Advertise Here

Huckleberries Online

Archive for September 2009

Hump Day Wild Card — 9.30.09

I’ll bid adieu this evening with the Post Falls police in hot pursuit of yet another Oxycontin robber who fled Walgreen’s on foot about a half hour ago. Seemed like a fairly routine day in our little bit of paradise until the robbery occurred. Then, Scanner Traffic is like that. Things are going along routine — a road hazard here and a DUI driver there — and then, wham-o, something big happens. Same goes for Huckleberries Online. I don’t even know when something’s going to hit my e-mail, the comments thread, or cyberspace that’s going to turn everything here on its head. But that’s why you check in daily, right? And it’s why I enjoy getting up in the morning. Now, I’ll replay the Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 9.30.09

A lone thong sits on a sand bank as rescue workers dig through a swampy area at Saleapaga, Samoa, as they search for bodies Wednesday, a day after a deadly tsunami rolled through several South Pacific island nations. A earthquake centered about 120 miles (193 kilometers) south of the islands of Samoa and American Samoa, triggered the tsunami early Tuesday. Story here. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

PM Scanner Traffic — 9.30.09

Robbery (at 5:35 p..m.): Post Falls police are looking for a 5-foot-8 Hispanic-looking male with stubble on his face who just robbed Walgreens Pharmacy/Post Falls. The man (who was wearing black sunglasses, a black bandana, black gloves, and a light-colored sweatshirt) reportedly covered his face with a black bag while coughing significantly. He handed the pharmacist a note that warned he had a gun and later fled the store on foot. The robber took 7 plastic bottles of Oxycontin.

  • 5:53 p.m. 2 horses are in a field on Brunner/Athol, north of Old Highway 95, one with a large gash in its neck.
  • 5:34 p.m. EMTs are en route to Honeysuckle & Government Way for a possible football injury.
  • 4:38 p.m. R/P on Versailles/Coeur d’Alene Place reports that his 56YO neighbor has been lying on the ground of his garage next to a ladder for 10 minutes. R/P hasn’t made contact to see if he’s asleep, hurt, or worse.
  • 4:24 p.m. An elderly woman has fallen in front of Vacation Rentals, 7th & Sherman.
  • 4:08 p.m. Utility pole is on fire on Chatcolet Road/Worley.
  • 3:41 p.m. A woman has told a friend that she has a gun and is en route to a Government Way cemetery to join her husband by killing herself. Update (3:58 p.m.): Gray Subaru w/distraught woman is pulling into cemetery.
  • More below

About Roseburg’s Obama Photo

John Sowell of the Roseburg News-Review e-mailed the following to HBO: (Photographer Robin Loznak) me that AP in New York cropped the photo on the right to remove some of the offending organic material. I always thought that it was up to the member media outlets to decide how they want to use a particular photo. I can remember once having a class assignment where we each had to choose which photo of Pennsylvania Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer we would publish in illustrating the 1987 story about him removing a gun from an envelope, holding it out and putting it to his head and shooting himself. There was a full range of photos from that press conference sent over the wire that day and the AP didn’t feel it was their job then to make that decision for its members. Interesting that today, in a photo that was disturbing but a lot less graphic in that way, the AP didn’t want to send the full-frame shot. HBO thread here. Photo (warning disturbing image) here.

APhoto Of The Day — 9.30.09

President Barack Obama peers into a microscope during a tour of the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md., Wednesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Viewing a recently discovered document, President Obama checks out the fine print: “August 4, 1961, Honolulu, Hawaii” — JohnA.
  • 2. President Obama peers into the microscope looking for the “vast right wing conspiracy.” “Sorry,” he said. “Can’t find it” — CindyH
  • 3. “Those new cameras that we’ve installed on the black helicopters are amazing, but why are there so many solar panels at the Sandpoint homes and so few in Rathdrum?” — MikeS.
  • HM: Toadman, Nic, BrentA, and just about everyone else. Well done!

