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Archive for May 2008

KCSD Identifies ATV Crash Victim

The Sheriff’s Department has been able to notify next of kin for the man killed in the ATV accident on Friday afternoon. Deputies were finally able to notify the family of Scott A. Sorenson, 49, of Coeur d’Alene that he had died in the crash on Ohio Match Road about 3:30 Friday afternoon. The investigation is ongoing and more information will be released as it becomes available.

South Hill Rapist Case Grows By 21 Victims

Item: In ‘Dateline’ interview, Coe cops to strangeness, but not crimes/Meghann M. Cuniff, SR; Coe case grows by 21 victims: Women’s assaults were never charged/Karen Dorn Steele, SR

More Info: Calling his civil commitment trail a “Hitlerian effort” to further punish an innocent man, convicted rapist Kevin Coe says during an interview set to air Sunday night on “Dateline NBC” that he’s not a threat to women. The 61-year-old Spokane native, who is known as the South Hill rapist, speaks forcibly and with passion in segments of the interview viewed Friday by The Spokesman-Review.

Question: Do you believe the South Hill Rapist has served his time and should be released? Or that he’s a danger to women and society still and never should be released?

Online Poll: Airport Security Express Lanes

Federal officials have launched a new program at the Boise Airport this spring to create specific traffic lanes for travelers at the busiest times of the day. Which line would you go through?/Idaho Statesman.

*Black diamond: Business
*Blue square: Casual
*Green circle: Family, need assistance
*Don’t fly

Christie: NIC Trustees Don’t Play Politics

RE: Vieselmeyer is man of his own
Ron and I have vastly different view points and we acknowlege that often when we speak. The point I was trying to make is he has been very loyal to the GOP and he was sacked by the very people who encouraged him to run to “clean up the liberals at NIC.” Now that he is part of the Board I think he sees the college for what it is which is an institution of higher learning with quality, affordable education currently being utilized by over 10,000 students. The daily business at hand is a focus on quality programs, student achievement,and planning for future growth. The Board does not have the time or the desire to focus on GOP vs DEM/NIC Trustee Christie Wood.

Question: Do you view offices such as City Council, school board, road district, fire district, and North Idaho College as truly nonpartisan in the way the office holder conducts himself?

TUBOB: How About A Paulie Airplane Show?

TUBOB: DFO you should sponsor a First Annual Ron Paul Paper Airplane Airshow at the Pappy Boyington field and folks can enter their own paper airplane (I’d use American flag designed paper, or something with a nice nut graphic on the wings) and go for distance and acrobatics and best design and God knows what else you could award. I don’t know what the prizes would be other than they should be consistent with a philosophy of small government and free marijuana.

DFO: Ya know … TUBOB has a pretty good idea. The Paulies could supervise airplane building. The Old Guard could show us how to stack the deck so only people we supported could fly the airplanes. And the six precinct committeemen who hang out here could judge the various contests, including, of course, the baking contests with various huckleberries products.

Wanted: Thong Bandits

Arvada Police/Denver Post/AP
In this image rendered from video and provided by Arvada police two men are seen inside a gas station in Arvada, Colo., recently. Arvada Police are looking for the two men they say covered their faces with women’s thongs to rob a convenience store. Police say the men were unarmed when demanded money from a female clerk and left with an undisclosed amount of cash and cigarettes.

Parting Shot — 5/30/08

Peter Haley/Tacoma News Tribune
A largemouth bass is released back to Potholes Reservoir south of Moses Lake.

Scanner Traffic — 5/30/08

5:15 p.m. An ambulance is responding to South Squaw Bay Road (across from Eddyville), where a 41-year-old woman has cut a 3” deep by 7” long gash in her thigh with a skill saw.

3:57 p.m. 2-vehicle accident blocking Highway 95, about a quarter mile north of Worley.

3:31 p.m. An ATVer is unconcious and not breathing after crashing off Ohio Match Road & Rimrock Road. CPR is being performed on him as EMT units respond to the emergency. A medical helicopter has been dispatched.

Headlines @ 5 — 5/30/08

Bob Pennell/Mail Tribune, AP
Sol Whyte reacts to vandals scorching a cross and the letters “KKK” on a her lawn today in Medford, Ore. as she clutches letters of support from South Medford High School students. This was the second time this week the Whyte’s house has been targeted with racist vandalism. Story here

*21 rape victims cleared to testify against Coe/SR
*Parents jailed after abduction attempt/KXLY
*Idaho urges California court to delay gay marriage ruling/KTVB
*Pargo in wait-and-see mode/SR
*Investigations sought in secret deals w/out-of-state corporations/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise
*Tim White talks about his UI legacy/KTVB
*Utah woman’s foot burned in Yellowstone hot pool/IStatesman
*Boise Airport shakes up security line system/KTVB

PF City Employee Faces Sex Charges

A former 14-year Post Falls city employee was arrested Wednesday night on three felony counts of lewd conduct with a minor. Kevin James Greer, 52, Post Falls, was booked into Kootenai County jail by Post Falls police. He was being held on Thursday on a $500,000 bond. Post Falls Police Capt. Scot Haug said the alleged victims, three different males, all from Post Falls, were between 7 and 12 during the incidents. “They’re now in their early 20s,” Haug said. Haug said Greer allegedly performed both oral and anal sex with each of the boys multiple times over several years/Coeur d’Alene Press. More here

Noordam Aces Cliff’s Election Quiz

Post Falls Police Chief Cliff Hayes just released the final results of the poll he conducts for every election. In the non-betting poll, participants are asked to guess the winning percentage of certain candidates in a variety of races. And the winners are: 1st — Rick Noordam, 2nd — Frank Henderson, and 3rd — Tom Taggart. Fourteen participating, including Sheriff Rocky Watson (pictured), who was two points high on his winning percentage in his race with Joe Bodman. Significantly, 9 of the 14, including Rocky, picked Tom Cronin to unseat incumbent Rick Currie in that three-way commissioner race. Henderson nailed Currie’s winning percentage on the nose 36%, but he had Cronin with 44%. Also noteworthy, Todd Tondee had Currie winning with 37% but guessed he’d get 78% rather than 55% in his commissioner race with Tim Herzog.

Did She Or Did She Not Toss Paper Plane?

RE: Ron Paul delegates passed over at Kootenai County GOP meeting
Liars: Lin Rimple is an awesome voice, maybe not the camera ready perfect picture voice, but the true voice of real people. That shocks those who want bumpersticker politics. The fact the the GOP passed up the chance to get Lin on their side is indicitave of the problems they face. Sad. Real people get a chance to participate and the old guard silences them. ”

Abizarre: ” I am pretty sure Lin Rimple did not fold and then fly a paper airplane. LOLOLOL!!!! With all the confusion that was going around, you guys have no idea who the heck flew the airplane, just like you don’t know what else was going on. To busy breaking laws I suppose.

DFO: Things have slowed down re: that Coeur d’Alene Press thread about the contentious local GOP CC meeting. But you still can find some nuggets like the two above this post. You can read the whole thread here.

Ron Paul Supporters Out In Force

Young Kwak/AP Photo
Don Halkins, left, puts up a sign in support of presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) while Anna Turney holds a sign in support of Paul outside the building where the Washington state Republican party is holding its convention Friday in Spokane.

Ongoing SR coverage:
Jim Camden/Spin Control 2.0
Rich Roesler/Eye On Olympia
Live Webcast here.

Mary’s Unhappy About Pachyderm Meeting

At, Mary Souza is unhappy with the way things went this morning at the Pachyderm Club breakfast meeting. And she hints that the guest speakers — Mayor Sandi Bloem and Trustees Mic Armon and Judy Meyer — were to blame for using the opportunity to advertise the education corridor while taking so long that only 3 listeners had time to ask questions (including a long-winded question-statement from her at the very end). Mebbe Mary should have trained her considerable ire on Duane Rasmussen for taking time to acknowledge a number of elected officials. And Ron Vieselmeyer for praying so long during the invocation. And the guy who read the light-hearted poem against the education corridor. And the light-hearted banter that consumed even more time. Seems to me that the Pachyderms, chief among others, needed to hear facts — and not rants from perpetually unhappy members. Ron Vieselmeyer’s prayer to open the minds of opponents apparently fell on Mary’s deaf ears.

HBO @ Noon — 5/30/08

Young Kwak/AP Photo
An unidentified man wears an elephant hat at the Washington state Republican party convention, Friday in Spokane.

Question: Have you attended a state or national convention for a political party? If so, did you behave yourself?

Ronulans To Make WA Convention Lively

Yes, the Washington state Republican Party convention at Spokane could be a lively deal, what the prospect of 40% of the delegates being supporters of Presidential contender - sort of, still? - Ron Paul. Liveliness could be a useful attribute for a Republican gathering these days, though not everyone is enthusiastic. From a Sound Politics post: “The Ronulans are going to make trouble in Spokane this weekend/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here

Question: What exactly do you call followers of Ron Paul? Ronulans? Ron Paulites? Paulies? And, in the wake of the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee fiasco Tuesday, do you expect trouble at the Washington State GOP convention that began this morning in Spokane?

Buck Knives Lays Off 43 Workers

Item: Buck Knives cuts staff: Rough economy reportedly reason behind decision/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Buck Knives laid off 43 employees companywide on Wednesday due to a sluggish economy and high gas and shipping costs, employees said. The manufacturer, which moved from San Diego to Post Falls’ Riverbend Commerce Park about three years ago to trim business expenses, did not comment on the layoffs.

Question: Have you ever been fired or laid off?

AM Headlines — 5/30/08

Jerome A. Pollos/Coeur d’Alene Press, AP
Megan Wolley, 10, plays with her “big sister” Emily Schneider during a lunch Thursday for members of the Big Brothers Big Sisters school-based mentoring program at Skyway Elementary in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. In its first year at the school, 11 students were matched with mentors who visited one hour per week to play, do arts and crafts or eat lunch.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*A year of North Idaho high school sports in review/Greg Lee, SR (plus male, female athletes of year)
*Kootenai property values fall: Spokane County valuation up slightly/Erica F. Curless, SR
*Post Falls man charged w/sex crimes/SR
*Big precincts could vote absentee: Voting areas can’t be split until 2010 census/Coeur d’Alene Press
*CHS cuts ties with Stangel: Vikings opt not to renew baseball coach’s contract/Coeur d’Alene Press

Christie: Vieselmeyer Is His Own Man

RE: GOP dumps Vieselmeyer for back Ed Corridor
Ron left the NIC Board meeting a little early last night in order to make his Central Committee meeting. The vote over his position was done in his absense so when he arrived he was given the news. I think it is pretty common knowlege that Ron is more conservative than than me and I do not spend a lot of time involved in partisian politics. I am a moderate republican but I will vote for a democrat if they are the better candidate. My republican friends hate it when I say that.(Sorry Duanne…we can still have coffee together)) Ron is very involved and enjoys it immensely. What I really admire about Ron is he formulates his decisions based upon studying all of the information and input provided. His vote is not for sale and he cannot be politicked by anyone. He is a man of deep integrity, and conviction. He has been a strong contributor to and very loyal to the local and National GOP. It is really sad to see the local party treat him with such disrepect over the Ed. Corridor. Oh well…I guess they will need to find what they want in Matt/Christie Wood.

PFPD Blue Arrests Man On Sex Charges

After nearly two months of investigation, the Post Falls Police Department and the Idaho Attorney Generals Office served a search warrant at the Post Falls home of Kevin Greer, 52 years of age. During the search of Mr. Greer’s residence, the Police Department seized several computers from the residence and allegedly located evidence of illegal Internet activity. These computers will be forensically inspected for additional illegal information. Additionally, investigators interviewed several young people who claimed that Mr. Greer committed sexual acts on them when they were younger, specifically in the 7-12 YOA range. These sexual acts allegedly went on for several years with all of the children interviewed.

Wild Card/Thursday — 5/29/08

I’m amazed that we’ve had more action at Huckleberries Online last week, yesterday and today than we did on Election Day. I tip my hat to the Ron Paulies and the KCOGOP for keeping things interesting today. I might have to get up extra early tomorrow morning to attend the Pachyderm Club meeting to see whether there’s an attempt to tar and feather Vieselmeyer and guest speakers Mic Armon, Judy Meyer and Sandi Bloem. It might be worth getting up at the ungodly hour of 6:30 a.m. The spirit is willing but the flesh may not be. Now, for your evening Wild Card …

Headlines @ 5 — 5/29/08

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review
Pilings gather in front of North Idaho College today. Before any wood pilings are removed from the Spokane River the State of Idaho wants to perform tests to ensure the fewest amounts of hazardous heavy metals are stirred up.

*Tech Cominco spills more lead acid into river/SR
*Magazine ranks Boise as 4th best place to live/KTVB
*Judge asked to rein in wolf killing in northern Rockies/AP
*Low voter turnout helped Treasure Valley challengers/IStatesman
*Former McCall councilman pleads guilty to felony charges/KTVB

GOP Dumps Vieselmeyer For Backing Ed

Fallout: When NIC trustee, Vieselmeyer voted to use forgone taxes (to buy the DeArmond Mill site) at the budget hearings he also sealed his fate as a State Committeeman for the Republican Central Committee. He was voted out last night after it was made known. Matt Roetter, who was dumped as a preceinct committeeman by a Ron Paulite, was then elected as the new State Committeeman, giving him a seat on the State Central Committee.

DFO: Actually, Fallout, Vieselmeyer proved himself to be a statesman and a conscientious supporter of higher education, something foreign to any party who would select an uberconservative replacement like Roetter. This is definitely not the Idaho GOP’s finest hour.

Court: Sect Kids Should Go Back To Parents

In a crushing blow to the state’s massive seizure of children from a polygamist sect’s ranch, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that child welfare officials overstepped their authority and the children should go back to their parents. The high court affirmed a decision by an appellate court last week, saying Child Protective Services failed to show an immediate danger to the more than 400 children swept up from the Yearning For Zion Ranch nearly two months ago/Associated Press. More here

Question: Have the courts officially endorsed statutory rape?

KootCo Residential Value Down $500M

Kootenai County officials told colleague Erica Curless this afternoon that residential values are down a total of $500 million throughout the county — an average drop of 3% to 5% per household (although valuations on the east side of Lake Coeur d’Alene are up 2%, as a result of Gozzer Ranch subdivision). The county has no final numbers yet.

Trustees Tap Foregone Taxes For Mill Site

Item: NIC: Foregone taxes an option: Budget includes funding for possibility of land purchase for future ed. corridor/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: It’s official. North Idaho College can collect more than $2.4 million in foregone taxes from Kootenai County property owners to help pay for the creation of an educational corridor. Trustees formalized that decision at Wednesday’s board meeting when they unanimously approved the college’s budget for the 2008-2009 fiscal year which includes the collection of foregone taxes as revenue to be used toward the purchase of property to create a higher education complex along the Spokane River.

DFO: Mayor Sandi Bloem and Trustees Mic Armon and Judy Meyer will speak about the Education Corridor at the Pachyderm Club breakfast meeting Friday morning at 7 at IHOP.

Roundup: Idaho Cut Corporations Tax Break

A veteran state Tax Commission auditor Wednesday released a 17-page whistle-blower report alleging agency commissioners for years have improperly settled tax protests by large corporations, saving the companies money but shorting Idaho by millions of dollars. Stan Howland, a corporate income tax auditor for the tax collection agency for 28 years, said the four appointed members of the Tax Commission, as well as the deputy attorneys general who advise them, routinely allow largely out-of-state corporations to pay just a percentage of what they really owe/John Miller, Associated Press. More here

News Roundup:
*Bradbury, after election loss, maintains need for court reform/Lewiston Tribune
*Rammell says he’ll pay $140,000 loan/IStatesman
*Contributions soar after College of Idaho name change/IStatesman
*Otter to unveil fetal alcohol warning program/KTVB
*Lewiston city clerk cleared of felony charges/KREM2

Breaking! Boat Prop Cuts Off Wife’s Arm

A man is in the Spokane County Jail charged with “assault by watercraft” on his wife. The boat propeller that severed a woman’s arm accidentally on Newman Lake Wednesday night. Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies told KREM 2 NEWS that 27-year-old Robert Kienel of Spokane was drinking with his wife, Alana Kienel, and a friend on his 20-foot Quantum Bow-Rider ski boat on Newman Lake Wednesday night. At about 5:15 p.m., deputies say Kienel was going about 30 mph in his boat when he made a hard turn while his wife was bow-riding in the front, dumping his wife into the lake whereupon the boat’s prop cut off her left arm below the elbow. The limb apparently sank and has not been found/KREM2. More here

Breaking! Kayaker Missing In Lake Pend Oreille

Authorities have yet to locate the body of a kayaker who capsized on Lake Pend Oreille late Wednesday. Lake Pend Oreille is the largest and deepest in Idaho. The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office went to the lake around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday where it was reported that two kayakers - neither wearing life jackets – tipped their kayaks. One kayaker was able to swim to shore, but the second person was last seen hanging onto his capsized kayak/KREM2. More here

Only Solution? Drive Less — Clayton Cramer

Our Trailblazer gets about 18 mpg by using the cruise control at freeway speed. Figure 1200 miles per month, so 67 gallons. Even at $5 per gallon, that’s $333 per month. A Toyota Prius might get 45 mpg. That’s about 27 gallons. At $5 per gallon, that’s $133 per month. Okay, $200 per month difference in gasoline is pretty substantial—but it won’t make the payments on the Prius, and for us, there are at least two months of the year (and sometimes three months of the year) where we have to have a four wheel drive to get in and out. Even a high mileage AWD or 4WD (like a Subaru or Suzuki SX4) doesn’t get good enough gas mileage to pay for the capital costs. Even people that don’t need a 4WD can’t justify replacing an existing car unless gas gets a lot higher than $5 per gallon, or unless they drive 2000 miles a month. There is one and only strategy that works — drive less.Clayton Cramer. More here

Idaho Blog roundup:
*Conflicting accounts of disarray/Unequivocal Notion
*What’s wrong with primary turnout/Adam’s Blog
*Hit job on Sen. Corder?/IdaBlue
*Time for new chairman of Idaho GOP?/Idaho Values Alliance
*The reluctant torch bearer/Political Game
*LaRocco, Minnick announce campaign plans/Red State Rebels

Question: Are you considering buying a car with better gas mileage, as a result of the current gas prices?

Wanted: Progressive Thinkers — Huckleberries

With two legislators from the Post Falls area attacking Coeur d’Alene’s proposed education corridor, I wondered at Huckleberries Online last week whether other River City leaders were so shortsighted. After all, someone must be pulling Rep. Bob Nonini’s chain if he, as chairman of the House Education Committee, is actively lobbying for the DeArmond Mill site to be transformed into yet more condos for the well-heeled rather than expanded higher education chances for the region’s high school graduates, laid-off mill workers and single mothers, among others/D.F. Oliveria, SR Prairie Voice. More here

Other SR Prairie Voice stories today:
*Winning art work testament for girl’s love for brothers/Taryn Hecker
*Post Falls celebrates history/Taryn Hecker
*Lakeland junior Bookstruck dedicated to track/Patty Hutchens
*Bayview developer must tear down cafe, restore site/Taryn Hecker

DFO: A hard copy of the Prairie Voice can be picked up at a number of Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene businesses, which are listed here.

WND Poll: Scott McClellan’s Tell-All Book

What do you think of former press secretary McClellan’s tell-all book on Bush White House?/WorldNetDaily

1. He confirmed what a lot of us have thought for some time
2. Scott McClellan is a courageous American
3. I think he’s going to be very rich
4. I’m withholding my opinion until I’ve read the book
5. It’s another Beltway-insider book — I’ll ignore it
6. It was extremely unprofessional
7. It’s just payback for the Republicans not supporting his mother in the 2006 Texas gubernatorial race
8. Sounds like sour grapes from a guy who got fired
9. I never could understand how Bush could hire such an incompetent nincompoop
10. Bush is getting his just deserts for hiring such an idiot
11. McClellan was out of his league as press secretary and he’s out of his league as author
12. What did he know, when did he know it … and why did he keep his mouth shut when it mattered?
13. Other

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Borah Triangle: Property Assessment Down 10%

Borah Triangle: Property Assessment notice arrived … over 10 percent DOWN from last year … (before exemption).

Question: Did your property tax assessment go up or down this year?

007: Electing Judges Better Than Appointing Them

We elect our judges. Some are bad, but most are good, in my experience. That’s life. Joel Horton is a good judge. I have no regrets about him. Dan Eismann has been a terrific jugde, and he was elected. Likewise, Wayne Kidwell was also a heck of judge after being elected, and he was hardly the partisan pimp some tried to paint him to be. James Bond: Both of those guys took heat for running. The appointed judges have nothing over the elected judges in my view. The federal judiciary is an absolute mess when it comes to accountability. It wasn’t that long ago that we had a federal judge in Florida (I believe) who was convincted of a felony, and it took more than a year for him to be removed from the bench. Accountability in the federal judiciary is non-existent. Those judges are literally Emperors of their own domains.

Sisyphus: Bond, an interesting concept but, as you know, all the federal bench is appointed subject to approval by the senate for the very reason that it removes them from politics and all the bias and conflicts which arise as a result. Don’t you think there’s going to be some behind the scenes retribution as a result of this race? You’re naive if you believe that either Judge ain’t going to look at his donor list. Do you think that results in fairness? More here

Question: Do you agree or disagree with James Bond that we should elect judges rather than appoint them?

Parting Shot/Today In Pictures — 5/28/08

David Zalubowski/AP Photo
An unidentified cadet who was using crutches to pick up his diploma from President Bush is carried by a fellow cadet back to his seat during the Class of 2008 graduation ceremony at the U.S. Air Force Academy on Wednesday at Air Force Academy, Colo. In all, 1,012 cadets received their diplomas during the graduation ceremony. For Andrew Zahler’s SR Today In Pictures, click here.

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 5/28/08

Seeweewanna & Danceawanna from OrangeTV’s new blog, Remember The Roxy.

