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Archive for November 2009

Update: Brannon Challenges Election

Update: You can read a copy of Brannon’s lawsuit here (sorry it’s upside-down)

The losing candidate in a Coeur d’Alene City Council race on Monday filed a lawsuit challenging the race, naming all council members as defendants, along with the mayor, the city clerk, and Kootenai County’s clerk and elections manager. In the November general election, Jim Brannon lost to incumbent City Councilman Mike Kennedy by five votes, according to results tallied and published by the Kootenai County elections office. Brannon said in a news release that he didn’t intend the lawsuit as an indictment, but said with a race that close, he owed it to the voters to ensure the race was conducted correctly/Alison Boggs, SR. Complete story below.

Parting Shot — 11.20.09

At As The Lake Churns, Pecky Cox writes: “I can’t wait for more snow! In the meantime here is this (photo) taken at Hill’s Resort — Hills’ afternoon delight and Martini break”

Wild Card/Monday — 11.30.09

Today’s the day that local political buffs have anticipated since it became apparent that challenger Jim Brannon wasn’t in a hurry to ask for a recount in his 5-vote loss to incumbent Mike Kennedy. Brannon has until closing time this afternoon to make a formal request for the recount. Then, there’s some thought that Brannon’s allies might begin action in a long-shot attempt to overturn the entire election, including the tight race won by 29 votes by incumbent Deanna Goodlander over challenger Dan Gookin. ‘Twill be an interesting day. So I’ll play the Wild Card now and watch for fireworks …

911: Sometimes You Shouldn’t Call

I have a police scanner on in the background when I’m working on the computer and around noon on Sunday heard a call that had me shaking my head. A woman calls 911 and tells them that she wants her mother-in-law removed from her home. The mother-in-law’s “crime” you ask? Well, according to her son, who was on a seperate call to 911 from a back bedroom where he was hiding, his wife had been out of town and he didn’t know she was returning today when he asked his mom to come over and cut his hair/KerriT, More Main Street. More here.

Question: Are you surprised by some of the calls made to the 911 dispatch center (that you read on Scanner Traffic)?

PM Headlines — 11.30.09

Posts KerriT/OnLocation North Idaho: “The 24-foot-wide pine wreath on the parking garage of the Coeur d’Alene Resort reminds us of the year about to come to an end. Weighing nearly 3 tons, the wreath is handcrafted each year by Post Falls florist, Connie O’Neil.”

APhoto Of The Day — 11.30.09

A dog rests with his owner at the third annual “Dogathon,” in Mexico City Sunday. Thousands of dogs took part in the races, running either 1500 meters or 3000 meters with their owners in tow along a horsetrack in the city. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Expected to do well, Rover finds himself a little behind in the race — JohnA.
  • 2. Adding a third option to the age old question. Boxers, briefs or spandex? — Cabbage Boy.
  • 3. ayyy jefa!!! no mas frijoles por favor!!! — Pecky Cox.

PM Scanner Traffic — 11.30.09

  • 4:14 p.m. Turran Court/Post Falls resident reports that an individual in a red Isuzu tossed a bag of McDonalds garbage out of his red Isuzu pickup in front of his place.
  • 2:48 p.m. Sgt. Christie Wood tells Huckleberries that the fugitive in 12:33 p.m. post saw officers and ran to the 2600 blk of 11th St, where he approached a guy that had his car running and was sitting in it in his driveway. The fugitive jumped in the back seat and asked to be taken to a house on Syringa. The citizen complied then drove from there to the area of Sunset Park, where he saw the officers. He told them he thought he knew who they were looking for and told them about the house on Syringa where he dropped the guy off. When the officers got to the house on Syringa, the fugitive was gone.
  • 2:31 p.m. Daughter asks CPD Blue to check on her mother whom she hasn’t heard from in quite some time. Mom sez she’s OK and doesn’t want to hear from her daughter.

HBO Blogosphere — 11.30.09

At his perch high above the downtown, Don Sausser offers this view of the Coeur d’Alene Resort lights.

Brainiac Jobless In Missoula

Melissa had always been too big for this town, her father liked to say. She was editor of the school newspaper, intern in the United States Senate and the only student from Sentinel High School’s class of 2005 to attend college on the East Coast. On her rare visits home from George Washington University, old friends liked to tease her: “Hey Melissa, are you president yet?” So, how to explain this? Each morning, Melissa wakes up in her old bedroom, scans the foreign decor and thinks: This is the guest room now. I am the guest. I am not supposed to be here. She graduated magna cum laude from the GW business school in May, applied for 30 jobs at some of America’s best-known companies, and heard nothing/Eli Saslow, Washington Post. More here.

Question: Do you know of any bright college grads who are having a rough time getting a job?

Sister: ‘Worst Nightmare Come True’

Tiffiny Ryan, left, sister of slain Lakewood police officer Tina Griswold, speaks to the media in Spokane alongside Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick during a press conference this afternoon. (Jesse Tinsley/SR) 

The sister of a police officer shot to death in a Lakewood coffee shop made a tearful plea today for the arrest of the suspect. “My worst nightmare has come true,” said Tiffiny Ryan, who works in the records department at the Spokane Police Department. Standing with her husband, Spokane County sheriff’s deputy Beau Vucinich, Ryan described her sister, Tina Griswold, as “the world to me” and said she wants the killer “to know what he took from us.” Griswold and three colleagues were gunned down Sunday morning as they sat with their computers preparing for the day. Since the shooting, Spokane police have been told not to do reports or other computer work in public places/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here

Dennis: Loving To Hate Coffee

I have a love-hate relationship with coffee. I married a beautiful, wonderful woman who LOVES coffee. My son and my daughter LOVE coffee. I LOVE  reading my son’s Coffee Blog. And I hate the taste of coffee. … 4 sips in my soon-to-be-54-years…aghh…yuck. And yet I LOVE the social aspects of coffee shops (other than those in Amsterdam…hmmm). I LOVE the smell of coffee; the scents of so many different roasts that so my family and friends seem to love/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you enjoy coffee?

Applebee’s Kralicek Fund-Raiser Set

Applebee’s will be donating 10% of its proceeds to buy a specially built tricycle for former Coeur d’Alene police officer Mike Kralicek from individuals who present the above coupon while buying a meal at the restaurant Tuesday.  Officer Kralicek was wounded in the line of duty several years ago.

Slain Female Cop Stickler For Safety

Before joining the Lakewood Police Department, Tina Griswold earned a reputation as a hard-charging, well-liked officer in Lacey who never let things slide when it came to officer safety. When she would make stops, she would use her flashlight the right way and approach cars correctly. When she would go to a disturbance call, she would go by all the appropriate tactics taught at the academy,” said Lacey police Cmdr. John Suessman, who knew Griswold during her days on patrol in the city of 39,000 outside Olympia. “She was one of those officers you never had to remind. She had excellent survival skills and that’s why it is so hard for me to believe that someone could ambush her,” he said/Scott Gutierrez, Seattle P-I. More here.

Crump: Say No To T-Day Leftovers

It’s likely to the point of moral certainty that someone you know will try in the next few days to foist turkey tetrazzini upon your good self — made, of course, with the remnants of last week’s main course. Resist. Tetrazzini, you see, is American — not Italian — fare containing fowl or seafood in a white sauce served over spaghetti. Invented by Ernest Arbogast, chef at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, the dish is named after Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini. La Tetrazzini, a soprano who was as wide as she was tall, wouldn’t touch the stuff. She had, you see, standards. “I’m old, I’m fat, but I’m still Tetrazzini,” she would say. So this week, have a hot dog for lunch instead. And mind that it’s not a turkey frank/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: What is the most creative use of Thanksgiving leftovers that you’ve eaten?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 11.30.09

Sarah Palin greets a crowd with her son Trig as she makes an appearance to sign copies of her book “Going Rogue” at Hasting book store in Richland, Wash. on Sunday. Thousands showed up for Palin’s book signing in the Tri-Cities. (AP Photo/Tri-City Herald, Paul T. Erickson)

High Noon: All In The Family

CoeurGenX: This is the reason the jail expansion needed to be done.. There are many people right now running around our town who should be incarcerated, but we don’t have the room for them.. Gosh I hate to say this, but I wish the vote was tomorrow after this happening.. My dad was a cop, and my brother is now. I cannot imagine what those families are going through.. Its aweful to comprehend!

Question: Are you related to a police officer?

Christmas Poinsettias On The Way

Ramon Villalobos and his wife Raquel prepare poinsettias for shipment last week at SunWest Growers in Sunnyside, Wash. About 30,000 of the Christmas flowers are shipped not only to Tri-City nurseries and florist shops but from Ellensburg to Baker City, Ore., as well. (AP Photo/Richard Dickin, Tri-City Herald)

Question: Do you usually buy poinsettias to brighten up your holidays?

AM Scanner Traffic — 11.30.09

  • 11:27 a.m. Post Falls EMTs have been asked to evaluate a motorist in a two-vehicle accident @ Idaline & 5th.
  • 11:19 a.m. Firefighters have reset a faulty alarm after responding to a possible fire in a multi-story, hotel-type building on 5th Street.
  • 10:16 a.m. A black Lab with a collar has been running loose on Woodlake Drive/Hauser for the past two weeks.
  • 9:37 a.m. Ambulance is transporting a thirtysomething female from the scene of th 8:53 a.m. accident on H95 & M/P 425. She is in satisfactory condition.
  • 9:07 a.m. R/P reports that a man living along Government Way shoots cats on his property and laughs while he’s doing it.
  • 9:09 a.m. An unattended death is reported in the Upper Twin Lakes area.
  • 9:13 a.m. A Saint Bernard appears trapped on the Memorial Bridge, east of CdA.
  • 8:53 a.m. An accident between a semi and a Jeep is blocking s/b H95 @ M/P 425 (near Kidd Island Bay Road. At least one vehicle may be on its top.

CdA Police To Send Honor Guard

Chief Wayne Longo informs Huckleberries Online that he will be sending an honor guard to participate in the funerals of the four Lakewood Police Department officers murdered Sunday morning. Noting that the parents of slain officer Tina Griswold (pictured) lives in Coeur d’Alene, Longo said the Coeur d’Alene Police Department will be accepting donations and/or cards of condolences for the Lakewood Police Department. Cards or donations dropped off at the Coeur d’Alene Police Department will be taken by the honor guard to Lakewood. Checks should be made to Lakewood Police Independent Guild or LPIG. (Or contributions can be sent to the Lakewood Police Independent Guild, Benevolence Fund, P.O. Box 99579, Lakewood, WA 98499)  You can read the Lakewood Department’s response to Sunday’s senseless tragedy here.

Teabag: Acceptable Term Or Not?

On the Sunday thread, Lizard People took great exception to the use of the term “teabag” or “teabaggers” to refer to individuals that take part in the Tea Party movement. Unquestionably, the original intent of liberals and some media people in using the term was derogatory. The term refers to a sado-masochistic practice involving submission. However, some original Tea Party members referred to themselves as Tea Baggers and the term has become so widespread that it has taken on a new meaning, as a term that refers to the Tea Party movement. According to Wikipedia (link here, caution: slang use vulgar), “The term’s growth in the political arena earned attention by the Oxford American Dictionary, and it achieved finalist status for the OAD Word of the Year.” Gary Crooks, of the SR’s editorial page, tells Huckleberries that he originally killed posts to the blog, A Matter of Opinion, that originally used the term. But now he’s reconsidering because it usage has become widespread as a political designation. Larry Spencer called this morning to say that he rarely is offended by language. But he finds the term offensive. What do you think?

Question: Should posts that use the term “tea bag” or “tea baggers” to refer to the Tea Party movement or individuals within the movement be allowed at Huckleberries Online?

HBO Poll: WWJD (What Will Jim Do?)

As you know, Jim Brannon has until 5 p.m. today to ask the state for an official recount of his 5-vote loss to incumbent Mike Kennedy in the Nov. 3 Coeur d’Alene municipal election. Also, those who may seek to challenge the election entirely have the same deadline for filing an action with the 1st District Court. It’s anyone’s guess what will happen — except those who have been dragging their heels and extending this matter out as long as possible.

  • Wednesday Poll: Only 16 of 51 respondents (31 percent) said they planned to watch the Apple Cup. As it turned out, those who did wasted a Saturday afternoon (unless they were Dawg fans)

Tiger Woods Refuses To Answer Q’s

This photo taken Friday and provided by the celebrity Web site shows a Cadillac Escalade that Tiger Woods crashed into a tree outside his home in Windermere, Fla. Woods has refused to grant an interview re: the crash to the Florida Highway Patrol, issuing a statement instead that the matter is private. More here. (AP Photo/TMZ)

Question: What should Tiger do?

Hall: Hard Days Easy For Clerks

I watch store clerks working themselves to a frazzle during the Christmas season and I realize how easy their job is this time of year. I have worked in such jobs and I tell you the easiest work is the hardest work because it makes the day move so rapidly. If you want to see a hard job, go watch the store clerks on a weekday in July. There you will see them standing around, waiting for customers, folding and refolding the merchandise, repeatedly glancing at their watches and sighing a lot. Einstein understood store clerks during the dead days of summer because Einstein understood relativity. He knew that a busy day races by whereas a day without anything to do lasts almost forever. Everything is relative/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Would you rather be slammed with work on the job — or be forced to look for things to do on a slow day?

Should Sandpoint Depot Be Saved?

The mayor listed a half page full in last week’s edition of the Sandpoint Reader, Sandpoint’s alternative newsweekly. They had to do with who would own and maintain the depot in the future and whether and how to keep it even if the city loses its Amtrak stop. Money figured significantly as well—who would provide it, how much was needed, and whether any would be generated. Councilman John Reuter provided a definitive answer to many of them on the same page: “Instead of asking: ‘Should we save the Depot?’ We must ask: What will it take and what can we do to save the Depot?’”/Cate Huisman, New West. More here.

Question: Do you think the old depot in Sandpoint is worth saving?

AM: Slain Cop’s Parents Live In CdA

This combination of photos provided by the City of Lakewood, Wash., shows, from left to right, Lakewood police officers Greg Richards, 42, Tina Griswold, 40, Ronald Owens, 37, and Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39. The four were killed when a gunman opened fire on them at a Parkland, Wash. coffee store on Sunday. Griwold’s parents live in Coeur d’Alene. KXLY story here. (AP Photos/City of Lakewood)

Question: Any thoughts re: the horrific murders of the four Lakewood officers Sunday?

OTV: I Love Commercial Christmas

OrangeTV: As a non-religious person who doesn’t give much though to Jesus’ various bodily fluids, I actually enjoy the shallow commercialization of the holidays and find it slightly un-American when people complain about it. I like mindless consumption. I like plastic crap. If the season were more religious, I wouldn’t feel compelled to celebrate it at all. As it is, the holidays have completely lost their meaning, and that suits me just fine. To me, it’s become just more of a time to make your house look festive and pretty, spend lots of time with friends and family, have fun shopping for interesting gifts, and making really good food one mostly only sees around this time of year.

Question: What’s the reason for season for you?

Nils: Texas Roadhouse To Open

Coeur d’Alene will become the farthest Northwest home of the Texas Roadhouse restaurant chain when it occupies an existing building at 402 W. Neider Ave. in late March. The building originally was an auto parts store and most recently housed a log furniture business. Now with about 310 restaurants in 44 states, Texas Roadhouse specializes in barbecue items and features steaks, ribs, burgers, chicken and fish and has sides of salads, chili, bread and a kids’ menu. The places also have a section selling apparel and music items. With its headquarters in Louisville, Ky., the chain’s Web site indicates the company is looking for additional sites in the Northwest and California/Nils Rosdahl, Handle Extra. More here.

Question: Any Texas Roadhouse fans out there?

Review: Santorini’s Greek Cuisine

Owners Dino and Fotini Tsakarestos weren’t just whistling “Saranta Palikaria” when they chose the word “Authentic” to land before “Greek Food” in all their ads. They arrived from Crete in the ‘70s, and have 30 years behind them in the restaurant world. The reason for their good reputation is apparent right away, with instantly warm service and a menu bound to make any empty tummy roar. Appetizers consist of both old standbys and uncommon discoveries, including the beefy, lemony stuffed grape leaves known as Dolmades, Spanakopita (spinach and feta baked into layers of filo), and Saganaki (a plate of rich Kasseri Cheese sautéed and brandy and served with pita bread). I like the simplicity of kicking off with pita slices and a bowl of tangy roasted red pepper hummus/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: How often do you eat genuine Greek food?

Ramirez: Global Warming Debate

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Wild Card/Sunday — 11.29.09

I enjoyed sampling some nicely aged Bent beer at the Bentfest in Stickman’s driveway Saturday afternoon. Me sums up the Bentfest (photos here): “I just got back home from Bentfest and had a great time. I also now have a coveted stick made my Stickman. I didn’t tell Stickman tonight, but should have - I have been looking at walking sticks all over on our travels, almost purchasing one a few times - but I always stopped myself because I wanted one from Stickman - now I have one!!! Bent and his wife were there, Stickman, Cindy, Jeanie and Mechanic Man, Florine and DFO stopped by and brought his daughters boyfriend as well. The fire was warm and it was so nice to finally meet some of the Merry Hucksters!” Also, Florine is beginning to talk about Blogfest 2010, which happens in mid-February. All in good time. Before then, we need to put an end to the November Coeur d’Alene election without end amen. We’ll try to do that Monday. For today, I’ll play this Wild Card and get rested for another big week …

Utah State 52, Idaho 49

 Utah State running back Derrvin Speight (21) breaks loose into the Idaho backfield during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow. Utah State won 52-49. ESPN boxscore here. (AP Photo/Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Dean Hare)

They met a few feet outside the media room, the backup quarterback pressed into action and the coach who had just finished trying to express his jumbled emotions. When Robb Akey saw backup quarterback Brian Reader, all he could think to do was provide a bear hug and words of consolation. “I thought it would be a fantastic finish,” the Vandals coach said to Reader. “I thought you would be the hero of the day.” But no, the late-game thrills that had come to define Idaho’s season inside the Kibbie Dome didn’t materialize Saturday. The Vandals coughed up the ball twice in the fourth quarter and absorbed a 52-49 loss to Utah State in their regular-season finale/Josh Wright, SR. More here.

Question: Will you consider Idaho’s season successful, if it doesn’t get a bowl bid?

Herb: WSU, Boise State Should Switch

It is now time to consider once more, a realignment of schools and conferences. For many years, Washington State has proven with only one or two exceptions that they can’t compete regularly in the PAC-ten. Then we have number 6 ranked Boise State, 12 and zip, once more. clearly, they are overmatching the WAC conference and need to move to a higher plain. I propose that WSU and Boise State switch conferences, with WSU going to the WAC where they should be able to compete year after year. Boise State, on the other hand, can’t get respect because of the inferior competition they face. Simple solution? Have Boise State join the PAC-ten where there would have every chance to excel, if they can/Herb Huseland, Bay Views. More here.

Question: What do you think of Herb’s idea — for Boise State and Washington State to switch conferences?

Wild Card/Saturday — 11.28.09

We’ll have to wait until Monday to see if challenger Jim Brannon is going to file a request for a recount in his 5-vote loss to incumbent Mike Kennedy in their Coeur d’Alene City Council race. Or to see if there’s some kind of attempt to overthrow the election results entirely. Meanwhile, we have Idaho’s attempt to win an 8th game and a bowl big today, along with the annual Apple Cup. Also, the Bentfest will take place at Stickman’s at 3 o’clock. Finally, a personal observation. If you missed Friday’s winter parade and tree lighting ceremony on the waterfront, you missed the best one ever on both accounts. All involved should take a bow. And now for your Wild Card …

Couple Crashes White House Party

This photo released by the White House Friday shows President Barack Obama greeting  Michaele and Tareq Salahi, right, at a State Dinner hosted by Obama for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the White House in Washington Tuesday.  The Secret Service is looking into its own security procedures after determining that the uninvited Virginia couple managed to slip into the dinner. Story here. (AP Photo/The White House, Samantha Appleton)

  • Dogwalk Musings thoughts on the White House party crashers here

Question: Was this a crime, or just an embarrassment for the Secret Service? (BTW, have you ever crashed a party?)

Digger: Black Friday = Loss Leader

Digger: Alot of the items we sell on Black Friday are tied to an “Dealer Credit” with the vendor — if we sell the unit on Black Friday then we get a certain $ amount back for all sales of the item that day.  Example — Samsung Blu Ray player - I purchased at $172 each for Black Friday, sale price of $149.99 — dealer credit of $25 for each unit sold, leaving me a profit margin of $2.00 — So no sale on Black Friday = having to try to get the higher retail of the item later. Even at the same margin we’re still only at $174.99 = $25 off (which isn’t a bad price for the unit in question.) Black Friday is a loss leader for retailers and I’ve never understood the concept. But, its a necessary evil, especially when you are a franchise of a national chain because they’re advertising for the corporate stores. Oh well, it is what it is and we move on.

Question: Which item was your best buy on Black Friday?

Idaho Seeks 8th Win Vs. Utah State

When the Idaho Vandals try to win a Senior Day game for the first time since 2004, all eyes will be on the quarterback position. Nathan Enderle is expected to play Saturday against Utah State after missing the past two games with a shoulder injury, and the Vandals (7-4, 4-3 WAC) must contend with dual-threat QB Diondre Borel, who led the Aggies (3-8, 2-5) to a blowout win over Idaho last year. “I was pretty embarrassed with the way we played in that ball game,” said Idaho coach Robb Akey of the 42-17 loss. Containing Borel will be critical in reversing that outcome, which would give Idaho its first win in November since a Senior Day win over Arkansas State in Pullman, Wash., in 2004/Nick Jezierny, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Prediction?

Churches To Pay $10K In Parking Tickets

Churches in Idaho, being assisted by businessmen and women, will be using $10,000 to pay parking tickets for anyone and everyone…until the money runs out. It’s called the Grace Gift Parable. The principle behind this parable is what? Paying the debts legitimately owed by people who have broken the law? Yep.  And that really torques some people off … Some have questioned (during a previous event in 2004): Shouldn’t this money have been used for the poor - especially at this holiday time of the year? People don’t deserve this so-called grace, do they? Isn’t this a publicity stunt? Interesting questions, though I sort of sense that honest answers may help honest questions/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

Question: What do you think of Boise churches paying $10,000 worth of parking tickets for anyone and everyone?

M&M: ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ Quirky

Calling someone “quirky” isn’t always a compliment. If someone were to say, for example, that a woman you liked had quirky talents as a lover, you’d think twice about jumping into the sack with her. Not that you wouldn’t, ultimately, but you’d likely hesitate. Putting it in baseball terms, if as a manager someone recommended a DH or closer to you by saying they had a quirky sense of the game, you’d hesitate before going to them in a clutch situation. There’s just no predicting the results of quirk, except that they’re likely to be interesting. When it comes to filmmaking, quirky isn’t always a negative. Sometimes, in fact, it’s a strength, which is especially true when the filmmaker in question is Wes Anderson. In trying to describe the work of Anderson, which ranges from “Rushmore” to “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Bottle Rocket” to “The Life Acquatic with Steve Zissou,” the word quirky seems to fit just fine. And that’s exactly the word I would use to describe “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” Anderson’s latest, a charming little animated adaptation of the Roald Dahl children’s book/Dan Webster, Movies & More. More here

Question: When did you last use the word ‘quirky’ to describe someone or something?

Stripping Down To Dress Up

Shoppers choose outfits after stripping down to their underwear at a store of the clothing retailer ‘Joy’ in central London Thursday. Shoppers queued up for the opening of the store as the retailer gave away free outfits to their first 25 customers who were dress in just their underwear on the launch day of the store. (AP Photo/Akira Suemori)

Question: Would you stand in line in your underwear to win a free outfit?

