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Archive for January 2009

Hard Times Boost Military Ranks

Item: Economic rush breeds recruiting rush for military/Rick Thomas, CDA Press

More Info: The Marines are looking for lots of good men, and the job market is making it easier for them to be selective. The same is true for the Army. Both branches of the U.S. military are asking their recruiters for more volunteers, and they are finding all they need and more. “For the quarter January through March, our goal was 22,” said Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Mason II, station commander for the Army’s recruiting station in Hayden. “We have already put in 17.” A shortage of jobs has helped bring in more candidates in their 20s, Mason said.

Question: Why did you join the military? Was it a good experience?

Idaho GOP Still Pushes Closed Primaries

The Idaho Republican Party Central Committee on Saturday voted to press on with plans to close its primary. Rod Beck, an advocate of the closed primary, told The Associated Press that the Central Committee voted overwhelmingly to reject a recommendation passed at the June GOP state convention in Sandpoint that favored maintaining the 37-year-old open primary. There’s a federal court date in a Republican lawsuit against the state on Feb. 18 in U.S. District Court in Boise seeking to close the primary. Beck and others want to close the primary because they think Democrats and independents are switching sides and skewing elections in favor of candidates who don’t support Republican ideals/AP.

Question: Do you support closed primaries for Idaho?

Gonzaga 64, San Diego 47

Gonzaga’s Demetri Goodson slaps the ball away from San Diego’s #11 Trumaine Johnson, late in the first half in the McCarthey Athletic Center.  Dan Pelle, SR

Barnes & Noble Pulls Plug On CdA

Item: Barnes & Noble cancels Riverstone Store: Developer sues for breach of contract/Rick Thomas, CDA Press

More Info: Plans for a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Riverstone have been abandoned, and the developer of the project has filed suit against the company, claiming it failed to live up to an agreement to occupy a 28,000-square-foot corner on Main Street. Riverstone Center Companies filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Washington, in Spokane, claiming unspecified damages because the Delaware company failed to accept the purpose-built structure when it was presented for delivery on Nov. 14, 2008.

Question: Where do you buy your books?

Hungry Moose

A bull-moose calf snacks on some low-hanging branches Friday in a backyard in Post Falls, Idaho. The calf and a cow have been taking up residence in the neighborhood since Monday foraging through gardens and trees. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos)

HBO Poll: Super Bowl Plans

How do you plan to spend Super Bowl Sunday?/Huckleberries Online

  • Eating & drinking with family & friends
  • At a sports bar with a buddy or two
  • At home with my family in a low-key way
  • I’m not interested in the Super Bowl
  • Other

Wild Card — 1/31/09

As far as I’m concerned Winter 2008-09 ends Monday, Feb. 2. Groundhog’s Day has always been special for me. That’s the day my late father was born, in 1921. Mentally, I tell myself that Groundhog’s Day means winter’s back is broken, whether or not Punxutawney Phil sees his shadow. Of course, that strategy didn’t work last year as Winter 2007-08 went on forever. But it seems to be on the money this year. As we begin a new day, I just heard on the scanner that there’s a one-vehicle rollover in the e/b lanes of I-90 @ M/P 8 that has injured 2 people. On the national scene, a tour bus crash near the Hoover Dam has killed 7 Chinese nationals here. Tom Daschle, the cabinet nominee for HHS, has failed to pay $128,000 over the last 3 years here. The mother of the California octuplets was hoping for one more girl here. And the Wild Card is in play …

Feb. 28 Looks Good For Blogfest ‘09

TUBOB: But based on what I experienced last year, Capone’s is too small, you need a place with a conference/banquet type room to reserve just for this gathering and perhaps have something fun like a little awards ceremony and give out dorky little plaques/certificates for funny HBO-related awards (Best Wingnut, Best Flaming Liberal, Most Likely to get Coolered, etc.)

Digger: I know that DFO isn’t excited this year for BlogFest since we’ve had some stomp-offs and blogfights this year but I think that BlogFest will provide him with a new and rejuvinated view of his Merry Hucksters as the majority of us get along

DFO: Bob’s right. I enjoy Capone’s atmosphere. But Blogfest ‘08 was too cramped for 75 or so people. So we need to move it elsewhere. I’ll chat with Bond Girl about a possible location in Post Falls. But I have another one in mind in Coeur d’Alene. I don’t want those who want to partake of Bent’s brew at Stickman’s to have to drive too far. I like the Feb. 28 date, too. I need to check to see if it’s in conflict with any major sporting events. Also, I want to assign a coupla you to take charge of HBO-related awards — mebbe JeanieSpokane & CindyH. Mebbe someone to oversee the event. Digger makes a good point. The last 6 to 8 weeks have been tough on me, mebbe the toughest stretch since I started the blog. Not only has the switch to the new blogware been taxing, but the simmering feuds in the comments section have sucked some of the fun from what I do here. Mebbe Digger’s right. Mebbe Blogfest ‘09 will rejuvenate me. It’s not every day a blog turns 5.

OTV Review: Subway Sandwiches

I thought I was being so good, so healthful. So proud of myself for sticking to my diet plan, even sacrificing yummy Monterey Cheddar bread for a sensible nine-grain wheat and opting for light mayo. Anyway, I’d always thought of tuna as weight-loss-in-a-can, touted by obsessive bodybuilders as a protein-rich miracle food that can help achieve maximum muscle hypertrophy and give you that fetching Lou Ferrigno glow. At least it felt like a step in the right direction away from the Baconator blues. Au contraire, for my research reveals that a juicy Wendy’s Baconator burger weighs in lightly at a mere 830 calories, with 51 grams of fat. A foot-long Subway tuna with cheese and all the fixings and extra banana peppers waddles in at 1,060 calories, with a fat count of 62 grams. 62 grams of fat sounds like a heck of a lot to me, especially when I think of it in raw form, jiggling away like flan on a silver tray in the liposuctionist’s office/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Chicken teriyaki is my favorite Subway sandwich. What’s yours?

The Echo Of Her Brit Accent Lingers

It’s OK to admit it now, I guess. After all, it has been 45 years since I had a “tween” crush on Cathy and Patty – the Lane cousins. Remember them? Before Ginger and Mary Ann, early ’60s television offered rambunctious Patty and her prim and proper English cousin, Cathy, on the “Patty Duke Show.” They were played by the same Academy Award-winning actress who gave the show its name and has lived in Coeur d’Alene for quite some time. I’ve met Patty Duke – or as she prefers, Anna – a couple of times. She’s City Councilman Mike Kennedy’s aunt and mother of actor Shawn Astin of “Lord of the Rings” and “Rudy” fame. I’ve never told her that I was more smitten by her portrayal of the English cousin Cathy than the American one. I’ve always had a thing for a British accent. So why am I telling you all this? Patty is reprising her roles as the TV cousins to encourage us aging baby boomers to sign up for Social Security benefits online/DFO, Handle Extra Huckleberries. More here.

Question: Mary Ann? Or Ginger?

DeLeon: 8 Might Be More Than Enough

The reporters noted that these multiple births not only involve the potential for all kinds of health problems for mother and babies; they also “consume enormous financial resources for hospitals, health insurers and families.” Some people have strong opinions on this issue. On The Seattle Times website, a woman who identified herself as Bothell mom wrote: “This woman went into the hospital and had a ‘litter’ like an animal. This is going to cost society at some point. There is NO way you can convince me that this family is going to foot this bill on their own for the lives of these kids. Unless this family is pulling in A-List Hollywood paychecks, they’re going to end up being a drain on taxpayers. …”/Virginia de Leon, Are We There Yet? More here.

Question: Do couples have an obligation to society to avoid purposely having multiple births, unless they can afford to do so?

WND Poll: Obama Vs. Limbaugh

What do you make of the brewing feud between President Obama and Rush Limbaugh?/WorldNetDaily

  • Obama has rightly ID’d the primary spokesman for evil in America
  • Limbaugh’s behavior is Exhibit A for why we need the Fairness Doctrine
  • This is the beginning of the end of Limbaugh’s influence
  •  I’m glad Obama has unmasked that dangerous charlatan and blowhard
  • It’s a great strategy on the administration’s part - intimidate Congressional Republicans into supporting Obama’s initiatives

LCHS Boys, CdA Girls Win ‘Fish’ Games

There was nothing fishy about the Fight for the Fish spirit doubleheader Friday. The No. 1-ranked Coeur d’Alene girls concluded the regular season undefeated with their third consecutive victory over Lake City, 65-46, while the top-ranked Lake City boys had no problem dispatching the Vikings for a third straight time, 59-43, before a near-capacity crowd of 2,600 at LC. LC reeled in the Rainbow trout, the wooden trophy given to the school which is deemed to have demonstrated the most spirit at the basketball games/Greg Lee, SR. More here.

Question: When is the last time you watched a high school athletic event?

TGIF Wild Card — 1/30/09

In the news this evening, the Dow Jones Average fell almost 9% in January, the worst January in Wall Street history, here. Tom Daschle has hit a tax bump on his way to becoming HHS secretary here. Alaskans are braced for an eruption that has nothing to do with Sarah Palin here. More than the P-I newsroom is all shook up in Seattle here. The national Republican Party elects its first black chairman here. And today’s Wild Card remains on the table …

Parting Shot — 1/30/09

 Bear, a dog that fell through the ice on a pond in Fort Mitchell, Ky., awaits rescue by members of the Crescent Springs and Fort Mitchell Fire Departments which responded to the scene. Crescent Springs firefighter/EMT Wayne Keller and another Crescent Springs firefighter, Jonathan Berwitz, donned wetsuits for the rescue. (AP Photo/The Cincinnati Enquirer, Patrick Reddy)

SR Today In Photos here

Sparky: HBO Provides Place To Vent

Blogging has become a way to be creative and share about life and my opinions. I was an avid pen pal and I just consider this a modern twist without the postal delay. Huckleberries is a warped little community that makes think, laugh, get pissy, and be rude. My common experience is often your common experience. Besides, when I am in public and don’t agree with someone I am held by the bounds of politeness. Here on Huckleberries I can ignore them and turn it off. Its good stuff/Sparky re: question: Why do you blog? Or hang out here to comment.

DFO: We need to begin a conversation re: Blogfest ‘09 (i.e, where? when?) The obvious date, Feb. 14, is out for obvious reasons. I have a conflict with Feb. 21. Should we make it Feb. 28? Or sometime in March? Also, should we return to Capone’s for a third year. That venue could barely hold the 75 or so of us that showed up. Let me know your thoughts.

HBO’s PM Headlines — 1/30/09

Freya Ford, a Sandpoint High graduate, became the first young woman from North Idaho to be crowned Miss Rodeo Idaho. Bashful Dan, who provided this photo of the recent events at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, said Ford is available to appear at events in the panhandle during her 2009 reign as Miss Rodeo Idaho.

APhoto Of The Day — 1/30/09

Melissa Bentley, 18, of Allentown sits on a mailbox Thursday in Whitehall, Pa. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Morning Call, Don Fisher)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Tubob
  • 2. Poolman
  • 3. JeanieSpokane
  • HM: Cabbage Boy

PM Scanner Traffic — 1/30/09

  • 6 p.m 2 girls in pink sweatshirts are walking up the I-90/41 on-ramp to hitchhike.
  • 5:25 p.m. Resident in the 1000 block of 21st Street reports her stove is on fire, and the fire is spreading to the cabinets. She and her children have evacuated the house.
  • 4:29 p.m. R/P reports seeing a driver in an older burgundy pickup with Montana plates weaved after swigging a can of beer @ 95 & Kathleen.
  • 4:17 p.m. CPD Blue is looking for a 1989 Ford pickup with Washington plates that was involved in a hit-and-run accident by Super 1, Kathleen & 95. Officers have the front license plate of the pickup, which was knocked off in the crash.
  • 3:10 p.m. Coeur d’Alene police summary for 1/29 here (pdf).
  • 2:51 p.m. An emergency responder called a local business to check out a fire alarm only to get an answering machine which said “not to leave a message because no one listens to them.”

AM Scanner Traffic

EOB: Week 3 Comes To An End

Eight fifth-graders from Post Falls are taking the state Legislature by storm today, making presentations to the education committees in both houses, greeting state Supt. Tom Luna after his budget pitch, and generally livening up the Capitol Annex in their white lab coats and laboratory goggles decorated with colorful pipe-cleaner swirls/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

St. Peter Reports On Harry’s Arrival

  ” So I took him out, Boss, 

and I showed him aroun’.

Says it’s nearly as nice

as his Wallace hometown.”

The Bard of Sherman Avenue


GOP Elects 1st Black Nat’l Chairman

 Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, center, is congratulated by supporters after the announcement that he had been elected the first black Republican National Committee chairman by the RNC during their winter meetings in Washington. Steele was the most moderate candidate in the field and was considered an outsider because he’s not an RNC member. He beat back four challengers, including incumbent Mike Duncan. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Steele Coming To Idaho Feb. 18: Michael called me soon after the November elections and I told him that I would be proud to support him. He later asked me to be on his leadership team as one of a dozen whips across the country, helping to garner votes among the 168 members of the RNC. Michael came to Boise to visit and strategize with me over breakfast at the Grove Hotel on January 18. We discussed the success that Republicans enjoy in Idaho and how to make that happen in other states. Now that vision is set to become a reality/Idaho GOP Chair Norm Semanko. Full statement here.

Question: What do you make of this development?

Sparky: “I Won My Husband In A Bet’

Post Falls Mayor Clay Larkin, Police Chief Cliff Hayes and Post Falls PD Lt. Greg McLean pose with the torch at the Post Falls Police Department/KerriT, OnLocation North Idaho. More here. 

How To Win A Husband: My fellow blogger Bay View Herb asked a little favor of me to share a love story, in particular my love story with my husband. He only asked for 100 to 200 words but as I sat down to write how my husband and I met and why we are still together after all these years, I realized I had more than 200 words to share. I don’t want to spoil Herb’s article so I won’t disclose any of the tidbits I gave him but I will share how I won my husband in a bet/Sparky’s Notes. More here.

OTV: Get Me Outta Margaritaville

It’s no secret that I have great disdain for anything and everything to do with Jimmy Buffett. Bully to the parrots, the beachy latitudes, and the cloying light rock sounds! Karaoke versions of “Margaritaville” have been known to turn me into a violent ashtray-thrower. I’d sooner eat Dung Beetle Supreme than dine at one of his hoaky burger joints. There’s something so smug about the cliquey gatherings of aging fans who don painfully tacky hawaiian shirts and jerk arrythmically to Jimmy Buffett tribute acts on the tragic dancefloors of cruise boats and casino lounges. CDA Press columnist and local negative nelly Mary Souza has reprtedly been spotted getting all dance-funky at several of these types of events and the very thought of her doing it, her flaxen hair bobbing to and fro, her tight lips in an upturned grimace, makes my brain burn all dull and hot. /Orange TV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Do you share OrangeTV’s aversion “to aging fans who don painfully tacky hawaiian shirts and jerk arrythmically to Jimmy Buffett tribute acts on the tragic dancefloors of cruise boats and casino lounges”?

TUBOB: Nothing Fades On Internets

I never really considered whether my photos and commentary would make others uncomfortable and, as often is the case with blogging, was being a bit self indulgent with them. I mean I know my commentary can be funny and I think the photos are cute, but truly this was mostly for me. Also, if God forbid! I was hit tomorrow by a chunk of satellite junk shrieking down from a decayed and broken low earth orbit to defy the astronomical odds and drill me with a ton of hot molten metal and leave a smoking hole where I once stood, then at least I’ve left a sort of record here of my feelings and musings on my kids and remembrances of times a lot different than the last 10 years or so. I guess what I’m saying is I’ve left these little posts for my kids. Would this be better private?/TUBOB. More here.

Question: Why do you blog? Or hang out here to comment?

Head-On Crash Kills BonnerCo Worker

A Bonner County employee (John Hanson, 61, of Colburn) was killed Friday morning in a head-on collision that also forced one woman (Jennifer Gibson, 26, of Priest River) to be airlifted to a Spokane hospital in serious condition. Idaho State Police received a call of a vehicle on fire at 7:50 a.m. on Highway 2 approximately five miles west of Sandpoint at milepost 23. The worker was driving a Bonner County Roads Department truck, which was carrying diesel fuel. The road was closed for more than 3 hours/KREM2. More here. ISP reporter (pdf) here.

HBO @ Noon: Zombies Ahead

 In this photo provided by Chris Nakashima-Brown, an electronic road sign is seen in Austin, Texas on Monday. Two electronic signs intended to warn motorists of construction near the intersection of Lamar and Martin Luther King boulevards were changed yesterday by hackers. (AP Photo/Chris Nakashima-Brown)

Whatta Hoot: Crafty hackers in Austin, Texas, changed some construction signs that typically read things like “merge right” to “Zombies in area! Run for your lives!” Austin Public Works is pretty upset about the ordeal. They said it endangered the public and are planning to press  charges if they can figure out who did it. But I say kudos to the hackers — despite how I might have crushed anything or anyone in my path while frantically escaping the zombies, in retrospect, I think it’s hilarious/Syndey, UI Argonaut. More Off The Cuff here.

Question: Do you consider this prank humorous? Or dangerous?

AM Scanner Traffic — 1/30/09

  • 11:04 a.m. Officer is in contact with two juveniles @ Highways 41 & 54, one of whom appears to have been involved in an ATV crash.
  • 10:55 a.m. R/P reports that individuals cutting trees near her residents told her that they are working for Avista. She’s suspicious.
  • 10:46 a.m. R/P reports his vehicle is on fire on the e/b onramp @ MP 11 (4th Street).
  • 10:01 a.m. Resident on Lake Coeur d’Alene Drive reports that someone broke into her house last night, took keys & money from her purse, and stole her black 4Runner.
  • 9:02 a.m. A female driver is penned in her car after hitting the espresso stand and a parked car at the quick stop on the corner of Government Way & Kathleen Avenue.
  • Breaking: There is a two car accident along Hwy 2, five miles west of Sandpoint (Mp23). A power line has come down onto one of the vehicles involved. The highway is completely blocked in that area/KXLY.
  • 8:33 a.m. Post Falls and Rathdrum police are directing traffic along Highway 41 to allow the Special Olympics torch bearer to pass safely.

Quotable Minnick

“This bill is going to spend more money than we have, it’s going to spend it inefficiently, it’s going to leave things out, and it’s going to spend so much there’s nothing left for anything else,” he said. “I think we could spend a quarter of what we’ll end up spending and still get two-thirds of the job benefits. If it were cost-effective and had an end in sight, I would have voted for it”/Congressman Walt Minnick, explaining why he was one of 11 Democrats to vote against the $819B economic stimulus bill that passed the House this week. Story here (pdf).

Question: What’s your impression of Walt Minnick’s work in Congress so far?

Huckleberries Best Of INW— 1/30/09

 Rathdrum teenager Rose Flack hugs Principal Conrad Underdahl at Lakeland High School Thursday. Flack came back to the school to say hello at a pep assembly the day after she was featured as a contestant on American Idol. All she could say about the show was that she was one of the 13 or so contestants chosen to go to Hollywood from the Salt Lake City auditions. Story here. (Jesse Tinsley/SR)

Letter: Avista Rate Hikes Criminal

Another rate hike by Avista. Do they not know we are in a recession? Families losing homes, dropping medical insurance, no jobs or work available. Avista officials say we upgraded equipment, etc. They need to use profits for that, not another rate hike. They get a rate hike but it stays on forever in most cases, even after the work they did has been paid for 10 times over with the new rate hike they got. Then next time they fix equipment, etc. they ask for another hike. It’s a crime that users of electricity and gas from Avista keep their heat on 60 to 65 degrees, wear extra sweaters and still pay $250 to $300 for the electric bill each month/David Mallery, Post Falls (CDA Press letter write). More here. H/T: Joan Harman

DFO: Like any greedmonger, Avista will continue to ask for every dime and nickel it can get to boost executive salaries and dividents. Angry ratepayers should focus their energy and anger on the state regulators who approve these rate hikes. You can read Avista’s defense of its latest rate hike request here (pdf).

Question: Agree w/the letter writer? Disagree?

Richert: Sali Vs. Minnick/GOP Regulars

If Sali runs, look for him to try to cobble together a coalition of support among disaffected Republicans who want their party to take a hard turn to the right; small-government libertarian-leaning Ron Paul Republicans; and voters who, recession or no recession, focus on social issues. An odd alliance — but in a fractured Republican primary, it could be enough to get Sali another nomination. Northwest political blogger Randy Stapilus sums it up well; “Sali won in 2006 in a deeply fragmented field that advantaged him almost perfectly. There’d be strong pressure in the Republican hierarchy to avoid a repeat of that scenario”/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you expect mainstream Republicans to rally behind one candidate to defeat Sali in the 2010 primary? Or will it be another free-for-all with Sali emerging victorious?