Spotlight: 9 Silly Questions w/DFO — OrangeTV

With planner in one hand, announcement flyers in another, the telephone’s hands free headset on my head, I hang up the phone with another mother in my cluster. We are trying to coordinate sports camps so kids can go together. I also need to reserve times for a birthday party. Email the registration for the kids swimming and golf lessons. Remember to get the form to whoever about Summer School for the boy. Fill out the form for gymnastics for the girl. Try to find the paperwork to get that Silverwood Pass activated. Blah, Blah, Blah/MamaJD. More here

HBO Nos (for Tuesday, May 27): 8715 page-views/4984 unique views

*The Pot Plan is the 2,959,982nd Best-Seller!/Chronic Discontent
*Family Phil’s first podcast/A Family Runs Through It
*Bayview artists show and tell/Bay Views
*Is the die cast/Dogwalk Musings
*Tale of Grandpa and the Kid/From A Simple Mind
*A jug of cold root beer/Gathering Around the Table

Question: Are your summers lazy or hectic?

Spokane Chiefs Break Memorial Cup

Story here

Hat Tip: Brent Andrews/Chronic Discontent

Spencer Spends Thousands To Oppose …

Keough, Broadsword, Anderson & Rawls

DFO: Spenser left a phone message at HBO Central, stating that he spent between $12,000 and $15,000 on the 2008 primary elections.

Update: Driver Dies In Cement Truck Crash

The driver of a cement truck who was trapped in the truck’s cab after it flipped over an embankment along Gould’s Landing near Mica Bay on Lake Coeur d’Alene has been pronounced dead. The driver had been unresponsive while crews tried to reach him throughout the morning. The driver of the truck died while pinned in the cab. The truck flipped upside down, trapping the man underneath the truck. Crews were using a front end loader from a nearby construction crew to try to lift the truck off of the driver/KREM2. More here

Senate Guru: LaRocco Has A Chance

Democrats have their strongest pick-up opportunity for a Senate seat in Idaho (yes, Idaho!) in many years. Former Congressman Larry LaRocco is positioned to be not only very competitive but - truly - victorious against Republican nominee Jim Risch. As some know, LaRocco and Risch faced off just two years ago in Idaho’s Lieutenant Gubernatorial race. In that race, Risch defeated LaRocco by a 58-39 margin. So how can LaRocco make back the 20 point swing necessary to defeat Risch in 2008? There are actually a great many factors that will impact the 2008 Senate race that weren’t factors in the 2006 Lt. Gov. race. And all of these factors enhance LaRocco’s prospects for victory/Senate Guru. More here

Question: Do you agree that Demo Larry LaRocco has a chance to pick up a Senate seat against former governor Jim Risch in Repub Idaho?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 5/28/08

In this file photo, Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Cha Seung Baek, of South Korea, pitches against the Kansas City Royals. The Mariners traded former part-time starting pitcher Cha Seung Baek to the San Diego Padres today for Jared Wells in a swap of right-handers. Story here.

1. John Bradbury, who lost his statewide Supreme Court bid by less than 200 votes, says he won’t seek a recount here. Final unofficial results from Idaho statewide, Supreme Court and legislative races here.

2. Ron Paul saw his best primary election showing so far Tuesday night in Idaho’s Republican primary. 29,741 Idahoans cast a ballot for Paul – or 24% of the total here.

3. Blogosphere: Repub Dennis Mansfield and Demo Julie Fanselow/Red State Rebels break down Idaho election results here and here, respectively.

4. Sports: Simplot’s impact on Treasure Valley is immeasureable/Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman

5. IMHO: Just one surprise in Idaho primary/Jill Kuraitis, New West Boise.

6. News Roundup: Bill Clinton to visit 4 Montana towns Sunday/Missoulian; 3 of 4 Hailey marijuana proposal pass/KTVB; and Idaho tax commission improperly cut corporate tax bills/KTVB.

Orbusmax Special: Boise police tackle dog poop problem here.

HBO @ Noon: Handwriting

Julio Jimenez/East Valley Tribune, AP
Seventh grader Emily Rose Neeb poses at the Pilgrim Lutheran School in Mesa, Ariz., Tuesday, with her certificate after she was named 2008 Grand National Champion of the 17th annual Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest.

Question: Do you have good handwriting?

ShoshoneCo Dumps Sheriff Reynalds

The final cumulative poll results came in at the strike of 11 p.m. Tuesday naming Gary Yergler, Val Siegel, and Vern Hanson the big local winners of Shoshone County’s primary election that saw a near 55 percent turnout among registered voters. Current Kellogg Police Department Officer Gary Yergler stood alone as incumbent sheriff Chuck Reynalds only challenger to secure a decisive primary victory Tuesday with 57.18 percent of the vote to Reynalds’ 41.45 percent (Disparities in voting percentages are due to “undervotes” or the percentage of voters that chose to select neither candidate)/Shoshone County News-Press. More here

Hat Tip: DeePee

DeePee: Ungrateful Sterling Sacks DeMotte

Yeah, Dave, Ray DeMotte’s sacking (over the weekend) by Sterling Mining Co. as their president. The guy gave his life the past 10 years to Sterling Mining Co., and the past 5 years to renovating and reopening the Sunshine Mine. Thanks to Ray and the fine crew of people he put together, Sunshine is back in silver production. In the process he is largely responsible for the renewed economic vigour here in Shoshone County. He got shivved by an ungrateful and hugely short-sighted board of directors. I don’t think the last dog is hung on this thing, and the Sunshine now has a momentum all its own, but I can’t see anything but negatives for Sterling Mining. It was a daft, dumb, ungrateful move by, as usual, a handful of greedheads/DeePee.

Bjorn: Paul Outpolls Obama In Idaho

Bjorn: Ron Paul got more votes than Barak Obama!

DEM Barack Obama 23,988 56%
REP Ron Paul 29,749 24%

ThomG: And that matters, why?

DFO: Ah, ThomG, that little stat that Bjorn points out underscores the difficult challenge Walt Minnick and Larry LaRocco face in the fall elections. Way more Repub voters than Dem ones in Idaho, as we all know. In reality, Obama might have a tough time beating Bill Sali in a statewide Idaho race. Now, that’s a sobering thought for you resurgent D’s.

Rasmussen Wins, Roetter Falls In Precinct Races


BRUCE W. MC KAY 91 56.88



*KootenaiCo GOPrecinct race results
*KootenaiCo Demo Precinct race results

DFO: Could this mean that local Republicans are getting tired of the active opposition Roetter and Rasmussen have taken to the Lake City Development Corp. and progressive projects in Coeur d’Alene?

AM Headlines — 5/28/08

Jerome A. Pollos/Coeur d’Alene Press
A small memorial marks the scene Tuesday in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho where 10-year-old Sawyer Frisbie was killed in a drunk-driving accident Monday night. Ryan Jabaay has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, two counts of aggravated driving under the influence and one count of leaving the scene of an accident and is being held on a $750,000 bond. Story here and here

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Coeur d’Alene Tribe donates $4.5M to local schools/Kevin Graman, SR
*LaRocco, Risch to face off for Senate: No surprises in Idaho primary/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR
*Craig to write book on experiences last year/IStatesman

Horton Wins Supreme Court Seat By 196 Votes

941 precincts of 941

John Bradbury 74,573 50%
Joel D. Horton 74,767 50%

DFO: This race epitomizes why I will never support appointment of Supreme Court judges by executive/judicial fiat. In Horton, you have a decent jurist who climbed to the high court because his predecessor stepped down early to allow Gov. Otter to make the appointment rather than open the process to a public vote. Outsider John Bradbury, campaigning on judicial reform, almost upset that apple cart. He threw a scare into our monolithic judicial system. Almost anything that injects some accountability into our judicial system is worth continuing.

Stantis: High Gas Prices

Scott Stantis/Birmingham News

Final: Currie, Tondee, Watson Win

75 of 75 precincts
KCommissioner District 1
TIM HERZOG 3,944 44.68
TODD TONDEE 4,883 55.32

KCommissioner District 2
TOM CRONIN 3,196 33.74
ELMER (RICK) CURRIE 3,366 35.53
JAI K. NELSON 2,911 30.73

KC Sheriff
JOE BODMAN 3,123 32.17
ROCKY WATSON 6,585 67.83

Write-In Wins Right To Face Nonini


DEM Austin Alexander Folnagy (write in) 77 100%
REP Bob Nonini 2,426 100%

DOTC: Still Counting Precinct Committee Ballots

Whew…1st chance to take a minute to take 5…yes, the regular absentee ballots show up first and have been counted, however the absentee precinct committee people were on separate paper ballots that had to be hand counted and we will still be adding in those totals…so the final amounts for some precinct committee people will change from that last report.

U.S. Senate (865 of 941 Precincts)

Matt Cilley/AP Photo
Republican Jim Risch addresses a crowd at the Republican headquarters on Tuesday in Boise. Idaho voters on Tuesday chose Risch and Democrat Larry LaRocco in their respective U.S. Senate primaries, pitting two longtime rivals against each other in the Nov. 4 general election.

DEM David J. Archuleta 9,985 28%
DEM Larry LaRocco 25,765 72%
DEM Kevin Volkmann (write in) 51 0%
REP Fred M. Adams 4,525 4%
REP Brian E. Hefner 2,600 2%
REP Bill Hunter 3,891 4%
REP Richard Phenneger 5,830 5%
REP Jim Risch 72,121 65%
REP Hal James Styles Jr. 1,822 2%
REP Scott A. Syme 14,885 13%
REP Neal Thompson 4,914 4%

Idaho — President (823 of 941 Precincts)

DEM Hillary Clinton 14,043 38%
DEM Keith Russell Judd 667 2%
DEM Barack Obama 20,586 55%
DEM None of the names shown 1,863 5%

REP John McCain 75,468 70%
REP Ron Paul 25,517 24%
REP None of the names shown 6,700 6%

Parting Question — Ron Paul’s Vote %

In an April 25 file photo by 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 at the College of Idaho in Caldwell.

Question: OK, HBOers, it’s time to show how sharp you are. John McCain and Ron Paul are vying today for the Idaho prez primary. Political observer extraordinaire Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press sez that Paul’s total in Idaho will provide a gauge re: McCain’s strength in the West. What will be Paul’s percentate of votes in the Idaho primary?

APhoto of the Day — 5/27/08

Charlie Litchfield/Idaho Press-Tribune, AP
Austin Clow, of Melba, Idaho wrestles a steer during the Idaho District II High School Rodeo Sunday at the Caldwell Night Rodeo grounds in Caldwell, Idaho. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. In an effort to improve the town’s image, the City of Enumclaw has announced to formation of a new steering committee — MikeS.
2. Steer eye for the Straight Guy — Paper Carrier.
3. We might have similar last names, but we sure don’t see eye-to-eye — Cabbage Boy.

HM: Nic

CPD Blue Cracks Down On Under-age Parties

On Friday, Coeur d’Alene police began their crackdown on under-age parties. The result of the emphasis is as follows: Party at residence near 10th and Montana-Three Minor in Possession of alcohol charges resulting from a traffic stop of a vehicle that left the residence.

IdaBlue: Crossing Over To Vote Repub

I’m going to vote today, and I’m going to vote a Republican ballot. I’m not doing it to make mischief, but rather to have a say in who represents me. In my district, the only Democratic candidate is Sharon Fisher, which means that the other representative seat and the senate seat will be selected in the primary. My only hope to have any influence on those races is to cross dress and vote Republican. Also, I like to vote against Bill Sali at every opportunity. So, here ya go Mr. Beck; more proof of Democrats crossing over/IdaBlue.

Question: Have you ever crossed party lines to vote in a primary?

No Robo-Calls For Candidate Cramer

One of the political professionals that I spoke to encouraged me to use recorded phone calls to likely voters—and at about $0.10 to $0.11 per call, it was cheap enough that I could have had the robots call every likely voter in the district for less than $1000. But I decided not to do this, because I find these robocalls so annoying. If they annoy me, they probably annoy others/Clayton Cramer.

Idaho Blog roundup:
*Idaho legend J.R. Simplot dies at 99/Bubblehead
*Remembering a giant/Fort Boise
*Crossing over/IdaBlue
*On a personal note/MountainGoat Report
*Paul’s success in Idaho could show depth of McCain support in West/Rocky Barker

Question: What do you think of robo-calls from political candidates?

Online Poll: DUIs

Question: How many DUI convictions should the law allow before a prison sentence becomes mandatory?/Billings Gazette.

*None, the first DUI should require prison.
*One DUI
*Two DUIs
*Three DUIs

KXLY video of alleged CDA DUI crash that killed 10-year-old boy Monday night here

HBO @ Noon: Sydney Pollack

Michel Spingler/AP Photo
In this Sept. 9, 2006, file photo, U.S actress Meryl Streep and director Sydney Pollack arrive for the screening of the film “The Devil Wears Prada” at the 32nd American Film Festival in Deauville, Normandy, France. Academy Award-winning director Sydney Pollack, a Hollywood mainstay who achieved commercial success and critical acclaim with the gender-bending comedy “Tootsie” and the period drama “Out of Africa,” died of cancer Monday May 26, 2008. He was 73. Story here.

Question: Which Sydney Pollack film did you like best?

*The Devil Wears Prada
*Out of Africa
*Cold Mountain
*Michael Clayton
*They Shoot Horses Don’t They
*The Way We Were
*Three Days of the Condor
*Absence of Malice
*The Firm

My 2 Cents: Believe It Or Not, It’s Election Day

In the Something Should Be Done category, Idaho’s primary election Tuesday underscores one of three actions that is needed: Either the primary election should be moved a week, one way or the other, when it falls after Memorial Day. Or the primary election should be consolidated with school elections to make life easier for busy voters.

Hall: Teddy Disgraced, Redeemed Himself

A promising young man once did something so unforgivable that it seemed his transgression might earn him an early admission to hell. But someone up there apparently decided that would be too easy for him. It’s as if he were condemned instead to spend the rest of a long life doing the heavy lifting of improving other lives as a means of compensating for a life he had taken. When young Sen. Ted Kennedy drunkenly drove a car off a bridge and drowned a young woman in the process, a more constructive punishment than hell was in order/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here

Question: How do you view Ted Kennedy: redeemed sinner who served his constituents well? Or unrepentant liberal who got away with a capital offense years ago? Or something in between?

Update: Boy Killed, Mother, Brother Hurt In CDA Crash

At 9:47 p.m. Monday, Coeur d’Alene police responded to a fatality accident at 4th St. and I-90. Upon arrival officers witnessed the driver of the suspect vehicle run from the area. Officer Gilmore pursued the male on foot and arrested him shortly after. Witnesses stated the victim vehicle a 1990 Mazda 323 was southbound on 4th in the eastbound turn lane to I-90. The suspect vehicle driven by Ryan A. Jabaay, 32, of Cocolalla was northbound on 4th St. at a high rate of speed and ran the red light. His vehicle

DOTC: One Vote Can Change History

What a difference one vote can make. A one vote difference on the Supreme Court would have made all the difference for our country and tens of thousands of friends, families, and loved ones of our military. Not to mention the incredible impact on our national debt and the needed investments in our own country that has instead been made on other countries/Dan of the County. More here

WND Poll: Online Search Engines

Item: Memorial Day ‘war’: Yahoo vs. Google: Competing search engines offer different takes on U.S. holiday/WorldNetDaily

Question: What is your preferred online search engine?

1. All the Web
2. Alta Vista
3. AOL
4. Ask
5. Clusty
6. Dogpile
7. Excite
8. Google
9. KartOO
10. Lycos
11. Mamma
12. MSN
13. Netscape
15. WebCrawler
16. Yahoo
17. Other

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Breaking: Serious Crash @ 4th & I-90

Breaking News: anyone there on the Spokesman desk have details of what must be a bad fatality accident in Coeur d’Alene? I’ve just heard bits and pieces on the scanner but the coroner and English Funeral and a chaplain are in route and there’s frantic manuevering of emergency vehicles to “block the view” of onlookers at the scene. One car with WA plates and the other with Kootenai County plates.

DFO: I just heard on the late news that 3 people are being transferred from an accident at Interstate 90 and 4th Street in Coeur d’Alene — and that the coroner and a chaplain have been called.

Eye on Boise: Idaho icon J.R. Simplot dead at age 99

J.R. Simplot, the billionaire potato baron who made a second fortune launching a Boise microchip company, died today at the age of 99. Simplot is the former father-in-law of Idaho Gov. Butch Otter. A self-made man who quit school at the age of 14 to go into business, he built the Simplot Co. into the largest shipper of fresh potatoes in the country by the early years of World War II, and marketed the first commercially viable frozen french fries in the world in the early 1950s. - Betsy Z. Russell, SR Eye on Boise - More here

WND Poll: Why Did Subway Dis Home Schoolers?

Item: Subway sandwich contest: Homeschoolers not wanted: Spelling-challenged promotion offers gift ‘bastket’ to winners/WorldNetDaily

More Info: What do you think of Subway specifically excluding home schools from its essay contest?

1. I’m glad. Homeschooling has undermined the public school system – it needs to be discouraged at every opportunity
2. It would have been too difficult to deal with thousands of one-student homeschools
3. The marketing department rightly thought the company’s image would benefit more by giving athletic equipment to real school instead of a family
4. It’s their store, their contest, their right
5. Get over it – it’s just a contest
6. Subway has discriminated against homeschool families, plain and simple
7. It’s maddening to see private businesses kowtow to ossified, statist schools and ignore the educational entrepreneurs who homeschool
8. It’s going to be a long time before I go back to Subway
9. Subway had to exclude homeschoolers – they would have won all the prizes
10. Other

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

High Water Closes Spokane River Footbridge

Larry Reisnouer/SR
People in Spokane interested in seeing the downtown falls as they cascade through Riverfront Park are not able to use the footbridge that crosses the south branch of the upper channel of the Spokane River. Water has been splashing over the bridge making it wet and dangerous..

Theaters Raising Ticket, Popcorn Prices

Item: Moviegoers’ eyes could pop at the price of corn: At least one Boise movie theater may raise its ticket and food prices next week as a result of rising corn and gas costs. One national movie chain upped prices Friday/McClatchy Newspapers.

More Info: Partly because of the rising price for popcorn, Kansas City-based AMC Entertainment Inc. on Thursday announced that beginning Friday, ticket prices were going to be increased from $9 to $10 for weekend showtimes after 4 p.m. at its five Kansas City theaters. Also starting Friday, AMC’s popcorn price jumped 25 cents nationwide to, for example, $4.75, $5.75 and $6.75 for the snack.

Question: How much do you pay for snacks when you go to the movies? What do you buy?

OrangeTV Review: Country Music

Several years ago, I took a pop music history class and developed a new appreciation for the original, old-timey country sound. I discovered the various joys of the original singing cowboys and the unhinged croon of Hank Williams, the Nashville Sound of Patsy Cline and Jim Reeves and the rockabilly spunk of Johnny Cash and early Elvis. At the time, I was working in a convenience store where the owner kept the radio dial glued permanently to the mainstream country station. Although I felt strong in my belief that modern Country was musically overproduced, lyrically clichéd and painfully cloying, the endless repetitiveness of the playlist gradually, involuntarily sucked me in to the point that I knew every word of “Redneck Woman” by heart and found myself giddy with excitement upon the opening notes of “I Love This Bar”/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here

Question: Which country music song — or musician — is your favorite?

WND Poll: Nationalizing Oil Companies?

What do you think of talk about nationalizing the oil companies?/WorldNetDaily

1. It’s long overdue – the free market is failing us
2. Energy is far too important to be left in the hands of profit-maximizing corporations
3. If not now – with gas approaching $5 a gallon – when?
4. It’s the only way to counter the greed of Big Oil
5. If it’s good for Chavez’s Venezuela, it’s good for the U.S.
6. Let’s see … it’s never worked anywhere before. Hmmmm, what could go wrong?
7. Oil companies already own the government so what good will it do to nationalize them?
8. I don’t agree with nationalization but something drastic has to be done
9. Do you really want to trust the government to provide your next tank of gas?
10. No thanks, I’ll take my chances with Big Oil

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

TGIF Wild Card — 5/23/08

We’ve reached closing time on Friday before a three-day Memorial Day weekend. I doubt that I’ll visit the local cemeteries on Memorial Day. But I do visit on other days, particularly when I walk home after work. I enjoy walking among the tombstones, reading inscriptions. It’s peaceful. I’ve visited the late Ron Rankin’s grave by the Civil War soldier more than once. I once found a Snickers bar stuffed in a greeting card on a grave. I can only imagine the story behind that gesture. Anyway, I’ll continue to play this Wild Card as I try to figure out what I’m going to do with a three-day weekend before Election Day …

Best of the Local Blogs — 5/23/08

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho
On the east side of Tubbs Hill, Lake Coeur d’Alene’s Sanders Beach shoreline is rising up the seawall. At the nearby 11th Street Marina, Hanna and Associates parking lot is filling with floodwaters but the sandbags are at the ready/Kerri Thoreson, OnLocation North Idaho.

Newby: Christina Ethridge’s North Idaho Real Estate blog

I’m making room at the top of my Most Hated Movies Of All-Time list for No Country For Old Men. I can’t even describe how much I loathe this film after watching it the other night. It’s shocking because I’m a fan of the Coen brothers. Fargo and Raising Arizona are classics in my book. The problem with No Country For Old Men is that its exquisite direction, acting, and cinematography are overshadowed by an absolutely horrible plot. What a huge disappointment/A Family Runs Through It. More here

HBO Numbers (from Thursday, May 22, 2008): 7913 page-views/4648 unique views

*Tryin’ to survive/Marmitetoasty
*Garden of friends/From A Simple Mind
*Why am I gravitating to senior citizen mags?/Mrs. Mac Energetic
*Flamingo Motel in autumn/Remember The Roxy
*Free the families/Bay Views
*No upskirt videos here/Chronic Discontent
*Don’t lecture me on poetry, John (McCain)/TUBOB

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 5/23/08

Richard M. Hackett/Daily Times-Call, AP
Craig Singleton displays racquetball sized hail he collected after a tornado hit Windsor, Colo., on Thursday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Craig’s wife, Mary: “Is that a snowball? I mean, it’s an odd color, a little shade of white and a little shade of black.” Craig: “It’s hail, Mary, full of grays”/John Austin.
2. As Craig collected hail stones, he found a couple snow balls. Alas, that’s all that was left of Frosty/CindyH.
3. “After passing these things I have a lot more sympathy for chickens in Fargo, North Dakota,” Singleton remarked as he left the medical plaza/Brent Andrews.

