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Archive for March 2009

Wild Card/Tuesday — 3/31/09

In the news this evening: Another Obama appointee is forced to pay back taxes here. Courtney Love’s online spat launches first Twitter libel suit here. Jimi Hendrix childhood home is torn down here. Congress expands AmeriCorps volunteer program here. John Calipari will become the nation’s highest paid basketball coach as he leaves Memphis for Kentucky here. And the Wild Card remains in play …

PS: Terri Schiavo Anniversary

Mary Schindler, mother of Terri Schiavo, comforts husband Bob during a mass at Ave Maria University’s Oratory in Naples, Fla., today to recognize the fourth anniversary of Schiavo’s death. Schiavo died March 31, 2005, at age 41, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed by her husband Michael Schiavo, who fought her family in court for eight years over removal of her life support, arguing she would not have wanted to be kept alive in what most doctors called a persistent vegetative state. (AP Photo/Naples Daily News, Greg Kahn) SR’s Today In Photos

Question: Have you had second thoughts re: the decision to remove Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube four years ago?

April Fool’s Jokes, Anyone?

At the Seattle P-I’s Big Blog, blogmistress Monica Guzman shares several ideas from readers re: April Fool’s Day pranks, including: “Put a package of cookies in a trash can. As people walk by, pull out a cookie, and say “Wow, a perfectly good cookie!” Then eat it.” And: “I set my co-worker’s Microsoft Word auto-correct feature to change “the” to “teh” and “a” to “an” as she typed.” Remember: Tomorrow’s April 1.

Question: What is the best April Fool’s Day prank that you’ve pulled?

Holly: Grads Face Desperate Times

It’s sad that when this year’s graduating seniors were in high school, they were told even a four-year degree would give them a distinct advantage over their peers who decided to stop their education after high school. Now, those students who did go to college are scrambling to find what few professional, entry-level jobs are available, while many of their high school friends who entered the workforce right away have accrued four solid years of practical working experience. Not only are university graduates competing with newly laid-off, experienced baby boomers — they’re now being forced to, out of desperation, fight for lower-paying jobs that hold little or no relevance to their advanced degrees. Even positions that require advanced degrees are declining in pay/Holly Bowen, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: What advice would you give a high school graduate today re: college?

APhoto Of The Day — 3/31/09

In this March 13 file photo, New Mexico State mascot Pistol Pete, left, chokes Utah State mascot Big Blue, who ripped off Pete’s mustache ripped during a timeout in an NCAA college basketball game in the Western Athletic Conference men’s tournament in Reno, Nev. Pistol Pete was given a one-game suspension by the WAC on Monday for his involvement in the incident. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Herald Journal, Eli Lucero, File)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. The Economic Cowboy wrestles the old Bull Market to the ground, indicating at least six more weeks of financial winter — Escapee. 
  • 2. “…And I don’t care if this Whole crowd of people knows it. Big Blue–I can’t quit you!” — ReggieH.
  • 3. Pistol Pete settles his beef with the Big Blue mascot — Cabbage Boy.
  • HM: Charlie

Scanner Traffic — 3/31/09

  • 4:55 p.m. R/P received porn on her phone and would like to report it.
  • 4:50 p.m. 2 juveniles on motorcycles are tearing up driveways @ Ramsey & Garwood.
  • 4:21 p.m. Caller wants to talk to an officer re: some alpacas across the street.
  • 3:33 p.m. A vehicle has rolled over an embankment and come to rest near water. But I can’t determine where the accident occurred.
  • 2:29 p.m. Suicide threat in Athol.
  • 2:19 p.m. 2 men driving pickups have finished fighting @ 12th & Lunceford.
  • 1:52 p.m. A homeless person is living in a field near a Viking Construction site.
  • 12:56 p.m. Dispatcher reports icy conditions under slush on Fourth of July Pass.
  • 12:21 p.m. A suicidal woman is demanding drugs or she’ll blow her brains out.
  • Morning roundup below

Minnick Only NW Blue Dog Dem

Huffington Post has out a list of the members of the congressional Blue Dog - conservative - Democrats, who have their own organization and evidently a concrete membership list. Although a fifth of the House Democrats overall are Blue Dogs, just one of the 11 Northwest House Democrats is a member. No surprise: Walt Minnick of Idaho’s 1st district/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press.

Marmie: Used To Be A Beautiful Baby

My chickens are wellabit spoilt, I buy them lavendar or lemon scented sawdust for the bottom of their bedroom in the coop and then I fill it up with warm snuggly herby scented hay LOL….. my chickens come out of their coop in the morning smelling like they have spent a night in a brothel. … They all bring me such joy, I could sit in me garden and just watch them for hours, when Im stressed out, which has been a lot of late, I take me cuppa tea and go sit on the bench in the garden and me chickens bring me back down to earth……. no ‘shop ya stress away’ for me…. just sitting amongst the chicken poo and sharing me marmite toast with them, see how low maintenance I really am LOL/Marmitetoasty, Twaddle Everyday Rubbish. More here.

Question: How do you spoil your pets?

Idaho Dad: Darth & Son, Inc.

My son wanted to watch Star Wars: Return of the Jedi for the umpteenth time the other night. Which is fine by me, as I’ve already seen the movie umpteen times and never tire of it. The final moments of the movie are memorable, of course, but I’d never made special note of the classic father-son scene that takes place at the end until my son said, “Wow, dads really don’t like it when people mess with their sons.” You know the scene. When the Emperor is zapping Luke Skywalker with a gazillion volts of dark side juice, and Luke’s rolling around on the floor screaming, “Don’t tase me, bro!” And then Darth Vader finally comes to his senses and tosses the Emperor into the chasm/Idaho Dad, A Family Runs Through It. More here.

Question: What are you favorite father-son movie scenes?

Spokane Parties w/Botox

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Question: Have you used or are you tempted to use Botox?

2 Face Kidnapping, Other Charges

Sheriff’s deputies arrested two local 18-year-olds on a variety of charges, including kidnapping, in an incident that occurred in Hayden last night. Chase A. Nutting, 18, of Coeur d’Alene, and Jamison D. Delaney-Waymire (pictured), 18, of Hayden, were involved in allegedly pulling a shotgun on two other men and demanding money. You can read the full sheriff’s report here.

OnLocationNI: Amy’s Snow Tunnel

“In the St. Regis Basin in Idaho’s Panhandle National Forest there’s still plenty of snow to tunnel through and play in,” posts Councilwoman KerriT/OnLocation North Idaho. “Amy Bartoo and her family enjoyed a recent winter wonderland of a weekend camping trip. If you still want to play in the North Idaho snow, access the trail system at Lookout Pass. From I-90 at the Idaho/Montana border take the Lookout Pass exit (0) and park in the Lookout Pass Ski Area lower south parking lot.”

JeanieS: 29 & Hanging By My Nails

I have a reverse calendar at work, ticking off the days to when I’m turning the unbelievable age of SIXTY. Why is this unbelievable??? I look in the mirror and I see maybe 40. I don’t feel this new age. So, anyway, yesterday it was 30 days to 60. Today it’s 29 days. Twenty-nine. I remember that age – vividly. 29 was hard to leave – I went kind of kicking and screaming. The 20’s are such exuberant years. You are finally out from under your overbearing parents. You are on your own. Got that apartment. Then married with children. The house/JeanieS, Nuts & Nonsense. More here.

Question: What were you doing when you were 29?

AM: Spirit Lake Characters Rock

First of all, Spirit Lake has a population of only around 1300. Second of all, it was a Sunday, so when we arrived it looked like the town was deserted. Right as we walked in to the bar, Karla and I knew it was going to be an experience because of the customers. The bar itself was nice. The walls were all wood, there were plenty of dead animal heads hanging off the walls and it was filled with pictures of all the ‘regulars.’ However, there were so many characters, I thought my eyes were going to fall out from trying to take everyone in!/Amateur Malcontent. More here (scroll down).

Question: Which Inland Northwest town or spot in the road has the most characters per capita?

Spokane Blogs: Guys & Dolls

When my son was 2, he used to play with dolls. Now at 5, he wouldn’t be caught anywhere near one. I never discouraged him to stop playing with dolls – in fact, I prefer them to the superhero action figures – but somewhere along the line, he got the message somewhere that only girls play with dolls/Virginia de Leon, Are We There Yet? More here.

Question: Did your sons play with dolls?

EOB: 5-Cent Gas Tax Hike Try Fails

After much debate, the first amendment to change the amount of the gas tax bill - from 2 cents next year to 5 cents - has been defeated. Rep. Leon Smith, R-Twin Falls, who sponsored the amendment, said it would raise $26.4 million annually for state roads, and $17.6 million for local roads, while costing the average Idaho driver about $2.50 a month. “That’s an ice cream cone if you only have a single dip,” he said. “Vote for the 5 cents so we have a meaningful bill that can do some good if it does pass.” Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, spoke out against the bill, particularly decrying the idea that people wouldn’t notice another nickel a gallon/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Would you notice a 5-cent hike in the state gas tax?

Spokane Scofflaws Dis Green Suds

Item: Spokane residents smuggle suds over green ban/Nicholas Geranios, AP

More Info: Many people were shocked to find that products like Seventh Generation, Ecover and Trader Joe’s left their dishes encrusted with food, smeared with grease and too gross to use without rewashing them by hand. The culprit was hard water, which is mineral-rich and resistant to soap. As a result, there has been a quiet rush of Spokane-area shoppers heading east on Interstate 90 into Idaho in search of old-school suds. Real estate agent Patti Marcotte of Spokane stocks up on detergent at a Costco in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and doesn’t care who knows it. “Yes, I am a smuggler,” she said. “I’m taking my chances because dirty dishes I cannot live with.”

Question: Would you smuggle detergents with phosphates, if your town had a strict ban like Spokane’s and they were available nearby?

Marianne: Damn This Winter w/o End

And, yes, I’ve cussed. And, yes, Bill left on another morning without comment. I’m bettin’ even he, the most patient human being on earth, is getting sick of it. If he’s not getting sick of the snow, he’s surely gettting sick of what dribbles out his wife’s mouth every time a new supply comes dripping out of the sky. I told him this morning I was just going to go back to bed, go to sleep and not get up until it’s over. He chuckled. I don’t know what I hate worse about winter never ending, but there are lots of possibilities that occurred to me on my outdoor travels so far today/Marianne Love, Slight Detour. More here.

Question: What do you hate worse than this winter without end?

HBO’s Best Of The INW — 3/31/09

Deanna Sherrill, 8, Wenatchee, Wash., grimaces as the spray from a bursting bubble hits her head while she and her sister, Ashlee, (not seen), try out their new bubble makers they bought on their first day of spring break Monday. (AP Photo/The Wenatchee World, Don Seabrook)

Online Poll: Idaho Day-Care Regs

Otter Picks Soltman For Ed Board

Gov. Butch Otter has named a North Idaho health executive to replace a Coeur d’Alene woman on the state Board of Education. Otter on Tuesday appointed Don Soltman of Twin Lakes, vice president for support services at Kootenai Health, the operator of Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene. Soltman succeeds Sue Thilo of Coeur d’Alene, whose term expired March 1. Soltman’s term runs through March 2014. His appointment is subject to Idaho Senate confirmation/Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you approve of Otter’s selection of Don Soltman as the North Idaho representative on the Idaho Education Board?

Dressed To Kilt

The GEICO Caveman attends the 7th Annual ‘Dressed To Kilt’ charity fashion show to kick off Tartan Week on Monday in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

Question: Would you wear a kilt to a public event?

Mayor Gets Free Speech Warning

Item: Palouse gets refresher in free speech: State warns mayor against limiting comments during public meetings in town/David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune

More Info: After receiving some unsolicited advice from Washington state’s ombudsman on open government, Mayor Michael Echanove on Monday declared a resumption of free speech at city council meetings. “Someone can always come in and say the mayor is a bonehead,” said Echanove, who’s been at the helm of this Whitman County town since 2001. “That doesn’t bother me in the least.” But prior to receiving a letter last week from Tim Ford, assistant Washington attorney general for government accountability, Echanove had protected paid city employees from public criticism.

Question: How much guff should a mayor allow during the public forum at a City Council meeting?

Tony Bennett Departs For Virginia

Former Washington State head basketball Coach Tony Bennett gives the “Thumbs up” sign to fans and media standing behind a wire fence and calling his name, before he boarded a private jet leaving Pullman on Monday at the Moscow-Pullman Airport. A small number of Washington State Basketball fans turned out to see the former coach one last time before he headed east shortly after announcing his departure from WSU. Bennett will take the job of head coach at the University of Virginia. Tyler Tjomsland/Spokesman-Review.

HBO Survey Sez … No!

In the daily poll Monday, Huckleberries Online asked: “Do you support the 48-21 Idaho House vote today that allows pharmacists to refuse to dispense birth control or other medicines?” 69 of 91 respondents to the question — or 76% — said “no.” Only 20 — 22% — support the measure. Which now goes to the Senate. Two respondents were undecided.

Jerry Has Left The Building

First, a disclosure. Jerry Carlson has been my insurance agent for 15 years or so. Now, onward. In the mail Monday, my wife and I each got this note from Farmers District Manager Gary Louis: “Your former Farmers agent Jerry Carlson is no longer with our Companies as of March 26, 2009.” Your policies will temporarily be served at our district office, until such time an agent is assigned to provide srvice for you.” Blah, blah, blah. Seems Farmers takes the approach that your guilty until proven innocent, Carlson, of course, is in legal hot water with the feds for allegedly being involved in cocaine dealing.

Teen Mom Sacrifices For Blind Baby

Item: Selah’s sacrifice: Single teen mom living in transition to keep help for blind baby/Brian Walker, CdA Press

More Info: Selah has to be with Lelah 24-7 and, to maintain medical coverage in Washington, she needs to live there away from her family in Post Falls to keep residency in that state. That has translated into temporarily living with Lelah at a family friend’s home at Nine Mile Falls north of Spokane and taking a medical shuttle van to medical appointments in Spokane because she doesn’t have a vehicle. Adoption, Selah said, is not an option.

Question: What would you do if you were in Selah’s shoes?

John: What Did Bennett Owe WSU?

So what does a basketball coach owe you, exactly? Does he owe it to you to stay three years? Five years? Ten? Does he owe you unvarnished honesty? For example, do you really want to hear from his mouth that where he coaches is strictly a business decision – knowing that your school can’t do business the way others do? Or do you want to hear that your place is special, that it has some indefinable something to make him resist the blandishments of others? Or does he simply owe you his best effort for the going wage – for whatever period of time he sees fit to give it, since there is never a guarantee the school will fulfill its pledge? Is he obliged to stay longer because you took a chance on him – even if success was delivered more quickly than you could have dreamed, and beyond predictable horizons?/John Blanchette, SR. More here.

Related: Sterk vows to find new coach quickly/Vince Grippi, SR

Question: So what does a successful coach of a team on the Palouse owe his/her university?

AM Headlines — 3/31/09

Jessica Sherman, an academic assistant in the Plant, Soil, and Entomological Sciences Department, holds an Australian walking stick at a table in the Student Recreation Center during Vandal Friday. (Jake Barber/Argonaut)

One Horse Power

When all the bailouts
Have run their course
It might be time
To Get A Horse.

Idaho Escapee

ECoug01: Tony Bennett Is An A-Rod

ECoug01: Tony has A-rodded us. … I am so pissed. Don’t tell us how much you love pullman, want to build a program, raise kids and have no desire to leave, sign an extension for 1 million bucks in pullman (which is equivalent to 2 mill in seattle at least) and then drop us a year later. If you are going to hit the road do it last year when I was prepared you would probably use WSU as a stepping stone to bigger schools. No more WSU legend in the works, no more hall of fame.

Question: Do you agree with ECoug01 that Tony Bennett has pulled an A-Rod — or Dennis Erickson, for that matter — taking the money, prestige, and running? Or is he something better than that?

Jeanie: Shriners There When Needed

JeanieS: Before the shoes, I spent a few days at the Shriner’s Hospital. No surgeries – just tests. Checking my back. Checking my feet. Checking my legs. There were dozens of kids there my age – many paralyzed with polio. Shriner’s has been an indelible part of Spokane. I can’t imagine where these children will go without Shriner’s. This “recession” is like a bad cancer, metastasizing into the bone. More here.

Question: Any other stories re: how you or others you know have been helped by Shriners Hospital/Spokane?


Nick: Who’d Want To Be UI Prez?

Nick Adams: Given the Republican-dominated legislature’s anti-education bias, I wouldn’t want the job (of University of Idaho president) either. Can you imagine how frustrating it’d be to have a couple of insurance salesman (Goedde and Nonini) tell you what’s best for higher ed in Idaho? I’d love to see U of I get a well-qualified president hired soon. It is an important and critical component to our state’s future. Frankly, its been rudderless and hamstringed since the scandal-ridden Hoover years—much to the detriment of our fair state.

Question: What do you make of the fact that the 3rd of 5 finalists has withdrawn his name from consideration to be president of the University of Idaho?

Ramirez: Government Motors

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Wild Card/Monday — 3/30/09

In the news this evening: A 5-in-1 pill may prevent heart disease here. Auto workers complain that Obama treated industry worse than banks here. The Obama team drops ‘war on terror’ rhetoric here. The Dow drops more than 250 points here. Rapper T.I. was sentenced to a year in prison on weapons charges here. And the Monday Wild Card remains on the table …

Parting Shot — 3/30/09

A gull snatches a piece of bread in mid-air before it hits the ground while scavenging for food in Chicago’s Millenium Park. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) SR’s Today In Photos.

Statesman Poll: Obama’s Europe Trip

Do you think Obama’s trip to Europe will be successful?/Idaho Statesman

  • Yes, thousands will greet him
  • He will help mend broken relationships with world leaders
  • No, he won’t accomplish much in 7 days of meetings
  • Our new president can accomplish anything

Alex: Twitter’s Nothing To Chirp About

In case Facebook isn’t creepy enough for you, the latest form of online ADD, Twitter, is there for your basic stalking needs. After all the hype I had been hearing, I eagerly created an account, hoping for the same sense of bedazzlement I felt as soon as a logged onto the MySpace world back in 2005 or Facebook in 2007. What I felt logging on to Twitter for the first time was a sense, not of stepping into a vast world of endless possibilities, but of stepping into a dark void of nothingness. I’m here to confirm that there is absolutely nothing about Twitter that makes it different or new or any more interesting or entertaining than Facebook. It’s a giant scam if I’ve ever seen one, created merely to cash in on the success of stalker-esque internet applications that have been so popular recently/Alex Gratzer, WSU Evergreen. More here.

Question: What do you think of the relatively new Internet tool Twitter?

PM Headlines — 3/30/09

Firefighters work to put out any remaining smolders from buildings at Soldier Mountain Ski Resort near Fairfield, Idaho that burned to the ground Monday, March 30, 2009. Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the Monday morning blaze that destroyed the main lodge at Soldier Mountain Ski Resort, a small ski operation owned by actor Bruce Willis. Story here. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Shawn Raecke)

APhoto Of The Day — 3/30/09

Catherine Jolley, 17, left, and Chelsea Leach, 18, both members of the Northeast High School girls volleyball team, wrestle in a wading tub full of Hershey’s chocolate syrup Friday in one of the team member’s backyard in Oakland Park, Fla. The girls team, egged on by the boys team, were just having fun to mark the end of the girls season and the start of the boys season. They used 27 bottles of the syrup. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Sun Sentinel, Joe Cavaretta)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Slightly confused, the girls begin an early celebration of Easter Sundae — JohnA.
  • 2. The rather large boy on the left was all set to enjoy the dream of all dreams; 27 bottles of gently used Hersey syrup, all to himself — Cabbage Boy.
  • 3. and the young dudes said, “ SWEEEEEEEEEEET!” — Bayview Bob.

  • HM: Token

Scanner Traffic — 3/30/09

  • 5:33 p.m. Patrol officers are searching for a man suffering from Alzheimers who got lost while trying to drive to Cabela’s.
  • 5:21 p.m. A downed power line has closed Yellowstone Trail for the next half hour.
  • 5:06 p.m. A blown semi tire is laying in the right e/b lane of I-90 @ Highway 41.
  • 4:32 p.m. Someone grabbed a flower basket from a Kathleen Avenue store and drove off e/b.
  • 4:09 p.m. 3 young females are throwing stuff from an overpass @ cars on I-90.
  • 2:57 p.m. A man wants to see an officer re: a mechanic who charged him for car repair but never did the work.
  • 2:17 p.m. R/P reports that someone has shot out her trailer window, and that her husband is chasing a suspect in the trailer park. Update: An officer decided that the window was broken by a rock hit by a boy with a baseball bat.
  • 1:45 p.m. A stack of about 20 sheets of plywood is laying in the street at Kathleen & Government Way.
  • 12:16 p.m. A 2-vehicle noninjury accident is blocking Prairie & Ramsey.

Spokane Shriners Hospital May Shut

The Shriners Hospital for Children in Spokane, which provides pediatric specialty care programs at no cost to families, may close as a part of sweeping budget cuts. Hospital executives are telling the 172 employees this afternoon that the hospital is on a list for possible closure. A decision will be made in the coming months. Story here. (Colin Mulvany/Spokesman-Review)

Alan Broden: A Life Lived Well

For more than 30 years, late Kootenai County 911 dispatcher Alan Broden was the calm voice in the face of chaos, directing patrol officers and emergency responders to their destinations. His retirement on Dec. 1 left a hole in the 911 dispatch center. His unexpected death Feb. 28 left a hole in the lives of his loved ones and friends. Hundreds attended his funeral. A day later, hardship hit the family again when daughter Sarah, a University of Idaho student, fell and fractured two bones in her lower leg. Which required surgery and a wheelchair. In an e-mail to Huckleberries Online, Alan’s daughter, Cyndi Broden Holbert, of Pocatello, tells what happened next: “My parent’s house was not equipped for wheelchair access, but thanks to the EMS crew from the Northern Lakes Fire Department (who transported my Dad to the hospital the day he died), and with materials and funds donated by Avista, a wheelchair ramp was built on Sunday (March 22).” By being the person he was, Cyndi concludes, her father “somehow made sure he would take care of us even when he was gone.” That’s what you call “paying it forward.” 

