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Huckleberries Online

Archive for May 2009

Vacation Wild Card No. 11 — 5.31.09

Huckleberries Online will be rolling again tomorrow morning when I return from an 11-day vacation. You’ll want to be here to talk about that change in the SR that’s coming to your doorstep Monday. Also, it sounds as though plans are under way for a shindig at Taryn’s place in Spirit Lake to welcome in the summer that will feature Bent’s brew and Herb’s potato salad. Dunno if it has a name yet. But it should be fun, for card-carrying Hucksters. With the beautiful weather and Wild Card-only days this weekend, things have been slow here. But that’s change at 8 Monday morning. Now, for your last vacation Wild Card …

Vacation Wild Card No. 10 — 5.30.09

I hope I got the day right this time. I’ve been busy in the garden and with a paint brush, enjoying the sun as much as I can before I return to Huckleberries Central on Monday to fire up the blog again and to listen to all your complaints that I should run HBO like CindyH did in my absence. I already know what one of the topics will be Monday. You subscribers will find it on your door steps. Also, I hear that one of the gang has been tailing the mayor, camera in hand, trying to catch her parking overlong in Sherman Avenue places. DanG’s Gang is always good for a chuckle or two on a late spring day. But I’ll don’t want to think about such things today. I’ll think of the day after tomorrow. Meanwhile, here’s your 10th of 11 vacation Wild Cards …

Vacation Wild Card No. 9 — 5.28.09

Councilman MikeK and I had a good time on the panel re: electronic media at Leadership Coeur d’Alene’s 2009 Media Day Thursday. I’d tell you what we said that drew the biggest laughs. But I’m prevented from doing so by Leadership Coeur d’Alene’s Media Rule. Which sez that Leadership Coeur d’Alene sessions are off the record. I imagine, however, that some of the jabs we took will get back to the targets, especially the one in which I said that the CdA Press is using “free speech” as an excuse to get by on the cheap by relying on volunteer monitors rather than paid staff to filter comments that are racist and/or inappropriate. I said it twice to drill the point home. I wish I could tell you about the clever jabs MikeK got in. But I’m stymied by the Media rule. Alas. Now, for your 9th of 11 Wild Cards (and as many Hat Tips to CindyH, who is drawing rave reviews as a fill-in) …

Country Mouse or City Mouse

I spent a few days in downtown Seattle recently. I love big city life. I enjoy the hustle and the bustle and the anonymity of blending in with the crowds. I love being able to walk everywhere, and the quiet oasises you find in the midst of urban sprawl. Alas, the condos across from my hotel were going for $600,000 to $6 million. A bit steep for my pocketbook. So, instead of downtown Seattle, I’m going to be renting an office in downtown Spokane for the summer. It will have to do.

I have a feeling I’m in the minority among Hucksters. Which lifestyle do you prefer, country life or city life?

Risky Business

“… investigators and Spokane health officials fear the number of sex partners Zuriel Roush exposed to the virus could be as high as 80. If that’s true, the case could create an unprecedented health problem for the Inland Northwest.”

So why in 2009, do people still engage in unprotected sex– with strangers?

PMS Mobile Unit

That’s what the sign on the back of the white Dodge Ram pickup said. “PMS Mobile Unit: I Fix It,” and a phone number. I followed the truck east on 29th until he cut me off, and made a sharp right turn. Which ticked me off. Now I don’t have the number and I’ll never know how the fellow in the baseball cap fixes PMS.
I suspect chocolate may have something to do with it.

What do you think?

Natural Gas

I’ve always wondered what unnatural gas is.
Anyhow, here’s some good news:

We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do

A five-year-old Cougar cheerleader in training:

Do you know the words to your alma mater’s fight song? I thought ours was “We are the Champions.” Maybe Queen stole it?

Vacation Wild Card No. 8 — 5.28.09

Work, of sorts, beckons this morning as I will be part of a discussion panel with Councilman Mike K for Leadership Coeur d’Alene re: the electronic media. I signed up before I decided to take a week and a half off. I had to cancel an online discussion with U.S. Sen. Jim Risch on Wednesday. But I didn’t want to leave the Leadership Coeur d’Alene organizers in a lurch. I was part of the first Leadership Coeur d’Alene class, in 1985. Jim Coleman/JUB, banker Allen Baldridge, insurance broker Bob McNabb & Marilyn Deutsch/Jacklin Seed were part of my class. The goal of Leadership Coeur d’Alene is to introduce future community leaders to movers and shakers involved in a variety of important tasks, from education and transportation to local government and media. Some of my class went on to bigger and better things. Others moved from the area. I’m still trying to make something of myself. Now, for your 8th of 11 vacation wild cards …

Give Me Your Number or Else

When Aram Langhans asked the Yakima Heart Center to remove his Social Security number from their files, his request had unexpected consequences:

When was the last time you were asked for your SS number? Have you ever refused the request?

What Else Has Disney Ruined?

Cabbage Boy on May 28 at 10:47 a.m.

“Sad thing is there are many kids who probably have learned their “history” from Disney. No need for revisionist history when you have entertainment history already indoctrinated.”

Bent on May 28 at 11:21 a.m.

“I know, CB. Bambi ruined a lot of potential hunters, too. Bad people (not just white).”

History. Hunting. Has Disney ruined anything else?

Your Pet’s Social Event of the Season

Wiener dog races, singing Chihuahuas, pet portraits and animal massage. What could be more fun?


Alas, Milo is strictly an indoor cat and too young to attend this event. Where do you hang out with your pets?



Courthouse Given to Kootenai County

“The federal government has handed over ownership of an 80-year-old courthouse to Kootenai County.” More here:


Arpie: They Don’t Make Pencils Like They Used To

“Pencils seem to be made more cheaply than they used to be. Quite often the lead is not in the center of the pencil. This yields a poorly sharpened pencil that has wood on one side.” Full comment here:

Anything else they don’t make like they used to?

Visualize This

I’m still a little sore from moving my piano Friday. We got a new sofa. You know what that means– time to rearrange the furniture. Only thing is, I’m NOT a visual person. I have to move each piece to see if I like it there or not. This drives the men in my home crazy, so I send them away and do it all myself. The antique piano is on wheels, but still it is very heavy. I didn’t move it far :-)

How about the rest of you? Are you visual? Can you imagine the way you want something to look and have it turn out that way?

Vacation Wild Card No. 7 — 5.27.09

You know how I know when I’m in the Vacation Zone? When I forget which day it is. Obviously, that happened yesterday — when I posted a Wild Card for Monday. Cindy caught me. And I’m so laid back that I didn’t correct the mistake when I read about it. I haven’t been checking in much. You’re in very good hands. And I continue to be indebted to Cindy for stepping in. Tuesday, I bought 4 flats of flowers, from $5.50 to $8 per flat, from a produce place that popped up near Cenex on Government Way. So I’m well on my way to finishing the garden this week. I’ll toss in some veggies sometime this week to complete the annual garden production. Then, I’ll kick back and enjoy everything else around here that celebrates our glorious summers. It looks like the weather will be cooperating through the weekend for outside fun. Now, for your Wednesday Wild Card. It is Wednesday, right?

Everything’s Coming Up– Weeds

For some of us, summertime=yard work. With 4 sons, 3 of them teens, it’s been a long time since I’ve mowed a lawn. But, there’s weeding, and edging, and trimming, and did I mention weeding? Maybe we should forget the grass and go for one of those all rock front lawns.


So, what’s your yard work philosophy?


* Pristine and green.


* What yard?


* Better Homes & Gardens cover-worthy.


* Weeding is my form of Zen meditation.


* Low-maintenance.  I share my dandelions with the neighborhood.


* Yard work? That’s what yard care companies are for.


* Other



Working for UI in New Mexico

“The University of Idaho is spending nearly $400,000 a year to support three employees in New Mexico without any oversight, an electrical engineering professor at the school says.”

UI professor questions money spent in New Mexico 


Zuning In

I can barely figure out my MP3 player, so I think I’ll pass on the Zune:

What’s on your playlist today?

And the Good News is…

More sunshine, just in time for my lobster bisque look to deepen to ruby red.

And the Spokane Park Board approved discount passes for frequent pool users:

Where’s your favorite place to swim?

Little Tiny Tables

So my bank was bought by another bank. New decor. New checks. And new tables in the lobby. You know— the tables containing deposit/withdrawal slips. The tables with the awful, awkward pens tied to some kind of unbending plastic wire. However, the big New York bank sent my local branch little, tiny tables. Tables so small that only ONE person can use them at a time. Two if yer feeling friendly. There’s no privacy, no place to put your purse, and even the calculators are miniscule. That’s my pet peeve today. What’s yours?


A Little Blog Rolling

OTV looks for waterfalls but dines with Cabbage Patch dolls instead:

Jeanie fondly remembers Oscar— the oven mitt:

Silver Valley Girl shares about her close encounters of the family kind:

Mrs. Mac shares a wonderful Nathan story:

And Marianne Love  writes of Man and Birds:

Bad News Dept.

In the Bad News Department: Kootenai property values fall for the second straight year:

The Mariners lose from ahead— again:

And my cat, Milo learned how to unroll toilet paper. Lots of toilet paper. If you’ve got some good news to share we’d love to hear it.

Vacation Wild Card No. 6 — 5.26.09

As Cis pointed out, it’s actually been Tuesday— all day. Let’s not tell DFO.

Cindy’s right that I’m in full vacation mode. I have been since I sat for a hours on Cannon Beach in the shadow of Haystack Rock Saturday and Sunday. We spent the weekend on the Oregon Coast. And I put in four hours at Powell’s Book Store on Friday. It’s hard to go wrong with that combination. Toss in a viewing of the action thriller “Angels & Demons” and the company of two of my 3 favorite sweethearts — Mrs. O & Amy Dearest — and I had a wonderful time away these past five days. Now, I have to turn my thoughts toward the honey-do list. Which starts with planting the garden and a little interior painting. I’ll be in town the rest of the week. But I don’t return to work until June 1. Now, for the Monday Wild Card …

Porn at the Post Falls Library

I guess I’m old-fashioned, but when I was a kid we used to study at the library. Of course some of us may have hid the Joy of Sex inside our geography books, but still…

“A boy hoping to scour the Internet for pornography and steal computer equipment was arrested Monday at the the Post Falls Public Library, police said.”


Fresh and Local

In theory, I love the idea of a garden. In reality, I hate the work. For me, the next best thing is a Farmer’s Market like this one:

Tell us about your favorite Farmer’s Market.

Gay Marriage Ban Upheld by California Supreme Court

“The California Supreme Court upheld a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday, but it also decided that the estimated 18,000 gay couples who tied the knot before the law took effect will stay wed.”
Full story here:

Locally, two rallies will be staged to protest the decision: Spokane: 5 p.m. at City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. Moscow: 8 p.m. at Friendship Square

What do you think about the court’s decision? Surprised?

Praying for Jon & Kate

My 78-year-old mother shared this tidbit with me. Apparently, one of her friends is an avid watcher of TLC’s Jon & Kate Plus 8. At their recent Bible Study, this 80+ lady shared a prayer request. She asked that the group remember Jon and Kate in their prayers. It seems they’re having marital difficulties.

“Well,” said my mother. “Why not? They are real people.”

Just how real is reality TV?

Obama Picks New Supreme

“President Barack Obama chose federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor as the nation’s first Hispanic Supreme Court justice on Tuesday, praising her as “an inspiring woman” with both the intellect and compassion to interpret the Constitution wisely.”

Thoughts about Obama’s choice?

Feeling the Burn

For those of us whose skin may have turned lobster-bisquish over the weekend– what’s your tried and true sunburn remedy?


Honest George and the Flag

Honest George left this thought-provoking comment yesterday: “Every day of this 3 day weekend I flew the American Flag. After 55 years as a member of the VFW and 33 years in the military it was a natural thing to do - not an effort, not an ‘affected’ action - just a thing that always felt right to do because it causes me to focus on the hardships and sacrifice that I’ve seen my fellow Americans give…My wife and I traveled around Lewiston doing various weekend things and I was really taken aback in that I saw one other flag displayed…

What is it with us and the flag? Why is it important to display it at various times and to honor it in various ways? We each should answer that ourselves but it appears that much of our patriotism is a mile wide and an inch deep. I really don’t know if it DOES matter anymore to anyone else, except that I feel something important is slipping away.” Read full comment here:

With his comment in mind I counted flags on my carpool run this morning. I saw 6 flags displayed at homes, 4 at businesses and 1 at the school. Is Spokane more patriotic than Lewiston? Do you display the flag at your home or business? Why or why not?

Going Apocalyptical

I was going to post this tomorrow, but it’s too good to wait. At Notes on a Napkin, Katrina shares tips on how to survive the coming Apocalypse. Read the full post here:

1.  Arm yourself. Apocalypses come in all varieties–nuclear, pandemic, mechanized, and, of course, zombie**–so the type of weapons you’ll need may vary according to the threat. 

2.  Dress for success. Almost anything can be incorporated into post-apocalyptic couture: chest armor made out of hubcaps, discarded aviator goggles, fraying sweaters patched together with wire torn from now useless computer consoles. 

3.  Acquire transportation. Think “all-terrain”. 

4.  Get some skills. You definitely can’t survive the apocalypse without useful skills.  Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing ahead of time which skills will be useful in your individual circumstances. 

5.  Group up. Look for other survivors.  But be cautious.  Before throwing in with the first fellow refugees you see, observe them carefully to make sure they are not a) insane, b) violent criminals, or c) insufferably annoying. 

6.  Start accumulating SPAM. As my brother-in-law pointed out to me, SPAM is truly the lynchpin of post-apocalyptic survival. 

Can you think of any other Doomsday Survival Tips? I think I’d add: Get Buff. Look at Linda Hamilton’s arms. The end of the world is all about survival of the fittest right?


Memorial Day Wild Card

Apparently, DFO is taking this whole vacation thing seriously. He didn’t even leave a Wild Card for today! So here’s one for those who are indoors or can figure out how to combine blogging with lake activities and barbecuing. We visited my Dad’s grave at Fairmont Memorial Park yesterday. The view from the bluff is spectacular and the acres of flags never fail to move me.

Happy Hormones

You can’t miss her ads. Seems like she’s been everywhere promoting diet books or seminars like “Sexy Hormones.” However according to yesterday’s story, Dr. Hart is curtailing her hormone business:

Have any Hucksters attended one of Cheryle Hart’s seminars? What do you think about physicians who market themselves this aggressively?

JimmyMac and the BBQ Smackdown

JimmyMac has issued a Barbecue challenge. Bent and Mia have signed on. Any other takers? This could be legendary.

JIMMYMAC on May 22 at 12:34 p.m.

I smell a HBO BBQ challenge coming on. Let me know if any of you want a shot at the title.

mia on May 23 at 4:32 p.m.

 I’m game for a BBQ challenge JimmyMac.

Bent on May 23 at 5:56 p.m.

 I am with Mia … Bring. It. On. Baa. Bee.And it better be you’re “A Game” because I am known in BBQ circles. Hey, maybe we could tie in a BBQ cook-off with the beer tasting at Taryn’s studio on June 20th! I was just going to BBQ some snacks for that event, but a cook-off would be blast…

Is anyone else game for that? I’ll bring my charcoal BBQ/smoker, and I’ll even throw on some portabellas for the stickman.

Taryn Hecker on May 24 at 10:00 a.m.

Thanks for the heads up, Bent. I’ve been waitressing all weekend so not been online all that much. (For anyone looking for some good eats this holiday weekend check out Spirit Lake’s Fireside. Only open holiday weekends. I’ll be there honing my waitress skills some more). I’ve rounded up a few more folks who are planning to be here on June 20 and I’ll have the studio up and running for anyone who wants to partake in some portrait specials. I’ll have some appetizers and some vegetarian salads to go with or without the bbq fare and some non-alcoholic beverages. This is gonna be a blast :)

Vacation Wild Card 4 — 5.24.09

In the comments section Friday, Shoshone Conservative asked if he needed to learn a secret handshake to get his link added to the local blogroll at Huckleberries Online. Actually, it’s much simpler than that. All you have to do is to remind me to add the link when I return from vacation June 1. Adding a link takes about 2 minutes. I posted a new link from Midnight Marauder in the moments before I signed off for vacation Wednesday. She’s a sister to A Butterfly Moment. You can find her link in the right rail. I require one thing to keep links on my blogrolls. The blogger should post something at least once a week. If I haven’t seen a post for a month, I remove the link. Now that we have reviewed the rules, it’s time to drop another Wild Card on you and to return to enjoying the Memorial Day Weekend …

Vacation Wild Card 3 — 5.23.09

Another round of applause for CindyH, for getting Huckleberries Online through another vacation day in decent shape. When this vacation is over, I’m going to owe her all kinds of front-page play. From here on, the crickets may take over because we’re headed into a three-day weekend then a short week beyond. The only thing on my vacation schedule that smacks of work at all — besides Mrs. O’s honey-do list — is a panel appearance with Councilman MikeK for a blog session at the annual Leadership Coeur d’Alene Media Day on Thursday. I’ll probably be so laid back and relaxed in my vacation mode that I’ll simply kick back, smile, and let Mike do all the talking. Meanwhile, here’s your first Memorial Day Weekend Wild Card …

Vacation Wild Card No. 2 — 5.22.09

I’ve delivered paintball weaponry with no arrests or explosions. Now, I’m off to join the masses at Costco to stock up on BBQ supplies. Play nicely. Cindy

Good golly, Ms. Cindy. Pleaz join me in a standing O for CindyH. Who did a dyne-oh!-mite job pinch-hitting for me on Thursday. Cindy asked on my way out the door, if she could post a few things. I said, sure. And didn’t think anything else about it until Thursday evening when I checked in here. And saw her conversation starters and thread comments. She has the touch to do this thing. I guess I’m safe until she has her kids raised. Then, they’ll put me out to pasture and fill the vacancy with Cindy Lou. I still have a few years. So I should be able to retire gracefully. Seriously, though, I deeply appreciate what she did here Thursday. And just as seriously, she has the ability to make a blog sing. I deeply appreciate Cindy’s efforts to hold things together a bit for a day or two. I’ve always wondered how to get Huckleberries through the down periods when I’m on vacation. Mebbe this is part of the answer. I’ll certainly sleep easier tonight. Now, for the second vacation Wild Card …

Blog Roll Kinda

Having somehow misplaced DFO’s secret super-special blog roll formula I’m endeavoring to invent one of my own. Here we go:

Jen and family have seen the light and adopted some new family memembers:

Bent has unearthed an important new beer study:

Raymond Pert shares 3 beautiful things, including awkward family photos:

Liz tells us more about dog tampons than you’ll ever want to know:

Marmie’s boy flies the coop:

And that’s all I have time for. Maybe more later :-)

Terminate This

I’m a big fan of the original Terminator movie, the others not so much. Do we really need a fourth? How many of you are planning to see it?

Second Round of Chemo for Chatterbox

chatterbox on May 22 at 10:50 a.m.

Chilian Sea Bass. Blackened for the hubby & birthday boy (who turns 16 today)…maybe a little lemon pepper for me. The stomach is a little queasy today. 2nd round of chemo yesterday.

Please join me in keeping Chatterbox in our thoughts and prayers.


This headline caught my eye: “Poor are most generous givers” 


The story states:


“In fact, America’s poor donate more, in percentage terms, than higher-income groups do, surveys of charitable giving show. What’s more, their generosity declines less in hard times than the generosity of richer givers does.”


Why is this? Is it the empathy factor, or is it the more “stuff” we have the less we want to share?



Photo of the Day

“Firemen control the fire of a burning falla during the traditional Fallas festival in Valencia, Spain, in the early hours of Friday, March 20, 2009. Every year the city of Valencia celebrates the ancient “Las Fallas” fiesta, a noisy week that is full of fireworks and processions in honor of Saint Joseph that ends in the midnight of March 19, burning large paper mache satiric figures displayed around the streets of the city.”

Enter your cutline below.

When I Grow Up

My son Sam has a very complicated answer to this question: ”What do you want to be when you grow up?”

He wants to be a columnist for the Spokesman Review (doesn’t that just make you weep?), move to New York and be an actor, then move to Hollywood and direct movies, then move to Arizona (Arizona! Who’d move there?) and write children’s books. Seattle figures somewhere in the plan to0, but I can’t remember where.

What did/do you want to be when you grow up? Me? I have both the jobs I ever really wanted, mom and writer. I just wish the pay was better.

Armed and Dangerous

I’m not a morning person. My kids should know this by now. Yet earlier, my 17-year-old son stood over my somnolent form and gave me detailed instructions about a gym bag filled with paintball guns and ammo. “I put them in your… Meet me in front of the …. And whatever you do don’t let…. get too hot…the CO2 tanks will explode.”

Explode. What? Huh? I removed my pillow from over my face and struggled to a sitting position, but he was gone.

Any of you folks paintball? Am I in danger of being shot by exploding paint when I run my errands this afternoon?

I hate mornings.

The Falling Leaf

Anyone surprised by this latest turn of events?

What happened to this once rising star?

If I Ran the Blog…

If I ran the blog there’d be fireman calendar photos every day. Alas, so far I’ve only been able to figure out how to post S-R archived photos. When I searched for fireman pics all I got were yellow-jacketed, boot clad, helmeted fellows actually doing their job. You know. Putting out fires.


What would you do if you ran HBO?

What’s on the Barbie?

Memorial Day weekend is traditionally when folks fire up their barbecues for their first time. Not us. We bbq all year long. Well, except for this year when the grill got buried beneath several feet of snow. That put a crimp in the cookouts.
So what will be on your grill this weekend?

* Hamburgers

* Hot Dogs

* Steak

* Chicken

* Other

Fourth Street Blues

Are you worried about how the upcoming Fourth Street repairs will affect you or the businesses you frequent?