HM: Smith-Kennedy

Fortier: When Men Aren’t Men

I know this may sound “intolerant,” but I gotta admit that I really don’t like pregnant men and boys with boobs. There. I said it. If you happen to be a man “with child” or young man in need of a brassiere, I’m sorry if I offended you but that’s just the way I feel. I don’t put white cheese on my burger, I don’t want God removed from the Pledge, and I don’t want my dad wearing maternity boxers or my son working at Hooters. So you can imagine my disdain this week when I read the following headlines: “Pregnant man to give birth …” and “Obesity fuels growing ‘boy-boob problem.” And no, these guys aren’t in the circus/Marty Fortier, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here

Question: Any thoughts re: Marty’s column?

Video Journal: Spokane River Water Show

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Huge runoff from the Idaho mountains has caused the Spokane River to flood. As a result, onlookers are treated to a spectacular water show as a flow of more than 40,000 cubic feet per second comes crashing down the falls below City Hall/Tom Clouse, Video Journal.

Also: Brian Plonka’s flood slide show

DOTC: Election Office Open Memorial Day

The elections office will be open from 8-5 on Monday at 1808 3rd Street in CDA for the last day of absentee voting. This is a very fitting Memorial Day activity. Honor a Vet-Go Vote! On Tuesday, Election Day, the polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m./Dan of the County.

AndrewZ’s SR Today In Pictures — 5/23/08

Robin Loznak/Roseburg News-Review, AP
Krystee Weatherford, a fourth-grader at Fir Grove Elementary School in Roseburg, Ore., helps put up flags at the Roseburg National Cemetery earlier today. About 100 students from the school placed about 3,500 flags in recognition of Memorial Day. For Andrew Zahler’s SR Today In Pictures, click here.

HBO In Briefs: KEA Blames Logging

“This year’s flooding in the Coeur d’Alene and the St. Joe Rivers, like the ’65, ’74 and ’96 floods, are the result of heavy logging and road building by the Forest Service, Idaho Department of Lands and private timber corporations,” says Allen Isaacson, former supervisory hydrologist for the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. “I’ve consistently witnessed that the most severe damage occurred downstream in the most heavily logged areas”/Kootenai Environmental Alliance. More here

*Ex-SR staffer Brumbach edits Liberty Lake weekly
*Street repairs to close 6th Tuesday
*Garbage pickup to be day late next week

Question: Do you think Kootenai Environmental Alliance plays an important watchdog roll in North Idaho?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 5/23/08

Paul Ruhter/Billings Gazette
A Billings Logan Airport Crash Fire and Rescue truck responds to the scene of an airplane crash near downtown Billings, Mont., early this morning. A small plane crashed into a building, causing an explosion and fire and killing the pilot. Story here

1. A Spokane Valley UPS worker appeared to be making a nice gesture by bringing in brownies for his co-workers, however he was arrested on a felony charge when it was discovered that marijuana was cooked into the treats here/KXLY.

2. A trial in the case of a woman seeking parental rights to children adopted by her former lesbian partner began in Missoula Thursday here/Helena Independent-Record.

3. Online Poll: 578 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll were almost equally split with 4 possible answers, with 24% saying they’re paying a lot of attention to primary races and another 24% saying they’re not paying a bit of attention to them.

4. Blogs: Amateur hour at Senate debate/Kevin Richert, IStatesman; Local government myopia/Dogwalk Musings; and Dream of transferring public land to the state/Rocky Barker, IStatesman.

5. IMHO: Ex-Idahoan enjoys ‘Last Comic Standing’ spotlight/Michael Deeds, IStatesman; Polar bear fakeroo isn’t Kempthorne’s first/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune; and Marriage equality migrates north/Ryan Blethen, Seattle Times.

6. News Roundup: Suspended cop accuses Spokane chief of misconduct/SR; Ex-EWU star key in Detroit win over Celtics/SR; Bill Clinton plans 3 stops in Montana/Billings Gazette; Idaho prep baseball coach faces strangulation charge/Twin Falls Times-News; and 3 Boise high schools make Newsweek’s list/KTVB.

Larry Spencer’s Latest Mailing

Larry Spencer’s latest 11th-hour election mailings hit mailboxes today. Seems Jai Nelson has turned his head in the Kootenai County commissioner GOPrimary for Chairman Rick Currie’s seat

re: Rick Currie: One of the weak areas he has is the lack of vision or direction to lead the county in. The county is not unlike a ship drifting aimlessly in circles with a broken rudder, with Currie at the helm insisting he can make things work, he just “needs some more time.”

re: Tom Cronin: My concern is that he is bought and paid for by businesses that will get the vote they want if they can get him elected, and he is not interested in representing the average people and their concerns

re: Jai Nelson: If I could use three words to describe her, they would be fair, balanced and wise. She is a lifelong resident, and I think she is the only candidate who did not have to change her party affiliation to run as a Republican.

SR: Re-Elect Tondee

Tondee wants to continue the daily chores of managing the county’s business while updating the comprehensive plan. After that, he’d like to follow through on rewriting zoning ordinances. Those are a couple of unsexy tasks, but they’re long overdue in a county that has absorbed a population explosion since 1994, when the plan was last revised. Herzog’s goal is to be a rebel, and his cause is watching taxpayer dollars. That’s a perennial favorite for political candidates, but the job is more involved than riding herd on a slogan/SR Editorial Board. More here

Question: Do you agree or disagree with this endorsement?

Marc Stewart Leaving CDA Press

Huckleberries Online has learned that key reporter Marc Stewart is leaving the Coeur d’Alene Press to become the spokesman for the Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe. Stewart, who now reports on local government after covering police and courts, will join the tribe in mid-June. HBO also has learned that another reporter, an unnamed one, has given notice, too.

Risch, Opponents Lock Horns On ‘Tax Cut’

Item: Risch claims his special session produced biggest tax cut, opponents say that’s bogus/Heath Druzin, Idaho Statesman

More Info: Risch has made the one-day special session the cornerstone of his whirlwind 7-month tenure as governor. … The Legislature eliminated the $260 million property tax for school maintenance and operations and boosted the sales tax to 6 percent from 5 percent, raising $219 million. Lawmakers used surplus money to cover the shortfall.

Question: Tax cut? Or tax shift? Do you support the move by legislators to raise the sales tax a penny and remove school maintenance costs from the property tax?

AM Headlines — 5/23/08

Jerome A. Pollos/Coeur d’Alene Press
Kelsey Busch, 16, right, waits for her turn at getting $40 worth of gas Thursday as her friends Jake Phillips, center, and Jason Perry keep her company at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The free gas promotion took place in 24 cities across the country and attracted 200 vehicles in Coeur d’Alene that began lining up at 6:45 a.m. to secure their spot. Story here

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Bonner County levy passes by 42 votes/Marlisa Keyes, Bonner County Daily Bee
*Some politicians flunk courage test: Several candidates have not filled out questions offered by Project Vote Smart/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Businesses try to keep their heads above water: Flooding has put a damper on usually busy Memorial Day weekend/Suzanne Jacobson, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Figure skating tickets go on sale this weekend/SR

Question: How long would you wait in line for $40 of free gas?

DeePee: Marine Deputies Are Jerks

The marine deputies are the creepy and extraneous. Lose the lot of them. Little young nazis. Marine Recreation Enforcement, I believe their division is called. Enforcing recreation, yeah right. A buncha snivviley jerks, ask me. They cured me of boat ownership. The lake it not fun, its THEIR battleground. Take no prisoners, afflict the people who just want to take a boat ride. Screw them. They won, but I don’t play anymore. Another Pierce Clegg casualty.

JimmyMAC: Ed Corridor Will Help Best, Brightest

A friend/associate of mine who knows I am a staunch conservative figured me to be against the levy on Tuesday and the ed corridor because of tax reasons. My response is that I am overwhelminly for hiked taxes that aid the betterment of a. children/education and b. job growth. Opposing the ed corridor is utterly insane in my opinion. Absolutely insane. My close group of friends that I grew up with in North Idaho and graduated high school are all very very bright individuals. Many are now engineers, chemists, enviro scientists, corp. production managers, etc. I am one of two of the dozen or so that still resides in N Idaho/JimmyMAC. More here

Overwhelming Support

By the way, moderator Mike Patrick asked the attendees at the end of the forum three questions:

How many of you support NIC purchasing the property?
Answer: Overwhelming show of hands.

How many of you oppose NIC purchasing the property?
About 10 hands

How many are undecided?
About 15 hands


Q: Instead of using foregone taxes, would you consider bringing a bond issue to the public?
Mic Armon: We have a timing problem. This is going to happen in the next six months. We talked about doing a bond issue. We have looked at many options as a board. In order to do a bond issue, you need 66 2/3s percent vote for passage. NIC has never done a bond issue. We don’t have the time or experience to do one now.


Q: Mayor Bloem, you met with planners and other visionaries in Portland? What did they say about locating this project next to sewer plant?

Sandi Bloem: They said you didn’t bring us a problem or challenge. You brought us one of the biggest opportunities we’ve seen. The sewer plant is an enormous asset. You can use it for a number of research classes, including wastewater treatment and water quality. They were very enthused.

Blogging Live @ NIC Ed Corridor Forum

The Education Forum discussion is just starting, with Coeur d’Alene Press managing editor Mike Patrick explaining the “rules of engagement.” (Basically, I’m watching to see if anyone steps out of line):

*Looks like 65-70 people showed up for the forum. Reps. Frank Nonini and Frank Henderson are here. State Senate wannabe Ken Howard is sitting directly in front of me. I see a coupla CAVErs. But not the main ones. Then, I’m in a corner of the room that I can’t see everyone.

*75 minutes into the forum and still no fireworks, although the questions have been pointed.

Parting Shot — 5/22/08

Karen Nichols/Kalispell Daily Inter Lake
A pair of raccoons race across the front steps of a home in downtown Kalispell, Montana Wednesday morning, May 21, 2008. Raccoons are not native to western Montana, but have spread across Montana following riparian areas, according to a Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks website. Raccoons are opportunistic omnivores and will sometime raid garbage cans or gardens near homes.

Scanner Traffic — 5/22/08

4:59 p.m. 4-year-old reportedly pulled a knife on an adult.

4:43 p.m. Hit-and-run accident @ 7th & Sherman. Motorist reports that bicyclist rode into his car and then pedaled off toward condos on Lakeside.

4:31 p.m. T-bone injury accident at Government Way & Dalton

3:37 p.m. A woman reportedly left her 2-year-old daughter alone in her car at a quick stop and later drove off without putting the child in a restraining seat, according to an anonymous caller.

3:31 p.m. Some 16 kids met to fight at the city park @ 13th & Best. But they scattered (some in a white Chevy) when they noticed that a passing motorist was calling police.

More Fun w/Larry: Bobblefoot Day

You’ve heard of the bobblehead doll that baseball teams love to hand out to fans. So how about a bobblefoot? The St. Paul Saints are putting their own twist on the popular promotion, in a nod to one of the most notorious Minnesota stories of last year. At Sunday’s game, they’ll give 2,500 fans a miniature bathroom stall with a pair of lower legs and feet - one of which is springloaded so that it taps/PageOneQ (caution: gay Web site). More here. Photo: Handout/Associated Press.

Hat Tip: Ken Paulman

Dogwalk Musings: Bloggers Rule

RE: Dogwalk’s post about today’s Leadership Coeur d’Alene Media Day

What was of more interest to me, however, was what I learned by sitting in on two preceding sessions. It told me a lot about why we get such lousy news coverage from both the print and broadcast media. Mostly its the bottom line. We have been suffering locally by the cutbacks made by the Spokane based Spokesman Review. A speaker from the Coeur d’Alene Press made it clear there was no intention of picking up the resulting lack of in depth reporting. Their mission, basically, is to be all things to all readers. Of course without talented staff that’s pretty hard to do/Dogwalk Musings. More here

Question: How do you think the North Idaho blogosphere fits into the grand scheme of media coverage?

Alaska Guv Rejects Abortion For Down’s Child

Item: Mom rejects abortion after Down syndrome diagnosis: Praise for governor: ‘May God give America more women like her’/WorldNetDaily

More Info: Only one year into her governorship and with four children at home already, a child with Down syndrome would present serious challenges. Studies in the late 90s showed that more than 80 percent of prenatal Down syndrome diagnoses end in abortion. Ending the pregnancy, however, was never an option for the Palins. On April 18, Sarah Palin gave birth to a 6-pound, 2-ounce son, Trig Paxson Van Palin.

Question: What would you have done if you were in Gov. Palin’s shoes?

Extra! Texas Wrong To Take Polygamists’ Kids

LM Otero/AP Photo
Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints mothers smile as they leave the Tom Green County courthouse after hearing news of a court ruling in their favor in San Angelo, Texas today. An Austin, Texas, appeals court ruled that the state had no cause to take their children.

Item: Court: Texas had no right to take polygamists’ kids/AP

More Info: A Texas appeals court said Thursday that the state had no right to take more than 400 children from a polygamist sect’s ranch, a ruling that could unravel one of the biggest child-custody cases in U.S. history. The Third Court of Appeals in Austin ruled that the state offered “legally and factually insufficient” grounds for the “extreme” measure of removing all children from the ranch, from babies to teenagers.

Question: What do you think of this ruling?

OnLocationNI: North Shore Waterfront

The steps down to the beach in front of the Gumprect home on West Lakeshore Drive have disappeared.

The boardwalk bridge at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Marina is submerged past the steps. The opening for boats to enter the lake is shrinking.

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho has more photos of North Shore flooding here. The SR tells how the high water will affect boating for Memorial Day weekend here.

Anti-Wolf Activists Dominate F&G Meeting

Ashley Smith/Times-News, AP
Anti-wolf advocate Ron Gillett, of Stanley, Idaho, speaks during an Idaho Fish and Game Commission meeting Wednesday in Jerome. More than 100 people turned out to voice their opinions on proposed rules for hunting wolves in the state.

More Info: More than 100 people turned out at the Idaho Fish and Game’s Magic Valley Regional Office in Jerome to speak their minds on the proposed rules for hunting wolves in the state. The Fish and Game Commission is set to decide on wolf hunting season today. The crowd was overwhelmingly in favor of strict population controls for the wolves, which were recently removed from the endangered species list after more than 40 years of federal protection/Twin Falls Times-News. More here

Question: Do you support strict controls on Idaho wolf populations?

Eskridge, Anderson Ace Enviro Scorecard …

But Hayden Lake’s Jorgenson joins Moyle Among “out of step” legislators/Boise Weekly

More Info: The scorecard praises work by Boise Democrat Sen. David Langhorst and Meridian Republican Rep. Mark Snodgrass for working for auto emissions testing, as well as Dover Republican Rep. George Eskridge and Boise Democrat Sens. Kate Kelly and Elliot Werk, and Nampa Republican Sen. Curt McKenzie for pushing for green building standards. Of course, with the good, comes the bad. House Minority Leader Mike Moyle, Star, was listed as the No. 1 “Out of Step” legislator when it comes to environmental issues. He is joined on the dubious list by fellow Republicans Rep. Curtis Bowers from Caldwell, Steve Kren from Nampa and Hayden Lake Republican Sen. Michael Jorgenson.

Conservation Voters of Idaho scorecard

Question: Is it important that your legislator scores well in the scorecard compiled by the Conservation Voters For Idaho? Which of the various scorecards circulated at election time matters most to you?

Rocky III: Incumbent Deserves 3rd Term

Item: Right sheriff for job: Our View: Rocky Watson has proven himself a strong leader/SR Editorial Board

More Info: Tuesday’s ballot will list two known quantities: Incumbent Sheriff Rocky Watson and Post Falls City Councilman Joe Bodman are both public figures, experienced peace officers and seasoned politicians. There aren’t many riddles to solve. Well, maybe one: If Watson has performed the job capably for nine years, why should voters trade him in on an untested replacement? They shouldn’t.

Question: Which of the last two Kootenai County sheriff’s do you prefer — Rocky Watson or Pierce Clegg?

AM Headlines — 5/22/08

Don Sausser/Special to Huckleberries
Don Sausser snapped this shot of the high water at Independence Point Wednesday. Flooding continues throughout the region here.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Huckleberries: Macho men get food tips from Oprah/DFO, SR Handle Extra
*Idaho wants to put toxic waste near Cataldo flood plain/Becky Kramer, SR
*A jump-start for state track: Lakeland senior learns she wins Addis car giveaway while on way to meet/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Most Spirit Lake residents support growth: Survey conducted recently/Taryn Hecker, SR Handle Extra
*If you build it well, it will sell: Trails Edge condos sell out on Mullan Avenue/Rick Thomas, Coeur d’Alene Press

Zelda: Steamy Murder Case ‘Choice Stuff’

Hey, the S-R has new details on a steamy murder case, just posted tonight. An ex-teacher turned hooker calling herself Nikita Jennifer who shot her husband in their South Hill home a few months ago. She even has an attorney named Melvin Champagne. This is choice stuff. Not a classy enough couple for “48 Hours Mystery,” but still the hottest thing going tonight (now that we know the outcome of American Idol.)is hour/Zelda.

Heller: Ted Kennedy’s Illness

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Hump Day Wild Card — 5/21/08

Late Thursday morning, four HBOers — Dan of the County, Councilman MikeK, Dogwalk Musings and this Huckleberry Hound — will present a panel discussion on blogging for Leadership Coeur d’Alene. I imagine the four of us will break down what has happened here over the past 4 years. I’ll start thinking about my part in the presentation sometime tonight. It’s nice to pause occasionally and reflect about this phenomenon. It certainly has been a long, crazy trip. Now, for your morning Wild Card …

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 5/21/08

Caleb got his five year immunizations this week. There were three of them, each a miraculous cocktail of disease prevention in a giant syringe tipped with a glistening needle. He’s fine. And, well, I’m recovering. I hate the moment when the needles break that pristine baby skin, and, despite all the preparation and the hand holding and the assurances that “it will all be over in a second, sweetheart”, those big blue eyes widen–first in shock and then in pain–and the wail that cannot be contained pierces the air and mommy’s heart at the same time/Katrina, Notes on a Napkin. More here

HBO Numbers (for Tuesday, May 20): 9615 page-views/5268 unique views

*A Family Runs Through It turns 4/Family Phil
*Shiny nest/A Butterfly Moment
*Interesting problem for the GOP/Arch Druid
*Fight to the finish/Dogwalk Musings
*Went fishing/From A Simple Mind
*Floating flower pots/Live, Love, Laugh, Hope

Question: Do you fear needles?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 5/21/08

Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone, AP
German artist Arnd Drossel runs in his steel ball “Inner Balance” on the lake in Geneva, Switzerland, during training Wednesday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. It’s a piece of exercise equipment, a hamster ball, and a salad shooter all in one! Call now and we’ll throw in a set of ginsu knives for free! They chop, they dice, they even cut metal!/StacyL.
2. Secret Service agents need a little mechanical help to keep up with Barack Obama’s messiah act/Family Phil.
3. Are they going to provide one of these for each of the people in the local flooded areas? That way they can just walk to the nearest town for help/Shannon.

HM: Cindy Hval

AndrewZ’s SR Today In Pictures — 5/21/08

Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press
Residents watch as the body of a whale is removed with a bulldozer on Yoff beach in Dakar, Senegal. The bodies of at least 38 whales have washed up on the beach, and wildlife officials say as many as 100 swam up close to shore. For the rest of Andrew Zahler’s SR Today In Pictures, click here.

American Airlines To Charge $15 For 1st Bag

Matt Rourke/AP Photo
A person is seen rolling luggage at a baggage claim area at Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, today. American Airlines said Wednesday it would begin charging $15 for the first checked bag, cut domestic capacity 11-12 percent later this year, and eliminate an unspecified number of jobs as it tries to deal with record fuel prices. Story here

Question: Are you willing to pay $15 for your first checked bag to fly American Airlines.

Top 2007 Baby Names For Idaho:

Boy Names: Jacob, Ethan, Logan, Isaac & Michael.
Girl Names: Emma, Emily, Olivia, Hannah & Abigail.

Overall top baby names in country: Jacob & Emily. Social Security office link

Question: What’s your favorite baby names, for a boy and a girl?

Washington Board Renames Squaw Creek

The Washington State Board on Geographic Names has approved the name John Paulson Creek to replace “Squaw Creek.” The creek runs west from the town of Plaza, in Spokane County, into Pine Creek, in Whitman County. The previous name was widely regarded as derogatory to Native Americans; the new one recognizes pioneer farmer John Paulson/SR.

Question: Do you support the change of geographic places that contain the name “squaw”?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 5/21/08

Kyle Mills/Lewiston Tribune, AP
Bill Cady casts his line into the high waters of the Clearwater River on Tuesday, near Kooskia, Idaho.

1. Washington State University will cut the number of courses it offers by 20 percent, eliminate majors and minors, and redirect resources from those changes toward key areas of strength here/SR.

2. U.S. Rep. Bill Sali accused the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms of offering a misleading account of how the federal agency ended its use of a training slogan that angered some gun owners here/IStatesman.

3. The towns of Cody and Powell draw their names from two important historical figures whose individual characters are today reflected by the nature of the towns themselves, according to one historian here/Billings Gazette.

4. Blogs: Environmentalists endorse Gregoire/Eye On Olympia; People who need people/Dogwalk Musings; and Obama over the pledged top/Randy Stapilus.

5. IMHO: Judge Horton won’t play politics/David Leroy, IStatesman; Opponents of assisted suicide and straight talk/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune; and Whines from a wino wannabe/Dan Hammes, St. Maries Gazette-Record.

6. News Roundup: Spokane freeway worker’s leg severed by bulldozer/KREM2; 10 Repub lawmakers report contributions from flight/IStatesman; One-legged pilot finds role as inspiration/Billings Gazette; Another NW mill bites the dust/Missoulian; and Man who dragged woman for mile enters plea/Billings Gazette.