Question: Have you ever made a local 911 distress call?

Reduced In Rank

Begging for alms from

Congress and voters,

henceforward known as

Lieutenant Motors.


The Bard Of Sherman Avenue

WSU’s Tony Bennett Going To Virginia

Tony Bennett, who led Washington State to its first appearance in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament in 2008, will be named head coach at Virginia. Washington State director of athletics Jim Sterk confirmed that Bennett has accepted the head-coaching position at Virginia on Tuesday. “Dick and Tony Bennett have elevated the men’s basketball program at Washington State to an unprecedented level of success,” Sterk said in a statement released by the university. “We will begin a national search for a coach immediately with the goal of finding someone with the integrity, experience, and values that Dick and Tony brought to the program”/ESPN. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that successful WSU basketball coach Tony Bennett is moving on?

Adults Flock To Post Falls Dodgeball

During opening night of Post Falls Parks and Recreation Dodgeball league, Dusty Pfennigs ducks out ot the way of oncoming balls. The Post Falls Park and Recreation is starting the city’s first dodgeball league that runs through April 23. Games are played Tuesday and Thursday nights at West Ridge Elementary School. There are two leagues, men’s open and co-ed, and each team must have at least six players ages 16 and up. ((Colin Mulvany/Spokesman-Review)

Question: Were you a very good dodgeball player back in the day?

GM, Chrysler Face Bankruptcy

Item: Frustrated Americans cheer Obama’s tough auto moves/Reuters

More Info: Obama forced out General Motors chief executive Rick Wagoner, pushed Chrysler LLC toward a merger with Italy’s Fiat SpA, and threatened bankruptcy for both, marking an escalation in Washington’s involvement in rescuing the faltering economy. Skeptics asked whether it was an early sign of a more activist administration or an isolated example. GM shares tumbled 30 percent on the news and the Dow Jones Industrial average sank nearly 4 percent. Rxperts called it potentially the most significant presidential intervention in the private sector since Harry Truman tried to seize the steel industry during the Korean War in 1952, only to be rebuffed by the Supreme Court.

Question: Do you support President Obama’s get-tough approach to the auto industry, which could include letting GM & Chrysler go bankrupt?

Beth: What’s Good To Read?

I went a long period of time a few years ago reading almost nothing in the form of a novel, as I didn’t want to impact my own writing style by picking up other authors’ styles inadvertently. I’m over that speed bump, and am back to reading good books. But a lot of the books I pick up now — granted, somewhat at random — seem to be missing something. Either I don’t particularly care about the hero, or I can sense that some editor came in and butchered a really, really good manuscript. … I don’t want to read only the classics, tried and true. And I don’t want to resort to reading only “bubblegum” books (fun books that I enjoy reading but that don’t have a lot of substance). I’m really interested in reading today’s good novelists. I don’t have a genre preference, though I’m not particularly impressed with the new trend of trying to attach readers to heroes with no moral compass/Beth Bollinger, Accidental Rabbit Trails.

Question: Any suggestions for “good read” books?

WH: Surrendering Private Property

The Eagle smoking ordinance is a restriction on private property. I think everyone would agree that is true. It would prohibit smoking in bars and allow only 20 percent of a hotel’s rooms to go to smokers. (What public policy is served by telling hoteliers in Eagle that they can only rent out 20 percent of their rooms to smokers? And why 20 percent, of all numbers?) In its current form, the Eagle ordinance could also prohibit smoking in an office where the owner has just one employee, even if that business rarely or never sees outside customers. In other words, you can work hard your whole life, buy office space in Eagle, and then be told you’re not allowed to enjoy a legal activity (smoking) on your property if that’s your choice/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Do you share Wayne Hoffman’s opinion that government-enforced smoking bans in bars, hotels and even businesses are a violation of personal property rights?

HBO Blogosphere — 3/30/09

Fred and Pecky Cox enjoyed this view of Lake Coeur d’Alene during a visit to the Lake City to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary. E-mails Pecky/As The Lake Churns: “I was taking some pictures from my room. These two men and one lady came to the CDAlene Resort boardwalk bridge right at sunset and played these long horns they had with them. It was a beautiful sound.”

A-MR: Purity Balls? Bah, Humbug

Virginity and purity. America is obsessed with it. The porn industry thrives on virgins, women like Natalie Dylan sell their virginity for millions of dollars and abstinence-only programs preach the importance of virginity. Media, schools, churches and the government all seem to think a young woman’s worth lies in her sexual purity. When I was in high school, my church asked me to sign a celibacy pledge to God — I didn’t. I refused to lie in church. But that was about the extent of the pressure I experienced. Other girls face much weightier pressures. Some fathers will give their daughters a promise ring, others a locket and then there are those lavish ceremonies called purity balls/Anne-Marije Rook, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: Should teen-agers be encouraged to wait until marriage to have sex?

High Noon: ‘Spawn Of Immigrants’

People who have struggled with another language know that it takes thousands of hours and several years of study and memorization to become anywhere near fluent. But in truth, virtually all newcomers - including my Danish great grandparents and today’s Latino immigrants - eventually do learn the local language. They learn it by studying until their heads ring. They learn it a word at a time from generous co-workers and helpful neighbors. They learn it from their own children - those little language sponges who pick up English from classmates and television, learning four times as fast as thee and me with our old petrified brains/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: How long did it take your forebears to learn the language and assimilate into the culture of the United States?

HBO’s Best Of The INW — 3/30/09

Carl and Sally Gidlund along with their new puppy, Sadie at their home in Hayden on Friday. (Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review)

Question: When did you last have a new puppy in your home?

HBO Poll: ‘Pharmacist Conscience’ Bill

EOB ‘Pharmacist Conscience’ OK’d

The House has voted 48-21 in favor of HB 216a, the “pharmacist conscience” bill, after an hour-long debate. Rep. Sue Chew, D-Boise, who is a pharmacist, said, “This bill really makes things much more complicated for us in a world that’s already much too complicated.” Other opponents argued that the bill would hurt businesses, by forcing employers to stand by while a rogue employee denied people access to prescriptions left and right, offending customers and reducing the business’ profits. The objections could be to any medication, for any reason, though the bill was promoted by groups that oppose abortion and contraception/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. How they voted here.

Question: To you agree with the House vote on the ‘pharmacist conscience’ bill?

IHSAA Honors 1959 Kellogg Champs

1959 Kellogg state basketball champs. Front row left to right, Don Zimmerman, Chris Milionis, Louie Jennings, coach Ed Hiemstra, faculty representative and team scorekeeper Ray Faraca, Bernard Blondeau, Keith Kilimann, Frank Winiarski; back row manager Sam Cummings, Ron Shreve, Ron Jarvey, Rodney Kamppi, Gary James, Rich Porter, Jeff Wombolt, Dennis Seagraves. Read Greg Lee’s Handle Extra story re: the Kellogg champions who were honored by the IHSAA with the “Legends of the Game” Award during halftime of the 5A state championship game at the Idaho Center in Nampa earlier this month here. (Photo Jon Nishioka/Nish’s Photo)

Question: Were you ever part of a championship team at any level of sports? Please share your memories re: that feat.

Best Weekend Thread: Pet Peeves

RE: 2C Etc: Top 10 Pet Peeves/Huckleberries Online

JBelle: My pet peeve, that puts me in a snarl in an instant, makes the logger poetry ERUPT from my mouth and all around irritates me to an extent that is unwholly pretty is when other drivers motion me. They motion me through the intersection. They motion me in and out of parking places. THEY MOTION ME TO MAKE A LEFT HAND TURN! So when did they go to the academy and graduate a traffic cop? Who put them in charge? When did I sign up to be subserviant to their commands?

Question: Fishwife can’t stand aging men with flabby arms riding Harleys. Charlie’s bugged by motorists who take two spaces to park. Kage Mann can’t stand owners who run dogs without leashes on Tubbs Hill. You can still add your pet peeves to the list.

Nils: New Garden Center To Open

Item: New garden center to open just in time for spring planting/Nils Rosdahl, SR

More Info: The name basically says it all – Coeur d’Alene Garden, Gift & Gallery. This 5,000-square-foot store and outdoor acre will open April 15 at 1619 Lee Court. Formerly the home of Granite Planet (and temporarily part of Coeur d’Alene Tractor while its snow-damaged roof was being repaired), the new store is on the east side of Ramsey Road, between Appleway and Interstate 90. It also will take advantage of the huge, neighboring WinCo grocery market planned for the northeast corner of the Appleway-Ramsey Road intersection.

Question: Where do you buy your garden plants and supplies?

Sleevegate Dogs Michelle Obama

All of Twitter was aflame with that burning fashion question until even heavyweight pundits such as The New York Times’s David Brooks felt compelled to weigh in, joking that as far as he could tell, “one of the main reasons Barack Obama ran for president was so Michelle would have a platform to show her biceps, Thunder and Lightning.” There’s no doubt that the new first lady, tall and fit (she works out “like a gladiator” according to one friend), has a head-turning physical presence. Just by virtue of her skin colour, she already looks like no first lady before her. But apart from invoking her “right to bare arms” (that joke was instantly everywhere) and no doubt inspiring legions of women to get to the gym, how is Michelle Obama performing so far as first lady?/Judith Timson, GlobeLife. More here.

Question: Do you believe First Lady Michelle Obama has a right to bare her muscular arms?

AM Headlines — 3/30/09

Josephine Webb was greeted by well wishers during a reception held in her honor at North Idaho College on Friday, March 27. When she was on North Idaho College’s board of trustees in the 1970s, a developer presented a proposal to build condominiums on the property at the head of the Spokane River. Webb and other community members launched a battle against the proposal. The developer backed out and NIC was able to purchase the lakeshore from Pack River Lumber Co. in 1977, preserving that beachfront for public use. Story here. (Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review)

HBO Survey Sez … Matt Bouldin

In the daily HBO survey, a plurality of Merry Hucksters — 21 of 59 or 36% — said Matt Bouldin is there favorite Zag on the 2008-09 men’s basketball team, followed by Josh Heytvelt (11 or 19%); Micah Downs (9 or 15%), and Jeremy Pargo (8 or 14%). When asked over the weekend what they’re going to do now that North Carolina ended the Zags season, 16 or 60 (27%) said they will turn their attention to the Seattle Mariners and 10 (17%) each said they will continue to watch the NCAA basketball tournament or begin gardening.

A German Way To Satisfy Sweet Tooth

Hermine’s shop wasn’t always so festive and full of foil-wrapped temptations. In fact, it was only about two years ago that she was able to realize her longtime dream by installing a fully functional, stainless steel kitchen in the back of her alterations shop, then called the Clothes Clinic. Since 1988, when she made her first batch treats, she’d been using the kitchen at the St. Pius Church and making bonbons as a side gig to sell primarily to folks whose main business was having her hem some pants or replace a zipper. Gradually, through word of mouth and on the strength and uniqueness of her products, just as many people started showing up for the candies. Now, although she does still have a small but devoted customer base for her tailoring services, her shop has been fully transformed into a German candy paradise/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: How do you satisfy your sweet tooth?

DFO: A Snowplow Too Wide

Sometimes, in small towns, something as minor as a snowplow can decide future events. In Hauser, city officials were meeting at the Rainbow Inn (now Lakeview Inn) when D.J. Nall moved to town in 1977. In her Hauser Thoughts blog, D.J. (aka Frum Helen Back) tells how she’d never set foot in a bar before her first council meeting – and then vomited on the flowers outside after several locals greeted her by buying drinks. Later, the council met at the fire station and the front office of the then-new City Hall. At the time, the current council chambers served as the garage for the snowplow and other city equipment. That changed when then Mayor Gary Mallon appointed D.J. and another council member to find a new snowplow. They did. Only they didn’t measure the width of the blade. Which was too big for the garage doors. Undaunted, Mallon, a career military man accustomed to occasional snafus, transformed the garage into a meeting room and ordered the existing metal building constructed to house Hauser equipment. That’s DJ’s Hauser her-story – and she’s sticking to it/DFO, Handle Extra Huckleberries. More here.

Question: When did you last attend a meeting or your City Council or a local government entity?

Do-It-Yourself Consumer Warning

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Sunday — 3/29/09

Merry Hucksters; I’m simply going to play a Wild Card for you today — and save OrangeTV’s column and the print Huckleberries for discussion Monday. For those who can’t wait for those two columns or others by Nils Rosdahl, Betsy Russell & Michelle Boss, you can look for the Handle Extra in your home subscription of the SR or pick it up on news stands. It’s worth a couple of quarters. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying a four-day visit from Amy Dearest, who joined Mrs. O and I last night to watch the Spokane Civic Theatre’s production of “Godspell” in the Studio Theater, with Coeur d’Alene’s Robby French playing the lead. A good time was had by us three. At one point, I became part of the props when actress Emily Baynes sat in my lap while singing, “Turn Back, O Man.” Earlier, I was a prop for Robby during a pantomime part of the play. I was tempted to take a bow with the rest of the cast at the end. You can use this Wild Card to tell us if you’ve ever appeared on stage for a play. Or simply to start your own thread …

Statesman: Cut Teachers Pay?

Do you think Idaho teachers’ pay should have been cut?/Idaho Statesman

  • It’s not ideal, but it was better than deeper cuts elsewhere
  • Idaho teachers aren’t paid enough as it is, cuts make it worse
  • More stimulus funds should have been used to keep cuts from happening
  • Don’t know what the perfect answer is

Wild Card/Saturday — 3/28/09

In the news this morning: Obama plans to widen US involvement in Afghanistan here. The space shuttle Discovery is on tap for an afternoon landing here. Madonna wants to adopt another child here. CNN sinks to third place in prime time here. Criticism over Obama invite mounts at Notre Dame here. And another Wild Card is in play …

Zags Appreciate Fans

After their 98-77 loss to North Carolina, the Gonzaga players turn to their fans and salute them at the South Regional NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen Friday in Memphis, Tenn.  Game story, more photos here. Christopher Anderson/Spokesman-Review

Herb: Bayview Fire Ruled Arson

The fire that destroyed the patio at Boileau’s last week has been determined to be Arson. Results of the investigation by the Timberlake Fire District and the fire marshal have been referred to the Kootenai County Sheriff Department for investigation. The apparent indication of accelerants at the fire location and the proximity of the building behind the patio with stairs and access to the balcony over looking the cafe is where the fire burned the hottest/Bayview Herb, Bay Views. More here.

HBO Poll: No More Zags? What Now?

HBO Survey Sez … Matt Bouldin

In the TGIF HBO Poll, 18 of 54 (or 33%) of you said that Matt Bouldin is your favorite 2008-09 Gonzaga Bulldog regular player. Josh Heytvelt finished in second with 11 votes (20%), followed by Micah Downs & Jeremy Pargo, who were tied with 8 votes (15%).

2C Etc. Top 10 Pet Peeves

  • Pictures grouped on a wall that hang crooked despite your constant egging them back to the square.
  • Motorists who always drive in the passing lane on the highway … and at a slower speed than a turtle crawls.
  • Parents who perceive the local Wal-Mart as the best theme park in the land and let their children run free through them as though they were.
  • Cell phone conversations in restaurants … especially in the booth next to yours.
  • Greeting cards filled with sparkles and/or confetti … and you don’t know it until they’re opened/Ida Chatter, 2C Etc. More here.

Question: Name 3 of your pet peeves?

DavidL: Like A Chicken w/Head Cut Off

Once Aunt Beryl taught me how to capture chickens, it was a short run from there to the beheading pen, surrounded top and all four sides with chicken wire, adjacent to the chicken house and thus convenient for those moments when you wanted to part a chicken from its life. In the center of the pen there was an old ax that had outlived wood cutting and had become the chicken beheading unit. WHOCK! Behead that bird and then dump it on the ground. It takes the average chicken about three minutes to die, during which time it will flail and dash madly from side to side in ecstasy in the beheading pen, until it finally dies of having no head and and no more blood/David Laird, Community Comment. More here.

Question: Have you ever beheaded a chicken? Or slaughtered any kind of animal? Describe the experience.

Marmie: An Unexpected Visitor

Well, about 3 weeks ago we had another MOUSE incident. … this time it was Ambrose that came galloping in through the catflap carrying a squeeling wriggling little dormouse. … I shouted at me cat at the top of me voice, and it scared her so much she opened her mouth and the mouse fell to the floor and ran under the washing machine. … there was nuffin I could do to get the little mouse out….. I thought the cats would eventually catch it and there will be nuffin I can do. … but, catch the mouse they didnt. … it must of crept out at night and stole and nibbled their food and drank their water…. and as the days went by I forgot about the little dormouse that was living under me washing machine. … UNTIL. … I was in me kitchen late one night bunging the kettle on for a cuppa tea. … as I stood there waiting for it to boil, I watched as a little tiny dormouse crept along me kitchen window sill and behind me toaster where it sat nibbling on toast crumbs/Marmitetoasty, Twaddle. More here.

Question: Have you had an interesting experience trapping a mouse or other kind of varmint in your house or yard?

Cis: Have We Really Come A Long Way?

(You have come a long way, baby) was the saying when I was in my 30’s. It was part cigarette saying and the by word of women. The call, so to speak, that we could do anything. That men were nice, but we did not have to have them to survive. The times of Anne Murray and I, am Woman. Or Althea Franklin’s R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Yes, you have come a long way, Baby … Or so we thought. In the news of the past few days and weeks, it has shown us that the young women, the teens have not learn this lesson what so ever. Once again, we see women being beat by men, even the music singers. We see that teen girls are taking pictures of themselves in the nude to  impress some boy, and texting them to boys. And of course, they end up on the web. So little respect for themselves/Cis, Simple Mind. More here.

Question: Where do you think females stand today in terms of the old saying: “You have come a long way, baby”? Have they arrived? Have a way to go? Slipped back?

JanTri: Entitlements Are Irksome

There is an air of entitlement in our society, and it stinks. This is a two-headed monster threatening to devour those of us in the middle. The “haves” and the “have-nots” are very different kinds of people, but both groups feel that they deserve privileges and special treatment the rest of us don’t have access to. I came to this realization the other day when a guy in a new Mercedes pulled onto the commuter lane on I-5 right in front of us. He was alone in his car, and tooled along for miles in a lane reserved for vehicles with two or more people. The “haves” think they are entitled to bailouts, tax breaks, free checking, low interest, and, like this guy, have no regard for rules that should apply to all. … On the other hand, the entitlement mentality of the “have-nots” is equally disturbing. We are a great society. Unlike most countries in the world, we care for those who cannot take care of themselves. There should be access to medical care, housing assistance, food stamps, and all the other programs in place to help people help themselves. These are designed to be a stepping stone, but in many cases, are stopping stones/JanTri, Brand X Ranch. More here.

Question: Do you agree with JanTri that the entitlements of both the haves and have-nots are threatening to devour individuals in the middle class?

North Carolina 98, Gonzaga 77

North Carolina forward Tyler Hansbrough, left, shoots around the reach of Gonzaga guard Micah Downs (22) in the first half of a men’s NCAA tournament regional semifinal college basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., tonight. North Carolina led by double digits throughout the second half and won 98-77. ESPN boxscore here. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Sweet 16 Wild Card — 3/27/09

I’m taking the day off today, but I left plenty of fodder below for you to peruse and to discuss. It’s Sweet 16 day, of course. So there’s an HBO Poll re: favorite current Zag player and some links to pre-game stories by Jim Meehan. You can also discuss the Owyhee Wilderness vote and even your feelings re: attending weddings. I’ll check in during the day. And I’ll post items overnight to greet you in the morning. Be good. Here’s your Wild Card …

Zags Face North Carolina Tonight

Matt Bouldin of Gonzaga is framed by the logo and bright lights in Memphis, Tenn. Thursday as the Zags prepare for their Sweet Sixteen game against North Carolina today.  Jim Meehan’s pre-game story here and notebook here. Christopher Anderson/Spokesman-Review. More photos of Zags practice Thursday.

Question: Predict tonight’s final score between Gonzaga and North Carolina.

Don’t Know Much About Geography

Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind offers this “easter egg” for those who think they know something re: geography. You’d better know something re: northern Africa and the Middle East before proceeding here.

Memphis Loss TKO’s Obama’s Bracket

So long to one of President Barack Obama’s picks for the Final Four. The president’s NCAA tournament bracket took a hit Thursday night when Memphis lost to Missouri 102-91. Obama also missed with Duke’s loss to Villanova, and slipped to the bottom half of the 5-plus million fans who entered’s pool. Earlier in the evening, Obama won with Connecticut and Pittsburgh. When the Huskies and Panthers moved into the regional finals, it also boosted the president’s picks to the top 40 percent overall. Then came Memphis’ loss. The president had Memphis losing in the national semifinals to Louisville. He has North Carolina beating Pitt in the other semi/AP.

Question: Obama (shown with North Carolina coach Roy Williams above) picked North Carolina to win the NCAA tournament in his tournament bracket. How do you feel about that. And how are you doing with your tournament bracket?


JF: 2 NW Pols Misfire On Wilderness Vote

Wednesday, legislation resolving a number of wilderness issues in the country, and incorporating the collaborative compromise over Idaho’s Owyhee Canyonlands, was endorsed by every House member from the Northwest with only two exceptions: eastern Washington’s Cathy McMorris Rodgers (pictured) and Doc Hastings. It tells you a lot when McMorris Rodgers and Hastings vote against something every Republican member of Congress from Idaho supports. It tells you they are anything but moderates, of course. But it tells you more than that. The Owyhee compromise, one of Republican Sen. Mike Crapo’s biggest projects in the last several years, represents, as Crapo is first to say, a model for settling any number of controversies involving the use of public land. For eight years, conservationists, ranchers, Indians, local government officials and others have worked to pass legislation that gives each party enough of what they want that they consider themselves winners/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Did you support the addition of the Owyhee Canyonlands to Idaho wilderness designation? Do you further support the designation of the Boulder-White Clouds area in central Idaho as wilderness?