Vacation Wild Card 5.21.09

Moving this up top and going out to walk off spam stress :-)

As bad as I need a vacation, it’s a poor time to take one because Huckleberries is finally in full recovery mode, page-view wise. The counter has been clicking along between 7000 and 8000 for two weeks now. Before we switched to the new system, HBO was running in the 8500+ range. Registration and the new blogware knocked that down to 5000 in January. We’ve now cut the losses from 40% down to about 15%. Meanwhile, the unique views are climbing to the old range. By the time I get back June 1, it’ll be almost summer. Which means blog doldrums for three months. But I don’t want to think about that now, I’ll think about that after vacation. After all, we’re going to have fun with this year’s city mayoral and council races in the fall. Right, Sandi? Right, MikeK? Right, DanG? CindyH said she might sneak in here to post a coupla things while I’m gone. Be kind to here. Now, I’m off to bed with a full list of honey-do’s waiting for me in the morning. Here’s your Wild Card …

Spam Free?

Is it possible? Are the spam slams ended? I’ve been spam-free all day. How about you?

Skivvies Win by a Whisker

HBO Sleepwear Poll Results: Skivvies win by a narrow margin. Out of 104 respondents 33% said they sleep in their undies while 32% say they sleep nekkid. Only one voter admitted to sleeping in lingerie. We hope to identify him later.

To Boldly Go

No thanks. I’m horribly claustrophobic. You know the yellow submarine at Disneyland? Can’t do it. The thought of shooting into the atmosphere in a tiny cylinder with no quick trip home makes me woozy. And the beverage service sucks.

Yet Bent says, “As for drinking recycled urine, heck I would drink my dog’s urine straight if they would let me fly space shuttle into space!” If you didn’t have to drink Bent’s dog’s urine, would you boldly go?

Guilty Pleasures

Says OTV: “…the only thing worse than bad TV is people on their high horse crowing about how so above watching bad TV they are. Be honest, y’all have guilty pleasures too.”

Well. Do you?


Don’t know nothing ‘bout this, having never watched the show, but folks are buzzing about last night’s American Idol upset

I know OTV, won’t be pleased by this turn of events. Anyone else surprised?

Kittens are Cheaper

Look. It was either adopt a kitty or have another baby. I went with the more affordable option. Are you a dog person a cat person or a petless person?


Would You Drink it?

Evidently, the economic crisis has hit NASA hard. These poor astronauts must have been awfully thirsty:


I’m all for recycling, but thoughts of a sweat and urine cocktail make me queasy.


Would you drink recycled urine? What’s the most unusual drink you’ve consumed?



Vacation Wild Card — 5.20.09

I’m done here until June 1. I’m looking forward to gardening, visiting the lake, and enjoying our little part of paradise, sandwiched around the times that I can sneak away from Mrs. O’s list of honey-do’s. I don’t get to enjoy the Inland Northwest as much as I would like to. I’ll post Wild Cards while I’m on vacation. And I’m sure some of you (thanks, Marmitetoasty) will comment on those open threads that it must be nice to live such a life of riley. Indeed, it is. Thanks for the way you’ve helped me rebuild Huckleberries Online since the switch to the new blogware. It’s onward and upward when I get back. Until then, I’ll re-play this Wild Card and …

Parting Shot — 5.20.09

JoMarie Francis, Sue Pupo and James Bowman (JoMarie’s grandson) toast at the Doug Clark bench. Spokane Mayor Mary Verner has changed her mind and withdrawn her demand for all bus benches with ads to be removed by next Tuesday. More here. (Courtesy of Sue Pupo)

New West: The Cynical Gun Debate

Coburn’s bill goes far beyond what the Bush administration tried to do, which was to allow loaded, concealed weapons in parks for people with concealed carry permits. That was disturbing enough to former park officials and park rangers, and for a federal judge who blocked implementation on the rule because none of the required environmental review had been done before the government tried to enact it. Coburn’s bill goes as far as to allow openly carried rifles, shotguns, and even semi-automatic weapons in parks, depending on whether the weapon is in compliance with state law/Joan McCarter, New West. More here.

Question: Should visitors to our national parks be allowed to carry guns?

PM Headlines — 5.20.09

The 14-year-old Caldwell boy accused of killing his father last weekend “absolutely” will not face the death penalty, but further investigation into his motive is needed before the Canyon County prosecutor decides what sentence to seek, Prosecutor John Bujak said Wednesday. Story here.

A Bucket Of Bolts?

Jesse Tinsley/SR who snapped this photo on the freeway e-mails that the individual behind the wheel had no illusions re: the type of vehicle s/he was driving.

Question: Were you ever — or are you now — forced to drive a vehicle that you considered to be a “tin can”?

AM Scanner Traffic — 5.20.09

At 8:46 a.m. A tree has fallen on a logger in the Burma Road & Emerald Drive area, east of Turner Bay on Lake Coeur d’Alene, near Harrison. Possible fatality. Update: Emergency responders have had difficulty locating a contact person to take them to the site. They finally found one about 9:15 a.m. Update 2: Law enforcement now on scene. Update 3 @ 12:40 p.m.: Sheriff declares adult male dead in logging accident and are now trying to notify next of kin.

  • 3:41 p.m. A Post Falls mother reports that a 23YO male poked her teen son with a knife, sufficient enough to leave a mark on his stomach. She has the knife. But she’s afraid that the man is returning to her home.
  • 3:23 p.m. R/P reports that an unsecure load on a blue pickup shifted dangerously @ I-90 & Huetter rest stop.
  • 3:13 p.m. A child is running away from Betty Kiefer Elementary/Rathdrum.
  • 1:18 p.m. Man with a history of dementia left for the dump this morning and hasn’t returned.

RP: SR Security Not Compromised

My best guess as to why a small group of people here are receiving the messages is this: Years ago, when HBO first started back on the old website, we used to allow commenters to include their email addresses with their comment signatures. This was entirely optional, and provided so that commenters could offer a way for other commenters to contact them if they wanted to. Several years ago, we removed that option, and entirely quit displaying commenters’ email address. We collected them for verification purposes, and so Dave would have a way to contact people, but we did not display email addresses anywhere. We didn’t want anyone to inadvertently give the wrong people — be it a spammer or anyone else — their personal email address/Blogmeister Ryan. Full post below. Second thread here (including explanation of the attack on Hotmail by an inside techie).

Cis: Just What Do You Do, DFO?

In a post from earlier in the day, Cis/Simple Mind asked what to explain what I do each day. And suggest that I interact more here on the blog. She also mentioned that I’ve become more of a zookeeper than an involved participant on the front page of this blog. First things first, I have only two brief periods in the day when I’m not engaged in full-time blogging on the front page or looking for things to post. Those roundups take a lot of time (35-45 minutes for HBO’s Inland Northwest, for example.) The two brief periods run from 10:30 to 11:15 and from 2:30 to 3 of 3:30, if I’m caught up on my print column duties. I rarely take a lunch hour. The end-of-the day duties (scanner traffic, cutline contest, pm headlines, parting shot, and an evening feature) take about 75 minutes. As far as interacting more, I’ve been trained not to do so. I don’t have time to engage in a long debate with someone on a controversial issue. Also, my posts and thoughts re: controversial issue tends to fan fears of hard-core partisans that I’m not being fair to their side. So I’ve encountered a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situation. I try to cull far-ranging, entertaining posts from a variety of sources rather than promote my own ideas as I once did. The increasing traffic shows that the new formula is working. I’ll join in the fray when I feel comfortable enough to do so again — DFO.

Vacation Calls

I’m going to take a break from blogging for a week and a half, beginning tomorrow. I wished I knew a way to keep things going here in my absence, other than posting Wild Cards. But I don’t. I know you Berry Pickers don’t like my vacations. But it’s one of the perks that haven’t been affected by cutbacks. Frankly, if I didn’t have the break from online world, I don’t think I could do this for the 5-plus years that i have. If anyone has ideas re: how to get through my vacations — another should be coming in midsummer and the final one at the end of the year — please let me know. Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to gardening and enjoying this beautiful part of the country for the next 10 days or so.

‘American Idol’ Finals Tonight

This photo provided by FOX shows from left, finalists Adam Lambert and Kris Allen with host Ryan Seacrest during American Idol on Tuesday in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/ FOX, Frank Micelotta)

Question: America will learn the identity of the next “American Idol” tonight. Who do you think it should be?

Did Berry Picker Spot Quagga Boat?

The boat was named Hello, but there was no further description of the vessel or the vehicle that was towing it. Alerts were issued to area marinas and law enforcement, including the Bonner County Sheriff’s marine patrol. Word of the sighting in Utah also appeared on the Idaho Conservation League blog, a post which other Web sites linked to. Juker said somebody spotted one of the posts on the Web, recalled seeing the boat in Spokane and alerted authorities/Keith Kinnaird, Bonner County Bee. More here.

DFO: Arpie brought this Bonner County Bee story to my attention, with the note: “I think a Berry Picker spotted the boat.” Susan Drumheller/Idaho Conservation League e-mailed a link from her blog to the story yesterday. And it was posted here. H/T to whoever saw the story and spotted the boat. Also could be someone who reads Pecky’s blog.

ML: Money Well Spent On Travel

I love to travel. I love the memories, and whenever I travel, I figure the money spent is one of the best investments of life. Yes, it’s expensive at the time, but traveling is truly the gift that keeps on giving until the day we die. I cannot remember a trip I’ve ever taken that has failed to provide me vivid images and recollections that I can tap at a moment’s notice. Some of those trips go back more than 50 years. All the Sunday drives to Montana, sitting on the hump in the back seat between two brothers, the occasional hand-outs from the box of bacon thins held by the front-seat guard–and the outdoor potty stops in the wet grass–those were great times. Well, at least they seem to be now as I think back on them/Marianne Love, Slight Detour. More here.

Question: Do you travel much? Where? How has traveling affected your life?

High Noon: Time To Milk

“C’mon girls. C’mon,” Mike Vieira calls out his evening invitation to the ladies in black and white at Spokane’s Family Farm. “C’mon,” he repeats, walking into the pasture, “C’mon. Let’s go.” Visitors make the “girls” hesitate slightly, but they eventually oblige and line up behind the barn door for the evening milking. It’s a ritual repeated twice daily at the farm 13 miles west of Spokane where Mike and Trish Vieira bottle up to 2,000 gallons of milk each week. “This is what everyone thinks of when they think of a dairy,” Mike Vieira says. The couple began milking cows a little over a month ago, after spending the winter retrofitting the 100-year-old barn with modern milking and pasteurizing equipment and preparing for the arrival of the Holstein cows/Lorie Hutson, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever milked a cow by hand?

Yes Sir, That’s My Baby

This image provided by Suzanne Davis on Saturday shows Fin Keheler, 11, of Sandy, Utah, attempting to break the world record for the number of snails placed on the face for 10 seconds, during an attempt in Sandy Utah. Keheler is hoping to have the attempt verified by the Guinness Book of World Records. (AP Photo/Suzanne Davis)

HBO Poll: Sleep Wear?

CindyH: The warm weekend weather prompted me to sleep er, ah … in the altogether. Something I don’t do a lot, due to the amount of teenage boys in my home on any given evening. However, now it’s rare to have someone come into our room for a drink of water or for comfort after a bad dream, and sleeping bare may once again become an option. What kind of nighttime apparel to Hucksters wear?

Military To Fire Gay Idaho Pilot

With news today that the Pentagon has no plans to repeal the don’t ask-don’t tell policy for gay service members, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow interviewed decorated Air Force pilot Lt. Colonel Victor Fehrenbach who is being discharged under that policy. As stated in this first public appearance, Lt Col Fehrenbach is stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base and is being discharged after 18 years of active duty, 88 combat missions, 2,180 total flight hours, 1,487 fighter hours and 400 combat hours.  Oh yeah, and after roughly $25 million in training/MountainGoat Report. Video here.

Question: Do you expect the Obama administration to get involved in this situation?

Riverstone Condos Going To Auction

In the business section today, the CdA Press reports that Village at Riverstone will have a closeout auctin for 36 condominiums June 14. Prices begin at $180,000 to $490,000 on quality condos that previously were priced at $329,000 to $899,900, with square footage ranging from 792 to 2,002. Kennedy Wilson of Beverly Hills will do the auctioneering duties.

Question: What do you make of this closeout sale? And/or: Would you be interested in living in a Riverstone condo?

APhoto Of The Day — 5.20.09

Young visitors pose in front of an illusionary art work of a gorilla with its mouth wide open that is drawn at the corner of an exhibition room at the Trick Art Museum at the foot of Mount Takao on the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan, recently. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Book: Richest Person In Town?

That got Jones thinking. What his friend did is what people have been doing for millennia: pointing out the richest man in town. Sometimes people just want to know out of curiosity; other times it’s because they think such proximity to wealth might present an opportunity. And, of course, the scale of the wealth in question might vary widely. What might pass for rich in a small town in Georgia may seem like a rounding error when compared with the net worth of billionaires such as Microsoft (MSFT) founder Bill Gates or Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRKA) Warren Buffett/BusinessWeek. More here. H/T: Trish Gannon.

Question: Do you think Duane Hagadone is the richest person in Coeur d’Alene? Who’s in second place? Who do you think is the richest person in your town?

Bikini’d Mouse Protest Glue Traps

Item: PETA’s Minnie Mouse in a bikini protests mouse glue traps in Spokane Valley/KREM

More Info: Protestors from the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) were set up outside the Spokane Valley Lowe’s Tuesday protesting glue traps used to catch mice. A woman dressed in a red bikini with mouse ears—supposedly to look like Minnie Mouse—spent part of the day lying in a giant glue trap outside the store. PETA wants Lowe’s to stop selling those mouse traps, which they call inhumane.

Question: Do you care how a mouse dies in your house, as long as it dies?

Mixed Results For Trustee Incumbents

Question: How do you read these results? Were voters in a “throw-the-bums-out” mood? Did the last-minute flap involving yard signs help or hurt the Purtee/Seymour ticket in the CdA school trustee races?

EOB: Idaho Has Best … Drivers?

According to a new national survey by GMAC Insurance, Idaho drivers are tied (with Wisconsin) for best in the nation in their driving knowledge - performance on the written test for a driver’s license. This isn’t new drivers; it’s existing ones. The annual survey polled 5,183 licensed drivers from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, asking them 20 questions taken from state driver exams. Idaho drivers’ average score was 80.6 percent; just 5.7 percent of Idaho respondents failed, scoring under 70 percent. Nationally, 20.1 percent of licensed drivers failed the test/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that Idaho drivers rank at the top of the US in driving knowledge?

Olympian Wins Dancing W/Stars

This image provided by ABC-TV shows from left: Melissa Rycroft, Tony Dovolani, Shawn Johnson, Mark Ballas, Cheryl Burke and Gilles Marini on Dancing with the Stars Monday. Shawn Johnson, the 17-year-old gymnast, was named “Dancing With the Stars” champion Tuesday during the season finale of the hit ABC show, the third Olympian in eight seasons to win. Story here. (AP Photo/ABC/KELSEY MCNEAL)

Question (for “Dancing With The Stars” fans): Did you right couple win the competition?

HBO Poll Sez … Brooks, Hemenway

In the HBO Poll Tuesday, incumbents Edie Brooks and Bill Hemenway had an easier time against challengers than they did at the Coeur d’Alene School District polls. Of 111 votes cast, Brooks captured 47 and Hemenway 41 to show they were easily preferred here over challengers James Purtee (11) and Terri Seymour (12). In the unofficial actual count, Brooks won by 7 over Purtee and Seymour by about 40 over Seymour.

AJ: Breast Exposure Not Worst Thing

RE: Nampa ‘sexter’ could face charges

Aliasjax: Explain to her that exposing her breasts is not the worst thing in the world. In fact, only in America and a very few other prudish countries are a woman’s breasts that big of a deal. Then maybe send her on a vacation where she can sunbathe topless to help her get over her artificial religious-cultural induced shame. Then, when she gets home, help her understand that most American teenage boys don’t have her now liberated view of the female form, and that photographing her breasts and texting the image to such a boy will only result in his acting like an idiot…

Question: Are teen-age boys in America the only ones who don’t have a liberated view of bare breasts or the female form?

Sisyphus: Oh For An Old Time Flamefest

Sisyphus: I think Dave is getting filled with contentment after the honeymoon from chasing so many of the vocal ones away. At least before he would interact once in while. Now he just comes in, kicks up some posts, leans back in his chair and ignores us. He just sits there and listens to that damn scanner. We slave over hot blogs all day long and for what? How can a person who works in the newspaper business have nothing to say. We should start a flame war to see if we can get his attention. That’ll show him. I’m just so unfulfilled. (sniffle)

Question: Isn’t it better that I toss out good topics for you guys to chew up — than for me to get involved in the fray and possibly feed your fears that I’m too biased on a topic?

ME: Dreading Visit To Cemetery

ME: I don’t like going to cemeteries. My Sister is in the one in Post Falls and I’ve only been a couple of times. It so happens that my Mom was MAD at my Sister and I last year because she wanted to go to my Sister’s and her Brothers (in Coeur d’ Alene) during Memorial weekend and we had things going on. She said “I don’t think I’ll be here next Memorial Day and you HAVE to promise me that you will go to their graves after I’m gone” so this year, even though I don’t like going I will go for Mom.

Question: Do you visit the graves of dearly departed loved ones at local cemeteries on Memorial Day?

DOTC: Another Poor Trustee Turnout

Dan Of The County: If those numbers are right (639 in Zone 1 and 422 in Zone 3) the astounding number would be the turn out. I believe the number of registered voters for the whole district is about 37,000. With five trustee zones the average (if they are relatively equal) number of registered voters per trustee zone would be about 7,400. If so, that would mean the turn out for this particular trustee election would be less than 6%! I hope my math is wrong. The Governor signed the election consolidation bill yesterday. It will be interesting to see if one the main arguments for it comes to pass, that with more combined elections you will hopefully see turnouts go up.

Question: Do you believe election consolidation will improve voter turnout for trustee elections?

Heller: When Pigs Fly

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Unofficial: Brooks, Hemenway Survive

Unofficially, Ray Gun reports that incumbent Edie Brooks nipped challenger James Purtee by 7 votes in the hotly contested Zone 1 trustee election and incumbent Bill Hemenway defeated challenger Terri Seymour by 40 votes in Zone 3. reports the totals as 323 to 316 in the Brooks-Purtee race, which featured a controversy re: missing yard signs in the closing days, and 233-191 (slightly different than Ray Gun) in the Hemenway/Seymour contest here. Concludes Mary, Dan, Bill & Co.: “Let’s hope there is a recount and a challenge to make sure every voter was indeed from Zone 1.” Sounds like their candidates didn’t win. Again.

Question: What role did the flap over the yard signs in the closing days of the election play in the incumbents’ abilities to squeak out victories (if, indeed, the results hold)?

Anne Boleyn Wild Card — 5.19.09

On this day in history: In 1536, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII of England, is beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest. In 1999, “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” was released in the U.S. It set a new record for opening day sales at 28.5 million. In 1946, Andre the Giant was born. In 1994, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died in New York at age 64. Today is World Hepatitis Day. Tonight, Adam Lambert and Kris Allen will begin the two-day, head-to-head battle to see which one will become the next “American Idol” here. And your latest Wild Card is in play …

Parting Shot — 5.19.09

Caitlin Sybouts, age 18 of Spokane, Wash., takes a break from her music classes and her boyfriend Miles Van Zee, age 19 of Federal Way, Wash., from his social studies courses, find some afternoon hang-time on Van Zee’s hammock, outside Dressler Hall on the Eastern Washington University campus in Cheney, Wash. (Dan Pelle/Spokesman-Review)


On my way home, I stopped at my neighborhood convenience store to get gas. I stuck the nozzle into the gas tank and pushed the trigger. I don’t know if it was the force from the flowing gas or what, but the entire hose POPPED OFF THE GAS PUMP, dousing me in gas! So I’ve got one end of the hose stuck in my car and the other lying on the ground and I’m covered in gas. And the manager at the store was not very apologetic when I stormed in to complain. She simply said to move to another pump, and that the 37 cents worth of gas that sprayed all over me would show up on my debit card. After some angry words, she agreed to have my clothes cleaned if I brought them back in later. It was a long, smelly drive home. I should have taken their %$#@ hose with me/Staci Lehman, Kootenai MPO. More here.

Question: Has this happened to anyone else?

Nampa Firm OKs Kids @ Work

Item: Nampa firm lets moms bring their kids to work/Maggie O’Mara, KTVB

More Info: At an accounting office in Nampa - babies are just a part of doing business. “We had several women who had babies at the same time so we got them together to show this was our staff and these are all the babies that we had, it was quite a busy office!” said Jeniele Rowley. The parents who work at Merrick and Rowley Accounting are encouraged to bypass daycare, and bring their kids to work! It’s an unusual concept, but the two women who run the firm say it just makes sense.

Question: Would you want to work for a firm that let mothers bring their children to work?

PM Headlines — 5.19.09

A sure sign of the tourist season start is the planting of the geraniums at the Coeur d’Alene Resort, which began today. The Resort plants over 10,000 red geraniums each year, as a symbolic welcome mat to visitors/Councilwoman KerriT, OnLocation North Idaho.

APhoto Of The Day — 17.01.09

A mockingbird grazes University of Florida biology major Devon Duffy, in Gainesville, Fla., in an attempt to drive her away from its nest on the university campus. Mockingbirds may look pretty much alike to people, but they can tell us apart and are quick to react to folks they don’t like. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/University of Florida, Lou Guillette)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Devon comtemplates killing the mockingbird so she can live Harper Lee ever after — John Austin.
  • 2. Why yes silly bird, I am mocking you — Cabbage Boy.
  • 3. (tie) Devon, do you realize how many spit ends you have? — Charlie; and:

    Mahitable Mockingbird hovers over Devon, “Now hold still, Dearie, while I do up a fancy braid in your hair” — JeanieS.