Orbusmax Special: Washington mom organizing protest of sexy baristas here.

Missing Man Found Dead

The body of Kenneth Lee Adsitt, 28, was found hanging from a tree on the north side of the Spokane River (2272 West Seltice Way) Sunday evening by sheriff’s deputies. Authorities believe Adsitt was the victim of an apparent suicide. Coeur d’Alene police issued a missing person’s bulletin for him in mid-March. He was last reported seen by family on March 7/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d’Alene Police Department.

Kristi Yamaguchi Wins “Dancing” Contest

Kelsey McNeal/ABC, AP
In this image released by ABC, Mark Ballas and Kristi Yamaguchi compete on ” Dancing With The Stars” Monday in Los Angeles. Ballas and Yamaguchi won the celebrity dance competition on ABC Tuesday.

Question: Did the right couple win last night?

Online Poll: Prizes To Encourage Census Count?

The Census Bureau is looking at ways to increase the respondent count, including prize giveaways. Do you think prize giveaways are a good idea?/Idaho Statesman.

*Don’t know

SR: Keep Rick Currie

Incumbent Currie, 60, gets good marks for traveling to every corner of the county to listen to constituents. He was elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2004, and is seeking a third term. In 2006, two incumbent commissioners were ousted by voters, in part because of concerns over haphazard development standards. Currie has the most tenure on the board. The county’s comprehensive plan is being updated for the first time since 1994; public hearings are under way. The document has the potential to become the road map for all future land use decisions in Kootenai County/SR Editorial Board. More here

Question: Do you agree with our endorsement in the Kootenai County commissioner race?

My 2 Cents — Failed School Levy

The school levy failed because too many individuals wanted to believe the lie that school officials and trustees are conniving and secretive — rather than use common sense to realize that the school district got caught by rapidly escalating construction costs after the last successful levy for a new Lakes Middle School. In hind sight, the trustees should have conducted a community forum to address the problem and a proposed solution (use the money to finish other building projects). The vote against the $31.1M capital facilities levy yesterday simply means that it’s going to cost even more in the future to reconstruct Lakes Middle School and build other elementary schools. Even the late tax activist Ron Rankin realized that pay-as-you-go plant facilities levies were the way to go because taxpayers don’t foot the bill for additional interest. Tuesday’s vote was a misinformed one that is only going to bite us in the future when a bigger bill comes due. Unless, of course, this community has officially returned to the head-in-the-sand days of the 1980s when the school district couldn’t build anything and had to resort to double shifting at the high school.

Bonner County School Levies

Lake Pend Oreille School District levy:

Yes 2,777 56%
No 2,193 44%

West Bonner County School District levy:

Yes 691 67%
No 337 33%

Source: KREM2

Update: CDA Levy Fails, Incumbents Win

Final Results for $31.1M Coeur d’Alene School District plant facilities levy:

No 3955
Yes 3550

Zone 4
Diane Zipperer 443
Susan Francis 384

Zone 5
Sid Fredrickson 423
Kevin Mylan 343

Question: If distrust of Coeur d’Alene School District officials was a key issue in the levy failure, how come incumbents Fredrickson and Zipperer retained their seats?

Heller: What High Cost?

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Spokane Police ID Body Found In KootCo SUV

Spokane Police have identified the body found Monday on Spokane’s South Hill as 40-year-old Michael Giannotti. An autopsy showed no signs of traumatic injuries that would explain his death. Detectives are now waiting for toxicology reports to help decide the cause of death. Police do not believe Giannotti drove himself to the corner of Sixth Av & Jefferson St, where he was found in his 1995 white Nissan Pathfinder/KREM2. More here

Parting Shot — 5/20/08

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review
Scott Lasley, member of the Board of Directors of the Wallace Business Community Association walked on top of the huge snow mound that still exists in Wallace today. He is taking bets on how long it will take for the mound to melt. The money raised will be used for advertising and promotion of Wallace.

HBO’s Best of the Local Blogs — 5/20/08

A crowd of 475,000 people went to the Obama rally in Portland this weekend. In that crowd were hundreds of people with terminal cancer, crippling illnesses, birth defects, etc. They were all healed. While Obama was there, the Columbia and Willamette rivers ran golden with honey and the salmon grew wings and flew happily on to their spawning grounds. Sea Lions waved at them and sang Sea Lion clan songs of the renewal cycles of life. The Portland Light Rail flew by on rails of spun sugar and all the riders possessed stunning powers of positronic psychokinesis and spent their rides giving each other temporal lobe tickles/TUBOB. More here

HBO Numbers (for Monday, May 19): 7126 page-views/4205 unique views

*Tightrope/Un-Muted Mumblings
*Bathroom graffiti/Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts
*Tuesday twitter and tumble/Slight Detour

For Julianne Hough Fans …

… you can hear how “Bubblehead Bob” Hough’s famous “Dancin’ with the Stars” granddaughter, Julianne, does as a singer by clicking on this link for “That Song In My Head” here.

Hat Tip: MamaJD

Souza Urges No Vote On School Levy

Note: A Berry Picker received the following e-mail from Mary Souza

Just a quick reminder to you all: Please vote tomorrow, Tuesday, May 20th, in the $31.1 million dollar School Levy election. You can vote at any public school, the hospital or the Mica Grange. Please consider voting NO if you believe the school district should improve their process of preparing, researching and estimating the costs for school construction, as well as spending any approved money for the use intended. Your vote will make a difference!/Mary Souza, circulated via e-mail. More here

Lilac Parade Treatment Upsets CDA Roller

In a letter to the Lilac Association, Ginger Cordes, founder of the Coeur d’Alene Derby Dames, protested an incident in which a Lilac Parade official mistreated her group here.

Huckleberries Hears …

… That at least one little old lady was confused re: where to vote today, after receiving a direct mailing about the School District Zone 4 elections from “Mary Souzie.” Anyone else out there receive a copy of the mailing? Huckleberries’d sure like to see one. BTW, a recent mailing from state Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, urging absentee voting misspells “Kootenai” and offers a ZIP code of 83841 for the city of Coeur d’Alene.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 5/20/08

Steve Hanks/Lewiston Tribune, AP
Construction workers join aluminum panels together to make the new screen at the Sunset Auto-Vu drive-in in Grangeville, Idaho on Monday. The 52-year old screen was blown down by 80 mph winds in November. Story here

1. Idaho’s U.S. senators both said an adamant “no” when asked by The Hill staff as part of a Senate poll if they’d accept an offer to be the vice presidential nominee. In fact, Larry Craig said: “No, Hillary.” Responses from other 95 respondents here.

2. Gonzaga and the West Coast Conference appear to be ready to wave goodbye to ESPN’s Big Monday and say hello to Thursday night telecasts here/Jim Meehan, SR.

3. David Horsey/Seattle PI fast-forwards 10 years go predict where the growing national debt will lead this country here.

4. IMHO: Purported news outfit closes doors to reporters/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune; Prove your love for meat/Doug Clark, SR; Idaho Republicans in disarray/Joan McCarter, New West; Legal procedures more than technicalities/Spokesman-Review; and Mob rules during Clinton’s Kalispell stop/Heidi Gaiser/Kalispell Daily Inter Lake.

5. Blogs: Spotlight on Oregon/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press; Picking none of the above/Kevin Richert, IStatesman; Ron Paul ideas rooted in National Review foundation/Rocky Barker, IStatesman; Luna announces teacher evaluation group/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise; and Anti-assisted suicide group challenges contributor disclosure/Rich Roesler/Eye On Olympia.

6. News Roundup: Otter to survey North Idaho flood damage/KTVB; Reward tops $11,000 in puppy abuse case/IStatesman; Huckabee in Spokane for family values talk/KXLY; Crow ask Obama to support indigenous people/Missoulian; and Black bear visits Spokane Valley family/KHQ.

Kennedy Diagnosed w/Brain Tumor

Doug Mills/AP Photo
In this June 11, 2002, file photo, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. gestures during a Capitol Hill news conference. A cancerous brain tumor caused the seizure Sen. Edward M. Kennedy suffered over the weekend, doctors said Tuesday in a grim diagnosis for one of American politics’ most enduring figures. Story here

Sara Anderson’s blog about her brain surgery

Isolated In Cataldo

Young Kwak/AP Photo
Ilene Huber, left, and her husband Don bring Shannon Carney to her mother Allison Carney, not pictured, via a boat, the only method of transportation possible as a result of floodwaters caused by a rise of the Coeur d’Alene River covered roads in Cataldo Monday. Shannon Carney was staying with her father John Carney whose house was not flooded but isolated as a result of flood waters.

Latest flood report from KCSO

Question: Can someone explain why people continue to live in areas that flood all the time?

IdaBlue: Truly Independent Idaho Voters?

My point is that this match up reveals the truth behind a canard I hear every election. Someone will be noting how reflexively Republican Idaho voters are, and the reply is “If Democrats would put up good candidates they ‘d get more people elected.” Well, yeah, it does take good candidates. Larry Grant was a good candidate and a moderate Democrat, and Sali beat him. Walt Minnick has been and still is a good candidate, another moderate Democrat, and yet he’s certainly not a shoo in/IdaBlue. More here

Idaho Blog Roundup:
*Risch best GOP Senate candidate/Adam’s Blog
*Faux independents/IdaBlue
*Bill Sali/Dennis Mansfield
*Election Day, May 20 edition/Red State Rebels
*Another Statesman non-endorsement/Unequivocal Notion

Question: Why do many Idahoans classify themselves as Independents when the state routinely votes for Republicans overwhelmingly?

Sandpoint ‘Extreme Home’ Owner Must Sell

Item: Extreme Home for sale: Hebert can’t afford upkeep nor time for maintenance/Marlisa Keyes, Bonner County Bee

More Info: Upkeep on the 3,678-square-foot challenge also is difficult. Hebert, who is single, works full-time and spends most evenings taking the kids to baseball and soccer practice. He said wants to enjoy his time with his niece and nephew. The cost to maintain the home is expensive and Hebert is worried about the economy, the price of gas and the cost of food.

Question: Your reaction to this story?

AM Headlines — 5/20/08

Jerome A. Pollos/Coeur d’Alene Press, AP
Becky Orchard, a midwife in training and a certified doula, does a check-up on 3-week-old Cody Drake as his mother, Kelly Routt, watches Wednesday at Dayspring Midwifery Services in Hayden. Story here

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Rain could make flooding worse/Thomas Clouse, SR
*Thursday forum will address NIC education corridor issues: Board of Trustees’ final decision on 2008-09 budget expected May 28/Coeur d’Alene Press
*Planned communities in draft: Kootenai County wants sprawl kept from rural areas/Erica F. Curless, SR
*Schuppel’s paintings bring smiles, sunlight: Showing to raise funds for Angels Over Sandpoint/David Gunter, Bonner County Bee

Question: Were any of your children delivered by a midwife? If so, was it a positive experience?

A Mother Grieves For Lost Son

RE: Accident victim touched lives
I can hardly breath these days because Shane is my son. I cannot tell you how much finding the site means to me. Thank you for the picture-I love seeing Shane grinning even after a tough work out like shoveling a roof. His tendons locked up on him for days after this hard work. Shane was my eldest child-our golden boy. He will be sadly missed. … If anyone has a voice mail from shane can you send it to my phone or to my email? I just want to be able to hear his voice/Cass Tacey (mother of Shane Beebe).

Signe: Dubya Gets Ever Higher Marks

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Body Found In Spokane In SUV w/KootCo Plates

Spokane police are investigating a possible homicide after a group of teens walking home from McDonald’s found a body in a sport utility vehicle Monday about a block from their Jefferson Street apartment. The body was in the backseat of a white Nissan Pathfinder with a Kootenai County, Idaho, license plate parked at the corner of 6th Avenue and Jefferson Street. Major Crimes Unit detectives were still investigating the scene as of press time and had released no details. Kayla Snow, 18, and her friends saw the body as they were walking home from lunch about 5 p.m. It appeared to be male with burn marks on his hands, Snow said. “There were flies everywhere on the Pathfinder,” Snow said. “Another girl was with me and she started puking.” Neighbors at the scene Monday night said the vehicle had been there at least two or three days.

Wild Card Monday — 5/19/08

It looks like we’re going to have another glorious day in the Inland Northwest today. I’m debating whether I should turn the sprinklers on today. Or wait until after the midweek rain that’s headed our way. After the winter and early spring that we’ve had I wake up expecting rain. Or worse. And can’t quite get into the mind set that sunshine is here to stay. I’ll grab breakfast and head to the office in 45 minutes so we can get things hopping again here. First, however, I’ll play the Wild Card …

APhoto of the Day — 5/19/08

Matt Rourke/AP Photo
Katie Hutchinson of Westminster, MD glides down a beer soaked slide in the infield at Pimlico Race Course before the 133rd Preakness horse race, Saturday in Baltimore. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. After the event, the remaining beer was poured into bottles labled “Katie’s Malt,” and shipped off to pubs in Idaho. It was a big hit. One reviewer wrote,”This is a classic summer blonde, though the bits of grass floating in the bottle took some getting used to” — CindyH.

2. Misguided Katie, having already gambled away her virtue, returns to the track with an insatiable thirst, donning a bib and just lookin’ for trouble — Damn Yankee.

It’s My 2 Cents — 5/19/08

In the last 2 weeks, I’ve had two siblings from my side visit in Coeur d’Alene. And my wife has had 2 siblings from her side visit. In times past, the routine for sight-seeing was fairly simple. Go down to Sherman Avenue for a coffee — and then a trip through the Hagadone mall and around the Boardwalk. This year, however, I took one group of relatives for the usual tour. But I took both to see Riverstone and John Stone’s manmade pond. I also enjoyed pointing out The Feathers on Northwest Boulevard, which I consider to be the most attractive public art feature in town, although I hear few people talk about them. On both occasions, my relatives wanted to eat at Azteca in Riverstone. The second choice was Red Robin — in Riverstone. My point? Subconsciously, am I, and possibly you, starting to consider Riverstone to be the new center or town rather than Sherman Avenue?

Question: Which are do you consider to be quintessential Coeur d’Alene: downtown Sherman Avenue, Riverstone, or the Silver Lake Mall area?

Election 2008 — Commissioner District 1

The winner of the GOPrimary for Kootenai County Commissioner District Seat 1 will face Democrat Steve Caires and Independent Bob Macdonald in the fall election. Who will win the nomination?

Rick Currie
Tom Cronin
Jai Nelson

League of Women Voters guide here

Rocky’s Cabin On The Move …

… Work crews have resume their efforts to relocate the cabin formerly owned by Duane Hagadone on Casco Bay to Sheriff Rocky Watson’s property on Cougar Bay. The cabin has been moored in two pieces on the lake while workers waited for high water to finish the relocation. Rocky told Erica Curless/SR a few minutes ago that the cabin is now anchored to the Cougar Bay shoreline. Work to move it to a permanent location will begin in the morning.

HBO @ Noon: I’d Rather Be Fishing

Ron Johnson/Peoria Journal Star, AP

Seven-year old Timothy Bressler of Peoria, Ill., shows his excitement after landing this bullhead during the 37th annual Clyde West Fishing Derby at the Glen Oak Park Lagoon in Peoria Saturday.

Question: How often do you fish?

Motorcyclist ID’d, Bayview Grieves

On a very sad note, the Coeur d’Alene Police reported that a motor vehicle/motorcycle accident happened near Cenex on Government Way Friday Night. Killed was Nathan Peck of Bayview. Nathan is the son of Neil and Debbie Peck and the Grandson of Al & Edie Peck. Nathan and his Mom, Debbie, are widely known for the Salee Creek gardens that produce fresh produce and flowers for the area. Nathan was 32 and was riding an almost new motorcycle when a vehicle turned onto the road in front of him. Attempting to avoid the truck, he layed his bike down, but it wasn’t enough. The Pecks are long time residents, parts of the family having been here since Bayview was founded at the turn of the last century, in the early 1900’s/Sweet & Sour Herb, Bay Views. More here

DFO: Sgt. Christie Wood confirmed the identity of the accident victim for Huckleberries Online a few minutes ago.

MamaJD: T-Ball Trash Talk

MamaJD: I believe that my son and MikeK’s son are playing against each other in tonight’s Mariners Tigers T-Ball game. Let the trashtalking begin! It’s GAME ON, Kennedy.

DFO: This side of grandparenthood, I never again will have to watch a T-ball game. Even when my two kids played T-ball, I considered it one of the most boring activities ever devised — this side of soccer. To have no T-ball in the foreseeable future is one of the joys of empty nestdom.

Question: Do you enjoy watching T-ball?

AM Headlines — Capt. Ben’s Honor Roll — 5/19/08

The featured scofflaws in sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger’s weekly warrants roundup are (from left): Michelle Story, 29, of Pullman (who is wanted on a probation violation for grand theft); Theodoro Antonio, 28, of Otello, Wash. (who is wanted for failure to appear for possession of controlled substance); and Cameron Danley, 23, of Spokane (who is wanted for failure to appear for possession of controlled substance). You can read the rest of the warrants roundup here.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Flooding worsens in North Idaho: Raging Coeur d’Alene River strands residents/SR
*Spokesman-Review turns 125/SR
*PF Dam hearing set for Tuesday: Certification required before project can be relicensed/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Business Focus: Burned-out Gamers relocates at Hayden/Jacob Livingston, SR Handle Extra
*Library Writers Competition winners named/Coeur d’Alene Press

CDA Press: Yes On SD271 $31.1M Levy

Item: Coeur d’Alene School District expects high election turnout: Absentee ballots double for $31.1 plant facilities levy/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Press

Press Urges Yes Vote: Critics are justified in being upset that the district did not do what it said it would do when voters approved a levy in 2002. A key part of that program was renovating Lakes Middle School. When costs escalated, district officials used some of the Lakes money for other work, leaving the middle school without improvements. What was then a planned $7.8 million project has ballooned, six years later, into one that is expected to cost more than $24 million. District taxpayers have every right to be upset. So what we’ll do is punish the kids? That’s not logical, and it’s not in the best interest of our community.

Question: How will you vote on the $31.1M levy Tuesday?

Online Poll: Grading Tim White

How would you grade Tim White’s tenure as University of Idaho president?/Lewiston Tribune.

A — He was an outstanding leader and should be commended.
B — He righted a listing ship but left the job undone.
C — He did OK but in the end he just wasn’t the right fit.
D — He could have done more had he stayed longer.
F — Failed to meet expectations.

Signe: Polar Bear Love

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

APhoto of the Weekend w/Top Cutlines — 5/17/08

Barry Kough/Lewiston Tribune, AP
Janet Lockhart waves a paddle to deter a runaway cow near downtown Lewiston. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. TUBOB’s cowball tale
2. Nothing beats swatting the old cow-hide on a summer’s day — Kevin Taylor.
3. Ol’ Bessie stops dead in her tracks as Janet holds up a picture of Harelip-Baby-on-a-Stick (TM), thus launching a new N. Idaho Halloween tradition while simultaneously retiring the oft-maligned and dated Marshall Mend mask — Damn Yankee.

HM: Nic and Shannon

MamaJD: Idahoan Among ‘Last Comic’ Contestants

Hey, did anyone see the ads for The Last Comic Standing that premieres on NBC next week? A stand up comic from Riggins is a contestant. In the promo, he made a joke about growing up in the middle of nowhere. I’ll go out on a limb and say that perhaps the Idaho comic will make a joke about Craig. Care to make any bets?/MamaJD.

Question: Anyone heard a good Larry Craig joke lately?

ATF Scraps ‘Always Think Forfeiture’ Slogan

Item: ATF says Sali did not prompt it to scrap slogan: Other congressmen called first to complain about the ‘Always Think Forfeiture’ saying/Erika Bolstad, Idaho Statesman.

More Info: Federal agents no longer carry pocketknives with a specially engraved training slogan that enraged some gun and property rights activists. U.S. Rep. Bill Sali, R-Idaho, said Friday that his complaints about the slogan - “Always Think Forfeiture” - persuaded the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to end its use on the Leatherman tools handed out to participants in a training program. But a spokesman for the federal agency said Friday that the agency actually stopped using the slogan about two months ago, when other members of Congress first raised concerns.

Question: Did the ATF do the right thing by scrapping the “Always Think Forfeiture” slogan? Or did the agency simply cave to political pressure?

Handle X Hucks: There’s No Place Like Home

And the answer for all of you fretting local parents is (drum roll, please) – they will come home again. At least, Jennifer Riggs did. The daughter of ex-Idaho Lt. Gov. Jack Riggs is making a name for herself as a budding artist. I was introduced to her work officially last Saturday as part of the downtown Coeur d’Alene Art Walk series. Her paintings and drawings graced the walls of the Java On Sherman coffee shop. You probably have seen her work, too. She was the youngest artist involved in CdA’s “No Moose Left Behind” public art project four years ago, designing the “First Man on the Moose” entry. But more than Jennifer’s art caught my eye. In a brochure displaying some of her work, she pointed out that she lived in several places throughout the world before realizing that “Coeur d’Alene is a black hole that one can never really escape, especially if one’s family still resides there.” Tired of “ceaselessly fighting the emotional gravitational pull,” Jennifer continues, she “gave in and returned to the land of her youth.” Yeah, I crossed my fingers and grabbed extra brochures to send to my son in Denver and my daughter in Portland/D.F. Oliveria, SR Handle Extra. More here

Question: Do your children live nearby in the Inland Northwest?

