Advertise Here

Huckleberries Online

Archive for February 2009

Gonzaga Finishes Unbeaten WCC Season

Gonzaga’s Matt Bouldin (15) shoots past of San Diego’s De’Jon Jackson, right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday in San Diego.  Bouldin scored 15 points in Gonzaga’s 58-47 win. ESPN game story and boxscore here.   (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Blogfest ‘09 Comments

I’m at Moon Dollars with Alison McArthur. We’re 15 minutes until show time. She has this computer hooked to an overhead screen, so Berry Pickers here will be able to see your comments under this thread. If you can’t make it today but have something to say, use this post to submit comments. And we’ll enjoy reading them as we schmooze with those who attend. We’ll miss you. But we’re going to have a good time any way …


Blogfest ‘09: Trish’s Condom Dress

I promised you a condom dress if you attended Blogfest ‘09, and Trish Gannon/River Journal delivered for me. I’d guess the dress is 3 years old — first surfacing at a Halloween Party in Bonner County. It still receives second and third looks. Frum Helen Back/Hauser Thoughts posted this photo of today’s Blogfest and another on her blog this afternoon here. S&S Herb has five more photos of the Blogfest here.

Blogfest ‘09 Wild Card — 2/28/09

It’s finally here — Blogfest ‘09. Bloggers, commenters and blurkers are invited to join me from noon until 3 p.m. at MoonDollars/Post Falls (609 North Syringa, see directions in drop-down box below). The Spokesman-Review will pick up the pizza & pop. But there’ll also be beer on tap and great sandwiches and fries that you can purchase. Nothing fancy is planned. The primary focus of Blogfest is to give Berry Pickers time to talk to others they know only by online conversation. At halftime, JeanieSpokane, CindyH, Bent & Co. will present various awards they’ve conjured up for the occasion and dole out trinkets that the SR promotions staff gave them. Also, the gals’ll have a Doug Clark Trailer Park Girls CD to hand out. And KeithinCDA has a bunch of cool 20-ounce coffee take-out mugs from his old Spokane Valley truck stop to give away. I’ve met most of you. But not all. I’m looking forward to renewing acquaintances and meeting new friends. See you there …

APhoto Of The Weekend — 2/28/09

A member of the Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew gathers up helmets and hats after Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews scored a hat trick during the third period of their NHL game against the Pittsburgh Penguins  in Chicago Friday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

UI Student Wins $22K On TV’s ‘Wheel’

A University of Idaho student was the big winner on the 5,000th episode of “Wheel of Fortune,” which aired Friday. Scott Stevens, a biology major at UI, collected $22,100 in cash and prizes on the show, including trips to San Francisco and Mexico. He missed out on $100,000 in the bonus round.The iconic game show, starring Pat Sajak and Vanna White, has been on the air since 1983/Lewiston Tribune.

Question: Have you or a member of your family ever been a contestant on a TV game show?

MM: Paper Better Than Computer On Pot

Moscow Minidoka: I do my best reading in the bathroom. I don’t want to do it on a computer. My wife does the crossword in bed before we go to sleep. She *also* has no desire to do puzzles on a machine when she could be nestled in bed. Some folks seem to be very reductionist in their evaluation of a newspaper as a simple news source… to MANY of us, it is far more than the information, it is the organic experience. Let me put this another, albeit somewhat crude way: Would you prefer to have intercourse with a machine or a human if the end result (a climax) was the same? I’ll take the human, thank you very much, and I’ll take the newspaper with my morning constitutional, not my computer.

Question: In the ‘80s, there was a businessman in town who said he liked to read print Huckleberries while sitting on a toilet b/c he said my writing proved to be a good laxative. None of you have ever read print Huckleberries on the pot, right? Right?

Video Captures Police Brutality On Girl

Item: Beating caught on police video: Tape shows officer kicking, striking teenager/Scott Gutierrez/Seattle PI

More Info: A video showing a King County Sheriff’s deputy pummeling a 15-year-old girl in a holding cell was released Friday over the strenuous objections of the officer’s attorney. The case goes beyond police misconduct, County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said in a prepared statement. “It’s about criminal misconduct. And that’s why he needs to be prosecuted,” he said. The video of the Nov. 29 incident was disclosed Friday, one day after Deputy Paul Schene, 31, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor assault in King County District Court.

Question: First, watch the video linked to above and then tell HBO readers if you can find any justification for that kind of attack on the teen-age girl?

OTV Review: KC’s Breakfast Club

Actually, that might just be about the only thing that’s not on the menu at KC’s Breakfast Club. Q. and I had to send the waitress away twice while we attempted to absorb the plethora of items causing a quiver in our breakfast-bones and come to a final decision. We were enjoyably distracted, eavesdropping on a nearby table full of catty hairdressers. Apparently Satan’s House of Beauty is somewhere in Post Falls, because that’s how totally vicious they were, ranting about an absent co-worker for whom they clearly had no love. “She looks like a dog,” drawled one woman. Another girl cackled, “Yeah, her face matches her stinky poodle perm. She’s just low-class 80’s trash.” Q and I had to chuckle at that last quip, considering that these girls themselves were not exactly Paris runway material themselves; in fact they looked quite like they could have appeared as extras in some other random totally tubular Ringwald flick from way back. Their conversation faded into the general chaos of the room as our waitress re-filled our coffee mugs and asked again “Did you have a chance to decide?” Um, just one more minute please!/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Above, OTV tells of overhearing a group of beauticians hammer a co-worker. What kind of workers — office or otherwise — are the biggest gossips?

Minnick, Dems Hold Online Edge

Minutes after President Obama finished his address to Congress Tuesday, Idaho Rep. Walt Minnick posted his reaction at Facebook, the ubiquitous social networking site. “These times are too tough and there is too much to be done to linger over the points where we differ. … And all of us, especially those who recently lost their jobs, are ready to roll up their sleeves and go to work. I join the president, my fellow Americans and Idahoans in standing up, ready to go to work.” Within minutes, the debate began: civil but pointed. Some of the 30-plus comments reminded the Democrat Minnick of his vote against the Obama economic stimulus bill . … Other commenters stuck up for Minnick: “Nothing like consistently letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. … Is Rep. Minnick a ‘traditional’ liberal Democrat? Of course not, and if he was, he could never have won Idaho’s 1st Congressional District.” For a political watcher, this is fascinating stuff. It pays to have a congressman for a Facebook “friend”/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Democrats, like Minnick, have maintained an online edge over their Repub counterparts. Do you think the R’s are beginning to catch up? Or the gap is widening?


Wild Card/Blogfest Day Minus 1

Dunno if anyone wants to rhyme this line: ‘Twas the day before Blogfest ‘09 and all through the house …” Or you simply want directions to MoonDollars, where Blogfest ‘09 will be held from noon until 3 p.m. Saturday. (Directions to Moon Dollars via MapQuest, courtesy of Bondgirl, here.) Or you want this morning’s headlines: The feds throw CitiGroup another lifeline here. Greenpeace claims America’s taste for soft toilet paper causes more damage than driving Hummers here. James Dobson has resigned as chairman of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family here. And you can play this Wild Card to start your own threads in the comment section …

Parting Shot — 2/27/09

Nellie, the world’s oldest dolphin living in captivity celebrates her 56th birthday toay, with trainer Melissa Berdine and an ice cake decorated with herring and squid at Marineland’s Dolphin Conservation Center in St. Augustine, Fla. Having already lived more than twice the average lifespan of a female Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin in the wild, Nellie continues to eat well, socialize with her peers and interact with with staff and guests. Nellie starred in shows at Marineland’s dolphin stadium during the 1950’s and 1960’s and appeared in Timex watch commercials in the 1960’s. (AP Photo/The St. Augustine Record, Daron Dean) SR’s Today In Photos here.

Tank Of Gas Costs Man $81B

Item: One tank of gas costs Spokane man $81B/KXLY

More Info: Many people have complained about high gas prices over the years but Juan Zamora has a story that beats them all after he was charged more than $81 Billion for a single tank of gas. Filling up for gas is routine for Juan Zamora on his weekly commute from Spokane to the Tri-Cities. “I didn’t know if I grabbed the Jet Fuel or the Super I don’t know, I couldn’t remember,” Zamora said. 

Question: What’s the most you’ve ever paid for gas?

APhoto Of The Day — 2/27/09

Derold Ledbeter screams encouragement to his Entiat, Wash., girls basketball team, sitting with Tom Wilson as both the girls and boys teams claimed district trophies Thursday night at Wenatchee High School. Wilson is the father of starter Jamie Wilson. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Wenatchee World, Don Seabrook)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Opening call for Blogfest ‘09 has Cindy worried about her hair and makeup — JBelle.
  • 2. DFO yells across the room during Blogfest 09 at Trish in her condom dress that he’s got the ball — JeanieSpokane.
  • 3. Pictured here on the right, even at public events with thousands in attendance, JBelle still seems to think she needs to remain anonymous. Her companion to the left, PDXpup, decided to go as PDXlion to just to play along — KeithinCDA.
  • HM: Cabbage Boy

Scanner Traffic — 2/27/09

  • 4:53 p.m. Light not recycling @ Neider & 95.
  • 4:45 p.m. Shoplifter caught at Shopko.
  • 4:21 p.m. Deputies found a disoriented woman on Highway 41, possibly drunk and the victim of domestic abuse involving a male.
  • 4:02 p.m. R/P reports chips have been flying out of the back of a chip truck that’s southbound on Highway 95 since Long Bridge/Sandpoint, including something that hit and broke his front windshield. The truck is now at Careywood. The truck belongs to Jack Buell of St. Maries.
  • 3:49 p.m. A large amount of marijuana smoke is coming from a CDA apartment complex.
  • 2:57 p.m. Juvenile is in the process of stealing an ATV from a residence on Fourth Street.
  • 2:29 p.m. Under-age juvenile is smoking outside Dalton Gardens Elementary.

Your Son Wants To Ballet?

Item: Talent takes young dancers to China: Two from Dance Emporium chosen as ballet ambassadors/Cindy Hval, SR.

More Info: Rows of toes clad in pink ballet shoes stretched along the barre at Dance Emporium on a recent afternoon. But the size-14 black shoes stood out, as does the wearer, 15-year-old North Central freshman Christian Brower. Not only is the 5-foot-11 dancer the tallest in the room, he’s also the only boy.

Question (from CindyH): What would your response be if your son begged for ballet or dance lessons?

Dr. Seuss @ 105

Spokane Fire Department Chief Bobby Williams reads Firemouse by Nina Barbaresi to 1st graders at All Saints Catholic School as part of the school’s Dr. Suess Birthday Bash. Guest readers from the area helped celebrate Dr. Seuss 105th birthday. He is the author of “Cat in the Hat ” and “Horton Hears a Who”. DAN PELLE The Spokesman-Review

Question: Which Seuss book is your favorite?

EOB: Idaho Able To Fix Dover Bridge

It appears that Idaho will be able to replace the Dover Bridge in North Idaho, purchase a much-needed maintenance management software system for the Idaho Transportation Department, and pour millions into fixing roads statewide with federal stimulus funds, state lawmakers heard this morning. But there are two things Idaho can’t do with the money: Fund all eight of its high-priority “shovel-ready” projects, and pay off GARVEE bonds/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Minnick Gets H-95 Project Moved Up

Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick has jarred the Army Corps of Engineers into speeding up its work on an environmental impact statement that had been holding up the giant Garwood to Sagle construction project on Highway 95 in North Idaho. “It has been out there a while, I’m not going to tap-dance about it,” said Leroy Phillips, deputy division chief for the Corps’ Walla Walla district. “Once it was indicated that this has become a really high priority … it’s been brought to the forefront”/Betsy Russell, SR. More here.

Question: Do you think Congressman Bill Sali could have done this?

Moon Dollars Almost Ready …

… for Blogfest ‘09. Alison McArthur, the behind-the-scenes gopher for Blogfest ‘09, told me a few minutes ago that J.D. Dickinson’s Moon Dollars (609 North Syringa/Post Falls, directions here) is almost ready for the Huckleberries Online crowd for Blogfest ‘09 Saturday. Allison was on her way to Moon Dollars to set up the microphone for the “awards” ceremony that will be presided over by JeanieSpokane & CindyH about halfway through the gabfest. Which will run from noon to 3 p.m. She’ll also have a laptop hooked to a giant screen available if anyone wants to live blog the blogfest. As she was going out the door, Allison’s handed the phone to her dad, Mayor Clay Larkin, who said he’ll try to drop by blogfest and offered this opinion of Moon Dollars: “The buffalo burgers and sweet potato fries are to die for.” Meanwhile, Toadman (shown above with that old feller in unfashionable plaid shirt) sends his regards b/c he won’t be in attendance this year. He has a family conflict.

JS’s Partial List Of HBO Commenters

“A trio of wild turkeys graze in a Fernan Village yard. Wild turkeys abound in this small community on Fernan Lake at the east end of Coeur d’Alene,” writes Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho.

17. Danofthecounty, 18. Dennis (Radar icon), 19. DFO, 20. Digger, 21. Dining Dad, 22. Dogwalk Musings, 23. Doug Thompson, 24. Duffer – Original, 25. Eagle Eye, 26. Escapee, 27. Family Phil, 28. Florined, 29. Frum Helen Black, 30. Gary Ingram, 31. Herb Huseland, 32. Hmoffsuite, 33. Idawa, 34. Inlandempiregirl, 35. James Bond, 36. Jazzyvandal, 37. Jbelle, 38. JeanC, 39. JeanieSpokane, 40. Jen, 41. Jimmymac, 42. JohnA — JeanieSpokane. More here.

HBO Numbers (for Thursday, Feb. 26): 7290 page-views/3998 unique views

PDX Pup’s New HBO Hypothesis

PDX Pup has come in from the cold — and brought a new Huckleberries Hypothesis with her. Check it out above and join me in welcoming this wandering sheep back.

Obama To Pull Troops In 18 Months

Item: Obama to pull troops out of Iraq by end of August 2010/Reuters

More Info: President Barack Obama said on Friday he would pull U.S. combat troops out of Iraq in 18 months as he unveiled a new strategy that stressed diplomacy and engagement with foes like Iran and Syria. Winding down the Iraq war will allow Obama to boost troop numbers in Afghanistan, which he has declared the central front in the U.S. fight against terrorism. He hopes it will also help him slash a ballooning $1.3 trillion budget deficit.

Question: Do you support Obama’s decision to pull troops out of Iraq in 18 months?

Dirty Harry: PC Makes Us Humorless

Acting legend Clint Eastwood , 79, apparently believes that political correctness has rendered modern society humourless, for he accuses younger generations of spending too much time trying to avoid being offensive. The Dirty Harry star insists that he should be able to tell harmless jokes about nationality without fearing that people may brand him “a racist.” “People have lost their sense of humour. In former times we constantly made jokes about different races. You can only tell them today with one hand over your mouth or you will be insulted as a racist,” the Daily Express quoted him as saying/Yahoo! India. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Clint Eastwood that political correctness has made modern society humorless and quick to be offended?

HBO’s INorthwest Roundup — 2/27/09

This file photo from June 2005 shows former Coeur d’Alene police officer Mike Kralicek returning home after months of rehabilitation from being severely wounded in a shootout with a Coeur d’Alene man shortly before New Year’s 2005. Now, state Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, has finally succeeded in passing legislation that will financially help police officers who are permanently disabled in the line of duty. More here.

High Noon: Toilet Paper Kills Forests?

Item: American taste for soft toilet roll ‘worse than driving Hummers’: Extra-soft, quilted and multi-ply toilet roll made from virgin forest causes more damage than gas-guzzlers, fast food or McMansions, say campaigners/The Guardian

More Info: The tenderness of the delicate American buttock is causing more environmental devastation than the country’s love of gas-guzzling cars, fast food or McMansions, according to green campaigners. At fault, they say, is the US public’s insistence on extra-soft, quilted and multi-ply products when they use the bathroom.

Question: Would you be willing to substitute a cheap brand of toilet paper for the one in your bathrooms now, to protect virgin forests?

PDX Pup: Huckleberries Chaos Theory

I notice that PDX Pup has found her way back to Huckleberries. So I thought it appropriate — since Blogfest ‘09 is 24 hours away now — to re-post her greatest contribution to Huckleberries Online — “The Huckleberries Hypothesis.” Obviously, many of the characters in the hypothesis have fallen by the way side. P’haps I can plead with Pup to re-formulate her formula. Anyway, welcome back, Pup, and thanx for this wonderful memory.

Clerk: Twas The Night Before Blogfest

This little old blogger, so witty but slow,
I knew in a moment it must be DFO.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now JBelle! now, Stickman! now, Nic and MikeK!
On, Idawa! On, JeanieSpokane! on Aliasjax and Mamajd!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

Clerk Of The City (Complete Poem here)

MikeK: Why Didn’t AG Contact Nipp?

I have a question of fairness and reasonable treatment of citizens about all this: can anyone answer why, as of this morning, Charlie Nipp (pictured) has still had ZERO communication from the Attorney General’s office or the County Prosecutor’s Office but the copy of the letter is on DanG and Mary Souza’s website? Charlie has not been contacted by anyone official, not been informed by anyone official, not had information shared with him by anyone official. He heard about this from the Coeur d’Alene Press AFTER the letter appeared on DanG and Souza’s website. I know this because I called Mr. Nipp myself this morning and asked him if anyone has talked with him/Councilman MikeK. More here.

Sign Of The Times: Stimulus Plan

“Most Americans might not be aware that there’s more than one Oval Office,” posts Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho. “Thousands of miles from Washington, DC, the Oval Office in Post Falls is encouraging the citizens of North Idaho to stimulate the local economy by dining out.”

Question: How often do you stimulate the local economy by dining out?

Quotable Quote

If this world didn’t have gutters, my mind would be homeless/Levi Johnstone, UI Argonaut sports editor. More Off The Cuff here.

Wheels Vs. JBelle RE: Charlie Nipp

Item: AG clears Nipp of criminal conflict claims/Huckleberries Online

Wheels: At any given moment Charlie Nipp is doing more good for this community than any of you bashers will do in a lifetime.

JBelle: Aw, c’mon wheels. I don’t care if Charlie Nipp teaches Sunday School at every church in town. When he had his Mountain West hat on, he should have disclaimed on the LCDC work on the table. Conflicts of interest is meat of what the ethics crisis in American politics is these days. Well, that and paying taxes on household employees, I guess.

Question: Any further thoughts about the decision by the Idaho AG’s office not to file criminal charges re: conflict of interest claims against former LCDC chairman Charlie Nipp?

Skaug: Many Fear Confrontation

The virtual world has warped the way we work and interact with each other. People are willing to type and text things that they do not mean and would never say to someone’s face. Most message boards and online games are flooded with personal attacks, profanity and generally offensive remarks. In many ways, a person would probably find more wholesome conversation sitting in a bar full of drunks than reading what people have the courage to say in the unknown faceless cyber world. /Derrick Skaug, WSU Daily Evergreen. More here.

Question: Is Huckleberries Online moderated well enough that you feel safe coming here to give your opinions, despite the anonymity of most contributors?

Ledford: It’s Not Education, It’s Sin

We need to admit that no matter how much we educate ourselves, we will still have crime, and no matter how good we get at dispelling ignorance, we will not be able to change human nature. In short, we need to admit the existence of sin. Sin is not a popular word, but ignorance is inadequate to describe how we act. Even when we are informed, communicating well and are aware of the consequences, we still choose to do wrong/Benjamin Ledford, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: Do you believe in the concept of sin?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 2/27/09

Alan Roach with the Veterans of Foreign Wars presented Thursday to Clark Fork High School teacher K.C. MacDonald a plaque in recognition of K.C.’s selection for their Citizenship Education Teacher Award. MacDonald was recognized as the state awardee for 2008-2009 for grade 9-12 teachers for his work with students, including the development of a community service program, and establishing a forum for students to meet with area legislators to learn about issues of concern. MacDonald is now one of 52 finalists for a national award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars. (Photo: Vince Thompson and Jason Parting)

Dennis: Being A Cop Changed me

Dennis (on being a cop): Then there was the “Personality Change” on my part. Everytime I put my uniform on, I would also don a “Persona Shield”, better described as a mindset to go out on the dangerous streets. My wife would tell her friends that she loved her husband but hated him when he put the uniform on. It also tore her up when I left for work. (I didn’t find out about this until after I retired) We lived by the motto that “No News is Good News” meaning that if the phone isn’t ringing, everything is ok. At one point, I asked her to go on a “Ride Along” with me so she could see what I was doing. Her response, ” I’ll read about it in the paper. Full post below.

Question: Do you have any cops in your family tree?

Florined: 3-Hour Blogfest Has Drawbacks

Florined (re: Blogfest ‘09): The problem is not wanting to MISS anybody who shows up. This means arriving early and leaving late. And, see, that leads to (how shall I phrase this), uh, potential excess, which has been known in the past, in far lands, to lead to indecorous behavior on the part of the short-and-wide one. It’s one thing to not be welcomed ever again in that tavern below the castle in Heidelberg. Or even that saloon in Trout Creek, Montana. But I might want to go back to Moon Dollars some day for lunch! Expanding to 3 hours has its drawbacks.

Question: Who do you most want to meet at Blogfest ‘09?