APhoto Of The Day — 3/27/09

Memphis’ Chance McGrady, left, and Roburt Sallie sit dejectedly in the locker room after their team’s loss to Missouri in a men’s NCAA college basketball tournament regional semifinal in Glendale, Ariz., Thursday. Missouri won 102-91. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Weddings: Bother & Blessing — 2C Etc.

I have literally lost count of how many weddings I’ve participated in during the course of my 25-year-old life. While I never made it as a flower girl, around age 10, my younger sister and I solemnly watched over the guest book at a family friend’s wedding. As a pianist, I booked my first wedding around my freshman year of high school and have averaged musical participation in at least one wedding a year since then. And over the last few years, many of my friends have “come of age” and caught the marrying fever, which puts me in the position of playing a bridesmaid and/or maid of honor. I’ve purchased five fancy dresses now, and, with both of my siblings recently entering into engagements, I see more in my future. There will also be a plethora of parties to attend, gifts to buy, stressed out bride-friends to soothe and, most of all, too many giggles to count/Kendel Murrant, Idaho Press Tribune, 2C Etc. More here.

Question: Why do you like/dislike going to weddings?

HBO Poll: Favorite 2008-09 Zag

Survey Sez … 16-Ounce Little Dude

RE: HBO Poll: Wolf Lodge Inn steaks/Huckleberries Online

Escapee: How many Real Men out there will confess to ordering the “Cowgirl”…that’s where Wolf Lodge Inn is smart…because a Real He-Man would probably opt for the more expensive “Cowboy” or “Rancher”? Or, in these complicated times, a guy might go for the “Cowgirl” steak in order to not appear as a ‘Brokeback Cowboy’, perhaps. A very long time ago, I ate the “Cowgirl” steak and that was waaay more than enough food for me.

DFO: In the HBO Poll Wednesday, 31 of 60 respondents (52%) said they ordered the 16-ounce Cowgirl steak when they dined at Wolf Lodge Inn. Another 20 (27%) said they ordered the 20-ounce Cowgirl. Meanwhile, 8 brave souls (13%) admitted they order the 42-ounce Rancher.

JeanieS: Can’t Find My Way Out Of Bag

JeanieS: I could get lost in a paper bag. Worse - I have to be **on time** if not 15 minutes early for dinner dates. I have been known to wander and wander and not be able to find the “quaint little bistro behind the fourth maple tree on the right, next to the little bead shop” and when it approached the witching hour of 6:30, I gave up and went home. I will NOT be late. Once I drove to my parents house in Yachats, Oregon and took the wrong exit and ended up lost (I told my parents I was touring) in Albany. Albany is about as big as from here to that wall over there.

Question: Do you get lost easily when you’re traveling?

Stickman: Never Forget Veterans

RE: LaSarte finally gets hero’s welcome/Ralph Bartholdt, St. Maries Gazette-Record

Stickman: I tell the story sometimes of a young man who on his last day in country, was killed in an ambush. One of the tears of my life, even to this day. I cry everytime I think of him. His name was Billy, and he was 19. And another of a young man who was wounded calling in an air strike on his own position. He wished he died that day, but didn’t. He is still here, and I take the time each week to go to his house and give him a bath, as he is embarrassed to let anyone else do it. Did we serve, damn right! Never forget the ones that came before you to keep you free.

Question: Do you know someone who was killed or injured in war? Who?

Heller: Too Far South For The Winter

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Thursday — 3/26/09

Before I get into the evening headlines, I’d like to point out that Huckleberries Online has a new blogroll — devoted to Spokane area bloggers (in the right rail). Next week, I’ll explore possible ways to highlight bloggers on the blogroll. Mebbe some sort of roundup a coupla times a week. We’ll see. Also, I’m taking tomorrow off. So I’m looking for a guest host for HBO. Now, for the evening headlines: Obama’s planning to send additional troops to Afghanistan here. Alaska’s Mount Redoubt is still erupting here. New York Times has cut jobs and salaries here. U.S. Senate votes to drastically expand AmeriCorps here. And the Wild Card remains in play …

Parting Shot — 3/26/09

Atlas Elementary third grader Derrick Collins reads a biography about Harriet Tubman at the school in Coeur d’Alene on Wednesday. Reading scores for Kootenai County’s youngest students, the kindergarten through third graders, have improved quite a bit since the beginning of the school year, as demonstrated by the results from the most recent Idaho Reading Indicator test. Story here. Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review. SR’s Today In Photos.

Question: How much do you read? What do you like to read?

Horsey: Will History Judge W Kindly?

A civilized political process could finally be taking root. Back room deals may be replacing roadside bombs as a means of getting things done in the land of the Tigris and Euphrates. It is not impossible to imagine that, 10 years from now, Iraq will be a stable, comparatively affluent and reasonably free society in the heart of the Middle East, the fulfillment of the neo-conservative dream. Of course, it is easy to imagine a much more grim outcome, as well, but, for now, the signs are encouraging. If American troops pull out on schedule, harsh memories will fade. In time, a reassessment of the invasion and its aftermath could reflect more positively on George W. Bush/David Horsey, Seattle P-I. More here. And: Cartoon here.

Question: Is it possible that history will smile on former President George Bush for invading Iraq and supplanting dictator Saddam Hussein?

JeanS: Help! I’m Falling

I discover new things that add to my fear of heights – besides changing light bulbs and cleaning ceiling fans. Fire escape stairs. I cannot go down fire escape stairs. I can go up just fine. I went to see a friend in an apartment building that had fire escape stairs that went to the second floor. I didn’t give it a second thought as I skipped up the stairs to her apartment. Once there I realized that 301 was not on the second floor, it was on the third floor. So I turned to go up the next flight when I froze. I could SEE through the stairs to the ground far, FAR below me. I couldn’t move. A couple came out of an apartment and I just stood there/JeanieS, Nuts & Nonsense. More here.

Question: What’s your main phobia?

PM Headlines — 3/26/09

“I was OnLocation for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Post Falls Dam this week,” posts Councilwoman KerriT/OnLocation North Idaho. “If you want proof that spring is on the way, eight of nine gates are wide open, flowing 10,000 cubic feet per second. This is a bird’s eye view from above the falls on the spillway catwalk as the Spokane River begins its travels over the dam.”

APhoto Of The Day — 3/26/09

Inspired by a famous 50-year-old Life magazine photograph, Saint Mary’s College students attempt to break the campus’ 24 bodies in a phone booth record Wednesday on their Moraga, Calif. campus. The phone booth competition comes 50 years after Life magazine published a now-famous photograph of 22 St. Mary’s students stuffed into a phone booth, a popular college stunt in the 1950s. Current students matched the number in the 1959 image, though they failed to break the campus record of 24 set in 1984. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Contra Costa Times, Karl Mondon)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. The group came crashing out of the booth when number 23 made a desperate and ill-advised move for the coin return hoping to find some forgotten change. Yet another stark reminder of just how bad the economy is — Poolman.
  • 2. First student: “Hey, is that Sarah’s head jammed against the phone dial?” Second student: “I don’t know, her face doesn’t ring a bell” — JohnA.
  • 3. The majority of Idaho Democrats gather in their convention hall for their presidential caucus — OfCoffee.
  • HM: JeanieS

Scanner Traffic — 3/26/09

  • 5:22 p.m. R/P reports a dog in a red SUV in front of a local day care hasn’t been given food or water since 2 p.m.
  • 4:56 p.m. Hazmat unit is checking out an oil slick behind Cricket’s/Coeur d’Alene.
  • 4:50 p.m. Vehicles are racing in and out of Black Bay/Post Falls.
  • 4:48 p.m. An 85YO man has fallen and hit his head in the handicap parking area directly in front of Costco.
  • 4:40 p.m. CPD Blue officers have 4 men in custody in the Kohl’s parking lot. Details are sketchy re: reason why.
  • 2:33 p.m. 2 citizens are fighting over a parking spot @ 1201 Lincoln Way.
  • 1:12 p.m. A golfer has suffered a possible broken leg when his cart slipped on the edge of a path @ Gozzer Ranch and overturned on him.
  • 12:05 p.m. A woman who is having trouble dialing “6’s” on her phone accidentally called 911.
  • More below

Woman Gets 3 DUIs In 3 Vacay Days

A Washington woman visiting Wisconsin last year was arrested for drunken driving three times in three days, including twice in and around Kohler-Andrae State Park, according to court records released Wednesday.  Jo A. Trilling, of Spokane, Wash., who was sentenced on the final two cases last week, was arrested in each case after driving off the road and getting her car stuck. She was arrested March 11, 12 and 13 of 2008, racking up a total of 30 days in jail and more than $3,000 in fines/Erik Litke, Sheboygan Press. More here.

Toad: Passively Resisting Authority

When I was in third grade, I wrote some nasty and disrespectful words aimed at my teacher. I knew she’d read them, in fact, I hoped she would. I was just then starting to question the authority around me, and hadn’t yet figured out that most of what we do in life is play games with each other. I hadn’t made the connection that in order to get teachers, and authority, off my back, one had to play the game just well enough to not get noticed. Because I hadn’t made this connection yet, I became frustrated with school, and bored/Toadman, Synaptic Disunion. More here.

Question: Do you have a problem with authority?

Getting Ready For North Carolina

Gonzaga coaches and players turn to watch as Micah Downs (rear with hand up ) shoots fom half court in Memphis, Tenn., today as they prepare for their Sweet Sixteen game against North Carolina Friday. Christopher Anderson/Spokesman-Review

Liz Spots Dragged Dead Squirrel

Liz: Get ready for this: around  3:30 p.m. Wednesday,  I was heading down Poplar to pick up my son at school. As I waited at the intersection of Poplar and Fourth, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Here is what I saw — a car making the turn in front of me, and attached to it’s bumper was a rope. Attached to the end of the rope that wasn’t attached to the car was, um, a DEAD SQUIRREL!!!!  I could see its horrible little teeth and everything. It was rather bloody, as well. I am seriously hoping that the thing was dead when it was tied onto the bumper. Because if it wasn’t, it would mean that some sick-o dragged a small animal around to its death deliberately (or someone else tied it on there still alive and he didn’t notice it; just as bad). Hopefully someone just thought it would be funny to tie some already dead roadkill onto the car.  That would be the best case scenario.

Question: If Liz is right, and the squirrel was dead before it was tied to the back of the car, what do you make of this strange incident?

IdaBlue: Wage Inequality Overstated

I heard a blurb on BSU Radio about wage inequality in Idaho. It was short, and I’m not sure I heard everything, but what I thought I heard was that women in Idaho generally get paid about 60% of what men get paid. Well, maybe, but I doubt that it’s that simple. I believe that there are instances where women, everything else being equal, get paid less. …But, I think the “women get paid less” meme is mostly inaccurate or at least overstated. These stats, or what I read and hear of them, almost never take into account differing circumstances. I believe that by and large women doing the same job, for the same length of time, with the same qualifications and experience, get paid the same as men/IdaBlue. More here

Question: Do you think there’s wage inequality between men and women in Idaho and elsewhere in the Inland Northwest?

KR: Craig’s Sad Wilderness Legacy

A few dates:

  • July 23, 1980: Then-President Carter signs the Central Idaho Wilderness Act, creating the 2.2-million-acre Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.
  • Nov. 4, 1980: Larry Craig is elected to Congress.
  • Jan. 6, 2009: A new Congress is sworn into office, ending Craig’s 28-year congressional career.
  • March 25, 2009: Idaho’s first wilderness bill since 1980 — creating the 517,000-acre Owyhee Canyonlands wilderness — passes Congress.

A succinct but fair assessment of Larry Craig’s dismal public lands legacy/Kevin Richert.

Question: Would Congress have passed the Owyhee Wilderness bill, if Larry Craig was still a U.S. senator from Idaho?

HBO’s Best Of The INW — 3/26/09

A rabbit heads for cover along a snow-covered path at Riverfront Park in Billings, Mont. after a snowstorm moved through the area earlier today. (AP Photo/Casey Riffe, Billings Gazette)

High Noon: A Life Marked By Ballfields

My life can be mapped by ball fields. The dust and mud of baseball fields; the windy, unshaded terrain of soccer fields; and the brightly illuminated green glow of football fields under the night sky. In addition, I’ve spent months inside stuffy gymnasiums echoing with the squeak of athletic shoes and the thudding of basketballs. I can chart the seasons by what’s in the back of my minivan. In the winter, basketballs jostle with ski gear, stray gloves and soggy knit caps. Spring arrives with soccer balls clunking around in the trunk, and the odor of sweaty cleats permeating the air. Summer brings wet beach towels, stray flip-flops and small coolers filled with melting ice. Autumn means a car full of quilts, stadium chairs and mouth guards in my coffee holder/Cindy Hval, SR. More here.

Question: What sports were are your kids involved in? If you no longer have kids/grandkids involved in sports, do you miss it?

Handle Extra To Focus On Prep Track

Lake City High School’s Tanner Schalk, front center takes off during track practice at the school in Coeur d’Alene this week. Greg Lee will provide a rundown on track & field prospects for high schools in Kootenai County and Sandpoint in the Handle Extra Sunday.

Huckleberries Hears …

… that friends of former LCDC chairman Charlie Nipp are planning a “friendly roast” at Cricket’s  “to let him know how much his contribution to the well-being of our community is appreciated and valued!” The roast is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 8. In an e-mail intercepted by a Berry Picker, Nipp supporters are encouraged to “share this with other folks you know who might also like to ‘accentuate the positive!’” Nipp, of course, has been in the cross-hairs of anti-LCDC activists and the CdA Press as a result of an AG investigation into alleged conflicts of interest that turned up no criminal wrongdoing.

Spokane, CDA Slip In Forbes Ratings

Item: Spokane, Coeur d’Alene slip in Forbes ranking/Bert Caldwell, SR

More Info: Spokane ranks 29th in the new Forbes magazine list of the 200 Best Cities for Business and Careers, falling from ninth in the 2008 list. Coeur d’Alene slipped from 21st to 33rd in the ranking of small cities. Rankings are determined by cost of doing business, including labor, energy taxes and rent; job growth over three years, and percent of population over age 25 with bachelor degrees, or higher.

Question: Are Spokane and/or Coeur d’Alene good places for you personally to conduct business or pursue a career?

NI Investigator Releases IF&G Report

Wednesday, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game addressed more allegations of misconduct released by a North Idaho private investigator. ‘Confidential Investigations’ accused the Idaho Department of Fish and Game officers of bringing their children with them while they were on patrol, citing sworn testimony and department e-mails where officers made specific remarks about taking their kids on patrol/KHQ. More here. Complete Confidential Investigations report here.

HBO Poll: Wolf Lodge Inn Steaks

LaSarte Finally Gets Hero’s Welcome

Vic LaSarte (pictured above), now 60, received the Bronze Star for being one of the last soldiers to leave a firebase as the enemy overran the position. He made sure the wounded were evacuated and that nothing useful including ammunition or weapons was left to the enemy that swept in from the jungles along the DMZ. He was five months into his tour and a piece of shrapnel struck him in the leg. “We encountered hand to hand combat,” he recalls. “I was blown off the hooch.” The explosion left him hobbling to a remaining helicopter that fluttered away ushering LaSarte and his fellow soldiers to safety/Ralph Bartholdt, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More herePublisher Dan Hammes comment here.

Question: Did you serve in Vietnam?

Mary Takes URA Battle South

Taxpayers have a serious problem right now, because URAs are both rich and powerful. They use public tax increment money for lobbyists to stop any changes in the porous old laws. The vague legal language and loopholes, along with the complexity of the subject, keep most citizens, as well as many lawmakers, from taking the time to understand urban renewal. This reluctance helps ensure the stealth success of this little-known tax impact. But now we’re in a serious economic crunch, and every tax impact must be examined. Our elected officials should take a comprehensive look and rewrite the urban renewal law to protect the rights of the taxpayers. State Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, is bringing forward this year’s only effort to tighten this law. He is offering HB 244 for consideration of the whole House later this week/Mary Souza, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Forget the obsession by Mary and with LCDC for a moment, is there anything about urban renewal agencies in Idaho that you’d like to change?

Zag Roundup: When Zags Beat NC

Josh Heytvelt scored 19 points, Jeremy Pargo 16 and Matt Bouldin chipped in 14 points and six assists as Gonzaga upended No. 2-ranked North Carolina 82-74. On Nov. 22, 2006. “Leon (Rice, assistant coach) and I just finished watching it,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said earlier this week. “There were a lot of the same characters in the play that will be in this one, too. They look different, but they’re the same characters.” In addition to the aforementioned Bulldogs (plus Will Foster, who didn’t play), the Tar Heels have seven holdovers from the 2006 game, including standouts Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington, who will take the court when the teams meet in the South Regional semifinals Friday in Memphis, Tenn. UNC’s current starting five all played in the 2006 contest/Jim Meehan, SR. More here.

Question: How do you think Gonzaga will do against North Carolina with a berth in the Elite Eight at stake Friday night?

JFAC OKs Bare-bones CC Budget

There was no debate and no discussion on the equally bare-bones budget for community colleges that followed the university budget-setting this morning. Community colleges will take an 11 percent cut in their state general funds next year, under the budget, but see a 5.4 percent cut overall, thanks to the addition of $1.6 million in federal stimulus money. No additional items were funded in the budget over last year, not even the $102,000 that Gov. Butch Otter recommended for additional nursing faculty positions, the only one of five budget expansion requests from Idaho’s three community colleges that got his nod/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Are you convinced that legislative budget writers are doing all they can to minimize cuts to education?

AM Headlines — 3/26/09

At It’s Just Me, blogmistress Me writes: “I had lunch downtown yesterday. Where is spring? I am ready for it. I am waiting for it. PLEASE.” Well, the sun’s out today. So that’s a start toward spring, although temperatures are still 6 or 7 degrees below the seasonal average.

HBO Survey Sez … Yes

In Wednesday’s HBO Poll, 27 of 64 (or 42 percent) responded that they will be a regular reader of the new city of Coeur d’Alene blog site: Coeur d’Alene Today. Another 21 (33%) said they’d read the links when provided by Huckleberries Online — for a total of 75% who indicated they’ll check out the new site. Meanwhile, 16 (25%) aren’t interested in the new blog.

Stick: Vegans Go To Wolf Lodge, Too

Stickman: I actually take my two sons to Wolf Lodge each year to celebrate their birthdays and all other holidays combined. They love it. They both eat the largest steak, which I think is a 42 ounce one, plus all the trimmings. And for dessert, they order a New York Steak to boot, another 18 ounce piece of flesh that I have to watch being devoured. It all comes to almost $200, and all I have is a beer. It is a sight to behold, with a few beers thrown in and desserts and everything else. They also love the girls that serve up such fare. I will be taking them again in the summer, though I may have to take out a loan of sorts. But, life is short, and who am I to judge. Yes, they are big, both about 6‘4” and maybe 250lbs, or more. But solid. I wish I was, but I am just a vegetarian of sorts.

Question: Which cut are you most likely to order when you eat at the Wolf Lodge Inn: Rancher (42 ounces), Cowboy (32 ounces), Cowgirl (20 ounces), or Little Dude (16 ounces)?

MaryC: Nothing Crude About Nude

Re: CNN features Worley nudist resort

It is funny to laugh at nudist resorts, but the truth is vacationing at nude resorts is the fastest growing trend in the travel industry. I know of what I speak as my husband and I own The Terra Cotta Inn clothing optional resort located in sunny Palm Springs, California. Last year we were the only resort that had an increase in sales in Palm Springs. We were up 5.85%. And this year business is fantastic too. I can tell by the comments that no one has been to a real nudist resort here. Just like Marriotts and Hiltons have guests of all ages, so do nice nude hotels. Our guests range from their 20’s to 70’s/Mary Clare, Terra Cotta Inn. Full comment below.

Question: This comment by Mary Clare of the Terra Cotta Inn nudist resort prompted some speculation re: what HBOers wear when they’re posting from home. Well?

Ramirez: Shock Treatment

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Hump Day Wild Card — 3/25/09

In the news this evening: Congress votes to expand wilderness in 9 states, including Idaho, here. USPO chief: Post office is running out of money here. The Hawaii Senate defeats civil unions here. George Soros says he’s having ‘a good crisis’ here. AIG execs are getting death threats here. And the Wild Card remains in play …

Parting Shot — 3/25/09

A woman passes a huge photo of watch at the Longines booth at the world watch and jewellery show ‘BaselWorld’ in Basel, Switzerland, Wednesday. BaselWorld opens its doors from Thursday to April 2. 1,952 exhibitors from 45 countries will show their latest collections. (AP Photo/Keystone, Georgios Kefalas) SR’s Today In Photos.

Spokane Blogroll, Anyone?

I’m toying with the idea of adding another blogroll to my right rail — to link to Spokane area blogs that were orphaned when we switched blogware in mid-December. I picked through an old list of regional blogs and found 17 Spokane area blogs that are still active. I’ll probably cut that list down to a dozen or so, toss in our SR blogs — and mebbe run a round-up once a week or so. Some of HBO’s favorite bloggers — JeanieS, CindyH, Toad, JBelle, David Laird, etc. — come from Spokane. It would be interesting to see if we can add others to the list by blog-rolling them.

Question: What do you think? Is there room for more Spokane bloggers in the HBO Blogosphere?