WND Poll: Rising Oil Prices

What’s the solution to rising oil prices?/WorldNetDaily

1. We don’t need a ‘solution’ – higher fuel prices reduce consumption and that’s good for the environment
2. Get used to it – the rest of the world has been paying high prices for years
3. Greater conservation and changes to our lifestyles that recognize the Earth’s natural limits
4. The Federal government should spend as much on developing alternative energy as it does on war
5. Al Gore is right – we need to ban the internal-combustion engine
6. Require auto manufacturers who want to sell in the U.S. to meet strict high gas-milage standards
7. We need a Manhattan-type project to develop biofuels
8. Pressure the Saudis and Persian Gulf states to increase drilling and production
9. Improved electric vehicles, backed up by massive expansion of nuclear power, would eliminate most of our need for fuel … and would reduce carbon emissions
10. We need leaders with the political courage to take on the environmentalists blocking access to massive untapped reservoirs of U.S. oil offshore and at ANWAR

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Update: Motorcyclist Dies In Govt Way Crash

At 5:35 pm Coeur d’Alene City Police responded to the 5800 block of Government Way for a motorcycle vs. vehicle accident. When officers arrived citizens were on scene performing CPR to a 31 year old adult male who was later pronounced dead. His name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. Idaho State Police arrived on scene and took over the fatality investigation. Preliminary results are the victim was southbound on Government Way. A 1992 Toyota Pickup driven by Charles L. Taylor, 65 years of age of Dalton Gardens, turned onto Government Way Northbound from the Cenex parking lot. The driver of the motorcycle attempted to stop by laying the bike down. The motorcycle collided into the driver’s side door area of the Toyota pickup. Taylor was uninjured in the accident. Preliminary indications are that alcohol was not involved/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d’Alene Police Department news release.

Parting Shot — 5/16/08

Kyle Mills/Lewiston Tribune, AP
With classmates close by, Nolan Nelson, 5, gets the first look at his new face after artist Judi Peterson of El Dorado, Calif., turned him into a grey wolf Friday at Juliaetta Elementary in Juilaetta, Idaho.

Kootenai County Declares Emergency

The Kootenai County Board of Commissioners have declared a state of emergency in anticipation of flooding that will occur over the next several days in Kootenai County. Currently, high waters are not causing any problems other than low level farm fields in eastern Kootenai County/Capt. Ben Wolfinger, sheriff’s news release. More here

HBO’S Best of the Local Blogs — 5/16/08

Photo: A Family Runs Through It
“My daughter celebrated spring by taking her hamster out for a walk in the backyard,” posts Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It. “We finally have shorts and t-shirt weather, which means spending a lot of time outside walking, playing, and, oh yeah, pulling weeds, spraying wasp nests, and dodging dog poop on the sidewalks.”

As we approach one of the favorite weekends of the year (“Lost in the 50s”), of Sandpoint, I think back to my own first owned car. I bought with my own money. And that was $125, that I earned at $1 an hour job. It was a 1949 Chevy, green in color and a convertible. I loved that car. Even though, I only owned it for about 8 months. As I left R.I. and left the car behind to be sold by my father. He said it needed a new top and that cost what the offer he got for it. Boy, if I only had it now/From A Simple Mind. More here

HBO Numbers (for Thursday, May 15): 7348 page-views/4041 unique views

*The Garden Primer makes my heart soar/Gathering Around The Table
*Sunshine, gardens and grace/Live, Love, Laugh, Hope
*A taxing situation/Dogwalk Musings
*Show-and-tell finale/A Butterfly Moment
*Definition of leadership/Arch Druid
*Over the top/Bay Views
*Recommended reading: “Unquiet grave”/Chronic Discontent

Question (from Cis): Did you buy your first car with your own money? Or did your parents give it to you. What was it?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines— 5/16/08

Mary Schwalm/AP Photo
A gosling looks for food in front of a plastic coyote posted as a scarecrow on a lawn, in Tewksbury, Mass., Thursday. The plastic model is designed to scare away geese and keep them off the lawn, but appeared to have little effect on the young bird. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Big Bad Wolf: …. the better to EAT you with. Little Chick: Yeah, yeah, yeah - I’ve heard all your lines and BS. Quiet, I’m eating. But, hey, if you call me Sweetie, I’ll follow you anywhere/JeanieSpokane.
2. “Fake coyote? (expletive), I useta read Huckleberries and I seen da HARELIP BABY! Now that’ll scare ya right offa ya feed!”/Bob.
3. This sums up Dan “Goose Chase” Gookin: scary but ineffectual/MamaJD

HM: Pecky

Fire Claims Bonner County Man

A fire early today claimed the life of Byron C. Shults, 84, of 35946 Highway 41. According to a Bonner County sheriff’s report, Shults wife, Donna, 75, put two pieces of wood in the couple’s stove at 5:50 a.m. and left the residence. Her husband was sitting in a chair in the living room at the time. When she returned 15 to 20 minutes later, she saw smoke pouring out of the house. Unable to enter the residence, she went next door to summon help. Later, firefighters found her husband’s body near the back door. Authorities speculate that he was trying to escape when he was overcome by smoke.

AndrewZ’s SR Today In Pictures — 5/16/08

Peter Morrison/AP Photo
Marcus Fraser of Australia enters the water on the seventh hole to play his second shot during the 2nd round of the Irish Open Adare Manor Golf Club, Limerick, Ireland, today. For the rest of Andrew Zahler’s SR Today In Pictures, click here.

2 Teens Caught After High-Speed Chase

A high-speed chase involving a vehicle stolen in Whitefish, Mont., ended with two under-age teens in jail. Bonners Ferry police spotted the 2007 Chevy pickup on Highway 95 after authorities were alerted by an OnStar tracking device that the vehicle was in the area. That started a chase that reach speeds of 95 mph. The pickup, with a 15-year-old male at the wheel, continued south on Highway 95 at 80 mph into Ponderay even after one front tire was deflated by a spike strip at Upper Pack River Road. The pickup came to a stop at 5th Avenue and Larch Street in Sandpoint after two more tires were blown out by a spike strip. The boy and a 17-year-old girl were taken into custody and charged with eluding and felony possession of a stolen vehicle.

Roesler: Big Brother Cops On Your Cell Phone?

Staci Lehman, who works for the Spokane Regional Transportation Council, was out on Tuesday snapping some photos of a soon-to-be-moved highway weigh station on Interstate 90 near the Washington/Idaho state line. “We were just doing a Powerpoint on some of the projects that are funded in our master transportation plan,” said co-worker Jeff Selle. Lehman, driving her own car, pulled into the “pretty much deserted” spot, took a couple of photos, and continued on her way. About 10 minutes later, she says, her privately-owned cell phone rang. On the phone: a state trooper wanting to know why she had been taking those pictures/Rich Roesler, Eye On Olympia. More here

Question: Should Stacy be wary that the Washington State Patrol tracked her down so fast via her cell phone?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 5/16/08

Brian Plonka/SR
Picnic grounds along the banks of Hauser Lake are overcome by flood waters made from melting snow in the foothills of the Selkirk Mountains in North Idaho. Story about Inland NW flooding here

1. Tonight, a self-described murderer will graduate from Lewis-Clark State College. But Dan LeMaster says his education to become a substance abuse counselor is his road to redemption here/Lewiston Tribune.

2. An Ada County jury acquitted a 32-year-old Sun Valley area man Thursday who was accused of hitting a Boise Police officer in the face with an icy snowball in February here/IStatesman.

3. For the past decade hookah bars were only found in large cities, but now they are popping up across the Idaho’s Treasure Valley— and parents are concerned here/KTVB.

4. Blogs: 10 notable Idaho primaries/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press; When the scales are even, justice is served/Dogwalk Musings; and So what is Nancy Merrill thinking?/Kevin Richert, IStatesman.

5. IMHO: Whitman County roads excite woman’s wanderlust/David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune; There’s something happening here/Jill Kuraitis, New West Boise; My crazy brother/Ray Ring, High Country News; and Why Obama is winning the West/Matthew Frank, New West Bozeman.

6. News Roundup: Spokane Valley attorney disbarred for raiding kids’ trust accounts/SR; Idaho couple survives China earthquake/KTVB; Inmates make alcohol from rotten fruit/KTVB; New law to collect sales tax from Internet purchases/KREM2; and Idaho pastor pleads guilty to misdemeanor battery/Twin Falls Times-News.

Online Poll: By 57% to 37%, 888 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say they disagree with the California court decision overturning the ban on gay marriage — 47% strongly disagreed.

Stapilus: Hart-Rawls Race 1 Of 10 Worth Watching

The hard-core anti-tax crowd among Idaho Republicans elected a legislator close to their heart to the U.S. House last cycle, and maybe the legislator closest to them now is (House District 3B Rep. Phil) Hart (pictured), a serious anti-taxer who has battled over his own taxes with the IRS. (A rousing endorsement quote from Bill Sali is prominent on Hart’s main web page.) His opposition comes from (David) Rawls, formerly a school district superintendent - not usually the kind of resume GOP primary voters warm to. Here again, Hart is favored (he’s had a number of primary challenges before) but the results in this race may serve as a localized measure of Sali-style politics/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here

Question: Can former Coeur d’Alene schools superintendent David Rawls overcome hard right support for state Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, to win in the GOP primary?

Wagner: Proud To Be A Californian

As of 10 a.m. (Thursday), gay marriage is legal in my native land! My heart rate jumped a few notches while I sat reading the story. How proud I felt in those quiet moments in my office. How good it felt to know that a court full of appointees chosen mainly by Republican governors understood that denying any man or woman the freedom to marry their life’s love was downright unfair. And unnecessary/Jill Wagner, Out On The Town. More here

Tony Stewart re: Education Corridor

At his retirement announcement Thursday, I asked Tony Stewart a question from the audience re: the attempt by Rep. Bob Nonini and the Republican Pachyderm Club to stop the Education Corridor project. Here’s some sound bites from his response:

*”If we don’t do this now, this city will suffer for the rest of its history.”
*”$10 million is peanuts compared to what we will get out of this.”
*”You can’t teach someone to be visionary.”
*”I was called a “commie” by people who opposed the purchase of the NIC beach. You won’t find people now who’d admit that they opposed the purchase.
*”You have to have courage to do the right thing.”

NICE Pulls Currie Campaign Ads

Item: NICE pulls Currie campaign ads from buses: Resident complains placement unethical/Suzanne Jacobson, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: No laws appear to have been broken, but Hayden resident Joy Cassidy said she opposed campaign advertisements on property partially funded through tax dollars. … Currie said he didn’t do anything wrong, and his advertising dollars helped a cash-strapped nonprofit.

Question: Is this much ado about nothing? Or did Joy Cassidy have a point re: a conflict of interest?

Sue: Would Idaho Recognize Digger/Spazz Vow?

So if digger & spazz go to CA to get married, would it be recognized in Idaho?/Sue.

CindyH: Starbucks Evil Plot

So, last month I went through the Starbucks drive-through and ordered my regular tall coffee with cream. When I got to the window the barista handed me a card that entitled me to a FREE cup of coffee every Wednesday until May 26. They’re promoting their new Pikes Place blend. Well. I’m not going to turn down free coffee, so every week I’ve been getting my free cup and I only just realized it’s a horribly insidious plot. I’m addicted. My car is programed to head to Starbucks each Wednesday morning and afternoon. I’m not sure I can stop, now. What will I do when I have to start PAYING for my coffee? Probably have to sell the house or something. So laugh if you want about naked mermaids, but these Starbucks folks are just plain evil/CindyH.

Signe: 21st Century Teaching

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Wild Card/Thursday — 5/15/08

I’m about to hoof it home and enjoy the beautiful sunshine outside along the way. Sometime in the next week, I need to take my bike out of the cob webs. And tune it up somewhat. I used to ride to work regularly a coupla years ago. But got out of the habit. Am I going green? Nah. Gas prices. My 4Runner gets decent mileage for an SUV. But it can’t touch my late, great Honda Accord in that category. As a side benefit, of course, walking and biking to work and back is good for health. Now, to continue your daily Wild Card …

Helping Cassie Hoots

Earlier this week, I mentioned that third-grader Cassie Hoots/Atlas Elementary was a finalist in the “Doodle for Google” contest. Seems kids were asked to draw a “doodle” for the google website. The winner (in each category) receives a $10,000 college scholarship and the school gets a $25,000 computer lab, plus their “doodle” will be published on Google’s Web site May. The contest runs through Sunday.

Vote for Cassie’s entry (“Picnic”) here

Headlines @ 5 — 5/15/08

The general public and some members of the press were barred from the taping of Wednesday’s Republican debate among candidates for the U.S. Senate by debate organizer KTVB-Channel 7. The event, recorded at 7 p.m. at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa for later broadcast, was open only to those on KTVB’s guest list, said Bryce Quary, director of conferences and events for NNU. Among those barred were the Associated Press, an Idaho Statesman reporter and independent candidate Rex Rammell, who parked a campaign bus outside the 1,500-seat Swayne Auditorium/IStatesman. More here

*KTVB’s Senate debate coverage; and KTVB’s explanation for format
*Weather making jump to summer/SR
*Moscow officer’s name added to fallen officer memorial/KXLY

HBO In Briefs: Flood Watch Alert

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for North Idaho. A flood watch means that flooding is possible but not imminent in the watch area. Unseasonably warm temperatures combined with above normal mountain snow pack are forecast to produce significant rises on the Coeur d’Alene River and Lake Coeur d’Alene. The Coeur d’Alene River at Cataldo is forecast to reach flood stage sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning and is expected to crest at approximately 1½ feet above flood stage midday Sunday. Lake Coeur d’Alene is forecast to reach flood stage next week/Office of Emergency Management press release. More here

Breaking! Raw Sewage Leaks Into Hayden Lake

Up to 11,000 gallons of raw sewage may have spilled into Hayden Lake near Cooper’s Bay this week because of a plugged pipe, perhaps from residents flushing diapers and baby wipes, according to the regional sewer district. A Hayden Lake Recreational Water and Sewer District employee discovered the leak this morning. Test results from water samples taken near the site should be available Friday morning. Without the results, the district and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality don’t know whether a health hazard exists, but the area is posted with warning signs to minimize exposure to water in the area/Erica Curless, SR. More here

‘Slutbucks’ Logo Causing Stir

A Christian group out of San Diego has found grounds for outrage over the new retro-style logo for Starbucks Coffee. The Resistance says the new image “has a naked woman on it with her legs spread like a prostitute,” Mark Dice, founder of the group, said in a news release. “Need I say more? It’s extremely poor taste, and the company might as well call themselves Slutbucks.” The group, which claims more than 3,000 members nationwide and has found a place advancing various conspiracy theories, is calling for a national boycott of the coffee-selling giant/ More here

Question: Should Starbucks change the new logo?

Tony Stewart’s 6 Recommendations For NIC

Complete copy of Tony’s speech

1. To: NIC employees, students, trustees and community — Always embrace and celebrate the concept of collaboration, shared governance, and participatory decision making with the recognition that the final legal respnsibility for governing NIC lies with the Board of Trustees.
2. To: NIC decision makers — Pursue creative ways to provide meaningful raises not only for the faculty but for all NIC’s employees.
3. To: community — Give wholehearted support to the proposed education corridor.
4. To: NIC trustees — Become very proactive in carrying out the 2005 NIC Diversity and Human Rights Steering Committeee’s 28-page implementation plan for advancing human rights and diversity on campus.
5. To: administration, trustees and legislators — Support a 2009 legislative change in Idaho’s PERSI rules making it possible for community college faculty presently not eligible for PERSI retirement to have that option.
6. To: all NIC constituencies — Promote open lines of communication.

SR: Tony Stewart Retiring, But Influence Remains

To some minds, a Southern accent is a tip-off of potential racial hostility. Don’t tell that to native North Carolinian Tony Stewart. He will tell you that the closer you are to the challenges of prejudice, the clearer it is that it’s wrong. Still, the soft-spoken political science professor – who steps down today after 38 years on the North Idaho College faculty – is a walking paradox. The quiet Southern gentility that marks his personality, for one thing, seems out of place alongside the personal courage that enabled him to denounce acts of racism as a boy in North Carolina and, later, to defy death threats as a human rights activist in the center of North Idaho’s Aryan Nations infestation/Spokesman-Review. More here

DFO: I’m going to leave you for awhile to attend Tony Stewart’s retirement announcement at North Idaho College at 1 o’clock. I talked to him earlier this morning. He plans to make 6 recommendations for NIC. It could be interesting.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 5/15/08

Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review
The Spokane River creates a cacphony of as it roils under the swinging bridge and a solitary runner at Riverside State Park Wednesday afternoon. High river flows from snow melt have weather watchers and emergency personnel watching for potential flooding across the region. Story here

1. In Boise, the long, painful trend of amped up gas prices continues – and for the first time, the average price of a gallon of premium gas has vaulted over the $4 mark here/KTVB.

2. Idaho’s State Board of Education will form a search committee to look for a replacement for University of Idaho President Tim White who was named the University of California at Riverside chancellor Thursday morning here/IStatesman.

3. Online Poll: 62% of 665 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll say, with only 5 state primaries remaining, it’s time for Hillary Clinton to withdraw from the presidential campaign.

4. IMHO: Hometown amenities for SpokAtraz/Doug Clark, SR; Be prepared to meet the definite article/Lynn Swanbom, SR; and Don’t look to survey when electing a justice/IStatesman.

5. Blogs: Climate change solution bigger than ESA/Rocky Barker, IStatesman; What if you held a debate and told the public to go away?/Kevin Richert, IStatesman; The road to Paulville/Flathead Beacon blog; and A Republican candidate’s indirect swipe at Gov. Otter/Scott Picken.

6. News Roundup: In Montana, Clinton blast Dem handling of Florida, Michigan delegates/Missoulian; Injured biker stranded for days/SR; Wolf illegally shot in Wyoming/IStatesman; Workers save 11 ducks stuck in drain/KTVB; and Stimson workers’ final week extended/Missoulian.

Orbusmax Special: New revealing Starbucks logo has group yelling “Slutbucks!” here

IVA Joins Anti-Global Warming Campaign

Executive Director Bryan Fischer announced today that the Idaho Values Alliance is joining forces with a coalition of evangelical leaders, national and state organizations, and policy makers to launch a nation-wide campaign to counter the environmental hype surrounding global warming. The “We Get It!” campaign, launched today, will gather one million signatures on a simple statement by which Christians can show that they are united behind biblical perspectives on the environment and the poor, and don’t believe the hype about global warming. … Said Fischer, “We’ve already seen that the rush to convert food into fuel has sent the price of food staples skyrocketing around the world, and Christians cannot and must not remain silent when it is the poor who receive the brunt of our obsession with global warming”/Idaho Values Alliance news release. More here

Idaho Blog roundup:
*Bill Sali roundup, 5-14/MountainGoat Report
*Is Idaho subsidizing liquor sales?/Clayton Cramer
*LaRocco mentioned on the Daily Show/DianaMaria13’s Blog, 43rd State Blues
*GI Bill/IdaBlue

Question: What is your reaction to the “We Get It!” campaign?

Update: UI Prez White Jumps To UC-Riverside

Update: White named chancellor at UC-Riverside

University of Idaho President Tim White could be named chancellor of the University of California Riverside as soon as this morning. A report in Wednesday’s Press-Enterprise of Riverside County cited unnamed government sources who said the new chancellor could come from Idaho. White announced last month he was in discussions to take over another university, but declined to name the school/Lewiston Tribune. More here

Question: What will be White’s legacy at University of Idaho?

Kempthorne Finesses Polar Bear Listing

Item: Kempthorne makes tough call on polar bear listing: While blaming the animals’ plight on global warming, he says the Endangered Species Act can’t be used to regulate greenhouse gases/Idaho Statesman.

More Info: Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne may have cast polar bears as the enduring symbol of the effects of global warming on Wednesday by protecting them with the Endangered Species Act. But Kempthorne also sought to prevent the use of the powerful federal law from regulating greenhouse gases around the country.

Question: Did Kempthorne make the right call by using the Endangered Species Act to protect polar bears?

PV Hucks: Where’s Andy When You Need Him?

First, you need to know that my sister, Lil, is a good person with a sparkling driving record. Also, she’s an exec for a large central California winery. People hop when she sez jump. Except for a Spirit Lake police officer who had some time on his hands Friday night. For more background, you should know that Lil received her only parking ticket ever – a $10 one – for misunderstanding signage a few years back in CdA’s Third Street lot. And that she’s fed up with my comments re: what North Idahoans think of Californians. Now, onward. Seems Lil was behind the wheel of sister Charlotte’s Ford driving through Spirit Lake when she failed to notice that the driver of an oncoming car had blinked his lights, not once but twice. Worse yet, the car flipped a U-turn after she passed. Moments later, she was being lectured by an SLPD Blue for not pulling far enough off the road. Lil explained that she wasn’t familiar with the area as she handed the officer her license. The patrolman took a look at her address and exclaimed: “California?! Don’t you know that’s the only dirty word in the Idaho dictionary?” We siblings, of course, howled with glee while Lil muttered darkly for days about “that Barney Fife”/D.F. Oliveria, SR Prairie Voice. More here

Question: Have you ever been stopped by a patrol cop in a small town?

ThomG: NIC? A Pus Pocket Of Democrats?

RE: Nonini, Pachydermers oppose ed corridor
I had a conversation with a member of the North Idaho Education Forum (funny how these folks scream for openness and free access in government, but don’t tell people who they are and charge folks for information), I won’t name him, but he complained to me about NIC being a bastion of liberals and a, and this is a direct quote, “Pus pocket of Democrats”. Think these folks want a fair and open hearing? Or are they just pushing an agenda?


WND Poll: Hillary As An Independent

Item: Hillary to run as independent? Nearly 1/3 of Democrats think Clinton should bolt if Obama gets nomination/WorldNetDaily

Question: Do you think Hillary will run as an independent if Obama gets the Democrat nomination?

1. Yes, and she’ll win the general election
2. Yes, she’s already hinting at it by saying she’s not a quitter
3. Yes, her personal ambition compels her even if it sabotages the Democrats’ chance to reclaim the White House
4. Yes, she’s no spring chicken – it’s now or never
5. Yes, it would be political suicide to challenge President Obama in 2012 – she’s got to keep him out of the White House now for her next run
6. No, she would be the ultimate Democrat spoiler
7. No, only fringe candidates go the independent route
8. No, she may be power hungry but she’s not stupid
9. No, she knows she can do more to undermine President Obama or attack President McCain as a Democrat in good standing while biding her time for 2012
10. No, she’s a loyal Democrat who’s committed to supporting her party’s nominee

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Hump Day Wild Card — 5/13/08

Education Corridor. $31.1 million Coeur d’Alene School District levy. Primary elections. Looks like things are heating up in North Idaho as winter will finally begin to give away to spring (if you can believe the weatherman this time). I’m looking forward to sunshine tomorrow. And some passionate debate at Huckleberries Online. Now, for your Hump Day Wild Card …

Movies & More: 10 Unforgettable Movies

SR critic Dan Webster/Movies & More lists 10 movies he considers unforgettable:

*“A Clockwork Orange”
*“Boogie Nights”
*“Raging Bull”
*“Bonnie and Clyde”
*“The Vanishing”

Question: What would you add to the list?

