parade. Meanwhile, MamaJD has photos of Woody, Councilman MikeK, Thom George, and Ken Howard on her blog today here. I plan to get out on the lake again this week with brother-in-law Tom in his two-man canoe. We’re thinking about buzzing Duane Hagadone’s digs that are under construction on the Gold Coast. We’ll see. I spent too long re-creating Friday to think much about posting. So I’ll be lazy and simply drop another Wild Card on you …

Parting Shot — 7/3/08

Jennifer Demonte/Daily Inter Lake, AP
Susan Stronberg describes the angle that her shinbone protruded from her leg following a hiking accident in June while in a bed at Kalispell Regional Medical Center Tuesday in Kalispell, Mont. Story here.

Washington’s ‘Death With Dignity’ Initiative

Item: Death initiative petitions filed/Seattle Times

More Info: Supporters of a so-called “Death With Dignity” initiative turned in an estimated 320,000 signatures Tuesday to the Secretary of State’s Office, virtually guaranteeing that Initiative 1000 will be on the November ballot.

Question: Do you support the assisted-suicide initiative?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 7/3/08

Fan Changguo/Xinhua, AP
Members of China’s armed police demonstrate a rapid deployment during an anti-terrorist drill held in Jinan, east China, on Wednesday/ roughly one month ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Coeur d’Alene Police Department’s new Segway Swat Unit practice prior to the opening of the new Prairie Trail segment — Duffer.
2. Wanting some action, the Spokane Police Department rolls to Riverfront Park for the annual 4th of July Hidden Video Protesting March — JeanieSpokane.
3. New summer blockbuster in theaters now, “Kung Fu Segway” — Aliasjax.

HM: John Duh

Sali Race Switches To ‘Likely Republican’

The Cook Political Report, published by Charles E. Cook Jr., is one of the most credible non-partisan trackers of congressional races (The New York Times called it “a newsletter that both parties regard as authoritative,” while Bob Schieffer of CBS News once called it the “bible of the political community”). Now the report has Idaho on its latest list of changing races, moving freshman 1st District GOP Congressman Bill Sali’s re-election race from “solid Republican” to “likely Republican”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

*9th Circuit revises approach on environment cases
*A sign of bad economic times for Idaho
*But one area’s still doing well

Breaking! Land Board Denies Sanders Docks …

Joe Barrentine/SR File Photo
Pat Pace, center, of Coeur d’Alene, leads the Sanders Beach demonstration down the beach Oct. 1, 2006. Pace organized the event. The Idaho Supreme Court later ruled the beach was private.

Complete Land Board decision

In a 23-page decision this afternoon, the Land Board rejected the application for docks from Sanders Beach owners Wes Delaney, Gerald Frank, Dawn Kettel and John Thomas. It concluded: “The docks would create a safety risk to numerous young inexperienced swimmers and children playing in the water who go up and down the beach and those not have the swimming skills to safely go around the end of the docks.” More in extended entry.

SR Blogs: Too Negative On Economy?

There has been some modest discussion in industry circles that economic reporting by newspapers has been too negative, influenced in large part by the incessant drumbeat of negative news about newspapers. Journalists worried about the future of their own industry project that negativity on general economic news, according to the argument. Today’s paper had a couple of negative economic stories. Dan Hansen (link here), reported on the escalating price of hay and the problems that is causing horse owners and cattle ranchers. … And Bert Caldwell wrote about Avista’s warning of really significant natural gas price increases this fall/Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation. More here.

*‘Wanted’ is better than you might expect/Movies & More
*Care center rises in Post Falls/Here’s The Dirt
*Thursday’s quickie political briefing/Spin Control 2.0
*Smoking: How did you kick the habit?/A Matter of Opinion
*Columbian hostage drama/News Diary

Questions (from Steve Smith): So, are we too negative about the economy? Is our negativity a byproduct of our own fears for the newspaper industry? How should we be reporting the seemingly limitless litany of economic woe and despair?