Free In Idaho: Democrat Fraud

Here is Ben Stein at the American Spectator, pointing out a few things about the so-called “stimulus bill” that was just passed by Nancy Pelosi’s Democrat House.  The bill has been called “porkulus” by Rush, and “The Generational Theft Act of 2009” by Michelle.  I just call it Democrat Fraud.  It does NOTHING to stimulate the economy.  Most of the money won’t even be spent this year.  It creates NO real jobs (aren’t these the people who always bitch about “lilving wage jobs”?) that produce anything in the economy.  But there is an awful lot of Liberal Democrat Payback in it, according to the reports I’ve been reading/BillH, Free In Idaho! More here.

Question: Is the economic stimulus bill passed by the House really ‘stimulus’ or ‘porkulus’?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 1/30/09

Two juvenile elk wander in a field Wednesday, near the Prairie Falls Golf Club in Post Falls. A small herd of elk claimed a section of the eighth fairway at the golf course for most of the afternoon to sun bathe, according to a homeowner. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos)

UIdaho Gets BSU Monkey Off Back

Idaho’s Brandon Wiley (11) shoots between Kurt Cunningham (50), Mark Sanchez (43) and Paul Noonan (25) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Thursday in Moscow. It was the first time in 14 meetings — almost a decade — that the Vandals won a rivalry matchup game. UI Argonaut story here. (AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune, Kyle Mills)

Question: How important was Idaho’s win over Boise State last night?


Fisher: Do Digital TV Switch Now

“I firmly believe that our nation is not yet ready to make this transition at this time,” said Rockefeller Tuesday as the Senate voted to put the changeover date off from Feb. 17 to June 12. Fortunately, the House refused to go along, rejecting the delay on Wednesday. It isn’t broadcasters who Rockefeller and Obama think are not yet ready, mind you. It is television viewers themselves. So where have those viewers been the last several months? It can’t have been in front of their television screens. There, network after network and station after station have been running announcements about the pending switch from a low-quality analog signal to a high-quality digital signal that will make almost everyone’s picture better/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you think the switch to digital TV should go ahead in February or be delayed until June?

Ledford: Obama, The Superhero?

Others seem to think his message will inspire people everywhere to work harder and be more compassionate. Worst of all, however, are the countless depictions, both on the Internet and in print, of Obama as a superhero. I have just one humble question for those who depict our new president in this way: really? It wouldn’t bother me if children were drawing pictures of Super Obama, but even then it would prompt a reminder he is only a man. What bothers me is we have intelligent adults drawing these pictures and making these statements. Does this not concern anybody else? If history shows us anything, isn’t it that this sort of adoring, blind trust and devotion for a leader is at best naïve and at worst dangerous?/Benjamin Ledford, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: Are you concerned that many Americans are simply smitten by the new president?

WND Poll: Economic Stimulus Package

What do you think of House passage of the $819 billion ‘stimulus’ bill?/WorldNetDaily

  • It’s just what the doctor ordered for an ailing economy
  • This one move by Obama will have a greater positive impact than anything George Bush ever did
  • The Republicans showed a shocking lack of bipartisanship
  • The Republicans shot themselves in the foot with their unanimous vote against a bill supported by a popular president
  • Congress had to do something

Signe: Mixed Reaction

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Gonzaga 69, St. Mary’s 62

Gonzaga’s Steven Gray, Saint Mary’s Diamon Simpson and Omar Samhan and GU’s Jeremy Pargo and Austin Daye battle for a rebound in the second half of the West Coast Conference matchup Thursday at the McCarthey Athletic Center at GU. Jim Meehan’s SR game story here. ESPN boxscore here. More photos. (Jesse Tinsley/SR)

UIdaho 63, Boise State 59

 Idaho’s Mac Hopson passes the ball to Terrence Simmons as Boise State’s Aaron Garner, left, and La’Shard Anderson defend  in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Thursday  in Moscow. (AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune, Kyle Mills)

WSU 65, No. 14 Arizona State 55

Washington State’s Klay Thompson (1) moves the ball against Arizona State’s Jamelle McMillan during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Tempe, Ariz., Thursday.  Washington State won 65-55. ESPN game story & boxscore here. (AP Photo/Aaron J. Latham)

Wild Card — 1/29/09

In the news this evening, President Obama slams Wall Street execs over bonuses here. California workers will take two days off per month without pay here. A study finds a link between preemies and autism here. Americans receiving jobless benefits hits a record here. And the Wild Card is back on the table …

PS: Rose Becomes Rathdrum’s ‘Idol’

 Rathdrum teenager Rose Flack jokes with her former classmates at Lakeland High School Thursday. Flack came back to the school to say hello at a pep assembly the day after she was featured as a contestant on American Idol. All she could say about the show was that she was one of the 13 or so contestants chosen to go to Hollywood from the Salt Lake City auditions. Story here. Video of Rose’s ‘American Idol’ audtion here. (Jesse Tinsley/SR)

SR Today In Photos here

Question: Can you sing well?

Napkin Notes: My Spelling Queen

In the stands, I was tense.  Not for the outcome, which didn’t concern me so much, but for Katie’s feelings.  Part of her struggle with Asperger’s is an occasional inability to cope with strong emotions, and I was afraid of how she would handle the losing part of competition.  Would she be overwhelmed and burst into tears of disappointment?  Or would she bear up with stoic seriousness until the round was over?  Although I had tried my best beforehand to prepare her for the possibility, I held my breath every time she stood to spell/Katrina, Notes On A Napkin. More here.

Question: Can you relate a time when you were very proud of your child?

HBO’s PM Headlines — 1/29/09

Special Olympic athlete James Neeson, from Maghera, Ireland, holds the miner’s lamp that carried the Flame of Hope into Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, during the arrival ceremony this morning. The Special Olympics Flame of Hope, lit almost three months ago in Athens, Greece, where it began a 37,000 mile voyage across five continents, is scheduled to arrive in Coeur d’Alene to begin the final leg of its journey to the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games. Story here.  (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos)  

Scanner Traffic — 1/29/09

  • 5:52 p.m. Officer “dispatches” deer after a car hit it on Highway 95 & Blackwell Island.
  • 3:48 p.m. R/P reports a road rage incident on West Hayden. A motorist reportedly tried to run over someone.
  • 3:35 p.m. Shaun Sauget, 29, of Bonners Ferry, and passenger Michael Harris, 22, of Eastport were injured when their pickup slid onto the Union Pacific Tracks on Meadow Creek Road in Boundary County Wednesday. You can read the ISP accident here (.pdf).
  • 3:20 p.m. You can read a roundup of sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger’s felony warrants here.
  • 2:51 p.m. CPD Blue police log summary for 1/28 here (.pdf)
  • 2:49 p.m. Bonner County police log for 1/28 here (.pdf)
  • 2:34 p.m. A flatbed truck is losing pallets on Highway 95 & Kathleen.
  • 1:52 p.m. CPD Blue checking on a hit-and-run accident in the south parking lot @ Coeur d’Alene High

APhoto Of The Day — 1/29/09

 Kristen McIntosh, 7, eats snow from the fort her step-father was making in the snow in front of their apartment at Devonshire Gardens in Evansville, Ind. on Wednesday. McIntosh was too little to remember the last real snow so this was her first chance to enjoy it, but she was more interested in eating it than helping build the fort. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Evansville Courier & Press, Erin McCracken)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1.  Gene Simmons once started out this innocent too!/Cabbage Boy
  • 2.  Do to the worsening economy the McIntosh family was forced to eliminate dessert from their family food budget. Upon hearing about their plight, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels was heard to say, “Let them eat snow” — CindyH.
  • 3.  Figuring if you can’t lick government you should embrace it, little Kristen experiences her own ‘Stimulus package’.

  • League of His Own: Bob

  • HM: ThomG

Obama Signs Equal Pay Act

 Surrounded by members of Congress President Barack Obama hands out pens after signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act with Lilly Ledbetter, standind left of Obama, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009, in the East Room at the White House in Washington.

Idaho Democratic Party Executive Director Jim Hansen today applauded the signing of the historic Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act.  The first bill signed into law by President Barack Obama, the Act will ensure that American workers are treated fairly under the law by correcting wage disparities/Idaho Democratic Party. Full press release here (.pdf).

Question: What’s your reaction to President Obama’s signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act?

OTV: Mac-River Pizza Is Calling Me

I’ve been getting my first reports back about the new MacKenzie River Pizza joint in the old failed Cheesecake place on US95 and word is that it’s pretty gosh darn cool. One of Stephanie’s house cleaning clients said that “The Athenian” was actually some of the most intense pizza she had encountered in ages, and that the service was good to the point of being over the top cheesy. That’s fine, as long as the pizza’s over the top cheesy as well. Stephanie and I plan on conducting a thorough investigation as soon as we can get a large enough party together to be able to try several different menu items. She’s already got a clutch of her other house cleaning clients on board, so it should be kind of a trip. I’m going to hang up my health plan for the night for this place, and I cannot wait. This boy needs some hot pepperoni/OrangeTV. Get Out! North Idaho. More Bread Crumbs here.

Question: Any of you tried out MacKenzie River Pizza, yet? What did you think of the food and the place?

Blagojevich Impeached 59-0

Illinois lawmakers have not only thrown out Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, they have barred him from ever holding public office in the state again. Both votes were 59-0. Blagojevich’s removal comes nearly two months after his arrest on charges of trying to sell Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat. He is the first U.S. governor in more than 20 years to be removed by impeachment. Democratic Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn automatically became the new governor/AP. More here.

Hammond: Teacher Pay Cuts Possible

Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Post Falls, commended Luna for focusing on preserving the time that teachers spend with students. In nearly 20 years as an elementary school principal, Hammond said, he concluded, “The thing that I would need more than anything else is the people that are working for me. I could live without new textbooks for a year, I could live without the computer purchases.” He said it’d also be preferable for workers to take a pay cut than have layoffs. Luna said his proposal for cuts in state funding for pay for teachers and school administrators, implemented as school districts see fit, allows for that/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Would you willingly accept a pay cut if it meant preserving other jobs at your workplace?

JanTri: I Wasn’t Looking For Love

Jim, looking like Sam Elliot in cowboy boots and hat,walked over as I chatted with friends. He introduced himself and in a smooth, confident baritone said, “We need to be dating.” How storybook, how romantic! Since I was totally unfamiliar with dating etiquette, all I could do was laugh in his face and sputter an embarrassed “I don’t think so!” in my most sarcastic voice. I had been alone for five years, prior to that, happily married for twenty years to my best friend since old Hippie days. We were growing up and planning on growing old together. His loss was sudden, devastating, life changing; but I had adapted well. I wasn’t interested in another relationship or dating, wasn’t looking, wasn’t interested!/JanTri, Brand X Ranch. More here.

Bayview Herb is looking for love stories here.

Question: What’s your love story?

Local Blogs — 1/29/09

You saw what became of former colleague Taryn Hecker in the post below. Now, Marianne Love/Slight Detour informs us that she spent an afternoon with another former SR colleague of mine, Erica Curless (above) here.

HBO Numbers (for Wednesday, 1/28/09): 5520 page-views/2991 unique views

Where Are They Now? — Taryn Hecker

In case you were wondering what happened to my former CDA bureau colleague Taryn Hecker … I got this note from her today: “In addition to working at the youth center in the afternoons, I am opening up a photo studio and office in downtown Spirit Lake at 6147 Maine St. #8. I am offering affordable portraits. My introductory specials are $99 for senior portraits and $50 for family or children’s portraits. All of my customers get a CD of the images, plus the copyright so they can print the images themselves and share with family and friends. I do weddings, too! I am also doing freelance writing, marketing and consulting work.” You can check out Taryn’s work here and here.

DFO: If you have a “Where Are They Now?” nominee, send me an e-mail with info about that person. It’d be fun to run those here.

Vandals No Longer Patsies

It helps that four of Idaho’s five starters haven’t played against Boise State. This time last year Mac Hopson was riding the pine as a redshirt while Kashiff Watson, Marvin Jefferson and Brandon Wiley were honing their skills at the junior college level. The Vandals have mixed and matched those skills with other transfer players and those who are Vandal veterans, and the results have surprised many. Idaho enters tonight’s game 9-10 overall and 3-3 in the WAC. Coaches throughout the conference have said playing Idaho is no longer a game they can mark as a win when they are flipping through their schedules/Sandra Kelly, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Full story below.

Question: Are you still an avid Idaho Vandals fan? Or have the mounting losses in football and basketball taken a toll in recent years?

USPO: One Day Less Of Mail?

Item: Mail may show up less often after cut: Post office considers five-day delivery/Washington Post.

More Info: Worsening economic conditions and the changing habits of Americans are threatening to do to the U.S. Postal Service what few things can: stop delivery of the mail, at least for a day. In testimony before a Senate subcommittee Wednesday, Postmaster General John “Jack” Potter said the post office may be forced to cut back to five-day delivery for the first time in the agency’s history, citing rising costs and an ongoing decline in mail made worse by the global recession.

Question: Would you be drastically affected if the U.S. Postal Service delivered mail 5 days per week instead of 6?

Huckleberries Best Of INW — 1/29/09

Special Olympic athletes Arnold Morgado, left, from Twin Falls,Idaho, and Ben Rigby, from Pocatello, Idaho, hold the miner’s lamp this morning that carried the Flame of Hope into Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and the torch so it can be carried across Idfho. The Special Olympics Flame of Hope, lit almost three months ago in Athens, Greece, where it began a 37,000 mile voyage across five continents, is scheduled to arrive in Coeur d’Alene to begin the Final leg of its journey to the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games. Story here. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos)

HBO @ Noon: Favorite Color?

Not all girls like pink and Palmer, expressed concern that pressure to conform to a fluffy princess image of girliness will harm them. However, Spokane author Michael Gurian doesn’t think color preference is cause for worry. In the same article he said, “My daughters love pink, but are very successful young women. Their love of pink and of girl stuff has not held them back.” That certainly has been my own experience, and Palmer may be relieved to know I’ve been severely restricted in perpetuating my pink passion. I have four sons – they loathe pink/Cindy Hval, SR Voices. More here.

Question: What’s your favorite color? What does it say about you?

We’ll Still Have Sali To Kick Around

The title paraphrases Nixon’s famous petulant quote after he lost the California Governor’s race in 1962, and it appears Sali won’t go gently into that good night. He’s itchin’ for a rematch with Minnick after several thousand of his party abandoned him last time to vote for Walt. Bring it on. Sali has a great opportunity to get a crowded field again in the primary and win it, drawing a bead right on the Republican Party foot. In the words of Montomery Burns, “Excellent, release the hounds”/Sisyphus, 43rd State Blues.

Question: Would you like to see a rematch between Walt Minnick and Bill Sali in 2010?

Quotable: Did He Really Say That?

“We’re looking at those founders as our inspiration as how to do less with more — NIC PRmeister John Martin to Joint Finance & Appropriations Committee, as quoted in the CDA Press today.

Question: Do you think John misspoke? Or was he misquoted?

Blagojevich — Going, Going …

Pedestrians stop to watch a live broadcast in downtown Chicago, of impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich deliver his closing argument at his impeachment trial in Springfield, Ill., Thursday. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Risch To Gore: How Long Do We Have?

Gore testified Wednesday to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, of which Idaho freshman Sen. Risch is a member. Milbanks reported on their exchange: “What does your modeling tell you about how long we’re going to be around as a species?” Risch asked. “’The Goracle chuckled, Milbanks wrote. “’I don’t claim the expertise to answer a question like that, Senator’”/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Was Sen. Risch asking former VP Gore a legitimate question? Or mocking him?

Idaho Blogs — Minnick Votes w/R’s

So, the majority Democrats in the House voted for and passed by themselves the President’s so-called stimulus plan, what Michelle Malkin is calling the Generational Theft Act of 2009.  Not a single Republican voted for it, including Idaho’s Rep Mike Simpson thank goodness.  But one thing you might not hear in the main-National press is that our new Representative from Idaho’s 1st District, Walt Minnick, Democrat, was one of the eleven Dems who voted against it/BillH, Free In Idaho! More here.

Question: Has Demo Congressman Walt Minnick’s vote against the economic stimulus package changed your opinion of him?

Rathdrum Woman Advances On ‘Idol’

 … see video of Rose Fleck, 17, of  Rathdrum, a girl who was praised by Judge Simon as unforgettable and won thumbs up from all four ‘American Idol’ judges last night here.

Hat Tip: MamaJD

Bouldin Visits GU Tent City

Gonzaga basketball player Matt Bouldin delivers a pepperoni pizza to Channing Parabis, 19, of Seattle, as Parabis camps Wednesday outside the McCarthey Athletic Center. Students started camping Sunday to secure the best seats at tonight’s matchup. Team members arrived with 50 pizzas and hot chocolate.

DFO: Matt Bouldin moved toward the head of the list for my favorite Zag this year. What a cool gesture by him to visit fellow students who are waiting to see tonight’s home game with St. Mary’s.

Question: Who’s your favorite Zag on the 2008-09 team? Why?

BrandX Ranch: ‘Parts Is Parts’

re: Who do you want to handle your P (prostate, pap, pee) exams — male, female docs?

As one who performs both exams, I must say that “parts is parts”. An exam of your ear or your throat or your respective hoo-hoo’s is done in a clinical, professional manner; ensuring the patient’s dignity and comfort. I warm up the speculum, and will almost always use the small one… yes, there are 2 sizes!!! I don’t have to impress anyone with the size of my speculum. As for the big P exam, they are much better now that I am over my “All-men-are-pond-scum” phase/Brand X Ranch.

Any further questions?

Spencer Sues Water District

A local developer is suing the manager and board members of the North Kootenai Water District for denying him due process in obtaining water rights for the Hayden Lake property he used to own. “I guess the availability of the district service depends on who is asking for water connections,” said Spirit Lake developer Larry Spencer, acting as his own legal representative. Spencer approached the district about obtaining a Will Serve Letter in January 2006 for his 17 acres in Honeysuckle Hills, where he was applying for a county permit to develop a 21-lot subdivision. The board instructed Spencer to pay for a water study to determine if services could be provided to the property. Yet several months after Spencer handed over the $2,000 fee, the district had still failed to complete the study, he said/Alecia Warren, CDA Press. More here.

DFO: In case you were wondering what had happened to Larry Spencer.

HBO’s AM Headlines — 1/29/09

 Riley Torgerson, 5, left, Nez Ogle, 6, and Savannah Ashtiani, 5, hide under their desk to surprise “Mr. Blue” at his birthday party Wednesday at KinderMagic in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Mr. Blue is one of the classroom mascots that lives under one of the teacher’s desk. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos) 

Obit: Harry Magnuson, 85

In August 1996, he was inducted into Idaho’s Hall of Fame in recognition of a career in business as well as service to his community and the state. In Oct. 1999, he received the “Esto Perpetua” Award from the Idaho State Historical Society in honor of his significant contributions to the preservation of Idaho history. Many of the historic sites of North Idaho are preserved as a result of Harry’s work. The Cataldo Mission was especially close to Harry’s heart. He worked for years to bring about the completion of Sacred Encounters, a permanent exhibition of Indian artifacts. Harry was highly honored by the Coeur d’Alene Indians and received the Cataldo Medal in 2003/CDA Press obituary. More here.

Who has had the biggest impact on Idaho: J.R. Simplot, Duane Hagadone, or Harry Magnuson?

Solons Target Teacher-Student Sex

Item: Teacher-student sex targeted: Lawmakers, others want tough law after state court ruling on 18-year-olds/Rich Roesler, SR Eye On Olympia

More Info:  It’s not illegal for a teacher to have consensual sex with an 18-year-old student, a state appeals court said two weeks ago. The response from state lawmakers: Well, it ought to be. House and Senate legislators want to ban any sexual contact between school employees and students when there’s more than five years’ difference in their ages. Violations would be a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Question: This is simple common sense, right? Anyone want to argue that 18-year-olds are adults with the right to vote — so they should be able to date whom they want?