Sexting Gives Cops Headaches

Standing outside of Lewis and Clark High School, freshmen Ashley and Chrissy say they’re all too familiar with classmates asking for nude pictures of them. “It happens, like, everyday,” says Ashley. Indeed, Spokane County Sheriff’s Detective Dave Skogen says the exchange of such digital pictures is occurring all the time in local schools. “I think if we had any idea really how many times this was happening, it would shock everybody in the community,” Skogen says. While the problem is mainly seen at the high school level, Skogen says middle school kids also are “sexting” — taking racy, often nude cell phone photos and sending them to friends/Derek Casanovas, Pacific Northwest Inlander. More here.

Question: Any suggestions re: how best to handle the teen phenomenon know as “sexting”?

PM Headlines: CdA’s Fireman Of Year

Tom Hiltenbrand has been selected as the Coeur d’Alene Fire Department Employee of the Year, according to the city’s new blog site, Coeur d’Alene Today. (Sorry JeanieS & CindyH, CdA Today didn’t publish any shirtless photos of firemen.) You can read all about it here.

APhoto Of The Day — 3/25/09

Impeached former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich listens to a caller as he guest hosts the Don and Roma radio talk show at the studios of WLS Radio in Chicago this morning. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. “It’s 27 minutes past the hour; I’m Rod Blagojevich, and the subject of today’s show is “Slush Funds”, and how, in this case, “Slush” isn’t something you find on city streets during winter weather” — Escapee.
  • 2. Rod asked, “’scuse me, does this mike make my face look fat?” To which his co-host replied, “Look?” — Cabbage Boy.
  • 3. The whiskey-drunk former governnor is given a face mask so he can better look the part of “Catcher in the Rye” — JohnA.
  • HM: JohnA

Scanner Traffic — 3/25/09

  • 5:40 p.m. Green Trans Am & black pickup racing each other e/b on I-90 @ MP15.
  • 4:31 p.m. Woman in 600 block of 3rd/CdA is cutting her arm and refusing to put the knife down. She’s extremely bloody.
  • 4:21 p.m. Woman is concerned that her father-in-law and brother-in-law are at her house to take belongings of her soon-to-be-ex husband.
  • 3:47 p.m. R/P complains re: a motorcyclist popping wheelies on a yellow dirt bike on Lunceford near Jenny Lane/Hayden.
  • 2:52 p.m. A boy reports that his brother started a small fire @ Coeur d’Alene & Scott/Post Falls by throwing a match at gas that’d spilled from a small container in a lot.
  • 2:23 p.m. R/P wants someone to check out smoke @ Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive & Sherman from a possible lightning strike.
  • 2:15 p.m. Resident on West Mallory reports possible phone scam.
  • 1:51 p.m. Dead deer on road @ Highway 95 & M/P 419 (Mica Creek).
  • 1:47 p.m. A 69YO woman is unconscious at the Coeur d’Alene Bingo Casino.
  • 1:06 p.m. A 23YO man dislocated his shoulder while working out @ 1026 Front/CdA.
  • More below

Stallings: Minnick Resembles Me

While attending different events in Boise over Frank Church Weekend, I was a little surprised and dismayed to hear grumbling about a few of Congressman Walt  Minnick’s votes.  Apparently, in the minds of a few of our Party members, our newly elected Democratic Congressman is not voting with President Obama - or with the Democrats in Congress - often enough.  In fact, I heard one loyal Democrat say that she was so angry that she couldn’t vote for Mr. Minnick again.  As I reflected on these comments, I found myself smiling because it wasn’t that many years ago that many in our Party were saying the same things about me/Richard Stallings, former Idaho congressman. More here.

Question: Are you satisfied with Minnick’s performance as the 1st Congressional District representative so far?

JimmyMAC: Flu Bug’s Alive & Well

JimmyMAC: Here is my warning for all you HBO’ers our there in Kootenai County. If you feel like you are getting sick in the least bit-get checked out!!!!! I am one that never ever never goes to the doctor. I very rarely get sick or complain when I do. I went last night to After Hours and was diagnosed with influenza. The good doc said it is rampant, in fact he had 7 consecutive high school students this week who tested positive for it. This thing has hit me like an absolute TRAIN. If you catch it within the first 48 hours, you can get antibiotics and it will be cleared up in about 48 hours but he did warn that without treating it early, you could face the symptoms for 1-2 weeks.

Question: Anyone else out there with the flu bug?

House OKs Nonini’s Busing Cuts

The House has voted 50-20 in favor of HB 256, the measure to cut state reimbursements to school districts for student busing costs. Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, the bill’s sponsor, said in his closing debate, “We’ve heard that this whole piece of legislation is unnecessary - I couldn’t disagree more”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. How they voted here

Press: County Must OK Asphalt Plant

At issue is Coeur d’Alene Paving’s request to operate an asphalt plant on its rural property just south of Highway 53 between Atlas and Ramsey roads. Commissioners voted down the request last summer because of neighbors’ concerns over air quality and traffic. We urge commissioners to approve the permit request tomorrow night for several reasons/CDA Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Would you want an asphalt plant near you?

HBO Blogosphere — 3/25/09

“In my print column in the Coeur d’Alene Press, writes Councilwoman KerriT/OnLocation North Idaho, ”there’s more about these two very special North Idaho residents, Vernon Baker and Tom Norris. Coeur d’Alene was the birth place of perhaps one of the most famous Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, Gregory “Pappy” Boyington. But to have two of fewer than 100 surviving Medal of Honor recipients from WWII and Vietnam living in Kootenai County is quite an honor for us all.

Question: Are you related to anyone who was honored for combat duty during a war?

Unique Gonzaga Class Targets Hate

Professor Molly Pepper leads a discussion in her hate studies class at Gonzaga University Tuesday. Pepper often get the class into discussions, which tackled bullying and the lack of civility in the workplace and society Tuesday. Gonzaga University began offering what may be the only course of its kind in the country – an interdisciplinary class in hate studies. Story here. Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review

Question: Where does hate come from?

Crump: S-Bomb One Curse Too Many

Don’t look now, but there’s cussing on basic cable TV nowadays. No, serious cussing. The “s” word. You can hear it on TNT’s “Amazing Grace” any Monday night, and I’m sure elsewhere as well. I figure it’s only a matter of time before Simon Cowell describes how he really feels about an “American Idol” contestant in words of one syllable. Not the end of civilization as we know it, perhaps, but I sure can’t watch TV anymore. See, I grew up in the 1960s, when comedian George Carlin clearly outlined “the seven words you can’t say on TV.” Heck, I’ve heard three of them over the air in the past week - and I don’t even have HBO/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Is there too much cussing on TV?

Idaho F&G Audit Leads To Allegations

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is under scrutiny after a private investigator in North Idaho accused the organization of misusing state property. ‘Confidential Investigations’ was hired to look at IDFG public records for a civil case and ended up finding more than they expected. Erin Jenkins, of Confidential Investigations,’ was hired to review IDFG records for an outside case and in the course of the investigation says he found misuse of state property and evidence that state officers were using state property for personal use/KHQ. More here.

HBO’s Best Of The INW — 3/25/09

An immature bald eagle stops at Fish Lake for a snack recently. The lake was completely iced over, although the calendar said that month of March was more than half over. Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review.

Adam: Confederacy For Dummies

Now, Rep. Harwood’s usage of confederacy may not be in line with the understanding of modern political scientists, or with people whose political correctness leads them to go racist hunting. But Rep. Harwood’s use of the term confederacy is backed up by the Founding Fathers, and as he described the United States as a confederacy in the context of a bill reaffirming Idaho’s rights under the Tenth Amendment, which was written in the 18th Century, Harwood’s use was totally appropriate/Adam’s Blog. More here.

Question: Does Adam have a good point re: confederacy? Or has the meaning changed so much in the ensuing years that it still is a term that should be avoided?

EOB: Nonini Defends Busing Cuts

Opening debate in the House on his bill, HB 256, House Education Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, said, “The purpose is to make districts be as efficient as possible.” Transportation costs are “overhead,” he said. “Each dollar spent on transportation is a dollar that doesn’t make it into the classroom. … That’s where education takes place.” He said the idea is to cut the state reimbursement to school districts from 85 percent of their busing costs to 50 percent, but still give the districts the same money through state budget-setting, so they’d have an incentive to make better use of their busing money/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. But: House Dems oppose draconian cuts.

High Noon: Thinking Outside Bottle?

In Olympia, bureau chief Rich Roesler reports that the “Think Outside the Bottle” campaign has come to Washington to urge Gov. Chris Gregoire to stop buying bottled water. Why? Plastic bottles clog landfills. You can read Rich’s report here.

Question: How often do you drink bottled water? Do you consider the environmental ramifications when you do?

Have It Your Way And More

Josh Kowalczyk, an intern with the West Michigan Whitecaps, in Comstock Park, Mich. poses for a photo Tuesday. The $20 burger will feature a sesame-seed bun made from a pound of dough, five 1/3-pound beef patties, five slices of cheese, nearly a cup of chili and liberal doses of salsa and corn chips. (AP Photo/The Grand Rapids Press, Rex Larsen)

Question: On a dare from Doug Clark, I ate the 42-ounce steak at Wally’s Wolf Lodge Inn some 30 years ago. (Don’t tell Stickman.) That remains my top feat on the dining front. Can you top it?

HBO Poll: New City Blog Site

Kevin: Blogs Need Consistent Umping

I reserve the right to pull a comment, but I do it very sparingly — for libelous or obscene comments. I recently pulled one commenter who was making crude sexual remarks about another commenter. I think we can agree that had little to do with the topic of the day: Gov. Butch Otter’s defense of his education budget. I compare this to umpiring a baseball game. Hitters and pitchers can respond to an umpire’s strike zone, as long as it’s consistent. If you’re going to call the knee-high strike for CC Sabathia, you’d better give Josh Beckett the same pitch. So I really don’t worry much about how other bloggers set their rules. Some bloggers allow unfiltered comments; some screen comments beforehand. As long as the rules are the same, I don’t have any concerns/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: How important is the HBO comment section to you?

CNN Features Worley Nudist Resort

Item: Network features Worley area nudist resort/CNN

More Info: There’s something about being naked that makes a person forget a layoff, pay cut or a shrunken retirement account. Promoters say nude vacations offer a complete escape from stress and the norm. At least that’s how the promoters of nude travel see it. The economic recession is “doing us a lot of favors, maybe because there’s the idea that if you’ve lost the shirt off your back, you should go nude,” said Erich Schuttauf, executive director of the American Association for Nude Recreation.

Question: Can you imagine yourself taking a “nakation”?

Obama Visit Spurs Notre Dame Furor

Item: Presidential visit spurs furor at Notre Dame: Abortion rights debate spills beyond campus/Chicago Tribune

More Info: President Barack Obama’s planned visit to the University of Notre Dame later this spring has triggered a national debate over whether such a prominent supporter of abortion rights should be welcomed at one of America’s premier Catholic universities.

IVA: Notre Dame’s decision to award an honorary degree to President Obama and invite him to be this year’s commencement speaker has stirred up justifiable outrage in the pro-life community as a whole and the Catholic pro-life community in particular. More here.

Question: Should President Obama be allowed to speak at the Notre Dame commencement exercise?

HBO Survey Sez … Bob Nonini

Responding to the HBO Poll Monday, 37 of 94 choose state Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Post Falls, as the least effective legislator from Kootenai County. He was followed by Marge Chadderdon (22 votes for 23%) and Phil Hart (19 votes for 20%). The only other legislator who received more than 3 votes was state Sen. John Goedde (8 for 9%).

OTV Lobbies For Link On New City Site

MikeK: Howdy, all. If you’re interested, the new City of Coeur d’Alene Blog is live. You can also get there (and most people will) through the city’s main website here

OTV: Nice to see that HBO is listed on the city blogroll. Wouldn’t it be rather swell to see listed there as well? Just a thought…(hint hint).

Question: What information and links would you like to see on the city of Coeur d’Alene Today Web site? (BTW, the link has been added to the HBO Blogroll.)

FlorineD: 15th Street Biking Scary

FlorineD: 15th Street IS my community, and I bike it often, south of the freeway. The biggest problem is on the west side, where not only is there no bike lane but the repaving doesn’t extend all the way to the curb. Trying to hug the edge of the street means trying to avoid the sizeable raised edge of the patchwork…that’s more dangerous than traffic, so I just grit my teeth, set my red light to flashing, and thank goodness that (so far) the cars coming up behind me go into the northbound lane to avoid me.

MikeK: Florine; please come out and add your voice to the public workshops and comments as they get scheduled (none are yet but after Tuesday they will likely begin to be put on the calendar and communicated). I thought of you Monday in our Public Works committee, knowing you’re a bicyclist and live on 15th there, wondering what it would mean to you.

Bent: I’ll Take Peck Over Smith

Bent: Chris Peck, like him or not, knew how to run a paper. He built the SR up into a top-25 newspaper — not by exposing the perfectly legal sexual habits of elected officals, but by taking the time to acurately and fairly reflect the happenings of all the “communities” in our region every single day. For the most part, Peck resisted the temptation to sensationalize. He understood the importance of keeping the story separate from the personalities and the newspaper. Well except for the time the SR shot a picture Mark Fuhrman’s wife at the airport, but everyone makes mistakes.

Question: What will be the legacy of the last two SR editors: Chris Peck and Steve Smith?

Heller: Toil & Trouble

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Tuesday — 3/24/09

In the news this evening: A U.S. bill seeks to rescue faltering newspapers here. ‘Hillary: The Movie’ has blockbuster legal implications here. Al Gore will publish a new global warming book here. WHO issues pessimistic global TB report here. In his address this evening, President Obama urges that investors not be demonized here. And the Wild Card remains in play …

Parting Shot — 3/24/09

Danny Sellers, visiting the area from Goldsboro, North Carolina positions himself to get a photo of the Looff carrousel in Riverfront Park Friday. Saturday was the grand reopening event, which follows extensive refurbishing. In July, the Looff Carrousel turns 100 years old. (Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review) SR Today In Photos

Question: Have you ever grabbed the gold ring at the Looff Carrousel?

Scooter Mom: If I Only Had A Voice

Scooter Mom: I wish I could sing. My voice is horrible, and causes me to avoid church because of the singing thing.

Question: Do you have a good singing voice?

Arpie: Field Trips Are Valuable

Arpie: Field trips are the cement that holds the learning together. They connect what is going on in the classroom to what is going on in the world. I can’t imagine a fourth grader in Idaho only having to read about the trials on the Oregon Trail, picture the burdens of the mountain man, or trying to understand Christianity coming to Idaho. How rich their lives have been and how much will be missed without walking in the wagon ruts, near American Falls, attending a trappers rendezvous in Pierre’s Hole, craning their necks to see the huckleberry stained ceiling at Cataldo mission. More below.

Question: Were you impacted by any school field trip that you took as a kid?

Avista CEO Earned $2.2M In 2008

Scott Morris, Avista Corp.’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, earned $2.2 million in total compensation last year, the utility reported Tuesday. The salary reflects Morris’ promotion to chairman and chief executive officer of Avista Corp., roles that he assumed on Jan. 1, 2008, when the former chairman and CEO retired. Morris earned $1.1 million in 2007, when he was president and chief operating officer of Avista Utilities, the firm’s regulated utility. “Our executives are paid mid-range of what their peers are paid,” said Jessie Wuerst, an Avista spokeswoman. “That’s what it takes to run a $2 billion company”/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

Question: Is $2.2M in total compensation too much/too little/just right for Avista CEO Scott Morris?

PM Headlines — 3/24/09

Duffer said he’d like to have snapped buttercups. But these crocuses are the best he can do on a cold day like today.

APhoto Of The Day — 3/24/09

A canine named “Tactix,” wearing swim trunks, launches off the dock to a 23-foot leap into the pool during the Big Air Dog Jump, where dogs jumping distance is measured after a 40 foot take off from the end of a dock into a pool as part of the Purina All Star Dog Show in Toronto on Sunday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Toronto Star, Steve Russell)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Pooling all of his talent while leaping to the conclusion that things will go swimmingly, Tactix’ short-circuited leap gives him paws for concern — JohnA.
  • 2. One shorts creep for dog, One giant leap for canine — Aliasjax.
  • 3. “Humming ‘I believe I can fly’ to himself, Tactix came crashing down to earth when his make-shift parachute failed” — Token.
  • HM: Cabbage Boy

SS: Miscreants Enjoy SR Departures

To understand their impact (of Bill Morlin and Karen Dorn Steele leaving the SR), think for a moment about the people and institutions in our community who are today celebrating their departure. Other celebrants: City Hall politicians and bureaucrats. The Spokane Fire Department. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Department and especially its pre-Ozzie, but lingering, mouthpiece. County Republican officials, alleged business leaders, educators and clergy who either defended Jim West or stood back while other people exposed his misdeeds and then turned him out of office. Corporate environmental polluters. Aryan racists. Federal nuclear regulatory bureaucrats. Diploma mill operators. Religious cultists. Uncountable criminals, miscreants and thugs brought to the bar by Karen and Bill during their storied careers/Steve Smith, Still A Newspaperman. More here.

Scanner Traffic — 3/24/09

  • 4:45 p.m. Vehicle hit telephone pole @ 97 & Ganos Lane, near Harrison.
  • 4:17 p.m. An individual with a crew-cut appeared to be giving out a white-powder substance on Parkside/Hayden before being picked up by a motorist.
  • 4:11 p.m. Authorities are looking for 3 twentysomething men in a white van, possibly with Montana plates, who are posing as vacuum salesmen to case houses. A Hayden resident scared them out of her driveway when she returned home unexpectedly.
  • 3:59 p.m. Timberlake Fire Department reports an angry individual is in the building, threatening the R/P and a secretary.
  • 2:55 p.m. A man and a woman are yelling and throwing things at each other in the parking lot of a local store.
  • 1:53 p.m. A 30ish farm worker may have suffered a broken leg in a fall off a step of a truck, a half mile south of Lancaster on Meyer Road.
  • 1 p.m. Officers are looking for the home of a 5YO blond boy found wandering @ 12th & Sugar Maple Trail/Post Falls.
  • 12:12 p.m. 18MO girl in the 8000 block of Salmonberry/Hayden is OK after choking on Cheerios and chicken noodle soup.
  • More below

House: Out Of Our Cold, Dead Hands

Rep. Pete Nielsen, R-Mountain Home, today persuaded the House to vote 61-9 in favor of his legislation, HB 229, to declare that during a state of “extreme emergency” including martial law, invasion or insurrection, “No government authority will have the right to come and pick up our arms and ammunition.” Rep. Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, spoke against the bill, saying no one ever expects to see an invasion or a declaration by the governor of martial law, but no one expected to see planes crashing into the World Trade Center either/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you lose sleep over the prospect that someone will declare martial law in Idaho and come for your guns and ammo?

2 Cents: 15th Street Bike Trail? Yes

Dunno if I’d be happy if the city banned parking on my side of the street for a bike path. I’d like to think so. I enjoy bike riding and generally support any effort by our progressive city to create, extend, and connect bike trails. I realize a proposal to eliminate parking on the east side of 15th, between Sherman Avenue and the interstate, is an inconvenience to the adjacent residents. But it would provide protection for bike riders as well as students walking to and from Lakes Middle School. The concept, according to Tom Hasslinger/CdA Press, is to eliminate the parking for a mile of 15th Street and paint bike lanes for both directions of bike traffic. I occasionally ride along 15th, north of the freeway, where the roadway is wider or marked for bikes. But I avoid the southern part of 15th as too dangerous. The City Council and Bicycle Advisory Committee will catch some static for this proposal. But it is a necessary step for bikers looking for a safe route to Sherman Avenue and maybe out to the eastern end of the Centennial Trail.

Question: How would you rate the access to bike trails in your community?

HBO Blogos: You’re OK, I’m Not

According to Bayview Herb, winter doldrums are fueling the wild speculation re: the fire that heavily damaged Boileau’s Patio over the weekend here.

Can’t Get No Satisfaction: my lips are too small, my nose is too big … my breasts are too small. my chest isn’t bulgy enough. my eyes are droopy … my hair is the wrong color … We have been there from time to time, with one of these … yet I got to ask, why aren’t we satisfied with what God. has given us. It takes a while sometimes, like the hair. God gave me auburn. Looking more brown in the winter and red tones and almost blonde tones in the summer. Yet, I changed it to lighter, or darker. but now it is in its natural stage of 3 shades of grey and white. I have silver, white, light grey, dark grey, and a tad of brown/grey./Cis, Simple Mind. More here.

Question: What would you change about yourself if you could change one thing?


Atheists Herald Moscow Area Billboard

“Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.” Starting this week, these words will be read by motorists traveling on Highway 95 near Moscow, Idaho. They are part of a highway billboard that features an image of blue sky and clouds with the words superimposed over. The billboard is placed by the American Humanist Association, a national advocacy organization, and is part of an ongoing campaign to raise the public profile of nontheism. The striking message raises a question … and maybe some eyebrows/American Humanist Association. More here.

Question: Do you have a positive or negative impression of atheists?

Idaho Solon Backs Horse Slaughter

A southeastern Idaho lawmaker wants horse slaughterhouses operating again in the United States to deal with the glut of unwanted horses resulting from the faltering economy that has led to cases of neglect and abandonment. Rep. Thomas Loertscher, R-Iona, has drafted a nonbinding request to Congress backing a return of slaughterhouses so there is a market for horses people can no longer afford to feed. … There is no federal law banning the slaughter of horses for food, but opposition to the killing of horses for that purpose shut down that industry in the U.S./Tacoma News-Tribune. More here.

Question: If you oppose the return of horse slaughterhouses to the US, what would you have owners do with horses they no longer can afford to feed?

HBO’s Best Of The INW — 3/24/09

Don Nelson, left, and Bob Morgan hold on as wind catches the cover they are pulling off the 12th green at Indian Canyon Golf Course in Spokane Monday. Story here. (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Christopher Anderson)

High Noon: 15 Seconds Of Fame

The closest Bill and I ever got to film immortality was that close. It was 1992, November, to be exact. Just after being squeezed into a crowd of onlookers inside a U.S. Capitol conference room, listening to Senators debate the Brady Bill and standing directly in front of NBC’s correspondent Pete Williams, we filed out into the hallway. We saw the TV cameras, the lights, the actions. It was time for the evening news on the East Coast, and Senators (all very tall) were lining up to give their sound bytes about the proposed gun legislation which later became law. We stood within 20 feet of the action–so close but so far from stardum/Marianne Love, Slight Detour. More here.