Black Friday Wild Card: PM Version

Mmm… Nothing better than my homemade apple pie and freshly brewed coffee for breakfast. As usual I had to hide a slice from the menfolk so I could enjoy my traditional day-after breakfast. Hope you all enjoyed the blessings of food and family yesterday. I know I sure did.

I have never shopped on Black Friday. Never. Not fond of morning, or crowds, or malls. So it’s really no sacrifice to hang out with you folks today. (But don’t tell Dave that.)

Do you have any day-after-Thanksgiving traditions? Feel free to talk about those or anything else on this Wild Card.

PM: Barry Manilow is crooning “Guess There Ain’t No Santa Clause,” the aroma of turkey noodle soup is filling the house, and I’ve got boxes of decorations on every available surface. I think I enjoy Black Friday even more than Thanksgiving :-)

Reminder: Tomorrow afternoon starting around 3 Hucksters will be gathering in Stickman’s driveway, just across from the back parking lot at Tubbs Hill. Bring your favorite beverage, and maybe a chair or two, dress warmly and join us around the woodstove. Hope to see you there.

Liberals Vow to Spank Obama

President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrive for the state arrival ceremony in the East Room of the White House on Tuesday. Associated Press photos.

“President Obama is days away from announcing a new Afghan strategy, but his immediate battle could come from liberals within his own party who are vowing to “spank” the president for committing tens of thousands of more troops to the eight-year conflict.

In a prime-time speech Tuesday from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Obama is expected to announce that he is sending up to 35,000 additional troops to Afghanistan beginning next year.

The figure is short of the 40,000 troops his top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, requested — but enough to anger many congressional Democrats who oppose any potential troop surge, arguing that the mission is too expensive and lacks a clear objective.

Nothing like ending the day with a story from Fox news. I do this as a favor to my left bank friends, who may be drowsy from too much turkey and trimmings.

Do you think Obama can craft an Afghan strategy that will garner wide support?


“Dogs” is a dog, “Road” is downer, Ninja’s anyone?

From left, Ella Bleu Travolta, John Travolta and Conner Rayburn in “Old Dogs,” a comedy also starring Robin Williams. Disney

If you’re looking to see a movie this weekend, here’s a roundup.

Reviewers aren’t kind to Travolta or Williams, but are giving good reviews to Viggo Mortensen even if “The Road, is a downer. Since, I’ve only read the first 12 pages of the book, I won’t be seeing the movie this weekend. “Ninja Assassins” might be fun.

However, none of these flicks are Christmasy enough for my clan. We’re going to see “A Christmas Carol” at the Imax.

Got any movie plans?

Best Books of the ‘00’s

The folks at A.V. Club have compiled a list of the best books of the 00’s. No, “Going Rogue” didn’t make the cut.

Among their non-fiction picks: Devil in the White City, Freakonomics and Nixonland.

Ficton picks include: Atonement,  Bel Canto and The Blind Assassin.

What books would you add to the list?

Blanchette: Zags Restoring Order

Cincinnati’s Steve Toyloy has his shot blocked by GU’s Will Foster in the first half of title game.
(Full-size photo) (All photos)

So much for stealth. So much for muted optimism and measured expectations, and a Gonzaga basketball season with an almost pre-1999 dynamic. The Zags blew their cover this week. Perhaps they weren’t informed of the plan to keep it down to a low hum. By Monday, they will find themselves back in the Top 25, as if they’d just gone away for a long weekend. Their most obsessive devotees will once again be torn between starting their day with a double grande mocha or a check of the RPI/John Blanchette, SR. More here.

Question: What ranking will the Zags have when the new polls come out?

Just Friends

It’s been nice having our oldest son at home for the holiday. He’s part of an urban ministry program at a local church and travels quite a bit.

For the past few years, he’s gotten up early on Black Friday to shop with his girlfriend (or friend depending on the status of their relationship.) They’ve known each other since birth and have dated off and on throughout high school.

Last night my son said, “I’m not going shopping with Caryssa, tomorrow.” They’d broken up over the summer and she has a new boyfriend. However, I was suprised because no matter the state of their romance they’ve always been friends and they have a lot of little traditions like this that they keep no matter what. But my son said, “It’s not good for me to be with her right now. I miss her too much and it just makes me sad, so when she called I said, ‘Not this year.’

I’m proud of him, But I wonder… Is it possible to be “just friends” with someone you’ve been in love with? I wonder….

Tiger Woods Seriously Injured or Maybe Not

ORLANDO, Fla. — Tiger Woods was seriously injured in a car accident early Friday when his car struck a tree near his mansion in a gated waterfront community, authorities said.

The Florida Highway Patrol said Woods, 33, hit the hydrant and a tree after pulling out of his driveway in his 2009 Cadillac sports utility vehicle.

Update: Treated and released in good condition.


Invading Camels

Camels crowd a drinking trough, pushing horses out of the way in  Northern Territory, Australia.

ALICE SPRINGS, Australia – Australian authorities plan to corral about 6,000 wild camels with helicopters and gun them down after they overran a small Outback town in search of water, trampling fences, smashing tanks and contaminating supplies.

Does PETA know about this?

Virtual Video Love

A Mario Brothers video game is projected onto a large screen on stage, as the Los Angeles Philharmonic plays for the premiere of the debut performance of Video Games Live at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

“I now pronounce you husband and what?!

In another sign that the world is about to collapse, multiple blogs are reporting that a fan of the Nintendo DS dating sim Love Plus (you know, the really creepy one) liked his virtual lady so much that he decided to marry her. For real.

Apparently, a Japanese gamer known as ‘Sal9000’ was officially wed to Nene Anegasaki, one of the game’s three virtual girlfriends, in what must have been the weirdest ceremony in the history of ceremonies. We can only assume that Ms. Pac-Man was the maid of honor.”

Which naturally leads me to ask: “If you could marry a video game character or any other fictional character, who would you choose?” 

New Jobs Package

WASHINGTON – Troubled by the rising jobless rate, President Barack Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress are assembling a new jobs package that would devote billions of dollars to projects meant to put people back on payrolls in 2010 and keep them working.

Discussions over the scale of the bill are fluid, but lawmakers said the intent was to move swiftly and get a jobs bill to Obama’s desk as early as January.

The renewed push to create jobs is driven by a recognition that the $787 billion stimulus program enacted in February is not a sufficient remedy for an unemployment rate that stands at 10.2 percent. Nearly 16 million people were unemployed as of October, and 3.49 million jobs have been lost since January – the first month of Obama’s presidency, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More here.

Now. How do you suppose lawmakers will suggest paying for this package?

Might be too late for some of you

But according to, the easiest way to save money on Black Friday is to stay home and shop online. PC magazine provides a list of the top 6 best Black Friday websites here.

Aside from my Amazon habit, I don’t do much online shopping. Do you have favorite online shopping sites?

Three More Ski Areas Open Today

A Skier on Mt Spokane

“Skiing ramps up Friday with the opening of the Mount Spokane, Schweitzer and Silver Mountain ski areas. The region’s other two ski resorts – 49 Degrees North and Lookout Pass – opened over the past two weekends.”

My menfolk are hitting the cross country trails tomorrow. I’m going to Stickmans. I think both are healthy choices :-)

APhoto of the Day

Sendal Hudson and Colton Thiede model raccoon hats that were worn during colonial times in North America. Fifth-graders at Opportunity Elementary School hosted their annual Sail America Expo on Tuesday, where they acted as travel agents and tried to convince parents and visitors to settle in their colony.

You write the cutline.

Leftover Plans

By the time Friday rolls around, this turkey, dressing and cranberry sandwich can be yours with just a few Thanksgiving dinner leftovers.

So. If you’re fortunate enough to have any leftover turkey, stuffing, potatoes etc. how do you enjoy them? I’ve got a huge vat of turkey stock simmering on the stove in preparation for tonight’s turkey noodle soup. I also can’t resist a bite or two of cold dressing.

What are your leftover plans?

  • Make soup
  • Create a casserole
  • Reheat everything and serve again
  • Make sandwiches
  • Other

Be Careful Out There

In this Nov. 28, 2008, file photo, Nassau County Police examine the front of the Wal-Mart in Valley Stream, N.Y., where a temporary Wal-Mart worker died after  shoppers broke down the doors and trampled him. 

Folks take their Black Friday shopping seriously, and there are some good deals to be found.

But stories like the one below give me pause.

VALLEY STREAM, N.Y. – Victoria Rogers had originally planned to make an early stop the day after Thanksgiving last year at the Wal-Mart store in Valley Stream on Long Island. Her last-minute decision against it might have saved her life.

“We saw the mob, and we said no,” she said. “Wal-Mart’s not the store.”

What she saw that day was no ordinary crowd of shoppers, but a throng police say jammed through the doors upon the store’s opening in a mad dash for holiday savings, trampling a guard to death. More here.

Can you think of any bargain worth waiting in line for hours, and risking life and limb to obtain?

Party Crashers

“Michaele and Tareq Salahi like a good party, an attorney who knows them said Thursday, and maybe that’s why the couple from Virginia’s horse country didn’t look out of place at the White House state dinner for the Indian prime minister.

They were all smiles as they rubbed shoulders with Vice President Joe Biden, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty and CBS News anchor Katie Couric.

No one suspected the Salahis were a couple of brazen party crashers — and wannabe reality TV stars.”

Have you ever crashed a party? Ever wanted to?

Building Their Skills

Spokane Vocational Skills Center school student Brian Hartmeier, left, adds water while instructor Chuck Sauer, second from left,  demonstrates how to mix cement for footings for the new deck for the house being refurbished by student labor on the 2000 block of East Decatur Street in northeast Spokane. The house is owned by the city of Spokane, and a group of high school students will spend one to two years rebuilding the run-down structure, learning construction skills.

In a small corner of northeast Spokane, a dilapidated house is slowly becoming a home. The house isn’t the product of an “Extreme Makeover” television program; it’s collaboration between the city of Spokane and the Spokane Vocational Skills Center construction class. More here.

How would you feel if your kid/s chose to go to trade school instead of college?

Ramirez: Not Another Word

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Cindy: Counting Small Blessings

That study inspired me to keep my own thankfulness diary. I discovered an amazing thing – counting my blessings, no matter how small, shifted my perspective. While my difficulties didn’t disappear, my attitude changed, and that made all the difference. I remembered that lesson as I nestled into my burgundy Egyptian cotton sheets, covered by a quilt that had been lovingly stitched by friends. The rich smell of coffee, thoughtfully brewed by my husband before he left for work, enveloped the house. I heard one son turn the shower on and another foraging for breakfast in the kitchen. And in the darkness of the autumn morning, a gratitude list began to form in my head. Soft sheets, hot showers, coffee. … The problems of the day didn’t evaporate. But their importance shrank, and my funk faded in the brilliant light of gratitude/Cindy Hval, Washington Voices. More here.

Question: What small blessings do you take for granted?

Thanksgiving Wild Card — 11.26.09

Happy Thanksgiving Day to all of you who are in the extended family of Huckleberries Online, from Idawa in Seattle on the West Coast to Marmitetoasty within spitting distance of the English Channel. I’m going to enjoy the day with family, eating turkey at my house and then driving two miles north to enjoy dessert at Frito Ray’s. I put together a coupla things below, if you have a little time between stuffing the bird and stuffing yourself to share some thoughts. As always, you can play this Wild Card to launch your own topics …

KXLY: 4-Legged Thief Steals Turkey

There’s at least one Post Falls family who might have a difficult time celebrating Thanksgiving after a thief was spotted stealing someone’s turkey early Thursday morning.Eyewitness Eric Ator was coming out of Peak Fitness, located at 927 East Polston Avenue in Post Falls, when he spotted the thief carrying what appears to be an uncooked turkey still in its wrapping heading running down the street. The thief ignored Ator and fled the scene.From photos that Ator took of the individual as he fled down the street it appears the bandit was a yellow Labrador Retriever with a dark brown collar.It’s not known who the Lab’s humans are or whether or not he is related to the family that is now out one Thanksgiving turkey/Rob Kauder, KXLY. More here.

Question: Has a dog ever stolen or damaged your property?

Zags Mix It Up With Cincinnati

Cincinnati center Steve Toyloy (42) and Gonzaga center Robert Sacre (00) get into a shoving match early in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday at the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii. Gonzaga won the tournament by beating Cincinnati in overtime 61-59.  You can read Jim Meehan’s Sportslink game story (plus photos) here and his color story here. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)

Time: ‘00s Worst Decade Ever?

Bookended by 9/11 at the start and a financial wipeout at the end, the first 10 years of this century will very likely go down as the most dispiriting and disillusioning decade Americans have lived through in the post–World War II era. We’re still weeks away from the end of ‘09, but it’s not too early to pass judgment. Call it the Decade from Hell, or the Reckoning, or the Decade of Broken Dreams, or the Lost Decade. Call it whatever you want — just give thanks that it is nearly over. (See TIME’s photo-essay “The 10 Worst Things About the Worst Decade Ever.”) Calling the 2000s “the worst” may seem an overwrought label in a decade in which we fought no major wars, in historical terms. It is a sadly appropriate term for the families of the thousands of 9/11 victims and soldiers and others killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the lack of a large-scale armed conflict makes these past 10 years stand out that much more. This decade was as awful as any peacetime decade in the nation’s entire history/Time. More here.

Question: Can you think of a decade in your lifetime that was as bad as the one that we’ve just been through?

JohnA: Missing A Bentfest Again

JohnA: Doggone it, Bent. Always having a beerfest at Stickman’s when we’re out of town. Deena and I can’t imagine a better afternoon than sharing a beer with you and the Stickman, under the ever-present beauty of Tubbs Hill. One of these days, we’ll have to make the CDA River thing work out so we can bring the HBO gang to God’s Country.Gosh, just thinking about north Idaho makes me wish we were home…

Question: Which Bent beer is your favorite?

Turkey Day ‘Must Haves’ Not Universal

Me: What do you have for Thanksgiving dinner - the must haves. My Sister spent some time in the South and was so surprised by what they had for Thanksgiving compared to us: Roast turkey; Sage stuffing (celery, onion, sage, bread); Mashed potatoes; gravy; corn; cranberry (the canned jelled stuff); sweet potaoes (with brown sugar and butter); pull apart rolls; green bean casserole; maybe a fruit salad (can of fruit dumped in a container of cool whip); pumpkin pie. Then later a turkey sandwhich with ruffle potato chips.

Question: Will there be a “must have” food on your table today that’s unusual?

Idaho Dad: Blogging Hugely Positive

Idaho Dad: I just checked my records and saw that my first email to DFO about his new blog was in March of 2004. He inspired me to then start my own blog in May of 2004. It’s been a wild ride since then, and my life has certainly changed in a hugely positive way through my blog. After nearly six years of reading, writing, and commenting, I still enjoy it. I’ve watched other parenting blogs come and go, as moms and dads look for the right mix of topics to discuss and personal information to reveal. I think the main reason for my continued success is the tried and true recipe that DFO has been serving up here for so long, and which all of us local bloggers try to emulate.

Question: How long have you been hanging out at Huckleberries Online. Why did you first come here?

Escapee: Bell Ringing Ain’t Easy

Escapee: One of the roughest jobs I had was as a Salvation Army Bell-ringer, becoming so cold, that once I got back home, I had to sit in front of my forced-air heater for an hour before I finally felt normal. One winter I rang the bell in front of a supermarket located in the northern part of town. The store wouldn’t let me come into the foyer where the carts are kept, to ring the bell. I was forced to stand in sub-zero temperatures with a chill factor that year, bell in hand. Half a year later, I came in to buy some stuff there. Inside the door was a bake sale by some civic group, and THEY were allowed inside the store. I thought about delivering a six-month-late complaint to the store’s manager but it would’ve just fallen on deaf ears, wouldn’t it? Full post below.

Question: How often do you donate to bell-ringers?

Gonzaga 61, Cincinnati 59 (F/OT)

 Gonzaga guard Steven Gray, left, and Cincinnati guard Larry Davis dive for a loose basketball in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game tonight at the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii. The Zags (5-1) won the championship game against the Bearcats (4-1) in overtime 61-59. Jim Meehan’s Sportslink story here. And: ESPN boxscore here. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)

Hump Day Wild Card — 11.25.09

Sounds like Bent is preparing an impromptu beerfest in Stickman’s breezeway Saturday afternoon, for Berry Pickers who are interested. Meanwhile, the Thanksgiving holiday is almost upon us. As always, I appreciate the bloggers, commenters, and blurkers who hang out here and have made Huckleberries Online the success it has become. Feel free to use this Wild Card to share your Thanksgiving thoughts and well wishes to other Berry Pickers. Or start your own threads …

Parting Shot — 11.25.09

Wearing a uniform and name tag, Cody, a chocolate Labradaor retriever, greets people who pull up to the drive-through window of the family-owned gas station-convenience store in Clearwater, Fla. on Tuesday. Store owner Karim Mansour said he started bringing Cody to work five months ago for company on the early morning shift. The dog quickly became a celebrity among store regulars. Mansour said Cody helps customers by calming those who come in sad or angry. (AP Photo/St. Petersburg Times, Jim Damaske)

Question: What tricks can your dog do?

Me: ‘I Did It!’

I did it! What did I do? Well in August I hiked to Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park - why is that a big deal? Well because it was over 7 miles, but it was a 1600’ elevation change in 3.5 miles!!!! UP UP UP! I can out walk many - on flat ground. Uphill? UGHHHH. First of all I smoked for many many years. It isn’t so much my legs that cause a problem it’s my breath — I can’t keep it/Me, It’s Just Me. More here.

Question: When did last have an “I did it!” moment, like Me — when you accomplished something that you didn’t think you could? What was it?

APhoto Of The Day — 11.25.09

A baboon seen as it climbs inside a car at Cape Point on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, Tuesday. You write the cutline. (Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. DFO proves that he does indeed need a short work week this week after confusing a thieving baboon in South Africa for an Arizona drug dog — Shannon.
  • 2. Things are different in Arizona. Cars are called “lockers,” and baboons are called “dogs.” It’s all about the lingo folks — CindyH.
  • 3. The girl in the back seat is crying because they found drugs in her locker? Or is the officer about to get surprises as the locker with “drugs in it” actually has a live baboon waiting to get out.
  • HM: Nic

PM Scanner Traffic — 11.25.09

  • 5:09 p.m. Female on Blueberry/Hayden is having cell phone issues w/ex-hubby.
  • 5:06 p.m. Wildfire on east side of H41 @ M/P 31 (near Tweedie Road).
  • 5:02 p.m. Chimney fire @ 412 Summit/Harrison.
  • 4:47 p.m. Man reports his domestic ferret ran into a neighbor’s yard, and he needs help getting it out of there.
  • 4:40 p.m. Someone in a w/b small passenger car is shining a laser light @ oncoming traffic on Hayden from Huetter.
  • 4:25 p.m. Coeur d’Alene Bingo Casino security reports possible shots fired behind the casino. Tribal police officers are investigating. (Update: Hunters fired shots.)
  • 3:58 p.m. Motorist on freeway reports seeing a passenger climb into the back seat to retrieve some beers in a speeding Toyota Tundra, registered to a Hayden man
  • 3:34 p.m. Patrol officer is assisting an elderly male who has broken down @ 4th & Deerhaven after getting his vehicle from auto repair shop. (The vehicle broke down @ 4th & Honeysuckle and at Ziggy’s, off H95, where the man left it for the day.)
  • More below

DFO: Thankful For Merry Hucksters

You and I have been through a lot of adventures at Huckleberries Online since I launched this blog on Feb. 16, 2004. We’ve laughed together. We’ve shared tough times together. We’ve fought. Some have left. But most have stayed. I especially appreciate those who have been with me the longest — Cis, Herb, JohnA, and Digger. Cis, in particular, was there with words of encouragement that first year when I often thought of quitting. Many times, I thought the extra work added to my editorializing and commenting duties simply wasn’t worth it. But Cis persuaded me to wait until the blog’s first anniversary until I decided whether to quit or not. By then, Blogmeister Ryan had added comments to the offerings here — and Huckleberries was off and running. I appreciate those young and old who spend their time commenting and blurking here. I wanted to tell you that before we break for Thanksgiving/DFO.

Question: Which HBO regular do you appreciate most? Why?

Idaho Court Upholds Urban Renewal

The Idaho Supreme Court has upheld a Rexburg urban renewal project in a case that was being closely watched by urban renewal agencies around the state. In a unanimous ruling authored by Justice Joel Horton, the high court upheld a 7th District Court ruling rejecting a challenge to the project by Rexburg resident Kenneth Hart, who contended it was unconstitutional. Hart acted as his own attorney in the district court case, but was represented by attorney John Runft in the Supreme Court appeal/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Does this have any repercussions for the ongoing war waged by activists opposed to the Lake City Development Corp?

HBO Blogosphere — 11/25/09

The blogmistress of Live, Love, Laugh, Hope saw this sight and many others while out for a peaceful drive with her dog earlier today. She posts: “I thought these turkeys were pretty brave to be running around in the open the day before Thanksgiving! There was a total of 16 in this bunch.” She has two posts this week that are appropriate for the season: Peaceful drive, and: Gratitude and thanks. 

Mike Kralicek Tricycle Fund-raiser

A fundraiser to raise money to purchase a Terra Trike Tandem tricycle for Mike Kralicek is scheduled at Applebee’s on Tuesday. The popular restaurant will donate 10 percent of all the profits that day — from people who present the flyer above (you can print out a Huckleberries Online copy to qualify) — will be contributed to the tricycle fund. Or you can contact 818-2150,, for a flyer.

JohnA: Shame On Boise State

JohnA: In Boise for the holidays, we were excited (even as Vandal fans) to see that 1500 tickets were being made available for the soldout BSU game here this weekend. It appears that a lot of students left for the holiday so the tickets are available. Our excitement turned to sickness when the price of the tickets became the new $64 question. Yes, indeed, sixty-four bucks to see the Broncos play. Now, I can understand they’ve got one of the few undefeated teams in the nation, so the demand for the tickets will likely exceed the supply. But, give us a break. This is college football, right, and the tickets have already been accounted for, basically, by including their value in students’ fees. So why treat BSU gridsters like rock stars by charging those kind of prices?

Question: How much would you be willing to pay to see undefeated Boise State host Nevada this week?

Campaign Spotlights Anorexia

Aya Barazani, who suffers from anorexia, points at Israeli fashion models Noga Dekel, left, and Shira Amikam, as fashion photographer Adi Barkan looks on during a photo shoot for a campaign promoting anorexia awareness, in his studio in Ramat Hasharon, near Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday. Barkan is releasing a campaign featuring 3 women, one healthy model, another model who’s BMI value is beneath normal and an anorectic girl, to promote anorexia awareness, demanding model agencies not to hire models who are suffering from malnutrition. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Question: Do you know anyone suffering from an eating disorder?

Muggle Quidditch, Anyone?

Mothers, lock up your Bludgers. Muggle Quidditch has hit as Parker Slater, wearing skintight gold pants and a cropped gold shirt, is running flat-out through Comstock Park. He’s moving fast through a mob of teenagers in robes and wigs and wild face paint. Blake Bekken and Annie Pokorny are on Parker’s heels, sprinting too, but a bit awkwardly – not because they aren’t good runners, but because they’re clutching broomsticks between their legs. Besides, there’s snow on the ground — a thin, slushy layer that makes traction unpredictable. Parker hops, veers right, then left, then veers onto the basketball court. This is a safe zone: Blake and Annie have to let him go, but they don’t take their eyes off him. Parker is the Golden Snitch. Blake and Annie are the Seekers whose job is to catch him/Sarah Hauge, Inlander. More here.