Hucks: A Conversation Piece, No More

A boxscore that shows Babe Ruth had two hits in three official at-bats during a game in 1921 isn’t as valuable as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Corey Shamburg of CdA found that out when he asked a sports memorabilia answer man for the Redding (Calif.) Record-Searchlight about a discovery made by his brother recently. Brother Ken was dumping some construction waste in Shreveport, La., when he noticed wood debris in the trash pile. He investigated further and found some old newspapers in prime condition, including the 1921 New York Yankee boxscore with Ruth’s name in it. According to Babe Waxpack of the Record-Searchlight, the newspaper clip has value only as a conversation piece/DFO, Huckleberries. More here.

Question: Do you think today’s kids know much if anything about Babe Ruth?

Online Poll: Peanut Butter, Anyone?

How often do you eat peanut butter?/Lewiston Tribune

  • Every day.
  • Once a week.
  • Once in a while.
  • I can’t because I’m allergic.
  • Without it, I’d starve.
  • I can’t stand peanut butter.

Ramirez: Lipstick On A Pig

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Hump Day Wild Card — 1/28/09

A coupla things in the news this afternoon worth mentioning: Boeing has announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs here. Starbucks will cut 6,700 jobs, close 300 more stores here. House Republicans led a successful move to stop a delay in the switch to digital TV here. The Mariners swung a trade today for two players in the Chicago Cubs system here. Anti-smoking activists want to add another $1 per pack in sin taxes in Washington (which’d push more Evergreen State smokers to buy their smokes in Idaho) here. And the Wild Card remains in play …

Parting Shot — 1/28/09

Kevin Vandeventer, 35, works out Tuesday at Gold’s Gym in north Spokane in preparation for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Boise in February. He will compete in cross-country skiing. Meanwhile, the Special Olympics Torch will arrive in Coeur d’Alene by boat at the Third Street docks at 8:10 a.m. Thursday and then be taken to the downtown library for a ceremony at 8:35 a.m. You can find the complete schedule for the torch’s journey through North Idaho here.

SR’s Today In Photos

OTV: What Gives @ Old China Gate?

I asked the checkstand girl at Petersons (former IGA) the other morning if she’d heard any dirt on what was going on across Sherman Ave., in the remains of the old China Gate Restaurant, which was badly damaged in a fire last year that killed the 1210 Tavern and the Gamer’s Haven. A crew has rebuilt the exterior to resemble a triple-wide mobile home in drab beige and it’s fugly as hell, zero personality. She told me she heard it was going to be a “sports bar” and that it would take the entire building. I can’t imagine it, since the place seriously looks more like Aunt Edna’s Retirement Home than a hip place to hang out. What gives?/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More of today’s Bread Crumbs: Random Bits & Mailbag here

Question:Which business has the coolest sign in the region?


IME: Neo-Nazis Remain A Threat

Hundreds of small cells of would-be terrorists exist throughout the United States. They travel under various names—Ku Klux Klan, National Socialist Movement, Vinlander Social Club, American National Socialist Workers Party, World Wide Church of the Creator, National Alliance, White Aryan Resistance, National Vanguard. To the dismay of civil rights groups, on the margins are a few politicians and rural law enforcement officers who express their disdain and distrust of black Americans and Hispanics, plus radio talk show hosts who tend to give stature to racist propaganda/Idaho Mountain Express. More here.

Question: Are white supremacist organizations still a threat in this country?

PM Headlines — 1/28/09

Gonzaga University students decorate their tents as they wait in line for seats to the Gonzaga/St. Mary’s basketball game on Thursday evening. Dan Pelle/SR.

APhoto Of The Day — 1/28/09

 Animal rights activists from PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and AnimaNaturalis stage a naked protest in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Everything was fine till Millie ran into her old school friend Billy and realized he wasn’t circumsized. Now she just knew that image would be burned in her mind forever — KeithinCDA
  • 2. A little research could have saved some embare-ass-ment as the PETA fools schedule their protest on the same route as the running of the bulls — Cabbage Boys.
  • 3. After the annual Shearing of the Petas, many Barcelonans walked away with a good winter coat — Kevin Taylor
  • HM: A Token D

Scanner Traffic — 1/28/09

A list of the inmates currently incarcerated @ the Kootenai County Jail can be read here.

  • 4:48 p.m. At the railroad crossing at Prairie & McGuire/Post Falls, the lights are flashing and the arms are down. But there’s no train in sight. Cars are driving around the arms.
  • 4:23 p.m. On-Star has contacted 911 to report a call from a car @ Fantasy Loop & Atlas in which a 2- to 3-year-old child can be heard talking. Upon further investigation, an officer contacted a woman who said she left the child in the car to stay warm while she fed animals in the barn.
  • 3:57 p.m. Seeping water from the roof has set off a fire alarm in apartments on Spurwing Loop/CDA
  • 3:38 p.m. A woman wants to see an officer re: a man who sold her a stolen fire extinguisher Tuesday.

Gay Marriage Pro-Con Stirs UW

At Vox Box, Blogmistress Erin Daniels tells of a flap on the University of Washington campus, triggered by a pro-con debate re: gay marriage in the college newspaper. You can read the pro-con arguments (take particular note of the cartoons that ran with them) here. The anti-gay marriage column and cartoon triggered a record 651 letters to the editor, many of which were published in eight full pages of a subsequent student newspaper edition. Also, the Graduate and Professional Student Senate demanded an apology from the paper and the firing of some Editorial Board members. Earlier this month, Editor Sarah Jeglum told readers that the paper would not issue an apology, in response to the Senate demands. You can read it here. You also can read Vox Box’s version of the hubbub here.

QUESTION:  What do you think?  Should the paper apologize?

UI Announces 5 Prez Finalists

  • Don Burnett, University of Idaho law school dean who has pushed to develop a three-year law program in Boise.
  • Ham Shirvani, president of Cal State Stanislaus, in Turlock, Calif.
  • Larry Penley, former president of Colorado State University.
  • Duane Nellis, Kansas State University provost.
  • David Dooley, Montana State University president.

    AP/Statesman story here

In The News: Michelle Gets Wax Job

This image provided by Madame Tussauds shows senior sculptor Colin Jackson working on a clay head mold of first lady Michelle Obama at Merlin Studios in London. The clay molds are a crucial step in the up to six month-long figure creation process. The full wax figure of the new first lady is expected to be unveiled at Madame Tussauds in Washington in March. (AP Photo/Merlin Studios)


Local Blogs — 1/28/09

I was making dinner the other night and needed to open a can of olives. As I watched the can spin around on my electric can opener, I realized that I had received that can opener as a wedding gift. 16 1/2 years ago. I figure I open about 5 cans a week times 198 weeks of marriage. That’s 990 cans that have been opened by that can opener. Then I began to think of other things that I still use that I got as wedding gifts/A Butterfly Moment. More here.

Question: Are you still using gifts you received at your wedding?

Inaugural Platform Used NI Lumber

It may not have grabbed the limelight with the same pizzazz as the rest of the hoopla at the 56th quadrennial inauguration, but Riley Creek Lumber Company’s logo received worldwide visibility shortly before Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. A photograph and slideshow of the construction of the inauguration platform displaying stacks of lumber draped with Riley Creek’s distinctive emblem on its white-and-blue bagging at the west steps of the U.S. Capitol was viewed by hundreds of thousands of Internet users/R.J. Cohn, More here.

Bob Wire: January Is Facial Hair Month

I’m the first to admit it’s a crappy beard. There are a few bald patches here and there. I was not blessed with the hirsute gene. I know guys who could grow a full beard over a three day weekend. But for someone like me, who normally shaves only twice a week, it takes a while. Plus, there’s a big patch of white whiskers on my left side, that makes me look like I fell asleep against a freshly-painted wall. The rest is various shades of red, brown, auburn and silver. Not grey, but silver. Looks like little chrome threads sticking out of my chin/Bob Wire, New West. More here.

Question: Do you grow a winter beard or other type of facial hair? Does it look good?

Best Of The INorthwest — 1/28/09

A phenomenon known as “light pillars” spreads across the night sky over Victor, Idaho, on Monday. The colorful columns form when light  from the ground reflects off flat snow crystals descending through very cold air. (AP Photo / Jackson Hole News&Guide, Bradly J. Boner)

HBO @ Noon: Who Handles P Exams?

EJS (re: MikeK sez Bris rather than Circ-Word): Being a male I ask the rest of the males in here: Who better to do a prostate exam, a man or woman doctor? And to the women, a male for female OBGYN?

Sisyphus: I have a very attractive female GP who performs the procedure on me every year, ejs. And still she offers no cigarette when we’re done.

JeanieSpokane:  Uh, DFO, P exams for lunch? That covers so many things. The prostrate exam, the pap smear, and the pee test. I’m hungry already.

Question: Who would you prefer to handle the sensitive part of your physical exam? A male doctor? Or a female one?

EOB: NIC 0-for-2 @ Idaho Legislature

North Idaho College, which had its budget hearing before JFAC this morning, had been hoping for $605,100 next year to start up a much-needed dental hygienist program in partnership with a local free clinic, and $334,500 for the first year of a two-year campus technology upgrade to get its classrooms up to minimum technology standards. But Gov. Butch Otter didn’t recommend funding for either item in his proposed budget for next year/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Minnick, Simpson Oppose Stimulus Bill

Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick will vote against the economic stimulus bill later today, Minnick spokesman John Foster said a few minutes ago. A vote is expected later today. Republican Rep. Mike Simpson has said he will also vote against the bill/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman.

Question: Do you support or oppose the proposed economic stimulus bill?

Idaho Blogs: John Updike, The Mensch

Mensch is Yiddish for a good person, and that’s what I found author John Updike to be when I interviewed him on the phone a few years ago. Updike died (Tuesday) at the age of 76. I read a memoir he wrote in which he talked a lot about how he stuttered when he was a kid. At one point during my interview with him he lapsed into that stutter for only a word. I’ll never forget the humanness of it: The great writer showing a small vulnerability/Mike Butts, 2C Etc.

Special Olympics Torch Coming Soon

Item: Local athletes heading to world stage in Boise: Special Olympics games include snowboarding, skating/Mike Prager, SR

More Info: The Olympic flame, which was lit in Athens, Greece, in November, arrives in Coeur d’Alene on Thursday for its final journey to Boise.

Question: Are you planning to watch as the Special Olympics torch passes through Sandpoint, Coeur d’Alene, or other parts of North Idaho Thursday?

AG Fights Avista Rate Hike

Item: Avista rates face appeal: Attorney general targets increases that started Jan. 1/John Stucke, SR

More Info: Washington’s attorney general has appealed a sharp increase in Avista power bills and aims to unravel the company’s plan to collect an extra $112 million from businesses and residential customers in Eastern Washington.

Question: During its days as Washington Water Power, Avista was considered a good corporate citizen, for its contributions to the communities it served. Do you still consider Avista to be a good corporate citizen?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 1/28/09

Kootenai County firefighters wait to clear the scene of a minor-injury accident in the eastbound lanes of Interstate-90 near Highway 41 in Post Falls, Idaho following a short, but havoc-causing freezing rainfall that caused dozens of accidents Tuesday between Stateline and Coeur d’Alene. Story here. First mention on Scanner Traffic here. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos)

In The News: Iraq Votes Again

Iraqi policemen hold up their ink-stained fingers after casting their vote in the country’s provincial elections in Baghdad, Iraq, earlier today. The polls opened Wednesday for members of the Iraqi security forces, detainees and hospital patients. General voting is scheduled on Saturday. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Poll: Reason With A Bank Robber?

Item: Assertive Idaho bank manager talks bank robbers into surrendering: 2 masked men call Luwana Couch ‘ma’am’/Idaho Statesman

Question: Would you try to reason with a bank robber? Yes? No? Don’t know?

TUBOB: Glory Day In Dad’s Wagon

Wasn’t I skinny? Wasn’t I moody? I didn’t actually smile from the ages of 15 until 19. The car to the right is the family’s truckster of the time a massive 1973 Ford Country Deeded Landowner station wagon. It had a 500 cubic inch something gasoline sucker and I only did two cool things in that bomber - once I destroyed a drive through car wash stall at a gas station on Pines road when it jumped the rails and smashed the side of the car wash knocking the thing akimbo, and once I stuck it up to its axles in a mud bog I tried to barrel through while christmas tree hunting on Inland Empire Paper Co land in North Idaho/TUBOB. More here.

Question: What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever did to your parents car?

MikeK Sez Bris Rather Than Circ-Word

On his Facebook page, Councilman MikeK couldn’t bring himself to say the Circ-Word when referring to the medical procedure that baby son Ronan endured recently. So he called it a Bris — the Jewish word for the circumcision ceremony. Which prompted an SR colleague to leave a not on his Facebook page, asking MikeK if his wife was Jewish. She isn’t. A Jewish friend from the East Coast chided MikeK for not picking a better Jewish custom to name as a substitution for the Circ-Word, like Bar Mitzbah. She reasoned: “At least there’s a bar in that ceremony.” MikeK told Huckleberries that the word “circumcision” is “so tough for a guy to manage.”

Question: How do you feel about the practice of circumcision?

WND Poll: Obama & Muslims

What do you think of Obama granting his 1st interview to Arab TV?/WorldNetDaily

  • Great way to reach out to the Muslim world
  • Smart gesture, considering the challenges he’s facing in the Islamic world
  • Makes perfect sense, he knows the Middle East is the world’s most dangerous region
  • Demonstrates his willingness to forgive and forget
  • Obama admits he’s related to Muslims, so this is expected

Cartoon: Raw Sewage

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card — 1/27/09

In the news this evening, a Los Angeles man killed his wife, 5 kids and himself, after he lost his job here. Bill Clinton earned $6M in speaking fees last year, chiefly from foreign sources, here. The New York Times features the impact the late John Updike had on the literary world here. The mandatory digital TV switchover has been pushed back to June 12 here. A House Repub tells Rush Limbaugh to back off here. And the Wild Card is back in play …

Parting Shot — 1/27/09

 While President Barack Obama was on Capitol Hill meeting with Republicans a Uniformed Secret Service Emergency Response Team officer lets his security dog get some exercise and play in the light snow that covered the White House grounds in Washington today. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

SR’s Today In Photos here

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 1/27/09

Larry Brown (right), chairman of the Lakeland School Board, and CDA School Trustee Vern Newby visited the Idaho Legislature today to lobby for money for Idaho schools. You can read Betsy Russell’s Eye On Boise story here.

Scanner Traffic — 1/27/09

  • New: Coeur d’Alene police blotter summary here.
  • Update: Matthew Fish was transported to KMC to be treated for injuries in that snowmobile crash @ 12:30 p.m. Monday @ Forest Service Roads 209 & 612. He told rescuers that he crashed in the Fernan Saddle area after failing to negotiate a curve. Alcohol was not a factor in the accident.
  • 4:39 p.m. R/P is worried that three juveniles snowboarding on a nearby embankment @ Highway 41 & Ohio will slide into the roadway.
  • 4:20 p.m. A silver vehicle has crashed under the I-90 overpass at NW Boulevard, facing w/b in the e/b lane.
  • 2:55 p.m. Another crash — @ M/P 8, a pickup rolled over. No injuries.
  • 2:46 p.m. 2-car crash on Appleway, in front of Top of China.
  • 2:42 p.m. ISP issues bulletin: “Currently Eastbound I90 is closed due to multiple crashes between SH41 and Northwest Blvd. These crashes are due to Icy Road conditions.”
  • 2:30 p.m. ISP officer asks whether the freeway should be shut down. But a second officer responds that traffic is moving OK.

Special Olympics Torch Coming

But don’t let that stop people from coming down Thursday morning at 8:30 - big doings with the Special Olympics Torch entering Idaho - the Final Leg - on the way to the games in Boise and surrounding areas. One outdoor brief ceremony with great visuals at 3rd St. Dock and another indoor one at the library just a few minutes later to send the relay crews off strongly. Truly a once in a lifetime sort of event in Coeur d’Alene - we’ll have Idaho’s First Lady Lori Otter there, too/Councilman MikeK. Full comment below.

APhoto Of The Day — 1/27/09

A plate flies off a table set for two as Mason Hill, 8, rides down the hill at the 4th annual furniture races at the Bruce Mound Winter Sports Area near Neillsville, Wis., Saturday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Marshfield News Herald, Dan Young)

  • 1. This little guy took second place in the “Just when we thought today’s youths couldn’t get any lazier” contest. First place when to the child who rode down on a skid containing a, leather gaming chair, a 42” plasma, a generator, a PS2 video game console and a giant bowl of Cheetos — Poolman.
  • 2. Mason Hill of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint’s Spokane East Stake Center’s “Donner Party Reenactment and Interpretive Freestyle Event” rides down Mt. Spokane this past weekend with his clever interpretation and retelling of hungry pioneers sliding down the mountain pass into the Salt Lake Valley.
  • 3. “and the dish skiied away with the spoon…” — Steve Sibulsky.
  • HM: Steve Sibulsky

Patty Duke Stumps For Social Security

Patty Duke reprises her roles of Patty and Cathy for a Social Security public service announcement. Photo courtesy Social Security Administration

In this photo provided by the Social Security Administration, Patty Duke, now of Coeur d’Alene, reprises her teen-age roles as TV’s Lane cousins to drum up enthusiasm for retiring online. As a teen-ager, Duke played the characters Patty and Cathy Lane from the hit 1960s sitcom “The Patty Duke Show.” If you can remember CDA’s Patty Duke in the “Patty Duke Show,” you’re probably deep into your AARP Years and mebbe even Social Security. You can see the video here. And you can read the full press release here.

Question: Which one of Patty Duke’s “Lane” twins did you like best?


For Those Keeping Score @ Home …

… Blogmeister Ryan has increased the number of posts that are shown on the front page from 20 to 30. Ditto for the number of posts that can be made in the comments section. Can you think of any other tweaks that are needed?

Local Blogs (N-Z) — 1/27/09

“This past week there have been robin sightings nearly every day,” posts KerriT/OnLocation North Idaho. “On Sunday a large flock came for a breakfast of berries. While there’s no scientific evidence to back up my conclusion that even though North Idaho is in the midst of a near single digit cold snap, the robins are anticipating an early spring.”

Digital TV Conspiracy: First, this is a government mandated conversion. For your television connection. I think all kinds of conspiracy theories can propagate themselves right in this one little conversion proposal. It’s government mandated! It’s very “Big Brother is Watching You.” I wonder if this means that Big Brother is **really** watching me as I watch Desperate Women. Can Big Brother hear conversations in my house? Is that just too paranoid? Is it really? If the government can mandate how your television is connected, then can it eventually mandate what you watch and when you watch it?/JeanieSpokane, Nuts & Nonsense. More here.

HBO Numbers (for Monday, Jan. 26): 6935 page-views/3519 unique views.

Wallace Man Faces Child Porn Charge

Flemming, who is unemployed and has no family in the Silver Valley area, was charged with lewd conduct with a minor under 16-years-old and two counts of sexual battery of a minor under 16-years-old. Authorities arrested Flemming while executing a search warrant to find evidence he was manufacturing child pornography as part of an ongoing investigation/KXLY. More here.

Students Camp Out For Zag Game

If you want the best seat in the house at the Kennel for Gonzaga’s Thursday night showdown against St. Marys, you may need to dig out your camping gear and find a place to pitch your tent. Students have wasted no time setting up an impromptu tent city near the McCarthey Athletic Center, all in order to be that much closer to the action on Thursday. Named “Few-ville” by it’s residents, more than 40 tents are given a number denoting their place in line to be the first ones into the Kennel on Thursday/KXLY. More here.

Question: Is there a performer, concert, sports contest, or something else worthy enough for you to camp out overnight on a wintry Inland Northwest night?

Best Of The INorthwest — 1/27/09

It may be the dead of winter with a snow storm heading our way, but the denizens of Priest Lake are looking ahead to summer, as this photo from Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns, indicates.

Author John Updike, 76, RIP

In this Oct. 23, 1990 file photo, author John Updike, speaks at a lecture at the Boston Public Library in Boston. Updike, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, prolific man of letters and erudite chronicler of sex, divorce and other adventures in the postwar prime of the American empire, died today, of lung cancer, according to a statement from his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf. He was 76. Story here. (AP Photo/file)

Question: Which Updike book is your favorite?

HBO @ Noon: Octuplets, Anyone?

Item: Surviving Octuplets Born for Second Time Ever: Doctor: Eighth Baby Was a ‘Tremendous Surprise’/ABC News

More Info: After she gave birth to seven babies, a California woman — and the massive 46-person team of doctors that was assisting the birth — thought she was done. But one last baby, perhaps hiding behind the others, had other ideas. When the baby popped out Monday at 10:48 a.m., the woman, whose name the hospital did not release, became the second ever to give birth to surviving octuplets — six boys and two girls.

