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Archive for March 2008

Parting Shot — 3/31/08

Kevin P. Casey/AP Photo

Seattle Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki, of Japan, walks off the field after being awarded the Rawlings Gold Glove and Louisville Silver Slugger awards on opening day prior to a MLB baseball game against the Texas Rangers this afternoon at Safeco Field in Seattle. Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln and Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi, second from left, look on. Seattle won the opener 5-2. Box score here

JeanieSpokane: Facing Prejudice As Single Parent

Now that my sons have grown into men, I am satisfied that all my fears and worries that I wasn’t prepared for single motherhood are laid to rest. Like something I baked in the oven, they turned out “just right.” Since they were two and three years old, my sons and I have been like a little package tied with ribbon. It has been a wild ride with ups and downs and twists and turns – but we eventually arrived at their adulthood in one piece. I don’t think it is any different to raise children alone or with another parent. It is still a bittersweet, sad, beautiful, terrifying, rewarding experience. However, through the years, I have experienced prejudice and discrimination as a single parent. I’m not alone – all the single parents I met have felt the same thing/JeanieSpokane, Nuts & Nonsense. More here

Question: Anyone out there who would concur with the conclusion by JeanieSpokane that single parents face subtle prejudice?

Best of the HBO Blogosphere — 3/31/08

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

Traditionally, robins hopping in the wet grass in search of worms are the symbolic sign of Spring. This past weekend’s snow storms seemed to befuddle dozens of robins in my Post Falls neighborhood. Saturday morning upwards of 50 fat, round robins clustered close to the back deck sharing the shelter with dozens of sparrows, several starlings and even a Northern Flicker/Kerri Thoreson, OnLocation North Idaho. More here

I wasn’t the only parent hoping to burn off some excess kid energy under the golden arches; there were probably thirty children careening around the plastic structure, screeching and laughing and bouncing off the walls like electrons in an excited molecule. As you might imagine, the nine or so tables in the playland area were full; we were lucky enough to walk through the door just as another family was leaving, and seated ourselves with relief. After the kids hoovered their fries, they scampered off to play, leaving me alone at the fourtop amidst the confetti of crumpled up napkins and empty ketchup packets/Katrina, Notes On A Napkin. More here

HBO Numbers (for week of March 23-29): 46186 pageviews and 27628 unique views

*Showing/Chronic Discontent
*An afternoon at Farragut Park/Live, Love, Laugh, Hope
*Snow schmow/A Butterfly Moment
*Sometimes they can’t see for looking/Marmitetoasty
*When you compared them…/Arch Druid
*100 years from now/Atmospheric Ruminations
*4 new designs and recap of the weekend/JeanC’s Cat House

TXT: Streetview Adds Spokane, CdA, Post Falls

We are big fans of Google Maps and now we can also salute the GooglePlex for adding full-color streetview images for most of our region. StreetView is the feature in that lets you see actual recent photos of streets and locales. There are more than 45 cities in the StreetView database (we’re one of the 13 just added). The number 45 is not totally right, as the “Spokane” announcement doesn’t mention or include in the Google city count the addition of cities such as Spokane Valley, Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene. Sandpoint didn’t make the cut, sorry/Tom Sowa, TXT. More here

Spencer: Emissions Bill Will Cause Problems

Spencer sent the following letter to HBO

The House and Senate have voted to start testing auto emissions in Idaho, and all cars over five years old must be tested if they are in an “airshed… within a metropolitan statistical area, as defined by the United States office of management and budget…” Due to our proximity to Spokane, as well as the fact that we are regulated by their “no-wood burning” regulations, we will undoubtedly be under the new requirements if the Governor signs H 586 into law. This law was poorly written, and would require that cars not passing their test would be prohibited from being re-licensed. My concern is the undue hardship this would place on the average person, who might not be able to make costly repairs to their car. If they can’t afford to repair or replace their car, how will they be able to get to work?/Larry Spencer. More here

Kootenai MPO letter concurs

Question: Do you support emissions standards and testing for older cars in Idaho?

SR’s Today In Pictures — 3/31/08

Peter Kollanyi/Associated Press

A preserved baby mammoth is filmed at the Museum of Natural Sciences of Budapest as part of the exhibition entitled “The Ice Age” that will open Tuesday. Dyima, the almost intact 40,000-year-old baby, will be kept in a special display with controlled temperature, light and humidity. Dyima is partially covered by fur and is approximately 40 inches in height. Found in Siberia in 1977, the baby mammoth, after being conserved, has been touring the world. Andrew Zahler’s SR Today In Pictures

10 Most Prophetic Sci-Fi Movies Ever

Item: The 10 most prophetic sci-fi movies ever/Popular Mechanics

More Info: When Arthur C. Clarke died last week at the age of 90, science fiction—hell, science in general—lost one of its greatest, most forward-looking masters. In his honor, PM’s resident geek and sci-fi buff analyzes the most eerily predictive, prescient films of the future. They’re not necessarily the best movies—just the ones that got the science right, or will sometime soon.

List: 10. “2001: A Space Odyssey,” 9. “Short Circuit,” 8. “Soylent Green,” 7. “Blade Runner,” 6. “The Running Man,” 5. “Destination Moon,” 4. “The Truman Show,” 3. “The Road Warrior,” 2. “Minority Report,” and “Gattaca.”

Question: I was surprised to discover that I’ve seen 8 of those movies. How many have you seen? And are there any movies that should be on the lis?

Hat Tip: Right Mind

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 3/31/08

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Tug captain Oscar Mooney of North Idaho Maritime battled cold temperatures today while delivering one of the last load of logs to the DeArmond Mill in Coeur d’Alene. See story below.

Spotlight: SPJ announces awards for Pacific Northwest student journalists here.

1. It’s opening day. Or Opening Day, depending on how you feel about it. For seven members of the Mariners’ roster, this will be their first Opening Day, so the capital letters are needed. The Mariners have enough talent that baseball observers say they should easily compete for the American League West title. That quest starts Monday at 3:40 p.m. at Safeco Field against the Texas Rangers here/Seattle Times. Blanchette: M’s can’t be mediocre.

2. For more than 25 years, Oscar Mooney has worked a five-mile stretch of Lake Coeur d’Alene and the Spokane River, delivering logs to waterfront sawmills. This week, the tug captain is making his last deliveries. The DeArmond Mill is closing next month. It was North Idaho Maritime’s final log customer here/Spokesman-Review.

3. Online Poll: 57% of 283 respondents to a Lewiston Tribune poll ranked the economy as the most important issue in the 2008 prez election.

4. IMHO: McCain wants 100-year war/David Horsey, Seattle PI cartoon; If it tastes like chicken, you’d think it’d be OK/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune; and When it comes to road funding, something beats nothing/Idaho Statesman.

5. Blogosphere: Governing by nastygram/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman; Tables turned/Dogwalk Musings; and Equipoint $61,626?/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press.

6. News Roundup: Supreme Court to consider religious monument case/Idaho Statesman; Otter signs bill to increase grocery tax relief/Idaho Statesman; Private schooler wins Moscow Junior Miss/Moscow-Pullman Daily News; Study: American West warming faster/New West; Car flips 8 times on I-84, sends one to hospital/KTVB. and

Orbusmax Special: Kitsap County man arrested twice in one day for DUI here.

Dubya Opens US Baseball Season w/Good Pitch

J. David Ake/AP Photo

I watched Dubya throw this pitch from the mound of the new Washington Nationals ballpark last night. He threw a high, hard pitch from the rubber to the catcher. Most presidents stand at the front of the mound and still lob the ball on one bounce to the catcher. Of the three remaining major prez candidates, I’d guess that Obama — a lefthander, I believe — would do the best job of throwing off the mound. Hillary probably throws like a girl. And McCain’s probably too old to throw off the mound. By the way, the Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 3-2 in their home opener. And the M’s begin their baseball season at midafternoon today.

S&S Herb: Vandalized For Bay Views?

I have hesitated about writing this, due to my concern that the idiot that vandalized my mailbox was trying to get attention. I went to the Bayview Post Office Friday to pick up my mail. Written on the box was the word, if in fact it is a word, “BLOGFAG.” In addition to the slur, I found the keyhole in my mail box glued shut.It only inconvenienced me for a minute or two while I had the Postmaster retrieve my mail, but the thought occurred to me that if there were prints on the box, this person of questionable intellect will be dealing with a Postal Inspector, as defacing or vandalizing a U.S. Post office or the boxes therein is a federal felony/Sweet & Sour Herb, Bay View. More here

Question: Have you experienced over-the-line negative feedback as a result of your online blogging or commenting?

WND Poll: Al Gore For President?

Item: Top Dems consider Al Gore’s nomination: ‘If it goes into the convention, don’t be surprised if someone different is at the top’/London Telegraph

Question: How would Gore’s entry affect the race for president?

1. Democrats absolutely need him to get the nomination and win the White House
2. He’s the logical choice to solve the Obama-Hillary dispute
3. If the Democrats don’t draft Gore, they’ll have trouble beating McCain
4. Gore is not the answer, but Democrats need someone besides Obama and Hillary
5. Gore would likely solve the Obama-Hillary dispute, but he’d ensure a Republican victory
6. I don’t think Gore is interested, he’s making more money with his global warming gig
7. In this era of change, Gore is the last person who is needed for the White House
8. He’d definitely hurt the Democrats, as he’s a washed-up, crystal-crunchin’, lefty loon
9. Irrespective of Gore’s entry, the Democrats are self-destructing
10. Other

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

CdA Council To Consider Public Art Plan

Item: Cd’A looks to define art plan/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: The proposed Coeur d’Alene Public Art Master Plan vision calls for building a collection of public art that defines the community. Its goal is a diverse collection, with art installed at the most visible locations, as well as dispersed throughout the city. A guiding principle is the selection of art on a scale large enough to get the public’s attention. Another is placing art where people can see it and interact with it.

Question: What importance do you place on public art?

Online Poll: NCAA Bracket

How’s you NCAA bracket doing?/Idaho Statesman

*On a roll, baby!
*Breaking even
*Starting to slide
*Not a chance
*What’s an NCAA bracket?

Big Mac: Snow Measurements Differ

I have been measuring snow fall in my back yard after every storm. I wait until the snow stops falling and stick a ruler into the ground. I used the same spot all year, and it’s in the center of the patio to avoid measuring snow drifts. I have us at 134.5 inches this year. We get different snowfall in different parts of Coeur d’Alene. I live in Coeur d’Alene Place, behind Lake City High School. My parents live on the lake. They got much less snowfall than we did. My mother-in-law lives just off Best Ave. She has in between me and my parents/Big Mac.

TUBOB: HBO Best Of Bad Lot

I’m often amused by topics/controversies that seem to enervate this blog and that DFO will then flog like tired circus ponies as long as they stir up pageviews and comments (see: semen coated brownies, Amaro, LCDC, Spencer’s dirt, Chico the death row monkey ). One of the latest being scary wolves eating PRECIOUS ELKS. The half lives and radioactivity of these vary of course and there can always chaotic surprises in store (see: Ziggles and condom dresses) and yet, we’ll always have John Austin writing puns and Thom George sarcastically poking the GOP and Mike Kennedy, who last blogged in 1997, jumping in from Blurkworld when someone goes off on some city council policy, and of course, me writing gratuitously HBO-centric analysis to get a front page pimp.

Tony Bennett’s Staying @ WSU …

… according to Vince Grippi/Sportslink here

Earth Hour Turns Lights Out

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo

The Sears Tower, second from left, leads the way by dimming the tower lights during the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour event in Chicago, Saturday. The environmental group WWF urged governments, businesses and households to turn back to candle power for at least 60 minutes Saturday starting at 8 p.m. wherever they were. Several U.S. cities including Chicago and Atlanta participated and symbolic darkouts or dimmings of monuments.

Question: Do you think Earth Hour will take hold and become the start of something big?

Foot Fondler To Face The Music

An aspiring rock star faced the music Friday morning, reaching a plea deal that means he won’t have to register as a sex offender. Nate Schierman of Coeur d’Alene pleaded guilty to two felony counts of injury to a child in 1st District Court. He could spend 20 years in prison. Kootenai County Prosecutor Donna Gardner said she’s waiting for a complete report on the 20-year-old before making a sentencing recommendation. … Schierman was arrested last October for luring a young girl into his car near Lakes Middle School and asking her to remove her socks. Then, he allegedly masturbated while smelling and fondling her feet/Coeur d’Alene Press. More here

Question: Does this guy deserve a second chance or a long time in the slammer?

BrentA: Dog Parks Can Be Really Gross

re: Dog park concept shows forward thinking in CdA

Dog parks can be really gross, they must be meticulously maintained. You have all those dogs and they wear out a patch of grass in a hurry so there can be a lot of mud. Trash cans tend to fill up with the most awful trash. Also the water can be sketchy. Your dog will run up and drink out of the rottenest-looking dog bowl you’ve ever seen, who knows, maybe after some puppy with parvo, with three or four other slobbering beasts. I like the idea of dog parks but it’s worrisome having my dogs running around off-leash around a bunch of other dogs. I’d rather brave bears and perhaps firearms in the woods/Brent Andrews.

TUBOB: Buck Knives Not All That Great

re: Mayor Clay: Knife gifts no different that medals

First of all, Buck should be lauded for staying in the USA and not moving all their production to China or Pakistan, although they had to move to America’s version of a poor third world economy: Idaho. However, some of their junk does come from overseas. Buck makes the 110 Hunter, one of the first lockback folders and a classic remembered fondly by many Vietnam vets who preferred them over their big Kabar fixed blades. The Buck/Strider collaborations were pretty decent (although not as cool as the Strider/Kershaws) but basically, as I said earlier, I don’t think the Navy vets are out that much. Buck makes mostly cheap knifes using CMC technology to machine cut and grind cheap steels. If these were hand ground knives using high grade carbon or stainless steels that might be different. I used to collect knives and know a few things. So don’t argue with me if you’re just going to be a senseless booster. If you have something intelligent to say I might respond/TUBOB.

Related: Citizens react to Navy rule: Rear admirals, generals have received special Buck Knives in the past/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press

Wild Card/Saturday — 3/29/08

I applaud the Zags and WSU Cougars for helping us get through another long winter in the Pacific Northwest. By lasting into the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament, WSU took us almost to the start of the 2008 Major League Baseball season. I’ve listened to future Hall of Famer Dave Niehaus and his sidekick, Rick, call play-by-play these last two evenings as I’ve walked around the neighborhood. The season starts for the M’s on Monday. Even the weather sounds nicer next week. We’ve almost made it. With that happy thought, it’s time to play the Wild Card …

WSU’s Bennett Denies Talking To Indiana

The source also said a published report Saturday morning that Indiana had made an offer to Washington State head coach Tony Bennett was inaccurate. Indiana has not offered anyone the job, according to the source. Reached Saturday morning in Pullman, Bennett told, “I haven’t had one conversation with [Indiana] and so, no, I haven’t been offered the job.” Washington State athletic director Jim Sterk said Saturday morning that no school has asked for permission to talk to Bennett. According to the source, Bennett is expected to be one of the top names on Greenspan’s list along with former Stanford and Golden State Warriors coach Mike Montgomery. The source said that Indiana has been told that a potential buyout for Xavier’s Sean Miller would be too rich for Indiana/ESPN. More here

Idawa: Time For Few To Move On From Gonzaga?

I was talking to a big Gonzaga booster (a judge over here in Seattle) who was complaining that it was time to get rid of Few. He thinks that Few has done a lot for the team, but he doesn’t think he has the chops to take the team to the next level (I personally think it is the school, not Few holding the team back). Just wondered what everyone thinks, is it time for both Gonzaga and Few to move on, is loyalty more important than a shot in the final four? Any thoughts/Idawa.

Redux: Post Falls Woman Headed To Pageant

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

I messed this link up last night in HBO’s Best of the Local Blogosphere. So I’m running it again. Never hurts to have a lovely young woman out front, right? Here’s the commentary by Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho: “When the Miss USA Pageant airs on NBC April 11, look for Miss Idaho USA Tracey Brown. We’re doubly proud that not only does she hail from the Gem State, she’s a Post Falls hometown girl.” More here

Court: Sanders Beach Homeowners Lose Round

Item: Judge dismisses Sanders Beach suit: Plaintiffs will not be able to collect attorney’s fees from city, county on claim/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: “The one federal claim is dead unless the plaintiffs appeal judge Lodge’s decision,” said City Attorney Mike Gridley. As a result of the decision, the plaintiffs will not be able to collect attorney’s fees from the city and county on the federal claim.

DFO: I recall that the Sanders Beach owners, their sympathizers and the Coeur d’Alene Press were making solemn decrees re: how liable the city was for taking the issue of ownership to court. As though it was a cut-and-dry deal that the East Lakeshore Drive owners also owned the beach. A lower court wasn’t as sure. This ruling means the city acted responsibly. ‘Tis nice to know that the homeowners and Magnuson won’t get attorney’s fees. Now, mebbe these birds’ll content themselves in enjoying the patch of sand in front of their houses while the huddled families of the neighborhood are forced to share small patches of sand nearby.

DFO: A Whole Lotta Tweakin’ Going On

Huckleberries has always been a work in progress. Remember. When I first started this blog on Feb. 16, 2004, it was for the purpose of supporting George Bush’s re-election bid. Since then, it has changed from a politically partisan blog into a place where all but extremists from the various sides of the political prism feel comfortable exchanging views and hanging out. HBO has become the cyber coffee shop that Cis Gors’ envisioned in that first year.

This blog has never remained static. It has had to adjust and change to keep up with the changing group of commenters, bloggers and blurkers who hang out here. Some have hung in here from the start, and I deeply appreciate them. Some have drifted off. Some have left over ideological spats. Most have contributed something. Many have predicted this blog’s demise as various challenges have arisen. Some felt the civility rules would be the death of the blog. Then came the CdA office cutback. There have been times when I’ve wondered if the blog could keep its altitude. The answer so far has been yes. But I’ve had to change things to meet the new circumstances.

My latest change has occurred this week quietly, despite my vacation and illness. More than ever, I’ve been trying to incorporate other online Idaho bloggers and commenters into this space. I have the unique background of having worked for all three major publishers in North Idaho: the Cowles family, Duane Hagadone and Butch Alford (Lewiston Tribune). As a result, I know and follow the best writers in Idaho. I want you to know them, too. But that doesn’t mean that I’ve been posting Idaho items without consideration for wider interest to outside blurkers and commenters. Also, you’ll notice that I’ve been promoting major Spokane stories of interest in North Idaho. And SR bloggers. And have incorporated individual bloggers, like Sam, Bob and Toad, who are key parts of the HBO blogosphere into the main blogroll. The beauty of cyberspace is that there’s no boundaries. Now, if I can figure out how to bring you more Bonner and Shoshone County news, I’ll be content with the new parameters of the HBO blogosphere/DFO.

Online Poll: Extra Airline Amenities

Airlines are now charging extra for some amenities. What are you willing to pay more for?/Idaho Statesman.

*Extra legroom
*Extra checked bag

OrangeTV: Panida’s Restoration Shows Sandpoint Cares

Mike Brodwater/SR File Photo

Julie Andrews in “Victor/Victoria” was the last film star to dance across the screen at Coeur d’Alene’s Wilma Theatre before the building was shuttered for good. After years of vacancy and decay, the grand old dame was finally taken to the ground after the heavy snow of winter 1997 caused the roof to collapse. Sandpoint’s Panida Theater was destined toward a similar fate in 1985 when huge chunks of ceiling came crashing down inside, instantly short-listing it for the wrecking ball. At the time, it was so rundown and rickety that it was being used merely as storage for local drama troupe the Unicorn Theater Co. who held their actual performances in less unsafe venues. Refusing to stand by and watch the wonderfully unique old venue become rubble, community members rallied together, selling hand painted lobby tiles and personalized sidewalk bricks to supporters including the mayor and the governor. In less than 90 days, the required $40,000 dollars was raised toward the purchase price of $200,000. The now community-owned Panida was primped, polished and given new life solely due to the hard work of volunteers and business owners who donated anything and everything needed to restore it to its former grandeur/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here

Question: Why does Sandpoint hang onto its past when Coeur d’Alene is so quick to tear down old buildings to make room for new ones?

TUBOB: Studs Looking Better All The Time

Pity me … I’m blogging from the Indian John Hill reststop E I-90 after one of the hairiest and scariest pass crossings EVER. Incredibly slick nasty icy snowy climb and weaving around jacknifing semis and spun out cars and pickups … it was unreal … only saw 2 cops on the whole pass and no plows. By the time I was mostly down the state patrol were firing up the pass in droves with lights going and followed by ambulances and finally snowplows. Way ugly. How ugly? Ugly enough I wish I’d had studs. THAT UGLY/TUBOB

Big Mac: Don’t Build Public Policy On IVA Poll

re: Poll: Only 12% of Idaho would pick public ed/Idaho Values Alliance

Everyone wants higher academic standards, until their kid fails a class or gets a lower grade. Look at the Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy. Every single kid attends their because their parents want more demanding classes for their kids. The classes are tough, but just about any kid can do well in them. And yet after four years each class shrinks amazingly. We start with 75-100 freshmen, and we rarely graduate more than 30. You can have that kind of attrition rate at one charter school. But you can’t have it statewide. Would we accept a 70% dropout rate? Of course not. So it’s an interesting poll, but I don’t see how you can build public policy on it/Big Mac. More here

TGIF Wild Card — 3/28/08

Now, we’ve gone and done it. The snowfall this winter now has equaled the total of the legendary 1968-69 winter as the 8th snowiest in the region’s history. I pity my brother, Frito Ray, who has to make another chip run to Moscow, Pullman and Lewiston on Highway 195 Saturday morning. He said the Thursday morning’s run was a doozy, taking 5 hours to return from Lewiston to Spokane Valley HQ. I’m glad I’m not a trucker in this region this winter. Now, for your Wild Card …

7 Reasons To Be A UI Vandal

*Your parents are far enough away to consider yourself an adult, but close enough to help if you prove yourself wrong.
*UI students never have to wonder if a person wearing Vandal athletics gear is actually a fan, or just doing it because it’s trendy.
*Moscow rent (and several Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers) can be paid for entirely with the proceeds from plasma donation/Alec Lawton, UI Argonaut managing editor. More here

Question: Why were/weren’t you a University of Idaho Vandal?

