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Huckleberries Online

Archive for October 2009

Idaho 35, Louisiana Tech 34

Louisiana Tech receiver Cruz Williams, right, fights to control a catch for a touchdown while defended by Idaho cornerback Aaron Grymes, left, during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game today at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho. Williams controlled the ball for a touchdown. Idaho won 35-34. (AP Photo/Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Dean Hare)

Trailing by 13 points with less than 6 minutes left on Saturday, Idaho once again found a way to secure an unlikely Western Athletic Conference victory. This time UI flipped on the switch just in time, scoring on a 2-yard leap into the end zone from DeMaundray Woolridge with 52 seconds left to nip Louisiana Tech 35-34. The Bulldogs’ Matt Nelson, who botched what turned out to a critical extra point earlier, watched his 56-yard field goal attempt flutter wide left as time expired. The two missed boots helped give Idaho (7-2, 4-1) what appears to be enough victories for a bowl berth, though nothing is guaranteed./Josh Wright, Sportslink. ESPN boxscore here.

Wild Card/Saturday — 10.31.09

It’s Halloween — and the scariest thing you encounter today might be in your mailbox. Today and Monday are the two last good days to send a direct mail flier to coax targeted voters into your camp. Two years ago, of course, Kathy Sims and Tom Macy circulated their infamous flier that attacked City Council incumbents and later got them into campaign finance problems. It’ll be interesting to see if the challengers pool resources to circulate a last-minute blast via snail mail. I received Woody McEver’s clever mailing today, resembling a wanted poster. What do you expect to happen on the campaign front this weekend. While you’re mulling that question, I’ll play the Wild Card …

St. Maries Volleyballers Champs Again

Some wondered if St. Maries would win another state volleyball championship. It’s not that the cupboard has been bare. But it has been 16 years since the Lumberjacks hung a banner in their gym. The drought is over. The Lumberjacks broke through for the first time since 1993, sweeping Kimberly 25-21, 25-19, 26-24 in a hard-fought 3A state final at Coeur d’Alene High School’s Elmer Jordan Court before a crowd estimated at 750. Second-year coach Missy Asbury started on three state title teams during St. Maries’ storied 10-year string of championships. After the Lumberjacks finished runner-up last year, she told her team that it had the ingredients to capture a title/Greg Lee, Sportslink. More here.

Vik Wins Girls X-Country State Title

As a freshman, Kinsey Gomez shocked the State 5A meet field by knocking off the defending champion. Two years later, the Coeur d’Alene standout dethroned another state champ, and this time Gomez didn’t sneak up on anybody. Gomez, in fact, pounded the field into submission, clocking 18 minutes, 9.41 seconds around the 3.1-mile layout at Circling Raven Golf Course to beat reigning state champ Liz Brandon of Eagle by more than 33 seconds Saturday afternoon. Gomez and Brandon were neck and neck through the first of two loops before Gomez sprinted from the pack/Greg Lee, Sportslink. More here.

Zito Challenges Kennedy Fliers

If you wondered where Vinny Zito went after he checked in here to counter Mike Kennedy’s campaign ad Thursday morning, you should check out OpenCDA.com. At the top of the page Saturday night, Zito is pictured with his arm around Jim Brannon and denies everything about Kennedy’s flier except the statement that Kennedy is running against Brannon. He claims, for example, that he’s the “lowest monetary donor” to Brannon’s campaign. Which is correct, if you’re discussing just cash. But he has contributed $500 worth of office space (originally entered as $2,500 as in-kind donation in Brannon’s campaign finance report) to the campaign. Which Idaho law considers to be the same as money when donations are totaled up. Basically, Zito challenged almost everything in Kennedy’s flier. You can read all about it here.

Question: What do you make of Vinny Zito’s response to Mike Kennedy’s flier?


OTV’s Halloween Roundup Below

A yellowtail snapper swims by as a diver carves a jack-o’-lantern underwater in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary off Key Largo, Fla., during the Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest on Friday. The event is annually staged just before Halloween by the Amoray Dive Resort. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Bob Care)

Question: Do you celebrate Halloween? Or ignore it for personal or religious reasons?

Valley Fabricator Moving To Post Falls

Item: Valley fabricator plans move to Post Falls Burly Products is building a $1.5 million facility at Riverbend Commerce Park/David Cole, Journal of Business

More Info: Burly Products, a Spokane Valley metal fabricator and machinery maker, plans to move its operation to Post Falls by the end of the year, saying Idaho will provide it a more favorable business climate, the Idaho state Department of Commerce says on its Web site. Representatives at Burly Products couldn’t be reached for comment, but the Idaho state agency says the company is having a $1.5 million facility built for it in the Riverbend Commerce Park, in Post Falls.

Question: Does Idaho, indeed, have a better business climate than Washington?

Idaho Hosts La-Tech For Homecoming

On paper, Idaho has the slight edge. La. Tech averages 26 points a game while Idaho averages 31.5. Defensively, the Bulldogs hold teams to 22 points a game while Idaho averages 31. The Bulldog offense averages 355 yards a game while Idaho averages 360, and both are nearly even on time of possession with La. Tech holding the ball 29:32 and Idaho 30:28. Two big things in Idaho’s favor are playing at home and its goal of solidifying a bowl spot. At 6-2, the Vandals are bowl eligible, but they aren’t guaranteed anything, and their chances to get a bowl invite will greatly increase if they can get another win. The Vandals also have the Dome, a place that when full can frustrate offensive play calling. “I’m excited about having three of our remaining four games in the Dome,” Akey said. “… Enjoying the confines of our Dome and all that comes with it - the atmosphere, the fans, having people on our side when we come into it. It’s going to be awesome.” Kickoff is set for 2 p.m./Sandra Kelley, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: No one — simply no one — predicted Nevada’s 70-45 blowout last Saturday that stopped Idaho’s five-game winning streak. Any predictions this week?

Tom Sherry Predicts Mild Winter

With the sudden appearance of a few flurries in the Inland Northwest Thursday, the question on everyone’s mind right now is, “Will this winter be as bad as last year?” KREM 2 Chief Meteorologist Tom Sherry says, “Not by a long shot.” According to Tom, this is going to be an El Nino winter for the Northwest — which means above average temperatures in the lowlands, good snowfall in the mountains, and decent precipitation elsewhere. For the 2009-2010 winter, Tom Sherry is calling for above average temperatures, with between 30 and 40 inches of snow in the lowlands. This comes after the Inland Northwest had two of the snowiest winters on record back-to-back. The 2007-2008 winter saw 93.5 inches of snow in Spokane, and last winter we had 97.5 inches of snow/KREM2.

Question: In the current Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living mag, Tom Sherry/KREM2 was picked as the Best TV Weather Person in the Best of 2009! — ahead of Kris Crocker and George Maupin. Do you agree with that ranking?

Washington Problems Costly For Idaho

Washington’s Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency are moving closer to finding ways to clean up Long Lake.  The goal is to get all the cities and towns along the Spokane River to cut how much soap and phosphorus they dump in the water. But for towns in Idaho, new rules could have them paying millions for a problem found only in Washington.  Phosphorus in Long Lake has created large algae blooms and cut oxygen to fish.  For almost 10 years, environmental officials have been working on a plan to fix the problem.  The public comment period ends Friday and people living in the city of Post Falls are speaking loudly/KREM. More here.

Question: Should the cities of Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene and Hayden be on the hook for millions of dollars in sewer plant upgrades to fix a phosphorus problem in Long Lake?

Nic: Real Men Change Diapers

There have been occasional debates about whether or not real men change diapers. I don’t know if there is a correct answer for that debate – no absolute axiom dictating the relationship between real men and really loaded diapers. I know men are (and should be) disgusted at the concept of manhandling a poo-filled Pamper. But I believe that most men are capable of setting aside their distaste for BM long enough to provide relief (and freshness) to their non-potty trained offspring. When dairy air begins to waft from the derriere of their bumbling baby, I’d assume that most men do not do what my father did: strap their child (and their putrid britches) into a car seat and drive across town to a friend’s house to have the friend change the diaper. (ps, thanks Dad!) For now I am working with the hypothesis that real men do change diapers. I am a real man and I change diapers/Nic, Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts. More here.

Question: Do you (or your husband) change diapers?

Ramirez: Playing Through

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Lake City Captures 5A IEL Crown

Three minutes, four plays, 21 points. That’s all it took for Lake City to turn a taut season finale with Lewiston into a laugher. A dizzying sequence in the third quarter and rousing line play helped catapult the Timberwolves to a 49-19 rout at Bengal Field on Friday night. With the win, LC snatched its 13th consecutive berth to the state playoffs and the 5A Inland Empire League crown. Lake City (3-6, 3-0) will host a first-round postseason game against the winner of Monday’s three-way Kansas tiebreaker between Lewiston, Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene. It will take place at Lake City starting at 6 p.m./Josh Wright, SR Sportslink. More here.

Marmie: Scarin’ The Poop Outta ‘Em

Marmitetoasty: Last year one child wet her pants and one child poo’d his trousers when they came a knocking at our door :) … so this year we aim to up our mission and try and better last years score lol … after the initial fear, this year besides the normal sweets on offer to the children, we, today, have al’dente cooked some smallish sprouts and tomorrow we will cover them in chocolate and dust with coco powder so they resemble chocolate truffles…… cant wait to see the look on them little whipper snappers faces as they bite into a soggy sprout :) that will learn them to come knocking at my door lol.

Question: OK, if I translate Marmie correctly, she sez that she likes to scare the poop outta kids that knock on her door. This year, she plans to cover some brussel sprouts in chocolate and coco powder so they resemble truffles. Ya gotta know Marmie to appreciate her humor. How about you? What kind of treats will you hand out at your door Saturday night?

Parting Shot — 10.30.09

Collin Breckner (left) and Tristan Mulvey buddy up to make their way around the Riverfront Park Ice Palace in Spokane, Wa. Six-graders from Brentwood Elementary School, in the Mead district, decided to participate in a healthy activity instead of having a Halloween party at the school. (Dan Pelle/SR)

TGIF Wild Card — 10.30.09

I have one thing left in my hopper from all the election coverage of the past week. So I’ll grab it now — the letter of support from former Hagadone Co. controller Art Flagan that will be circulated on Armstrong Park this weekend on behalf of Councilman Mike Kennedy. You can see it here. And now the hopper is empty. Huckleberries Online has experienced a wild week w/terrific page-view numbers (9905, 10520, 11108, and 11702) for the first four days. The views should be through the roof on Election Day. I can’t wait. Meanwhile, there are a little over three shopping days until Election Day. And it’s time to replay the Wild Card …

Dennis Blogs From 30,000 Feet

re: Dennis Mansfield called earlier today to say that Delta was launching wi-fi for bloggers. So he tried it out and believes he’s one of the first people if not the first to blog on a plane. He comments about his maiden voyable below:

So here’s my “maiden voyage” of blogging at 30,000 feet, thanks to Delta and a company called Gogo. Delta did its part, but woe unto Gogo … (photo taken before we took off) … No promotional code was clearly stated on the card (or handed out) to the 100 or so of us who received cards as we boarded. It could have been there, but the flight attendants, several geek-types and other familiar with promo codes couldn’t see it … I said I’d post a blog…and I’m doing it (at $9.95 for today); man, what a bad-bad PR deal for Gogo. My thought is that this really cool thing could have been so much easier and cooler. But first tries are often goofy. Next time? It’ll be better.

Question: Where is the strangest place that you’ve blogged (or posted a comment) from?

PM Headlines — 10.30.09

Florence Carter, 78, and Alan Bezodis, 80, dance on rollerskates at Skate World in Hillsboro, Ore., earlier today. As the dancers age, they adjust their dances, but they are still at the rink, and other rinks in the Portland area, several times a week. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Torsten Kjellstrand)

APhoto Of The Day — 10.30.09

Daredevil rider Travis Pastrana of the United States jumps his motorcycle over the spinning blades of a helicopter in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday. Pastrana is promoting the high octane show set to tour Australia from May 2010. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Really, I’m not crazy. I have ‘Life Flight’ ready to take the pieces to the hospital — Laughing.
  • 2. Coming right up! A little sliced Pastrana on wry — Kevin Taylor.
  • 3. Weary of all the motorcycle noise in heaven, God returns Evil Knievel to earth! — Formerly Sandpoint.
  • HM: Nic & Charlie

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.30.09

  • 4:49 p.m. A vehicle Subaru Outback has hit a tree @ 12th & Indiana/CdA.
  • 4:45 p.m. R/P reports a number of street signs are lying in the parking lot @ Nettleton Gulch & Wyatt @ foot of Canfield Mountain.
  • 4:35 p.m. A woman on Stevens/Rathdrum who has access to hunting rifles is threatening to shoot herself in the presence of a young girl.
  • 4:17 p.m. 5 horses are loose on Ramsey & Brunner/Athol.
  • 3:48 p.m. Car fire @ H95 & Conkling Park Road.
  • 3:36 p.m. R/P reports seeing a vehicle go by her residence w/2 two does strapped to the hood. Doe season is closed.
  • More below

Sandpoint Conservationist’s Rally

Susan Drumheller, a former Spokesman Review colleague, is now the regional rep for the Idaho Conservation League. Recently, she and other conservationists in Sandpoint rallied to bring attention to the CO2 number in the atmosphere. You can read about it here. And/or you can see the YouTube featuring Susan and the Save Our Snow Rally below.

Man Burned At Coeur d’Alene Library

Update: Official Coeur d’Alene Fire Department report

At 8:44 a.m., the Coeur d’Alene fire department responded to a man engulfed in flames in the parking lot of the Coeur d’Alene library. Some city workers digging a hole in front of the library told a Spokesman reporter that it looked like the guy had been sleeping in his orange and white GMC pickup with a canopy when he emerged and lit a cigarette at the rear of the vehicle and suddenly burst into flames. A fire official on site said the man had second degree burns. The back of the pickup was black and charred.

HBO’s Blogosphere — 10.30.09

“The first snow in some parts of North Idaho bespeckled docks, boats and covered fallen leaves before turning to a rainy sleet,” writes Ralph Bartholdt/Skookum Photography. “The snow kept coming at higher elevations, while lower ground looked up to rain and a sky like old bedding that the sun was just itching to bust through.” (Above, Ralph’s shot of a Rathdrum field in October.)

Coming: Brannon’s Back On H4H Letter

In the latest Habitat for Humanity newsletter, Jim Brannon has his regular executive director message on Page 2, beginning with “Dear Friends.” Brannon, of course, was laid off/fired as executive director a coupla weeks ago, triggering a controversy. In a message below, Chairman Rick Shipman Brannon’s message explains the situation: “This month the board voted to eliminate the executive director position. For budgetary reasons this decision will allow us to keep building homes. We could no longer afford to fund this position. Originally we received a large grant which was spread out over several years to hire an E.D. That grant money was exhausted last year. Revenues have come in lower than our projections. We have been affected by the economy just like all other contractors. …” You can read the messages by Brannon and Shipman here.

Moscow Mayor Angry @ Digger

Columnist Henry D. Johnston delivers harsh criticism of Moscow’s record of economic development (“Who should be Moscow’s business greeter?”, His View, Oct. 27), but his argument is a straw house of factual errors and misleading statements. If he’s trying to attract new businesses, he might try a different tack. In a new take on the old lesson, “you’ll catch more flies with honey,” Councilor Tom Lamar likened the approach to a restaurateur standing curbside, shouting, “we serve bad food!” and wondering where his customers are. How ironic that Johnston and his bitter associates claim to support economic development, but choose to spread false and damaging rumors instead/Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Have you ever had an elected official mad at you?

Trillhaase: GOP’s Semanko MIA

JEERS … to Idaho Republican Party Chairman Norm Semanko. Segments of his party are invading the nonpartisan city elections. Why isn’t he discouraging it? In Bonneville County, the Republican Party has endorsed Idaho Falls City Council candidate Alex Creek and given him $1,000. Twin Falls Republicans also toyed with the idea of endorsing candidates. Idaho keeps partisan politics out of its city elections deliberately. There is no Republican or Democratic way to fix a pothole or maintain a park. And do you really want the kind of partisanship that has polarized national and state politics to next roll over city councilors and mayors? What’s next? Electing city councilors based on whether they support Idaho GOP platform positions against abortion and the Federal Reserve?/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you think this year’s invasion of partisan politics into nonpartisan local races is an aberration? Or will it become routine in the year’s ahead?

Tailgating PAR-tee

Tailgating is at risk of being banned completely if things don’t change soon. Concerns about student and public safety have been brought up and tailgating will no longer be allowed after kickoff. Steven Devine/Argonaut

Question: Have you ever attended a tailgating party before a ballgame?

OTV: Just Vote, Period

OrangeTV: I agree this election is important. I’ve never been that overly interested in city council elections, but this one has me telling everyone I know who they should vote for and why. And to just vote period, no matter who they decide to vote for. I’m hoping there will be some improvement over the dismal turnout numbers from prior years…

Question: OrangeTV brings up an interesting point. Do you want people to vote, even if they are not informed at all about the candidates or issues?

3 Demo Leaders Back Goodlander

  •  Gookin is opposed to the public schools saying “Parents such as myself gave up on them long, long ago, preferring to put our kids in private schools or home education.” (Posted by Gookin under his blog name Dang, July 8, 2007).
  • Deanna saw the wisdom in the construction of a community center with pools where children could learn how to swim. Gookin’s blogging record contains many angry tirades against the Kroc Center. He is against the Property Tax Homeowners Exemption, saying “The Homeowners exemption is a scam.” (Posted by Gookin, June 12, 2007)
  • Gookin has even opposed the minimum wage. On January 15, 2007, he wrote “To have the Feds dictate the rate from on-high is stupid. It’s bad for Samoa, it’s bad for Idaho, it’s bad, Bad, BAD!”/Bev Moss, Thom George, Mary Lou Reed from mailing sent out to local Democrats. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that these three prominent Democrats would support Republican Deanna Goodlander in a nonpartisan race?

DFO: Much @ Stake In ‘09 Election

I had a moment of clarity a coupla nights ago re: the challengers in the City Council races. If any of the challengers succeed, he will be the source of much mischief on the council over the next four years. He won’t have the votes to do anything. But he’ll provide Mary, Bill, Spencer & Co. with access to the inner sanctum. You’ve seen the craziness for the last 30 months, from Dirtgate and the partisan letter against the Kroc Center to stop Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, to the allegations by the Far Right in this community that the current mayor and council got Jim Brannon fired. You’ll see four more years of this nonsense. If one of the challengers can grab a seat, he’ll immediately become Mike Patrick’s best friend and be used to bedevil the Bloem administration on the Press editorial pages. However, if all three lose, Patrick and Hagadone HQ will have little to do with them. We’re approaching a defining moment in this community. Will we relegate Gookin, Souza, Bill, Spencer, & Co. to the margins where they belong? Or will we allow one of them to get in to provide a foothold to continue their attempt to undercut progress in this community? Not only do you need to vote, but you need to tell your family, friends, and neighbors over the next three days what’s at stake in this election/DFO.

Question: Do you consider the coming municipal elections in Coeur d’Alene to be pivotal? Or do they matter much at all?

PM Headlines — 10.30.09

Hunter Cly, of Meridian, Idaho, hangs on as his cousin Quinn Edwards, right, races around the Wissel family pumpkin patch, Sunday, outside Nampa, Idaho. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune, Charlie Litchfield)

High Noon: Halloween Costumes

Halloween ghouls, ghosts and other creepy creatures await the arrival of trick or treaters at a spooky ‘graveyard” in Roswell, N.M. on Friday. (AP Photo/Roswell Daily Record, Mark Wilson)

Question: Do you still dress up for Halloween? If so, who do you plan to be Saturday night?

Ingram Claims Open Meeting Violation

re: Gary Ingram filed the following complaint w/the city of Coeur d’Alene Thursday afternoon

The nature of the complain (for violations of the Idaho Open Meeting Law) is that on October 28, 2009, in a letter that was published in the Coeur d’Alene Press signed jointly by Mayor Bloem and city council members, Bruning, Edinger, Goodlander, Hassell, Kennedy and McEvers, which set forth the City’s response to alleged false claims ariing in the campaigns for city elections, the amed elected officials acted in violation of the Idaho Open Meeting Law when they met, deliberated and decided on the content of the response and did not provide public notice of the meeting, or an agenda as required by Idaho Code 67-2343/Gary Ingram. Full letter here.

Question: Is there merit to Ingram’s complaint of an Open Meeting Law violation? Or is this a tactic to help the challengers by casting the incumbents in a bad light?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.30.09

  • 11:33 a.m. A small boat, mail, and other trash have been illegally dumped on Sheep Spring, off H54, near Athol.
  • 11:29 a.m. R/P reports a motorist is traveling about 100 mph on H41, north of Rathdrum.
  • 11:11 a.m. An 80ish male may be suffering a stroke in the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s Wellness Center/Plummer.
  • 11:07 a.m. A mailman has found a man w/a swollen neck on the floor of his apartment on Ironwood Drive.
  • 11:06 a.m. A 65YO woman @ Upriver & Chocolate Bear/CdA is suffering chest pains.
  • 10:58 a.m. A man on Gypsy Trail & Deer/Harrison is having trouble breathing.
  • 10:53 a.m. Alan reports that someone has stolen his outboard motor.
  • 10:24 a.m. Diana at Life Care Center in Garden Plaza/Post Falls reports that a janitor set off the fire alarm while sweeping on the first floor.
  • 9:49 a.m. ITD employees report that motorists are driving dangerously close to them while they’re setting up cones in a construction zone (unknown location).
  • 8:44 a.m. A man caught on fire when the pickup he was in burst into flames at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library. EMTs report he suffered second-degree burns to both hands.

Flashback: ‘Goose Chase’ Redux

re: Here’s an expanded view of the “Wild Goose Chase” from a Huckleberries print column that I wrote two days later, on April 16, 2007. It spotlights the role Gookin’s followers had in the fiasco.

The posse that’s been tracking Lake City Development Corp. activity for months stubbed its toe badly last week. It all started with a tip to LCDCritic Dan Gookin from someone with concerns about a Black Rock Development project. Seems the tipster had heard that developer Marshall Chesrown had illegally diverted the Spokane River in front of the Bellerive neighborhood along the shore next to Riverstone. To Gookin’s credit, he decided to check things out before spreading rumors. To the discredit of his associates, the local media was called, along with Beth Reinhart, an Army Corps of Engineers rep. Everyone met at Riverstone Starbucks – Gookin, Duane Rasmussen, Matt Roetter and Ron Johnson representing, ahem, concerned citizens; reporters and photographers from both local papers; and biologist Reinhart. Gookin led the group along the shoreline, where crews are building condos. More here.

Any further questions?

Colorado Town Mulls Marijuana Issue

A group of sign-waving supporters for Measure 2F, a reform to decriminalize private possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults 21 and older in Breckenridge, Colo., wave signs at motorists in Breckenridge, Colo. A measure before Breckenridge voters in Tuesday’s municipal election would legalize possession of smoking paraphernalia and up to 1 ounce of marijuana. Pot possession would still be a state crime, but town police officers would have to take users to the county sheriff’s department to be cited. (AP Photo/Summit Daily, Mark Fox)

Question: Do you think marijuana will ever be legalized in this country. If so, when?

Flashback: When Mary Stomped Off

You know, I hate to see anyone stomp off like Mary did, but you have to expect to get put in your place on this blog — especially when you level allegations based in half truths and expect everyone to take them at face value. Then she continually insults Dave’s ethical and professional integrity using a conspiracy based on absolutely no facts whatsoever. When called on it, she claims victimization and storms off. Mary’s politics are so Jr. High. BTW, I agree with Cabbage Boy, I don’t lump DanG in with Spencer and Mary. Dang does the necessary work before he alleges anything. I may not agree with his take on most things, but I can count on him to stick to factual information/Bent from Huckleberries Archives, April 14, 2007.

Nancy: Disappointed In Challengers

They continue to attack the city and its representatives as dishonorable individuals. However the most honorable have made this city the community it has become. I am so disappointed to see that the challengers would make this about them and not about the citizens of this community. When you accuse a city government of conspiring to have Jim Brannon fired from his job at Habitat for Humanity, you are personally accusing my husband Ron Edinger of being part of taking a livelihood away from another citizen. In no way would my husband or the current council take part in such an act/Nancy Edinger, Coeur d’Alene Press letter to the editor. More here.

Question: What has acted more dishonorably in the current Coeur d’Alene municipal races — the challengers or the incumbents?