Trish: ‘Sweet’ Avista Socked It To Me

Oh, sweet Avista. Three years ago (four?) my November electric bill was $400. I immediately called Avista to see what was going on. The lady I spoke with (typewriter keys clicking in the background) told me that my normal usage, their rate hike, and the current weather combined suggested this amount was probably pretty accurate. No problem, pay the bill. In the following months, the bill kept increasing, and the house was damn cold. Every month I called. Typewriter key sounds, “nope, this looks totally in line with your normal usage.” By February (bill $550) I got a friend in construction to come out and look at my place and see what could possibly be wrong (we were thinking some kind of electric ground fault or something)/Trish Gannon, River Journal (shown in condom dress she’ll wear to Blogfest ‘09 with daughter). Full comment below.

Question: Do you have a sweet Avista horror story re: winter bills?

JBelle: Goodbye Rocky Mountain News

Copies of the final edition of the Rocky Mountain News sit in the Washington Street Printing Plant of the Denver Newspaper Agency in Denver on Thursday. E.W. Scripps Co., owners of the News, which is Colorado’s oldest newspaper dating back to 1859, announced on Thursday that the paper will cease publication with today’s edition. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

JBelle: One thing that I think is truly rueful is that unlike the banks, the auto industry and AIG, the newspapers haven’t gone whining to Congress for bail outs. And arguably, the newspapers were more influential that the former in settling this country, making it America and making us all Americans. I say God Bless and Godspeed, Rocky Mountain News. We were so privileged to have known you.

Question: Do you still subscribe to a newspaper? Which one? How many? Do you plan to continue to subscribe to a newspaper?

Gonzaga Stops Santa Clara 81-73

Santa Clara’s John Bryant, center, is defended by Gonzaga’s Josh Heytvelt, left, and Steven Gray in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday. ESPN game story & boxscore here.  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Wild Card/Thursday — 2/26/09

In the news this evening: The Rocky Mountain News announces it will publish its last edition Friday here. The Obama budget calls for spending almost $12,000 per American here. Newsday plans to charge for online news here. A new study zeroes in on calories rather than diet for weight loss here. And the Wild Card remains in play …

Parting Shot — 2/26/09

Reporters Gary Massaro, left, and Judi Villa hug in the newsroom of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver on today. E.W. Scripps Co., owners of the News, which is Colorado’s oldest newspaper dating back to 1859, announced on Thursday that the paper will cease publication on Friday, Feb. 27. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) SR Today in Photos.

JeanieSpokane: Biopsy ‘Benign’

JeanieSpokane: I recently had a whole bunch of tests done - and my mammogram came back clean.  It’s an amazing thing, that vice-grip machine.  I am always surprised that it can get **anything** at all from my flat chest. I also just got called by my doc and my thyroid biopsy came back benign.  O Happy Day. So - back to work!

DFO: It seems like the only news of late is bad news. So I wanted to share this comment that JeanieSpokane made Wednesday. I know she was pretty nervous about the prospects of the biopsy. So please join in congratulated her re: the clean bill of health.

HBO’s PM Headlines — 2/26/09

“I recently had my windows dilated, in order to find out that, over the years, my windows have been damaged by over-use,” posts Toadman, Synaptic Disunion. “Things far away, aren’t as clear as they used to be. Things close up, aren’t as clear as they used to be. It seems that things have to remain a safe distance from me, in order to be seen properly.” More here.

Question: Do you have good vision?

AG Clears Nipp Of Conflict Claims

The Attorney General’s Office has concluded an investigation of allegations of conflicts of interest regarding Lake City Development Corporation (LCDC) chairman Charles Nipp. Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s office notified Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney Barry McHugh that the Attorney General will not be filing criminal charges/Bob Cooper, spokesman for Idaho Attorney General’s Office. Rest of news release here.

Question: Are you surprised?

Scanner Traffic — 2/26/09

  • 5:45 p.m. Several accidents reported due to icy conditions on I-90 @ M/P 28 westbound.
  • 5:39 p.m. Female shoplifter caught @ CDA’s Super One.
  • 3:40 p.m. Bicyclist suffers a head gash & complains of headache after crash w/vehicle @ Ironwood Court & Ironwood Drive.
  • 3:02 p.m. R/P reports that an “extremely skinny” man is acting suspicious & may be on drugs on Poleline/Post Falls, near Real Life Church.
  • 2:59 p.m. A worker at a local state liquor store complains that a local contractor is tearing up the parking lot by driving heavy equipment across it.
  • 2:41 p.m. A Princeton trucker lost control of his rig and crashed near DeSmet early this morning, causing Highway 95 to be closed for two hours. ISP report here.
  • 1:28 p.m. Resident @ Bambi RV Park/Government Way reports someone is in the process of stealing a barbecue and other things off his front porch.
  • 1:02 p.m. R/P reports she’s being harassed by text message.
  • 12:18 p.m. R/P @ 2008 W. Prairie claims that someone has intentionally run over him. He’s near a shop building behind the house.

Jeanie: When Ignorance Ain’t Bliss

The butterfly wind chime on the back porch was a flutter in snowflakes after a storm came through in the early hours of Thursday morning, posts Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho.

Ignorance Ain’t Bliss: Recently things have happened to remind me that I am still naïve and gullible. How gullible?? Oh, you just wouldn’t believe it. People who know me, know to never be sarcastic with me because I take them literally. I think everyone is honest and straightforward and no matter how often they fabricate something and I believe them wholeheartedly, I keep on thinking good thoughts about them – that they are still honest and straightforward. I had a boyfriend once, after I had divorced my husband, who took this “ailment” I have as far as he thought he could/JeanieSpokane. More here.

Question: How gullible are you?

Dad’s Diner Reviews Blogfest ‘09 Site

Moon Dollars is a very unique feel to it. I can only describe it as a coffee shop/cute cafe/sports bar/nice restaurant. I know that the sign refers to itself as a “Coffee House”. But that just doesn’t seem right. This place is so much more. The place was spotless, had that “new” feel to it, and was well managed! The young ladies that I talked with were friendly, helpful, and willing to ask questions that any “newbie” customer might have. And you might know by now that that’s a big concern to me!/Dad’s Diner. More here.

 Question: Had you heard of Moon Dollars before it became the site of Blogfest ‘09?

Crapo Opposes ‘Fairness Doctrine’

Free speech on radio stations across Idaho and the nation must be protected, says Idaho Senator Mike Crapo.  That’s why Crapo joined with 29 other Senators to introduce legislation to ensure broadcasters are protected against efforts to increase federal control over the airwaves as well as the content of talk radio and other programs.  The legislation was approved today on a vote of 87 to 11 as an amendment to the D.C. Voting Rights Bill/Crapo spokeswoman Susan Wheeler. More here.

Question: Would you like to see talk radio reined in?

Clark: A Sure Sign Of Depression

You don’t need to examine the soaring jobless numbers or the stock index to know that we’re headed into another Great Depression. One of the telltale signs is that more and more Americans are looking the part. And by “looking the part” I mean that more and more Americans are wearing retro fedoras. Yes, the fedora – that classic pinched-at-the-crown, bent-brimmed dress hat. The fedora was the stock-and-trade hat for Prohibition-era gangsters, gumshoe detectives and tough guy actors of yore like James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Do you wear any kind of hat other than a baseball cap?

Study: Best Diet Is One That Works

Item: Study finds best diet is the one that works/LA Times

More Info: Two decades after the debate began on which diet is best for weight loss, a conclusion is starting to come into focus. And the winner is – not low-carb, not low-fat, not high protein, but – any diet. That is, any diet that is low in calories and saturated fats and high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables – and that an individual can stick with – is a reasonable choice for people who need to lose weight. That’s the conclusion of a study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, representing the longest, largest and most rigorous test of several popular diet strategies.

Question: Which diet has worked for you?

HBO’s INorthwest Roundup — 2/26/09

Rocky Mountain News page designer Christine Birch, center, reacts to executives from E.W. Scripps Co., announcing the decision to close The Rocky Mountain News in the 150-year-old newspaper’s newsroom Thursday in Denver. In December 2008, the Rocky’s parent company put the paper up for sale, citing multi-million dollar annual losses. (AP Photo/Rocky Mountain News, Joe Manoney)

High Noon: First Dog

In this Feb. 10 file photo, Digit, a 3-year-old Portuguese water dog from Charlotte, N.C., waits to compete during the 133rd annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show at Madison Square Garden in New York. First Lady Michelle Obama has decided that her two girls will get a Portuguese water dog this spring. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, FILE)

Question: I, of course, support the Obamas choice of a Portuguese water dog, for obvious reasons. Do you think the Obamas should have picked another breed? Which one?

Blogfest ‘09: The Unmasking?

Noah Kroese/Special for Huckleberries Online

Question: Noah Kroese, ex-UIdaho Argonaut cartoonist, drew the cartoon above for the Blogfest ‘07. One phenomenon I’ve noticed at Blogfests is … bloggers and commenters seem relieved to finally step from behind their pseudonyms. So here’s the question: How much are you, in your real life, like your online persona?

Transient Jailed On Child Sex Counts

A transient faces charges of video voyeurism and child sex abuse after Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department investigators found pictures and videos on a stolen computer that had already landed him in jail. Darryl P. Sheets, 46, was charged with the additional crimes Tuesday after being in the Kootenai County Jail since September on stolen property charges, jail records show. A computer seized as evidence had photos showing Sheets with a girl about 13 or 14 years old, as well as videos of the girl using a bathroom that he shot without her knowledge, said Kootenai County Sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger. Sheets was a friend of the victim’s parents, Wolfinger said. He remains in jail on $75,000 bond.

Adam: Stupid Is As Does

So, I’m checking my facebook and I see this ad in the sidebar: The ad slams Minnick and, when you click on the link, it comes from So, you’ve got the far left wing of the Democratic Party deciding to take pot shots at the only Democrat to win any congressional race in this state in 16 years. What could go wrong? Pressuring Minnick to go left is dumb. Attacking Minnick for voting like he promised he was going to vote is dumb. This ad shows the great tragedy that has left the Idaho Democratic Party a shadow of it’s former self. If Minnick continues on the road he’s on, he’ll have trouble gathering support from the left wing of the Party. if he takes more left wing moves, he’ll end up losing/Adam’s Blog. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Adam that Minnick would have a difficult time if he listened to the extremists in the Idaho Demo party and moved left?

First Lady Wears Same Dress Twice

Idaho’s first lady wore the same dress twice - to the gala at Saint Al’s Festival of Trees in November and then again Sunday to the White House for a dinner with the nation’s governors, the Obamas’ first formal soiree (AP photo above). This, according to the Idaho Statesman. Lori Otter bought the dress - a floor-length black Jovani gown - on sale at the local boutique Karen Louise in Downtown Boise, the governor’s office said. The gown retails for about $700, but Otter got it for about $500.

Question: Did Idaho’s First Lady Lori Otter commit a fashion faux pas by wearing the same dress twice to fashionable events? Or was she being frugal?

CDA, Sandpoint Top Vacation Spots

Item: Ketchum, Sandpoint, Coeur d’Alene named among top U.S. vacation spots/Dana Olan, Idaho Statesman

More Info: Ketchum, Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene are highlighted as top vacation spots in a new book, “The Great Towns of America: All New Guide to the 100 Best Getaways for a Vacation or a Lifetime,” by David and Joan Vokac, ($23.95, West Press). This the second edition of the book by these urban-planners-turned-travel-writers. The Vokacs traveled more than 80,000 miles visiting more than 213 finalists for the book.

Question: Does it give you residents of Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint an extra sense of pride to know that you live in one of the top U.S. vacation spots?

KMPO Seeks Non-Motorized Plan Info

KMPO is developing a region-wide Non-Motorized Transportation Plan and we’re asking for your input on it through a quick online survey. The plan will assist in the development of a bicycle and pedestrian network within the Kootenai region. It will identify policies, goals and projects, and opportunities to provide facilities like pathways, sidewalks, and bike parking. The survey asks a variety of questions, such as how often you walk or ride your bike, where you walk or ride to, and what would get you to walk or bicycle more often. Click here for the survey, then hit the link at the top of the KMPO home page/Kootenai MPO. More here.

DFO: HBO friend Jeff Selle is one of the key people involved in the Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization. Which has become a major player in the local transportation planning. Please take a moment to fill out the survey in the link above and send it to KMPO.

HBO’s AM Roundup — 2/26/09

Piper Wimmer sits with her children, Mason Crabtree, 5, and his sister Maya Hippenstiel, 7, as they talk about their experience Monday when they fell down a well behind their home while sledding in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Hippenstiel saved her brother by lodging their sled into snow after she crawled out of the well and used the rope on the sled to help her brother stay afloat while she went for help. Story here. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos) 

Blogfest ‘09 Coming Soon

Above, guests at Blogfest ‘08 enjoy Doug Clark’s singing as part of the annual pizza-and-pop get together. Time has flown. And another Blogfest has almost arrived. If you’re a blogger, commenter or blurker at Huckleberrie Online, you’re invited to Blogfest ‘09 at MoonDollars (Dickinson Insurance building) on Syringa/Post Falls. It’ll run from noon to 3 p.m. JeanieSpokane, CindyH, Bent & crew have prepared special awards to observe good work — or not — over the last year. I’ll post directions again between now and then.

Question: Are you coming to Blogfest ‘09?

Avista CEO Supports Rate Hike

Item: Avista boss defends proposed rate hike: Money needed to keep up with expenses, operations/Bill Buley, CDA Press

More Info: Despite $73.6 million in net income last year, Avista President and CEO Scott Morris said the company needs a proposed net electric rate increase of 7.8 percent and a natural gas rate increase of 3 percent in Idaho. Ultimately, he said, it will benefit its customers. “It’s a difficult concept for customers,” Morris said during a meeting with The Press. “I think they think I’m getting it all.” A profit allows Avista to continue to be among the region’s most green, reliable and inexpensive power providers, Morris said.

Question: Are you buying what Avista President/CEO Scott Morris is selling re: the necessity for a natural gas rate increase at a time like this?

Sara: Fast Food Meltdown

Sara E. Anderson: My husband recently witnessed the absolutely perfect middle-manager freakout at a local fast food place, where some kid called in sick and the manager was threatening to fire him and said “This is a right to work state; you have no rights!”

Question: Do you think Idaho employees are treated better/worse/same as other states as a result of this being a right-to-work state?

Dennis: Of Mammograms & Doghouse

Dennis: I remember the first time my wife had a mammogram. Thankfully all clear. She was complaining about how much the processed hurt. Then the unthinkable happened … I open my big mouth and told her that “Bee Stings” really don’t hurt much. Duck & Cover!!!! Couple of nights on the couch, plenty of flowers and a very sincere apology and a romantic dinner resolved the issue. The lesson learned??? Women don’t have much of a sense of humor after a doctors sanctioned titty twister!!! OUCH!!!!!!

CindyH: I’m thinking that Dennis’ wife deserves some kind of award :-)

Question (for men): When did you last sleep on the couch for something dumb you said about or too your wife?

WND Poll: Jindal’s Response To Obama

Did Bobby Jindal help or hinder his presidential ambitions with his response to President Barack Obama’s speech Tuesday?/WorldNetDaily

  • He embarrassed himself with his ideas and his delivery
  • I hope this is the end of Jindal’s career - it will be one less Republican taking aim at Obama
  • If this is the best the conservatives have to offer, Democrats have nothing to worry about
  • He was a total amateur - I hope he does run against Obama
  • Anyone would look bad after such a stellar delivery by Obama (More below)

Heller: Another Cabin Fever Victim

Joe Heller/Hellertoon

Hump Day Wild Card — 2/25/09

The countdown to Blogfest ‘09 continues with only 3 days remaining until the get-together from noon until 3 p.m. Saturday at MoonDollars in Post Falls. I’ll re-post directions to MoonDollars (in the Dickinson Insurance building @ 609 Syringa St./Post Falls in the next fews days. Meanwhile, in the news this evening, Obama wants to create a $634B health care fund here. Obama’s daughters are going to get a Portuguese water dog here.VP Joe Biden slips when he asks for Web site’s “number” here. And another Wild Card is on the table.

P.S. I replaced the Leibovitz post with the daily APhoto Of The Day. Some days, it takes longer to find a good photo than other days.

Parting Shot — 2/25/09

Nineteen-year-old Josh Ogle has gained fame this week as a youtube video of him rapping with Spokane Mary Verner took off on the Internet. Ogle was homeless for three years, and Verner wrote the song for a fund-raiser in December. The two have performed it four times. See YouTube video here. And: Story here. (Courtesy Keith Currie Photography) SR Today In Photos here.

Hammes: Give Terrorists Group Play

It turns out a play date will fix everything. For those who missed it, the Pentagon issued a report last week on how to “fix” the prison at Guantanamo. Make no mistake, this is tricky stuff. First of all, most folks don’t think there is anything to fix. That is, it is very well documented prisoners at Gitmo are not abused nor are their rights violated. The problem is there are a bunch of folks who don’t believe that. Never mind of course that countless reporters, Congressmen and aid workers have made continual visits to the prison and never reported any serious violations, the myth continues. Of course, when the President of the United States spouts off about Gitmo it tends to keep the story alive. The fact Barack Obama has promised to close the prison adds to the myth that “something” must be happening there that is out of sorts/Dan Hammes, St. Maries Record-Gazette. More here.

Question: Do you support President Obama’s decision to close Gitmo?

HBO’s PM Headlines — 2/25/09

Karen Kitson’s dog, Lady, a 6-year-old Chihuahua, pokes her head out of Kitson’s coat as they ride along Caldwell Boulevard Tuesday in Nampa. Kitson uses the bike year-round as her only mode of transportation. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune, Greg Kreller)

APhoto Of The Day — 2/25/09

A cat shares a fence post with a cow skull on the edge of a pasture near Elkton, Ore., on Monday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The News-Review, Robin Loznak)

Top Cutlines: 

  • 1. Now that you’ve seen what I can do to a cow, get me my food and catnip…PRONTO!!! — JeanC
  • 2. Local authorities have seen an increase in the reporting of more incidents of meow cow disease as a result of global warming — KeithinCDA.
  • 3. Who’s up for some Cranium? — Kevin Taylor; and: Can I get fries with this?Nick Adams.
  • A League of His Own: John A
  • HM: Nic (& most everyone else … great stuff)

Scanner Traffic — 2/25/09

  • 5:34 p.m. R/P in CDA Library neighborhood reports a commotion in a nearby residence after hearing a woman scream: “Look what you’ve done to my face.” Later, a second R/P reports that the woman was trying to run over a man in the yard.
  • 5:14 p.m. Telephone on fire on Meyer Road/Rathdrum.
  • 4:57 p.m. Female @ CDA Super 1 reports another female pointed a gun in her direction but not directly at her. R/P doesn’t think the other female wanted to shoot her.
  • 4:28 p.m. A non-injury accident involving SUVs @ Seltice & McGuire has led to a fist fight between drivers. One driver is bleeding from the face.
  • 3:04 p.m. The “large rock” reported in the s/b lane of Highway 41 @ M/P 1.4 turns out to be a bag of garbage.
  • 2:50 p.m. CPD Blue has spotted a man walking s/b on 4th from Capone’s who allegedly attempted to strangle a woman. However, the woman admits she was beating on him before he grabbed her.
  • 2:20 p.m. An Appleway area business has called for CPD Blue after catching an employee trying to steal. The employee is cooperative.
  • 2:15 p.m. Hayden R/P reports a man possibly stalking a female in his house.
  • 1:18 p.m. R/P reports a man forced a woman into a 2002 white Honda @ Ramsey & Hanley and drove off.

Diner Dad: Caruso’s Subs Are Huge

Like my last review (Casey’s Place) I found myself unsure of what to order. So I asked the lady at the counter, “What is your best sandwich?” Her response was that most people order the club. Well, I had just had a club on my last review so i was in the mood for something different. I wanted something with an Italian flair. But then the word “CLUB” came out of my mouth anyway. Now this was one BIG half sandwich. I really didn’t want to review subs yet, I will be doing a series on them later. But this sandwich was actually a sub. It was huge. You may think of Subway’s 6 inch sandwich, but this dwarfs one of those/Dining Dad. More here.

DFO: Put you hands together for the newest blogger in the Huckleberries Online blogosphere — Dad Diner. You can find his work here. Let me know what you think. You can find a review of MoonDollars (where Blogfest ‘09 will be held) here.

Carlson’s Faces Fed Charges March 17

This banner was hanging in the gym at Coeur d’Alene High School on Monday. Jerry Carlson, a prominent Coeur d’Alene insurance agent and school booster has been charged with possessing 5 grams of cocaine last week is part of a larger criminal conspiracy investigation involving at least a half a kilo of the drug. In addition to a state charge of possession of a controlled substance, Jerry S. Carlson faces three federal charges related to distribution of more than 500 grams of cocaine that took place over several months. Carlson faces arraignment on the federal charges @ 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 17. Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review.

To A Snow Pile In The Street

Oh great heap of grime,

all gritty and gray,

shall I still see thee

Memorial Day?

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

JeanC: Annual Boobie-Squishing Time

A family of sparrows found a puddle of melted snow on East Lakeshore Dr. the perfect place to take a bath on this sunny February day in North Idaho/Kerri Thoreson, OnLocation North Idaho.

Boobie Squishing Time: So I had my annual mammogram first thing this morning. Not really something I like to have to get up early for, but it is over and done with for this year and now I just have to await the results. Fingers crossed I don’t get that stupid letter again saying they need to do further examinations. Ultrasounds are freakin’ cold!/JeanC’s Cat House & Shooting Gallery. More here.

Question: How often do you visit your doctor for a complete physical examination?