Question: Would you be interested in playing Muggle Quidditch?

Crump: Old Men & Fried Spuds

I was raised by a single mother — a teacher. She didn’t earn much, and unexpected expenses were always full-blown crises. One autumn, her car broke down and the water heater in our mobile home died. One thing led to another, and Idaho Power shut off the electricity on the Friday before Thanksgiving. The turkey in our refrigerator spoiled by Tuesday. Mom and I were looking at a chilly, dark holiday, with bologna sandwiches for dinner. The old man next door, Mr. Saunders, rarely went outside except to berate kids whose baseballs bounced into his fenced yard. He had a scary, breathy voice, and whenever he shouted he began to cough. We barely knew him, but somehow Saunders got wind of our predicament. On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, our power was inexplicably turned back on, and the next morning a Sears crew showed up to install a new water heater — refusing to say who’d paid for it/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Have you known hard times?

HBO @ Noon: White Christmas

Bing Crosby didn’t have to dream of a white Christmas — he could bank on it. The crooner was from Spokane, a city that is among the most likely to have a white Christmas each year. According to weather experts, Spokane has a white Christmas about 70 percent of the time. In the United States, only a few high-latitude cities beat those odds: Duluth, Minn. (97 percent) Anchorage, Alaska, (90 percent), Marquette, Mich., (90 percent) and Concord, N.H. (87 percent). Crosby’s song tapped into a primal need for many living in the northern latitudes, where the notion of a white Christmas takes on mythic proportions/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Would you be disappointed if we didn’t have a white Christmas?

AM Scanner Traffic — 11.25.09

  • 11:22 a.m. Wife reports that her 34YO husband is semi-conscious and incoherent after taking muscle relaxers in Athol area.
  • 11:13 a.m. Patrol officer reports a canvas canopy is partially blocking H3 & Goosehaven Road.
  • 10:33 a.m. St. Vinny’s, 108 Walnut/CdA, snags a shoplifter.
  • 10:10 a.m. R/P @ Crabapple & Orchard/Hayden reports that a neighbor hasn’t taken care of a cat that has had a broken leg for about a week.
  • 9:57 a.m. Tania at Touch of Romance/Government Way reports the business was broken into during the night.
  • 9:44 a.m. Patrolman tells fellow officer that the right headlight in his vehicle is out.
  • 9:19 a.m. Officer is checking out a suspicious male with a backpack in Hastings lot.
  • 8:29 a.m. Friend is concerned re: Stewart, who has been warned by his galpals ex-hubby and three of his friends to get out of town by Friday or else.
  • 8:22 a.m. Motorist reports she heard a crash at the H90/Appleway stoplights but couldn’t see anything as a result of the fog. The lights for s/b traffic have been out for awhile, prompting motorists to run them.
  • 8:19 a.m. A 6YO boy has fallen in the shower of his residence @ Buckles & Emerald, suffering a deep gash to his cheek. His mother reports that there is blood everywhere.

Avista Joins Climate-Change Push

Item: Avista pushes climate bill: Business group lobbies for cap-and-trade/Becky Kramer, SR.

More Info: Avista Corp., which gets half its energy from hydropower dams, has joined other clean-energy providers, retailer Gap Inc. and Colorado resort operator Aspen Skiing Co. to form a new lobbying group for federal climate-change legislation. Avista is one of the 20 founding members of American Businesses for Clean Energy, which started up earlier this month. The group’s goal is to unite diverse business interests to support cap-and-trade legislation, which would limit carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases.

Question: What do you think of Avista’s decision to lobby for federal climate-change legislation?

Honolulu To Humiliate DUI Drivers

Police perform a sobriety roadblock checkpoint on a Friday night in downtown Honolulu. Mug shots of drunken driving suspects are landing on the Honolulu Police Department Web site, creating a virtual wall of shame long before suspects get their day in court. Supporters say the experiment in public humiliation to be launched today should be used elsewhere in the nation if it reduces the number of drunks on the road. (AP Photo/The Honolulu Advertiser, Norman Shapiro)

Question: Should local authorities develop a similar virtual wall of shame to humiliate drivers who get slapped with DUIs?

Non Sequitur: Won’t Post For Cash

Izzit just me, or does that guy with a sign look a bit like Dan Gookin during his Libertarian days? (Disclaimer: Dan is looking dapper today by comparison) You can get a better look at the cartoon here.

  • H/T: Cabbage Boy

Question: Would you pay someone in the greater North Idaho blogosphere not to post?

Fired CdA Cop Files $3M Claim

Item: Fired CdA officer files claim against city: Man says frivolous complaints led to termination/Alison Boggs, SR. Tort claim here.

More Info: A 17-year veteran of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department filed a $3 million tort claim against the city Tuesday, saying he was fired without cause following a string of frivolous complaints against him by a subordinate. Dan Dixon was fired in July, according to his attorney, Lawrence Beck, who said the case highlights the city’s lack of policies governing employee timekeeping.

Question: Do you think this claim has substance?

HBO Poll: Apple Cup

Washington and Washington State first squared off in 1917 in what was to be known as the Apple Cup. Washington State won the first game. The series did not stay close for long as Washington won four games in a row in the 1920’s and have not looked back, holding a 26 game advantage on the series. The last decade, however, has provided a closer head to head record for the schools, with Washington holding a six to four advantage over Washington State. If anything, this last 10 years has shown that the old adage is true, anything can happen in a rivalry game/Bleacher Report. More here.

  • Tuesday Poll: By 32 votes to 31 votes out of 70 — 46% to 44% — respondents said they didn’t support President Obama’s move to add at least 25,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

Turkey ‘Courage’ Wins Obama Pardon

President Obama, center, with daughters Malia, far right, Sasha, second from the right, pardoning the National Thanksgiving Turkey, Courage, in a ceremony in the North Portico of the White House, in Washington, Wednesday. With Obama is the Chairman of the National Turkey Federation, Walter Pelletier. Woman on left is unidentified. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Joker: The National Thanksgiving Turkey, Courage, died shortly after being pardoned by President Obama. The president was so busy giving a stirring speech about the audacity of cranberry sauce that the turkey’s handlers failed to notice that Courage wandered away and was crushed by a service van delivering the actual dozen white house turkeys that will be served tomorrow.

Parker: Sarah Palin Has Struck Gold

In town to give a talk on civility, I was surrounded by women who wondered what I thought of Sarah Palin’s Newsweek cover. “Why aren’t women coming to her defense?” they asked. “Why are the media being so rough on Sarah?” Having been enjoying a self-imposed moratorium on all things Palin, declining numerous interviews to discuss her latest self-promotional tour, I was surprised by the questions. My thoughts lately have drifted toward the sense that, though Palin is very much a celebrity, she’s no longer running for public office, at least officially. Ergo, radar gets a rest. As for her book … right after I finish “Ulysses.” But the questions - and the passion with which they were proffered - intrigued me. Are the media treating her unfairly? Are they “bashing” Palin, as her supporters describe any criticism? Was the Newsweek cover sexist? Call me a guy, but give me a break. Sarah Palin is the luckiest woman on the planet/Kathleen Parker, Orlando Sentinel. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Kathleen Parker’s analysis — that Sarah Palin is the luckiest woman on the planet, critics or not.

New Lake Pend Oreille Book Here

It’s a book as big and grand as Lake Pend Oreille itself. The much-anticipated “Legendary Lake Pend Oreille: Idaho’s Wilderness of Water” is finally here and will be celebrated with a launch party open to the public, featuring a slide show, special presentations and refreshments on Saturday, Nov. 28, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Sandpoint Community Hall, 204 S. First Ave. The event is also a fund-raiser for several lake advocacy groups, which will receive 10 percent of proceeds from the book’s sales that day. The event opens with short presentations by author Jane Fritz and representatives of lake-affiliated organizations. Following that will be a book signing by Fritz and other contributors/Keokee Books. More here.

Question: Which North Idaho lake or waterway is your favorite?

AM Headlines — 11.25.09

Wisconsin guard Jordan Taylor (11) looks on as Gonzaga guard Demetri Goodson (3) drives to the basket and is fouled by Wisconsin forward Jon Leuer (30) in the second half of a NCAA college basketball game Tuesday at the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii. Gonzaga defeated Wisconsin 74-61 and will play Cincinnati in the finals. The Zags play Cincinnati tonight at 7 in the tournament championship game. Jim Meehan story here.  (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)

Clayton: ‘Kick Ginger’ Day Absurd

Apparently, some years ago, there was an episode of South Park where Cartman declares November 20 “Kick a Ginger Day.” Gingers are redheads with freckles. As a way of making fun of racism and other forms of prejudice, this sounds kind of funny. But apparently someone created a “Kick a Ginger Day” group on Facebook—and now there are multiple incidents of attacks on gingers. … Pretty clearly, what kids watch influences them in ways that are truly irrational. Hatred of “gingers” isn’t something that they learned from their parents. It isn’t something that the government has encouraged. This is something completely absurd, created as a joke — and yet it leads to violence/Clayton Cramer. More here.

Question: What do you make of “Kick A Ginger Day”?

Herb: Happiness Comes From Within

Thanksgiving, though, is about positive things in our lives. The friend or relative that beat cancer. The new baby arriving. Our health still intact. (for the most part) The love we share with those very special people in our lives. Somewhere a person we know is dying, but babies are regularly born to take our places. For every person in personal distress, there is someone else that is extending a helping hand. Please remember, that though the Sun is not shining from the sky, it is still present from within. Whether a person is happy or sad, is from within. It is a slef induced condition. Have a truly happy Thanksgiving holiday/Herb Huseland, Bay Views. More here.

Question: What are you thankful for?

Coeur d’Alene To Launch Holidays

Some 30,000 people are expected to attend Friday when Coeur d’Alene launches the holiday season in style. The 18th Annual Lighting Ceremony Parade begins at 5 p.m., followed by caroling and the simultaneous lighting of candles held by thousands of people in the crowd. The evening will culminate in a fireworks display over Lake Coeur d’Alene. In 2007, the Christmas celebration was featured on Good Morning America, which picked Coeur d’Alene as one of 15 cities nationwide with the best holiday light displays/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.

Question: Has it become a tradition for you — as it has my family — to kick off the holiday season by attending the annual winter parade, Hagadone Hospitality lighting ceremony, and Festival of Trees? If not, how do you kick off your holiday season?

Signe: Health Care In The Coop

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Idaho 75, Sacramento State 61

Idaho guard Kyle Barone (left to right), Sacramento State forwards Duro Bjegovic and Michael Selling, and Idaho forward Luciano de Souza look for a rebound during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday Moscow. Idaho won 75-61. ESPN game story and boxscore here. (AP Photo/Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Dean Hare)

Wild Card/Tuesday — 11.24.09

If you see Spencer, please tell him that he has won the first Huckleberries Online Thanksgiving Day pardon — and has been released from the cooler. In fact, he was released only hours after he was tossed into the HBO gulag for trying to out another commenter here. (In a way, you can’t blame Spencer for his bad manners on the comments thread. You can pick up bad habits by hanging out at the Coeur d’Alene Press and blogs.) Mebbe (sorry Idaho Dad) Spencer’s a bit sheepish after his little tantrum. But life goes on, with or without Spencer. So, I’ll post the Wild Card and search the Web for interesting fodder for the HBO maw …

Gonzaga 74, Wisconsin 61

Gonzaga forward Elias Harris (20) attempts to drive past Wisconsin forward Jon Leuer (30) in the second half of a NCAA college basketball game Tuesday at the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii. Gonzaga defeats Wisconsin 74-61 and will play Cincinnati in the finals.  (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)

Gonzaga defeated Wisconsin 74-61 on Tuesday night to advance to the championship game of the Maui Invitational. Four Bulldogs scored in double figures, led by Matt Bouldin’s 18 points. Steven Gray added 15, Robert Sacre 13 and Elias Harris 12. Demetri Goodson just missed giving the Bulldogs a fifth double-figures scorer. He had nine points. The Bulldogs led by as many as 13 in the first half before taking a 43-33 lead into the break/Jim Meehan, Sportslink. More here. ESPN boxscore here.

Parting Shot — 11.24.09

Kyle Olivier, engineer for the Coeur d’Alene Resort worked on the holiday wreath earlier today in preparation for the downtown parade and fireworks show on Friday.The wreath, a tradition since the remodeled Resort opened in 1986, weighs almost a ton. Alison Boggs’ story here. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

Katrina: ‘Twilight2’ Critics Clueless

The vamps were vampier, the wolves were as big as horses, and Kristen Stewart delighted the world by revealing that laughing and smiling are a part of her acting repertoire after all. As the action swept through Forks and across the world to Volterra, Italy, the scope of the story widened, too; heartbreak, longing, jealousy, self-sacrifice, forgiveness: the full range of human emotion coming to bear on these not-exactly-human characters. In its own inartful way, the Twilight series touches chords that are common to each of us. Critics have gripes, lots of them, but the fans don’t seem to share them/Katrina, Notes On A Napkin. More here.

Question: Who do you pay more attention to when it comes to potential movies to see — critics? Or word of mouth from individuals like Notes On A Napkin’s Katrina?

AM Headlines — 11.24.09

KerriT/OnLocation North Idaho writes: Nothing says Christmas like … shotgun shell lights on the tree. These, and other outdoors-themed lights like Coleman lanterns, are displayed at Cabela’s in Post Falls.

Question: Will you have unusual lighting or ornaments on your tree this year?

APhoto Of The Day — 11.24.09

Jennifer Lopez performs at the 37th Annual American Music Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles. Lopez ended on her back side when she didn’t stick her landing after jumping from the backs of the dancers. Story here. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. MamaJD attempts to quash another one of Spencer’s rumors — Taryn Hecker.
  • 2. mexican jumping bean - MUY grande bean! — Pecky Cox.
  • 3. Alarmist Scientists and Professors jump up and down in madness after finding out their Global Warming hoax has been uncovered — Red Man.
  • HM: Cabbage Boy

PM Scanner Traffic — 11.24.09

  • 5:58 p.m. A drunken man tried unsuccessfully to leave the scene after crashing his vehicle into a yard at the eastern end of Harrison/CdA.
  • 5:27 p.m. A vehicle crashed after swerving to avoid a dead animal on H53 near Hauser.
  • 5:04 p.m. A dead fox is reported on Wilbur/Dalton Gardens.
  • 4:50 p.m. Ace Hardware on West Hayden reports that a sixtysomething male suffered a cut around his eye in a fall.
  • 4:31 p.m. Home-care patient on Mullan is threatening to commit suicide.
  • 4:11 p.m. A ceiling fan has caught fire and blackened the basement roof of a home on Gracie Way/Post Falls.
  • 3:58 p.m. Tracy has followed a speeding vehicle to a Signal Point/Post Falls residence and is willing to sign a complaint.
  • 3:46 p.m. 2 juvenile males are fighting on the grassy area in front of Domino’s while other juveniles watch.
  • More below

Book Tour: ‘Going Rogue’ @ 700,000

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin signs a copy her autobiography, “Going Rogue”, at the North Post Exchange at Fort Bragg, N.C., Monday. More than 700,000 copies of “Going Rogue” have been sold in its first week. Palin, who was born in Sandpoint and attend North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, is well on her way to become a million-selling author. She will visit the Lake City early next month. (AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds)

KXLY: If You Can’t Free ‘Im, Join ‘Im?

A man whose family has been fighting to get him out of prison for a Thanksgiving furlough will have some company at the jail over the holidays. Terry Kinard’s brother Steven was arrested for drug dealing Tuesday in East Central Spokane. Steven Kinard was arrested for delivery of a controlled substance Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in East Central Spokane. His arrest comes less than a week after he made an impassioned plea for his brother Terry, also in jail on drug dealing charges, to be allowed a furlough to visit their elderly ailing mother for Thanksgiving. “All we’re trying to do is just get a little time for my brother to come home and see his mom ya know,” Steven said last Wednesday/Rob Kauder, KXLY. More here.

Question: Would you let either brother out of jail for Thanksgiving?

Spokane On FBI ‘Dangerous’ List

Crime in Spokane is keeping police busy.  But it’s also got the Lilac City on the list of most dangerous locations in the United States. Spokane ranks 121st on the list which uses F.B.I. statistics on murder, rape, robbery, assault, and vehicle theft.  Camden, New Jersey took the top spot. Tacoma came in 34th, Seattle ranked 183rd, and Spokane Valley took the 261st spot/KREM2.

Question: Are you surprised that the FBI considers Spokane considerably more dangerous than Seattle?

NIC Offers Freebies For DFO, 60YOs

North Idaho College offers a special service to senior citizens that qualifies them for free admission to all NIC-sponsored events in which admission is charged. The NIC Gold Card program is free and open to all senior citizens 60 and older. … In addition, seniors with an NIC Gold Card also qualify for a $5 semester-long parking permit to park anywhere that student parking is permitted on campus. … In addition, NIC also offers a discounted rate to seniors who enroll in college credit courses. Those courses are offered for $25 each and then an additional $5 per credit. Therefore, a three-credit class that would normally cost $389 would be $40 with the senior discount/Stacy Hudson, Press Room. More here.

Question: If I’d had known that you could get free stuff and discounts like this by turning 60, I’d have been born earlier. What other neat stuff can you get for being old and feeble like me?

Zags Face Wisconsin on ESPN @ 6:30

Colorado guard Cory Higgins (11) looks on as Gonzaga forward Elias Harris (20) grabs a rebound in the second half during their game in the Maui Invitational NCAA college basketball tournament in Lahaina, Hawaii on Monday. Gonzaga defeated Colorado 76-72, and now will face Wisconsin in the semi-finals at 6:30 p.m. today, to be broadcast on ESPN. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)

Senate Health Care Debate

Sing Hosanna
and lift up praise,
they even work
some Saturdays.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Red Kettles Now Take Plastic

Fewer Americans are carrying cash these days.  So, the Salvation Army is upgrading some of their red kettles.  Select bell ringers in the Northwest now take credit or debit cards.  You just swipe your card and put the receipt in the kettle instead of your loose change. In the true spirit of giving, the Salvation Army says U.S. Bank is not charging card processing fees for these transactions/KREM2.

Question: Would you use plastic to make a donation to the Salvation Army via a red kettle?

Clark: Confessions Of A Soap Bandit

I’m standing in a checkout line at a Post Falls supermarket, watching a nice lady ring up the glossy green boxes of Cascade dishwasher soap that I put in my cart. Ding. Ding. Ding … When she gets to about box five or six I begin feeling a bit self-conscious. So I decide to make a little small talk. “Er, so do a lot of Spokane people come over here to Idaho to buy soap like me?” The checker smiles thinly. Then she repeats the words “a lot” maybe five times. Suddenly, it dawns on me how environmentally irresponsible we soap bandits have been. We shouldn’t all be driving to Idaho to buy phosphate-laden dishwasher soap, which a bunch of eco-fascists have banned for sale in Spokane County. We should carpool. That would be the Al Gore thing to do/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Can you blame Washington soap bandits for driving to Idaho to get better detergents for their clothes washing?

Obama: ‘Dismantle AND Degrade’

President Obama said on Tuesday that he will announce his decision on how many more troops to send to Afghanistan next week, and that it is his intention to “finish the job” that began with the overthrow of the Taliban government in the fall of 2001. Mr. Obama, offering a tantalizing preview of what looms as one of the momentous decisions of his presidency, said he would tell the American people about “a comprehensive strategy” embracing civilian and diplomatic efforts as well as the continuing military campaign. While he avoided any hints of the new troop levels he foresees in Afghanistan, the president signaled that he will not be talking about a short-term commitment but rather an effort muscular enough to “dismantle and degrade” the enemy and ensure that “Al Qaeda and its extremist allies cannot operate” in the region/New York Times. More here.

Question: How is President Obama handling things differently in Afghanistan than President Bush likely would have?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 11.24.09

Duane Neuschwander foreman of the isolated Juniper Ranch on the boundary of Malheur and Harney counties in Oregon, talks to Malheur County Deputy Bob Wroten about the disappearance of 33 cattle. A rash of horseback rustling in the vast “ION country,” where Idaho, Oregon and Nevada come together, has prompted reward posters and patrols by sheriff’s deputies and ranchers. (AP Photo/Richard Cockle/The Oregonian)

Army Sergeant Responds To Spencer

At the Coeur d’Alene Press web site, Army Sgt. Major Gregory A. Proft responds from Iraq to Larry Spencer’s challenge to his right to cast a ballot in the Coeur d’Alene City Council elections. (You can read the entire response, at 10:50 a.m., under a recent letter that Spencer sent to the Coeur d’Alene Press here.) The key sentences are these: “It sounds like since Larry doesn’t like the results of the election, my right to cast a ballot should be cast aside, thrown out because I am not physically present in the state in which I vote. I bet Larry would not grant me a pass on the property taxes I paid on my house while I was fighting in Baquobah, Ramadi and Baghdad while he was doing whatever it is he does in Spirit Lake. Instead of challenging the legitimacy of my ballot, Larry ought to be offering to buy me a beer when I return for going out of my way to participate in the democratic process.”

Question: What do you make of this development?

AM Scanner Traffic — 11.24.09

  • 11:59 a.m. A w/b econo-van is driving 35 mph and weaving in and out of traffic on I-90 @ M/P 50.
  • 11:24 a.m. 2 large brown dogs are running loose on Majestic/Rathdrum.
  • 10:43 a.m. Richard reports his Akita is missing.
  • 10:24 a.m. A man reports that last night in Coeur d’Alene he lost a firearm, which matches the description of one turned into the police department.
  • 10 a.m. Motorists complain that a s/b male is riding a bicycle down the middle of H41, approaching Seltice Way, and traffic is lined up behind him.
  • 9:42 a.m. A e/b van is on its side after a one-vehicle rollover on I-90 @ M/P 6 (near Seltice Way overpass). Extrication may be needed.
  • 9:41 a.m. Lake City High student wants to report a battery that occurred on Timberlake Loop/CdA this morning.
  • 9:26 a.m. Twin Lakes Elementary reports the theft of a snowmobile.
  • 9:09 a.m. The drivers’ license department reports a wanted person in the office.
  • 8:19 a.m. Motorist reports that a semi w/Oregon plates hit a pole in front of the White House Grill @ Spokane & Seltice Way/Post Falls.

PG: Another JFK Anniversary

I’ve written on the Kennedy family extensively this year, not only because the passing of Ted Kennedy required it, but also because Ted Kennedy’s passing reminded me of why I believe the things I do about America, being an American, and who taught those principles to me. The passing of Eunice was as significant for me as Teddy’s death because of all of the Kennedys, it may have been Eunice that touched my life the most substantially—as a teenager and young adult I spent every summer serving in the capacity of coach or volunteer for the Special Olympics/Political Game. More here.

Question: Have you been inspired by JFK or a member of his extended family to do something for the good of humanity?

Idaho Dad: Bugged By Internet Slang

Idaho Dad: It’s not DFO’s use of it that bugs me, but “prolly” seems to be showing up everywhere. “Probably” is two letters longer. Is it going to kill people to type those two additional letters? Plus, it just sounds wrong. I’d make the same case for “mebbe,” as it contains the same amount of letters. I don’t get the slang use. Is it supposed to give a different tone to one’s comment to say “mebbe” like you’re hanging out down at the General Store around the pickle barrel with all the other farmers? I get that. I also don’t do much LOLing and such. If I’m going to say something, I’d rather just fully type it all out in proper English. Oh, and I’m also not clued in on this new @JoeSchmo, or @BillyBob thing when you’re replying to another commenter. When did we all join Twitter?

Question: Which slang or Twitter-type slang on this blog bugs you?