Question: What advice would you give to a woman who’d just given birth to eight surviving infants?

IVA: Set Minimum Sentences For Pervs

In a truly bipartisan effort which the IVA wholeheartedly supports, two Republican and one Democrat lawmaker are coming together to work on legislation to provide, for the first time in Idaho law, mandatory minimum sentences for those who commit sex crimes against children. Many people are unaware that in Idaho an offender has to commit two sex crimes against children before the law mandates a minimum time behind bars. This loophole - all in the name of giving judges “discretion” in sentencing - resulted in a 150-day sentence for Bradley Stowell, a man who abused two teenage boys at a Boy Scout camp and admitted molesting 24 other victims, one as young as six. Yes, you read that right - 150 days for molesting two dozen children/Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance. More here.
Question: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for child molesters?

Idaho Blogs — 1/27/09

 ”There’s no organization in Idaho that is dedicated to the purpose of finding free market solutions and empowering individuals to take back their freedoms,” Hoffman said. “We are the state’s only think tank dedicated to that purpose” — Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More from 2C Etc. here. Randy Stapilus’ thoughts on Hoffman’s new organization here.

TUBOB: Unbearably Cute Kids

I was once in the Black Hills of South Dakota and saw a family of wild burros. The baby burro, or foal I think they are called (or are baby burros called “burritos”) was the cutest animal I’ve ever seen in the wild. It was multicolored and playful and running around with his mommy and daddy burros. As cute as it was, and it was beyond cute, it wasn’t as cute as my kids/TUBOB. More here.

Question: Please feel free to use this thread to brag about your kids.

Scanner Traffic — 1/27/09

  • 10:04 a.m. Sunset Towing reports a rollover accident involving a Toyota Corolla on Millsap Loop, a half mile from Riverview. Unknown injuries.
  • 9:49 a.m. Several R/Ps report that there’s a body under the I-90/McGuire Road/Post Falls overpass.
  • 9:48 a.m. It’s beginning to snow again.
  • 9:33 a.m. A trucker is pulled over on the w/b off-ramp @ I-90 & Spokane/Post Falls. He has fallen and hurt his back and is partially under the truck.
  • 8:57 a.m. A dead horse is on the roadway on Hayden Avenue & Atlas, possibly with a tarp over it.
  • 8:50 a.m. A homeless person, in a blue jacket and red pants, is sleeping under the overpass @ I-90 & Pleasant View.

Hammond: Different Tuition For Some

Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Post Falls, asked Idaho State University President Arthur Vailas if perhaps he should consider charging differential tuition - higher for high-cost programs, perhaps, that also set students up to earn big incomes once they’ve completed them. “Perhaps we should look at some kind of differential tuition?” he asked Vailas, at ISU’s budget hearing this morning in the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Would you support Sen. Jim Hammond’s call for a sliding tuition scale, based on the type of degree an Idaho university student is pursuing?

Sex Assault Victim No Longer Afraid

 It took less than two hours for a jury on Friday to convict a Coeur d’Alene man of attacking a woman at her home last year. Graham Burrage, 27, (pictured) was convicted last week of sexually assaulting the woman while her three children huddled in a nearby bedroom. That woman, “Mary”, said Monday morning that she’s no longer a victim but a survivor now that Burrage has been convicted of attacking her. Now she looks forward to no longer being afraid. Last week, Mary confronted Burrage in court at his trial for the assault which happened a year ago in her Coeur d’Alene home/KXLY. More here

DFO: Years ago, I attended church with the convicted man and his family. He was a little kid then. I didn’t know his family or him well. But I was still fairly surprised when I learned he was involved in this heinous crime. His mother and siblings are of good stock. I feel for the victim and the Burrage family today. I doubt that this wayward son will be seeing freedom any time soon.


HBO’s AM Headlines — 1/27/09

“We saw a bicycler pedaling his way around the lake, we met up with folks doing some ice fishing, we saw kids playing hockey, we saw hikers and even a lady leading a horse along the road near the shoreline,” Marianne Love, Slight Detour. You can find out where Marianne was by clicking here.

Olson: Otter Wields Budget Ax

Jens Olson, UI Argonaut Web editor

Poll: Hard Times Making You Unhappy?

Are these economic times making it hard for you to stay happy?/Idaho Statesman
  • Yes
  • No
  • A little

Pitts: Limbaugh’s Calculated Outrage

It is, of course, a calculated outrage. Meaning, it was spewed by a clown in the media circus to kick a familiar sequence into motion: angry denunciation by bloggers, pundits and supporters of President Barack Obama (the “he” whose failure is hoped), followed by Rush Limbaugh refusing to retract a word, a courageous truth teller who will not be moved. And, trailing behind, like the folks with brooms who trail the elephants in the circus parade, Limbaugh’s devotees, complaining that their hero has been misquoted, misunderstood or otherwise mistreated. “What Rush meant was … yadda yadda yadda.” A calculated outrage/Leonard Pitts, McClatchy Newspapers. More here.

Question: Do you hope Barack Obama fails or succeeds? Did you want Bush to fail or succeed?

Argonaut: Allow Mixed-Gender Housing

Regardless of whether students are allowed to live in the same suite together, individuals who choose to engage in sex will. Through this restriction, the university is preventing students from gaining a maturity they will need when they graduate and likely will be faced with living in a mixed-gender community. By offering a co-ed option, the university would actually have been offering a chance for a safer transition into mixed-gender situations with resident assistant supervision and the right to choose a roommate. This should not be worth arguing. The Idaho Values Alliance was wrong to make assumptions that prevent students from taking more responsibility in life/UI Argonaut Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Agree? Disagree?

Heller: No Joking Re: Mother-In-Law

Joe Heller/Hellertoon

Question: Would you want your mother-in-law to live with you?

Parting Shot — 1/26/09

 President Barack Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden, listen to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, speak after Biden swore him in as Treasury Secretary at the Treasury Department today in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

SR’s Today In Photos here

Wild Card — 1/26/09

In the news this evening, the House Judiciary chairman has subpoenaed Karl Rove here. The Senate confirms Geithner for Treasury secretary here. Rush Limbaugh fires back at Obama criticism here. The Senate passed a bill to delay digital TV switch here. Obama says his Mideast envoy will ‘engage vigorously’ in a quest for Israeli-Palestinian peace here. And the Wild Card remains on the table …

Scanner Traffic (PM) — 1/26/09

  • 5:38 p.m. A broken pipe is flooding a basement at 2217 W. St. Emilion
  • 5:35 p.m. A 15YO male with a pocket knife is threatening to kill someone on South 19th.
  • 5:14 p.m. 60-something male with a beard was seen running out of a residence at 907 Sixth, carrying a computer.
  • 4:34 p.m. R/P reports that a motorist in a Honda Toyota, with an Ada County license plate, is traveling around 60 mph on CDA’s 15th Street.

AM Scanner Traffic here

This Diamond Rings Still Shines Sorta

 This undated photo provided Saturday by Mike Roberts shows a 7-carat diamond ring that Roberts rescued after it fell in a toilet at the the Black Bear Diner in Phoenix, Ariz. It took eight hours and bills totaling more than $6,000, but the Arizona plumber became a hero to a California couple after retrieving the $70,000 diamond ring. (AP Photo/Mike Roberts)

How much would an item have to be worth for you to fish it out of a flushed toilet?

FTE: 10 Commandments Of Driving

  • 1. Thou shalt not go without your seat belt.
  • 2. Thou shalt not hold your cell phone or text.
  • 3. Thou shalt not drive and tend to your children.
  • 4. Thou shalt not drive with a pet in your lap or on your arm.
  • 5. Thou shalt not groom yourself - lipstick, shave, brushing teeth …
  • 6. Thou shalt not watch videos while driving.
  • 7. Thou shalt not smoke while driving.
  • 8. Thou shalt not eat while driving.
  • 9. Thou shalt not read while driving.
  • 10. Thou shalt not talk while driving.

More from Vickie Holbrook/Idaho Press-Tribune

Question: Anything to add to Vickie’s commandments?

Mint Unveils Territories’ Quarters

This artist rendering provided by the U.S. Mint shows the Washington, District of Columbia (DC) quarter, featuring Duke Ellington. The quarter is the first of 2009 and the first in the DC and U.S. Territories Quarters Program. (AP Photo/US Mint)

Question: Have you collected the quarters from the U.S. states’ series?

Jeanie: Yippee, Jury Duty

Here I am, almost 60 years old and I’ve been sniveling about NOT being “chosen” for jury duty. Like it was some kind of contest. So typical of my life – first in 4th grade being the to be picked for one of two teams. Now, I am entering close-to-retirement years and I finally got picked for jury duty. They say you have been “randomly” picked – but I know better. They couldn’t find anyone else taller, smarter, prettier, or more athletic and they had to settle for … me/JeanieSpokane, Nuts & Nonsense. More here.

Question: Do you react as graciously as JeanieSpokane/Nuts & Nonsense when you’ve been summoned for jury duty?

Local Blogs — 1/26/09

“This tree line along the road on the way to Fernan Saddle, high above Fernan Lake offers a typical picture postcard view of beautiful North Idaho in the winter,” posts Councilwoman KerriT/OnLocation North Idaho.

TUBOB: I Have Cutest Kids Ever

As an intro, just let me recognize that all parents believe their kids at different points in their lives were the cutest kids ever. Many have photos and videos to prove the so-called cuteness. And by God, some of their photos and videos damn near make you cry from the cuteness. But seriously, my kids were the cutest ever. No contest. Don’t argue. Just read my blog this week/TUBOB. More here.

Question: Do you agree with TUBOB — that almost all parents believe their children are the cutest ever? Were yours?

Mechanic: Honesty Best Policy

Item: Flathead Valley’s best mechanic finds honesty the best policy/Jim Mann, Daily Inter Lake

More Info: Following that creed helps in a business that can be painfully expensive for customers who often are suspicious. “People feel that they are going to get ripped off,” he said. “People just feel that way, and I do hear horror stories … where prices are just unbelievably gouged.” For his part, Buckallew said, “I just hope people realize that I have a conscience and I want to sleep at night.”

Question: Do you trust the mechanic or dealership where you take your car for repairs?

HBO’s Best Of INWest — 1/26/09

Beau Breedlove, the young man involved in the scandal that’s threatening new Portland Mayor Sam Adams political career, is shown Saturday at the offices of The Oregonian in Portland, Ore. Story here. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Rob Finch)

HBO @ Noon: Ledger’s Joker Worthy?

In this image released by Warner Bros., Heath Ledger starring as The Joker, is shown in a scene from “The Dark Knight.” Ledger was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor, Thursday, for his role in “The Dark Knight.” The 81st Oscars will be presented Feb. 22 in a ceremony airing on ABC from Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre. (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Stephen Vaughan)

Question: Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker in “Dark Knight” is reaping award after award, including the SAG award for supporting actor last night. Was his performance worthy of these top awards? Or a sympathy vote in wake of his untimely death?

Scanner Traffic (AM) — 1/26/09

  • 11:47 a.m. ISP officer reports there’s snowballs on the interstate, between M/P 2 and 5. And there’s not much to do about it until they blow away.
  • 10:57 a.m. A patrol officer is chasing a wanted man in a red Celica into a dead end up Robinson Creek Road/Cataldo.
  • 10:53 a.m. Resident reports that a black dog that killed his chickens Sunday has returned to his yard. He doesn’t know who the dog belongs to.
  • 10:52 a.m. R/P reports a motorist has run all the lights from Rathdrum s/b — and at one point got out of his car to yell at other drivers behind him.
  • 9:13 a.m. A vehicle has hit a transformer at the back of the Fastenal building, 317 Seltice Way, causing the transformer to smoke and knocking out power. No fire yet.

EOB: UI Could Cut 80 Positions

The next cuts could include eliminating 5 percent, or 80, of the university’s faculty and staff positions, Daley-Laursen said, saying that’s something “we are prepared to consider.” All cuts would be of vacant positions; the university already has a hiring freeze. Currently there are 32 vacant faculty positions and 55 vacant staff positions. Daley-Laursen said he’s also planning a 75 percent cut in state funds for travel, a $2.3 million cut in university-wide operating expenses and a half-million-dollar cut in capital outlay/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: After seeing about half my colleagues ushered out of the newsroom in the last seven years via buyouts and layoffs, I understand that no one is immune from these times. Yet, I also understand that higher education offers the quickest path out of poverty and grunt work. So here’s the question: After these cuts, would you be more or less willing to send your kids to UI?

Idaho Blogs: Walt For Wyoming Guv?

Serephin/43rd State Blues spotted this nugget in a Washington Post blog: 1. Wyoming (D): Don’t be fooled by the election of Rep. Walt Minnick (D) last November. Wyoming is still rock-ribbed Republican country and without term-limited Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D) on the ticket, this is going to be an almost impossible hold for Democrats. Minnick gets some mention as a possible candidate but he seems likely to revel in the House majority for the next two years. Beyond Minnick there is virtually no Democratic bench in the state. Two statewide elected Republicans — the Agriculture Commissioner and the Auditor — as well as state House Speaker Colin Simpson are weighing bids. More here.

Question: Do you think Congressman Walt Minnick will have to become a DINO to win re-election in two years?

APhoto Of The Day — 1/26/09

 Dawn rides atop Dan, a border collie, during a break in bull riding action at the Fear No Evil Bull Riding Challenge on Saturday in Houma La. The act featured two monkey-toting collies rounding up a herd of rams. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Houma Courier, Matt Stamey)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Chasing the ram’s mate, but dog-tired after all of the monkeying around, it Dawns on Dan that for them to win he better make a quick ewe turn — JohnA
  • 2. (Dawn) Bananas, bananas, bananas…
    (Dan) Tummy rub, tummy rub, tummy rub… DanJ
  • 3. This gives new meaning to having a monkey on your back — Liz
  • HM: Idaho Escapee

A Peace Initiative Dogwalk Style

How do you effectively fight a war when our guys stand out like beacons because of their armor and uniforms while the opposition fades into civilian crowds because they don’t dress for war! They surely do match us in weaponry. I’m just a bit edgy these days but I’m tired of these governments scolding us when it’s our young men and women who are being maimed or slaughtered to keep their sorry selves in power. War is Hell. Civilians get killed. If they don’t want their civilians killed stop the wars! Quit blaming us. If they don’t want us there, let’s oblige them. I’m sure all our Johnnie’s would be more than happy to come marching home/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: How soon will President Barack Obama get troops out of Iraq & Afghanistan?

Hall: Seeking A Leader Just Like Me

Similarly, millions of voters during the presidential election said they preferred some of the lighter and less experienced candidates because he or she was “just like me.” That disturbing declaration tended to temper my tendency to identify personally with several of the candidates. A troubling question came to mind: Do those who say they favor a given candidate because that candidate is “just like me” mean to imply that they are as smart as that particular candidate and equally qualified to be president? Or do they mean that we should all welcome a candidate as ordinary and inept as we are?/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. Full column below.

Question: Would you want a president that was just like you?

AM Headlines — 1/26/09

 Patrick Adair, 12, of Nampa, Idaho, right, sticks our his tongue as he gets a close look at a common boa constrictor with Olivia Fisher, 5, left, and Isaiah Fisher, 12, middle at the aquarium displays set up by the Idaho Herpetological Society at the Saturday at the Nampa Civic Center. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune, Greg Kreller)

Mining Magnate Magnuson Dead @ 85

People called Harry F. Magnuson “Mr. Wallace,” but his reach stretched far beyond his hometown. He saved historic buildings from wrecking balls and helped rescue Gonzaga University from financial collapse. Magnuson believed that tourism and recreation would revive his beloved Silver Valley, and he lived long enough to see this vision become reality. Magnuson, 85, died Saturday at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. His son, John Magnuson, said that his father was being treated for pneumonia when he died of a heart attack. “Everybody has a Harry Magnuson story,” said Ron Garitone, mayor of Wallace. “The man loved the little town. He grew up in it. He still has a house here. He’s what we’d call a ‘good old Wallace boy,’ but his (influence) goes way beyond our little community”/Rebecca Nappi, SR. More here.

David Bond’s article re: ‘Lion of Wallace’

Question: Do you have a Harry Magnuson story?

WND Poll: Coach Fired For 100-0 Win

 Dallas Academy’s Shelby Hyatt, from left, Lauren Click, center, and Eleanor Callan, right, participate in a shoot-around in the schools gymnasium in Dallas Thursday. Covenant, a private Christian school in Dallas, defeated Dallas Academy 100-0 last week. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Do you agree with the firing of the coach whose basketball team won 100-0?/WorldNetDaily

  • No, we need more coaches like this
  • No, the coach’s team played an honorable game
  • No, the coach did nothing wrong
  • No, political correctness has run amok when student athletes are told they shouldn’t score
  • No, this whole thing has been blown way out of proportion

401(k) Investors Shouldn’t Bail Out

Item: Nervous 401(k) investors shouldn’t bail out/Chris Barone, CDA Press

More Info: By continuing to invest a fixed dollar amount each month into your 401(k)’s stock portfolio, you’re able to buy more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when prices rise. Add that to your employer’s matching contribution and tax-deferred compounding, and you’re poised to see the value of your plan go up when the market rebounds.

Question: Are you still putting money into a 401(k)? Or have you bailed out?

Brand X: Reappraise Ed Corridor Land

Item: Ed corridor considerations: The world looked a whole lot different six months ago/CDA Press editorial board

More Info: Property values have fallen, leading reasonable people to suggest that a new appraisal of the site is warranted — particularly because most, if not all of the purchase price will be coming from Kootenai County taxpayers via tax increases.

Question: Should North Idaho College seek another appraisal of the old DeArmond Mill site that is proposed to serve as a future education corridor along the Spokane River? Or should trustees move ahead with the purchase b/c waterfront property is still prime land, even in a downturn?

Anderson: Infrastructure Stalemate

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card — 1/25/09

In the news this morning, Barack Obama took a swipe at Rush Limbaugh to make a point with congressional Republicans here. Mariana Bridi, the Brazilian beauty queen who lost her hands and feet to disease, has died here. ‘Slumdog’ won the top film award from Hollywood producers here. The pilot who landed his jet safely in the Hudson River received a hero’s homecoming here. And I’ll let you entertain yourselves with this Wild Card today …

Idaho 67, New Mexico State 57

 Idaho guard Kashif Watson (32) shoots over New Mexico State guard Hernst Laroche (13) during the first half of an NCAA basketball game Saturday at the Cowan Spectrum in Moscow, Idaho. (AP Photo/Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Dean Hare)

Wild Card — 1/24/09

In the news this morning, Apple’s MacIntosh is celebrating its 25th anniversary here. Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has taken to the offensive in the fight for his political life against federal corruption charges here. Starbucks employees are bracing for another layoff here. The IRS claims WaMu owes $12.5B here. Costco sees an upside to the down economy here. And you can play this Wild Card to start your own threads …

Indiana Provides New Miss America

Miss Indiana Katie Stam, center, is crowned Miss America 2009 with host Mario Lopez, left, in Las Vegas on tonight. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

PFPD Blue Nabs Robbery Suspect

At about 12:42 a.m. today, Post Falls Police received a tip from Spokane Crime Stoppers that Michael Miller was staying in a local hotel in the Post Falls area. Miller was wanted for the armed robbery of a Walgreens Store on North Argonne in the Spokane Valley.  Miller allegedly entered the Walgreens store with a knife and demanded Methadone and Oxycontin. After receiving the tip, Post Falls officers responded to the Howard Johnson Inn, and took Mr. Miller into custody without incident. During the arrest, officers located paraphernalia that had been used to smoke Oxycontin, as well as, cash that is believed to be proceeds of drug sales. Mill was taken to the county jail, where he was booked on a fugitive warrant and for possession of paraphernalia with the intent to use/Post Falls Blue news release. KREM2 story here.

Zags Coast, Cougs Fall By 2 Again

Gonzaga’s Austin Daye, left, fights for the ball against Loyola Marymount’s  Brad Sweezy, center, and Vernon Teel during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles tonight. (AP Photo/Hector Mata)

Online Poll: Vote For Dirk?

Question: Would you vote for Dirk Kempthorne if he ran for president?/Idaho Statesman

  • Yes
  • No
  • Who is Dirk Kempthorne?