Texas Allows Dad To Show Girls Porn

Crystal Buckner responds to a reporters question Thursday in Dallas. Buckner is fighting to have a 1970s-era Texas law that allows parents to show “harmful material” to their children. A prosecutor said he couldn’t file charges against Buckner’s former husband, who is accused of forcing his 8- and 9-year-old daughters to watch hardcore online pornography. (AP Photo/Amy Gutierrez)

Question: What would you do in a situation like this in which the law allows a father to show his young daughter pornography?

Franny Wilhelm, 97, Ex-PF Mayor

In August I visited with Francis (Frannie) Wilhelm on the occassion of his 97th birthday. Joined by retired City Clerk, Chris Pappas, (also pictured) whom Frannie hired when he served as mayor of Post Falls from 1976 to 1980. It was a fun and festive visit with old friends. A few weeks after his birthday, Frannie became the oldest person to parasail over Lake Coeur d’Alene. He had an incredible and extraordinary life for nearly a century with most of those years spent in Post Falls. His granddaughter, Linda Wilhelm, followed in his footsteps and serves on the Post Falls City Council/Kerri Rankin Thoreson, More Main Street.

Mayor Clay Larkin e-mails Huckleberries: “I am saddened to have to share with you the loss of a former Mayor (1976 - 1980), Francis (Franny) Wilhelm  at the age of 97 this AM. I feel very humbled to have spent a little time with him recently on his 97th birthday. He was a very special person, and served the City well during his tenure. The City and its future was always in his heart. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”

Robber Fails In Dollar Tree Holdup

At 10:22 p.m. Thursday, Coeur d’Alene Police responded to a report of a robbery that had just occurred at the Dollar Tree. Officers contacted a female clerk and female manager who stated a male came inside the store and pointed a handgun at the clerk. The suspect demanded money from the cash register. The female manager was summoned to the front of the store by the clerk. The manager saw that the suspect had a handgun and she grabbed a hold of it. The suspect struggled to break free and fled the store on foot last seen running west toward Fruitland Ave. Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department responded with a K-9 unit. The suspect was tracked but eventually the K-9 lost his scent/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d’Alene police spokeswoman. More here.

Question: The female manager deserves credit for great courage in grabbing the would-be robber’s handgun. But she and the clerk could have been seriously hurt. What would you have done?

Even Some Dems Unhappy w/Obama?

However, Obama has also drawn some criticism from his own party because of his perceived inactivity during his time in office. Such critics should be careful what they wish for. Perhaps it is a good thing that the president is not constantly stirring controversy, asserting his authority, and pushing his party’s agenda. For a proactive president, it’s hard to beat George W. Bush. Is that what we want — massive policy and program reversals every time the White House changes hands? Don’t underestimate the value of political boredom/Benjamin Ledford, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: “Saturday Night Live” performed a skit recently in which Obama was portrayed as a president that hasn’t gotten anything done, except the Cash for Clunkers program. Do you agree w/that assessment? Would you prefer a president who’s more proactive?

UIdaho Prepares For Homecoming

The football team is well practiced and ready to take on Louisiana Tech. The marching band has been rehearsing every step and note of the “Thriller” show to perform for the alumni and students. The homecoming committee raised $75,000 for tonight’s fireworks display. The University of Idaho is celebrating the 100th anniversary of homecoming in style. “It presents a special opportunity for alumni to come back to a place that means so much to them,” said Katie Dahlinger, program coordinator of the Student-Alumni Relations Board. Anna Marie Limbaugh, a co-chair of the homecoming committee, said the number of alumni coming to UI for homecoming is higher than ever/Chava Thomas, UIdaho Argonaut. More here.

Question: When did you last attend a homecoming game for a high school or college alma mater? Was it a good experience?

AM Headlines — 10.30.09

The first flakes of measurable snow fell on North Idaho this morning, even before all the leaves have fallen from the trees, writes KerriT/OnLocation North Idaho.

Robber Accosts CdA Woman @ Home

At 10:10 p.m. Thursday, Coeur d’Alene Police officers responded to the report of a robbery that had just occurred in the 4200 block of N. Echo Glenn Lane. A 40-year-old female stated that she had driven her vehicle into her driveway and parked it. As she was opening the driver’s door to exit the car a male grabbed a hold of the door and pulled it the rest of the way open. The male reached over her and grabbed a bank bag that was on the passenger seat. The victim stated she screamed and kicked him hard. The suspect fell down. He dropped the bank bag and ran/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d’Alene police spokeswoman. More here.

Ward: Rasmussen Back In Fold

re: “Reagan Republicans have tried to make an issue of Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander’s Republican pedigree?” — Huckleberries.

I certainly have never said anything about Deanna’s “pedigree” or “credentials.” We may have had members discuss this but we never have commented as a club. The only email exchange I recall involved members of Republican Women but not our members. Actually the only question of “republican-ness” brought up by a member was about Dan Gookin, by member Duane Rasmussen, but he is completely back in the fold after being satisfied by Dan’s authenticity/Jeffrey Ward, president, Reagan Republicans. Full e-mail here.

DFO: I’m publishing Jeff’s letter to correct the error that I made on Huckleberries. Mea culpa.

Question: Jeff goes on to say that the Reagan Republicans are “a big tent group.” Considering the group’s actions in the Coeur d’Alene municipal campaigns, would you agree with that statement?

Mary: (HBO) Has No Credibility

In her latest newsletter, Mary Souza gives her endorsements for City Council (ah, no surprises there), and then turns her attention to the attacks against Dan Gookin. Quoth Mary: “They are dragging out a few blog comments from two years ago, and trying to make them look like official ‘statements; from Dan, which of course they were not. They were casual comments from a blog, taken out of context.” Mary then goes on to explain that the comments were taken from ”a blog that Dan and I left years ago because they were so sleazy. Many other legitimate bloggers left too.” She claims that “the site … called me a four-letter word, in print, that would make any woman cringe, right after I told them I was never posting there again.” Still unable to say “Huckleberries,” Mary concludes: “They have no credibility.”

DFO: As I recall — and I’ll look for text for a possible “Flashback” moment — Gookin and Mary left because I simply wouldn’t agree with their extreme view of urban renewal. It was in April 2007. I don’t know a thing about someone here calling her “a four-letter word, in print, that would make any woman cringe.” If someone did that in the comments section and I missed it, I’ll apologize pronto. However, Mary does have a tendency to make things up. I’d like to see proof for her allegation.

Anderson: Unmanned Flight

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Post Falls 13, Coeur d’Alene 7

The Post Falls football team kept its faint state playoff hopes alive with a 13-7 win over Coeur d’Alene in a 5A Inland Empire League game Thursday. Now Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene will root for Lake City to capture the conference championship tonight at Lewiston. An LC win would put Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene and Lewiston in a three-way tie for second, necessitating a Kansas Tiebreaker on Monday to decide the second playoff berth. Lewiston can secure the league title and render a tiebreaker moot with a win. LC is in the playoffs win or lose. “We’re still alive,” Post Falls coach Jeff Hinz bellowed after his Trojans (6-3 overall, 1-2 league) stymied Coeur d’Alene (6-3, 1-2) defensively. “Our kids played great defense”/Greg Lee, Sportslink. More here.

DOTC: Absentees Coming In

Dan of the County: Things were more active at the elections office today but they’re still not breaking any records for sure. The countywide absentee voting rate through earlier today was 4.6% and for the city of Coeur d’Alene they were up to almost 9 percent of registered voters who have already cast an absentee ballot or have one coming back to us in the mail.

Question: What do you think the voter turnout will be in your community? Why? Also, what will be the voter turnout in the county for the jail expansion bond?

Parting Shot — 10.29.09

At As The Lake Churns, Pecky Cox and her camera are on hand to provide these colors of fall, including a topping of snow.

Wild Card/Thursday — 10.29.09

There’s only five shopping days left until Election Day, if you count today as one of those. I don’t think we’ve seen everything yet. It’ll be fun to open the mailboxes this weekend to see what surprises pop out of them. Huckleberries Online will try to give you a heads up re: what’s coming, so you can act as a know-it-all when your neighbor’s ask what’s up. I know, for example, that Sandy Patano and Ben Wolfinger are circulating a mailer on behalf of Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander. I’ll try to intercept. Now, for your Wild Card …

Bikini Baristas File Wage Complaints

Local bikini baristas have been busy serving up lattes now say they’re not getting paid a cent for their services and are filing grievances with the Department of Labor and Industries. The owners of the Pretty in Pink espresso stand in Spokane near the intersection of Sprague and Bowdish also own espresso stands in Post Falls and two in Western Washington. The espresso stands all have two three things in common: The girls who work their wear bikinis, the girls say they aren’t getting paid, and formal claims have been filed against the espresso stands’ owners. Fifteen former employees of the bikini espresso stands have filed formal wage claims with Labor and Industries saying they were never paid for their work/McKay Allison, KXLY. More here.

Question: There’s a bikini espresso stand in Post Falls?

PM Headlines — 10.29.09

CindyH reports that Huckleberries Online was prophetic in running that photo of pumpkins buried in the snow in Denver Wednesday. This is what she found on her porch this morning.

APhoto Of The Day — 10.29.09

Joel Waul, 28, climbs on top of his rubber band ball on the driveway of his home in Lauderhill, Fla., Friday. Waul who works nights restocking a Gap clothing store, has spent the last six years carefully wrapping and linking and stretching rubber bands of various sizes into the ball shape. The Guinness Book of World Records declared it the world’s largest rubber band ball in 2008. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Joel Waul conducts a health and welfare check on Mary Souza. Neighbors had reported that due to recent local political developments Mary had become wound pretty tight — Charles Dixon.
  • 2. Vinny Zito demonstrates how his $70 million East Sherman project would not have violated hieght restrictions — Nic.
  • 3. Confused HBOers rush to see if Trish is dancin’ at the “Rubber Band” Ball — JohnA.
  • HM: Herb Huseland

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.29.09

  • 5:51 p.m. Woman in teal Subaru Outback reports hitting deer @ Ramsey & Prairie.
  • 5:41 p.m. Teen R/P reports there are 5 juveniles who want to her trying to break into her house on Lilac/Post Falls.
  • 5:32 p.m. EMT reports finding her 72YO neighbor deceased on Getaway/Harrison.
  • 5:31 p.m. Sheila reports her motorhome is stuck in a ditch, partially blocking Carlin Bay Road, near Burma.
  • 5:16 p.m. Businessman in 200 block of Harrison has evicted a male and is afraid he might come back.
  • 5:07 p.m. R/P reports a vehicle ran a red light while talking on a cell phone @ 8th & Sherman.
  • 5:05 p.m. A man in a 1980s Honda tried unsuccessfully to abduct a child from a Rathdrum day care 25 minutes ago.
  • 4:59 p.m. Pallets are lying in several locations in w/b lanes of I-90 @ M/P 6/Post Falls.
  • 4:38 p.m. Loitering rported @ Northwest Boulevard & Lakewood.
  • 4:01 p.m. R/P reports driver in white Forester has downed several brewskis on I-90.
  • 3:48 p.m. Driver in white Nissan w/Washington plates ran R/P off I-90 before pulling into the KMC E/R parking lot.
  • 3:44 p.m. 2 loose huskies are chasing horses on Reiswig/Post Falls.
  • 3:32 p.m. A woman on Kamloops/Rathdrum is willing to sign a complaint against a neighbor who regularly plays music too loudly.
  • Much more below

Poolman: Air Flight Annoyances

Poolman: I took a trip recently that involved a couple of airlines and a regional service or two. Here is my take – they are all pretty much the same. Delta might give you the entire can of soda while US Air might only pour a little cup full, other than that, there isn’t much difference. The thing that I find most annoying… more annoying than the fat guy sitting next to with a quarter of his body flowing over into my seat, more annoying than the giant sweat rings in my face as a guy spends 5 minutes jamming his oversized suitcase into the bin above my head, more annoying that the woman sitting two seats over eating a day old McDonalds fish sandwich with extra tartar sauce right after a 5:30 AM takeoff, more annoying that the hospital waiting room smell of stale coffee and recycled air … No, the most annoying thing about air travel is this – the stewardess that walks up and starts jabbing me in the shoulder before take-off. “Excuse me sir, you will need to turn off your headphones.” Full post below.

Question: Poolman introduces this comment by saying that the service provided by most airlines is pretty much the same. Do you agree?

Delusions Of Grandeur

Jack O’Lantern, shining bright
in the black October night,
your grin is crazed and wild and drunken —
but don’t forget, you’re just a punkin.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Richert: ‘Franken Amendment’ Hubbub

If you read enough left-wing blogs or watch enough Comedy Central, you might conclude that Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch condone rape. The accusation is out of line. The so-called “Franken amendment” is far more complex than the critics would have you think. In our information age, innuendo and invective move at warp speed; nuance travels more slowly. The story began on Oct. 6, when the Senate passed a defense appropriations amendment authored by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here. And: Sisyphus comment.

Question: Does anyone out there honestly believe that U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch condone rape because they voted against the ‘Franken Amendment’?

PETA Targets Bullhooks This Time

This March 21, 2009, file photo shows elephants washing vehicles at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Ore., as trainer Timothy Hamilton holds a device called a bullhook. Representatives from People from the Ethical Treatment of Animals object to the use of the bullhooks, saying they force animals to act under the threat of pain. (AP Photo/The News-Review, Robin Loznak)

Question: Most of us know that PETA members are a few dancing bears short of a circus act. But I’ll play along. Do you think there’s a problem here?

JeanieS: Undone By Such Kindness

JeanieS: The best thing to happen was that a friend of all five of us women (my dinner group - we’ve been together for 30 years), Art, who lives near by, camped out on the couch in our suite and shuttled us back and forth to the various Disney parks - but the best, most touching thing - he got up with me at 5:00 in the morning to trek our way to dialysis and stayed with me the entire 3.5 hours and then back to the hotel for a nap - and on to the park for play time. Nobody has ever done something so altruistic for me. I am simply undone by such kindness.

Question: Have you received an act of kindness of late? Tell us about it.

Ben, Sandy Weigh In On Gookin

Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Resource Specialist/Biologist Beth Reinhart (cq) along with Coeur d’Alene resident Dan Gookin took a look at the Spokane River shoreline at Riverstone on Thursday, April 12, 2007, to investigate an allegation that the developer interfered with the flow of the river. The original account of the so-called “Wild Goose Chase” on Huckleberries Online here. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

In a letter sent out on behalf of Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander Wednesday, sheriff’s Major Ben Wolfinger and long-time GOP aide Sandy Patano provides two examples why they don’t want challenger Dan Gookin to win — one of them you first saw here in March 2007: 

“During the construction of the park and pond at Riverstone, Mr. Gookin heard a rumor that the Spokane River was being “illegally diverted” to fill up the pond. Rather than investigate further to determine whether this information was actually valid, his behind-the-scenes working group contacted the media and a local newspaper reporter and photographer were led by Mr. Gookin on a “wild goose chase” which turned up no wrongdoing. Dan Gookin preferred publicity and an attempt at “gotcha politics” over factfinding and problem solving. This is not the judgment and foresight we need in City Hall.”

Question: Reagan Republicans have tried to make an issue of Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander’s Republican pedigree? Both Ben Wolfinger and Sandy Patano are well-known Repubs. Will this letter sway mainstream Repubs?

Rosary Redux: Pope Blessed Mom’s

Stickman: My grandmother and mother always had a rosary handy and used them daily. I am also not a Catholic anymore, though I remember those days vividly. I once went to St. Peter’s in Rome and bought a beautiful rosary for my mother and also went to the special service they had for rosaries, on a Wednesday as I recall when literally thousands of people would wait in the square for the Pope to appear at a window and bless all of the rosaries. Quite a thing to be involved in. I gave it to my mother and told her the story and it became her most valued possession.

Question: Are you of the same faith persuasion now as you were as a child? 

Aluminum Bat Case Brings $850K

A jury on Wednesday found that the maker of Louisville Slugger baseball bats failed to adequately warn about the dangers the product can pose, awarding a family $850,000 for the 2003 death of their son in a baseball game. The family of Brandon Patch argued that aluminum baseball bats are dangerous because they cause the baseball to travel at a greater speed. They contended that their 18-year-old son did not have enough time to react to the ball being struck before it hit him in the head while he was pitching in an American Legion baseball game in Helena in 2003. The Lewis and Clark County District Court jury awarded a total of $850,000 in damages against Louisville, Ky.,-based Hillerich & Bradsby for failure to place warnings on the product/Matt Gouras, Associated Press. More here.

Question: Should aluminum bats be banned from amateur softball and baseball games?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 10.29.09

Driving his motorized wheelchair, disabled veteran Kelly Brown and his dog, Max, give their friend, Joe Long, a tow through Stewart Park in Roseburg, Ore., on Tuesday. Long said he is undergoing outpatient cancer treatment at the Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Brown, who only has one leg, said he also uses the VA medical facility. (AP Photo/The News-Review, Robin Loznak)

High Noon: Disabled, Yet Not

Skip Partridge didn’t say much. He couldn’t. A series of strokes had left him with aphasia, and finding the right words became an agonizing process, fraught with frustration. However, he didn’t let his disability silence him. Instead, with the help of his two Golden Retrievers, he found a new way to communicate. His canine friends, Dagwood and Darby, were certified service animals, and every month Partridge and his dogs made their rounds. They visited children at Shriners Hospital, patients at Cancer Care Northwest and hospice patients and their families. Sadly, Partridge and his dogs will no longer make those rounds. He died on Aug. 29 at the age of 66/Cindy Hval, Washington Voices. More here.

Question: Describe someone you know who overcame a tremendous handicap to serve others?

In The News: Polygamist Trial

A Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints member makes her way through security at the Memorial Building in Eldorado, Texas, Wednesday, for a third day of jury selection in the trial of Raymond Merril Jessop. (AP Photo/Standard-Times, Patrick Dove)

Question: Why would a man or a woman want to get involved in a polygamist lifestyle?

OTV: Magazine Discovers DFO

Congrats to DFO who was voted Best Journalist in the readers poll that appears in the new issue of Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Magazine. Also, just for kicks I cut out all the Spokane stuff and posted a list of just the North Idaho winners on my blog …

DFO: I’m sure all my fans at OpenCDA.com and the comments threads of Coeur d’Alene Press online — both of them — are on their feet clapping and whistling.

David: A Love Note … ?

Here is an anonymous note (David Laird/Community Comment) received this morning:

I will seek and find you.
I shall take you to bed and have my way with you.
I will make you ache, shake & sweat until you moan & groan.
I will make you beg for  mercy, beg for me to stop.
I will exhaust you to the point that you will be relieved when I’m finished
with you.
And, when I am finished, you will be weak for days..

All my love,

The Flu


David Laird/Community Comment: Now get your mind out of the gutter and go get your flu shot!

Flashback: Gookin Rips Urban Renewal

In a Huckleberries print column from Oct. 16, 2007, I wrote about this photoshop re: Hayden’s urban renewal plans that Dan Gookin (a council candidate then & now) had posted in a comments thread on Huckleberries Online the previous January. You can read the original text here. It realized for the first time how much Gookin opposed the local version of urban renewal when I saw the original Jan. 5, 2007, parody post.

Question: Don’t you think the Hayden urban renewal project turned out a bit better than that?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.29.09

  • Noon: Traffic is backed up on w/b I-90 as a result of the hay in the road (11:55 entry).
  • 11:59 a.m. R/P reports that Ryan, a martial arts specialist who has a history of harassing people, is pounding on his door, threatening to kill him. The dispute is over money.
  • 11:55 a.m. Hay is lying on both lanes of traffic on w/b I-90 @ Northwest Boulevard.
  • 11:52 a.m. Christina wonders why a deputy was looking for her in Bayview Wednesday.
  • 11:35 a.m. The driver’s license department reports a wanted person is in the office.
  • 10:50 a.m. A large fire is burning along H95 @ Upriver. It might be a controlled burn that got out of control.
  • 10:33 a.m. The moose has left the playground.
  • 10:24 a.m. Officer reports that the moose is now in the play area of the Kinder Center @ the old Hayden Elementary @ Hayden & Government Way. Officers plan to open some playground gates to see if the moose will leave on its own.
  • 10:12 a.m. A large moose is wandering on a side street of Hayden Avenue, near the Kinder Center.
  • 9:51 a.m. A wanted person is surrendering in the lobby of the Coeur d’Alene PD.
  • 9:06 a.m. Officer reports debris on Ramsey Road in front of Ramsey pumps by transfer station.
  • 8:33 a.m. 2 R/Ps report that a 5YO boy ran off s/b on Idaho from a man who was standing outside his vehicle in a driveway @ 13th & Idaho/Post Falls.

Gissel Targets Gookin In Mailing

Norm Gissel (pictured), the local human-rights activist who helped bring down the Aryan Nations, is circulating a mailer on behalf of Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander today, decrying challenger Dan Gookin’s statements about Coeur d’Alene police Sgt. Christie Wood. He writes in part:

Councilman Goodlander’s opponent, Mr. Dan Gookin, is another matter. One example of his activities is to refer to Sgt. Christie Wood of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department as a “snake” and as “Sergeant Cupcake.” Yes, this actually happened in writing publicly. Viewed in the worst possible light these statements were written by Mr. Gookin in an effort to harm Sgt. Wood professionally or embarrass her publicly. More likely and viewed in the most positive light these statements were written to demonstrate what Mr. Gookin believes to be the humorous and carefree side to his personality. One can only imagine Mr. Gookin as a newly elected councilman sitting next to our mayor, spotting Sgt. Wood in the audience and merrily shouting out, “Hi, Sargeant Cupcake” or “Hi, Snake”!

Question: Do the “Sargeant Cupcake” and “Snake” references that Gookin made about Sgt. Christie Wood bother you? Or much ado about nothing?

Aliasjax: Slogans For Dummies

“In a last ditch effort to put their campaigns over the top,” comments Aliasjax, “challengers in the upcoming city elections are out with new campaign slogans”:

Dan Gookin: “Gookin…for dummies!”
Jim Brannon: “Aim, Ready, Fired!”
Steve Adams: “I won’t earn my pay.”
Joe Kunka: “I agree with Sandi”

Question: Can you think of good slogans for the other Coeur d’Alene mayoral and City Council candidates?

Poolman: Skaters Visually Annoying

Poolman: I find skateboarders to be visually annoying - the tight pants, long hair, goofy baseball caps, spastic t-shirts, Vans tennis shoes.   If they could enjoy the sport without the whole image thing I would be all for skateboards because they have a lot to offer in terms of coordination development and exercise.  Unfortunately there seems to be a dreadful dress code that goes along with them. 

Question: What is your view of skateboarders? 

Zito: $70M Project Now On Hold

Vinny Zito (re: “A sneak preview at MikeK’s fliers”): Now that I have addressed some of the mistruths that have been circulating within this board, let me tell you what is and has been going on with the 70+ million dollar project. It is on hold possibly indefinitely. I, myself and the powers that be, have not decided if CdA is someplace that we want to invest that type of money into. We reached this decision through a process of events that occurred directly after we approached the city building department, being good neighbors, and spoke to a certain individual that basically dissuaded us from proceeding. Which is, as I see it, unfortunate for the residents of CdA. This project was going to be a direct economic stimulus package in the sum of 70+million dollars for the residents of the CdA area. We have the engineers, contractors and architects, all local boys, ready to go!! Full post here.

Question: Would you like to see Vinny Zito’s project on the east end of Sherman Avenue?

AM Headlines — 10.29.09

Martial arts instructor Heungki Kim during class at K Tigers Taekwondo in Coeur d’Alene on Monday. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

Spencer Defends NIC Lawsuit

Spencer (re: reason for suing North Idaho College): The way I see it, sue, is that we are protecting what others have built, even if they built it over a hundred years ago. It is called the Idaho Constitution, and it clearly protects the right of the public to have a vote before a taxing district can enter into a purchase that can’t be paid off in the same year. All we want is to protect your right to vote.

Question: Do you want to vote on NIC’s purchase of the DeArmond Mill? Or do you believe the NIC board was representing your interests and common sense in buying the property for expansion?

New Yorker To Challenge Crapo

(U.S. Sen. Mike) Crapo has drawn a Democratic challenger well in advance of Idaho’s May 2010 primary election - but it’s a lawyer from New York who’s never been to Idaho. William Bryk, who’s filed his declaration of candidacy and a campaign finance report with the FEC, says there ought to be a choice. He’s a bankruptcy attorney and upstate New York native who, oddly, won the 2000 GOP primary for vice-president in New Hampshire, writes history columns, and is married to the former theater critic for the New Yorker. Legally, Bryk can run for the Idaho seat - he’d just have to live in Idaho as of the date of the general election. Closest he’s been to Idaho to date? Buffalo, N.Y./Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you think a real Idaho Demo will emerge to challenge Mike Crapo? Will Idaho Demos get behind this guy, if one doesn”t?