Question: Have you ever experienced any of your allotted 15 minutes of fame?

So Near Yet So Far

Gonzaga’s Courtney Vandersloot reacts after tipping a ball out of bounds late in the second half of a second-round women’s NCAA college basketball tournament game against Pittsburgh Monday in Seattle. Pittsburgh won 65-60. Dave Trimmer/Sportslink provides a complete wrap-up of the game here. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)


SOS: Taryn’s Cell Phone Acting Up

Taryn Hecker: I have an SOS from Spirit Lake. My Motorola cell phone, which was working perfectly last night, now has a blue screen with the motorola logo and the words “bootloader usb init.” I googled that and it looks like this fun blue screen is the blue screen of death. Does anyone know a phone techie who might be able to help me via email since I can’t call any of the support lines seeing as my phone is dead and my landline phone isn’t working either?

Question: Can anyone help Taryn?

Cpl. Pleger Meets Son For 1st Time

In this family photo, you see Marine Cpl. Jacob Pleger seeing his 4-month-old son, Levi, for the first time at Mirimar Air Station/San Diego after de-planing from his second tour of duty in Iraq. Jake, a 2003 graduate of North Idaho Christian School, was about Levi’s size when I first met him. In fact, I met Levi before Jake did when his wife, Mandy, brought him to Coeur d’Alene to visit with her parents in law, Earl and Leslie Pleger of Coeur d’Alene. This photo provides another reminder re: how much our military sacrifices to keep us safe. You can also read a brief story from San Diego TV station 6 re: Jake’s return here.

HBO Poll: Worst K-County Poll?

ITHO: US House? Or A Lynch Mob

Thursday, as most members of the U.S. House joined a mob to impose a confiscatory tax on recipients of corporate bonuses from AIG and other companies receiving federal bailout money, Idaho’s two representatives fell out of formation. Good for them. Democrat Walt Minnick and Republican Mike Simpson might have found themselves in a minority, 93, compared to the 328 who supported the 90 percent tax, but they were right certainly in principle and most probably in law/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Did you agree with the move by the U.S. House of Representatives to impose a 90 percent tax on AIG execs who received corporate bonuses?

MamaJD: Cabin Fever Blues

This is the first winter I can recall being affected by weather. I think many of my friends are feeling the same way. Perhaps it’s due to a perfect storm of our never-ending winter, the economy, lack of exercise and sunlight, and the stress of dealing with others who are dealing with the same issues. Bleh. I have a girlfriend who has been mentioning that she cries. She knows it is weather related. When I sit in a room of people, it’s as though there is a palpable undercurrent of grumpiness. The bus stop moms exhibit shorter patience and their voices are more curt than usual. Some of my friends are walking through their days on auto-pilot as they wait for better weather/MamaJD. More here.

Question: Has this ongoing winter made you cranky?

Bill Would End State Field Trip Funds

Item: Sorry, Idaho kids, field trips may be canceled/Sarah D. Wire, AP

More Info: The House Education Committee approved a bill Monday to stop reimbursing school districts for field trip costs and to change how school districts are reimbursed for transportation. Lawmakers said the moves are designed to save the state an estimated $4.2 million in 2010. Unlike other cuts that are tied to the state’s current economic situation, the changes made by the bill do not have a designated end date. Proponents of the bill have said they will work to reinstate funding for field trips once Idaho’s economic outlook improves.

Question: How important are occasional field trips for the educational process?

AM Headlines — 3/24/09

Gary Petersen writes a mathematical equation on a chalkboard in the Polya Lab recently. Petersen is one of the non-tenured faculty that faces a possible layoff. Story here. (Jake Barber/Argonaut)

HBO Survey Sez … George Sayler

In Monday’s HBO Poll, 38 of 74 (or 51%) said that state Rep. George Sayler, D-CdA, is the most effective of the nine Kootenai County legislators. Finishing tied for second, way back in the pack were Post Falls legislators Frank Henderson and Jim Hammond, with 9 votes apiece, followed by John Goedde (8), and Jim Clark (6). Tied for last with only one vote apiece were Marge Chadderdon, Phil Hart, Mike Jorgenson, and Bob Nonini.

Harwood: US Is A ‘Confederacy’

But Sayler’s comments did little to change the tenor of the debate, and Harwood’s resolution affirming Idaho’s sovereignty won easy approval in the Republican-dominated House. Harwood’s effort left some people shaking their heads. Political scientists said Harwood’s description of the U.S. as a confederacy is dead wrong, and a longtime Kootenai County human rights activist criticized Harwood’s use of the term. “It’s a very offensive term for minority communities in our country, like African-Americans,” said Tony Stewart, a board member and co-founder of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, and a retired political scientist at North Idaho College. “That whole term refers to the period of slavery”/Betsy Z. Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you agree with state Rep. Dick Harwood and some of Idaho legislators that the United States is a “confederacy”?

Lords: Vandal Pride On Way Back

for the first time in years, the team gave Vandal sports fans something to be truly excited about — an enthusiasm that spills over into other aspects of the university. The atmosphere at home games in the Cowan Spectrum is much different than that of seasons past because of the dedication of UI players, coaches and student fans. Idaho coaches Don Verlin and Newlee and the athletes should be commended for their contributes to UI athletics and the atmosphere of the university as a whole. The university community may not always be able to agree on every aspect of the institution or the direction it is going, but athletics are something that can continue to bring us back to a mutual sense of who we are and always will be — proud Vandals/Christina Lords, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: Are successful sports teams important for a college campus?

Heller: Last Stand

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

NCAA: Pitt 65, Gonzaga 60

Pittsburgh’s Shavonte Zellous, left, and Gonzaga’s Janelle Bekkering vie for a loose ball during the first half in Seattle tonight in a second-round women’s NCAA college basketball tournament game. No. 15 Pittsburgh defeated Gonzaga 65-60. ESPN game story and boxscore here. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

Wild Card/Monday — 3/23/09

In the news this morning: Gonzaga’s Lady Zags will tip off with No. 15 Pitt at 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2) in the second round of their NCAA tournament here. UI and Pacific will meet at 7 tonight in the second round of the CIT tournament here. Gay Congressman Barney Frank calls Justice Anthonin Scalia a “homophobe” here. The Dow Jones gained almost 500 points here. David Letterman has married his long-time girlfriend here. And the Monday Wild Card remains in play …

Parting Shot — 3/23/09

Rowdy Hutchison loses his boot while getting bucked off his horse during the saddle bronc riding competition at the Carson High School Rodeo at Fuji Park in Carson City, Nev., on Sunday. (AP Photo/Nevada Appeal,Brad Horn) SR Today In Photos

OTV: I ♥ Pabst Blue Ribbon

Seems like the microbrew craze has died out a bit in favor of a return to the old classic lagers. For years, I kept telling the owner of my regular haunt to bring in PBR on tap but she thought I was nuts, calling it “old man beer.” She finally started serving it a few months ago and it’s become her top selling beer. A pitcher is a dollar cheaper than the other domestic brands. I’ve seen some places with PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) on special for as low as $3 a pitcher/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Which classic beer is your favorite?

UI Faces Pacific In CIT Family Affair

When Idaho coach Don Verlin renews a rivalry with his twin brother tonight, the dynamics will clearly be different. He’s calling the shots this time, whereas in the past they both played support roles. But Verlin seems to know what kind of atmosphere to expect when the Vandals play Pacific at Stockton, Calif., in the quarterfinals of the tournament (CIT). Tipoff is at 7 p.m. “I’m predicting a low-scoring, physical game,” Verlin said Sunday. “It’s going to be very similar to a league contest, where both teams know what the other is doing”/Dale Grummert, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

PM Headlines — 3/23/09

Kenny Evans of CHS, the owner of the tractor trailer rig involved in a crash today, drags a hose down the embankment to one onf the tanker trailers to pump diesel fuel out before moving it. A pickup and a double tanker rig tangled on an overpass south of Spangle on U.S. 195 early Monday morning, starting a fire and spilling thousands of gallons of diesel fuel. SR story by Mike Prager here. (Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review)

APhoto Of The Day — 3/23/09

Amber Godinez, 8, of New Smyrna Beach, Fla. tries to focus on the reptile she placed on her nose while playing with the creature in New Smyrna Beach Thursday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Daytona Beach News-Journal, Nigel Cook)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. “Look Mr., I don’t care if you’re a talking lizard, I’m only 8 years old, and don’t need car insurance!” — Toadman.
  • 2. Amber did not realize that this picture would circulate on the internet and haunt her for eternity! — Charlie.
  • 3. A critic of LCDC and most other community developments, slithers up to check out the opposition — Bayview Herb.
  • HM: Arch Druid

Scanner Traffic — 3/23/09

  • 4:54 p.m. R/P wants to see officer re: paintball damage to house.
  • 4:53 p.m. ITD worker asks buddy to grab a mocha for him “with 4 shots of caffeine” in it.
  • 4:22 p.m. A fiftyish woman is unconscious and not breathing in a silver SUV, parked on east side of Government Way, across from Babies & Beyond.
  • 3:41 p.m. A woman involved in an accident complains that she has suffered chemical burns to her eyes as a result of her air bag deploying. She’s on Neely Street.
  • 3:25 p.m. R/P from south of Spokane River is concerned that a moose in the yard will attack his dogs.
  • 3:22 p.m. R/P reports that someone in an SUV is parked on Sunnyside, near Tony’s, with several rifles as well as bullets, which he has placed on the hood of the car.
  • 2:35 p.m. A suspicious person is reported on Centennial Trail @ Old Mill Loop.
  • 2:34 p.m. Horses are running loose on Icehouse Lane.
  • 2:33 p.m. A man reportedly is running out in front of vehicles and threatening people in the parking lot of Big 5.
  • 1:50 p.m. Woman who is taking care of an elderly man wants to know if there’s somewhere she can take the 60 cats at his residence.
  • 1:31 p.m. R/P wants to speak to an officer re: a neighbor in an ongoing dispute dumping a pile of dead fish on her property.

Family Visits Montana Crash Site

Members of the Feldkamp family of Redlands, Calif., led by Bud Feldkamp, second from left, who lost two daughters and five grandchildren in the crash, are seen at the scene of fatal airline crash outside the Butte Airport in Butte, Mont., today. Updated AP story here. (AP Photo/Mike Albans)

Dad’s Diner: Herbies Close To Perfect

Now remember from my first sandwich blog when I stated I didn’t care for Panini Bread or pesto, but I loved the sandwich from Great Harvest anyway? Well, because that sandwich was so yummy I gave pesto another chance. Turns out…. I must love pesto after all! But I really don’t care for this type of bread, for me it’s too hard & crunchy. That’s just my preference. I could have ordered this on another type of bread, but I like to try sandwiches the way they’re advertised first. This sandwich arrived in about 10 minutes, and as you can tell by the pictures it looks wonderful and it tasted just as wonderful!/Dad’s Diner. More here

Question: Which deli in your community is your favorite?

Concerning Televised Hearings

Quite frankly, sir,

it gives me pause

to behold the creatures

that make our laws.

The Bard Of Sherman Avenue

Bent Brews Batch, Blogs About It

I made another 10 gallons of beer this afternoon. Above, I am setup to start fermenting a nice European Pilsner. I have made this one many times. It’s called Telepathy (that’s a blog post for another time). It is my sister’s favorite beer, and she doesn’t drink beer. I hear that a lot when people first have the opportunity to try my beer. I get the usual: “I’m not really a beer drinker, so I’ll pass, thanks.” But, if I can talk them into trying one glass of a handcrafted beer, they are always surprised by how much they enjoy it/Bent, Bent’s Beer Garden. More here

Question: First, puts your hands together for Bent’s new blog. Then, for those of you who have had the pleasure of drinking his brew, feel free to praise it in the comments section.

O’s Give ‘Twilight’ Mixed Reviews

In this image released by Summit Entertainment, Kristen Stewart, left, and Cam Gigandet are shown in a scene from, “Twilight.” (AP Photo/Summit Entertainment, Peter Sorel)

DFO: Mrs. O & I gave mixed reviews to the “Twilight” video last night. She thought the teen-vampire movie started slow but picked up enough to be scary and earn an 8.5 out of 10. I thought it started slow and didn’t pick up enough to pull more than a 7. It’s a bit different to have a human hanging out with vegan vampires. But it’ll be more interesting if the American Indians introduced in the movie turn out to be vampire-hating werewolves in the sequels.

Question: What do you think of “Twilight” — the books or the movie?

EOB: Panel OKs Liquor License Reform

After more than two hours of testimony for and against the bill, the Senate State Affairs Committee has voted 6-3 in favor of SB 1148, Gov. Butch Otter’s proposal to reform Idaho’s liquor license system, which currently sets population-based quotas for liquor licenses but has allowed 235 licenses to be issued outside those quotas under special exceptions approved by the Legislature/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Best of Zags Roundup — 3/23/09

Since Gonzaga matured from the little engine that could, to that super engine that should, we’ve been waiting to see how it would react to a meeting in late March against North Carolina. That time has come. It’s time for Gonzaga to win a game this big against a program this storied. It’s time to step up and be the team it was supposed to be at the beginning of this season. Time to rise and realize its potential. It’s time for Gonzaga to play like the powerhouse it can be and not the Cinderella it used to be/Steve Kelley, Seattle Times. More here.

Question: Do you expect Gonzaga to defeat North Carolina Friday in Memphis?

High Noon: Zealot Challenges Roberts

When Roberts finished his prepared speech and opened the floor to questions at the University of Idaho this month, the first person to the microphone was a woman who said she’d traveled since 3 a.m. that morning to get from California to Moscow, so she begged for a little indulgence on the moderator’s rule that questioners be from the sponsoring College of Law so she could ask a question. About “illegal activity in the Supreme Court.” About her case being “erased from the docket” under circumstances that sounded, to say the least, suspicious. About the president, whom she called Barack Hussein Obama aka Barry Soetero, not legally being president because he was “a foreign national at birth”/Jim Camden, SR. More here.

Question: Where were you born, and do you still have your birth certificate to prove it?

HBO’s Best Of The INW — 3/23/09

In this picture provided by Martha Guidoni via The Montana Standard, a fire burns inside the Holy Cross Cemetery after a small, singe-engine plane crashed in an area just south of the Bert Mooney Airport in Butte, Mont. on Sunday. Seventeen people, including several children, were killed in the incident, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Montana Standard story here. (AP Photo/The Montana Standard, Martha Guidoni)

City Of CdA To Start Blog Wednesday

At the prompting of Councilman Mike Kennedy, the city of CdA plans to launch the City of Coeur d’Alene Today Blog Wednesday at its Web site. The purpose of the blog was explained in a city news release this morning: “With newspapers downsizing and closing around the country, it’s important for the city to communicate directly to the citizenry as much and as often as possible. The city will use the blog to post routine information such as hearing schedules, bid reports, community events, and links to more information on timely topics. In emergency situations, the blog will be used to inform citizens about snow events/closures, Amber Alerts, and police updates. The blog will include links to e-mails and phone numbes for staff, council members, and relevant city volunteers. Said Councilman Kennedy: “We’re excited to be able to give clear and straight information, unfiltered, directly to our constituents. Full news release here.

Question (for MikeK): will the city blog have a comments section? If so, who will monitor it?

RS: Demos Make Big NW Gains

The Center for American Progress has put together a map on this, showing in the Northwest that Democrats made the largest presidential-level gains in Idaho (13%), closely followed by Oregon (12%) and Washington (10%). In Washington state, 18 counties (of 39) registered a Democratic shift of more than 10%. The largest shift was in one of the most Republican counties in the state, Chelan County just east of the Cascades, at 15%. In Idaho, 21 counties (of 44) shifted 10% or more. As in the other states, most were just above the 10% mark, but one of them - Teton County - registered the largest shift in the whole region, at 23%, as well as the second highest, Power County at 18%. Those are both small counties, but also of interest were the shifts in the two largest counties in the state - Ada (17%) and Canyon (16%)/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: Do you see a day when Idaho will become a toss-up state?

In The News: Library Mudflap Girl

A truck displays a Wyoming State Library “library mudflap girl” sticker in this photo taken in Cheyenne, Wyo., last week. Library officials say the marketing campaign, which was launched in the fall of 2007, still generates a lot of feedback, good and bad. Story here. (AP Photo/Matt Joyce)

Question: Would you like to see one of the local libraries market itself with a “mudflap girl” sticker?

HBO Poll: Top Kootenai Solon?

HBO Survey Sez … Calvary’s Shot

For the HBO Poll question Sunday, Huckleberries Online asked: “Which of the following dramatic finishes in Gonzaga wins in NCAA Tournament games do you rate as best?” 24 of 39 respondents (or 62%) said Casey Calvary’s tip in to beat Florida by a point in Gonzaga’s 1999 magic trip to the Elite Eight beat Demetri Young’s two-pointer with 0.9 seconds remaining against Western Kentucky Saturday. Also, 28 of 58 (or 48%) said that liver & onions is the worst dish that their parents ever forced on them, with “any wild game” finishing a distant second with 9 votes (16%).


EOB: Women’s Commission Gets Ax

“It’s so disappointing” said several members of the Idaho Women’s Commission, who gathered with Director Kitty Kunz in the Capitol Annex hallway after JFAC voted 15-5 to eliminate their funding and staffing. They were talking about scheduling their final meeting, and whether they had enough money left to meet in person or should go with a conference call. “We’ll still be a commission unless they take us off the state code,” Kunz said. “But at this point, we will not be a fully functioning commission after July”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do the budget committee make the right move by cutting off funding to the Idaho Women’s Commission?


Hall: Cats Never Use Swing Set

In reality, pets are stolen children - puppies and kittens and other sawed-off little creatures that have been kidnapped from their rightful parents and brought up like human kids. And it almost works for most of us, except for a bizarre deviation of the little creatures. They have hair all over their bodies instead of in the customary locations of human beings. I don’t know about your family, but only a small percentage of the children in our family have ever been overwhelmed by their own hair, and then only during the teenage years. Those real human children have long since fled the nest. So we have dismantled the swing set that was once a child magnet. Today, we live only with imaginary children/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: What do you think of Bill Hall’s tongue-in-cheek contention that pets become substitute kids for empty nesters?

Michelle: Colder Temps To Remain

This month’s cold streak continues with average temperatures now about seven degrees below normal. Though average highs are in the lower 50s, as of Wednesday neither Spokane nor Coeur d’Alene had seen temperatures that warm yet. … For those who are already looking ahead to the warmer temperatures of the new season and the chance to get the garden going this year, you might want to take a hint from last year. La Niña conditions, while weakening and expected to dissipate by July, point to below average temperatures across our part of the country for the next several months/Michelle Boss, SR Handle Extra. More here.

Question: Which winter do you consider tougher — 2007-08 or 2008-09?

AM Headlines — 3/23/09

Coeur d’Alene High School 10th grader Jessica Lupinacci during softball practice at the school on Tuesday. You can read Greg Lee’s assessment of high school softball teams in North Idaho here.

Marmie: British Food Rocks

Marmitetoasty: Hey - there aint nuffin wrong with our British grub lol. … how can you pass up on jellied eels and toad in the hole :) - you doodles have such the wrong grasp on what is British food. … its wonderful. … WONDERFUL.

Question: Do you enjoy British food?

Gary: 1971 Farragut Scene Too Wild

RE: OTV: Idaho’s Woodstock hit Farragut

Gary Ingram: I was chairman of the Kootenai Republican Central Committee and raising a young family. My vice chair and I took my boat out on the lake and took pictures of people screwing on the beach, went into the park and witnessed the selling of drugs and selling beer and wine without a license, watched young people drunk or stoned and out of control, witnessed a large cache of entry money being collected and whisked away to places unknown in an old pickup with hippie folks in charge of the steering wheel.

Question: What was the wildest outdoor concert that you’ve attended?

Arpie: Joan Baez Wowed Panida

Arpie: Joan Baez played a concert at the Panida in Sandpoint tonight. She did not deny that she was at Farragut thirty eight years ago. Tonight’s show was amazing. A living legend, still hitting the high notes. She had the sold out crowd of aging hippies wrapped around her finger. She ended the night leading us all in Amazing Grace. The Panida never sounded sweeter.

Question: Who is your favorite folk singer?

Ramirez: Talk Show Slip

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

OTV: Idaho’s Woodstock Hit Farragut

It’s often said that major cultural trends sometimes seem to take a few extra years before they’re absorbed into our beautiful but somewhat isolated cranny of the world. By and large, the flower-power counterculture revolution didn’t hit North Idaho until the scorching summer of 1971, several years after the Summer of Love brought long scraggly hair, LSD, and groovy color combinations like magenta, goldenrod and chartreuse to the forefront of America’s collective consciousness. When the movement finally arrived here, it landed with quite a bang in the form of a drug-saturated, free-love fueled “be-in” and rock festival staged during that year’s 4th of July weekend at Farragut State Park on Lake Pend Oreille. It’s an occasion that seems especially burned into the memories of everyone who lived in the area at the time; a watershed moment when sleepy North Idaho had its safety bubble irreparably ruptured and was forced to finally acknowledge that the times were indeed a-changin’/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Were you a hippy?