Me, Thou & Obama

This photo provided by Mark Bernstein of Bethesda, Md., shows Bernstein with Carolyn Weiss of Rockville, Md., at the West front of the U.S. Capitol on the National Mall in Washington Tuesday, during the inauguration ceremony for President Barack Obama. Bernstein chose the setting of Obama’s inauguration to declare his love for Weiss and ask her to marry him. She said yes.  (AP Photo/Courtesy of Mark Bernstein)

Question: Where did your marriage proposal take place?

Johnston: Gay Is The New Black

The consensus among Americans is that if you’re gay or lesbian you are somehow less of a human being than your heterosexual peers. The venom spewed by the likes of Fred Phelps and even Bryan Fischer would make you think that gays are the spawn of Satan and this hate speech against the gay community is generally accepted because, well, gay is the new black. But it’s not just the gay and lesbian community. Folks who hold different religious beliefs, including the members of Christ Church, are demonized because of their beliefs. We must remember that we are a country of freedom. Free to believe what you want to believe and how you want to believe it. But there is a very thin line between your freedom to believe what you want and at the same time not leading a crusade to take freedoms away from your fellow citizens/Henry Johnston, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Full column below.

Question: Do you agree or disagree with Henry “Digger” Johnston that ‘gay is the new black’?

Costello: Prop 8 Foes Intimidate Donors

When Proposition 8 passed, gay activists didn’t just get mad; they went about getting even. To do so, same-sex marriage advocates exploited California’s campaign finance laws to discover the names of all donors to the “Yes on Proposition 8” campaign and have not only posted their names, addresses and other personal information online, but used Google’s Map application to supply directions to whoever wishes to track down the donors and target them for intimidation, harassment or possibly, violence. The Nuremberg Files was the creation of a lone crank in Georgia. In this case, the world’s largest search engine has lent itself as a facilitator for intimidation and will share moral, if not legal, complicity when one or more of Proposition 8’s supporters come to harm/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. Full column below.

Question: Do you agree or disagree with Costello — that Proposition 8 opponents & Google’s Map are using the same tactics as anti-abortion Nuremberg Files in publishing the names and other vital information of individuals to punish them?

Popkey: Barrett Lets ‘Er Rip

Barrett was once detained at the Boise airport for carrying a derringer in her luggage and is renowned for pungent quotes skewering what she views as an overreaching government. “I wish I’d kept a notebook and written all those down,” said House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale. An example from earlier in the week: Former House Speaker Bruce Newcomb, who now lobbies for Boise State, was introducing his new intern, Christy Perry, to legislators. Barrett gave Perry a useful thumbnail: “I don’t spin and I don’t raise taxes!” Barrett chairs the House Local Government Committee and is beginning her ninth two-year term/Dan Popkey, Idaho statesman. More here.

Question: Who is the most colorful lawmaker that you’ve known?

OTV Review: Golden Dragon

The place was full of large, talkative families who added aggressively to the overall din along with the emphatic Chinese discourse emerging from the kitchen, the cheerful gossip of the waitresses, and the syrupy Asian pop music The place was full of large, talkative families who added aggressively to the overall din along with the emphatic Chinese discourse emerging from the kitchen, the cheerful gossip of the waitresses, and the syrupy Asian pop music each other’s cochlear implants as we discussed the massive framed watercolor that hung right above us, a painting of wild horses splashing along the beach at sunset signed with Chinese characters that probably translate to something like “Under pink sky /the color of spicy shrimp/you rude/belch too loud/make wild horses run away”/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: What do you think of the food at the Golden Dragon/Post Falls? Ever been there?

Huckleberries: I Swear

County Clerk Dan English empathizes with Chief Justice John Roberts after that bobble while administering the oath of office to President Barack Obama on Tuesday. English admits he’s missed a word or two while swearing in deputies in his various departments, during his long tenure as clerk. (All county elected officials except commissioners have sworn deputies.) The oath he administers is similar to the ones that are recited by the governor and, to some extent, the president. English offers a key tip to those swearers as well as the swearees: KISS (or, Keep It Short, Stupid – my words, not English’s). Says English: “I’ve learned over the years through trial and error that it is best to just go a few words at a time so it doesn’t make it awkward for them or me. I think we even had a few minor stumbles recently when our county elected officials were sworn in.” It may seem easy to repeat about three dozen words, but humans are human, says English, adding: “In the end though, just like in a marriage, it’s how the oath is fulfilled, not how it was uttered that will be important”/DFO, Handle Extra Huckleberries. More here.

Question: Do you think Chief Justice John Roberts’ flub of the presidential oath was a big deal?

WND Poll: Stem-Cell Research

Question: What’s your view on embryonic stem-cell research?/WorldNetDaily Poll

  • An embryo is not the same thing as a baby - get over it!
  • If the GOP fetus lovers hadn’t put so many roadblocks in the way, thousands of sufferers would already have benefited from this
  • The real ethical crime is disposing of the byproducts of pregnancy termination that could be used to cure diseases
  • The opposition comes from those who are healthy and have healthy children
  • Research should be expanded with women being permitted to voluntarily contribute embryos for scientific research


Wild Card — 1/23/09

In the news this evening, Rod Blagojevich’s attorney has bailed from the Illinois governor’s fraud and bribery case here. 45 Gitmo prisoners are on a hunger strike despite Obama’s order here. Hillary Clinton’s replacement in the U.S. Senate has risen quickly to political power here. 3 people are accused of an extortion plot against John Travolta here. And it’s time to replay the Wild Card and go home for the weekend …

Parting Shot — 1/23/09

“North Idaho temperatures are taking a dip in the next few days,” posts Councilwoman KerriT/OnLocation North Idaho, ”dropping down into the single digits. Bundle up and enjoy the beauty of fog on the lake and the icy artistry on the trees. This solitary boater has a chilly Lake Coeur d’Alene all to himself.”

SR’s Today In Photos

Love: Do My Dogs (Heart) Me?

I heard it for the first time while driving home from town the other day. At first, I thought I probably had heard it wrong. Then, the singer crooned the line again. It went something like this: Oh Lord, let me be what my dog thinks of me. Not a bad goal, I thought. Then, I got to wondering: what DO my dogs think of me? What do my horses think of me. What do my cats think of me? And, Lord, what about my family and my friends?/Marianne Love, Slight Detour. More here.

Question: Can you tell whether your pets like/love you?

Barker: Dirk Vs. Barack In 2012?

Kempthorne is testing the waters about a possible run in 2012. Kempthorne has a proven track record of accomplishment as Boise Mayor, U.S. Senator, governor and Interior secretary,” Bogert said. “His record of accomplishment in 23 years of service is something that he can be proud of and Idaho can be proud of,” Bogert said/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What would you think of Dirk Kempthorne running for president in ‘08?

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 1/23/09

 Three-year-old Kyra Wine is at home with her grandparents George and Deanna and sister Amanda, 6. The toddler has undergone several surgeries since she was taken from the Hells Gulch home of her mother, Christina Haynes, last June. Today, 29-year-old Charles Smith admitted he inflicted Kyra’s injuries. See highlighted item below. Photo by Ralph Bartholdt, St. Maries Gazette Record.

 Smith Admits Kyra Wine Abuse: The North Idaho man authorities say is responsible for the worst case of child abuse in Benewah County history has admitted he was guilty for Kyra Wine’s injuries. Twenty-nine-year-old Charles Smith has pled guilty to severely abusing his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter Kyra Wine. Smith changed his plea to guilty Friday morning/KXLY. More here.

APhoto Of The Day — 1/23/09

 Swiss skier Daniel Albrecht looses control during a downhill training on the legendary Streif downhill course in Kitzbuehel, Austria, Thursday. Albrecht injured himself in the crash after he lost control and flew through the air for about 40 meters (yards) coming to a stop near the finish line. You write the cutline.

  • 1. Liftoff having been achieved, landing may be a problem — Charlie.
  • 2. “Oh’great! Now I’m going to look like that ski jumper who crashes on Wide World of Sports.Help me Jim,it’s going to be agony of de feet!” — Kage Mann.
  • 3. this is going to leave a mark — JeanieSpokane
  • HM: S & S Herb


Scanner Traffic — 1/23/09

  • 5:45 p.m. A woman is yelling at onlookers as she tries to get children who aren’t hers into a brand sedan across from Heart of the City Church.
  • 5:24 p.m. Landlord reports his evicted tenant is screaming at him while the tenant moves out of his lodging on Cranston.
  • 4:00 p.m. Injured dog running loose on Howard near Highway 54/Athol area.
  • 3:51 p.m. A “deceased dog” can be found on the east side of 95 by Ohio Match.
  • 3:20 p.m. Occupants @ 650 Dana Lane are trying to extinguish a fire in a microwave.
  • 2:12 p.m. A large box is blocking one lane of travel @ I-90 & Pleasantview exit.
  • 1:57 p.m. Injured animal reported. Later: An officer says: “I’m requesting that they help with deer because there’s nothing we can do.”

Macs? PCs? Both Have Pros, Cons

They’re sleek. They’re hip. But darn are they hard to deal with when there’s a problem. University students with Macs face overwhelmingly few options when their machine is in need of repair. “We need an Apple store. With as many people on this campus who have Macs [Spokane] needs an Apple store,” said junior Rachel Harper. Harper has had her share of problems with her Apple laptop computer (donned a “Mac”). Her freshman year, after working on a term paper all night, she woke the next morning to a picture of a folder with a question mark on her screen. Apple support recommended that Harper take her Mac to the nearby CompUSA/Asia Hege, Gonzaga Bulletin. More here.

Question: Which do you prefer — Mac or PC?

Jake: ‘Lighten Up’

People made a stink over Dr. Joseph Lowery’s benediction at the inauguration. They say his prayers for a day when “brown would stick around,” “the red man would get ahead, man” and “white would embrace what is right” are in bad taste. He was merely throwing a little humor into a serious event and hoping for a day when we are all equal. Lighten up/Jake Barber, photo editor, UI Argonaut. More Off The Cuff.

Question: Were you bugged by Dr. Lowery’s light-hearted prayer at the inauguration?

Local Blogs — What If It Was Joe?

Granati gives us a bird’s-eye view of a car wash at OrangeFrog 76.

What if I waited for Joe? Would divorce and single motherhood still be in my future? Where would I live? Who would I be? Would I be Mrs. Joe or would I be Jeanie, formed from my past struggles and obstacles into a person who takes such things in stride, if not with a sense of humor. Would I have lost that person to become Mrs. Joe? Or would having wealth and prosperity and St. George’s school for my sons make me into something else. Would I have had more children? Would I have a daughter? Would Joe have been like my Dad, loving and kind, successful, affluent? Or was Joe only human too?/JeanieSpokane. More here.

HBO Numbers: 6103 page-views/3395 unique views

Question: Have you ever wondered what would have happened had you married another sweetheart rather than the one you ended up with?

Disease Claims Beauty’s Hands, Feet

 In this undated photo released by NOROCK, Brazilian model Mariana Bridi poses during a photo session in Vitoria, Brazil. According to Espirito Santo Health Secretariat, 20-year-old Bridi is fighting a generalized infection which caused the amputation of both her hands and feet last week after the flow of oxygen to her limbs got compromised. Authorities said Bridi’s condition deteriorated overnight and was changed from “serious” to “very serious”. Story here. (AP Photo/ Octavio Bastos/ NOROCK)

Tantrums: Clean Up On Aisle 5

Forget about football and basketball. Tantrum-defusing is Spokane’s No. 1 spectator sport. Practically everybody goes to the grocery store. And sooner or later we all witness little kids having meltdowns. So we also get to see how parents handle these public scenes. As you might have noticed, approaches and results vary. Some parents remain calm. They count on exhaustion or the eventual triumph of reason. Others lose it right along with their child down there on the floor, kicking and screaming. That can get ugly. Now it almost goes without saying that there are right ways and wrong ways to conduct yourself on the periphery of a category 5 tantrum/Paul Turner, SR Slice, More here.

Question: Paul Turner goes on to give several “right” and “wrong” ways to handle a tantrum when someone else’s kid is throwing a fit. How do you handle a tantrum when you encounter one at a store?

Hval: Did You Marry ‘Dream’ Person?

When they got to a restaurant she didn’t want to have to get back in the car with her date, but she had no money for a taxi. She spotted her landlady, Gert, and asked for cab fare, but Gert and her date didn’t have cash or a car either. “Let’s ask Denny,” she said, leading Vina to the table where her dream man sat. The evening stretched into the wee hours of the morning. “It ended up being a double date,” she said. At 2 a.m. they had a fried chicken feast at a local restaurant, and at 5 a.m. Denis took her to Mass, even though he wasn’t Catholic at the time. Two weeks later, 19-year-old Vina and 27-year-old Denis were married/Cindy Hval, SR Voices. More here.

Question: How long did you date your spouse before you married?

HBO’s Best Of The INW — 1/23/09

Greg Halvorson, of Portland, holds a sign outside of Portland City Hall in protest against Mayor Sam Adams. Adams, who admitted lying about a 2005 sexual relationship with an 18-year-old boy, says Portlanders should know “within days” whether he will resign. Meanwhile, Orbusmax reports that problems are mounting for the Portland mayor here. (AP Photo/Oregonian,Ross William Hamilton)


NY Rep Gets Hillary’s Senate Seat

Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks during a news conference in Albany, N.Y., today. Gillibrand, a second-term lawmaker from upstate New York, was named to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated when Hillary Rodham Clinton resigned to become secretary of state in the Obama administration. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Idaho Blogs:

University of Idaho’s Eric Hunter falls into the end zone after blocking the first quarter Idaho State punt of Jon Vanderwielen Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008, in Moscow. Now, Collingwood Corner reports on his blog that Idaho State will play national power Oklahoma next year here.   (AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune, Steve Hanks)

Question: At Collingwood Corner, the blogmaster points out that Idaho State (which had one win in the 2008 campaign in Division I-AA competition, will play No. 5 Oklahoma and Arizona State next year. It’ll receive $500,000 for playing Oklahoma. Should Idaho State be scheduling games against top I-A teams?

Reporter’s Question Angers Obama

Item: Obama flashes irritation in press room/Politico

More Info: President Obama made a surprise visit to the White House press corps Thursday night, but got agitated when he was faced with a substantive question. Asked how he could reconcile a strict ban on lobbyists in his administration with a Deputy Defense Secretary nominee who lobbied for Raytheon, Obama interrupted with a knowing smile on his face. ”Ahh, see,” he said, “I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can’t end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I’m going to get grilled every time I come down here.”

Question: How open will Obama be to the media, after he’s been stung by them a time or two? Do you care if he’s open with the media?

Technical Difficulties

I’m having trouble posting photos today. The techs are working on the problem.

Duncan Extradited To California

Joseph Duncan, the notorious serial killer and child molester whose attack on a Coeur d’Alene family shocked the state, has been extradited to California, where he faces another possible death sentence for the 1997 kidnap and murder of 10-year-old Anthony Martinez. Earlier, Duncan received three death sentences in federal court in Boise for the kidnap, torture and murder of 9-year-old Dylan Groene of Coeur d’Alene, and multiple life sentences for the murders of Dylan’s mother, mother’s fiance and 13-year-old brother, and for the kidnap and molesting of his then-8-year-old sister Shasta, the only one to survive Duncan’s 2005 attack on the family/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you think the prosecutor in California is trying to gain the notoriety of prosecuting Duncan, who already is on Death Row? Or is he trying to serve justice?

TUBOB: On Muscular Leaf Lettuce

So, I’m shopping for a few groceries this evening at Safeway and as always am jetting right past the organic foods, and as I shove my cart I muse a bit about my resistance to purchasing and eating organics. It’s partly the expense in these treacherous economic times, but that’s kind of a red herring actually, yes, organic foodstuffs are more expensive, but the true and most real reason I don’t eat them is they gross (me out). When I think of organic foods I think of crops eaten to pieces by horrid mutant crop bugs, the size of kittens, clacking and clattering with shiny chrome carapaces and antennas like swords. Bugs made fat and deadly on vegetables and grains grown sans pesticides and herbicides. I don’t want to eat a carrot with carrot weevil fang marks on it and bug crap smeared deep in the orange carrot crevices. Yuck/TUBOB. More here.

Question: Does organic food gross you out, too?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 1/23/09

Looks like the ITD board is going to reverse itself today and put the Dover Bridge back on the list of “shovel-ready” projects that are candidates for federal economic stimulus funds. Their excuse: Now it looks like we’ll get more money, so they don’t have to pare down the list. Earlier they bumped the North Idaho bridge that’s received national attention as one of the worst in the country, because they wanted to spread the money to other parts of the state. Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise reports that Gov. Otter is happy with the change of heart here.

She’s Ba-a-a-ck And Running Things

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin gives the state of the state address to a joint session of the Senate and House in the Capitol in Juneau, Alaska on Thursday as Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, left, and House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski listen. (AP Photo/Al Grillo)

Question: Who plays a better Sarah Palin — Sarah herself? Or Tina Fey?

Online Poll: Twitter, Facebook, Anyone?

Do you use Twitter, Facebook or other social networking sites often?/Idaho Statesman

  • Constantly
  • Once a day
  • Once a week
  • Never

Survey: Global Warming Ranks Last

Item: Economy, Jobs Trump All Other Policy Priorities In 2009: Environment, Immigration, Health Care Slip Down the List/Pew Research Center

More Info: As Barack Obama takes office, the public’s focus is overwhelmingly on domestic policy concerns – particularly the economy. Strengthening the nation’s economy and improving the job situation stand at the top of the public’s list of domestic priorities for 2009. Meanwhile, the priority placed on issues such as the environment, crime, illegal immigration and even reducing health care costs has fallen off from a year ago.

Question: No surprise that economy and jobs are the top two concerns that Americans have as the Obama administration begins. Are you surprised that global warming is dead last?

No Tony Stewart, No Popcorn Forum

Item: NIC cancels popcorn forum: Funding, format cited as reasons for cut/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: It’s the first time since 1970 that the annual lecture series and symposium will not be held on the college campus. Open to the public each spring, the forum featured a week-long string of lectures, panel discussions and workshops focused on critical political and cultural issues. “The Popcorn Forum has been a valued program at North Idaho College for more than 30 years,” said NIC Vice President for Instruction Jay Lee. “And while it will certainly be missed this year, it has not been forgotten.”

Question: Should North Idaho College make a stronger effort to continue the Popcorn Forum? Or should the college simply let it retire as guiding light Tony Stewart did?

Wild Card — 1/22/09

In the news this evening, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid predicts that Treasury nominee Timothy Geithner will win approval, despite his tax problems, here. Pro-lifers marked the 36th anniversary on Roe-v-Wade with a rally at the National Mall here. Reportedly, Sarah Palin is working on a book here. Obama’s urging Israel to open Gaza borders, a departure from Bush policies, here. And the Wild Card remains on the table …

Zags Win, Cougs Fall By 2 To UCLA

 Gonzaga’s Demetri Goodson drives past Pepperdine’s Keion Bell during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Malibu, Calif.,  this evening. Gonzaga game story & boxscore here. (AP Photo/Branimir Kvartuc)

Police Recapture Post Falls Escapee

At 4:10 p.m., Coeur d’Alene Police with assistance from Post Falls Police, took Cherish D. Miller, 19, of Coeur d’Alene, into custody after receiving a tip that she was at her parent’s residence at Sonic Drive and Mullan Avenue in Post Falls. Her parents were not home when officers arrived. Miller was still wearing the handcuffs on her left hand. She was transported to jail and is facing charges for escape and malicious injury to property, due to the damage to the patrol vehicle/CPD Blue press release.

Parting Shot — 1/22/09

Chris Kunishige and his daughter Sarah, age 3 years from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho,, take a break from visiting the 2009 RV Show at the Spokane Fair & Expo Center in Spokane, Wash., today. They have recently purchased a RV but were there helping friends look for a RV.  DAN PELLE The Spokesman-Review.

UI Jettisons Mixed-Gender Housing

The University of Idaho is ditching a plan to allow students of the opposite sex to live together in campus suites when the fall semester begins in August. In a statement Thursday, interim university president Steven Daley-Laursen says he is not comfortable with the proposal because although the suites have private bedrooms, they include shared bathrooms/AP. More here.

Question: Did the University of Idaho make the right decision in the end?