Gookin Claims Open Meeting Violation

At Dan’s Campaign Blog, Dan Gookin castigates Mayor Sandi Bloem and the Coeur d’Alene City Council for writing into the Coeur d’Alene Press to denounce the attack by Jim Brannon’s followers on their character. Gookin claims their was some sort of an Open Meeting Law violation. He claims it was signed in “their official capacities.” Quoth Gookin: “When did the council make the decision to sign that letter? Was it made in public? Where was it deliberated? Where was the decision made? No discussion of this letter or its contents was made at the last regular city council meeting. There has been no 48 hour notice for any meeting, even an “emergency” meeting of the city council.”

Question: What do you think? Does Gookin have a point?

Ramirez: Available Resources

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

P.S. A Quiet Place w/Engine Runnin’

Scanner Traffic Item:3:39 p.m. R/P reports that a woman sits in her Cavalier for a half hour @ Maple & Buckles/Hayden daily. When contacted by police, the woman said she reads a book for a half hour to get away from people.”

Liz: I can SO relate to this gal!!! Shudder to think of anyone ever reported me snoozing in my car while I wait for a kid at a music lesson or something. I suppose it doesn’t hurt to check. The cops probably had a nice laugh over it.

Question: Where do you go to get away from people?

Parting Shot — 10.28.09

New York Yankees’ Mark Teixeira tags out Philadelphia Phillies’ Jimmy Rollins near first base in the first inning of Game 1 of the Major League Baseball World Series Wednesday in New York. The game’s scoreless in the third. ESPN game boxscore here.(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Question: Are you rooting for either East Coast team in the World Series?

Hump Day Wild Card — 10.26.09

I just got lectured by the HBO Hall Monitor (aka CindyH) and rightfully so. E-mails Cindy: “It’s 10:00 o’clock. Do you know where your Wild Card is?” I found the Wild Card. But wished I could find more stuff to post the AM Scanner Traffic. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. A woman is reporting that there’s a man behind the garages at Fairway Apartments on Appleway that’s either having a seizure or has rabies. That’ll jump-start AM Scanner Traffic after a snoozer of the first two hours today. Now, for your Wild Card …

Mead 16YO’s ‘Joke’ Lands Him In Jail

A Mead High School junior is facing a felony charge after jokingly telling his teacher he was hired to kill her, police officials said. The 16-year-old has been booked into Spokane County Juvenile Detention Center for harassment – threat to kill. The school district in north Spokane County has not released a decision regarding whether the student will be expelled or suspended. The student reportedly entered a classroom about 8:40 a.m. with his hands extended as if clasping a pistol, the sheriff’s department said. When he confronted the teacher with the death threat, she ran from the classroom and he walked out after her, investigators said/SR. More here.

Question: Do you consider the reaction to the “joke” by school officials and law enforcement appropriate. Or an over-reaction to some clueless kid’s bad idea of what’s funny?

PM Headlines — 10.26.09

Susan Curtis, left, and holocaust survivor Rose Beale, right, at the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial. Idaho’s Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Boise has been selected to receive a sapling grafted from the chestnut tree that grew outside the secret annex in Amsterdam where Anne Frank hid from the Nazis. It’s a reminder that Idaho has the nation’s only permanent memorial to Anne Frank. Story here. (Betsy Russell/SR)

APhoto Of The Day — 10.28.09

Northwest pilot Richard Cole is shown at his home in Salem, Ore. The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday revoked the licenses of Cole and the other Northwest Airlines pilot who overshot their Minneapolis destination by 150 miles. The pilots (first officer Cole and captain Timothy Cheney of Gig Harbor, Wash.) told investigators they lost track of time and place while working on their laptop computers. You write the cutline.(AP Photo/KGW.com/file)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Does this mean I now get to pick up a private pilot’s license and use it to go off course any time I want? — Arch Druid.
  • 2. “Actually, you see, I suddenly had a flashback about that airport, the time some Senator starting playing footsie with me in the bathroom..” — JohnA.
  • 3. “We was doing just fine until that passenger brought up that Hot Morman Muffin calander” — Redman.
  • HM: Charlie & KeithinCDA

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.26.09

  • 5:43 p.m. A large, injured buck is trying to get up after being hit by a vehicle @ H95 & Cougar Creek Bridge. Officer said he will dispatch the animal.
  • 5:24 p.m. Rathdrum authorities ask for agency assist in removing a body (3:38 p.m. entry) from basement.
  • 4:43 p.m. Authorities are in contact with the 16YO boy who’s threatening suicide. The boy reports that he no longer feels like killing himself. Adults are present w/him.
  • 4:27 p.m. A Hayden mother reports her teen received a text from a 16YO boy that he’s going to kill himself w/ his mom’s drugs tonight.
  • 4:15 p.m. Brian @ Garage Town/Huetter reports someone shot out his van windows in the last 2 days.
  • 3:51 p.m. Parents are on their way to pick up 3 juvenile shoplifters @ Cabela’s.
  • 3:39 p.m. R/P reports that a woman sits in her Cavalier for a half hour @ Maple & Buckles/Hayden daily. When contacted by police, the woman said she reads a book for a half hour to get away from people.
  • 3:38 p.m. Unattended death of 21YO woman in Rathdrum.
  • More below

Idaho Dad: No Skateboard For You

My 8-year-old daughter announced that she wants a skateboard for Christmas. My response: “Absolutely not, never in a million years, just get over it.” She already has a bike, a scooter, and a pair of roller skates. Enough is enough. Am I wrong?

Question: Would you let your 8YO own a skateboard?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 10.26.09

Dave Nall ventured from Hauser Lake to Cabela’s with camera in hand to shoot this guy this morning.

Idaho Oxy Robber Strikes Again?

Surveillance photos of an attempted robbery at Walgreens in Hayden Tuesday evening show the would-be robber wore a billed beanie hat that appears to match the hat worn by a robber at the Post Falls Walgreens Sept. 30. The man walked out the Walgreens at Highway 95 and Honeysuckle without OxyContin about 5 p.m. yesterday after an employee said none of the powerful painkiller was in stock. Photos show him wearing black pants and a dark blue and black winter coat with the hood over an orange billed beanie hat/Meghann M. Cuniff, Siren’s & Gavels. More here. (6-second video provided by KCSD above)

Coyote Attack Claims Canadian Singer

Two coyotes attacked the Canadian Taylor Mitchell, 19, while she was hiking in a national park in eastern Canada, and authorities said she died of her injuries today. The singer-songwriter was hiking alone on a trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, in Nova Scotia, on Tuesday when the attack occurred. She was airlifted to a Halifax hospital in critical condition and died this morning. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, LW Communications)

Question: With the advent of wolves in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and now Washington, do you still feel safe hiking in the woods alone?

A Sneak Preview @ MikeK’s Fliers …

That are coming soon to a mailbox near you here. Wonder what supporters of public access to Sanders Beach and of height limits on the east end of Sherman Avenue are going to say about challenger Jim Brannon after reading this flier.

Flashback: When DFO Was An SOB

On April 7, 2007, Councilman MikeK wrote the following in the comments section of Huckleberries Online:

When I first encountered DFO in 1991 those three dots were not unlike three small but serious stab wounds visited upon those who’d embarrassed themselves enough to make it into the column. If you somehow made the ‘Sweet Potatoes’ section it was cause for temporary celebration and permanent rededication to not being in print the next week. There were three whole years when I loathed DFO and his column and was convinced he was a flat out SOB. Now, ten years later, as a father and hopefully more mature guy, I have come to realize that DFO is only truly evil when you’ve done something that you can’t quite explain in front of mixed company, and in those cases, well, Katie bar the door …

Question: I’ve been digging through HBO files. Mike’s comment post fell during shortly after DanG and Mary stomped off from HBO in early April 2007. I remember this post because it shows that people can change their opinion of you. Or do you still think I’m an SOB?

LDS Mom Defends ‘Muffin’ Calendar

From mom to cover girl, an Idaho Falls woman is one of the 12 Mormon moms to pose for a new calendar. In fact, she’s on the front cover. The calendar is stirring up a debate over modesty. Tami Roberts of Idaho Falls is one of the “Devout Dozen” in this calendar. She says it was all done in good taste but not everyone agrees. Tami loves to spend time with her girls, help them with homework and knows her way around the kitchen. She also enjoyed being a vintage pin-up girl. “There’s so many people that find it, that are upset about it. I don’t see what the big deal is,” Tami Roberts said. She’s the cover model of Hot Mormon Muffins, a calendar which gives readers “a taste of motherhood”/KTVB. More here.

Question: Do you see a problem with the calendar?

Crump: A National Security Threat?

At the end of my junior year in college, my roommate Mark and I boxed up our belongings and put them in storage, then boarded the same plane at the San Francisco airport - I was headed for Pocatello, Mark to Denver - on a flight through Salt Lake City. While we were putting our stuff in cardboard boxes earlier, I had lent Mark my knife - a spring-assisted Swiss-made model - to cut packing tape. He stuffed the knife into his pocket, forgot about it and walked on the airplane. This was long before the age of elaborate airport security, and nobody would have been the wiser had Mark not bent over to pick his keys off the floor of the aisle of the plane. The knife fell out of his pocket and landed at the feet of a flight attendant/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Do you carry a pocketknife — and, therefore, are a possible threat to national security?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 10.26.09

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department has obtained surveillance photos from the attempted robbery at Walgreen’s Pharmacy in Hayden last evening.  Anyone having information as to the identity of location of the person depicted in the photographs is asked to contact the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department at 446-1300. KREM video, more photos.

High Noon: Fly The Distracted Skies

The two Northwest Airlines pilots who overshot their Minneapolis destination by 150 miles are grounded indefinitely unless the National Transportation Safety Board grants them a reprieve. The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday that it had revoked the licenses of the pilots of Northwest flight 188 - Timothy Cheney of Gig Harbor, Wash., the captain, and Richard Cole of Salem, Ore., the first officer. The pilots have 10 days to appeal to the three-member National Transportation Safety Board … The pilots told investigators they were working on their personal laptop computers and lost track of time and place last Wednesday night/Seattle Times. More here.

Question: Will this incident cause you to hesitate next time before flying Northwest Airlines?

Ready Or Not …

Snow gathers on pumpkins at a sales lot in Denver, Colo., todayednesday. An October snow storm blanketed Colorado that could bring as much as 20 inches of snow to the Denver area by Thursday. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Question: Garrison Keillor once wrote that there are three distinct steps to winter — Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Or you ready for the advent of the first of the three wintry visitations Saturday?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.26.09

  • 11:58 a.m. A CPD Blue is watching a suspicious male who is loitering in a yard @ Garden & 2nd, looking in a back window.
  • 11:40 a.m. A two-story garage is fully engulfed in flames @ Moonstone & Marcasite/Post Falls. The fire is moving toward the attic. KHQ story.
  • 11:35 a.m. R/P on Sunview/Hayden reports that boys 8 & 10YO left on bikes this morning for Hayden Meadows but didn’t show up.
  • 11:13 a.m. Woman on Rocky Road/Rathdrum wants ex-hubby to stay off her property.
  • 11:07 a.m. Patient is passed out after having a bad reaction to chemo @ North Idaho Cancer Center.
  • 11:01 a.m. A 30YO male has collapsed but he’s breathing @ Wells Fargo/Appleway.
  • 10:57 a.m. A diabetic male is unconscious and not breathing on Parkview Drive/Post Falls. CPR is in progress.
  • 10:45 a.m. A red Isuzu has lost a wheel and an axle on the w/b onramp @ I-90 & Spokane/Post Falls.
  • 10:36 a.m. R/P on Red Fir/Athol reports that his neighbor’s five dogs are running loose.
  • 10:16 a.m. Authorities are looking for a red Expedition, registered to a Post Falls person, that was involved in a hit-and-run accident @ Arbies/Seltice Way and then left on I-90.
  • 10:10 a.m. R/P reports that a man in a pick behind the garages @ Fairwood Apartments/Appleway is either having a seizure. Or he has rabies and is violent.
  • 10:02 a.m. Liquid is spilling from a large, yellow tank on an 18-wheeler that’s n/b on H95 from I-90.
  • 9:47 a.m. Leann reports a skunk problem and possible animal abuse.
  • 9:40 a.m. Avista and the Post Falls Street Department are being called to handle a downed electric pole (unknown location).
  • 8:25 a.m. A 62YO woman hit her head in a short fall of her deck and is disoriented on Caravelle/Athol.

Cindy: A Rosary For Your Thoughts?

CindyH: Last night at the gym, I was peddling away on an exercise bike, my nose buried in a book, when the guy next to me points to my bookmark and says,”Can I see that?” My bookmark features a picture of Mother Theresa and a quote from her. A few seconds later the guy returned my bookmark and announced, “I just said a rosary.” I was flummoxed. “Uh, Cool,” I replied. In hindsight I feel my response is somewhat lacking.

Question: What would have been a better reply?

HBO Poll: Larry, Tom & Bill’s Lawsuit

A trio of county taxpayers filed a lawsuit in First District Court Tuesday alleging that North Idaho College’s lease of the former DeArmond Mill property is unconstitutional and should be voided. Co-plaintiffs Larry Spencer, Tom Macy and Bill McCrory claim in the court document that a July lease agreement between the college and the nonprofit North Idaho College Foundation violates the section of the Idaho Constitution that restricts the debt local taxing districts can take on/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

  • Tuesday Poll: A plurality of 32% (19 of 60) believe that no amount is too much to raise and spend in a municipal election in Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls. 11 each said that $5000 to $10,000 and $10,000 to $15,000 was too much. 10 said that $2000 to $5000 was too much.

50 Things Being Killed By Internet

Item: 50 things that are being killed by the internet: The internet has wrought huge changes on our lives – both positive and negative – in the fifteen years since its use became widespread/Telegraph (H/T: CindyH)

More Info: Among the things being killed by the Internet, this article includes: The art of polite disagreement, Fear that you are the only person unmoved by a celebrity’s death, Listening to an album all the way through, Sarah Palin, Punctuality, Telephone directors, watches, music stores, letter writing, and respect for doctors and other professionals.

Question: Which thing don’t you want to see killed by the Internet?

First Lady Graces Glamour Cover

This cover image released by Glamour shows first lady Michelle Obama on the cover of the Women of the Year Issue. (AP Photo/Glamour)

Question: How do you think Michelle Obama is doing as our First Lady?

Bloem, Council Deny Brannon Rumor

We understand that sometimes in a heated campaign statements are made that are exaggerations, uninformed, or blatantly political. However these last two weeks have brought outrageous claims of criminal conduct that attack the integrity of each one of us and each member of the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity. We have all been accused of participating in a criminal conspiracy to fire Jim Brannon — conduct that if true would be a felony under state and federal law as well as a violation of the basic code of ethics under which we operate. It is time to state clearly and directly that the claims are absolutely, 100 percent false/Mayor Sandi Bloem & Coeur d’Alene City Council (individually signed) in Coeur d’Alene Press letter to editor. More here.

Question: How will a denial like this, signed by the mayor and all council members, play in the community?

Mary Cheerleads Larry’s Loopy Suit

At OpenCDA.com, Mary is cheerleading Larry, Tom, & Willie’s lawsuit against North Idaho College, saying they are standing up for the voters of Kootenai County (not this one). Quoth Mary: “Our rights have been circumvented with the shell game used by NIC and the NIC Foundation. The law clearly says there are two ways for a public entity to correctly take on public debt: Either have a VOTE of the citizens or have a judicial review by a judge.” Then, Mary wags her finger and tsk-tsks that the “folks at NIC didn’t want to do either.” So they concocted a scheme (in an attempt to expand higher education opportunities in North Idaho, at a time when the community college is bursting at the seams). Well, Mary’s gloating and the OpenCDA.com post does provide one bit of value — it has a link to Larry’s loop lawsuit. You can find the post here.

Question: Do you think this lawsuit will succeed? Or is merely a rear-guard action to try to stop the Education Corridor from becoming a reality?

Ketchum Election Focuses On URA

Item: Putting Ketchum’s URA into context: Is there a good explanation for $5.56M in debt?/Trevon Milliard, Idaho Mountain Express

More Info: This election, opponents have hounded incumbents over the Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency and its $5.56 million debt, but City Administrator Gary Marks described the debt as “typical” and “nothing to worry about.” He said people just don’t understand how URAs and their funding mechanism, tax incremental financing, work. And Marks doesn’t blame them. “You literally have attorneys whose entire careers focus on tax incremental financing,” Marks said. URAs are created to rehabilitate deteriorating areas in a city and promote healthy development. Since 1985, state law has allowed use of property taxes to finance URAs.

Question: How is the urban renewal issue playing in Coeur d’Alene this fall election?

AM Headlines — 10.28.09

Plant experts at WSU said the hard freeze of Oct. 10-12 is responsible for a sub-par show of fall color this year. This small Maple tree was photographed on 5th Street in Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

Kage Mann: Kennedy Worries Me

It concerns me that Coeur d’Alene has someone on the City Council who uses bullying and intimidation tactics to get his way. Mike’s actions are inappropriate for a sitting city councilman and candidate in my view, and as a citizen of Coeur d’Alene, I worry that citizens who show up to City Council meetings will continue to be treated with condescending behavior from Mr. Kennedy. I don’t think it serves the public well having a councilman who is belligerent and confrontational in his style, while, Mr. Brannon has kept a cool head and remained calm under the difficult times he is facing/Kage Mann, Coeur d’Alene Press letters to the editor. More here.

Question: Why did the Press grant Kage Mann anonymity before printing his attack against Mike Kennedy?

Spencer, McCrory, Macy Sue NIC

Item: Taxpayers sue NIC: Claim DeArmond Mill lease is unconstitutional/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: A trio of county taxpayers filed a lawsuit in First District Court Tuesday alleging that North Idaho College’s lease of the former DeArmond Mill property is unconstitutional and should be voided. Co-plaintiffs Larry Spencer, Tom Macy and Bill McCrory claim in the court document that a July lease agreement between the college and the nonprofit North Idaho College Foundation violates the section of the Idaho Constitution that restricts the debt local taxing districts can take on. Before public entities in Idaho can legally incur long-term debt, projects must either win two-thirds voter approval or a judge’s approval as ordinary and necessary expenses, according to the suit.

Question: What do you make of this lawsuit?

Heller: Asleep @ The Switch

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Tuesday — 10.27.09

Why do I think that we still haven’t seen everything when it comes to the 2009 Coeur d’Alene city elections? Each day seems to bring something new. A layoff/firing. A flier. Another flier. An accusation by the outsiders about City Hall. An accusation by the accused about the accusers. A slam at City Hall by a group of newby Pachyderms who want to be players in nonpartisan elections. And the incumbents still have money to get the word out about the challenger. And the challengers still have the Coeur d’Alene Press to get their words out without spending money they don’t have. And there’s now a little over 6 shopping days until Election 2009. Here’s your re-played Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 10.27.09

Two cows eat a pumpkin at Northern Lights Christmas Tree Farm in Pleasant Hill, Ore. Monday. (AP Photo/The Register-Guard, Kevin Clark)

Reagan R’s Accuse Bloem Of Abuse

I am writing to you to emphatically respond to your astonishing abuse of the powers of your office. I am shocked at the threat of legal action by the City of Coeur d’Alene to stifle political debate and trample the First Amendment Rights of the members of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans. Your statements in the Coeur d’Alene Press today and the intimidating words and actions of city employees demonstrate a caviler disdain for citizens’ rights of free expression and a willingness to use the legal power of the city to suppress political dissent. Your published statement that the city is not “tolerant of circulating” certain political communication during a political campaign demonstrates an incredible abuse of the city’s legal authority. You and city administrator Wendy Gabriel’s threats of legal action to suppress political expression cannot go unaddressed/Jeffrey Ward, Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, in a letter sent to Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem today. More here.

Question: Are the Reagan Republicans beginning to marginalize themselves and possibly hurt their candidates?

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.27.09

5:02 p.m. Possible pharmacy robbery at a new Walgreens/H95 & Honeysuckle. Suspect is said to have white hair and a scruffy beard and is wearing a stocking cap. Male in late 20s or early 30s. Male handed employee a note requesting drugs and had a gun. He’s wearing a Navy-blue coat, with black patches on elbows, that rides down to his knees.

  • 5:13 p.m. Chimney fire in 300 block of Henry/Post Falls.
  • 4:38 p.m. A black Expedition with Washington plates reportedly was swerving into oncoming traffic on Seltice Way & Pleasantview.
  • 3:53 p.m. Kroc Center reports a suspicious person on the premises.
  • 3:48 p.m. 4 or 5 tires are on I-90 in the Post Falls area, causing vehicles to swerve.
  • 3:46 p.m. 25YO woman wants to check into the KMC mental ward to get away from her boyfriend and her kids.
  • More below

PM Headlines — 10.27.09

A duck dives for his his lunch while paddling around Cannon Hill pond in Spokane, Wa. The fall colors from trees surrounding the pond are reflecting in the water. (Dan Pelle/SR)

APhoto Of The Day — 10.27.09

Four-and-a-half-year-old Mika Hoffer reacts as she is injected with the H1N1 flu vaccine at a clinic in Ottawa Monday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Fred Chartrand)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Later seen rooting around in the mud, little Mika squeals like a pig after getting his swine flu shot — JohnA.
  • 2. Tommy a CDA city council candidate reacts to the news his opponent out raised him by five to one — Redman.
  • 3. Jim Brannon reacts when he hears his opponent knocking on the door — Nic.
  • HM: Otis G. Experience, Side Note & Charlie

Quotable Quote: Who Needs Proof?

The authors admitted they didn’t have proof of the claim, but insist political literature is a matter of opinion, which they have a right to share. “Where there’s smoke there is fire. It’s too obvious. I don’t have proof, but everything on fliers is opinion. That’s the nature of politics. We express our opinion, they express theirs” — Jeff Ward, Kootenai County Reagan Republicans president, in Coeur d’Alene Press re: the accusation in organization campaign literature that Councilman Mike Kennedy got Jim Brannon fired from his Habitat for Humanity job. More here.

Question: Does this mean that everything you want to believe about an opposing political candidate is true simply because you want to believe it so?

Bloem Easily Leads Mayor Race $$$

Mayor Sandi Bloem holds an enormous fund-raising edge over two challengers, raising another $3072 during the current filing period for a total of $7435 (report here). She has spent $5171 to date and has $2264 on hand for the last week of the campaign. Challengers Joe Kunka raised another $175 for a total of $275, and write-in candidate Allison Stam loaned herself $49 (report here). Top contributors to Bloem’s campaign this period were: Gary Schneidmiller, $500; Thomas & Lynn Addis and Susan & Charlie Nipp, $300 each; Alan Brown and Kelly or Glorie Lee Hancock, $250 each; and Contractors Northwest, $200. Seven others, including Sheriff Rocky Watson, donated $100 apiece. Kunka has spent $261 in his bid to unseat Mayor Sandi Bloem. He has $14 remaining (report here).

Goodlander Leads Gookin In Funds

Incumbent Deanna Goodlander raised another $2074 during the current filing period to Dan Gookin’s $605 to outpace the challenger $8313 to $5253 overall. Goodlander spent $4421 for the period and has $2892 on hand (report here). Gookin has spent $4158 overall and has $635 on hand (report here). Also, he has loaned his campaign $1300. Goodlander listed Budget Storage and Alan Brown as her top contributors, at $250 each. Gookin’s top contributors for the period are Nancy Harlocker, $100, and Gary Ingram $57.

Kennedy Raises $22K, Brannon $4803

Councilman Mike Kennedy raised another $5033 in the latest filing period to boost his overall fund-raising to date to $22,069 (report here), in his battle to keep his seat from the challenge of Jim Brannon. Brannon reports this afternoon that he raised $2142 during the current filing period for $4803 total and has spent $3393 total to date (report here). He has $1410 on hand. In his 7-day, pre-election, campaign statement filed this morning, Kennedy reports $5184 in expenditures during the reporting period and a cash balance of $11,526 going into the final week of the campaign. Key contributors for the filing period were theCoeur d’Alene Firefighters PAC and Boise Firefighters PAC, $1000 apiece; Professional Firefighters of Idaho, $500; and Cheryl Shields and Jim & Helen Elder, both $250. Nine others gave $100. Top contributors for Brannon this period are: Lorna Finman, $500; Duane Rasmussen and Jeanette & Mike Mackin, $200 each.