Sandpoint Area OKs School Levy

The Lake Pend Oreille School District levy has passed with 59.5 percent of the vote. The $10.95 million supplemental levy received 3,965 yes votes to 2,699 no votes. The levy required a simple majority for approval, 50 percent plus one vote. The levy is divided in two parts, with $4.6 million to be collected in year one and $6,350,000 in year two/Marlisa Keyes, Bonner County Bee. More here.

Question: Lake Pend Oreille School District is known as one of the toughest places to pass school bonds and levies in North Idaho. Is this a promising sign in these tough economic times for other districts who want to pass supplemental levies?

Slight Detour: Winter Beauty

“We’re halfway between winter and spring,” posts Marianne Love/Slight Detour re: this photo and others she has on her site today here. “That means dirty snow and a lot of water. It’s difficult to find the beauty at times, but it’s there. And, almost always a trip along the north shore of Lake Pend Oreille will ease the search.”

Quotable Quote: Lent

Ash Wednesday is the day that the Christian world sits outside the principal’s office waiting for retribution to arrive, and it’s never late. Today we’re going to talk about your sins and call your parents, and that paddle that hangs behind Sister Mary Louise’s desk is gonna get a workout/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times News. More here.

Question: Whether you observe Lent or not, do you take time to reflect on your shortcomings and try to do better afterward?

Obama Picks Locke For Commerce

Item: Obama offers third pick at Commerce Department/AP

More Info: President Barack Obama introduced former Washington Gov. Gary Locke as his nominee for Commerce secretary Wednesday, trying a third time to fill a key Cabinet post for a country in recession. … The president’s two top earlier choices for the post dropped out - one a Democrat facing questions about a donor and the other a Republican who had a change of heart about working for a president from the opposite party - well before the Senate had a chance to confirm them

Question (for Washington Berry Pickers): Is Locke a good choice for Commerce secretary?

Court Lets City Protect 10 C’s

Item: Supreme Court lets Utah city refuse religious monument in park near 10 Commandments display/Reuters

More Info: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that a Utah city can refuse to put a religious group’s monument in a public park near a similar Ten Commandments display. The justices unanimously sided with the city of Pleasant Grove, which had said a ruling for the religious group would mean public parks across the country would have to allow privately donated monuments that express different views from those already on display.

Question: Are you bothered by monuments displaying 10 Commandments in parks and other public areas, like the Kootenai County Courthouse lawn?

HBO’s INorthwest Roundup — 2/25/09

Dominic Conigliaro, 11, left, watches Tendai Muparutsa, a ethnomusicologist originally from Zimbabwe and now pursuing a doctorate degree at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, teach Ali Carlson, 10, the tempo of a melody during a workshop with marimba students Monday in Coeur d’Alene. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos)

High Noon: Bartering

Beautician Heather Wood performs a pedicure for a client at the Caritta Salon in Boise Friday. Wood sometimes trades beauty services for what she needs. Bartering _ the trading of goods or services without using cash _ has become more popular in a down economy. (AP Photo/Joe Jaszewski)

Question: If push comes to shove re: our lousy economy, what could you barter to meet your needs?

Panel Rejects Beer, Wine Tax Hike

After three days of long and intense hearings, the House Revenue & Taxation Committee has voted 13-5 to kill legislation to raise Idaho’s beer and wine taxes. The measure, HB 140, was designed to raise a tax not raised in more than four decades, to fund substance abuse treatment services, an area the state has struggled the last few years to fund as it’s expanded services in an effort to trim the state’s large prison population/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. How they voted here.

Question: Do you support the votes by North Idaho Reps. Clark, Hart & Harwood to kill the bill to raise taxes on beer and wine? (George Sayler was for it.)

IMHO Idaho: Day Care Regs ‘Onerous’

Rep. George Sayler (D-Coeur d’Alene), who survived a stiff challenge from conservative Republican Jim Hollingsworth in November, is back with his annual attempt to further push the nose of nanny government into Idaho’s daycare system. His bill (S1112) would require every daycare center which cares for at least four unrelated children to submit to onerous requirements for staff-child ratios, facility regulations and criminal background checks. It will necessitate an expanded taxpayer-funded bureaucracy to perform all the inspections and record-keeping that the bill will require. There is little to no evidence that increased regulation of daycare centers does much to protect child health and safety/Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance. More here.

Question: Do you agree with the Idaho Values Alliance that day-care regulations proposed by state Rep. George Sayler, R-CDA, are onerous?

‘Tisn’t Easy Being A Service Manager

If you think service managers at local car dealerships have an easy time during a down economy, you should think again. Consider my buddy Jerry Kelly of Robideaux Motors — one of the truly nice guys in the car service biz. Jerry can take guff with the best of them. But a cuss-tomer from Rathdrum was more than even Jerry could handle Tuesday. Seems the guy slid into a snow bank at a low speed, wrecking his bumper on a vehicle he bought from another dealer — and he wanted Robideaux to make it good. It wasn’t under warranty. But that didn’t matter to the cuss-tomer. He was so belligerent, Jerry says, that he tried to turn the cuss-tomer over to a higher up. Once Jerry and the cuss-tomer reached the higher-ups office, all hell broke loose. Jerry reports that the guy head butted him and then hit him in the face, splitting his inner lip. Adding insult to injury, Jerry tells Huckleberries, CPD Blue was called, took a report, but didn’t arrest the guy. Jerry said he even called Police Chief Wayne Longo re: the matter. Stay tuned.

Question: Have you ever been punched in the face?

Land Swap May Limit McCroskey Use

Item: USFS land swap with timber company could end some public use of McCroskey Park/Ralph Bartholdt, St. Maries Gazette-Record

More Info: A park in southern Benewah County could lose its quiet composure if the Forest Service strikes a deal with a Clearwater timber company. The roads and trails that wind through Mary Minerva McCroskey State Park south of Tensed jog back and forth from state to federal land, but the federal parcels may be turned over to a timber company as part of a land exchange; something a group of park lovers don’t want.

Question: Does this sound like a good deal to you?

Columnist: Sweet 16? C’mon

She turns 16 today, our baby girl. Isn’t it “sweet 16” you ask. Anyone who has ever lived with a teenage girl knows “sweet” is not the adjective used most to describe them. Temperamental or moody, sulky or grouchy, opinionated or demanding, but sweet? Not often. While some of her school teachers of the past 10 years might give her glowing marks on citizenship and printed little notes on her report card “A pleasure to have in class,” I have to wonder? Is the girl who sits in their class each day the same girl who grumbles when you remind her to keep her showers under 20 minutes? Is she the same girl who glares at you when you mention that texting on her cell phone 24/7 isn’t a right, it’s a privilege?/Kaisie Brede, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here.

Question: Who was easier to handle at Sweet 16 — you or your kids?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 2/25/09

Folks filed out of a courtroom after the dedication ceremony for the new United States Courthouse in Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday. (Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review) SR story by Alison Boggs here.  

Ashes To Ashes, Dust To Dust

A Roman Catholic nun applies soot on the forehead of a girl in observance of Ash Wednesday at the Redemptorist Church at suburban Paranaque south of Manila, Philippines, this morning. Ash Wednesday, which ushers the 40-day Lenten Season,  is observed by Catholics all over the world to remind mankind of being mortals. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Question: What does Lent mean to you?

‘Mass Layoffs’ Soared In January

Item: Gov’t says ‘mass layoffs’ soared in January/AP

More Info:  Employers took a large ax to their payrolls in January, the government said Wednesday, and the cuts are likely to get worse over the next few months. The Labor Department reported that mass layoffs, or job cuts of 50 or more by a single employer, increased to 2,227 in January, up almost 50 percent from the same month last year. More than 235,000 workers were fired as a result of last month’s cuts.

Question: If you lost your job, where would you begin looking?

Ban On Union Pay Deductions Upheld

Item: Supreme Court upholds ban on union payroll deductions/AP

More Info: The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a state law banning local governments from letting workers use payroll deductions to fund their union’s political activities, a decision that could strike at organized labor’s ability to raise funds at local levels. Five labor unions and the Idaho state AFL-CIO successfully argued in lower federal courts that a 2003 Idaho law forcing cities, counties and school districts to eliminate a payroll deduction funding union political action committees violated the First Amendment. “Idaho’s law does not restrict political speech, but rather declines to promote that speech by allowing public employee checkoff for political activities,” Chief Justice John Roberts said as the court voted 6-3 to overturn those rulings.

Question: Unions in Idaho don’t seem to have much clout. Do you think this is a good thing or a bad thing?

Heller: Lent

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Tuesday — 2/24/09

In the news this evening, President Obama says that America will rebuild and emerge stronger here. Obama’s approval rating dips below 60% for the first time here. Hearst plans to sell or close San Francisco Chronicle here. Obama plans to pull out troops from Iraq by August 2010 here. Alcohol has been linked to the cancer risk in women here. And the Wild Card remains on the table …

Parting Shot — 2/24/09

Tamra Reynolds, race veteran Hugh Neff’s handler and partner, lays with Neff’s lead dogs Annie, left, and Watson after Neff’s second place finish today at the finish the 2009 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race in Fairbanks, Alaska. Neff finished only four minutes behind this year’s champion race veteran Sebastian Schnuelle of Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. (AP photo/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Eric Engman) SR Today In Pictures here.

Question: What’s your favorite place to visit in Alaska?

Sparky: Why Volunteer?

I have been volunteering since I was a child. My parents believed it was our civic responsibility. I see a need and I take action. I have been the grunt, the sergeant, and the general. However, most of my time donated now is spent in leadership roles and I really miss those days in which I showed up and just served coffee or stuffed envelopes or walked a dog or delivered lunch or etc. It is my job to thank and inspire volunteers for showing up. However, I don’t receive a simple thank yous for a task or job well done. Trust me, it is brought to my attention when I stumble or don’t read minds but a thank you has not come my way in months now/Sparky’s Notes. More here.

Question: Do you volunteer much? Are you the general? Or one of the foot soldiers?

7YO CDA Girl Saves Brother’s Life

A seven-year-old Coeur d’Alene girl is being commended for saving her five-year-old brother during a recent sledding expedition on their grandparents’ property. Maya and her little brother Mason were sledding near Canfield Mountain nearly two weeks ago when they fell into a cistern filled with more than eight feet of water. Maya was able to quickly climb out. “The little wall in there you can push yourself out because you can put feet on it and push yourself out,” Maya said. Her little brother Mason however couldn’t move and was trapped in more than eight feet of water/KXLY. More here.

HBO’s PM Headlines — 2/24/09

This banner was hanging in the gym at Coeur d’Alene High School on Tuesday. Jerry Carlson, a prominent Coeur d’Alene insurance agent and school booster has been charged with possessing five grams of cocaine last week is part of a larger criminal conspiracy investigation involving at least a half a kilo of the drug. In addition to a state charge of possession of a controlled substance, Jerry S. Carlson faces three federal charges related to distribution of more than 500 grams of cocaine that took place over several months. Story here. (Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review)

APhoto Of The Day — 2/24/09

A reveler covers himself with mud during the annual ‘Bloco de Lama’ carnival celebrations in Parati, Brazil, Saturday. You write the cutline.(AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Top Cutline:

  • 1. Slumdog Millionaire - Outhouse scene, take two: Danny Boyle - “OK - this time let’s try it feet first” — Poolman.
  • 2. Number of US people in poverty: Thirty-six Million. Number of dollars in stimulus package: Eight Hundred Billion. Number of nuts in Parati: One Brazilian — JohnA
  • 3. Don Sausser was surprised to discover JBelle during his early morning photo shoot near Tubb’s Hill — CindyH
  • HM: Cabbage Boy

Scanner Traffic — 2/24/09

  • 3:56 p.m. Woman complains re: being harassed by someone she’s met on the Internet.
  • 1:59 p.m. R/P wants to check on a salesman who is selling meat door to door on Buffalo Grass Lane/Rathdrum.
  • 1:57 p.m. R/P reports that a motorist removed a for-sale sign from a property @ Winegar & Presley (Mica Flats area) and then fired a gun before driving off.
  • 12:57 p.m. R/P reports unwanted person @ Appleway Laundromat.
  • 12:54 p.m. A student has locked herself out of her black Hyundai @ NIC.
  • 12:39 p.m. A woman in a wheelchair is stuck in the snow on a local bike trail.
  • 12:08 p.m. A faulty alarm caused students to be evacuated from Mullan Trail Elementary

A Celebration, Then Ash Wednesday

A rider looks to throw his beads during the Krewe of Bacchus parade in New Orleans. Today, of course, New Orleans celebrates Fat Tuesday, the last day before the Catholic Lenten season begins with Ash Wednesday, by indulging in its annual Mardi Gras festivities. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Question: Do you give some indulgence up in observation of Lent?

Local Blogs: Dressing In Drag

I’m easily talked into things. Some of my buddies at work had something special planned for an upcoming Mardi Gras fundraiser. Someone had bailed out on the deal, so I was asked if I was interested in helping out. As always, I threw myself onto the wagon. The first sign of trouble was when my daughter wondered why her Daddy would be looking for a dress at Value Village. She kept peeking under the dressing room door, with a giggly confusion. I also found it’s pretty hard to find size 12 high heels, and ended up settling on some chunky brown sandals/Otis G. Experience. More here.

HBO Numbers (for Monday, Feb. 23): 6637 page-views/3730 unique views

Question: Have you ever dressed in drag? When? Why?

Owie! Owie!

Anton Sheperd, 4, attempts a quick escape recently, while his mother Tiffany Adkins holds him and nursing student Tiffany Stacy administers a shot during the annual Shots for Tots immunization clinic at Roseburg High School in Roseburg, Ore. The free clinic offered by the Douglas County Health Department gave out 685 shots to 243 kids on Saturday. (AP Photo/The News-Review, Robin Loznak)

Question: Do needles and shots bother you?

NIdaho Baby Born After Wild Ride

Item: North Idaho baby born after wild ride on I-90/KXLY

More Info: By the time they reached the top of Fourth of July Pass, Jo Ann’s contractions were two minutes apart.  Adren tried to call 911, but he could not get a signal until he reached the bottom of the pass near Wolf Lodge. Then, with the 911 operator on the line, Adren quickly took the Sherman Avenue Exit, and pulled into a gas station, where they met Jeff Fletcher and other paramedics with the Coeur d’Alene Fire Department. Once inside the ambulance it only took a few minutes for the baby to decide it was time to come out.

Question: Anyone out there have a child who was born in an odd place?

Moscow Mulls Transgender Protection

Item: Moscow to consider added protections for transgendered people: Human rights commission member asks city to change its employment nondescrimination policy/Mark Williams, Moscow-Pullman Daily News/Mark Williams, Moscow-Pullman Daily News

More Info: Tim Gresback wants the city to provide more legal protection for transgendered people. The lawyer and Moscow Human Rights Commission member has asked the city to consider adding transgendered people as a specifically protected group in its employment nondiscrimination policy. Speaking before the city’s administrative committee Monday, Gresback said that the city’s current nondiscrimination policy provides protections based on age, race, religion and sexual orientation.

Question: Should Moscow include transgendered people in its current nondiscrimination policy that provides protections based on age, race, religion and sexual orientation.

High Noon: Blogfest ‘09 Costumes

I appreciate this photo b/c it shows a lighter side to Coeur d’Alene Press columnist Mary Souza. Here, I believe, she’s at a Margaritaville section of Las Vegas in December. That’s a parrot on Mary’s head. I’m told that Mary’s costume was one of the tamer ones at Margaritaville on that day. Why do I show you this? I want you to know that costumes are acceptable at Blogfest ‘09. Trish Gannon/River Journal will be wearing her infamous condom dress. I’ll try to find a photo of that for posting purposes here. BTW, you can read Mary’s response to this post here. By & large, she seems a good sport about it.

Question: Do you plan to dress up for Blogfest ‘09?


Fisher: Otter Talks Big Re: Bailout $$$

What has Butch Otter been up to in the nation’s capital? Within days of appointing a bipartisan panel to review plans for spending money from federal stimulus legislation, Idaho’s chief executive is listed among those Republican governors now in Washington, D.C., telling Uncle Sam to take his cash and shove it. Saturday, the New York Times reported that “the governors of Alaska, Idaho, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas have said their states may not want to meet the conditions that accompany the money or expand programs that will have to be paid for by the state once the stimulus money runs out.” And Monday, an editorial in the Wall Street Journal praised Otter and four other governors for “saying thanks but no thanks to some of the $150 billion of ‘free’ money doled out to states”/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Even thought Gov. Butch Otter doesn’t agree with the massive bailout in principle, should he go so far as to refuse the money that Idaho would get?

IMHO: Montana Rejects State Pancake

Well, Eli Tickner, age 15, you got your wish. The huckleberry pancake will not rise to the esteemed, golden brown level of the Official Pancake of the state of Montana. The Senate Agricultural Committee recently voted 6-3 to table House Bill 232, effectively flattening the chances for the Huckleberry Pancake to take its rightful place in the Flapjack Hall of Fame. It was a disappointing outcome that brought tears to schoolchildren throughout the state, and sent a chill through the ranks of short order cooks everywhere. Big Syrup is in an uproar, and we haven’t even heard yet from the waffle lobby/Bob Wire, New West. More here.

Question: Pancakes? Or waffles?

UI Columnist: Cartoon Not Racist

The NAACP claimed the chimpanzee was President Barack Obama, and the cartoon referred to the history of black people being compared to primates. Not only that, but the paper apparently called for the assassination of the president. Let’s think about this for a second. Obama did not write the stimulus bill — a congressional committee did. The chimpanzee was chosen only because of the story in Connecticut. According to the artist himself, if the chimp was meant to personify anyone, it was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Even if it was supposed to be Obama, it is only fair considering the existence of A serious problem is growing in the ongoing race debate. This cartoon had nothing to do with a single minority, and yet it has started a witch-hunt for the cartoonist and his boss, Rupert Murdoch. Is this what the next four years have in store? If an attack on a congressional bill is immediately interpreted as a racist attack on the president, then the voices of the opposition have successfully been silenced/Jeffrey Reznicek, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: Do you think the controversial New York Post cartoon was a racist attack on President Barack Obama?

Washington Bill Would Ban Studs

Item: Lawmaker seeks studded-tire ban/Richard Roesler, SR

Peter Geissinger, a mechanic with Perfection Tire and Auto Repair at 604 E 2nd Ave., prepares to bag up a customer’s snow tires.
(Full-size photo)

To state Sen. Chris Marr, it’s a simple cost-benefit analysis. The cost: an estimated $18.2 million a year in state road damage from metal tire studs hammering away at pavement. The benefit: better traction only during a relatively rare driving condition: a roadway slick with sheet ice. Washington drivers, according to the state Department of Transportation, encounter those conditions only about 1 percent of the time. With Washington facing a $500 million transportation budget shortfall, Marr, D-Spokane, thinks it’s time to ban studs.


Question: Would you support bills to outlaw studded snow tires in Washington and Idaho? Or would you prefer that those who ran studs paid an extra fee to pay for road repair. Or would you prefer that legislators leave things alone?

HBO’s AM Headlines

Leaves create an impression of their outline while sinking in the softening snow Monday, near Tubbs Hill in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos)

Sausser: A Reflective Monday Morning

Don Sausser had his camera out at the first of the week to capture this reflective shot of Tubbs Hill on a Monday morning.

Poll: Trying To Balance Your Budget

What are you cutting back on most these days?/Lewiston Tribune.

  • Eating out
  • Groceries
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Clothing
  • Fancy coffee
  • Not a thing

CDA Cuts School Levy By $1M

Item: Cd’A levy could be $1M less: Superintendent asks trustees for lower amount at Monday meeting/Maureen Dolan, CDA Press

More Info: Superintendent Hazel Bauman recommended to trustees at a special board meeting Monday that the district set the levy amount at $7.8 million. Before making her recommendation, Bauman spent two weeks speaking with and polling nearly 300 people representing community groups — the chamber of commerce, the Rotary, the Parent-Teacher Association Alliance, Jobs Plus, the Excel Foundation and Concerned Businesses of North Idaho. Just 1 percent of those Bauman asked thought it would be a good idea to increase the levy amount while 68 percent were in favor of decreasing it, and 31 percent thought it should remain the same.

Question: Do you believe Superintendent Hazel Bauman’s inclusive approach to setting a levy amount guarantees its passage?

School Booster Hit w/Fed Drug Charges

A prominent Coeur d’Alene insurance agent and school booster charged with possessing cocaine this month is part of a larger criminal conspiracy investigation involving at least a half a kilogram of the drug and dating back more than a year. In addition to a state charge of possession of a controlled substance, Jerry S. Carlson, 47, faces three federal charges, one related to distribution of more than 500 grams of cocaine that took place over several months, documents show. Carlson was indicted on charges of conspiracy to posses with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, and attempt to possess with intent to deliver cocaine/Meghann M. Cuniff, SR. More here.