  • HM: Dennis

Scanner Traffic — 5.19.09

  • 4:56 p.m. Woman wants a welfare check on horses along Davenport/Dalton Gardens.
  • 4:33 p.m. An unconscious man is slumped over the wheel in a white van in the median on Highway 95 b/n Kathleen & Dalton.
  • 4:24 p.m. Wife @ Kidd Island Bay reports that her husband has called in a “May Day” from his boat on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Which he says is sinking. But an officer who sees the boat reports that it’s disabled but not sinking.
  • 3:50 p.m. Officer clocks a w/b Subaru @ 102 mph on I-90, near CdA.
  • 3:42 p.m. Employees @ Lake City Antiques/4th Street report that a male in a baseball cap and two females are about to leave the store w/jewelry that they have shoplifted.
  • More below

Kendra: Hospice Made Things Easier

Thanks to a wonderful Hospice administrator, he pulled some strings and in one whirlwind of an afternoon, got her de-IV’ed, signed out of what she considered a neverending nightmare (no offense, KMC- of the many hours I spent there by her side, I considered everyone to be at the very least competent, and most very compassionate as well) and sent home. Equipment magically appeared in her living room- a special hospital bed to ease her pressure ulcers, nurses available 24-7 by merely picking up the phone, and just the right amount of comfort measures for her to still recognize us but not be in pain/Kendramama, Soul Doubt. More here.

Question: Has any of your loved ones ever used Hospice at the end of their lives? What was that experience like?

HBO Blogosphere: Mom’s Ashes

My Husband, Son, Sister and I took off for the Oregon Coast on Thursday. When we read my Mom’s will after she passed on in October, she said “I’d like to be cremated and my ashes put in the Ocean if possible”. We were determined to make it possible. My Sister and I agreed that when her house sold, we’d pay her bills and then set aside the money to take a trip together and do what Mom wanted/Me. More here.

HBO Numbers (for week of May 10-16): 41761/25362; (for Monday): 7236/4293

Question: Have you ever carried out a loved ones wishes to scatter their ashes in a unique spot?

HBO Poll: CdA School Elections

Construction Season Begins

Dandelions grow right through the sidewalk on 4th Street in Coeur d’Alene earlier today. On the Tuesday, May 26, crews will start ripping out the pavement, curbs and sidewalks of a three-block chunk of Fourth Street north of downtown Coeur d’Alene. It is the first phase of a resurfacing and beautification project that is scheduled to last four months. (Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review)

Question: What do you do to maintain your sanity while encountering road construction everywhere you turn during the six months of decent weather we have in the Inland Northwest?

Ah’m Your Huckleberry …

Just received a call from one of my favorite Berry Pickers. Who risked life and limb to find out why those guys are standing at the intersections in the construction zones along Highway 95, north of Appleway. We’ve talked about this before here. Among the answers — They’re there to protect people from messing with the fresh concrete. The correct answer? A “stander” @ Prairie & Highway 95 told the Berry Picker that he and the others are required under ADA rules of the government stimulus package to be available to help individuals with disabilities cross the highway. The “standers” aren’t allowed to sit down. Nor can they have radios or cell phones to help the time pass. In the six weeks since he’s been working, the “stander” told the Berry Picker that he’s helped 4 people across the highway. Meanwhile, he guesstimates that 500 people who put themselves at risk to ask what he’s doing. Your tax dollars at work.

City Clerk: Other Camp Guilty, Too

Huckleberries Online received the following message from City Clerk Susan Weathers a few minutes ago: “I just read through the blogs regarding the school board candidates’ yard signs.  What is interesting to me is that the Purtee/Seymour camp is chastising the Brooks/Hemenway camp of putting political signs in their right-of-way. About a week before this controversy; the City had received a call about the Purtee/Seymour signs being in the right-of-way. One of my deputy City clerk’s called Ms. Seymour about the misplaced signs and they did remove them.  When it comes to elections, when we receive a complaint, we call the candidate first to give them an opportunity to rectify the situation. It just struck me as interesting that the Purtee/Seymour camp is calling fowl on something they had done themselves.” Interesting.

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 5.19.09

University of Idaho graduate Anna Shambaugh of Lake Port, Calif., and resident volunteer firefighter at Moscow, Idaho, wears a mortar board as she walks to the Kiddie Dome for commencement ceremonies Saturday. Rep. Walt Minnick, D-Idaho, gave the keynote address. (AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune, Steve Hanks)

Question: Do you know a recent college grad who has had little difficulty finding work in the field in which s/he majored?

Route Of The Hiawatha To Open

The Route of the Hiawatha mountain bike trail will open for the 2009 season on May 30. Snow and trail maintenance has prevented the trail from being open sooner. You can read all about the trail and the upcoming season here.

Question: Have you ridden the Route of the Hiawatha? What’s it like? Would you recommend it to others?

High Noon: Get ‘Er Done

Ah, Jeannie, don’t hold your breathe… we have been a proud owner of a 1947 Ford pick up. It came with a faded yellow paint job. It sat in a friends garage for 3 years. It has sat in our garage, and been torn into pieces, for 7 years. The box is up against the garage wall, the cab is across the garage wrapped like a baby in a blanket, it is finally…finally painted. The fenders are upstairs in the garage. I don’t know where the bumpers are, I suspect they are under the platform that the cab is on. And the flat head engine is swing on a chain from the ceiling. The trannie is on the floor in the corner. And the frame is outside of the garage. And I am still waiting. And every year we have the Lost in the 50’s, I tell him, next year, I want the truck in the parade/Cis, From A Simple Mind. More here.

Question: Does your husband/boyfriend have an old beater project that has been cooling its heels in the garage or side yard for at least a year? How can you encourage him to “get ‘er done”?

Play Ball!

Three foot tall motivational speaker Sean Stephenson, of La Grange, Illinois, hands the ball to Chicago White Sox pitcher John Danks after he threw out the first pitch at U. S. Cellular Field before the start of recent game between the Chicago White Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays in Chicago. Sean Stephenson profile here. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Question: Do you know someone who has overcome great obstacles that life has thrown at them — and prospered?


Quite upside down they lounge in trees
in laid back places like Belize,
and seldom do they fret or worry
because they’re never in a hurry:
a sloth who chews a leaf today
could still be chewing it next May.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Infested Boat Headed For Idaho

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture sent out an alert by e-mail to be on the lookout for a boat named “Hello” that was headed for Idaho covered in mussels. The boat was spied by a Utah doctor interested in the problem of zebra and quagga mussels that have infested Lake Mead and are at risk of spreading to Idaho. According to the e-mail, the vehicle was northbound on I-15 in northern Utah yesterday. It could have continued north on I-15 or switched to I-84 northbound at Tremonton, Utah, and officials fear it’s now in Idaho. Before it gets to any Idaho waterway, it needs to be decontaminated/Susan Drumheller, Idaho Conservation League. More here.

Question: Anyone having trouble getting the new $10 boat sticker to fight the quagga infestation?

Sign Of The Times …

“Every day I look in Forbes to see if my name is there; if not, I go to work” — Davis Donuts readerboard.

Question: Do you enjoy the messages on the Davis Donuts readerboard?

Where The Buffalo Roam

This April 22 photo shows Gardiner School Junior High School track team members warming up on the track as a bison crosses their path in Gardiner, Mont.. In the southern Park County town, elk and bison are often seen around homes and businesses. The photo was selected as the best one in the monthly contest among Montana AP members. (AP Photo/Livingston Enterprise, Angela Schneider)

Spam Alert

I’m a little slow posting things today b/c I’ve been hit by a mega-spammer on the e-mail side. Dunno whether I or Huckleberries Online is the target of the spammer. Or collateral damage. But I know that Dan of the County has been hit by the same spammer, who sends out hundreds of e-mails in Spanish. Our techs are taking care of things on our end. Anyone else out there affected?

Question: Anyone out there know someone who might want to do harm to little old Huckleberries Online ;-)

Nampa ‘Sexter’ Could Face Charges

Nampa teen could face serious charges after taking nude pictures of herself and sending them via text. Those pictures have made the rounds being forwarded on to several students at Nampa High School. “There’s a picture of a girl exposing her breasts,” said Joy Egan a freshman at Nampa High School who saw the picture. “I’ve seen it like more than 10 times probably,” said Izzy Rodriguez, a Nampa High freshman, “After it and stuff, she felt horrible.” According to these Nampa High students, the girl who took the picture is only a freshman and the picture was meant for her boyfriend/Shayne Wells, Fox 12. More here.

Question: How would you handle this problem if your daughter and a friend of your daughter’s was involved in sexting?

Vandals Target PF Couple’s Home

Item: Inked and outraged: Expletives painted on couple’s home near schools/Brian Walker, CdA Press

More Info: When Post Falls’ Dee and Lee Ternes opened their living room curtains, graffiti with obscenities on their Fir Street home greeted the senior couple. “He’s 74 and I’m 68, so it’s pretty disheartening,” Dee said. “(Lee) can’t scrape, paint and do all that stuff. I’m on anxiety medicine to keep me from having a heart attack, then we find this.” Expletives were spray painted on the couple’s living room and garage windows and their garage doors. They were waiting for an insurance adjuster to give them an estimate of the damage.

Question: Has a vandal ever harmed or destroyed your property?

DP: Idaho Solons Work Toegether

Item: Popkey: Idaho congressional delegation revives dormant bipartisanship/Idaho Statesman

More Info: For the first time since Republican Jim McClure left the Senate in 1991, Idaho has a congressional delegation determined to work together, regardless of party. Bipartisanship was dormant during the 18 years GOP Sen. Larry Craig dominated Idaho’s team in Washington. Craig put party ahead of Idaho’s broader interest, sabotaging Democratic Reps. Richard Stallings and Larry LaRocco. After LaRocco lost in 1994, Democrats were too weak to elect anybody. But Craig’s retirement and November’s election of Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick have revived the put-Idaho-first ethic that spanned the 34 years bridged by McClure, Republican Sen. Len Jordan and Democratic Sen. Frank Church.

Question: Are you glad to see the Idaho delegation move toward bipartisanship or would you prefer that the four congressmen show more of their partisan colors?

AM Headlines — 5.19.09

Idaho State Police, Nez Perce County sheriff’s office and Nez Perce Tribal Police investigate Monday night at an officer-involved shooting on Cottonwood Creek Road 20 miles east of Lewiston. Initial reports from the scene indicate an ISP officer shot two suspects, mortally wounding one. One of the suspects was taken by ambulance to the hospital. See story below.  (AP Photo/ Lewiston Tribune Steve Hanks)

JimH: Another Side To Sign Story

RE: Trustee Edie Brooks loses dozens of signs/Huckleberries Online

Jim Hollingsworth: Some of these signs were picked up by neighbors who were very concerned to have those signs in front of their houses, since they planned to vote for Purtee. Other signs were picked up by concerned neighbors who knew that their neighbor did not want any political signs in their yard. All those signs have been returned to their rightful owners. Again, the Police Department does not enforce the sign code, so there was not much point in filing a police complaint. No one seems to be very concerned about the fact that we have lost over 50 (fifty) signs since we started putting them out. Some signs have been put out at least three times, and someone is taking them

Question: What should Hollingsworth and/or others supporting the opposing candidate have done in this situation?

Tumblewords: Blog + Twitter = Fun

Tumblewords: My blog has been up a little more than three years with about 700 posts on the main blog although not so many posts on the younger Art blog. Oh, yes, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Haven’t learned how to make it earn cash but it does pay mightily in entertainment and cyber friendships. I’m fairly new to Twitter but post fresh haiku 5 or 6 times a week there. That’s turned into an interesting gig, as well.

Question: Anyone out there actually make some money off blogging?

RG: Banned On

Ray Gun: Subsequent to this event, I posted some comments regarding Kathy Sims’ admitted illegal campaign fundraising and expenditures. They were deleted, some in part, some in their entirety. Apparently the moderators of Opencda did not enjoy seeing a public display of their hypocrisy in defending, excusing and justifying the Campaign Finance law breaking by Kathy Sims, while at the same time becoming apoplectic about Charlie Nipp’s transgression of the disclosure rules. (In the drop-down box) is the email, in its entirety, that first notified me that I was banned.

Question: With Ray Gun gone, who’s left to try to reason w/Dan & Mary & Bill?

CH: Time W/Loved Ones Precious

CindyH:  How about a best commencment speech by a sitting president, ex- pres or presidential spouse? I’d vote for Barbara Bush’s Wellesley address: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend or a parent.” It meant a lot to me at the time because I was feeling a lot pressure to put my boys in daycare and “get a real job.”

Question: What do you think of Barbara Bush’s words of wisdom?

Ramirez: Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Dracula Wild Card — 5.18.09

I’m working from home today, nursing the tail-end of a bug that I hit about mid-afternoon Friday and sapped my strength most of the beautiful weekend. So much for gardening. On this day in history: In 1897, Dracula, a novel by Irish author Bram Stoker is published. In 1980, 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption: Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington, killing 57 people and causing $3 billion in damage. In 1920, Pope John Paul II was born. In 1981, American author William Saroyan died. Canada is observing Victoria Day. And the Monday Wild Card is in play …

Parting Shot — 5/18/09

I was privileged to take a photo of “Five Generations of Women” shortly before my 93 year-old Grandmother passed away last year.The photo shown below, features the hands of my Grandmother, Mom, Sister, Niece and Great-Niece.While I can’t take credit for the idea, I was so happy to have had the suggestion & capture this moment. It inspired a friend of mine to do something similar, which turned out so beautiful it became a special keepsake, prior to her father’s passing/Cis, Simple Mind. More here.

Question: How many generations of your family are currently living?

KM: Recalling Old Community Center

Kage Mann: Wow, I forgot about that Community Center and the sad part about that is I attended Junior High there in the mid-70’s.I read an article that said the CDA community hasn’t had a C.C. for 60 years.So, apparently some people never considered that old Junior High as a real Community Center. I used to play B-Ball at 7th st.alot.I believe they closed it down in 1983-84.Heck, my parents also, went to school there.

Question: How many of you attended the old high school or old junior high school @ 7th & Montana? Did any of you participate in city recreation league activities after it was converted for a short time into a community center?

PM Headlines — 5/18/09

Chuck Young along with his great-grandchildren, from left Keira, Macaylee, Brayden and Destiny wait at the Social Security office in Coeur d’Alene earlier this spring in order to obtain the proper documents for an Idaho Identification card. Alison Boggs and photographer Kathy Plonka have been telling the compelling story of how Chuck and his wife, Shirley, are raising four great-grandchildren here, while Chuck battles lung cancer here. (Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review)

Trustee Brooks Loses Dozens Of Signs

Veteran school board member Edie Brooks reports to Coeur d’Alene police that 60 of her yard signs were taken without her permission from locations along 15th Street Friday and Saturday. Brooks, who has served on the Coeur d’Alene School Board for 11 years, told Huckleberries a short while ago that former Republican legislative candidate Jim Hollingsworth called her Friday evening to say that she had put her signs up illegally and that he was going to have her arrested. She reportedly thanked Hollingsworth for the information and told him that she would obtain a necessary permit the following day. Which she did. However, she noticed signs missing Saturday. According to a police report, Hollingsworth told an officer who called about the signs: “I think I might know someone who may have removed them.” When Hollingsworth was asked who that was, he told the officer: “I’m not at liberty to say.” Later, Brooks was told by phone that her signs would be at the school district office or City Hall. Some were at the district office while others were thrown in bushes. She’s still missing 27 of the 100 signs she obtained to promote her candidacy against challenger James Purtee.  Brooks’ Zone One runs south of Hayden Lake and east of 15th Street. The school board election is Tuesday.

Scanner Traffic — 5/18/09

  • 5:11 p.m. 4 people involved in a fight with a baseball bat @ Mullan & 10th Place/CdA.
  • 5:10 p.m. Someone has finally caught the two horses that have been running loose on Ridgeway, causing a coupla R/Ps to call authorities.
  • 4:08 p.m. EMTs are trying to revive a male in his 20s who attempted to hang himself in a basement aparttment on Garden Avenue. He’s having trouble breathing.
  • 4:07 p.m. T-bone accident b/n blue Toyota & gray Trailblazer is partially blocking i/s @ Chase & Prairie.
  • 2:20 p.m. Unwanted person @ Willamette Dental, 943 W. Ironwood. A female is sitting in the lobby, mumbling to herself.
  • 2:12 p.m. R/P reports that loud music coming from a white Cadillac is causing a safety hazard on Highway 95, north of Appleway.
  • 2:05 p.m. 2 horses are loose @ Ridgeway & Grand Tour.
  • More below

FHB: Where Docks Go To Die

This is how our dock looks after a winter with a record amount of snow. Dave is determined to fix it. I suggested using the last of our M80s to blow it up. He’s not listening to me. Hopefully the repair work doesn’t kill him. Dave said if he dies to just set the dock free. I don’t think that will work. Someone would surely feel sorry for me and bring the thing home/Frum Helen Back, Hauser Thoughts.

Briefs: Lab Confirms 2nd Swine Flu Case

Kootenai County’s second case of Novel H1N1 flu was confirmed Monday by the Idaho State Laboratory, bringing the state’s total cases to nine. The patient, who is no longer contagious, is a student at Ramsey Elementary School in Coeur d’Alene. The child did not attend school while ill. The Coeur d’Alene School District sent letters home with Ramsey Elementary students notifying parents of the H1N1 case and asking them to monitor their children for symptoms. The letters ask parents to keep children with symptoms home for seven days and consult a health provider. The district also planned additional disinfecting tonight of all commonly touched surfaces, such as doorknobs and railings. Health officials believe the H1N1 virus infected the student during recent family travels out of state by car. No one else in the family has symptoms. The student was ill for three days and has recovered without hospitalization/Cynthia Taggart, Panhandle Health District.

HBO Blogosphere — 5.18.09

The other classmate that passed recently was Debbie. I never said one word to her all the way thru school, but I didn’t say a lot to very much of anyone back then. She was always one of those people who was “around”; she always seemed to be smiling brightly and I remember her as being very, very exuberant. My heart goes out to her families as well. In high school, I had my own little group of 7 or 8 friends, and I was Extremely Scared of Girls back then. So even though I went to school with All These People back then, 99% of them didn’t know me and I didn’t know them. But whenever one of them passes away, I feel a sense of loss/Atmospheric Ruminations. More here.

Question: How does it affect you when you learn of the death of a high school classmate?

Gregoire Inks Expanded Partnership Bill

 Gov. Chris Gregoire is surrounded by children and adults as she signs the “everything but marriage” law Monday in Seattle. The law will take effect at the end of July and expands on  previous domestic partnership laws, adding partnerships to all remaining areas of state law that deal with married couples. The benefits range from labor and employment rights to pensions and other public employee benefits. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Question: Do you think the Idaho Legislature will ever pass a bill like this one?

Lew2nl: Diamond Ring No Longer Shines

Lew2nl: Now here’s a deal for you …Ad from today’s ‘local’ paper” — “Custom made diamond wedding set, yellow gold, size 6 1/4, .30 CARROTS, never worn …”

Question: Anyone want to make up a story to go with that advertisement?

NA: Idaho Grabs Road Stimulus Share

Item: Idaho among nation’s leaders in delivering transportation stimulus/Idaho Business Review

Nick Adams: In spite of all the hand-wringing, teabagging and declarations of sovereignty, Idaho sure isn’t wasting time trying to get its hands on federal transportation stimulus dollars. Only fellow deep-red Oklahoma has secured more money at this point.

Question: Anyone else see hypocrisy in this interesting item pointed out by Nick — that fed-bashing Idaho is nearly leading the league in grabbing onto stimulus dollars for road construction?

Zimo: Poison Ivy & Loose Kites

The kite string hit the ground and was dragged through a bunch of brown stalks in the rocky outcropping. Before anyone could say “poison ivy,” we knew we might be in big trouble. Three grandkids with poison ivy would not be fun. I was extreme kite flying in the Boise Foothills last weekend with the grandkids. We call it extreme because it involves bushwhacking, climbing on rocks and running down the trail chasing loose kites. Trail running, bouldering and climbing? My colleague, Roger Phillips, jokes that kind of kite flying qualifies as an extreme sport. When the dust settled later in the week, nobody had blisters. With kids having a blast all over the hillside, I couldn’t believe it/Pete Zimowsky, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Describe the worst case of poison ivy or poison oak that you’ve experienced?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 5.19.09

A hen duck and her 12 ducklings create a parade-like atmosphere as they cross the Lilac Parade route  while trying to march to the Spokane River Saturday in downtown Spokane.  The ducks are the ones that nested and hatched on a downtown awning where they were watched by banker Joel Armstrong, left, and Crystal Tobeck, right.  A group of bank employees, media and bystanders followed the slow walk to the water by the duck family.  Story here. And: Slideshow here. (Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review)

JeanC: Remedy For Crud: Laratadine

JeanC: I woke up yesterday with a hot scratchy throat and I still have a slight burning sensation in the top of my lungs this morning. Kinda like when I started to get the crud a while back. I am hoping it is just from overdoing it on the outside work on Saturday and allergies. Need to remember to start popping loratadine with the rest of my daily pills :P

Question: Dr. OIiveria (aka, Junior) believes Airborne is nothing more than a placebo. And recommended last night that I opt for Theraflu instead. I still have some stock of Zicam. What do you take to get through a bout with a cold or flu?

High Noon: Idaho Dad’s Blog Turns 5

There will be no streamers, cakes, or balloons. Honestly, I’m too busy finishing up our last two weeks of the homeschool year to think about any kind of celebration of this blog’s 5th anniversary. Yup, it was five years ago today that I wrote my first post. Things have changed a lot since 2004. What started out as an informational blog about family life quickly changed into a more personal parenting journal, only to change again as we became homeschoolers and I added that to the mix of blogging topics. Life has never been busier, and that has definitely had an effect on how much time I devote to my blog of late. But, at the end of a hectic day, it’s still fun to sit down to share a few thoughts and opinions with other parents, homeschoolers, and whoever else might end up here/Idaho Dad, A Family Runs Through It. More here.

Question: How long have you been blogging? And: If you knew then what you know now, would you have started your blog?

Blast From Swimwear’s Past

Secelia Garrett-King of Galveston competes before judges during the vintage-inspired swim wear contest at the Galveston Island Beach Revue on the beach in Galveston, Texas, Saturday. Garrett-King won second runner-up in the competition. The Islander By Choice group resurrected the legendary Bathing Beauties Pageant this spring to help raise awareness about the islands recovery from Hurricane Ike and plans to continue it as an annual event. The Galveston beauty contest began in 1920 and was dubbed the “Pageant of Pulchritude” by original promoter C.E. Barfield. The pageants ran from 1920 to 1932 to kick-off the tourist season. (AP Photo/The Galveston County Daily News, Kevin M. Cox)

Question: Would you prefer that modern bathing suits took a cue from the past and covered a bit more skin?