HBO’s Headlines @ 5 PM — 3/28/08

A new 42,000-square-foot water park, Silver Rapids, is expected to open this spring or early summer in Kellogg, Idaho. Courtesy of Silver Mountain Resort. Parker Howell of SR Here’s The Dirt tells you all about the project in his blog.

5 O’Clock Headlines:
*Northwest Nazarene athletes suspected in Best Buy burglary attempt/KTVB
*Osburn man dies during Grand Canyon hike/KTVB
*Canyon County treasurer resigns/KTVB
*2 dogfighters unlikely to go to jail/SR
*Crews shatter giant boulder blocking Yellow Pine road/Idaho Statesman

Breaking! UI Women’s BB Coach Resigns

University of Idaho women’s basketball coach Mike Divilbiss has resigned after seven seasons with the Vandals, the school announced Friday. According to a statement from the school, Divilbiss’ resignation came after an assessment of the program by athletic director Rob Spear. “Based on my evaluation of the program and discussions with Mike, it is in everyone’s best interest to move in a new direction,” Spear said in the release. Divilbiss was 82-119 overall with the Vandals, including 4-25 last season/Idaho Statesman. More here

CdA Area 29th Fastest-Growing Metro

Item: It keeps growing and growing: County’s population increases 2.8 percent, retirees among reasons/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Kootenai County’s population rose to 134,442 in 2007, according to figures released on Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s an increase of 3,722 (2.8 percent) from 2006, making the county the 29th-fastest growing metropolitan area in the country out of 363.

Related: Boise-Nampa 13th fastest-growing metro area/Idaho Press-Tribune

Question: Has Kootenai County (or your Inland Northwest town or metro area) gotten too big for you, populationwise?

Gypsy Leader’s Wife Blames Dentist

Item: Dentist blamed in gypsy leader’s/Spokesman-Review

More Info: The widow of the late Spokane Gypsy leader Jimmy Marks is accusing a Spokane dentist of giving her husband too strong a dose of anesthetic – a mishap Jane Marks alleges led to his death. A lawsuit against dentist Mark C. Paxton, his business and his spouse was filed this week in Spokane County Superior Court by Jane Marks.

Question: Would you rather be sued by Jimmy Marks’ Gypsy family and friends or cursed by them?

TXT: Post Falls Jigsaw Offers Clean Data

Jim Fowler, who was once half-owner of Lookout Pass Ski Area, has a different business he’s pushing these days. His Web company, Jigsaw, aspires to be the Web map of every business contact in the world, complete with e-mail addresses and office extension numbers. Jigsaw’s business model is simple: You can pay to find its list of contacts; or you can create points or credits by entering as many business contacts as you wish/Tom Sowa, TXT. More here

SR Blog Roundup:
*The moment of reckoning/Jill Wagner, Out on the Town
*Healing the rift that divides our souls/David Laird, Community Comment
*Circulation notes, keyworded thin slices & video buffet/Thuy Nguyen, Daily Briefing
*Friday’s quickie political briefing/Jim Camden, Spin Control 2.0
*WSU: Development proposals not to include Jensen-Byrd destruction/Parker Howell, Here’s The Dirt

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 3/28/08

Steve Hanks/Lewiston Tribune, AP

A cow moose pushes her yearling calves across a snow drift that readily gives away their silhouette in the wanning hours this week, near Genesee (between Moscow and Lewiston).

1. Every fourth or fifth telephone call to the Idaho’s travel information service, 511, is somehow getting rerouted to a similar traffic and transportation hotline operated more than 2,600 miles away in Rhode Island here/SR.

2. Randy Stapilus tracks the rapid growth of Northwestern mid-sized and smaller metro areas, including Boise and Coeur d’Alene, in his latest Ridenbaugh Press post here.

3. Cartoon: Hillary’s ‘combat duty’/David Horsey, Seattle PI

4. IMHO: The fall of the American consumer/Barbara Ehrenreich, Inlander; War, death and responsibility/Kalispell Daily Inter Lake; Middle of the road or on the fence/Benjamin Ledford, UI Argonaut.

5. Blogosphere: Scuples/Dogwalk Musings; Has Sandpoint Bypass finally reached closure?/Marianne Love, Slight Detour; and A land-use plan for a green community/Susan Drumheller, Idaho Conservation League.

6. News Roundup: Tamarack Resort owner arrested after leaving accident scene/Idaho Statesman; Ex-Kennewick pastor posts bond in bicyclist’s death/Tri-City Herald; Montana billionaire Blixseth sells site for world’s most expensive home/Bozeman Chronicle; Fruitland cop kills motorist after pursuit/Idaho Statesman; Serial child molester gets life/Billings Gazette.

Orbusmax Special: 10 Commandment monument can stay in Everett here.

Idaho Blogs: WSU Class Protests ‘Pullman Sprawl’

How unbelievably repugnant. An elitist professor bribes students who are not even from Pullman to go out and protest supposed “sprawl.” They don’t even know what “sprawl” really is. If those students are unhappy with the economic development that helps pay for the police, fire, streets, water, sewer, bus service, etc. that they enjoy, then they are more than welcome to run for City Council and effect a change. Perhaps they could actually even show up at a City Council meeting or Planning Commission meeting. But Bishop Blvd. is being developed in accordance with the city’s Comprehensive Plan as determined by our democratically-elected representatives/Tom Forbes, Palousitics. More here Daily News: Students protest ‘architorture’

Idaho Blog Roundup:
*Otter, laptops & will/Unequivocal Notion
*Got wolves? check/Idaho Conservation League
*Global dimming loons/Free In Idaho
*Idaho Chooses Life PAC report/IdaBlue
*First District roundup/MountainGoat Report
*Introducing Mr. Kruschev/Political Game
*10 of the greatest pieces of conservative wisdom/Right Mind

IVA Poll: Only 12% Of Idaho Would Pick Public Ed

A poll commissioned by the prestigious Friedman Foundation and co-sponsored by the Idaho Values Alliance and -Education Excellence Idaho found that only 12% of Idahoans would chose a “regular public school” if they had a full range of options. Even more striking, this figure drops to just 4% among Idahoans age 36-55, who are the chief consumers of public education services in Idaho. Said Bryan Fischer (pictured), Executive Director of the Idaho Values Alliance, “This is an astonishing number, because it tells us that the more Idaho’s parents use conventional public education, the less they like it. This is the most powerful argument possible for increasing school choice in the Gem State”/Idaho Values Alliance news release. More here

Question: Would you choose public education if you had the option to send your children to an alternative school?

Fisher: Butch Otter Overdoses On Ego

What on earth is Butch Otter thinking? First, Idaho’s governor boneheadedly vetoes a measure continuing the state’s best alternative to building ever more prisons to house drug-addled offenders. Then after senators of both parties overwhelmingly override that veto, he picks a petty fight with the Legislature. It sounds as if Otter is addled himself, on the drug known as ego/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune. More here

Navy Denies Buck Knife Gift To Local Service Members

Item: Navy blocks knife giveaway: Rule places $20 limit on value a service member can accept as a gift/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: As far as the U.S. Navy is concerned, the Buck stops here. Veterans of the Iraq War are being told they can’t receive a commemorative Buck knife as a “thank you” for their service and sacrifice. “Someone put up a red flag and said we can’t do it,” said Lt. Troy Gilbert, a member of the U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion based out of Hayden. “There’s a $20 limit in value that a service member can accept as a gift. These knives are valued at $103.” Gilbert said roughly 40 reservists were going to each receive a special knife made by Buck Knives during an April 5 ceremony.

Question: Is the Navy going overboard here in denying this nice gift to worthy service men and women?

Robin’s Here But Where’s Spring?

Steve Hanks/Lewiston Tribune, AP

Surrounded by a sea of spring snow a robin hunkers down in a out cropping of green Thursday, near Moscow.

TUBOB: You Might Be An Idaho Conservative If …

1. Your 17 children are babysat at a backwoods daycare “Pine Vue Kiddy Kingdom” owned and operated by a Level 3 sex offender.

2. You take your pregnant 13 year old daughter to the Walmart to shop for baby clothes and you run into your neighbor who tells you “we was wonderin’ if you was ever gonna get some grandkids, why she must be nearly 13 now, you gots some slow starters there!”

3. You haven’t paid federal income taxes since 1986 and you have an old dot matrix printer in your basement just for printing homemade arrest warrants for federal judges.

Spencer: What Does It Mean To Be A Conservative?

How about not voting to allow 14 year old girls to be able to get an abortion without her parents consent or even knowledge? Senator Keough and Senator Broadsword voted with the Dems on that one. What about voting against pay for performance to give incentive to the teachers to do the best they can? Senator Keough and Senator Broadsword voted with the Dems on that one, even though Broadsword wrote in 2004 that she supported pay for performance. The legislation failed by two votes. What about English as the official language? Broadsword voted no. Should we fund pre-kindergarten for 4 year-olds? Shawn Keough voted that is a good way to spend the state tax dollars. So what is a conservative? Not some Republicans, if you look at how they vote/Spencer

Question: What do you think it means to be a conservative?

Wild Card/Thursday — 3/27/08

I’m sorta like Cabbage Boy re: the snow that greeted us this morning. I knew it’d be there when I awoke because it was snowing like crazy when I went to bed last night. I can deal with it as long as it doesn’t stick to the road. I’m tired of winter driving this year. On the other hand, my wife reminded me, as I built the fire this morning, that it is suppose to be in the 50s by midweek next week and mebbe as high as 60 later in the week. I can live with that. Now, we should go out and see if any Californians with outbound U-Hauls sitting in their driveways need help loading up. Here’s your Wild Card …

SR’s Today In Pictures, 5:30 Headlines — 3/27/08

Israel L. Murillo/Associated Press

A photographer focuses on a mandible on exhibit in Burgos, Spain. A small piece of jawbone unearthed in a cave in Spain is the oldest known fossil of a human ancestor in Europe and suggests that people lived on the continent much earlier than previously believed, scientists say. The researchers said the fossil found last year at Atapuerca in northern Spain, along with stone tools and animal bones, is up to 1.3 million years old. SR’s Today In Pictures

*Snow to continue Friday/SR
*Senate guts personal property tax bill/Idaho Statesman
*Police target railroad crossing violators/SR
*Idaho college students could be paying higher fees next year/Idaho Statesman
*Yellow Pine boulder could be first sign of spring trouble/KTVB

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 3/27/08

Kevork Djansezian/AP Photo

Pamela Anderson covers the face of her son Brandon Thomas Lee before the start of an NBA basketball game between the Charlotte Bobcats and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Wednesday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Uh oh, who put the honeymoon tape in the VCR?/Tom Forbes.

2. Knowing that her son has a weak stomach, Pamela covers his eyes as David Hasselhoff enjoys a burger at the annual Bay Watch reunion and barbecue/MikeS.

3. You wanna see some skin? Here look at the palm of my hand/Cabbage Boy.

HM: Dick Haugen

In The News: Up Close, Personal w/Airport Security

Nick Ut/AP Photo

Mandi Hamlin, right, who claims a Transportation Security Administration agent forced her to remove a nipple ring with pliers in order to board an airplane demonstrates what she was asked to do by the TSA during a news conference Thursday in Los Angeles, as her attorney Gloria Allred looks on.

Tarheels Already Sizing Up 2008 Rings

Game begins at 4:27 p.m. today on CBS

Item: UNC in familiar footsteps? Heels resemble ‘05 NCAA title team/Ken Tysiac, Charlotte Observer

More Info: The Tar Heels are forever being compared with the 2005 team that won the NCAA title under coach Roy Williams. Scott was a senior reserve guard on that team, which defeated Illinois 75-70 in the NCAA final in St. Louis.

Tony Bennett returns to Charlotte

Question: Will you be surprised if the Cougs give North Carolina a good game?

A Late March Morning On The Palouse

“This is what I woke up to this morning,” comments Palouse denizen JeanC’s Cat House and Shooting Gallery. Meanwhile, brother Frito Ray called at 11:45 this morning to say he’d just gotten back from his Quad Cities (Moscow, Pullman, Lewiston Clarkston) run after leaving Lewiston at 6:30. Seems I-195 was closed at times from Pullman to Colton and from Pullman to Colfax. As always, the chips must get through.

EOB: Idaho Still Only State w/o Child Death Review

A Senate committee chairwoman has blocked legislation that would have ended Idaho’s distinction as the only state in the nation with no system for reviewing child deaths. Senate Health and Welfare Chairwoman Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, said Idaho doesn’t need to review child deaths if every other state is already doing it. “We can use the information that they’ve gathered,” she said. “If they’re already doing it, what could be different in a child death in Utah or Montana that we wouldn’t have here? Why reinvent the wheel all the time?” House Bill 511 passed the House on March 17 on a 63-5 vote, and it cleared Lodge’s committee on a voice vote after a public hearing. But Lodge then asked the Senate to return the bill to her committee, where it’s now dead/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here

*No new prison this year
*ITD audit bill passes Senate
*House passes Clark’s “subsidy for developers” bill
*Craig-Wyden replacement bill passes Senate
*Governor lashes back at lawmakers with veto

Question: Please explain to me how someone as clueless as Patti Anne Lodge can become chairwoman of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee?

HBO @ Noon: Spelling Bees

Item: Under her spell: Sixth-grader takes a third shot at advancing to Scripps National Spelling Bee/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: LeeAnne Bixler hopes her third time at the North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee is the charm. The 12-year-old is one of 44 young spellers ready to take a turn on the stage Saturday in North Idaho College’s Boswell Hall Schuler Performing Arts Center during the fifth annual regional bee. “I’m hoping I’ll win, but I do have a few butterflies,” Bixler said.

Question: Did you ever participate in a Spelling Bee?

LeFavour: Pity Moderate R’s In Idaho Legislature

I know how hard it is to be a Democrat but being a moderate Republican might just be harder in here and may produce lesser, more stressful results. It is the fear thing. Fear of your own party. Something about party allegiance, where, under this kind of conservative leadership, you might pay dearly for stepping out of the fold. We Democrats don’t bother MaryLou, but Tom Trail, Mark Snodgrass, Leon Smith and Carlos Bilbao have paid for representing their districts and may still be paying for who they voted for as speaker or how they voted on something or how they spoke out and objected to a process or a piece of legislation. But that’s what is feeding the fear, all this tension, all these primaries, a year of fear of primaries/Rep. Nicole LeFavour. More here

Related: On local option, and party discipline/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman

Question: Would you rather be a Democrat or a moderate Republican in an Idaho Legislature dominated by very conservative leaders?

HBO’s AM Local Headlines — 3/27/08

Geoff Crimmins/Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Justin Parkins shovels snow outside the office of his grandfather, Gerald Parkins Sr., on Main Street in Moscow this morning. Justin Parkins was out of school for the day because of a snow day for Moscow public schools. SR story here

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Bonner County School District victim of Web hacker/Gwen Albers, Hagadone News Network
*Huckleberries: Let’s stick to the real issues/D.F. Oliveria, SR Prairie Voice
*PF annexation re-examined: City, council to discuss Colorado-based research firm’s analysis services/Amy Cannata, SR Prairie Voice
*Dock back on Gozzer agenda: City attempting to address if use would constitute a commercial operation/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press

Finish The Following Sentence …

When I woke up this morning on March 27 and saw that it was snowing so hard that it was sticking to the street, I …

Clark: How Does An Avista Exec Cut Corners?

Spring here in the Unwashed Empire is always such an exciting time. The weather churns. The birdies return. And we all get heartburn after reading the latest salary details for fat-cat executives of Avista Corp. What timing. This year’s PCP (Power Czar Payroll) comes on the tippy-toes of Avista’s proposed rate hike for 2009. Well, I can’t fault the Avistanians. If I ran a power company I’d screw with the ratepayers, too. But while crunching the numbers on Wednesday’s front page, I discovered some shocking news. Avista executive “total compensation” is not nearly as magnanimous as it has been in the past/Doug Clark, Spokesman-Review. More here

Question: Anyone out there want to defend the money-grubbing Avista execs who pocket ha-huge paychecks while constantly pushing to increase our utility bills?

Ah’m Your Huckleberry — Passing It Along

Something strangely wonderful was happening at the Highway 41 Starbucks (near Wal*Mart) Wednesday morning. As Taryn Hecker prepared to pay at the drive-through window en route to work, she was told that the person in front of her had paid for her $5.99 mocha and coffee cake already. And that such generosity of other coffee drinkers had been going on all day. Caught up in the pass-it-on spirit, Taryn said she’s pick up the tab for the coffee drinkers behind her — and whipped out a $10 bill. Only to discover that the tab was $11.45. The $10 was all she had. So she whipped out her plastic. In America, you can pass it on and not have to worry about it until the bills come due the following month.

Question: When is the last time you’ve been the beneficiary of someone “passing it on”?

Spencer: Party Should Be Allowed To Pick Own Wannabes

Spencer: The primary is when the party picks it’s best candidate to run in November. In November anybody can vote for any candidate they chose on any ticket. Arguing that people who don’t even identify with a party should be allowed to take the steering wheel of a party and decide for it who should run as their candidate is just as goofy as requiring all party strategy meetings should be open to the public. BTW, Rod Beck is likely to replace Sullivan as the chair of the party this year.

DFO: You’re lucky, Spencer, that the average Kootenai County resident doesn’t know how far to the right the local Republican Party is. Mebbe the state will find out if Rod Beck succeeds in becoming state party chair and forcing a closed primary on freedom-loving Idahoans. Ideologues like you, Spencer, don’t realize that you can push too far — and lose everything you have when the mushy middle gets fed up with your extreme politics.

Eye Opener: Will Good Sports Turn Around UI Image?

Spokesman-Review File Photo

University of Idaho President Tim White, left, claps as Idaho’s new basketball coach, George Pfeifer, right, addresses the media at a news conference in Moscow March 25, 2006. Two years later, White backed Pfeifer’s firing.

Item: University of Idaho president pushes sports, law school/Nicholas K. Geranios, Associated Press

More Info: University of Idaho President Tim White agrees with the recent firing of basketball coach George Pfeifer, is pushing hard to open a second law school in Boise and doesn’t think a proposed medical school at Idaho State is a good idea. White, in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, said a successful sports program is key to the image of his Moscow, Idaho-based school. “You bet it matters,” said White, a former college water polo coach.

Question: Is UIdaho President Tim White right? Will winning sports teams at the Moscow campus turn around the image of the college, which was tarnished by the Univerity Place scandal?

Hump Day Wild Card — 3/26/08

Frito Ray called from the Spokane Valley to say that it’s snowing pretty hard there and elsewhere along his route in eastern Washington. And that it’s headed this way. I see some small snow flakes outside my office window. Last night, the weatherwoman subbing for Tom Sherry said we’re going to get hit with another storm this afternoon. These feels more like late November than late March. Reminds me of my years in northwestern Montana. Oh well, I saw crocuses in the garden yesterday. Spring is going to come, one way or another. Now, for your Wild Card …

AMOO: Cantwell Could Switch To Obama …

Dan Pelle/Spokesman-Review

Sen. Maria Cantwell shows support for Sen. Hillary Clinton at a Feb. 8 appearance in Spokane

… That’s what she told the editorial board of the Columbian in Vancouver. If he has the most delegates and states, then she says he should be the nominee. Barring a catastrophic campaign event, he will almost certainly have the lead when the primary season ends. Cantwell also said she wouldn’t mind if the campaign went into summer as long as it were issue-oriented. Ha! Fat chance. Meanwhile, Sen. Murray is firmly in Clinton’s corner.

If you were a superdelegate, what would be your criteria?

Best of the HBO Blogosphere — 3/26/08

Atmospheric Ruminations illustration

Even with that socialization I was ill at ease with American blacks. There weren’t any that I can recall in my classes or dorm. After all I was smack dab in the middle of Iowa. But I do remember sitting in the student union when the star of our basketball team pulled up a chair and struck up a conversation. He was a good looking, light complected black and quite charming. I was flattered and apprehensive all at the same time. He ended up asking me to a movie. I hemmed and hawed and ultimately said no/Dogwalk Musings. More here

HBO Numbers (for Tuesday, March 25): 7921 page-views, 4544 unique views

*Furniture Exchange & Rollfast bikes/Kellogg Bloggin’
*Call me a failure/Marmitetoasty
*Waxing inconsistent with Hillary/Atmospheric Ruminations/Atmospheric Ruminations
*Photographing your family/A Family Runs Through It
*I’m not part of THIS crew — Thomas Sowell/Arch Druid
*At what price?/From A Simple Mind
*Things I do while I’m in Texas/Here In Idaho

$35 For A Theater Ticket?

Item: Posh Redmond theater to charge $35 a ticket/Amy Roe, Seattle Times

More Info: Would you pay $35 for a movie ticket, plus extra for popcorn? What if it guaranteed no one could kick your seat? An Australian theater chain opening in Redmond this fall is betting affluent audiences will pay three times the typical ticket price for plush, reclining seats equipped with call buttons for service, allowing them to order gourmet food, wine and cocktails from the theater’s restaurant.

Question: What is the most you’d pay for a movie theater ticket?

Hat Tip: Becky Kramer

Richard Widmark, 93, Actor, RIP

Universal Studios/AP

In this 1962 image originally released by United Artists, Richard Widmark portrays Col. Tad Lawson, right, in a scene with Maximilian Schell in “Judgment at Nuremberg.” Widmark died at his home in Roxbury after a long illness. He was 93. Widmark’s wife, Susan Blanchard, said he died Monday. Story here

Dirt: Idaho AG Bans Foreclosure Rescue Firm

Local experts at a foreclosure roundtable on Monday cautioned about businesses trying to take advantage of vulnerable homeowners worried about defaulting on their mortgages. On that note, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden this morning announced a Florida-based foreclosure rescue company is banned from doing business in the Gem State. Mortgage Assistance Solutions LLC reached a settlement agreement with the attorney general prohibiting it from “advertising or engaging in any transaction involving an Idaho consumer or property in Idaho,” according to a news release/Parker Howell, Here’s The Dirt. More here

SR Blog Roundup: 1997 MLK Kids, where are you?/Rebecca Nappi, A Matter of Opinion; He’s no schook, he’s a schmo/Dan Webster, Movies & More; E-newspapers for the future/Thuy Nguyen, Daily Briefing; In search of sun and stars/Jill Wagner, Out On The Town; and My friend/Virginia de Leon, Parents Council.