Heller: 8 More Mouths To Feed

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Monday — 2/23/09

Don’t look now, but Joe Butler & the SR marketing department are tossing in some prizes to go with the Blogfest ‘09 awards being planned by JeanieSpokane, CindyH & Co. Saturday, from noon to 3 p.m. at MoonDollars/Post Falls. Writes Joe: ”Our marketing department can likely supply some odds and ends for blogfest prizes. Mostly little promo items for our niche sites (Down to Earth bags and coffee, various GoGolf items like tees or balls.)” In a dozen years or so, when the newspaper has gone the way of the dinosaur, these odds & ends will be valuable. Or not. We’ll be talking much more about Blogfest ‘09 this week. I hope you’re planning to be there. Meanwhile, let’s play the Wild Card and get on with the week …

Parting Shot — 2/23/09

Revelers cover themselves with mud during the annual ‘Bloco de Lama’ carnival celebrations in Parati, Brazil, Saturday.(AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

SR Today In Pictures here

Herb: SR To Merge NIdaho Voices

Beginning March 15, the Prairie Voice will merge with the Handle Extra. The Prairie voice, seen the last two years as a handout as well as part of the paper on Thursdays, and the Handle Extra, covering both Kootenai and Bonnner County, formerly seen Saturdays, will switch to the Sunday edition. With the combination, there will no longer be free distribution. You’ll have to buy a Sunday paper. The positive side, is that a much larger audience will see what is published, than in the prairie Voice/S&S Herb, Bay Views. More here.

Question: Do you read the Prairie Voice (Thursday) or Handle Extra (Saturday) in the SR or on freebie newstands around Kootenai County?

HBO’s PM Headlines — 2/23/09

Former mine worker Mike Crill protests outside the Russell Smith Federal District Courthouse during opening arguments in the W.R. Grace environmental trial at in Missoula, Mont., on Monday. A federal prosecutor told jurors Monday that W.R. Grace & Co. knew for years that its products posed serious health hazards to residents of Libby, Mont., but the company hid the risks from workers and government regulators. See story below. (AP Photo/Mike Albans)

APhoto Of The Day — 2/23/09

Taylor Hunt, 6, left, and Makena Cubic, 6, watch as Danijela Krstic, Miss Oregon 2008, performs a belly dance during a Princess Tea Party at the Umpqua Valley Arts Center in Roseburg, Ore., on Saturday. Besides meeting Miss Oregon, the young girls at the event were taught proper tea party etiquette, the princess wave, and how to walk with confidence. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The News-Review, Robin Loznak)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. The men of HBO were originally resistant to the Princess Tea Party theme for Blogfest. When DFO explained that belly dancing would be the featured entertainment, the fellas quickly acquiesced and even offered to make paper crowns — CindyH.
  • 2. Finally able to stomach the event, little Taylor started to tap her toes; Makena did the same with her two Cubic feet — John Austin.
  • 3. Danijela’s next stop will be the Salem Oregon Reform School for Young Women where she plans to demonstrate and teach the art of pole dancing — Poolman.
  • HM: Escapee

Scanner Traffic — 2/23/09

  • 5:16 p.m. A panic alarm has sounded at Stateline Showgirls.
  • 5:05 p.m. A CDA mother reports her 13YO son is out of control.
  • 4:01 p.m. A young man with his cap on backward is loitering on a bench in front of the library and won’t leave.
  • 3:13 p.m. A power line is down and sparking @ 1808 Northwest Blvd.
  • 3:08 p.m. An elderly man with mental problems attacked workers in his group home and left, saying he wanted to go home. He was seen entering a house nearby.
  • 1:40 p.m. R/P reports that a male is threatening employees of Auto Credit, 120 Seltice Way.
  • 12:58 p.m. The panic alarm @ the state liquor store, 4010 E. Seltice Way, has gone off.
  • 12:33 p.m. a chocolate Lab mix with a turquoise collar is jumping into the R/Ps property in the 700 block of West Miles/Hayden.
  • 12:30 p.m. A dog is injured after being hit by a car @ 7th & Homestead.

EOB: Micron To Lay Off Up To 2000

Micron Technology, the state’s largest private employer, announced today that it’ll phase out manufacturing of 200 mm wafers at its Boise plant, meaning 500 layoffs “in the near term” and “as many as 2,000 positions by the end of the company’s fiscal year.” In a press release, Steve Appleton, Micron chairman and CEO, said, “We remained hopeful that the demand for these products would stabilize in the marketplace and start to improve as we moved into the spring. Unfortunately, a better environment has not materialized, and we are at a point where we wanted to let our employees and the community know in advance what will occur later this summer”/MamaJD. More here.

Catch But Not Release

Domestic violence suspect Paul Reinhardt is attended to by Spokane Police on the eastside of Latah Creek Monday morning. Police were chasing Reinhardt when he abandoned his car at 27th and Inland Empire Way. He ended up crossing the cold waters of Latah Creek. After police arrested him, the Spokane Fire Department did a technical rescue to bring him up a cliff. Story here. (Colin Mulvany/SR)

M&M: I Won (Oscar Pool) Bubblegum

In the two decades that I have been entering our office Oscar pool, I have won once. Mostly I do terribly, often placing strictly middle of the pack. This year, though, was different. For some reason, I was able to correctly choose 20 of the 24 Oscar categories – missing only Best Foreign Language Film, Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Short and Best Short Animated Film. And the only reason I missed Documentary Feature is that I followed a hunch, which told me that the overwhelming favorite – “Man on Wire,” which I saw and wasn’t blown away by – would be done in by the Hurricane Katrina film, “Trouble the Water” (which I haven’t seen)/Dan Webster, Movies & More. More here.

Question: When did you last win an office pool? For what?

Local Blogs — 2/23/09

At Hauser Thoughts, Frum Helen Back posts a photo taken by hubby Dave of racing on Hauser Lake.

Mansfield: Penn Oversteps Boundaries

Tonight’s Oscar Awards Ceremony was a success on so many levels. Slumdog Millionare deserved those many Oscars…and the respect of the world for allowing us a glimpse into the lives of those in Mumbai. The prep and presentation of the Awards night, itself, is unmatched by anything produced during the Johnny Carson or Billy Crystal days. Hugh Jackman did a fine job. The sets were amazing. My ONLY question is whether Sean Penn’s slap in the face of CA voters was needed. Imagine a John McCain supporter making a public statement at that podium/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

Question: What is your reaction when actors like Sean Penn use the podium of an awards ceremony, like the Oscars, to make a political statement?

Letter: Batt Applauds Minnick’s Stand

I didn’t support Walt Minnick during his campaign for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Nevertheless, I did listen to his strong statements concerning fiscal responsibility. I didn’t doubt his sincerity, but I thought he’d have to follow the big spenders, most of the time, once he became a member of the majority party in the House. I’m sure Rep. Minnick knew that most Idahoans opposed the so-called “stimulus package.” Yet, I believe the reason for his “no” vote was a clear conviction that it is shameful to load a crushing debt on future generations of Americans and to totally usurp state rights and responsibilities. I don’t yet know if I’ll back Mr. Minnick for re-election, but I want him to know that I appreciate him standing up for Idaho/Phil Batt, former Idaho governor. Idaho Statesman.

Question: Do you consider this letter to be a plus or a minus for new Demo Congressman Walt Minnick?

HBO’s INorthwest Roundup — 2/23/09

Bette Largent touches up the Looff Carrousel’s horse saddles with brown paint last week. Largent, a professional carousel horse restoration artist, takes care for the historic Looff Carrousel, which is celebrating is 100th birthday this year. Read Cindy Hval’s SR story re: the restoration of the Looff Carrousel here. Colin Mulvany/SR.

Question: When did you last ride on a carrousel?

High Noon: Did You Turn Out All Right?

The thread launched below from Bill Hall’s “Flying Farmer On Frozen Pond” prompted JeanieSpokane to post the following comment: “What would (or do) your parents think of your life choices and career today?” (I remember crying on my mother’s shoulder when I was about 35, over something bad that happened, and her remark was (sad to me, today) “why don’t children ever grow up?” I think she would finally be proud of how I turned out.)

Question: Would your parents be proud of the way you turned out?

IMHO: Flying Farmer On Frozen Pond

We were driving through the high country last week when I saw a stock pond covered with ice. And I think I caught a glimpse of my father in his second childhood. My parents migrated to Idaho long ago from North Dakota where winter ice was plentiful and where ice skating was sometimes a part of a farm kid’s life. On slow days when the fields were frozen solid, farm families had fun for a change. In warmer months, they might play baseball on summer weekends or fish a bit in a nearby stream. But mostly they got their exercise the old-fashioned way - drudgery/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: How many generations do you have to go back before you find a relative who earned a living off the land by farming, ranching, dairying, or some other means?

Battling For A Loose Ball In OT

Coeur d’ Alene Kama Griffitts battles for the ball with Centennial’s Taylor Hagood (21) in the closing seconds of overtime verse the Centennial Patriots during the Championship game at the Idaho Center in Nampa. Steve Conner, special to the SR. You can read Jesse Zentz’s story about the Vikings stunning overtime victory over Centennial for its second straight state 5A championship here.

Costello: Not A Cent For New Orleans

Money, money everywhere and not one cent fit for New Orleans. The recently passed $787 billion porkulus bill contains Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s, D-Nev., pet $8 billion earmark to build a high-speed train linking Disneyland to Las Vegas. And Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., topped off the lard bucket ironically misnamed as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 with tens of millions of dollars dedicated to restoring the habitat of the salt marsh harvest mouse, a treasured mascot of San Francisco’s environmental extremists. Billions are destined for ACORN, the voter-fraud wing of the Democratic Party. But, there is not a single dime designated for rebuilding New Orleans/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Correction: Risch had wrong mouse, district in blasting stimulus package

Question: Some here have objected when I referred to the stimulus package as “porkulus.” Obviously, Idaho schools will benefit from the Mother of All Bailouts. But can you mention any other specifics about the bill that would cause you to support it?

EOB: Booze Tax Hike Bill Fills Room

It’s standing-room only at the hearing this morning on legislation to raise Idaho’s beer and wine taxes - unchanged for the past four decades - to fund substance abuse treatment. “This increase is pocket change for the vast majority of responsible drinkers,” sponsor Keith Allred of The Common Interest told the House Revenue & Taxation Committee. Though the taxes would more than triple, the increase would be less than a dollar a month for a beer drinker who buys a six-pack a week, he said/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you care whether the Legislature hikes taxes on beer and wine to fund substance abuse programs?

Spokane Mayor Mary Verner Raps

Do you think Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem could hold her own in a rapping contest against Spokane Mayor Mary Verner?

OTV Reviews ‘Cute’ Spirit Lake Cafe

We made the northern trek that day with the idea of investigating a new Mexican place suggested to me by a work friend. We got out of the truck and looked around, soaking in the historic charm of downtown Spirit Lake. “Cute” is an adjective which I seldom-to-never let escape from my lips or typing fingers, but I can’t think of a better word to describe Spirit Lake’s tiny-but-impactful collection of multi-sized and multi-colored restaurants, bars, and massage therapists. It’s cute like a Danbury Mint series of old-timey miniature light-up ceramic buildings ordered through the mail in fun, once-a-month packages until the entire town was complete/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: When did you last stop for a meal in Spirit Lake?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 2/23/09

During the afternoon session Saturday, Corey Jones, 14, of Portland performs on the floor exercise while others wait to compete at the Great West Gym Fest at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. Hundreds of gymnasts from around the West and Hawai’i came to Coeur d’Alene to compete. Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review. Story here. 

CDA High: They Are The Champions

Coeur d’Alene High’s Whitney Heleker rides high on the shoulders of her teammates after hitting the game winning three pointer and a free throw to secure the Viking’s 54-50 win with 1.7 seconds left in overtime Saturday in Nampa. Coeur d’Alene won their second state title in as many years with their defeat of Centennial High. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos)

Question: Have you ever hit a basket, scored a touchdown, socked a home run, or done something else special that helped your team win an important game?

Poll: Idaho Charter School Freeze?

Should Idaho put a freeze on new charter schools for 3 years?
  • Yes
  • No

‘Slumdog’ Rules the Oscars

Item: ‘Slumdog millionaire rules the Oscars with 8 prizes/AP

More Info: “Slumdog Millionaire” took the best-picture Academy Award and seven other Oscars on Sunday, including director for Danny Boyle, whose ghetto-to-glory story paralleled the film’s unlikely rise to Hollywood’s summit. The other top winners: Kate Winslet, best actress for the Holocaust-themed drama “The Reader”; Sean Penn, best actor for the title role of “Milk”; Heath Ledger, supporting actor for “The Dark Knight”; and Penelope Cruz, supporting actress for “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” A story of hope amid squalor in Mumbai, India, “Slumdog Millionaire” came in with 10 nominations, its eight wins including adapted screenplay, cinematography, editing and both music Oscars (score and song).

Question: Have you seen “Slumdog Millionaire”? If so, do you think it was worthy of the Oscar for 2008 best motion picture?

Interest Grows In Local Police Work

Item: Interest in law enforcement careers growing/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR

More Info: A career that involves putting your life on the line has apparently become more appealing, as long as it offers decent pay and job stability. Applications for police work are climbing after several years of recruitment struggles, according to most Inland Northwest police agencies. In the past 12 months, the Spokane Police Department received nearly double the applications it did over the same period the year before. The Coeur d’Alene Police Department saw 36 percent more interest.

Question: When you were little, did you dream of growing up to be a fireman or a policeman?

Signe Wilkinson: USA-Roid

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Wild Card/Sunday — 2/22/09

Basketball lovers in the HBO blogosphere had to love Saturday. The Coeur d’Alene High girls’ basketball team defended its 5A state championship by beating the state’s only other unbeaten team, Centennial, 54-50 in overtime. Washington State won for only the second time in UCLA’s Pauley Pavillion, 82-81. For good measure, Gonzaga clinched another undisputed league championship by crushing Pepperdine and Idaho even its record at 13-13 overall with its 3rd win in a row. You can see all the game summaries below. Meanwhile, an arrest is near in the Chandra Levy case here. The NAACP is calling for the firing of the New York Post cartoonist who drew the chimp cartoon here. Obama is attempting to cut the deficit in half in four years by raising taxes on the rich and cutting military spending in Iraq and Afghanistan here. And, as I play this Wild Card, you can add me to the growing number of fans who want “Slumdog Millionaire” to win the Oscar for best motion picture tonight. My wife and I saw “Slumdog” Saturday night. Two big thumbs up …

CDA Girls Win State In OT, 54-50

Coeur d’ Alene’s Kama Griffitts (10) and Whitney Heleker (30) celebrate their overtime win over Centential in the 5A Girls State Championship basketball game tonight in Nampa.  Heleker hit a three-point shot to win the game with 1.7 seconds left on the clock.  Coeur d’ Alene beat Centennial 54-50.  Greg Lee’s SR game story here. (AP Photo/Matt Cilley)

Wild Card/Saturday — 2/21/09

Upon the advice of my consultants — JeanieSpokane & CindyH — I’ve decided to set the hours for Blogfest ‘09 next Saturday from noon until 3 p.m. at MoonDollars in Post Falls. Two hours have been too short in the past. Anything more than 3 might be too long, if a Merry Huckster or two bends the elbow too much at the bar. At this point, it looks like Jeanie, Cindy & their “awards” committee will take the podium (if there is one) to hand out the hardware for the various awards that they’re conjuring for the occasion. Dunno if you want to win one or not. But it’ll be worth finding out what the awards are. Basically, blogfest is a nonstructured occasion to enable you to meet the other bloggers, commenters and even blurkers who inhabit the HBO blogosphere. Even in the current recessionary times, the SR will pick up the tab for the pizza and pop. You have to pay for anything beyond that. Now, I’ll play the Wild Card and continue my R ‘n R from my “procedure” Friday afternoon …

WSU 82, UCLA 81

Washington State’s Taylor Rochestie, center, is fouled by the UCLA defense of Josh Shipp, left, and Darren Collison during the second half of their NCAA college basketball game Saturday in Los Angeles. Rochestie scored 33 points to lead the Cougars to only their second win ever in 53 tries over UCLA in Pauley Arena, 82-81. ESPN game story & boxscore here. (AP Photo/Branimir Kvartuc)

Cis: Sleeping Double In A Double Bed

When you go to bed, who sleeps near the door? And does that change if you go to a friend’s house. Is it important to be on the door side or is it left or right of the bed to sleep. Or even West or East or South or North? Which side do you claim?/Simple Mind. More here.

DFO: I always sleep on the righthand side of the bed (as you face the bed from the foot). Dunno why. But I don’t like it when the right side is against the wall, when we’re spending the night at friends of family.

Question: Do you sleep on a set side of your bed?

APhoto Of The Weekend — 2/21/09

A duck and a goose get into a tug-of-war over a bread roll after a visitor to Riverfront Park near the Red Wagon tossed treats he acquired from the House of Charity Friday in Spokane. You write the cutline.  DAN PELLE The Spokesman-Review

Health District: Leave Fido Home

Item: Your dog’s not welcome here? Health District doesn’t think Fido should go to public events: Health Department votes to give food vendors signs that suggest you don’t bring Fido into public events/Idaho Statesman.

More Info: Boise may be a dog city, but leave your canine pal at home when going out for food. At least that’s what public health officials want you to do when attending public events where food is served. The board of the Central District Health Department voted unanimously Friday to give food venders signs when they apply for permits to serve food. One of two sample signs reads, “Attention! By recommendation of the Health Department and the safety of the patrons and yourself, refrain from bringing your dog(s) to this event.” The signs are suggestions. Vendors can post them, but the public isn’t required to obey them. The health department lacks authority to enforce such a ban.

Question: Should pet owners be banned from bringing their dogs to outdoor public events in which food is being served?

Socks The Cat, 18, RIP

In this March 19, 1994, file photo, Socks the cat peers over the podium in the White House briefing room in Washington. Socks, the White House cat during the Clinton administration, has died. He was about 18. Socks had lived with Bill Clinton’s secretary, Betty Currie, in Hollywood, Md., since the Clintons left the White House in early 2001. (AP Photo/Marcy Nighswander, File)

Question: How old are your pets?

Toad: Bachelorhood? Bah, Humbug

It was many years ago, we only had one child then. That’s when he asked me “do you ever think about being single again?” “What?” I replied. “You know, being a bachelor. What it would have been like had you decided NOT to get married and have children.” he clarified. This was a loaded question, I thought. What he’s really asking is “how are you two getting along.” At least, that’s what I thought was the subtext. Back then, my answer was simple. “Of course. Who doesn’t think about that? I think that I’d be a lonely alcoholic if I weren’t married. She keeps from going over the edge. Remember, I was a bachelor for a while before I was married.” Eight years after this conversation now, and I still remember it … still contemplate it from time to time. I always come up with the same conclusion as well. I can’t imagine life now, with out them/Toadman, Synaptic Disunion. More here.

Question: Well?

Napkin Notes: Sick Day

After five months of inexplicable good health, I finally caught the Kindergarten Krud. In a room full of kids just learning the ins and outs of nose-blowing and hand-washing, germs abound.  Today, for example, I caught one of my students using a Kleenex she had just sneezed in to “wash” her desk.  Though I instantly cordoned off the area and hosed it down with hand sanitizer, it made me wonder how many other incidents of inadvertent plague-spreading escape my notice every day.  Kindergarten is a place for hugs and hand-holding and sharing snacks and trading pencils.  It’s also a place where germs meet, fall in love, and have millions of offspring–a roiling, boiling kettle of bacterial diversity. Apparently, my very robust immune system has met its microscopic match/Katrina, Notes On A Napkin. More here.

Question: Have you been sick this winter? When? How long? How often?

Dogwalk: Pelosi Doesn’t Need A Junket

Nancy Pelosi? What the heck is she doing in Rome on my dollar? It’s bad enough Obama is flying around on his big plane anywhere and everywhere. As is Hillary. I may think it’s being a bit over done considering these economic times, but it is, at least, a part of their jobs. But Pelosi? She’s a legislator! Supposedly she is talking with top Italian officials about the economic crisis and other “leading issues”, whatever they may be. Oh, yes, she’s talking to them about the environment and the situations in the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan. Right. How many troops do the Italians have committed? Or is it just chit chat? I’m sorry. It’s bad enough we, who pay our taxes and mortgages yet see the value of everything we hold dear diminish, are asked to bail out the deadbeats, but to also have to fund automatic pay raises and worldwide boondoggles is more than I can swallow. Enough!/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: Do you see value in congressional delegates traveling overseas on the American dime in these tough economic times to meet foreign dignitaries?

OTV: Youth Ranch Moving On Up

What the %*@# was a Medidi Monkey anyway? I never did venture in that bad California-lady acid trip of a furniture boutique with the silly name, which briefly held existence in the old Ponderosa motors building on in Midtown Cd’A. Something much better is moving in, or rather moving on up. The Idaho Youth Ranch Thrift Store is relocating one block north on 4th street somewhere toward the end of this month. Their current spot will become a pile of rubble to make way for some “affordable urban” condos. Hm. This is a little sad for two reasons. One: I’m enough of a geezer to remember when that building was the mighty Sears Catalog Store, before Coeur d’Alene was actually big enough to merit an actual Sears store. The Sears catalog was a massive and delightful tome, and the Christmas “Wish Book” was an annual event for the whole fam. I remember poring through them for hours, picking out school clothes then going in that store with my mom to stand in line and order, returning in a few days to stand in line again and pick up our order in grey paper packages. Seems like they had a ton of washers and dryers and maybe a TV or two on site, but that was it. I’ll miss being able to visit that space/OrangeTV. More Random Bits from Get Out! North Idaho here.

Question: Which Inland Northwest thrift store is your favorite?