Wild Card/Sunday — 3/22/09

In Huckleberries Online news this morning: Liz did a swell job as a volunteer DJ last night for River 99.9, according to several Merry Hucksters who tuned in. You’ll find a link to Bent’s new blog below (and on my blogroll Monday). You’ll also see OrangeTV’s Handle Extra column below re: the 1971 hippy invasion of Farragut Park. (You should use that as a reminder that the new, improved Handle Extra is in today’s newspaper and on the news racks.) In the Saturday poll, 22 of 48 respondents marked “liver and onions” as the worst dish served to them as a child by their parents, easily beating the six other choices. As for me … I’m looking forward to seeing my sister-in-law and two nephews baptized today at Coeur d’Alene Bible. And your Sunday Wild Card is in play …

Replay Just As Good For Demetri

En route to post game media interview Demetri Goodson and Head Coach Mark Few stop to watch the replay of his game winning shot in the Portland Rose Garden at the second round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday. (Christopher Anderson/Spokesman-Review)

HBO Poll: Most Dramatic Zag NCAA Win?

Bent Snaps Flower, Launches Blog

Bent: I always look forward to the first butter cup. It’s something that’s hung with me from my childhood. The Cd’A Press used to have a tradition of running the a photo of the first buttercup, and I think they gave you a dollar, and coupon for a root beer float at A&W, or something like that. When I was in fourth grade, my aunt Sandy got me hooked. She took me out hiking Best Hill in search of the the first buttercup. Sure enough, we found one and went down to the Cd’A Press to try and get our pictures in the paper, but we got beat by someone who came in that very same day. So, I have been determined to find the first butter cup ever since. More here.

Question: Have you seen your first flower of spring, yet? What was it? Where was it? When did you see it?

Mia: I’m A Better Cook Than Mom

Mia: My mother (admittedly) is not a good cook. So, most things she made were pretty bland and unappetizing. I especially disliked her “Stew”, it was a watery, unseasoned, combination of tough meat and root vegetables. It took me becoming physically sick from eating it before I was excused from eating it ever again. Ironically, I love to cook, and have been told I’m pretty good at it!

Question: Are you a better cook than your mother?

Jimmy: Press Comments Hurt Tourism

JimmyMAC: I cannot for a second get my head wrapped around why they let this crap (racist comments  on the Coeur d’Alene Press online comments section) continue over there. I mean that for obvious reasons as well as business relations. I talked to my wife about it today. Let’s just say that a large group is planning their conference at the Resort or even considering it as a site. A meeting planner checks out The Press website to see what the town is all about as a reference for the potential corporate visit. I may be overanalyzing this, but I think some of those comments could raise red flags for booking here, especially if they find out about the affiliation between the newspaper and the resort.

Question: Do you think the Hagadone Corporation higher-ups — and even Duane Hagadone himself — know what is allowed in the comments section of Duane’s newspaper?

Gonzaga 83, Western Kentucky 81

Gonzaga’s Demetri Goodson (3) scores the winning shot while Western Kentucky’s A.J.Slaughter (4) looks on during the second-round men’s NCAA college basketball tournament game tonight in Portland, Ore. Gonzaga defeated Western Kentucky 83-81.  ESPN game story & boxscore here. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Liz The DJ Wild Card — 3/21/09

Just a reminder before I check the headlines this morning — Liz/My Life’s A Freak Show will guest host from 9 to 11 tonight on River 99.9. You can read about it here. You can hear the live-stream on your computer here. Now for this morning’s headlines: A flood of upsets sweep away several higher seeds in first round of NCAA tournament here. Space station work 81% complete here. The pope celebrates mass in Angola here. Seattle Times columnist Bud Withers talks about Gonzaga assistant coach Ray Giacoletti here. And the first weekend Wild Card is in play …

Gonzaga 74, Xavier 59

Xavier’s Ta’Shia Phillips, left, catches a pass in front of Gonzaga’s Heather Bowman tonight in Seattle in the first half of their first-round women’s NCAA college basketball tournament game. Gonzaga, the 12th seed, beat 5-seed Xavier 74-59, the Bulldogs first win ever in NCAA tourney play. Game story & boxscore here. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Boileau’s Patio Burns In Bayview

Sleepy wintertime Bayview woke up to some excitement late last night, whe an emergency call went out to Timberlake fire Department. Boileau’s Patio was on fire. The interior, fully engulfed was gutted, but Chief Jack Krill believes the structure to be sound, and will be rebuilt as soon as permits can be issued. The gas dock behind the store was unaffected, as the fire department quickly contained the blaze. The fire marshal, when asked of the cause, said that it was as of yet undetermined. He went on to say,”The fire department did a heck of a job to bat that fire down as quickly as they did”/Herb Huseland, Bay Views. More here.

AG: Names Of Nipp Posse To Stay Secret

Item: Names remain secret in Nipp complaints/Tom Hasslinger, CdA Press

More Info: Sen. Mike Jorgenson will not be required to disclose the names of the citizens whose conflict of interest concerns spurred a state attorney general investigation of former Lake City Development Corp. Chairman Charlie Nipp, the senator said Friday. “It’s over,” he said. The attorney general was expected to issue Jorgenson a letter confirming the names were protected by attorney-client privilege.

Question: Do you agree with the AG’s ruling that the identities of those who sought an investigation of Charlie Nipp are protected by  attorney-client privilege?

Lady Zags Ready For Xavier Today

Gonzaga’s Ariam TecleMariam, front, does push-ups with teammates during practice Friday in Seattle in preparation for their first-round women’s NCAA college basketball tournament game against Xavier Saturday. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Question: Do you follow any women’s or girls’ sports team?

Lady Cards Lose In 2nd Round

North Idaho College did not go quietly, but the Cardinals did go down Friday in the third round of the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship tournament. Three Cards scored in double figures and NIC had plenty of chances to steal the game in the closing seconds, but 22 turnovers turned out to be a few too many in a 64-59 loss to Walters State (Tenn.) at the Bicentennial Center/Bo Allegrucci, SR. More here.

Idaho Officials Appreciate Prayer

Item: Prayer Breakfast: Idaho’s elected officials show they appreciate the power of prayer/Ralph Speer, Idaho Statesman guest column

More Info: It was also splendid to see two old Idaho political lions, Govs. Otter and Cecil Andrus, address each other playfully in political terms but agree spiritually, especially on the need for prayer. It was also remarkable to see unfolded for all in attendance the huge importance our own Gov. Andrus had in shaping the history of prayer breakfasts, including the National Prayer Breakfast. When he was appointed as Jimmy Carter’s secretary of interior, Andrus was pleased to meet Doug Coe, who had been working diligently with small groups of elected officials in Washington, D.C. The National Prayer Breakfasts really began in earnest after a brief meeting Coe had with former President Dwight Eisenhower.

Question: Do you believe that praying to a higher power has an impact?

Poll: Worst Meal @ Parents House?

Eyes: Times Hard, Getting Harder

JeanieS: I’m shocked! I went to school with Bill (Morlin’s) sister. I’ve wondered if he ever met my Dad, Don Rice, on the Chronicle. And I’ve loved everything that Karen has written. “Incalculable loss” is an understatement. It’s almost too much to take, Dave, along with everything else: the economy, my son’s lay off; every Tom-Dick-and-Harry company wanting to raise their rates; my 401(k) disappearing off the chart; my dreams of retirement fizzling; papers closing; more layoffs being treatened; and now this.

Question: In the last 7 years, I’ve watched half of the SR newsroom disappear, going from 164 employees in our heyday to about 85 today. I dread the days when the layoff notices are made. I still enjoy my work, however. What we’ve built together here is something special. It helps me answer the wake-up bell in the morning. What silver linings do you cling to as you digest the bad times all around?

Sam: Morlin, Steele Absolute Tops

RE: Morlin, Steele, Webster leaving SR/Huckleberries Online

Sam: Bill Morlin is an amazing investigative reporter, as is Karen Dorn Steele and them not being at that paper is a severe, severe loss. Work I did last year exposing a local man lying about his educational background and then working as a contractor, among other things, earthquake-proofing places like the Hanford nuclear site is a DIRECT result of Bill Morlin first getting the list of thousands of people who purchased fake degrees from a Spokane diploma mill from a source. His work on that story exposed people nationwide and led to the investigation of Washington State Troopers who purchased fake degrees and used them to get raises. His work on other stories had the same impact, most especially his work on the Aryan Nations in Idaho. Seriously, I geek out when I hear Bill Morlin’s name and I honestly couldn’t care less who knows it.

Question: Any local media person — from newspaper, radio or television — make you “geek out”?

Me: A Fair-Weather Fan For Dad

I’m a fair weather sports fan. A band wagoner. I haven’t ever stuck with a team for a really long period of time. My Dad had 3 girls, so he ‘forced’ us to watch sports with him. I say that with a smile on my face, because we lived in Montana and Idaho and only had a couple of channels. It wasn’t like we were missing something, and we got to spend one on one time with Dad. He patiently explained things to us. I especially remember watching baseball with him. The Reds. Bench, Coleman, Rose. I did grow to love it. I’m wondering how we even managed to get a Reds game on Missoula TV? And how often could it have been?/Me, It’s Just Me. More here.

Question (for women): What kind of a sports fan are you? Band wagoner? A “fan” who watches sports to be around the important men in your life? A true fan in every sense of the word? Not a fan at all?

TGIF Wild Card — 3/20/09

In the news this evening: CBO: Obama’s budget would double the national debt over the next decade here. Regulators seize control of 2 corporate credit unions here. Barney Frank wants to halt Fannie, Freddie bonuses here. The U.S. editor for the London Telegraph documents the Top 10 gaffes by the Obama-Biden team here. The USPO shuts offices, cuts jobs here. And the TGIF Wild Card remains in play …

Marmie’s Parting Shot — 3/20/09

Earlier today, Marmitetoasty e-mailed this swell note with her hopes that “spring will soon be there for you doodles and all me Dingleberry maties.” She said: ”JBelle tells me she is still snowed under. … We here in Southern England have just have the most glorious warm spring week, which is quite apt as its officially the first day of spring here today. … Its been warm enough to do me garden in just a t-shirt and for nippers not to have to wear coats during the day. … Daffodils and crocuses are all in bloom and the cherry blossoms on the way to my Jacobs school are a beautiful sight. … See, to prove it, here attached is a photo taken today of one of me poo buckets that sits out the front of me house.

Survez Sez — Duane Hagadone

In today’s HBO Poll, 41 of 88 respondents (47%) say that resort/newspaper owner Duane Hagadone is the most intimidating person in the Coeur d’Alene area. Of the nine choices, “others” received the second most votes with 18 (20%). Your Huckleberry Hound was third (8), followed closely by Mike Kennedy (6) and Dan Gookin & Mary Souza (5 apiece). You can still vote at this link here. I’ll probably use this particular poll in my print column a week from Sunday.

Three Cheers For Versatile Velveeta

While I was grocery shopping Thursday, I ran into a friend whose cart was filled with boxes of Velveeta.  “What in the world are you going to do with all that cheese?” I asked. “Use it every way possible,” she replied.  “My family likes it and it was on sale today.” The process cheese spread is usually reasonably priced, but my friend, who has three children, seemed pleased to be getting an even better bargain. Velveeta Cheese has been around for a while and those of us who like it, are looked down on by cheese gourmets.  I have enjoyed it since I was a kid and for years, never dreamed there were other kinds to use for grilled cheese sandwiches/Vera White, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: How often do you use Velveeta cheese?

PM Headlines — 3/20/09

During a visit to Coeur d’Alene today, Gov. Butch Otter and First Lady Lori Otter try out the beaver lodge created by local artists Allen and Mary Dee Dodge for the Seagraves Children’s Library. The lodge, which is part of the wildlife mural created by the Dodges, provides a quiet reading area for young patrons visiting the library.

APhoto Of The Day — 3/20/09

Illinois’ Stan Simpson goes for a rebound during practice for the NCAA college men’s basketball tournament Wednesday at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore. Illinois lost a shot to meet Gonzaga Saturday when it lost to Western Kentucky last night. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. At the NCAA tournament, Wilson the Basketball, the older, bigger brother of Wilson the Soccerball from the Tom Hanks movie Cast Away, gets his moment in the limelight — KeithinCDA.
  • 2. When someone mentioned March Madness, Stan lost his head — Bayview Herb.
  • 3. Illinois players indicate they didn’t really want a piece of the Zag juggernaut so they quit while they were a head — JohnA.
  • HM: Pecky Cox

Scanner Traffic — 3/20/09

  • 5:47 p.m. Man in brown Monte Carlo has clipped fences and telephone poles and is driving the wrong way on Greensferry, near Ponderosa/Post Falls.
  • 4:27 p.m. A local library reports two teen boys are vandalizing the bathroom.
  • 3:20 p.m. Some 30 juveniles are gathered on Mullan Avenue/Post Falls, possibly to watch a fight.
  • 2:52 p.m. Illegal burn near a propane tank reported on 1300 block of 13th Street/CdA.
  • 2:43 p.m. Post Falls police are looking for a reported fight near the library.
  • 2:39 p.m. Woman reports she was trapped in her car in her driveway by a wandering chocolate Lab and another dog.
  • 2:13 p.m. A man walking his dog @ A & 6th streets in Plummer slipped on the ice and injured himself. He was unable to flag anyone down for help for quite awhile.
  • 2:03 p.m. A piece of trailer tire is causing a hazard on the Veterans Memorial Bridge, east of Coeur d’Alene.
  • 1:17 p.m. A small pickup with Washington or California plates @ English Point/Hayden Lake may have been stolen.

KCSD Catches Kidnap Suspect

Map of this story's location

A California kidnapping victim was rescued in Coeur d’Alene today after about a month missing. A cell phone helped locate the 35-year-old woman at 4304 Bourbon Street about 2 p.m., where Kootenai County Sheriff’s deputies found her with Michael H. Luhdorff, 46. Luhdorff was jailed on a second-degree kidnapping charge. The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, south of Fresno, told the sheriff’s department of the possible location about 12:45 p.m. and expect to have an arrest warrant for Luhdorff by Monday, according to the sheriff’s department. Luhdorff is a suspect in previous kidnappings in California and has a criminal history that includes drugs and theft convictions, the sheriff’s department said/Meghann M. Cuniff, SR. (KCSD release below)

HBOer Liz To Host River 99.9 Saturday

So then a coupla days ago, teenage daughter ever so casually mentions to me that River 99.9 over in Spokane has a guest listener DJ gig every Saturday night. Kid has NO idea what she unleashed. None at all. I filled out the online application to guest host, sent it in and fully expected to get back some form letter type thingie thanking me for taking the time to fill it out and that I would be put on a list or something like that and maybe they would get back to me in a few months. Well. I got a very prompt email back approximately seven hours later. Talk about moving fast … I will be on THIS Saturday night (March 21);  from 9 to 11 p.m. PST.  For those outside the general Spokane area, the station has streaming audio online/Liz, My Life’s A Freak Show. More here.

Question: If you could do any job in the media, what would it be (sorry, blogmeister at HBO Central is already taken)?


Simple Mind: Adult Kids’ Belongings

“A butterfly flutters through the foliage near Kidd Island Bay on Lake Coeur d’Alene,” reports Councilwoman KerriT/OnLocation North Idaho. “North Idahoans become cautiously optomistic on the first day of Spring since Mother Nature is known to throw a few curve balls in late March and early April.”

Adult Kids’ Belongings: How many of you, still have your adult children’s things stored at your house? College kids don’t count unless they have been in college 8 or more years. My kids have been gone for about 20 years or more. Yet, I still find something that I still have of my adult children. I have a small stool that belongs to one child. And a living room table, that another built in high school. He has been out of high school since 1986/Cis, Simple Mind. More here.

Question: Are you still storing some of your adult kids’ stuff?

Handle Extra Coming Sunday

Watercolorist Mary Cain is having an exhibit of her work at the Post Falls Library. SR subscribers and newstand buyers can read all about her in Sunday’s Handle Extra, along with columns by OrangeTV, Betsy Russell, Nils Rosdahl and yours truly. Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review.

Sportsman’s To Honor Gift Cards

Sportsman’s Warehouse stores in Spokane Valley and Coeur d’Alene will be honoring gift cards customers obtained prior to the recent sale of the stores through March 31. Fifteen stores recently were acquired by UFA Cooperative based in Calgary, putting the previously issued Sportsman’s Warehouse gift cards on hold/Rich Landers, SR. More here.

Question: Have you had trouble cashing gift cards this year?

MJD: Anyone Else Going To GOPfest?

MamaJD: Are there any Hucksters going to the Kootenai County Republican dinner this Saturday besides me?

Question: Anyone?

DN: UI Prez Search Near Derailment

With Nellis gone, Montana State University Provost David Dooley is the last finalist standing. By default, he presumably gets the job - if he wants it. UI and board officials should pause and move back a few steps and stop painting themselves into the proverbial corner. Invite the other two candidates to campus for a shot at the job. Then make a decision. In fact, in light of recent events, it would be prudent to also include in the mix the man who currently occupies the president’s chair/Murf Raquet, Moscow Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Should the state Board of Education pick the remaining finalist to be the new UIdaho president by default? Or the current interim president? Or a combination of those two, along with the two remaining in the top five list? Or begin the search process again?

Atheist Billboard Set For Moscow Area

According to the post, this spring the American Humanist Association will announce an atheist/agnostic billboard to go up on U.S. Highway 95 just south of Moscow. It purportedly will beckon non-theistic people by reminding them they aren’t alone and will also offer a Web site and toll-free number that will provide the public with further information about theism, free thought, humanism and ethical culture/Vera White, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Will you be bugged if Humanists post a bill board on Highway 95 near Moscow?

HBO’s Best Of The INW — 3/20/09

” I’m ready for spring.” said Steve Hutchison of Coeur d’Alene as he removed his Christmas decorations on Wednesday. (Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review)

Question: Do you know anyone who still has outside Christmas lights up at his/her house?

High Noon: How Do You Bowl?

Kolan McConiughey, left, talks with his foster mother, Jan Pardy at Colonial Lanes in Ann Arbor, Mich., Friday. McConiughey, who is cognitively impaired, has bowled five perfect games since 2005. President Barack Obama made an offhand remark on “The Tonight Show” Thursday comparing his bowling to “the Special Olympics or something.” He quickly apologized and told the Special Olympics chairman he wants to have some Special Olympic athletes visit the White House to bowl or play basketball. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Question: How would you describe your bowling ability?

Morlin, Steele, Webster Leaving SR

Earlier this morning, the SR newsroom learned that three respected, veteran reporters have accepted an early-buyout offer and will be leaving the newspaper at the end of the month: Bill Morlin (pictured), Karen Dorn Steele, and Dan Webster. Morlin, of course, is recognized as a national expert on the white supremacy movement. Steele is one of the region’s most respected environmental reporters. Webster’s name is synonymous with excellent SR arts and book reviews. He has written the Movies & More blog for at least five years. In accepting their voluntary resignations, Editor Gary Graham said: ”It should be obvious to all that these latest departures represent an incalculable loss to us and our readers.”

HBO Survey Sez … Hell No!

In the HBO Poll Thursday, 65% of the 68 respondents said they don’t want to see the gas tax or vehicle registrations raised to increase revenue for state road maintenance. 32% indicated that Gov. Butch Otter’s proposals (including a gas tax hiked defeated by the House Thursday) were the best way to help fund road repair. You can see the survey here.

Popkey: GOP Balks @ Fuel Tax

Among the 21 lawmakers who debated Otter’s 7-cent fuel increase Thursday, telling words came from Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle. Labrador is ambitious enough to enjoy talk about his running for Congress and represents a district crisscrossed by congested roads. But rather than silently cast a “no” vote, Labrador openly defied Otter and the coalition the governor has spent two years building. The 43-27 vote against the tax increase included a 28-24 defeat among Otter’s fellow Republicans and a 19-9 loss among lawmakers from the Treasure Valley, the region supposedly most sympathetic to higher taxes for roads/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Why did the GOP & Treasurer Valley legislators abandon Otter on the road-fix issue?

Father Spitzer Leaving Gonzaga

Father Robert Spitzer, president of Gonzaga University, stands in the administration building Tuesday. He has seen his school’s stature rise with the success of the basketball team. He will leave his position in July. John Blanchette’s Q-and-A with Father Spitzer here. (Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review)

Question: What will Father Spitzer be remembered for most at Gonzaga University?

HBO Poll: Most Intimidating Person?

Horse Slaughter Bill Gets OK

Item: Montana Senate Passes Horse Slaughter Bill/Natalie Neumann, UM Legislative News Service

More Info: The Montana State Senate on Thursday narrowly passed a bill that would make it easier for a person to start a horse slaughter or processing facility in the state.  Currently there are no equine slaughter facilities in the United States, but there are facilities in Canada and Mexico.

Question: Do you support or oppose the concept of slaughtering horses for meat?

Mary: ‘Intimidation Has Got To Stop!’

In her Coeur d’Alene Press column this morning, Mary Souza begins by exclaiming: “Intimidation in this town has got to stop! I’ve heard stories galore detailing the long history of harassment and cronyism in this city, and it is well past time for these deplorable methods to end.” She then zeroes in on her favorite punching bags: LCDC, Charlie Nipp, Sandi Bloem, Mike Kennedy and the City Council. After reciting Charlie’s alleged sins of omission, she tells of the cold reception she received when she asked for his resignation at a recent council meeting. Then, this: ”It wasn’t until I sat down and could no longer respond that they started to attack citizens, by name, for speaking out. Councilman Ron Edinger sarcastically reprimanded us, saying we were ‘out of place.’ Councilwoman Goodlander accused us of ‘character assassination,’ though no one had said a word against Mr. Nipp’s character.” Mary didn’t mention if any of her allies were filming the council reaction for a possible YouTube video this election season.

Question: Who’s intimidating whom in this town?

AM Headlines — 3/20/09

A motorist waites for the light to change at the intersection of US 95 nad Bosanko in Coeur d’Alene on Thursday. The state of Idaho is talking about removing the lights at the intersections at Canfield and Bosanko in the heart of Kootenai County”s commercial sprawl to speed up traffic through the area. (Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review)

Question: Should the state remove the lights and restrict movements at the Highway 95 intersections @ Canfield & Bosanko (Jeff Selle discusses this situation in further detail in the drop-down box below)/Kootenai MPO corrects?