Question: Did AG Lawrence Wasden take the appropriate action to protect Idahoans?

Dying Man’s New Insurer Won’t Cover Transplant

Dan Pelle/Spokesman-Review

LiAnne Watley gets a reassuring touch from her attorney Brian Sheldon as she wipes her eyes when talking about the poor health of her husband, Fred Watley.

Item: Dying man’s new insurer won’t cover a liver transplant/John Stucke, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Fred Watley is missing his chance for a liver transplant. A new organ may have helped the 59-year-old substance abuse counselor steer more teens away from drugs and booze; may have helped him raise his 10-year-old son into a young man; may have helped him grow old with LiAnne, his wife of 11 years. None of that is likely. Just as Watley’s liver ailments turned critical and his name near the top of the waiting list, his employer was finishing negotiations with a new health insurance carrier that included a coverage catch: a six-month exclusion for organ transplants that began Jan. 1.

Nuts & Nonsense Reaction

Question: Who’s to blame here?

Orbusmax Special: Transgender Oregon Man PG?

An Oregon man is five months pregnant, according to a national magazine. Thomas Beatie, who used to be a woman, appeared in the most recent issue of The Advocate, a magazine for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender readers, Portland, Ore., television station KPTV reported. Beatie wrote the article, which includes a picture of him while he was 22 weeks pregnant. According to the story, he went through a sex change, but decided only to have chest reconstruction and testosterone therapy. Beatie was able to keep the reproductive organs he was born with. The article said he stopped getting the injections and was able to get pregnant/Fox12. More here

Question: Do you buy this?

MamaJD: I’m Tired Of ‘Nonini Specials’

Representative Bob Nonini’s waste of time in our legislature irritates me to no end. Mr. Nonini - why can’t you apply your time to pioneering real change for Idaho? I find myself regularly referring to Nonini’s sponored bills as the Nonini Special — making law because the bill looks good when in fact the law is already in place/MamaJD. More here

HBO To MamaJD: You need to change your blog format. White-on-black is too hard to read.

Question: What do you think of the job Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, is doing in the Idaho Legislature?

Sneaky Solons Repealing Your Property Tax Relief

Item: A few would gain a lot: House votes 39-31 in favor/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise

Jim Fisher/Lewiston Tribune: Who will be the ultimate victims of Idaho legislators’ rush to repeal the state tax on business equipment? Not the school administrators and local government officials who testified against the move in Boise Monday - including Lewiston School Superintendent Joy Rapp and Nez Perce County Commissioner J.R. Van Tassel. They will be the people on whom school districts and local governments rely for much of their revenue, and for construction bonds. You, in other words. More here

North Idaho legislators supporting this tax shift: Jim Clark, Phil Hart, Dick Harwood, Frank Henderson Bob Nonini.

Question: Have you called your North Idaho legislators to tell them to vote against this lousy tax shift?

Lakeland Levy Passes w/75% Of Vote

The $3.9 million supplemental levy for the Lakeland School District passed tonight with 75 percent support from patrons. The final results: 637 votes for the two-year levy and 201 against the levy. A total of 848 votes were cast.

Otter’s Drug Treatment Veto Hammers Programs

Item: Funds loss hammers treatment facilities: Gov. Otter vetoed bills that would have provided $16.8 million for programs/Sean Garmire, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Drug treatment facilities across Idaho will lose significant funding this year if lawmakers fail to reconcile the governor’s veto. Two bills that would have provided $16.8 million for drug addiction programs were vetoed by Gov. Butch Otter on March 20.

Question: Did Gov. Butch Otter act responsibly when he vetoed the $16.8M approved by the Legislature for drug treatment programs?

Ron Paul Wows Caldwell Supporters

Mike Vogt/Idaho Press-Tribune
Republican presidential hopeful, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, prepares to sign one of his books, titled “The Revolution,” as he chats with his supporters Friday at the College of Idaho in Caldwell.

Item: Ron Paul supporters from across state pack College of Idaho: ‘He is not the most pragmatic, but he represents my personal convictions,’ one backer says/Idaho Statesman.

Question: If memory serves me correctly, Independent Ross Perot outpolled Bill Clinton in Idaho in 1992. With Idaho’s strong Independent streak, will Ron Paul roll up a decent percentage in Idaho’s Republican prez primary in May?

Wild Card/Tuesday — 3/25/08

If you’re interesting in the Lakeland School District results tonight, you should check back here. Taryn Hecker will be covering the election for The Spokesman-Review. She promises to get me the results as soon as possible. I’ll then post them here for discussion. As always, you can use this Wild Card for your own threads …

Parting Shot — 3/25/08

Greg Kreller/Idaho Press-Tribune, AP

Boise State gymnast Lindsay Ward practices her routine on the balance beam earlier today in Boise. Boise State will host the Western Athletic Conference gymnastics championships Saturday.

Aftershock: Pennsylvanian Picks Coaster Name

Silverwood Theme Park received 6,136 entries for its coaster naming contest, but the winning suggestion came from someone residing over 2000 miles away. Richard Palamara, an 18 year old college student and coaster fanatic living in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, was the first person to submit the selected name: Aftershock. Palamara, who found out about the contest via an online coaster message board, has ridden a Giant Inverted Boomerang similar to Silverwood’s. “It was one of my favorite roller coaster experiences. So it’s especially cool for me to think that I’ve named one of them”/Silverwood News Release.

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 3/24/08

Chris Peterson/Glacier Magazine calls this photo simply: Heave Ho.

When I assign my students Japanese and Chinese poetry of the early centuries A.D., I always wonder how it will go. For starters, many students find poetry difficult and I always wonder if this ancient poetry will just seem too remote. A majority of my students loved it. Honestly, when my Survey of World Literature students love this poetry it’s among the most gratifying experiences I have as an instructor. I find this poetry wise, elegant, witty, irreverent (at times), and philosophically satisfying and when other students do, too, I enjoy feeling the bond of enjoyment/Raymond Pert, Kellogg Bloggin. More here

HBO Numbers (for Monday, March 24, 2008): 7300 PVs/4362UVs.

*In the studio/TUBOB
*4000 souls/Nuts & Nonsense.
*Time for spring cleaning/Atmospheric Ruminations
*Chronic Discontent’s Top 10/Chronic Discontent
*Extreme deck makeover/Gathering Around The Table
*Collegially Speaking No. 1/Perambulator
*The music is in my head/Synaptic Disunion

Bomb Squad Responds To Pullman Package

The Spokane Co. bomb squad has been called to Pullman to investigate a suspicious package near the intersection of Stadium & Grand. Police have blocked off a 300 foot radius around the object/KREM2.

DFO: Anyone know if Marmitetoasty has sent a package to Pullman? ;-)

OnLocationNI: Ice Mosaic

“There is no artist as prolific as Mother Nature and surely some of her best work appears in North Idaho,” posts Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho. “Ice breaking away from the shoreline of Beauty Bay, at the northeast end of Lake Coeur d’Alene, formed a mosaic as dusk fell.”

Boise Weekly Editor Deals w/Hepatitis A Scare

Great. This is how my editorship of the BW will end? With me a victim of Hepatitis A? Dave Fotsch from the Central District Health Department assures me it will not. (Fotsch, a nice guy, is not a doctor.) When we got the news about Red Feather I began checking my personal calendar and found, yep, I’d been to the bar twice during the infect-o-period. Regardless of what this might say about my predictable entertainment calendar, I had some concerns: if the guy who had Hep A handled my gin and tonic those nights at the Red Feather, well, it’s off to the vaccination clinic for me/Shea Andersen, Boise Weekly. More here

Question: Have you ever been caught in a public health scare?

Blanchette: Caring For UI BB Is 2-Way Street

In Don Verlin’s salutatory as the newest in what’s become an increasingly disposable line of basketball coaches at the University of Idaho, he had one intriguing request directed at people at the periphery of the program – students, donors, even the media. “We need you to care,” Verlin pleaded. His heart may be in the right place, but the thinking is backward. Coach, Idaho needs to make us care/John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review. More here

Question: Do you still follow UIdaho sports?

Ron Paul Backers Eye Twin Falls CC Seats

Item: Ron Paul supporters launch bid for local elections/By Nate Poppino, Twin Falls Times-News

More Info: (Rick Martin) and other (Ron Paul) volunteers have to create change on the county level. His group, he claimed, has a member in almost every (GOP) precinct election in Twin Falls County, and others are doing the same thing in other parts of Idaho.

Question: As you know, there’s concern among Kootenai County Republicans that Ron Paul supporters are trying to do the same thing here. Do you consider their attempt at a political coup to be a legitimate threat to Repubs?

Abortion Coercion Bill Passes House 55-11

After many delays and much debate, HB 654a has passed the House to create a new crime in Idaho of coercing a woman into having an abortion. Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, the bill’s sponsor, said, “Idaho can be the first state in the country to make coercion to abort a baby against a woman a crime, and I think we’re doing the right thing here.” Opponents said the bill was inconsistent because it didn’t also prohibit coercing a woman to not have an abortion, but Nonini said, “What I’m trying to do is protect a woman’s right to keep her baby.” Said Rep. Ken Andrus, R-Lava Hot Springs, “I think we should support this. It’s a very good thing to protect women’s rights.” The bill passed 55-11 and now moves to the Senate/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Question: What are your feelings on this bill?

I-90 Pothole From Hell Flattening Tires

Item: I-90 pothole wreaks havoc on drivers: ITD assists 14 drivers with paperwork for damage/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: But this wasn’t just any pothole. It was roughly 4 feet long, 12 inches wide, and 7 inches deep. With some vehicles it flattened one tire; with others two.

Question: Will you have to have your vehicle realigned after this winter of ruts and potholes?

Other Side: Jim & Brian On Patrol In Iraq

Some days we went on as many as four missions. Sometimes we patrolled, other times we picked up prisoners, often we made runs through town to the police fort. Matt Shipp, one of the twins we’ve been following, is on the “jump team.” He’s typically one of the vehicle commanders and it’s his team’s job to head off whenever a patrol or an errand is run. These guys are out all the time, day and night. They don’t act a bit nervous, but I can tell you Brian and I always got pretty freaked out whenever we crossed “the wire” and headed down the sand roads into town. Even more nervous as we cruised the narrow streets. Frankly, there were times when it was terrifying. The windows in these things are small, but even the narrow view revealed streets lined with rubble and trash. Couldn’t help but think of IEDs/Jim Hagengruber, The Other Side. More here

Idaho Blog roundup: Questioning patriotism/Adam’s Blog; Calculated malice/Fort Boise; Of kerfuffles/MountainGoat Report; and Wolves were moving south before reintroduction/Rocky Barker.

Online Poll: Favorite Pie

The Idaho Statesman will hold its sixth annual Culinary Walk About Contest. This year’s chefs chose pie as the theme. What is your favorite kind of pie?/Idaho Statesman

*Don’t like pie

DFO: Other (strawberry rhubarb)

Girl, Boyfriend Confess To Killing Father

Item: Teens linked to gruesome slaying: Father allegedly killed by daughter, boyfriend with baseball bat, wrench, sword/Meghann M. Cuniff, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Dan Wortham was killed Friday night in what police believe was a premeditated attack by Jackie Wortham (left) and her 18-year-old boyfriend, Edmund D. Washington (right). The teens confessed to the killing Monday afternoon and have been charged with first-degree murder, said Spokane police Lt. Dave McGovern.

Question: Teen violence against parents seems to be on the increase. Why?

Wild Card/Monday — 3/24/08

Well, the weather (wo)man calls for spring time weather today. And that bright blue sky outside my second-floor window seems to indicate that’s a good prediction. Dunno about you, but I’ve about had all the winter I can take this year. It’s time to get onto things like gardening and mowing lawns. I’m ready for it. I’m also ready for a busy week here at Huckleberries Central. So, let’s play this Wild Card — and get on with it …

Eagle Eye: LCDC Should Aid Ed Corridor

I think it is a good economic plan to develop an educational cooridor. We cannot live on tourism alone. The cooridor will provide good paying jobs which is what we need. I gripe alot about LCDC and the things they do that I believe are outside of their mission. If LCDC can help create this educational cooridor this will be their biggest accomplishment by far. Not the 20 story condos or this fancy “village” where people live in 500K condos above a Barnes and Noble.The creation of this cooridor could be the best thing that has happened in this area since the construction of the CdA Resort and it could have an equal economic impact/Eagle Eye.

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 3/24/08

“Robins were loving the weekend rain and the puddles that provided worms for the taking,” writes Kerri Thoreson, OnLocation North Idaho. “Signs of spring are everywhere in beautiful North Idaho!”

Stout-hearted men … and women. All sizes, ages and shapes. 4000 of them. Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, friends and lovers. Gone. I find the timing of the fifth anniversary of this war, the 4000th lost American and Easter an interesting convergence of events. Unlike the legend of Easter where Christ rises from the dead, these 4000 will not. They are lost forever to their families and to their country. All the potential they carried within them, all the life not yet lived, lost - forever/Dogwalk Musings. More here

HBO Numbers (for week of March 16-22, 2008): 45,669 page-views and 27,536 unique views.

*Passing quietly into that good night/From A Simple Mind
*Say it ain’t so … it ain’t!/Slight Detour
*Mad Kane Haiku/Tumblewords
*Every body deserves respect/JeanC’s Cat House
*The Easter henhouse/Far Corner
*On CNN/Arch Druid
*Easter economics/A Family Runs Through It
*Easter Sweets/A Butterfly Moment

CHS’ Griffitts Named Girls’ Player Of Year

Twin Fall’s Amber Petersen (white) fights off the Coeur d’Alene High Viking Kama Griffitts (Blue) for a lose ball in the paint. The Idaho Statesman named Griffitts as the girls’ basketball Division 5A player of the year here.(Steve Conner/Steve Conner Photography)

Stewart: Here’s Winking At You Kid — Or Not

Patricia went to the Shore Lounge with her husband and some friends on March 16 for an evening of fun. Upon arriving at the night club, she saw her friend, Chad, was there with his girlfriend. They all sat down to next to each other and alcohol started flowing. Patricia and Chad’s gal pal don’t like each other one bit. They’re not on speaking terms and Patricia’s friendship with Chad isn’t as strong as used to be. To keep things pleasant, Chad and Patricia have devised a “winking” system they use to exchange “hellos.” Chad’s girlfriend saw the wink and went over the brink. She started yelling, “Hellloooo” at Pat. Patricia informed the woman that she wasn’t going to be speaking or winking to her anytime soon. Then, Chad’s main squeeze reached over Chad’s shoulder’s and allegedly hit Patricia with a beer bottle in the forehead a couple of times/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here

Question: Any advice that you’d give the winkers in this situation?

Daily Briefing: Cougs, Peeps, Poles

Some angry people contacted editor Steve Smith over the weekend because they didn’t like seeing sports stories on page A1, that such exposure for sports stories takes up space that can otherwise be used for non-sports news. “College ball is the closest we get to having a team in the Super Bowl,” said assistant city editor Dave Wasson who said it’s perfectly reasonable to have the recent WSU coverage appear on the front page/Thuy Nguyen, Daily Briefing. More here

SR Blog roundup: Idaho softball previews here and here/Greg Lee, Sportslink; Filming in Spokane: Attitude check/Gary Crooks, A Matter of Opinion; Sen. Murray hosts foreclosure discussion/Parker Howell, Here’s The Dirt; 7th District race for Sump’s seat/Richard Roesler, Eye On Olympia; and Resurrection at the Rainbow/Brian Immel, Video Journal.

Question: Would you have played NCAA basketball game stories involving Washington State and Gonzaga on the front page last week?

Forbes Ranks CdA 21 Among Best Small Places …

… for business and careers. The Lake City scores high in job growth (No. 3) but flounders in “educational attainment” (No. 91) here. Pocatello (at No. 22) is the only other Northwest town in the Top 25.

Athletic Prowess Spurs College Applications

Item: ‘Flutie Effect’ is real, study shows: NCAA title can boost applications 8 percent/Associated Press

More Info: Gonzaga was virtually unknown in most parts of the country until it broke into the national tournament in the mid-‘90s. The Bulldogs have been in the tournament every year since 1999, and during that time enrollment has grown from just over 4,500 to nearly 7,000, said Dale Goodwin, a university spokesman. Inquiries have jumped from about 20,000 per year to 50,000, and Gonzaga attracts students from Eastern states where it doesn’t recruit.

Family Phil (who sent the link): Another reason why it’s so important for the UI to get back on track with football and basketball.

Question: Like it or not, does the “Flutie effect” underscore the need for Division 1 schools to field top-notch football and basketball teams?

And The Winners Are …

Jim Hansen from the left-leaning advocacy group United Vision for Idaho made an astute observation over the weekend. For 35 lawmakers — a full one-third of the Legislature — the election season basically ended at 5 p.m. Friday. They’re running unopposed, both in the May 27 party primaries and the November general elections. That never bodes well for the process/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here

Unopposed In North Idaho:
Kootenai County Prosecutor: Repub Barry McHugh
Bonner County Prosecutor: Repub Louis Marshall
Shoshone County Commissioner District 1: Demo Vince Rinaldi
House District 2A: Demo Mary Lou Shepherd
House District 3A: Repub Jim Clark
Senate District 5: Repub Jim Hammond
House District 5A: Repub Bob Nonini
House District 5B: Repub Frank Henderson

Question: Four of 15 legislative seats are uncontested in North Idaho. Do you believe Panhandle Democrats did a decent job fielding a slate of candidates this year.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 3/24/08

Emily Shih, formerly Emily Hwaung, holds the note sent in a 1987 class project that was recently found in Alaska, On Friday, in Seattle. About 21 years passed between the time Shih put the message in a soda bottle and Merle Brandell, not pictured, picked it up on the beach. Story here. (AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey)

Spotlight: Composer Jim Cockey creates ‘An Idaho Symphony’ (with audio) here

1. Idaho: With a candidate for the U.S. Senate who’s legally changed his name to just “Pro-Life,” Idaho’s top election official is worried that voters might be confused – and vote for both “Pro-Life” and the candidate of their choice in the crowded race for retiring Sen. Larry Craig’s seat here/Spokesman-Review. Randy Stapilus’ view

2. Washington: Washington State University is getting ready to start building the first new dorms on the Pullman campus in 37 years, as part of a 10-year, $200 million plan to improve student housing here/Spokesman-Review.

3. Poll: 76% of 601 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll believe convicted killer Claude Dallas walked out of prison rather than cut his way out in 1986, according to legend.

4. IMHO: Another assault on Idahoans’ initiative power/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune; Grocery tax rebate finally a done deal/Moscow-Pullman Daily News; and UIdaho’s basketball hire is a do-over from 2006/Dale Grummert, Lewiston Tribune.

5. Blogosphere: Why seniors won’t budge/Dogwalk Musings; Wolf advocates not satisfied with state recovery numbers/Rocky Barker; and Otter’s drug treatment puzzle/MountainGoat Report.

6. News Roundup: Child who was smothered to death gets head stone/KTVB; Outdoor Life ranks 5 Montana towns high for fishing/Missoulian; Billings City Hall window damaged by turkey/Billings Gazette; Gates’ $25M gift will help WSU fund global animal school/SR; and Washington, Idaho officers stipped of badges/SR.

Orbusmax Special: Hoax Craigslist ad costs man huge property loss here.

Pro-Life Rattles Idaho GOP Establishment

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa proposed new legislation this morning to deal with candidates who legally change their name to a political slogan, and the confusion that could create for voters when those slogans appear on the ballot. Idaho has such a candidate this year – “Pro-Life,” who is running for the U.S. Senate as an independent (he formerly was known as Marvin Richardson, pictured). The bill would still allow the politically charged legal name to appear on the ballot, but would require such names to be followed by a parenthetical statement, “A person formerly known as…”/Betsy Russell, SR Eye on Boise. More here (Jim Risch mum on issue here)

Question: What do you think of Marvin Richardson’s name change to Pro-Life, to run for the U.S. Senate?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 3/24/08

In his weekly warrants roundup, sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger introduces you to felon scofflaws (from left) Donald Miller, Jared Brown, Shawn Capps and others here.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, Spokesman-Review

*$300,000 house to be given away/Coeur d’Alene Press — Good luck.

*Clark Fork High grad looks for break in Nashville music scene/Rick Moore, Bonner County Daily Bee — Gotta admire the young man for pursuing his dream.

*Airport’s future at stake: Board members say improved Sandpoint airfield would encourage new businesses/Amy Cannata, SR Handle Extra — A healthy airport is crucial for robust little communities like Sandpoint. Get ‘er done.

*Blotter Fodder: Wink, wink led to big stink/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press — Alcohol, plus two gals that don’t like each other, equals a nice write-up in police blotter and beyond.

*NIC’s Sentinel wins Best of Show in national competition/SR Handle Extra — Adviser Nils Rosdahl’s student newspaper has replaced the wrestling team as the perennial national champion in its field. Saaa-lute.

Statesman: Don’t Buy Idaho House Snake Oil

House Republican leaders won their battle over local-option taxes Friday. And the Idaho Constitution lost. The House voted 51-19 on an ill-conceived local-option plan. Lawmakers say they are trying to break the deadlock over local taxing authority, and give Idaho voters a chance to settle the issue in November. Don’t buy it. This doesn’t really help local governments and local voters pay for their needs. To make matters worse, lawmakers have cynically co-opted the state Constitution in the name of political expediency/Idaho Statesman. More here

North Idaho legislators voting to make it harder for Idahoans to approve popular local-option taxes (which allowed Kootenai County to expand the local jail while providing property tax relief): Marge Chadderdon, Jim Clark, George Eskridge, Hagedorn, Phil Hart, Dick Harwood, Frank Henderson, Bob Nonini, Mary Lou Shepherd

58 Seconds From World Crawling Record

Laura D’Asaro, 17, trains for her attempt to break a Guinness World Record for the fastest time to crawl a mile at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle Wednesday. After three weeks of practice, D’Asaro is within 58 seconds of surpassing the record: 23 minutes, 45 seconds. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, John Lok)

Claude Dallas’ Escape Story May Be Myth

Item: ‘86 prison break remains a mystery: Investigators say facts undercut story of Claude Dallas’ escape/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman

More Info: Rumors challenging the official account were widespread in law enforcement circles. The doubts were so serious that in 2001 the Idaho attorney general, Ada County sheriff and Idaho Department of Correction began an 18-month investigation. Their theory: Prison officials faked the fence-cutting to cover up the fact that Dallas outsmarted his keepers and simply walked out the front door with a group of visitors shortly before 8 p.m. on March 30, 1986.