CDA To Face Centennial For State Title

Coeur d’Alene girls basketball coach Dale Poffenroth said he had to coach at halftime Friday. The Vikings were ahead 31-28 in a rematch of last year’s state championship game, and Poffenroth didn’t like how things were going. Coeur d’Alene made some adjustments – chiefly it started running offense instead of shooting early and often, and the Viks pounded it inside – as the top-ranked and defending state champs pulled away 71-55 in the State 5A tournament semifinals at the Idaho Center. It will be a battle of tradition and unbeatens when CdA (24-0) takes on second-ranked Centennial (25-0) tonight. Tipoff is at 8 MST/Greg Lee, SR. More here.

Update: Made It

I blame CindyH for my desire for breakfast food when I emerged from my fog this afternoon after the procedure: an omelet, potatoes & an English muffin from Denny’s — plus the rest of my wife’s fries. I came through the procedure in pretty much one piece — sans one polyp. And received a waiver for the next 5 years. In other words, I don’t have to see Dr. Kutteruff again until 2014. Pretty dang, cool. I would have told you sooner, except I hit the couch to watch “Van Helsing” afterward — and woke up 3 hours later. Didn’t feel much. But I do remember waking up during the process and watching the guided tour of my big intestine. It took about a half hour. Piece of cake. The fasting was the only hard part. If you’re thinking about doing this … just do it/DFO.

APhoto Of The Day — 2/20/09

A Celebes Crested Macaque, left, looks back in Singapore where its national zoo is actively involved in the conservation and education of wildlife reserves. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Top Cutlines (courtesy of JeanieSpokane):

  • 1.  DFO spends some leisure time recovering from his colonoscopy.  Moscow_Minidoka
  • 2.  DFO sues for malpractice after a freak botox incident with his proctologist.  NIC
  • 3.  Never squeeze a pimple… Marmitetoasty
  • HM.  Nick Adams - for being the 144th cutline blogger to say “Does this _______________ make my butt look big?

High Noon: Breaking A 40-Hour Fast

I’m going to pull the plug on today, Merry Hucksters. I need to stop working and get ready for the exam. Mebbe you can help me figure out what to eat later. CindyH already has baited me re: what she ate this morning. Help me out here.

Question: What would you eat first — and how much — if you were in my shoes, having fasted for almost 40 hours?

Procto Exam Wild Card — 2/20/09

Before I give a brief rundown re: news items this morning, I’d like you to join me in wishing ThomG a happy birthday today. Dunno how many years young. My researchers — spies — tell me that ThomG didn’t reveal that info on his Facebook profile. How old do you think he is? While you guess, I’ll play the Wild Card, and give the morning news roundup here: The New York Post has apologized for the chimp cartoon that some linked to Obama here. The critics predict the big Oscar winners here. Airports are testing the full body scanner here. Obama still owes $1.74M for Chicago victory bash here. And Rush Limbaugh tells President Obama to keep the airwaves free here.

HBO’s Best Of The INW — 2/20/09

Diver attach lines to a vehicle in the Mores Creek in Boise Thursday. A woman on her way to Boise was killed when the pickup went over a 350-foot embankment near the High Bridge and into the creek.  It is unknown if other people were in the car.  Story here. (AP Photo/KATHERINE JONES/ Idaho Statesman)

Scanner Traffic — 2/20/09

  • 10:03 a.m. An unconscious male is slumped over the wheel of his vehicle in a handicap space in the north parking lot of KMC.
  • 9:39 a.m. R/P reports dogs are feeding on animal carcasses near his home on Whisky Jack Road.
  • 8:01 a.m. 2 dogs have been running loose for 45 minutes near the i/s of 7th & Locust.
  • 7:46 a.m. A male passenger is hitting a female driver in a silver Pontiac Bonneville that is s/b on Highway 95 entering Sagle.

Barry: Colonoscopies For Dummies

On the subject of Colonoscopies … as related by a physician here are some actual comments made by patients (predominately male) during their colonoscopies (as related by humor columnist Dave Barry):   

1. ‘Take it easy, Doc. You’re boldly going where no man has gone before! 
2. ‘Find Amelia Earhart yet?’ 
3. ‘Can you hear me NOW?’ 
4. ‘Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?’ 
5. ‘You know, in Arkansas , we’re now legally married.’ 
6. ‘Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?’ 
7. ‘You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out…’ 
8. ‘Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!’ 
9. ‘If your hand doesn’t fit, you must quit! 
10. ‘Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.’ 
11. ‘You used to be an executive at Enron, didn’t you?’ 
12. ‘God, now I know why I am not gay.’    and …
13. ‘Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?’ “

Question: Got anything to add to the list?

In The News: Surviving In Iraq

Iraqis search for recyclables on a garbage dump near Najaf, Iraq, Friday. (AP Photo/Alaa al-Marjani)

Question: I was struck by this photo this morning. We fret about the economic conditions of this country; yet, we still have a welfare and unemployment safety net. Meanwhile, the girl or young woman above is scouring a smoldering landfill for a few pop cans. Not only is she caught in poverty but she’s caught in a culture that treats females like chattel. It should be hard to complain too much in this country when such conditions and much worse exist elsewhere. Do you ever consider how fortunate you are to live in this country, in good times or bad?

My 2 Cents: How It Is w/Me

It’s been almost 38 hours since I had anything but juices, broths, Jello and, ahem, “cleansing agents” in preparation for my date early this afternoon with Dr. Chris Kutteruf. I admit that the fasting part wasn’t as difficult as it was in the past. It’s all in the mind. That, and the hours past quickly when you’re blogging. Yes, blogging is addictive. But it takes your mind off things, too. Like hunger. I’m not that hungry today. I’m told the hunger passing at hour marker No. 30. I’m not very nervous re: the proctology procedure itself. Been there, done that. Three times. The drugs take any edge there might be out of the exam. I don’t look forward to prancing around in a night gown with the slit up the back. White with little blue flowers doesn’t become me. (Think Morty Seinfeld in the “Seinfeld” episode where he thought the doctor had taken his wallet.) I’ll try to take off any dark socks so I won’t look totally like a nerd. I’m looking forward to the drugs and a clean bill of health. I’m trying to decide between Chinese and Mexican for my first meal afterward, leaning toward the former. I’ll pull the plug on what I’m doing here around noon. I believe I can count on you this time to understand.

P.S. Yes, Moscow Minidoka, you nailed why I used the photo I did for today’s APhoto of the Day. I’ll declare you the winner now b/c I doubt that I’ll be in shape after the drugs and recuperation to judge today’s contest. However, you’re all invited to try to top MM’s cutline.

Press: Say No To Sports Arena

With all due respect to author W.P. Kinsella, the modest proposal to build an indoor sports arena in Coeur d’Alene could very easily become a nightmare — if taxpayers are required to pick up the mess somewhere down the road. We have no objection to private interests trying to dig up $25 million or so for the project and, later, reap whatever rewards their personal risks capture. But even in this early stage of discussions and analysis about a 6,000-seat facility at Riverstone, we detect the distinct smell of taxpayer dollars in the process ahead. Understand, we aren’t anti-arena. There would be many benefits to having a fine home for concerts, trade shows and sporting events. But we think the less taxpayers are involved, the better the idea becomes/CDA Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Is it reasonable to consider building a $25M indoor sports arena in Coeur d’Alene, during these troubled economic times?

Senate Panel Rejects Gay Protection Bill

Item: Senate panel rejects human rights protections for gays/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise

More Info: The Senate State Affairs Committee just voted down a motion to introduce legislation to extend the Idaho Human Rights Act’s anti-discrimination provisions to cover sexual orientation and gender identity. Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, gave a heartfelt pitch to her fellow senators to introduce the measure, which she said has an array of legislative co-sponsors. “At least 20 members of our Legislature have members of their families that are gay or lesbian and directly affected by these issues,” she told the committee.

Question: Do you support Sen. LeFavour’s bill to add protections for sexual orientation and gender identity to the Human Rights Act?

LA Times: Minnick’s A Different Demo

Minnick is the first Democrat in 16 years to win a congressional seat in Idaho, which may be the most Republican state in the country. His narrow victory was a small but striking example of Democrats’ growing political strength in the Rocky Mountain region; six of the 21 House seats the party gained in November were won out West. But success brings its own set of challenges. If Democrats hope to remain a majority party nationally, they will have to embrace a fresh breed of Western candidate like Minnick, 66, a former corporate executive who campaigned as a pro-gun, anti-tax, small-government conservative and shows every intention of behaving like one. Party leaders seem mindful of that reality. Days after the stimulus bill passed the House and the rookie lawmaker published his criticism in newspapers across Idaho, Minnick was invited to fly home as Vice President Joe Biden’s guest aboard Air Force Two. He reluctantly skipped the trip to Boise and the Special Olympics rather than miss a day of votes/Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times. More here.

Question: Some Idaho Demos are upset that new Congressman Walt Minnick is behaving like a Republican. Does that bother you?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 2/20/09

First year teacher at Lake City High School Dan Armstrong reacts as he is presented with a grant Wednesday in the amount of $6,388.10 from Jim Schmidt, Idaho president for Qwest, far right, during his Media Productions class in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. A group of Armstrong’s students were responsible for writing the grant, funded by Qwest, that is given by the Idaho Department of Education to only nine teachers statewide. Also pictured is Lake City principal John Brumley. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Shawn Gust)

Rook: TV Ads Loaded w/Anti-Fem Sexism

Sex sells. We know this, and especially advertisers know this. We see it every day. Misogyny in commercials is abundant. If the commercials are not telling us how to look, what to wear and how to act, then they’re enforcing stereotypes of various men’s perspectives of the “ideal” woman — the femme fatale, the heroine, the perfect housewife, the sex kitten and the corporate climber — all are typically young, white and unnaturally thin, not to mention the beat-into-the-ground stereotypes of the too chatty, too bossy or weak and helpless woman. The popular Super Bowl commercials earlier this month were no exception. There was the male-only category, in which no women appeared at all, such as some Bud Light, Nextel, Hyundai Genesis and commercials. Even the talking E*Trade babies were boys/Anne-Marije Rook, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Argonaut columnist Anne-Marije Rook that television ads are loaded with misogynistic sexism?

Lewiston High Paper Still Going Strong

Item: Lewiston High’s Bengal Purr still hot off the presses/Kerri Sandaine, Lewiston Tribune

More Info: While many high schools no longer offer journalism or publish student newspapers, Lewiston is still pumping out the Purr every four to six weeks. The award-winning paper has been in existence since 1927, when it was established by the student council. … The Purr’s circulation is 1,500 for seven regular issues, and 3,500 for special Golden Throne and homecoming editions, Shannon said. About 15 students write stories, take photographs, edit copy, sell advertising, design graphics and put together pages. The seniors on the staff handle most of the writing.

Question: What would you tell a high school student who is considering a career in journalism, in light of the current woeful financial shape of the news media?

Signe: A Growing Family

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Gonzaga 91, Loyola Marymount 54

Gonzaga’s Steven Gray (32) drives against Loyola Marymount’s LaRon Armstead (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Spokane, Wash., Thursday. Gray led the Zags with 23 points — 21 in the second half — to help Gonzaga clinch its 9th straight WCC championship with a 91-54 win over Loyola Marymount. ESPN game story & boxscore here. (AP Photo/Rajah Bose)

Wild Card/Thursday — 2/19/09

In the news this evening, The Dow closes at a bear market low here. New York Times stock now cost less than Sunday paper here. Racism row over chimp cartoon sparks debate here. A new study shows that the proximity to fast-food restaurants is linked to stroke risk here. And the Wild Card remains in play …

Parting Shot — 2/19/09

In this photo provided by the Tiger Woods family, Tiger Woods kisses his son Charlie in a family photo taken Tuesday in Orlando, Fla. (Dom Furore/Woods family via Getty Images/AP Photo)

SR Today In Photos

SVG: I’m Crying Over Y-o-o-o-u

Like yesterday. I got home, and I wanted to veg out a bit before I headed back to KMS for a meeting and then the Tostado Feed. The last two final episodes of “Gilmore Girls” were in the DVD player, so I watched them. The tears first started coming when Rory graduated from Yale. Then they came when Luke threw the surprise party for Rory and Loralie. Then they came when Luke and Loralie kissed. Z2 got home, and I’m a blubbering mess on the couch, all red-eyed and smiling, with her rolling her eyes at me, because she knows full well I’ve seen this a few times already. But, hey, when tears come, tears come/Silver Valley Girl. More here.

Question: What makes you cry?

South Of North: Naked Hiking

Apparently this is becoming a huge, growing (no pun intended) problem in the area. Yes, naked hiking. I found it hard to believe. I mean, try wandering nude around here in the mountains and your family jewels would be covered in mosquito bites faster than you could pull your pants back up. Although if I’m ever in that area, with an extra $170, I might have to give it a go. It seems a lot of people do. I found tons of blogs talking about how “invigorating” and “natural” and even “free” it felt. I do a lot of camping, backpacking and kayaking. And I must say, if I ever ran into someone backpacking in the middle of the woods stark naked, I would be surprised/Brandon Hansen, Just South Of North. More here.

Question: Would you hike naked in the woods if you could do it without anyone seeing you?

PM Headlines — 2/19/09

Patricia Lopez, a worker at STT Sports Lettering Co. in Seattle, sews Ken Griffey Jr.’s name onto a MLB baseball jersey Thursday in Seattle. The Mariners announced late Wednesday that Griffey, who played with the team from 1989 to 1999, would be returning to Seattle for the 2009 season. See how baseball legend Willie Mays played a role in steering Griffey back to Seattle here. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

APhoto Of The Day — 2/19/09

A raccoon with its head stuck in a peanut butter jar is seen on top of a tree in Medway, Ohio Wednesday. A resident used a saw to cut down the tree limb and another man caught the animal. Two employees from Varmint Guard helped remove the jar, then caged the animal and transported it elsewhere for release. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Springfield News-Sun, Marshall Gorby)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Unamused by his story, Rocky’s wife responded with anger, which left his head again slightly ajar — John Austin.
  • 2. After becoming cornered in a dumpster by a pit bull, this cleaver little guy was able to fashion a helmet out of an empty peanut butter jar. The pit bull, knowing only to go for the head kill, chopped down on the jar but could only muster 8500 ft lb’s/sq inch of force, a mere 500 short of the 9000 ft lb’s/sq inch needed to shatter the jar. The pit bull then turned his attention to a deer waking by. That one didn’t have such a happy ending — Poolman.

  • 3. No raccoons were harmed during the voluntary recall of peanut butter products in Medway, Ohio — Steve Sibulsky

  • HM: Escapee.

Scanner Traffic

  • 6:06 p.m. Rock slide @ M/P 92 partially blocking Highway 97 (around Lake CDA)
  • 6:03 p.m. The deer kill this evening is at M/P 427 (Cougar Gulch). The dead deer is laying partially in the road.
  • 4;11 p.m. A woman reports that her estranged boyfriend is trying to steal her pickup, which he drove to her house @ Sunrise & Chase (btn Hauser & Rathrum). She has made other reports of the same nature.
  • 4:06 p.m. A 16YO male is having difficulty breathing an hour after being struck by another 16YO male.
  • 3:58 p.m. R/P reports that 15 dogs are barking at a nearby residence.
  • 3:15 p.m. Responders are told to “stage” in the parking lot of the Sun Meadow Resort nudist colony for a structure fire @ Conkling Road & Sun Ray Trail.
  • 3:14 p.m. “There’s fire in the dryer,” reported a 911 dispatcher who fielded a call from a resident @ Lincoln & Poleline/PF. The clothes were on fire, too.
  • 1:46 p.m. 2 dogs — a pit bull and a chow — have run down a deer near Kidd Island Bay and are eating it.

Bill Bans Repeat DUIs From Booze Buy

Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, proposed legislation today that would ban repeat drunk drivers or those who drive drunk at far above the legal limit from buying or possessing alcohol, for anywhere from five years to life. “Have you ever read in the paper about somebody with their eighth DUI, their ninth DUI, 10th DUI?” he asked the House Judiciary Committee, which he chairs. “This will put a stop to it. … This is a big idea. It’s a total shift in how we deal with these individuals.” Clark said the bill hasn’t yet been reviewed by sheriffs or others; he asked the panel to introduce it so that discussion could start/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: What do you think of the Rep. Jim Clark’s idea to ban repeat DUIs from buying alcohol?

PF Optometrist Is Idaho’s Best

Recently named Idaho’s “Optometrist of the Year,” by the Idaho Optometric Physician’s Association, Marossy was nominated and selected by her peers. She is the youngest and the only female to receive the award for distinguished professional and community service. Optometrists in Idaho are primary health care providers who examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the eye. They can prescribe and provide eyeglasses, contact lenses, low vision aids, prescribe and administer medications, and perform minor surgical procedures/Laura Umthum, SR. More here.

 Question: How good is your vision?

WE: Let’s Hear It For ‘The Disparities’

Granati/OrangeFrog76 gets up close and personal with the brushes at a local car wash.

The Disparities: My friend Oliver Lemke and his brothers Julian and Harrison (all from Coeur d’Alene) are the three members of the indie pop band “The Disparities.” I was a groomsman in Oliver’s wedding and played with Oliver and Julian at a high school talent show back home in Idaho so maybe I’m a bit biased when I say this, but they’re pretty good. Give ‘em a listen, rate their music at, friend them on MySpace, and maybe buy the album/Wayward Episcopalian. You can listen to “The Wreck” by The Disparities here.

HBO Numbers (for Wednesday, Feb. 18): 8972 page-views/4704 unique views

Parting Is Sweet Sorrow, Delay

This No Kissing sign was unveiled at Warrington Bank Quay railway station in Warrington, England Monday in a bid to cut delays. The sign has been placed at the drop off point, because departing passengers and drivers block access to the station with their vehicles while saying goodbye to each other. Virgin Rail, which runs the station, says if passengers want to share an embrace before they part company, their loved ones should pay to park their cars nearby. (AP Photo/Peter Byrne/-pa)

Question: Which is your preferred practice when dropping people off at the airport: Stop, drop, and roll? Curb side with long goodbyes? Use the meter parking and help them with their bags to the counter? Garage parking and wait with them until they’re out of sight beyond the security stations?

OTV: Ex-Henry’s Owner Returning

New restaurant scoop! Local eyes are moist with joy, or at least mine are, with the news that former Henry’s owner/architect Joe Chapman is returning to the Coeur d’Alene restaurant scene soon when Grumpy’s opens for business in the former Bambino’s location in midtown Cd’A, which for aeons before that housed a cracked-out all-nite laundromat. If you know Joe at all, you’ll know that Grumpy’s is THE perfect name for his new culinary endeavor. As I’ve mentioned before, Joe was my first boss and an old family friend; I washed dishes there at age 15, and it was a default hang-out spot for several decades/OrangeTV. More Bread Crumbs & Tuna Chunks.
Question: How often do you dine at downtown and Midtown eateries?

Jamieson: Staring Down A Gun Barrel

All it takes is a masked man walking into a store with a gun. In that instant, your life really does flash before you. It happened at Queen Anne’s Bartell drugstore at First Avenue North, early last Thursday around 2:45 a.m., as Seattle slept. About a half-dozen patrons were inside. At the checkout aisle, I chatted with the manager for a few minutes and turned for the exit. That’s when a short man — a blur in dark clothing — cycloned inside. He wore a gray hoodie, gloves and had a black mask across his face. He said nothing at first — and didn’t have to. The object in his right hand, raised slightly in my direction, said it all. “Gun!” I yelled. Patrons stampeded for the door/Robert L. Jamieson Jr., Seattle PI. More here.

Question: Have you ever been robbed at gunpoint?

High Noon: Bad Hair Days

A model reacts backstage before her appearance on the runway at the fall 2009 collection of Erin Fetherston during Fashion Week in Bryant Park Sunday in New York. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)

Question: When did you last have a bad hair day?

Idaho Falls Paper Fires Dean Miller

Post Register Publisher Roger Plothow fired Executive Editor Dean Miller on Wednesday, citing a desire “to change the direction of the paper a little bit.” A veteran of three decades in Idaho journalism, Miller began his career at the Twin Falls Times-News. He moved to the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash., where he manned the newspaper’s Sandpoint bureau and later its full-time office in Boise. In 1995, he was named city editor of the Post Register and was promoted to executive editor a year and a half later. In August 2007, Miller began a nine-month fellowship at Harvard University in Boston, returning to the Post Register last summer. Miller’s removal comes at a time when many newspapers are reducing staff sizes and cutting budgets/Corey Taule, Idaho Falls Post-Register. More here.

Question: Do any of you remember former Idaho Falls editor Dean Miller (shown above in Boise in 1994) when he was running the now-closed Sandpoint office of the Spokesman-Review and later serving as our Boise bureau chief?

HBO’s Best Of The INW — 2/19/09

Tim Byrd with Coeur d’Alene Resort landscaping department uses a power washer to remove ice and oils from the sidewalk Wednesday, near the resort in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Recent mild weather has allowed for some clean up from winter conditions. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Shawn Gust)

My 2 Cents: Rubber Hose Treatment

Should I tell you what’s happening to me today? It’s embarrassing. But I will also serve a higher purpose by letting you know that I’m fasting — nothing but juices, broths, Jello, coffee, etc. — in preparation for a colonoscopy early Friday afternoon. I’ve gone through the drill 3 times before, in my early 50s. The procedure probably saved my life when a problem was detected. The procedure itself isn’t bothersome. Once the IV drugs hit, you relax and you’re unconscious or barely conscious while the doc is checking out the rabbit trails in your nether regions. It’s the fasting that bugs me. A day and a half of fasting. I was assured by my doc’s office that it has never lost a patient this way. Then, there’s the, ahem, “cleansing agents.” Two bottles of “cleansing agents” — to be taken at 7 tonight & 7 in the morning. My wife, bless her heart, provided plenty to cleanse last night — a wonderful meal consisting of meatloaf, a monster potato & a salad. I’m still not very hungry. Then, it’s only 10:45. 27 hours to go till Proc Time. I haven’t done this since I started blogging. Mebbe you bloggers, commenters & blurkers will pull me through this time. Ever notice how time stands still when you’re facing something like this? I’m such a wuss.