CPD Blue Reports On Grumpy Old Man …

bumper car chase on Ramsey Road/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d’Alene Police Department

Montana Wannabe Unveils Personal Foibles

As a 23-year-old man, Kelleher was a friar in a Carmelite monastery and 18 months away from ordination into the priesthood. He dropped out, Kelleher said, because he couldn’t handle the vow of chastity. He has been married and divorced three times. He has seven children and regrets the effect his absence had on their lives. Kelleher said he particularly regrets the way he walked out on his first wife, Gerry, mother to his six oldest children and to whom he was long married/Billings Gazette. More here.

Question: Would you be more or less likely to vote for a candidate who told you upfront about his personal shortcomings?

HBO @ Noon: ‘Hancock’ Is A Downer — Webster

I was among those who attended the advance screening last night of “Hancock,” Peter Berg’s film that stars Will Smith as a drunken jerk of a would-be superhero. I was really looking forward to seeing the movie. The trailers that had been playing for months led me to believe that the film would be a pleasant change of pace from the standard superhero story – sort of an off-color look at the genre that avoided the Boy Scout feel of Superman or the vigilante darkness of Batman. And that’s just exactly what the film is during its first half/Dan Webster, Movies & More. More here.

Question: When were you last sorely disappointed by a movie with a big buildup?

Horses Survive I-90 Crash

Rajah Bose/SR
Two horses graze in a field near I-90 after their trailer overturned on the freeway Tuesday afternoon. Multiple passer-bys stopped to help the horses and kept them calm until their owner Marva Maring of Bonners Ferry, Idaho was able to get them and take them to the vet. No person or horse was seriously injured in the accident. Story here.

Christian Conservatives Now Back McCain

Item: Christian conservative leaders overcome reluctance, unite to support Republican McCain/FoxNews

More Info: “None of these people want to meet their maker knowing that they didn’t do everything they could to keep Barack Obama from being president,” reports the participant said. Concerns exist that Obama “will decimate moral values,” said Mat Staver, chairman of the Florida law advocacy group Liberty Counsel.

Question: How much does this strengthen John McCain’s hand for his run for the presidency?

Hay Bill Going Sky High, Too

Item: It’s not just the food bill; it’s the hay/Dan Hansen, SR

More Info: If you think it’s expensive feeding a 175-pound teenager, try feeding a 1,200-pound horse. Like gasoline, hay prices are at all-time highs and still climbing. That has cattlemen culling their herds and equestrians unloading some of their horses.

Question: Have you experienced sticker shock as you foraged for feed for your horses, cows and other hay burners?

TUBOB’s Conditions For KXLY Blog Feature

1. I am interviewed on camera
2. The URL runs on the bottom at least twice
3. I write all the interview questions in advance and get to “turn the tables” on the reporter and ask some silly yet ironic self-referential hipster questions of the reporter.
4. My inclusion in an AJR article on newspaper blogs is featured and the reporter acts very impressed.
5. At some point, I get to mention that the brownie boy story (high school boy frosts brownies with his own semen and takes to CDA high) is what got many of us into blogging/TUBOB. More conditions here.

Question: Dogwalk Musings and Bay Views have been featured this week on KXLY’s introduction to the local blogosphere. Has your blog won notice beyond the boundaries of North Idaho?

HBO Poll: Kootenai County Jail

In a Coeur d’Alene Press article today, Undersheriff Tad Leach said that his department may have to release dangerous criminals to address overcrowding conditions. Recently, a Washington-based design group called for a jail/sheriff’s office expansion of $147M. What is a reasonable cost to address current overcrowded conditions?

*Up to $50M
*$50M to $100M

Blanchette: Sonics Go Way Of The Dodo

Bob Rule … Tom Meschery … John Tresvant … Lenny Wilkens … Forty-one years of Northwest professional basketball history goes into storage this morning. The classic skyline logo, the retired jerseys, the NBA championship banner, the Squatch costume – all of it, boxed up and mothballed in Seattle mayor Greg Nickels’ attic. For 75 million pieces of silver – give or take 30 million – the city of Seattle sold its hold on the Supersonics on Wednesday, settling the about-to-be-decided lawsuit against Sonics owner Clay Bennett before a judge could rule whether the club would have to play out the final two years of its KeyArena lease/John Blanchette, SR. More here.