In The News: Misdiagnosed Coma

Belgium’s Rom Houben uses his touchscreen to communicate during an interview at the service center ‘t Weyerke in Zolder, Belgium, Tuesday. Houben was misdiagnosed for 23 years as being in a coma until a doctor at Liege University discovered three years ago that Houben’s brain was still functioning. Houben was diagnosed as being in a vegetative state following a car crash in 1983. The discovery took place three years ago but only recently came to light, after publication of a study on the misdiagnosis of people with consciousness disorders.(AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

Question: Should this case change the way we view comatose patients?

Spokane Switches To Number Grades

Item: Spokane elementary schools switch to number grades/Jody Lawrence-Turner

More Info: Most elementary students in Spokane Public Schools are seeing their new report cards for the first time this week; instead of A, B, C, D or F, it’s 4, 3, 2 or 1. The new number system, called “standards-based grading and reporting,” is based on how well the students meet state and national standards in reading, writing, math, science and social studies. Instead of one letter grade for a whole topic, the numbers correlate to specific elements of learning within that topic.

Question: What do you think of the number grades?

Johnston: Cut WA Minimum Wage

My store is teetering on the edge of needing to hire one more person to help out with “back-end” store operations during the hopefully busy holiday selling season. The tasks prescribed would include cleaning the store and stocking shelves while also learning about our business and hopefully becoming a part of our sales staff after the holiday season is over. My ideal candidate for this position would be a high school student looking for an after-school job. … I like to believe that I still embrace the old values of hard work and responsibility that my grandfather taught me and would love to teach those skills to younger workers and help them start their working lives with a solid employment reference. However, I find it hard to justify $8.55 an hour for someone on their first job, especially considering that I’m only able to pay my most senior sales associate just more than 50 cents per hour over minimum wage/Henry Johnston, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Washington’s minimum wage is higher than the national average. Does Henry Johnston make a good point that the Washington wage should be cut to help small business?

M&M: Swift Times For ‘Twilight’ Time

As long as I’ve been watching movies, there still are things that I simply don’t understand. This is one. The fact that so many people would want to go see the sequel to a lame film such as “Twilight” is a mystery that even David Blaine couldn’t solve. What’s amazing, other than how well the Hollywood publicity machine has invented stories about the cast (Who’s Robert Pattinson dating this week? Who cares?), is that the New York Times in a story claimed that “Twilight” co-star Kristen Stewart “is considered one of the most promising actresses of her generation.” Really? Are we rating her on her abilities to pout? To sulk? To mumble? To mope? If so, then the Times just might be right/Dan Webster, Movies & More. More here.

Question: Do you think the ‘Twilight’ movies are lame? Ditto for co-star Kristen Stewart as an actress?

AM Headlines — 3.24.09

“In today’s very early hours, the Hagadone Corporation tested its annual Christmas decoration displays,” e-mails Don Sausser, HBO’s Eye On Sherman Avenue. “The 50-foot lighted tree topping the headquarters building required follow up to get everything properly lit.” 

HBO Poll: Afghan Troop Surge

President Obama will next week announce a surge of at least 25,000 new US troops to Afghanistan in a speech to the nation, according to US officials today. Mr Obama will make the announcement in an address on Tuesday, December 1, after weeks of deliberations over his Afghan strategy and a tenth session with his war council in the White House on Monday night/London Times. More here.

  • Monday Poll: A plurality of 46% — 30 of 65 — of the respondents said Thanksgiving Day is the favorite part of the local events this week, followed by 31% — 20 of 65 — who said that the Hagadone Hospitality fireworks and tree lightings was their favorite.

Hayden Mulls Curfew For Minors

A curfew for kids and keeping smoke away from public entrances are a pair of new codes that the city of Hayden will consider adopting. One is proposed as a means for better public safety — and a way to keep pace with neighboring community rules — while the other is for the benefit of public health, and a first in the area, city officials said. “It may be overdue,” said Stefan Chatwin, Hayden city administrator. “Right now we’re the lone city among its neighbors without a curfew for minors in place.” The time limit would be in effect seven days a week from midnight to 5 a.m. for all children under the age of 18/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Question: Did you pay attention to town curfews when you were a kid?

Real Jobless Rate: 17.5%

As experts debate the potential speed of the US recovery, one figure looms large but is often overlooked: nearly 1 in 5 Americans is either out of work or under-employed. According to the government’s broadest measure of unemployment, some 17.5 percent are either without a job entirely or underemployed. The so-called U-6 number is at the highest rate since becoming an official labor statistic in 1994. The number dwarfs the statistic most people pay attention to (the U-3 rate) which most recently showed unemployment at 10.2 percent for October, the highest it has been since June 1983/CNBC. More here.

Question: Do you think the real jobless rate, including underemployed and jobless individuals who are no longer seeking work, is way higher than the national unemployment rate of 10.2%?

Heller: The End Is Near

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Katrina: A Taste Of Heaven

Nothing feels quite like walking through the door of the home you grew up in and being folded into the arms of your family, all hugging and laughing and talking at once. I like to think it’s a little tiny taste of what heaven will be like. Coming home/Katrina, Notes On A Napkin.

Question: Does the home in which you were raised still stand? Is it still owned by a family member? Have you experienced the warm homecoming that Katrina/Notes On A Napkin describes above?

Parting Shot — 11.23.09

Thousands of sandhill cranes, snow geese and other migratory birds gather at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge south of Socorro, N.M., Monday. The refuge wrapped up its 22nd annual Festival of the Cranes on Sunday. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)

Wild Card/Monday — 11.23.09

We have Turkey Day dead ahead, as Huckleberries prepares to enjoy a short week with the rest of you Merry Hucksters. But that doesn’t mean that we’re in vacation mode yet. Time is ticking on challenger Jim Brannon’s decision to ask for a recount in his five-vote loss to incumbent Mike Kennedy. Next Monday (Nov. 30), I believe, is the deadline. Meanwhile, the anti-Bloem administration forces are busy with their attempts to possibly overturn the whole election. In other words, it’s just another average day in Paradise. Here’s your Wild Card …

LLLH: A Close Encounter w/Rudness

What did not leave me feeling good were two ladies in their late 60’s who were just rude. One came into the row we were sitting in. The theater was packed at this showing. She wanted our seats, and was very loud about it. She says in a very loud voice, ‘if these people would just move down, we could all sit together. I don’t understand why you come in and take a seat in the middle of the aisle.” I wanted to say because it’s where we choose to sit, because we got here early enough to pick our seats, but I didn’t/Live, Love, Laugh, Hope. More here.

Question: LLLH goes on to tell of another encounter w/rudeness in a theater restroom. Have you have a close encounter with a rude person at the movies recently? Tell us about it?

PM Headlines — 11.23.09

Mike Cameron, an Idaho Transportation Department inspector, stands next to newly installed system to warn motorists when wildlife wander across U.S. Highway 95 at Moscow Mountain four miles north of Moscow. The solar-powered system sets off the flashing beacon when wildlife move through an infrared beam. (Photo by Joe Schacher/ITD)

APhoto Of The Day — 11.23.09

Tito Ortiz, head-butts Forrest Griffin during their mixed martial arts light heavyweight bout, Saturday in Las Vegas. Griffin won by split decision. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Brannon vs Kennedy - The Recount! — Idaho Dad.
  • 2. (tie) Sniff, sniff, what is that pretty lavender smell? Did you switch shampoos? — Cabbage Boy. And: Sorry, Tito, says Forrest, I still don’t see any brains in there — JeanieS.
  • 3. Men beating each other up - So easy even a caveman can do it! — Formerly Sandpoint.
  • HM: Herb Huseland

PM Scanner Traffic — 11.23.09

  • 5:57 p.m. Motorist cancels call for assistance at Stateline Showgirls because “he got his keys back.”
  • 5:09 p.m. A deceased dog is in the boulevard b/t Government Way & 2nd/CdA.
  • 4:56 p.m. Toyota Tundra has hit a deer at H95 & Bentz/Hayden.
  • 4:38 p.m. A stalled vehicle w/occupants is blocking n/b NW Blvd, south of I-90.
  • 4:31 p.m. A woman is complaining of a possible broken leg after a T-bone crash b/n a Jeep & a Surburban that’s blocking Ramsey & H53/Rathdrum.
  • 4:12 p.m. Animal bite reported @ 1907 Montana/CdA.
  • 4:05 p.m. Resident reports that two males @ Timber Ridge & Rosemere/Rathdrum are throwing snowballs and pulling out orange surveyor stakes.
  • Much more below

Jim’s Gonzaga Sportslink story

Colorado forward Marcus Relphorde (5) has his shot blocked by Gonzaga forward Elias Harris (20) in the second half in their game at the Maui Invitational NCAA college basketball tournament on Monday. Gonzaga defeated Colorado 76-72. You can read Jim Meehan’s Sportslink game story here. And: ESPN game story here. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)

Also: Jim’s Notebook: Bouldin gets better of Colorado friends/Jim Meehan, SR

MamaJD: I Heard Kralicek Rumor

For goodness sake, Larry (Spencer) — Gary Ingram stated the Kralicek rumor to a third party in my presence at Costco. You should speak with Gary — MamaJD.

Ruminations: Favorite Job Ever

From KerriT/OnLocation North Idaho: On a sunny but cold North Idaho November day, hundreds of starlings surveyed the landscape from overhead wires. Every few minutes they’d swoop as a group to feed in the fields below.

Maybe I shouldn’t have loved that job, though. I was subordinate to two individuals, one of whom was intimidating with that big booming voice of his, and the other was a young kid with obvious talent who always talked down to me. So, I was basically a part-timer, always trying to prove myself, to get more hours, doing a job I loved, although I also felt I was being used. On that job, I basically got the duties no one else wanted. This job was in the field of Radio Broadcasting. I loved it; I craved it, and I continued to be a part of it, in spite of the fact that I was used every single day Between September, 1996, and November 14th, 1999, my last radio shift. Ever/Atmospheric Ruminations. More here.

Question: Describe your favorite job ever?

Palin Meets Billy Graham’s Family

Former governor of Alaska and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin arrives at the Asheville, N.C. airport on Sunday afternoon, for a visit with the Graham family. At left is Franklin Graham, who was there to meet her at the airport. (AP Photo/The Citizen-Times, Stephen Miller)

Question: What do you make of this meeting between former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Billy Graham’s family?

Akey: Enderle To Play For Vandals

A week off after 11 straight games seems to paying dividends for the Idaho football team. Starting quarterback Nathan Enderle (shoulder) is expected to play Saturday against Utah State, coach Robb Akey said this morning. The junior missed the last two games — both losses — before the bye week. Read on for more comments from Akey on Sportslink here.

Gonzaga 76, Colorado 72

Colorado guard Cory Higgins (11) leans back to avoid Gonzaga guard Steven Gray (32) in the first half during their game in the Maui Invitational NCAA college basketball tournament at the Lahaina Civic Center in Lahaina, Hawaii on Monday. Gonzaga recovered from a 15-point, first-half deficit to win 76-72 and advance in the tournament. ESPN boxscore here. And: Jim Meehan’s initial Sportslink report here. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)

Study: Day Cares Show TV To Tots

Parents who thought their preschoolers were spending time in home-based day cares, taking naps, eating healthy snacks and learning to play nicely with others may be surprised to discover they are sitting as many as two hours a day in front of a TV, according to a study published Monday. When added to the two to three hours many parents already admit to allowing at home, preschoolers in child care may be spending more than a third of the about 12 hours they are awake each day in front of the electronic baby sitter/Washington Times. More here.

Question: Would you mind if your home day care allowed your young child to watch TV?

Crump: No Vegan Turkey For Me

On Thursday, my college-student stepdaughter will gather with her friends for a full-course vegan Thanksgiving dinner. That would include tofurky (“turkey” made of tofu), potato gnocchi with broccoli rabe, sourdough bruscetta with olive oil dipping sauce, roasted wheatmeat with oyster mushroom stuffing (“oyster” in this case refers to a type of mushroom, not shellfish), garlic smashers (those are unpeeled mashed potatoes), maple-grilled tempeh, carmelized tofu and roasted pumpkin salad — all topped off by ginger-dusted pumpkin “cheezecake” (vegans don’t do dairy, so the “cheeze” comes from tofu cream cheese). I won’t be joining them, for I — like you — have been to “unconventional” Thanksgiving dinners before/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Would you accept an invitation to have a vegan Thanksgiving?

Letter: Press Wage Edit Bogus

Concerning the Nov. 14 editorial titled, “Wage ‘hike’ is hurting teens,” I must object strongly to the use of the editorial section of The Coeur d’Alene Press to blatantly support the hotel, food and beverage industry at the expense of the working poor in our community. In the paper’s opposition to federally mandated minimum wage, the editorial cited a study by the nonprofit Employment Policies Institute (EPI) to demonstrate that an increase in the minimum wage would hurt the ability of young job seekers to find a temporary job over the holidays. The following quick fact check will demonstrate that in printing this editorial, the editors have both insulted the intelligence of the paper’s subscribers and damaged the credibility of the institution to add meaningful dialogue on the subjects of minimum wages specifically, and labor laws in general/John Hawkins, former Coeur d’Alene resident. More here.

Question: Did anyone in your family get a raise when the minimum wage went up?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 11.23.09

Holiday lights are a beacon in the snow and fog as Jane Crane makes her way up Savannah Lane in southeast Spokane on her daily walk Sunday. Higher elevations saw the first significant snowfall of the elevation in the Spokane area Sunday. (Christopher Anderson/SR)

High Noon: Remember When?

I want the days when a kid tries to kiss a girl in the 2nd grad, not be treated like a sex offender. A kid with camping utensil not be kicked out of school. Where kids don’t get arrested for having a food fight. where they got sent to the principal and they called your folks. No child was handcuffed and sent off to jail. Where kids can still send letters to Santa. … Where we raised the flag, wear the flag, put the flag on anything we own and not offend anyone, because we are all proud to be Americans. Where, when we do something stupid like spill coffee on ourselves, we don’t blame the coffee maker or maker and sue/Simple Mind. More here.

Question: What do you miss most about the “good old days”?

AM Scanner Traffic — 11.23.09

  • 11:59 a.m. Local business wants to speak to an officer re: employee theft.
  • 11:05 a.m. Female talking on her cell phone is driving recklessly s/b @ Ramsey & Appleway.
  • 11:01 a.m. Subpoena server wants police backup in Spirit Lake because the woman he has to serve has “issues” and may “go off” on him.
  • 9:22 a.m. Garwood Elementary asks police assistance to deal w/unruly juvenile. Officer responds: “Does the school know I can’t solve juvenile disobedience problems? The parents need to be involved. If it has gotten to the point that the school needs me, then the juvenile needs to go home.”
  • 9:05 a.m. “Rabbits at large” reported but no location given. Be careful out there.
  • 8:54 a.m. A resident reports she saw a suspicious vehicle in a neighbor’s driveway, @ Hidden Valley & Tamalark/Rathdrum, as she was driving to work.
  • 8:33 a.m. A 16YO boy suffered broken teeth and a possible concussion when he was hit by a vehicle @ New Visions School/Post Falls.
  • 8:19 a.m. An injured cat is reported @ 1370 Gilbert/CdA.

The Hill: GOP Leaders Backing Ward

The Washington, D.C. newspaper The Hill is reporting that U.S. House GOP leaders are lining up behind Vaughn Ward in the Republican race for a chance to take on freshman Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick, though state Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, says he’ll also be jumping into the race and former GOP Congressman Bill Sali still hasn’t decided whether or not to try for a comeback. Minnick narrowly defeated Sali in 2008 to become the first Democrat to hold Idaho’s 1st District congressional seat since 1994/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. More here.

Question: Any early impressions of Vaughn Ward?

Turkey Trivia Quiz

Cis, who sends this “Turkey Trivia Quiz” along, sez she scored 14 out of 20. Let us know how you did (no fudging results) here …

KTVB: Pervs Live Close To Schools

In a month-long investigation, NewsChannel 7 did our own measuring and found sex offenders living inside that boundary and law enforcement agencies unclear on who exactly is responsible. We started with a random list of 80 sex offenders in the Treasure Valley. We wanted to see if any of them were living too close to schools. We checked records, drove to each address and then measured the distance from the closest school’s property line to 30 homes where registered sex offenders resided. We found eight offenders breaking the law in Canyon, Elmore and Ada County/KTVB. More here.

Question: Who should be responsible to check to ensure that sex offenders don’t live within 500 feet of schools? Do you believe that someone checks such things in your community?

Poll: Health Care Reform Backing Low

Just 38% of voters now favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s the lowest level of support measured for the plan in nearly two dozen tracking polls conducted since June. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% now oppose the plan. Half the survey was conducted before the Senate voted late Saturday to begin debate on its version of the legislation. Support for the plan was slightly lower in the half of the survey conducted after the Senate vote. Prior to this, support for the plan had never fallen below 41%/Rasmussen Reports. More here.

Question: Do you still have the same position today as you did at the beginning of the debate on the Democrats’ plans to reform health care?

HBO Poll: Winter Wonderland

We’ve had a tree go for over $10,000. Typically the auction trees run anywhere from $2,000 on up. This year, we have a tree worth over $20,000 that incorporates all the elements for a wedding. Another one this year, the Mountain West Tree, is going to feature an afternoon cruise on Duane Hagadone’s sailboat. That is with crew and dinner at The Beachhouse — Teri Farr, Kootenai Health Foundation re: Festival of the Trees. Alison Boggs’ Q&A here.

  • Friday Poll: 70% — 52 of 74 — respondents said they believe the BNSF refueling depot poses a significant environmental danger to the sole-source Rathdrum aquifer.
  • Secondary Poll (from Idaho Statesman): 60% — 53 of 89 — said the USPS’ decision to quit forwarding Santa Claus letters to North Pole, Alaska, was a bad one. (The USPS reversed the decision after the poll came out.)

A Shelter In The Storm

Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns provides another look at yesterday’s snowstorm, from a Priest Laker’s perspective.

Popular LCHS Music Teacher Dies

Lacie Hedahl, the long-time teacher for music and special choruses teacher at Lake City High School, was found dead after passing away in her sleep from natural causes. Principal John Brumley told Huckleberries Online moments ago that he met with staff at 7:15 this morning after learning of Hedahl’s death at 10 o’clock last night. “Lacie was a deeply loved by the kids and other staff members,” Brumley said. “She ran an award-winning program. We are so saddened by her loss. We’ve been overwhelmed by the student reaction.” Staff members read a two-sentence statement to students as school began today. Grief counseling was made available to students and staff members. Also, the library was opened to allow students to remember the popular music teacher. 

Costello: Media Ignore Hasan Motive

Obama-approved legitimate news organization host Chris Matthews, declared that “we may never know if religion was a factor at Fort Hood.” You mean, that part about Hasan chanting “Alahu Akbar” (Allah is great!) as he murdered soldiers wasn’t a clue? Or the story about Hasan celebrating when U.S. servicemen are killed by roadside bombs isn’t a tip-off? And when Hasan learned in 2003 that a Muslim soldier in Kuwait had gone on a rampage and killed several of his fellow servicemen, he cheered. Is that consistent with anything else we’ve learned? Now, let’s look at a brief history of “premature conclusions.” When late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller was assassinated in Kansas six months ago, the New York Times jumped immediately to the conclusion that principled opposition to late-term abortions created a climate that contributed to the murder/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Lewiston Trib columnist Michael Costello raises a touchy question. But it’s worth considering. Do you believe the media ignored the possible religious connection to Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s one-man terrorist attack at Fort Hood?

M&M: 10 Smartest Movie Psychos

OK, most of us like lists. They’re easy to compile, easy to read, not particularly challenging to the imagination and fun to debate. Last week I was talked into thinking about movie psychopaths when my friend Dan Fratini brought up a couple of movie psychos, namely Michael Madsen’s Mr. Blonde in “Reservoir Dogs” and Javier Bardem’s Anton Chigurh in “No Country for Old Men.” I gave the subject some thought and rejected both as a little too obvious and mindless. I prefer some thoughtfulness to my psychos, which is how I came up with the following list of The 10 Smartest Psychopaths in Movie History/Dan Webster, Movies & More. Dan’s Top 10 list here.

Question: Which movie psychopaths would you list as the smartest ones?

AM Headlines — 11.23.09

Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns spotted this owl while driving on Highway 57 at Priest Lake during snow storm Sunday. Writes Pecky: ”Glad to know someone is watching.”

Majer: Helping Corporate US Thrive

Chris Majer has run the gamut, beginning with political radical and ending with innovative corporate trainer, with a stop along the way as adviser to the U.S. Army Special Forces. Indeed, the founder and CEO of The Human Potential Project has taken an unconventional path to success. The Spokane resident and Lewis and Clark High School graduate said the social revolution of the late 1960s and early ’70s inspired him. As a militant anti-war protester, he wanted to change the world/Cindy Hval, Washington Voices. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Majer:  “As much as it’s screwed up right now, our corporate sector is the real engine of change on the planet.” If not, what do you think is the real engine of change?

OTV Review: Pilgrim’s Market

Most major supermarkets have zeroed in on the trend, but for those hosts and hostesses who really want to get back to nature for their Thanksgiving spreads, the place to shop is Pilgrim’s Market on North Fourth St. in Coeur d’Alene. Owners Joe and Sarah Hamilton opened their doors for business in 1999, starting life as a mere sliver of its current incarnation, a hole-in-the-wall shop stocking a relatively small selection of vitamin supplements and all-natural snack foods. They were able to slowly take over the entire strip mall last year when Liquidation World closed, and while it isn’t quite as mondo as the Whole Foods chain or Spokane’s Huckleberries, it is the largest outlet for health-conscious products and foods in North Idaho. Food snobs relocating from places like Santa Cruz and Seattle should feel right at home in the well-stocked aisles of Pilgrim’s Market/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: How often do you shop at Pilgrim’s Market?

Ramirez: Malignant Boob

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Semi Crash Snarls I-90

The Idaho State Police are currently investigating a Semi Tractor Trailer Crash on I90 at Milepost 28 (4th of July Pass).  The semi and crash are blocking lanes East and Westbound.  The road is still open, but please expect delays.  Due to the damage the road will be partially blocked for a significant period of time/Full ISP report below.

Wild Card/Sunday

We’re approaching what Garrison Keillor calls the second giant step toward winter this week: Thanksgiving. I’m sure there’ll be a thread or two re: things we are thankful for. Also, some resorts are open for skiers and snowboarders. Then, there’s Black Friday the day after Turkey Day, when many merchants and economists will have their fingers crossed hoping for a decent upswing in sales. Finally, we’ll gather on Sherman Avenue to watch the annual holiday parade, troop a few feet away to sing Christmas carols and ohh and ahh when Hagadone Hospitality lights its giant Christmas tree, and then crowd into the Coeur d’Alene Resort for the Festival of Trees. You can envision those sugar plums or start your own threads by playing this Wild Card today …

Idaho 81, North Dakota State 69

Idaho scored the first seven points of the second half and led by double digits most of the rest of the way to beat North Dakota State 81-69 Saturday.Steffan Johnson had 19 points, six assists and three steals for the Vandals (2-1). Luiz Toledo added 18 points and eight rebounds, and Mac Hopson had 16 points and eight assists/AP. ESPN boxscore here.

Wild Card/Saturday — 11.21.09

I want to thank all of you who extended well wishes through the blog, in phone calls, and e-mails Friday as I celebrated my 60th birthday. The good vibes from you and my colleagues at work, as well as the outpouring of love that I received from my extended family and personal friends made it easier to deal with this big milestone. We’ve come through a lot together here in the almost six years I’ve been running Huckleberries Online. And I’m not about to quit just yet. I’ll play the Wild Card and check in later Saturday …

Springsteen Surfs Crowd

Bruce Springsteen surfs the crowd while performing with the E Street Band Friday in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)

Question: Which live concert is the best you’ve seen?