He Couldn’t Slither Past Security

This image shows how an unidentified 22-year-old Norwegian man attempted to smuggle two dozen snakes and geckos into Norway under his clothes, after travelling on a ferry from Hirtshals, Denmark. Customs agent Helge Breilid said Monday that the man was apprehended in the southern town of Kristiansand with 14 royal pythons and 10 albino leopard geckos under his clothes.(AP Photo/Kristiansand Regional Customs Service)

Question: Can you think of any circumstance in which you’d allow 14 royal pythons and 10 leopard geckos get that close to your skin?

HBO Introduces Tile Ads

Hey, what do you Merry Hucksters think of the political tile ads that have popped up yesterday and today at the top of the left rail? Now that we have the format for them, they’re relatively quick to post. And fairly inexpensive — $100 for 10 days. I wonder if this sort of thing will work for nonpolitical advertising.

Wilhelm Has Fund Edge On Flowers

In the race for Post Falls City Council Seat No. 6, incumbent Linda Wilhelm raised $1069 in the current filing period for a total of $2319 and spent $1396 to date (report here). She has $923 on hand for the final week of the campaign. She received eight contributions of $100. Challenger Bob Flowers raised $117 for a total of $1068 and spent $122 total. He has $1067 on hand (report here).

  • Mayor: Incumbent Clay Larkin reports raising another $1949 for this filing period for a total of $3149 and spending a total of $1951 (report here). He has $1128 on hand. Top contributors for the period are Doyle Jacklin and Duane Jacklin, who donated $500 each. Ten others gave $100. Challenger Matthew Behringer raised and spent $30 (report here). Steve De Gon hasn’t filed his reports.
  • Seat No. 2: Incumbent Ron Jacobson raised $1659 for a total of $2809 and spent a total of $1776 to date (report here). He has $1033 on hand. Challenger Keith Hutcheson raised $317 during the current period for a total of $917 (report here). He has spent $878 and has $39 on hand.

Henderson Expenses Raise Questions

Huckleberries has received a coupla phone calls about the campaign finance report submitted by Betty Henderson in her race to unseat Councilman Joe Bodman. They question how Henderson can advertise in the local media and buy yard signs and not list expenses for them. Her only expense listing during the recent filing period was $50 for mailing label prep. She reports raising $1449 for a total of $4328 and spending a total of $927 to date, including the $50 for mailing prep. She has $3401 on hand (report here). Bodman raised another $150 for $300 total and has spent a total of $264 (report here). He has $36 left.

Adams Outraises McEvers To Date

Challenger Steve Adams has outraised Councilman Woody McEvers by more than 5-to-1, according to their 7-day, pre-election campaign finance reports. For the current filing period, Adams shows $834 raised for a total of $5390 (including a lone of $2141 he made to the campaign), and he has $856 on hand (report here). McEvers raised $100 for a total of $1057 and has $449 on hand (report here). The top contributors for Adams this period are Jim Doty, $500; and Larry Gilman and Bill McCrory, $100 apiece. McEvers $100 donation came from Jeff Crow/Bunkhouse Media.

Idaho Faces Louisiana Tech @ Home

Nevada defender Jonathon Amaya, right, knocks the ball loose from Idaho receiver Daniel Hardy in the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, in Reno, Nev. Nevada won 70-45. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)Related: Sportslink tells of possible ESPN coverage of Idaho-Boise State game and other notes here

Question: OK, other Vandal fans, our team got spanked in Nevada, but it has 3 or its 4 remaining games at home in the Kibbie Dome, including homecoming this week against Louisiana Tech. Are we still enthused about this year’s Vandals. Or was that drubbing at Nevada a wake-up call that much more needs to be done before they can compete with Boise State?

Sis: Smear Campaigns Often Backfire

Sisyphus: Smear campaigns almost always backfire. They are sign that the challenger can’t make headway otherwise and have to gain publicity in unorthodox ways. But in so doing they have to bring up something scandalous which often reflects most poorly on the challenger. Any nervousness on the part of Kennedy should be overcome by the desperation disclosed by using the tactic. I expect Kennedy will win in a landslide.

Question: If what Sisyphus says is right, why do so many political campaigns resort to mud-slinging? I suspect that it has some effect. What do you think?

Hoffman: Ditch IRS Checkoff

Since 1976, Idaho taxpayers have paid a total of nearly $1.6 million to benefit the state’s political parties ($735,600 for Idaho Democrats, $728,400 for Republicans and rest to the third parties). This year, taxpayers donated $34,320 to the coffers of the Constitution, Democrat, Libertarian and Republican parties. In 2008, taxpayers contributed $71,429 to political parties, slightly less than a year’s wages for two Idaho State Police recruits. The campaign checkoff arrived on federal tax forms in 1972. The concept was to reduce the dependency of presidential campaigns on donations. In 1975, Idaho lawmakers succeeded in passing similar legislation on the state level. The first state checkoff in 1976 generated almost $46,400. On the state level, I’m not sure what the checkoff is really accomplishing apart from siphoning tax dollars away from the state’s general fund/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Do you agree that it’s time to dump the IRS checkoff for direct contributions to major political parties at federal and state levels?

High Noon: I Scream, Do You, Too?

“I’ve worked with thousands of parents and I can tell you, without question, that screaming is the new spanking,” Amy McCready, the founder of Positive Parenting Solutions told The New York Times. “This is so the issue right now. As parents understand that it’s not socially acceptable to spank children, they are at a loss for what they can do. They resort to reminding, nagging, timeout, counting 1-2-3 and quickly realize that those strategies don’t work to change behavior. In the absence of tools that really work, they feel frustrated and angry and raise their voice. They feel guilty afterward, and the whole cycle begins again”/from Virginia de Leon’s post in Are We There Yet blog. More here.

Question: How often do you find yourself yelling at your kids? What can parents do to curb this behavior?

HBO Poll: Local Campaign Spending

With todays technology, I always shudder at the amount of money that’s spent on campaigns. It seems like that money could be so much better spent elsewhere.Put up a website or a blog, and send out emails. That way people would have to read about candidates… rather than voting for them just because they saw a sign in somebody’s yard. McCain and Obama spent over a billion dollars on running for office. Sheesh. That woulda built quite a few schools/Otis G Experience.

  • Monday Poll: 80 of 112 (71 %) said they owned firearms. 32 said they don’t.

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 10.27.09

Newly-designed Montana state license plates are shown at the Department of Justice in Helena, Mont.Montana is redesigning its basic license plate design for the first time in five years, and is looking at a retro-inspired design that harkens back to the plates of the 1970s and earlier. (AP Photo/Matt Gouras)

Question: Anyone want to go back to those hideous, green-and-white, “Famous Potatoes” plates from Idaho yesteryears?

Cheyenne: Treat Kids To Halloween

When I was child, my parents would regal me with stories of the greatness of trick-or-treating in their day, but now it seems as if Halloween has become restricted to daytime celebrations in self-proclaimed “safe” zones. I feel bad for the kids who no longer can accumulate large amounts of delicious candy and small amounts of miscellaneous rubbish, and instead are forced to collect medium amounts of average candy in the mall. It really is asinine when one thinks about it. For all of the bad things that have happened during Halloween night, there have been an equal number, if not more, incidents that have happened in malls and shopping centers across the country. If anything, it speaks more to lazy parenting than to any real concerns about a nighttime stroll in one’s own neighborhood/Cheyenne Hollis, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: Do you still take your kids trick-or-treating? Or do you drop them off at a mall or a church harvest party, for safety sake? Or, if your kids are too old for trick-or-treating, do you stock up on candy for those who stop by?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.27.09

  • 11:14 a.m. Someone pulled a fire alarm @ Woodland Middle School.
  • 11:02 a.m. Rescuers are performing CPR on unconscious 78YO male @ Ivy Court.
  • 10:28 a.m. Officer is checking on an abandoned vehicle @ Candlelight & Cave Bay/Worley.
  • 10:11 a.m. Officer reports that there are screws in the road @ H41 & Mullan/Post Falls.
  • 9:51 a.m. Hauser woman reports that a beige Dodge Ram w/an ATV in the back is blocking her access on High Prairie. She thinks the culprit is someone hunting or her land.
  • 9:31 a.m. Sawdust is blowing out of the back of a s/b semi @ H95 & Garwood, creating a safety hazard.
  • 9:24 a.m. Hit-and-run accident reported in Kroc Center parking lot.
  • 8:45 a.m. A Montana man texted his ex-girlfriend from Wallace that she won’t see him again. His mother is concerned b/c he has lost 2 jobs and a girlfriend in the last week.
  • 8:38 a.m. Officer reports that one gate is missing and a second open @ Black Bay. And another officer responds that the gate has been missing for a year.
  • 8:37 a.m. A mother reports that she confronted an old man in pajamas who routinely watches children at a local bus stop.

Autumn Art

At every turn the artistry of Autumn is visible in North Idaho. Even a leaf-covered lawn on a rainy day is reason enough to pause and enjoy, posts KerriT/OnLocation North Idaho.

CNN Last In Prime Time

In Nielsen Media Research figures released by the networks  Monday, CNN‘s prime-time programs fell to fourth place. It’s the first time since the network launched more than 20 years ago that it finished last in prime time — the area all networks rely on the heaviest for advertising. Buoyed by a tight Obama-Clinton Democratic presidential primary, which led to prime-time shows such as “CNN Election Center,” the network enjoyed high ratings prior to President Barack Obama taking office. But media analysts were left wondering if the network had enough in its programming vault to stay at or near the top/AJC. More here.

Question: What do you make of CNN tumbling to last place behind Fox News, MSNBC and sister network Headline News during prime time?

Athol Station Pumps 1-Cent Gas

Item: Athol gas station wants theft charges in pump slip-up/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels

More Info: Several motorists took advantage of an apparent computer malfunction at an Athol gas station Saturday, pumping more than 370 gallons of fuel for just a penny per gallon. An employee Cydco Food and Fuel, 29801 N. Highway 95, said between 1:45 a.m. and 3:40 a.m. multiple people filled up after a pump malfunctioned, possibly from a computer or electronic glitch, a report from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department states. Customers at one pump were charged one-cent per gallon, instead of the $2.86. An employee at the store said two people returned and to pay full price, but two other people returned multiple times to take advantage of the one-cent error.

Question: What would you have done, if you’d been a customer that accidentally receive one-cent gasoline? Now, be truthful …

MikeK: Transparency? Openness? Ha!

Councilman Mike Kennedy: Apparently Jim and a “campaign aide” (I heard it was Duane Rasmussen but I didn’t ask the reporter) went to the Press today and said they were “unnerved” that I was trying to get hold of him directly instead of “working through our campaign managers.” Really? I didn’t realize this campaign was so important that “my people” needed to be calling “his people”. Yikes. I hope Jim doesn’t get “unnerved” when constituents want to tell him what they think. Jim didn’t return two phone calls and an email. So much for transparency and openness.

Question: Should Brannon have talked this out with MikeK? Should MikeK be careful re: dealing with Brannon with witnesses to make sure things don’t get misconstrued?

AM Headlines — 10.27.09

Emma Herb ( center in polka dots ) holds her newborn sister Hadley as her family gathers for a photo with Spokane FIre Department dispatcher Linda Hendrix ( far right ) Monday. The Fire Department came to Sacajawea Middle School to give Emma recognition for calling 911 and relaying instructions from Hendrix to the rest of the family when her mother Amanda ( far left ) went into delivery unexpectedly. (Christopher Anderson/SR)

City Mulls Suit Against Reagan R’s

Item: Flier heats up city council race: GOP group says Coeur d’Alene forced Brannon’s firing; city officials may sue/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: A political group is circulating a campaign flier declaring the city of Coeur d’Alene responsible for Jim Brannon’s job loss. The flier’s authors, the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, say they don’t have any proof on the claim, but they’re entitled to their opinions. The city denied the allegations and said it’s a claim too serious to pass as run-of-the-mill campaign literature. “It’s one thing to discuss differences in government, or politics, and put issues on the table with differences in opinions” said Mayor Sandi Bloem. “It’s a whole other thing to make an accusation of this kind. It’s very serious, very serious.”

Question: Should the city seek legal action against Reagan Republicans for circulating the dubious statement that it is responsible for Jim Brannon’s firing? Or let it go?

Reagan R’s: No Need For Paperwork

Special to Huckleberries Online: “Well we have not filed because … [left-leaning Hucksters jump to your own ridiculous conclusions here] … we haven’t spent enough money. We will not break the $500 threshold on campaign activities in 2009 for Sunshine filing and we spent $297.86 last Friday on our little flyer endorsing Brannon, Gookin and Adams, which means we did not break the per candidate $100 threshold requiring an independent expenditure filing. I have attached my email to the city clerks office explaining this. We are going to file a C-4 with the city on the due date tomorrow anyway… because I don’t want to be blamed for the 17 minute gap or Dukakis riding in a tank”/president Jeffrey Ward, Kootenai County Reagan Republicans. More here.  

Question: Are you satisfied with Jeffrey Ward’s explanation?

Liz: I Was In Scanner Traffic Crash

Liz: My son was in the car with me and that is the most horrible part. I keep thinking about what could have happened and mentally reliving the whole thing over and over. Thing is neither car was going that fast. I was late getting my son to school and failed to look both ways before proceeding at the intersection. Next thing I know I feel the impact and the car is flipping over. Nate and I were hanging upside down in the seatbelts and couldn’t get out. The car slid half a block upside down and I think it hit a parked vehicle. The owner of the vehicle and the house it was parked in front of thought it was going to keep going into his house apparently. I am still very, very shaken up. I have been in accidents before but never a rollover and never one where I was at fault. Full post below.

Question: Have you ever been involved in an incident that appeared in Scanner Traffic?

Heller: Balloon Boy Overload

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

MikeK: O Brannon, Where Aren’t Thou?

I’ve just been found! Leaving the Public Works committee meeting. I did knock on Jim’s campaign office to see if he would talk to me about the allegation of federal fraud that his campaign is distributing. He didn’t return two phone calls and an email, and though his car was there no one answered the door. Jim’s campaign allegations of federal criminal wrongdoing in his firing is a flat out lie. His campaign is spreading that lie in neighborhoods, yet oddly they will show no proof. Because there is none. Yet he’s content to damage the city and Habitat for Humanity with this lie trying to desperately get traction in the last weeks of a campaign. So if Jim needs to find me and wants to talk grown-up to grown-up, my cell number is 661-7337 and my email is mike@idahokennedys.com/Councilman Mike Kennedy.

Question (for MikeK): I hear that Brannon high-tailed it to the Coeur d’Alene Press after your nonvisit purportedly to give his side of the story re: your allegations. Has the Press contacted you?

PS: Calendar Spoofs LDS Mom Stereotype

This image released by CMH Entertainment shows the front cover of the  “Hot Mormon Muffins: A Taste of Motherhood” calendar which features 12 mothers who claim membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in vintage pinup picture poses. Each month also has a muffin recipe. The latest installment of the calendar series that pokes fun at Mormon stereotypes is putting a twist on motherhood. On the front cover is model Tami Roberts, 35-year-old mother of three from Idaho Falls. AP story here. (AP Photo/CMH Entertainment, Shane O’Neal)

Question: Would you buy either “Men on a Mission” (the controversial 2008 calendar purportedly featuring former LDS missionaries) or “Hot Mormon Muffins: A Taste of Motherhood”) as a stocking stuffer for Christmas?

Wild Card/Monday — 10.26.09

In the comments section, Phaedrus brings up an interesting point re: the failrure by the Reagan Republicans to file campaign disclosure statements as the newby organization lobbies on behalf of challengers Dan Gookin, Jim Brannon, and Steve Adams. It’ll be interesting if we see a reprise of the last election when the city chased Kathy Sims & Co. for 18 months or so afterwards to make right campaign finance violations. Mebbe it won’t be over when it’s over. Well, there’s 8 shopping days left until the 2009 municipal elections. Now for your Wild Card …

Rathdrum Woman Faces Fraud Charge

A Rathdrum woman was arrested Monday on suspicion of embezzling more than $450,000 from a Post Falls doctor’s office. Yolanda M. Williams, 36, is charged with grand theft and forgery for allegedly making fraudulent online transfers from the bank account of Post Falls Family Medicine into her personal bank account, Post Falls police said. Williams, who worked as an office manager, began making withdrawals from the business accounts as far back as July 2003. The thefts were discovered Oct. 5, when management at the practice noticed funds were missing. Williams is accused of altering bookkeeping records to erroneously show payments were made to various vendors, when they were not/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Will Love Follows Mom’s Footsteps

Marianne Love, who spent a combined 33 years teaching in the Bonner County School District 82 and Lake Pend Oreille School District before retiring in 2002, now finds her son, Will, following in her footsteps as a journalism instructor and advisor for the Cedar Post student newspaper at Sandpoint High School. As Will gets his footing in his first year of teaching, Marianne plans to keep her counsel to herself. “As a mother of a first-year teacher, I figured out my own words of wisdom: ‘Keep your mouth shut and give suggestions only when asked,’” she said. “I’ve tried to stick to that, but have faltered a time or two.” Like a few others in the LPOSD family, Will entered the profession after making a name for himself in another field/David Gunter, Bonner County Bee. More here.

Question: Are you involved in the same profession as one of your parents were? Would you want your children to follow your footsteps into your current profession?

PM Headlines — 10.26.09

“The vacant boat slips at Redlion Templin’s Marina on the Spokane River in Post Falls have shed their blue canvas canopies but the colorful fall foliage provides a feast for the eyes,” writes KerriT/OnLocation North Idaho. More here.

APhoto Of The Day — 10.26.09

A girl looks at a man sitting in a bath tub to advertise bathroom equipment, at the Millionaire Fair in Moscow on Saturday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Short on funds with inmates overflowing, Kootenai County Officials are confining inmates to bathtubs guarded by child volunteers — Redman.
  • 2. A little girl urges a former booster to not drown himself as he emulates the bath the Vandals took in Reno over the weekend — JohnA.
  • 3. Gosh, I was in Moscow on Saturday and I didn’t see any Millionaire Fair… I did see the Farmer’s Market, however — Moscow Minidoka.
  • 3. HM: KeithinCDA.
  • HM:

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.26.09

  • 5:37 p.m. The boy is out of the Black Sheep safe and okay.
  • 5:15 p.m. A child has been locked in a safe @ Black Sheep, 308 Seale, for 10 to 15 minutes. An older 13YO friend locked the child in. The safe will need to be cut open.
  • 5:06 p.m. R/P reports rocks on Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive @ Higgens Point.
  • 4:18 p.m. KCSD reports that power has been restored and full dispatch services at the Kootenai County 911 Center have been restored.
  • 4:10 p.m. Al W. Mattox, 33, of St. Maries, was injured and later charged with DUI when he rolled his truck and lost a load of logs on H3 near Harrison. ISP report here.
  • 3:33 p.m. A vehicle with 3B plates is n/b from Sherman toward Appleway w/2 unrestrained, little kids in the front seat.
  • 3:19 p.m. Water is over the road @ H95 & Garwood.
  • 3:14 p.m. A 37YO man is bleeding profusing after slashing his wrists on West Wyoming/Hayden, across from Ziggys.
  • More below

HBO’s Blogosphere — 10.26.09

Idaho Dad writes: “We spent most of Saturday at Silverwood, taking one last spin on the roller coasters and ferris wheels before they close for the winter. After seven years of holding season passes, we’re taking the next year off. It’s partly an economic decision.” More here.

Question: Have you had to make cuts in entertainment expenses to balance the checkbook in these hard economic times?

GOP: Get Involved In City Elections

Jonathan Parker, executive director of the Idaho Republican Party, said its state central committee passed a resolution in June encouraging Republicans to become more involved in municipal elections. He stressed that whether or not to make endorsements is a decision for the local central committees to make, not the state organization. “I think it’s pretty clear that the Democratic Party has been treating Boise municipal races more like a partisan race than the Republican Party has and a lot of our membership has been tired of sitting back and watching them be involved,” Parker said. “As a result, we are taking a more active approach”/Ben Bodkin, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Are you tired of partisan politics in the local municipal elections?

KCSD: Outage Knocks Out 911 Center

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department reports a serious power outage in the Coeur d’Alene area that has impacted the Kootenai County 9-1-1 Center.  The back-up center in Post Falls has taken over emergency communication for the 14 emergency service agencies normally serviced by the County Center. Due to the workload that this causes, non-emergency response to calls for service may be delayed. Avista Utilities is working to identify and correct the problem/Major Ben Wolfinger, KCSD.

Stroller Haven

Lisa Johnson leaves the stroller parking area with her granddaughter Aliyah Wallace, 2, of Springfield, Va., after she got a swine flu vaccine at the Fairfax County Government Center in Fairfax, Va., on Saturday. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Montana Woman Drowns Near Hope

The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office has identified a body found floating in Lake Pend Oreille near Hope, Idaho, as a woman from Troy, Mont. The sheriff’s office received a 911 call about 12:47 p.m. Thursday reporting a body in the water near Kramer’s Marina in Hope. An autopsy performed Friday showed Joan Lyons of Troy drowned, Lt. Doug Harris said in a news release issued Monday. There were no signs of foul play or traumatic injuries to Lyons’ body, Harris said/SR. More here.

Power Out In Post Falls Area

Power was out this afternoon to about 2,000 electrical customers in the Post Falls area, according to Avista Utilities. The outage just before 2 p.m. may have been caused by weather, a utility spokesman said. Crews were trying to determine the cause and get power restored.

Steve: Take Own Reading Material

Steve Sibulsky: Folks might want to take their own magazine or a book when visiting the doctor … Just got back from an appointment with the Knee Doctor … there’s no magazines in the waiting room or exam rooms … H1N1 and sanitation!!

Question: Which waiting room in the area has the best magazines or other reading material? Or: Which magazine do you consider a “must” for a well-supplied waiting room?

Webster: Horror Junkies Reject ‘Saw’

Is it possible that the horror-film audience is finally finding a bit of discretion? Are horror junkies turning away from Hollywood’s version fright-night thrills and discovering new ways of experiencing those backbone shivers? Not likely. We’re all suckers for things that go clump in the night, especially when they involve the chance of gore and maybe a bit of skin. And Hollywood isn’t going to give up its use/overuse of special effects anytime soon – good news to anyone who likes the occasional exploding auto. Still, it was good news to hear that the latest “Saw” offering, “Saw XXVIII” – just kidding, it’s actually “Saw XXVII” – fared poorly at the box office this past weekend while the new film on the block, “Paranormal Activity,” did appreciably better/Dan Webster, Movies & More. More here.

Easy Rider @ 40

Peter Fonda, who played “Captain America” in the 1969 counterculture film “Easy Rider,” poses atop a Harley-Davidson motorcycle based on the one he rode in the film, Friday, in Glendale, Calif. Fonda was promoting the recent release of the film on Blu-ray disk, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the film. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Question: Have you ever gone on a cross country adventure a la “Easy Rider”?

New West: Going Montana Native

Now that I’m the father of what a popular local bumper sticker calls a “Native Montanan,” I’m under even more pressure to learn some basic Montana skills, if only so that I don’t embarrass the poor guy in front of his friends later on. I’m doing all right so far. Two years into my Montana residency, I’ve already achieved journeyman status at standing next to my grill with a can of Pabst in my hand, floating down the Blackfoot on an inner tube, and reacting to every new City Council resolution by exclaiming “this is Big Brother government at its worst!” But those skills will only carry me so far. To approach true Montananness, what I really need to do is get better at killing things in the woods. My first efforts at hunting, last fall, were a bit of a bust, not least because I don’t own a rifle/Sutton Stokes, New West. More here

Question: Earlier in today’s main thread, you read how Thom George bought his first gun when he moved from New York to Idaho. What have you done to fit into the outdoor culture of the Inland Northwest?