Question: Do you view Claude Dallas as an Old West-type anti-hero or a cold-blooded killer?

Eye Opener: U.S. Death Toll In Iraq Reaches 4,000

A US soldier gives high five to an Iraqi kid as residents return to the neighborhood of al-Amil in Baghdad, Iraq, in February. Al-Amil’s residents had fled the area from the sectarian violence in 2006. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

Item: US Death Toll in Iraq War Hits 4,000/Associated Press

More Info: A roadside bomb killed four U.S. soldiers in Baghdad on Sunday, the military said, pushing the overall American death toll in the five-year war to at least 4,000. The grim milestone came on the same day that rockets and mortars pounded the U.S.-protected Green Zone, underscoring the fragile security situation and the resilience of both Sunni and Shiite extremist groups despite an overall lull in violence.

Question: Do you know someone who has been killed or seriously wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan?

Cropduster Drops In On Palouse Fairgrounds

Cropdusting crew service members work to disassemble a cropduster which crashed into the pavilion area of the Palouse Empire Fairgrounds Saturday, outside Colfax, Wash. The pilot walked away from the crash, which took down two sets of power lines and damaged a fence. No one was injured in the incident. Story here (AP Photo/Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Dean Hare)

Clark: Interactive Colon Presents Much To Digest

So I was hanging around inside a 20-foot, pink, plastic colon the other day and … Hey. Stop snickering. Right now! Today’s column is scientific in nature. I won’t have it degenerating into a stream of sophomoric potty humor. So please. Let me do my business. As I was saying, the traveling Super Colon exhibit rolled into the Providence Auditorium at Sacred Heart Medical Center for a special Friday and Saturday appearance. What a colon: ribbed walls, red veins, white-rimmed openings at each end … Super Colon reminded me of one of those air-filled bouncy games for kids, except you can’t rent Super Colon for birthday parties. Which is a darn shame, because Super Colon is one terrific crowd pleaser/Doug Clark, Spokesman-Review. More here

Question: Did you visit the interactive colon?

Morgan: Wagner’s Hofbrau Not Real German Deal

re: Wagner’s Hofbrau gets thumbs up

Walked in there the other day to see if it was indeed a German restaurant. Unfortunately, it is an eatery with a German name and maybe a touch of Bavarian decor. I would not really call it a German restaurant. I lived in Germany for 5 years and my expectations were quite high. I was hoping for something like the Rhinelander in Portland. Nonetheless, it does seem to be a nice deli-style with just enough sauerkraut to fool some into believing their name. Sorry folks, this is not the real dealJohn Martin.

Old Inmate: Bodman’s Advice Helped Turn Me Around

I have been arrested multiple times by Bodman when he worked in Kootenai. He has always treated me with respect as long as I was respectful. There was this one time I was an @##$$#@% and he straightened that up real quick. Anyways when he arrested me for theft(The last time I have ever been arrested. 7yrs ago)he gave me a minute of his time and some advice of changing paths and bettering myself. He gave me a phone number for help, something no one had ever done for me. It changed my life I went back to school/college got an AAS degree and am now married and living a respectful life/The Old Inmate.

WND Poll: Easter

Question: What does Easter mean to you?/WorldNetDaily

1. It’s just another Sunday
2. It’s almost impossible to get into my favorite restaurant
3. I can sit in front of the TV all day watching the March Madness Sweet 16 series
4. It’s a pagan holiday adopted and adapted by Christians to deal with the death of their religion’s founder
5. It’s a day to keep family traditions alive – chocolate bunnies and egg hunts
6. It’s the one day of the year I go to church
7. It’s a reminder that those we love who have died continue to live in our hearts
8. It gives me hope that there’s life after death
9. Christ’s resurrection assures me that God accepted the sacrifice Jesus made for my sin and that, by trusting him, I too shall live forever
10. Other

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Kuraitis: This Californian Wants To Serve Idaho

Hal Styles lives in Southern California, and he’s never been to Idaho. But he’s running in Idaho’s open Republican primary for United States Senate. From his home in Desert Hot Springs, just a few miles from the better-known Palm Springs, he returned my call and exuberantly held forth. “The reason I want to be the U.S. Senator from Idaho? It’s one of the western states and I must stay in the west, and everything I’ve heard about Idaho is beautiful and gorgeous, and I want to serve America, it’s in my blood. What better place than the Senate where I can serve the desires and wishes of Idahoans and then come home and say OKAY, TEAM! What do you want, what do you like?” Styles refuses to tell his age but his life story puts him in his 70s or early 80s. He says he’s “moving to Boise sometime soon but I can’t say exactly when”/Jill Kuraitis, New West Idaho editor. More here

Question: Do you have a message for our idealistic friend from California who wants to represent Idaho in the U.S. Senate?

WSU Cougar Wild Card — 3/22/08

Washington State will take on Notre Dame at 3:40 p.m. (PDT) today for a chance to advance to the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. You can read the pre-game story at the web site. Also, Nick Eaton has penned an interesting story re: the spiritual side of WSU Coach Tony Bennett and some of the Cougar basketball players. While you’re waiting for the game to start, you can use this Wild Card for your own threads …

Poll: 1 In 5 Dems Would Vote For McCain …

if their candidate — Clinton or Obama — doesn’t win nomination/

Question (for Demo HBO readers): Are you concerned that the divisive Democrat nomination process this year will cost your party the November election?

Handle X Hucks: Poor Marbles Is Dead & Gone

Marbles the Rat is no more. The furry mascot of Cottage Childcare and Learning in Post Falls didn’t recover from a recent severe illness. And is now buried behind the shed, with a flower designating the tiny grave. The pre-schoolers marked their pet’s passing by offering their comments, which were duly compiled and sent home to parents on an 8-by-11-inch sheet of paper. Youngster Cooper, for example, believes matters would have turned out differently had Marbles the Rat bothered to get a flu shot. “Now,” writes Cooper, Marbles “is playing with Jesus and every other rat in heaven. Maybe they’re playing Candyland.” Molly also has a fun-and-games view of heaven, where Marbles and God are now playing “Rememory.” Tannis, another pre-schooler, sees a silver lining in Marbles’ demise: “I don’t like it that she died, but she’s in heaven with Kelly (my dog). Kelly is licking her.” Cadan, meanwhile, commented bluntly, “Marbles is gone and dead.” No sugar coating there/D.F. Oliveria, SR Handle Extra. More here

Question: How do you dispose of your dead pets?

PatrickW: Spokane Will Pay For Otto Zehm Tragedy

Otto Zehm will be remembered as a good contributing citizen who unfortunately was savagely beaten and ultimately murdered by ignorant poorly trained SPD officers. The cover-up of this is pathetic.Officer Karl Thompson Jr. should be at least terminated and charged(if possible)for beating Otto unmercifully. SPD needs to get rid of all these rogue cops to ensure public safety.From guns in bars to batons..When does it stop? Spokane needs the ombudsman now and it’s laughable to think that the police guild should have anything to do in determining which “incidents” are reviewed… or not. The City of Spokane is going to pay big time for this tragedy,and rightfully so. But it won’t bring Otto back. The Center for Justice should be applauded for seeing this thru/Patrick Wheeler.

Ciaobino: I Hated Selling Girl Scout Cookies

I hated selling Girl Scout cookies when I was a kid; really, REALLY hated it. And that was back when we thought nothing of going door to door by ourselves. I’d sell my minimum requirement as quickly as I could and then spend the rest of the year dreading the next sale. So now I buy a couple of boxes - from the kids, never from the pushy parents at work - because I remember how hard it can be for a shy little girl to go up to total strangers, smile and put herself out there like that/Ciaobino.

Question: Did you dread selling cookies, candy, etc., as a kid for various school and organizational fund-raisers?

Update: Police Investigate Rathdrum Murder

A North Idaho man is in the hospital facing murder charges after authorities say he shot his wife to death, then turned the gun on himself when sheriff’s deputies arrived. The man’s 21-year-old son arrived at his parents’ home near Gunning and Altamont roads north of Rathdrum late Monday afternoon and was told by his father that he had just killed his mother, according to Kootenai County sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger. The son found his mother dead inside the home and called a family member, who called 911 about 5 p.m., Wolfinger said/Meghann M. Cuniff, Spokesman-Review. More here

Full Sheriff’s News Release Below

Parting Shot — 3/21/08

“After dining on a road kill, a bald eagle cleans its beak by rubbing it on a dead limb,” posts Chris Peterson/Glacier Magazine. “The summer edition of Glacier Magazine will feature a spread on bald eagles, both in the Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park.”

7 Running For Bonner County Sheriff …

… including incumbent Elaine Savage and former sheriff Chip Roos. Final Bonner County Courthouse list of candidates here

Californian, 13 Others In Race To Replace Craig

Item: Californian among 14 candidates to replace/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise

More Info: Hal Styles Jr. has never been to Idaho, but he’d like to be the state’s next U.S. senator. Styles noted that current Idaho Sen. Larry Craig is leaving office, “as well he should,” and said, “Idaho being one of the 10 best places to live and heavily Republican, which is what I am, I thought, well, this particular man can no longer serve the constituents well, and I can. So I threw my hat in the ring.” Styles was one of 14 candidates to file for the post by today’s 5 p.m. filing deadline, including eight Republicans.

Question: Have you decided who you want to replace defamed Larry Craig as one of your 2 U.S. senators from Idaho?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 3/21/08

“Not to be outdone by the first day of Spring’s little flurry of fluffy white flakes, Day 2 roared into North Idaho with more serious snowfall, several inches blanketing the landscape,” posts Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho. “This marble lion, on Highway 41 just south of Rathdrum, sums up the month of March … out like a lion, indeed.”

The snow continues to pile up. That deck I finally cleared two nights ago will again need shoveling–-once this morning’s dump slides off the roof. Of course, then we’ll have this afternoon’s dump to contend with. Even the bare lawn circles around the tree wells are shrinking this morning, keeping the robins’ worm-hunting areas limited. Yesterday I was telling Elaine Clark how I’d screamed a few expletives out loud in the solitude of my house after once more deciding, “Well, I can always vacuum.” All the outdoor plans for yesterday were washing down with the worms, as snow continued to fall throughout the day/Marianne Love, Slight Detour. More here

HBO Numbers: 7879 page-views and 4701 unique views

*Going, going … gray/Mrs. Mac Energetic
*Firing range aftermath/Bay Views
*Home-schoolers call it quits/A Family Runs Through It
*Today/A Butterfly Moment
*Lawerence Denney’s hissy fit/Arch Druid
*What manner of men are these/Dogwalk Musings
*Lettin’ the good times roll/The Far Corner
*Things I don’t understand/From A Simple Mind
*Friday at last/JeanC’s Cat House

Confirmed! UIdaho Hires Utah State Coach

The University of Idaho has hired longtime Utah State associate head coach Don Verlin as its men’s basketball coach, a spokeswoman for Utah State said Friday. The USU spokeswoman said interim athletic director Ken White confirmed Verlin’s acceptance of the Idaho job/Greg Lee, SR Sportslink. More here

Believe It Or Not: Jury Foreman Sent Helm Flowers

The leader of the jury that acquitted Clifford Helm of vehicular homicide charges last week bought him a bouquet of spring flowers following the high-profile Spokane County Superior Court trial and had them delivered by a Deer Park florist. Rebecca Backstrom, who served as the presiding juror in the three-week trial, confirmed that she sent the modest arrangement to Helms’ Deer Park home as a “goodwill gesture” after an emotional trial but reacted angrily to being questioned about it by The Spokesman-Review. “People need to mind their own business,” Backstrom, a 35-year-old Spokane student, said in an interview/Karen Dorn Steele, Spokesman-Review. More here

Question: At News Is A Conversation, Editor Steve Smith is wondering if this is a front-page story?

A WCC Winner: San Diego 70, UConn 69 (OT)

The San Diego bench reacts as teammate De’Jon Jackson (not shown) hits the game-winning shot in overtime against Connecticut during an NCAA West Regional first-round tournament basketball game today in Tampa, Fla. San Diego won 70-69. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

Quotable Quote: Leave Me Be, Girl Scouts

I’ll be the one to say it. Girl Scout cookies suck. I know it’s for a good cause — little money grubbers out in cute green outfits and pig tails — but they’re just not as good as everyone makes them out to be. I hate this time of year. They all sit outside of every store I want to go into … waiting, lurking, ready to pounce. They are the wildcats stalking their prey; I am the innocent just-want-to-buy-some-freaking-Band-Aids-at-Winco bystander. Leave me be, Girl Scouts. I don’t want your stinking cookies/Christina Lords/UI Argonaut (“Off the Cuff”)

Question: Do you mind being approached for donations at the entrance to stores by Girl Scouts or other charitable organizations?

Child Rapist Who Baby-Sat Galpal’s Kid Jailed

A child rapist classified as a violent sexual predator in Idaho is headed back to prison. Joshua R. Bradley pleaded guilty Thursday to failing to register as a sex offender twice in as many months. In one instance, the Rathdrum man was found living with his girlfriend in Post Falls and baby-sitting the woman’s toddler. After being released from jail and awaiting sentencing on that charge, Bradley was caught not living at his registered address. When sheriff’s deputies showed up to arrest him, they found him hiding on a roof/Taryn Hecker, Spokesman-Review. More here

Sportslink: 3 Sources Say Verlin Next UI Coach

At least three reports have surfaced that say longtime Utah State men’s basketball assistant coach Don Verlin will be named head coach at Idaho on Monday. The Deseret Morning News in Salt Lake City, and have reported that Verlin will be hired. Pfeifer was fired Tuesday after two seasons. The Vandals were 12-48 under Pfeifer including 8-21 this season. Verlin, 42, just finished his 15th season as an assistant under head coach Stew Morrill. He was with Morrill at Colorado State for five years and Utah State for the last 10 seasons/Greg Lee, Sportslink. More here

SR Blog Roundup: Lieutenant governor to be knighted/Eye On Olympia; CBS’s Schieffer to hang around/On The Air; And the ally award goes to, Anne Hathaway/Out on the Town; Family-friendly workplaces/Parents Council; and Zola: A first look/Taste of the Town.

CdA Land Slated For Dog Park, Shelter

Item: CdA land slated for dog park, shelter/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Coeur d’Alene, Kootenai County and Kootenai Humane Society officials unveiled a proposal today that would transform about 7 acres of the old garbage landfill off Ramsey Road, across from the Kroc Community Center, into a dog park. An adjacent chunk of land is where the Kootenai Humane Society wants to build a $3-to-$5-million animal shelter, where Coeur d’Alene animal control officials would bring stray dogs and cats.

Question: What do you think of this proposal?

Miami 78, Saint Mary’s 64, WCC 0-2

Miami guard Jack McClinton (33) looks to pass the basketball away as Saint Mary’s guard Patrick Mills (13), of Australia, applies pressure in the second half of a first-round game at the NCAA men’s basketball tournament South Regional on Friday, March 21, 2008, in North Little Rock, Ark. McClinton scored 38 points in Miami’s 78-64 win. (AP Photo)

Spirit Lake Demo To Take On Harwood

C.J. Rose has filed to run for Idaho House District 2B B as the Democratic challenger for R.J. Harwood. She smiles as she says, “The initials are close, but we’ve got some different viewpoints on the issues.” Education and Senior Care are her big concerns (C.J. Rose press release).

HBO @ Noon: Favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

Item: C is for Cookie: Watch out for roaming Brownies: Girl Scout cookies go on sale today/Scott MacDonald, UI Argonaut

More Info: Cookie Monster had the right idea. If the blue monster lived in Moscow, he’d be in heaven as Girl Scout cookie sales begin today and run through April 13.

Question: Which type of Girl Scout cookie is your favorite?

TUBOB: Oh, Thanks For The Call, Condi

Item: Passport security breach on McCain, Clinton & Obama: State Department contract employees fired, another disciplined for looking at passport file/ABC News

Condi Rice has personally called Obama to apologize for the passport breach, where some allegedly low level contract employees read his passport computer files. Nothing serious! We’re sorry, just some dorks fooling around but we fired em! It’s all cool, man. This is flat out Repugnican dirty tricks and if you believe otherwise you are a diaphanous winged rainbow sparkle fairy flapping about stupidly in Lala Land. And, you buy a lot of swamp land in Florida, sight/site unseen. Whatever was in his passport files of prurient or negative interest are guaranteed to end up used against him by McCain and his slavering, evil goon machines. Makes me sick/TUBOB. More here

Blog Roundup: Pledge of Allegiance flap/Adam’s Blog; Forbes ranking is annoying/IdaBlue; Minnick on health care/Mountain Goat Report; and Finally, Richardson endorses Obama/Red State Rebels.

Question: How do you view these breaches of candidate files?

Idaho Filing Deadline Today @ 5 PM

Item: Jim Clark seeks seventh term in Idaho House
Item: Mike Jorgenson will run for re-election to Senate

You can follow today’s filings for Kootenai County candidacies at this link here and for Idaho statewide and legislative candidates here

Student Who Brought Guns To School To Remain Jailed

Item: Former student to remain in jail: Psychologist argues Brian Gilmore is no longer a threat to anyone/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: The troubled former Lake City High School student who brought a carload of guns to school in January shouldn’t be locked up with hardened criminals, his clinical psychologist argued. First District Judge Fred Gibler said he would allow Brian Gilmore to be transferred to a secure mental institution, provided his family can find one that will accept him. “There’s no evidence at this point he would do anything like a Columbine,” Dr. Daniel Hayes said Thursday during the bond reduction hearing. “He shouldn’t be incarcerated.”

Question: Can society take the chance of releasing this troubled student?

JillK: Pledge Doesn’t Make, Break Patriots

re: House Speaker to press: Say pledge or get lost

Saying the Pledge doesn’t make you patriotic, and not saying the Pledge doesn’t make you unpatriotic/Jill Kuraitis, New West Idaho

Family Phil: UIdaho Men’s Cagers Have A New Coach

Fox Sports is reporting: Less than a week after firing George Pfeifer after two years at the helm, Idaho is expected to announce Utah State associate head coach Don Verlin as his successor on Monday night. According to sources close to the situation, a news conference is scheduled for 8 p.m. Monday. Verlin, 42, has been with Utah State coach Stew Morrill for the past 15 seasons — including 10 with the Aggies. Story here/Family Phil.

Eye Opener — Gonzaga Vs. Davidson @ 9:30 AM

Dan Pelle/Spokesman-Review

Gonzaga’s Michah Downs dishes a pass to David Pendergraft during practice Thursday in the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC. The Zags take on Davidson on Friday in the 1st round of the Men’s NCAA Basetball Championships. Game story

Item: Some hoops fans can’t get a (fast) break from work/Bert Caldwell, Spokesman-Review

KeithinCDA: Hey JIMMYMAC! I got a big table reserved at 9AM at the Fort Grounds Grill for breakfast and the game. Gonna be 5-6 of us and I’m sure we can round up more seats. … C’mon down!

JimmyMAC: Keith, I would love to but I have an important meeting at … argh!!! 9:30. Seriously disheartening but the developer (bad word, right) is a fan and we have a plasma in my conference room. I’ll come down afterward if I can get out of the office. GO ZAGS!!!

Question: Will you be able to watch the Gonzaga-Davidson game from work this morning?

Parting Shot — 3/20/08

Rajah Bose/Spokesman-Review

Steve Meier of Sacred Heart takes a peak at the Super Colon, a giant blow-up replica of a human colon that travels to country to teach visitors the dangers of Colon Cancer, at Providence Auditorium near Sacred Heart Medical Center today. The exhibit will be open to the public Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Otto Zehm — 2 Years Later

Otto Zehm died two years ago today after a series of events that started at a cash machine outside a bank in north Spokane. The death of the 36-year-old mentally disabled janitor triggered public demands for a full-time police ombudsman, launched a federal criminal investigation, and prompted a $2.9 million damage claim against the city. While those issues remain unresolved on this two-year anniversary, a clearer picture is emerging about the events leading to Zehm’s death. There appears to be general agreement that the tragedy involved misperceptions, miscommunication and mistakes/Bill Morlin, Spokesman-Review. More here

Hear: Doug Clark’s “Ballad of Otto Zehm” (scroll down and click on link)

Question: When it’s all said and done, what will be Otto Zehm’s legacy?

WSU 65, Winthrop 34 (3:38, 2nd Half) …


Winthrop center Andy Buechert, center, loses control of the ball as Washington State center Aron Baynes, left, of Australia, and forward Daven Harmeling come in to cover in the first half of a first-round NCAA East Regional basketball game in Denver this afternoon. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

At The Courthouse …

… A Berry Picker was leaving from work a few minutes ago when she noticed a small billboard in the back of a pickup truck in the parking lot that said: “Vote out Rick Currie.” Seems the race is on.

It’s My 2 Cents — Puffed-Up Lawmakers

I’m amused by the elected tin gods who are bedeviling reporters and staffers in the Idaho and Washington Legislatures — House Speaker Lawerence Denney, Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis and Washington Sen. Pam Roach, among others. You know these peacocks are getting full of themselves when they (Denney) start noticing small stuff, like who is or is not pledging allegiance to the flag. Or who is or is not (Davis) suppose to be in the press section. Or when they (Roach) treat staffers like personal slaves. Outside of Boise and Olympia, guys like farmer Denney are ordinary people who are lucky if the cows listen to them. At the Statehouse, however, they’ve spent the last three months hobnobbing with other tin gods, being wined and dined by high-paid lobbyists, and strutting through the halls of power. Some of them forget that it’s the office, not the man or woman in it, that attracts deferential treatment. However, some of them can’t hide their pettiness behind the important offices they are privileged to hold.