Headlines @ 5 — 5/14/08

Steve Hanks/Lewiston Tribune, AP
Idaho Department of Transportation’s Frank Dammarell, left, and Wayne Ferguson replace a speed limit sign near Genesee, Idaho, as the speed limit is raised from 60 to 65 along the 16 mile stretch of U.S. Highway 95 between Lewiston and Moscow today.

*House OKs farm bill, Northwest lawmakers split/AP
*Shoshone County gets emergency status ahead of warming/SR
*Bus driver accused of racial slur going back to work/KTVB
*Ex-Borah High teacher sentenced on child porn charges/IStatesman
*Sandpoint charter high school proposed/Bonner County Bee

Scanner Traffic — 5/14/08

4:56 p.m. hit-and-run accident reported at 95 & Lacey, with a dark-blue pickup described as the “run vehicle.”
3:58 p.m. traffic hazard reported at 4th & Lunceford
10:54 a.m. injury accident involving tan pickup and blue passenger vehicle at mile-post 30 (Shoshone County) on Interstate 90
8:50 a.m. Officer wanted at Juvenile Detention Center to take possible rape report.

Foie Gras, Anyone?

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP
Chef Didier Durand, of Cyrano’s Bistrot & Wine Bar, holds his pet duck, Nicolai, outside his restaurant in Chicago, where he talked today with reporters after the Chicago City Council repealed its controversial two-year-old ban on foie gras, a delicacy made of duck and goose liver.

Question: Anyone enjoy foie gras?

AndrewZ’s SR Today In Pictures — 5/14/08

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo
Environmental activist from the Alaska Wilderness League and Green Peace watch Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne’s news conference at the Interior Department in Washington, Wednesday, where he announced the status of the polar bear. Story here For Andrew Zahler’s SR Today In Pictures, click here.

Idaho Blogs: The Kempthorne Stronghold

One has to wonder when the Kempthorne strong hold on Idaho will end. Like the unfortunate limelight forced on Idaho by our infamous senior senator, Idaho’s image is being tainted by the blatant disregard for precedent being displayed by our former governor. As if bestowing on this state the most hideous of state quarters wasn’t enough, we are now being credited as the home of the man who doesn’t seem to mind if poachers are let in to our national parks or if the people who first elected him to office have access to whatever records, important or not, may have been retained from his tenure in the Idaho Statehouse/Political Game. More here

Idaho Blog roundup:
*Videoconferenced Legislature?/Clayton Cramer
*One last kiss off from Larry Craig to America’s vets/Unequivocal Notion
*Sali’s afraid to debate foes w/military experience/The Stupid Shall Be Punished
*Sali gets top conservative rating/Trish&Halli
*GOP concedes prez race/Here In Idaho

Question: What will Dirk Kempthorne’s legacy be once he steps down as U.S. secretary of Interior?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 5/14/08

James Snook/AP Photo
Former President Bill Clinton gets a hug from eight-month-old Owne Zahn after speaking on behalf of his wife, Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., Wednesday in Missoula, Mont.

1. Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency isn’t over, former President Bill Clinton declared as he stirred up about 3,000 people in a drizzling rain in Kalispell, Mont., Tuesday night here/Kalispell Daily Inter Lake.

2. The federal court has issued an order advising the more than 300 potential jurors in the Joseph Duncan case that they’re free to go on vacation – because the case won’t take up again in court until after June 23 here/SR.

3. Rather than putting up posters and distributing bumper stickers, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Fischer said he is focusing on prayer. Fischer, a Lakeside logger and excavator, acknowledged that he and running mate Steve White of Kalispell are running an unconventional campaign here/Billings Gazette.

4. Blogs: Flag pins and patriots/Dogwalk Musings; Wednesday’s Quickie Political Briefing/Spin Control 2.0; Dean announces 50-state blog strategy/Red State Rebels; and Idaho Statesman’s endorsement policy/Adam’s Blog.

5. IMHO: A case of grizzly ‘track tremble’/G. George Ostrom, Hungry Horse News; Gridiron stimulus checks/Shelly Kraack, St. Maries Gazette-Record; Who you gonna choose for Bonner County sheriff?/Trish Gannon, River Journal; and Economic growth is an illusion in Ketchum/Idaho Mountain Express.

6. News Roundup: Little League heart attack survivor reads school announcements/IStatesman; Canyon County residents sue commissioners over new jail/IStatesman; McCall pays off $6M debt days before deadline/KTVB; High gas costs not slowing Yellowstone tourism/Billings Gazette; and Idaho book store owner dies in car crash/Sun Valley Online.

Orbusmax Special: Hazing ends in jail time for high school ballplayers here.

My 2 Cents: Debate No-Shows Don’t Deserve Votes

Lt. Gov. Jim Risch performed extremely well during his 7 months as the state’s governor, following Dirk Kempthorne’s selection as U.S. Secretary of Interior. In fact, I became a fan of his after he forced Republican legislators, largely against their will, to embrace major property tax reform. However, I don’t think I’m going to vote for him this year. It’s nothing personal. I decided a coupla years ago not to vote for individuals, Republican or Democrat, who skip important campaign debates. The theory goes that frontrunners like Risch have everything to lose and nothing to gain by open debates. Risch is dodging an open debate with the rest of the mob running for U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s seat. He’s dodged debates before. Congressman Bill Sali announced Tuesday that he has no time for an Idaho Public Television debate with underdog Matt Salisbury. Meanwhile, 2nd District Congressman Mike Simpson also has bailed on debates. As far as I’m concerned, a politician who bails on important debates is similar to an applicant who fails to show up for a job interview. They don’t deserve to be hired, no matter how qualified they are.

Related: Sali joins crowd of no-show non-debaters/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman; and Sali, poof/Shea Andersen, Boise Weekly

Question: Does it matter to you that Jim Risch, Bill Sali and Mike Simpson are dodging important debates?

Fisher: In Idaho, D’s United, R’s Divided

On the national level, Republicans may have settled on a presidential candidate while Democrats are involved in a protracted struggle, but in Idaho, it is the Democrats who are coming together and the Republicans who are split asunder by a factional divide. The tale of two Idaho parties was well told inside Tuesday’s Lewiston Tribune by Associated Press writers Rebecca Boone and John Miller. Miller reported that the last of the state’s uncommitted Democratic superdelegates, Party Chairman Keith Roark, had joined his three fellow Democratic leaders in endorsing Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for the party’s presidential nomination. And Boone told of continuing spite among Republicans over an attempt to close party primary elections to voters who will not register publicly as Republicans/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune. More here

29% Of D’s Want Hillary To Run As Independent

Thirty-eight percent (38%) of Democratic voters nationwide now believe that Hillary Clinton should drop out of the race for the White House. That’s up slightly from 34% in late April, 32% earlier in April and 22% in late March. However, if Clinton does not win the Democratic Party nomination, 29% of Democrats say she should run an Independent campaign for the White House. Sixty-one percent (61%) of Democrats disagree. Clinton supporters are evenly divided on the question/Rasmussen Reports. More here

Question: Could Hillary win as an Independent candidate?

OnLocationNI: Hot Rod Season Upon Us

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho
“North Idaho loves classic cars and the season of the hot rod has started,” posts Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho. “Last weekend’s Depot Days car show in Wallace is followed by this weekend’s Lost in the ‘50s in Sandpoint. More than shiney old cars are on tap, there’s Gary Puckett and the Union Gap and Little Peggy March to get everyone in the flashback mode. In June, it’s Coeur d’Alene’s Car d’Lane and July is the month of the River City Rod Run in Post Falls. Vaaarrroooom!”

Question: Which model of classic car is your favorite?

Nonini, Pachydermers Oppose Ed Corridor

Item: Corridor opponents speak out: North Idaho Education Forum, Pachyderm Club sponsored $18 dinner/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Invited speakers Rep. Bob Nonini R-Coeur d’Alene, Sen. Mike Jorgenson R-Hayden Lake, Coeur d’Alene Mines chief Dennis Wheeler and former Jobs Plus director Bob Potter blasted the college’s decision to raise $10 million through foregone taxes to acquire the 17-acre parcel of waterfront land adjacent to the college from developer Marshall Chesrown to be used in the creation of the educational corridor. “There are plenty of places to put that campus. It doesn’t have to go there,” Nonini said.

Question: What do you think of attempts by the Pachyderm Club and legislators from Post Falls and Hayden to stop Coeur d’Alene’s Education Corridor?

WND Poll: ‘Who’s Most Likely To Fail?’ Surveys

Item: 6th-graders pick honor-student classmate as most likely to get pregnant: Father wants teacher fired for circulating survey/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you think of school polls asking kids, ‘Who’s most likely to fail’?

1. I’m sure there’s a good educational reason for such surveys
2. A good early-warning system for children at risk
3. Even if the topics are offensive, schools can no longer afford to ignore them
4. It prompts parents to have important conversations with children
5. I thought schools were supposed to improve the self-esteem of students
6. Unfortunately, these kinds of abuses are becoming all too frequent in our schools
7. This is clearly educational malpractice
8. Not with my kid, this is an outrage
9. Reason No. 26,832 to get your child out of government schools
10. Other

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Parting Shot — 5/13/08

Kyle Mills/Lewiston Tribune, AP
Boats crowd together as anglers fish for spring chinook salmon on the Cleawater River on Tuesday in Lewiston.

Fallen Heroes Statues Coming To CdA

Three statues representing fallen police officers will arrive at the Coeur d’Alene Police Department at 1 p.m. Wednesday. Commissioned by the Coeur d’Alene Parks Foundation and the Coeur d’Alene Arts Commission, the statues will eventually be placed at the Fallen Heroes Plaza, a memorial developed in Cherry Hill Park behind the Fire Station at 1500 15th St. The sculpture memorial is dedicated to Idaho firefighters and law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty throughout Idaho’s history. Full news release here.

Headlines @ 5: Cranbrook Chopper Crash Kills 4

Elmer Bautz/Canadian Press, AP
Flames engulf the wreckage of a fatal helicopter crash in a residential area in Cranbrook, B.C., today. A helicopter plunged to the ground and burst into flames in western Canada on Tuesday, killing three on board and a pedestrian on the street. Story here

*Further delay in Duncan case/Betsy Russell, SR
*UIdaho pole vaulter from Montana sets school, WAC record/Kalispell Daily Inter Lake
*Missing Athol girl found/KREM2
*Band leader pleads innocent in Idaho Boy Scout camp sex case/AP
*Idaho Supreme Court rejects Boise Dem’s ballot petition/AP

Sali Latest GOPer To Chicken Out Of Debate

Freshman U.S. Rep. Bill Sali has now decided not to participate in a debate with his GOP primary opponent, Matt Salisbury, that was scheduled to air live statewide on Idaho Public Television on the evening of May 18th. “We can’t do it, we just can’t make it work,” said Sali’s spokesman, Wayne Hoffman. “Saturday’s out of the question, Sunday is very difficult”/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here

DFO: I’ll comment Wednesday on decisions by Lt. Gov. Jim Risch, Congressman Sali and other Repub pols to pull out of important debates. For now, you should know that I consider anyone who refuses to debate an opponent, Repub or Dem, to be in the same category as a prospect who doesn’t show up for a job interview.

Scanner Traffic — 5/13/08

5:20 p.m., Coeur d’Alene Pediatrics/Ironwood Drive reports that a 23-year-old female in gray sweat shirt and flipflops is refusing to leave office and seek ER treatment.

4:36 p.m., report of an injured animal at 1908 7th St.

1:54 p.m., hit-and-run accident involving a red semi truck and a passenger car @ Government Way and Garden Avenue.

12:57 p.m., tenant on 3rd Street reports angry landlord is pounding on her door. (The landlord slipped a note under the door and wasn’t around by the time a CPD Blue arrived.)

12:45 p.m., choking female fell and hit her head @ Mongolian Barbecue on Government Way.

10:20 p.m., motorist causes two-vehicle accident in front of Interstate Outfitters when she tries to cut across traffic.

AndrewZ’s SR Today In Pictures — 5/13/08

Nathan Bilow/AP
A bird sits on a snow shovel handle with the top of a Totem-pole of an eagle in the background during a spring snow storm that is passing through Buena Vista, Colo. near Chaffee County today. For Andrew Zahler’s SR Today In Pictures, click here.

Capone’s/Post Falls Back In Business

Item: PF Capone’s back in business: Restaurant, bar destroyed by arson fire about 10 months ago/Rick Thomas, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: It has been just over a year and a half since Capone’s Pub & Grill opened here for the first time, and on Monday they did it again. Nearly 10 months after the bar and restaurant was destroyed by an arson fire, owners Tom and Teresa Capone started up again after an arduous rebuilding process.

Question: Are you a regular of either Capone’s pub?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 5/13/08

Christopher Anderson/Spokesman-Review
Jeff Sells holds his dog steady as Dr. William Yakely of The Animal Clinic checks the eye of “Cody” Monday. Yakely and his staff checked several dogs from the North Idaho Urban Search and Rescue Task Force as part of the National Service Dog Eye Exam Day. Story here

1. A study released today by the Peregrine Fund and Washington State University shows that people who consume venison from game animals killed with lead bullets risk ingestion of the poisonous metal here/Idaho Statesman.

2. Amanda Kimmel, the 2005 Miss Montana, won the last immunity challenge but finished runnerup to Parvati Swallow in the latest contest to win “Survivor’s” $1 here/Missoulian.

3. A Moscow police officer saw Jason Hamilton and heard him mock slain officer Lee Newbill before he killed a church sexton and wounded a sheriff’s deputy and a college student, according to the Idaho State Police here/Lewiston Tribune.

4. IMHO: Bradbury for Idaho Supreme Court justice/IStatesman; Idaho Dem chair has words for Bill Clinton/Eye On Boise; No, and wolves don’t worship Satan either/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune; and In praise of an extended primary/Joan McCarter, New West.

5. Blogs: Statesman picks against Otter appointee again/Kevin Richert, IStatesman; and If asked/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press.

6. News Roundup: Outfitters say corp fouled tributary/SR; Kempthorne still owes $15,000 from ‘02 campaign/IStatesman; Student released after Mexican flag protest arrest/KTVB; Bill Clinton to make Kalispell, Missoula visits/Missoulian; and Yellowstone Park road collapses/Billings Gazette.

Orbusmax Special: Reckless driving between Spokane and Colfax could cost you $5000 here.

WSU Columnist: The Myth Of ‘Freshman 15’

The term “Freshman 15” has been around on college campuses for a while. Everyone has different experiences with rapid college weight change, but its a bogus claim that many people gain 15 pounds their first year of college. It is a myth, said Sara Schofield, registered dietitian and nutritionist at WSU Health and Wellness. Several recent studies published show that students gained an average of five to 10 pounds in the first year of college. I would agree with most studies and say that, on average, students are more health conscious about their diet than in years passed. Despite this, incoming students still have problems figuring out the type of food to eat/Muayyad Karadsheh, WSU Evergreen. More here

Question: Did you eat right during your college days?

Adam’s Blog: Sali Has Had Great 1st Term

Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID) has had a heck of a first term. As a freshman Republican from the Minority Party, Sali’s opportunities to make an impact were limited. But he made the most of them. Sali worked across the aisle with Congressman Bruce Braley (D-IA) to pass an Amendment requiring tax forms and instructions be in simple language. It’s a small start to a career that has focused on reforming the mess that is the U.S. Congress. Sali is to quote Regis Philbin, “only one man” but he is joined by others in a battle for reform and Sali has stood tough/Adam’s Blog. More here

Idaho Blog roundup:
*Idaho Dem superdelegates united for Obama/Red State Rebels
*Charter school oversight or lack thereof/Unequivocal Notion
*Gem State Voter Guide/Idaho Values Alliance
*Sen. John Adreason needs Matt Yost/Dennis Mansfield
*Activist judges/IdaBlue

Question: What letter grade would you give Congressman Bill Sali for his freshman term?

AM Headlines: Plane Crashes @ Boyington Field

Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review
One person was sent to the hospital and another walked away from the crash of a single-engine airplane in Kootenai County on Monday. The plane crashed near Kootenai Electric office close to Pappy Boyington airport hitting a pickup parked at the power company. Meghann Cuniff’s SR story here

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Family, friends, remember Louise Shadduck/Tom Greene, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Rights leader retiring from NIC: Stewart helped lead Aryan Nations fight/Shawn Vestal, SR
*Slain Moscow officer to be honored/KREM2
*Lakeland school seat draws four candidates: Two seek other opening in next week’s election/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

Sleeplessness Causes Health Problems

Item: The power of sleep: Lack of a good night’s rest can have an effect on everything from your weight to flu and other infections, even cancer/Newhouse News Service

More Info: Researchers tell us that a lack of sleep is associated with all kinds of ailments – flu and other infections, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, even cancer.

Question: Do you have trouble sleeping?

Signe: A Silver Lining

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Wild Card/Monday — 5/12/08

I’m back to feeding the blog beast, after a wonderful vacation of two weeks, in which: I graduated a daughter from college; I helped entertain two siblings and their spouses; and I endured more lousy weather (with the rest of you Inland Northwesterners). The weatherman is finally calling for decent weather at the end of the work week. We’ll see. Meanwhile, you can continue to play this Wild Card …

Kellogg Bloggin’: Which Actor Would You Be?

If I could act like one character actor in the movies, it would be Gene Hackman. But, Gene Hackman is a leading actor, too. He brings the discipline and efficiency of drawing a character memorably and believably that if often thought of as a character actor’s forte to leading roles, making his performances unforgettable and, for me, inspiring/Raymond Pert, Kellogg Bloggin’. More here

Question (from Kellogg Bloggin’): “If you could act in the movies like anyone, who would it be and why?”

Headlines @ 5 — WSU Offers Pet Cancer Help

Andy Rogers/Seattle PI, AP
Dr. Chelsea Tripp, a resident of oncology, shaves the leg of Amber while preparing her for a dose of chemotherapy to treat her bladder cancer at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Washington State University Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007, in Pullman. She is assisted by student Shannon Urza, right. Story here

*Downtown Boise parking rates could rise 66%/Idaho Statesman
*Sex offender caught breaking into Spokane teen’s bedroom/SR
*2 schools evacuated after bomb threat/SR
*3 Spokane Valley Wal*Mart employees pepper-sprayed in burglary/KHQ

Question: How much would you pay in medical expenses to save your pet?

Spring Day 2008

SR File Photo

First clouds, then sun, then rain and snow
in quick succession come and go
and thus we have the springtime’s way
– three months of weather in one day.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Update: Idaho Superdelegate Picks Obama

Item: Last uncommitted Idaho superdelegate chooses Obama/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise

More Info: Keith Roark, Idaho’s last remaining uncommitted Democratic superdelegate, today endorsed Barack Obama in the presidential race. Roark, who also is chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party, noted the strong party support for Obama in Idaho, from the Illinois senator’s jam-packed Boise rally in February to his overwhelming support at the state’s Democratic caucuses.

More from Red State Rebels

Sgt. Christie: Tony Embodies Human Dignity

Tony is a dear friend to me and many others. He is a true southern gentleman. He has the fortitude, guts, intelligence, compassion,and awareness of human dignity that has made a tremendous difference in our community in promoting Human Rights. Some people in the community identify him as “that democrat down at the college” and they imagine he taught his courses only in that fashion. That could not be further from the truth. He is dedicated to the education of political science and that encompasses all political leanings/NIC Trustee Christie Wood. More here

OfCoffee: Louise Shadduck’s Memorial Service

SR File Photo

I went to Louise Shadduck’s memorial service today. She had actually planned it, and the pastor did an excellent job in following her directions! “Keep it simple, and keep it short” were the guidelines. It was not so much a time of mourning as a time of great respect and a certain level of awe at her accomplishments. She was truly a one-of-a-kind/OfCoffee. More here

Question: Anyone else attend Louise’s service?

Online Poll: Drinking Wine

How often do you drink wine?/Idaho Statesman

*Every day
*Couple times a week
*On the weekends
*Once a month
*Special occasions

Smith: War And Mother’s Day

I received a few calls over the weekend from readers who believed showcasing two war-related packages on Mother’s Day was inappropriate. The first package continues the story of the Shipp twins of Hauser Lake, Id., whose journey from high school to the Marines and then on to Iraq has been the subject of several excellent stories in the last two years. … The second war related package was Kevin Graman’s excellent report on the Saturday funeral of Army Staff Sgt. Chad Caldwell, killed while serving his third tour of duty in Iraq. Personally, I think Mother’s Day is a good fit for stories about how we send husbands, sons and fathers to die in a far off war. Maybe Mother’s day is the perfect time for such stories/Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation. More here

SR Blog roundup:
*An IF list/Thuy Nguyen, Daily Briefing
*Real estate Web sites compete for MLS data/Parker Howell, Here’s The Dirt
*Monday’s Quickie Political Briefing/Jim Camden, Spin Control 2.0
*Full nesters and the stages of parenting/Virginia de Leon, Parents Blog

Question: Does The Spokesman-Review do a decent job balancing Iraq War reports with news of local casualties?

HBO @ Noon: ‘Survivor’ Winner

John Paul Filo/CBS Entertainment, AP
In this image released by CBS, Parvati Shallow, right, the winner of “Survivor: Micronesia - Fans vs. Favorites,” is shown at the final tribal council which aired Sunday. The 25-year-old boxer and charity organizer from Los Angeles outwitted, outlasted and outplayed her competitors to claim the title of “Sole Survivor” and the CBS reality show’s $1 million prize during Sunday’s live finale.

Question (for “Survivor” fans): Who did you want to win the $1 million?