Nic: Encountering Waiter From Hell

Re: Happy (expletive deleted job hunting)/Nic, Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts

Nic: He takes our order and the food came out quicker than I expected. We talked and enjoyed the food. The waiter stopped by a couple times to check how things were going.The last time he checked in he asked if there’s anything else he could get us and Bekah told him that it was my birthday. The waiter dropped a dessert menu down on the table and told me I got a free dessert. Aside from the rough start(Bekah and I are sure he was trying to look down her shirt) things were going predictably superb. That is until the waiter delivered our check. Bekah opened the black folder and scrunched her face in an unsettled look. “I don’t think that’s OK.” she said. I asked what it was and she shook her head but then handed me the bill. At the top of the receipt, the waiter chicken scratched “Happy mother effin’ birthday.” No joking. I wish I was kidding.

DFO: I needed to give a higher profile to this post by Nic.

Question: Have you had a close encounter with a bad waiter/waitress recently?

DC: No Such Thing As Free Dogpaddle

Fun’s over, kiddies. Life is hard. The economy sucks. It’s time you brats grew up and started suffering like your stressed-out mothers and fathers. Yep, it’s adios to Spokane’s long, benevolent summertime tradition of free swimming for youth. The Park Board voted last Thursday to charge kids 4 through 17 a dollar to cool off in city pools. Aw, Park Board members still want children to have fun. They want kids to learn how to swim. But first they want to teach them the basic rules of economics: No dough – no dive. No scratch – no splash.  And no, just because you pay a fee doesn’t give you twerps a new right to pee in the pools. Aw, stop your bellyaching. It costs money to fill the pool. It costs money to filter the water. It costs money to chlorinate. And, hey, somebody’s gotta buy kegs for the teen lifeguard pool house beer bashes/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Should kids have to pay to use public pools?

Rare Comic Books To Be Auctioned

 In this AP file photo, comics, including Batman #1, left, and Marvel Mystery Comics #9 are shown at Heritage Auction Galleries, in Dallas. The comics, collected by Ralph Chicorel as a child in Detroit, will be up for auction this week and the collection is expected to bring $500,000. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)

Question: Which comic did you enjoy reading the most as a kid?

BYU-Idaho Drops Student Pol Groups

But last semester (Winter 2009), the BYU-Idaho administration announced that both the College Republicans and the College Democrats, (both student-run political organizations), would be dissolved in an effort to comply with changes to the BYU-Idaho political neutrality policy. “We are trying to ensure that BYU-Idaho is a politically neutral campus,” said Andy Cargal, a BYU-Idaho public relations representative. “As a private institution and being affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we feel that it is in the best interest of our university to be politically neutral. “While we actively encourage our students to be politically active and join political parties of their choice, we feel that BYU-Idaho itself can’t be a sponsor of partisan political groups or activities.” BYU-Idaho cites that no specific incident behind this change/Standard Journal. More here. MountainGoat Report observations here.

Question: What do you make of the decision by BYU-Idaho to suspend student political organizations on campus?

Obama Speaks To Notre Dame Grads

A University of Notre Dame graduate displays on her mortar board her membership in the ND Response Pro-Life group,  bottom right, and another graduate with a Barack Obama campaign emblem on their mortar board, top left,  participate in commencement ceremonies in South Bend, Ind.,  Sunday. Story here. And here. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Question: Do you agree with what President Obama said about abortion during his speech at Notre Dame?/Idaho Statesman

  • Yes, both sides should come together to help prevent unwanted pregnancies.
  • No, abortion is wrong. There is no dancing around it
  • Still think he should have not been invited to speak.
  • Don’t know what he said.

Rosdahl: New Thrift Shop Opens Doors

Items and foods that have been discontinued, outdated or packaged in irregular containers are the inventory of Bargain Foods & Treasures. The discount store opened last week at 811 N. Fourth St. The 4,100-square-foot building had been the home of the Idaho Youth Ranch Thrift Store, which moved up the street half a block. Bargain Foods primarily sells packaged and canned foods, drug store counter items and a few miscellaneous “treasures.” Owners are Bob and Leslie Edwards, of Post Falls. Originally from New Jersey and Utah, respectively, they came to North Idaho from Seattle/Nils Rosdahl, SR Handle Extra. More here.

Question: What kind of treasure can be found at thrift stores?

Barker: No Gas Tax Hike? Close Roads

Gov. Butch Otter has another alternative in his tool box for responding to the Idaho Legislature’s refusal to raise taxes to meet the $240 million annual road maintenance shortfall. He can reduce the size of the state’s road system. That sounds like blasphemy, but hear me out. When the U.S. Forest Service backlog on road maintenance ballooned to $10 billion over its 400,000 miles of roads in 192 million acres of national forest, the Clinton administration came back with the 2001 roadless rule. It banned new roads in 58 million acres of national forest.The rule didn’t solve the problem but it changed the debate. Most of the people who opposed the roadless rule were residents of rural areas in national forests who more regularly used the roads that frankly were getting a lot less use than the costs of maintenance justified/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Does Rocky Barker have the right idea? If the Legislature won’t vote to increase the gas tax to fix roads, should the state inventory Idaho’s road system — and stop fixing certain ones that aren’t used that much?

AM Headlines — 5/18/09

Tony Marohn hold his one-month-old daughter Thelia at his home in Coeur d’Alene recently. He along with Brett Evans is opening a home for disabled veterans in Moyie Springs. Story here. (Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review)

APhoto Of The Day — 5/18/09

A two-week-old Bornean Orangutan named Iznee, left, is seen in the arms of her mother, Sarikei, inside their enclosure at Chester Zoo, Chester, England, Monday. Iznee is the first baby Orangutan born at the zoo for ten years. The zoo is home to over 7,000 animals and 400 different species, including some of the most endangered species on the planet. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Paul Thomas)

HBO Poll Sez … Jay Leno

In the weekend HBO Poll, you Merry Hucksters went with the big two when asked which late-night TV talk show host is your favorite — 37 of 82 (45%) voted for Jay Leno and 24 of 82 (29%) voted for David Letterman. In the second tier, Conan O’Brien was next best of the four remaining with 12 of 82 (15%). In our poll Friday, 54 of 94 (57%) of you Hucksters said you still had your tonsils.

Kage Mann: Wait-See On Kroc Center

Kage Mann: I had planned on going to the Kroc Center to take a looksee this weekend but, not now.I can’t pass judgement on the wonders of ‘the Kroc Center’ with only one good eye to see through.I need to have a good set of eyes to see if Mayor Bloems decision to bring Joans dream here was a mistake or the crowning achievement of her mayoratorial career.

Question: Is the Kroc Center the “crowning achievement of (Sandi Bloem’s) mayoratorial career?

Walkabout: Don’t Legitimize Haters

RE: Speak freely — or not/Coeur d’Alene Press Sunday editorial

Walkabout: Every website has the right to control content. It has nothing to do with free speech. Free speech means you can create your own website and say vile things. It means you can protest on the street corner or even have a parade where you express your views. It doesn’t mean you could come to my website and say what ever you want. The Press says they want to hear all points of view so they have allowed comments “even when those thoughts horrify or repulse us.” Clearly, allowing such objectionable comments amounts to no standards at all. Yes, there are racists in our community but who really cares what they have to say? Don’t legitimize haters by giving them a forum where their thoughts are accepted.

Question: How do  you define free speech?

Heller: Wanna Buy Some Chryslers?

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Brown V. Board Wild Card — 5.17.09

On this day in history: In 1954, The United States Supreme Court hands down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. In 1973, Watergate scandal: Hearings begin in the United States Senate and are televised. In 2004, Massachusetts becomes the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage. In 1936, Dennis Hopper was born. In 2004, Tony Randall died.Ireland is observing National Famine Memorial Day And the Sunday Wild Card is in play …

Press: Online Comments Hard To Handle

In story comments posted anonymously by readers of the ongoing murder story involving a Honduran suspect and Native American victim, some objected to what they described as hate speech inciting violence. Others felt the story threads were laced with racism. And others believed that the First Amendment protected the anonymous, if invective-packed, opinions expressed by individuals who were unwilling to be identified. In print journalism, the rules are more clear-cut. Courts have for many years outlined what constitutes libel — the written defamation of an individual — and what recourse there might be. Editors are charged with deciding what community standards, rather than the courts, will accept. But in cyberspace, online information providers and their readers are still working out many of the rules for a new medium/Coeur d’Alene Press Editorial. More here.

Question: What do you make of this Coeur d’Alene Press editorial today? It goes on to say that the Press is instituting a feature next month that allows online readers to eliminate objectionable comments.

Robin By Robin

A robin leaps into the air while taking a bird bath in a parking lot puddle at River Forks Park near Roseburg, Ore., on Thursday. (AP Photo/The News-Review, Robin Loznak)

DFO: I’ve never met photographer Robin Loznak of The News-Review of Roseburg (where former Coeur d’Alene Press business writer Bart Smith may still be editor. But I’ve followed Robin’s photography from the Great Falls Tribune to Oregon. Terrific stuff. Strangely, I don’t know if Robin is male or female. I simply know that s/he is one of the Northwest’s best wildlife photographers.

Political Game’s Summer Reading List

  • Assassination Vacation
  • Finger Lickin’ Fifteen
  • Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
  • Late Innings
  • Mad In America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and The Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill
  • More here

Question: Which books are on your summer reading list?

Schools Focus On Saving Staff

The Inland Northwest’s education layoff numbers are in, and they’re not as bad as many had feared. Getting much of the credit for staving off major staff reductions are federal stimulus spending, creative cost-cutting and, in some cases, growing enrollment, which brings in greater per-student state funding. “The goal was to save people,” said Wayne Leonard, Mead School District business manager. That sentiment was echoed by Coeur d’Alene Superintendent Hazel Bauman. “People will come before stuff. We’re distributing the pain, so to speak.” In Idaho, negotiations with teachers are just beginning. Pay freezes and salary reductions are expected to be on the table, officials say/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR. More here.

Question: Are you confident that your local school district can provide a decent education to youngsters given the current economic constraints?

Trib Poll: Favorite Late-Night Host?

Liz: I Suck @ Languages

Liz: I suck at languages. I mostly did very well in school but I barely passed Spanish. Probably the only reason I did was because we had enough non-language assignments to push me into a pass grade. (bringing food, dressing in costume, showing up for the foreign language fair). I did learn to say “Donde esta los banos?” though on those spring break trips down to Ensenada in college. Useful, ya know …

Question: Do you speak a second language?

Miss California Returns To Roots

Miss California Carrie Prejean holds a ball in the air as she works with the Pad Squad during the sixth inning of a baseball game between the San Diego Padres and the Cincinnati Reds Friday in San Diego.  Prejean worked on the Pad Squad before becoming Miss California.  (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Question: Did Donald Trump make the right call in allowing Miss California Carrie Prejean to keep her crown after the controversy she ignited re: her stand on gay marriage and the disclosure that she posed topless as a teen-ager? (Story here.)

JReighley: Life Worth Loving, Protecting

JReighley: No, I am not surprised. I think the more we know, the more we recognize just how brutal abortion really is. I think that the strategy of protest has not served the pro-life cause nearly as well as the newer strategy of service that is in place now, with ultrasounds, counseling, adoption options, etc. When people see that the passion is for life, not for oppression, it is pretty hard to argue with the truth. Life is worth loving and protecting.

Question: This is one of the best short comments I’ve read re: the abortion debate. Anyone else with ideas how we can find middle ground in the abortion debate?

JBelle: The Good Times Have Rolled Here

JBelle: I have such great memories of HBO: Mike Kennedy’s first campaign and the outrageous attempted smear over his residency; JimmyMac’s patient and all day explanation of how mortgage banking really “works” and how and why some people can qualify, remember that?!; the extended debate of the Kroc Center; the whole Larry Craig reaction, second reaction, third reaction, fourth…ick, ick, ick; the brouhaha at Dan English’s workplace over blogging on the company dime; Taryn’s coverage of Joseph Duncan; Megan’s coverage of Joseph Duncan; Betsy’s coverage of Joseph Duncan; sigh; omigod! the Kootenai County prosecutor and the brouhaha in HIS workplace, THEIR workplace, heh. Full comment below. Friday thread.

Question: Can you think of any other great moments in HBO history?

Lilac Parade On Tap Tonight

Jac Cates sets up the Wenatchee Apple Blossom Festival float that celebrates 90 years of volunteers, under I-90 in downtown Spokane, Wa.  Cates will be driving the float in the Spokane Lilac Festival 2009 Armed Forces Torchlight Parade this evening.  He says the Lilac Parade is his favorite festival to attend. Story here. (Dan Pelle/Spokesman-Review)

Question: If you were forced to choose only one Inland Northwest parade to see in a year, which one would it be?

Timberline 1, Lake City 0 In Semis

Timberline High knocked of Lake City 1-0 in the semi-final game of the girls’ 5A state softball tournament to earn a spot in the championship game tomorrow at noon. Meanwhile, Lake City will face Coeur d’Alene High at 10 o’clock Saturday in the final loser-out game, with the winner moving on to face Timberline for the title and the loser finishing third. Coeur d’Alene kept alive by knocking off Twin Falls 5-0 behind the one-hit pitching of Amber Coburn, who tossed a no-hitter and two one-hitters Friday to lead the Vikings. (Greg Lee/SR provided the information for this report.)

Asparagus Wild Card — 5/15/09

On this day in history: In 1618, Johannes Kepler discovered his harmonics law. In 1970, President Nixon appointed America’s first two female generals. In 1972, Alabama Gov. George Wallace was shot by Arthur Bremer in Laurel, MD. Wallace was paralyzed by the shot. In 1937, singer Trini Lopez was born. We’re in the middle of National Asparagus month. In the news, RNC Chairman Michael Steele says Demos want to take away gun rights here. And the Wild Card for TGIF is in play …

Parting Shot — 5/15/09

Lakeland High School’s #6 Alisha Watson failed to tag out #11 Alaura Seley of Emmitt during the 4A softball game at Post Falls High School on Friday. Emmet won the game 4-2 in the state 4A softball tournament and moved on to play Kuna. Lakeland fell to the loser-out bracket, where the Hawks face Wood River next. (Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review)

Bent: Bike Riding Can Be Hazardous

Bent: Man, lots of bike accidents on Bike to Work week. I almost caused an automobile accident this morning while riding my bike into work. I was on Upriver Drive just east of Avista headquarters, and I dropped my water bottle. It rolled out across both lanes of traffic and I cannot believe that the cars swerved and almost collided just to avoid hitting my water bottle… Heck, I probably would have hit it.

Question: Have you ever had a close call with a vehicle while riding bike? Tell us about it.

LCHS Advances To Semi-Finals

  • Now: Lake City is playing Timberline in a semi-final game, and Coeur d’Alene is playing either Twin Falls or Borah in a lower out game.
  • Loser-out Game @ 3: Coeur d’Alene defeats Eagle 7-0.
  • Noon: Lake City defeated Eagle 5-0 to advance to a semi-final game against Timberline. Timberline beat Twin Falls 7-1 in nine innings.
  • AM: Amber Coburn pitched a no-hitter to lead Coeur d’Alene High to a 4-0 win in a loser-out game with Centennial in the girls’ 5A state softball tournament at Ramsey Park.

PM Headlines — 5/15/09

Don Sausser captures another sign that the seasons are changing in Coeur d’Alene — the annual appearance of the trademark red geraniums at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.

APhoto Of The Day — 5/15/09

An elaborate floral headdress is modeled during the 8th annual Tulips and Pansies fashion show benefiting Village Care New York Thursday in New York. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Just cos I have Two lips (Tulips) and Im a bit of a ponce (pansy = poncy person over here) - Im still the most beautiful emu in the herd :) — Marmitetoasty.
  • 2. Ivana B. Tiger Lily competes in the new season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” sponsored by 1-800-FLOWERS — OTV; A newly-disovered painting indicates that Vincent Van Gogh did indeed spend time with Paul Gauguin in Tahiti — MikeS.
  • 3. In the true Carmen Miranda tradition, (for those younger than 40, was a Portuguese-born Brazilian samba singer and actress most popular in the 1940s and 1950s.) Mary Sousa, shows how she has gone green — Cis.
  • HM: Whippersnapper

PM Scanner Traffic — 5/15/09

  • 6:12 p.m. Someone suffering a possible broken hand has walked into the Spirit Lake Fire Station.
  • 5:31 p.m. Victory Auto Parts of Athol reports that someone who just drove from the business may be “tweaking.” Update (@ 5:58 p.m.): Man has returned to the business.
  • 5:30 p.m. Smoke coming from a w/b semi @ NW boulevard is so bad that it’s affecting visibility a half mile away.
  • 5:17 p.m. A person is laying in a fetal position along the onramp for I-90 @ 15th street.
  • 4:54 p.m. English Funeral Home is en route to a possible suicide.
  • 4:49 p.m. Woman said her drunk husband in anger has thrown a bag of groceries across the driveway @ Mokins Bay.
  • 4:27 p.m. A woman is having an allergic reaction to a bee sting @ Calzado Drive.
  • 4:02 p.m. Car fire with visible flames near top of Fourth of July Pass/I-90.
  • 4:01 p.m. A horse is loose @ Bluegrass Park/Coeur d’Alene Place
  • 3:36 p.m. Unattended death in apartments @ 1800 block of Keystone.
  • 3:05 p.m. A ladder is in the w/b passing lane of I-90 @ M/P 1.5.
  • 2:08 p.m. Woman returned to her home on Winterhawk Drive — only to find the single-wide trailer fully consumed by fire. It was still smoldering. She believe arson is to blame.
  • Briefs: Stimulus $$$ To Offset Bond

    Plummer School District millions of dollars if voters approve an $11 million school bond to replace Lakeside Elementary next Tuesday. If the bond passes, nearly half of the $11 million bond will be interest free. “This is very exciting news,” said Judi Sharrett, the district’s interim superintendent. “We estimate it will save the taxpayers $2.5 million.” The district received approval for up to $5 million in interest free bonds through the Qualified School Construction Bonds, a program made available though the President’s Stimulus Act/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe. More here.

    Gratuitous Skin Shot 4 Jeanie, Cindy

    Beach volleyball at North Idaho College is in full swing, and this weekend’s summer-like weather in our corner of the world sure to bring out the crowds/OnLocation North Idaho.

    HBlogos: I ♥ Monte Cristos

    I recall Monte Cristos being everywhere when I was young in the ‘70’s and early 80’s. In fact, I remember specifically my grandparents frequently taking me to eat at TJ’s Pantry, located in the North Shore Hotel, now the Coeur d’Alene Resort. That place was dark and cavernous, done in browns and oranges and closer in spirit to a greasy spoon than the comparatively fancy offerings of Dockside. Anyway, I remember always ordering the Monte Cristo with a big pile of fries, then sneaking off to play Space Invaders in the arcade area next to the indoor pool while my grandparents drank pot after pot of coffee and chainsmoked/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

    HBO Numbers (for Thursday, May 15): 7413/4348

    Question: Did you even know what a Monte Cristo was before you read OTV’s  comment above?

    Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

    Killian, a competitive border collie, flies through the air while chasing a flying disc thrown by owner Sharon Marconi while warming up for the taping of a television show for the Animal Planet channel in Acton, Mass., Wednesday. The show is aimed at teaching old dogs new tricks, like fetching a brew from the fridge or helping a human land a date. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

    Question: Can your old dog fetch a beer? Or do any other tricks?

    Daily News: How Will Grads Do?


    About 1,301 students will graduate from the University of Idaho Saturday. You can read the Moscow-Pullman Daily News story here. And check your answer on the newspaper’s online poll above.

    Test Your Iraq/Afghanistan Smarts

    While you’re waiting for me to finish HBO’s Inland Northwest roundup, you can take this Billings Gazette quiz re: Iraq and Afghanistan that was put together by Billings seventh-graders here. I answered 7 of the 10 questions correctly.

    MR: New Election Law Helps Idahoans

    It may not seem like it now, but newly passed legislation to consolidate Idaho elections is a good thing. When the law takes effect in 2011, myriad taxing entities will only have four dates on which to have an election. In the past, elections, especially school bonds and levies, could be scheduled for just about any time during the year. In addition to the primary election on the third Tuesday in May and the general election on the first Tuesday in November, the new law allows for school district elections to take place on the second Tuesday in March and the last Tuesday in August/Murf Raquet, Moscow-Pullman Daily New. More here.

    Question: Do you support the action by legislators to consolidate Idaho elections onto four dates? Did you know that Coeur d’Alene is holding a school trustee election Tuesday?

    Gallup: 51% Of America Pro-Life

    A new Gallup poll about abortion found that 51 percent of Americans identified themselves as “pro-life,” compared with 42 percent who say they are “pro-choice.” Gallup says this is the first time that a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as “pro-life” since the pollster began asking this question in 1995. Among women, 49 percent were “pro-life” and 44 percent were “pro-choice.” The survey of 1,015 adults was taken May 7-10 and has a margin of error of 3 percent/Strange Bedfellows, Seattle P-I. More here. Washington Post story here.

    Question: Surprised?

    HBO’s Inland Northwest — 5/15/09

    This triptych, made Wednesday from the Post Street Bridge, shows the Spokane River and falls. Their shape and flow have morphed according to human commerce and catastrophe, including the Great Fire of 1889. (Christopher Anderson/Spokesman-Review)


    High Noon: Another Lawyer Abirthin’

    If I may be immodest for a second, in the past 3 years I have taken 24 exams, written 2 papers, 6 memos, 3 briefs, 8 bench memos (for a judicial externship), and given 3 oral arguments, 4 presentations, and spent countless hours sitting in class, reading, and generally dreading the Socratic method - but today, it is over, I am done with law school. Through out it all, HBO has been a pleasant distraction, a momentary respite from my studies, and a procrastination crutch. I have appreciated it, even during the times when I thought the majority of posters on this site were nuts. Thanks.