Grayson: GOP Wants Quick Deaths

He’s back in the hot seat again. Tuesday, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) warned that the Republican health care plan was to “die quickly.” On Wednesday, Grayson riled up Republicans again, likening the lack of health care reform to a “holocaust in America.” Republicans howled and threatened to try to sanction Grayson for his comments on Tuesday. This mirrored efforts by Democrats to punish Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) after he shouted “You lie!” at President Obama during a Joint Session of Congress. On Wednesday, Grayson refused to apologize. “Because I said the truth,” Grayson noted in an interview with FOX News. But the Florida Democrat did apologize/Fox News. More here.

HMOffsuite: Well, Joe Wilson kinda embarrassed the republicans with his “you lie” comment. But now, not to be counted out, the dems’ Grayson trumped Wilson, imo.

More Craziness: Did conservative Newsmax advocate for a coup against Obama?

Question: Is Demo Grayson’s statement in the same league with Repub Wilson’s “you lie” comment?

KR: The Next Teddy Roosevelt?

The Burns series last night included an excellent portrait of Roosevelt, who, as much as any single man laid the foundation for conservation and preservation in America. He was friends, colleagues and fellow traveler with the giants of 19th Century conservation, John Muir, Gifford Pinchot and George Bird Grinnell whose thoughts and lobbying contributed to Roosevelt’s remarkable legacy. But it was Roosevelt himself who saw how preserving the nation’s beautiful places, wildlife and natural bounty was an essential and largely unrecognized cornerstone of the nation’s democracy/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Who will be this generation’s Teddy Roosevelt?

HBO’s Blogosphere — 9.30.09

“The Fancy Nancys (Nancy DiGiammarco & Jennifer Ross) team set a goal of raising $1,500 that they met and beat by a mile. With a whopping $7,685 raised, the team was the runaway winner,” reports KerriT/More Main Street. More here. Kerri’s Main Street column here.

NIC Volleyballers No. 1 In Nation

The North Idaho College volleyball team (19-3) was ranked first in the nation in the latest National Junior College Athletic Association Division I poll released Tuesday, the first time in the program’s history that the Cardinals have been ranked No. 1. The ranking comes after NIC defeated the top-ranked College of Southern Idaho, NIC’s conference rival, Saturday/Greg Lee, Sportslink. More here.

Hanging Out Nude In Huetter

A teen-ager escaped criminal charges after he was seen “flashing” motorists and pedestrians at Garage Town in Huetter about 6 p.m. Monday. Witnesses said that the boy was standing outside the door of a storage unit, which was propped open with a pillow, “exposing himself” to people walking or driving by. A couple who drove past said the boy was naked and remained outside the unit exposing himself for at least 10 minutes when they drove past again. When contacted by a sheriff’s deputy, the boy said he’d simply gone outside to use a toilet on the other side of the building. He couldn’t explain why he did so naked. But was afraid of being prosecuted and ending “up as a sex offender.” He also denied the couple’s contention that he appeared “excited.” The boy was turned over to his father. The officer told the father that no charges are being filed but a report of the incident would be kept on file.

Question: Should charges have been filed against the boy?

Man Says He Posted Obama Images

Matt Hathaway is claiming responsibility for hanging posters of President Obama wearing a Nazi uniform at three Sandpoint schools. Shown in this 2006 photo, Hathaway was fired later that summer from the Spirit Lake Police Department. SR story here. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

Vandals Hit Obama Poster w/Feces

A window case displaying a life-size cutout of President Barack Obama was pelted with a bucket-sized load of feces early Tuesday at Douglas County Democratic headquarters in downtown Roseburg. The excrement appeared to have been thrown from some kind of container as it coated the window at 827 S.E. Cass Ave., covered the eaves and was visible on the ground. “I was shocked to see it,” said Jean Patricia, a Democratic Party volunteer who discovered the vandalism when she arrived at 10 a.m. to open the office. “You’d think people would have something better to do”/John Sowell & Mark Adams, Roseburg News-Review. More here (warning: unsettling image).

Photographer Robin Loznak: We used it as the main art on the front page of The News-Review today. The stink at the scene was overwhelming. I got some on my shoes. I bet it was cow poop, but it could have been human.

Mike & Greg Show

High school sports scribes Mike Vlahovich & Greg Lee make their picks to win football games this weekend.