OTV: Playhouse To Present ‘Dracula’

Goths everywhere may still argue whether Bela Lugosi is indeed dead, or possibly undead, but certainly the man who originally brought Count Dracula to theater audiences way back when will be there in spirit when the Lake City Playhouse stages “Dracula” starting October 29. Director Rebecca McNeill opens the new season at the much beloved Coeur d’Alene institution with a “dark, somewhat depressive, and certainly unsettling” adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic novel, just in time for Halloween. However, this probably isn’t the sort of production you’d want to bring your adorable little bloodsuckers to see before trick or treating. “I recommend the show for ages 14 and older, depending on the parents involved. It is scary, so don’t bring kids who tend to get really bothered by scary movies. People are murdered on stage” warns McNeill/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

  • OTV’s “Hot Halloween happenings” here

Question: Which type of old-time monster scares you most — Dracula, Werewolf, Mummy, or what?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 10.26.09

In a photo taken last Tuesday, a spider waits patiently on its dew-covered web in the Willow Creek Preserve in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/The Register-Guard, Kevin Clark)

High Noon: Boy Scouts Celebrate 100

Joseph Hernandez, 8, from Sacramento, right, and Peter Mibach, 8, from South San Francisco, left, salute during the Pledge of Allegiance as thousands of Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from all over Northern California rally at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of scouting on Saturday. (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)

Question: I didn’t participate in Boy Scouts, preferring Little League Baseball instead. How about you? Were you a Boy Scout? Or Girl Scout? How did you benefit from the experience?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.26.09

  • 11:59 a.m. Borah Elementary has evacuated building for an unknown reason.
  • 11:53 a.m. Water flooding roadway is creating a hazard @ H95 & Ohio Match.
  • 11:27 a.m. A fallen tree is blocking n/b lane of H97, near Boy Scout camp.
  • 10:49 a.m. Jan @ Dodd & Boot Hill/Hayden reports finding a bullet in deck Friday.
  • 10:36 a.m. A tree is across the n/b lane of H95 @ M/P 399 (near Conkling Park Road).
  • 10:22 a.m. Ricky’s worried about welfare of neighbor who’s house windows are open.
  • 10:09 a.m. A North Dakota fugitive left all his belongings and left w/o paying the Wallace Inn.
  • 10:02 a.m. H&W wants officer help b/c a Worley woman won’t allow case worker into her home to check welfare of 4YO boy.
  • 9:21 a.m. Father in Post Falls wants 15YO daughter out of the house after she broke a sink in the morning during a fight w/her sister and then he had to pick her up from school when she claimed to be sick.
  • 9:17 a.m. Barbara reports that a saddle was stolen off of her porch.
  • 8:50 a.m. Michael @ Hyundai Findlay reports a stolen vehicle.
  • 8:42 a.m. A woman on Wilbu/Dalton Gardens wants medical attention after being punched 10 times in the face during a domestic dispute.
  • 8:36 a.m. A 3-vehicle accident has blocked the i/s @ 4th & Poplar. A Highlander is on its top.
  • 8:17 a.m. R/P reports that a man held a rifle on him after he posted his section of Latour Creek Road/Cataldo for 5 mph.

HBO Poll: Demo Chief Bears Arms

While that attitude is widespread in traditionally red-state Idaho, where gun ownership is an ingrained part of the outdoor mindset and hunter’s education serves as almost a rite of passage, what is outside the majority is his political affiliation. “I’m a gun-toting Democrat,” offered (Thom) George, who serves as chair of the Kootenai County Democratic Party and has a concealed-weapon permit, which allows him to carry the .357 Magnum he bought for personal protection when he sold real estate in rural areas/Jacob Livingston, SR Handle. More here.

Goodlander Reports Realtor Donation

In compliance w/Idaho political campaign laws, Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander reported today that she has received a $1000 donation from the Idaho Association of Realtors. Candidates must report contributions of $1000 received after the 16-day pre-election deadline and 48 hours prior to the final pre-election deadline.

Southerner Lauds CdA Race Stand

My family and I visited Idaho this summer and before our arrival some skinheads had distributed unsolicited flyers in neighborhoods that local authorities considered hate messages. The mayor of Coeur d’Alene and other elected officials called an outdoor, citywide meeting and made the statement that this kind of activity was not desired and that action would be taken against any perpetrator identified. I thought that this reaction by local leadership was astonishing as I was from the South and had never witnessed leadership calling out such acts. I also thought how wonderful it is for leadership to set the tone to what is and is not acceptable behavior/letter writer Jackie Bland in Hattiesburg (Mississippi) American. More here.

Question: Isn’t this cool that someone from the deep south was here during the hands-across-the-border stand earlier this fall in response to the Aryan Nations leaflets?

DanG’s Cat Oversees Target Mail

Dan Gookin, the Former HBO Commenter Once Known As DanG, has a clever YouTube commercial out, featuring his cat Morton Boop supervising a targeted mailing. It’s clever. DanG’s obviously after the cat owner vote.  What do you think the cat’s thinking?

Loose Dog Causes Boise Pile-up

A dog running loose on the outbound Connector caused a multi-car crash that briefly shut down the freeway this morning. Emergency crews responded to the Chinden Boulevard exit in Garden City. The accident happened around 9:45 a.m. We are told that about a half dozen vehicles were involved. A female driver of a red Mitsubishi was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital. The extent of her injuries are unknown/KTVB. More here.

DFO: Capt. Ben Wolfinger of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department sent this link to the local media re: a crash that happened in the Boise area an hour ago, with this note: “For those of you who were still wondering why a dog was shot on the Interstate a few weeks ago, here is a perfect example of what can happen when decisive action is not taken to protect the public.”

Question: Now do you think the patrol officer did the right thing by shooting the loose pug along I-90 a coupla weeks ago?

Reagan Repubs Back Challengers

On the Web site, Reagan Republicans make this claim before endorsing the three challengers for Coeur d’Alene City Council: “With Democrats Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid spending billions on massive corporate baliouts, we cannot stand by as liberal Democratsand their allies on our Coeur d’Alene CityCouncil spend millions of our tax dollars on the Lake City Development Corporation to “bailout” big developers and pay outrageous salaries to unaccouble bureaucrats.” Then, the RR’s state as fact: “Jim Brannon is such a threat to the tax-and-spend liberals at city hall that, in a shocking act of dirty politics, they got him fired from his job as executive director of Habitat for Humanity.” Reagan Republican Web site here.

Question: Do you believe that Mayor Sandi Bloem’s administration is walking in tandem with Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid?

Obama Matches Bush Golf Rounds

President Obama has already caught up with predecessor George W. Bush in one area: Rounds of golf. The Oval’s good friend Mark Knoller of CBS News reports that Obama on Sunday played his 24th round of golf since his inauguration Jan. 20 — matching Bush’s presidential total, which he racked up in two years and ten months. Obama’s latest round also got attention because it included a woman, domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes. President Bush played his last round in 2003, telling reporters he didn’t think it was appropriate to play the game with the the U.S. at war in Iraq and Afghanistan/The Oval, USA Today. More here.

Question: Is President Obama playing too much golf at a time when he should be paying more attention to the deteriorating war condition in Afghanistan?

SR: Jail Expansion Makes Cents Now

Voters turned down a $50 million expansion in 2005, so there’s no question this will be a tough sell. But part of the reason for the high price tag is that the expansion has been delayed for so long. Nonetheless, the county deserves credit for finding creative ways to shave construction costs. Last year’s measure sought $88 million for the jail; now it’s $57 million. Once the economy rebounds, so will costs. It would be cheaper to build it now. The county is proposing to pay for the expansion with a half-cent sales tax increase over the next 10 years. What makes this an optimum time for passage is that half of the increase would finance the expansion and the other half would go toward property tax relief. But this state-approved local-option tax expires this year. Voters would be wise to take advantage of it now/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Do you agree/disagree that this jail expansion is needed?

SR: Keep Bloem, Council Incumbents

The recessionary drought has not bypassed Coeur d’Alene, but nor has it prevented the scenic North Idaho city from reaping a crop of civic enhancements. And as the higher education corridor project advances along the Spokane River, the future holds promise. Such success in the face of daunting economic challenges took forward-looking leadership from a blend of public and private partners, including City Hall. That progress should be on Coeur d’Alene voters’ minds as they contemplate their ballots in the Nov. 3 general election. Mayor Sandi Bloem and three City Council members, all of whom have had a hand in the community’s advances, face challenges from rivals who would have guided the city along a more timid path, missing the opportunities that now stand as shining community assets/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Agree/disagree w/Spokesman-Review editorial endorsement? 

Signe: Alternative Plans

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Wild Card/Sunday — 10.25.09

We’re going to have at least one hot topic to discuss Monday — the attack of the Reagan Republicans on behalf of challengers Dan Gookin, Jim Brannon, and Steve Adams against the “liberal Democrats and their allies on our Coeur d’Alene City Council.” I’ll post a pdf to the RR’s propaganda on Monday. I was under the impression that the Reagan Republicans were an offshoot of a Pachyderm Club for the Post Falls area (as a result of infighting in the second Pachyderm Club). So I’m curious how they can call the Coeur d’Alene council “our.” But we’ll dig that out next week. Meanwhile, Brannon has apparently imbrace that dubious flyer about the LCDC that he and Mike Kennedy were jawing over before and after the debate at the Demo Club luncheon Friday. He has it posted on his Web site here. We’ll talk more about this Monday. Now, I’ll drop this Wild Card, enjoy my Sunday off, and get ready to grab controls again Monday on what should be a wild week …

Nevada 70, Idaho 45

Idaho’s Maurice Shaw tries to come up with a pass against Nevada defender Doyle Miller, right, in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game today in Reno, Nev. Nevada won 70-45. AP story here, and: ESPN boxscore here.

Nevada’s offensive numbers are surely going to make Vandal fans cringe for a while: 662 total yards, 484 via the ground, 9.1 yards per carry. But believe it or not, there was a time when Idaho looked to have a solid chance to pull an upset. Despite falling behind 21-0, the Vandals showed plenty of moxy in the second quarter and went into the half down 28-24/Josh Wright’s full Sportslink report here.

3rd Vandal Has Brush w/Law

University of Idaho wide receiver Landon Weaver was arrested Thursday, his 21st birthday, on suspicion of assault in the fourth degree at 1:09 a.m. in Stubblefields. Pullman police allege Weaver was told to leave Stubblefields by the staff, but he refused and allegedly fought with bouncers. Police reported to the scene and deployed a Taser device in an attempt to control Weaver. … The arrest is the third brush with the law for a Vandal football player this month. On Oct. 4 freshman tight end Clayton Homme was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and also was cited for urinating in public. Also, junior safety Shiloh Keo was cited for misdemeanor battery on Tuesday stemming from an alleged altercation late Saturday evening following the team’s win over the University of Hawaii/Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

California 49, WSU 17

California’s Shane Vereen (34) runs for a touchdown against Washington State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday in Berkeley, Calif. ESPN boxscore here. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Wild Card/Saturday — 10.24.09

I enjoyed pressing the flesh at the Demo Club candidates’ forum Friday and seeing old friends again, like human-rights leader Tony Stewart. Also, I enjoyed exchanging wise cracks with the huddled masses and keeping tabs on our Incredible Shrinking County Clerk. I told Gary Ingram that he’ll never live long, if he keeps eating hamburgers, topped with bacon, and fried onion rings. Councilman Ron Edinger told me that he was neither Republican or Democrat. But Independent. Which is the position I now embrace with both arms. It was even nice to shake hands with challenger Jim Brannon, who said: “Hello.” Last time we talked, he said bluntly: “No comment.” Now, there’s only 10 shopping days until Election Day. Friday’s debate was the last one. But I expect fireworks ahead in terms of last-minute flyers and attacks. It should be fun. Here’s your Wild Card …

Bonners Ferry Honors Fallen Soldier

Friends and family of fallen soldier Sergeant Joshua Kirk gathered to mourn his death and to pay their respects one final time Friday in Bonners Ferry. Sgt. Kirk was killed Oct. 3rd when insurgents attacked his outpost near the Pakistani border.“I just could not imagine anything happening to him,” Joshua’s sister, Liz Fulton said. “When I was told Josh had died, my heart fell to the floor.”Boy Scouts and Patriot Guard members lined the streets of Sgt. Kirk’s hometown — Bonners Ferry. He eventually moved away from northern Idaho, married and had a child. The one constant in his life is that he always wanted to be a soldier his family says. This was Kirk’s second tour-of-duty; he had already served one 15-month tour of duty in Afghanistan/KXLY, More here.

Question: Do you have a friend or loved one currently serving in the Middle East?

Valley Christian Honors Fallen Gridster

Members of the Valley Christian Panthers football team cheer for their teammate, Drew Swank of Hauser Lake, before the game Friday at Valley Christian High.  Swank’s number was retired and supporters held a fundraiser for Swank’s family. Story here. (Jesse Tinsley/SR)

Question: It probably can be said that Drew Swank suffered a fatal injury doing something he loved doing, playing high school football. If you could choose to die doing something you loved doing, what would it be?

WAC Leading Idaho Visits Nevada

A week after seeing Hawaii’s pass-dominant offense, the Idaho defense has had to change gears quickly. Instead of the aerial attack UH presented with the run-and-shoot scheme, the Vandals will be focusing mainly on the ground game when they go up against the nation’s top rushing offense in the Nevada Wolf Pack. “We’re going from one extreme to the next,” defensive coordinator Mark Criner said. “And my God, you couldn’t have picked a worse situation or combination to have.” But that’s the hand Idaho has been dealt as it enters its most high-profile WAC matchup of the season on Saturday in Reno (1 p.m., KLEW)/Jesse Baumgartner, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Who will emerge victorious in this battle of two unbeaten WAC teams (Idaho 3-0, Nevada 2-0), and what will be the score?

$17,748 Bill For Beck Day Stuns Town

Glenn Beck Day in Mount Vernon was an expensive lesson for this small town, as it found out the cost of hosting a controversial celebrity. It’s on the hook for $17,748.85, mostly for 239 hours of police overtime. Isn’t that a little steep for a one-day event? “Honestly, I’m a bit surprised at how big the cost was,” says Alicia Huschka, the town’s finance director. Well, says Ken Bergsma, the town’s police chief, better to be prepared than not. The chief says the crowd of 800 to 1,000 demonstrators that greeted Beck for his early-evening appearance on Sept. 26 was the biggest protest he’s seen in his 32 years as a Mount Vernon police officer/Seattle Times. More here.

Question: Whether you support or oppose a controversial, home-grown figure, would you have doubts about a mayor’s judgment if it cost $17,748 to honor him or her?

MJD: Brannon Made Up 16.8% Figure

MamaJD: In one day there’s a column, two letters to the editor and a flyer. If I may channel Mary Souza for a minute: Kathy Sims and Sharon Culbreth each have letters to the editors today urging to look at the tax implications of LCDC and imploring us to vote the incumbents out. Brannon supporters start floating a document that appears to be a campaign flyer with language about LCDC and allowing us the taxpayers to keep our money in our pockets. Souza, even with the advantage of 20/20 hindsight still comes out railing against things like the Kroc Center today in the Press. Culbreth, Souza and Sims make up half of the donors list in Brannon’s campaign disclosure. They are all connected and heavily orchestrating a campaign of deceit. These people throw out a number but not a one of them can cite where they got the number. Brannon might as well have pulled 16.8% out of thin air. Remainder of comment below

Question: How do you sort things out when a candidate makes a claim about a situation that’s hard to understand and others vehemently challenge that claim?

LCDC: Too Soon For Rebate

Item: LCDC: Too soon for rebate:  Taxing entities could get money back closer to districts’ expiration/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: It’s an idea Lake City Development Corp. could discuss down the line, just not right now. But before Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal agency talks about allocating money back to the city’s taxing entities, — as Post Falls’ board did on Thursday — the local commission wants to be certain its districts have the chance to reach their full potentials. One day after the Post Falls Urban Renewal Agency announced it was giving $2.2 million from surplus revenue accumulated in its East District to seven taxing districts, LCDC Executive Director Tony Berns talked to The Press Friday on the likelihood of LCDC mirroring its neighbor by reimbursing local entities.

Question: Do you consider Tony Berns’ explanation reasonable re: why LCDC can’t refund money like Post Falls URDs?

Sam: Mary Souza Wasn’t Transparent

Sam: A columnist should always be truthful and accurate. A columnist should be forthcoming in how they came by information. A columnist should be honest when asked questions by the public and not ignore those questions or change the subject. The point is to be transparent with the public you’re communicating with and to show that what you’re doing is honest and up front. If Mary didn’t have the ability to do these things, it was the responsibility of the Press editors to ensure that the content of Mary’s columns were factually accurate, honest and ethical. When Mary secretly tape recorded Christie Wood, she should have been forthcoming about it, as should have the editors. Full post here.

Question: Should the Coeur d’Alene Press try to replace Mary Souza with another dissenting columnist? Who would you suggest?

Griz Coach Freezes Out Student Paper

Following a scathing story published by the University of Montana student newspaper about an alleged assault by two Grizzly football players, the UM football team has proved it’s good at another game - the silent treatment. In recent weeks, head coach Bobby Hauck has publicly belittled Kaimin reporters at weekly news conferences, and followed through with an earlier threat of shutting the students out of interviews. Now, the football athletes are no longer speaking to the student reporters either - a silence the Kaimin believes Hauck ordered. UM officials strongly deny that claim, saying the athletes decided among themselves not to talk/Chelsi Moy, Missoulian. More here.

Question: Is this is appropriate behavior for one of UMontana’s highest-paid public officials — a person who not only represents UM, but is a role model for his players and those in the community?

Movies & More: German Films

I listed some of my favorite French films yesterday. And, you know, I didn’t toss my bouillabaisse. Amazing. It even got a bit of reaction. Pete Porter, director of the Spokane International Film Festival, asked – in honor of SpIFF’s ongoing Professor’s Series – that I do the same thing for German films. That’s because the next film in the series is “The Lives of Others,” directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and winner of the 2007 Oscar for Best Foreign Language film. It will be presented by Brian Clayton and Richard McClelland, professors in Gonzaga University’s philosophy department. Anyway, here are some German films that I would watch more than once. In some cases, I definitely have/Dan Webster, Movies & More. Dan’s favorite German films here.

Question: Do you have a favorite German film?

Tongue Piercing, Thai Style

A devotees of the Jui Tui Chinese Shrine has his tongue pierced prior to a street procession at the Vegetarian Festival Saturday in Phuket, Thailand. The annual festival traces its origin back to the early 1800’s when Chinese tin miners and others who had been stricken with disease recovered by adhering to a strict vegetarian diet.  (AP Photo/David Longstreath)

Sportslink: Lake City Shocks CdA

Out of league, the Lake City football team is 0-6. In games that count the most, though, the Timberwolves are now 2-0. Lake City pulled off an upset Friday, knocking off fourth-ranked Coeur d’Alene 23-15 in a 5A Inland Empire League game on a rain-soaked field before an estimated crowd of 2,000 at LC. The victory means the Timberwolves can clinch the conference championship and top playoff berth with a win at Lewiston (4-4, 1-1) next Friday. The win also gave some life to Post Falls (5-3, 0-2), which visits Coeur d’Alene (6-2, 1-1) Thursday. LC has committed turnovers, struggled tackling and missed a lot of blocks in non-league play. But get the T-Wolves in league and they’ve become different animals/Greg Lee, Sportslink. More here.

  • Sandpoint 33, Moscow 0
  • Post Falls 54, Lakeland 19

Cis: When’s It Time To Quit Grieving?

So, is it too soon? When will you know it is ok? Will people, friends and family understand? Will they understand that you have been wound up in sickness and death, lost of love? Will they understand you are starting to feel free again. And is that bad? How long do they think you should grieve? How long would they grieve? Do they understand that you started grieving in private when you and your spouse found out that their illness was terminal? Don’t they understand that you still love your spouse? You still miss them with all your heart, but you also know you have to go on with life? It isn’t about sex, it is about companionship/Cis, Simple Mind. More here.

Question: When do you think it’s time for a spouse to quit grieving for a deceased partner?

Parting Shot — 10.23.09

“Last year Coors featured a camoflauge design on their canned beer and this year, just in time for hunting season, Miller and Busch weighed in with colorful camo cans. ‘Tis the season in North Idaho, posts KerriT/OnLocation North Idaho.

Question: What kind of beer do you drink in terms of brand, ounces, can or bottle, etc.? And would you be tempted to buy a Miller or Busch for camo design?

TGIF Wild Card — 10.23.09

We’ve had quite a day at HBO Central today, with stories about three different candidate debates. In this brave new WWWorld, everyone can be a reporter. As you see below, I covered the Demo Club candidates debate at noon today. But we also have reports from Terry Harris re: the debate Thursday at the Kootenai Environmental Alliance forum here and from Jay Baldwin re: the debate at North Idaho College last night here. In this brave new world, you can be in two or three places are once. So to speak. Now for your replayed Wild Card …

Mom Admits ‘Balloon Boy’ Hoax

Item: Mom admits ‘balloon boy’ hoax, according to court record/Reuters

More Info: The mother of a Colorado boy thought to be aboard a homemade helium balloon has admitted to investigators the whole thing was a hoax, according to a court document made public on Friday. The local sheriff had already said the October 15 “Balloon Boy” incident was a publicity stunt and expected felony charges to be filed against the 6-year-old boy’s parents, Richard and Mayumi Heene. The live television images of the silver saucer-like balloon soaring through the Colorado skies captivated audiences until the boy turned up in the family’s attic. Public sympathy turned to outrage when the family’s account began to unravel.

Question: How important is fame to you?

PM Headlines — 10.23.09

 

A former book keeper for a construction company, Helen Campilli, and her husband, a maintenance foreman, decided to open an antique and toy train store when they retired. For the past 15 years, the store, called C’s Train & Antique Shop, has operated on Spirit Lake’s Maine Street. Story here/Skookum Photography.

APhoto Of The Day — 10.23.09

Twin revolvers pierce the cheeks of a devotee of the Chinese Shrine Bang Neow as he walks in a street procession at the Vegetarian Festival Friday in Phuket, Thailand. The annual festival traces its origin back to the early 1800’s when Chinese tin miners and others who had been stricken with disease recovered by adhering to a strict vegetarian diet. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Putting his law degree to good use, Bang Neow finds a crafty way to follow his pastor’s command to “turn the other cheek” and still get some payback — Kevin Taylor. 
  • 2. (tie) You think this is cool you should see what I can do with a howitzer — Sisyphus, and: The crowd scatters, as Bang threatens to go bang — Herb.
  • 3. (tie) You can take my guns when you pry my cold dead cheeks from around them — OfCoffee, and: “To Baauk chot” of Thaiand takes concealed carry laws a little too far — Redman.
  • HM: KeithinCDA, Kage Mann, Charles Dixon & about everyone else.

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.23.09

  • 5:59 p.m. CPD Blues are responding to a domestic fight in which a drunken father is holding gun on his son on Monet Drive/CdA. One person has suffered injury to his eye.
  • 5 p.m. Local doctor reports one of his patients may have been raped.
  • 4:38 p.m. An 82YO man in a red passenger car is suffering severe chest pains @ Seltice & Northwest Blvd.
  • 4:37 p.m. Motorist wonders if a full, black garbage sack @ Ramsey & Warren is garbage or a Halloween prank.
  • 4:29 p.m. R/P reports that people in a white Dodge and a green Cherokee may be drug dealing in the KFC/Appleway parking lot.
  • Much more below

Tamara: Challengers Did Well

“By the way, the crowd was evenly split between Democrats and Republicans though I was impressed by the Republican attendance. I had spent more than few hours this morning with rain coated excuses from some of our Democratic regulars, who enjoyed themselves a little too much last night at our anniversary party. However, that did not stop the club members from making sure I had their questions and begging for a play by play next week. The forum was very interesting and I think that two of the challengers must have made at least one or two good points. Because afterward, I had several attendees come up to ask who I was going to vote for because they liked what one or the other candidate had said about an issue”/TLPoelstra, Demo Club prez/moderator at candidates’ forum. More here.

Question: Are you still trying to decide whom to vote for in the municipal elections, either in Coeur d’Alene or Post Falls?

KEA Blog: All Hopefuls Lean Enviro

As moderator, I thought things went well, but perhaps too well.  On the core substance, there seemed to be a lot of agreement among the candidates, and therefore maybe not enough distinction between candidates on this particular set of issues.  I thought the incumbents tended to be more knowledgeable on some issues, but that is certainly to be expected. Stylistically, I thought a few candidates did very well in our forum, and a few didn’t. (No, I won’t say which.) Incumbent councilman Mike Kennedy mentioned his Conservation Voters for Idaho endorsement, but the rest of the candidates weren’t particularly shy about touting environmentalist leanings either, which was a bit of a pleasant surprise/Terry Harris, KEA Blog. Remainder of Terry’s review here.

Question: Do you think all the candidates for Coeur d’Alene City Council truly have conservationist leanings on local matters?