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 1/22/09

White ice crystals, known as radiation frost, decorate the flag on a mail box Wednesday in Coeur d’Alene. The tiny spikes form on cold clear nights when radiation losses into the open skies cause objects to become colder than the surrounding air. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos)

APhoto Of The Day — 1/22/09

In this two image composite, Laura Zuniga is crowned as Miss Sinaloa state at left in the city of Mazatlan, Mexico July 8, 2008, and is shown to the press with unidentified gunmen after her recent arrest in the city of Zapopan, Mexico. Police said Zuniga who was stopped at a checkpoint, was riding in one of two trucks with seven men, where soldiers found a large stash of weapons and some $53,300 in U.S. currency. You write the cutline. (AP Photo)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1.  I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to smuggle weapons, um, some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq and everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future” (Miss South Carolina Teen) Kateforkathleen.
  • 2. Do these automatic weapons make my butt look fat? — Joker.
  • 3. Ms. Zuniga, based on your weapons arrest, you will have to forfeit your title as Miss Sinaloa. However, based on the same arrest, Mexico City called and offered you their crown — Cabbage Boy.
  • HM: JohnA

PM Scanner Traffic — 1/22/09

  • 5:54 p.m. A drunk man has left a day care near 15th & Pennsylvania, n/b on 15th.
  • 5:12 p.m. Kirk reports that a female is stealing his pickup.
  • 5:08 p.m. A man reportedly is bleeding and suffering chest pains in a trailer court behind KKJ Pizza/Athol.
  • 4:21 p.m. R/P reports that a male hit another male in the face at the Harmony House on Dakota Avenue.
  • 1:47 p.m. R/P reports that a neighbor’s horses are running loose on Hayden.
  • 1 p.m. CPD Blue officers are looking for a handcuffed woman who escaped from the back of a patrol car. She reportedly is in the 4500 block of Fairway Forest, near the Kroc Center and an apartment complex. An escape warrant has been added to misdemeanor warrant for her. Update: A CityLink bus driver later reported that she’d dropped off a “suspicious” acting woman in a brown hoodie and two males @ 15th & Sherman.
  • 12:28 p.m. A family has evacuated its home as a result of a chimney fire @ 2813 Clara.

NIC Picks Martin As New Spokesman

John Martin has been selected as the new vice president for community relations and marketing at North Idaho College, a role he was appointed to on temporary assignment in August of 2008. Martin was asked to serve in the interim after former NIC vice president for community relations Kent Propst accepted a position as the executive director of the foundation of Peru State College in Nebraska. Martin served as the regional director for U.S. Senator Larry Craig’s North Idaho office from 2004 to 2008. Prior to that, he was the disabled veterans outreach program manager for the Idaho Department of Labor.His background also includes more than 30 years of human resources experience both in private industry and the military. He retired as lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Air Force after 24 years of service/NIC news release. Full release below.


Another NW Pol Caught In Sex Scandal

Mayor Sam Adams apologizes for his  lie and his sexual relationship with an 18 year old (who may have been under-age at the time) at a press conference in the Rose Room Tuesday at City Hall in Portland, Ore. Randy Stapilus no longer believes that Adams’ scandal will blow over here. And Michael Costello of Red County believes the media is ignoring the fact that Adams is a Democrat here. (AP Photo/  Benjamin Brink/The Oregonian.

Question: Should Sam Adams step down for lying about this affair, especially if it’s discovered that the individual involved was under-aged at the time? Or should he soldier on and make his constituents recall him, as was the case with Spokane Mayor Jim West?

CPD Blue Seeks Female Escapee

Coeur d’Alene Police are looking for Cherish D. Miller, 19, of Post Falls, who escaped from police custody at 12:35 p.m. today. Miller was detained for a misdemeanor warrant for failure to appear on a crime she was charged with while still a minor. She was handcuffed and placed into the rear seat of a marked patrol car. The patrol vehicle was not running and the doors were locked. While the officer was interviewing other suspects with warrants at the residence, Miller pried off a foam seal around the window of the cage that separates officers from suspects. It is believed she slipped her cuffs in order to have her hands in front of her. She opened the slide mechanism on the window of the cage and. She climbed through the cage and exited the vehicle. Officers searched the surrounding area for Miller but couldn’t find her. Miller is a white female, 5’8, 130, blonde hair (was pinned up today) and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing black pants, black Vans shoes, and a black and red flannel jacket. She is possibly still wearing handcuffs.

Local Blogs — 1/22/09

“Rathdrum Creek runs off Rathdrum Mountain and here, where it flows through Rathdrum City Park, outcroppings from the shore create an icy mosaic,” posts Kerri/OnLocation North Idaho.

My husband sent me a text and I replied to him to be safe and that I loved him. A few minutes later, I got a text from my boss saying he thought highly of me too, but he was sure my text of love was for my hubby. I turned several shades of red, then giggled as I realized what I had done, and turned more shades of red/Live, Love, Laugh, Hope (“Color Me Red”). More here.

Question: Have you ever sent a personal note to a family member or loved one, only to be embarrassed when it accidentally landed in someone else’s e-mailbox?

EOB: Limit Nonresident ‘Super Hunts’?

Rep. Steve Kren, R-Nampa, got himself peppered with questions today when he proposed legislation in the House Resources Committee to limit so-called “super hunts” mostly to state residents, allowing only 10 percent of the permits to go to non-residents. That’s the case already for most controlled hunts, but the super hunts are a special program in which about 40 tags are raffled off each year, allowing the winners to choose from any valid open hunt in the state. Kren said about 30 percent of the winners have been out-of-staters, and that’s gotten folks in his district grumbling/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you support Rep. Kren’s idea re: limiting the number of nonresidents who can participate in Idaho’s “super hunts”?

Huckleberries Best of INW — 1/22/09

At Eye On Boise, Betsy Russell tells us that a “suspicious” package containing hair products for Sen. Gary Schroeder, R-Moscow, shut down the down the state mailroom and parking garage above it temporarily Wednesday. When Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis poked fun, Schroeder responded: “I guess all of you know why I’m so beautiful now.” Betsy tells you all about it here.

HBO @ Noon: Senior Computer Primer

Item: Seniors tackle, master basics in Computer Kindergarten: As easy as tying your shoes/Cindy Hval, SR Voices

More Info: This three-day computer class is designed to introduce novices to the world of Windows, keyboards and mysterious icons. Fender teaches at the Hillyard Center and said he’s instructed students from age 55-90. Older students are often “afraid of the computer,” he said, because they haven’t used one. But according to Fender, “They’re the largest new group of computer users.”

Question: Do you plan to learn a new/different skill after you retire?

Nazis Adopt Missouri Highway

Traffic passes by an Adopt-A-Highway sign along U.S. Highway 160 in Springfield, Mo., Thursday. A neo-Nazi group recently volunteered to clean up trash along the stretch of roadway on Springfield’s west side. Members of the highway cleanup program are required to clean up trash at least four times a year. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Question: Would you be more apt to litter along this stretch of highway? Or to call Adopt-A-Highway officials and ask what’s going on?

AM Scanner Traffic — 1/22/09

  • 12:28 p.m. Chimney fire @ 2813 Clara. Family has evacuated building.
  • 11:54 a.m. Possible prowler in 3800 block of Sherlock.
  • 11:53 a.m. KEC currently has a power outage from Fighting Creek Road south on both sides of Hwy. 95 to Hwy. 58 (Plummer/Worley area). Approximately 800 members are affected. KEC is working to restore power by 9 a.m.
  • 10:57 a.m. R/P reports an elderly man is driving n/b in s/b lane @ 95 & Kathleen.
  • 9:57 a.m. A 90YO woman on the east side of CDA fell down 10 stairs last night and remained at the bottom of the stairs until found by a neighbor this morning. She’s in pain.
  • 9:54 a.m. An officer calls for sand to deal with a solid sheet of ice @ 8th & Pennsylvania.
  • 8:31 a.m. 50ish man complaining of chest pain @ Flying J Truck Stop/Post Falls.
  • 11:16 a.m. A 2YO boy in a residence near the intersection of Spirit Lake Road & Highway 41 has swallowed bleach.

Idaho Blogs: Is Dissent Now Wrong?

Does Rush Limbaugh hate this country? When was this ever asked about people who spent years doing nothing but undermining the efforts of our troops and our nation overseas? What we’ve been hearing for years is that not only is it okay to undermine your country and the commander-in-chief in a time of war, but, “Don’t question their patriotism.” And let me say this, I didn’t recall a whole lot of people shouting, “I hope Bush succeeds” back in 2001 from the left. In the aftermath of Florida, the far left was gunning for Bush/Adam’s Blog. More here.

Question: Has dissent become unpatriotic as the age of Obama dawns?

EOB: Dover Bridge Back On List

Item: Dover Bridge back on stimulus list/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise

More Info: The Idaho Transportation Board, meeting this morning in Boise, has voted 4-1 to put the Dover Bridge and the I-84 Vista Interchange back on its list of “shovel-ready” projects ready to receive federal economic stimulus funds. Two weeks ago, the board had crossed those two projects off the priority list, saying they wanted to spread the money around the state. “Things are changing on a daily basis regarding potential stimulus package,” ITD Director Pam Lowe told the board.

Question: Did the Transportation Board find more money? Or did it give in to common sense and pressure? After all, the Dover Bridge was listed as one of the 10 in most need of attention in the country.

20% Of UI Fall Frosh Failing

Item: 20% of UI frosh failing academically/Travis Mason-Bushman, UI Argonaut

More Info: Twenty percent of the University of Idaho’s 2008 freshman class is on academic probation this spring, and that stark figure, released by the Office of the Dean of Students last week, put UI officials on a mission to help these students boost their academic performance and get back on track for graduation. A total of 405 UI freshmen were placed on academic probation as a result of their fall semester or cumulative grade point averages falling below 2.0.

Question: Do you think University of Idaho is that demanding academically? Or are many in the fall freshman class lazy or too busy with non-academic pursuits?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 1/22/09

 Geese forage for food on a grassy slope Wednesday, near Lake Coeur d’Alene in Coeur d’Alene. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos)

Obama To Sign Gitmo Closure Order

Item: Obama to sign Gitmo closure order today: Relatives of 9/11 victims have said they oppose further delay in trials/CBS

More Info: President Barack Obama plans to sign on Thursday an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center (AP photo above) within a year and halt military trials of terror suspects held there, the Associated Press reported. The executive order was one of three expected imminently on how to interrogate and prosecute al Qaeda, Taliban or other foreign fighters believed to threaten the United States. Update here.

Question: Will Obama be disrespecting the memory of 9/11 victims if he closes the Guantanamo Bay detention center?

Columnist: Mix Genders, Mix Messages

It is painfully obvious some would chose to room with a significant other. This is America, and two consenting adults are free to do whatever they can possibly imagine. However, this is with the state’s assistance. While I am sure our student body is doing everything possible to be “safe,” accidents do happen, and the state is currently working to prevent unwanted pregnancies and financially supporting single mothers. It is counterproductive for the state to simultaneously support mixed-gender cohabitation while at the same time pleading for people to abstain until they are financially solvent/Jeff Reznicek, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: Is the University of Idaho sending mixed messages with its intention to offer mixed-gender housing?

Grandpa Lives In NIC Dorm

Item: Naples grandfather takes us NIC dorm life: Student didn’t want to make long driver every day/Gwen Albers, Hagadone News Network

More Info: Roger Kramer occasionally has to ask his neighbors to turn down the rock music. These aren’t his neighbors in Naples, but at North Idaho College, where the 58-year-old former long-haul trucker lives in the dorm. “I just yell over to them,” Kramer said when his fellow students crank up the likes of AC/DC or Metallica. An accident that left Kramer with crushed vertebrae and fractured discs in his back made it impossible to continue trucking, so he gave up his career of 32 years.

Question: Are you with it enough at your age to survive life in a dorm?

Stantis: The Party’s Over

Scott Stantis/Birmingham News

Life-After-Bush Wild Card — 1/20/09

In the news this evening: Caroline Kennedy is bowing out of the U.S. Senate stakes in New York here. President Obama is ready to lay off torturers at Gitmo here. Obama short-circuited any possible right-wing conspiracy theory by re-taking the oath of office here. A new study concludes that life expectancy is up as a result of cleaner air here. And the Wild Card stays on the table …

Parting Shot — 1/21/09

Gerard Coleman, chocolatier and co-founder of L’Artisan du Chocolat in London. shows one of his collection made of chocolate during a press preview of a chocolate fair at a department store in Tokyo, Japan, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Otis G: Supreme Chancellor Of Typing

I was a total geek in high school. I played the tuba. I was in advanced math classes. I was too afraid to go to dances. But, besides ALL that … I was proud to be the fastest typer in keyboarding class. It was slightly old school, we actually used electric typewriters. I think it was about the time that schools were trying to figure out how to integrate this new-fangled computer thing. Ever since, I would occasionally find myself looking at a roadside sign, and typing it out in my head. I felt stupid for doing so/Otis G Experience. More here (caution: Eye Candy).

Question: How many words can you type a minute?

APhoto Of The Day — 1/21/09

 President Barack Obama gets caught in first lady Michelle Obama’s dress train as they dance at the Commander in Chief Ball at the National Building Museum in Washington Tuesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Obama’s first misstep as president — Cabbage Boy.
  • 2. Obama is relieved to know that the dress wasn’t blue…and belonged to his wife…so when the dress hangs in his presidential library it’ll be a shoe print, not a goo print, that distinguishes it from all others — Aliasjax.
  • 2. Michelle, you know as well as I do that DFO won’t select any winners for his AP photo cutline contest” — Nic.
  • HM: Sisyphus

Scanner Traffic — 1/21/09

  • 5:49 p.m. R/P is concerned that a man might be trying to kidnap a 10YO boy who was crying uncontrollably in the Tomato Street parking lot. The man told R/P the child is autistic. And nothing is wrong.
  • 5:06 p.m. A vehicle attempting to use the I-90 crossover @ M/P 7 (near Highway 41) has hit another vehicle in the w/b lanes. Traffic backed up to Coeur d’Alene.
  • 4:34 p.m. A couple and a small child have left their Isuzu Trooper which is on fire in the e/b lane, a half mile west of NW Boulevard. Smoke & flames showing. All e/b traffic is shut down.
  • 4:18 p.m. 14YO male is threatening to commit suicide in Fairway Forest area.
  • 3:55 p.m. A spill at a Twin Lakes gas station has left a 12-foot circle of fuel on the ground. Station workers have sprinkled kitty litter on it.

New Deal Meal: Simply FDResque?

“I think FDR himself would be proud of the New Deal Meal at the Beachouse,” said Jerry Jaeger, president of Hagadone Hospitality and co-owner of Hagadone Hospitality Co., which owns the Beachouse. “All people need to do is call us at 664-6464 and make reservations for the New Deal and we’ll make them happy. Even so, times are tough and they may want to give themselves a little discount. We will trust their judgment, no questions asked.”

Question: At the Beachouse, you can buy a New Deal Meal — with dinner entrees ranging from $18 to $38 — for whatever price you want to pay. Would any of you have the nerve to walk away without putting down any cash but a tip?

Slight Detour: A View From Above

“Having been inside a honeybucket once at The Festival with two naughty adolescents peering down at me through the vent,” writes Marianne Love/Slight Detour, ”I wonder how many people were a bit reluctant to use the facilities. I’m guessing, however, that Mother Nature’s calls far exceeded modesty in that setting.” Bryant Jones, a former student of Marianne’s, provided Slight Detour with this photo and others of offbeat scenes at Barack Obama’s inaugaration Tuesday here.

Question: Would you use a honeybucket with a person or two sitting on top who could look through the vent at you?

MamaJD: Free Perfume For All

Here is one the best little legal tidbits MamaJD could ever provide her friends: Free makeup or perfume lotion at Macy’s here in Coeur d’Alene as well as in Spokane and also at Nordstrom! There is a class action settlement that entitles you to a regular size item from an assortment of choices (Lancome, Estee Lauder, Clinique, etc) which can be obtained now at Macy’s and Nordstrom. You do not have to have a receipt. You will need to sign your name releasing your claim to something that you didn’t know you were eligible for. Men - if you want to impress your lady, go on into Macys and get some smelly lotion (for free). I saw a couple of men there picking items up for their ladies/MamaJD. More here.

HBO Blogosphere — 1/21/09

I don’t think I have lost my identity – you hear women whine all the time that they don’t know who they are. I am first and foremost – Mom. It’s my favorite job. It’s my longest running job – I have never been fired nor laid off and I doubt I will ever have to worry about job security until the day I die – and then it is my children who will have lost their parent / teacher / friend / nurse / fireman / instructor / life coach / driver / all-around rescuer from all things girl, pet, sport, life in general issues. (I haven’t quite figured out how to put that down on my resume)/JeanieSpokane, Nuts & Nonsense. More here.

Question (for mothers): Do you mind being know as “Mom”?

Hillary Confirmed

In this Jan. 13 file photo, Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Secretary of State-designate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., looks on during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Senate has confirmed Hillary Rodham Clinton to become secretary of state. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

‘Idol’ Outdraws Inauguration

Early numbers for the inauguration of Barack Obama are impressive but, perhaps surprisingly, could come in below those for Ronald Reagan‘s first term in 1981. Preliminary Nielsen estimates show that 29.2% of U.S. households were watching the presidential inauguration — easily the largest in decades but below the 37.4 household rating for Reagan. … In primetime, Fox’s “American Idol” scored the biggest numbers Tuesday, as people seemed to tire of inaugural coverage/Variety. More here.

Question: What does this say about our country — that a weekly showing “American Idol” can trump a historic inauguration? 

Packed Like Sardines For Inauguration

 Kate StormoGipson, 24 of Coeur d’Alene, climbed the tree to see if there was any movement at the front of the long line trying to get through the barricades and witness Barack Obama’s inauguration. (Photo/Justin StormoGipson)

The crowds are huge. We are packed tightly against each other. People trying to cross through what might be the line squeeze through miserably. There is no, zero, crowd control; all the thought seems to have gone into controlling the crowds inside the barricades around the mall. There is absolutely no one to organize the crowds on our side. The question/comment goes through the crowd frequently: Do you all have purple tickets? Everyone does. It defies logic that they would issue too many tickets for the area we’re ticketed for, so we continue on the faith that this line will move and they’ll start getting us in/Inaugaral Afoot (four Sandpointers on foot for the inaugaration). More here.

Question: What will you remember most about the inauguration?

Online Poll: Books

How many books did you read last year?/Lewiston Tribune

  1. None
  2. 1 to 4
  3. 5 to 10
  4. 11 to 20
  5. More than 20

Teen: Idaho Curfew Law Illegal

Item: Teen challenges curfew law in Idaho town/KTVB

More Info: David Heida, an attorney representing a boy identified as John Doe, told the court Tuesday that Wendell’s curfew ordinance is void because it is too vague, is an overbroad violation of a child’s First Amendment rights, violates the Equal Protection Clause, and violates a parent’s fundamental right to parent a child.

Question: Are curfew laws obsolete?

HBO’s INW Roundup — 1/21/09

 Caelin Bradshaw, 6, of Ketchum, Idaho, sits atop the shoulders of his father, Neil, at a small rally in downtown Seattle Tuesday, following the inauguration of President Barack Obama. The family traveled to Seattle so that they could celebrate the inauguration with a greater diversity than they said could be found in Idaho. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)


Bard: ‘Could Be Worse’

When riding in an aircraft

it’s not good to hit a goose,

and yet one would prefer that

to the same thing with a moose.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Idaho Solons Reject Pay Increases

One after another, the members of the House State Affairs Committee voted “Aye,” all 18 of them, on Rep. Darrell Bolz’ proposal to reject legislative pay raises this year. Bolz’ proposal also rejects all the changes in mileage and per diem expenses that a citizen committee had recommended this year. “What we are doing is rejecting all of these,” he told the panel this morning. The committee voted not only to introduce the measure, but to send it to 2nd Reading Calendar of the full House, which means it goes directly to the floor without a further hearing on the House side. It’ll save the state about $180,000 by foregoing raises or any other compensation boosts for lawmakers/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Still, wouldn’t you like to vote on whether or not you receive a pay increase?

Legoland Celebrates Obama’s Coming

 Model builder Gary McIntire puts the finishing touches on a Lego presidential inauguration scene at Legoland California in Carlsbad, Calif. The scene was built to celebrate President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony. (AP Photo/Sandy Huffaker)

Question: Do you have Legos in your house?


Ah, meeting the speling, er, spelling bee champions from Sagle Elementary School’s fourth-grade contest. This cutline appeared in the Tuesday edition of the Bonner County Bee. Click on photo for enlargement. Hat Tip — to eagle-eye Sue for spotting it.