TGS: Substation? Bah, Humbug?!

The Gookin Squad: Here are Dan’s own words about the police sub-station: “This building is not about the police or public safety. It’s about a big pot o’ free money. This Police booth is merely a symptom of the City having too much money to spend and no solid plan or vision with which to spend it. … Expect to see an over-designed, Las Vegas-like LCDC-funded Police Palace coming to a City Park in your home town soon! (Comment by Dan — March 8, 2008 @ 11:30 am)

Question: Do you think the police substation in City Park has been a plus or minus in fighting crime on the waterfront and downtown?

5YO Girl Recovering From Dog Attack

A five-year-old Coeur d’Alene girl is recovering at Kootenai Medical Center following a dog attack Sunday night. It happened along the 800 block of North 17th Street in Coeur d’Alene, when a young girl ran out of her house to meet her mom and was pounced by the dog. The three-and-a-half-year-old Belgian Melanois is being held at a private animal hospital and neighbors say they were surprised the dog attacked unprovoked. A police report says the dog, named Bogie, attacked the young girl, biting her in the throat, chest, arm, and head. At one point, Bogie picked the girl up off the ground and started thrashing her around/KREM. More here.

Question: “Bogie is going to be held here for ten days under quarantine, and after that period the owners can decide to keep him, while following some strict guidelines, or they can choose to put him down.” What would you do if you owned and loved the dog?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 9.30.09

A black-tailed prairie dog peers out of its burrow at a prairie dog town in Dodge City, Kan. Two conservation groups are suing the Environmental Protection Agency for its decision to register pesticides that curtail prairie dogs. Defenders of Wildlife and Audubon of Kansas, which filed the federal lawsuit last week in Washington, D.C., say the chemicals threaten the endangered black-footed ferret, which feeds on prairie dogs. Prairie dogs can compete with livestock for forage. Missoulian story here. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Question: Do you see anything wrong with using poison to eradicate a pest?

Publish Or No?

I need some advice from the progressive delegation at Huckleberries Online. The AP has just published a photo by Robin Loznak in Roseburg, Ore., that shows the aftermath of someone tossing feces at a photo of Barack Obama in the window of the Roseburg Democrat Party HQ. Should I publish it. Stomach-turning stuff. But is it newsworthy?

Betsy’s Best Idaho Political Reporter

Put your hands together for my Spokesman-Review colleague Betsy Russell, who has been picked as the best political reporter in Idaho by the Washington Post. Writes the post: “As we have said before, political reporters out in the states are doing great work on a daily basis and, by aggregating the best of the best here, you have a chance to follow their work. We will put our list in a permanent spot on the blog — exact spot still to be determined — so that it can be used as a reference in advance of the 2010 midterm elections.” In Arkansas, Michael Wickline of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette was named as a top political reporter. He’s a former Coeur d’Alene Press/Lewiston Tribune political writer.You can see full list below.

High Noon: Bumpersnickers

Otis G Experience: Bumpersticker on a soccer-mom-mobile this morning: “Support Terrorism. Vote Obama. The Middle East is counting on you.” So, I guess Obama is a fascist, communist, socialist, tyrannical… terrorist? These people are starting to scare me. Not surprisingly, the aforementioned mini-van had one other sticker prominently displayed… a proud NRA member.

Question: Do you have a bumpersticker on your vehicle? What does it say?

AM Scanner Traffic — 9.30.09

  • 11:57 a.m. Patricia wants to speak to an officer re: traps for cats.
  • 11:41 a.m. A 7MO baby is crying now after choking in 1300 block of Kaleigh Court.
  • 11:30 a.m. Patrick reports the license plate was stolen off his vehicle last night.
  • 10:26 a.m. Prairie Avenue man wants to see an officer re: his ex selling his property.
  • 9:20 a.m. A 52YO CdA woman has told a friend that she hasn’t slept since her brother died recently and is considering suicide.
  • 8:56 a.m. A woman on Cloverleaf/Hayden has locked herself in the bathroom because her brother pushed her and kept “getting in her face.”
  • 8:53 a.m. A Saint Bernard is charging children who are walking to Atlas School/Hayden.
  • 8:51 a.m. A mother has locked her baby in her blue van at Caroline Day Care/Tumbleweed & Ramsey.
  • 8:13 a.m. A green Highlander is speeding and ran a red light @ Ramsey & Kathleen.
  • 8:12 a.m. A fire alarm company was told that burnt toast triggered an alarm @ 1337 Stafford.
  • 8:10 a.m. Gravel on the interstate @ Huetter may be a hazard.