    Question: Anyone have a good lawyer joke are anecdote re: a closer encounter with an attorney, to properly welcome Idawa into the legal fraternity?

    Facial Hair On Parade

    John Dahlen, back, Tim Slade, left, Jonathan Galin and Neal Haglund, who will compete in the upcoming 2009 World Beard and Moustache Championships coming to Anchorage, display their beards and moustaches in Anchorage, Alaska, Thursday. More than 200 competitors from 12 countries, including Germany and Austria, will compete in the event hosted by the South Central Alaska Beard and Moustache Club. (AP Photo/Al Grillo)

    Question: Do men generally look good with facial hair?

    AM Scanner Traffic

    • 11:15 p.m. There’s an illegal “pit” at Black Bay Park/Post Falls — a fire pit, I suppose, rather than a pitbull (which probably should be designated illegal).
    • 10:56 a.m. A 21YO female @ the county jail is reacting to an overdose of amphetamine.
    • 10:22 a.m. A vehicle has hit a bicyclist in front of Global Credit Union @ 3160 Seltice Way/Post Falls.
    • 10:15 a.m. A husband is calling from One Shot Charlie’s in Harrison to report that his wife has suffered a right-knee injury in a bike crash on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, a half mile south of Harrison toward Plummer. The husband rode into town to get help.
    • 9:40 a.m. A group of Coeur d’Alene Indian drummers are leading the procession for the annual North Idaho College commencement exercises.

    Court Upholds Redskin Trademark

    The Washington Redskins won another legal victory this morning in a 17-year fight with a group of American Indians who argue the football team’s trademark is racially offensive. The decision issued Friday by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington doesn’t address the main question of racism at the center of the case. Instead, it upholds the lower court’s decision in favor of the football team on a legal technicality. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)

    Question: Should the Washington Redskins get with the times and jettison the offensive trademark “Redskins”? Or should they continue to fight for the traditional name?

    HBO Poll: Still Have Your Tonsils?

    CindyH: Remember tonsillectomies? When I was a kid it seemed like everyone had their tonsils removed. What was up with that? I’ve got four kids. Nobody wanted to yank out any of their tonsils, nor do I recall any of their friends have the surgery. (Follow-up Question: How many of your kids have had tonsillectomies?)

    Obama Invite Divides Catholics

    Item: Notre Dame president catches heat for Obama invite/AP

    More Info: The Rev. John Jenkins … is getting plenty of criticism from Catholic leaders, students and alumni because of the university’s decision to invite President Barack Obama to deliver its commencement address and receive an honorary degree Sunday. Opponents of the invitation, including at least 70 bishops, say Obama’s support for abortion rights and embryonic stem-cell research contradicts church teachings and that Jenkins has created a breach with the church.

    Question: I’d like to hear from local Catholics on this one. Do you agree with Rev. Jenkins decision to invite President Barack Obama to deliver Notre Dame’s commencement address? Sunday.

    JF: Idaho GOP Still Battlin’ In Boise

    There might be a question of the propriety of applying a law aimed at protecting private property to buildings owned by the public, but there is apparently little question Pentico, 42, has been a nuisance, and not just in Otter’s office. Still smoldering over a five-year-old dispute with Boise State University officials, he has also taken his complaint to Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, state school Superintendent Tom Luna, dozens of legislators and staff members of Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch. “He seems to think that if he comes 12 times, the answer will be different than the 11th time,” Otter spokesman Jon Hanian said Monday. Earlier, Otter himself defended his instruction to Idaho State Police officers to prevent Pentico from again entering the governor’s office. It was Pentico’s refusal to stay away that got him arrested April 2/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

    Question: Should elected officials be required to put up with a bothersome person like Christopher Pentico, who may be respectful but wastes staff time because he can’t take no for an answer?

    How To Deal w/’Mom, I’m Bored”

    I saw a story from The Associated Press, “Tween-teen parents work to ward off summer boredom” (posted below). The story described the dilemma of how to keep young teens with working parents active and entertained during their summer vacations, particularly those kids too young to drive, get summer jobs, or whose families can’t afford to put them in summer camps or day programs. It got me thinking — I never really dealt with summer boredom growing up. But, looking back, I can see that my parents wisely had a plan of action to help keep my two siblings and me active in the summer months (really year-round, for that matter)/Kendel Murrant, 2C Etc., Idaho Press-Tribune. More here.

    Question: How do/did you deal with the familiar summer complaint from your kids: “Mom (or Dad), I’m bored”?

    AM Headlines — 5/15/09

    Get Adobe Flash player

    Shirley and Chuck Young are not your ordinary great-grandparents. The North Idaho couple are raising their four great-grandchildren, ages 5 to 9. They’re praying to live long enough to see the children, who spent two years in foster care, through to graduation. Sunday, in the first installment of a two-part story in The Spokesman-Review, photographer Kathy Plonka and reporter Alison Boggs document the Youngs’ struggles and triumphs.

    Question: Do you know any Seasoned Citizens who are forced by circumstances to raise their grandchildren.

    HBO Poll Sez … Food Tops @ KMC

    In the HBO Poll Thursday, 20 of 39 (51%) Merry Hucksters said that Kootenai Medical Center had the best hospital food in the Inland Northwest. While 10 of 39 (26%) said Northwest Specialty/Post Falls was best. I hope the low vote means that few of you have had reason (injury, illness, etc.) to sample the hospital food in the area. (BTW, if you have a good question and answers for a poll, don’t hesitate to run them by me. I’m always looking for a good poll fodder.)

    BrentA: Bottoms Up

    Brent Andrews: I told her most of the people who ever (strip-searched) me never seemed to relish that part of the job. They seemed to like everything else better, in a way. It was just something they had to do because people are crazy, they’ll try to hide drugs in their bottoms or whatever and smuggle them into jail or the mental hospital or wherever. Somebody has to look. I actually kind of feel for those people. They’re probably not making enough money for a job like that.

    Question: Can you think of a worse job than strip-searching a prisoner for drugs? (OK: I coulda asked you if you’d ever been strip-searched. But I have to draw the line somewhere. I think.)

    JBelle: HBO Ain’t For Faint-Hearted

    JBelle: back in the day when the SR with rife with columnists and professional staff, a couple of the women in Spokane came over here and got pretty irate with our boy Oliveria over some chaunvinist thing or another he supposedly said. Lord what a misunderstanding! :9 anyhoos, these wimmen didn’t like it when the Hucksters jumped into the conversation to the knees, with both cork boots on. Everybody here defended DFO’s thoughts and The Wimmen Over There thought it was just deplorable the kind of brawl that Oliveria referees here each day with the lack of respect and all but as he pointed out, blogging and dialogue is NOT the Ivory Tower of journalism and is quite different that selecting an idea, compiling facts and then detailing your thoughts on this certain topic, on time and in syntax. Full post below.

    Question: We’ve certainly had some good times here. What is your favorite HBO memory?

    Joe: I’ll Take KMC Food, Any Time

    Joe Butler: My favorite local medical-oriented dining spot is KMC, hands-down — I’ve eaten there as a patient, as a family member of a patient, and just for fun (it’s good, it’s healthy, and it’s cheap).They cook warm stuff to order, always have a wide selection, different daily specials, and you can get a complete meal or a snack almost any time of the day, plus decent free coffee ‘round the clock.

    Question: How many days in your life total have you spent in a hospital?

    Kendramama: In Love w/Brown

    Kendramama: My husband is half-Mexican, Hispanic, whatever the current pc term is, and ironically, maybe hysterically, rather- is the whitest guy I’ve ever been with. He can’t dance, loves redneck stuff like huntin’, fishin’, and “getting some good lovin’ ” from the little woman. (Yep, that’s me- and oddly enough, I put up with my Suzie Homemaker/ Betty Crocker role pretty well considering my sordid past. Although I feel a bit of Betty Page in me still too.) He’s also got the strongest work ethic, most solid, proven devotion, and by far the most integrity out of any guy I’ve ever met- totally disproving the lazy, womanizing rep most Hispanics tend to get pinned with. Of course, that’s true of almost all racial stereotypes, but hey. He also doesn’t speak a word of Spanish, despises arid climates, and was born and raised in the Silver Valley.

    Question: Can you speak Spanish?

    Heller: Season Finales

    Joe Heller/Hellertoons

    Wild Card/Thursday — 5/14/09

    Huckleberries was told that the funeral for shooting victim Tim Wolfe, 21, of Worley, was so packed that the service was delayed for an hour because people kept arriving. The open-casket service was held at Plummer Middle School, with burial at Desmet, then dinner at Worley Long house. More tomorrow. Now, I’ll replay the Wild Card …


    Parting Shot — 5/14/09

    I didn’t plan to have a buxom mannequin, a naked statue, and now this, for the Parting Shot — an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Bikini Parade, on the Strip in Las Vegas Thursday. Mebbe it’s a sign that spring’s on the way. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Question: Are you ready to put a bathing suit on and head to City Beach? Or do you need to do more stomach crunches?

    Tumblewords: I Checked My Donor Box

    Tumblewords: I know several people with kidney transplants who are doing very well and have been for several years. Donor box is marked on my license and has been for ages - I know you’ll have the strength and support to carry on in whatever act follows next!

    Question: Are you an organ donor?

    Mom Takes Action Against Bully

    Item: Mom taking action against son’s bully/KHQ

    More Info: Spokane mom says her 10-year-old boy is being bullied at school and she’s not going to stand for it anymore. Miranda Swenson says her son, Mikey, has been attending Longfellow elementary school for a year and since the beginning of the year, another student has been harassing her son. Mikey tells KHQ it started with verbal taunts, which soon escalated into violence. He says the other student has gotten him into headlocks and punched him in the head and face and pushed him up against the wall.

    Question: What would you do if your child was being bullied in school?

    PM Headlines — 5/14/09

    Lake City’s pitcher Lela Work fires one in during a rainy 5a softball game against the Borah Lions at Ramsey Field in Coeur d’Alene this afternoon. Lake City bested Borah 10-0 in a six-inning game shortened by the mercy rule. Meanwhile, Timberline edged Coeur d’Alene 1-0, registering the final out when a Vik runner was tagged out at the plate. (Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review)

    APhoto Of The Day — 5/14/09

    A visitor takes picture of a sculpture “Nude No. 2” by China’s artist Mu Boyan at the Hong Kong International Art Fair in Hong Kong Wednesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

    Top Cutlines:

    • 1. Dave, now don’t look so surprised. I told you at your age, you’re going to need two colonoscopies a year,” Oliveria’s doctor conseled as she positoned the camera. “And don’t worry you won’t remember a thing…” — Bent.
    • 2. The Press “Moderator” is prepared to take his punishment for dropping the ball! — Dennis.
    • 3. Though young Larry often dreamed of becoming a sumo wrestler, he never felt his stance quite wide enough to succeed in the sport/MikeS.
    • HM: Nick Adams

    PM Scanner Traffic — 5/14/09

    Update (to 2:52 p.m. “accident): Sgt. Christie Wood said it was strange that that information (possible fatal accident @ Hanley & Ramsey) came over the scanner because there is no accident at that intersection but it will be the location of a “mock accident” scenario at the end of this month. In that scenario, two vehicles will be involved and there will be two fatalities. Wood is looking into it and wondered if someone was practicing for the pretend accident scenario in advance for some reason.

    • 5:08 p.m. Hayden mother reports that a 20YO male who just drove by her house is stalking her 15YO daughter.
    • 3:52 p.m. Animal reunited with owner on Dragonfly/CdA.
    • 3:39 p.m. A teal car is on its top on a USFS road east of CdA.
    • 3:32 p.m. A car w/a woman and several children is stalled on the Northwest Boulevard bridge over I-90 after being T-boned by a yellow car that took off. Traffic is backed up.
    • 3:26 p.m. A trailer with a broken axle is partly blocking the i/s of Hauser Lake Road & Cliffhouse Road/Hauser.
    • 2:29 p.m. 17YO boy is complaining of an injury to his leg, following a 3-vehicle accident that’s blocking Ramsey & Kathleen.
    • 1:17 p.m. A 31YO electrician suffered facial burns but didn’t fall when he touched a high-power line. (I didn’t get the location of the incident)
    • 12:52 p.m. 2-vehicle crash w/possible fatality @ i/s of Hanley & Ramsey, near Lake City High School, blocking traffic.
    • 12:10 p.m. A girl is bleeding from her head after falling during a PE class (possibly @ Garwood Elementary).

    HBO Blogosphere — 5/14/09

    Anyone remember this few from the inside of Cafe Coeur d’Alene in 1986? You can find it and other vintage photos on OrangeTV’s Remember The Roxy site here.

    HBO Numbers (for Wednesday, 5/13): 6907/4153

    Question: Where were you living in May 1986?

    My 2 Cents: Naming Names?

    On the From The Editor blog of the Idaho Press-Tribune, David Woolsey discusses a situation in Canyon County where other media outlets compromised the identity of an under-age sex abuse victim. They did so by naming her mother. Who was later arrested as part of the criminal investigation. All of which led Woolsey to wonder: “I also realize that in this day of blogs, the pressure to break news fast on the Web and with comments on many media sites, it’s really impossible to control the more precise relationship between the woman and the teenager. It almost seems like an ethic whose practical days have come and gone.” He goes on to say that the names of juveniles charged with adult crimes are revealed. And that victims or domestic abuse increasingly are allowing themselves to be interview to tell their stories. In this brave, new Internet world, Woolsey wonders if the media should continue to be so zealous in protecting certain identities. Closer to home, I wondered the same thing when we decided not to run the name of the man who committed suicide by jumping from the Veterans Memorial Bridge. Under our newspaper guidelines, we could have printed the name because the suicide was very public. Also, the sheriff’s department provided the name in a news release. I was a relieved when we decided not to print the name, for the family’s sake. I know and respect a member of the victim’s family. But I’m haunted as a journalist that we might have made the wrong call.

    Question: Should the media be more open about naming names in sensitive cases?

    ITN: Busty Beacon Boosts Sales

    Restaurant owner Kenny Tessel, who runs a Reading, Ohio barbecue restaurant, KT’s Barbeque, speaks during a board meeting in Reading, Ohio, today. The life-size mannequin stands as a busty beacon outside the restaurant. He told zoning officials at a hearing Wednesday night that the advertising gimmick has boosted business 40 percent. (AP Photo/The Cincinnati Enquirer, Michael E. Keating)

    Question: Are you so shallow that a gimmick like a busty mannequin would entice you into a restaurant?

    EOB: Idaho Hispanic Population Jumps

    Idaho’s Hispanic population has continued to increase at three times the rate of non-Hispanics, according to the latest U.S. Census figures. Overall, 10.2 percent of Idahoans are Hispanic, but the census found that in nine of Idaho’s 44 counties, all in southern Idaho, the figure was greater than 20 percent. The population of tiny Clark County is 40.4 percent Hispanic; Minidoka County, 30.2 percent; and Jerome County, 27.3 percent/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

    Big Food Fight Leads To Suspensions

    Item: Huge food fight at Washington school/KING5

    More Info: At least 15 students are being expelled after a huge food fight at Henry M. Jackson High School in Mill Creek, Wash., Thursday. The fight happened around 11 a.m. One student told KING 5 News that several hundred students were involved. Everett School District spokesperson Mary Waggoner says 15 or 16 students will be expelled on an emergency basis. Nobody was injured.

    Question: Have you ever been involved in a food fight? Describe it.

    KT: Miss Manners Needs A Taser

    Modern-day heavy breathers now post crude, abusive comments to online newspaper articles where everyone can see. Most online media sites, included, require commenters to register. This way, computer IP addresses can be traced and blocked if needed. Not at the Coeur d’Alene Press, which has long been a haven for the type of posters the Internet community refers to as trolls. The Press comment threads were a writhing nest of race hate after last weekend’s fatal shooting. A post under the name Proud to Be White Girl gives the gist of it: “… all the mexicans and blacks are from cali coming over here giving us swine flu and making coeur d’ alene idaho trashy like California…”/Kevin Taylor, Inlander. More here (second item).

    DFO: Izzit just me, or has the Press threads gone — thankfully — quiet since the Hagadone brain trust reinstituted registration?

    HBO’s Inland Northwest — 5/14/09

    Wayne Bolon washes away the spring grit and grime from the ramp into the Activity Center Wednesday in preparation of commencement ceremonies at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho.(AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune, Kyle Mills)

    HBO Poll: Best Hospital Food

    High Noon: Creme Brulee w/Facelift?

    On Wednesday, I drove to Post Falls and ate some really great hospital food. I’m not joking. The grub at Northwest Specialty Hospital, 1593 E. Polston Ave., is in a galaxy far, far away from the stereotypical slop that has made hospital food such a running gag. On Tuesday, for example, the lunch menu offered tenderloin medallions and lobster ravioli. The best part of all is that Northwest Specialty meals run $5 or less. Of course, there’s a catch. Isn’t there always? You can’t just walk in off the street and chow down. You have to be connected to the hospital À la staff, a patient or a patient’s family member or friends. Then you can dig into fabulous fare like Chilean sea bass, polenta with eggplant caponata, wonton-wrapped shrimp … The idea is to make your stay in the hospital more bearable/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

    Question: Which area hospital serves the best food?

    Chrysler Cuts To Hit Moscow, S/Point

    Looks like Chrysler wants to close two North Idaho dealerships. Ambassador Auto in Moscow and Taylor-Parker in Sandpoint are on the closure list. Also sounds like Chrysler wants them closed by June 6th. That’s quick. Why the rush? SR story here. 3 Idaho dealers to close/Statesman.

    Question: Anyone out there drive a Chrysler? I never have. Are Chrylers decent cars?

    19YO Dies In Fatal Moose Encounter

    Members of the Washington State Patrol investigate the death of a young Spokane woman in a crash involving a moose Thursday, near the Idaho state line on I-90. The crash happened Wednesday night, when four cars hit the moose, but there was only one fatality. Story here. Other media: KHQ,  KXLY, and KREM. (Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review)

    Scanner Traffic — 5/14/09

    • 11:08 a.m. Possible power outage @ NIC.
    • 10:44 a.m. A ladder is laying on the e/b lanes of I-90 @ 15th Street.
    • 10:15 a.m. A vehicle with a broken engine and dropped-out engine has been left at KFC — “other than that it’s in great condition.”
    • 9:44 a.m. Man wants to see an officer re: his yellow Lab being hit by a vehicle.
    • 9:36 a.m. Debris is littered across the i/s @ Best Avenue & 15th.

    GOP Chairman Wants Your Input

    Dear Friend, As Chairman of the Idaho Republican Party, I need your help. The Idaho Republican Central Committee and I realize that we can always improve how we listen to our supporters, how we communicate our message to all Idaho Republicans and how we put our resources to work as we serve Idaho. We are here to reaffirm our Party’s core values; and we are looking for your input in ways to enhance those values. We want to ensure that we understand which are the most critical changes needed in our Party. We also want your ideas for the most necessary changes required to promote responsible government/GOP Chairman Norm Semanko, in e-mail to Idaho Press-Tribune newsroom. More here. H/T: Editor Vickie Holbrook.

    Question: Is Semanko jumping at shadows here? Obviously, the Idaho Republican Party continues to dominate state politics. What do you consider to be the party’s strengths? Weaknesses?

    MGR: Transgender Iranian Faces Trial

    Gender identity won’t be on trial this June in Twin Falls County but it is difficult for many to believe otherwise. If you haven’t been following the story of Nastaran, or legally Majid, Kolestani, a transgender Iranian refugee accused in the shooting death of the man with whom she shared an apartment in Twin Falls, get caught up here.  As PrideDEPOT boiled down the story back in March: “A request for a change in venue was denied in a murder trial that spotlights gender identity, ethnic diversity, media bias, and uncomfortable issues all contained within a predominately conservative community.” Predominately conservative indeed/MountainGoat Report. More here.

    Question: Can a transgender refugee get a fair trial in Twin Falls? Could the individual get a fair trial in your Inland Northwest community?

    Astronauts Begin Hubble Repair

    In this image from NASA TV astronauts Drew Feustel, top, and John Grunsfeld work to upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope during a spacewalk Thursday. Story here. (AP Photo/NASA TV)

    Question: Are you interested in latest developments in our space program?

    Bumpersnicker …

    … From Kevin Taylor/Inlander (on the tailgate of an old Ford pickup truck downtown Spokane — blue body, green tailgate, spray-painted orange bumper, sagging wooden side racks): Keep On Truckin’ For Jesus.” Concludes KT: “Must work. The miracle is the truck is running!”

    Question: How old was the oldest vehicle you’ve personally owned and driven (not counting vintage cars)?

    Greed Is Good @ Lake Coeur d’Alene

    If you see an armada of kayaks led by Julie Dalsaso this coming Saturday near the Blackwell Island marina here’s why: Along with the Kootenai Environmental Alliance, she wants citizens to look at the area where the Hagadone’s are planning to release 121,000 cubic yards of sediments so they can build a new port for luxury yachts with no regard to public health. This is the uppermost reach of the Spokane River, a popular spot for paddlers. But what lies beneath are heavy metals from a century of mining in Silver Valley. “The Lake Management Plan does not call for dredging of the lake bottom because it’s thought that leaving the contaminated soils in place is a safer management solution,” attorney Rick Eichstaedt said here at the Center For Justice. “So this proposal sets a negative precedent. We don’t have a plan for dealing with dredging like this in the lake”/Paul, Down To Earth. More here.

    Question: Are you concerned about this proposal? 

    JeanieS: Transplant Journey Begins

    I was blithely going through my day, the normal humdrum of filing, typing, cataloging, typing, time entry, bla bla, more typing, and arrived home to the mail: A packet starting with the ominous “The Journey of Transplant Evaluation.” O boy. It’s several pages and forms to fill out to start the process of being evaluated to be placed on a kidney transplant list. I’m half excited about this. Actually I feel too good to really be considered for a transplant. I’ll probably go along like I do in sports - and be the last one on the list. Who knows? Evidently my doctor sent my name in to the transplant center - and also to social security. Did you know that I might be able to get Medicaid?/JeanieS, Nuts & Nonsense. More here.