Question: Is/was anyone out there a Seattle Supersonics fan?

Hump Day Wild Card — 7/2/08

Sweet & Sour Herb received some air time this afternoon as KXLY featured his blog, Bay Views, in its nightly pimp-a-local-blog feature. KXLY picked a good time to focus on Bay Views because Herb has a comprehensive post about the events headed our way at the annual Bayview Daze celebration Saturday. You can read the post here. KXLY didn’t mention Herb by name, for some reason. Earlier this week, Huckleberries hears that Dogwalk Musings was featured by KXLY. Hat Tip to both North Idaho bloggers. Now, for your Wild Card …

Do You Have What It Takes To Become …

… a U.S. citizen? Try out this MSNBC quiz of 20 questions that are among the 100 asked of individuals, like Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns, who are seeking U.S. citizenship here.

Hat Tip: Vox Box

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 7/2/08

Christopher Anderson/SR
Spokane firefighters and AMR ambulance personnel help a burn victim at the scene of an apartment fire today. The two alarm fire at Sprague and Pittsburg filled the building with smoke and drove residents out into the street in the late afternoon. Story here.

*Avista warns of spike in gas rates/SR
*Woman accused of cutting baby from womb gave no signs/Tri-City Herald
*Kidnapping charges reduced against Mississippi couple/St. Maries Gazette-Record
*Bennett, Riley Creek announce merger/Lewiston Tribune
*Washington county drops charges against Alabaman found with Boise teen/IStatesman
*Steelers cut Fiesta Bowl star QB Zabransky/IStatesman
*Teen asks Spokane for $6M in firehouse sex case/KXLY

Scanner Traffic — Rescuers Find ATV Crash Victim

2:19 p.m. Rescue crews at Spirit Lake Road & Lake Haven in the Spirit Lake area are trying to locate a woman who called after she rolled her ATV on top of a mountain. Rescuers are now on the line with the woman who has told them she’s bleeding from the face (possible broken nose) and wants to go to sleep. She can’t start the ATV now. Later: Victim seems to be going into shock. She can only tell rescuers that she sees a mountain in way of a fix on her location. Her parents are with the rescuers but they don’t know which road their daughter took. Finally: Rescuers find woman. She’s evacuated by Med-Star.

6:01 p.m. Hazmat units responding to fuel spill at Waterford Loop & Hauser Lake Road. A truck spilled a small amount of oil on the road when it rolled over.
5:37 p.m. Motorcyclist has flipped over his bike handles on the westbound onramp of Northwest Boulevard & I90.
4:04 p.m. Report of motorcycle parked in handicap spot by Hagadone Corp HQ.
4:02 p.m. Motorcycle down in the northbound lane of Highway 95 at M/P 402. Worley Ambulance responding.
2:17 p.m. Two dogs reportedly have been left for some time in a maroon pickup with a camper in the east parking lot of KMC.
2:03 p.m. 3 motorcycles are weaving in and out of traffic on I-90 at mile marker 6.
9:54 a.m. Stoplight @ 4th & Harrison not functioning.
8:43 a.m. (w/update) A half dozen CPD Blue and sheriff’s unit are searching for a man seen running south from Lakes Middle School. He’s described as 5-8 with a mustache, dark skin and hair, possibly Hispanic. The units now have a house surrounded. County K-9 unit called in. The individual fled his vehicle after being stopped by a patrol car for blowing a stop sign. See press release in comments section.

TUBOB: Can I Remain Pyrotechnic Superior?

I hit the Chehalis rez for explosives last evening. I’ve got a bunch of unsafe and insane fireworks. Their prices were outrageous. I’m used to the Coeur D’Alene stand which is huge, on the Chehalis they had bunches of very small stands, I’m guessing run by different families, with horrid prices. Oh well, some of the stuff I purchased looks like it could knock entire clans of bats out of the night sky. The fourth fever is startin to get to me. I’m going back home tonight after work. There is only one question worth answerin each summer: Can I maintain my pyrotechnic superiority at the lake?/TUBOB. More here.

Question: Are you part of the fireworks arms race in our neighborhood?