Tank McNamara: Vandals No. 1?!

Idaho Dad spotted this Tank McNamara ‘toon that was published Saturday, before Idaho’s big victory on the road against talented Northern Illinois. Which boosted the Vandals’ record to 3-1 on the season. That, of course, isn’t good enough for a No. 1 ranking in the country. But it should get the Vandals out of the cellar of the NCAA Division 1A football jungle, where they’ve resided at times in the last three years. You can get a better look at the Tank McNamara ‘toon here.

Question: Anyone care to guess now how well the Vandals will do in the Western Athletic Conference this year?

GH: Why Did Officer Shoot I-90 Pug?

My husband and daughter pulled over to assist the little dog and in the hope of returning him safely to the owner. The dog was coming toward her when the officer on the motorcycle scared the little dog off again. At this point my daughter went back to her truck to get treats to entice the dog back over to her. The little dog went over to the officer’s car and laid down by the passenger door. The officer moved his car away from the dog then got out of his car and shot the little dog. He then went over to the dog, picked him up, and threw him in the ditch like a piece of garbage/Geri Henricksen, Juneau, Alaska. More here.

DFO: I recall hearing something about a pug running loose in the median of I-90 Friday afternoon. And I thought I heard later that the dog had been injured and an officer shot it. But I can’t be sure. Sometimes, you can snippets of transmissions. I didn’t post anything on scanner traffic because I wasn’t sure of the details.

Question: When should an officer shoot a loose dog?

Wardrobe Malfunction

A model pushes up her falling dress, part of Russian designer Masha Kravtsova women’s Spring/Summer 2010 fashion collection, presented in Milan, Italy, earlier today. (AP Photo/Alberto Pellaschiar)

Question: Have you ever had an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction?

CPD Blue Endorses Incumbent

Coeur d’Alene Police Association statement re: endorsements: All candidates for mayor and council attended with the exception of Joe Kunka. Mr. Kunka called the Department this morning and apologized for not attending. After hearing the vision, views and accomplishments of each candidate the Police Association voted to endorse Sandi Bloem for Mayor, Mike Kennedy for Council seat #2, Woody McEvers for Council seat 4, and Deanna Goodlander for council seat 6. … The Police Association believes the incumbents have been very supportive of our Chief, the Police Department, and have been diligent in their governance of the City. Therefore we strongly endorse the incumbents for the upcoming election.

IdaBlue: Wasden Seeks Re-election

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden held a fund raiser at the Yen Ching restaurant in Boise. kicking off his reelection campaign. He spoke, briefly, and said that he’d been recruited by the “RNC,” so I guess there was an effort to get him to run against Walt Minnick. (I can’t imagine why; there’s no more rock-ribbed Republican than Minnick.) Anyway, Wasden said that he asked his recruiters (paraphrasing) “Why would I do this? How will this let me do a better job of serving the people of Idaho?” He was sincere. He spoke of the accomplishments of the lawyers in the AG’s office, and he lauded how they’ve helped the citizens of Idaho/IdaBlue. More here. H/T: Treasured Valley

Question: Are you satisfied with the job Lawrence Wasden has done as Idaho attorney general?

Bee: Where Has Our Civility Gone?

A vast majority in Bonner County residents feel it’s either dead or on life support, according to a recent online poll by the Bee. Of the 377 people who voted, 22 percent said it’s gone the way of horse-drawn carriages and another 58 percent said it’s barely hanging in by a please and a thank you. Why are we so gloomy about good manners? Is it because politicians seem rude and disruptive as a matter of course and strategy? Is it because of the egocentricity of some entertainers that pushes them to acts of stupidity? Is it because a world-famous athletes acting like children denied a cookie? Unfortunately, these are merely symptoms. I don’t know if it’s selfishness or some  narcissistic gene, but we seem unwilling as a society to let others have their say — or even to agree they have a right to believe something different/Carolyn Lobsinger, Bonner County Bee. More here.