    Question: First, keep JeanieS in your thoughts and prayers as she starts her journey to better health. Now, this question: Do you know anyone who has gone through a kidney transplant?

    AM Huckleberries — 5/14/09

    Kootenai Environmental Alliance executive director Barry Rosenberg on Tubbs Hill on Monday. He is retiring after 7 1/2 years with KEA. Story here. (Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review)

    HBO Poll Sez … Butch Would Win

    In the HBO Poll Wednesday, 52 of 74 respondents (70%) said that Independent-turned-Repub elk farmer Rex Rammell can’t beat Gov. Butch Otter in a Republican gubernatorial primary. Only 19 of 74 (26%) said that he can. Three people were undecided.

    Avista Dan: What To Do Re: Biz Blog?

    Dan @ Avista: I think moderating comments - at least here - seems to be working. It’s like an editing award for the Oscars - how do I know what they left out anyway? There are some yay-hoos, but that’s a reflection of society. My question is this: should newspaper/online journalism resources have different moderation rules than businesses who host a blog or comments section? While HBO and the Press are associated with news/journalism - would a business need to have a little tighter control even if they want honest dialog and conversation?

    Question: I’m working on some new ways to talk to our customers online and we want to do it the right way. Any suggestions? (Be gentle, Merry Hucksters; Dan’s seeking your thoughts. Not your jabs.)

    Dreday01: Shooting Sad On Both Sides

    Dreday01: i knew juan carlos (Murder suspect Juan C. Aldana Villanueva)..and its crazy to see that he did this..i dated him for about a week or so..and just from that short time i knew him he was a respectful and caring guy..what made him shoot this guy idk..but honestly it wasnt a know wen yew get those feelings wen u meet someone its just not right thats how i felt with him..he was very nice tho..and im sad that this happend and my prayers go out to the victims family..but like i said it didnt surprise me..he carried a gun always talked about getting into fights getting kicked out out of the bars..wat breaks my heart is he had a son about 3 years old..its jus so sad.. =[

    DFO: I’m gambling a little here that this is a legit comment from someone who knows murder suspect Juan C. Aldana Villanueva. My gut tells me that it is. Amid the outrage at this senseless killing, Dreday01 provides a reminder that this tragedy claims has consequences for friends and family on both sides.

    HBO Faster, Has New Feature

    • Cabbage Boy: Ryan, come on, how long should it take to run a script on 36,000 comments? Sheesh. ;) Wonder how many are mine? Any hope for that feature?
    • Blogmeister Ryan: @Cabbage Boy - Click on your name next to a comment to view your profile page. There’s an all-time comment count there (it updates once an hour)

    CindyH: Omigosh, Ryan! What a terrible thing to know. Please, get rid of this feature ASAP! Can other people access this? Will everyone soon know the amount of time I spend commenting on HBO, instead of working? This is bad. Really bad.

    Question: Check it out by clicking on your name in the comments section. What do you think of this new feature?

    Stickman: Sad For Animals, Not Enemy

    Stickman: I have never killed an animal for food or for fun. In Vietnam, when I was a very young man, once in awhile an animal would penetrate our perimeter and all hell would break out. Rock apes, stray cattle and wild pigs would happen upon us. Then, like I said, all hell would break loose and we would find pieces and blood in the morning. I always felt sad for them, but never the enemy.

    Question: How many of you served in Vietnam? Where were you stationed? What was your assignment?

    Heller: Look, Up In The Sky

    Joe Heller/Hellertoons

    1 Dies When 3 Cars Hit Moose

    One person is dead, and both lanes of Interstate 90 are closed while law enforcement officials work to clear the scene after several separate cars collided with a moose. Washington State Patrol said three separate cars crashed into the moose running across the highway about 9:15 p.m., just west of the Stateline. “Sounds like a car eastbound hit it, then another westbound, and then another westbound,” said Trooper Troy Briggs/Sara Leaming, SR. More here.

    Massive Search Finds Young CdA Boy

    A 2 1/2-year-old Coeur d’Alene boy is the subject of a major search in the wooded area at the end of Bunco Road in northern Kootenai County. Cooper Irwin, the son of Kevin and Holly Irwin, has been missing since about 1:45 p.m. from a farm house at the end of Bunco Road, where his family was visiting relatives. The boy was reported missing a half hour later. Area residents began looking for him immediately. The search has expanded to include rescuers from the sheriff’s office, Timberlake Fire District, a helicopter from Spokane, and a canine unit. The boy was described by sheriff’s spokeswoman Kim Edmondson as wearing blue sweat pants with red-and-white stripes, a blue flannel shirt over a white T-shirt and brown shoes with red socks. He is not dressed for the weather. Lt. Edmondson said the sheriff’s office may issue an Amber Alert.

    Unequivocal Notion Wild Card — 5.13

    The Gremlins must be hard at work today. Chris still is waiting on the techs to fix a hardware problem that has leveled Unequivocal Notion for two days. Blogmeister Ryan is about to roll out a fix to the problem that has caused Huckleberries Online to load soooo slooooowly. It should be rolled out this morning. (Remember, you still can see all the latest comments by clicking on the “Latest Comments” header in the right rail.) Meanwhile, on this day in history: in 1917, three peasant children near Fatima, Portugal, reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary (in the sky, not on a potato chip or restaurant grill). In 1950, Stevie Wonder was born. We’re now in the middle of Birth Defects Week. In the news this evening, radio host Michael Savage appeals to Hillary Clinton to help get his name removed from Brit ban list here. And the Wednesday Wild Card is in play …

    Parting Shot — 5/12/09

    This undated image provided by Neil Cuadra shows Cuadra in Los Angeles with his “MAD Magazine mascot Alfred E. Neuman” mural created with thousands of old CDs, which was published in the Letters to the Editor section of MAD Magazine 500th issue. (AP Photo/Courtesy Neil Cuadra)

    Question: Did you read Mad magazine as a kid?

    Cis: When Parents Become Child-Like

    When your parents start acting like your kids. You 20 -30 years olds with 50 and 60 year old parents have no idea what you are in for. No clue, unless you dealt with your grandparents. And somehow that is different than when it is your parent. The parent who has always been in charge. Those of you who are 50 or 60 years old with parents who are 80 and 90 year old know what I am talking about. That is when they say what is on their minds or do what impish thing you would never dream of them doing/Cis, Simple Mind. More here.

    Question: What has been your experience with aging parents?

    Obama Opposes Release Of Photos

    Item: Obama moves to prevent release of detainee photos: The images of alleged abuse could turn more against America and endanger U.S. troops, he says. Liberal advocacy groups denounce the move/Los Angeles Times

    More Info: Reporting from Washington — In a dramatic reversal, President Obama said today that he would seek to block the release of dozens of photographs depicting alleged abuse of detainees by U.S. soldiers, arguing that the disclosures would “further inflame anti-American opinion” and “put our troops in greater danger.”

    Question: Should the photos be released?

    APhoto Of The Day — 5/12/09

    American cyclist David Zabriskie, left, looks at his teammate Christian Vande Velde who lies on the road after falling during the third stage of the Giro d’Italia, Tour of Italy cycling race, from Grado to Valdobbiadene Monday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati)

    Top Cutlines:

    • 1. David, obviously in Italy too long: “What? You missed that Turin? You can say Vatican. What a bunch of Bologna. Next time you want to Rome around here, just ask me Venice the best time to ride. Coach is gonna give you a Pisa his mind and probably make Udine alone tonight. I’ll Siena while” — JohnA.
    • 2. Christian, I think you misheard me. I said “Let’s compete in the Tour de France”, not “Let’s hit the street and breakdance” — OrangeTV.
    • 3. Do we have to put your training wheels back on? — Charlie.

    • HM: KeithinCDA & MikeS

    PM Scanner Traffic — 5/12/09

    • 5:43 p.m. 2 1/2YO Cooper Irwin of CdA is found safe after massive search in the Athol area.
    • 5:28 p.m. CPD Blue is checking out 3 male hitchhikers at the e/b I-90 onramp @ 4th.
    • 4:22 p.m. Full-scale search is under way for missing boy with command post established at Bunco Road trailhead.
    • 4:01 p.m. A woman suffered seizure and fell off a bar stool @ Appleby’s.
    • 3:27 p.m. Searchers are still looking for missing 2 1/2YO boy at end of Bunco Road. A team of 3 dogs is on standby.
    • 2:27 p.m. Post Falls police are converging on a resident in which a child ran out of a red pickup with a man in pursuit. Update: PFPD Blue are questioning the man.
    • 2:16 p.m. 2 1/2YO boy has been missing for a half hour near the end of Bunco Road, before turns into USFS road. Blond boy is wearing red-and-white sweat shirt.
    • AM Scanner Traffic here; more PM Scanner Traffic below

    Briefs: Her Sandiness Dedicates Trail

    Bent and a buddy rode their bikes to the ribbon-cutting for the Kathleen Avenue connector trail Tuesday — and provided this photo of Mayor Sandi Bloem and local children doing the honors. You can read more about this important event and see more of Bent’s photos from the Kootenai MPO site here. Coeur d’Alene Today story here.

    A reception is planned from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday for City Clerk Chris Pappas, who is retiring after 31 years with the city of Post Falls.

    Kootenai County Foreclosure Soar

    Item: Foreclosures drop in Spokane, soar in Kootenai County/Bert Caldwell, SR

    More Info: The April home foreclosure rate in Kootenai County jumped 52 percent from March, and almost five-fold from last April, according to statistics released Wednesday by RealtyTrac Inc., an online marketplace for foreclosed properties. In Spokane, meanwhile, foreclosures dropped significantly month-over-month and year-over-year. One out of every 207 properties in Kootenai County, a total 283 properties, was the subject of either a default notice or notice of trustee sale. In March, a total 189 received notices, and in April 2008 just 61.

    Question: Do you know anyone who has lost — or is in danger of losing — his home to foreclosure?

    HBO Blogosphere — 5/12/09

    At Dogwalk Musings, the blogmistress wonders about those flaggers that are standing at the median of Highway 95 intersections to protect fresh concrete from vandals here.

    DFO’s Animals: Headless Chicken

    In this photograph taken between March 1945 and October 1946 and supplied by Troy Waters, Mike the Headless Chicken of Fruita, Colo., is shown with an unidentified person. Residents of Fruita, a western Colorado town of 11,000, are holding their 12th annual festival this weekend for the chicken named Mike, who lived for 18 months after a farmer lopped off his head with an ax but left his brain stem, a jugular vein and one ear intact. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Troy Waters)

    Question: Have you ever chopped a chicken’s head off?

    Farmers Markets Open @ New Sites

    In this 2006 photo, a woman sets out vegetables at the farmers market in downtown Coeur d’Alene. Lori Hutson provides a rundown on Farmers Market activity throughout the Inland Northwest here.

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

    HowardM: Loose Moose Visit Park

    Howard Martinson: Somewhat of a surprise, I’ve seen nothing today about the two moose in Riverstone Park last evening. They were having a major dinner, feasting on the shrubs, bushes and immature decorative trees near the bandshell. What a fantastic site to see them right here in town.

    Question: How many of you have been privileged to see a Moose on the Loose — a real one — in the last two years or so?

    GC: Solons Still Listen To DFO On Tax

    The gax tax passed and was implemented on April Fool’s Day (1997). Maybe that was the key. Idahoans thought it was a hoax and didn’t notice the difference at the pump, where the price at the time was about $1.20 a gallon. OK, probably not, since S-R opinion writer D.F. Oliveria called for that tax – and an earlier federal bump of 4.3 cents – to be reversed: “Repeal both gas tax hikes and give us working stiffs a fighting chance at the pumps.” Guess that scared lawmakers straight, because they haven’t dared touch the tax since. Nor have they found sufficient revenue for road upkeep/Gary Crooks, Smart Bombs. More here.

    Question: If I knew at the time I was on the Editorial Board that I had that kind of influence over the Idaho Legislature, I woulda told them to repeal the sales tax on food, too. Which Idaho tax do you like least?

    HBO Poll: Can Rammell Beat Otter?

    HBO’s Inland Northwest — 5/13/09

    Rex Rammell has had to change the colorful graphics on his giant, decorated “Conservative Express” RV twice in the last month and a half. First, he changed, “Time for a new kind of Senator” to “Time for a new kind of Congressman,” when the former independent candidate for U.S. Senate decided to take on U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson next year in the GOP primary … Then, the graphics had to be readjusted again - now “Congressman” has been replaced with “Governor”//Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

    High Noon: Dealing w/Old-Fartedness

    Raymond Pert: I saw Star Trek at 11:15 a.m (Monday) here in Eugene. The theater was about half full, maybe less, and I swear I was the youngest member of the audience, and I’m in my mid-fifties. I didn’t see anyone dressed in uniform. It’s funny. When I’m in an audience with people my age and older, I still think I’m like fifteen and find myself saying, “What are all these old f**ts doing here, and then I go to the men’s room, wash my hands, look up at the mirror, and the truth hits me. I’m not fifteen and I’m one those old f**ts, too. <shakes head..chuckles>

    Question: Anyone out there willing to admit that you’re an Old Fart? When did you come to that realization?

    Press Returns To Registration, Sorta

    For those keeping score at home, racists and other kibitzers can no longer comment on two stories involving the tragic slaying of Coeur d’Alene Tribe member Tim Wolfe, 21, of Worley. You can pay $2.95 to find the stories in the archives, involving the shooting and first appearance. But can’t comment on them. A Saturday morning breaking story — before the police arrested suspect Juan Vallenueva — remains in the comments section, with a sanitized thread. Meanwhile, a Berry Picker reports this morning that the Press again is requiring commenters to provide a Username and Password. Stay tuned.

    AM Scanner Traffic — 5/12/09

    • 11:13 p.m. A motorcycle driver is “on the ground” after a crash w/a vehicle @ the entrance to Parker Toyota, Kathleen & Highway 95.
    • 9:36 p.m. Officer loses sight of an unlicensed water truck on Maple & Retreat/Hayden.
    • 9:06 p.m. An injured cat is under a tire near Frederick Post Elementary/Post Falls.
    • 9:05 p.m. An abandoned red Honda is at the bottom of a 50-foot embankment along East Fernan Hill Road.
    • 8:55 p.m. A 12YO boy is having difficulty breathing @ Post Falls Junior High.
    • 8:37 p.m. A distraught woman called her husband to say that this is going to be the last day of her life.

    ME: Let’s Talk Illegal Immigration

    ME: I would love it if we could have a good back and forth on illegal immigration here. Unfortunately, it never happens. If you do not support ILLEGAL immigration, you are a racist and there is no way around it. So then the back and forth never happens. It’s sad, because I would like to actually hear something from those who support it and why they do.

    Question: It’s never too late to request a discussion on HBO. ME wants those of you who support illegal immigration to explain why (and leave your race cards at the door).

    Dandelion Whine, Anyone?

    The top of a dandelion seed head is seen in the morning light in Marysville, Pa., Wednesday. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

    Question: Are you bugged by the dandelions in your yard? Are do you take a live and let grow attitude toward them (and bug persnickety neighbors)?

    Odd: Waitress Shoots Customer

    Item: Woman says waitress shot her in dispute over food/

    More Info: That’s when it got ugly. Samuel says she threw a waffle at the waitress. “I did actually throw some food but it didn’t hit her,” says Samuel. “That’s when she (Ward) jumped across the counter and we got into it,” says Samuel. Clarendon County Sheriff Randy Garrett says the altercation continued outside where he says Ward got a gun from her car and a gun magazine from her trunk.

    Question: What kind of tip is appropriate, if your waitress shoots you?

    PF Balladeer Sings Of Spokane Bridge

    Get Adobe Flash player

    Longtime musician Chuck Borris of Post Falls has written a song which he performs occasionally at the Rockin’ B Ranch near the Idaho-Washington border. It tells the history of Spokane Bridge, Washington. Never heard of it? It was a tiny settlement where Interstate 90 crosses the state line and several landmark events happened nearby and many influential historical figures passed through in the 19th century. Those events illustrate the clash of cultures between the original peoples from the Coeur d’Alene, Kootenai and Spokan Tribes and the white military and settlers, sometimes with tragic results. Although little is left of the town from its pioneer heyday, the Rockin’ B Ranch, a cowboy supper show housed in an original old barn, continues to share the history. Photographer Jesse Tinsley assembled this video of Borris performing his song to a slideshow of old photos from the surrounding area.

    Question: What do you think of Chuck Borris’ song?

    KR: Butch Has A Pentico Problem

    Pentico puts a human face to conservatives’ frustration with Otter. The Pentico case resonates with many of the same critics who believe Otter has abandoned his conservative principles, by pushing for gas tax and vehicle registration fees during a recession. Where a younger Otter was brash and stubbornly libertarian, the gubernatorial Otter now labels Pentico as “disruptive.” Disruptive? Perhaps a little more than Otter imagined. No offense to Boise’s Twitter nation and Downtown coffee aficionados, but I think the Pentico issue has some staying power/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

    Question: Do you agree with Kevin that Butch Otter’s brush with ‘disruptive’ conservative ideologue Christopher Pentico will come back to haunt him in his next GOP primary?

    JF: What Semanko Shoulda Said

    Once again, the Idaho Republican Party has shown that it is the party of ideas, leading the way. It is the party of so many ideas, in fact, that most of them contradict each other. Some Republicans support raising the gas tax to finance road repair, and some Republicans don’t. Some come to Boise to praise public school teachers, and some come to bury them. Some think restaurateurs should be able to offer you a cocktail before dinner, and some think you’ve had enough already. Some think Idaho should spend federal stimulus dollars to relieve the effects of a serious economic recession, and some think Idaho should tell Uncle Sam to get lost, as soon as he mails the farm subsidy checks/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

    Question: Most of us realize the 2009 Legislature stunk it up. We’ve focused on the “losers” in the latest Capitol Go Round. Who were the winners emerging from the session?

    SR: CdA Persevered To Build Kroc

    The writer Henry Willard Austin once said that what appears to be genius is often “but perseverance in disguise.” Coeur d’Alene may have relied on both to bring the city’s impressive new community center to reality. A measure of good fortune helped, too. Officially known as the Salvation Army Kroc Corps Community Center, the $38 million facility opened its doors Monday to a boisterous turnout that proves a quarter of a century without such a facility was not due to any lack of public interest/SR Editorial Board. More here.

    Question: Now that the Kroc Center & CdA library have opened to rave reviews, are you more enthused and supportive of the proposed Education Corridor?

    AM: Wolves Seen @ Harrison Flats

    Jacob Martin, 8, his brother Samuel, 6, and their dad, Mark, stand in Garnet Road a mile from their home where they saw a wolf at midday several weeks ago. Story here. (Ralph Bartholdt/St. Maries Gazette-Record photo)

    Question: Are the wolves getting too close for comfort?

    HBO Poll Sez … District 5 Is Worst

    In the HBO Poll Tuesday, 43 of 62 (69%) of the respondents said that the District 5 delegation (Hammond, Nonini & Henderson) performed the poorest of the five North Idaho delegations in the 2009 Legislature. In a distant second was District 2 (Broadsword, Shepherd & Harwood), with 7 votes or 11%.

    Raymond Pert: NIC Turned Me Around

    Raymond Pert: My two years at North Idaho College (1972-74) turned my life around and pointed me in the direction I am still following. Every day I go before a class of students, I try to give to them what the generous and passionate instructors at NIC gave to me. Jim McLeod, Annette Bignall, Virginia Tinsley-Johnson, Rick Frost, Joyce Boswell, Tony Stewart, George Cook,  and Robert Singletary.

    Question: Can you name and describe a teacher who had a big impact on you?

    OTV: Love To See Racist Trolls Outed

    OrangeTV: If we just turn off the acrid, narrow-minded comments, I’m afraid the racism would just fester and grow in the dark. That comments board shines a light on these morons and gives people a chance to confront them and hopefully get across the message that they speak for a very small minority of Idahoans. Unfortunately,in an anonymous forum, these cockroaches seem immune to the spotlight and don’t easily scatter. i’d love to see what those trolls would do if someone traced their IP addresses and published their comments under their real names. They’d shrivel up like slugs in salt.

    DFO: In her column Monday, Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur cited “John Gabriel’s Greater Internet (Expletive) Theory.” It goes: “Normal person+Anonymity +Audience=Total (Expletive).” Are you bolder writing online under a pseudonym than you are in person?

    Ryan Explains Fix To HBO Slowness

    Blogmeister Ryan: (For the truly nerdy out there, what I found this morning was two queries that took 18 seconds each to execute - this function was being triggered every 2 minutes to fill out the “recent comments” list in the sidebar box and the “latest comments” thread. The new code collapses that function into one 94ms query. Heh.) Once the change is in place, we’ll need to run a quick update script to re-save all existing comments. While that’s running, you may notice a few quirks in comment counts and the “recent comments” lists, but then everything should be good to go. Full post below.

    CindyH: I like it when Ryan talks nerdy :-)

    Anderson: Put A Fork In Him

    Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

    Recent Comments Active, But …

    You can still see all the latest comments by clicking on “Recent Comments” in the right rail (although it doesn’t show the latest 5 out front as it did before and will again tomorrow morning). Blogmeister Ryan will test drive some new code here in the morning. He provides the technical explanation for what’s going on inside (click “recent comments”) in a 5:26 p.m. post. Hat Tip to Blogmeister Ryan for being all over this. I’ll take a lash or 2 for not bringing it to his attention earlier …

    Florence Nightengale W.C. — 4/12/09

    On this day in history: In 1948, the state of Israel and its provisional government was established. In 1978, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that they would no longer exclusively name hurricanes after women. In 1820, Florence Nightengale was born. In the news today, The FDA blasts General Mills for its claims re: Cheerios here. And: Miss California will keep her crown despite the controversy she created with comments about gay marriage here. Now, for your Wild Card …

    Parting Shot — 5/12/09

     A raccoon peers out from a hole in a tree in a ravine in Moreland Hills, Ohio recently.  (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

    Type Of Comment Press Allows

    “White folks have been killing Indians for a long time, probably time to give some other race a shot at it… ” — commenter Oh Well posted at 3:20 p.m. on Coeur d’Alene Press Web site. (I hear from my sources on the rez that leadership and tribe members are outraged by the racist comments attracted by the tragic shooting death of Tim Wolfe.)