Trib: Risch Grandstanding re: Massacre

JEERS … to Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho. Doesn’t he have anything better to do than grandstand on the Fort Hood massacre? Last week, Risch tried to get his name in the newspapers by announcing he will ask a U.S. Army prosecutor to add a 14th murder charge against Major Nidal Malik Hasan. “Both federal law and the Uniform Code of Military Justice allow for a murder charge when a person causes the death of an unborn child,” Risch said in a press release. “One of the victims, Private Francheska Velez, was pregnant when she was killed and as a result, her child died as well.” Does that Army prosecutor have enough to do without fending off the unsolicited advice of a U.S. senator? Do you think the prosecutor already knows about the law and how it applies to the death of a pregnant woman? Who has a better grasp of the evidence in the case, the prosecutor at the scene or the senator in Washington/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here

Question: Was U.S. Sen. Jim Risch grandstanding on the number of dead in the Fort Hood massacre? Or should prosecutors file a 14th murder charge against Major Hasan?

Crash Kills Sandpoint Pedestrian

A man crossing the busy intersection at Ceder and Fifth in downtown Sandpoint was killed late Thursday afternoon when a man driving a truck didn’t see him in the crosswalk.“The gentleman that hit him was stabilizing his head and kept telling him ‘You’re going to be okay, you’re going to be okay,’” witness Sherri Voight said. “There was a lady with 911 on the phone screaming, ‘You hit him, you hit him,’ and he said ‘I couldn’t see him, I couldn’t see him, it’s so black out here, I couldn’t see him.’” Idaho State Police say the driver of the Ford F-250 stopped at the intersection late Thursday afternoon, then turned south and hit 46 year-old Anthony Joerger. Witnesses say he was thrown at least 15 feet/Tania Dall, KXLY. More here including 1:54-minute video.

Question: A close friend of mine was hit by a car while crossing a crosswalk near the S-R building in downtown Spokane. Another friend suffered disabling injuries when she was hit on a sidewalk by a bicycle in downtown Spokane. Have you ever been involved or nearly involved in a pedestrian-vehicle accident?

‘The Road’ To Debut Next Week

In this film publicity image released by The Weinstein Company, Viggo Mortensen, right, and Kodi Smit-McPhee are shown in a scene from, “The Road.”  Review here. (AP Photo/The Weinstein Company, Macall Polay)

Question: Did you read Cormac McCarthy’s book, “The Road”? What did you think? Do you plan to see the movie that debuts Wednesday?

HMO: Make Lemonade Out Of Lemons

HMOffsuite (re: JeanieS’s layoff): Jeanie. When these types of events happen to us, one needs to figure out how to make lemonade out of lemons. Set up an office, of sorts, at home, and sell your skills on a part time basis or something like that. Work on a selective basis and as a contractor. If you are not a real ‘employee’, you might find you get more work, on your own terms, maybe even from the previous employer. Your net income would likely go up without the employee deductions. Or, start an internet business while you have the ‘downtime’. Good luck.

Question: Have you ever had to make lemonade out of lemons as a result of an ordeal that life tossed at you? Tell us about it.

Wanted: A Real Life Mute Button — MJD

MamaJD: Because of politics and a family member, I discovered I could “see less of this person” on Facebook by changing a setting. I felt guilty about it at the time but his liberal status rants were creating that deep rift that could have led to total alienation. Now I wish we had the Facebook setting for real life too. During the holidays, should he rant his rant, I will be thinking about how I would like to change the setting and see less of him.

Question: Would you like to have a real life mute button, like the one on Facebook that MamaJD mentions, that would allow you to see less of a family member or friend that goes on and on about politics, religion, or some other sensitive subject?

Spear: No ADs Have Asked About Akey

Things are pretty quiet with Idaho football these days because of the bye week, but I wanted to pass along this note. I asked UI athletic director Rob Spear yesterday if any schools had called seeking permission to talk to coach Robb Akey (UNLV is rumored to be interested) and he said, “I have not been contacted.” He went on to say, “I think it isn’t something we should be caught off guard by”/Josh Wright, Sportslink. More here.

Question: Are you concerned that another college will woo away Robb Akey, now that he has transformed the UI Vandals into a winner?

Gonzaga 90, IPFW 55

Gonzaga’s Grant Gibbs, from left, Andy Poling and Chris Pontarolo-Maag battle for the ball against Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne’s Antwone Sead in the first half of their NCAA college basketball game at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane Friday. ESPN game story & boxscore here. (AP Photo/Rajah Bose)

Blackfoot 29, Sandpoint 23

The Sandpoint football team chose an inopportune time to misfire on both sides of the ball. Blackfoot built a 29-9 lead before the Broncos held off a late Sandpoint rally 29-23 in the State 4A championship game before an estimated crowd of 2,500 at the Kibbie Dome. Sandpoint (9-3) took over at its 16-yard line with 4:16 remaining after Blackfoot (11-1) botched a 21-yard field goal attempt that would have all but locked up the game. Blackfoot’s place holder couldn’t pull down a high snap, allowing Sandpoint to take over at the 16. Bulldogs quarterback Daniel Charvoz completed five passes on the drive as Sandpoint moved to the Blackfoot 32. But a sack for a 6-yard loss followed by three consecutive incomplete passes ended the Bulldogs’ final possession/Greg Lee, Sportslink. More here.

Me: I Had The Time Of My Life, But …

OK - went to my 30th class reunion in August in Hamilton Montana. I had the BEST possible High School experience that I think anyone could. It was a small school. Not too clique-ee. By the time we were Seniors everyone pretty much got along and could hang out together. I did not grow up in Hamilton. Still to this day, I don’t completely feel like I belonged there because many of my classmates went to school together for ALL 12 YEARS! Can you imagine? I think that is the coolest thing, and I have to say I was so excited when my son graduated from Post Falls High and he was a 12 year-er (he didn’t get why I thought that was so cool)/It’s Just Me. More here.

Question: Which high school clique did you belong to?

Parting Shot — 11.20.09

Wearing Pilgrim hats, Springmyer Elementary school Kindergarten students Cameron McWilliam, left, and Antonio Buccino sing a song as they and the rest of the Kindergarten class take part in the schools annual Thanksgiving program at the Green Township, Ohio School on Friday. (AP Photo/The Cincinnati Enquirer, Ernest Coleman)

Question: Will any of your children/grandchildren involved in a school play during the holidays? Will you attend?

DFO @ Big 6-0 Wild Card — 11.20.09

I hit the Big 6-0 at about 1:30 this morning — and the sky didn’t seem to fall. I’ve received a number of condolences from friends, family, and co-workers. Betsy Russell tells me that 60 is the new 40. But I can’t remember as many nicks in the chassis when I was 40. Overall, I consider life very good. I have a wife of 34 years who still loves me in spite of my warts. Two kids (and a wonderful dotter-in-law) who are doing well. I live in a great community, with dedicated leaders, like Mayor Sandi Bloem, who shares my birthday. I attend a great, little local church. And I’m loved by a magnificent God Who isn’t finished working on me. ‘Tis all good. Now, for your Wild Card …

Cis: ‘I Ruined 2 People’s Lives’

have two people in my life that I have made them cynical, angry at times. Not at me…but at life. At the government. Both of these people could have cared less about politics 4 years ago. Both did not pay that much attention to the news. One of which had not voted for years if at all. Both of them voted last year. They voted on both sides. Meaning one went for McCain and the other went for Obama. The one who voted for McCain was almost disowned by the family. They came to visit saw the sign in the yard for McCain, and turn around and left without going to the door/Cis, From A Simple Mind. More here.

Question: Has your politics ever driven a wedge between yourself and a family member?

PM Headlines — 11.20.09

Mayor Sandi Bloem, City Council members, city staff, St. Vincent de Paul Board and staff, and officials from Contractors Northwest participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony for a 15-unit apartment house completed at the corner of Fruitland and Neider built with $2 million in grant funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 811 program. More here.

APhoto Of The Day — 11.20.09

A crane removing an oak tree from the yard of Michelle and Kevin McCarthy is seen after it toppled into the house Monday afternoon in Santa Rosa, Calif. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Mark Aronoff, The Press Democrat)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. When asked who was to blame, several area residents had different explanations … (see complete comment below) — Nic.
  • 2. (tie) Jonathan Coe’s first attempt to Coeur d’Alene-ify Santa Rosa, making it a development and business friendly climate — JT, and: Newest LCDC funded art display along Coeur d’ Alene’s midtown district — Redman.
  • 3. (tie) Liftoff to the unemployment line in 3,2,1 — Formerly Sandpoint, and: Duane’s attempt to hang the world’s largest Christmas wreath fails miserably — Fishwife.
  • HM: Soaf

PM Scanner Traffic — 11.20.09

  • 5:23 p.m. 45YO female left a voice mail on her ex-boyfriend’s phone, saying she is going to commit suicide.
  • 5:18 p.m. Motorist in black SUV hit mailbox at Black Sheep and drove off.
  • 4:39 p.m. Female driver reports hitting a moose @ Ramsey & Chilco. Moose wasn’t hurt.
  • 4:29 p.m. R/P reports 2 juveniles are riding ATVs on old H95 in Garwood area.
  • 4:26 p.m. An off-duty PFPD Blue reports that his neighbor’s pellet stove is malfunctioning and smoking up the house @ Lucas & 22nd.
  • 4:24 p.m. Female R/P reports that a cat that she ran over went into a house @ Elk & Huckleberry/Post Falls.
  • 4:19 p.m. R/P reports that Angelica is kicking her door and threatening to beat her up in a Fruitland apartment complex.
  • Much more below

Spencer Admits His Mistake … Sorta

Larry Spencer (Coeur d’Alene Press comments section): ” I went to talk to Dan English about the military voter I had questions about, and the election office seems to have followed the directions from the Secretary of State, and correctly registered the former Post Falls resident using Dan Englishs office address. The serviceman did own a home in Post Falls, and sold it in 2006, so he did reside in the area. My question is why the Secretary of State would direct that people who did not live in CdA in the past, but in Post Falls, vote in the CdA city elections. It seems to me that if a person moves away to go to school or serve in the armed forces, and in so doing they retain their right to vote here, they should still vote in the city they lived in rather than the city the clerks office is in.”

Dan English: “And thank you for acknowledging the correction Spencer. He is registered at this address per directions from the Secretary of State for these types of situations and has been an active voter since at least 2002.

Jeanie: Recession Depression

Well, isn’t this just ducky. After 11 years, I got laid off yesterday. On a stress scale, I think I’m off the charts. First there was the thyroid biopsy (which turned out fine). Then there was the anemia problem. Then the failing kidneys. Then 3-days-a-week, 3.5 hour dialysis sessions. And now I have no job! I believe it is highly possible for an elephant to fall on my head. Actually - I think I’ll be ok. I’m eligible for SSI, which could take five months to resolve. In the meantime, I’ll do unemployment (think a 60-year-old dialysis patient is readily hireable?). Fortunately Medicare (for kidney dialysis) will kick in December 1. The good news … I do NOT have to drive in snow to work/JeanieS, Nuts & Nonsense. More here.

Question: Anyone have a message to encourage HBO favorite JeanieS?

HBO Blogosphere — 11.20.09

With less than a week before Thanksgiving, a family of wild turkeys parades through a Fernan Lake neighborhood, posts KerriT/OnLocation North Idaho.

Statesman Poll: No Santa Letters

Santa Claus, also known as Patrick Farmer, at Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska, holds letters from children sent this year that the U.S. Postal Service says they will no longer deliver. Citing privacy concerns, postal officials say that generically addressed letters to “Santa Claus, North Pole” will no longer be forwarded to volunteers in the Alaska town as has been done for years. (AP Photo/Sam Harrel)

KREM2: Stores Sell Smokes To 15YOs

It can be easy for children to get their hands on cigarettes.  Our cameras were rolling as 15-year-old volunteer girls try to buy cigarettes at a dozen different places in Spokane and Spokane Valley. The health district goes undercover more than 100 times a year to make sure stores are obeying the law and not selling cigarettes to minors.  KREM 2 went along as four stores in our area were caught making the sale. The health district’s tobacco prevention team supervises the underage volunteers as they try to buy cigarettes in the store.  Four out of 12 places sold to the girls/KREM2. More here.

Question: Should law enforcement spend much time cracking down on teen smokers?

Richert: Do Readers Want Watchdogs?

When the Statesman’s Erika Bolstad broke a rock-solid story about bonuses awarded by outgoing and embattled Sen. Larry Craig, the detractors were quick to chime in. Their message, loosely translated: “Hey Statesman, let the Craig story die already.” When Cynthia Sewell found some startling news about the city’s controversial streetcar public relations contract, and we followed up with an editorial criticizing the mishandled deal, we heard a similar refrain. “Enough about the streetcar contract; move on to real news.” So I’m left feeling a bit snarky. Readers say they want watchdog reporting. They want to know where their tax dollars are going. Do readers only really care when spending hits a certain undefined threshold? Is there some floor level we don’t know about, kind of like the unposted “real” speed limit on a remote stretch of I-84?/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question (from Kevin Richert): Do readers want watchdog reporting — or do they just say they want it?

Crump: Dobbs Cut Teeth In Idaho

So now we know who’s responsible for Lou Dobbs. It’s the American Legion. Before announcing his resignation from CNN last week, the Rupert-bred commentator told the Legion that his experience with itsnationwide oratorical contest at Minico High School shaped both his world view and choice of career. Dobbs, now 64, was 1961 Idaho state champion as a sophomore. “The discussion was ‘individual rights and responsibilities.’ That experience was fundamental to my ability to communicate in public. It gave me an opportunity to think more deeply and to express those rights and those responsibilities. It’s been an element of my life throughout my life. I never think about rights or privileges without thinking about responsibilities”/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Are you a Lou Dobbs’ fan?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 11.20.09

The Milky Way spreads across the night sky over Mormon Row, an historic settlement, in Grand Teton National Park near Jackson, Wyo., Thursday night. The light in the distance is the city of Driggs, Idaho, on the west side of the Teton Mountain Range. (AP Photo/Jackson Hole News&Guide, Bradly J. Boner)

High Noon: Edward? Or Jacob?

In this film publicity image released by Summit Entertainment, Robert Pattinson, background left, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner, right, are shown in a scene from “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.” Movie review here. (AP Photo/Summit Entertainment, Kimberley French)

Question: Should Bella have picked Jacob over Edward?

Mike Kralicek Supports Mike Kennedy

For those keeping score at home, Mike Kralicek, the former Coeur d’Alene police officer who was critically wounded in the line of duty a few years back, supports Councilman Mike Kennedy 100 percent. I just got off the phone with Kralicek. He told me that he called Mike Kennedy, offering his help in any way because he considered the councilman to be a strong supporter of public safety. Said MikeK: “The police and fire departments supported him. That’s why I knew he was OK.” Carrie told me that her husband made the decision on his own to join M-Kennedy in going through the Coeur d’Alene Place neighborhood. Her daughter pushed her husband in a wheelchair, Carrie said, because M-Kralicek can’t walk far on his own due to the horrific injuries he suffered in the shooting. She denounced anyone who would circulate the rumor that the police union forced her husband to support M-Kennedy against his will. Said Carrie: “Some people act as though Mike doesn’t have a brain in his head to make his own decisions.”

All Yours For The Right Bid

As you know, I’m deeply indebted for the terrific job that CindyH does filling in for me while I’m on vacation. But saying thanks doesn’t seem to be enough. So I figured I’d post this photo (monster hat tip to Sue) of a fundraiser planned by the Festival at Sandpoint. Apparently, firefighters (6 of the above firemen) at the Sandpoint Fire Department are offering 2 full days of labor — 96 hours total — to the home or business that turns in the highest bid. And this is just one of the 180 silent and live auction items that you can bid on at Holly Eve Saturday. (Call for tickets at 265-4554 and see below for more information)

Question: Now, what could you do with six firefighters for 96 total hours?

The Blogmeister Hits Sixty

He’s still looking good,
he’s still looking fine,
but a little bit worse
than at age fifty-nine.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

AM Scanner Traffic — 11.20.09

  • 11:59 a.m. An officer and a welfare worker are checking on the welfare of a 7YO girl at a local elementary.
  • 11:47 a.m. A truck pulling a trailer loaded with motorcycles is reportedly driving recklessly on I-90 @ Seltice Way overpass.
  • 11:21 a.m. A Pontiac Grand Prix, with Washington plates, has been abandoned on McKenzie/Rathdrum for two weeks.
  • 10:50 a.m. Trooper reports that a GMC pickup is pulling a trailer that has debris blowing out of the back @ I-90 & M/P 9 (near Heutter rest stop).
  • 10:19 a.m. David reports credit card fraud.
  • 10:02 a.m. A tobacco offense is reported @ 4th & Hoffman. No further info.
  • 9:45 a.m. Robin reports bank fraud involving identity theft.
  • 9:35 a.m. A 45YO diabetic male is unconscious in front of the Tamarack mobile home park on Government Way.
  • 8:45 a.m. Maintenance worker reports that a male w/a telephoto lense is sitting in a pickup taking photos of an NIC residence hall.
  • 8:32 a.m. An e/b black Volvo w/o license plates almost ran three vehicles off I-90 @ M/P 21 (near Blue Creek Bay bridge).
  • 8:13 a.m. A stalled white pickup is blocking Arrow, near Dakota/Hayden, in front of new construction @ Army Reserve property.
  • 7:50 a.m. Smell of gas causes Timberlake High/Spirit Lake to be evacuated. SR story here.

Official Report On HRCI Swastika

You can read the official Coeur d’Alene police report re: the incident discovered Thursday morning involving a swastika pasted to the front door of the Human Rights Institute here.

HBO Poll: BNSF Refueling Depot

Despite its rocky start, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe refueling depot in Huetter received a nod of approval from the Kootenai County commissioners on Thursday. Continuing the conditional five-year compliance hearing that was tabled last week, the commissioners voted unanimously that the massive depot is in compliance with the conditions the officials set when they passed a conditional use permit for the facility in 2004/Alecia Warren, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Thursday Poll: A plurality of 40% (54 of 134 respondents) said they don’t like President Obama or his policies. 48 of 134 (36%) said they like Obama and his policies. 32 of 134 (24%) said they personally like Obama more than his policies.

UI Dominates Rivalry w/Boise State

Being a Vandal, I like to reduce the difference between the University of Idaho and Boise State University to a glib one-liner: they win football games, and we won the National Medal of Arts. But again, that’s glib, and does a disservice — we win football games too, after all. I was born in St. Luke’s Hospital, and except for a few years in Jerome, I spent all my youth in Meridian, a mere ten miles out of Boise. My parents are both alums of what was once the Episcopalian Boise Junior College, my father with an associate degree in business and my mother with a bachelor’s in technical communications. There are many ways in which Boise State has us beat: enrollment, football, and number of bowling lanes on campus. Academics is not chiefly among them, and numbers can tell the story/Marcus Kellis, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: Who do you think dominates the rivalry between UIdaho and Boise State?

Oprah To Pull Plug In 2011

Oprah Winfrey knows how to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. In the last 10 minutes of her show, Winfrey confirmed that she will be ending her syndicated “Oprah Winfrey Show” in September 2011. “After much prayer and months of careful thought, I thought that next season, season 25, will be the last season of ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show,’ ” she told the audience. “You may hear a lot of speculation in the press about why I’m making this decision now, and I wanted you to hear it from me,” she said. “Twenty-four years ago on September 8, 1986, I went live from Chicago to launch the first show. I was beyond excited, and a little nervous”/CNN International. More here.

Question: Can you live without the ‘Oprah Winfrey Show’?

AM Headlines — 11.20.09

“It takes about a month to finish” said Coeur d’Alene Resort landscaper Chris Winter as he worked to string lights on a tree in front of the Coeur d’Alene Resort recently. The much anticipated Coeur d’Alene Holiday Light Show Opening Ceremony will be on Nov. 27, starting at 5:30 p.m., which includes a lighted parade, Christmas carols, candle lighting and fireworks show over Lake Coeur d’Alene. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

Fewer Pap Screenings Recommended

Item: Group recommends fewer Pap screenings: Report unconnected to recent mammogram advice/Shari Roan, L.A. Times

More Info: Only days after a federal panel scaled back on breast cancer screening recommendations for many women, another organization – the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – has done the same for a screening credited with drastically reducing the rates of cervical cancer in the U.S. Women of all ages should undergo Pap smears less frequently than they do now, those new guidelines say. And young women are advised not to bother until age 21. The pullback follows the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s dismissal of routine breast cancer screenings for women under 50.

Question: What’s going on here?

County: BNSF Depot In Compliance

Item: BNSF depot in compliance: Commissioners agree to propose additional conditions for facility/Alecia Warren, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Despite its rocky start, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe refueling depot in Huetter received a nod of approval from the Kootenai County commissioners on Thursday. Continuing the conditional five-year compliance hearing that was tabled last week, the commissioners voted unanimously that the massive depot is in compliance with the conditions the officials set when they passed a conditional use permit for the facility in 2004.

Question: Are you still concerned that the BNSF depot near Hauser poses an environmental risk?

Heller: Rolling The Pink Dice

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

‘Failure Is Not An Option’

Have we really come to this? Both the President and the Attorney General have stated, unequivocally, that Khalid Shaikh Mohammad and his co-defendants will be found guilty and executed. What an appalling statement. It’s not just the fear a lot of Americans have about these terrorists being brought to New York City to be tried in Federal Court. It’s what the rest of the world is seeing. The reason behind this faulty exercise is to showcase how wonderful our justice system is. How the United States is the shining beacon on the hill of fairness. Well, perhaps at one time. Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty”? Even the most heinous of criminals, those we know are guilty, are given that right/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: Do you have concerns re: the possible unfairness or location of this trial?

Parting Shot — 11.19.09

Soaf tells Huckleberries Online that “I was on my way down to La Barge WY yesterday. As I was headed through the Hoback River Canyon South of Jackson WY,  I came around a corner on the highway and was greeted with the critters in the attached pics standing in the middle of the road. This pix of a ewe standing (only fee) from my vehicle.”

Wild Card/Thursday — 11.19.09

It’s rarely a dull day here at HBO Central — and today is no different. It appears the remnant of the neo-Nutsies were sneaking around in the darkness last night to try to intimidate Rachel Dolezal and other Human Rights Institute reps and fans. Here’s hoping those security cameras caught them. Then there’s last night’s attempted burglary of the Shopko Pharmacy, where my family gets its prescription medication. This little burg of ours doesn’t seem to be as safe as it once was. Mebbe dull days are nice. Here’s your Wild Card …

CindyH: ‘Dreaded Note From Teacher’

CindyH: So. I got the dreaded “note from teacher.” Or in this case e-mail. It seems my 10-year-old was sent to the principal’s office for “blurting out,” and “talking out of turn several times despite repeated warnings.” He’s been sentenced to morning and lunch recess detention. (Keeping an active kid inside seems rather counterproductive, imo) My question is for parents: When/if your kids get in trouble at school, do you follow up with consequences at home? What kind? Right now, he’s confined to quarters while I go to the gym and mull this over during my workout. More below.

Question: Some Berry Pickers have already made suggestions on the “Wild Card” thread re: how Cindy should handle this situation. Do you have 2 cents to throw in, too?