Question: Are you afraid to have a colonoscopy?

Obama Visits Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper looks on as President Barack Obama waves to the media after signing the guest book upon his arrival on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Thursday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Tom Hanson)

Question: What do you know about Canada?

Eye On Boise: Privatize Prisons?

Senate Judiciary Chairman Denton Darrington, R-Declo, told the Joint Finance-Appropriations committee this morning, “I think there is a limit to how far we ought to go with our prison beds being in private hands.” Even big prison states like Texas are at about 35 percent private, Darrington said. “We’re in the 40s, and it’s going to creep up a little.”  He warned, “If our prison population gets too high of a number in private hands, there are ways in which we will have less control over our own system, I have no doubt. So I would say that we’re about as far as we ought to go, on percent of our inmates in private hands. I have no problem with what we’ve done, but we’d better have a word of caution”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here

Question: Should the state of Idaho privatize prisons?

IMHO: UI/BSU Basketball Or Steele?

What to do if you’re a Republican politician on a Wednesday night, when two big events are in town? Do you listen to newly minted Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele? Or do you take in the Boise State-Idaho basketball game? To see how Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee Chairman Brent Hill of Rexburg voted, check out photo #10 in this Statesman photo gallery. Considering the finish of last night’s game, I’m not going to second-guess Hill/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What would you do if you happened to be a high-profile elected official confronted with the choice of watching the UI/Boise State basketball game or hearing national Republican Chairman Michael Steele?

Holder: US Avoids Sticky Race Issues

Attorney General Eric Holder, in a speech to Justice Department employees, said the United States is a nation of cowards on matters of race and that most Americans avoid discussing awkward racial issues. That begs me to question if such is the reason Roland Burris is still a member of the United States Senate. A spotlight seeking egomaniac with questionable abilities, he has been controversial from the start as Obama’s replacement. He convinced everyone, at the outset, that he was squeaky clean when it came to his appointment by “Pay to Play” Blogojevich. Well, as squeaky clean as one is when involved in Illinois politics. Which would seem to be not very/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: Is the United States a “nation of cowards” on matters of race?

AM Headlines — 2/19/09

 Boise State’s Curt Cunningham, center, fouls Idaho’s Kashif Watson during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday in Boise. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Joe Jaszewski)

Question: Do you enjoy the posts that I make that include information and sometimes photos about University of Idaho sports teams?

Obama Unveils Mortgage Relief Plan

Item: Obama unveils mortgage relief plan to good media reviews/U.S. News & World Report

More Info: To extensive and largely favorable media coverage, President Obama yesterday outlined his housing relief plan at a high school in Mesa, Arizona. The story led all three network newscasts last night, and is featured on the front pages of newspapers across the country. The AP calls the plan “a $75 billion lifeline to millions of Americans on the brink of foreclosure.” The CBS Evening News said Obama “is throwing a lifeline to millions of homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages or at risk of outright foreclosure.” NBC Nightly News reported, “The basic goal of the plan is to help homeowners who owe more than their house is worth, need to refinance, but can’t get a new loan.”

Question: Do you consider this “75 billion lifeline to millions of Americans on the brink of foreclosure” to be a good thing?

CDA To Open Kindercenter @ Hayden

Item: CdA district plans Kindercenter: School in Hayden Lake aims to ease crowding/Sara Leaming, SR

More Info: Amanda Crowder showed up at Ramsey Elementary School on Wednesday night admittedly “a little freaked out.” Like the parents of about 300 incoming kindergarten students in the Coeur d’Alene School District, Crowder recently learned her son, Braeden, will attend a kindergarten center in the fall, instead of his neighborhood school.

Question: Do you support the concept of a Kindercenter at the old Hayden Elementary School for the Coeur d’Alene School District?

No Money To Move To Idaho

Item: No money to move to Idaho: California sales improve, but prices, equity plummet/Rick Thomas, CDA Press

More Info: The real estate market in many parts of California is improving, in large part because of reduced prices. That means there will likely be fewer sellers from the Golden State who walk away with enough equity to relocate to North Idaho. In 2005, the typical seller netted $225,000 from the sale of a home there, said Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the California Association of Realtors and keynote speaker at the 2009 Real Estate Market Forum Wednesday at The Coeur d’Alene Resort. That is now $100,000.

Question: Do you consider the possible slowdown in the number of people moving to Idaho to be a silver lining in the current economic crisis?

WND Poll: When Chimps Go Wild

Question: What did you take away from the attack by the pet chimp on a human?/WorldNetDaily

  • It was a freak event - one you would expect to see in the wild but not from a pet
  • It was a tragic inexplicable event - no one is to blame
  • The 9-1-1 operator did a great job working with a hysterical caller in a highly unusual situation
  • All we can do is pray for the poor woman injured in this unfortunate attack
  • Don’t try to make a pet out of a chimpanzee  (More below)

Stantis: A Debt Passed Along

Scott Stantis/Birmingham News

Idaho Beats Boise State Again, 54-52

 Idaho’s Brandon Wiley, front left, and Marvin Jefferson, front right, celebrate in the final seconds of a 56-54 win over Boise State in an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday night in Boise. ESPN story and boxscore here. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Joe Jaszewski)

Hump Day Wild Card — 2/18/09

In the news this Hump Day evening, President Obama says he opposes ‘Fairness Doctrine’ revival here. A man killed himself in Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral today here. Obama pledges $275B to underwrite mortgage payments for some 9M struggling homeowners here. Derek Jeter defends A-Roid and attacks the former Mariner star’s critics here. And the Wild Card remains in play …

Parting Shot — 2/19/09

New York State Senator Eric Adams stands in front of the New York Post building holding a cartoon that ran in the Post Wednesday in New York. A New York Post cartoon that some have interpreted as comparing President Barack Obama to a violent chimpanzee gunned down by police drew outrage Wednesday from civil rights leaders and elected officials who said it echoed racist stereotypes of blacks as monkeys. You can read the story and see a better photo of the cartoon here. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Question: What is your reaction to the cartoon and controversy?

CindyH’s Guidelines For HBO Posts

Tongue firmly cheeked, CindyH’s proposes the following Guidelines to Consider Before Posting an HBO Comment:

  • 1. Is it kind?
  • 2. Is it necessary?
  • 3. Will it add to the convivial feel of HBO?
  • 4. Would it make your mother proud?
  • 5. Will it make others laugh with you, not at you?
  • 6. Will it make DFO’s head spin ‘round in scary circles?
  • 7. Will it earn you votes as best-loved commenter at Blogfest?
  • 8. Does it contain any of the three forbidden “S” words? (If you don’t know what those are ask your mother)
  • 9. Will it make HBO a better place and earn you free beer at Blogfest?
  • 10. Will it make me laugh?

Question: Any other suggestions?

Cleaning Tubbs Hill Year Round Job

I work hard year round to keep Tubbs Hill the jewel that it is. I pick up glass, garbage, and I search out the hidden drinking areas. The most fun part I pick up other people’s doggie poo. Last summer I was given by the Tubbs Hill foundation and blogger Don Sausser 7500 dog poo bags. Guess what? I am already down to my last 2000. I know I have missed a few, it is winter and I don’t have a poo detector or a pick axe/Walkaround/Walkaround. Full post below.

Question: Have you ever participated in cleaning Tubbs Hill or any of the local road sides, in an effort to further viewtify the area?

PM Headlines — 2/18/09

Baseball player Ken Griffey Jr. watches his shot during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on the Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif., last week. Now, Griffey has decided to return to the Mariners. See story below. (AP Photo/David Royal)

Question: Are you glad to see Ken Griffey Jr. back with the Mariners?

APhoto Of The Day — 2/18/09

Models stand at a bus station during the third edition of the Brazilian version of the Underwear Day in Brasilia, Tuesday. The Underwear Day was created in New York City in 2003. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1.  Showing off their own stimulus packages, U.S. taxpayers arrive in Brazil with all they have left — JohnA.
  • 2. (tie) Dress Down Wednesday takes Casual Friday to the cleaners — JeanieSpokane; and: Inspired by Bikini Girl, the next round of American Idol contestants take things a step further — Token.
  • 3. Quick!!! Throw some paint on them and ship them up to Seattle!!! They need some more bodies for PETA!!! — Liz.
  • HM: KeithinCDA & Joan

Scanner Traffic — 2/19/09

  • 5:45 p.m. R/P reports someone smoking inside Cataldo Mission.
  • 5:05 p.m. R/P wants to know his rights after a neighbor piles up snow, blocking access to his property.
  • 4:36 p.m. East/West lights @ 95 & Honeysuckle not cycling. Traffic backed up to Government Way in one direction.
  • 3:55 p.m. 2 males spinning donuts in a field near a local elementary.
  • 3:12 p.m. Petco reports that a female shoplifter has left the store and gone into Borders book store nearby.
  • 3:04 p.m. R/P reports seeing a female trying to get away from a male in a black pickup @ Riverview & Highland. The driver left after the female climbed a hill along Highland.
  • 2:52 p.m. CPD Blue has spotted a silver Dodge Durango with extensive front-end damage on I-90 @ Northwest Boulevard. The vehicle was involved in a hit-and-run near 4th & Harrison. An officer reports that there’s “fertive movement inside” the vehicle, focusing on the console area. Update: City has a female subject detained. The driver also hit an police vehicle before stopping.
  • 2:51 p.m. R/P reports a possibly DUI male in a yellow van threatened him @ Riverstone.
  • 2:42 p.m. Water line broken @ 4452 E. Upper Hayden Lake Road.
  • 2:39 p.m. Traffic is at a standstill in the w/b lanes of Interstate 90 as the result of a two-car crash between a Dodge Nissan and a commercial van sometime earlier.

What Goes Up …

SR photog extraordinaire Jesse Tinsley sent the photo above to me this afternoon, with this message: “Do you remember the photo I sent you for HBO of the guy where an unbroke horse flipped upside down and squashed the rider in Sept. 2007? At that time, the rider, Corey Newline of Post Falls, laid on the ground screaming in pain for several minutes before Bob McMurray told him he had to get back onto the horse.” Jesse then told me what happened to Corey when he was crushed under the note and included a note that Corey sent him recently.

Question: How do you think this turned out?

Mandrake The Magician Retires

He grew distracted in old age,
which led to mix-ups on the stage:
quite disregarding lifelong habit
he pulled his hat out of the rabbit.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

CDA Man Shoots Self In Knee

A 45-year-old Coeur d’Alene man accidentally shot himself in the leg as he was leaving his vehicle this morning in the parking lot of the Guesthouse motel. Kevin M. Peterson said he had his 9mm handgun in his left hand when it discharged. He was hit in the knee by the bullet. His wife was present when the accident occurred. He is in stable condition at Kootenai Medical Center, facing possible charges for discharging a firearm in city limits. Peterson has a criminal arrest record/Sgt. Christie Wood, CPD Blue. Full news release here.

Local Blogs — 2/18/09

Congratulations are in order for Gathering Around The Table — one of the 3 blogs compiled by our favorite current and former Silver Valley siblings. Gathering Around The Table recently celebrated its second blogiversary.

HBO Numbers (for Tuesday, Feb. 17): 8073 pageviews/4328 unique views

EOB: No Mouse Preservation In S.F.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office says there is no truth to Idaho Sen. Jim Risch’s contention today that the federal stimulus package contains $50 million to save the “red-breasted harvest mouse” in Pelosi’s California district. Drew Hammill, spokesman for Pelosi, called the story about the mice “a total fabrication.” It apparently originated a week ago in talking points distributed by Republicans in Congress, charging that $30 million would go to the mouse/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Oscar: Best Picture?

Production worker Frank Roach carries an Oscar statue outside of the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on Tuesday. The 81st Academy Awards will be presented Sunday. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

Question: Which of the nominations deserves the Oscar for best motion picture: “Slum Dog, Millionaire,” “Milk,” “The Reader,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and “Frost/Nixon.”

Man Tries To Run Over PG Wife

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department is investigating an Aggravated Battery that occurred in the parking lot of Wells Fargo Bank/Hayden. Initial investigation indicates that Kimberly Booker, 24, or Athol, Idaho was arguing with her estranged husband, Jerry Booker, 25 also of Athol, over income tax return when he tried to leave the area.  Kimberly, who is 8 months pregnant, stood behind Jerry’s car and attempted to call for law enforcement, when Jerry backed up the car, striking Kimberly, knocking her to the ground. Emergency Medical personnel from the Northern Lakes Fire District responded and concluded that Kimberly was not injured in the incident/KCSD news release. Complete release here.


UN: It’s ‘Democratic’ Party, People

While it is currently in vogue for Republicans to use the term “Democrat Party” it really isn’t grammatically correct*. So, for the Superintendent of Public Instruction to use it speaks volumes about the man who heads up education in Idaho. What is especially ironic is this quote from Sup. Luna; “Elections have consequences.” Indeed they do/Unequivocal Notion.

Question: Do Idaho Republicans, like Luna, refer to the other major political party as “Democrat Party” to annoy Democrats? Or because they don’t know better?

Obama Orders Troops To Afghanistan

President Barack Obama has ordered the first combat deployments of his presidency, saying Tuesday that he had authorized an additional 17,000 U.S. troops “to stabilize a deteriorating situation” in Afghanistan. The new deployments, to begin in May, will increase the size of the U.S. force in Afghanistan by nearly 50 percent, bringing it to 55,000 by mid-summer, along with 32,000 non-U.S. NATO troops. In a statement issued by the White House, Obama said that “urgent attention and swift action” were required because “the Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan and al-Qaida … threatens America from its safe haven along the Pakistani border”/Washington Post. More here.

Question: Should we be sending more troops into Afghanistan? Or be trying to pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq as soon as possible?

Does Jesuit Bankruptcy Hurt Gonzaga?

The news yesterday that The Society of Jesus (usually called the Jesuits), Oregon Province, have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, is leading to a question of some significance: Who owns Gonzaga University and Seattle University, which are considered Jesuit institutions? Predictably, the Jesuits say they are separately owned, and the plaintiffs suing them - this is a continuation of the long-running string of pedophile cases - say they are integrated enough that their assets, too, should be up for grabs/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: How important is the financial health of Gonzaga University to you?

HBO’s Best Of The INW — 2/18/09

Elmore County emergency personnel inspect the site of a plane crash west of Hagerman on Monday. Craig Jewett died in the crash while flying the aircraft from Caldwell to Bountiful, Utah on Sunday. Story here. ASHLEY SMITH/Times-News

Mom Pleads Innocent In Baby’s Death

 Supporters of Eileen Jensen/Post Falls, including Michelle McLuskie (left), sister Christina Jensen (getting hug) and Carla Schauer (right), gather at the Spokane County Courthouse this morning after Eileen Jensen was arraigned on a charge of vehicular homicide for the death of her 2-month-old daughter, Chloe. The baby suffered fatal injuries in a crash as a result of being improperly buckled in a car seat. Eileen Jensen pleaded not guilty. DAN PELLE The Spokesman-Review

Question: Do you agree that Eileen Jensen has suffered enough and that the Spokane County prosecutor should drop the vehicular homicide charges against her?

IMHO: Idaho Needs Day Care Rules

Idaho state Rep. George Sayler deserves a merit badge for perseverance. This is the fifth year in a row the Coeur d’Alene Democrat has sponsored legislation to expand the regulation of day care operations in the state. Putting it a different way, unfortunately, the effort has failed for four years running. Still, Sayler has reason to believe he’s making headway. For one thing, a Senate committee voted unanimously this week to have the bill printed, a critical step in the Boise legislative process/SR Editorial Board. More here.

Question: The state of Idaho, of course, needs statewide day-care regulations. So I won’t ask the obvious question and go with this instead: Have you ever contacted a state legislator to voice concerns about an important issue like this one?

Avista’s Earnings Double In 2008

Avista Corp. this morning announced 2008 net income of $73.6 million, or $1.36 a share, compared with income of $38.5 million, or 72 cents per share, in 2007. The company’s regulated utility, Avista Utilities, also had a strong year, posting net income of $70 million, compared with income of $43.8 million in 2007. The increase was “primarily the result” of rate hikes in Washington and Idaho in January and October last year, the company said in a news release. Still, the 2008 increase looks large because 2007 was a particular weak year for Avista, said Jessie Wuerst, an Avista spokeswoman/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

Question: You can use the comments space to, ahem, “congratulate” Avarice-sta for doing so well when its ratepayers and every other industry is struggling to survive.

PETA Strips Down Again To Make Point

Amber Tegantvoort, left, and David Shirk, both of Seattle, wear body paint as they join protestors from the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals who were dressed as mermaids Tuesday in Seattle. The group was protesting against eating fish and the use of fish farms outside the Aquaculture America 2009 convention, which is meeting in Seattle through Wednesday. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Question: PETA often uses nudity or semi-nudity to draw attention to its public protests. How effective is this tactic?

Press Lays Off Satren, O’Brien, Others

Huckleberries hears … that the Press laid off 4 people yesterday, including outdoors writer Mike Satren and business writer Patrick O’Brien. I didn’t particularly like the 5% cut that Publisher Stacey Cowles asked us to take Monday. But I’ll take that to a layoff any day.

MamaJD: Keep Politics Outta My Face

I love Facebook. I love keeping “in touch” without the actual touching that life used to require before Facebook. I check in daily and get updated on my peeps should they choose to provide any new updates on their lives. What I can’t stand is the occasional political opinion that a “friend” chooses to broadcast via Facebook. It puts me in a quandry. I’m so used to political expression that occurs in a blog type format, such as Huckleberries Online, where disagreement and debate is moderated and encouraged. Often that is where I read and sometimes participate in political discourse. It throws me off to see political topics creep into the profiles of my Facebook friends/MamaJD. More here.

Question: Does MamaJD have a good point re: keeping politics — and mebbe religion — out of online forums like Facebook?

Herold: Avarice-sta PR Spins Away

Explanation Uno (from Avista PR people), and this was a real beaut: After telling us that they “feel our pain,” they go on to explain that it is very important that the company keep those dividends coming in, because — and here’s the really good part — many of their shareholders are elderly people who depend on those dividends. Wow! I must admit, I’d never heard the “elderly shareholder” dodge before. I don’t want to play the party pooper, but I just have to ask: What about all those elderly people who aren’t shareholders, but who also need gas and electricity? What about them?/Robert Herold, Inlander. More here

Question: What should be done to stop the Avista from grabbing more of our hard-earned dollars?

AM Headlines — 2/18/09



Emmitt White, 7, dances at the start of the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Winter Blessing Monday at the Stensgar Pavilion near Worley. The winter blessing is used to educate non-tribal members and youth about the significance of the winter season to the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos)

TUBOB: Mom, Apple Pie, Arm Wrasslin’

Arm wrasslin’ is as quintessential American as all get out. It invokes images and smells of smoky, grimy bars stinkin of stale beer and broken dreams, of now fat ex jocks, maybe the star high school quarterback in little Buttpimple, Texas, livin out the string arm blasting drunks on pitted, heavily shellacked bar tables. We’ve all done it. If you’re a man and you haven’t arm wrassled somebody then go home to your momma/TUBOB. More here.

Question: Have you ever arm wrassled?

Joker: We Are To Blame For Mess

Obama’s stimulus package has good things and bad things. Nobody will be perfectly happy with it. The bigger questions regard society’s values. Americans are addicted to merchandise. We’ve been busily buying things with money we don’t have for a long time. We’ve leveraged our selves with credit cards, second mortgages, and loans. Mix out of whack wage structures, soaring health care costs and corporate greed and you’ve got middle class families struggling to make it. The more we buy, the futher we fall into debt. It’s cliche, but the rich get richer and poor get poor. At some point, the whole thing has to collapse/The Joker.

Question: Do you agree w/The Joker that the financial collapse reflects the condition of many households in America today?

Firm Seeks To Guide Tubbs Hill Tours

Item: Company seeks to guide Tubbs Hill tours/Alison Boggs, SR

Peter Grubb and Betsy Bowen, co-owners of adventure outfitter River Odysseys West, take a walk on Tubbs Hill on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009. They are proposing commercial guided walking trips on Tubbs Hill.
(Full-size photo)


For 30 years, ROW Adventures has offered guided trips, beginning with whitewater rafting expeditions on the rivers of the Inland Northwest and evolving into a wide range of outdoor experiences worldwide. Now the Coeur d’Alene company would like to bring that expertise home and offer guided interpretive walking tours of the city’s crown jewel — Tubbs Hill. ROW is proposing two trips daily accommodating up to 14 guests. The fee would be about $25 per person and a variation would include walking around the hill in one direction and kayaking back across Lake Coeur d’Alene.

Question: Would you pay $25 for a guided tour of Tubbs Hill?