Pigeon Passion

AP File Photo

In spring the fancy of this dove
will lightly turn to thoughts of love,
and since their modesty is scanty
one sometimes sees them in flagrante.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Washington Has Power Trippin’ Solons, Too

Item: State Sen. Pam Roach bullied staffers, says reprimand/Niki Sullivan, Tacoma News Tribune

More Info: State Sen. Pam Roach has been banned from contact with any employee of the Senate Republican caucus after Senate party leaders say she forced employees to work excessively long days and demanded they pledge their loyalty to her. … In addition to the loyalty pledge, the Auburn Republican asked staff members to spend an “inordinate amount of time” with her, complained about other senators and created an “intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment,” according to the document, signed by the four members of the Senate GOP leadership

Pam Roach letter in entirety/Rich Roesler, Eye On Boise

OnLocationNI: Out Like A Lion

“The first day of spring arrived with an inch of snow,” posts Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho. “But it’s North Idaho and it’s March so no surprises here.”

Eye On Boise: Senate OKs Grocery Tax Relief

A move to send the grocery tax relief bill to the amending order failed 10-25, and then the Senate voted 27-8 in favor of the bill, sending it to the governor’s desk. The move to amend was for fear of the out-years financial impact of the bill. “Next year’s budget is going to be even more difficult without the passage of this,” warned Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert. Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, the bill’s Senate sponsor, said, “We know there are concerns about the financial impact of this bill. It’s a big deal”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here

Eye On Boise roundup:
*Dems’ transportation bills introduced
*House OKs higher fees for lake violations
*Review of sales tax exemptions fizzles

Are You Ready For Some March Madness

Dan Pelle/Spokesman-Review

Gonzaga coach Mark Few chats with Billy Packer of CBS Sports during practice Thursday at the RCB Center in Raleigh, NC. Gonzaga opens with Davidson Friday morning, while Washington State plays Winthrop in Denver later this afternoon.

Giant, Inflatable Colon Is Interactive

Worts: Hey DFO, I am surprised you and/or Doug Clark haven’t picked up on this one

The Providence Cancer Center at Sacred Heart Medical Center and Holy Family Hospital will present the Super Colon, an 8-foot-tall, 20-foot-long replica of a human colon from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Providence Auditorium at Sacred Heart on Ninth and Rockwood. The inflatable, interactive colon (shown above two years ago in New Mexico) will teach visitors about colorectal cancer. Information: 474-5490.

DFO: An interactive, inflatable colon? What will they think of next? Interactive journalism?

HBO’s Local Headlines — 3/20/08

Lake City basketball coach Jim Thacker, is shown in this 2006 SR file photo by Tom Davenport, within days of collecting his his 500th win, against Post Falls. Story here

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, Spokesman-Review

*Snow blankets first day of spring/Thomas Clouse, Spokesman-Review — Winter without end, amen.

*Huckleberries: Sali mailings a waste of our money/D.F. Oliveria, SR Prairie Voice — Congressmen are addicted to their franking privileges, no matter how conservative.

*Local celebrities dance-off for kids: City councilman, TV personalities, others featured in fundraiser for CYT/Sherry Ramsey, SR Prairie Voice

*Sandpoint armory plan regains traction: Idaho National Guard putting off a project to pursue this one/Keith Kinnaird, Bonner County Daily Bee — An area that’s known for good recruitment figures deserves a nice armory.

*‘I just think it’s wrong’: Group gathers on war’s anniversary to protest, urge pullout/Bill Buley, Coeur d’Alene Press — CdA protesters deserve props for making their point peacefully, unlike demonstrators in Portland, Ore.

Question: If the players are supporting Lake City High boys’ basketball coach Jim Thacker … where’s the problem? Seems like he was turning the program around.

Sali: Mexican Consolate In Idaho Could Aid Illegals

The planned opening of a Mexican consulate office in Boise is causing serious concerns for many Idahoans. Other Mexican consulates provide services that help illegal immigrants evade U.S. law and gain access to services at taxpayer expense. Idahoans expect a consulate in our state will do the same. I think they are right. But editorial writer Tom Henderson laughed off my comments as nothing more than rumor mongering and paranoia [editorial, March 15]. He is wrong to be so sarcastic and dismissive. Readers of the Lewiston Tribune deserve better/U.S. Rep. Bill Sali, Lewiston Tribune. More here

IMHO Roundup:
*Floating home owners but prisoners of marinas/Tom Henderson, Lewiston Tribune
*To prevent murders hospitalize psychotics/Clayton Cramer, Idaho Statesman
*Admiration, pity rolled into one/Dan Hammes, St. Maries Gazette-Record

Question: Does Congressman Sali have a legitimate concern — that the presence of a Mexican consulate in Boise would aid illegal immigrants?

State Can’t Take Helm’s License Despite Fainting

Item: State can’t take Helm’s license despite fainting/Karen Dorn Steele, Spokesman-Review

More Info: The Washington Department of Licensing says it’s powerless to revoke Clifford Helm’s driver’s license even though he claims to suffer from a medical condition that causes him to faint. The condition, known as “cough syncope,” figured prominently in Helm’s acquittal last week on vehicular homicide charges stemming from a 2005 crash that killed five children north of Spokane. But state officials say Helm, who doctors testified can faint while behind the wheel of a car during serious coughing fits, still has a valid driver’s license and can keep driving legally unless they are notified by a police officer or medical professional that he’s a danger to others.

Question: What’s wrong with this picture?

Online Poll: Checkers, Anyone?

Idaho will be the first state to offer a statewide chess curriculum. What other games do you think would help children learn?/Idaho Statesman.

*Card games
*Trivial Pursuit

MarkN: Mill Jobs Better Than Tax Breaks For Developers

re: DeArmond Mill closure

It seems that lots of folks are very excited about getting that very valuable land and forgetting about the jobs that are being lost. We make lots of noise about affordable housing and good jobs. The fact is we give tax breaks to developers who either tear down affordable housing for condos or rejoice over land they can get that used to provide jobs for generations of Idahoans. I mourn the loss of DeArmond/Stimson. I used to work there. My heart goes out to those who are losing their jobs. I wish the CDA council cared as much/Mark Normington

Eye Opener: Poetry Appreciation

Colton Elementary students learn about poetry and how to write it from author Kenn Nesbitt, of Spokane Wednesday in Colton, Wash. (AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune, Barry Kough)

Question: Which poem is your favorite?

Iraq War Anniversary Wild Card — 3/19/08

I don’t know whether I’m better off today than I was 5 years ago. I’m older. But I’m still kicking, in relative good health. I don’t think this country is better off today than it was 5 years ago when it invaded Iraq. We’re still divided. Then, we’ve been divided for the last 16 years. Through two presidents. Lincoln once said: A nation divided against itself cannot stand. I wonder how much longer this country can stand if we continue on the current road? Mebbe that’s why the 2008 presidential election means something. It offers hope of a new direction. It would be nice to unite behind a leader again. Now, for your Iraq War Anniversary Wild Card …

Chicken Pox Affects Dozens @ Spokane School

Item: Chickenpox outbreak affecting North Spokane school/KREM2

More Info: Several dozen Garfield Elementary School students - 222 W. Knox - may be kept out of school until an outbreak of chickenpox has ended, or until their parents can provide proof of vaccination or immunity.

Question: How old were you when you got chicken pox?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 3/19/08

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho

The long awaited water features at the I-90 on-ramps at Spokane Street are just weeks away from completion, posts Kerri Thoreson, OnLocation North Idaho. Water will flow over the granite slabs in a three-diminsional welcome to Idaho’s River City. The town’s namesake falls are just a few blocks south of the freeway.

Pecky Cox’s countdown to spring

Just a few days ago, I was downtown Coeur d’Alene and looked at the sawmill and wondered how long it would be until it too turned into more Riverstone like property. Riverstone property once used to be the source of income for this area with a large lumber mill, as well. The headlines yesterday answered my question about the old mill, and the old way of life here in this area. I’ve known many people who have worked in these mills over the years, and now they have had to find a different way to make a living. Personally, I would rather have the mills than the hundreds of condos and all the pavement/concrete that line the riverfront now, making it so you can’t even see the waterway/Live, Love, Laugh, Hope. More here

HBO Numbers: 7685 page-views and 4563 unique views.

*On the anniversary of war/Arch Druid
*14 questions with BentPenny/Get Out! North Idaho
*Can’t buy me love/Notes On A Napkin
*Meet me in MonTANa/Slight Detour
*Even worse than baby food/Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts
*Another new T-Shirt announcement/JeanC’s Cat House
*Jim Hagengruber’s blog/Hauser Thoughts
*Got hope?/From A Simple Mind
*Bedtime stories/A Family Runs Through It

NIC Sentinel No. 1 College Paper — Again

Nils Rosdahl just called from a Denver airport to report that The Sentinel won first place in general excellence (for full-size papers) last night at the National College Media conference in New York.

Hat Tip: Taryn Hecker

Boise No. 2, Spokane No. 9 On Forbes Biz List

Boise is the second best place in the country for business and careers, according to Forbes magazine. The publication released its annual list of the 10 top cities Wednesday.

1. Raleigh NC
2. Boise ID
3. Fort Collins CO
4. Des Moines IA
5. Lexington KY
6. Atlanta GA
7. Richmond VA
8. Olympia WA
9. Spokane WA
10. Knoxville TN

Complete list here

UI’s Spear Hunts For New Basketball Coach

University of Idaho athletic director Rob Spear flew to an undisclosed location Wednesday afternoon to begin interviews for the next men’s basketball coach. Spear said he had four initial interviews lined up. He was doing his first interview Wednesday evening and expected to conclude sometime Friday. He declined to disclose names of the candidates, saying he was meeting them at a “central location”/Greg Lee, SR Sportslink. More here

Related: Pfeifer speaks, no one else does at UI: Spear silent, athletic department asks Vandal players not to comment on their coach’s dismissal/Aaron Wasser, Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Vox Box: ‘A Disenchanted Playroom’

I was sent this link yesterday. It is a photo series by “Wolfram Hahn.” I’ve never heard of him, but the photos are pretty telling.

“The children depicted in this series are between three and twelve. Their regards are sad, with facial expressions rather to be associated with adults, unusual for children this age. They regard a spot below the camera; focusing on something in that space not revealed to the viewer. As such they seem lifeless like dolls, or bodies bereft of their spirits.

These kids were photographed watching TV. To show how sensitive children react to this mass medium and on what level their emotions are exposed to the surface of broadcast transmissions: the subtle charm of real life is lost when under the influence.”

QUESTION: What is your first reaction after watching the slideshow? How much TV do you watch a day?

Bad Omen For Mariners’ 2008 Season?

On Tuesday, colleague Meghann Cuniff snapped this photo of a motorist who obviously roots for the Seattle Mariners. However, the license plate number should send shivers through religious practitioners: “666” (as in the “mark of the beast” of Revelation). She shot the photo at the stoplight at Appleway and Ramsey Road Tuesday. Is it a bad omen about the 2008 M’s season?

Question: Does the number 666 get you nervous?

News Diary: Will Race Debate Last Long?

Barack Obama’s speech about racial division on Tuesday captured extensive play across all media platforms yesterday. The speech captured front-page play in many of this morning’s newspapers, preceded by lots of cable airtime and debate on internet sites. I’ve long suggested that race is the defining issue in this country. And it always will be. So as a journalist and citizen, I welcome this debate, difficult and messy as it might be. Only time will tell if his speech helps sustain the discussion across the country, or whether the collective attention span of an easily distracted electorate will quickly skip to the next message of the day/Gary Graham, News Diary. More here

Question: Do you think race will remain a dominant issue in the campaign, or is this week’s focus just a short-lived phenomenon?

Question: Where Will Ed Corridor $$$ Come From?

The closure of the DeArmond Mill in two months has pushed up the timetable for purchasing the property from developer Marshall Chesrown. Chesrown has purchased the property, along with the old IFI mill on Seltice Way, from Stimson. But has agreed to hang onto a portion of the DeArmond Mill site, adjacent to North Idaho College, for use as a future “education corridor” — a future site to be used for higher-education offerings, tying the UIdaho center (old Osprey building) to North Idaho College. But where will the money to buy the property from Chesrown come from? The urban renewal district? North Idaho College? The state? Anyone?

Dogwalk Musings: Keep An Eye On McCain?

We know John McCain is tied to the apron string’s of George Bush’s war policy - but to what extent? A lot has been happening on the Democratic side to divert our attention away from candidate McCain. We best multi-task for awhile. We know he intends to keep troops on the ground long term. We know he thinks anything less than “victory” is unacceptable. What we don’t know is just what “victory” is/Dogwalk Musings. More here

Question: Who’s position on Iraq do you support? John McCain’s approach to keeping troops in Iraq for the foreseeable future. The pullout over a short period advocated by Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton?

DeArmond Mill Closing In 2 Months

Item: CdA loses last sawmill: DeArmond to close in two months/Becky Kramer, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Coeur d’Alene’s last sawmill will process its final log in May, a casualty of the nation’s mortgage lending crisis and rising values for waterfront property. Stimson Lumber Co. gave its 60 hourly employees at the DeArmond mill a two-month notice on Tuesday. Workers weren’t surprised.

Question: What is the best future use for the DeArmond Mill site? Another mill, high-end housing, education corridor, or other?

WND Poll: Gun Ownership

Item: Supremes weigh your ‘keep, bear arms’ right: ‘If only bad guys have guns, then bad guys are in charge’/WorldNetDaily

Question: How should the Supreme Court rule in the 2nd Amendment case?

1. It should be courageous and completely ban civilian gun ownership
2. Uphold Washington D.C.’s gun ban
3. Uphold the gun ban, since our nation has evolved far beyond the need for militias and guns
4. Authorize reasonable restrictions
5. Let laws stand as is, let local regions come up with own rules
6. Reject the ban, as the 2nd Amendment guarantees the right for citizens to keep and bear arms
7. They should strike it down to set a strong precedent
8. Toss the ban, as the inalienable right to armed self-defense was established before the U.S. Constitution
9. Dispense with all gun restrictions nationwide
10. Other

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here

OrangeTV: Thai Bamboo

I’d actually snuck into the new Cd’A Thai Bamboo during their opening week for some takeout Swimming Rama, but the lobby was too crowded at the time with hungry looky-loos to get much of a feel for the vibe of the place. When I ordered, the counter girl had given me the spiciness option of one to five stars, with five the hottest. I usually like lots of hot curry spice, so I chose four stars. Half-hour later, I was on my couch eating and watching the hilarious comedy “Superbad” while sobbing, tears pouring uncontrollably from my eyes. Not tears of sadness or tears of joy, but tears of pure spice. Swimming Rama is a favorite of mine, with tender white chicken pieces sautéed in a thick and spicy peanut sauce and poured over fresh spinach leaves and rice, but I’d never experienced the dish so spicy before. It was really good but a bit much even for me, and for the next few days, the leftovers came in very handy as a nasal decongestant/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here

Question: If you’ve tried the new Bamboo Thai restaurant on 4th Street (which was packed aroud 6:30 this evening when I walked past), did you like it?

Wild Card/Tuesday — 3/18/08

My son was telling me that his first duty upon his return to medical school next month is to learn how to do, ahem, sensitive exams — you know, ones that involve fingertips and coughing. Seems individuals volunteer to be examined by the medical students. Sorta like that “Seinfeld” episode featuring Kramer and Mickey. Now, it’s one thing to donate your body to science for postmortem examination. But who’d want to undergo a rectal exam in the name of science. Again and again? Junior sez the models require a certain amount of recovery time. That should go without saying. Now, for your Wild Card …

ISP Report On Bonner County Fatal Accident

DATE: 03/18/2008
TIME: 06:09 am
ASSISTING OFFICERS/AGENCIES: Cpl. Greear, Cpl. Yount, Bonner County

INCIDENT INFORMATION: The Mercury Tracer was SB on US95 near MP 456 when Zantow lost control of her vehicle and was sideswiped by the Ford Explorer. She then slid into the NB lane and was struck on the drivers side by the Ford Expedition as well as in the rear by the Geo Tracker. The Ford Probe was unable to stop before rear-ending the Ford Expedition.

Details Below

Some Countries Consider Beijing Olympics Boycott

Item: Calls Mount for Olympic Ceremony Boycott/Associated Press

More Info: Moves to punish China over its handling of violence in Tibet gained momentum Tuesday, with a novel suggestion for a mini-boycott of the Beijing Olympics by VIPs at the opening ceremony. Such a protest by world leaders would be a huge slap in the face for China’s Communist leadership.

Question: Should the United States boycott the Beijing Olympics to protest China’s handling of violence in Tibet?

HBO’s Best of the Friends’ Blogs — 3/18/08

I made a post on the frontpage of MyDD today about the Clinton-Obama stalemate, proposing that party elders coalesce around a nominee by offering Clinton the Senate Majority Leader position once all the states have voted. Yes, I am an Obama supporter, but I would happily flip this scenario around but for one reason: I think Clinton’s skill set (attention to detail, strong relationships, ability to crack heads) is better fit for legislative leadership than Obama’s, and Obama’s vision and inspiration is better for national leadership than Clinton’s. This idea comes not out of an idea to see Obama take the White House, but because I don’t see any other way to break the stalemate before the Convention - the remaining states don’t seem likely to do so/Wayward Episcopalian More here

HBO Numbers (for Monday, March 17): 7859 page-views and 4577 unique views

Blog Roundup:
*Wright flap can’t fix what’s wrong with GOP/Adam’s Blog
*War in Iraq explained in simple terms/Atmospheric Rumination
*Good things about marriage, Part 6/Chronic Discontent
*Stein Bros. IGA/Gathering Around The Table
*Love actually is all around/PDX Pup
*A blogging break/Sam The Reporter

Marshmellow Peeps, Anyone?

In this 2003 file photo, boxes of Marshmallow Peeps are lined up at the Just Born factory in Bethlehem, Pa. Just Born Inc. is celebrating its 55th year of adorning Easter baskets and satisfying sweet tooths with the colorful confections. (AP Photo/Rick Smith)

Question: If your favorite Easter candy isn’t marshmellow peeps, what is?

Extra! Ron Paul Makes Idaho Primary Ballot

John McCain may have clinched the Republican nomination for president, but Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa is still willing to give Ron Paul a chance. Ysursa announced the May 27 presidential primary today, and in so doing said Paul was on the ballot. Which will make Ron Paul fans very, very happy. “He hasn’t backed out yet,” said Tim Hurst, deputy Secretary of State. In making his judgement call about Idaho’s ballot, Ysursa said Idaho law has two ways for presidential candidates to get on our ballot. One way is to have your candidacy “generally advocated or recognized in the national news media.” Can’t say that Paul isn’t still talked about, but somebody find us the “generally advocated” part. The other way to get on the Idaho ballot for president is to file a declaration of candidacy and pay a $1,000 fee. They’ve got until April 7 to do that/Boise Weekly.

Question: Anyone out there still care that Ron Paul is still a U.S. presidential candidate?

Online Poll: Favorite Sporting Event

What is your favorite annual sports event?/Lewiston Tribune.

*NCAA basketball tournament
*Super Bowl
*World Series
*NBA Finals
*Stanley Cup
*Masters golf tournament
*Daytona 500
*Wimbledon tennis tournament
*National Finals Rodeo
*Kentucky Derby
*BCS football title game

Eye On Boise: ‘Congress Will Figure It Out’

Sen. Shirley McKague, R-Meridian, was put on the spot in the House State Affairs Committee this morning about her joint memorial to Congress decrying illegal immigration, which contains statements like “illegal entry into the United States by tens of millions of illegal immigrants … should be considered an invasion” and “The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) are being used to nullify the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution”/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here

SR Blog roundup:
*Supremes and the Top 2/Jim Camden, Spin Control 2.0
*Thin Slices, Peeps & $250B/Thuy Nguyen, Daily Briefing
*Headlines that make you wince/Gary Graham, Daily Briefing
*Hayden considers redevelopment standards/Parker Howell, Here’s The Dirt
*All you can say is “Hogwarts”!/Dan Webster, Movies & More

Question: What do you think of join memorials like McKague’s (on illegal immigration) which make a political statement but carry no weight of law?

KMPO Transportation Blog: Icy Roads

After a little rain and a hard freeze, the bridges on I-90 and Highway 95 were sheets of ice during the commute hours this morning. I’ve lived in Idaho most of my life, and never have I seen an effort to slow traffic down like the one I saw this morning in Post Falls. Idaho State Patrol, Kootenai County deputies and local police were staged along the freeway between the Spokane Street exit in Post Falls and State Line. They were escorting traffic in both the eastbound and westbound lanes. They also lit road flares to alert unsuspecting drivers of the danger. Still, of course, there were those who were caught off guard. Many of them wound up in the ditch or worse. I saw that pickup pictured above that looked like it went over the Jersey barriers and rolled about 20 feet down the embankment just past the westbound I-90 onramp at Spokane Street/Jeff Selle, KMPO Transportation Blog. More here

Question: Did you see any weather-related incidents this morning?

Huckleberries Hears …

… that the DeArmond Mill, adjacent to North Idaho College, will close within 60 days. City officials were informed about the pending move this morning. Stay tuned.

From Iraq w/Love

Dan of the County’s daughter, Mamie, waves hello to readers of Huckleberries Online from her station at Ramadi.

ISP Investigating Cocolalla Fatalities

Patchy ice, mainly on bridges, was to blame for several crashes region-wide this morning, including one that had two fatalities. Idaho State Police is reporting two fatalities in an accident at U.S. 95 and Blacktail Road, which is near Lake Cocolalla. It also has cleared multiple crashes on the Spokane Street Bridge of Interstate 90 in Post Falls. For more than an hour, troopers and Kootenai County Sheriff’s deputies slowed traffic over the icy bridge to keep more collision from occurring.

APhoto of the Day — 3/18/08

Chris Holloway for the Lady Moms team, and Leslie Austin for the Hawk Moms team laugh as they hit the floor battling for a loose ball Monday night at Skyview High School in Nampa, Idaho in the Battle of the Moms school fund-raiser. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune, Mike Vogt)

UI Fires Men’s Coach Pfeiffer

Item: Idaho fires men’s basketball coach/Greg Lee, SR Sportslink

More Info: George Pfeifer has been fired as the University of Idaho men’s basketball coach after two seasons, athletic director Rob Spear announced Tuesday morning. Pfeifer, who was 12-48 in two seasons with the Vandals, has one year left on his original three-year contract.