Question: Is Huckleberries Online civil enough for you?

AM Headlines — 9.30.09

Parents Robert and Connie Heckathorn releases a dove Tuesday in memory of their 17-year-old son Shawn, as friends and family members look on during the graveside service at Canyon Hill Cemetery in Caldwell, Idaho. Heckathorn, a high school senior, died in a head-on collision with a school bus last Wednesday. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune, Mike Vogt)

HBO Poll: No Wake Zone

The Bayview Community Council has 90 plus members and it has come to our attention that the Parks and Waterways Advisory Board is considering reducing Bayview’s no-wake zone. This decision would adversely affect a very large population in this area and other residents of Idaho that moor their boats at Bayview. This also will adversely affect the float home association and yacht club members, not to mention many other individuals and organizations in the Bayview area. Canoes, kayaks and paddleboats are used in the bay by both adults and children because the waterways are calm. Moving/modifying the no-wake zone would cut down on their recreational pursuits and create dangerous hazards for them to contend with/Robert E. Hammell, letter to the editor, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

  • Tuesday Poll: 78% of the 64 respondents said that they don’t have as much confidence as Superfund officials do that the East Mission Flats repository in the Coeur d’Alene Basin floodplain is environmentally safe. Results here.

HMO: Nourishing Old Friendships

For the past 5 years, just like clockwork, I have lost a very good friend As a result, I have made some adjustments in my life, trying to be able to take something away from the loss of each of these friends. One thing, is that I attempt to spend more time with the old friends that I had not spent much time with in the past. I’m not trying to heal wounds, just spend more time with the healthy friendships that have been neglected. Likewise, I am avoiding some friendships that are more social work and have more drama than I care for. Friendships are like marriages, you get out of them about what you put in.

Question: Have you taken time of late to nourish an old friendship or repair a family relationship?

CW: Gookin Dodges ‘Cupcake’ Q

Sgt. Christie Wood: He failed to answer the Sgt. Cupcake portion of the question so that was my follow up question to him. He said that other people such as Bill McCory have called me that and he may have done it once. He agreed it is disrespectful. I was more interested in his negative comments on his, Bill’s and Mary’s blog toward my Chief and Captain regarding our new building in the park. I had a follow up question after he told the group of officers that if elected he would do what he could to provide us with what we need to do our job. I then questioned him about the park bldg and our belief that it is what we need to do our job. I also asked about his negative comments. He immediatley said ‘oh the Bunker?” Full answer here.

Question: Are you satisfied with City Council challenger Dan Gookin’s answers?

Signe: Punishment Befitting Crime?

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Wild Card/Tuesday — 9.29.09

I didn’t mention that I attended the memorial service in Wallace for my friend who committed suicide recently. It was sad, of course. But there was a recurring theme from members of the family, some of whom were estranged. An older brother expressed regret in tears that he’d lost touch with his little sister. Other members of her family are struggling with the ill will that had driven them apart from the suicide victim. Why do I mention this? It might be time to try to heel old wounds that have kept you apart from friends and loved ones. Just a thought. Now, for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 9.29.09

The FBI is looking for this man, who robbed the INB bank branch at Hawthorne Road and Nevada Street at gunpoint Tuesday. Officials say the suspect tied up bank employees with duct tape during the robbery. Story here. (Courtesy of Spokane Police Department)

SR’s Today In Photos

Otis: Why Partisanship In City Races?

Otis G Experience: A couple weeks ago, I got some campaign literature from a guy running in Post Falls. His card really said nothing about where he stands on anything, but focused on the fact that he’s a gun-toting elk hunter. Essentially, “Vote for me, because I’m a Republican”. And because of that, people will vote for him… knowing nothing else about him. Now, Mike Kennedy’s website really makes no mention of his political leanings, and mostly just talks about what he’s done and what he hopes to do. Which is how I think it should be.