    Update: The Press finally deleted this statement 2 hours after it was posted.

    Freeze Warning In Effect Tonight

    From the Emergency Email Network: The Natl Weather SVC in Spokane has issued a Freeze Watch. Which is in effect from from late Tues Night through Wednesday morning. Under clearing skies & light winds Tues night temps are expected to fall to below freezing late Tues night into early Wed morning. Precautionary/preparedness actions. A Freeze Watch means sub-freezing temps are possible. These conditions could kill crops & other sensitive vegetation/Right Mind. More here.

    Question: When do you plan to plant your warm-weather vegetables and flowers?

    PM Huckleberries — 5/12/09

    Many of North Idaho’s rivers are flowing fast as the snow continues to melt in the mountains. We’ve had some pre-summer sun of late, making a dip in the water inviting but everyone needs to pay attention to the signs … such as this one at Corbin Park on the Spokane River/Councilwoman KerriT, OnLocation North Idaho.

    APhoto Of The Day — 5/12/09

    A cat tosses a mole into the air Monday, near Maysville, Ky. Upon hitting the ground, the mole quickly disappeared. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Ledger Independent, Terry Prather.)

    • 1. PUSS, demonstrates the catch and release system dictated by PETA — Charlie.
    • 2. Another cat finds something to do while waiting for HBO to load — Arpie.
    • 3. Well the doctor did say get rid of all suspect mole — Marmitetoasty.
    • HM: Shannon

    PM Scanner Traffic — 5/12/09

    • 5:11 p.m. R/P reports dirt bikes racing @ Davis & 15th/CdA.
    • 4:21 p.m. A worker @ Cottage Childcare & Learning Center on Thornton/Post Falls reports a man in a red-and-white Jeep is watching the business.
    • 3:58 p.m. Truck on fire w/b on I-90 @ M/P 26.
    • 3:36 p.m. Lights @ Highway 95 & Kathleen aren’t recycling, causing traffic backup.
    • 3:11 p.m. Driver is allowing garbage to blow from the bed of his white pickup as it heads toward the PFPD Blue station, off Highway 41.
    • 2:56 p.m. Motorists are dodging debris after a semi blows tire @ I-90 & Highway 41.
    • 2:36 p.m. Heather reports that former tenants left her property w/o taking horses.
    • 2:18 p.m. A number of ducklings are creating a safety hazard by running onto I-90, near the Ross Point exit.
    • 2:16 p.m. A brindle boxer is eating a deer along Highway 95 & Wyoming/Hayden.
    • 2:13 p.m. R/P reports that a skinny, toothless man in his 40s (but looks older) is a convicted sex offender who hasn’t registered to live at a Miles Avenue/Hayden address.
    • 1:36 p.m. David reports that a co-worker pushed him to the ground on a construction site @ Broileau’s Resort/Bayview.
    • AM Scanner Traffic here

    Briefs: Over 530 Eligible To Graduate

     Bedwell started taking classes at NIC four years ago with help through the Center for New Directions, which helps non-traditional college students enroll in college services. She had dropped out of high school when she was married at 16, but later earned a GED in 1979. But it wasn’t until the 1990s that she began to feel a true calling to complete her education, she said. After remarrying, she and her husband Clifford Bedwell opened their own logging company. Bedwell Logging was thriving until Clifford was in a logging accident in 1994 that rendered him disabled and forced the couple to shut down the company/Stacy Hudson, NIC Press Room. More here.

    Question: Did a community (or junior) college play an important role in your secondary education?

    Reflections On A Tofu Entree

    The nutrients
    are rich and rare,
    and yet it’s much
    like chewing air.

    The Bard of Sherman Avenue

    JS: Take Me Out To The Ballgame

    I was a terrible but extremely earnest player. I never did make it to a base – so no need to worry about stealing 2nd or 3rd – I never got to 1st. The legend of my lack of prowess got to be so bad, that BOTH teams would root for me. I caught a ball, playing shortstop. I mean, I actually caught a fly ball. I’m hopping up and down and shouting, “I caught it! I caught it!” and then realized that every one on both sides is doing the same thing. All jumping up and down and screaming “She caught the ball! She honestly caught the ball!” The game stopped so we could all regroup. Even the people on the bases stood still instead of running for all they were worth/JeanieS, Nuts & Nonsense. More here.

    Question: How coordinated are you? As a child, in other words, were you sought after, when your classmates choose sides. Or were you picked last?

    Spokane Blogs — 5/12/09

    This weekend’s Depot Days in Wallace kicked off the classic car show season in North Idaho. Next Thursday through Sunday is Lost in the ‘50s in Sandpoint, then comes Car d’Lane June 12 & 13 and Post Falls’ River City Rod Run July 17 & 18. Most community celebrations include car shows, we love our old cars!/Councilwoman KerriT, OnLocation North Idaho.

    ‘Star Trek’ Prequel, Anyone?

    This undated file photo shows actors in the TV series “Star Trek,” from left, Leonard Nimoy as Commander Spock, William Shatner as Captain Kirk, DeForest Kelley as Doctor McCoy and James Doohan as Commander Scott. (AP Photo/Paramount Television ,File)

    Question: So which characters worked and which didn’t in the new “Star Trek”? And what did you think of the movie overall?

    Brodeur: In Defense Of No Moderation

    The leadership at this paper is struggling with how to do that while maintaining some measure of intelligent debate and human decency. Do we let commenters rip in this, a free country? Or monitor them by the minute, and clean up the trash as soon as it hits the site? And who decides what is trash, anyway? Last month, former Washington Post executive editor Doug Feaver wrote a blog post defending “the anonymous, unmoderated, often appallingly inaccurate, sometimes profane, frequently off-point and occasionally racist reader comments” on that newspaper’s site. It was a big change, because Feaver, like many editors, has worked to maintain standards, while still giving readers a forum to vent. Commenting allows readers to complain about what they see as unfairness or inaccuracy in news stories; to talk to each other, “And, yes,” Feaver wrote, “to bloviate”/Nicole Brodeur, Seattle P-I. More here.

    Question: Has Huckleberries Online struck the right balance in moderating the comments thread? Would you prefer a fairly unmoderated comments section like the Press has?

    SKC Players Said Goodbye To Wolfe

    Tim Wolfe, a member of the Salish Kootenai College national championship basketball team, played in a four-on-four league at the college Thursday night, and participated in a shoot-around with his teammates after classes Friday before heading home to Idaho for Mother’s Day weekend. By Saturday, those same teammates were on the road to Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene to say goodbye to Wolfe. The 21-year-old was murdered early Saturday morning, shot in the head as he and a group of friends were walking downtown. SKC men’s basketball coach Zach Camel said Wolfe’s mother kept her son, a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe from nearby Worley, on life support until everyone could get to Coeur d’Alene to say a final farewell/Vince Devlin, Missoulian. More here.

    HBO’s Inland Northwest — 5/12/09

    Travel promotion ads created for Montana feature the idea “There’s Nothing Here.” This photo of Glacier National Park is part of that campaign. More here.

    Question: What appeals to you most about Montana?

    High Noon: In Defense Of Bickering

    My son and daughter like to bicker with each other. It’s always been a mild form of pestering, poking and finger pointing. Kind of like how Congress works with each other. So, it hasn’t been the quality of the bickering that was wearing me down, but rather the sheer quantity of it. I was just plain tired of hearing them constantly pick at each other over every little inane thing. And I let it get to me. I turned their bickering into anger and stress, and they couldn’t understand why I was getting so mad for what was really rather innocuous behavior on their part. One day a few weeks ago, I read an article in Newsweek magazine titled “In Defense of Bickering”, and all sorts of lightbulbs went off in my head. Just like that, I was a changed dad/Idaho Dad, A Family Runs Through It. More here.

    Question: Did you bicker with your siblings?

    Ignored Hit-And-Run Victim Dies

    This May 30, 2008, file image taken from a surveillance video and provided by the Hartford Police Department shows a man, lying in the street, center frame, just after a car hit him. The man was tossed like a rag doll by a hit-and-run driver, and car after car zoomed by as he laid motionless on the busy city street. The victim, Angel Arce Torres who was left paralyzed and mute died Monday night after being removed from life support. (AP Photo/Hartford Police Dept.)

    Question: Is this an isolated incident? Or are we Americans becoming this calloused?

    Poll: Worst ‘09 North Idaho Delegation

    At 91, Red Hatter Has Fun @ NIC

    Evelyn Irvin doesn’t seem to mind the mostly vast differences of age groups surrounding her at NIC. “They’re all nice,” she said, laughing softly. “And I like to be around younger people. It makes you kind of younger.” Irvin is 91 years young, yet still the oldest student on campus. “People think it’s so different when they hear someone my age is attending NIC but I go on like I always have,” said Irvin. “It’s no big deal.” Evelyn took a Yoga class at NIC for the fall semester. “I liked it because it’s so relaxing and restful.” She plans on taking another yoga class this summer. “I played basketball in high school, but I’ve never really been into sports,” Irvin said. “I took yoga because you need as much stretching as you can get”/Lana Burnette, NIC Sentinel. More here.

    Question: What do you plan to be doing at 91 years old?

    AM Scanner Traffic — 5/12/09

    • 10:57 a.m. Motorist reports power lines are loose along Highway 53 @ Trails End Road. Update: Investigating officer discovers that the loose line is an old unused cable line that offers no danger.
    • 10:49 a.m. Maintenance worker for apartments in Montrose subdivision/Post Falls reports finding a dead 60ish male in his apartment. He may have died days ago
    • 10:30 a.m. A woman wants to see an officer re: being threatened with a knife on a CityLink bus.
    • 10:13 a.m. Resident @ 9786 Ezy Street/CdA reports she smells electrical burning in the front office of her home.
    • 8:13 p.m. Debris remain in the road from a fallen treen @ Highways 97 & 3.

    New Law Opens Biz Toilets To Public

    Item: Finding a toilet could get easier in Washington/AP

    More Info: The original proposal required retailers without public restrooms to allow people with inflammatory bowel diseases to use employee restrooms, if they had an identification card or a letter from a doctor or nurse. That provision remains in the new law. But it also requires businesses to allow any customer to use an employee restroom if three or more employees are working at the time, and the request doesn’t pose a security risk.

    Question: Do you support this law in which retailers are required to allow any customer to use their private restrooms, if more than 3 employees are working?

    JF: Minnick, Simpson Put Idaho First

    At a time when many Republicans believe their best course is to oppose everything a Democratic president and a Democratic majority choose to do, it is comforting to know that some are still willing to work across the aisle for the good of the country. Freshman Democrat Walt Minnick from Idaho’s 1st District has repeatedly shown he is unafraid to vote with Republicans when he thinks they are right, and Simpson continues to vote with Minnick’s party when he agrees with them. That speaks well of both House members from Idaho, and of the voters who elected them/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

    Question: Would you prefer that Idaho Congressmen Mike Simpson and Walt Minnick were more partisan?

    Tribe Mourns Shooting Victim

    In this Feb. 27, 2002, SR file photo by Torsten Kjellstrand/SR, Lakeside fan Charlotte Nilson of Plummer cheers for her son Tim Wolfe during the 1A boys basketball in Caldwell. With Nilson are her other children Jordan, 4, left, and Christina, 6. Charlotte’s husband Jim cheers behind. Wolfe, who was gunned down in Coeur d’Alene Saturday morning was a star athlete at Lakeside High in Plummer.

    The victim, Wolfe, was a star athlete at Lakeside High School in Plummer and one of a small group of his graduating class to go on to college, said Mike Sifford, a lifelong friend. Wolfe studied and played basketball at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Mont., but he returned to Worley often to visit his girlfriend and 16-month-old daughter, Sifford said. “Everything was always about his little girl,” Sifford said. “The thing about Tim is he always excelled. There was never a peak or plateau for Tim; he just kept getting better at what he did.” The tribal and Plummer-Worley communities are reeling from Wolfe’s death, Sifford said, and no funeral plans have been announced/Meghann Cuniff, SR. More here.

    DFO: I don’t know if there’s anything left to be said re: this senseless killing. But I’m posting this because Meghann wrote a thorough story that humanizes the victim. I found the 2002 photo in the SR archives. Remember to hug your children today.

    AM Huckleberries — 5/12/09

    “It’s just great,” said Judy Cerenzia, left of Hayden Lake as she and Becky Waller, of Coeur d’Alene worked out at the Salvation Army Kroc Center Monday. See story below. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

    Fatso Video Finally Strikes Chord

    The late, great Fatso the Keyboard Cat is now an Internet sensation thanks to the music video Charlie Schmidt recorded back in the early 1980s in Spokane. (Courtesy of Charlie Schmidt)

    History is littered with great artists who were ignored and unappreciated while alive, only to find fame after shedding their mortal coil. And so it is for an orange Spokane cat named Fatso. Fatso, alas, gave up her ninth and final life in 2000. But the cat lives again on the Internet because of the brief, hilarious music video she recorded back in the early 1980s. In it, Fatso tickles the ivories with outstretched paws a la classical musicians like Catzart, say,  or Stravinskitty. She plays a jaunty, simple tune. “Doot-doot, doot-doot …” This is without a doubt one of the silliest things ever. That may partly explain why Keyboard Cat has become a cyberspace sensation. (Mass insanity or the overall decline of civilization has my votes for the rest of the equation.)/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

    Question: What kinds of tricks can your pet do?

    HBO Poll Sez … District 4 Pols Best

    In the HBO Poll Monday, 25 of 61 respondents (41%) said the best North Idaho delegation comes from District 4 (Goedde, Chadderdon & Sayler), closely followed by District 1 (Keough, Anderson & Eskridge), with 20 of 61 votes (33%). In a distant third was District 5 (Hammond, Nonini & Henderson), with 9 of 61 votes (15%). In last place was District 3 (Jorgenson, Clark & Hart) with 2 votes.

    Lynne: USPS Service Now Sucks

    Lynne: I just wish the service would bounce back. I used to be really impressed with the service. Now it sucks! I received my April and May Cosmo subscriptions Friday before last. June’s issue showed up the following Monday. My mom sent DH a birthday card at the end of March. He received it at the end of April. Our mail used to arrive around 10:30 in the morning. Now I’m lucky if it’s here by 2:00 when I leave.

    Question: Are you satisfied with the service provided by the U.S. Postal Service today?

    Bent: I’ll Be Sore In The Morning

    Bent: Yeah, Spokelooneh, I work in downtown spokane. This morning I carpooled into Sullivan with my wife and rode to a meeting at Centerplace in valley. When I got out, it was raining pretty hard, so I rode to the Mirabeau Park n Ride and took the bus to downtown. Then I rode to work from the plaza. Still got five miles or so — despite the weather. Then it cleared up so I rode a six mile loop at lunch and then to meeting on foothills, and then took the bus to liberty lake after work and rode home to Post Falls. Then I had to walk to the dogs…I’m going to be sore tomorrow.

    Question. If the weather clears, are you going to ride your bike to work this week, which is Ride To Work Week?

    NickA: Flush Your Current Blogware

    Nick Adams: I’m loathe to criticize technology since I have first-hand knowledge of how tough it is to make things like HBO work. But, Sweet Jesus! If I had a nickel for every time I get an “Internet Explorer cannot display the web page” since the new site was launched, I’d be able to buy a place next to imhoff on Lake CDA.

    Question: No question the server and blogware now being used by HBO needs an enema. Big time. I can’t scroll from one comments page to the next without this system seizing up. Then, the hope I hang onto is the plans to switch HBO to its own Web site this summer. Help me out here. Did the old blogware operate better than the current one? I can’t remember.

    BrentA: Facebook Is Eating My Time

    Brent Andrews: I got back on Facebook the other day. Everyone around me is on Facebook, plus Idaho friends, high school friends, so many friends some of them are actually not my friends but people I’d rather not see again, so I have to ignore the “suggestion” that I become friends with, for example, this very cute potential girlfriend from middle school who humiliated me in a way I can forgive and forget - but not so much that I want to be friends again, even pretend Facebook friends. Facebook is hogging a lot of my time again. I think about it too much.

    Question: Which sites take up most of your time online?

    Heller: Definitely A Bargain

    Joe Heller/Hellertoons

    Bob Marley Wild Card — 5/11/09

    The KCSD has released the name of the suicide victim who jumped from the Veterans Memorial Bridge Friday. But the SR has decided not to print the name, as is our general policy re: suicides. Now, onward. On this day in history: in 1858, Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd state. In 1927, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded. In 1904 Salvador Dali was born. In 1981, legendary musician Bob Marley died. In the news today, a US soldier goes berserk, killing 5 fellow soldiers in a conseling center in Baghdad here. And the Monday Wild Card is in play.

    Parting Shot — 5/11/09

    At Luby Campground on Priest Lake, Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns caught this superb photo of a girl named Shyla getting an inside look at the handiwork of Mother Nature in North Idaho.

    Standing Room Only @ Kroc Center

    From a Berry Picker: “The Kroc center is packed right now with people signing up. John Chamness told me it’s a better than expected response. Well over 2000 memberships this far. The citizens of CdA are overwhelmingly supporting this place.” (If you see Larry Spencer, can you tell him that Huckleberries Online is looking for a comment from him?  ;-)

    Murder Suspect Claims Self Defense

    Around 2 a.m. Saturday, Wolfe (shooting victim Tim Wolfe, pictured) and three of his friends left the bar and were walking along 3rd Street to their car. Wolfe’s friend said Villaneuva drove past them several times, then stopped, asked ”what’s up?”, and shot Wolfe in the face before driving off. Villaneuva told detectives he was looking to find Wolfe’s group, knowing he had a handgun. Villaneuva claims when he stopped on 3rd Street, either Wolfe or his friend started hitting him in the face.  That’s when he pulled out his gun and fired once.  Later that morning police found Villaneuva hiding in the restroom at the restaurant they say he worked at. They say his upper and lower lips were swollen. A judge decided not to set bond for Villaneuva/KREM2. More here.

    APhoto Of The Day — 5/11/09

    Hungarian bodybuilders have their photo taken backstage during the IFBB International Fitness Cup in Budapest, Hungary, Sunday. At the tournament more than 250 participants contested in several fitness and bodybuilding categories. You write the cutine. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)

    Top Cutlines:

    • 1. Why’s She Leaving?”, asks Max the bodybuilder, “well, I thot all these muscles would take the place of Viagra. Guess not” — Escapee.
    • 2. When Olga said “I vant a Hungary man” Arnold said “Too bad, I have just eaten” — John Austin.
    • 3. President Obama and Martha Stewart in 2117, backstage at the gala to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the amazing scientific discovery of the “Fountain of Youth Gene” that allows those who undergo a certain procedure to maintain a fit, young face and body and live up to 250 years — OrangeTV.
    • HM: Joan Harman

    PM Scanner Traffic — 5/11/09

    • 5:44 p.m. Man reports from KMC emergency room that his neighbor bit him.
    • 5:31 p.m. Daughter reports that she thinks her mother is doing drugs.
    • 4:09 p.m. PFPD Blue is looking for a child who was involved in a bicycle accident w/a Jeep @ Mullan & Spokane/PF. The child rode off afterward.
    • 4:08 p.m. Some kind of animal is laying on the railroad tracks on Chase Road/PF.
    • 4:01 p.m. R/P reports her vehicle in the secured lot of the sheriff’s department was struck by someone. She has a suspect in mind.
    • 3:57 p.m. R/P is following a woman in a green 1994 passenger car with Washington plates who has run several stop signs and almost hit some school children in Seltice/Corbin area.
    • More below, including AM Scanner Traffic link

    Comedian Wishes Limbaugh Ill Health

    The joke in question? “Rush Limbaugh said he hopes this administration fails,” Sykes said. “So you’re saying, ‘I hope America fails.’ You’re like, ‘I don’t care about people losing their homes, their jobs, our soldiers in Iraq.’ He just wants the country to fail. To me, that’s treason. “He’s not saying anything differently than what Osama bin Laden is saying. You know, you might want to look into this, sir, because I think Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker. But he was just so strung out on OxyContin he missed his flight.” Not everyone laughed at that joke. She recognized it and said, “Too much?” If it was, that didn’t stop her. “Rush Limbaugh, I hope the country fails; I hope his kidneys fail, how about that?” she continued. “He needs a good waterboarding, that’s what he needs”/Christian Science Monitor. More here.

    Question: Did comedian Wanda Sykes go too far in saying that she wishes Rush Limbaugh’s kidneys would fail? Or are critics simply being thin-skinned.

    HBO Blogosphere — 5/11/09

    Earlier today, I posted this Sunday comment from Bent: “Hey, I think I just saw “ME” on the freeway going from Cd’A to the HWY 41 exit in Post Falls. She had her top down, and a black visor holding that blonde hair from flapping in the wind… I got a (non-identifying) cell phone pic for DFO if he wants it! My wife just shook her head and said: “what if it’s not her, she’s going to call you in for stalking …” I suppose that’s just risk a blogger has to take sometimes ;-)” Later, ME admitted it was her, with her new wheels.

    Prom Date Costs Student Grad Date

    Tyler Frost, right and his prom date Rebecca Smooty, left are interviewed by several local media outlets prior to attending Findlay High Schools prom Saturday night. Frost says he expects to be suspended from a Christian school for attending a public school prom with his girlfriend. Story here. (AP Photo/KENT TARBOX/The Courier)

    Question: What do you think of this situation?

    No Bail For CdA Murder Suspect

    Update: Meghann Cuniff’s story

    Murder suspect Juan C. Aldana Villanueva, 22, a Honduran living in Post Falls, will continue to be held without bond in the Kootenai County Jail, following his first appearance in court this afternoon. Although Marty Rapp of the prosecutor’s office asked that bail be set at $1 million, Judge Jim Stow refused to set bail for Villanueva, who is considered a flight risk. The prosecutor’s office doesn’t know whether or not Villanueva is a legal immigrant. It couldn’t find a Social Security number for him. Villanueva, whose car is registered in Washington, was described as a “hard worker” who sends money home by a woman who considered himself to be his “American mother.” Villanueva is accused of gunning down Coeur d’Alene Tribe member Timothy I. Wolfe, 21, of Worley, after 2 a.m. Saturday at 3rd and Indiana after a confrontation at a Coeur d’Alene bar.