PM Headlines — 11.19.09

Matt Phillips ( center) gets a skating tip from Disney On Ice professionals Mark Stanford (right ) and Allison Best during an open skating session today at the Riverfront Park Ice Palace. Local Special Olympic Skaters got the opportunity to meet and skate with professionals who are in town for the Disney On Ice “Worlds of Fantasy” show being held at the Spokane Arena through Sunday. (Christopher Anderson/SR)

APhoto Of The Day — 11.19.09

Stacie Hunt poses for a portrait at Midwestern Meats in Mesa, Ariz.Hunt has the improbable title of fitness trainer for Midwestern Meats in Mesa. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/ The Arizona Republic, Michael McNamara)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Asked if she ever gets hit on by the male employees, Stacie replies, “These guys handle breasts, legs, and thighs all day. When they come to my class, that’s the last thing on their minds” — Idaho Dad.
  • 2. Soylent Green’s new spokesmodel, Stacie Hunt, announces a new line of meat products at the company’s processing plant in Mesa, Arizona. “I ate SG burgers and ribs for a six weeks and I’ve never felt better,” Hunt said. “We’re dying for you to go on the SG diet”
  • 3. Well, the meat here has is not injected with anything and contains no growth hormones. On the other hand my breasts, legs and arms — KeithinCDA.
  • HM: JohnA & Bent.

That’s How Many Birthdays?!

To keep living forever
is but a chimera,
nonetheless he’s quite close now:
D.F. Oliveria.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

PM Scanner Traffic — 11.19.09

  • 5:40 p.m. NIC maintenance worker reports vandalism to the towel or toilet dispenser in an upstairs men’s bathroom.
  • 5:08 p.m. Captain’s Wheel/Bayview reports unconscious person at bar.
  • 4:47 p.m. An officer is trying to resolve a domestic dispute over ownership of a cat.
  • 4:20 p.m. R/P @ Cornerstone Conoco, 54 & 95/Athol, is w/an older woman who claims she’s being abused by her caretaker.
  • 4:09 p.m. R/P in the 1200 block of 3rd/CdA reports that he was hit in the head in a strong-armed robbery in his home — and that the perp left in a Mazda Millenium sedan w/Washington plates, registered to a Spokane Valley man. EMTs report the knife wounds are superficial.
  • 3:23 p.m. Howard claims that he was pushed by the parents of another student @ North Idaho Christian Academy/Hayden.
  • 3:13 p.m. R/P reports some sort of juvenile problem @ Violet & Honeysuckle.
  • 2:53 p.m. A female driver ran over a construction gone near Garwood and continued driving s/b unaware that the cone is stuck under the vehicle.
  • More below

Judge: Corp Liable For Katrina Mess

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the Army Corps of Engineers’ failure to properly maintain a navigation channel led to massive flooding in Hurricane Katrina, a decision that could make the federal government vulnerable to billions of dollars in claims. U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval sided with six residents and one business who argued the Army Corps’ shoddy oversight of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet led to the flooding of New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward and neighboring St. Bernard Parish. He said, however, the corps couldn’t be held liable for the flooding of eastern New Orleans, where two of the plaintiffs lived/DiscoveryNews. More here.

H/T: Nic, Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Question: Are you surprised by the verdict?

Review: Redneck Humor Drives ‘Tuna’

For those playgoers who have not yet experienced the slapstick charms of Tuna, the “third smallest town in Texas,” here’s a hint: Imagine “King of the Hill” meets “Benny Hill.” In other words, “A Tuna Christmas,” consists of redneck humor delivered by two male actors who each dress up as 12 different characters, including Bertha Bumiller, Petey Fisk, Sheriff Givens and Didi Snavely, the owner of Didi’s Used Weapons. It has the same low-rent appeal as its precursor “Greater Tuna,” written by the same team of Joe Sears, Jaston Williams and Ed Howard. Yet “A Tuna Christmas” is different, and not only because it takes place entirely on Christmas Eve/Jim Kershner, SR. More here.

Question: Do you enjoy redneck humor?

DFO’s Animals: Transgender Turtle

Undated 2009 photo from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo shows an Aldabra tortoise that had been named “Mary,” in water at the zoo. The zoo recently discovered that the tortoise, thought to be female for more than 50 years, was in fact male. (AP Photo/Cleveland Metroparks Zoo)

OrangeTV: People come here for the mixture of local news and politics, blog roundups, two-headed cow photos, and yes, the juicy gossip about local folks. I’d never compare it to the National Enquirer or whatever tabloids …

Question: Does anyone not like my photos of strange animals?

Get On Your Mark

A woman looks at a human body during the “Bodies” exhibition in Medellin, Colombia, Thursday. The exhibition shows the result of US physician Roy Glover’s investigations at the University of Michigan, where he and his team have developed a preservation technique called Plastination to provide polymer-preserved bodies for medical instruction. The exhibit opens Nov. 21 and goes on until Jan. 17. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides)

Question: Have you ever seen a ‘Bodies’ exhibition?

Meghann’s Factoid

Fact: In the dozens of pharmacy robberies that have hit the region in the last 18 months or so, the only people injured have been the robbersMeghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels.

Huckleberries Hears …

… that the latest cuh-razy notion circulating through the troops suffering Mike Kennedy Derangement Syndrome goes like this: Mike Kralicek was forced to campaign for Kennedy against his will because the police union made him do it. I’m serious. Kralicek, the valiant CPD Blue who was critically wounded in the line of duty a few years ago, joined Mike in his door-knocking at Coeur d’Alene Place on the Sunday before Election Day. I encountered the two, and Mike Kralicek’s daughter, Alexis, when Mike Kennedy knocked on my door. It certainly didn’t appear to me that Kralicek was being forced to do anything against his will. What nonsense.

M&M: Charlize, Heath Decade’s Best

Here’s another interesting list, this one that claims to be “The 25 Best Movie Performances of the Decade.” And of course there are many worthy selections on it. But as the comments show, there are many others that, for one reason or another, got left off. In fact, the comments - which include the obligatory flamer or two - point out the list’s biggest flaw. Because the authors decided to limit each actor to one appearance, it automatically makes the list “The Best Movie Performances by Individual Actors of the Decade.” There’s no other way to explain why - as several comments pointed out - you would include Heath Ledger for “Brokeback Mountain” and then leave off his scintillating performance as The Joker in “The Dark Knight.” The fact is, some actors - by some blend of talent and opportunity - pull off more great performances than others. And that should be recognized/Dan Webster, Movies & More. More here.

Question: Which actor turned in the best movie performance of the past decade?

Nazi Sticker Perp Committed Felony

Employees of the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d’Alene arrived at work Thursday morning to discover a swastika sticker on the front door. Director of Operations Donna Cork took a photo of the six-inch-square decal then called the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, which is investigating the matter under Idaho’s malicious harassment law. The 1983 law makes it a felony to intimidate another person based on race, color, religion, ancestry or national origin. The intimidation includes defacing property, which is defined in part as “the placing of any word or symbol commonly associated with racial, religious or ethnic terrorism on the property of another person without his or her permission”/Alison Boggs, SR. Full story here.

Question: Do you agree that this crime should be considered a felony?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 11.19.09

Pfc. George Stratton, 18, is seen in a photograph with President Barack Obama after the shooting at Fort Hood on Nov. 5. The shootings killed 13 people and wounded 30, including Stratton, who was completing medical processing in preparation for a January deployment to Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning, another soldier with Idaho connections, continues to improve from the shootings in a Texas hospital here. (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Kathy Plonka)

High Noon: Love Struck Luety Chord

The tale of how a singer from Canada fell in love with a trombonist from Montana reads like a storyline from a movie musical. Treena Luety grew up in Toronto and has always loved to sing. “I sang into my hairbrush for my mom and dad,” she said, laughing. “I’d sing myself to sleep every night.” Ben Luety was raised in Missoula by a trombone-playing father. “I started playing in elementary school,” he recalled. The couple met in Austria in 2003, when both were performing at the World Choral Festival in Salzburg. Treena was singing with the Toronto Symphony Choir and Ben was playing with the Montana Trombone Chorale, a group formed by his dad/Cindy Hval, Washington Voices. More here.

Question: Have you ever had a long-distance romance?

Turkey Day Sans Pumpkin Pie?

Pumpkin farmer John Ackerman walks through a neighbor’s waterlogged pumpkin field Tuesday, while discussing the difficulties of this year’s harvest. Nestle _ which sells nearly all the canned pumpkin in the U.S. _ says poor weather hurt its harvest, creating a potential shortage of its Libby’s pumpkin pie products through the holidays.(AP Photo/The Journal Star, Leslie Renken)

Question: Can you survive Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie?

AM Scanner Traffic — 11.19.09

  • 11:54 a.m. A vehicle is on its side after a rollover @ H41 & Diagonal/Rathdrum.
  • 11:33 a.m. R/P reports 2 dogs tied to a tree w/o shelter @ Orchard & Orange Blossom/Hayden.
  • 11:29 a.m. Natalie is in the CPD Blue HQ, reporting a battery to her son.
  • 11:16 a.m. 89YO woman fell in her home in 3800 block of 3rd, gashing her cheek to the bone.
  • 10 a.m. Resident @ 1371 9th reports strong smell of smoke coming from water heater.
  • 9:56 a.m. An 84YO woman has fallen on the sidewalk in front of Fantastic Sams Hair Salon, 204 W. Ironwood.
  • 9:14 a.m. Husband found his 45YO wife unconscious and breathing shallowly in 1100 block of Sycamore/CdA.
  • 9:09 a.m. Motorist is concerned that some logs are sticking out too far on an e/b logging truck @ I-90 & M/P 12 (4th Street).
  • 9:05 a.m. Jail reports that an individual visiting an inmate is wanted on his own warrant from another county.
  • 8:48 a.m. R/P reports swastika sticker pasted on the front door of the Human Rights Center.
  • 8:32 a.m. Velma reports that a vehicle went through her fence on Breezy Way.
  • 8:22 a.m. Patrol officer reports that it is beginning to snow on H54, east of Rathdrum.

CPD Blue IDs Robbery Suspect

A Coeur d’Alene pharmacy employee tackled a masked armed robber and held him for police Wednesday night. Jason Anthony Wahl, 28, will appear in Kootenai County District Court this afternoon after police arrested him at the Shopko pharmacy, 217 W. Ironwood Drive. Wahl is accused of trying to rob the pharmacy of prescription medication just before 9 p.m. When police arrived, an employee was on top of the robber struggling to get control of the handgun, said Sgt. Christie Wood/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Amaro To Undergo Risky Treatment

Hayden resident Rami Amaro was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a few years ago. She is one of only a few people in the country who will receive a stem cell transplant as treatment for the disease. She talked about the procedure at her home Monday while her son, Ethan Amaro, 4, played. SR-tory by John Stucke here. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

DFO: Rami Amaro, of course, is a former candidate for District Court judge. Her race against incumbent John Mitchell will go down in the annals of Huckleberries Online history as one of the great moments we’ve enjoyed here on the comments thread. Please join me in wishing Rami the very best as she fights this lousy disease.

f-words: About Those Mammograms

I think I have emotional standing to assert that exceptions aren’t what we should base standard practices around, so I don’t want to hear about your grandmother who caught her breast cancer early with a mammogram before the age of 50. It is pretty nice when people luck out and get useful information from a mammogram in their 40s, but most of the time, all you get from a mammogram is a confirmation of what you knew to begin with. Plus, a patient undergoing mammography is exposed to radiation, and that’s best avoided/Sara Anderson, f-words. More here.

Question (for HBO women): Are you less likely or just as likely to get mammograms after the report from the federally funded study sez that women in their 40s don’t need them?

IB: Palin On Top Because She’s Hot

Newsweek chose the Runners World of Palin in running shorts for its cover, which is clearly a cheesecake type of photo. Oprah Winfrey asked Palin about the choice to use that picture, and Palin said she’s thinks it’s kind of cheesy. I was thinking about that. Using a cheesecake photo of a woman in politics for its cover does seem a bit cheesy, at first. But, upon further reflection, I think it is the exact right photo. Such a photo, of a powerful woman, highlights sexuality over any other trait, and probably tends to objectify the woman. But in Palin’s case, her attractiveness is her defining trait, and is the reason she’s where she’s at/IdaBlue. More here.

Question: Do you think Sarah Palin would be where she is today — a media superstar and popular with conservatives — if she wasn’t so attractive?

Gookin: Military Ballots Out Early

In response to Larry Spencer’s letter in Wednesday’s Coeur d’Alene Press (“Election: Right to question results”), former City Council candidate Dan Gookin said that the military ballots went out early. Quoth: ”I remember it because my campaign was informed that the ballots were ready about a week early.” There’s been some insinuation by the usual suspects — and their platoon of crazed keyboard commandos — that the county elections office didn’t send out the military ballots on time, prompting an angry response from mild-mannered Dan of the County.

Human Rights Center Hit w/Swastika

Photog Kathy Plonka (who took the photo above) reports to Huckleberries Online that a small sticker with a swastika has been pasted on the Human Rights Institute front door, by the hours of operation information. The sticker is about 5 inches square. Human Rights officials are checking a security camera to see if the perpetrator(s) can be identified. The Human Rights Institute is located adjacent to the northeast corner of City Park. Stay tuned for further developments.

HBO Poll: US Likes Obama, But …

An overwhelming number of American voters say they like President Obama as a person but disapprove of most of his policies, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday. … “Most Americans like President Barack Obama and might like to have a beer with him,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a press release Thursday. “But millions of voters who sided with him last November because they thought he would bring change to Washington aren’t crazy about the kind of change he is trying to bring”/Fox News. More here.

Wednesday Poll: 54 of 92 (59% of the respondents) saw nothing wrong with the photo from Runners World that Newsweek used on the cover of its current edition. 33 of 92 viewed it as “sexist, belittling, or otherwise offensive.

Palin Brings Oprah Monster Rating

Oprah Winfrey’s interview with former vp candidate Sarah Palin scored the talk show host her highest rating in two years. Monday’s episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” drew a 8.7 household rating and 13 share — the best since Winfrey had the entire Osmond family on the show in 2007. That means Palin also topped Winfrey’s heavily viewed interviews with Whitney Houston at the start of the season. Palin is making the rounds to promote her new book, “Going Rogue,” which came out Tuesday/James Hibberd’s The Live Feed. More here.

Question: Dennis Miller opined on the ‘Bill Reilly Show’ last night that Sarah Palin might be well-positioned to win the presidency as a third-party populist candidate in eight years. He suggested that she could claim 18% to 20% of the vote as a drafted third-party candidate in four years — and then jump to the top in the next election cycle. Do you think it’s possible?

LCDC To Help w/Affordable Housing

Item: LCDC eyes affordable housing: Agency agrees to buy property beneath Paris Flea Market/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Conceptual plans detail 25-35 unit condo buildings atop a ground floor boasting retail stores and shops. Developers said they hope to offer various sizes of one, two and three-bedroom floor plans for qualifying people who earn between $30,000 to $60,000 a year, according to Douglas Peterson of The Housing Company (IHC), a nonprofit subsidiary of the Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA).

Kage Mann (in Press online thread): “They are only going to build supposed affordable housing units for: The city’s workforce. No affordable housing for anyone else? Yet, LCDC can help to finance many high-end condo developments for rich people and help to gentrify this CDA area. The average citizen is getting ripped by our Urban Renewal Agency.I don’t think any URA should be in the residential development business. ”

Question: And you thought that the anti-LCDC forces would back the urban renewal agency providing affordable housing? Pshaw.

AM Headlines — 11.19.09

“It’s definitely time,” said Jason Younker of Coeur d’Alene as he prepared to take his boat out of the water at the Boardwalk Marina at The Coeur d’Alene Resort recently. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

Shopko Employee Thwarts Robbery

At 8:57 last night, Coeur d’Alene Police responded to the report of a robbery in progress at the Shopko Pharmacy located at 217 W. Ironwood Drive. The store was open for business with employees and customers inside. Officers were advised an armed male suspect was inside the front door of the business and was being physically restrained by a Shopko employee. Sgt. Walther and Sgt. McCormick were in the vicinity of the store and were able to respond immediately. They both observed the Shopko employee on the floor, on top of the suspect, and struggling to get physical control of the handgun. Both sergeants restrained the suspect while he was actively resisting and gained control of the weapon. The suspect, a 29-year-old male from Lewiston was taken into custody and placed into a patrol car/Coeur d’Alene Today. More here.

Question: What do you make of this recent spate of robberies and attempted robberies in the Coeur d’Alene area?

CdaMomof4: Another Administrator?!

CdAMomof4: A new frustration with our school district. There are crowded classrooms and class sizes OVER the state recommended teacher to student ratio - but the district is spending money on yet another administrative position (see the special ed consultant position here). How crazy is this?

Question: Do you think CdAMomof4 has a right to be frustrated with this proposed hire in the Coeur d’Alene School District?

GOP Women Condemn Health Study

Illustrating the continuing political fallout from controversial new recommendations on breast cancer screening, GOP congresswomen condemned a government-funded study Wednesday and suggested it was a preview of what to expect from Democratic health care reform. Led by U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., six Republican congresswomen told reporters that the guidelines, published Monday by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, send the wrong message. The task force, an independent body of health professionals funded by the government, rocked the medical community this week by questioning the necessity of annual mammograms for women over 40 as well as self-exams to detect breast tumors/Jacob Barker, SR. More here.

Question: Are politics involved in the government-funded study that questions the necessity of annual mammograms for women over 40 as well as self-exams?

Heller: Terrorists (Heart) New York

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Parting Shot — 11.18.09

Sarah Palin signs her autograph at Barnes and Nobles during the first stop of her book tour in Grand Rapids, Mich. on Wednesday. Palin will appear at Fred Meyer in Coeur d’Alene during the tour here. (AP Photo/Adam Bird)

Hump Day Wild Card — 11.18.09

Another day … more paranoia from the local conspiracy theorists re: the results of the Coeur d’Alene City Council elections (see: Spencer letter to Coeur d’Alene Press below). I’ve heard that Spencer and his shock troops are only one of several layers of Repubs, local and regional, who’ve bombarded county elections chief Deedie Beard with the same-oh questions in their never-ending attempt to overturn at least one council election and possibly ease their Mike Kennedy Derangement Syndrome. In other words, we’re enjoying just another day in our increasingly agitated bit of paradise. Here’s your Wild Card …

Panhandling Ordinances Under Fire

Michael, a bearded panhandler beside a woman carrying cardboard “God Bless!!!” signs, pulls out a slip of paper stuffed inside his glove. It’s a citation — not having the proper business license — that he says carries $257 fine. “We ain’t been up here very long,” says Michael, declining to give his last name. “I ain’t know about the rules.” Unless Michael was panhandling in the middle of the street or on private property, he doesn’t need a permit. Panhandling is legal. But not everybody knows that, especially after the Spokane City Council last November passed ordinances that targeted panhandling activities. Within the downtown core, the city banned sitting on sidewalks and panhandling next to business entrances or within 15 feet of ATMs/Daniel Walters, Inlander. More here.

Question: Should city governments keep a tight rein on panhandlers in the Inland Northwest?

PM Headlines — 11.18.09

Eighth grader Darian McLevish waits for his turn to play during the Gathering of the Bands clinic at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene on Wednesday. He attends River City Middle School in Post Falls. About 300 eighth grade students from area schools participated in the clinics and performed in the concert at NIC’s Boswell Hall Schuler Performing Arts Center on Wednesday night. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

APhoto Of The Day — 11.18.09

This bank surveillance video released by the FBI taken Monday shows an elderly man, nicknamed the “Geezer Bandit,” during his most recent bank robbery at a Bank of America branch in La Jolla,Calif. The FBI and local law enforcement agencies are seeking the public’s assistance to identify the unknown male bank robber who is responsible for holding up five San Diego-area banks since summer. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/FBI)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Police are surprised by this image of the Viagra thief, expecting instead a hardened criminal who would present a stiff challenge to his arrest — JohnA.
  • 2. “Yeah, you read that right. I have a GUM. Forgot my teeth this morning. So I will gum you to death if you don’t hand over the loot” — Idaho Dad.
  • 3. (tie) DFO celebrates 60 by knocking over a bank — CindyH; and: Larry Spencer, age 95, returns to the county elections office to contest something — Taryn.
  • HM: JeanieS & Raven Lady

PM Scanner Traffic — 11.18.09

A drunken driver slammed into a school bus filled with children Wednesday, but no one was injured, according to the Idaho State Patrol. Julie Witlicki, 38, was arrested after her 1995 Volkswagen Jetta crossed the center line on Highway 95 near Worley and hit a school bus driven by Vernie Johnson, 65, of Tensed. No one was injured in the crashed, which occurred at mile post 403 at 7:33 a.m., the State Patrol said. Witlicki and her two passengers were searing seat belts/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. ISP report here.

  • 5:50 p.m. Father on Highland/Post Falls reports his unruly teen son has punched his hand through a wall.
  • 5:45 p.m. Motorist reports chimney fire @ Poleline & Ridgeview/Post Falls.
  • 5:44 p.m. Jail reports a seizure in the booking area.
  • 4:59 p.m. Theft reported @ Pinewood Care Center on 7th/CdA.
  • 4:32 p.m. Householder on Hastings/CdA hears sound of power tools being used in a foreclosed house that once belonged to a friend.
  • 4:25 p.m. An e/b white vehicle is parked along I-90, near H41, with its hood up but no lights on.
  • 4:11 p.m. Fire alarm is sounding on 3rd floor of KMC, near storage unit.
  • 3:33 p.m. A white pickup w/o a wheel is broken down in the slow lane of Ramsey, just north of Dalton/CdA.
  • 3:30 p.m. A calf is on the outside of a fence, opposite of some cows @ Greensferry & Prairie. According to a female driver, the calf appears to be confused.
  • More below

Katrina: But You Have To Care For It

Ever since we bought our own house, the kids have been lobbying for us to get them a pet.  Katie wants a talking bird.  Caleb wants a dog.  They’ve both used every tool in their arsenal of emotional blackmail to try to bend us to their will.  I’m not against pets, by any means, but I know what a big commitment it is to add a small and furry–or feathery–new member to your household, and I’m not sure the kids are taking the whole thing seriously. Sure, they swear up and down now that, whatever wee beastie we bestow on them, they’ll bathe it and feed it and walk it and love it (and call it George)/Katrina, Notes on a Napkin. More here.

Question: Do your kids take care of their own pets?

Erin Brockovich Crawls w/Babies

Environmental activist Erin Brockovich mixes it up on a mat with toddlers during an appearance to promote a virtual Million Baby Crawl in New York, Wednesday. The Million Baby Crawl is a grassroots effort to raise awareness about the nation’s outdated chemical laws. Advocates hope to encourage Congress to pass stronger regulations against hazardous chemicals in household products. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Question: Are you more environmentally conscious re: dangers from household chemicals today than you were 10 years ago?

Sali Plays Coy w/Eye On Boise

While strolling across downtown Boise in the crisp fall sunshine a few minutes ago, I ran into none other than former Idaho Congressman Bill Sali. Of course, I had to ask him: Is he running again for his old seat in Idaho’s 1st District? “Stay tuned,” Sali responded. Asked how long I should stay tuned, Sali was non-committal, saying until he decides one way or another. As he tried to get in his car and drive away, I asked him why, if he’s still considering running, he raised no campaign funds in the last quarter. “If I don’t run, I don’t want to have to give it back to people and go through all that mess,” Sali responded/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Why do you think Sali’s being so coy?