Question (from Otis G): Local issues are typically not hard-hitting “left vs. right” items. If that’s the case, why do we still make such a big deal about whether local politicians are Republican or Democrat?

PM Headlines — 9.29.09

Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Post Falls, second from left, speaks out at a legislative task force meeting on Tuesday, where he and other lawmakers decided to wait a year before shifting gas tax money away from the state parks department and the Idaho State Police. At left is Sen. Diane Bilyeu, D-Pocatello; second from right is Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, and at right is Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert. Betsy Russell, who snapped this photo, published a number of posts re: budget action today in Eye On Boise here.

APhoto Of The Day — 9.29.09

Participants in the Stilettos Run, wearing stilettos, wait for the start of the race, Sunday in New York. The 80 meters run and nationwide walks are part of an effort to raise public awareness of child trafficking. The run also sought to break the Guinness world record for the largest event of its kind. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Well-heeled women are a shoe-in to set the Guinness record, despite a dispute from younger women to ‘stiletto’d’ people participate in the race — JohnA.
  • 2. Upon viewing the photograph, a team of Sasquatch researchers was dispatched to New York — MikeS.
  • 3. ACORN sex workers leaveing their New York offices — Redman.
  • HM: Bayview Bob

PM Scanner Traffic — 9.29.09

  • 5:31 p.m. R/P reports that a male @ 115 Anton has been maced by unknown person.
  • 5:21 p.m. NIC janitors are having difficulty finding leak in roof of first floor of library.
  • 4:37 p.m. EMTs are asked to check a woman who is complaining of ill effects from chemical exposure at Select Auto/Rathdrum.
  • 3:17 p.m. Owner of a fruit stand @ 2416 Government Way reports that a customer is threatening him and refusing to leave.
  • 2:01 p.m. Northern Lakes fire personnel report a male is verbally harassing them.
  • 1:53 p.m. Dusty Lane/CdA resident reports someone cut her brake lines.
  • 1:43 p.m. Holiday station @ 311 Haycraft/CdA reports customer left w/o paying for gas.
  • 1:41 p.m. A large, metal sign is lying on I-90 @ Pleasantview exit.
  • 12:41 p.m. Hayden Albertson’s manager wants police to pick up drunken female shoplifter.
  • 12:25 p.m. Michael has questions for an officer re: pepper spray.
  • 12:09 p.m. Sherry has questions re: disposal of a Jack Russell terrier.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

Someone Shoots At KMC Worker

A Kootenai Medical Center worker told police that someone fired a bullet at her as she was leaving the hospital’s parking garage last week. Kimberly Shaul reported that she thought a tire had gone flat when she heard a loud noise as she was driving down the ramp from the second floor about 4 p.m. Friday. She continued home when she discovered none of the tires were flat. On Saturday morning, she found a bullet hole in the tailgate of her minivan. The bullet also went through the plastic molding on the driver side wall and came to rest on the floor behind the driver’s seat. Shaul reported that she didn’t see anyone in the garage as she was exiting.

For Those Keeping Score At Home …

… the Coeur d’Alene Police Association is interviewing municipal candidates for endorsement purposes at the moment. Huckleberries Online hears that one of the questions that council wannabe Dan Gookin will be asked about his disparaging past remarks about police spokeswoman Christie Wood. He has called her “Sgt. Cupcake” and “a snake” in blog writings. It’ll be interesting to hear how Gookin talks his way out of that one.

NFL Suspends Ex-Vandal Vobora

St. Louis Rams linebacker David Vobora leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in St. Louis Sunday. The NFL has suspended Vobora without pay for the next four games for violating its policy on performance enhancing substances. The NFL made the announcement today and said Vobora’s suspension begins immediately. He can return to the active roster Oct. 26. Story here. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

Toadman: We All Lie

The fact is, people lie. We all lie. We lie to each other, we lie to ourselves. I lie to you. If everyone on the planet was honest one hundred percent of the time, society would have never evolved as far as it has. These are the “socially acceptable” lies. The “oh yes, I love this gift you’ve given me!” lies, the “oh don’t worry about breaking that, it was old.” lies. Or even the “why yes boss, our work IS our passion!” lies that we tell to keep our jobs, our situations, and our incomes. Nobody really wants to hear the truth. The truth does not set you free, unless by free, you mean, free of people who want to be around you/Toadman, Synaptic Disunion. More here.