    Switched @ Birth

    Kay Rene Qualls, left, of Heppner, Ore., and DeeAnn Shafer, of Richland, Wash., pose for a photo in front of the Pioneer Memorial Hospital in Heppner, Ore. They found out recently that they were switched shortly after being born 56 years ago. (AP Photo/E.J. Harris, East Oregonian)

    Question: Have you ever felt that you were switched at birth, considering the family that raised you — and your extended family?

    Harassed Woman Shot By Pellet

    A Coeur d’Alene woman who reports she is constantly harassed by neighbors on the third floor of her apartment building on Spurwing, off East Hanley Avenue, was shot in the chest by a pellet Sunday afternoon. She believes one of her harassers shot her after she put sugar in her bird feeder in the back yard. According to CPD Blue reports, the woman told police that the males have spit through the cracks in the wood of the patio above and dropped cigarette butts trying to hit her. She said the males regularly have taunted her and often shoot their pellet guns from the balcony. Following one incident, she called the police only to be told by one of the males afterward: “This ain’t over (expletive deleted).” She reported she heard laughing from the males apartment after she was shot. But all the males claimed innocence when they were confronted by police. The pellet left a black bruise about the size of a quarter on her left breast. Police confiscated the males’ pellet gun, pellets on the ground below the apartment, and one pellet in the area the woman was shot.

    Question: What can/should be done about this situation?


    4YO Doing Well After Rototiller Mishap

    Steve Barnhart says it’s a miracle his young son survived a gruesome farm accident last week in North Idaho. “We expect a full recovery,” the father said today, adding that the family wants to thank the public for an outpouring of support and prayers. The 4-year-old boy, Tytus, was sitting on a tractor pulling a 7-foot-wide rototiller when he fell off Thursday evening. The tiller rolled over the child, fracturing his skull and causing several large cuts/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

    Speedway Accident Victim ID’d

    A Post Falls contractor killed last Friday in an accident at Spokane County Raceway was identified this morning at Bob L. Arndt, of Post Falls. Arndt was the owner of Quality Maintenance, a company that specializes in parking lot work, according to a Web site listing. The Spokane County medical examiner performed an autopsy this morning on Arndt and ruled that he died accidentally from multiple fractures and trauma/Mike Prager, SR. More here.

    HBO’s Inland Northwest — 5/11/09

    In this Friday photo, Filly, a 2 1/2-year-old border collie, gets attention from her master, Bob Hood, maintenance supervisor at the airport after scaring birds from the runway in North Bend, Ore. Filly works at the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport in North Bend, clearing birds from the runway. A job made for her. On the ride to the runway in the truck she ran back and forth and made sounds as if to say, lets get to work. (AP Photo/The World, Madeline Steege) 

    High Noon: Mag Sales Raise Red Flags

    Maybe now would be a good time to hold off on new magazine subscriptions. At least those sold door to door. The Better Business Bureau sent out regional and national warnings last week about a rite of summer – shady businesses that use young people to sell magazines door to door under faulty premises or without delivering on the subscriptions/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

    Question: Do you ever buy from door-to-door solicitors?

    Tennessee Targets Baggy Pants

    In this Friday photo, a man holds up pants that are worn well below the waist, as he walks on a street in Nashville, Tenn. Tennessee is trying to become the first state to prod teenagers to pull up their pants by fining them up to $250 and 160 hours of community service for wearing the saggy pants style. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

    Question: Would you like to see Idaho or Washington pass such a law?

    AM Scanner Traffic — 5/11/09

    • 11:59 p.m. ISP is looking for yellow-and-brown p/u in Cougar Gulch area of Highway 95. R/Ps report the pickup is changing speeds from 25 to 60 mph, swerving over center line, and a passenger appears to be passed out.
    • 11:51 p.m. R/P has suspect info re: someone digging in her garden.
    • 11:21 p.m. A woman is in the middle of a local street ranting about illegal immigration.
    • 11:10 p.m. A rider has suffered a head injury in a fall from a horse. Location not provided.
    • ISP Report: Jason R. Guffey, 21, of Coeur d’Alene was seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash in Bonners Ferry area Sunday night. ISP Report here.
    • 9:17 a.m. Passing motorist reports there’s a man laying motionless @ Main & McCartney/Rathdrum. Update: The motorist made another pass by the location, discovering the man standing and figured he might have been cleaning his gutter.
    • 8:57 a.m. Deputy is trying to get a cow back into her pasture, along Beck Road/PF area.

    HBO Poll: Top North Idaho Delegation

    Can Citizen Trespass In Public Place?

    Item: Banning a citizen from a public building is cause for concern/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation

    More Info: Christopher Pentico’s visit to Gov. Butch Otter’s office on April 2, 2008, netted him a trespass conviction and the possibility of six months in jail with a $1,000 fine. The 42-year-old from Mountain Home will be sentenced on Monday. Pentico is not dangerous, but his tenacity got under the skin of state officials, making them appear arrogant and tyrannical as they sought to prevent his re-entry into public office buildings. “It was so unbelievable. I couldn’t believe this could happen,” Pentico, who tutors veterans for a living, said recently. “It seemed like a fundamental breach of trust between a person and his representation.”

    Question: Was Pentico trespassing in a public place?

    USPO Kicks Stamp Price Up 2 Cents

    This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Postal Service shows the five 44-cent postage stamps featuring The Simpsons portraying from left, Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. The price of a first-class stamp will climb to 44-cents, though folks who planned ahead and stocked up on Forever stamps will still be paying the lower rate. (AP Photo/USPS, File)

    Question: Does the USPO use of the lovable Simpson characters to introduce its lates rate hike make the increase more pallatable for you?

    JF: Butch Was Roadkill In ‘09 Session

    Butch Otter emerges from the worst session of the Idaho Legislature in decades still governor, but not leader of his party. Most of his fellow Republicans brushed him off like so much dandruff on their lapels, and it’s hard to see him exercising much power again in the near future. Otter’s failure to wring even a face-saving pittance of the gas tax increase he made his first legislative priority stems partly from his own clumsiness. He staked his status on an initiative he should have known he was destined to lose in a House driven by right-wing, anti-tax ideologues. And by the time he resorted to the one big stick any chief executive has, the veto stamp, he was losing people who had stood by him earlier/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

    Question: Will Butch Otter be a one-term governor?

    Friends Remember Murder Victim

    Update: Murder suspect Juan C. Aldana Villanueva, 22, Post Falls, will make a first appearance in court today @ 1 p.m. Meghann Cuniff/SR will cover the appearance.

    Friends and members of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe are remembering the 21-year-old victim of Saturday’s fatal shooting fondly, describing him as a caring young man who was devoted to his family and love his infant daughter.  Tim Wolfe was fatally shot in the head as he left a Coeur d’Alene bar early Saturday morning. Childhood friend Robert Gum had this to say about Wolfe.  “All I can say about Tim is I grew up with the guy since we was children we were inseparable up until high school. Tim was full of life always tried making a room full of people smile, he wouldn’t hurt anybody ever, and he was a joker a great friend a true friend. We used to play basketball tourneys together, and he was just way to talented to go so soon”/KHQ. More here.

    Murder Comments Fluster Moderator

    Update: Coeur d’Alene Press is now blocking access to the thread in question from the link below. (H/T: Dennis)

    The Press moderator for the murder articles that ocurred over the weekend seems to have lost his patience.  After making little effort to reign things in by 1) deleting all posts in the morning (not just the offending ones but the others as well because he didn’t have the time to “nitpick”); 2) he then ignored a racial slur at 7:41 am with his 8:29 am post and the slur still appears this morning; and 3) the  Moderator left the following post last night: Moderator wrote on May 10, 2009 7:52 PM: ” Screw all of you .” You can follow the rest of the Moderator’s attempt to rein in the hate mongers re: the weekend murder story here.

    Question: Did the Coeur d’Alene Press moderator do the right thing by killing the entire thread under the story re: the downtown Coeur d’Alene murder early Saturday morning?

    OTV Review: Gateway Cafe

    To the owner of Gateway Café: Christina really deserves a raise, or at least a big hug and some dark chocolate. The poor girl found herself in the undesirable position of running the entire front of the house solo on a busy Sunday, but she held it together with a stoic smile superglued to her face. She had us a little worried at first, as we hovered in the entry way for a few long minutes waiting in vain for guidance. A customer finally said we could just sit wherever and the waitress would eventually find us. We shimmied into the only booth left open, located directly next to the restrooms/Patrick Jacobs, SR Handle Extra. More here.

    Question: Who’s the best waiter/waitress in the region?

    AM Huckleberries — 5/11/09

    Terri Porcarelli, a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, works with a patient on Wednesday. She has started a new business, Inside View Health Screening. Story here. (Kathy Plonka/Spokesman-Review)

    HBO Poll Sez … Legislature Flunked

    In the weekend poll, 86% (63 of 73) of the respondents to the weekend poll awarded the 2009 Idaho Legislature D’s (26%) and F’s (48%) for its performance (or lack thereof). Which parallels the Idaho Statesman poll in which 74% of the respondents gave the Legislature D’s and F’s. Only 4 of 73 voters (5%) on Huckleberries Online gave the Legislature A’s or B’s (which goes to show that North Idaho legislators vote in Huckleberries Online polls).

    CindyH: Son Sam Nails Mother’s Day

    CindyH: Sam came home from school yesterday and presented me with a card. In addition to the gorgeous artwork, he wrote in painstaking nine-year-old penmanship: “Dear Mother, You are kind and loving. The unique thing about you is you’re more beautiful than any mom in the world. Your spaghetti is better than any other pasta. You have been there for me always. You led me through these good years, and the times when I was scared, and you held me close and calmed me. Thanks for being my mom. So here’s to you Mom— a woman of many talents, a pretty, loving, honest, awesome, happy, caring, cool, super and radical mom. Happy Mother’s Day, Sam.” My heart is full.

    Question: Any of you other moms have an especially nice Mother’s Day Sunday? Please describe it.

    OTV: HBOers Are The Cool Kids

    OrangeTV: Before HBO we sort of went around in an uninformed haze and I can’t imagine what we did without it. Us HBO’ers get to feel like the cool kids, the know-it-alls, like we have an edge over everyone else when there’s breaking news and I’ve come to really love that. Even my mom, who is totally not internet savvy, asks me all the time what the latest news is on HBO and I fill her in with all the goss because you can’t get most of it anywhere else. Cheers to HBO!

    DFO: I’m not printing this to blow my own horn (although I appreciate OTV’s comments). His comment re: his mother is the part that especially caught my eye. Do me a favor. If you like the Scanner Traffic and breaking news you get here, please tell your friends, family, and co-workers about this site. Huckleberries is clicking on all cylinders again. But there’s always room for another  Merry Huckster or two at this Web site.

    MikeK: Cops, Media Worked Story Well

    Councilman MikeK: I had the opportunity to see the detectives in the CdA Police Department last night at around 8:00 pm. They had been there since 2 am working at breakneck pace on this capital murder case. They were amazingly composed despite the fact that you could tell they were exhausted. Sgt. Christie Wood was there and shared with me that she had awakened television reporters in the early morning hours to get their assistance in letting the public know when the alleged perp was still at large. Print reporters were on the job and updating website information as events broke, and definitely HBO had all the details and updates and was truly helping break the story. The mistake on Rancho Viejo vs. Toro Viejo was just that, an honest mistake, and it was corrected fast.

    DFO: Don’t you wished every police agency was as quick and responsive as CPD Blue when news is breaking. We’re pretty fortunate to have a sheriff and police chiefs in this county who know the importance of getting the news to the public. May their kind increase.

    Bent: Was That ME?

    Bent: Hey, I think I just saw “ME” on the freeway going from Cd’A to the HWY 41 exit in Post Falls. She had her top down, and a black visor holding that blonde hair from flapping in the wind… I got a (non-identifying) cell phone pic for DFO if he wants it! My wife just shook her head and said: “what if it’s not her, she’s going to call you in for stalking …” I suppose that’s just risk a blogger has to take sometimes ;-)

    ME: I actually tried to find Stickman’s house today - but I guess I don’t know where it is. I wanted to get a stick for walking this summer … Stickman - I guess I need more instructions on how to find you. Bent you saw me coming back to Post Falls after trying to find Stickman.

    DFO: “I got a (non-identifying) cell phone pic for DFO if he wants it! — Bent.” Of course.

    Question: Have you ever owned a convertible?

    Heller: I Don’t Want To Go

    Joe Heller/Hellertoons

    Wild Card/Sunday — 5/10/09

    Huckleberries gives a big Hat Tip to Police Chief Wayne Longo and police spokeswoman Christie Wood for their superb work in providing ongoing information about the tragic murder of a college student in downtown Coeur d’Alene Saturday morning. At a time when many law agencies withhold information, CPD Blue provided news re: important breaks in the case, including an account of the murder and a good description of the murder suspect and the car he was in. Then, there was an update that the suspect had been captured, followed by the release of his name and photo (which I’ve posted below), and finally the name of the victim. This, while CPD Blue performed swiftly and well in capturing the suspect. Yeah, there was one glitch — misidentification of the suspect’s place of work. But it was quickly corrected. As I write this at 12:20 a.m., the daily papers are about to reach your door steps with a report of the story you’ve known for 12 to 16 hours. Welcome to the brave new cyber world of journalism. Now, for your Sunday Wild Card …

    CdA Tribe Mourns Murder Victim

    An apparent barroom altercation turned deadly early Saturday morning in Coeur d’Alene. Timothy I. Williams, who went by the name Timothy Wolfe, of Worley, Idaho, was shot in the head about 2:15 a.m. Saturday as he and a group friends were walking near Third Street and Indiana in downtown Coeur d’Alene. Wolfe, 21, a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, was taken to Kootenai Medical Center, where he later was declared clinically dead. Juan C. Aldana Villanueva, 22, of Post Falls, was arrested later Saturday on charges of first-degree murder. “The whole Coeur d’Alene Tribe is mourning (Wolfe’s) loss,” said Chairman Chief Allan. “He was a great young man. He had a lot of potential. A great smile, a great personality. He was loved by everybody”/SR. More here.

    CPD Blue IDs 21YO Murder Victim

    Update No. 2: Timothy I. Wolfe, 21, of Worley, has been identified as the murder victim in this morning’s downtown Coeur d’Alene shooting. Wolfe (whose legal surname is Williams) had been attending college at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Mont.

    Update: Police arrest murder suspect at Post Falls work place

    The Coeur d’Alene Police Department is investigating a homicide that occurred at 2:17 a.m. today in the vicinity of 3rd and Indiana. The victim is a 21 year old male from the Coeur d’Alene area. He attends college out of the area and had returned home on Friday.  Witnesses stated the victim and his friends were at a local bar, Mik n Maks, and the victim had a verbal altercation with the male suspect. The suspect was asked to leave the bar by the management.  A few hours later at closing time the victim and his friends were walking in the area of 3rd and Indiana. The suspect pulled up to them in his vehicle and fired one shot from a handgun striking the victim in the head. The suspect immediately fled the area. The victim was transported to KMC and was later pronounced clinically dead. His name will not be released due to pending notification of his family. Complete Coeur d’Alene police news release and description of suspect below.


    Update: PF Man Arrested In CdA Murder

    Detectives were able to learn the name of the registered owner of the vehicle, and through further investigation learned where the suspect worked. The Post Falls Police Swat team assisted Coeur d’Alene Police with the apprehension of Juan C. Aldana Villanueva, 22, Post Falls. Villanueva (pictured) was arrested at his place of employment Rancho Viejo at 2526 E. Seltice Way in Post Falls. The Swat team assisted due to the suspect possibly being armed and dangerous. There were no patrons in the business. There were approximately 4 employees inside the restaurant at the time. They claimed to not know where Villanueva was in the building. Swat members cleared every room and found Villanueva locked inside of a restroom. Officers ordered him to come out and he complied. Villanueva was arrested for 1st degree murder and taken into custody/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d’Alene Police Department. Full news release below. And: Original release on murder story here.

    Wild Card/Saturday — 5/9/09

    We’re facing a busy weekend today and tomorrow. John Chamness & Co. have a bunch of activities planned to show of the Kroc Center this weekend. You can find a link to the list at JimmyMAC’s post below. Also, Mother’s Day occurs Sunday. My 3 siblings and I plan to take our 83-year-old mother out to a Mexican food eatery in Spirit Lake to celebrate her special day.  Other than that, I have no plans except to garden and enjoy the sunshine. I spend so much time inside feeding this blog beast that I relish time outdoors. Behave yourselves. Mebbe I’ll see you at the Kroc Center. Now, for your Wild Card …

    WSU Graduate Gets Diploma, Proposal

    More than 2,400 students received a diploma case and a handshake from President Elson S. Floyd in graduation ceremonies at Washington State University Pullman on Saturday, but graduate Erica Mettler received one thing more—a marriage proposal. The proposal came on the floor of Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum during the first of three graduation ceremonies on the Pullman campus. Just after Mettler walked across the graduation stage and was returning to her seat, Devon Schefano, dressed in his U.S. Marine uniform, met her in the center aisle, knelt on one knee, took her hand in his, and asked the eternal question: Will you marry me?Even as the graduation ceremony continued, with more students crossing the stage to the cheers of family and friends, many in the audience took note of the unfolding drama. “Look! He’s proposing!” someone yelled. A moment later a speechless Mettler nodded her assent and Schefano slipped the ring on her finger. As the two embraced, more cheers erupted across the coliseum/WSU News Release. More here.

    Question: Did you/he get down on a knee to propose?

    Voters, Wife Tell Utah Mayor To Shave

    On Friday, Mayor Dan Snarr declares American Idol “David Archuleta Day” at David’s high school, in Murray, Utah. His wife hates his 12-inch handlebar mustache, and Mayor Snarr says he has little choice but to it: He’s putting the decision to voters and “getting creamed.”(AP Photo/Kenny Crookston, File)

    Question: Are you a mustache fan?

    IHO: New Tolerance Definition Lacking

    It seems more and more, we are using a new definition of tolerance. Whereas the old statement of tolerance was, “I disagree with you, but I respect your right to voice your opinion,” the new statement of tolerance is, “All viewpoints are equally valid, and all beliefs are equally true.” There are at least two problems with this new definition. One is that it is much less noble. If everybody is right, and you agree with them all, then what is admirable about accepting their views? There is nothing special about tolerating opinions with which you agree — who wouldn’t? More than that, it allows real intolerance to arise, because anybody who doesn’t agree with the new definition of tolerance can be silenced on the charge of intolerance/Benjamin Ledford, UI Argonaut. More here.

    Question: What is your definition of tolerance?

    HBO Poll: Grade 2009 Legislature

    Eagle Keeper: Beware Of Identity Theft

    Eagle Keeper: I’ll use this wild card to throw out a warning to all you Hucksters. Identity theft is a very fast growing threat to all of us. When you use your debit/credit cards to pay for services/items, check the card number listed on the receipt. The receipt should NOT have the complete card number but only the last four digits. Some small business have not upgrade their software to show the last four digits only. This situation is a thief’s delight…. :( I had this happen this morning at Down-the-Street Restaurant in Post Falls. Be warned.

    Question: How concerned are you about identity theft?

    Deaths Spotlight UI, WSU Drinking

    Local law enforcement and medical officials say the number of drinking-related injuries and offenses have held steady over the years, but the two unexpected deaths over the past few weeks have thrown student drinking into the spotlight. UI student Daniel Miller, 23, was found unconscious by his roommates early in the morning of April 25, and authorities said his death resulted from apparent alcohol poisoning. Just one week later, WSU student Stuart John Robertson, 21, apparently fell to his death off a 40-foot cliff about one-quarter mile east of Bishop Boulevard in Pullman. Pullman police believe alcohol may have been a factor in Roberston’s death as well, but won’t know until they receive a toxicology report/Halley Griffin, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

    Question: When did you give up partying and settle down?

    KevinR Gives Legislators D-Plus

    This year, lawmakers met their constitutional requirement to balance the books, but utterly failed to show leadership on the state’s transportation problems. They have ducked all the tough decisions on road repairs and how to pay for them — leaving them to task forces, and perhaps to some future session. (Click here for today’s editorial.) Which, of course, they could. Lawmakers weren’t obligated to do anything on the road-repair issue — and for some, leaving town without a gas tax increase represents a victory. But it also represents ongoing delay, pushing back road repairs and driving up the cost to all taxpayers. This issue didn’t sneak up on anyone. It has topped Gov. Butch Otter’s agenda for two years. To talk around the fringes of the issue for 17 weeks, and leave town no closer to consensus or a long-term plan, isn’t acceptable/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

    Question: What grade would you give the 2009 Legislature?

    J-MAC: Critics Should Visit Kroc Center

    JimmyMAC: Just got back from the opening of the Kroc Center. Tonight’s opening was for donors. The Coeur Group, of which I am a member, served as tour guides and ushers for tonight’s festivities. All I have to say is that we are blessed beyond belief with this community center. It will serve such a wonderful purpose for everyone. I sincerely and wholeheartedly urge any of the critics to go visit it with an open mind and heart because the energy and feeling you get that lives will be touched is overwhelming.

    • Weekend Kroc Center activities listed here.

    Question: When did you last hear someone criticize the Kroc Center?

    FHB: Fuzz, Meet Electric Razor

    Frum Helen Back: Grandson Drew, now 11, sat down next to me and told me that he is sure he needs to start shaving. By George, I could see a bit of fuzz above his upper lip. “You’re becoming a man!” I told him. Then he asked me if I would take him shopping for some men’s deodorant and men’s shampoo. “Of course I will!” I said. He then told me that he got a small container of Old Spice deodorant at school but he knows he’ll go through it really fast. Then it dawned on me what this was all about. “You watched your sex movie at school today, didn’t you?” I asked. He reminded me that he saw the movie about boys and puberty this year. Next years he sees the movie about g