Dogwalk: Passing On Palin

I’m going on record. I am not going to buy nor read Sarah Palin’s book. She is coming to the Coeur d’Alene Fred Meyer store December 10th on her signing tour. I will be no where in sight. I must admit I considered going with my handy Flip video but have even decided against that. I just don’t like the woman and do not, for the life of me, understand why this vacant, ill spoken woman gets the press she does. She appeals to ordinary Americans? She’s one of us? I guess that makes me something other than ordinary/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Stickman: Just Say No To Football

Stickman: I never wanted my sons to play football just because of that issue. They played many other sports and excelled, and they have also not had any regrets about my one decision in their sports lives. They were and still are outstanding athletes, but as young boys I took them to many games and showed them all of the kids that were sitting on the sidelines with injuries, many to the head and the knees of course. They got it and still do.

Question: Were you ever suffer an incapacitating injury while playing sports?

Are You Smarter Than A 2nd Grader?

Idaho Dad/A Family Runs Through It has published the quiz of 50 questions that he gave his second-grade daughter this spring to complete her year of home-schooling. The list includes these questions:

  • 1. What is the largest desert in the world?
  • 2. Rewrite this sentence correctly: The kittens were named fluffy snowball and moose.
  • 3. What is the plural of potato?
  • 4. Rose bought paper for 71 and a pencil for a quarter. How much did she spend in all?
  • 5. Soil is made of minerals water, air, and what?

You can take the quiz for yourself here.

Also: You can help Idaho Dad when the Best Homeschool Blog Dad competition by voting for him here. Here’s currently running neck-and-neck for the title. BTW, A Family Runs Through It is now 8 votes ahead in the competition.

Leggo Of My Eggo

Eggo waffles are seen on display at Piazza’s grocery store in Palo Alto, Calif., Wednesday. Nationwide shortages of Kellogg’s popular brand of frozen waffles are expected through next summer because of a double whammy at waffle plants in the South _ flooding in Atlanta and mechanical problems in Tennessee. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Question: Which do you prefer for breakfast — waffles or hotcakes?

Memorial Misspelling To Be Fixed

Killed on Nov. 23, 1951, Pfc. Wilbur John Robinson was one of just seven Yellowstone County residents to die in the Korean War. In 1997 the Veterans Memorial Wall was dedicated on the south lawn of the Yellowstone County Courthouse to honor local men and women who died in wars up through Vietnam, and Wilbur’s name was supposed to be one of them. Except when the memorial went up, his name wasn’t there. Instead, the name shown is of Willard Robinson/Billings Gazette. More here.

Question: Has your name ever been misspelled on a plaque, program, or media publication? What was your reaction to that?

Tara: Staying Fit When Snow Flies

I worked out this morning for the first time in a looooong time. It was only 10 minutes, but hey, that’s not bad. Baby Henry and I spent the summer burning calories with long walks all over town, but now the rain and snow are keeping us indoors more often (though we brave it sometimes!) I’m not interested in reversing all my post-baby weight loss progress, but I’m not interested in shelling out for a gym membership, either/Tara Roberts, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question (from Tara Roberts): So how to keep a good exercise regimen on the cheap (sans health club membership) during winter?

Trib: Going Rogue w/Taxes In Nampa

For those who have been skeptical of the Idaho charter school movement, the day of judgment is here. When they predicted years ago that charter schools would become a ploy to spend tax dollars on private, religious-based instruction, they were ignored if not ridiculed. Vindication has arrived. Just as soon as the Idaho Public Charter School Commission gave the Nampa Classical Academy its imprimatur, the academy announced it would use the Bible as a text. Don’t the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court and the Idaho Constitution all say that’s prohibited? Prove it! say the folks in Nampa. And if the charter school commission says no? The Nampa Classical Academy is demanding its day in court/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you support the charter school movement?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 11.18.09

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter speaks at the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho conference on Wednesday, warning of a tough legislative session ahead in January with looming budget cuts Wednesday. (Betsy Russell/SR)

High Noon: Concussions

New Orleans Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey (88) after Shockey fumbles the ball after he was hit by St. Louis Rams linebacker David Vobora (58) during the first quarter of an NFL football game in St. Louis. “The only thing I remember is coming out of the tunnel at the beginning of the game. And then _ a big gap,” Vobora said about a concussion he got this season. “But I played the whole game, until the last series, when I started asking guys questions, and they looked at me like I was crazy.” (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

Question: Have you ever had a concussion or serious head injury?

KEA Tracks Comp Plan Process

Kootenai Environmental Alliance has been tracking the Comp Plan’s public process for several years now. Our interests, of course, are in the protection of the public health, protection of the natural environment, and the promotion of sustainable development in Kootenai County.  As of this week, the Comp Plan’s overarching goals — to direct development to areas of the county better able to sustain it, to provide greater protections to our rural areas, and to direct development away from open space and sensitive areas – are squarely before the Board of Commissioners for their decision. At their last meeting, the Commissioners decided to avoid a direct decision on the appropriate densities for rural land use. But the decision cannot be avoided forever/Terry Harris, KEA Blog. More here.

Question: How concerned are you about the possible changes in the county’s comprehensive plan?

AM Scanner Traffic — 11.18.09

  • 11:40 a.m. R/P reports a large amount of smoke coming from the hillside, on the south side of the Spokane River, across from Millview & Canal/CdA.
  • 10:50 a.m. Local business is concerned that a employee who is distraught re: IRS issues hasn’t shown up for work in two days.
  • 10:46 a.m. Illegal dumping reported @ 208 West Appleway.
  • 10:08 a.m. Coeur d’Alene police are attempting to locate a missing person named Nathan who was last seen wearing a Motley Crue T-shirt and has two, lower-lip rings.
  • 9:45 a.m. A chocolate Lab is running loose in front of the police station.
  • 9:21 a.m. A 55YO male worker fell 3 to 4 feet from the back of a pickup after suffering a seizure in 5200 block of Woodland Drive (cross of Riverside Harbor).
  • 9:09 a.m. Ambulance is transporting an 18YO male who fainted after suffering an injury to his thumb @ Post Falls High.
  • 8:26 a.m. Alcohol may be involved in a 3-vehicle, rear-end crash @ H95 & Ironwood.
  • 8:23 a.m. A dog is on the freeway eating a deer carcass. No specific location given.
  • 8:20 a.m. Children have been transferred to a new bus from a damaged one, involved in a 8 o’clock accident w/another vehicle @ H95, near Worley. SR story here.
  • 8:09 a.m. An 88YO male has fallen twice in the video section of the Trading Company on Seltice Way.

Lining Up To Buy ‘Going Rogue’

Todd Shaffer, 38, of East Lansing, Mich., in foreground, waits in line with hundreds of people at a Barnes and Noble bookstore Wednesday morning for a wristband that would give them a chance to have Sarah Palin sign their copies of her new book, “Going Rogue,” at a book signing that evening in Grand Rapids, Mich. Shaffer described himself as a Palin supporter who wanted a chance to meet the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, whom he says has been a pioneer for women in the party. (AP Photo/James Prichard)

Red Man: All my liberal friends are coming over tonight they are getting into line.

Spencer Goes ACORN

“Was this election stolen? I think it may have been. That is why I have encouraged Jim to pursue a challenge, rather than just a recount that others around him were pushing for”/Larry Spencer, in comments section of Coeur d’Alene Press, beneath his regular Press column, er, letter to editor. Spencer goes on to describe “How to steal an election. Or, how I would do it if I was an ACORN loving Democrat operative or candidate. (thank goodness Im not!).”  More paranoia here.

DFO: Izzit it just me, or are we witnessing a local version of 1950s McCarthyism with the continuing attacks on local elected officials who refuse to kowtow to Spencer & Co.?

Sisyphus: Minnick And GOP Trap

Minnick is getting the same bad advice on taking Democrats for granted. There are many Idaho Democrats who desperately seek our next Church or Andrus to lead the party from the wilderness to the wealth of great ideas that, not only solve problems, but are politically popular. Governor Schweitzer provided this leadership in Montana with a melding of fiscal conservatism, gun advocacy and demonstrating that green jobs and health care reform are good programs for Montanans. Now Montana is purple with a bright streak of blue. The disappointment with Minnick is so palpable among the faithful in Idaho because the state’s highest profile Democrat fails to fill the bill of what it is to be western Democrat. And it will be his undoing as I argued to Larry LaRocco over the weekend/Sisyphus, 43rd State Blues. More here.

Question (for HBO’s Left Bank): Are you so disappointed with Congressman Walt Minnick’s performance that you’d abandon him in the next election and help a conservative like Vaugh Ward, for example, reclaim the seat for Republicans?

HBO Poll: Newsweek’s Palin Cover

Today, Newsweek’s Editor Jon Meacham has responded to critics. “We chose the most interesting image available to us to illustrate the theme of the cover, which is what we always try to do,” Meacham said. “We apply the same test to photographs of any public figure, male or female: does the image convey what we are saying? That is a gender-neutral standard”/Newsweek. More here.

  • Tuesday Poll: Only 28% (38 of 135 respondents) said they plan to buy Sarah Palin’s book, “Going Rogue.” 69% (93 of 135) said they won’t buy the book.

SR: WSU’s Prescription Drug Abuse

The rise of Adderall-addled college students continues the trend of prescription drug abuse in this country. Sunday’s Spokesman- Review article by three Washington State University students took a detailed look at young people popping pills with disturbing nonchalance. Though Adderall is designed for people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy, many students use them as “smart pills” to stay alert for all-night study sessions and exams. Others partake recreationally. National studies suggest that 25 percent of college students have popped cognitive stimulants. The pills are seductive, because they’re relatively cheap and easy to get. Their misuse begins as far back as middle school. Students’ casual attitude toward the potentially hazardous side effects has health officials concerned/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Are you concerned that your college or high school student may be using ‘smart pills’ to stay alert for all-night study sessions and exams?

Spencer Claims Ballot Box Stuffing

Many more ballots were cast that appear dubious at best, certainly more than enough to challenge two races, possibly enough to have changed the outcomes of all three council races. If you are concerned about the legitimacy of this election, now is the time to get involved. In order to challenge the election, a bond must be posted and an attorney hired. Mike Kennedy is hoping you won’t contribute to this effort; let’s show him the integrity of the election does matter and voters of Cd’A are willing to get involved/Larry Spencer, Coeur d’Alene Press letter to the editor. More here.

Question (to Larry Spencer): Are you serious?

AM Headlines — 10.18.09

Michigan State’s Korie Lucious, left, and Gonzaga’s G.J. Vilarino chase the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan State won 75-71. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

Newsweek’s Palin Cover Stirs Hubbub

The current edition of Newsweek has stirred controversy with its photo of former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Newsweek bought the photo on the cover from Runners World. In recent media interviews, Palin has criticized the cover as showing her in an unflattering light. Others contend that it is sexist. (PRNewsFoto/NEWSWEEK)

Question: Do you think this cover is sexist or unflattering?

Idahoans Offer Money-Saving Ideas

Gov. Butch Otter’s “efficiency” Web site, which asks Idahoans for their ideas on how the state can save money, has received 112 suggestions as of this morning, according to Otter’s press secretary, Jon Hanian. “We know people have a lot of ideas and opinions about what the state should or shouldn’t be doing, and so I think we certainly expected there was going to be a good deal of interest,” Hanian said. “So far, that’s been the case.” The site was just launched on Friday/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Question: How do you think the state of Idaho could save money?

AOL Gives CdA ‘Best Small Town’ Nod

Item: AOL names Cd’A as one of best small towns: Get ready for a rebound … In awhile/Alecia Warren, Press.

More Info: Last week in an article posted on, Coeur d’Alene was featured as one of the best small towns in the U.S. for people to relocate to, because of quality of life and a strong prospect of future job growth. It’s a solid prediction, said Kathryn Tacke, regional economist for the Department of Labor.

Question: Are you optimistic that this region will rebound quickly from the recession?

Stantis: Keep It Up

Scott Stantis/Birmingham News

Michigan St 75, Gonzaga 71

 Gonzaga’s Robert Sacre (00) dunks against Michigan State’s Delvon Roe, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009, in East Lansing, Mich. ESPN game story and boxscore here. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

Wild Card/Tuesday — 11.17.09

On Friday, I turn 60 years old. Earlier this year, I was bugged by the pending milestone. I tend to ignore birthdays. Or to take them in stride. The Big 5-0 caught my attention. Mebbe 35 and 40, too. But I needed awhile to process 6-0. Now, there’s no clinging to the notion that I’m still young in any way. However, I’m also grateful for the many things I’ve experienced in life — and the ones I love and mean much to me. I’m also grateful at this point in my life for a job like being blogmeister of Huckleberries Online. Which still keeps life and work interesting. Thanks for being part of this interesting experiment. With that, I’ll play this Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 11.17.09

A Chinese staff looks back as he sweeps a red carpet laid out for U.S. President Barack Obama’s arrival at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Cis: Buying Underpants

I am buying my own underpants … Now that doesn’t seem like much, maybe even be more than the person wants to know. But you got to understand, I didn’t buy my own underpants for over 20 years. No, I don’t by in lots, nor were the ones I was wearing 20 years old. See, my aunt use to buy them for my birthday each year and also for Christmas. She sent white ones because, for work I had to wear white pants, so colors were out. Twice a year I got a years supply of white undies. Then she passed away in 2006. And then it dawn on me as I was opening the last batch, that I would have to buy my own. Which was quite a shocker as I didn’t know what size I wore. I never looked before, I just wore them/Cis, Simple Mind. More here.

Question: Do you buy your own clothes?

PM Headlines — 11.17.09

In this 2007 file photo, Portland State coach Jerry Glanville walks off field with his players after a 26-17 loss to UC Davis in an NCAA college football game in Portland, Ore. Glanville resigned today, after three years as head coach of the Portland State. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

APhoto Of The Day — 11.17.09

People covered in fake blood protest bullfighting in Lima, Saturday. The sign reads in Spanish “No more cruelty.” You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

  • 1. small letters in sign: would you please return our bras - we have been here for three days — Pecky Cox.
  • 2. The consequence is evident after residents of Lima bean their protesters with red paint balls, leaving others to Peru’s the aftermath — JohnA.
  • 3. When the old saying, “Save a whale, harpoon a Spaniard.” became way too real!
  • HM: Phaedrus

PM Scanner Traffic — 11.17.09

  • 5:13 p.m. Motorist reports possible drug activity in gray Toyota pickup @ Ironwood & Northwest Boulevard.
  • 4:51 p.m. A Hummer is driving erratically on I-90 @ M/P 4 (near Spokane Street), using only parking lights.
  • 4:39 p.m. Head-on accident w/airbags deployed @ 12th & Cecil/Post Falls. A disoriented driver tried to drive away following the crash. Other vehicle has rolled into fence. County and Post Falls units aren’t sure who has jurisdiction.
  • 4:22 p.m. A teen daughter from Spirit Lake reports her father is threatening to kill her.
  • 3:28 p.m. A customer believes he’s suffered a concussion after hitting his head @ Cabela’s, near State Line.
  • 3:09 p.m. Garbage debris is lying in e/b I-90 lanes @ M/P 8, past H41.
  • 2:56 p.m. A recent widow who was mentioned as possibly suicidal in an 8:45 a.m. post this morning has been found.
  • More below

No Bull, Get Tested (For HIV)

In a billboard campaign targeting the Los Angeles area, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation is promoting HIV testing with this life-sized bull, complete with tail and antlers, along with the slogan “No Judgemental Bullsh*t” and the website The campaign is aimed at taking the stigma out of AIDS testing — and fear that ” that someone is going to probe into their personal habits and judge them for it.” You can read all about it here.

Question: How do you think this campaign would go over in Spokane County and North Idaho?

Digger: What’s ‘On Time For Work’?

Digger: What do our fellow bloggers consider “on time” in a work enviroment? I mandate that all employees must report to work no more than 15 but no less than 10 minutes before the start of their shift and that they be clocked in no more than 10 but no less than 5 minutes before scheduled. I have two employees who get it - one that does not. I had a “Come to Jesus” with employee #3 yesterday but sometimes you can’t fix stupid.

Question: What do you consider to be on time for work?

Op-Ed: Partisan Local Elections? No

Lately it seems many supposedly nonpartisan elections are becoming less and less so. The Idaho Republican Party in June called for the party to participate in nonpartisan local elections and to identify and support the election of Republican candidates to city councils, school boards and other local government posts. The Idaho Democratic Party does not officially endorse city council candidates, but does have prominent Democrats come out and endorse particular candidates. There are people who think voter turnout will increase in local elections if the city council, mayoral and school board races are party affiliated. We say do your homework instead/Sandra Kelly, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Would you like to see Idaho mayors, council members, school board, and other local elections require candidates to declare a party affiliation?

Kevin: Bryan Fischer Goes Global

(Ex-Idaho Values Alliance leader Bryan) Fischer’s first post drew the predicted response. MSNBC talker Keith Olbermann — himself no paragon of objectivity — awarded Fischer a bronze medal in his “worst person in the world” feature. So, last Thursday, Fischer upped the ante with a followup post. Since the Pentagon’s own guidelines forbid soldiers from belonging to “supremacist” groups, Fischer reasons, that should apply to Muslims. Writes Fischer: “If we shouldn’t allow neo-Nazi skinheads who believe in Aryan supremacy to serve, neither should we allow Muslims who believe in Islamic supremacy to serve.” Comparing Muslims and neo-Nazis. Why must Fischer be so subtle?/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here. And: Good riddance, Bryan Fischer/Political Game.

Question: Did you miss Bryan Fischer?

Windy City

Strong winds turn an umbrella inside-out as a man walks down the street in Seattle on Monday. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times)

Question: How do you decide when winter begins and falls ends?

When DFO’s Been Bloggin’

Into Huckleberries I am logging
And now I’m reading ‘bout snogging
It amazes me
The things that I see
After DFO’s Been blogging!


Breast Cancer Advice Shifts

Upending one of the most widely followed medical directives for women, an influential panel of experts is recommending that women 50 and older get screened for breast cancer only once every two years and that most women in their 40s skip the test altogether. The panel also concludes that breast self-exams — a drill that women for decades have been told to perform each month — do not reduce mortality from breast cancer, but instead lead to more biopsies producing results that are benign/Seattle Times. More here.

Question: What do you make of this shift re: exams for breast cancer?

Press: We’re Right re: Minimum Wage

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, many teens are eager to land a part-time job to help pay for school, clothes, presents and, well, cool things for themselves. That’s what they’re looking for; but what’s looking back at them is the Ghost of Minimum Wage Increases Past. We have opposed across-the-board, federally mandated wage increases for a number of reasons, including their blatant disregard for free market solutions. Another is the impact of minimum wage hikes on younger workers. Especially in the downturn of our current economy, we were afraid many of the jobs generally taken by teens — that’s what minimum wage employment should be all about — would disappear. And we were right/Coeur d’Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Do you think teens are having problems because the minimum wage was increased? Or because everyone’s having problems — and the teens are fighting more experienced adults to lower paying jobs?

Ninja Impales Himself On Fence

Seattle police say a man who thought he was ninja was impaled on a metal fence when he tried to leap over it. An officer who was looking for an assault victim nearby Monday night heard the man screaming for help. Police supported him to prevent further injuries until medics arrived to take him to Harborview Medical Center. A hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday he was in serious condition in intensive care. Police spokeswoman Renee Witt wrote in a department Web site posting that officers thought he might have been involved in the reported assault, but the man insisted he was just a ninja trying to clear a 4- to 5-foot-tall fence. Witt says the man was “overconfident in his abilities,” and that alcohol likely played a role/AP.

Question: What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever seen someone do drunk?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 11.17.09

Spokane Police, Spokane Sheriff and firefighting personnel load up and clear the rea of Sherman and 7th on the south hill earlier today. A man who fled after a robbery entered a nearby house and refused to come out until tear gas was used. Story here. (Jesse Tinsley/SR)

K-Mama: Plagiarism In Action

I’ve been troubled these last few weeks by my acquiescence to her request that I assist her with some of her schoolwork. Translation: write a paper for her. This was weeks ago- I mean, she’s now had her baby and is slowly but surely catching up at school- all on her own now, thank you-, plus I felt great at the time for saving her butt when she was already on academic probation, the assistance I rendered went over flawlessly with no one the wiser (according to her)… so why do I still feel so rotten?/Kendramama, Soul Doubt. More here.

Question: What would you have done had you been in K-Mama’s shoes?

High Noon: She Wears Short-Shorts

Brazilian freshmen university student Geisy Arruda gestures during an interview with the Associated Press in her lawyer’s office in Sao Paulo Tuesday. Arruda, 20, who was expelled from Bandeirantes University for wearing a short dress, said Tuesday she’s enjoying her newfound fame, but wants go back to school. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Question: Do you think most women who wear short dresses should reconsider?

Spencer: County Holding Things Up

Spencer: I spoke with Susan W this morning, and the holdup was not with her, but with the county election department, as Susan had authorized then to release the poll book copy. As of 4pm yesterday the county was still claiming that Susan had not given them the OK, but she evidently gave the OK in the morning. PS. happy B-day Susan!

DFO: For those keeping score at home, Coeur d’Alene’s superb City Clerk Susan Weathers clocked the Big 6-0 today. Next up: Yours Truly & Mayor Sandi Bloem Friday.

Question (for Spencer) Are you saying you were wrong yesterday when you accused the City Clerk of dragging her feet on Gary Ingram’s polling books request? Also, I hear that you, Gary, and the rest of the gang are pestering Elections Chief Deedie Beard. Can you tell your, ahem, Huckleberries Online family what you guys are up to? Are you going to try to contest the election — and not simply just seek a recount? Why is Jim Brannon afraid to speak for himself? Inquiring minds want to know.

AM Scanner Traffic — 11.17.09

  • 11:52 a.m. Hit-and-run accident @ 1st & Foster.
  • 10:44 a.m. Authorities report information re: a possible lewd & lacivious action that became available during a polygraph test.
  • 10:19 a.m. R/P on Pinto Lane/Hayden reports a man in a black Dodge van, dressed in black w/a red backpack, is looking in vehicle and house windows.
  • 10:01 a.m. E-mail from Janet Feiler/CdA schools to media: “In case you get calls, I just wanted you to know that Coeur d’Alene High School is having a routine practice lockdown this morning, as part of their ongoing school safety and preparedness program.”
  • 9:14 a.m. Several motorists report a hydrant is spraying water @ Prairie & Carolwood/Post Falls.
  • 9:05 a.m. Timberlake Fire District reports a “deceased cow” behind the station on Bunco Road. The carcass is tied up and has several beer cans around it.
  • 8:45 a.m. A woman who has tried to kill herself with pills since her husband died on the Palouse several weeks ago is headed to Black Lake to find a message she believes he left for her.
  • 8:12 a.m. A large amount of wire is reported on I-90, near the stateline.

JeanieS: Gearing Up For 6-0

JeanieS: I LOVED my 60th birthday - but I had geared myself up for it too. I won’t go into all the ^&*(*% that has happened since my 60th birthday but I am beginning to think that it’s a milestone of a different kind foretelling the demise of your body - piece by piece by piece. Kind of like an old beloved jalopy – first the hub cap falls off, then a bumper, then a tail pipe – and pretty soon, pieces and parts are falling off in rapid succession to the point that all you have is an axel and a seat, maybe the steering column.

Question: If you could go back in time to a favorite age, which year would it be? Why?

Online Poll: ‘Going Rogue’

“Going Rogue,” the title of Sarah Palin’s erratic new memoir, comes from a phrase used by a disgruntled McCain aide to describe her going off-message during the presidential campaign: among other things, for breaking with the campaign over its media strategy and its decision to pull out of Michigan, and for speaking out about reports that the Republican Party had spent more than $150,000 on fancy designer duds for her and her family/Michiko Kakutani, New York Times. More here.

Monday Poll: 74 of 97 — or 76% of the respondents — say they are not bothered that they live in an area described by an African-American scholar as “Whitopia.” 22 said they were.