Idaho Dad: Set Standards High

Sometimes I feel like I have ridiculously high standards for my kids. Well, actually, I only feel that way after talking to other parents, where the popular sentiment seems to be a hands-off, que sera sera approach. And I can understand why they feel that way. For the most part, their kids are out of their control. They’ve been put into the hands of the public school system, where standards for learning and behavior are decidedly on the low side. High standards would ultimately hurt someone’s feelings, you know. And that just isn’t very nice. Because my kids are homeschooled, I can get away with telling them to always do their best. In everything they do/Idaho Dad. More here.

Question: Do you set high standards for your kids? Did your parents set high standards for you?

HBO’s Blogosphere — 10.23.09

“Big yellow busses head down Poleline Avenue in Post Falls at the end of the school day, dropping off their charges along the way. October 18-23 is National School Bus Driver Appreciation Week,” posts KerriT/More Main Street.

Truly: Help Me Pick WSeries Winner

Truly: Diverting from the politics once again - is anyone else into the World Series of Baseball? Cute and true story - my hubby Boz and I have been betting on this gig for 27 years now. I digress but of course I have been the winner the last few. This year however I am unsure. Any help on me picking would be appreciated.

Question: Can anyone help Truly with the pick for this year’s World Series champion?

Brannon Flyer Angers Kennedy

At the candidates’ forum, some noticed Councilman Mike Kennedy jawing with challenger Jim Brannon somewhat intensely (heatedly?). Seems Kennedy had gotten ahold of a flyer that was being circulated by supporters of “Jim Brannon for Coeur d’Alene City Council.” Using bold face headlines and underlines, the one-page flyer opens with the question: Do you want your property taxes to remain in your pocket or do you want your taxes granted to certain wealthy developers? Then, the flyer answers the question this way: “Vote for Jim Brannon to keep hard earned income in your pocket and not in the pockets of wealthy developers. Jim Brannon’s opponent is employed by an extremely wealthy developer and only certain wealthy developers are granted free tax money from the Lake City Development Coporation (LCDC), City of Coeur d’Alene’s Urban Renewal Agency.” You can see the document for yourself here.

Question: What do you make of this flyer? (BTW, if Mike Kennedy or Jim Brannon is blurking, can either of you explain what was said during your private conversation at the forum?

NIC Forum: Challengers ‘Disappoint’

Here’s my disappointment, all of the challengers write on their websites and elsewhere a number of allegations etc., about malfeasence at city hall, but when seated next to the person they accuse, they were silent or, often, agreed with the position of the incumbent. It was stunning. I purposefully gave each challenger an opportunity to distinguish themselves from their opponent and state what they would do differently, and each, very intentionally, remained silent on the issues they make the most noise about. The effect was, I think, that they convinced people that there’s no need for change because those currently in office are doing a great job. I left shaking my head/Jay Baldwin, NIC spokesman/forum moderator. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that the challengers are more outspoken online than they are at forums where the target of their criticism is sitting next to them?

HBO Quick Assessment Of Debate

  • Candidates overall — No MIAs.
  • Dan Gookin: Solid. But urban renewal still yucky.
  • Deanna Goodlander: Great institutional knowledge. Windy.
  • Mike Kennedy: Best street fighter.
  • Jim Brannon: Loud. Ed corridor good. Urban renewal bad. 
  • Steve Adams: Too brief.
  • Woody: Simply Woody.

Question: How would you describe the candidates in three words or less (including ones from your own municipality if you’re not from Coeur d’Alene)?

No Tokes Over The Line, Sweet Jesus

Jason Christ smokes a bowl of marijuana in front of the civic center, around the corner from the police station, in downtown Great Falls, Mont., Friday. Christ holds clinics to help people get their state-issued medical marijuana cards in Montana. More than 250 registered for the Great Falls class, which features a doctor on site able to certify the applicant’s medical condition. (AP Photo/Matt Gouras)

Question: Should medical marijuana be legal — and medical marijuana clinics free from intense federal scrutiny?

Overheard …

… before the candidates’ forum began at the Demo Club luncheon, Councilman Mike Kennedy, a well-known Democrat, admitting to Kootenai County GOP Vice Chairman Duane Rasmussen that he voted for George H. W. Bush (not George W. Bush, as previously stated here) in his first race in 1988 but not in 1992 when he ran unsuccessfully for re-election against Democrat Bill Clinton. Explained Mike to Duane: “I had my eyes open (during Bush’s first term).

Question: Have you ever cast a vote for a candidate for presidential or congressional office that you later regretted? For whom?

There’s No Woody.com, But …

In the closing moments of the Demo Club candidates’ debate, Councilman Woody McEvers listened intently while Councilman Mike Kennedy and challenger Jim Brannon told listeners to go to their Web sites for more information. Challenger Dan Gookin would do the same. When Woody’s turn game, he said: “I don’t have a Web page. But I do have a restaurant and coffee (if you want to find out more about me).”

Question: Would you rather visit a Web page or chat with a candidate to find out more about him/her?

Gookin Explains ‘Snake’ Remark

At the candidates’ forum for the Demo Club luncheon this afternoon, challenger Dan Gookin said that calling a female police office “a snake” wasn’t acceptable and that he had apologized to Sgt. Christie Wood for doing so. Also, he said that the statement occurred 2 1/2 years ago — and that the matter hadn’t come up in the last City Council campaign. Gookin softened his remark by saying that he was a private citizen at the time and that Americans have a long tradition of criticizing their elected officials. Then, he switched gears and criticized council members whom he claims talk down to some private residents when they make public comments to the council, calling it unprofessional. In her response, Goodlander said that some individuals use the public comments period to make political and sometimes inaccurate comments — and the council has a free-speech right to correct misinformation.

Question: Do you think the Coeur d’Alene City Council regularly demeans individuals who make statements or ask questions during the public comment period?

Driver, Pedestrian Killed In Crash

Spokane police officers investigate the scene of a double fatal traffic accident at Assembly and Northwest Blvd. Chunks of concrete in foreground are from where a car jumped the curb and destroyed a street sign, hit a pedestrian and then crashed into a yard in the background. The driver of the car and the pedistrian both died. SR story here. (Christopher Anderson/SR)

Review: Bill Hall’s ‘Cat Butler’

Bill Hall, syndicated humor columnist and editorial page editor emeritus for the Lewiston Tribune, has a new job title and a new book to go along with it: “Cat Butler,” BookSurge, 2009. In his newly-released, self-published anthology, Hall chronicles his life with cats. He bravely tackles topics like “The Human Cat Breast,” and “Why is A Cat So Rude When You’re Getting Nude?” Hall ponders the mysteries of spaying and neutering. “I’ll never understand why they call it fixing a cat when they break it. That is a euphemism worthy of the Defense Department. If you were to actually fix a cat, you would give it a testicle transplant”/Cindy Hval, special for Huckleberries Online. Full book review below. “Cat Butler” is available at Amazon.com 

Question: Do you treat your cat like a family member? Really?

Porkers: Don’t Call It Swine Flu

U.S. pork producers picked up an important ally this week in their effort to properly name the H1N1 flu virus when the president of the National Newspaper Association urged community newspaper publishers and editors to use precise language in coverage of the flu pandemic. Cheryl Kaechele, publisher of the Allegan County News in Allegan, Mich., told her members that confusion from newspaper headlines that refer to H1N1 as “swine flu” has “unfairly cast doubt upon the pork industry” … Tim Bierman, an Iowa pork producer who is president of the National Pork Board, said he has sent a letter to Kaechele thanking her for her leadership on an issue that is vitally important to the nation’s 70,000 pork producers/provided by Charlie Powell, WSU agriculture information officer. More here

Question: Has the misnomer “swine flu” caused you to be reluctant to use pork products?

Mansfield: Even Sniper’s Life Valuable

Is there ever a time to witness and glory in the death of another person… a murderer or otherwise? An Idaho man seems to think so. He will be able to witness the death of his daughter’s murderer in a few weeks. She was a victim of the DC Sniper. The KTVB story (below) paints a picture of a a father deeply (and daily) living in the grief that never leaves a person. I understand grief. I don’t understand the expression of grief that moves a parent to almost-gleefully WANT to witness their adult child’s killer as he is executed … to even be willing to “push the button” that kills the man. All life is precious. The highest price a person MUST pay for the willful murder of another is the giving up of his or her own life. That’s how valuable life is. … What the father doesn’t understand is that executing his daughter’s murderer is a one-time event for the convicted man…and a replay after replay for the parent who cannot effectively deal with the grief that leaves no real finality/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

Question: Do you think Marion Lewis of Mountain Home will gain closure by witnessing the execution of the man who killed his daughter, the so-called D.C. Sniper?

Pamela Anderson Joins PETA Crusade

Pamela Anderson poses with a seal mascot as she launches PETA’s new anti-sealing campaign in Toronto on Friday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

Question: Are you persuaded to pay attention to PETA’s often loopy messages when popular stars join its cause?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.23.09

  • 11:40 a.m. R/P wants to speak to an officer re: a stalking incident last night.
  • 11:23 a.m. A hit-and-run accident is reported in front of Super Supplements on Neider.
  • 10:47 a.m. Passing motorists is concerned about an individual in a white Impala who pulled over on H95 & Aqua and now has legs hanging out of the vehicle.
  • 10:44 a.m. Alfredo has questions re: child custody.
  • 10:33 a.m. Richard from Athol reports a stolen trailer.
  • 10:22 a.m. CPD Blue is checking out a suspicious teen in a Hoodie that’s walking along 15th @ Homestead.
  • 9:44 a.m. R/P wants to see animal control officer after trapping raccoons.
  • 9:17 a.m. An e/b silver semi is running vehicles off I-90 @ M/P 50 (beginning of Jackass Creek). But both Shoshone County patrol units are in Coeur d’Alene.
  • 8:35 a.m. A small black dog chases an R/P every time she’s walking in the area of Scott & Strand/Post Falls.
  • 8:23 a.m. People living in tents are refusing orders by the Idaho Department of Transportation to vacate the area in and around the I-90 bridge @ 15th Street.

Banning Sex Offenders From Church

Is there any evidence to suggest that convicted and registered sex offenders pose more of a threat to kids at church than the pedophiles and perverts among clergy or even church membership that haven’t been discovered yet?  Being aware of  a convicted sex criminal attending your religious institution would arguably make him less of a threat than the hundreds of other folks about whom you know absolutely nothing .  Much has been written on this site about the Idaho teacher Kari Atkinson. If she were to show up at my church tomorrow, I know that she would be embraced and cared for. Make no mistake, however, that eyes would be on her at every moment. No gesture, glance, or comment toward a young boy would go unnoticed/Kevin M. Wrathson, Idaho Falls Today. More here.

Question: Would you be comfortable attending church with convicted sex offenders who have served their jail or prison time and seek fellowship?

Argonaut: Nellis Needs To Stay

Duane Nellis was inaugurated as the University of Idaho’s 17th president on Oct. 16, though in actuality he is the 21st person to serve in the position — two interims and two acting presidents who only served one year each aren’t counted as official presidents. However, whether or not the title is given to an interim, the fact remains that leadership changes hands and continuity is lost. Counting everyone who has served as the head of the university, Nellis will be the sixth person in 14 years to sit in the President’s Office. This gives us an average term of 2.3 years (unless Nellis holds out for a bit longer). For an institution as large, important and old as UI, that sort of turnover is damaging. We can’t expect stability when a typical student stays in town longer than two or three presidents/Benjamin Ledford, UIdaho Argonaut. More here.

Question: Why do UI presidents turn over about as often as Vandal football coaches?

Mary Pulls Plug On Press Column

There’s a right time for everything, a natural ebb and flow; a time for new beginnings and, just as certainly, one for endings. Now is the time for this column to end, and this change comes purely at my request. I wanted to wrap up this column before the local elections so my decision would not be affected by that outcome. It matters deeply to me who wins or loses this election, but the results will not change the fact that … it’s time. Almost three years ago I wrote my first column in this paper. It was titled, “Open Government: Just what the doctor ordered.” That was the beginning, and what a process it has been!/Mary Souza, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Question: What do you make of Mary Souza’s decision to end her Coeur d’Alene Press column?

Post Falls URD Refunds $2.2M

Item: URD gives back $2.2M: Taxing entities awarded surplus funds from Post Falls district/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: It’s a first in urban renewal history in Idaho. Despite the East Post Falls Urban Renewal District being open through 2015, seven taxing districts have been given a total rebate of $2.2 million from surplus revenue accumulated in the district to assist agencies during tough economic times. “As far as we can see in talking to a number of urban renewal agencies around the state, this is the first time an agency has rebated surplus increment revenue back to the taxing entities,” said Tom Lien, Post Falls Urban Renewal Agency executive director. “It’s historic,” added Bobbi Rollins, URA chairwoman.

Question: What do you make of this development in Post Falls?

Chamber Endorses $57M Jail Bond

Item: Chamber supports jail expansion plan: Local business leaders want a bigger jail/Alecia Warren, Coeur d’Alene Press.

More Info: After hearing a pitch from Kootenai County Commissioner Todd Tondee this month, the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce released a statement Thursday declaring the entity’s support for the county’s $57 million jail expansion proposal. … The chamber leaders are also attracted to the funding options for the expansion that will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot, Martin added, which include a $57 million bond and a half-cent sales tax to pay it off.

Question: Will you be swayed by the chamber endorsement to vote for the $57 million jail expansion?

Heller: World Is Coming To An End!

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Senate OKs Hate Crime Expansion

Item: Senate passes hate crimes bill 68-29: Now heads to President Obama’s desk for signature/Baltimore Sun

More Info: A bill to make violence against gays and lesbians a federal crime cleared the Senate Thursday and is headed to the White House for final approval. The 68-29 vote was a victory for civil rights groups that have been fighting for years to expand the federal hate-crimes law beyond attacks motivated by bias based on religion, race, national origin or color. The new bill, which President Obama is expected to sign, includes penalties for assaults based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender, disability or gender identity.

Question: Idaho’s U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch voted against the legislation. What do you think of that?

Parting Shot — 10.22.09

A skater practices his starts before the second day of the U.S. speedskating trials Thursday in West Allis, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Wild Card/Thursday — 16.35.09

First, I need to correct an error in sequence re: that Republican Women’s Club get-together at Marge Chadderdon’s home on Saturday. In a previous post, I said that Mary Souza responded to comments made by Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander, after the visiting national prez had called on Goodlander to say a few words about her campaign. Actually, Souza didn’t comment until local GOP vice chairman Duane Rasmussen challenged challenger Dan Gookin’s standing as a Republican. Also, Souza left as the meeting was breaking up. Souza gives her version of what happened on OpenCDA.com here. She claims she wasn’t huffy. But HBO knows of at least one prominent GOP woman who is now urging her friends to vote for Deanna as a result of what happened at the Republican Women’s meeting. Now, for your Wild Card …

Breast Cancer Attention Good, But …

Chatterbox: I do think events like this raise the awareness of breast cancer. And I’m all for them. Altho, I’m a little embarrassed by all the attention …. Let me explain. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Lots of activities, walks, fund raising, pink ribbons, pink pens, pink wrapped candies, pink you-name-it. OK. But it’s not the only cancer out there killing people. I sit at the Cancer Center everyday for radiation and the number of people waiting with me is astounding. I’ve met folks with bone, ovarian, prostate, and brain cancer among others, Where are the fundraisers, awareness raisers, etc., for those diseases?

Question: What does it take for a disease to gain mainstream attention and financial support?

APhoto Of The Day — 10.22.09

Three-month-old Asian lion cub, Rubi, attempts to retrieve a pumpkin which fell into the pond in the lions enclosure at the London Zoo in London on Thursday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Rubi, take your punkin to town — Charlie.
  • 2. Rubi, faced with an imminent attack by a bald headed orange monster, prepares to defend herself — Herb.
  • 3. Rubi’s not lion when she says she wants to squash the invader — JohnA.
  • HM: Cindy

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.22.09

  • 5:55 p.m. Male is local police lobby to turn in his deceased-father’s medications.
  • 5:16 p.m. 5 young teens — 3 boys and two girls — are smoking cigarettes in Hayden City Park.
  • 5:14 p.m. A maroon Ford parked along Bruin Loop/Hayden may be stolen.
  • 5:10 p.m. Tina’s en route to pick up her wandering pigs on Remington/Athol.
  • 4:26 p.m. A possible transient is lying in a parking lot @ 15th & Sherman.
  • 4:11 p.m. A male in a black hoodie jumped the fence onto Wild Waters property after stealing items from Shopko.
  • 4:02 p.m. R/P is trying to vent a garage after finding a male unconscious in a vehicle, probably from carbon monoxide poisoning, in 5200 block of Inverness/Post Falls.
  • Much more below

Mike & Greg Show (Week 8)

Spokesman-Review prep football writers Mike Vlahovich and Greg Lee are back for an 8th week of pigskin prognostication re: upcoming games this week. You can also read Greg’s Panhandle Picks (of all North Idaho games) here and his regular Thursday print column here.

NIC’s Baldwin Suffers ‘Brannoning’

Jay Baldwin, joint director of communications for North Idaho College, will moderate the Coeur d’Alene candidates’ forum at 7 o’clock tonight in Room 106 of the Meyer Health Building, sponsored by campus Young Republicans and the Communications Department. All eight candidates have RSVP’d that they’ll be there. On a related note, this will be one of the last duties Jay will handle in his current position. He tells Huckleberries Online that he’s the victim of a ”Brannoning.” In other words, he’s a casualty of the recent round of budget cuts ordered by Gov. Butch Otter. E-mails Jay, an HBO blurker: “I wanted to say that I’ve enjoyed the blog very much and that I have learned a lot re: what blogs can mean to a local community.” Jay’ll remain an instructor at NIC & LCSC through the end of the semester in December.

City Cuts Ribbon On 4th Upgrade

Mayor and Council, LCDC board members, contractors, business owners, artists, and others gathered today for a ribbon cutting to mark the completion of the Midtown Improvement project. Mayor Bloem thanked everyone involved for keeping the project on schedule and below budget, with a special thanks to the business owners for their patience. Among the participants were (from left): Ron Edinger, Mike Kennedy, Al Hassell, Sandi Bloem, Kevin Stevens, and Deanna Goodlander.

Dan: Absentee Voting ‘Steady Trickle’

Dan of the County tells Huckleberries that about 7 percent of the approximate 21,400 registered voters in Coeur d’Alene have either voted absentee or requested absentee ballots. With 12 days left until the election, that means about 1,500 have asked for absentee ballots. Dan labels that amount a “steady trickle.” He described absentee voting and ballot requests for the jail bond in the same terms. Meanwhile, City Clerk Susan Weathers of Coeur d’Alene provides these voting numbers for the last two municipal elections: 2007 election (council seats only): 19,907 registered voters, 4,961 voted for a 24.9% voter turnout. 2005 election (Mayor and Council seats) 19,754 registered voters, 5,576 voted for a 28% voter turnout.

Dogwalk: Obama Fiddles, Troops Die

So. If we’re going to wage war, let’s commit the troops necessary to win it. That means developing a strategy and sticking with it. One can make adjustments within a strategy I should think. That’s why I agree with former Vice President Cheney’s rather terse admonition of the President. We have troops in Afghanistan waiting for help and clarification of their mission. Reports of injuries and casualties come out on a daily basis. Adding to the costs for the Veterans Administration! The war isn’t put on hold just because Washington isn’t sure which direction to go. It would be nice. Okay, everyone go home for the Holidays while we decide what to do and we’ll send the appropriate number back/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: Are you confident that President Obama is handling the war in Afghanistan as best as he possibly can?

Mike Dodge Designed 2 Bike Racks

I’m re-running this photo to give proper credit to the artist, who happens to be Mike Dodge. Mike designed one other of the three new bike racks along 4th Street. Tyree Kerns designed the one that resembles a bike chain (in front of the Midtown Safeway’s). I checked out the three bike racks during a walk home through Midtown last evening. Very nice. The entire project is a testimony to the leadership provided by Mayor Sandi Bloem’s administration.

Caldwell Mom Protests Library Book

 A Caldwell mother says a young adult book shelved in the juvenile section of the Nampa Public Library is inappropriate for children and wants it removed. Shelly Gering told library director Karen Ganske the book, “How to Get Suspended and Influence People,” by Adam Selzer, is offensive because of its use of coarse language and an abstract drawing of a nude woman on the cover. Gering visited the library recently with her children and her 4-year-old picked the colorful book off the shelf. When she got the book home, Gering said she was appalled at the cover and the fact that it was shelved where children could see it/Sharon Strauss, Idaho Press-Tribune. More here.

Question: Can you think of a reason that a book should be banned from a public library?

Another Shoe For Dubya?

A police officer blocks a shoe during a demonstration outside the Queen Elizabeth Hotel where former U.S. President George W. Bush was speaking Thursday in Montreal. (AP Photo/The Canandian Press,Ryan Remiorz)

Question: If you were going to throw a shoe at someone during a demonstration, would you wear a second-hand pair? Or would you wear something nice to underscore your protest?

Dan: A Few Great French Films

It was interesting to see as many as, oh, 50 people show up at the Magic Lantern Wednesday night to see Leonard Oakland introduce one of his favorite films, Francois Truffaut’s 1962 exploration of romance, “Jules et JIm.” It’s always great to hear Oakland talk about cinema, particularly when that cinema is French. I’ve never been especially moved by “Jules et Jim” (I prefer Truffaut’s first feature film, “400 Blows”). But Oakland’s knowledge and passion could get me interested in, say, hedge fund derivatives. And his post-screening talk got me to thinking. Though I often pretend otherwise, I do love French film. The best of French film, that is (if I even begin to consider the worst, I start to burp up my morning croissant)/Dan Webster, SR. More here (including Dan’s 10 favorite French films).

Question: Which foreign film is your all-time favorite?

Virginia: Childbirth Makes Us Stronger

When most moms think of pregnancy, they have memories of food cravings, weight gain, fatigue, maybe stretch marks and bloated ankles. As much as I loved being pregnant and feeling my baby kick in my womb, there were also moments toward the end when it became so uncomfortable that waiting for birth felt like an eternity. (The 50-pound weight gain certainly didn’t help.) The experience, I think, makes us tougher in the end. Talking to other moms about pre- and post-pregnancy bodies, I’m becoming convinced that the challenges of pregnancy and childbirth actually make us stronger – not just emotionally and mentally, but also physically/Virginia de Leon, Are We There Yet? More here.

Question: Do you agree with Virginia — that pregnancy and childbirth make women stronger emotionally, mentally, and physically?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 10.22.09

Workers wearing protective equipment sift for artifacts Wednesday from dirt dug up at a landfill used by construction workers for domestic garbage during the Manhattan Project at Hanford. Many items being discovered are glass bottles, crockery and metal objects that weren’t destroyed when the garbage pits were burned. (AP Photo/Bob Brawdy, Tri-City Herald)

High Noon: Cats And Morality

From the “Cat Butler,” by Bill Hall: “I want it clearly understood that my attachment to cats is in no way a reflection on the morals of my mate. There are those who would have you think so. The French, for instance. I am told there is a French saying: “A man who is partial to cats is a man who will marry an immoral woman.” ….”I am also puzzled as to whether the saying is meant to imply that marrying an immoral woman is a blessing or a curse. Given the habits of the French, you cannot jump to the conclusion that they consider such a wife the worst thing that could happen to a man. I am a tad torn on that score myself and I’m not even French”/Submitted by CindyH. (“Cat Butler” can be found @ Amazon.com) 

Question: What does your pet preference (or lack thereof) say about your morals?

Fans Get ‘Twilight’ 2 Sneak Preview

In this film publicity image released by Summit Entertainment, Robert Pattinson portrays Edward Cullen, left, and Kristen Stewart portrays Bella Swan in a scene from “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.” Fans got a 20-minute preview of the latest film adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s popular “Twilight” book series. More here. (AP Photo/Summit Entertainment, Kimberley French)

Question: Are you tired of vampire movies yet? Or does the ‘Twilight’ series still resonate with you?

UIdaho’s Keo Arrested After Fight

A University of Idaho defensive player was arrested in connection with a weekend fight following the team’s 35-23 over Hawaii. Safety Shiloh Keo turned himself in Tuesday and was cited for misdemeanor battery before he was released, Moscow Assistant Chief of Police David Duke said. Keo is due to be arraigned in early November. He leads the 6-1 Vandals with 64 total tackles, including 38 by himself. He also has three interceptions/AP. More here

Question: Bad omen for Saturday’s football game at Nevada?