Question: Is this the correct action, given the fact that the Vandals won five games in WAC play this year?

Lady Bulldogs Don’t Share Postseason Joy

Gonzaga women’s basketball coach Kelly Graves pauses during a press conference after learning that his Lady Bulldogs would not be going to the NCAA tournament Monday. The team will play in the NIT Tournament.

Study: Top NCAA Seeds Lag Academically

Item: Study: Top NCAA seeds lag academically/Associated Press

More Info: North Carolina was the only school among the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA men’s tournament to graduate at least 50 percent of its players. A report released Monday found 86 percent of Tar Heels men’s players earned diplomas during a six-year period. The other top seeds were far worse: 45 percent at Kansas and 40 percent at UCLA and Memphis.

Question: Does it matter to you that the nation’s top college basketball teams are more interested in what players do on the court than in the classroom?

Eye Opener: Obama Plans Race Speech Today

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., kisses the hand of Maddie Williams from Clarks Summitt, Pa, Monday as Maura Flynn center, looks on at The Society of Irish Women St. Patrick’s Day Celebration in Scranton, Pa. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Item: Obama plans major race speech today: Pressed to address issue amid controversy over pastor/Politico

Question: Will Obama’s pastor’s extreme statements sound the senator’s political death knell?

1. No, Rev. Wright is hard-edged, but he’s correct
2. No, we’re not electing Obama’s pastor
3. No, Obama’s speech will set everything right
4. No, Americans’ memories are short, so this won’t be a big factor
5. It’s still too early to tell
6. It will probably alienate some voters, but Obama will win the nomination
7. Yes, Clinton’s surrogates in the media have saturated the coverage
8. Yes, Obama’s ties to Rev. Wright are incontravertible evidence Obama is also an America-hating racist
9. Yes, I’m so glad something is exposing Obama for the evil for which he stands
10. Other

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Parting Shot — 3/17/08

Greg Carr, addressed the crowd at North Idaho College on Monday as the keynote speaker for the Popcorn Forum Convocation Series Symposium. He is embarking on one of the largest individual commitments in the history of conservation projects in Africa with a pledge of $40 million over the next 30 years to restore Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. Carr will also be the keynote speaker at the annual Human Rights Banquet tonight.

What Not To Wear — Hillary Clinton

Item: Why does Hillary Clinton wear such bad clothes?/Hadley Freeman, The Guardian

More Info: Clinton doesn’t tend to wear her dress up to her hips, and it’s unlikely that she would even if Fr West hadn’t counselled her against it. But the two suggestions in his statement - that she is a woman and therefore dangerously sexy, but also a woman and therefore a tedious maternal nag - go some way to explaining the sexless, lumpen style that Clinton has settled on for her presidential campaign.

Question: Does Hillary Clinton dress poorly during her campaign appearances?

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 3/17/08

Information about STD prevention and contraception are important, but too often our treatment of human sexuality in relation to teens stops there, light years away from finishing the picture and telling them other things they need to know about having sex–like how it can impact their emotions, their relationships, and their futures. For example, studies show that teenagers who are sexually active are almost three times as likely as their non-active peers to suffer from depression and to attempt suicide. There are correlations between teen sexual activity and a broad range of negative experiences, including increased drug use, higher dropout rates, and less successful marriages later on/Katrina, Notes On A Napkin. More here

HBO Numbers (for March 9-15, 2008): 44209 pageviews and 27441 unique views.

*Horton hears — a what?/UnMuted Mumblings
*iPod Nana giveaway/Family Phil
*Dream a little dream/A Butterfly Moment
*Interesting discussion on Huckleberries Online/Arch Druid
*Chicken little is alive and well/Bay Views
*Shooting across the bow/From A Simple Mind
*Slowly getting better/JeanC’s Cat House
*Weeds/Otis G Experience

Iraq Prayer

AP Photo

God bless our troops with gentle grace
and keep them safe in that far place.
Bless too those innocents who dwell
in fear there, on the edge of hell.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Breaking! Gonzaga’s Spitzer To Step Down

Christopher Anderson/Spokesman-Review

The Rev. Robert J. Spitzer (shown above being greeting outside his office by a student this morning) announced today that he will step down as president of Gonzaga University after a 16-month transition into new leadership. Spitzer said he plans to leave his post in July 2009, according to a school press release. Spitzer, who is completing his 10th year as the university’s 25th president, plans to continue writing and presenting on ethics, faith, leadership, metaphysics and philosophy after he steps down/Spokesman-Review. More here

DeLeon: Did You Name Your Boy Sue?

No, my daughter isn’t named after a nightclub. That’s what I told an acquaintance new to town when she asked about the origin of my child’s name. Zola – a cool and eclectic pub and music venue in downtown Spokane – just recently opened, I informed her. My Zola was born 20 months ago. When we were choosing baby names, I never thought that I’d ever meet another Zola in Spokane, let alone see her name in bright lights each time I drive by Main Avenue. That’s why I had to read “A Boy Named Sue and a Theory of Names,” a story in this week’s New York Times. Here’s an excerpt: “Studies showed that children with odd names got worse grades and were less popular than other classmates in elementary school. In college they were more likely to flunk out or become “psychoneurotic.” Prospective bosses spurned their résumés. They were overrepresented among emotionally disturbed children and psychiatric patients”/Virginia de Leon, Parents Council Blog. More here

SR Blog roundup:
*Name it after Larry Craig/Thuy Nguyen, Daily Briefing
*Condo market addendum/Parker Howell, Here’s The Dirt
*Oh so fine wine/Jill Wagner, Out on the Town
*China pulls down YouTube, Google News/Tom Sowa, TXT
*And it’s a wrap for Washington Legislature/Rich Roesler, Eye On Olympia

Question: What’s the story behind your child’s name? Any “Boy Named Sue” stories of your own to tell?

HBO @ Noon — Church Splits

As someone who’s lived through not one, but TWO church splits as a teenager, I watched my parents struggle with the internal strife of a church body. There were those who disagreed with the pastor, and those who didn’t. I watched my parents support one pastor, while work to remove, peaceably and amicably, another, for remarks that were less than favorable/Toadman, Synaptic Disunion. Full HBO comment here

Question: Have you ever been through a church split?

News Diary: Will You Watch NCAA Tourney @ Work?

The annual NCAA basketball tournament makes March the best month of the year for many sports fans. The Spokane region, already blessed with the success of Washington State and Gonzaga, gets an extra bonus this year with the Sweet Sixteen round of the women’s tournament coming here at the end of the month. It’s going to be a busy time for our sports reporters and photographers. Jim Meehan, Steve Bergum and Dan Pelle will be flying to Raleigh to cover the Zags, while Vince Grippi, Nick Eaton, John Blanchette and Chris Anderson will be making the trip to Denver to follow the Cougs/Gary Graham, News Diary. More here

Question: Will you be allowed to watch the Cougs or the Zags while you are at work? If so, will you watch it on TV or on your computer screen?

Jim & Brian In Iraq To Continue Shipp Series

Above, Jim Hagengruber (left), former SR staff writer, and Photographer Brian Plonka reported from Baghdad on America’s old Humvees add new luster to Iraqi fleet: Last week, the first of 8,500 refurbished US military patrol vehicles hit the streets of Iraq, for the Christian Science Monitor. Jim and Brian are also continuing their series of reports on the Shipp twins (Matt and Robert) from Hauser Lake for the Spokesman-Review. You can read a weekend message from Jim below.

Human Rights Banquet Features Carr

Item: Human rights banquet features philanthropist Carr: Also, NIC Popcorn Forum to kick off today/Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Philanthropist and Idaho native Gregory Carr will be the keynote speaker at the 11th annual Human Rights Banquet. A reception will be held at 6 p.m. followed by the banquet at 7 p.m. tonight at the Best Western Coeur d’Alene Inn. Carr will speak about “The Status of Human Rights on the Global Scene,” which will be focused on his humanitarian work in Africa.

Question: How would you rate the state of the human rights movement in North Idaho today?

March Madness Has Arrived

Washington State fan Angela Buri, right, of Colfax, Wash., and her sons Noah, 3, center, and Isiah, 7, cheer as Washington State’s fight song plays before a NCAA tournament selection event began on Sunday in Pullman. (AP Photo/Dean Hare)

Question: Who will win the national championship this year?

Iraq Invasion: 5 Years & Counting

Item: A sobering anniversary: 5 years in Iraq/Dan Webster, Spokesman-Review

More Info: We Americans love to celebrate anniversaries. We embrace marriages and birthdays, plus a few important dates – July 4th, say, or New Year’s Eve – and treat them mostly as excuses to party. When it comes to war, though, we tend to act differently. As anniversaries go, we adopt a more sober attitude, especially when the dates in question refer to a war’s beginnings.

Question: This week marks the 5th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Has your opinion of the invasion changed from then until now?

Eye Opener: Irish? Or What?

Dan Pelle/Spokesman-Review

Bryan Smelcer has only one thing on his mind as he stands in line at O’Doherty’s Irish Pub waiting for the start of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Spokane on Saturday.

Question: Today, of course, is devoted to the Irish and St. Patrick. However, hundreds of nationalities make up this great melting pot that we call the United States. What is your dominant nationality?

Wild Card/Sunday — 3/16/08

I spent the day watching a “Lord of the Rings” marathon, as I continued to recuperate from the crud that laid me low last week. I’m feeling better. But I’m not about to go dancing. I just need more R ‘n R, to be in shape to return to the CDA office on Monday. Dunno if I’m still radioactive. But I do know that I don’t want to prolong that Mother of All Cruds that I contracted last week. Or to pass it on to someone. Nasty bugs. I’m hitting the sack early tonight. So all I have for you is this Wild Card. Enjoy your Sunday. Elsewhere, I believe, Editor Steve Smith is leading a discussion of the rapidly approaching 5th anniversary of the Iraq invasion (at the News Is A Conversation blog). You might want to tune in there today. Or you can simply use this Wild Card to start your own thread …

My Lai Massacre — 40 Years Later

Children touch a model of dead cow at the house of Do Phi’s family restored after being burned down by U.S. solders, during the 40 year anniversary My Lai massacre in My Lai in Quang Ngai Province,Vietnam, Saturday. The My Lai Massacre was the mass murder of unarmed citizens of the South Vietnam, mostly civilians and majority of them women and children, conducted by U.S Army forces on March 16, 1968, during Vietnam War. (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)

Question: What do you remember most about the Vietnam War?

Hayden Makeover Stirs Things Up

Item: Highway to Hayden: Proposed building code along Government Way causing controversy/Amy Cannata, SR Handle Extra

More Info: The downtown Hayden transformation started last year with sidewalks and street trees could rebuild more than a mile of Government Way over the next two decades into a pedestrian-centered urban core with storefronts along the street, parking in the back and enhanced public spaces. Many of the changes are contingent on passage of a proposed Central Business District Overlay Ordinance. That ordinance would impose stringent building and design standards on properties flanking Government Way between Prairie Avenue and Miles Avenue. It’s a bold effort for the city of 13,000 people – one that is not without controversy.

Question: What do you think of Hayden’s new downtown look?

MikeK: Local-Option Bill Will Hamstring Local Government

re: Idaho seeks to limit local-option taxes

I certainly support local control and local option authority, but this bill is a complete sham. This is going to centralize control in Boise more than ever, and ensure that local folks can’t get a fair say in how we determine our futures locally. I sure hope the Idaho Senate kills this wrong-headed election-year bill. This bill is about GOP primary politics in southern Idaho, not good government. If this idea is so good, why don’t we put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that every single special interest sales tax exemption passed by this legislature should be put to a vote of the people and has to be passed by a 66 2/3 majority? There is no difference. I hope our North Idaho legislators don’t get duped by this southern Idaho power-play bill/Councilman Mike K.

OrangeTV: CDA To Celebrate St. Paddy’s w/Parade

Certainly, those who really take St. Paddy’s Day to heart know that only bold, bright true green will do the trick, and it should be worn loudly and proudly. However, when getting the kids dressed, be careful not to go overboard with the idea. In Ireland, the color was long considered to be unlucky; the favorite color of the Fairy Shoemakers who liked nothing better than to snatch away children wearing too much green. It’s better to be safe than sorry, but realistically, unless you reside near certain metropolitan boutique districts, Fairy Shoemakers are a very minor concern in modern times. If you decide to bring the family out to downtown Coeur d’Alene today at 4 o’clock for the annual St.Patrick’s Day Parade, it might be prudent to bring an Irish Fairy Swatter just in case/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here

TGIF Wild Card — 3/14/08

I can’t say I’ll be sorry to see this week go. It was a tough one launched by the crud on Monday and continuing through today and probably into this weekend. I haven’t even had time to enjoy Junior’s success with his dissertation defense last week in Denver. I’ll relish it when I get better. And I plan to be back at Huckleberries Central on Northwest Boulevard Monday. Time to check out here. Your Wild Card …

St. Paddy’s Parade On Tap Saturday

Item: St. Patrick’s Day parade ready to roll/Jim Kershner, Spokesman-Review

More Info: The St. Patrick’s Day parade, a March tradition in Spokane for 30 years, winds through downtown Saturday, beginning at noon. This parade is always a grass-roots affair, organized by volunteers with the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. Floats and bands are interspersed with guys driving green pickup trucks. More than 125 entries have already been accepted, and the grand marshal will be Mark Rypien, former Super Bowl MVP quarterback. This year you might even see a Hollywood star: Christian Slater.

Question: When was the last time that you were part of a parade? What did your entry feature?

Up On The Roof

Paul Webster, principal of Marsing Middle School, works his laptop on the middle school roof in Marsing, Idaho, today. Webster challenged his students that if they read and scored 3,000 accelerated reader points in the third quarter of the school year, he would spend the day on the roof. Webster paid off the bet Friday, since the students reached their goal of 3,100 points. (AP Photo/The Idaho Press-Tribune, Mike Vogt)

APhoto of the Day — 3/14/08

Olivia Allison and Jenna Randall from Britain perform during the Syncro Duet Free Routine preliminary competition at the European Swimming Championships in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, earlier today. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Bas Czerwinski)

Top Cutlines

1. Late in his presidency, Ronald Reagan was quite pleased when informed that his team was winning the arms race — MikeS.

2. Olivia couldn’t prove it, but she suspected that the high concentration of pharmaceuticals in the water might be having some unintended side effects — ThomG.

3. Fans get what they are waiting for as the first publicty still from “Alien VII” is released — Arpie.

HM: Cabbage Boy

Clifford Helm Acquitted

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Sandy Helm, right, listens to her husband, Clifford Helm, say a few words to the media at the Spokane County Courthouse after he was acquitted Friday in the deaths of the Shrock children in a car accident

KREM2 video

Clifford Helm, who blamed a medical conditon for causing an accident that killed five children, was acquitted today by a Spokane County Superior Court jury. Prosecutors argued that Helm’s negligent use of a cell phone caused the tragedy. Helm, 58, faced five counts of vehicular homicide and one count of vehicular assault in the Nov. 1, 2005, head-on crash north of Spokane near the intersection of Hatch Road and U.S. 395. The crash killed five children of Jeffrey and Carolyn Schrock: Carmen, 12, Jana, 10, Carrina, 8, Jerryl, 5, and Craig, 2/Spokesman-Review. More here

Question: Surprised?

Celebrating St. Paddy’s Day Early

Briahna Grace, a 13-month-old Savannah native, watches the city’s St. Patrick Day parade today from the lap of her uncle Dylan Grace in Savannah, Ga. The date of the parade was changed because of a quirk in the 2008 calendar that places Monday the 17th during Holy Week. It happens only about once a century. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton)

Question: How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

1. Wear green
2. Pinch people who don’t wear green
3. Visit an Irish pub
4. Kiss Irish people
5. Plant potatoes
6. Ignore it altogether

S&S Herb: F&G Evicts Baywinkle Moose From Bayview

Baywinkle, sound asleep, is on his way to a rural area North and East of Bonners Ferry, Idaho. This all expenses included trip was sponsored by Idaho Fish & Game, after numerous requests from local residents, fearful that children might be harmed. The Bull Moose, sans antlers, has been hanging out in Bayview since before Christmas, as deep mountain snows blanketed the surrounding areas. Many originally thought he was a female, since no antlers. Research shows however that moose do not shed every year, but usually every other. Some close calls have been experienced since he moved in, at times eating out of peoples hands, (to be discouraged) and others, charging in anger/S&S Herb, Bay Views. More Info

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 3/14/08

A variety of Montana specialty license plates are on display in the basement of the Cascade County Court House in Great Falls, March 5, 2008. Picking out a license plate can be an overwhelming experience. With more than 86 specialty license plates to choose from in Montana, it’s no easy decision. (AP Photo/Tribune, Stuart S. White)

1. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton confirmed Thursday she’ll be in Montana next month for the state Democratic Party’s annual dinner in Butte - and state party officials said they expect her opponent for the nomination, Barack Obama, to be there as well here/Missoulian.

2. A juror in the Clifford Helm vehicular homicide trial called in sick Friday, meaning deliberations have to start from scratch as an alternate takes that juror’s place here/KXLY.

3. Posing as a Craigslist buyer to get a better look at the suspects. A drive-by stake-out of their home. Questioning store clerks. Tracking down surveillance footage and possible witnesses. A Spokane County sheriff’s deputy took those steps and others to solve an early February burglary of his car in which his wife’s purse with $300 and credit cards was stolen here/SR.

4. IMHO: Passing on Hillary/Shea Andersen, Boise Weekly; Cougs keeps refs out of it/John Blanchette, SR; and JFK theories will never be exhauster/Frank Mieli, Daily Inter Lake.

5. Blogosphere: The simple past/TUBOB; Tax chip/Slight Detour; and Nope to the “random and suspicionless”/Randy Stapilus.

6. News Roundup: ID thieves steal info from dead from database/KXLY; Local transit, IEA, & grocery tax/; M’s fashion more clever TV ads/Seattle PI; Southwest repairs 4 planes for cracks/KTVB; Man who killed wife, put her in truck, sentenced/KTVB.

Orbusmax Special: Corvallis named best green place in nation here.

HBO’s Local AM Headlines — 3/14/08

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Don Parker, right, and Lou St. John, left, talk about the old railroad tunnel they own on an old Milwaukee Railroad right of way and which they are hoping to sell. The two are business partners in a grain storage company in Tekoa, Wash. and they bought the tunnel with the thought of making it into grain storage, but it never worked out. Story here

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, Spokesman-Review

*Altercation prompts gun rumors at Priest River high/Nick Ivie, Hagadone News Network — Parents can’t be too careful nowadays.

*After hiatus, Mazda back in business in Kootenai County/Rich Thomas, Coeur d’Alene Press — I’ve never owned a Mazda. But I hear they’re good cars.

*Idaho bill to limit stun guns dies in committee/Associated Press — Law-abiding citizens carry stun guns?

*Time to burn: Officials hope to torch about 60 acres on Tubbs Hill to reduce fire danger/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press — So you reduce fire danger by torching Tubbs Hill? Works for me.

*Harwood to seek fifth term in House: Wants to continue fight for less government spending, lower taxes/Coeur d’Alene Press — Indian basher Harwood’s ability to serve 4 terms in the Idaho Legislature is proof that there’s still some fairly backward places in North Idaho

McCain: Iraq Pull-out Would Cause Genocide

Item: McCain: Iraq pull-out will cause genocide: GOP nominee-apparent warns of ‘chaos … across the region’/London Telegraph

More Info: My aspiration is that if we show success in Iraq that our European allies will come in and help out in the myriad of ways necessary to rebuild that tragic, war torn country,” he said, making it clear that he was determined to keep US troops in Iraq.

Question: As we approach the 5th anniversary of the Iraq invasion, which exit strategy to you support most? Immediate withdrawal? Phased withdrawal over 12 to 18 months? Something else?

Another Disappointing Season Ends For UIdaho

From left: Idaho players Barrett Brown, Sebastien Taulbee, head coach George Pfeifer, Jordan Brooks and Phillip Thomas watch the final minute from the bench against New Mexico State during the Western Athletic Conference basketball tournament quarterfinal Thursday at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, N.M. New Mexico State won 73-53. Idaho finished the season with an 8-21 record. Game story (AP Photo/Matt York)

Planned Parenthood: Racial Doughnation Didn’t Hurt

Item: Planned Parenthood says racist donation hasn’t hurt it/Erica F. Curless, Spokesman-Review

More Info Planned Parenthood of Idaho has had no decline in donations or demand for health services in the wake of accusations that it encouraged a donation aimed at aborting black babies. Officials apologized in February for an employee’s “serious mistake” for accepting a pledge from a donor — actually an actor hired by a student magazine — requesting the money go toward aborting a black baby because “the less black kids out there the better.”

Question: So what was the net effect of this squabble?

Eye Opener: Helm No Different Than Fred Russell — Hard 7

Christopher Anderson/Spokesman-Review

Surrounded by family and friends and carrying his newborn, Jeffrey Schrock and his wife Carolyn, right, arrive to testify in Spokane County Superior Court in Spokane, Wash. at the trial of Clifford Helm recently.

It came as a big surprise to a lot of people that you can kill five children in a head-on collision and not have to talk to investigators. Helm was within his rights. But Helm being within his rights and thumbing his nose at investigators didn’t really square with the feel-good stories about the forgiveness-fest at the hospital. He insinuated himself into the victims’ community and selfishly exploited their benevolence. While the Schrocks have shown an extraordinary capacity for grace, Helm has been trying to save his bacon/Rebecca Mack, SR Hard 7. More here

Question: Has Clifford Helm used the Christian benevolence of the Mennonite community to his advantage in his legal fight?

Parting Shot — 3/13/08

Addison Pemberton flies a restored Boeing 40C, which was the company’s first commercial passenger plane, over the Spokane Valley 2/17/2008 in its first test flight after a nine-year restoration project. The plane was scheduled to make its first public flight as part of a ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday at Felts Field. Photo courtesy of Addison Pemberton

Question: Is Helm Guilty In Schrock Deaths?