Palin Launches Book Tour On ‘Oprah’

Talk-show host Oprah Winfrey, second from right, is seen with former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her daughters, Willow, right, and Piper, left, during the taping of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in Chicago. The show aired Monday. Story here. (AP Photo/Harpo Productions, Inc., George Burns)

Question (for those who watched the show): Did Sarah Palin help her political aspirations by appearing on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”?

Off The Cuff: Who Needs Gas?

I took a trip to Boise this weekend to see the best friend and watch a game. It took way too long to get there, and in the winter my gas doesn’t go as far as it usually does. After arriving in town, we decided we were hungry so we went to get Taco Bell. Moral of the story, check the gas light and don’t sit in the drive-thru long enough to run out of gas. Plus side, it’s the first time it has ever happened/Elizabeth Rudd, FrontRow editor, UI Argonaut. More Off The Cuff.

Question: When did you last run out of gas?

Woman Assaulted In Home Robbery

Item: Police: Men with guns assault woman, force her into closet: 18-year-old booked after home invasion robbery in Spokane Valley/Spokesman-Review 

More Info: Two ski mask-wearing men with guns assaulted a 25-year-old woman Monday night and forced her into a closet at her Spokane Valley home. A Spokane Valley police officer responding to the call of a home invasion robbery stopped a vehicle leaving the area and arrested one of two occupants.

Question: With the recent spate of pharmacy, business, and even home-invasion robberies, are you more concerned with your safety from robbers in your residence?

AM Headlines — 11.17.09

PFC George Stratton, 18, showed the exit wound from the shot he took to the back of his left shoulder during the shooting at Fort Hood on Nov. 5. Stratton talked to reporters his home in Post Falls on Monday. Alison Boggs’ story here. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

Mary: No Insinuating re: DOTC

In the “Gift That Keeps Giving” Department, Mary Souza @ now is insisting that she didn’t take a swipe at Dan of the County re: the issue of military ballots. Quoth Proud Mary: “So now, I’m told, the Spokane gossip blog is going on and on about our questions for Dan English! They are suggesting that we think Dan and his staff PURPOSEFULLY delayed sending the military absentee ballots. Of course, this is totally untrue. NO ONE has suggested any such intent.” The comment in question is No. 14 here. Never mind that Dan of the County thought she was insinuating something and called foul (Comment No. 5) on this comment by Mary: “Then there are the military Absentee ballots that weren’t sent out in enough time. They’re supposed to have 6 weeks but only had about 3. All kinds of issues…”

DC: Another Spokane Cop Acts Badly

Sgt. Brad “To the Bone” Thoma has dodged criminal prosecution for his boozed-up, off-duty hit-and-run. This the latest episode in Spokane’s ongoing law enforcement soap opera – “The Drunk and the Clueless.” Well, there are two sides to every story, as my sweet momma always taught me. So let’s all relax a moment while I take my usual fair-and-balanced look at both sides of this case. Then we can form into an angry mob and storm the Public Safety Building with corkscrews and flaming brandy snifters/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Why does the Spokane Police Department have so many bad apples?

Reznicek: Health Care Not A Right

This brings us to recent politics. There has been an explosion of debate surrounding Congress’s attempt to reform health care. Despite what some would say, free health care is not a right. I’m sorry, but you do not have the right to have your neighbor buy health insurance for you. Depending on the bill that makes it to the president’s desk, you may soon be entitled to free health care, but that right does not exist. If that happens, then so be it. There is nothing inherently wrong with the government providing that service, but it is in no way required to do so. Not that access to health care should be limited. A case could be made that access to health care is a right, but free health care is another story/Jeffrey Reznicek, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: Do you view health care in this country as a right or an entitlement?

Heller: The Perfect Gift

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Monday — 11.16.09

First, you should join me in applauding another terrific effort by CindyH in keeping this blog hopping while I was on vacation last week. (Point of order: I have only one more week of vacation left on my docket — to be taken around Christmas time.) I need to get caught up to speed re: where things stand with the municipal election recount involving incumbent Mike Kennedy and challenger Jim Brannon. And I need to shake off the election cobwebs. While I do, you can use this Wild Card to start your own threads …

Parting Shot — 11.16.09

Children eat a pomegranate at a slum in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday. (AP Photo/Mustafa Quraishi)

Is It Still Called ‘Making Out’?

On Scanner Traffic at noon, two teens were reported “making out” in a Jeep Cherokee, behind the sports complex at Canfield Middle School. That term for passionate kissing was popular back in my day, four decades ago.

Question: What did they call “making out” in your day?

Eli: Ringtones Are A Royal Pain

Who ever thought that a ring back tone would be a good idea? It’s promoted as a way for music lovers to express their individuality, their personal tastes in music. In my mind, the only person who would be twisted enough to consider a ringback tone “music” has no business expressing his individuality in the first place. ringback tones aren’t music. Nor are they unique. Listening to low quality pop music, piped through low quality speakers doesn’t exactly remind me of an inspired counter-culture icon. Instead, it reminds me of a prepubescent teenybopper desperately grasping for some shard of individuality. Which doesn’t really bother me. Everyone wants to be unique. It’s human. But music shouldn’t be sacrificed on the alter of “unique conformity” that ringback tones have become/Eli Francovich, NIC Sentinel. More here.

Question: What music do you have for a ringtone?

PM Headlines — 11.16.09

Idaho’s first-ever female transportation director was fired, in part, simply for being a woman, a lawsuit filed today charges. Pam Lowe, who last week filed a “whistleblower” complaint against the state alleging that she was fired for resisting political pressure to favor a big campaign donor to Gov. Butch Otter, filed an amended complaint today bringing in six additional claims for violating her rights under both the U.S. and Idaho constitutions. Eye On Boise story.

APhoto Of The Day — 11.16.09

Wrecker driver Gilbert Harrison attaches a towing cable to a Bugatti Veyron that was driven into the water near Omega Bay in La Marque, Texas. A man blamed a low-flying pelican and a dropped cell phone for his veering his million-dollar sports car off a road and into a salt marsh near Galveston. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Galveston County Daily News, Chris Paschenko)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Ferrari debuts its new amphibious automobile — CoeurGenX
  • 2. Q is *not* going to be pleased — Moscow Minidoka.
  • 3. Owner of Bugatti to tow truck driver: “I can’t believe my luck, one minute I’m sexting my secretary, the next I’m driving my car into the drink. I can pick up the car later, but right now I’m headed to Sprint to pickup another cell phone!” — Kage Mann.
  • HM: Pecky Cox

PM Scanner Traffic — 11.16.09

  • 5:43 p.m. A crash b/n a vehicle and a deer is reported @ H95 & Kidd Island Bay Road.
  • 5:25 p.m. A dead deer is lying along H95 @ M/P 428 (Riverview Drive).
  • 5:20 p.m. Officers are converging on a Chevy Impala at a CdA pharmacy. Motorist may have called in a fraudulent drug prescription.
  • 4:36 p.m Stephanie reports there’s a golden retriever pup in her front yard.
  • 4:27 p.m. A female in a black pickup is trying to contain 2 dogs @ Wendy’s.
  • 4:10 p.m. Workers fixing the ATM machine set off silent alarm @ Idaho Independent Bank on Government Way/Hayden.
  • 4:04 p.m. A Ford Tempo is on fire near other vehicles in front of Pizza Factory/Post Falls.
  • More below

HBO Blogosphere — 11.16.09

Here’s a look at the Casa Cox huckleberry patch after Saturday’s snow in Priest River, courtesy of Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns.


The nights grow long,
and days turn gray;
the sun appears
again in May.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Joker’s Sarah Palin Visit Predictions

  • She’ll be wearing blue jeans, designer of course, and a Sandpoint High School sweatshirt.
  • Important Republicans (campaign donors) will be given cuts.
  • She’ll comment on how nice is to be back in Idaho, surrounded by real people, instead of the intellectual crowd of Washington DC.
  • Her hair will be up in a pony tail, likely wearing a “Rogue” hat.
  • She’ll curse the media elite, then grant a brief interview with the Coeur d’Alene Press.
  • All of Joker’s predictions here

Question: I wouldn’t be surprised if some of Joker’s predictions come true. Can you add to Joker’s list?

Down But Not Out

This photo provided by the New Castle City Police Department Saturday shows a deer that was struck by a motorist and ended up stuck in the front bumper and grille of the vehicle in New Castle, Del. Police, along with the Delaware SPCA, tranquilized the animal and safely released the deer unharmed. Police later arrested thirty-one-year-old Victor L. Bryson who police allege fired a shot near the freed deer and officers. (AP Photo/New Castle City Police Dept, Pfc. Thomas Fuller)

City Clerk Responds To Spencer

Clerk Of The City (Susan Weathers): Larry, in response to your comment (@ 12:45 p.m. on this thread), I received an email requesting the copies of the poll books from Mr. Ingram at 9:32 a.m. this morning. He also indicated that they would be having Mr. Brooke pick the copies of at 3:00 p.m. today. I immediately called Dan at the County to see how much the cost would be. Dan contacted his elections staff and then called me back and informed me of the cost. I then emailed Mr. Ingram with the cost of the copies at 10:57 a.m. and also advised him that the County would be able to provide copies no later than tomorrow. Then you appear on the blog at 12:45 p.m. and you state that I haven’t responded. Remainder of comment below.

CindyH: I’d Rather Be …

CindyH: I’ve got a monster deadline staring me in the face. It’s already been a a long day, and I’ve got hours/words to go before I’m done. But I find myself thinking about things I’d rather be doing if I didn’t have to work. I’d rather be taking a long walk in the slight drizzly rain. I’d rather be finishing the novel I started 2 weeks ago. I used to read 2 books a week! I’d rather be organizing my closet. There’s something so satisfying about a well-organized closet. Sigh.

Question: What would you rather be doing than what you’re doing now?

Huckleberries Hears …

Earwitnesses in the City Hall hallway on the day of the canvassing for the Coeur d’Alene city elections last Monday tell Huckleberries of an interesting comment made by Gary Ingram. Seems Ingram, who was with Jim Doty at the time, spotted Kennedy entering the hallway and said: “There’s the most hated man in Coeur d’Alene.” Kennedy didn’t respond to Ingram’s attempt to engage him. So, my sources say, Ingram followed up by telling Kennedy that he was half joking — only half of the residents in town hate him.

M&M: Thumbs Down For ‘Pirate Radio’

“Sure, I liked the music. But I would also have liked a plot, something besides concept to tie the various characters together. I would also have liked some sort of explanation about why the U.K. stations at the time couldn’t, or wouldn’t, play rock music other than the simplistic portrayal that Kenneth Branagh offers of the stereotypical conservative government type. One thing in particular that threw me: the girl who (makes love to) the fat guy instead of our young protagonist. What was up with that? I’m more or less that young guy’s contemporary, and my life was never that free-spirited and forgiving. Still, loved the music. I’m definitely gonna score the soundtrack.” Then last night at a birthday party, somebody else recommended the film to me. Seems “Pirate Radio” is striking a chord, so to speak, with some viewers/Dan Webster, Movies & More. More here.

Question: Have you seen — or plan to see — “Pirate Radio”? If you have seen the movie, what did you think of it?

Robber Suspect Feated In Handle Xtra

Booth’s only previous visit to jail was in 1999 on a domestic battery charge. Dotson has no adult bookings. News archives show he’s lived in Coeur d’Alene since he was 8 and was pictured with a Fernan Elementary School music class. In May, he was featured in Handle Extra as one of five people at Sanders Beach who were asked, “What is the most unusual purchase you have made online?” Dotson responded, “I bought one tire on Craigslist. It was the same as the others I have and it was cheap.” Dotson and Booth are due in Kootenai County District Court today on charges of robbery and grand theft/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Question: When and why did your name last appear in a local newspaper or magazine article?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 11.16.09

This undated photo released by the Hells Canyon Bighorn Sheep Initiative shows a Bighorn ram and other sheep in Hells Canyon, Idaho. University of Idaho Professor Marie Bulgin who was suspended from sheep research duties since June 2009 has repeated claims that wild bighorns don’t catch fatal diseases from domestic sheep, despite pledging not to disseminate information on the issue until the school completes an inquiry into her work. Lewiston Tribune story here. (AP Photo/Hells Canyon Bighorn Sheep Initiative, Vic Coggins, File)

High Noon: And We Have Liftoff

Space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Monday. New York Times story here. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Question: How much attention do you pay to space flights such as today’s shuttle liftoff?

AM Scanner Traffic — 11.16.09

  • Noon: 2 youths are “making out” in a red Jeep Cherokee, behind the Canfield Middle School sports complex.
  • 11:53 a.m. Lake City High has asked police to remove a person from school grounds.
  • 11:47 a.m. Andrew called from Pennsylvania to ask about a warrant he has and to report that a tenant is harassing him.
  • 11:25 a.m. A welder accidentally set off a fire alarm at the Pairie Avenue transfer station.
  • 11:23 a.m. Firefighters are responding to a report of an ammonia leak @ Sysco Foods, Baugh Way, Post Falls.
  • 10:27 a.m. Tim’s Specialty Meats, 7397 Government Way, reports a customer is making threats and won’t leave.
  • 10:20 a.m. Post Falls police report the arrest of Jacobe J. Blake, 24, and Michael A. Butts, 23, both of Post Falls, on aggravated assault and robbery charges involving the beating of a man outside Bob’s 21 Club Nov. 10. PFPD report here.
  • 9:12 a.m. Motorist reports that wood chips are pouring out of a s/b speeding truck @ H95 & M/P 445 (Corbin Hill Road).
  • 8:51 a.m. Trooper reports a ladder is lying in the I-90 median near the state line.
  • 8:50 a.m. A yellow ladder is lying across the fog line on the w/b lanes of I-90 @ M/P 6.5 (near H41).
  • 8:24 a.m. Deer are wandering along H41 @ M/P 424 (Dower Road) and M/P 428 (Blackwell Road).
  • 8:19 a.m. David wants to speak to an officer re: suspicious entries on his credit card.
  • 8:09 a.m. R/P reports “rabbits at large” on Fruitdale/CdA.

DanOTC Challenges OpenCDA Claim

On an comments thread Nov. 13, Dan of the County took issue with this statement by Mary Souza: “Then there are the military Absentee ballots that weren’t sent out in enough time. They’re supposed to have 6 weeks but only had about 3. All kinds of issues…”

Our military ballots always go out at the first point our absentee ballots are ready. However filing deadlines are different for city and other local elections vs. federal elections where they must be mailed out at least 45 days early. We go out of our way to do the very best job we can with our military voters. Two of my adult children are active duty military and have served three tours in Iraq between them. Our youngest son is there now. I take a high degree of personal offense at the implication that we would ever, ever short change our military voters for any reason or play games with their ballots. That’s just plain over the line and without a basis in fact whatsoever. There are a number of other inaccurate implications in your statement and others I have read but I’m too upset as a Army and Navy father to attempt to address all of them but I’ll mention a few/Dan Of The County on Full comment here. Full post and comments thread here.

Question: Do you honestly think County Clerk Dan English would purposely delay sending out military ballots to troops who wanted to vote in the Nov. 3 municipal elections?

Ingram Asks For City’s Poll Books

Coeur d’Alene City Clerk Susan Weathers tells Huckleberries Online that challenger Jim Brannon still hasn’t filed a request for a recount in his 5-vote loss to incumbent Councilman Mike Kennedy Nov. 3. Brannon has until Nov. 30 to file for a recount. Meanwhile, Gary Ingram submitted a request for a copy of all poll books for the city election about an hour ago, which gives some credence to the rumor that Brannon allies may be more interested in challenging the election altogether than asking for a recount. (Idaho Code provides 3 days for the city to respond to a request for records with an additional 7 days if needed to fulfill the request). Reportedly, Brannon has told the Coeur d’Alene Press that he didn’t want to rush into anything, stating: “Government seems to want to rush through everything these days, how about we slow down and get one thing right?”

Palin To Oprah: Don’t Blame Me

Item: Sarah Palin Says She Isn’t Responsible for the GOP’s Loss: Palin Says She Was Told to Stay on Script During the Campaign/ABC News

More Info: “I think the reason we lost is that the economy tanked under a Republican and people were very seriously looking for a change,” Palin said today on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” “I don’t think I was to blame for losing the race more than I could have been credited for winning the race if I had done a better job.” Palin, whose book, “Going Rogue: An American Life,” hits bookstores Tuesday, spoke candidly with Winfrey about the way she says she was told to act and speak during the campaign and the effect it had on her family.

Question: Do you plan to see Sarah Palin when she visits Fred Meyer’s in Coeur d’Alene next month to promote her book?

Snow Covers Tubbs Hill ‘Bald Spot’

Don Sausser, HBO’s Eye On Sherman Avenue, compares the bare spot on Tubbs Hill to “the back of my noggin.” Don reports that Tubbs Hill was sporting “it’s first sticky snow of the season” on Saturday.

Question: When did you last hike Tubbs Hill?

Alert Deputy Nabs Market Robbers

An alert Kootenai County sheriff’s deputy caught two men allegedly trying to rob the Dalton Market, 5632 15th, Dalton Gardens, last night. While patrolling in the area of 15th and Dalton, the deputy when he saw what appeared to be a robbery in progress at the Dalton Market at 5632 N. 15th Street in Dalton Gardens. The robbers, who were wearing masks and displaying a handgun, ran from the store, got into a vehicle and fled from the Deputy. The Deputy pursued the suspects northbound on 15th street, around the Lookout Drive / Hayden View Loop, then back south on 15th street, until they turned east on Dalton Avenue. Just east of 17th street, where there is a sign that indicates that the road is a DEAD END, the alleged robbers tried to turn around, but the Deputy rammed the suspect vehicle, ending the pursuit. Justin R. Booth, 29, (pictured) and Bodi C. Dotson, 19, both of Coeur d’Alene were then taken into custody without further incident/Major Ben Wolfinger, KCSD. More here. More: Charges filed.

Question: What do you make of the recent rash of robberies of familiar local places — Piggies, Dutch Brothers, Dairy Queen, etc.?

HBO Poll: Living In ‘Whitopia’

Benjamin classifies a Whitopia as whiter than the nation, with at least 6 percent population growth since 2000, and at least 90 percent of that growth from white migrants. “And a Whitopia has a je ne sais quoi — an ineffable social charisma, a pleasant look and feel,” he writes. Benjamin spent four months in 2007 living in a rented split-level cabin on Hayden Lake. He hosted dinner parties, fished, bowled and played golf. In each of the Whitopias he visited, Benjamin took the pulse of the white dominant culture by immersing himself in it/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

PF Soldier Tells Of Fort Hood Ordeal

Stratton says he was finishing his medical processing in preparation of deploying to Afghanistan in January.  Just six feet behind him, the gunman opened fire.  Stratton jumped to the floor.  He spotted his officer laying on the ground. “He was already shot in the stomach and I jumped down to help him, drag him to the door,” said Stratton. Stratton says the gunman started to reload. “He finished loading it, and as he looked at me, he aimed his weapon down at me, and I turned on him as fast as I could and tried to go low and get to the door.  But he squeezed off one round and it came through my shoulder and it hit the bone,” said Stratton. He started to bleed profusely, but hurried to get outside and out of harms way.  Several people came to his aid, trying to keep him conscious.  Moments later, more gunshots/KREM (w/video). More here.

Question: Any further thoughts re: the senseless massacre at Fort Hood?

Murphy: BSU Deserves A Vs. Idaho

Boise State’s passing game appeared unstoppable for a large portion of the game as quarterback Kellen Moore threw for five touchdowns and wide receiver Austin Pettis had four touchdown grabs, tying a school record for receiving scores in a game. Moore leads the country with 32 touchdown passes and Pettis is tops with 14 touchdown catches. The potent combination overshadowed other solid performances, such as Titus Young’s six-catch, 101-yard performance and Jeremy Avery’s 110 yards rushing. Avery averaged 7.9 yards per attempt. Moore and the offensive line did a nice job of picking up Idaho’s blitzes. The Vandals brought more pressure than normal and it left plenty of room in the secondary for the Broncos wide receivers to run free/Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What grade would you give Idaho — in terms of offense, defense, and special teams — in its 63-25 loss to Boise State? What grade would you give the Vandals for the season?

AM Headlines — 11.16.09

Coeur d’Alene’s quarterback Ryan Dunton rushes the ball for a big gain early in the third quarter against Eagle High at Coeur d’Alene High Friday night. Eagle beat Coeur d’Alene 25-21. (Bruce Twitchell/Special to the Spokesman-Review)

Post Falls: A Thrift Store Mecca

It seems that rumored plans for construction of a downtown business and dining plaza fizzled out when the economic boom said bye-bye and stomped out of town and over the forested hilltops. Everyone is struggling to even put tequila on the dinner table, let alone part with enough dollars to go toward building a new Pottery Barn outlet. So how can Post Falls create a unique identity to generate some positive cash flow and help locals make their paychecks stretch at the same? Three words: Thrift store mecca. There are nearly a dozen charity and secondhand stores within a 2-mile stretch, and they ought to consider joining forces in a clever marketing campaign to promote the idea of Post Falls, Thrift City USA. You know, design an eye-catching logo, print up brochures and tank tops and arrange for a flashy TV news segment/Patrick Jacobs, SR Handle Extra. More here.

Question: How often — and for what — do you shop at a thrift store? And/or: How often do you contribute goods to a thrift store?

Tricia: Adam Tempted Eve w/Apple?!

Seriously? I mean, apples are nice and all, but I’ve yet to meet one that was worth being kicked out of a dive bar much less the Garden of Eden. Now, if the story went something like: “When the woman saw that the juicy Granny Smith was coated in rich, buttery caramel then rolled in crushed Butterfinger candy bits, she took some and ate it” … I’d have a much easier time getting behind the story. (And, yes, I know this whole “apple as the forbidden fruit” deal is conjecture since nowhere in the tale is any particular fruit actually named, but why quibble?) Although the yummies at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory might not get you kicked out of Paradise, they may lead to a walk of shame at your next Weight Watchers meeting. Trust me – totally worth it/Tricia Jo Webster, Fabulocity. More here.

Question: Which treat do you find so irresistible that you’d risk the walk of shame at a Weight Watchers meeting to eat it?

Heller: So Much For Guidelines

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Sunday — 11.15.09

Idaho may have lost big at Boise State Saturday. But there’s still hope for a bowl bid, particularly if the Vandals can win there last game. Importantly, it looks like the Idaho Vandals basketball team is better than ever, with its first win over Utah in seven decades. Also, Washington State basketballers should help us forget the school’s miserable football team. And there’s always Gonzaga. Then, of course, I’ll return to HBO Central to take over where capable CindyH left off. I’m looking forward to it. Now, for your Sunday Wild Card …

Gonzaga 92, Mississippi Valley 74

Gonzaga’s Demetri Goodson tries to call time out as Mississippi Valley’s #15 Shannon Behling ties up the ball in the 1st half at the McCarthey Athletic Center tonight.  Zag’s Robert Sacre (rear) also hits the floor. (Dan Pelle/SR)

Matt Bouldin scored a game-high 22 points, including four 3-pointers, to lead the Bulldogs to a 92-74 victory over Mississippi Valley State on Saturday night. Four Gonzaga players scored in double-figures. Freshman Elias Harris scored 18, Steven Gray had 16 and Robert Sacre added 17. Gonzaga (1-0) showed no signs of looking past MVSU toward its next contest at No. 2 Michigan State on Tuesday. The Bulldogs led by as many as 26 points in the second half. Mississippi Valley State (0-2) was led by Jason Holmes with 12 points. Michael Mayo, D’Angelo Jackson and Shannon Behling added 10 points apiece for the Delta Devils/AP. Boxscore here.