Question: Do you lie much? What about usually?

HBO’s Blogosphere (N - Z) — 9.29.09

“I’m usually dragged kicking and screaming out of summer each year, but I do enjoy the beautiful north Idaho autumns once summer’s over,” posts KerriT/OnLocation North Idaho. “This driveway at the east end of Fernan Lake offers a postcard view of the beauty that’s there for the looking.”

HBO Numbers (for Monday, Sept. 28): 7703/4381

TGS: Gookin Then & Now

The Gookin Squad & Phaedrus have been keeping tabs on possible position changes of City Council candidate Dan Gookin. Gookin Squad offers the following today:

  • Dan Gookin today: “For our city council, accountability means understanding that their first duty is to represent the citizens and taxpayers of the city. It means that they must do that job in public, with transparency and respect for the process. It means understanding that citizens who ask questions or disagree over policy are not the enemies, but that they are to be respected and not attacked.”
  • Dan Gookin in December of 2008 under “Something’s Missing” when he defaces an image of the Mayor. (See link)

Question: Do you think it’s fair to hold a candidate accountable for words that he wrote two or three years ago on a blog?

China @ 60

A Chinese acrobat performs during the inaugural ceremony of China Culture Show in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday. The show organized by Pakistan Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the Chinese Embassy to celebrate China’s 60th anniversary. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

Question: How flexible are you?

OTC: I Hate Boise State

I love almost everything about college football, but the one thing I cannot stand is ranking polls. How does Boise State get ranked fifth in the nation? Maybe it’s because they beat a couple high schools by like 50 points. Can we please get a system that works?/Nick, UIdaho Argonaut. More Off The Cuff.

Question: Are you happy/angry that Boise State is ranked No. 5 in the nation?

HJ: Freedom Of Speech Applies To All

But you must remember that, when dealing with liberals, they’re always right, and you’re always wrong. Unless, of course, you’re also a liberal, then you simply hold a “differing viewpoint.” Think back to the Bush administration with the protest signs and buttons with such phrases as “Bush is a Warmonger” and “Bush Lied, Soldiers Died.” Do you remember all the Hollywood celebrities taking potshots at the president and then having the severity of their remarks ignored by the mainstream press? It seems that what used to pass as appropriate “political discourse,” when spoken by the left, is now deemed “racist” and “disrespectful” when spoken by the right. Why did the rules change? Why is it now inappropriate to question President Obama and his motives, even though it was appropriate to call Bush “little Hitler”? Clearly, a double standard exists/Henry Johnston, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: When does harsh criticism of President Obama cross the line into disrespect and even racism?

MT: Risch Helped By Tax Shift

A year ago, Democratic Senate candidate Larry LaRocco claimed his Republican rival, Jim Risch, had benefited handsomely from the tax shift Risch engineered during his brief stint as governor in 2006. Risch’s bill cut property taxes by $260 million and boosted the sales tax by 20 percent, raising $210 million. During a televised debate, LaRocco said the move saved Risch anywhere from $53,000 to $250,000. “That’s a lie,” Risch said. “If I got $53,000 out of this bill, I’ll drop out of this race.” Risch didn’t drop out. He went on to win the seat, and because of that he’s required to file a financial disclosure report. That report says he’s worth at least $19.29 million, making him the 13th wealthiest member of Congress. The report also says he owns at least $16 million in real property, most of it in Idaho. With land that valuable, theoretically the tax cut would be worth $48,000 to Risch/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Were you helped or hurt by the 2006 tax shift?

High Noon: Loving Apostrophes

There are occation’s when our publication has error’s — both in print and online — and we have some loyal reader’s who occationally point them our to us. We alway’s appreciate those who help keep us on our toe’s. Having said that (or, to be more precise, having written that), let me expres’s my concern about what I feel seem’s to be a growing epidemic in the United State’s — apostrophe abuse. That humble little piece of punctuation has undergone quite a beating lately. Apparently there are quite a few folk’s who think that the proper way to make a word plural is to interject an apostrophe before the “s”/Phil Bridges, 2C Etc. More here.