Statesman: AIG Bonuses Fair?

Was the government’s taxing of AIG bonuses fair?/Idaho Statesman
  • Yes, AIG employees didn’t deserve them
  • No, the government shouldn’t be allowed to tax anything it wants
  • Didn’t tax them enough
  • Not sure

Otter: Old Mission Park To Stay Open

Item: Otter reassures tribe on mission park: Governor issues apology after director said Cataldo site could be closed/Kevin Graman, SR

More Info: Gov. Butch Otter has no plans to close the Old Mission State Park in North Idaho, and he has apologized to the Coeur d’Alene Tribe on behalf of the state official who said otherwise in January. In a letter Monday to tribal Chairman Chief Allan, Otter said any decision to close the park that is the site of the 155-year-old Cataldo Mission would have to be made by the Idaho Parks and Recreation Board, and that hasn’t happened. “The board – not the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation director – has the decision-making authority for the closure of parks,” Otter wrote.

Question: How often do you visit the Old Mission State Park?

Obama Apologizes For Gaffe

Item: Obama apologizes for Special Olympics gaffe/AP

More Info: President Barack Obama has apologized to the chairman of the Special Olympics for his late-night talk show quip equating his bowling skills to those of athletes with disabilities. Appearing on “The Tonight Show” Thursday, the president told host Jay Leno he’d been practicing at the White House’s bowling alley but wasn’t happy with his score of 129. Then he remarked: “It was like the Special Olympics or something.” The audience laughed, but the White House quickly recognized the blunder.

Question: Was it important that President Obama apologize for this offhand comment?

Signe: Chastity Belt Revival?

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Wild Card/Thursday — 3/19/09

In the news this evening: AG Holder signals change in medical marijuana policy here. Coroner: Blunt blow to head caused actress Richardson’s death here. Obama tells Leno he was stunned by bonuses here. Citigroup is spending millions on HQ renovation here. Competing studies have men wondering about prostate screening here. And the Wild Card remins on the table …

Zags 77, Zips 64

Akron’s Nikola Cvetinovic (13), of Serbia, and Gonzaga’s Steven Gray battle for a loose ball in the first half during a first-round men’s NCAA college basketball tournament game underway in Portland, Ore. ESPN boxscore here. (AP Photo/Don Ryan) Sportslink report here.

Zips? There’s a basketball team named after our favorite hamburger stand? Zags? Do they even exist independent of Zigs? The Zips are playing the Zags? Is this March Madness or Dr. Seuss? This is it. This is the end. The NCAA tournament has reached its 71st birthday, a ripe old age. And after all the shining moments and the iconic figures– from the Tall Firs to the Wizard of Westwood to Magic versus Bird to Jimmy V – this is finally the last word in March matchups. Or at least the last letter. We have reached – wait for it – the zenith/John Blanchette, SR. More here.

DFO: The Zags will now play the winner of Illinois/Western Kentucky on Saturday. What do you think there chances of getting to the Sweet 16?

Parting Shot — 3/19/09

Lauren Dorris, 3, of Anchorage, Alaska runs to show her mother a trading card of the airport police dog giving to her by an airport police officer after she petted the dog at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport in Reno, Nev.(AP Photo/Reno Gazette-Journal, Andy Barron) SR’s Today In Photos

Otis G: My Boy Made Me Proud

In a post today, Otis G tells how his 7YO son made him proud — not for being selected student of the week (which was determined by picking names from a hat) but by what he did with the honor. Seems the honor allows students to pick two other classmates to have lunch with him or her in the classroom. Otis G’s son had a coupla surprise selections. You can read the account in Otis G. Experience about it here.

Question: When did a child of yours do some unexpected kindness to another that made you proud?

PM Headlines — 3/19/09

All-North Idaho Boys Basketball Team Front row: Ryan Young (Lewiston), Devon Austin (Coeur d’Alene), Shawn Reid (Post Falls). Second row: Justin Podrabsky (Lewiston), Dave Cornelia (Lewiston coach), Nate Frisbie (Lake City). Greg Lee’s column here. (Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review)

APhoto Of The Day — 3/19/09

A squirrel, who’s obviously not shy, reaches for a peanut from the hand of a man at Mount Royal Park in Montreal Tuesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sheila Boardman)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1.  The donor is puzzled when the squirrel took the peanut and held it up to his behind, nodded and then ate it. A passerby, seeing his puzzled look, informed him that last week the squirrel had eaten a golf ball, so now he measures everything first — JohnA.
  • 2. All that is left of the AIG bail out after the executive bonuses are paid — Nic.
  • 3. The trickle-down of the bailouts finally reach the small guys — Cabbage Boy.
  • HM: Charlie
  • 3.

Scanner Traffic — 3/19/09

  • 5:46 p.m. Father wants to see an officer re: a 19YO male requesting nude photos and other inappropriate things from his daughter.
  • 4:26 p.m. R/P is following a car with five children in it, including several that are unrestrained in the back seat.
  • 4:03 p.m. Resident on Lost Springs Ranch Road, south of Spokane River, reports her doberman attacked her father Wednesday and wants to know how to find another home for the dog or get rid of it.
  • 3:47 p.m. 4 juveniles near the trees @ Idaho & 15th appear to be crying.
  • 3:21 p.m. R/P reports that a male has lived in a foreclosed house on the Rimrock longer than the 14 days allowed and wants to know what can be done about him.
  • 3:18 p.m. Probation officer wants police to detain a male in a white hoodie who’s in the electronics department of Wal*Mart. P.O. says he has probable cause for a burglary.
  • 3:04 p.m. Woman reports to black Labs jumped on her as she was walking on Valley & Wilbur/Dalton Gardens.
  • 3:03 p.m. 3 horses are loose on Putnam, near Kidd Island Bay Road.

PDX Pup: ‘Punched Their Ticket? Arrgh

If there is any phrase I’m about ready to gag on if I ever see/hear it again, it’s any phrase related to the punching of tickets. Talk about a tired metaphor! Seriously, get a new schtick sports people. The kids nowadays? They don’t punch tickets so much; they typically pay a cover and get their hand stamped. Or they pay a cover and get a plastic cup. I must’ve heard read the phrase “so and so punched their ticket…” like 100 times this past week and it was old after about the first 3 times I heard it. Also tired? Analysts defending the omission of schools with better records and RPI’s in favor of 8th place team from “BCS” conferences because they play a tougher conference schedule. Nut up, NCAA and analysts. Patty Mills and St. Mary’s could smoke Arizona any day of the week, and twice on Sunday if you lined it up/PDX Pup. More here.

Question: Which metaphor or cliche do you dread hearing the most now that March Madness is upon us?

HBO Blogosphere — 3/19/09

They said that AIG has to pay because it was in a contract with these people. But excuse me, how does that contract hold water now … the company would and could have been in the toilet. How do they pay bonus to employees if there were no company? How do they get money because of a contract, when the money wasn’t profits … it is a TAXPAYERS/FEDERAL bailout. So all bets off/Cis, Simple Mind. More here.

Question: How much of a bonus did you receive from your company last year?

New Jersey Draws Bikini Wax Line

In this June 21, 2002, file photo, visitors and residents spend the day on the beach in Belmar, N.J., on this first day of summer. New Jersey is drawing the line when it comes to bikini waxing. The state Cosmetology and Hairstyling Board is moving toward a ban on genital waxing altogether after two women reported being injured. Both women were hospitalized for infections following so-called “Brazilian” waxes. The board will decide on April. (AP Photo/Brian Branch-Price)

Question: Ah, do you think states should be concerned re: the health hazards of bikini waxing?

IdaBlue: We Told You So

We told you so. The Post-Register has an opinion up pointing out the ongoing damage to Idaho schools caused by Jim Risch’s revenue swap from property to sales taxes. Their funding has been destabilized, and we may well start seeing school district seeking new bond/revenue measures. Julie has more here. Also, Kevin Richert notes that the budget cutbacks to education may well require school districts to try to seek more property tax revenue/IdaBlue. More here.

Question: Do you agree with IdaBlue that Jim Risch’s revenue swap from property to sales taxes is a crucial element in the revenue shortfall hamstringing Idaho schools today?

CdA 2nd Fastest Growing Metro Area

Idaho Falls was the fastest-growing metropolitan area in Idaho between July 1, 2007, and July 1, 2008, according to estimates released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. Idaho Falls grew 3.2 percent in the year to 122,995 residents. Coeur d’Alene was second, growing 2.4 percent to 137,475 residents. Boise, the state’s largest population center, grew 2.2 percent to 599,753 residents. Pocatello grew 1.1 percent, and Lewiston 0.8 percent/Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Are you concerned re: population growth in your North Idaho community?

EOB: House Kills Gas Tax Hike Plan

The governor’s legislation to increase Idaho’s gas tax has failed in the House, on a 27-43 vote. The debate in the House lasted for close to two hours, with representatives from throughout the state speaking out for and against the bill. “I’m going to support this bill because I see a need for it, but if we end this session without also investing in our human infrastructure, I think it will be a great failure,” said Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, calling for avoiding cuts in education funding/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Related: Idaho Demo caucus response

HBO’s Best Of The INW — 3/19/09

Ira Brown (front in red headband) and Jeremy Pargo (rear) work the sidelines and sign autographs after practice Wednesday. (Christopher Anderson/Spokesman-Review)

High Noon: Wooing Of Mark Few

Gonzaga University Head Coach Mark Few leaves the NCAA tournament media interview room after taking questions about the upcoming game with Akron in Portland during the first round of the 2009 Tournament. Every time there is an opening for a Head Coaching job it seems Mark Few is mentioned as someone to interview for the position. Lately his name has been linked to Oregon. (Christopher Anderson/Spokesman-Review)

Question: Will this finally be the year that superb Gonzaga men’s basketball coach Mark Few receives an offer from another university, like Oregon, that’s too good to pass up?

HBO Poll: Up Gas Tax, Registrations?

EOB: Gas Tax Hike Debate On

The House has begun debating HB 246, the governor’s bill to increase Idaho’s gas tax by 7 cents over the next three years, to raise money for road maintenance. The tax is now 25 cents per gallon. “This is a bill that you’ve all been waiting for,” House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, told the House. “I don’t present this bill lightly”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here

ITHO: Idaho Gummint Opening Up?

Earlier this week, I wrote about Idaho’s lackluster efforts in making public records available online. I researched the issue on behalf of Sunshine Week, a national organization that spotlights the value of public access to government records. Idaho wound up tied for No. 40 in a national ranking of online records access. Now to a double serving of good news from Monday’s Senate State Affairs Committee meeting. The committee introduced a bill that would require elected officials to file financial disclosure reports, and approved a bill to put some teeth into the open meetings law/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: By and large, do governments at all levels in Idaho respect the Open Meeting Law?

HBO Survey Sez … Deanna

In the HBO Poll Wednesday, 46 of 67 respondents or 69% said that Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander is the most vulnerable incumbent who will seek re-election this fall. She was followed by Mike Kennedy with 10 votes (15%), Mayor Sandi Bloem with 9 (13%) and Woody McEvers with 2 (3%).

Pharmacist ‘Conscience’ Bill Advances

Item: ‘Conscience’ bill for pharmacists clears committee: The measure sent to the House floor allows pharmacists to refuse certain prescriptions/AP

More Info: The so-called “conscience protections” are for pharmacists who have moral, ethical or religious objections to dispensing birth control pills and other medications. Idaho law already gives hospitals and doctors authority not to fill prescriptions. The bill passed the committee Wednesday on a voice vote. It stands a good chance of passage in the full House. Idaho Pharmacy Board Executive Director Mark Johnston told the House State Affairs Committee that pharmacists already can deny drugs because there is no state law requiring them to fill prescriptions.

Question: Do you support or oppose the “conscience protections” for pharmacists?

Comp Plan Review To Cost $350K

Item: County to pay $350K for firm to look at Comp Plan: Lack of ordinances is main problem with current document/Alecia Warren, CdA Press

More Info: This time, they want the job done right. And they’re willing to pay good money for it. To ensure the new Kootenai County Comprehensive Plan has more regulatory muscle than the current version, the county has already set aside $350,000 to hire a consulting firm to fashion new ordinances and regulations once the final plan is written.

Blast From Past (Jan. 2, 2008): (Cheri) Howell resigned as a senior planner in the Planning and Building Department Wednesday afternoon, leaving her $48,000 annual salary behind. Moments later, she was hired by the county as an independent contractor for $75,000 to finish the county’s Comprehensive Plan by May 31 — Coeur d’Alene Press. Complete story here.

Question: Izzit just me, or hasn’t the county been throwing time and money at the comprehensive plan for years?

AM Headlines — 3/19/09

In a summer photo, Yogi “the Wonder Dog” retrieves the newspaper from the end of HMOffsuite’s dock on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Spring arrives tomorrow. Which means great times on the lake won’t be far behind.

Manson @ 74

In a Dec. 17, 1970, file photo, right, Charles Manson is pictured en route to a Los Angeles courtroom. At left, Manson is shown in a photo made and released Wednesday by California corrections officials. The photo of the 74-year-old Manson was taken Wednesday as part of a routine update of files on inmates at Corcoran State Prison. (AP Photo/ho/files)

Question: Should Charles Manson ever be released from prison?

JeanneH: Gone With The Wind

JeanneH: I can’t remember the title of the last (movie) I saw at the Coeur d’Alene Drive-In on Gov’t Way, but I do remember the last time I saw the screen, it was on the ground after a windstorm, and the marquee said “Gone With The Wind” - that’s the last time we had a drive-in here…probably sometime in the early ‘80’s. And before that we also had the Showboat, which was a real boat (for the concession stand), over on the property where Goodies service station is now on Ramsey…We used to take the kids in the back of the station wagon with their jammies on, back it in to a place, and all of us lay in the back with the tailgate open and watch the movie…everybone could see that way. The good old days when movies were CHEAP! JH

Question: What do you miss most re: the Coeur d’Alene area’s “good old days”?

Patrick H: Gave Press Piece Of Mind

RE: Patrick H: Racist post spreads at Press/Huckleberries Online

Patrick H. Is As Mad As Hell: Sent a letter of to Mr. Patrick, our ad rep, and Mr. Hagadone a few minutes ago, and tomorrow we are posting the following sign in the cafe: “Due to recent racist comments posted on the CDA Press’ website we are asking our customers to boycott the Press until Mr. Patrick removes the comments and issues an apology. If you have a copy of the Press with you we will gladly replace it with a current issue of the Spokesman Review or USAToday.”

Question: What have you done to express your displeasure to the CdA Press re: racist postings on the Press online site? (Editor Mike Patrick can be contacted at

Katrina: Scanner Traffic Plus, Please

Katrina: I sure wish there was a way to get a follow up on the police blotter section. Some of the stories leave me highly anxious, wanting to know what happened (like “1:11 p.m. R/P reports that a man in a blue pickup has taken a boy of about 8 who didn’t appear to want to go with him, from a local school.”) and some of them sound like they might make for good entertainment if I knew the whole story (like “10:37 a.m. A man on Windermere Avenue reports that his mother and his wife are threatening him.”) I bet those 911 operators get curious, too.

DFO: You’re not the first to raise this point, Katrina. Alas, I’m lucky to catch the snippets from the scanner while I’m blogging away here. Sometimes, I don’t have enough info to post an item that sounds interesting, like the woman who wanted to see police about a potato gun yesterday. I simply don’t have enough time to follow any of this up. Nor would the police have a report for a day or so. If at all. Feel free to imagine the rest of the story in the comments section.

Question: Do you follow Scanner Traffic?

Signe: Paying High Price For Murder

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

CIT: Idaho 69, Drake 67

Drake forward Jonathon Cox (31) grabs a rebound in front of Idaho center Marvin Jefferson (53) and guard Kashif Watson, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the first round of the College Postseason Tournament (CIT) tonight at Memorial Gym in Moscow, Idaho. Idaho won 69-67.ESPN boxscore from CIT tournament first round here. (AP Photo/Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Dean Hare)

After the win, the Vandals learned they will play a quarterfinal game Monday at Pacific, whose associate head coach is Ron Verlin, twin brother of Idaho head coach Don Verlin. Tipoff will be 7 p.m. at Stockton, Calif/Dale Grummert, Lewiston Tribune. Full game report here. And: Sportslink report from Josh Wright here.

Hump Day Wild Card — 3/18/09

In the news this evening: Actress Natasha Richardson dies here. US mortgage rates slide toward 30-year lows here. Obama picks McCain’s team to lose in the first round here. ‘American Idol’ crushes “Dancing With The Stars’ in a reality TV matchup here. Fed launches $1.2 trillion effort to revive economy here. And the Wild Card remains in play …

Parting Shot — 3/18/09

A worker carries a water bottle in the underground deep drainage tunnel system in Mexico City, Wednesday. Mexico City’s government announced it plans to complete an upgrade and repairs to the deep drainage tunnel system by April 15th in time for this year’s rainy season, making the tunnel capable of handling up to 180 cubic meters per second of rainwater and sewage. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) SR Today In Photos here.

OTV: Contact CdA Press, Now!

OrangeTV: The racist links are still up over there. I’m about to compose an email to the editor letting him know this is unacceptable how embarrassing those comment sections are for our town and requesting that something is done immediately to make the racist/homophobic posts stop and/or go away. I suggest others take a few minutes and do the same.

Question: What are you waiting for?


Scanner Traffic — 3/18/09

  • 5:56 p.m. A drunken male is involved in a heated argument with others after he pointed a shotgun at a female in Harrison.
  • 5:11 p.m. 3 men are close to a fight with 5 other men @ Tamarack RV Park on Government Way.
  • 4:40 p.m. Juveniles are playing on the roof of Hayden Elementary.
  • 2:09 p.m. An NIC student needs help moving his parked car that’s trapped between two other vehicles.
  • 1:48 p.m. A sheriff’s deputy is checking on a Dumpster diver at one of the rural transfer sites, surmising that the guy is after a huge bin on top of the garbage.
  • 1:11 p.m. R/P reports that a man in a blue pickup has taken a boy of about 8 who didn’t appear to want to go with him, from a local school.
  • 12:27 p.m. Several callers report that an older man in a silver Toyota Tacoma is s/b in the n/b lanes of Highway 95 @ Dalton Avenue.

PM Headlines — 3/18/09

A honey bee searches for nectar on the flowers of a tree in the parking lot of a church along Garden Valley Boulevard in Roseburg, Ore., on Tuesday. (AP Photo/The News-Review)

APhoto Of The Day — 3/18/09

A couple, Kaveh from Iran and Madina from Uzbekistan, jump over a fire as Emarati men look on during the Chaharshanbeh Soori festival in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday. Thousands of Iranians living in UAE jump over fires during the festival to burn away the year’s sins on the last Tuesday night before the Iranian new year, Nowrooz on Friday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Top Cutllines:

  • 1. What the intrepid reporter failed to understand is that “Sinz” is the Iranian word for useless leg hair — Cabbage Boy.
  • 2. Harold and Kumar decide to find out how serious the company is about that lifetime warranty on their new temperature resistant sandals — Liz.
  • 3. CAVERs resort to new tactics to ensure local public officials keep their feet to the fire — JohnA.
  • HM: Kage Mann

Vandals Tip Off Vs. Drake @ 7:05

The upstart Vandals (16-15) will open the first tournament by playing Drake (17-15). Tipoff is slated for 7:05 at Memorial Gym. A delighted Verlin and his staff notified each of the players by Sunday evening that the program had received a CIT bid, and all were back in Moscow by Monday morning/Josh Wright, SR. More here.

Question: Predict the final score?

2 Cents: Newspapering In CdA 2009

In her Slight Detour post this morning, Marianne Love focuses on prospect of life after newspapers. Quoth: “One of the guiding principles I learned while working as a professional journalist was that communities rely on the newspaper to sort out truth from fiction/gossip/hearsay/inuendo and downright lies.” As a City Hall/courthouse reporter from 1984-93, I was part of the heyday of newspaper reporting in Kootenai County. On any given weekday, I was matched against aggressive reporters from the Coeur d’Alene Press, like Keith Erickson and Les Tidball, trying to get a scoop. If we didn’t dig out the story, John Rook and Ron Rankin were firing away re: local politics and issues from the KCDA studio above the old Wilson Drug store on Sherman Avenue. If it was news, one of the three media would sniff it out. Now, with the cutbacks at both the Press & SR in North Idaho,  news goes unreported. I don’t think anyone is keeping close tabs on the county commissioners or county government. I doubt that the situation is going to get better in the near term. Nor do I see bloggers having the expertise or time to fill the void. The misinformed who relish the demise of “liberal newspapers” are myopic. Once the papers are gone, who’s going to provide the reliable info to discuss at the coffee shop?

HBO Blogosphere — 3/18/09

“The generations-old tree roots and white caps give the appearance of an ocean beach on Lake Coeur d’Alene’s West Lakeshore Drive” posts Councilwoman KerriT/OnLocation North Idaho. “In a few short months the tree will be providing shade for summer beach goers.”

DFO’s Animals: Cash-Eating Dog

This undated photo released by Kelley Davis via the News & Observer shows Augie, a 2-year-old greater Swiss mountain dog in Apex, N.C., that ate $400 cash that Davis made working extra hours. The 42-year-old Davis says when she took Augie for a walk Saturday, she found parts of three $100 bills and five $20s in his leavings. She washed them with a garden hose and hopes to find enough pieces to exchange them for cash. (AP Photo/Kelley Davis via The News & Observer)

Question: What would you if your dog ate $400 of your cash?

Jury Convicts Stark Of Murder

Shellye Stark was convicted this afternoon of first-degree murder in the shooting death of her estranged husband, whose bullet-riddled body was found slumped in the kitchen of their South Hill home in 2007. Jurors also convicted Stark of conspiring to murder Dale Stark, whom she had just obtained a temporary restraining order against. “I’ll be fine,” Stark, 47, told family members as she was led out of the courtroom. “I’m so sorry. I love you. Oh my God, I love you”/Meghann M. Cuniff, SR. More here.