Hall: Tall Trumps Small In Politics

The victory last fall of a tall, skinny candidate for president who defeated a short candidate has revived the myth that the tallest candidate always wins. Actually, there’s some truth to the myth. Historically, the tallest candidate for president doesn’t always win, but he wins far more often than not. People are probably talking about that pattern again now because the 2008 winner, Barack Obama (6 foot 11/2 inch) is 71/2 inches taller than his opponent, John McCain (5 foot 6-inch). Obama seems even taller than he is because he’s only about 4 inches wide. However, eight presidents have been taller, including the tallest of all, that other Illinois bean pole, Abraham Lincoln, at 6 foot 4 inches/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. Full column below.

Question: What role do you think such physical attributes as height play in the success of political candidates?

Idaho Blogs: Teach A Child To Hunt

When my daughters were young they went camping, hunting, fishing and everything with me. Then they became teenagers. Suddenly I was avoided like the plague. At 19 I started coming back into good graces. I’ve come to understand that they may not grow up to be my best hunting buddies, but PLEASE don’t marry some little golfing nerd. At least marry a hunter so we can have some resemblance of a relationship! My oldest daughters boyfriend Chris just bought a shotgun. I think all boys want to hunt if they have someone that will teach them. He tried to burn the barrel out the first week/Tom Claycomb, Get Outta Town. More here.

Question: Would you rather have your child marry a hunter or a “golfing nerd”?

NIC Preps Annual Wild Game Feast


  • Northwest cheese and fruit display
  • Rabbit and duck sausage in a horseradish and dill cream sauce
  • Elk bratwurst in a sweet Black Butte Porter sauce
  • Buffalo chorizo in a zesty green pepper and tomato sauce
  • Smoked pheasant breast salad canapés
  • Duck breast mousse canapés
  • Smoked salmon mousse canapés
  • Duck foie gras pate
  • Rabbit pate en croute
  • Bacon wrapped pheasant pate

Rest of menu here

Question: Which appetizer would you choose to eat first?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 1/21/09

“Considering that many neighborhoods in Kootenai County have experienced an over-population of deer,” writes Councilwoman KerriT/OnLocation North Idaho, ”I was surprised to see this advertisement on the side of the farm and feed store on Highway 53 in Rathdrum. Deer Chow? Who knew. ”

Online Poll: Obama & The Future

Did Obama change your perspective on the country’s future Tuesday?/Idaho Statesman.

  1. No, still optimistic
  2. No, still pessimistic
  3. Yes, now optimistic
  4. Yes, now pessimistic
  5. No opinion

K-Mann: Time To Put Up Or Shut Up

Kage Mann: Thank God,the festivities are over and Obama doesn’t have to speak anymore. He has been talking for two years now,but now it’s time to put up or shut-up. No more rhetoric,but action. Let’s see what he will do in crunch time, esp. when the chips are down. BTW, what’s up with one of the shortest speeches in presidential history?

Question: Are you ready for Obama to put shoe leather to the rhetoric?

Did Lobbyist Offer Cash For Vote?

Item: Did lobbyist offer cash for regulator’s vote? A candidate was promised $500 but didn’t get it after her DEQ board vote on a rule opposed by Realtors/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman

More Info: A canceled campaign contribution from Idaho’s most generous lobbying group is prompting calls to toughen the state bribery law. A $500 contribution was promised in October to House Republican candidate Joan Cloonan of Garden City. But it was withdrawn hours later after Cloonan, who sits on the Department of Environmental Quality board, voted for a rule on septic systems that was opposed by the Idaho Association of Realtors.

Question: Should Idaho toughen its bribery laws to prevent individuals from rescinding promised political contributions?

Ramirez: From One Prez To Another

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Inauguration Day Wild Card — 1/20/09

It has been quite a day. A historic day. A day of new beginnings. Barack H. Obama’s inauguration, of course, dominated the news. But there were other things going on, too. U.S. Sens. Ted Kennedy was forced by illness to leave inaugural luncheon here. The U.S. Senate confirmed 6 members of Obama’s Cabinet Tuesday here. Wall Street gave Obama the coldest welcome in inauguration history by tumbling 332 points here. Meanwhile, thousands were shut out of the historic festivities, despite holding tickets and waiting hours here. And it’s time to replay the Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 1/20/09

Former President George W. Bush, left, salutes and his wife, Laura, waves as they depart Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Tuesday. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

SR Today In Photos: Obama Inauguration

KHQ Poll: Obama’s Agenda

Do you think Barack Obama can carry out his massive agenda?/KHQ

  1. Yes, and in the time he outlines
  2. Yes, but it will take more than one term
  3. No

TUBOB: Winauguration!

What I mean by remarkable is following the swearing in, Obama will begin glowing a sapphire blue with a ruby tinged aura and laser beams will shoot out of his eyeballs, except they won’t be death rays they will be happy golden loverays infused with silvery motes of mica flakes dancing in the happy beams and as he scans the crowd and his happy eye beams touch each and every one of us, even those of us watching at home, because he will also glance at the tv cams, we will instantly become better persons, persons willing to stop bitching about everything and roll up our sleeves and do something to make the country better, to restore and repair the damage our 8 years of complicity to the snarling hell dogs unleashed by the prior president who will now remain nameless befitting his soulless status/TUBOB. More here.

Question: Have we entered the new millennial with Barack H. Obama spreading love and benevolence throughout the country and world, as TUBOB contends? Or the Great Tribulation, as some Obamaphobes might maintain?

HBO’s PM Headlines — 1/20/09

“At first glance,” writes Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho, ”I thought I’d spotted an eight-legged and very wide sheep in a farmer’s field on the Rathdrum Prairie. Alas, it was a pair of wooley pals staying warm on a frosty morning.” Kerri has several new photos on her blog.

PM Scanner Traffic — 1/20/09

  • 5:35 p.m. Looking for a shelter for a homeless person, a local deputy is told that St. Vincent’s shelter is full tonight and advised to contact CPD Blue. Which has names of local churches that provide money for hotels in dire situations.
  • 4:52 p.m. Several R/Ps report that a gold Chrysler is weaving all over the road as it travels northbound on Ramsey in front of Lake City High.
  • 4:27 p.m. A men’s bathroom on the second floor of an NIC building is in need of more wash towels and trash removal. The trash is overflowing.
  • 3:13 p.m. Woman reports that her ex-husband held a knife to her throat at a Government Way home and then left in a gold Chrysler, possibly headed for Spokane.
  • 2:31 p.m. A malfunctioning signal light has caused traffic to back up @ Meyer & H53.
  • 2:29 p.m. An 11YO girl hit her head when she passed out and fell at Dalton Elementary. She has regained consciousness. There is no blood.
  • 12:40 p.m. R/P reports road rage involving two semis with Illinois plates s/b on Highway 95. The first of the reports began when the semis were near Ohio Match Road. One of the truckers got out of his truck to confront R/P in vehicle @ Garwood stoplight but returned to truck when light turned red. Reports continued @ Wyoming & later near I90.

Cheney: Dr. Strangelove? Mr. Burns?

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, in wheelchair, waves on the tarmac earlier today at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Question: Some of you say Cheney in the wheelchair today reminds them of Dr. Strangelove. Others of Montgomery Burns from “The Simpsons.” What say you?

HBO Blogosphere — 1/20/09

At As The Lake Churns, blogmistress Pecky Cox provides her readers — as well as Huckleberries commenters and blurkers — a reminder that winter in North Idaho has its unique beauty.

Well, I am a pretty ordinary person. I have an awesome husband and two awesome kids. I like to write, some say its a gift, some say its a curse. I post twisted, yet funny stuff on myspace and facebook way too much. I blog here about more serious stuff. I started this blog partly because I found myself growing frustrated responding to other peoples blogs and figured constructive action was better than criticizing others. That and I had to do something with my time when I didn’t get into law school/Liz, My Life’s A Freak Show. You can welcome the newest blogger to the HBO Blogosphere here.

We All Love A Parade — Right?

President Barack Obama walks down Pennsylvania Avenue with his wife Michelle Obama on their way to the White House in Washington this afternoon. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

SR Blogs: Wanna Flag From Today?

In honor of the inauguration of President Obama, Washington state’s Secretary of State is selling U.S. flags that are being flown at the state capitol today. (Yup, there’s some person who’s going to be busy hauling flags up and down all day. Really.) You can buy the 3-foot by 5-foot flags for $14 if you pick them up at the Secretary of State’s front desk, or they’ll mail you one for $17.25. “People just snatch them up,” said Dave Ammons, a spokesman for Secretary of State Sam Reed. Each comes with a certificate, state seal, and Reed’s signature. Any proceeds go to thestate capitol historical furnishings fund./Rich Roesler, Eye On Olympia. More here.

IVA: UI Can’t Defend Co-Ed Housing

Word evidently got back to U of I administrators of this brewing storm, because by 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon, every legislator had received a plaintive letter from Bruce Pitman, the school’s Vice Provost of Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Pitman complains that press accounts had misrepresented the school’s policy, and assured legislators that co-ed options would only be open to upper class students – juniors and seniors – as if it was the age and not the concept that was of primary concern. The purpose of the co-ed option, says Pitman, is “to effectively foster positive relationships with the opposite sex” and is available only to “older students.” Trying to defend the policy change on such slim grounds is farcical, since 20- and 21-year old girls can get just as pregnant and just as an infected with an STD as an 18- and 19-year old/Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance. More here.

Question: Should Idaho legislators pressure the University of Idaho to overturn its decision to allow co-gender living arrangements on campus?

Idaho Blogs — 1/20/09

At the nation’s Capitol, Kootenai County Demo chief Thom George finds an interesting individual to chat up — new Illinois Sen. Roland Burris, if I’m not mistaken.

Best Of The INorthwest — 1/20/09

 5-year old Sophie Saari of Coeur d’alene takes the microphone from co-chair Ivan Bush and proclaims “Happy Birthday,” to the crowd at the conclusion of the Dr. Martin Luther King Unity March in the atrium of Riverpark Square Monday. J. BART RAYNIAK The Spokesman-Review


CDA Residents Attend Inauguration

 At the inauguration (courtesy of Justin StormoGipson), Coeur d’Alene residents in attendance include (from left): Steve and Bev Moss, Maj and Justin StormoGipson, and Susan and Charlie Nipp. Charlie, of course, is the local boy who helped develop our Ironwood medical center and recently served as chairman for the Lake City Development Corp. Wife Susan is famous for the creating the Wee Sing series and as a co-author of the Mudgy & Millie children’s book. Which raises the question: What are a coupla well-heeled CDA residents like the Nipps doing hanging out at the Obama inauguration? Aren’t all of Lake City’s wealthy people Republicans?

Kos: Roberts Goofed, Not Obama

Chief Justice John Roberts is a man who has made very few public missteps in his life — but he appears to have made one when swearing in Barack Obama. Roberts slightly flubbed the oath, which then tripped up Obama. The oath is contained in the Constitution: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” But when Roberts swore in Obama, he flipped some of the words, saying: “I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully”/Daily Kos. More here.

DFO: Hey, it’s a new age. Daily Kos, as the go-to blog of the Left, should have face time here. Having said that, I’ll let you click on the link to discover the headline that Kos used. Which you won’t see in a headline at Huckleberries Online.

AM Scanner Traffic — 1/20/09

  • 11:52 a.m. 16YO girl is in the nurse’s office at Post Falls High, complaining of chest pains.
  • 11:28 a.m. R/P reports that a man was holding a .22 when he answered his door, because he has been having problems with another man in his neighborhood. A newspaper boy was on his doorstep.
  • 11:18 a.m. An employee of a liquor store on Highway 54 reports that a vehicle in the store lot is parked crooked, creating a traffic hazard.
  • 10:23 a.m. Avista workers in Kellogg report “a possible rolling domestic” involving a man and a woman in a 2003 Chevy Cavalier that may be headed to Lewiston.
  • 10:08 a.m. R/P reports vandalism at Higgens Point.

APhoto of the Day — 1/20/09

 Billy Johnson, far left, of Charlotte, N.C., photographs General Mealer, right, with his grandsons Daryll Mealer, 7, second from left, and Jason Mealer, 6, with a cardboard cutout of President-elect Barack Obama on the National Mall in Washington Monday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

KREM2 Poll: Obama ‘Overhyped’

Early results in a survey indicate nearly 60 percent of readers and viewers believe President elect Barack Obama is ‘overhyped.’ Those respondents - 62.07% - indicated they are not excited about Obama as president. After that 20.69% respondents said they are excited about Obama while 17.24% said they are indifferent/KREM2. More here.

DFO: Do you agree with these early results?

MichelleO Styles In Isabel Toledo

First lady Michelle Obama wore a sparkling yellow-gold sheath dress with matching coat by Cuban-born American designer Isabel Toledo for the inauguration of her husband, a choice many applauded as a cheerful message of hope and a vote for the American fashion industry. She paired the embellished ensemble with green gloves from J. Crew and green shoes. President Barack Obama wore a red tie and white shirt with his suit, topped with an overcoat adorned with an American flag pin. Their daughters were style icons in their own right, with 10-year-old Malia in a double-breasted periwinkle-blue coat with a blue-ribbon bow at the waist, and Sasha, 7, in a pink coat with orange scarf and satin belt, a coral-colored dress peeking out at the hem. Their coats were from Crewcuts by J. Crew/AP. More here.

Question: What did you think of the new First Lady’s outfit at the inauguration?

Study: Men Suppress Hunger Better

Study: Men better at suppressing their hunger/AP

More Info: Faced with their favorite foods, women are less able than men to suppress their hunger, a discovery that may help explain the higher obesity rate for females, a new study suggests. Researchers trying to understand the brain’s mechanisms for controlling food intake were surprised at the difference between the sexes in brain response.

Question: How much willpower do you have in suppressing hunger during diets?

EOB: Together Forever With Fido?

Item: Man’s best friend in death, too: Bill would let pets be buried with people/Rich Roesler, Eye On Olympia

More Info: On Monday, while many people had a day off, state Sen. Ken Jacobsen was facing a state Senate committee, trying to persuade his fellow lawmakers to let people be buried with their pets. He was absolutely serious. The idea came to him a couple of years ago, when his beloved 23-pound cat, Sam, died from cancer.  “I asked the kids to bury him in the backyard and I told them that when I’m ready to go, I’d like to take Sam with me,” said Jacobsen, 63. “Because he really was one of my best friends.”

Question: Would you want your favorite pet buried with you?

HBO’s AM Headlines — 1/20/09

 Cassie Krajack, 7, waits to introduce the next “I Have A Dream,” poetry reader from Sorensen Magnet School as Meike McCaw, 7, finishes her reading Monday, Jan. 19, 2009 at a Martin Luther King event at Calypso’s Coffee in Coeur d’Alene. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos)


Obama Becomes President

 Barack Obama, second right, joined by his wife Michelle, far left, and daughters Sasha, second left, and Malia, not shown, takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts to become the 44th president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol in Washington today. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)

DFO: Let’s have a conversation about today’s historic events under this posting.

Inauguration: Changing Of The Guard

President Bush, right, walks out with President-elect Barack Obama, on the North Portico of the White House before sharing the presidential limousine enroute to Capitol Hill for inauguration in Washington this morning. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Poll: Inauguration Feelings

How are you feeling about today’s inauguration?/SeattlePI

  1.  Hopeful/optimistic
  2. Nervous/jittery/anxious/worried
  3. Excited
  4. Cautious
  5. Impatient
  6. Happy
  7. Sad
  8. Scared
  9. Patriotic
  10. None of the above


MikeK: This Land Made For You & Me

All I could think of this morning was Woody Guthrie. The last two stanzas of his American classic are:

“As I was walkin’ - I saw a sign there
And that sign said - no tress passin’
But on the other side …. it didn’t say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!

“In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office - I see my people
And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me.”

Today, Woody, you can rest peacefully because this land is still made for you and me/MikeK.

Otis G: ‘I Felt Hope For America’

A few years ago, I went to visit my aunt in St. Louis. I was excited to visit the University district, after hearing it was culturally diverse. I found my way there, and for the first time in my life, experienced what I had always wondered possible. There were Muslims. Latinos. African Americans. Everything I’d never seen in Idaho. They were all shopping, walking among each other, and surprisingly… talking to each other. And the best part? Nobody seemed to really think anything of it. Just the naïve white guy from Idaho. I felt hope for America. At the same time, I also wondered why this wasn’t the norm for America. I returned to the boring, white safety of Idaho/Otis G’s Experience. More here.

Question: How will Obama’s election and performance is president affect racism in America?

Heller: The Mountain Top

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Monday — 1/19/09

At Keokee Co. Publishing in Sandpoint, the staff is combining efforts to post their insights into Barack Obama’s inauguration with this new blog, Inaugural Afoot, here. Meanwhile, ThomG will be all atwitter with his Twitter feeds Tuesday (if he can get the signal out). The Wayward Episcopalian will be posting his thoughts in D.C., too. And Justin StormoGipson has been sending Huckleberries photos, like the one above. Finally, Video Journal colleague Colin Mulvany provides a poignant video of the Cheney High student who died in a car crash here. I’m off today, for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. But I’ll be ready to moderate the discussion re: the inauguration in the North Idaho blogosphere Tuesday. Now, for your first Wild Card of the week …

Dogwalk Musings: New Beginnings

President-elect Barack Obama speaks at the Lincoln Memorial during an inaugural concert in Washington Sunday. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

It’s a new beginning for the country. We have matured to where we’ve elected a man for his qualities without qualification. How wonderful is that? At times I wonder if we elected him more for the man he would seem to be than for his policies. Quite probably. Next week the hype will begin to subside. The pundits will ratchet back up and start picking apart everything Obama. The realities happening around the world will again make the headlines. For now, though, it’s a time for the celebration of new beginnings. No matter what may lie ahead, I’m going to take the week and rejoice in the fact that this infant of a nation, which has been crawling for years, has taken a huge first step/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: Are you filled with hope or despair as America stands on the doorstep of the historic inauguration of Barack Obama?

Online Poll: Texting While Driving?

Question: Should Idahoans be fined for texting while driving?

  1. No, it is not a danger
  2. Yes, it distracts the driver
  3. No opinion

King’s Death Felt In Spokane

When the news of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination hit Spokane on April 4, 1968, some lashed out in anger. “Windows Broken at 16 City Firms,” reported the Spokane Chronicle the next day. Rock-throwing vandals smashed shop windows along Third and Fifth avenues downtown. “It is unfortunate that a small group of people saw fit to copy the actions of small groups of people in other areas,” said police chief E.W. Parsons. Yet this reaction was mild compared with the riots that erupted in Memphis, Washington, D.C. and other cities. It was also mild compared to what was happening in Seattle, where a series of gasoline bombs caused 21 fires, or in Tacoma, where rioters started arson fires and looted shops/Jim Kershner, SR. More here.

Question: What were you doing when you heard about the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.?

Obama Rally Draws 500,000

Obama, the first African-American to be elected president, looked out at the sea of people and told them, “What gives me hope is what I see when I look out across this mall. For in these monuments are chiseled those unlikely stories that affirm our unyielding faith – a faith that anything is possible in America.” He gazed fleetingly at the Washington Monument in the distance. “Rising before us stands a memorial to a man who led a small band of farmers and shopkeepers in revolution against the army of an empire, all for the sake of an idea,” he said. He looked at the World War II memorial down the mall, “a tribute to a generation that withstood war and depression, men and women like my grandparents who toiled on bomber assembly lines and marched across Europe to free the world from tyranny’s grasp”/McClatchy Newspapers. More here.

Question: Why is Obama so popular?

Letter: CDA Still A Small Town

At the risk of sounding pollyanish, I’d like to express my gratitude to the people of Coeur d’Alene. My husband and I moved our family here three years ago and have never had a regret in choosing Coeur d’Alene as our relocation destination. The schools have provided an excellent education to our children, the business community has been open-minded, and folks you meet in the course of a routine day are about as friendly as they come. As the world around us becomes increasingly complex, bordering on inhuman, I am thankful for the warmth and friendliness I encounter here in the course of a normal day. Coeur d’Alene still is a small town in the important ways/Leslie Macomber, Coeur d’Alene.

Question: Are Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls, Hayden and Sandpoint still small enough towns for you?