NIC Plans Forum For Ed Corridor Plans

Who: Moore, Iacofano, Goltsman (MIG) of Portland, Ore., and Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. of Moscow, Idaho
What: will present the details of their reports on the education corridor
When: from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 10
Where: in the Community Room of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library.
How: Panelists from education corridor partners will accept questions submitted by audience members. The presentation will also be televised live on the City of Coeur d’Alene Public Access Channel 19. Information: (208) 769-3316.

NIC press release

Watermelon: Nature’s Viagra?

Tony Gutierrez/AP Photo
A slice of watermelon is shown at the Gutierrez Produce stand at the Dallas Farmers Market, Tuesday in Dallas. Watermelons contain an ingredient called citrulline that can trigger production of a compound that helps relax the body’s blood vessels, similar to what happens when a man takes Viagra, said scientists in Texas.

CDA Credit Card Gas Theft Caught On Video

Photo courtesy of Coeur d’Alene police

Coeur d’Alene Police responded to the 200 block of Mallard in response to two victims who reported their vehicles burglarized in the early morning hours of (Saturday, June 21). No forced entry was used, both vehicles were left unlocked. Items stolen were a wallet with credit cards, CD player, CD’s and a check imager. At (3:30 a.m.) a surveillance camera at the Albertson’s gas station at 220 W. Ironwood captured images of a suspect using one of the stolen credit cards. Attached to this release are three surveillance photos of the suspect pumping gas into his vehicle. If anyone has any information as to the identity of the suspects please contact the Police Department at 769-2320/Sgt. Christie Wood, CPD Blue.

Politico: NRA To Spend $40M Against Obama

Item: NRA plans $40M fall blitz targeting Obama/Jonathan Martin, Politico

More Info: NRA members will get automated phone calls, mail pieces and pre-election editions of the group’s three magazines making the case against Obama. The National Rifle Association plans to spend about $40 million on this year’s campaign, with $15 million of that devoted to portraying Barack Obama as a threat to the Second Amendment rights upheld last week by the Supreme Court.

Question: Is the National Rifle Association being paranoid? Or do you think that Barack Obama is a threat to your 2nd Amendment rights?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 7/2/08

Shawn Gust/Coeur d’Alene Press, AP
Shadle Park High School wrestling coach Shawn Howard yells instruction to Ryan Nelson, 16, bottom, during a bout Tuesday at a wrestling camp at North Idaho College.

Tom Hanks Appeals: Actor Tom Hanks and his wife are taking their legal dispute with the builder of their multimillion dollar Sun Valley home to Idaho’s highest court. The “Saving Private Ryan” star and wife, Rita Wilson, filed an appeal Monday asking the Idaho Supreme Court to review a district judge’s decision to reject the couple’s bid for arbitration with Storey Construction/IStatesman. More here.

*Idaho Independents file intervention in closed primary suit/IStatesman
*Fire bosses turning down assignments after involuntary manslaughter charge/Missoulian
*Logan Pass finally opens in Glacier Park/Daily Inter Lake
*Hearing delayed for woman accused of cutting baby from womb/KREM2
*Rep. Brackett top pick for late Sen. Gannon’s seat/Twin Falls Times-News
*Idaho’s violent crime rate rises, overall crime down/KTVB
*Ketchum mayor subject of recall effort/KTVB
*Day care operator charged after infant’s leg broken/KTVB
*Eastern Idahoan sentenced for baby rape decades ago/Twin Falls Times-News

Orbusmax Special: Women say neighbor spied through windows, police tell them to fix their blinds here.

Picken: Fischer, Swindell Should Pony Up $10K

I also don’t think Fischer fully appreciates the predicament in which he’s placed the city of Boise. Yes, the city has lawyers, but it has an obligation to make sure their work is done as cost-effectively as possible for the benefit of the taxpayers. When litigation of this type is filed, Boise should try to recoup costs because if Fischer and Swindell don’t pay their bill, taxpayers will. Now city officials are basically being asked to forgive the debt, opening up a Pandora’s box of potential legal problems. Let’s say the state of Idaho gets sued for not recognizing gay marriages performed in California. Would Fischer support waiving the legal fees were a gay rights organization to sue, lose, and be ordered to pay legal fees?/Scott Picken, News Director’s Blog. More here.