Ramirez: Keep Your Fingers Crossed

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

CDA Businessman Faces Cocaine Charge

A prominent Coeur d’Alene insurance agent and school booster spent the weekend in jail after being arrested for cocaine possession. Investigators raided a storage center behind Jerry S. Carlson’s office Friday evening and booked him into the Kootenai County Jail on a criminal conspiracy charge after finding about 5 grams of cocaine, said Idaho State Police Lt. Curtis Kastens. He appeared in court Tuesday afternoon on a possession of a controlled substance charge stemming from a small amount of cocaine found in his pocket, Kastens said. Possession of any amount of cocaine is a felony/Meghann M. Cuniff, SR. More here.

Wild Card/Tuesday — 2/17/09

In the news this evening, Ken Griffey Jr. is now saying that he hasn’t made his decision yet whether to sign with Atlanta or Seattle here. New U.S. Sen. Roland Burris, D-Illinois, appears to be caught in an ethics problem that could be his doing here. The state of California is nearing bankruptcy here. A-Roid is now apologizing to the Rangers’ owner here. Magazine publishers are seeing red as ad revenue falls 21.5% here. And the Wild Card remains in play …

Parting Shot — 2/17/09

The University of Wisconsin marching band entertains members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard during a send-off ceremony to Iraq on Tuesday at the Dane County Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin said goodbye Tuesday to National Guard troops bound for Iraq in the largest deployment of Wisconsin National Guard forces since World War II. (AP Photo/Green Bay Press-Gazette, Corey Wilson)

SR Today In Photos

BethB: To Act — Or Not

It’s not like I’ve never acted before. Back when I was 30 (oh, so many moons ago) and living in Cheyenne, Wyoming, I was in three plays. I was the lead in one of them (a short play that we performed for the nursing homes in town), and had a solo in another. And - well, yes, I’m a lawyer. Which isn’t acting, per se, but it is public performance/Beth Bollinger, Accidental Rabbit Trails. More here.

Question: Have you ever acted in a play at any level — high school, college, community theater or professionally?

PM Headlines — 2/17/09

 Sen. Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, asks the Senate earlier today to reject stiffer new wastewater regulations for septic systems in Idaho. She succeeded; senators voted 27-7 against the new regulations. Story here. BETSY RUSSELL The Spokesman-Review

APhoto Of The Day — 2/17/09

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin greets her husband Todd at the finish line of the 2009 Tesoro Iron Dog on Saturday on the Chena River in downtown Fairbanks, Alaska. Todd and his teammate Scott Davis finished the nearly 2,000 mile race in sixth place. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Sam Harrel)

Top Cutline:

  • 1. Sarah is intoxicated by the smell of two cycle exhaust, gasoline, and body stench that has accumulated on Todd after 2000 miles on his “iron dog” / snow machine — Poolman.
  • 2. First Dude, Sixth Dude. Whatever. I still luv ya! /wink — MamaJD
  • 3. Todd Palin. meeting Sarah at the finish line, tells her, ‘unlike your campaign, sometimes going ‘to the dogs’ can actually be a good thing” — Escapee.
  • HM: Nic

Scanner Traffic — 2/17/09

  • 5”33 p.m. R/P reports teens getting in and out of a car by Subway/Rathdrum, where a man in a hoodie is at the wheel. R/P believes he’s dealing drugs.
  • 5:15 p.m. A moose has been hit by a car. But didn’t get location.
  • 4:55 p.m. 3 horses lose @ Highway 41 & Seasons.
  • 4:43 p.m. R/P reports a woman in a red SUV appears to be drunk as she picks up children @ Dalton Elementary
  • 4:04 p.m. A vehicle is fully engulfed in flames in the parking lot of the American Legion on Poleline/Post Falls
  • 3:48 p.m. A motorists reports a young boy standing in the road near Riverstone & Seltice Way.
  • 3:20 p.m. A Jack Buell/St. Maries chip truck lost a lot of debris on the interstate before turning north on Highway 41.
  • 3:18 p.m. A baby stroller is laying on the interstate near M/P 2 (Pleasantview interchange)
  • 2:54 p.m. A female resident in the CPD Blue lobby wants to discuss nails in her driveway on Dusty Loop.

In A Story That Shocked CHS Today …

… Jerry Carlson, a well-known insurance agent and major athletic supporter, was arrested over the weekend for possession of cocaine — with more charges pending. Meghann Cuniff is working on the story now. More to come.

NIC Wrongly Fired Anti-Repub Teacher

The decision to discontinue Bryan’s employment came a semester after one of her students went public concerning some political dialogue in her English class. An anti-Republican remark upset the student enough to request a refund from the college. What’s more, the AAUP report also recognizes that her relationship with the school weakened after a dispute between administrators and her husband, Keith Hunter, a tenured English instructor and former director of The Writing Center/Jack Donahue, North Idaho College Sentinel. More here. And Original story here.

Local Blogs — 2/17/09

Spirit Lake, about 25 miles northwest of Coeur d’Alene, is still frozen over despite temperatures in the high 30s for the past few weeks. Snowmobilers took advantage of the wide open frozen surface to ride over the weekend/Kerri Thoreson, OnLocation North Idaho.

HBO Numbers (for Monday, Feb. 16): 6222 page-views/3382 unique views

Robber Hits CDA Coffee Stand

Coeur d’Alene police are looking for a male who robbed Dutch Bros. Coffee,

1680 Northwest Blvd.
, at 7:45 p.m. Friday. Two employees were working at the coffee stand when the north window flew up. The robber who had opened the window handed the 24-year-old woman a note demanding money. The note indicated he had a gun. The woman handed the note to her 19-year-old male co-worker, who handed the suspect an undisclosed amount of cash and watched as the robber ran off toward the intersection of Mill & North Street/Sgt.Christie Wood, Coeur d’Alene Police Department. More here.

Gas Prices Close In On $2 Again

 Gas attendant Scott Mathews pumps gas at DiBacco’s Service Center Tuesday in Beverly, Mass. Oil prices dropped below $36 Tuesday, with rising supplies and inventories offsetting expectations of further OPEC production cuts. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)

Question: Any guesses re: how high prices will go this time?

Making Dentistry A Pleasure

Item: Relax at the dentist’s? That’s the goal/Billings Gazette

More Info: Get a little tense in the dentist’s chair? You can pass on the laughing gas at one Billings dental practice, where a certified massage therapist works on patients’ hands, feet and shoulders while her husband, the dentist, works on their teeth. “It’s really changed my idea of coming to the dentist,” said Judy Frank, a patient at Dr. Michael Stuart’s office, Legacy Smiles/Billings Gazette.

Question: Do you fear going to the dentist?

NI Senators Kill New Septic Rules

At the urging of North Idaho senators, the Senate has voted 27-7 to reject a Department of Environmental Quality rule to stiffen requirements for new septic systems designed to protect Idaho waters against fecal contamination. “None of us wish to see our lakes and waters degraded,” Sen. Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, told the Senate. “That’s not the point here. .. We’re sending a message to the agency.” Broadsword said the state Department of Environmental Quality didn’t adequately prove to lawmakers that septic systems with more water flowing into them have a greater risk of failure/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here

Question: Do you agree with the position of the North Idaho lawmakers involved?

HBO’s INorthwest Roundup — 2/17/09

More than 2,300 students from across Montana marched to the Capitol Monday to rally support to increase Meth Project funding. Story here. (Eliza Wiley / Independent Record)

High Noon: Blogfest Unveiling

I’ve been pondering a comment made by Idawa (I believe) a week or so ago. He said that Huckleberries Online lost a little of its magic when bloggers, commenters & blurkers met one another at the earlier blogfests. (There were two unofficial ones — at the SR building & Bayview — prior to the previous two at Capones.) Idawa felt that the dynamics and passion of debate were better served when no one knew who the other bloggers and posters were. What do you think?

Question: Did Huckleberries lose or gain something as a result of blogfests and other interaction in which Berry Pickers willingly revealed who they were to others?

What Is It?

Above, you see the photo taken by Rich Roesler, Eye On Olympia, of a mascot for a Washington college. Roesler explains: “The state’s public colleges are putting on a full-court press in Olympia today, with mascots prowling the capitol, Cougar ice cream being handed out, and bands in the rotunda. The most feared mascot seemed to be (deleted for the sake of the question below), which male lawmakers and lobbyists seemed reluctant to hug. Go figure.

Question: What is the mascot above and which college does it represent? (Answer here)

Idaho Blogs — 2/17/09

While I’m off getting surgery and recovering in Seattle, feel free to use the comments here to post your best sea stories, or whatever else strikes your fancy. (Nothing too controversial, please!) I’ll hopefully be able to post occasionally from my phone, but I probably won’t be able to include links, like this one to a story about “Hey, Shipwreck” creator Pat Hrabe setting up shop in Kitsap County now that his recruiting tour in northern Idaho is done. As always, The Sub Report is the best place to get your submarine news links, and all the submarine bloggers listed on my blogroll to the right will have great commentary while I’m indisposed/Bubblehead, The Stupid Shall Be Punished. Political Game’s thoughts re: Bubblehead’s battle with cancer.

DFO: Please keep Joel “Bubblehead” Kennedy/The Stupid Shall Be Punished in your thoughts and prayers as he continues to battle stomach cancer.

MikeK @ 40

Shazam! I almost forgot. Put your hands together for the paterfamilia of the ever-growing Coeur d’Alene Kennedys. Councilman MikeK, the fifth hobbit, and all around good guy turned the Big 4-0 today. Or at least that’s what a little birdie told me this morning.

Obama To Sign Stimulus Package

President Barack Obama gets ready to board the Marine One helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, as he departed for Denver, Colo., where he will sign the economic stimulus bill. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Question: If the stimulus package is such a good thing, why is the market tanking?

Lewiston Man ‘Inner Beauty’ Finalist

Billy Jeffrey, the Lewiston contestant on the ABC reality show “True Beauty,” has made it through another week in Monday night’s episode and is now among the final three contestants. Jeffrey, whose real last name is Scharnhorst and who uses his middle name for show business purposes, was one of 10 contestants on the show about beautiful people living in a Los Angeles mansion while competing for the title of Most Beautiful Person. While contestants know they are being constantly filmed they don’t know they are being judged on their inner beauty/Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Would you want to win a contest like this in which you’re the best of a sad, conceited lot?

Writer: Charter Schools Hurt Public Ed

Item: Charter schools hurt public education/Sheri Thomas, Idaho Statesman

More Info: The year of 2008 marked the 10th anniversary of charter schools in Idaho. Charter schools were intended to be a pilot program in the public school system. They receive public tax dollars just like our public schools, but they are anything but public. The idea of putting competition into a tax-funded program is like having prisons advertise for better accommodations. Charter schools were brought about after vouchers - for tax dollars to go toward private school tuitions - did not pass the federal or state governments. Now it is time to focus on one educational system and not turn education into a business. Our future as a great country depends on it.

Question: Do charter schools hurt or help public education?

AM Headlines — 2/17/09

North Idaho College’s Lester Brown, right, holds off Aaron Smith in the 133 lb. match Saturday at NIC where regional junior college wrestlers vied for places and seeding at the junior college nationals. Although Brown had lost to Smith twice before, a last minute takedown sealed it for Brown. Story here. Jesse Tinsley/SR.

Poll: Idaho Animal Cruelty Laws

Should Idaho toughen its laws on animal cruelty?/Idaho Statesman

  • Yes
  • Shouldn’t be a priority
  • Too tough already
  • Just fine
  • No opinion

‘Makeover’ House Faces Foreclosure

Item: Idaho ‘Extreme Makeover’ house faces foreclosure/SR

More Info: A North Idaho man whose family received a house from the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” television program three years ago is facing foreclosure. Eric Hebert put the house up for sale last year and said the maintenance had become too expensive and time-consuming as he raised his late sister’s 11-year-old twins, Keely and Tyler. The Coeur d’Alene Press reports Hebert used the house as collateral for a loan from Wells Fargo & Co., and he can no longer make payments. As of Feb. 11, Hebert still owed the bank nearly $400,000.

Question: Is there a moral to this story?

Nonini Loses Cool With Lt. Gov. Little

Legislators are shoving for position as Gov. Butch Otter takes another step toward reshaping the State Board of Education with his fourth appointment to the eight-member board. Last week, a confrontation between House Education Committee Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, and Lt. Gov. Brad Little underscored the stakes as lawmakers jockey for their favorites. Nonini has a favorite for the job and let Little know. The appointment is the first major post to be vetted by Little since he took office last month. Otter assigned Little to review candidates for jobs that require Senate confirmation before Otter makes his nominations. But Nonini made his point to the even-tempered Little in such a loud voice that word of the incident quickly spread through legislative circles. “There was an issue,” Little confirmed. “He was pretty exercised and was talking about holding up the governor’s state board package”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you support any of Nonini’s choices to replace Sue Thilo on the state Board of Education — Lorna Finman/Post Falls, president of LCF Enterprises; Jim Faucher, a retired hospital VP, and Fred Ostermeyer, a former NIC board chairman?

Porkulus: A Collective Gasp

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

More Spokane News/Ideas?

I’ve been flirting with the idea of adding more Spokane news and commentary into the mix at Huckleberries Online — the big stuff, of course. Mebbe pull back a little on the southern Idaho news and shift focus across the border. After all, except for the Legislature, we’re more tied to Spokane than Boise. Would you like to see Huckleberries make this subtle shift, as it moves into its sixth year? Or would you prefer to see the lineup remain much like it currently is?

HBO @ 5 Wild Card — 2/16/09

We made it, boys & girls. Huckleberries Online turns 5 years old today. In dog years, that’s 35, I believe. In blog years, it’s an eternity. Later this morning, I’ll re-post my first post ever on this blog, which originally was called No Holds Barred before morphing into Hot Potatoes for awhile — and finally into Huckleberries Online — to line up with my print column. At first, this blog didn’t have a comments section. Which limited its appeal. After the comments section was added, I remember the infamous Any Mouse calling it the “candy” part of the blog — the section that dedicated commenters couldn’t resist. Any Mouse has come and gone, as have others. Some, like Cis & JohnA, have been with me from the beginning. And remain deeply appreciated. Now, the blogware for HBO has been upgraded and there’s some talk still of turning this blog into its own Web site. Five years ago, I warned you to buckle your seatbelt b/c it was going to be a wild ride. I hope you’re still buckled up. I never know what a day’s blogging is going to bring. Now, for you Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 2/16/09

New York Mets pitcher Francisco Rodriguez hands a ball back to an autograph seeker during spring training baseball Sunday in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

SR’s Today In Photos

Survey: Lincoln Best, Bush Near Last

Just days after the nation honored the 200th anniversary of his birth, 65 historians ranked Abraham Lincoln as the nation’s best president. Former President George W. Bush, who left office last month, was ranked 36th out of the 42 men who had been chief executive by the end of 2008, according to a survey conducted by the cable channel C-SPAN. Bush scored lowest in international relations, where he was ranked 41st, and in economic management, where he was ranked 40th. His highest ranking, 24th, was in the category of pursuing equal justice for all. He was ranked 25th in crisis leadership and vision and agenda setting/AP. More here.

Question: Do you think Ronald Reagan (No. 10), Bill Clinton (No. 15) and George H.W. Bush (No. 18) are ranked appropriately?

Oh, Deer!

Mark Zyons, Billy Andrade’s caddy, moves a few deer out of the way as players prepare to hit their shots on the 11th hole at the Spyglass Hill golf course during the third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Saturday in Pebble Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/ San Francisco Chronicle, Michael Macor)

Cowles Announces 5% Pay Cuts

In a half-hour meeting with Spokesman-Review employees this afternoon, Publisher Stacey Cowles announced that the paper will cut salaries 5% across the board for all managers, all non-union employees and, with their voluntary consent, all union employees. In a prepared statement, Cowles said: “The good news is that we remain a solvent, going concern as a news media organization and our just-released Belden market research shows that our readership levels have remained stable over the past four years.  The bad news is that the turbulent and unpredictable nature of the current recessionary economy generally, and the advertising and newspaper markets specifically, is forcing us to cut costs outside our usual budget cycle.” Employees who earn less that $11 per hour will be exempt from the cuts. Cowles concluded: “I cannot guarantee restoration of the reduction, but we may be able to visit this issue in a year, depending on how the economy and our business changes in that time.”

EOB: Panel OKs Beer, Wine Tax Hike

It was a close 10-8 vote, but the House Revenue & Taxation Committee has agreed to introduce legislation that would hike Idaho’s beer and wine taxes - which haven’t been increased in more than 40 years - more than threefold to provide a stable funding source for substance abuse treatment. Keith Allred, head of The Common Interest, a good-government group, estimated that the higher tax would cost the purchaser of a weekly six-pack about 91 cents more a month. Idaho currently spends about $19 million annually on substance abuse treatment, Allred told the panel. “We’re just suggesting that some of that ought to be offset by those who drink alcohol”/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Is this a good time for Idaho to hike beer and wine taxes?

Dogwalk: For The Love Of A Dog

The irony did not escape me that I was going to introduce a new life to her as she was losing hers. It was a bittersweet thought; one not to be fulfilled. Mom didn’t make it through that first day. So there we were, Bacchus and me. We stayed a month taking care of everything that has to be done to close out a life. Funeral arrangements, estate sale, getting the house ready and putting it on the market. The two of us together. At night, when exhausted, he’d snuggle up with me and give me the comfort I sorely needed. We formed a very special bond/Dogwalk Musings. More here. Update on Bacchus here.

Question: Have you ever had a pet that you loved almost like family?

Twitter, Anyone?

Twitter founders Biz Stone, left, and Evan Williams pose for a photo at their office in San Francisco, Thursday. Twitter Inc. revolves around riffing in messages limited to 140 keystrokes. Revenue has been conspicuously missing from the mix so far, raising questions about whether the nearly 3-year-old service can make the leap from intriguing fad to sustainable business. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Question: Have you tried Twittering?

NIdaho Polygamists Draw Attention

In the scenic international border region where Idaho’s Panhandle meets British Columbia, polygamy is a way of life for hundreds – the open secret that’s gone untouched by authorities until now. The arrests in Canada last month of two fundamentalist Mormon leaders are bringing renewed interest to their polygamous communities near Creston, B.C., and loyal followers living just across the border in Idaho’s Boundary County/Bill Morlin, SR. More info.

Question: Are you concerned that a polygamist community of hundreds spills over the British Columbia border into Boundary County, Idaho? Or do you believe that polygamist communities are OK, unless they cause their neighbors trouble?

Idaho Blogs — 2/16/09

Gallup recently conducted a poll in which Americans all across the country were asked, “Is religion an important part of your daily life?” Idaho is tied for 30th in the nation, coming in at 61%. Mississippi led the way with 85% and Vermont brought up the rear at just 42%. The West, sadly, is just as spiritually inert as New England, with our neighboring states of Oregon, Washington and Nevada all ranking in the bottom 10/Idaho Values Alliance. More here.

Question: Is religion an important part of your daily life?

HBO’s INorthwest Roundup — 2/16/09

These buildings on Shem Johnson’s property are said to be school buildings for FLDS children. Johnson, a 40-year-old Bonners Ferry businessman who reportedly has four wives, is described in a church publication as the FLDS bishop “south of the 49th parallel.” The polygamist group in Boundary County is said to be growing. SR story by Bill Morlin here. (Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review)

High Noon: HBO Tenure

If you will allow me a little self-indulgence on this, the fifth anniversary of Huckleberries Online, I’d like to know how long you’ve been commenting, blogging, or blurking (for those who want to take this special occasion to come in from the cold) in the Huckleberries Online blogosphere. I know that Cis & JohnA have been with me from the beginning. I’d forgotten that Digger had, too. Mebbe there are others. So let’s hear it …

Question: How long have you been with Huckleberries Online?

Fasten Your Seatbelts — 1st Post Ever

OrangeTV found the first post I ever made on this blog (on 2/16/09) in the archives of Huckleberries Online. It was called “Fasten Your Seatbelts.” (As you scroll down to that post, you’ll see what the original blog thread, then called No Holds Barred, looked like. Also, you’ll notice that the first post is dated Feb. 19. For some reason I moved it from it’s starter spot — and that changed the time and date) Enjoy:

“For those who have developed a taste for Huckleberries, Hot Potatoes and other basic food groups in North Idaho, I’m taking it to the next level today … by moving on up to blogging. If you don’t know what that means, sound it out: blog, bah-log, Web log. In other words, a blog is a combination Web diary/column/train-of-consciousness thing. Here’s what I hope to accomplish with my blog:

  • 1. Let folks in North Idaho know what’s going on behind the scenes in political races and North Idaho governments.
  • 2. Comment on the stories of the day.
  • 3. Bring important Web stories to your attention.
  • 4. Use the blog to test drive new words for my Hot Potatoes columns on Sundays and Wednesdays — words such as ap-hollow-gize and institution-all-lies, which speak for themselves.

More below

Woody: Rustler’s Open For Dinners

Nice to see you working on a holiday? Well it has finally happened. Rustlers Roost is open for dinner Wednesday thru Saturday till 8 p.m. After almost ten years, BBQ Ribs are back at the Roost. Plus a new Senior menu with dinners starting at $5.95. Oh yea, our seniors start at 50. Can you remember 50? This is our contribution to the North Idaho Stimulus Package. Low prices and 4 new jobs/Councilman Woody McEvers, Rustler’s Roost owner.

DFO: Woody, are you saying I’m a senior?! Ouch!

Boys Of Spring

Cousins Matthew Justice, 6, from Oakland, Calif., left, Josh Rubinstein, 7, from Trumbull, Conn., center, Zach Justice, 4, from Oakland, Calif., hang on a fence to watch the Texas Rangers workout during baseball spring training Sunday in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Question: I love Major League Baseball, warts and all. It’s my favorite spectator sport. I also can’t wait for the crocuses and tulips to pop up through the hard-crusted snow. What part of spring do you look forward to most?