Item: Jury begins deliberations in Helm trial/Thomas Clouse, Spokesman-Review

More Info: The parents and most of the Mennonite community near Chewelah have forgiven Clifford Helm for the November 2005 crash that killed five brothers and sisters. Now it’s up to nine women and three men to forgive Helm, too, or send him to prison for a crash that attorneys on both sides described as a nightmare. The jury started just after 2 p.m. today deliberating the case in which the 58-year-old Deer Park man faces five counts of vehicular homicide for the deaths of the five children and one count of vehicular assault against their father, Jeffrey Schrock.

Rebecca Mack: Helm, Fred Russell kindred spirits

Question: Is Helm guilty of vehicular homicide?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 3/13/08

In the warm afternoon sun, four cats stay above the snow on a car in a yard in the village of Wabash, Ontario, Canada Wednesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press/ Dave Chidley)

Top Cutlines:

1. Having heard that politicans spend thousands of dollars at cats-houses, these furry babes wait their turn.
Purrrrr — Dick Haugen.

2. Police said the hungry cats devoured the body in the car over a matter of weeks, returning again and again to gorge themselves on its rotting flesh. “Just another day in Spokane,” said one officer — Brent Andrews.

3. Segregation lives in the feline population as well it seems — JohnA.

<>HM: A Token D

Trashing Of Spawning Beds Prompts Bill

A North Idaho developer who caused $1.4 million in damage to kokanee spawning beds in Lake Pend Oreille last year faced only a $2,500 fine, but under legislation that won unanimous approval from the Idaho Senate today, such violations in the future could bring fines of $10,000 or $1,000 a day – whichever is bigger. “It was perceived that because the penalties in place … weren’t sufficient to deter the person from making these changes, in other words it was a cost of doing business,” Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, told the Senate. A 30-day cease-and-desist warning is required under the bill, SB 1449, and the measure wouldn’t change requirements to restore damage/Betsy Z. Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here

Eye On Boise roundup:
*Grocery tax hearing done, vote set for Tuesday
*Honk, honk, honk
*Lake dock bill killed 5-4
*Constitutional change planned for local-option taxes

Washington Courts Reject Random Student Drug Tests

Item: Wash. court: random drug testing unconstitutional/Rachel La Corte, Associated Press

More Info: The Washington state Supreme Court ruled today that random drug testing of student athletes is unconstitutional, finding that each has “a genuine and fundamental privacy interest in controlling his or her own bodily functions.” The court ruled unanimously in favor of some parents and students in the lower Columbia River town of Cathlamet who were fighting the tiny Wahkiakum School District’s policy of random urine tests of middle school and high school student athletes.

Question: What do you think of the unanimous Supreme Court ruling?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 3/13/08

A row boat is navigated toward the frozen shoreline Wednesday of Mica Bay near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos)

1. The Washington state Supreme Court ruled today that random drug testing of student athletes is unconstitutional, finding that each has “a genuine and fundamental privacy interest in controlling his or her own bodily functions” here.

2. Another moose has wandered into a North Idaho community, but neighbors want wildlife officials to give this one some medical attention here/KREM2.

3. After two years and four months of silence, a slumped and weeping Clifford Helm finally spoke Wednesday about the accident he caused, killing five Mennonite children on Highway 395 north of Spokane. After his testimony, the defense rested its case here/SR.

4. IMHO: Forensics vital to law & order, needs money/Idaho Statesman; Bloodied but unbowed/Michelle Nijhuis, Inlander; and No matter how small/Ed Symkus, Inlander.

5. Blogosphere: Why I support Barack Obama/Synaptic Disunion; Going out of my mind/Dogwalk Musings; Local-option sales tax, Round 1/Kevin Richert; Music pirates: Time to start coughing up a poll tax/TXT; and There’s a hooker on Page 1/Daily Briefing.

6. News Roundup: Washington domestic partnership rights expanded/AP; Infant dies after post-crash C-section/KTVB; Powerball jackpot soars to $275M/KTVB; After 80 arrests, Spokane career criminal Eddie Hall is wanted again/KREM2; Tamarack Resort creditor sues, seeks foreclosure/New West Boise.

Orbusmax Special: Starbucks barrista, customer doing well after kidney transplant here.

Recession? Depression?

Jim Shively holds a gold Krugerrand coin at his North Dallas shop Thursday. Gold futures hit $1,000 an ounce for the first time Thursday, pushed past the benchmark by the sinking dollar and record crude oil prices. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)

Oil over $111, gold over $1,000 an ounce, home foreclosures up 60%. They are debating if we are in are recession. How do we know if we skipped over that and went straight into a depression? I know I’m depressed every time I fill up/Dan of the County.

Question: Are we in a recession? Are something worse?

Monkey Fan: Chico Didn’t Have To Die

I personally started the campain to save chico, I truely feel that it was a senseless killing. People are not getting all the facts, they are only getting what the editors want to print. Finally KHQ listened to me and realized that there was a need for the publics opinion, and lots spoke up. For and Against the Killing, but thats why the Questions were asked. People have the write to express there opinions, And I personally thank All those who HAVE. The point that nobody understands, is that this poor little monkey, did not have to die. If you go to the Washington State Health Website, they Make exceptions, for Expensive Pets and or Zoo Animals. They Recommend that the victims get the shots, and That instead of sacraficing the animal, the Quarentine it for 3-12 weeks/Jeff Saunders. More here

HBO Poll: Consolidated Elections

Item: Legislation aims to consolidate elections: Proposal designates one polling place per precinct/Betsy Z. Russell, SR Eye On Boise

Question: Which of the following types of election have you NEVER voted in?

1. General
2. Primary
3. School District
4. Municipal
5. Road District
6. Fire District
7. Sewer District
8. Hospital District
9. Other

Landers: Spokane Ranks Poorly w/Outdoor Mags

While the Zags are on the cusp of a national Top 20 ranking in college basketball, I’m pleased to announce that Spokane is nowhere near that high profile of recognition as an outdoors town. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the national radar is getting close to sniffing us out. Lewiston has been ranked No. 2 in Outdoor Life magazine’s just-released April issue cover story on Best Towns for Hunters and Anglers. Missoula ranked No. 11 in Field & Stream’s recent list of Top Fishing Towns. Coeur d’Alene is No. 32 among OL’s hunting and fishing towns. Meantime, Spokane is a lowly No. 118/Rich Landers, Spokesman-Review. More here

Question: How important to you is hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports?

SR: Chico The Monkey Had To Die

Let us begin with a moment of silence for Chico, the South Hill monkey euthanized Monday. Now let us move on to some common sense. The Spokane Regional Health District showed a lot of it by choosing the well-being of humans over animals. Chico might have had rabies. If he did, the three people Chico bit nearly two weeks ago were at risk for the fatal illness. The only way to know for sure was to test Chico’s brain tissue. He had to be put to sleep for this to happen/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here

East Valley HS Accused Of Violating Religious Freedom

Item: Lawsuit accuses school of violating religious freedom/Meghann M. Cuniff, Spokesman-Review

More Info:A recently filed lawsuit accuses a local high school principal of violating the rights of Christian students by prohibiting a group from using a student meeting room for religious purposes. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, a Newman Lake girl and her family claim East Valley High School Principal Jeff Miller prohibited she and four other students from gathering in the school’s career services room for religious discussion and prayer but allowed other students to meet there for non-religious purposes.

Question: Was East Valley High correct in denying the students a place to gather for religious discussion and prayer?

Hump Day Wild Card — 3/12/08

I’m still in quite a battle with the bug that I brought back from Denver. In the old days, I’d probably have missed a day or two of work — and then tried to gut out a few days at the desk, propped up with pills and cough medicine. But I quit doing that a few years ago. I figured I get better quicker by staying home. Also, I wouldn’t want to expose my friends at work to this stuff. Then, with the ability I have to post from home, I’ve hardly skipped a beat. I caught another nap this p.m. I’ll probably spend one more day at home before returning to work. This isn’t exactly what I had in mind when I returned from Denver with many happy memories. Now, for your evening Wild Card …

TUBOB: The Professor And Mary Jane …

We boys of the sixties were either Mary Ann or Ginger boys, although one could occasionally switch preferences, that was pretty much a demarcation line, in a decade marked by boundaries, compartments and splits. Ginger is now an elderly 74 years old and what about Mary Ann? Sweet Mary Ann? She’s a 69 year old weedhead. God. What a disappointment. Caught in her car with a crapload of half smoked doobs. Isn’t that just how you’d imagine a senior doper? Driving around in a car with four or five half smoked reefers stuck in ashtrays and consoles? Probably a sack of broken up Keebler fudge bars on the back seat next to some catfood. Ginger or Mary Ann? I usually picked Mary Ann although sometimes I kinda dug Ginger. I was a bit bi then/TUBOB. More here

Question: Did anyone ever pick Ginger only?

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

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer announces his resignation as wife, Silda, watches during a news conference at his office Wednesday in New York. Spitzer resigned in disgrace after getting caught in a call-girl scandal that shattered his corruption-fighting, straight-arrow image. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)

Top Cutlines

1. “I. Did not. Have. Sex. With that woman (Silda). In fact she made me pay for it elsewhere” — CindyH.

2. Spitzer’s plan for he and Silda to vacation at Sun Valley goes downhill quick when she questions it: “Idaho now, Elliot?” “Don’t be silly,” said her husband. “She still da ho, you still da wife” — John Austin.

3. But dear, she was only helping me with my zipper, it was stuck — Dusty Rhoads.

HM: MikeS

Weird: Woman Sat On Toilet For 2 Years

Authorities are considering charges in the bizarre case of a woman who sat on her boyfriend’s toilet for two years — so long that her body was stuck to the seat by the time the boyfriend finally called police. Ness County (Wichita, Kan.) Sheriff Bryan Whipple said it appeared the 35-year-old Ness City woman’s skin had grown around the seat. She initially refused emergency medical services but was finally convinced by responders and her boyfriend that she needed to be checked out at a hospital. “We pried the toilet seat off with a pry bar and the seat went with her to the hospital,” Whipple said. “The hospital removed it.” Whipple said investigators planned to present their report Wednesday to the county attorney, who will determine whether any charges should be filed against the woman’s 36-year-old boyfriend/Associated Press. More here

DFO: Sorry, I couldn’t resist this one.

Hat Tip: Taryn Hecker

Red State Rebels: Larry Grant Knocked On Doors In ‘06

Rumors don’t just ‘go around’ as in ‘there’s a rumor going around…’ Rumors are spread, they are fueled. There’s a rumor being circulated that in his 2006 campaign for Congress, Larry Grant didn’t do any door-knocking, that he didn’t do the boots on the ground, door-to-door work that a campaign needs to succeed. Let’s look at the facts. Talk to Steve Elgar. Larry spent a day with him and his campaign workers going door-to-door in Sandpoint, talking to the voters there and urging them to vote. Talk to the party members in Bonners Ferry, where Larry went door-to-door with the Boundary County Democrats, working to get out the vote. Talk to Rep. George Sayler. Larry went with him, knocking on doors in his legislative district in Coeur d’Alene/Julie Fanselow, Red State Rebels. More here

Washington Settles In Supremacist Parolee’s Assault

Buford O’Neal Furrow Jr., a former Eastern Washington supremacist tied to the Aryan Nations, is led out of federal court in Las Vegas, in this, Aug. 11, 1999, file photo, after he waived his right to an extradition hearing. The Washington state Department of Corrections announced today that it will pay $2.25 million to five children who were shot or traumatized in the 1999 shooting by a Washington parolee at a California Jewish community center. Story here. (AP Photo/Laura Rauch, File)

Daily Briefing: Chico Story Gave Newsroom Fits

“We’ve been cracking one-liners for a week now,” managing editor Gary Graham said. Is the monkey coverage over yet? Editor Steve Smith doesn’t think so. There has been more division over the Chico stories’ execution (no pun intended) and placement than for serious and noticeably important stories, ones that for example make you a better voter, said assistant city editor Dave Wasson. “I think sometimes we take ourselves too seriously,” senior editor Carla Savalli said, and that sometimes “we think were above stories like Chico.” Savalli noted that KHQ started a discussion thread on their web site about Chico’s death. Earlier in the run, Graham suggested a Chico blog as a joke. The KHQ thread has grown to more than 15,000 words worth of replies/Thuy Nguyen, Daily Briefing. More here

SR Blog roundup:
*More tabloid headlines re: Spitzer/Gary Graham, News Diary
*Learning real-life skills by playing make-believe/Virginia de Leon, Parents Council.
*No country for gay men (and women)/Jill Wagner, Out On The Town
*Upper Falls East condo for sale/Parker Howell, Here’s The Dirt
*Audit raises questions about state planes/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise

Question: Did the Spokesman-Review give the story about Chico The Monkey too much coverage?

KevinT: Bumpersticker To Eulogize Chico?

OTV! The lead-in rocks. A wonton mystery. At the Inlander we have been dissecting (conversationally at least) the fate of Chico and what is says about Spokane. And can you sum it up on a bumper sticker? Sounds like a contest ti me! So I scatter the seed of it upon the fertile minds at HBO: Sample: “Bring me the head of Chico the Monkey” (Art: a little severed head, head of recognizable city official)/Kevin Taylor, Inlander

Question: Anyone?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 3/12/08

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, Spokesman-Review

*Grace to pay feds $250 million for Libby asbestos work/Spokesman-Review — This line sums up my thoughts: “Libby advocates said the $250 million is a pittance compared to the suffering that the firm unleashed on this northwestern Montana town.”

*Macdonald announces run for county commissioner: Previously served in same capacity from 1990 to 1996/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press — Bob Macdonald definitely offers an alternative choice for those looking for one. Dunno how he’d affect the balance in a three-way race.

*Educational Corridor more than $400,000 closer to reality: Project partner University of Idaho receives state money to help with planning/Andrew Ford, North Idaho College Sentinel — Some won’t consider this good news. But I do.

*Info sought on enticement case: Girl: Orange van with three men drove beside her, brother on way home/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press — Two-legged predators are almost always the worst kind.

*Sentinel locks in third at ACP contest, places three finalists in regional SPJ/Josh Rasmussen, North Idaho College Sentinel — Adviser Nils Rosdahl continues to produce award-winning student journalists.

Spitzer Resigns

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer exits his Fifth Avenue residence with his wife Silda this today in New York. Spitzer announced that he would resign effective March 17. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

Item: Spitzer resigns/Associated Press

More Info: Gov. Eliot Spitzer has resigned, completing a stunning fall from power after he was nationally disgraced by links to a high-priced prostitution ring. In a somber news conference, Spitzer announced his final day in office will be March 17. Spitzer will be replaced by Lt. Gov. David Paterson, who will become New York’s first black governor and reportedly had urged Spitzer to delay his departure a few days to ensure an orderly transition.

Question: Your reaction?

Jorgenson Targets Time-Warner Monopoly

Item: Bill seeks cable parity: Jorgenson introduces legislation to encourage provider competition/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Time Warner Cable is the only cable provider with contracts in Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Hayden. Some people say that constitutes a monopoly. Others maintain any cable company can provide services in the cities, if they are willing to sign a franchise agreement and build the infrastructure to areas that are not as profitable — as Time Warner is required to do and has spent millions of dollars doing. If there was more competition, consumers would get better service and better rates, said Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake.

Question: Do you support Jorgenson’s bill?

JohnA: ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Revisited

re: Mary Ann from ‘Gilligan’s Island’ busted for pot in Idaho

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip.
That started with some weed it seems
And ended with a nip.

Her fate was a mighty Sheriff man
She’d skippered not so sure.
He booked her into jail that day
For a three hour tour. … A three hour tour.

Study: 1 in 4 Teen Girls Has Sexual Disease

Item: 1 in 4 Teen Girls Has Sexual Disease/Associated Press

More Info: At least one in four teenage girls nationwide has a sexually transmitted disease, or more than 3 million teens, according to the first study of its kind in this age group. A virus that causes cervical cancer is by far the most common sexually transmitted infection in teen girls aged 14 to 19, while the highest overall prevalence is among black girls—nearly half the blacks studied had at least one STD. That rate compared with 20 percent among both whites and Mexican-American teens, the study from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

Question: What is your reaction to this startling finding?

The Pussy Willow’s Spring Wardrobe

As he strolled today
he was pleased to note
that each tiny bud
wore a new fur coat.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Parting Shot — 3/11/089

Joy Douglas poses for a portrait with her poodle, Cici at her hairsalon, Zing, in Boulder, Colo, on Monday. Douglas, facing a $1,000 fine for dyeing her poodle pink, has hired a lawyer to fight the charge in court. (AP Photo/The Boulder Daily Camera, Kasia Broussalian)

Spin Control: Trash Talk On The Campaign Trail

Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday she disagrees with Geraldine Ferraro, one of her fundraisers and the 1984 vice presidential candidate, for suggesting that Barack Obama only achieved his status in the presidential race because he’s black. In a brief interview with The Associated Press, Clinton was questioned about Ferraro’s remarks. The Obama campaign has called on the New York senator to denounce them/Jim Camden, Spin Control. More here

Question: What do you think of Geraldine Ferraro’s comments. Would Obama be the frontrunner for the Demo prez nomination, if he were a white male?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 3/11/08

Students from Texas A&M and The University of Texas at Austin use beer bongs to drink a whole can of beer at one time on the beach at South Padre Island Saturday afternoon. The weekend marks the beginning of Texas Week, the busiest week of the spring break season for the island. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Monitor, Kirsten Luce)

Top Cutlines:

1. Just mix a beer bong/With a tiny sheer thong/(It truly seems quite achievable); But add two or three/And quickly you’ll see/The result is not inconceivable — JohnA.

2. Aspiring politicians complete their all-important “I have made mistakes” training — A Token D.

3. AA Training Wheels — ThomG

HM: Brent Andrews

News Diary: You Be The Spitzer Scandal Headline Writer

As we expected, the Eliot Spitzer sex scandal is big news in many U.S. newspapers this morning, but especially in New York. Here’s a sampling of the lead headlines about Spitzer, once dubbed Eliot Ness because of his anti-corruption campaigns:

*”Eliot Mess”/Niagara Gazette
*”Spitzer on the Brink”/Syracuse Post-Standard
*”Fall From Grace”/Buffalo News and the Middletown Times Herald-Record
*”’Mr. Clean’ Soiled”The Hackensack Record

Gary Graham/News Diary

Question: Can you write a better Spitzer headline?

Gilligan’s Mary Ann Busted For Pot In Idaho

Item: Mary Ann from ‘Gilligan’s Island’ busted for pot in Idaho/KTVB

More Info: A surprise birthday party for Dawn Wells, the actress who played Mary Ann on “Gilligan’s Island,” ended with a nearly three-hour tour of the Teton County Sheriff’s Office and jail when the 69-year-old was caught with marijuana in her vehicle while driving home. Wells is now serving six months’ unsupervised probation for the crime. She was sentenced Feb. 29 to five days in jail, fined $410.50 and placed on probation after pleading guilty to one count of reckless driving.

Question: Ginger or Mary Ann?

HBO @ Noon: Morticians

Jerome A. Pollos/Coeur d’Alene Press, AP

Miranda Lopez removes flower stands from St. Lukes Episcopal Church in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho following a funeral service Friday. Lopez, 18, has set her career goals on being a mortician and currently works at English Funeral Chapel & Crematory in Coeur d’Alene.

Item: Answering her calling: From a young age, Miranda Lopez has wanted to be a mortician/Sean Garmire, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Since she was 12, it was Miranda Lopez’s dream to take care of society’s dead. Even the notion of handling bodies didn’t scare away the mortician-in-training. “It seems like everyone has a calling for something,” the 18-year-old said, taking a lunch break from her job at English Funeral Chapel. “This is my calling.”

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the mortuary profession on your list of interesting jobs to have?

Craig Attorneys Ask For Dismissal of Charges

Item: Craig attorneys ask court to let him withdraw guilty plea/Associated Press

More Info: Attorneys for U.S. Sen. Larry Craig are asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to correct a “manifest injustice” by allowing the Idaho Republican to withdraw his guilty plea stemming from an airport restroom sex sting. In court papers filed today, the lawyers asked the appellate judges to reverse the trial court’s decision to let stand Craig’s guilty plea to a disorderly conduct charge. They also asked the court to vacate his plea.

DFO: Spitzer shoulda asked Craig about tips for playing out the string until his term was up. Say what you will about Idaho’s Republican senator, he’ll finish his final term in office and take some comfort that he’s regarded as more effective than two mates in the U.S. Senate.

HBO’s AM Headlines — 3/11/08

*Idaho Record/Sherry Adkins, Spokesman-Review

*Higher water rates on horizon: Cd’A will decide schedule for implementing changes at March 18 meeting/Lucy Dukes, Coeur d’Alene Press — When it comes to utilities and other public services, what goes up seldom comes back down.

*Handle on business: French-Italian eatery to open on Sherman/Nils Rosdahl, SR Handle Extra — We’re starting to get a little cosmopolitan around here when it comes to different cuisine.

*Elk farm divide: Debate on cirvidae industry continues/Patrick Livingston, SR Handle Extra — Domestic elk ranches are simply wrong on every level.

*Kinsey ready to retire: Superintendent has served Lakeland School District for 23 years/Suzanne Jacobson, Coeur d’Alene Press — Kinsey sez he’s “old” at 59 — and he’s only a year older than I am. I don’t feel old. Mebbe I’m fooling myself.

*Bonner County Sheriff running for re-election/Keith Kinnaird, Bonner County Daily Bee — Indeed, she has a lot to answer for, not the least of which is that little bump-and-run incident a coupla months ago.

Athol, Mass., Doesn’t Like To Be Mocked

Item: Cable Sports Network Apologizes For Mocking Athol’s Name In Newspaper Ad/Associated Press

More Info: A cable sports network says it no longer will make Athol the butt of its jokes. Comcast SportsNet said Thursday it would pull a newspaper ad that leaders of the small central Massachusetts town called insulting and offensive. The ad featured two side-by-side signs that together read: “We can pronounce Worcester … without sounding like an Athol.” A network spokesman said it apologized Thursday to the town and Selectman Wayne Miller, who raised the issue this week after residents complained that the ad ridiculed Athol by linking its name to a similarly sounding vulgarity.

Question: If you lived in Athol, Mass., or Athol, Idaho, or any of the other Athols out there, would you embrace your Athol-ness and go along with the crude joke. Or would you get upset when people made fun of your town’s name?