Limbaugh: $400M Through 2016

Item: Limbaugh signs $400 million deal through 2016: ‘Stunning triumph’ by outsider who ‘captured the spirit of the nation’s heartland’/Drudge Report

More Info: The NEW YORK TIMES will claim this weekend that Limbaugh, marking 20 years this summer as a national host, has secured a 9-figure signing bonus for the new deal, newsroom sources tell DRUDGE. In its controversial profile, the TIMES reports that Limbaugh is buying a new G550 jet and is making an estimated $38 million a year.

Question: Why has Limbaugh been able to remain king of the conservative radio talk show mountain?

WND Poll: Police

What’s your overall attitude concerning police?/WorldNetDaily

1. They’re brave people put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. I salute them
2. Just like our soldiers overseas, they’re heroes except for a few bad apples
3. Generally, I’m grateful for them, but I’m concerned about the increasing reports of abuses
4. I’m OK with police, except when I see their flashing lights in my rear-view mirror
5. They’re not Sheriff Taylor, but this isn’t Mayberry either
6. Bashing cops is like bashing soldiers. It demoralizes even the good ones
7. Most officers mean well, but increasing Big Brother policies require them to violate our rights all too frequently
8. I used to respect police, but too many documented cases of inappropriate behavior have changed that
9. Too many policemen are thugs who wield too much power and violate citizens’ rights
10. Many are self-absorbed ‘little Hitlers’ on personal power trips
11. The police force is one of the greatest things to fear these days
12. Other

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Gadget: Jail Expansion Tag ‘Outrageous’

RE: $146.5M: KootCo jail expansion tag
The commissioners should make the sheriff scale back this outrageous, insulting $147 million estimate. Don’t put this on the ballot. Scale it back to say, 5 mill. Sheriff Rocky Watson is responsible for this outrageous estimate. Don’t tell me he hasn’t been consulting with the architects, contractors, and all others who stand to make millions off his prison industrial complex/Inspector Gadget.

TUBOB: Why Not Talk To Minnick?

TUBOB: DFO, I think you’re drifting back to crass partisanship with your refusal to meet with Minnick. It wasn’t that long ago you were willingly, some might say enthusiastically, being used as a lap monkey for Bill Sali and his spokesflack here on this blog. It’s cool is you want to carry right wing GOP water but I think it’s only fair to be a little more upfront about it. If Bill Sali wanted to drop by and talk you’d be asking him what he wants in his coffee.

DFO: Bob, I know you live in fear that one morning you’ll click onto HBO and find a Dubya bumpersnicker — and realize that it’s all been a dream (like that “Dallas” season finale). That I’ll be root-toot-tooting for the Red team again. Mebbe that’ll happen. But it ain’t happenin’ in this instance. I told Minnick’s aide John Foster that I’d be willing to talk to his boss, if he’d address the subject I wanted to talk about (education corridor). Minnick didn’t want to do that because, I suppose, he didn’t want to tick off Hagadone. So I said it’d be a waste of time for both of us. The last thing I want to do here is entertain a string of politicians, from other side, who want to talk platitudes and get exposure on HBO. Now, where’s that McCain/Rice campaign button that I had around here a minute ago …

Wild Card/Tuesday — 7/1/08

I’ve noticed Walt Minnick has been getting some ink as he tours North Idaho in search of the elusive moderate Republican vote. He wanted to stop by HBO Central. But I wasn’t interested in regurgitating press releases and campaign talking points. And he didn’t seem too interested in taking a position on a topic that interested me — the education corridor. I doubt that I’m going to do interviews with congressional wannabes here. They generally don’t commit news in such a setting. So why bother? Now, for your Wild Card …

Spin Control: Craig Defends Traditional Marriage

When Sen. Larry Craig said he wasn’t going to resign his seat, he promised to continue working hard for issues he’s championed all these years. In other words, he wasn’t changing his stance on those things, just because his stance in another setting … or another sitting … caused him some legal grief. So it’s probably no surprise that last week he signed on to cosponsor a Constitutional Amendment declaring marriage as being between a man and a woman/Jim Camden, Spin Control 2.0.