WSU Student Groups Can Buy Booze

As of Wednesday, student groups are now able to buy alcohol for public or private events on campus. Though this may seem opportunistic for groups looking to host a kegger on the mall, there are policy stipulations to prevent such gatherings. Well thought out safeguards decided upon by a committee created by the vice president of the Division of Student Affairs, Equity and Diversity will ensure that only serious, responsible student organizations will be allowed to host events with alcohol. For example, permits and licenses must be submitted weeks in advance, and an adviser and five group members must attend alcohol awareness education sessions annually/Daily Evergreen Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Is this a good policy? Would you want other area colleges — UIdaho, Eastern Washington, Gonzaga, North Idaho College — to adopt a similar policy?

DH: ‘Kyra’s Law’ Needed For Abuse

Charlie Smith and Christina Haynes subjected Kyra Wine n who was 3 years old at the time n to unspeakable torture over a two-week period. Torture, not abuse. At least that’s what the evidence suggests since even a team of doctors cannot determine what exactly these two wretches did to this little girl. The abuse, it appears, was a prelude to the torture that transpired in the final days of Kyra’s suffering at the hands of the two who discovered, via the Internet, that they were soul mates. Kyra’s feet were amputated as a result of the torture. Doctors believe the horrific wound on her scalp will heal eventually, but forever prevent the growth of hair. Other scars, like those on her buttocks, will also remain forever. For all this, young Charlie Smith will serve 10 years in prison/Dan Hammes, St. Maries Gazette Record. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Publisher Dan Hammes/St. Maries Gazette Record that special enhancement should be made in cases like Kyra Wine where egregious abuse occurs?

HBO’s Best Of The INW — 3/18/09

Sara Cahoon reads a book while using a nebulizer Friday morning at her Meridian home. Cahoo, 28, has had cystic fibrosis and uses the treatment up to three times a day. Lawmakers are deciding whether to keep a very small program that pays medical bills for patients with cystic fibrosis. Many patients use the program to pay for multiple prescriptions that each cost around $1,400 monthly. The medicines have been key in turning the lung disease from a childhood death sentence to a chronic condition in which patients live well into their 30s, with life expectancies rising all the time. (AP Photo/Idaho Statesman,Chris Butler)

High Noon: Bruttles Coming To CdA

The soft peanut brittle from Bruttles Candy Shoppe is heading to the Lake City. The makers of the signature turn-down treats at Spokane’s Davenport Hotel will open the new Bruttles by the Lake on Friday, at 115 Sherman Ave., in Coeur d’Alene. It’s Bruttles’ second new location in six months. … Owner Carol Measel said in a news release expanding to Coeur d’Alene was the neighborly thing to do, “It just makes sense that we would take candy over to our neighbor”/Lori Hutson, SR Fresh Sheet. More here.

Question: Which candy treat is your favorite?

Roxy: A Lake Coeur d’Alene Mill

At Remember The Roxy, OrangeTV headlines this 1936 postcard image as “Lovely Lumber Mill, Lake Cd’A, 1936. It appears to me that this mill once stood at the current site of the Coeur d’Alene Resort golf course. Dunno if it was called the Rutledge Mill then. Eventually, Hagadone bought the old Rutledge Mill and constructed his golf course and floating green. A piece of the Rutledge Mill machinery now sits in the paid parking lot north of the North Idaho Museum on Northwest Boulevard.

Question: Do any of you have a relative that once worked in the old Rutledge Mill?

EOB: No Election Consolidation Vote

There was lots of testimony this morning on the big election consolidation bill, HB 201, but the Senate State Affairs Committee ran out of time and had to continue the hearing to tomorrow, so there was no vote today. The measure earlier passed the House; it’d make sweeping reforms in Idaho’s election system, to move all elections to four dates and have counties run them all, with standardized polling places/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Question: Do you support this election consolidation bill?

Panel OKs Sovereignty Memorial

Citizen Lori Shoemaker told the committee, “Centralized government is dangerous - that’s against the American way.” Rep. Mary Lou Shepherd, D-Prichard, said, “I have never in my life received so many emails as I have on this one. … Not a single one was anti. Therefore I would move that HJM 4 be sent to the floor with a do-pass recommendation.” A handful of supporters in the audience burst into applause at the vote of approval/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Just how sovereign are the individual states in this country?

Hey, Wait Until I Finish Racking ‘Em

“Hey, wait,” said Caden Brown,7, right before playing pool with Dylan Sande,7, far left and James Star,6, front at the Boys and Girls Club at their temporary headquarters at the Post Falls Church of the Nazarene on Tuesday. You’ll find this photo and columns by HBO regulars in Sunday’s Handle Extra, including OrangeTV, Betsy Russell & your Huckleberry Hound. The Handle Extra will be available in the regular paper, for SR subscribers in Kootenai, Bonner & Shoshone counties — and in news racks. (Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review)

Question: Are you a good pool player?

HBO Poll: Vulnerable Incumbent

ITHO: Miscarriage Bill Clears Hurdle

A bill which would grant mothers the opportunity to request a “certificate of early fetal death” if she loses a child to a miscarriage barely passed out of the House State Affairs Committee this morning on a 9-8 vote. Current Idaho law allows for the issuance of a certificate of death only for a child who dies beyond 20 weeks of gestation. The bill was ably sponsored, introduced and defended by Rep. Judy Boyle (R-Midvale). She explained that the purpose of the bill is to provide a means of comfort and closure to the mother, and grant some official recognition of the humanness of her baby/Brian Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance. More here.

Question: Do you support of oppose the miscarriage bill?

Minnick: Let A.I.G. Go Bankrupt

“I opposed the TARP bill and I opposed the bailout for AIG. I’m a businessman, and when I bought businesses I took due diligence seriously. We taxpayers shouldn’t buy companies or socialize businesses. Having made the mistake with AIG we should not now throw good money after bad. Instead, we should now withdraw taxpayers’ support and let AIG go bankrupt, let a federal bankruptcy judge void these ill-advised bonus contracts, sort out the losses, and bring in new, qualified management to properly manage AIG free of one more nickel of taxpayer support. Thank you, Mr. Chairman” — Walt Minnick, at House subcommittee hearing on A.I.G. this morning. H/T: Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman.

Question: What do you think of your congressman’s attitude toward A.I.G.?

AM Headlines — 3/18/09

I’m re-running this late-afternoon Tuesday post to make sure most of you see it: At Priest Lake, Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns has created a Google map that contains pretty much everything you need to know about her neck of the woods, from resorts to campgrounds. She tells Huckleberries that she created the useful map after getting beaucoup maps on her site from people looking for directions. You can take a closer peek at Pecky’s map here.

Poll Results: Wearing Of The Green

In the HBO Poll Tuesday, 55% of the 55 respondents said you wore green on St. Patrick’s Day because you were either full-blooded Irish or partially Irish. Of the five choices, the one that received the second most votes (17 or 31%) was “I’m not (wearing green). Bah! Humbug!”

Wanted: A Well-Poured Guinness — Me

 I never liked dark beer before either. When we went to Ireland, I had to dive in. We went to the Guinness Storehouse where they give you a free pint up top with this beautiful view of Dublin. The company, the view - the Guinness tasted GREAT. I ended up drinking a lot of it that night and the nights after that. I have to say that it doesn’t taste here, like it did there. Over there you have to wait wait wait to get your beer because they pour it in two steps. They don’t seem to do that here and I think that’s why it doesn’t taste right/Me.

Question: Is there a pub in the Inland Northwest that knows how to pour a Guinness properly?

JeanieS: I Miss Drive-In Movies

JeanieS: It’s not the drive in food places I miss - it is the drive in movies! Just think about the fact that children today will never know what it’s like to drive your car right into the “theater” and have with you all the food you want, home made popcorn, sandwiches, cookies, Koolaid. And playing on the swing set until the sun goes down low enough to see the screen. The Autovue on Trent I think. When I got my driver’s license, I was “allowed” to take all my siblings in the Volkswagen and go to the Autovue for a $1.50 a carload. The upside: the driver had the best seat.

Question: What movie was playing the last time that you went to a drive-in movie?

PatrickH: Racist Post Spreads @ Press


It (a racist post with WNTube video) is now up (7:06 p.m. Tuesday) again in five different places on the Press’ website. It really is time for the Press to either moderate all comments and approve them before posting them or turn of posting all together. The Press uses a publishing suite called Town News for their site that is basically a high end version of the blogging tool Movable Type. All it would take to change the comment settings to either turn them off or make it so they had to be approved is changing the preferences in the software. So either Mr. Patrick and the Hagadone News Network are to lazy to do it or they like the attention that it brings/PatrickH Wants His Guinness. OrangeTV’s observations on Press online comments here.

Heller: Lower Than A Cockroach

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

St. Mary’s Ends WSU’s NIT Hopes, 68-57

St. Mary’s Patrick Mills, center, dribbles past Washington State’s Taylor Rochestie, right, in the first half of an NIT college basketball game in Moraga, Calif., Tuesday. ESPN game story & boxscore here. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

St. Patrick’s Day Wild Card — 3/17/09

In the news this evening: The national debt hits a record $11 trillion here. Pope Benedict says that condoms worsen AIDS epidemic here. Actress Natasha Richardson is near death after skiing accident here. Oxford experts: Obesity danger ‘rivals smoking’ here. Study: Pious ‘fight death the hardest’ here. And the Wild Card remains in play …

Parting Shot — 3/17/09

Rielly Weathers watches a band pass by during the St. Patrick’s Day parade Tuesday in Savannah, Ga. Celebrated here since 1824, this coastal city’s sprawling parade and street party have become its most lucrative tourist attraction, drawing up to 400,000 revelers every March 17. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton) SR’s Today In Photos

A.I.G. Bonuses Raise Outcry

Item: Outcry builds in Washington for recovery of A.I.G. bonuses/New York Times

More Info: Senate Democratic leaders demanded on Tuesday that the insurance giant American International Group reverse the $165 million in bonuses that the firm had paid to executives after receiving more than $170 billion in bailout money. Alternatively, lawmakers said they would seek to reclaim the money by adopting new tax legislation.

Question: The Obama administration, Congress, and the Federal Reserve are trying to avoid blame for this ridiculous situation. Who do you hold to blame?  

Chadderdon: Buy US Flags Only

Rep. Marge Chadderdon, R-Coeur d’Alene, persuaded the House State Affairs Committee to introduce legislation today to require that whenever any Idaho state agency, college or university, or local government agency in Idaho purchases a U.S. flag or an Idaho state flag, it must be one manufactured in the United States. She estimated that any cost to the state from the bill would be “negligible.” Her bill states that if a non-U.S. made flag is purchased with state or local government funds in Idaho, that purchase would be “null, void and of no force and effect.” “They’d have to ship ‘em back,” she said merrily/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Your reaction to this bill?

PM Headlines — 3/17/09

Idaho State Police officer Holly Branch shares a laugh during the annual awards luncheon recently at transportation headquarters in Coeur d’Alene to honor the officers who have made the most DUI arrests. Branch has won the award 4 years in a row, this year with 35 DUI arrests. Story here. (Kathy Plonka/Spokeman-Review)

APhoto Of The Day — 3/17/09

Byclists, some of them naked, ride through the streets of Lima during the World Naked Bike Ride on Saturday. Cyclists demonstrated to promote the use of bicycles and to highlight the damage caused by car dependency. You write the cutline.(AP Photo/Karel Navarro)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. There once was a cyclist from Lima/Who said she’d had way too much Zima./All the mess on her seat/They could hardly delete:/It promptly was sent on to FEMA — JohnA.
  • 2. When Carlos took a tumble in front of a cadre of journalists he was heard to moan, “How em-bare-assing.” The photographers just kept flashing — CindyH.
  • 3. Bicycle Seat = American Taxpayers; Butts = AIG Executives — Nick Adams.
  • HM: Herb Huseland

Scanner Traffic — 3/17/09

  • 4:42 p.m. R/P reports that boys have built a bike ramp on Montana Avenue/CDA.
  • 3:26 p.m. The Holiday gas station on Cornerstone/Hayden reports a gas drive-off.
  • 3:23 p.m. R/P reports there’s a large puddle @ the corner of Atlas & Seltice Way, which might be caused by a broken pipe.
  • 1:11 p.m. A kid in an orange shirt in the parking lot of Dashco/Rathdrum has almost caused several accidents as a result of the reckless way he’s riding his dirt bike.
  • 1247 p.m. A 92YO man is in pain after dropping a wooden cabinet on his head and feet earlier this morning in the 6200 block of 16th Street/Dalton Gardens.
  • 12:03 a.m. Woman reports that a Husky is in her yard, chasing her goats and a lamb.
  • 11:30 a.m. 13WO baby girl is having difficulty breathing @ Coeur d’Alene Pediatrics/9095 Hess. She’s suffering from RSD bronchialitis.
  • 10:26 a.m. A male reports that his brother is trashing his father’s home on Idaho Street & Killdear, while his father is at work.

Pecky Creates Priest Lake Google Map

At Priest Lake, Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns has created a Google map that contains pretty much everything you need to know about her neck of the woods, from resorts to campgrounds. She tells Huckleberries that she created the useful map after getting beaucoup maps on her site from people looking for directions. You can take a closer peek at Pecky’s map here.

CDA Press Asleep At Online Switch

Good stinking grief. A comment featuring a WNTube link to a vile racist song has been sitting for hours like a pile of merde among the Coeur d’Alene Press online story comments re: Nontombi Naomi Tutu’s speech to the Human Rights banquet last night. You can see the post by Freedom For All (10:58 a.m.) here. (You can hear the WNTube for yourself, if you have the stomach to do so, here. Caution: Extremely racist.) It now has been posted for four hours. I’m told the Press has removed other racist garbage from the same thread today. Press Editor Mike Patrick needs to remove this post, ban Freedom for All, and issue an apology to readers.

Deanna’s Going To Run Again, Too

Three-term Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander won’t make it official for a coupla weeks, but she will run for re-election this fall. Goodlander, who sits on the LCDC board, believes she’s facing a nasty campaign from opponents of urban renewal. But she wants to continue working on several projects, including downtown renewal and possible changes to McEuen Field. She said she first ran for office to help change the way city staff and the building department operate. And believes those two areas are now very user friendly. Also, she noted, the city, behind Finance Director Troy Thymesen, has handled its finances so well that no layoffs have occurred despite the deep recession.

Roxy: Louis’ Drive-In Hamburgers

In the “Some Things Never Change” category, Louis’ Drive-In Hamburgers offered a landmark that is with us still a half century later — the giant Paul Bunyan that fronts Northwest Boulevard. You can see OrangeTV’s latest posting of vintage photos on his Remember The Roxy blog here.

Question: Which landmark is your favorite in your Inland Northwest community?

Butterfly: Where’d You Put The Oreos?

I don’t like it when people mess with my routine. For the past several weeks the owners of my grocery store of choice have been remodeling. I don’t like it. I don’t like it that every time I go in there things are moved around. And I won’t like it when it’s finished because I had the store memorized and could get in and out quickly. Now it takes twice as long to shop because I have to zig zag back and forth through the store because my list is written in the order of how the store used to be arranged/Jen, A Butterfly Moment. More here.

Question: Do you get upset when something messes with your routine? Or embrace the change?

Larkin Mayoral Decision Friday

Post Falls Mayor Clay Larkin told Huckleberries moments ago that he plans to announce his decision re: another election bid Friday. Larkin said he’s surprised that incumbents and possible opponents in Coeur d’Alene have announced their re-election intentions so early. Post Falls City Council incumbents whose term expires this year are: Linda Wilhelm, Ron Jacobson and Joe Bodman.

Uncle Sam Wants You To Spend

In the March 23 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday): “I Want You to Start Spending!” Daniel Gross writes about how we, as consumers, need to start taking risks again in the economy and start spending to help the recovery. (PRNewsFoto/Newsweek)

Question: What would it take for you to be comfortable to start spending again, as you did before the recession hit hard?

Sandpoint Bagpiper Thrills Solons

Legislators were treated to St. Patrick’s Day bagpiping by a Senate page from North Idaho, who admitted to pining for the pubs of Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene. Mallory Triplett’s heart will be with St. Joseph’s Pipe and Drum Corps tonight, though she’ll be in her temporary quarters in Boise. “It’s one of our best nights to make money, but I’ll be home tonight. I have nowhere else to go.” Triplett, 17, (a Sandpoint High senior) played five selections just before the House and Senate convened Tuesday morning, “Roses and Jacobites” “Athol Highlanders,” “Rowan Tree” “Scotland the Brave,” and finished with “Amazing Grace”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you like bagpipe music?

Digger: You Can Avoid ‘Sin Taxes’

Smoking is a nasty habit. I think that’s a pretty widely accepted statement that few folks would disagree with. I smoked heavily for many years - sometimes consuming upwards of a carton per week. My New Year’s resolution in 2007 was to quit, so at midnight Jan. 1 I threw away all my cigarettes and started the year with fresh breath and lungs. That resolution lasted about three days before I was back to puffing those nasty cancer sticks. But I was determined to kick the habit, so I kept trying. I also promised myself that I would do it on my own with no patches or gum to help me along. I’m glad I did it that way, too, because there is no bigger sense of accomplishment than breaking an addiction strictly on willpower. But it wasn’t easy/Henry “Digger” Johnston, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Have you ever tried and failed to quit smoking?

HBO’s Best Of The INW — 3/17/09

Brian Ringle from Seaport Janitorial washes a third floor window at the Inn America in Monday in Lewiston. (AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune, Kyle Mills)

High Noon: Left-Handedness

When Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain took the stage for the presidential debates in November, viewers may notice both candidates scribbling notes with their left hands. Such a curiosity has occurred before: In 1992, all three contenders — George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot — were lefties. Six of the 12 chief executives since the end of World War II will have been left-handed: Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, Bush number one, Clinton and Obama. (This is a disproportionate number, considering that only ten percent of people in the general population is left-handed.)/Adrianna, Vox Box. More here.

Question: Are you lefthanded?

City Nears Settlement w/Sims-Macy

City Attorney Mike Gridley told Huckleberries moments ago that the city is close to a settlement with Kathy Sims and Tom Macy over alleged campaign finance violations that occurred during the 2007 municipal elections. In the closing days of that campaign, Sims & Macy were involved in circulated a flyer attacking incumbents Ron Edinger, Al Hassell and Dixie Reid. The city alleges that money for the flyer wasn’t reported properly or in a timely manner. The city will be glad to settle the matter if Sims and Macy will issue a letter acknowledging the campaign finance violations and pay a fine (that will be considerably less than the $20,000 accrued in possible fines for missing deadlines and incomplete information).

Question: Is this a decent settlement to the long-running flap involving possible campaign violations by Sims & Macy? 

Group Wants Minnick To Act Like Dem

A Berry Picker tells Huckleberries that he fielded a recorded message from an organization — he couldn’t remember the name — that was unhappy that U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick had voted against President Barack Obama’s stimulus package and a large omnibus proposal. He was encouraged to join the chorus to force Democrat Minnick to back Obama’s plans — and given told which button to push on his telephone to immediately call Minnick’s office. So the Berry Picker did call Minnick’s office — to thank the young woman who answered the phone that Idaho was represented by an elected official who put the concerns of his constituents ahead of his party.

Question: Anyone else out there get one of these calls?

‘Watchman’ More Than Blue Phallus

The nudity versus violence battle raged on in America last weekend with the opening of the brutal superhero epic/soft-core porno “Watchmen.” Teenage boys and their unsuspecting girlfriends showed up in droves to the film’s opening, oblivious to what they were about to see – and folks, this ain’t no “X-Men.” So began the “Watchmen” blue penis scandal. The film, based on the popular graphic novel by Alan Moore, takes place in an alternate 1985 America where superheroes, called Watchmen, have mostly retired. But when one of the Watchmen is violently killed, a plot is exposed to kill them one-by-one to ensure nuclear war. The only Watchman with superpowers, Dr. Manhattan, is a glowing blue Godlike being with unstoppable and impenetrable abilities. He also coincidentally appears nude in about 80 percent of his scenes/Alex Gratzer, WSU Evergreen. More here.

Question: Evergreen columnist Alex Gratzer contends brutal, soft-porn “Watchmen” is a bold addition to the rising maturity of American culture.” Do you agree?

Seattle P-I, 1846-2009, RIP

This image provided by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer shows the cover this morning, last edition’s commemorative section. (AP Photo/Seattle Post-Intelligencer) Related: Farewell to the Seattle P-I/David Laird, Community Comment

Poll Results: Zag March Madness Run

In Monday’s HBO Poll (also posted on Sportslink), 46 percent of 342 respondents said they expected Gonzaga to reach the Sweet 16 round this year. Another 17 percent (58) expect the Zags to reach the Elite Eight, while 16 percent (54) say they will fall in the second round. And 6% (21) of you believe that Gonzaga. Will. Go. All. The. Way. Thanks for supporting the new feature.

HBO Poll: St. Patrick’s Day

Clark: Perfect Shonto Pete Head Gear

The responses I’m receiving about last Friday’s acquittal of Jay Olsen – the boozed-up off-duty cop who shot Shonto Pete in the head after a wild chase two years ago – can be filed under two categories. 1. Purple-faced anger and … 2. What the “BLEEP!?!” disbelief. Then we have Lee, a 47-year-old North Side Spokane resident, who took a more subtle approach, thanks to a diabolically creative mind. Lee, by the way, doesn’t want his full name in the paper because of fears of reprisal. Whatever. I’m more interested in what came out of his disgust with the aforementioned verdict. And that is the Shonto Pete Bulletproof Hat/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Related: Police launch Olsen inquiry/Karen Dorn Steele, SR

Question: Why do the cops in Spokane seem to get in a lot more trouble than their counterparts in North Idaho?