Florine: Was Brannon Fired Or What?

FlorineD: Can somebody clear up something for me? Was Mr. Brannon “fired” or was he “laid off?” From all that I’ve seen coming from the H4H board, the position was totally eliminated for financial reasons with the board taking on the managerial tasks which were previously the Executive Director’s (the title may be wrong) responsibility. The distinction may be of little or no consequence, I guess, to his campaign. But if one is “laid off,” does that not carry with it the assumption of a possibility of being brought back once the financial situation changes?

Question: Dang good question. I’ve been trying to figure it out myself (hence, the regular references here to layoff/firing/whatever. Can anyone say definitively whether Brannon was fired or laid off?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.22.09

  • 11:44 a.m. R/P on 15th/CdA reports that a neighbor is driving w/o license or insurance.
  • 11:27 a.m. Wood debries is in the s/b lane of Ramsey, north of Kathleen.
  • 11:23 a.m. R/P reports woman in white Dodge Neon has left the Prairie Shopping Center w/o buckling her 3-month-old in a child seat.
  • 11:01 a.m. Travis is in the KCSD lobby, wanting to discuss an animal bite on Riverview Tuesday night.
  • 10:27 a.m. A female customer is bleeding from the face after a lamp in Wal*Mart’s electronics department/Post Falls fell and hit her.
  • 10:14 a.m. A black Ford pickup was involved in a road rage incident in the construction area of Fernan Creek Road before turning onto Blue Creek Road.
  • 9:57 a.m. R/P has questions re: the remains of a black bag he found in 4th of July area.
  • 9:41 a.m. Goodwill on 4th/CdA reports a theft.
  • 9:29 a.m. NIC teacher reports that a 19YO male has passed out in the gym, after suffering flu symptoms over the weekend.
  • 9:22 a.m. A 52YO man has wrenched his back in a fall and can’t move. He’s home alone on Lewellen Creek Road/Athol.
  • 9:06 a.m. Employees at a Coeur d’Alene credit union have evacuated the building after finding a pair of boots lying nearby outside.
  • 9:02 a.m. Business burglary reported in 600 block of 4th Street/CdA.
  • 8:56 a.m. Two females are fighting over a dog on Woolsey/CdA.
  • 8:47 a.m. A male on 16th Street/CdA is sitting in his vehicle hitting the steering wheel.

Bent: Mary Helps Incumbent Cause

Bent: I am pretty darn sure that Mary is secretly working for the incumbents. The way I see it, LCDC most likely promised to build a new events center to bolster Mary’s business at Riverstone, but only if Mary could successfully work behind the scenes to infilltrate the CAVEr’s campaign and sabotage thier efferts to take over city government and dissolve LCDC …

Question: Bent has repeated this assertion several times — that Mary Souza’s Press column, OpenCDA.com blog, and antics actually help Mayor Sandi Bloem and the three incumbents running for re-election. Agree/disagree?

Student-Made Shirt Help Nepalese

“A few years ago, my older sister and I stumbled upon a human trafficking story on the Internet,” Schilling said. “We found out a lot of girls were being trafficked from Nepal to India. She paused as she recalled how this ugly truth affected her. “Girls as young as 11 are being sold into prostitution,” she said. It was hard for her to comprehend. “We had such happy lives. Our biggest complaint was going to school, but these girls don’t even have a chance to go to school – they are in brothels.” Schilling wasn’t content to simply read about the problem – she wanted to be part of the solution. She decided to hold a fundraiser to help girls on the other side of the world. Schilling admitted, “I knew if I didn’t make this my culminating project – I wouldn’t follow up on the fundraiser”/Cindy Hval, Washington Voices. More here

Question: Do you think teens today are more aware of global issues? Are they more philanthropic than teens from earlier generations?

Microsoft Launches Windows 7

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer delivers his remarks at the Windows 7 launch event in New York today. Story here. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Question: Do you plan to upgrade your Windows system within the next month?

Sho-Con: Roberts Competent, But …

If (Ken) Roberts wins the (GOP) Primary, I would have no problem supporting him in the general election. He seems like a competent legislator, and his policies seem both socially and fiscally responsible. I can, actually, understand why his fellow Idaho legislators support him. However, in Congress I would envision Roberts as more of a competent backbencher. No controversy along the lines of Chenoweth or Sali, but not the outspoken advocate for his constituents like Otter or Craig, either. Basically, my impression is that, if he gets in, Roberts would serve a few terms, be on a few non-descript committees, retire, and be a guest speaker at the odd Lincoln Day or State Convention/Shoshone Conservative. More here.

Question (for Republicans): Can Republicans Ken Roberts or Vaughn Ward beat Demo Walt Minnick in the 2010 general election?

Newday.com Begins Online Charge

Beginning Wednesday, most of Newsday.com content will only be available to subscribers of Optimum Online, Newsday, or those willing to pay for it. Those who are not customers of Optimum Online or the newspaper - both owned by Bethpage-based Cablevision Systems Corp. - will have to pay a $5 weekly fee. However, nonpaying customers will have access to some of newsday.com’s information, including the home page, school closings, weather, obituaries, classified and entertainment listings. There also will be some limited access to Newsday stories. Newsday described the move as one that would create a “pioneering Web model,” combining the newspaper’s newsgathering services with Cablevision‘s electronic distribution capabilities/Newsday.com. More here

Question: Do you see the day coming when online newspapers and magazines will routinely charge for their material?

Souza: Brannon Fights Intimidation

At the Coeur d’Alene Press online site, Mary Souza adds a little detail about Jim Brannon’s layoff/firing by Habitat for Humanity that has officially been missing. She claims that Brannon told her that his ouster was part of an intimidation campaign against him. Quoth Mary: “He told me, ‘This kind of intimidation has to stop. People in CdA should be able to run for public office without fearing for their jobs!” I can’t recall that Brannon has said that publicly to anyone. But there’s been a lot of speculation whether his ouster was simply financial. Or a combination of financial and political. Also, there’s been speculation whether Brannon was still supportive of Habitat for Humanity. Mary, of course, is way closer to the Brannon campaign than Huckleberries is. So there’s that.

Question: Will Brannon’s layoff/firing help him at the polls?

AM Headlines — 10.22.09

“The Post Falls Lions Haunted House opens today and runs through Halloween,” reports KerriT/More Main Steet. “Nightmare on 4th Street is the grand daddy of local haunted houses, operated for nearly four decades by volunteers and benefitting local scholarships and sight and hearing programs.”

Tricia Jo: It’s Boobie-palooza

Boobies are beautiful. But if you don’t take care of them, they can kill you. And nobody wants that. So pay attention and love those lovelies. The life you save may be your own … or your mother’s, your sister’s, or that amazing woman you married. Friday night the Spitfire Grill and Hug Love Save (the non-profit* organization behind all that cute BOOBIES apparel you’ve been seeing all over town) are hosting Pink Night, a party to raise money for (and awareness of) breast cancer support and research. Spitfire will serve pink drink specials from 4-8. Hug Love Save is bringing their full line of BOOBIES merchandise. Dean Smith (fun, funky and totally danceable) will play live music you can shake your ta-tas to/Tricia Jo Webster, Fabulocity, SR. More here

Question: Do events like these significantly raise awareness of the dangers of breast cancer and/or offer encouragement to those fighting the disease?

UW Wants To Play Zags Again, But …

Item: UW proposes renewing series; GU says hold on: Zags see devil in details/Jim Meehan, SR

More Info: A University of Washington proposal to resume the men’s basketball series with Gonzaga was met with a chilly reception from the Bulldogs. The Huskies proposed a three-game series, beginning next season, with all games to be played at KeyArena in Seattle. Ticket allotments and revenues would be divided evenly. Washington wants an equal number of affordably priced tickets for students at each school, and for the contest to be worked by Pac-10 officials who also call WCC games.

Question: Should Gonzaga ignore its misgivings and accept the offer from the University of Washington to play three games in Seattle?

Ramirez: Not A Hoax

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

P.S.: TKO’d By An Aluminum Bat

OrangeTV: I was actually accidentally whacked unconscious by one of these (aluminum bats) when I was 9 and got a concussion. Was playing softball with the neighborhood kids and some idiot was swinging the bat helicopter-style over his head, walking slowly backwards. I was facing the other way and he walked right into me. This incident may explain why I’ve never been interested in playing sports at all and why my brain sometimes…uh…I forgot.

Question: Have you ever been knocked unconscious? When? What happened?

Parting Shot — 10.21.09

A clown holds a pose during a makeup competition in the 14th International Clown Convention in Mexico City earlier today. Hundreds of clowns from throughout Latin America are meeting this week in Mexico City, taking part in contests, parades and mass photos as part of the convention. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

OTV: Mik-n-Mac’s Reopening

Actually, this is a reopening. Readers probably know that this is a regular haunt of mine, and I’m glad it’s back in action. Rita had sold the bar and had several teary-eyed closing parties, expecting to have the new owners sign the papers the next week. That didn’t happen. Fair enough, until the prospective buyers delayed the closing of the deal about a half dozen more times, leaving Rita in a bad spot, losing money on a closed business. Finally a month and a half later, the deal dissolved and Rita decided the best idea was to do some renovations and remodeling. The place has a fresh look and a fresh attitude, and it is still Coeur d’Alene’s oldest and best nightclub/Patrick Jacob, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Which nightclub/watering hole do you think is the best in the region?

PM Headlines — 10.21.09

Grace McCutcheon, a fifth-grader visiting Spokane on a field trip, cheers on her national team with her face recently at the Spokane Arena, where the Canadian women’s hockey team was taking on the U.S. in an exhibition match. MCutcheon’s class of fifth-graders travelled from Redfish Elementary School in Nelson, B.C. to see the game. The Canadians won. (Jesse Tinsley/SR)

APhoto Of The Day — 10.21.09

Pope Benedict XVI’s cloak is lifted by the wind during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican earlier today. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Pope Benedict appeals to the youth of the world with his new “pimpin’ hoodie with a side of bling, yo!” — Idaho Dad.
  • 2. When asked if he could control his garments in the wind, Pope Benedict replied “Vatican do, thank you” — JohnA.
  • 3. (tie) The Dark Sith will destroy the Jedi in Star Wars 8 — Redman; and:

    Catholics across the world celebrate Halloween with His Holiness himself dressing up as the Flying Nun — OfCoffee.

  • HM: Shannon

Press M.E. Met w/Brannon re: Layoff

At Coeur d’Alene Press online, Managing Editor Mike Patrick discusses, in the comments section, meeting with candidate Jim Brannon re: Habitat for Humanity’s action to lay off Brannon from his executive post. Posts Patrick: “… when I met with Brannon earlier this month, he signed a privacy waiver allowing his employers to openly share any work-related complaints about him without fear of reprisal. The door has been open for board members to speak out, yet nobody has done so.” Hmm. Sounds like Patrick got more than a “no comment.”

Question: Do you think a privacy waiver with a newspaper protects someone from a lawsuit?

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.21.09

  • 4:16 p.m. A large amount of smoke is reported on Steamboat & North Cape/Stevens Point (near Kidd Island Bay), Lake Coeur d’Alene. Update: Brush fire spotted. Fire boat and volunteers en route.
  • 4:04 p.m. A gray truck with a back gate open has been dropping clumps of chips from Oldtown to Spirit Lake.
  • 3:50 p.m. ISP reports 3 traumas from 2-vehicle crash that’s blocking all 4 lanes of H95 in front of Sagle Conoco.
  • 3:25 p.m. Kimberly reports her child hit the elevator alarm @ City Hall.
  • 3:13 p.m. 2 juveniles are fighting in front of Lakes Middle School.
  • A lot more below

HBO’s Blogosphere — 10.21.09

City workers install a new bicycle rack in the Midtown area as part of the 4th Street renovation project. The racks were designed by artist Tyree Kerns in conjunction with the city’s Arts Commission.

Mom Sues Aluminum Bat Maker

Item: Suit blames baseball bat maker for death/Angela Brandt, Helena Independent-Record

More Info: Brandon Patch, 18, was pitching to a Helena Senators hitter, who was using an aluminum Louisville Slugger bat, when he was struck in the temple by the ball on July 25, 2003. Patch died at a hospital about four hours later. Debbie Patch’s attorneys argue the case is not a freak accident. Baseballs hit with aluminum bats, such as the one used in that American Legion game, only give pitchers milliseconds to respond in a defensive stance. The average is about 400 milliseconds, according to attorney Joe White. Patch only had about 376 milliseconds response time.

Question: Do you consider aluminum bats too dangerous for youth sports and softball for all ages?

Midtown Safeway Gets Bike Rack, Too

Artist Tyree Kerns shows off one of the cool, new bike racks in Midtown — the one in front of Midtown Safeway’s. Tyree and the city’s Arts Commission was responsible for the design of the bike racks.

Midtown Gets Classy Bike Racks

Here’s the first in a series of photos sent to Huckleberries Online showing the new bike racks on our much-improved 4th Street through Midtown.

Hump Day Wild Card — 10.21.09

Only 13 shopping days until Election ‘09, my loyal Berry Pickers. And nerves are beginning to fray. At the Coeur d’Alene Press, De Gon is defending himself from that recent story re: the probation he received in the 2005 battery case. Bill McCrory is defending challenger Jim Brannon. Mary, Bill, & Co. are busy talking amongst themselves on OpenCDA.com. Any Mouse is running loose on the other Web sites under new pseudonyms. And we’re all waiting for another shoe to fall, to launch another wonderful thread or two at HBO Central. Another shoe always falls in the final two weeks of an election. I’ll play this Wild Card and climb up to the crow’s nest to wait for the next goofy situation to surface. I’ve always wanted to say: “Thar she blows” …

DFO: A Whisper Campaign, Indeed

A short time ago, City Council challenger Dan Gookin mentioned on his campaign blog the possibility of a whisper campaign working against him in his attempt to unseat Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander. Indeed, there may be a whisper campaign. But Goodlander rather than Gookin appears to be the target. An e-mail circulated to an undisclosed list by Sharon Culbreth last week questions Goodlander’s claims to be a Republican, noting that the Kootenai County Democratic Women’s caucus had invited Councilman Mike Kennedy and Goodlander to speak on Thursday, Oct. 29. At the top, the e-mail makes some dubious claims re: Goodlander’s view of higher taxes and private property rights. You can read the release for yourself here. Goodlander told Huckleberries that the statements Culbreth attributed to her are absolutely false. In other words, Gookin supporters are willing the question the Republican pedigree of a councilwoman who has regularly attended Republican functions and activities. Yet, they’re dismissing claims by county Vice Chairman Duane Rasmussen that Gookin doesn’t want to be tagged with the Republican brand (repeated in Culbreth’s presence by Rasmussen at the Republican Women’s confab Saturday). All of which is strange in a local election which is suppose to be nonpartisan/DFO.

Michelle O Hula Hoops

First lady Michelle Obama exercises with a hula hoop during a healthy kids fair on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

Question: Can you now — or could you ever — hula hoop?

Crump: Tool Deficit Disorder?

How can a guy have 17 slotted screwdrivers and no Phillips? Happened to me during a recent home-improvement project, but then again that sort of thing befalls me all the time. See, tools flee from me like first-graders from syringe-wielding doctors. Home Depot stock earned 66 cents a share in the second quarter of the current fiscal year. That’s largely my doing. I visit so often, I have valet parking. For years, I thought there must be a logical explanation for my ongoing tool deficit. My stepdaughters must be giving away hammers and nail-guns to their friends, I reasoned. Then there was the regrettable incident of the screwdriver rack in the laundry room/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Are you handy with a screw driver and other tools around the house?

Crooks: Women Pols More Trusted?

Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Living magazine recently published its “best of” lists, and Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin was chosen “Best Politician.” Runners-up were Spokane Mayor Mary Verner and U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. No. 1 in Idaho was Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem. See a pattern here? No men. Longtime campaign watchers have noted that all things being equal, voters will give the nod to women at the ballot box. Washington’s governor and both U.S. senators are women. One theory is that a male candidate looks like a bully when criticizing a female candidate. I suppose, but that seems a bit condescending. I think the larger issue is one of trust/Gary Crooks, SR. More here.

Question: Do you trust female politicians more than male ones?

High Noon: Pet Diets?!

“I have failed as a parent and as an American. I have just purchased diet food for my cats. That is a sad commentary on something. And it is no compliment to me or to this society or, least of all, to the hairy lard buckets in our house”/Bill Hall, from his new book, “Cat Butler,” as provided by CindyH. (“Cat Butler” is available at Amazon.com and other locations listed below.)

 
Question: Have you ever put your pet on a diet?

Dennis: Gummint Competition Scary

For a decade, Steve and Scott Ethington have been delighting Idahoans by filling the fall air with ghoulish terror at The Haunted World in Caldwell. This year, however, the businessmen fear for their own survival because Canyon County has decided to go into the horror business, too, with “Scare at the Fair.” The Haunted World “is a major source of our livelihood,” said Steve Ethington. We have invested a considerable amount into this business”/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

Question: Should local government directly compete against private enterprise in a specific activity, like a well-established Haunted House?

McCrory: Brannon Left Respectfully

Ask yourself how you would have answered a news reporter if you had been Jim Brannon and had been fired the way he was. I’m pretty sure I might have lashed out with harsh words about the organization that fired me and the people who were behind it. That’s not what Jim Brannon did. In neither story did he attack either Habitat or its directors. Just the opposite. In the Oct. 9 story he said, “I believe in the Habitat organization. I do not want this organization brought down in an way”/Bill McCrory, Coeur d’Alene Press letters to the editor. More here.

DFO: Hmm. I thought Brannon said: “No comment.”

Question: Do you agree with Bill McCrory that challenger Jim Brannon left Habitat For Humanity, spewing no ill will?

Rome Fishes In Anglican Pond

Item: Rome goes fishing in Aglican pond: The announcement from the Vatican, made simultaneously in Rome and at a news conference in London was dramatic, even historic/Robert Pigott, BBC

More Info: The Roman Catholic Church was going to extraordinary lengths to make it easy for disenchanted Anglicans to convert to Catholicism. They could join the Roman Catholic Church as full members, but hang on to many of their Anglican traditions and practices - and indeed preserve much of their “Anglican identity”. In the past Anglicans have converted (although many have and are moving in the opposite direction), but it’s been on a case-by-case basis. The creation of a special section of the Roman Catholic Church - backed up by church law - especially for Anglicans all around the world is unprecedented.

Question: What do you make of Rome reaching out to Anglicans?

Winter Olympics Torch: Ready, Set …

Maria Nafpliotou, who plays the role of high priestess, lights the flame during a rehearsal for Thursday’s ceremony in the temple of Hera for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games in Ancient Olympia, western Greece, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Question: Are you a fan of the Winter Olympics (to be held at Vancouver this year)? Which event(s) do you like best?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.21.09

  • 11:50 a.m. Motorist reports a puppy is being banged around in the bed of a speeding pickup e/b on Seltice Way near the Whistle Stop.
  • 11:22 a.m. R/P reports that a 20YO male w/a history of aggravated assault, battery, and weapons offenses is fighting w/his sister.
  • 10:58 a.m. Injured dog reported @ Ramsey & Dalton/CdA.
  • 10:44 a.m. A tan-and-white hound dog is loose on Dakota & Meadow Way/Hayden.
  • 10:41 a.m. A woman from Redding Road/CdA is in the CPD lobby to report phone harassment.
  • 10:38 a.m. CPD Blue evicted a disorderly male from a business in the 900 block of Ironwood Drive and told him not to come back.
  • 9:35 a.m. Unattended death on Tall Grass Lane/Post Falls.
  • 9:06 a.m. Patrol officer finds an abandoned camper body @ Garwood & Ludlow.
  • 8:45 a.m. A 16YO female was knocked out when she hit her head on weights in the Lakeland High weight room.
  • 8:41 a.m. R/P complains that a husky is chasing his goats.
  • 8:33 a.m. A large, blue coat is lying on I-90 @ M/P 13 (4th Street).
  • 8:29 a.m. A husband said he can’t wake his 69YO wife up on Goldfinch/Post Falls.
  • 8:05 a.m. R/P reports a pitbull is sitting on his front porch on Standing Elk Trail/CdA.

Gookin To No-Show @ KEA Forum

We received a letter today from Dan Gookin, a candidate for City Council in Coeur d’Alene.  According to the letter, Mr. Gookin has a “prior speaking commitment” and will not be attending the candidate forum scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday) at noon at the Iron Horse. In the letter, Mr. Gookin said he “wants to share with you my opinions and ‘green thoughts’ for the future of Coeur d’Alene”  and listed a number of positions on a range of environmental issues in the City/Terry Harris, KEA Blog. More here.

Question: What could be so important that challenger Gookin would snub an important organization like KEA for a “prior speaking commitment”?

Mayor Wannabe De Gon Regrets Plea

If this was the case why did I accept the plea? I accepted the plea on the advice of my attorney; in hindsight I should have fought the charge. The plea was presented to me as the simplest way out of a situation that had the potential to cause my family embarrassment. I had two teenage children in school at the time I was worried that they would be teased and harassed at school if I went to a trial. My wife was having health problems at the time and the last thing she needed was more stress in her life. It’s as simple as that. I erred by not fighting the charges; I didn’t err by doing what I was charged with/Post Falls mayor candidate Steven De Gon, Coeur d’Alene Press letter to the editor. More here.

Question: What do you think of De Gon’s explanation?

Inlander Endorses Bloem, Larkin

Nobody has ever served as mayor of the Lake City for more than eight years; we say Sandi Bloem has earned the chance to be the first. Handling growth can be a happy problem to have, but Coeur d’Alene did it pretty well for quite a while; now that the music has stopped, Bloem has tapped into the goodwill she has banked to keep morale up as the city waits for the economy to rebound. And with the Kroc Center and the Ironman, she has some nice accomplishments she can claim a hand in/Inlander. More here (scroll down).

Question: Agree? Disagree?

Invading Wolves Worry Washington

The draft plan calls for the state to support a minimum of 15 breeding pairs of wolves before they can be considered for delisting under the state endangered species act. Of those 15 breeding pairs, a minimum of two pairs would have to be in both eastern Washington and the northern Cascades, along with five pairs in the southern Cascades/northwest Coast, plus another six at-large pairs located anywhere in the state. Ranchers said they will be unable to watch over their livestock closely enough to prevent depredations and said their dogs are at risk from wolf attacks. Some said it will be difficult to prove wolves are responsible for lost animals and the presence of wolves will cause their animals to lose weight. “Put them in Seattle and in the suburbs. Those are the people who want them,” said Jennie Kimble of Pomeroy/Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: What advice would you give Washington residents who are worried about the migration and protection of wolves in their state?

AM Headlines — 10.21.09

Biological science technician Laurie Parrish weeds from a batch of willow at the Forest Service Nursery in Coeur d’Alene on Friday. Becky Kramer story here. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

HBO Poll: Midtown Improvements

The Midtown Improvement and Place-Making Project will hold its ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 o’clock this morning. Mayor Sandi Bloem, City Council members, and representatives of 4th Street businesses at the intersection of 4th Street and Montana Avenue to celebrate this event. Coeur d’Alene Today tells you all about it here. Huckleberries Online borrows from a comment by Phaedrus to post today’s poll.

  • Tuesday Poll: 60% of the 72 respondents said they would want to be present for the execution of someone who killed one of their loved ones. Full results here.

OTV: Legendary HBO Memories?

When the condom dress proved to be the magic recipe to finally lift HBO’s curse of the venomous, hate-filled Anymouse very few tears were shed, that’s for sure. It was certainly one of the most notorious moments in HBO’s history, one of those classic occasions that us old-timers still tend to get a bit dewy-eyed about. DFO, an idea. Run a thread tomorrow to discuss the most notorious or legendary HBO moments and then make a poll where we can vote for our favorite. Ah, the memories …

Question: Great idea, OTV. Which moments on Huckleberries Online over the years would you consider the most notorious or legendary?

Ice Rink Seeks Urban Renewal Money

Item: Ice rink seeks LCDC’s help: Facility trying to rebuild after snow destroyed building/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: The new $2 million facility design includes seating for up to 500 people, 200 more than the old one, and a National Hockey League-sized ice rink at 200 feet by 85 feet. It should be able to handle the more than 2,000 visitors expected to use it weekly from September through April. Beam and Vince Hughes, KYRO board president, will ask the city’s urban renewal agency, Lake City Development Corp., to fund up to $221,000 for the parking lot portion of the new design.

Question: Do you think an investment of $221,000 into a proposed $2M NHL-sized ice rink facility is a good use of urban renewal money?