Question: What do you think of Craig’s cosponsorship?

Headlines @ 5 — Starbucks Shutting 600 Stores

Ellen M. Banner/Seattle Times, AP
Former Microsoft executive and Democratic congressional candidate Darcy Burner stands in front of her destroyed home, east of Redmond, Wash. on Tuesday morning. The democratic candidate is running against incumbent Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., in the state’s 8th District. Story here.

Idaho N-pact: The U.S. Department of Energy will unearth three additional Olympic-size swimming pools worth of transuranic radioactive waste from the Idaho National Laboratory site. A new agreement will add billions to cleanup costs but settles a dispute between Idaho and the federal government over just how much waste a 1995 agreement forces DOE to remove/Idaho Statesman. More here. Current, former guvs praise pact/Eye On Boise.

*Deal: High gas prices could lead to insurance savings/Eye On Boise
*Only eastern Idaho charter school shuts doors/IStatesman
*Boisean lands in Olympics with last-to-first finish/KTVB
*Spokane police ticket 15 for ignoring crash scene/KREM2
*Starbucks closing 600 stores in US/KXLY
*Felon caught stealing checks for 85-year-old mother/SR
*Ex-US marshal supervisor sentenced for lying on job promotion application/SR

As The Lake Churns: Glen Black, RIP

Pecky Cox Photo
Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns sent along this photo of the late Glen Black, a Hauser auctioneer and businessman (Hauser Smoke Shop). I don’t know when it was taken. Or who the two people are on each side of Glen. But it appears to be shot at Elkins Resort on Priest Lake. Glen was killed in a motorcycle accident in eastern Montana last Friday here.

Because You Asked: Of Wheelchairs & Segways

re: Duffer’s question whether motorized wheelchairs and Segways are allowed on Centennial Trail

Motorized wheelchairs are OK on publicly owned local bike and walking trails, more or less. In a telephone interview a few moments ago, City Attorney Mike Gridley told Huckleberries that each jurisdiction supervises its segment of the publicly owned Centennial Trail. And might have its own rules for its portion. But motorized wheelchairs are listed under the “pedestrian” heading of state law and OK for publicly owned trails. Segways might be, too. Seems the creator/promoter of Segways schmoozed all the state legislators to include them under the pedestrian section for trails as “electric personal assistive mobile devices.” Although the Centennial Trail Foundation specifically recommends that Segways not be allowed on the Centennial Trail or the soon-to-open (@ 4 p.m. July 12) Prairie Trail spur, a Segway rider could have a legal leg to stand on in a fight over a citation.

Local Blogs — More Sletagar On Japanese Show?

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho
“This little flower girl decided the rose petals were too special to leave on the lawn so she set about to retrieve them for her basket,” posts Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho. “The bride and groom are Meaghan Cooney and Josh Hissong, who married outdoors in Coeur d’Alene Saturday.

Two weeks into “I Survived a Japanese Game Show,” and all is weller than originally thought. I must remind masochistic television viewers that it should be worth turning that dial to ABC again at 9 p.m. PST cuz another Selle-ite may show her face again this week. No details from my sources but assurances that “it’s not over yet.” And, yes, Darcy lives in the Selle area, so we must follow her 60 minutes of fame/Marianne Love, Slight Detour. More here.

*What the desert knows/TUBOB
*I just gained new respect for Sen. McCain/Here In Idaho
*Coming back to life/Synaptic Disunion
*What I found in my garden/Mrs. Mac Energetic
*Does anyone really care/Dogwalk Musings
*Weeds/From A Simple Mind
*July residential real estate update/North Idaho Real Estate

HBO Numbers (for June): 219,395 page-views/125,956 unique views

Question: Where were you married?