Russell: GOP Primary Suit Cooling Heels

The Idaho Republican Party’s lawsuit against the state of Idaho seeking to close the state’s primary elections has been sitting in federal court for a month, but the state hasn’t responded. The reason? They’ve never been served with the lawsuit. “As best as I can determine, we have not been served with that lawsuit,” said Bob Cooper, spokesman for the Idaho Attorney General’s office. “When you’re named in a lawsuit, the court activity doesn’t begin, you have to serve the complaint upon the respondent.” That hasn’t occurred, he said/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here

AM Headlines: Tony Stewart To Retire From NIC

SR File Photo
Human-rights leader Tony Stewart announced this morning he will retire this spring after 38 years as a political science instructor at North Idaho College. You can read his retirement announcement here Story here

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Heat on the way after rain today/Thomas Clouse, SR
*Report cites human trafficking in Inland Northwest/Bill Morlin, SR
*Committee proposes new impact fees: Costs for new growth would support highway, fire capital projects/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Amanda Jibby wins PF Junior Miss crown/Logan Knight, Coeur d’Alene Press

Question: Your thoughts re: Tony’s announcement?

Reminder: 1st-Class Mail Now Costs 42 Cents

Item: Don’t forget: Postage goes up today/Associated Press

More Info: The cost of mailing a letter goes up a penny to 42 cents on Monday, the latest in what are expected to be annual price adjustments by the Postal Service. A new law regulating the post office makes it easier to raise rates as long as the agency doesn’t exceed the rate of inflation. Rates are to be adjusted each May.

Question: Are you using the U.S. Postal Service more or less than you did four years ago?

A Presidential Daughter Gets Married

Shealah Craighead/White House, AP
Jenna Bush, daughter of President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush, exchanges wedding vows with Henry Hager in an outdoor ceremony at the Bush family’s Prairie Chapel Ranch near Crawford, Texas, Saturday. Rev. Kirbyjohn Caldwell, center, performs the ceremony. Jenna’s twin sister Barbara, maid of honor, watches at left. Story here

Question: When did you last attend a wedding? Whose?

Paulos Ends Association w/Press

One week ago, our region — in fact, our entire state — lost one of its greatest treasures. Louise Shadduck died after enriching countless Idahoans for 92 years. This week, we’ll be saying goodbye to another familiar face. On Thursday, Bob Paulos and his wife, Virginia, will be relocating to an assisted living facility in Stillwater, Okla., hometown of their daughter and granddaughter for the past 40 years. … While not the political firebrand that former Press journalist Shadduck was, Paulos distinguished himself as an editor and publisher with the Hagadone Corp. for half a century. When he retired 18 years ago, Paulos was vice president of the newspaper group, which included operations from the Midwest to Hawaii/Coeur d’Alene Press. More here

Bob Paulos’ last column

Question: What was Bob Paulos’ greatest contribution to the local media?

Hat Tip: Fond Farewell

Signe: Don’t Surrender!?

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Dogwalk Musings: Remembering Mom

It was March of 2000 when I lost my Mom. She was 95 years old. This picture was taken about a month beforehand. I miss her as much today as I did in the days and weeks immediately following. You see she was more than just my Mom. She was my best friend for all those years. We had a special bond. Perhaps it was because I was adopted; I’m not sure. All I know is that through thick and thin she was my champion. I was tall for my age and never quite slick enough to qualify for a clique. She taught me how unimportant that was. When I had questions about anything she’d answer them. When I felt like crying about the injustices of growing up she’d hug me; when I wanted to laugh she laughed with me. And when I deserved it she punished me/Dogwalk Musings. More here

Question: Do you have a remembrance of your mother that you’d like to share with Huckleberries Online?

Webster: Movie Critics Going Way Of Dinosaur

I’ve been reading a lot about how movie critics all over the country are losing their jobs. No question. Same thing’s happening with books critics. And art critics. And columnists. All are going, in fact, who do only one thing and – this is the important part – can’t adapt to the changing face of 21st-century journalism. But the part I don’t agree with involves the need, or lack of need, of these specialists. Especially critics. Especially movie critics. As someone who has written movie criticism since 1984, I – as you would expect – think that the job is important. Not that anything that I say personally is all that important. Or even correct. But I do represent something that is gradually disappearing from the current critical scene. An independent voice/Dan Webster, Movies & More. More here

Question: Do you follow movie, book and art critics in the newspaper or in magazines?

Popkey: Idaho GOP Nervous re: Paul Stealth Candidacy

A stealth strategy by supporters of Ron Paul to win delegates at the Idaho Republican Convention leaves mainstream party leaders anxious and a bit secretive themselves. The Texas congressman and former Libertarian presidential nominee has targeted Idaho as part of his quixotic challenge to John McCain. Paul loyalists seek to yank the Idaho GOP organization up from the grass roots by fielding candidates for precinct committeeman in the May 27 primary. But they refuse to identify their slate. An unusually large number of candidates, many unfamiliar to party regulars, seek to fill the county and state central committees, especially in Ada, Twin Falls and Kootenai counties/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here

Question: Do you know any Ron Paul supporters? What are they like?

Wild Card/Saturday — 5/10/08

My family and I enjoyed the second Art Walk in downtown Coeur d’Alene late Friday afternoon. I had no idea re: the quality of art and the number of galleries on and just off Sherman Avenue. I don’t know how successful they are. But it was difficult to complete the art walk in the 90 minutes that we’d allotted ourselves. A family outing to “Ironman” preceded the Art Walk (universal thumbs up here) and the NIC Music Department’s “Steppin’ Out With My Baby” concert followed. In other words it was a full afternoon and evening. I have one more day with Amy Dearest and the family before we put them on planes Sunday. Now, for your Saturday Wild Card …

APhoto of the Day — 5/10/08

Jae C. Hong/AP Photo
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., jokingly jumps over a hurdle at the Oregon Twilight track meet held at University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore., Friday. You write the cutline.

Rosdahl: Panda Express Coming To 4th & Best

High-traffic intersections convenient for businesses banking on attracting customers on their way to and from work and home are in high demand. Therefore the mini mall under construction at Best Avenue and Fourth Street in Coeur d’Alene should be a worthwhile venture. Panda Express thinks so. The quick-serve Chinese restaurant will put its second CdA outlet in the west end of the Fourth and Best Center being built where the former 7-Eleven mini mall burned two years ago. The restaurant will be similar to the U.S. Highway 95/Wilbur Avenue outlet with a drive-through, seating for about 50 customers and take-out. It will have about 20 employees when in opens in late October/Nils Rosdahl, SR Handle Extra. More here

Question: Will a Panda Express be successful at that high-profile corner?

Paper Carrier: Some NIdahoans Face Permanent Recession

Recession or not, for the working poor, living in North Idaho requires each family member over the age of 16 to hold down at least two, and sometimes three jobs. It’s a sad state of affairs where people used to feel lucky to get a job which pays $10-to-$12 per hour, because it meant you only need four incomes in a two-adult household. Now that’s not enough. (Some), like newspaper carriers who trade their sleep 7/365 to bring in a few more bucks to supplement the rapidly weakening income of their day jobs, are now desperate to find a third job to pay the oil robber barons so the day’s events will still arrive on their subscribers’ porches before 6 a.m. each morning. Remember, North Idaho is slang for you can’t eat the scenery, nor can you pour it in your tank. Time to clean your burger flipper/Paper Carrier.

Digger: Traditional Funeral Services Have Value

I’m a strong proponent of traditional services with a full viewing and funeral. I don’t oppose cremation as a form of preperation for final disposition, but I do oppose funeral homes simply becoming disposal services where the motto is “You Call, We Haul, Thats All” and get the “Box n Burn” special. Unfortunatley as our society has become more mobile and fast paced people don’t realize the healing power a funeral can have. To stand in front of a casket and seeing that your loved one is no longer in their earthly body is the first step to bring closure. Now what do I think of this new process? It further perpetuates the mentality I mentioned above - about funeral homes becoming dispoal services. At this pace funeral homes will become located in strip malls and industrial parks where they are simply a mechanism for disposal instead of a gatering place for friends and family to spend time/Digger.

Anyway, just my two cents.

Cheaper By The Dozen And A Half?

Beth Hall, AP Photo
18 of the 19 members of the Duggar family pose for a photo at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport in Highfil, Ark., on Friday, after returning from a trip to New York where the announced that they are expecting their 18th child. This weekend, Duggar will join her husband and their 17 children to celebrate Mother’s Day with brunch at a hotel in downtown Little Rock. Their youngest child, Jennifer, is 9 months old. Their oldest, Josh, is 20. The Duggar children include 10 boys and seven girls. Within the group are two sets of twins.

‘Republicans vote against moms’

Item: Republicans vote against moms, no word yet on puppies, kittens/Dana Milbank, The Washington Post

More info: In a flurry of political maneuvering in Congress, 178 Republicans in the House voted against H. Res. 1113, “Celebrating the role of mothers in the United States and supporting the goals and ideals of Mother’s Day.” The resolution first passed unanimously, but then the GOP asked to reconsider it and 178 GOP members – including Rep. Bill Sali, R-Idaho - switched their votes and opposed the resolution. “Republicans, unhappy with the Democratic majority, have been using such procedural tactics as this all week to bring the House to a standstill, but the assault on mothers may have gone too far,” wrote the Post writer.

Question: What’s the silliest thing you recall Congress doing?

Mother’s Day for a mom expecting her 18th

Item: Happy Mother’s Day, woman pregnant with 18th child/AP, Idaho Statesman

More info: A 41-year-old northwestern Arkansas woman is expecting her 18th child on New Year’s Day, to join seven sisters and 10 brothers, including two sets of twins. The oldest is 20 and the youngest nine months; all are home-schooled and all their first names start with the letter J. The mom, Michelle Duggar, said she and her husband, Jim Bob, will “keep having children as long as God wills it.”

Question: How many children in a family is too many, in your estimation?

Vacation Wild Card/TGIF — 5/9/08

We’ve reached the last official day of my vacation. Saturday and Sunday don’t count. I’ve gotten my R-‘n-R while preparing Amy Dearest for the real world, which awaits her upon her return to Portland. We’ll put her and the relatives on planes Sunday. Then, I have the rest of the day to prepare for my return to work. I’m deeply grateful for the posts by Betsy, Thuy and Andrew that have kept things active here. I haven’t read as many complaints about HBO being a dead zone this vacation as I did last one when I took a week off in Denver. Perhaps, we’ve finally found a way to survive my vacations together? Now, for your last vacation Wild Card …

Online Poll: Breast Cancer

Saturday is the Komen Boise Race for the Cure. Do you know someone who has or has had breast cancer?/Idaho Statesman.


Consultant: CdA Area Recession Proof

Item: Consultant: Cd’A ‘recession-proof’: Number of jobs in area has consistently risen in past year/Sean Garmire, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: The U.S. economy is tumbling into a full-blown recession this year — it may be there already. But according to some regional economic pundits, with its diversified industry, North Idaho may sail through the doldrums. Bureau of Labor statistics show that even as housing starts flatline and gas prices skyrocket, the number of jobs in Coeur d’Alene has consistently risen in the past year. Based on those upward employment trends, Mark Hovind, a Nevada business consultant and president of, placed Coeur d’Alene on a list of 27 “recession-proof” areas in the U.S.

Question: Are you recession-proof?

Rocky Floats Duane’s Old Cabin To Cougar Bay

Kathy Plonka/SR, AP
John Condon, General Manager of North Idaho Maritime, talks about the procedure they used to barge the log home formerly owned by Duane Hagadone from Caso Bay to Cougar Bay on Lake Coeur d’Alene on Thursday. SR story by Erica Curless here

Question: Sheriff Rocky Watson won’t say how much he paid Duane Hagadone for his old 4400sf Casco Bay cabin. But the sheriff’s spending $140,000 to float the structure to his future home site on Cougar Bay. What do you think Rocky paid Hagadone for the house?

CindyH: What I Learned @ HBO This Week:

*A cougar isn’t just a wildcat or WSU grad (John Duh)
*When you google MILF, porn filters respond with red flags (GreenLib)
*Some young men will sink pretty low to get their college loans paid off (Sam)
*Mating season for birds can get pretty ugly (Truly and Elaine)
*Bob has lots of experience with bird poo (Bob)
*Eagles make great filler for Spotted Owl Stew (Cabbage Boy)
*May 8 is National Outdoor Intercourse Day (Toadman)
*Breastfeeding can generate a 55 comment thread complete with politically incorrect stereotypes (Mama JD)
*Herb REALLY likes the Red Hot Mamas (Sweet & Sour Herb)
*For only $14 a month I can protect my identity (Indy)
*Writing lists or embarrassing anecdotes is sure to get you front-paged (DFO)

This is a very educational place/CindyH.

Question: What have you learned @ HBO this week?

OfCoffee: Sali Right About Official English

Re: Sali honored by official English group
Supporting English as the official language would save the taxpayer millions of dollars. In addition, having a common language IS a unifying factor in any culture, as is a common history and a common culture. None of this is racial or xenophobic, so put down your loaded keyboard. Arthur Schlesinger, Jack Kennedy’s presidential advisor, Pulitzer Prize winner and Democratic activist, supported this well in his book “The Disuniting of America.” Calling for English as the official language does not preclude anyone from being proud of their heritage, etc. My grandparents came over from the Basque country and didn’t speak any English at all. They made the effort to learn it, and made the effort to become Americans. They didn’t demand that that government reprint or re-communicate everything in Basque for their benefit. But this didn’t preclude them from holding on to their culture in their personal life. Funny how how Arthur won the Pulitzer, but when Bill Sali acts on the same idea, up comes all the accusations. Sad, really/OfCoffee.

Vacation Wild Card/Thursday — 5/8/08

My vacation is winding down, which means things will be in full swing again here soon. The toughest thing I did today is finish one of those giant burgers and fries, with a gi-normous root beer float, at the Hot Rod Cafe. For the sake of conversation, I ate my fries with the chop sticks that came with brother Frito Ray’s salad. Hey, don’t knock it. You don’t have to use a napkin that way. I told my visiting relatives that all Idahoans eat their fries this way. Then, I came in third in a four-play came of “Horse” on my nephew’s 8-foot basket. A wild vacation, hunh? Now, for another Vacation Wild Card …

Sheriff Investigates Fatal Stabbing

A woman fatally stabbed a man who she says raped her early today near Hayden Lake in Kootenai County, a sheriff’s official said. The woman had managed to fight off her attacker, who had stabbed her, and flee in his car before calling deputies, sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger said in a news release. The man’s body was found on Hayden Creek Road more than a mile north of Hayden Lake road, Wolfinger said. The attack happened in the woods off a road only passable by a four-wheel-drive vehicle, authorities said. It was unclear whether the woman and her attacker knew each other, Wolfinger said. Investigators had not talked to the woman yet, who was being treated at a nearby hospital.

Eye on Boise: Wasden says Facebook will target predators

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden today announced an agreement between Facebook and Idaho, along with 48 other states and the District of Columbia, to provide new safeguards to protect children on the popular social networking site from sexual predators and inappropriate content. It’s similar to one reached earlier with MySpace./Betsy Z. Russell, SR Eye on Boise – More here

Question: Do you use these sites? Would you let your kids use them?

Fisher: ‘Risch blames voters for his ducking live debate’

An editorial by Jim Fisher in the Lewiston Tribune today faults Lt. Gov. Jim Risch for his claim that skipping a live statewide debate in his race for the U.S. Senate is what the voters want. Click below for the full editorial.

Question: What do voters want candidates to do to earn their votes?

APhoto of the Day — 5/8/08

Elise Amendola/AP Photo
Little girls show off their hands signed with a Sharpie by Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., after she spoke at a rally in Shepherdstown, W.Va. Wednesday. You write the cutline.

Teacher Tosses Student’s Mexican Flag In Trash

Item: Idaho student says teacher tossed his Mexican flag in trash/Idaho Statesman

More Info: A high school student in Rupert, Idaho, says he may file a lawsuit against a physical education teacher who took a Mexican flag he had brought for Cinco de Mayo and put it in the garbage. Clint Straatman denies Froylan Camelo’s version of events but said he took the flag Monday because “white kids” might have hurt the 16-year-old. He said he put it in a garbage can because he had no place else to keep it.

Question: What do you think of the teacher’s actions?

Hat Tip: MamaJD

IWMFTV: How About Taking Mariners, Too?

Does Oklahoma City want a professional(?)baseball team, too? Maybe the Sonics could take the Mariners with them when they leave/IwantmyfoxTV.

Question: Yeah, the Mariners are frustrating this year, but would you really want to see them leave the region?

Hilarious: Naysayers Full Of It, School District Chicken

Am I the only one who had a good laugh over the headline deck “School district trustees make commitment to use money for stated purpose” in today’s Press? I can’t decide which is worse - the parade of people who restlessly hammer away at the 2002 levy or the school officials who are too chicken to call them on their blatant BS. And I’m not talking about dealing with these people diplomatically. I’m talking about standing up and screaming loudly and clearly that these people are, in fact, full of it. As much as some people in this community want to paint our school officials as corrupt, they fail to follow their thoughts through by deciding what exactly the district did in 2002 that was so underhanded/Hilarious. More here

Only 3 Left Standing on ‘American Idol’

Michael Becker/FOX, AP Photo
In this 2008 image released by FOX prior to Wednesday night, the remaining “American Idol” contestants, from left, David Archuleta, Syesha Mercado, David Cook and Jason Castro are shown in Los Angeles. Castro was voted off the program Wednesday night after rough performances, including one song in which he forgot the words to Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man.”

Question: Who should win “American Idol”: David Cook, David Archuleta, or Syesha Mercado?

From S-R: Police cameras targeted anarchist

Law enforcement officers gathering information about a young anarchist accused of vandalizing military recruiting offices began videotaping the July 4, 2007, protest in Riverfront Park before police received complaints the demonstrators were causing a disturbance. Read more at

Police video: 1 | 2 | 3

Related stories:
Protester to plead guilty (11/27/ 2007)
Protest charges will stand (11/14/2007)
No lack of lawyers for protesters (9/26/2007)
Interview with activists from ASAP (7/13/2007)

Your thoughts?

Report: US firms disadvantaged by health care costs

Rising health care costs undermine the ability of U.S. firms to compete internationally and threaten good American jobs, according to a report released today by the New America Foundation. The New America report, “Employer Health Costs in a Global Economy: A Competitive Disadvantage for U.S. Firms,” found that U.S. manufacturers spend more than twice as much for health benefits as their foreign trading partners. An example: Ford Motor Co. says health care costs add $1,500 to the price of each vehicle it manufactures – $600 more than its foreign competitors pay. The foundation calls for a series of reforms, including moving to an individual, rather than employer-based system.

Question: How did we end up in this mess?

Bubba says no D’s in Idaho?

The Boise Weekly reports today that former President Bill Clinton is using Idaho as part of a laugh line in his stump speeches, suggesting the Gem State has more elk than Democrats: “From a story in The New York Times, Clinton was savoring the laughs and applause he got for suggesting that one of the first things his wife would do if elected president would be to “bag No Child Left Behind.” Relishing the moment, Clinton said, “You can drop me in the middle of Idaho where there’s not a Democrat in 200 miles and an elk would applaud me on that.” We’re still waiting for word on relative numbers of Idaho Democrats to resident elk (which brings up its own quandaries: wild elk or farmed elk? Would that be like comparing urban Democrats to rural Dems?)”/Shea Andersen, Boise Weekly – More here

Question: Does Idaho have more elk than Democrats?

Obama, Hillary Swap Wins In N.Carolina, Indiana

Item: Obama wins North Carolina, Clinton leads in Indiana/Associated Press

More Info: Returns from 99 percent of North Carolina precincts showed Obama winning 56 percent of the vote to 42 percent for Clinton, a triumph that mirrored his earlier wins in Southern states with large black populations. That made Indiana a virtual must-win Midwestern contest for the former first lady, who was hoping to counter Obama’s persistent delegate advantage with a strong run through the late primaries. Returns from 92 percent of the state’s precincts showed Clinton with 51 percent of the vote to 49 percent for Obama.

Question: Will the tough race with Hillary Clinton, help or hurt Barack Obama if/when he gets the Demo nomination in his race with John McCain?

Areva Picks Idaho For $2B Uranium Plant

Item: Areva picks E. Idaho for $2 billion uranium enrichment plant: Facility will make fuel for power plants and may help revive the nuclear industry/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman

More Info: A uranium enrichment plant near Idaho Falls will be one of the largest construction projects in the state’s history, and it could create 1,000 jobs for the five years it takes to complete it. Construction on Areva Inc.’s $2 billion facility could begin as early as 2011, once the French-backed company obtains a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The facility, which was announced Tuesday, would produce fuel for nuclear power plants. Operating the plant could employ 250 highly paid workers as early as 2014.

Question: Is this a good or bad thing for Idaho?

WND Poll: Wikipedia Porn?

Item: Is Wikipedia wicked porn? Online encyclopedia proudly posts graphic sexual images kids can see/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you think of Wikipedia’s policy allowing graphic sexual imagery?