School District To Review Book Policy

Item: District to check out book policy: Cd’A school board wants teachers, parents deciding on novels/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: School officials in Coeur d’Alene are rethinking the way they go about deciding which literary works teachers can use for classroom learning. A memo informing that a new novel adoption process will be developed was sent Tuesday to all district staff from Superintendent Hazel Bauman and Director of Secondary Education Rosie Astorquia. … The note advised that trustees are in favor of a procedural change because the board “does not want to be in the position of having every novel come before them and having to say ‘yea’ or ‘nay.’”

Question: Do you think the book policy of the Coeur d’Alene School District needs to change?

Stantis: Shuka, Shuka, Shuka

Scott Stantis/Birmingham News

Escapee: Where’s Midtown Now?

Escapee: When I was growing up in CDA in the ‘60s, “Midtown” was the stretch of little businesses between Roosevelt Avenue and Harrison Avenue, although I never regarded Safeway as being a part of Mid-town. That was then, I guess. So how far does “Midtown” go now? As far north as I-90?

Question: Escapee makes a good point. I’ve always considered Midtown to be 3rd & 4th streets between Foster & Harrison. The improved street goes farther south. What do you consider Midtown?

Parting Shot — 10.20.09

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in New York on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Clark: 3 Cheers For Yankees

Their mission was to convince me of their affection for the Bronx Bombers. As it turned out, I could have bought lunches for at least a deserving dozen of the 40-some who sent me e-mails, letters or left messages on my phone. There were some truly wonderful stories about encounters with some of the greats of the game, how baseballs came to be signed and the thrill of watching the Yankees play on their home turf. Quite surprisingly, my column drew very little hate mail, which probably has a lot to do with Mariner fans going into hiding after last season. Ned Fadeley, a longtime friend, made up for any lack of loathing, however. He sent me a photograph of his sweet newborn son, Whitman Tecumseh Fadeley, wearing a shirt emblazoned with the following text: “I can’t even walk yet and I already hate the Yankees”/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Do any of you loyal readers of Huckleberries Online actually hope that the best-team-money-can-buy New York Yankees will win the World Series? Really?

PM Headlines — 10.20.09

Local historian Robert Singletary will present a history presentation Lake Coeur d’Alene at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, at the Lake City Senior Center, located at 1916 N. Lakewood Drive in Coeur d’Alene. The presentation will focus on the development of communities around Lake Coeur d’Alene, its tributaries (the Coeur d’Alene, St. Joe and St. Maries rivers) and its only outlet, the Spokane River. See story below.

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.20.09

  • 6:02 p.m. An apartment dweller on Mullan/Post Falls wants her neighbor arrested for cussing in front of children when a repo man tried to take his son’s vehicle.
  • 5:58 p.m. EMTs are checking condition of a 20YO pregnant woman who was hurt in 2-vehicle crash @ H41 & Coeur d’Alene/Spirit Lake. Crash is blocking highway.
  • 5:48 p.m. 1-week-old baby is choking in 3400 block of E. 12th Ave./Post Falls.
  • 5:21 p.m. 2 teen boys are tossing rocks at building @ 11407 Government Way/Hayden.
  • 5:04 p.m. Hayden man claims a Hell’s Angel death squad is after him.
  • 4:50 p.m. Flagger reports Porsche traveled too fast through H97 construction zone @ Beauty Bay.
  • 4:36 p.m. Landowner reports that hunters are trespassing @ Bunn & Northern Lights/south of Spokane River.
  • 4:04 p.m. A woman reports she was going to exchange insurance info w/another motorist after a 2-vehicle crash @ Government & Haycraft. But he drove off.
  • 4:01 p.m. A black pickup w/a black trailer is parked in the bike lane on Fernan Hill Road.
  • Much more below.

Mary Counters Rasmussen, HBO

At OpenCDA.com, Mary Souza explains her side of the story re: that Republican Women’s luncheon Saturday — you know, the one in which Deanna Goodlander was asked to speak by the group’s national president and Vice Chairman Duane Rasmussen of the local GOP Central Committee spoke out against challenger Dan Gookin’s Republican credentials. Mary said she wanted to counter the “lies” promulgated on the Spokane gossip blog and to clarify what was said at a private meeting involving Gookin, Rasmussen, Souza and five others, including two county GOP bigwigs. Souza contends that Rasmussen has been misconstruing what Gookin said at that meeting re: having “Republican” branded on his backside. You can read all about it in the first and only comment (at this point) under this post here.

Feds Back Off Medical Marijuana

Joe Warner with the Denver paper Westword examines marijuana at Lotus Medical in Denver on Monday. The Denver alternative newspaper recently posted an ad for what some consider the sweetest job in journalism _ a reviewer of the state’s hundred-plus marijuana dispensaries and the products they sell. Warner is doing the assignment until the paper hires someone permanently. Story here. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Question: Do you think prosecutors should drop charges in the Eastern Washington cases involving medical marijuana distributors?

Wild Card/Tuesday — 10.20.09

Fasten your seatbelts, Berry Pickers, we’re now officially two weeks away from Election Day. That should mean fun for those of us on the sidelines. And more agony for the bruised and battered few in the ring, especially if they’re surrounded by individuals who don’t necessarily help their cause. Dunno where the yucks will come from today. But I always expect some. So you’ll have to stay tuned throughout the day. As always. Now, for your Wild Card …

SR: Consolidate Post Falls Library

The Kootenai-Shoshone Library District has been through half a dozen consolidations, but for Post Falls voters, the ballot proposal facing them on the Nov. 3 ballot will be a new experience. Naturally, voters want some answers before handing their library over to the district. What happens to the competent librarians and other professionals that patrons have come to appreciate? Why should Post Falls give away a relatively new facility that hasn’t even been paid off yet? Those are reasonable questions, and they have reasonable answers/Doug Floyd, Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Do you agree with the SR editorial board that the Post Falls library should consolidate with Kootenai-Shoshone Library District to provide better service?

Cheyenne: Raise Drinking Age To 38

I do not drink alcohol at all and that makes me just as clueless to the concept of moderation as the person who is passing out drunk five times a week. The main difference of being a teetotaler is I have rarely, if ever, kept people up late at night because I was busy shouting out idle threats and falling over easily avoidable inanimate objects. This is why America needs to raise and not lower the drinking age. It is important to note my plan does not try to curtail drinking but only wants to neutralize the stupidity that ensues from it. In order to buy alcohol in the United States, I propose one must be a minimum of 38 years old. College students will always get their grubby mitts on liquor but now they will be forced to have a creepy 38-year-old person around when drinking/Cheyenne Hollis, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: Would you want to have a “creepy 38-year-old person” around eyeing you and your friends while you’re getting blotto?

Sarah To Appear On Oprah

In this July 2009 file photo, then Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin gives her resignation speech during a ceremony in Fairbanks, Alaska. Harpo Productions announced today that the former governor and Republican vice presidential candidate will appear on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Monday, Nov. 16. According to Harpo, the interview will be Palin’s first about her new book, “Going Rogue: An American Life.” New York Times story here. (AP Photo/Al Grillo, File )

Question: Who will benefit more from Sarah Palin’s appearance on “Oprah” — Sarah or Oprah?

Illness Shuts Charter 6th Grade

From Principal Dan Nicklay to Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy parents: “Due to a high rate of absenteeism among our sixth grade, we have made the decision to cancel classes for the SIXTH GRADE ONLY for the remainder of the week.  Our hope is that the current wave of flu-like symptoms will pass through by the beginning of next week. We will continue to monitor the remaining population and make decisions that we believe are in the best interest of our student body.  At this time, absenteeism in grades 7-12 is only slightly higher than normal, but not at a level that appears to be cause for great concern.” Full Nicklay message below.

  • H/T: Thom George

Question: What precautionary steps have you taken to avoid the current flu epidemic?

Crump: Things Do Go Bump In Night

“There was a terrible storm one night and the wind was blowing so badly that you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face.For some reason, I forget now what it was he said, but the child had to go out to the barn and he took a lantern to light his way. “Well, he never came back. “The parents called for the child and looked for him as much as they could during the night, gave up and waited ‘til the next day. The storm stopped and everyone looked for the child for days, never finding him. They never found any trace of this child even the next spring. “The story now goes that sometimes people will see a blue light out in that part of the desert, bobbing a few feet above the ground, about the height of a lantern being held by a small child. I guess that’s what I saw/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Have you ever been part of a real-life ghost story?

Horse-Sex Culprit Faces New Counts

Item: Man in infamous Enumclaw horse-sex case faces new charges in Tennessee/Jennifer Sullivan, Seattle Times

More Info: A former Washington state man who was convicted of trespassing at an Enumclaw farm where a man was fatally injured while having sex with a horse in 2005 is accused of having sex with animals on a Tennessee farm. James Tait, 58, was arrested and charged Thursday with three counts of felony animal cruelty in Maury County, Tenn. Kenny Thomason, 44, who lives with Tait, was charged with two counts of felony animal cruelty. “They’ve been having sex with full-grown horses,” Maury County Detective Terry Chandler said Monday. “He [Tait] has been here for four years and it looks like it has been going on for some time.”

Also: You can listen to Doug Clark’s old parody song (“Bestiality”) about the Enumclaw case here.

Question: How are you going to protect the horse herd from James Tait?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 10.20.09

In this recent photo, a western screech-owl sits on a fence post along a country road near Kellogg, Ore. (AP Photo/The News-Review, Robin Loznak)

High Noon: Day Or Night Person?

“Day people live in only two gears— wide awake and asleep. They don’t know that night people live in three gears— wide awake, asleep, and a few hours each morning of regaining consciousness” — provided by CindyH from Bill Hall’s “Cat Butler” (available at Amazon.com; see below for other locations).
 
Question: Are you a day person or a night person?

Demo Club Seeks Q’s For Forum

Tamara Lee Poelstra, who’s in charge of the Demo Club luncheons at the Iron Horse at noon Fridays, is seeking questions for the forum scheduled this week for candidates for mayor and Coeur d’Alene City Council seats. Also, Tamara wanted to remind the Merry Hucksters that the local D’s will be celebrating their 35th anniversary from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Iron Horse. (See press release below)

Question: Do you have a question that you’d like Tamara to ask all candidates or a candidate at the Demo Club forum at noon Friday?

‘Grandpa’ Larkin Schools Challengers

The learning curve is steep for challengers. Clay Larkin, the two-term incumbent who comes across as a friendly grandpa in a fleece vest, arranged and paid for a candidate forum at a popular coffee spot early Saturday morning. He wants his opponents to get a chance for live questioning by real voters, Larkin says. At the upcoming candidate forums, moderators will ask the questions. What a swell guy, right? Well, amid the coffee smells and the platter of cookies and the barred sunlight streaming into the meeting room at Moon Dollars, the opposition — Steve DeGon and Matt Behringer — came across as rookies. Their answers were often short, lacking in specifics and they could often only grit their teeth in silence as Larkin spoke for minutes at a time with detailed and folksy answers that showcased his depth of knowledge and hands-on experience with any topic that came up/Kevin Taylor, Inlander. More here.

Question: What percentage of the vote will challengers Steve De Gon and Matt Behringer get combined against two-term incumbent Clay Larkin?

Inlander Looks @ Bloem/Kunka Race

She is tall, erect and an unfailingly sharp dresser, so it’s perhaps no surprise that in some quarters Mayor Sandi Bloem is known (though not often to her face) as “Her Sandiness.” Bloem is seeking a third consecutive term, unprecedented in Coeur d’Alene. When she comes out of the waiting room for last week’s televised candidate forum at the new Coeur d’Alene Library, Bloem cuts a razor-sharp figure, her salt-and-pepper hair set off by a matte black-on-black jacket and pants ensemble with a single shining jewel on a silver necklace. Kunka’s suit and tie look dull by comparison. It doesn’t help that he is shorter, balder, jowlier than the mayor. He has no experience with city government aside from running against Bloem four years ago, but Kunka taps into what seems to be a common wellspring by suggesting that this former mill town has sold out to elites and celebs/Kevin Taylor, Inlander. More here.

Question: Do you think Coeur d’Alene has sold out to elites and celebs, as challenger Joe Kunka claims?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.20.09

  • 11:39 a.m. Animal control call is canceled after R/P on Borley/CdA found the owner of a contained dog.
  • 11:37 a.m. R/P says 3 or 4 females are smoking marijuana in a Mustang at a CdA park.
  • 11:34 a.m. R/P says someone in a Subaru stole his little, white dog from his front yard.
  • 10:44 a.m. A customer calling from Michael D’s reports a large grass fire in the Sky Harbor Drive area of Potlatch Hill, east of CdA.
  • 9:29 a.m. Suspicious male reported @ Kathleen & Screiber/CdA.
  • 8:54 a.m. Although someone is watching a slash burn @ 2990 Nettleton Gulch, neighbor is worried that flames are 20 to 30 feet high and fire could get out of control.
  • 8:34 a.m. R/P believes a bearded man walking toward Henry’s Point/Hayden Lake may be the thief that stole his brother’s guns last week.
  • 8:14 a.m. A sheep is running loose along s/b lane of Diagonal/Rathdrum.
  • 8:10 a.m. A Farragut Park camper is suffering from a bleeding ulcer in Gilmore campground.

Still Frightening

Post Falls Lions Club members Rich Houser, top and Mike Jarrett, wearing the mask posed for pictures at the Lions Club Haunted House in Post Falls recently. Now in its 36th year, the club is gearing up for their annual fundraiser. Jacob Livingston’s story here. (Kathy Plonka/SR photo)

  • Also: Riverfront Park offers its own slideshow of the Haunted House in the pavilion here.

Question: Do you like to watch scary movies?

Erin: PETA Ad Disses Heavy Women

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, have been using controversial ads for some time now to further their cause. This summer they came out with an ad that not only had meat-eaters shaking their heads, but some vegetarian supporters as well. The ad — an illustration — features a large white woman, from behind, in a red polka-dot bikini at the beach. The slogan reads, “Save the Whales — Lose the Blubber: Go Vegetarian.” With this ad PETA has hit a new low. … This ad does more than just offend a large majority of the population. It is also detrimental to the body image of women and young girls. As if the fashion industry has not already done enough damage, now a non-profit organization has to tell women if they are overweight they are whales. What happened to the ethical treatment of human beings?/Erin Harty, UIdaho Argonaut. More here.

Question: Do you make fun of overweight people, even occasionally?

4th Street Ribbon Cutting Set

The Midtown Improvement and Place-Making Project will hold its ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. Thursday, and everyone is invited! Please join Mayor Bloem, Council Members, and representatives of 4th Street businesses at the intersection of 4th Street and Montana Avenue to celebrate this event/Victoria Bruno, Coeur d’Alene Today. Full press release below.

Dan Gookin Blog (re: VFW forum last week): “VFW member Dusty Rhodes asked some excellent questions of the incumbents. For example, he wanted to know how come the City has just redone most of 4th Street and yet there are no handicapped parking spaces.”

Question: What do you like best/least about the Fourth Street upgrade @ Midtown?

YouTubing WSU Online For Fun

In the comments section, Gato provides a link to a light-hearted presentation of a WSU online ag program (online.wsu.edu) by two advisers. (Caution: There’s an adult bovine situation in the middle of the 40-second presentation.)

Poll: An Eye For An Eye

The invitation to attend the execution came out of the blue about a week and a half ago — but the call from Virginia correctional officials wasn’t exactly a surprise to Marion Lewis. The Mountain Home man has waited seven years to see the man behind the killing of his 25-year-old daughter, Lori Lewis Rivera, pay the price for his murderous 23-day crime spree, which left 10 people in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia dead and three others seriously injured. Time has not given Lewis distance from his pain.”There is no distance in losing a child. Children are not supposed to go before their parents,” he said. The Nov. 10 execution of John Allen Muhammad, 48 - dubbed the “D.C. sniper” in 2002 - is justice for the victims and their families, Lewis said/Katy Moeller, Idaho Statesman. More here.

  • TGIF Poll: 42 of 74 (57%) of the respondents said that Habitat for Humanity hurt itself in the long run, especially in terms of fund-raising, with its handling of executive Jim Brannon’s ouster.

Poll: Jail Bond Will Lose Big

In a current Coeur d’Alene Press poll, 78% of the 303 voters believe that the $57M bond to expand the Kootenai County Jail will “go down in flames” in the Nov. 3 election, rather than achieve the two-thirds supermajority necessary for passage.

Question: Do you think the jail election will achieve a simple majority?

Scootermom: ‘Brain Rotting Crap’

Scootermom: Just take a look at TV programming any given night. It’s all “reality” shows. Everyone wants to be a star and put their life on display. I personally don’t give a rats ass about the family antics of Hulk Hogan, Gene Simmons, the Llamas guy, or the Osbornes. I care even less if somebody, famous or not, finds true love on television or dances well. It’s brain rotting crap that makes us all less thoughtful, less engaged with each other and certainly less likely to encounter real quality television drama or comedy.

Question: Do you watch any reality shows?

Dan @ Avista: Why I Joined HBO

I’ll be on the panel discussion tomorrow, “Social Networking Forum in the U!” and wanted to share some thoughts on why I, and Avista find value in social media. For the past few months I’ve gotten a lot of questions from members of the community (and fellow utilities across the country) about why Avista decided to jump into social media (blog, discussion forums, video, twitter). The truth is we’d been pushing for its use since early 2008. We talked about blogging and participating on discussion forums. We dabbled in the easy stuff for about a year and a half. The beauty of most social media tools is that you need very little initial capital investment to get started. YouTube, flickr, twitter, blogger – it’s all free. That’s where we started too. Then last winter hit us with a thud/Dan @ Avista. More here.

Question: Do you think Dan @ Avista helped or hurt his company by jumping on Huckleberries Online this winter — and afterwards — to explain Avista’s side of controversial stories. Should other major companies do so, too?

AM Headlines — 10.20.09

Rail fans converged on downtown Spokane on Monday with the arrival of a historic steam locomotive on its westward journey to its home in Portland. The locomotive is pulling a train of 16 vintage cars with names like the California Zephyr Silver Solarium. Mike Prager story and SR slideshow here. (Jesse Tinsley, SR photo)

APhoto Of The Day — 10.20.09

Logan Veitz, 4, dressed as a dinosaur gestures as a walrus comes close to the glass wall decorated for Halloween at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma Sunday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The News Tribune, Janet Jensen)

‘Bonnie & Clyde’ Swiped CdA Jeep

The Jeep allegedly stolen by a double murder suspect and his girlfriend in Coeur d’Alene this month contained a coin depicting the famous outlaw duo Bonnie and Clyde. “It’s just kind of weird,” said Julie Forsythe, a single of mother of three now out a 1992 Jeep Cherokee after authorities found it submerged in a canal in Kennewick Oct. 9. Forysthe had reported the Jeep stolen from in front of a Coeur d’Alene business, Bee Hive Homes, two days earlier. On Oct. 10, police arrested Merle W. Harvey, accused of shooting two men to death Sept. 26, and his girlfriend, Diane L. Richardson, walking in a wheat field in Kennewick. Harvey told police he’d stolen a truck in Spokane, then driven to Coeur d’Alene where he stole Forysthe’s and Glock pistol that was inside, according to a search warrant/Meghann M. Cuniff, SR. More here.

Question: Izzit just me, or does it seem like there’s too many bad guys running loose in Coeur d’Alene of late?

Sam: Just The Facts, Ma’am

Sam: I’ve seen some video of Councilman Mike Kennedy repeatedly question Larry Spencer about credentials while making public comment. Do you believe that an average citizen has to be an expert in order to have their say? Who is an expert is anything? Shouldn’t a resident/voter/taxpayer be able to have their say even if they have a basic education? What have the council members done that has enhanced the community in a way that is both cost effective and forward-thinking? What are your arguments against the challengers? Why would they be bad for the council? Less scare statements and simple facts, please. Full comment below.

Question: Do the local candidates do enough re: discussing their accomplishments and future goals? Or do they spend too much time tearing their opponents down?

Signe: Study Hard, So …

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

HMO: Contributions Provide Access

HMOffsuite: Its not the party affiliation, necessarily, its a matter of gaining access to the prevailing party. When I have donated directly to a politician, it was enough that they would take my call or return it, if I placed a call to them. Sometimes it is nice to be able to talk with them about stuff. I have otherwise donated, mostly along party lines, if I like the candidate and his agenda.

Question: Have you ever contributed $50 or more to a candidate — or enough to get named in a campaign finance report? Why did you contribute the money? Strictly partisan?

Wild Card/Monday — 10.19.09

Again, I apologize for the meltdown of our server this morning. Seems to be an ongoing problem that’s getting worse. I’ve been able to post some things in between the brain freezes. I appreciate your patience in hanging with me this morning. Here’s hoping that things get better from this point forward. I don’t know if I’ll take any chances of wasting time posting roundups today. The server simply is too unstable to do much. But I’ll keep trying as long as you hang in there. Now, for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 10.19.09

Cyclocross riders from the Vertical Earth team in Coeur d’alene lead the pack of riders at the beginning of the Men A Category start during the 2009 Inland Northwest Cyclocross Series race at Liberty Lake County Park on Sunday. Cyclocross is a form of bicycle racing which consists of many laps on a short course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles which require the ride to quickly dismount, carry their bike while navigating the obstruction and then remounting. (J. Bart Rayniak/SR)

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.19.09

  • 5:26 p.m. R/P reports heavy smoke coming from new condos behind Global Credit, 3160 E. Seltice Way/Post Falls.
  • 4:50 p.m. A man is threatening to shoot a pig (unknown reason or location off Seltice Way).
  • 4:43 p.m. A 52YO woman suffered a head gash when she conked herself trying to jump into her moving car to set the emergency brake @ New Orleans & Walnut.
  • 3:55 p.m. Cougar Gulch woman reports she returned home to find her TV missing and the place broken into.
  • 3:45 p.m. New stoplights on Lincoln Way offramp aren’t functioning.
  • More below

APhoto Of The Day — 10.19.09

Six-month-old Airelle McDonald sits in a pumpkin costume, surrounded by pumpkins at Saunders Farm in Munster, Ontario, just west of Ottawa, Sunday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Pawel Dwulit)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. In their latest outrageous publicity stunt, the Heene family tries to convince authorities that their son Falcon has been captured and assimilated by aliens from the Jacolanturn Galaxy — Idaho Dad.
  • 2. Babababh momomom. Thwptt pawpah phuptth bah. Waak caca mama.” said Airelle McDonald, age 6 months. Translation: C’mon mom. Every parent takes a photo of their kids in this EXACT SAME POSE. Get creative with your pictures” — Nic.
  • 3. When an admirer asked Airelle if ‘Young McDonald had a farm?”, her blonde mother replied “Why, yes, and I even taught her how to spell ‘farm’ - E-I-E-I-O” — JohnA.
  • HM: CindyH

Akey, UI To Talk Contract Extension

Idaho head coach Robb Akey, center, pumps his fist as Maurice Shaw goes into the end zone on a 60-yard pass reception from Nathan Enderle during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Hawaii Saturday at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho. Idaho won 35-23. With the win, Idaho became bowl eligible for the first time since 1999. (AP Photo/Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Dean Hare)

Idaho coach Robb Akey was asked about a possible contract extension this morning, and he said he’s talked to athletic director Rob Spear about it. “We’re going to get together at the end of the season and I look forward to that conversation,” he said. Akey is in the third year of a five-year deal. A couple weeks ago I asked Spear about this, and here’s what he said: “Coach Akey and I are focusing one game at a time and when appropriate we will have that discussion”/Sportslink.

Question: Are you worrying (as I am) that the Vandals are going to lose football coach Robb Akey in a year or two, if he continues to be successful in Moscow?

EOB: Grocery Credit Delay Possible

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has opened the door to delaying the next scheduled increase in the state’s grocery tax credit, possibly saving the state from another $15 million-plus in budget cuts next year that could otherwise hit public schools. “There’s cost vs. value there,” Otter said in an interview with the editorial board of the Twin Falls Times-News; the governor’s office posted a link to video of his comments on the state’s Web site. “I think we would suffer if we can’t do all that’s possible to do for K-12”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Should the state delay the increase in the grocery tax credit for at least a year?

HBO Blogosphere (A - M) — 10.19.09

Chris Pappas, retired City Clerk, was back in Post Falls City Hall Monday morning, overseeing the start of absentee balloting. City Administrator Eric Keck (pictured with Pappas) cast the second ballot, right behind Larry Carstensen/KerriT, Main Street. More here.