Ironwoman: CDA Event Tougher Than Hawaii

I went to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, last week to compete in my second Ironman-length triathlon. I was going there to not just complete the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run, but I was also going there to compete. I wanted to prove to myself that I was capable of a fast time. After all, I had competed in my first Ironman in Kona, Hawaii, which is billed as the toughest triathlon race in the world, and had finished with a very respectable time. It should be a piece of cake second time around, right? Not hardly/Missy Janzow, Victoria Advocate. More here.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 7/1/08

AP Photo
Phiengchai Sisouvanh Synhavong, 23, of Kennewick, Wash., appears Monday during preliminary hearings in Benton County Superior Court in the stabbing death of pregnant Araceli Camacho Gomez, 27, of Pasco. Sisouvanh is being held on investigation of aggravated first degree murder. Court documents allege Synhavong also cut the unborn baby from Gomez’s womb. Story here.

Medical Copter Crash: One of the people killed in a fiery crash of two medical helicopters near Flagstaff, Ariz., on Sunday was a firefighter from western Montana. Michael McDonald, 26, was from Browning and also had attended school at the University of Montana. McDonald was working on the Chief Mountain Hotshots, a fire crew out of Browning, on the Walla Valley fire in Grand Canyon National Park, fire information officer Punky Moore said Monday/Missoulian. More here.

*Man who shot 3 Lineman College students sent to prison for life/IStatesman
*Nampan accused of having sex with young teen boy/IStatesman
*New Washington online sales tax goes into effect today/KREM
*Sheriff: Some Gooding County jail staff suspended/Twin Falls Times-News
*Idaho probation officer cited for unlawful touching/Twin Falls Times-News
*Ex-Idaho city clerk plans to change plea in embezzlement case/Lewiston Tribune
*Plum Creek conservation deal in Montana biggest in US/Missoulian

Orbusmax Special: Ex-UOregon football coach Brooks survives after boat capsizes here.

LaRocco Trails Risch By 15% In Poll, But …

Internal polling for former congressman Larry LaRocco, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, shows he trails opponent Lt. Gov. Jim Risch by 15 percentage points, plus or minus 4.5%. Risch had 43%, LaRocco 28%, Rammell 6%, Other 6%, and Undecided 18%. But when voters were read LaRocco and Risch’s stance on issues, LaRocco took the lead at 40 to 37 percent, with the same margin of error. Rammell was 5%, Other 5% and Undecideds dropped to 13%/Jill Kuraitis, New West Boise. More here.

MamaJD: Fireworks Are Sparking Early

There was a confrontation this last weekend between a couple of my neighbors. Over fireworks. It all started when our family went out to light off a quiet fountain in our street. As usual, our neighbor, The Falconer, has a son that loves to “One-Up” us with incendiary devices. So, he brought out a couple of mortars and lit them off. It’s like he is trying to challenge PapaJD’s manhood because his fireworks are often bigger than ours/MamaJD. More here.

Question: What do you do when the neighbor’s set off fireworks a week before or a week after the Fourth of July?

Trib: Canoe Registration ‘Onerous, Ridiculous’

Something this task force should not ignore is Arizona’s decision to repeal its registration of nonmotorized boats because administering the program cost more than it brought in. Alaska, perhaps the most libertarian state in the union - and the one that certainly has the most active Libertarian Party - also junked its attempt to register human- or gravity-powered craft. Nevertheless, Otter says user fees fit his philosophy. “It’s user pay,” he says. “I see a value in establishing that idea in government, where if you’re going to use the facility, you’re going to be the one that pays”/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Agree? Disagree?

Poll: Airlines Cracking Down On Big Carry-Ons

US Airways, American and United are planning a crackdown on passengers who attempt to take oversized carry-ons on board. What’s your personal carry-on policy?/Idaho Statesman.

*I check all my bags
*I play by the rules unless I’m rushed
*I carry on whatever I want

Christie: Got My Start Pumping Gas

One of my first jobs was as a gas station attendant at the station on Hwy 53 in between Hauser and Rathdrum. I wonder if I ever pumped your gas or washed your windshield. I also had to fix tires. I hated that part. I never had pretty fingernails in those days. It was such a different time. I worked the late shift all by myself with no homes or businesses within miles of the station and never worried about being robbed or attacked/Sgt. Christie Wood.

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

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