Wild Card/Sunday — 1/18/09

I set up a new computer work station at home this evening, for those days when I want to blog from home rather than the office. It involved hooking up the Mac Book to a new monitor, keyboard and printer. I remember the old days when I spent hours trying to figure out where all the cords and plugs went. Apple, of course, seems to make these operations simple. But I must have picked up something along the way because I was able to noodle through the one or two snags I hit. Same thing with the new blogware. Once I understand the concept, I can figure out how to make the software do what I want it to do. I recall that New Year’s resolution of 2007 — or mebbe it was the year before — not to be intimidated by technology. That’s why I opted for the Mac Book over a familiar PC (which I was using to interview Mayor Sandi Bloem for my first of the old Huckleberries Gone Wi-Fi interviews in 2007) when I was assigned a laptop. I haven’t become a Mac snob. But I can see why many people swear by them. I’m sure I’ll find excuses to post from home in the coming days. Meanwhile, I’d better play this Wild Card and go to bed …

Slight Detour: Memorable Inaugarations

The most memorable Inauguration during my teaching tenure was that of Ronald Reagan in 1981 when Iran’s release of the hostages after 444 days coincided with the new President taking over. It always seemed like a real “in your face” to Jimmy Carter who had been so paralyzed at do anything about the hostage situation which kept us all riveted for so long. I was always proud that my students got to see history in the making, even if only through the lens of a camera–they were, at least, seeing it as it happened. We didn’t have such options when President John F. Kennedy assumed office in 1961. I was in junior high at the time, and I had to come home to hear my mother tell about what a stirring speech he had given. I think I heard “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country” by the time I walked from the kitchen to the living room where we sat and watched Walter Cronkite and the evening news in black and white to see what the new President had said that day/Marianne Love, Slight Detour. More here (second item).

Question: What was your most memorable inaugaration?

StormoGipson Ready For Inaugaration

In a photo provided to Huckleberries by Justin StormoGipson, new Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick gives a group of Coeur d’Alene resident a personal tour of the Capitol on Saturday. The four North Idaho Democrats are getting ready to celebrate the inaugaration of Barack Obama on Tuesday. The are (from left): Hana Truscott, Maj StormoGipson, (Minnick center), Justin StormoGipson, and Kate StormoGipson. Justin StormoGipson will provide Huckleberries with inside photos of the inaugaration, while Kootenai County Demo chief Thom George plans to Twitter the event. Also on hand providing color will by Nathan Empsall (aka Wayward Episcopalian and Transplanted Texan).


Clark: Rosauers Shows Heart

Philipps is the 53-year-old CEO of Rosauers Supermarkets, a Spokane-based chain with 21 outlets spread across the four states of the Inland Northwest. Two Saturdays ago, Philipps and his management team gathered at a North Side pizza joint, along with employees whose lives had been in turmoil since Dec. 29. That’s when a massive buildup of snow collapsed the roof of the Rosauers at Five Mile.None of the 40 customers or 40 workers who was inside when the sky fell that early evening was hurt seriously. One employee suffered a few minor injuries when the avalanche force of descending snow and ceiling literally blew her out the front door. That was the good news. The bad news was that this was no clean up on Aisle 12. The roof was burnt toast. Building a new one will take four to six months. And so the 120 employees affected had steeled themselves for unemployment checks and less-than-certain futures. Then Philipps dropped the bombshell.No lost jobs. No unemployment checks. The decision had been made to keep every worker/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Have you heard of another company doing something as magnanimous as this?

Kempthorne’s Interior Legacy Undecided

Item: Kempthorne’s legacy may lie in his lesser known efforts: His success in ending the Klamath River stalemate and protecting parks may outlive his ESA rule changes/

More Info: Still, even his critics acknowledge that Kempthorne cleaned up the corruption and the political interference that marred many of the agency’s years under Bush. He also stood up for the nation’s national parks, resolved one of the most polarizing water disputes in the West, and aggressively pushed oil and natural gas drilling - either helping boost the nation’s energy independence or further destroying the environment, depending on whom you ask.

Question: Did Dirk Kempthorne serve the nation well as its secretary of Interior?


A Home Of Their Own

Item: North Idaho nonprofit helps working class families move into homes of their own/Alison Boggs, SR

More Info: Then their banker told them about a new North Idaho nonprofit agency organized to help working-class people buy homes.Now the couple plan to move into a new home in Coeur d’Alene this spring. Their three-bedroom, two-bathroom rancher will be built on a lot big enough for a yard and, one day, a shop, Chris Dietzman said with a grin.

Question: Describe your first home.

Oxycontin Addiction Floors CDA Lawyer

Item: Oxycontin addiction can touch anyone/Meghann Cuniff, SR

More Info: A Coeur d’Alene attorney reportedly recruited a client to help him feed his prescription pill addiction, paying for the man to travel to California monthly to fetch hundreds of OxyContin pills. It went on for several months until the client turned to the police, launching an investigation that ended with the lawyer’s arrest last month. Shawn C. Nunley, a former Kootenai County deputy prosecutor, faces a federal charge of conspiracy to distribute drugs, though he told police he used the pills himself and never sold them.

Question: What should be done to protect pharmacy workers from robbers with an OxyContin addiction?

WND Poll: Prez Term Limits

What do you think of repealing the Constitution’s term limits on presidents?WorldNetDaily

1. It’s a great idea - Obama’s going to need more than 8 years to bring the change we need
2. The 22nd Amendment should be repealed - term limits are repugnant to the people’s right to choose
3. It’s a good thing we didn’t have them during WWII - America’s continuity of leadership was a factor in our victory
4. With groups like ACORN trying to steal elections, term limits may be the only guarantee we have that a bad president can’t stay in power indefinitely
5. Considering how appealing the idea of “change” is, I don’t think we need term limits - voters generally want someone new anyway

Wild Card/Saturday — 1/17/08

In the news this morning, the Obama Cabinet seems to be headed for quick approval here. Circuit City is closing its remaining 567 stores in this country, putting 34,000 employees out of work here. Divers are looking for both engine of “miracle” plane in Hudson here. A rogue FBI agent who inspired “The Departed” will be jailed for 40 years for killing a witness set to testify against the mob here. And I’ll play the Wild Card now before hitting the sack …

Zags, Cougs Win, Vandals Lose

 San Francisco’s Blake Wallace makes a pass against Gonzaga’s Josh Heytvelt in the first half of their NCAA college basketball game in Spokane, Wash. Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009. Gonzaga won the game easily 85-51. ESPN game story and boxscore here. (AP Photo/Rajah Bose)

Avista Estimates Jack Up Power Bills

Item: Avista customers hit with whopping January power bills/Shawn Vestal, SR

More here: A lot of people got a shock in the mail over the past couple of days: a whopping power bill. January’s bills are typically among the year’s highest, and this year’s came loaded with the effects of four weeks of harsh winter, a longer-than-average billing period, and rate increases for Washington customers. Add to that the fact that many bills are computer estimates – since meter readers couldn’t reach many homes during the peak of the storms – and customers have a lot of questions for Avista.

DFO: My power bill jumped from $88 to $145 — and I primarily use a wood stove for heat!

Question: Were you shocked by your January Avista bill?

Still Dressed In Winter White

“We haven’t seen new snowfall in North Idaho for the past several days,” posts Councilwoman KerriT/OnLocation North Idaho, “but the fog combined with freezing temperatures has decorated the pine trees on the Rathdrum Prairie in winter white.”

OTV: 40ish Stripper Teases Karaoke Nite

The crowd was vivacious as Billy and Sue sang the final hoots and hollers of another rousing rendition of their trademark tune “Dixieland Delight.” The hunched figure shuffled out to the middle of the dance floor and blurted out to anyone listening something along the lines of “Hey! I’m not gonna be disrespected anymore!” followed by a string of curse words shocking even in the context of the bar. Suddenly, the ugly blanket was tossed away, revealing a polyester jacket and skirt, which also came flying off, revealing a Britney-style schoolgirl outfit, which took quite a bit of effort to remove actually, revealing a rather large and angry looking woman in her early forties, standing there in nothing but black skivvies, her various body parts unraveling themselves in every direction. It was a kamikaze karaoke striptease/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Have you ever sung a Karaoke song in a bar? Which song? Are you a good singer?

RTR: NIC Opens In 1933

At Remember The Roxy, OrangeTV reminds us of the men and women with vision in the depths of the Great Depression who knew the importance of higher education for the Coeur d’Alene area. I wonder if there were misguided individuals who opposed the creation of a community college then as we have now who are fighting tooth and nail against the expansion of that great dream of long ago into an Education Corridor?

Question: Did you attend a community college?

Online Poll: Obama’s Inaugaration

Do you plan to watch Barack Obama Inaugaration Day events?/Idaho Statesman.

  • Every minute
  • Just the speech
  • Highlights only
  • Not at all


Columinist: MLK Dream Comes Full Circle

t is very fitting that Barack Obama will be inaugurated the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Indeed, the dream has come full circle. The battle is far from over, but this election is as big of a victory as any for racial equality in the history of our country. This election of hope seemed unimaginable when hope itself seemed to die with John F. Kennedy in Dallas. When Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, no one could foresee the inauguration of another leader of change, President-elect Barack Obama. Forty years after the untimely death of presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy, Obama�s campaign ended in transformative victory/Derrick Skaug, WSU Evergreen. More here.

Question: Is Barack Obama’s presidency the beginning of the end of racism in this country?

Idaho Will Be Represented In Super Bowl

Item: NFL remains strong with Idaho ties/Idaho Statesman

More Info: Former Boise State standout Quintin Mikell will be in the Eagles’ starting lineup. Mikell, a safety, had a breakout season with Philadelphia. He had 93 tackles, two sacks and two fumbles in the regular season, after which he was voted an Associated Press second-team All-Pro. He had his first career playoff interception in the Eagles’ 23-11 win over the Giants on Sunday.  Former Idaho State linebacker Pago Togafau will be representing the state of Idaho if the Cardinals make it to the Super Bowl.Togafau is a special teams dynamo who had 12 tackles in six games with the Cardinals.

Question: Which of the remaining 4 teams do you want to win the Super Bowl?

PS: Obama Is Top Gun Salesman?

Nathaniel Pulliam of Black Sheep sporting goods in Coeur d’Alene works the gun counter on Wednesday. The owners of Black Sheep put up the cutout of Barack Obama after the election. Kathy Plonka/SR.

Mirroring a national trend, gun owners in the Inland Northwest appear to be responding by purchasing as many guns as possible before Obama takes office. At Black Sheep Sporting Goods in Coeur d’Alene, a life-size cutout of Obama stands behind the gun counter adorned with the phrase “Salesman of the Year.” “There’s a lot of fear of peoples’ gun rights,” said Dave Knoll, owner of Black Sheep, speaking from a gun show in Las Vegas this week. “With a total Democratic Congress, anything’s possible. People are reacting in a strange way”/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.

SR Today In Photos

Question: Will Demo control of the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government mean far tighter gun control?

TGIF Wild Card — 1/16/09

In the news this evening, hate crimes experts are closely watching white supremacists as the inaugaration of Barack Obama nears here. Inflation slows to half century low here. Arab investors lost $2.5 trillion from credit crunch here. Now, I’ll play the Wild Card and head off for a three-day weekend …

Scanner Traffic — 1/16/09

  • 5:22 p.m. 3 juveniles on bicycles, wearing dark clothing, are creating a safety hazard as they ride along Seltice Way, near Huetter Road.
  • 5:16 p.m. Vehicle with rear end poking onto 4th Street is causing a traffic hazard. A CPD Blue says it’ll be towed unless the driver moves it.
  • 5:12 p.m. ISP Officer: “Dog is up and running on Fairmont Loop again.”
  • 5:10 p.m. Officer @ Highway 95 & M/P 429: “The dog’s been hit.”
  • 5:04 p.m. R/P reports shots are being fired near McGuire Road/Post Falls on the river, as they have been for four days straight. He believes hunters are shooting at geese.
  • 4:41 p.m. A German shepherd continues to elude officers and cause a potential hazard by running into traffic on Highway 95, just south of Blackwell Island. Authorities have fielded 3 or 4 complaints about the dog in the last two hours. Update: Dog, which appears to be injured, is resting near a guardrail about 50 feet for an officer’s car.
  • 4:35 p.m. A woman in an apartment building on Country Ridge/Hayden reports that her female neighbor is threatening to come over and beat her up.
  • 4:34 p.m. A southbound chip truck from Oldtown is smoking from the top and the bottom on Highway 41.

For some reason, the material in the drop-down box from earlier today has disappeared.

HBO’s PM Headlines — 1/16/09

At Live, Love, Laugh, Hope, the blogmistress spent 24 hours visiting with her mother, sister and nieces at the Pend Oreille Shores Resort/Hope. “We had a great time, walking the docks, watching a muskrat weave in and out of the dock slips trying to hide from us,” she writes. She also took some swell photos, like the one above and here.

MamaJD & The Moose, Take 2

MamaJD/Special to Huckleberries Online

Cableman Faces Hostile Homeowner

A not-so-funny thing happened to Time Warner cable guy Travis Greer Thursday morning when he tried to shut off service to a house at 2025 N. 14th Street. He knocked on the door and rang the door bell. When no one answered, he proceeded through a fence to the back of the yard. Where he’d just disconnected the cable when he was confronted by a man. Who leveled a handgun at Travis and asked him why he hadn’t used the doorbell. The householder directed Travis to leave without making a threat, holding the gun on him at all times. Later, a CPD Blue learned the weapon was a pellet gun. The householder explained that he’d seen the shadow of a man go past his window. He grabbed his gun because he has been having trouble with his brother. And he thought the man could be his brother or someone sent by him. The officer didn’t make an arrest but he did file a report to be sent to the prosecutor’s office for charges.

MamaJD Bags Moose On Loose

“A moose stopped by (the Bentwood subdivision) for a visit,” e-mails MamaJD. “Actually, a neighbor kid couldn’t make it home because the moose was in his way. The moose was nice enough. He posed for a few pics and even obeyed the traffic sign as he made his way thru the neighborhood.” Also on the moose patrol was ThomG and Mr. & Mrs. Mike Kralicek, who happened to be driving by.

Bard: In Support Of Fog

It is dismal and dark

and travel’s impeded,

but still I applaud it

for shovels aren’t needed.

The Bard Of Sherman Avenue


Letter: Beware Of Gas Gougers

On Jan. 11, I pulled into A&D’s on the corner of Fourth and Best to fill up my truck, attracted by the gas price sign of $1.35. I started filling up with the regular, 87-octane, unleaded and noticed I was being charged $2.05 per gallon. When I brought this to the attention of the clerk, he said it was because I chose to use the “red handle” which was the “special pure gas” trucked in just for them and not available in most other places. Yes, I should have noticed the tiny $1.99 designation on the pump and I should have expected the five-cent charge for debit cards. But a 50 percent increase?/Dave Paquin, Coeur d’Alene Press letter to editor. More here.

Question: Do you feel cheated when you realize that the price shown on the gas pump doesn’t include an additional charge of 5 cents or so, for paying with a debit or credit card?

CDA Suspect Sought In Robbery

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information that helps capture Michael Alan Miller, 24, of Coeur d’Alene. Surveillence footage showed where the robber had touched glass at the pharmacy, located at 2702 N. Argonne, and the fingerprints matched Miller’s, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. Miller has a warrant charging him with felony first-degree robbery after deputies say he held a knife to a customer’s throat and demanded OxyContin and methadone, according to a news release by Sgt. Dave Reagan. The robber fled westbound, and a K-9 team tracked him within a block of where Miller had been staying with a relative/Meghann M. Cuniff, SR. More here. Original story here.

DFO: Colleague Meghann Cuniff is writing a story for Sunday about the allure of oxycontin. You might want to look for it.

HBO Blogosphere (A-Z) — 1/16/09

At As The Lake Churns, Pecky Cox provides photo coverage of the recent annual Snowshoe Softball Tournament @ Priest Lake. Click here.

The Hill: Risch Is ‘Over-achiever’

New U.S. Sen. Jim Risch got a prominent mention in the Roll Call newspaper’s “Heard on the Hill” column this week, headed “A for Effort,” which noted, “Looks like the new guy’s an over-achiever. HOH spies have noticed Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, spending a lot of time on the chamber’s floor, apparently toiling away at his desk.” The column said Risch has been at his desk in the chambers even when there’s nothing much happening, but for “whichever senator happens to be yapping away for the C-SPAN cameras.” The explanation? “One part apple-shining and one part necessity,” the column said/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Facebook: No Nipples Allowed

Facebook, the popular social networking Web site most of us waste entirely too much time on, recently began removing photos of mothers breastfeeding their babies from the pages of its members, claiming such photos violate its indecency policy, something the other popular social networking Web site, MySpace, started doing two years ago. The Facebook terms of agreement state any content that is offensive, illegal or harmful or threatens the safety of any person may be deleted, and apparently breastfeeding is part of that. In its defense, Facebook said most breastfeeding pictures are allowed, but they draw the line at exposing a woman’s nipple and areola, the part of the breast that surrounds the nipple/Anne-Marije Rook, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: The issue isn’t whether breastfeeding in public is right or wrong. It’s whether Facebook made the right call by removing photos that show a breastfeeder’s nipple and areola?

Huckleberries INW Roundup: 1/16/09

Family and friends wait to greet returning airmen at Mountain Home Air Force Base on Thursday in Idaho. Mechanics from the 366th Fighter Wing and support personnel from 391st Fighter Squadron’s “Bold Tigers” returned from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, where they had been deployed since August. (AP Photo/Times-News, Ashley Smith)

Sparky: I Was A Class Clown, Too

Sparky: The question I want our bloggers to answer is how many of you were a class clown? I was … The principal knew by first name. My only defense is that when teacher asks you for your opinion they open the door for said opinion.

JeanieSpokane: Sparky, no way on God’s green earth was I going to make a spectacle of myself. I was invisible; I was wallpaper; I would rather hide in my locker (which was just my size). At my 20-year reunion I was shocked that anybody knew who I was. I am much less shy now - but high school was horrible.

Question: What were you like in high school? Class clown? Wallflower? What?

DeLeon: Too Much Pink for Girls?

The color pink might be damaging to girls, a recent BBC story suggests. In “Should we not dress girls in pink?” writer Clair Bates interviewed several people who believe it’s not healthy for girls to be “obsessed” with the color. “We are creating little fluffy pink princess, an image of girliness, that is very specific and which some girls don’t want to go along with, but due to overwhelming peer pressure, are having to conform to,” said Sue Palmer, author of “Toxic Childhood.” But Bates also interviewed Spokane’s own Michael Gurian, therapist and author of numerous books on raising kids including “Nurture the Nature.” Gurian told the BBC that an overexposure to the color pink (or any other color) has absolutely no biological effects/Virginia De Leon, Are We There Yet? More here.

Question (from Virginia): Do you have a daughter who loves pink? Are you at all concerned about the stereotypes and messages behind the “fluffy pink princess” and other “girly” images?

Found: Ex-Sali Aide Wayne Hoffman

Minutes later I got this note from Wayne Hoffman: “Vickie, just got an email forwarded to me from you regarding the Idaho Freedom Foundation. The Idaho Freedom Foundation is a new non-profit, non-partisan think tank that looks for free-market solutions to challenges facing the state. I am its executive director. Heather Lauer (whom you emailed ) is board president and Briana LeClaire is a board member. IFF conducts research, issues policy briefs and offers opinion and analysis of issues including education reform, private property rights, personal responsibility, individual liberty, economic freedom, and transparency and accountability in government/Editor Vickie Holbrook, Idaho Press Tribune. More here.

Serephin Fingers Culprit In Crash

You can read Serephin’s entertaining words that go with this “poster” at 43rd Street Blues here.

Sisyphus: Don’t Let The Door …

As we work to try and clean up this mess at least we can take solace that this ideological phase of our long national nightmare is over. Bush’s policies have drained the treasury, destroyed our credit, commenced the demise of Pax Americana, sullied America’s ethics and values into an unwelcome pool of disrepute, and heralded the most severe world wide economic collapse in modern times. In so doing Bush rends assunder just about every conservative principle that first got him elected, including the eschewing of a conservative mutilateral foreign policy for a radical unilateral one leaving the United States virtually alone and vulnerable/Sisyphus, 43rd State Blues. More here.

Question: Do you consider George Bush to be a conservative?

Mary Strikes Back, Rips Into MikeK

And his attacks on my legacy as a P&Z Commissioner? Fabrication. There was one person who didn’t like my vote to protect the safety of children. The other person who complained was LCDC’s Executive Director Tony Berns. He was not happy that I asked too many questions when he gave his power point presentation on the wonders of urban renewal. The people in the packed audience, however, appreciated my firm but respectful questions and gave me a round of applause/Mary Souza, More here.


What Will Bush Do Now?