1. It’s the right thing to do for a site championing freedom of information and expression
2. It doesn’t offend my sensibilities
3. In any information source, one should expect clinical images that are sometimes graphic
4. Clinical images are one thing, but Wikipedia seems to go out of its way to offend
5. I don’t mind it, but I dont want my kids to use Wikipedia anymore
6. Anyone who uses Wikipedia should know it’s not a responsible, credible information source
7. It’s troubling because Wikipedia results are often first in online searches
8. It’s terribly irrresponsible and all parents should be aware of this easily accessible porn
9. Wikipedia is clearly violating U.S. obscenity laws and should face prosecution
10. Other

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Tuesday — 5/6/08

We made it back to town today from Portland with Amy Dearest, two of my siblings and their spouses in tow. We plan to hang out with them through Sunday morning when they all board planes for return trips to Portland and California, respectively. This last week has been a whirlwind with various events around Amy’s graduation from the University of Portland. We’re in a complete R-‘n-R mode now. Although Portland has become my favorite city away from Coeur d’Alene, it’s always nice to return home. You might see my relatives and me at coffee shops around town over the next few days. Until then, I’ll play this Wild Card …

EOB: Motorists line up for lower-priced gas

Cars started lining up at 8:30 this morning for what may be the most popular stunt of the campaign season: Congressional candidate Walt Minnick’s $2.26-a-gallon gas sale. From 10 to 11 a.m. Boise time, Minnick made up the difference between the sale price of $2.26 and the posted price of $3.59. Minnick, a Democrat, timed his event to coincide with incumbent GOP Rep. Bill Sali’s $1,000-a-plate “oil and gas industry luncheon” fundraiser in Washington, D.C. at the Hunan Dynasty restaurant (the luncheon was $250 for individuals, $1,000 for PACs). “For one hour today, while I’m talking to Idahoans about the high cost of gasoline, Bill Sali will sit down to lunch at a fundraiser and ask for money from oil lobbyists,” Minnick declared. “In 18 months he’s become a true Washington insider. What Idaho needs is a new approach and some simple fairness.”/Betsy Z. Russell, SR Eye on Boise – More here

Also: Sali responds

Question: What’s the highest price you’ve paid for gas?

APhoto of the Day — 5/6/08

Elise Amendola/AP Photo
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., grimaces as Helen Matta of New Bern, N.C., kisses her while she snaps their picture at a rally in Greenville, N.C. Monday. You write the cutline.

Kempthorne Hasn’t Turned Over Guv Records

Item: Kempthorne holds on to his records: Two years after he left office, the ex-governor still hasn’t sent his files to Idaho’s archives, as state law requires/Idaho Statesman

More Info: Two years ago, the Idaho Attorney General’s office told Dirk Kempthorne to give his gubernatorial records to the Idaho State Historical Society - like every governor before him. Kempthorne never complied. Unbeknownst to the Historical Society, the dozens of boxes of documents from Kempthorne’s 7 years in office were locked away in the Department of Administration - access to the public given only with Kempthorne’s approval.

Question: Is Dirk Kempthorne trying to hide something?

Clark: Jaywalkers Beware

I can’t tell you how excited I was to open the newspaper the other day and see that the Spokane Police Department had finally rid the city of crime. No more dope dealers. No more murderers. No more burglars. No more East Sprague women of negotiable virtue … True, the story didn’t say this in exactly these terms. What it actually said, was: “Jaywalkers beware. The Spokane Police Department has …dedicated two bike patrol officers to watch for pedestrians who don’t use the crosswalks or who cross intersections without proper signals.” The way I see it, if the SPD can afford to put two rollercops on jaywalker patrol there must not be any more real criminals worth catching/Doug Clark, SR. More here

Question: Do you consider jaywalking to be a violation significant enough to warrant police enforcement?

WorldNetDaily Poll: Fluoride

Question: What do you think about fluoride?/WorldNetDaily

1. The CDC is right, water fluoridation is one of the greatest medical breakthroughs of the 20th century
2. After 50 years of fluoridation, if there were ill effects, we’d know about them
3. The government wouldn’t put dangerous levels of chemicals in our water supply
4. Fluoride is fine in toothpaste and mouthwash, but not in the water supply
5. Mouthwash and toothpaste with fluoride is OK only for adults because they know not to swallow it
6. Medicating entire populations is not appropriate, since some people have terrible reactions to fluoride
7. I’d rather have cavities than being poisoned by fluoride
8. Fluoride has been linked to cancer, liver disease and lower IQs. It’s simply dangerous
9. I’m taking as many steps as I can to reduce fluoride in my personal life
10. Other

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Boise cracks down on door-to-door sales

Four more out-of-state residents were arrested in the Boise area Saturday for illegal solicitation as local police agencies say they plan to actively enforce licensing requirements for door-to-door salespeople this summer./The Idaho Statesman - More here

Question: How do you react when sales people come to your door?

Eye on Boise: Break-in at LaRocco campaign HQ

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Larry LaRocco’s campaign headquarters in Boise was broken into over the weekend, but apparently nothing was stolen. The campaign reported that Boise Police are investigating the break-in, which occurred mid-day, just past noon on Saturday. “We will not know whether this was a politically motivated break-in or just a random act of senseless violence until the Boise police conclude their investigation,” said Bob Stout, campaign manager./Betsy Z. Russell, SR Eye on Boise - More here

Interesting find from AP: Bionic Beak

ST. MARIES, Idaho (AP) _ She has been named Beauty, though this eagle is anything but.
Part of Beauty’s beak was shot off several years ago, leaving her with a stump that is useless for hunting food. A team of volunteers is working to attach an artificial beak to the disfigured bird, in an effort to keep her alive. Read the AP story

Your thoughts? Or, given the chance, would YOU go bionic?

Ahrens: GOP taking dominance for granted

Former IACI head and former Idaho Statesman political editor Steve Ahrens, in a column in the Idaho Business Review today, takes on the closed primary election issue. “Republicans have dominated state politics for so long, they’ve come to take for granted their “majority” (compared to Democrats) status – dangerously ignoring the reality that they’re still a minority in the total electorate, stacked against the combination of Democrat and independent voters,” Ahrens writes. The Republican Party is suing the state of Idaho to close its primary elections – meaning you’d have to be a registered Republican to vote in them. Many states have that system, but Idaho doesn’t – Idahoans don’t register by party, and nearly a third say in surveys that they’re independents and not members of any party.

Question: Should Idahoans have to register by party?

Louise Shadduck, 92, CdA Pioneer, Writer, RIP

Item: CdA trailblazer Louise Shadduck dies at 92/Karen Dorn Steele/SR

More Info: Louise Shadduck, a politically well-connected descendant of one of Coeur d’Alene’s pioneer families who wrote several books on Idaho history, blazed trails for women and was inducted into Idaho’s Hall of Fame, died Sunday after an extended illness. She was 92.

Question: You can use this thread to eulogize the grand old dame of the Idaho Republican Party, Louise Shadduck.

Hagadone To Build 22,040sf Tree House On Casco Bay

Producer’s note: Check out the staff map that shows where it’ll be, exactly

It’s not the largest house in Kootenai County but the new Hagadone home being built at Lake Coeur d’Alene’s Casco Bay is perhaps the only tree house. The home’s living quarters are elevated on stone pillars, allowing a creek to run underneath through the property’s lavish flower gardens. The two-bedroom, 22,040-square-foot home is under construction on Duane and Lola Hagadone’s longtime Casco Bay property. The site is visible from downtown Coeur d’Alene and the Coeur d’Alene Resort, which is also owned by the native businessman. After its completion in 2009, the lakeside home will become the second-largest single-family residence in Kootenai County, dropping the Hagadones’ 14,933-square foot Stanley Hill home to third/Erica Curless, Spokesman-Review. More here

Question: Why?

Sam: Run Don’t Walk To See “Ironman”

I totally forgot to mention this here, but please run (do not walk) to your nearest movie theater and see Ironman. It may very well be the best superhero flick of the new generation. So darn good/Sam.

Question: Which superhero flick is your favorite?

Arpie: Best Burgers Beyond CDA Area

I’m constantly looking for the best burgers. Here’s my run down for areas north of you. The best burger in Sandpoint is at the Dairy Depot- a gas station so it is take out only. The second best is the “Damn Good Burger” at Cafe Trinity. It might be the best, but the $8 price tag brings it down a notch. In my opinion, the best burger in North Idaho is at the Elmira Store, a dozen miles north of Sandpoint. It is the kind of place you would love. They also have the best huckleberry shakes- served with the metal shake making cup next to your glass. Give a yell when you’re ready to head that way and I’ll steer you there. Keep up the good work/Arpie

Question: Do you agree with Arpie’s analysis of best burgers beyond Coeur d’Alene proper?

MeghannC: Memories Of The Derby

I’ve never been to the Derby but I went to Churchill Downs and to all the horse racing sites in Kentucky during a family trip when I was 11. My dad was BIG into horse racing; he even took us to a famous racehorse cemetery. We saw 1958 Derby winner Tim Tam’s grave. Dad took some grass off his grave and we buried him with it. There’s a famous family photo of my dad with my oldest brother when he was about five with Secretariat. Mom still has the box with a few of his oats in it. My dad had the names of all the Derby winners, their owners and their jockeys memorized/Meghann M. Cuniff.

Postscript: Eight Belles placed but sadly injured herself and had to be put down…These graceful,beautiful and powerful animals are also extremely fragile and easily injured. Too many die in this “sport”/Eagle Keeper.

JimmyMAC: 2 Thumbs Up For Ciao Mambo

My wife and I had drinks and dinner at Ciao Mambo’s this evening. Of course with any new restaraunt in Koot Co., it was packed. I had no idea what to expect. We were told about a half hour wait at 6:00 but we were glad to sit in the bar and check it out over a few drinks. Our table was early but we we decided to wait for a while as I was enjoying Carmel Valley Pinot Noir and my wife was loving the house martinis. To make a long story short-Great atmosphere, great food, and great service considering it’s only been open a week or two. Didn’t know I was on Govt Way in Hayden, felt like I was in a great metro establishment. We live in Hayden and I love downtown CDA but sometimes I like new faces and eating closer to the homestead. Bottom line, it was fantastic and I intend on making it a regular spot. Worth a review by OTV. They have quite a few people helping open it from Whitefish but I hope the manager, Micheal, stays here for good. Our server, Laura and the bartender, Garrett earned high praise from both my wife and I/JimmyMAC.

Question: Anyone else tried Ciao Mambo?

Going Green Reaches Tipping Point

Item: How did being green become the new black? Being environmentally friendly is no longer just for ‘tree-huggers.’ It’s a trend that has taken root in popular American cultureIdaho Statesman.

More Info: Everywhere you turn these days - from cinema to cereal boxes - all you see is green.
Green has become as much a popular culture movement as an environmental one. What was a major concern for a small group of people just five years ago has become mainstream through events that played out on big and small screens: a summer blockbuster movie, a terrifying real-life disaster, an eloquent plea for change, and a respected and scathing scientific report. All these events have brought us to a tipping point in American history, said popular culture expert Robert Thompson.

Question: What do you do in terms of environmental protection today that you didn’t do five years ago?

Are You A Bloomie?

Item: City in full bloom for run Sunday/SR

More Info: The 32nd annual Lilac Bloomsday Run is Sunday, and many Bloomies will arrive in Spokane today. You’ll notice bigger crowds in shops and restaurants, particularly those serving the pasta dishes that have become a Bloomsday tradition. About 40 percent of the race participants come from out of town, according to the Lilac Bloomsday Association. The economic benefit to Spokane is huge – about $9.5 million, according to a 2004 study by Gonzaga University marketing students.

Question: Do you plan to run Bloomsday this year? When was the last time you ran Bloomsday? Or are you like me (read: never run Bloomsday and never will)?

BrentA: Good Parents Stabilize Kids’ Lives

Son is home from first year at college, and my parenting is still hands-on. Come to think of it, parenting is still hands on for my own dad, who is both my boss and my mentor and a sounding board for ideas, while at the same time he makes a great pulled pork sandwich with cookies and chips. Mom send us her Social Security check for years when I worked on the newspaper business - sent it every month, as sort of a benefactor of the arts. I’ll never have to “make my own way” because that would indicate I was starting from scratch, which a man never has to do if he has good parents. They built the foundation and they walled themselves inside it on purpose, the better to stabilize it. But my mom’s parents did the same before her. My dad’s parents were hands-off, abandoning him as a babe. He chose a different route. So do I/Brent Andrews.

Idaho Spud: Wolves Needed To Balance Ecosystem

I think if you are an animal hunter and kill something you should eat it. I think that we have wasted alot of money on bringing the Wolf back only to turn around and slaughter them. Yes, I am a Wolf Lover, I think we need them for the ecosystem. God put them on earth for some reason. Also, I know, I have heard everyone’s horror stories about calves being ripped right out of the Cow Elk as she is giving birth, (get real, will ya, canot believe someone actually witnessed that one ) on and on. I am more worried about the bears and the Cougars then the wolf. Thanks for letting me state my opinion. Now, here come all the Wolf haters/Idaho Spud.

WND Poll: Should Government Prepare For ETs?

Item: Denver prepares for new wave of illegals … from space: City to hold hearing on initiative to create Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission/Rocky Mountain News

Question: What do you think of government making preparations for the arrival of extraterrestrials?

1. It’s the prudent thing to do
2. Kudos to Denver – it’s about time one government agency took this matter seriously
3. It’s a good idea but it’s a job for the U.N.
4. The Denver initiative would be unconstitutional – the president has control over the conduct of foreign policy
5. After having to deal with so many illegal aliens, a lot of American cities should already know what to do
6. It’s no nuttier than conservatives preparing for Y2K
7. Now I see why the Democrats picked Denver for their convention
8. The guy proposing this initiative has too much time on his hands
9. What on Earth has become of the Denver City Council?
10. I’d like to believe not one taxpayer dime will be wasted on this initiative … but I can’t be sure

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

From FYI-NI: Derby Days

North Idaho is a long way from Kentucky’s Churchill Downs, although for many years the Rathdrum Prairie was one of the largest producers of Kentucky Bluegrass seed. On the first Saturday in May the run for the roses is the big ticket at the Greyhound Park Events Center in Post Falls. Read more at FYINorthIdaho, and thanks Kerri for the thread start.

Question: Have you ever been? Do you plan to bet on the Derby?

Eye on Boise: Dump site operator gave to Idaho politicians

American Ecology Corp., operator of the hazardous waste dump 70 miles southeast of Boise that’s about to get 6,700 tons of uranium- and lead-contaminated sand from Kuwait, has been a generous donor to Idaho politicians’ campaigns. Most recently, the firm’s PAC, AEC PAC, gave $2,300 to Idaho Republican Jim Risch’s U.S. Senate campaign and $500 to the re-election campaign of state House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star. And that’s just the most recent ones./Betsy Z. Russell, SR Eye on Boise – More here.

Also: The firm employs a prominent Boise lobbyist to represent it in the Idaho Legislature - More here.

Why Did You Leave California?

Item: Boomers leaving Golden State: Census: Texas draws more new Hispanics/Associated Press

More Info: California may be loosening its grip on two groups that helped define the Golden State during the 20th century: predominantly white baby boomers, who are now approaching retirement age, and Hispanics. New U.S. Census Bureau data being released today shows the state’s white population is shrinking - particularly in the Bay Area. From 2000 to 2006, the San Jose and San Francisco metropolitan areas saw their white population decline by more than 200,000 people, trailing only the New York City metropolitan area.

Question: If you’re an ex-Californian who isn’t afraid to admit it, why did you leave the Golden State?

APhoto of the Day — 5/02/2008

APhoto cutline winners for Thursday

Neil Diamond sings to “NBC Today” television show audience member Marlene Rogers, from Saugerties, N.Y., during his concert in New York’s Rockefeller Plaza Friday May 2, 2008. Diamond has announced a 37-city North American tour during the summer and will release new album “Home Before Dark.” (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Press: We Don’t Need Another Stinkin’ Wage Study

Item: The joys of being consulted/Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: When the caller ID shows Kootenai County, Idaho, smiles plaster the Philadelphia faces of the Hay Group. Why not? Kootenai County spent $60,000 on a salary study by the Hay Group in 2005, and now they’re eager to donate another $15,000 to compare employee salaries with market conditions. “It has been somewhat brought to our attention that some of our positions … do not meet the existing market standards and we need to confirm that,” Commissioner Rick Currie said. To which Sheriff Rocky Watson unholstered this retort: “We don’t need another study. We just need to implement the last study.” The county has waded through controversy on this topic for the better part of a decade, hiring consultants to compile at least three salary studies and, as far as we can tell, using none of them.

Question: Does the county need another study? Or the guts to implement the last one, as Rocky Watson says?

NIC Trustees To Pursue Mill Purchase

Item: NIC likely to tap foregone, hike tuition: Trustees pass resolution to find way to raise $10M to acquire corridor land/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: North Idaho College trustees took a step closer Wednesday to pursuing foregone taxes along with a tuition increase of 7.4 percent to help pay for the proposed education corridor. “It’s something we’re entitled to. Now, we should use it,” trustee Mic Armon said. Trustees passed a resolution formalizing their commitment to find a way to raise $10 million to acquire the 17-acre parcel of land adjacent to the college from developer Marshall Chesrown.

Question: Are the NIC trustees doing the right thing?

ITK: CDA Levy Has No Chance Of Passing

CDA is too concerned about bells and whistles. Stop funding every little extra and take care of your people first…TEACHERS first dummies. Harry A. You do a good job of running around and morphing into what you think everyone wants to see you as. That act is getting OLD and folks are starting to see through you. Hazel, take care of your people, concentrate on the three R’s, institute strict discipline and back your principals up. That will get you far. Oh the best thing you can do, emulate Lakeland School District they have it going on. By the way, the levy has NO CHANCE/In The Know.

Question: Has the Coeur d’Alene School District really lost credibility? Or are some patrons simply looking for any excuse to vote no?

Eagle Keeper: Gun In Woods Protects From Danger

When Mr. Ranger is 20 miles away helping someone else, a gun is your only defense against both natural and man made dangers/Eagle Keeper.

Question: Which is scarier in the woods — two-legged creatures or 4-legged ones?

Vacation Wild Card — 5/1/08

This is my first chance to check in at Huckleberries Online today. Looks like Thuy and Betsy are doing a terrific job feeding the beast. I’m indebted to them for doing so. Also, I appreciate the fact that you HBO regulars continue to keep the comments thread alive in my absence. I’d give hugs & kisses all around. But I have a North Idaho manly image to maintain. So, I’ll simply continue to play the Wild Card …

Clark: WSP’s Bumbling Warrants Apology To Fireman

Is there anything wimpier than a wimp with a badge? Jeff DeVere, to be specific. The Washington State Patrol captain appeared at a press conference Tuesday to clear a Spokane firefighter of allegations that he purchased kiddie porn. Yet while acknowledging the rough time Todd Chism has gone through, DeVere couldn’t quite find the guts to do the right thing and issue a formal apology. Pathetic. OK, Captain. If you won’t man up, I will. Todd, I’m sorry. I’m sorry your name was smeared. I’m sorry about the anguish your family endured. I’m sorry for thinking the worst about you. I guess I foolishly assumed our state law enforcers would never pinch a citizen on such a reputation-ruining beef without having more of an airtight, dead-bang case/Doug Clark, SR. More here

Fireman’s attorney mulls legal action/SR

Question: What would you do if you were in fire Lt. Todd Chism’s shoes?

Mack: Condemn Teen Drinking? Or Control It?

Here in Washington, you can legally start working when you’re 14, and get a driver’s permit at 15. Somewhere between 16 and 18 you can consent to sex, depending on the age difference between you and your partner. With your parents’ permission, you can join the Marines at 17, and get shipped off to Iraq. At 18, you can get a tattoo, get married and vote. You can also sign a legally binding contract and be prosecuted as an adult. However, you have to be 21 to purchase or possess alcohol here, just as in the rest of the country. People are still arguing over whether it makes any sense to have teenagers die for their country, vote for their leaders, and marry and parent children and not be able to buy a beer. Nevertheless, it is the law/Rebecca Mack/SR Hard 7. More here

Question: Should society continue to condemn teen drinking by keeping a high legal age limit? Or try to control teen drinking by lowering the legal age?

Eye on Boise: Idaho justices sued

Idaho’s highest court can’t just declare the state’s school funding system unconstitutional and then let it continue that way, the attorney for a group of school districts told a federal judge today. But the attorney for five Idaho Supreme Court justices said the federal court has no jurisdiction over state supreme court justices, and the judge said the “truly unique case” is a “head-scratcher.”/Betsy Z. Russell, SR Eye on Boise – More here.

Question: Who’s right on this one?

Eye on Boise: Phenneger kicks in $100K

Idaho U.S. Senate candidate Richard Phenneger of Post Falls says he’s loaned his campaign “almost $100,000,” but his fundraising is picking up and he’s starting to pay off the loan. He financed his campaign for current Sen. Larry Craig’s seat “with a lot of my own money to start with on it,” Phenneger told Eye on Boise. “But I think a lot of that’s going to get replaced.” As of the last campaign finance report, which covered the period from Jan. 1 to March 31, Phenneger, a Republican, had reported $9,675 in individual contributions and $29,770 in loans of his own funds, but he said he added to that in April. He isn’t the only one in the race to draw on his own money./Betsy Z. Russell, SR Eye on Boise - More here

Question: Who do you like in the Senate race?

AP: Suspected D.C. madam kills herself

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) — A woman police believe to be convicted Washington escort service operator Deborah Jeane Palfrey committed suicide, officials said Thursday.
Police said the body was found in a shed near Palfrey’s mother’s home Thursday morning. There was a suicide note, but police did not disclose its contents or how she killed herself.

Palfrey was convicted April 15 by a federal jury of running a prostitution service that catered to members of Washington’s political elite, including Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican.

‘Defending a wide stance requires a thick wallet’

That’s the headline on a Washington Post column today that notes that Idaho Sen. Larry Craig’s legal bills for his Minnesota airport sex sting arrest, guilty plea, and subsequent appeals have now climbed to $407,000, and he can no longer use campaign funds to pay them. Craig is continuing his court fight, pressing his case to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Question: Is he right to keep up the court fight?

Eye on Boise: Check ‘em out

The Idaho Secretary of State’s website has a new feature this year: A list of candidates for the May 27 primary with links to the website of every candidate who’s provided one. It’s a handy resource and worth checking out./Betsy Z. Russell, SR Eye on Boise. More here

Question: What do you think of this year’s crop of candidates?

Idaho Democrats see an opening

Idaho Democrats believe the 2008 election is the party’s best shot to finally regain a congressional seat — a hope bolstered by recent fundraising reports that show freshman GOP Congressman Bill Sali owes more money than what he has in the bank./Erica Curless, S-R. More here. And then there’s this sidebar: The Eagle, Idaho, consulting business that U.S. Rep. Bill Sali owes the most campaign debt to is still working with the congressman and longtime friend – but on a cash-only basis. “It’s all cash up front,” said Lou Esposito, owner of Spartac, LLC. More here at

Question: What do you think?

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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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