Online Poll: Nampa Library Bans Sex Books

The Nampa library board voted Monday to remove ‘The New Joy of Sex’ and ‘The Joy of Gay Sex’ from the library’s shelves. Do you think the books should be removed? Story here/Idaho Statesman

*No opinion

Nonini, Henderson Lead Charge For Lake CdA Docks

Item: Idaho House debates Lake CdA docks/Betsy Z. Russell, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Idaho’s House of Representatives voted today to turn back the legal clock to 1953 to help certain North Idaho property owners who want to build docks, despite a public road running between their land and Lake Coeur d’Alene. The vote was close – 37-32 – but HB 565 passed and now moves to the Senate for further consideration, despite questions about its constitutionality.

DFO: I lambasted Nonini, Henderson and Chadderdon for their votes here b/c I thought this issue was about Sanders Beach docks. Henderson assures Huckleberries Online that it’s about property with his District 5 (Post Falls area) and not District 4 (Coeur d’Alene). Mea culpa.

News Diary: Another Seedy Sex Scandal

Having worked as an editor in upstate New York for six years before coming to Spokane, I’m very familiar with the record and campaigns of the Empire State’s politically prominent governor, Eliot Spitzer. Monday’s news that the Democrat paid thousands of dollars for a call girl represents a stunning fall from grace for a politician who made a career out of crusading against corruption and ethics violations. He used the New York media at every turn to advance his causes. Using the media to promote one’s political or personal agenda is standard procedure these days. However, as Spitzer is about to learn, the tables have turned. He’ll be eviscerated by the New York media in coming days and weeks. The New York tabloids, among others, will have a field day. Expect to see headlines like “Governor Hypocrite” or “Eliot”s Call Girl: He used Viagra”/Gary Graham, News Diary. More here

Hump Day Wild Card — 4/9/08

Despite heavy turbulence earlier in the week, Hump Day is off to a decent start. I appreciate that. I’d also appreciate it if the weatherman was right for a change and good weather actually happened at the end of a week — this week — as s/he has predicted several times earlier in this wintry spring. And failed to produce. Now, for your Wild Card …

Vacation Wild Card No. 6 — 3/9/08

Seems like everyone has been playing together nicely here for the last 5 days or so. I read Bob’s comment re: the need for a sub host here during my vacations. That might be something worth exploring. But I don’t know the best way to do that. I doubt that the SR would be too keen on allowing an outside blogger to post items out front and supervise the blog. I’m intrigued by the idea of asking another SR blogger to run HBO in my absence. I wouldn’t mind that at all. Let me know if you have any further thoughts on this matter. Meanwhile, the vacation is running down. I’ll tell you about it Tuesday morning at the latest. Now, for your 6th of seven Vacation Wild Cards — and your annual Daylight Saving Time Wild Card. (I hope you moved your clocks ahead an hour.) …

Vacation Wild Card No. 5 — 3/8/08

The news looks good from the F-Words blog re: Sara Anderson’s condition following brain surgery. Her husband writes: “This isn’t a high-grade astrocytoma. In fact, this isn’t a tumor. There was a big zone in her forebrain without myelin, but that’s fine. Even the frozen section produced a diagnosis of astrocytoma. This was severe, this was confusing, it might still be MS, but Sara is alive and fine.” A lot of people have express their concern during this scary time in Sara’s life. It’s amazing how the blogosphere ties us together. Be sure to check out her F-Words site for the latest development. Now, for your 5th of seven Vacation Wild Cards …

Online Poll: A Week Without Cussing?

The town of South Pasadena, Calif., has designated the first week of March as “No Cussing Week.” Could you go without cussing for an entire week?/Idaho Statesman.


2 Kootenai County Demos Eye Commish Office

Item: Caires, Noble announce commissioner bids/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Steve Caires and Bruce Noble have only known one another less than two weeks, but it seems like they have been working together for years. They finish one another’s sentences. They share similar views on politics and how to run county government. “We’re kind of kindred spirits,” Noble said. “We started talking and we have the same ideas.” They’re hoping that synergy translates into political victories during the May Democratic primary and later on in the November general election.

Question: What kind of message would a Demo ticket have to have to make a break through in the commissioners office in solid-red Kootenai County?

Vacation Wild Card No. 3 — 3/6/08

I’ve been keeping my eye on Sara Anderson’s F-Words blog while I’ve been on vacation. Hubby Andy has been providing the Idaho blogosphere with updates on her brain surgery and recovery. You can find a link to Sara’s blog in the North Idaho blogroll in the right rail. Please keep Sara in your thoughts and prayers. Now, for you Thursday Wild Card …

Hillary Sweeps Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas

Item: Clinton Wins Texas; McCain Seals GOP Nod/David Espo, Associated Press

More Info: Hillary Rodham Clinton scored comeback primary wins in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island Tuesday night, denting Barack Obama’s delegate lead in a riveting Democratic presidential race. Arizona Sen. John McCain, an unflinching supporter of the war in Iraq, clinched the Republican nomination. Clinton’s three triumphs ended a month of defeats for the former first lady, and she told jubilant supporters, “We’re going on, we’re going strong and we’re going all the way.”

Question: If the battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continues to the convention, which major party will be helped most?

Wild Card/Tuesday — 3/4/08

I hate to orphan you for the next week, especially with Barack poised to TKO Hillary in Texas and Ohio today. But I have some pressing business that needs my attention for the next week. I’ll be out of the office until next Tuesday. Then, we’ll get back to doing what we do best here, stirring things up. By the time I get back, some of the field will be set for this spring’s primaries — and we’ll discuss that. I might peek in today. But I’ll be fairly scarce afterward. Of course, I’ll post these Wild Cards each day, so you can entertain yourselves by starting your own threads. BTW, keep your ears open for at least one significant Demo to announce for a Kootenai County commissioner post. And keep an eye on the F-Words blog to see how Sara Anderson’s operation goes today and her recuperation in subsequent days …

Parting Shot — 3/3/08

Al Grillo/AP Photo

One of Tim Osmar’s sled dogs looks out of its pen before the start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Willow, Alaska, Sunday, March 2, 2008. A record field of 96 mushers are running the 1,100 mile sled dog race to Nome. (AP Photo/Al Grillo)

AMOO: Woman Prez? Yes, But Mebbe Not Hillary

Frustrated feminist Clinton supporters see this year is as their one chance to see a woman elected president in their lifetimes. Gloria Steinem isn’t getting any younger and finds female Obama supporters a tad traitorous. Read more here. I find this attitude defeatist, especially assuming Clinton is headed for defeat. After an extremely competitive run by a woman who — let’s face it — has lots of baggage that has nothing to do with her gender, I think there are many capable and engaging women in line to take up the torch, not just because they’re women but because they’re passionate about exercising power in the right directions/Lynn Swanbom, A Matter of Opinion. More here

Question: Do you see Hillary as this era’s only serious female presidential contender?

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

Firefighters Charlie Schmidt, left, and John Stewart, both of Vancouver, Wash., fire dept., pick up their gear and head out after resting following racing up 1,311 stairs in competition Sunday in the Columbia Center tower in Seattle. More than 1,000 firefighters from throughout the U.S., as well as Canada and New Zealand, raced 788 vertical feet and up 69 floors in the 17th annual firefighter stair climb at the tower, in a benefit for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. No ladies, this is not a good reason to start playing with matches! — Shannon.

2. Unfortunately, this photo marked the end of DFO’s popular Photo of the Day contest. CDA Fire Chief Kenny Gabriel said their switchboards were flooded with calls from flustered Huckleberries regulars who swore they smelled smoke— and then asked if Fireman Charlie or Fireman John were available — CindyH. More here

3. Is that all we are to you women, just slabs of sweaty beef-cake? Well maybe you can’t see it behind my rippled abs and bulging pecs, but I have a mind and a brain. I am not an animal! — Machiavelli.

HM: John Austin

Idaho Lawmakers Shoot Down Day Care Again

Item: Idaho lawmakers reject day-care bill/Betsy Z. Russell, SR Eye On Boise

More Info: Legislation to impose at least minimal regulations on all Idaho day cares, including those caring for four or more unrelated children, died in committee today for the fourth straight year. “It’s frustrating, but the issue is not going away,” said Rep. George Sayler, D-Coeur d’Alene. “People still care about their children’s safety. We’re going to keep working on it.”

Question: How long can the Idaho Legislature hold out before it’s forced to join the 21st century and pass meaningful regulations for all state day-care facilities?

In The News — Another Mass Shooting

Emergency personnel remove a victim of a shooting at a Wendy’s restaurant in West Palm Beach, Fla., today from the Trauma Hawk helicopter on the helipad at Delray Community Hospital. A gunman burst into a Wendy’s restaurant, killing one person and injuring five others before killing himself, officials said. (AP Photo/Palm Beach Post, Bob Shanley)

Question: Internet Romance

Item: Jilted lover uses eBay to hit back at Wikipedia guru/Philippe Naughton, UK News

More Info: As of midday today, $102.50 was the bid for a little piece of internet history: the T-shirt that Jimmy Wales was wearing when he met Rachel Marsden for what he insists was their one and only night of passion. There’s nothing special about the T-shirt, except for a couple of stubborn stains that even Tide extra-strength could not remove. But it’s not every day that a guru of the worldwide web uses his own site to dump his girlfriend and she responds by putting his old clothes on eBay.

Question: Do you know anyone who fell in love on the Internet? Did it work out?

Dogwalk Musings: Always A Parent

I had been picked up and dropped off at airports by my parents so many times over the years I’ve lost count. One thing was always a constant though. The welling in our eyes upon seeing each other after periods of time, and the sadness of one more good bye. Though never spoken the thought was always with me, “Would there be another time?” So must be the thoughts of every parent, relative and friend of service people around the world as they go off to and hopefully return from - war. Perhaps the biggest service Prince Harry did for his country is bring home to so many immune from the emotions just how terribly heart wrenching it is for the families/Dogwalk Musings. More here

More Dogwalk Musings:
*Feminist fatale
*This is NOT “change”!
*Currie-ing favor

Question: Do you ever stop being a parent?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 3/3/08

Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman, AP

John Bertram, poses recently in Boise. Bertram is planning a memorial to the late Gutzon Borglum that will be placed in St. Charles, Idaho, where Borglum was born. Borglum is most famous for carving four presidents into Mount Rushmore.

1. U.S. District Court Judge Edward Shea refused to grant Ford Motor Co. motion to dismiss a civil suit involving a Ford Bronco II crash, which would have gutted damage claims brought by 21-year-old Crystal Bear of Colville here/SR.

2. The tragic head-on accident that killed five children of a Mennonite family on U.S. Highway 395 was caused not by negligent driving but by a fainting spell suffered by Deer Park businessman Clifford Helm, his lawyer told a Spokane jury in opening statements today here/SR.

3. The man who allegedly extorted money from a Washington lawmaker has been sentenced in a separate case for stealing money from a woman at the Coeur d’Alene Casino here/KXLY.

4. IMHO: Rays of light pierce dense Iraq darkness/Jamie Tobias Neely, SR; They squealed on us is not much of a defense/Tom Henderson, Lewiston Tribune; Sierra Club throws a sucker punch/Joel Connelly, Seattle PI; and Restaurateur recognizes hot commodity/Doug Clark, SR.

5. Blogosphere: Lobbying Idaho from all over/Randy Stapilus; Once a parents, always a parent/Dogwalk Musings; Nags & Zags/Slight Detour; For Idaho D’s, future starts March 10/Red State Rebels; and Mathematically impossible/Adam’s Blog.

6. News Roundup: Micron to build new Boise plant/Idaho Statesman; Surveillance video shows illegal search/SR; 2-alarm fire rips through NW Nazarene sports facility/KTVB; Idaho meth ads graphic, make point/KXLY; and Gym dispute escalates to riot/KREM2.

Orbusmax Special: Man asks friend to shoot him to avoid work here

Eco-Protesters Claim Credit For Arson Fires

Elaine Thompson/AP Photo

Firefighters walk past a house still in flames at the scene of where four multimillion dollar homes burned Monday in Woodinville, Wash. Crews battled the fires early Monday in a suburb north of Seattle, and a sign with the initials of a radical environmental group was found at the scene, an official said.

Item: Six fires set in upscale development on West Side: Earth Liberation Front claims credit for arsons/Associated Press; Seattle PI coverage

More Info: Four large homes were burning this morning at a “Street of Dreams” model home development north of Woodinville, the Snohomish County District Seven Chief Rick Eastman said. A sign left at the scene indicated the Earth Liberation Front may have been involved, the chief told a local news organization.

Question: Can violence or property destruction ever be justified during a time of protest?

Trailer: Mike Kralicek’s ‘The Will To Win’

Carrie Kralicek sent this to Huckleberries Online. I don’t know much about it at this point — other than its a trailer for what appears to be a longer documentary by Police One that features the former Coeur d’Alene police officer’s battle back from the critical injury he suffered during a shootout in Coeur d’Alene several years ago.

Carrie Kalicek’s message to HBO

Question: Any message you want to send back to Mike and Carrie?

AM Headlines — 3/3/08

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review

Savannah Fitzgerald, 8, gets a hug from her mother, Brandee Marshall, at their home in Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday. Savannah was hospitalized recently after she accidently ate lye, an ingredient her mother uses to make soap. Handle Extra story here.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, Spokesman-Review

*Mullan Avenue makeover breaks ground today/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press — Oh, goodie; another traffic problem on Highway 41.

*Fernan Village evicting deer: Animals to be trapped and relocated to rural area/Amy Cannata, SR Handle Extra — An eviction notice beats the alternative: turning them over to North Idaho hunters.

*Roos planning re-election bid/Bonner County Daily Bee — Chip must be tired of fishing on the West Coast.

*Handle On Business: Riverstone Red Robin taking applications/Nils Rosdahl, SR Handle Extra — I need to give Red Robin another chance. My last RR dining experience — in the Spokane Valley — was less than stellar.

*Settlement possible in Turning Winds lawsuit/Keith Kinnaird, Bonner County Daily Bee — Weird case.

Officials Tightlipped On DeArmond Mill Purchase

Item: Officials mum on DeArmond site purchase/Erica F. Curless, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Developer Marshall Chesrown told North Idaho College athletic boosters Tuesday that he remains committed to selling the DeArmond Mill site to a government entity for $10 million, meaning he won’t make a profit. Chesrown, the developer of The Club at Black Rock and Spokane’s Kendall Yards project, made the agreement in 2006 and at the time expected it to take more than two years to close the deal.

Question: What’s the best use of the current DeArmond Mill Site, adjacent to North Idaho College: Education corridor? Upscale housing? Remain mill site?

CheriH: Nephew Among Firemen Stair Climbers

A firefighter finishes the last flight up during a competition Sunday in the Columbia Center tower in Seattle. More than 1,000 firefighters from throughout the U.S., as well as Canada and New Zealand, raced 788 vertical feet on 1,311 stairs up 69 floors in the 17th annual stairclimb at the tower, in a benefit for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The event is believed by organizers to be the world’s largest firefighter stairclimbing event. The same route will be open to the public in two week when the annual Big Climb takes place on March 16. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

My nephew Garrett is running up 60 flights of stairs with full fire fighting gear today (Sunday) for cancer donations today. Cancer “run” is in Seattle. I am very proud of him. He is 20 and is the fire house grunt in Spokane, training to be a fire fighter and a paramedic. Go Garrett!/Cheri Howell

Yankee Doodle: Currie Accountable For Commish Messes

Yankee Doodle: Brodie got the boot along with Johnson because of a throw the bums out anti-incumbant mood. The list of accomplishments Currie touted when he announced are far outweighed by a lot of things that have not gone well at the county in his two terms. If Cronin plays upon the theme of successful employee lawsuits, the prosecutors office debacle, the planning department revolving door and questionable practices, the assessors office continuing computer miscues and on and on he will plant the question in the minds of voters: As chairman of the board of commissioners shouldn’t he be held accountable?

DFO: The Demos may have a very good alternative for those who can’t vote for either Rick Currie or Tom Cronin. Mebbe in the other commissioner race, too. Stay tuned.

Eye Opener: Jay Leno Visits Spokane

Bart Rayniak/Spokesman-Review

Late-night talk show host Jay Leno stopped at Fairchild AFB Sunday afternoon and posed with S. Sgt. Matt Freeborn, his wife Jennifer and son Parker. Several hundred people waited for the chance to shake his hand and get photographed with the gregarious Leno, who had a show at Northern Quest Casino later that afternoon.

Item: Leno visits FAFB/Lisa Leinberger, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Hundreds of military personnel and their families received an opportunity to meet Jay Leno Sunday afternoon before his show at Northern Quest Casino last night. Leno stopped by the Base Exchange, or BX, at Fairchild Air Force Base to shake hands, sign autographs and pose for pictures with excited fans. “I hugged Jay Leno,” exclaimed Norma Gavin after meeting the comedian.

Question: Which late-night talk-show host is your favorite? Why?

Wild Card/Sunday — 3/2/08

I’ve almost finished reading David Guterson’s “Snow Falling on Cedars,” one of the targets of parents’ protests in the Coeur d’Alene School District this winter. Two thoughts: It’s a superbly written book that views the prejudice against Japanese on a small island north of the Puget Sound during and shortly after World War II. It also has enough sex tossed in the mix that I’d give it an “R” rating if it was a movie. Mebbe suitable as required reading for older high school teens and younger ones with parental permission. But questionable as required reading for younger ones. I read Frank McCourt’s “Angela’s Ashes” a coupla weeks ago. Both are good reads. How about you? What books are you currently reading. You can answer that question or use this Wild Card to start your own thread …

Commish Currie Seeks Re-election

Item: Commissioner Currie to seek third term/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Currie is being challenged by Tom Cronin in the Republican primary, which will be held May 27. The winner will serve a two-year term.

Question: What are Currie’s chances of winning re-election in face of a strong challenge by former Cd’A police chief Tom Cronin (who has Concerned Businesses backing?

Daily Kos Founder Wows Idaho D’s

Item: Kos’ wears plaid to enliven Democrats: Web blogger Markos Moulitsas pays $1,200 for a cheap suit to help Ada County’s other party keep rebuilding/Anna Webb, Idaho Statesman.

More Info: Moulitsas, who had clearly done his Idaho political history homework, paid homage to Idaho Democrats, in particular, the late Sen. Frank Church, whose early concerns about the preservation of the privacy rights of citizens were ahead of his time, and relevant now, he said, when the Bush administration is trying to erode citizens’ privacy. Moulitsas praised the overflow crowds that showed up to see Barack Obama and to caucus at Taco Bell Arena. Saturday brought an overflow crowd, too. Oxley said 650 people bought tickets, and the party didn’t give away seats away for free as it has in the past.

Question: How often do you read the Daily Kos blog?

TUBOB: Sports Metaphors Don’t Work w/Blogging

That’s the one weakness in my online game

DFO, I am rather quite bemused by your ongoing engagement in the blog-as-sports metaphor. It is as if blogging per se is somehow lacking in the manly arts, the testosteronic fury we men insist on grappling with on a nearly constant basis in our lives, and blogging must be jammed into the MANLY CONVERTER and turned into a sports event … perhaps a solitary athlete out throwing javelins as far as he can or perhaps a noggin knockin’ and deep soft tissue bruisin’ bout of rugby on a frozen hard field in the dying days of December. As much as I try to force the image from penetrating my placid and pristine mental spring afternoon picnic along a tranquil and limpid pond, I cannot keep the picture of you, DFO, in a Sumo diaper with your legs wide and bent and stomping as you enter the ring to engage your latest opponent, perhaps Larry Spencer in a black leather diaper made from a discarded jacket …

Vallivue 67, Coeur d’Alene 45 For State Title

That sound heard in the third quarter wasn’t the Idaho Center roof collapsing. Truth be told, it was the sound of the after burners from the Vallivue Falcons going on a 13-0 run that provided more than enough separation from Coeur d’Alene. Vallivue did something that two other tall opponents couldn’t do against Coeur d’Alene. The second-ranked Falcons used their size inside to handle the Vikings 67-45 in the State 5A boys basketball championship game Saturday evening played before an estimated crowd of 6,000. Perhaps CdA’s collapse started well before the third quarter. Sure the Vikings led 22-21 at halftime, but it took 19 points from senior guard Nate Clinton for the Viks to escape to intermission with the lead. Greg Lee’s Sportslink report

Monkey In Custody After Biting 3 In Spokane

Photo Courtesy of Spokanimal

A French exchange student was attacked by this Spider monkey that jumped out of a tree on the South Hill and bit her. The monkey has been taken into custody. Story here

“People should just not have them as pets. They live 30, 40 years, and when they reach sexual maturity they always become destructive,” said Misty Bruun, owner of Primate Rescue Northwest in Washington’s Clark County. “They turn on the kids in the family or become aggressive in other ways. And they are stronger than people think: they can chew right through a Sheetrock wall and escape.”

Question: Do you know anyone who has an exotic animal for a pet?

Question: Public Speaking

(Commissioner Rick Currie) was speaking the obvious (when he said at his re-election announcement that he’s a poor public speaker). The ability to speak in public is one of the hardest and most frightful functions of a politician. Appearance makes a difference too. Look back through the years, especially in the Presidential races. The way you look and sound, as much as people deny it, does make a difference. The old “comfortable shoe” syndrome plays a part, as in the case of Ronald Reagan. So, let the beauty pageant begin. Remember friends, a Beagle did win the Westminster Dog Show/Dick Haugen.

Question: Does public speaking bother you?

Question: Bad Haircuts

A little under a year ago, my five year old son decided he wanted a mohawk. I was a somewhat reluctant at first. Would it be wrong to chop the locks of such a cute little kid? Especially right before Easter? Nope. Hair is a renewable resource (well, at least when you’re little). And he’d been asking me for quite some time. You see, he wanted to be a little punk rocker - like his Dad. At least that’s what I told myself. So I did it, and he loved it. Today, my friends, we celebrate this momentous occasion: my son’s First Mohawk/Otis G Experience

Question: Describe the worst haircut you wore as a fashion statement?

Online Poll: Hillary & Tuesday’s Primaries

Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont will vote in the Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday. After the results are in, under what circumstances should Hillary Clinton stay in the race?/Idaho Statesman.

*Wins all 4 states
*Wins 3 states
*Wins Ohio & Texas
*Wins Ohio OR Texas
*No matter what

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About this blog

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

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