Hall: A Rebel Without A Text Message

If you love somebody and you want to say so other than to her face, is it classier to do that by deliberate illiteracy? Or is it cooler to use that same textable cell phone to call her instead and let her relish the sound of your actual voice trembling with affection and passion? Apparently that is an ignorant question. I suspect the texters are caught up in the game of showing off how much you can say in the fewest letters possible, providing they use the same style of condensed fadspeak that everyone else is using. In other words, texting is like jeans. If you don’t use the same style as everyone else, you’re not with it/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: How are you in adapting to the latest electronic gadgets and means of communication, like texting?

Ready Or Not … TV Switch Tuesday

We’ve all seen the endless crawls and FCC-mandated alerts: Digital TV conversion is on the way. Yet questions still abound, beginning with the most obvious: Q.Should I care? A.Yes, absolutely, if you are among the 15 percent of viewers in the Spokane market who get their TV over the air via antenna. You’ll probably need a digital converter box to get local stations over the air. But if you are among the 85 percent of people here who get their TV through cable or satellite – or if you own a newer digital TV – you don’t need to do anything. You won’t notice any change/Jim Kershner, SR. More here.

Question: Are you affected by the Digital TV conversion that’s coming Tuesday?

Turner: Dunno Much About Presidents

We all know Spokane has an abundance of streets that share names with past presidents. And in the case of Washington and Lincoln, most of us even know something about the men in question. But what if you went out to other presidential streets and randomly asked people about those historical figures? With an eye toward Monday’s celebration of Presidents’ Day, that’s just what photographer Jesse Tinsley and I did last week. The first stop on our stupefyingly unscientific survey was a business called 2nd Watch Monitoring – “The Leader in Alternative Sentencing” – at 815 N. Monroe St. I asked a friendly woman named Kim Holbert if she knew anything about President Monroe. “Not necessarily,” she said/Paul Turner, The Slice, SR. More here.

Question: Without looking, what do you know about President James K. Polk?

AM Headlines — 2/16/09

Coeur d’Alene’s Devon Austin, left, comes around to harass Lake City’s Logan Frederickson Friday at Coeur d’Alene High. Behind Frederickson is Coeur d’Alene’s Chris Reed.

Story here/Jesse Tinsley, SR.

APhoto Of The Day — 2/16/09

A couple kisses in Mexico City Saturday. Thousands gathered in Mexico City’s central plaza to pucker up for peace and break the world record for the largest number of people kissing at one time. (AP Photo/Claudio Cruz)

Online Poll: Your Job

How worried are you about losing your job?/Lewiston Tribune

  • Very
  • Somewhat
  • Not at all
  • What job?

Barker: Idaho Pols Will Take Fed $$$

Republican Senate President Pro Tem Bob Geddes, is like a lot of Idahoans today. His retirement plans were changed when his “401 K turned into a 201 K plan.” He thinks too much spending, not just by government but by many of us who overextended our credit, is what put us in this place. So he’s very skeptical that spending will get us out. But he resented the suggestions that these views meant he and other state leaders wouldn’t spend the money if it came or that they would be hypocrites to spend it/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Are Idaho political leaders being hypocritical by stating their opposition to the stimulus package while being willing to spend the money coming to the state?

Fisher: Nonini’s Needless Assault

House Education Chairman Bob Nonini said Thursday his legislation permanently weakening collective bargaining between Idaho’s teachers and school districts needed to be passed quickly, and it wasn’t hard to see why. As Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, was launching his sneak attack, the federal government was preparing to send the state enough money to remove the urgency for it or any other assault on schools and their teachers. The disconnect between what was happening in the state and federal capitals should have been more than enough to cause legislators to take another look at House Majority Leader Mike Moyle’s suggestion that legislators recess until the effects of Congress’ economic stimulus bill are known/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Should the Idaho Legislature hold off decisions about the school budget until it sees how much federal money under the bailout will be available for education stabilization?

Heller: Shop Till You Drop

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Sunday — 2/15/09

Some of you have asked about the time and place for Blogfest ‘09 (Saturday, Feb. 28). I can’t answer the “time” part yet b/c I haven’t decided. (Which seems best to you 11-2, noon-3, or the standard 2-4 p.m.?) But I can tell you about the “place” part. Or BondGirl can: “Blogfest 09 is being held at Moon Dollars in Post Falls at 609 Syringa — It is on the corner of Syringa and Polston Ave in Post Falls inside JD Dickinson Insurance Building and across from Beaudry Motor Sports and Northwest Specialty Hospital — any more questions please leave them here and I will try to help answer them with DFO since I helped get the location and It will be all to us no one else in the building … yeah and there is room for us…” The SR will provide and pizza — we’ve ordered 5 varieties, from cheese to the works — and pop. You’ll have to buy your own beer. I hear Bent’s favorite will be available. Now, I’ll play this Wild Card and hit the sack …

Valentine’s Day Wild Card — 2/14/09

It’s Valentine’s Day. Which means it’s a day to treat your Sweetie to a walk by the lake. Or a car ride. And/or dinner. Etc. It also means that spring training has arrived for Major League Baseball. And it means that Blogfest ‘09 is only two weeks away. I still haven’t decided on a time — noon to 2. 1 o’clock to 3 o’clock. Haven’t figured that part out. The pizzas and pop have been ordered. I’m told that Bent’s favorite kind of beer will be available. So there’s nothing between the blogfest and us but a few more days. Meanwhile, Huckleberries Online officially celebrates its 5th anniversary Monday. I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for five years. It isn’t as easy as it looks. But it has been interesting. Before I play the Wild Card, can I have a show of hands to see who’s coming to Blogfest ‘09? Now, for the Wild Card …

Treasure Hunt

Duncan Bell of Rathdrum enjoys the weather Friday by metal detecting in Lake Coeur d’Alene.  Bell, who has been metal detecting for 15 years now, gets in the water in Coeur d’Alene  at least once a week during this time of year. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Shawn Gust)

Griffey Wants To Be A Mariner Again

Item: Griffey rumors dominate first day: Star could rejoin M’s next week/Seattle PI

More Info: On the Mariners’ first day of spring training, most of the discussion swirled around someone who wasn’t at spring training and isn’t a Mariner. That would be Ken Griffey Jr., who wasn’t on hand Friday as pitchers and catchers reported to the Peoria Sports Complex for their annual physical exams. By this time next week Griffey is expected to be a Mariner, but for the moment, he’s just another unemployed baseball player trying to find a job. There are other jobs out there that he could get — teams have told him he might be a fallback for them — but returning to the Mariners is what Griffey wants/Seattle PI. More here.

Question: Would you follow the Mariners more closely this year if Ken Griffey Jr. returned to the ballclub?

Boisean Donates Kidney To Stranger

Item: Boise organ donor gives stranger a life-saving gift: The kidney she thought was for a co-worker’s daughter still goes to ‘somebody’s family member’/Idaho Statesman

More Info: Dolores “Lola” Macias of Boise celebrated Valentine’s Day by giving a kidney to a stranger Friday. Many people have called her remarkable, but she doesn’t see it. “I honestly don’t think of it that way,” the 49-year-old said. “It was simply a nice gesture to get tested, but when you have to make a decision, is it really a decision? How would you not do it?”

Question: Would you donate a kidney?

OTV: East Sherman V-Day Getaway

Irish author and notorious wit Oscar Wilde once observed “Who, being loved, is poor?” In this long cold winter of recession, even with your sweetheart to keep you warm, the quick answer to that question is, well, just about everybody. Still, it’s Valentine’s Day and you want to do something special to show your true love exactly how much they put your gizzy in a twirl without going too far in the red. You sent away for a Gold Kit envelope, and returned it filled with the tacky jewelry you inherited from your great Aunt Fanny. The local Coin Star machine repairman knows you on a first name basis. You cut off your long, gorgeous hair and sold it on the black market to a drag queen in desperate need of a weave. Now you’ve finally got some cash together, but how can you take your sweetie on a whirlwind trip to the moon for $187? Why not stay right here in Coeur d’Alene and have a Romantic East Sherman Valentine’s Day getaway?/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Do you frequent any East Sherman Avenue business?

Protection Order Didn’t Save Woman

A no-contact order filed two months after Becky and Uriah Brosnan were married in 1997 showed early signs of domestic abuse. After that, there were no police reports or repeated emergency calls to the couple’s home indicating trouble – until Becky Uriah was beaten to death and her husband charged with murder. That pattern isn’t unusual, authorities say. “In most cases where there were domestic violence homicides, there had been almost no contact with police,” Spokane police Detective Jan Pogachar said. Instead, victims often go to shelters or seek help from family members. Becky Brosnan, 32, died Jan. 28 after she met with her estranged husband at his workplace parking lot to discuss child custody arrangements/Jody Lawrence-Turner. More here.

Question: Are restraining orders worth anything more than the paper that they’re written on? In other words, do they provide any real protection against an abusive former partner?

500 Bid Goodbye To Ex-Solon Meyer

He made his mark on Idaho through 10 years in the state Legislature, fighting for causes including education and the Spokane Valley/Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer. But Wayne Meyer wanted to be remembered as a farmer. That was the message delivered to more than 500 people who packed St. Pius X Catholic Church in Coeur d’Alene on Friday to say goodbye to a man whose name became synonymous with bluegrass farming on the Rathdrum Prairie. Meyer died Tuesday of colon cancer. He was 59. The service was short, and there was no eulogy. When it ended, a procession of cars traveled across Meyer’s precious prairie to Evergreen Cemetery in Post Falls, where he was buried/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.

Question: It was unusual that the service for respected farmer/ex-legislator Wayne Meyer was short. And there was no eulogy. That says something about the man. As does the full house. Have you ever thought what you’d want your funeral service to be like?

WND Poll: Let Them Eat Pork

Question: What do you think about Schumer’s remark that Americans don’t care about pork?/

  •  He’s right - this is an emergency spending bill for an economic crisis
  •  He’s right - “pork” is just a biased term used by those opposed to government investment
  •  He’s right - great civilizations require great governments to lead boldl
  •  Americans are opposed to pork-barrel spending everywhere else but they want their own representative to bring home the bacon
  •  In a sense he’s right because man’s nature is covetous
  •  His wording was careless but if Americans really cared they could put a stop to pork-barrel spending
  •  He’s wrong - Americans are simply frustrated there’s no way to end pork-barrel spending
  •  Schumer also doesn’t believe Americans have Second Amendment rights
  •  Charles Schumer lives in a parallel socialist New York universe - he doesn’t have a clue what Americans care about
  •  It was an arrogant lie from a man who happens to occupy a safe senatorial seat
  •  Other

Friday The 13th Wild Card — 2/13/09

In the news this evening, the Senate is expected to pass the bailout package with at least 60 votes after the House OK’d it earlier today (sans votes from Idaho lawmakers) here. The Buffalo plane crash killed a 9/11 widow who was active in anti-terror work here. Obama’s about to unveil a plan to stem the tide of foreclosures here. The Supreme Court learns that Justice Ginsburg’s cancer hasn’t spread here. And the Wild Card remains on the table …

Parting Shot — 2/13/09

Autograph seekers wait outside Scottsdale Stadium for the arrival of San Francisco Giants players at spring training baseball in Scottsdale, Ariz., earlier today. The advent of spring training this week means that winter is waning. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

SR Today In Photos here

Scotty’s Valentine, Other Love Stories

My daughter decided she wanted to give a valentine to Scotty. So as not to set her expectations too high, I asked how she would feel if Scotty didn’t give her a valentine. ( I figure it’s never to early to learn the lesson that boys may not think to give you a valentine if you are not on the class list. ) Her response was surprisingly mature. “It would be okay. I just want him to know I appreciate him, ” she replied. Lemonhead had a approximately 25 valentines to hand out. The one she treasured most was Scotty’s. She kept it separate from the others. She put in her back pocket for safekeeping in between the umpteen times she pulled it out to see if it was still there/MamaJD. More here.

Bayview Herb offers the following love stores re: HBO regulars: Chatterbox, Tamara Lee Poelstra’s story, Marianne Love’s love story, Jen Rude’s love story, Katrina’s love story, and Meg Andrews’ story.

Question: Who was the first person you had a schoolboy or schoolgirl crush on?


PM Headlines — 2/13/09

John Stockton’s jersey, at least a giant fascimile thereof, is carried by longtime season ticket holders at Stockton’s going away party June 7, 2003, at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City. It was signed by hundreds of fans. The Spokane native and former Gonzaga Bulldog retired after 19 seasons with the Jazz. Now, he’s among the 16 finalists to be considered this year for the NBA Hall of Fame. Story below. Photo by Jesse Tinsley/the spokesman-review story by Bergum

APhoto Of The Day — 2/13/09

 A woman carrying a dog in her bicycle basket looks at reproductions of paintings from France’s Louvre museum on exhibit along the seafront in Montevideo Wednesday. The painting at left is by Dutch painter Rembrandt and the other is by Spanish painter Velazquez. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. “That’s what happens, Dorothy, when you sit around with a scarecrow, a tin man, and a cowardly lion, eating bon bons all day long while trying to get other people to tell you how to live your life.  Fat, lazy, and you can’t even take care of your little dog.”  And she rides off into the sky with Toto — JeanieSpokane.
  • 2. Doggedly determined to stay a-breast of the art scene, a woman finds she can kid no one: she has no stomach for it.
  • 3. Fifi the dog thinks to herself, “Thank goodness my owner wears clothes!” — Escapee

Johnson: People We Know

K. Ray Johnson/UI Argonaut

Nonini: Santa Obama Saves Idaho Ed

Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, now says his controversial bills to make permanent cuts in laws governing school funding and teacher contracts may not be needed at all, what with big money coming Idaho’s way from the federal stimulus package. “It looks like Idaho could be in line for $160 million and some of that money could be available as soon as next week,” Nonini said. Some of the federal money is designed specifically “so teachers don’t get cuts in salary, teachers don’t get laid off and programs don’t get cut,” Nonini said. “We all thought it would be best to just not rush into the hearings”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Earlier: Plan anticipates $110M in school cuts

H/T: Bob

Simple Mind: Don’t Buy Me Flowers

The King and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. And nothing would tick me off more than if he bought me flowers. You can go to buy flowers during the year and get some really nice dozen of roses for $9.95. But this week, it is $39.95 and $100. Highway robbery. We don’t need candy … neither of us. And we have even given up on the cards. They aren’t our words. See the King and I feel you should be Sweethearts every day. And we are. So what is the big deal? And we don’t need a guilt day/Cis, From A Simple Mind. More here.

Question: What kind of gift would you like to receive on Valentine’s Day?

Scanner Traffic — 2/13/09

  • 3:32 p.m. Officer en route to speak to individuals who are shooting from the parking lot of the Fernan Rod & Gun Club.
  • 3:30 p.m. A stray dog has been contained by the janitor @ Hayden Meadows Elementary.
  • 2:30 p.m. A 57YO woman slipped on ice and may have broken her arm @ Meadowbrook & Arbor/Rathdrum.
  • 2:29 p.m. Unattended death of a 50ish woman in the Hauser Lake area.

Local Blogs — 2/13/09

Schoolchildren and dignitaries pulled on the brightly colored, star-covered drape, and Idaho’s newly restored and relocated Abraham Lincoln monument was unveiled in its new spot, near the corner of Capitol Boulevard and Bannock Street, just south of the state Capitol. Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise (you took this photo) tells you all about it here.

Gannon: How To Cut School Staff?

The state is cutting funding for public schools. The levy has failed. Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to cut 71 certified and 64 classified staff, an approximate one-third reduction in employees. How do you start? Given you must cut approximately one in every three employees, you might just gather everyone together and play duck, duck, goose, eliminating all the geese. Not that you’d be allowed to, but it has the virtue of simplicity. Instead, you must determine which programs you will cut. Because all extra-curricular programs were funded by the levy, you can eliminate all coaches, all publication teachers, all Aca-Deca teachers, the band and music instructors, art and drama, dance and cheerleading, photography and athletic directors. Unfortunately, most of these positions are not full time—they are ‘extra duties’ that staff pick up in order to work a full time position/Trish Gannon, River Journal. More here.

Question: How would you go about cutting 1/3 of the staff at the Lake Pend Oreille School District (if the levy doesn’t pass)? Bear in mind that teachers are paid at different levels. You may need to cut more people if you base your cuts on seniority only. Good luck.

HBO’s Best Of The INW — 2/13/09

Vice President Joe Biden points to some new sunglasses he tried on while talking with Special Olympics athlete Michael Barrantes on Thursday in Boise. Biden talked with Barrantes, a floor hockey medalist from Costa Rica, in one of the Special Olympics venues that focuses on the health of the athletes. This program is called Opening Eyes and it provides eye check ups with immediate glasses, sunglasses and sports glasses presented to the athletes free of charge. Story here.  (AP Photo/Matt Cilley)

Minnick 1 Of 7 D No’s Vs. Porkulus Bill

Democrats Peter DeFazio of Oregon and Walt Minnick of Idaho voted no Friday as the House passed President Barack Obama’s $787 billion plan to resuscitate the economy. They were among just seven Democrats who voted against the plan. Minnick opposed the stimulus measure last month, but DeFazio switched his vote. He was the only House member to oppose the bill after supporting the initial version/AP. Story here.

Question: Did Demo Minnick, as your congressman, vote the way you wanted him to do so?

Reward Offered In Hayden Robbery

At about 10:10 p.m. Thursday, a white male suspect wearing a teal (blue/green) hooded winter ski type coat, a matching teal scarf and blue jeans entered (the Donut Shop, 8671 Government Way/Hayden), brandished a handgun and demanded money. The suspect is described as a white male in his 20’s. He is approximately 6’ tall and has an average build. His pistol was described as a dark colored (black or blued) semi-automatic. The suspect’s face was partially covered with the scarf during the incident/Lt. Kim Edmonson, KCSD. More here. And: Crimestoppers reward information here.

High Noon: Jessica Simpson’s Fat?!

Jessica Simpson performs at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

Question: Seems Jessica Simpson has gained a few pounds, prompting the entertainment media to hyperventilate. What do you think? Has Jessica gone to seed?

Quotable Quote: Darwin @ 200

Thursday was Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, and even now, only 39 percent of Americans believe in evolution. But isn’t human evolution obvious? I mean, look at baseball — Babe Ruth set the home run record in the ‘20s waddling around the bases with a spare tire gut, and now we’ve got big guys like Barry Bonds and A-Rod stepping up to the plate … oh, wait. That’s right/Kevin Otzenberger, UI Argonaut, Front Row editor. More Off The Cuff here.

Costello: Minnick Is Best Congress R

What Walter Minnick did is what Republicans should have done. He didn’t just whine about the current bill. He offered a reasonable alternative to the Pelosi-Reid-Obama boondoggle. In this fearful environment nurtured by Obama and the news media, doing nothing is not going to sell. And since Republicans seem to lack the imagination to come up with something on their own, they should have gotten onboard with Minnick. Minnick’s bill is much, much smaller and is frontloaded so that it might influence the economy. It actually spends more money this year than the Obama boondoggle. In addition, Minnick’s proposal has a trigger that will shut down spending should the economy show signs of growth/Michael Costello, Red County. More here.

Question: Do you agree or disagree with this opening statement of Costello: “Probably nothing speaks to the sorry state of the Republican Party than the fact that Idaho’s Walter Minnick might be the smartest Republican in Congress”?

Idaho Blogs — 2/13/09

Sharon Ullman is doing something every politician ought to do. She has joined the growing ranks of local blogging politicos. But here’s where I part ways with the Ada County commissioner: She says she will post answers to reporters’ questions at her blog instead of consenting to interviews. This doesn’t square with Ullman’s commitment to open government. And it seems a lot like the stubbornly peevish Ullman I remember from her first time in elected employ/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What do you think of a politician, like Commissioner Sharon Ullman, who will answer reporter’s questions on her new blog but not in face-to-face?

Dang, I Hate Breaking A Nail

 Lee Redmond shows off her fingernails, which are about 30 inches long in Salt Lake City, Aug. 8, 2006. Redmonds fingernails were broken off in a traffic accident Tuesday. Her injuries were serious but not life threatening, according to Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office. (AP Photo/The Deseret News, Tom Smart)

JFAC Sets Budget $100M Below Guv’s

It would also mean $62 million in budget cuts for public schools next year, no increase in the grocery tax credit, no conformance with IRS tax law changes (a $2 million cost, and a bill that’s already moving quickly through the Legislature), no enhancements in any agency budgets, and more - all decisions that haven’t yet been made, and that, if they go otherwise, will require other cuts or other budget changes. The approach also anticipates spending $95 million from the state’s various reserve funds, another call that hasn’t yet been made/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Ledford: Reason Leads To Faith

As someone who is a strong supporter of both faith and reason, I get tired of hearing people, even highly educated people, talk about faith in a way that completely misrepresents it. For example, it is not uncommon to hear a sentence that goes something like this: “Faith, by definition, is believing something without evidence or even against the evidence.” Part of what gets to me about this type of comment is they are usually made with such authoritative ease and self-importance, but my main problem with them is they are completely wrong. Faith does not refer to believing something even when reason points in the other direction. On the contrary, the Bible claims following reason will lead us to faith/Benjamin Ledford, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: Are faith and reason mutually exclusive? Or does reason lead to faith, as Argonaut columnist Benjamin Ledford contends?