Question: Are you skilled in the proper handling of an apostrophe?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 9.29.09

KerriT’s sister, Janna Scharf shared a photo she took on Friday on N. 7th Street in Coeur d’Alene. She did a double take when she noticed this doggy in a second-story window so drove around the block to get the picture. That’s when she noticed the dog was joined by a feline friend on the windowsill as they watched the world go by/More Main Street.

AM Scanner Traffic — 9.29.09

  • 11:38 a.m. Zachary threw a rubber knife @ R/P and is threatening employees of Fresh Start, 1524 Sherman/CdA. Then, he left the building.
  • 11:02 a.m. Winton officials are trying to catch a loose dog on school grounds.
  • 10:55 a.m. Matthew is turning himself in to juvenile justice authorities.
  • 10:44 a.m. Denise wants an officer to return to her home to check out decibel levels. 
  • 9:39 a.m. Noninjury accident blocking intersection of H95 & Aqua.
  • 8:59 a.m. Kay reports that 10 to 20 stereos were stolen from vehicles over the weekend in a car lot @ 15047 Government Way.
  • 8:24 a.m. R/P reports wood was stolen from residence @ Cliffhouse & Three Forks/Hauser.
  • 8:13 a.m. Employee of Holiday gas station @ Cornerstone/Hayden reports 80ish male is bleeding from the head after slipping on sidewalk and falling behind business.

$340K Cessna Stolen From Airport

An airplane was stolen from the Boundary County Airport early today. The heist is the latest move in a series of mysterious activity near the United States and Canada border in the past week. The Creston, B.C., airport reported burglaries over the weekend. Handguns, food, beer and other supplies were stolen, along with an attempt to take another plane. Authorities think the same group broke into the Boundary County Airport on Sunday night before returning late Monday or early today to take a 2005 Cessna model T182T, said Jessica Short, airport office manager. “It’s a really nice, brand new, $340,000 plane,” Short said/Meghann M. Cuniff, SR. More here.

Poll: East Mission Flats Repository

Shipments of mine waste started arriving at the East Mission Flats repository Monday, after a top Superfund official endorsed a plan to store 40,000 truckloads of soil tainted with heavy metals in the Coeur d’Alene River’s floodplain. Mathy Stanislaus expressed confidence in the repository’s ability to protect groundwater during a conference call with reporters. But he also said an “early warning system” will be installed to address concerns about potential contamination during floods. Additional monitoring wells at the repository will alert officials if metals start leaching into the groundwater/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

  • Monday Poll: 70% of the 60 respondents said they have a friend or loved one who is suffering or has suffered from breast cancer, including two who fighting the disease themselves. Full results here.

JN: Hollywood Unites Behind Polanski

Pleading guilty to unlawful sex with an underage girl — the drugging, raping and sodomizing of a 13 year-old — isn’t stopping Hollywood from ginning up an indignation campaign over the possibility of fugitive director Roman Polanski being held accountable for his crimes. Yes, these are the values of those who control the most powerful propaganda device ever created.  Which begs a question: If his unspeakable deed doesn’t meet the standard, what exactly would Roman Polanski have to do in order to become a pariah in this town … I mean, besides vote for Sarah Palin?/John Nolte, Big Hollywood. More here. H/T: Clayton Cramer

Question: What would you like to see done with fugitive director Roman Polanski?

RS: Nampa’s Transgender Wannabe

Not that the end result necessarily will be much different, but one of Idaho’s most unusual candidates this year – Melissa Sue Robinson, running for mayor of Nampa against incumbent Tom Dale – is creating a larger stir than you might have expected. What there was at first was just some interest by way of curiosity. Melissa Sue used to be Charles, and that change of genders at first seemed to be central to her candidacy, an emphasis on issues related to sexual identity. (Consider her campaign website’s domain, Or that at least was our first reaction, and considering that the electoral jurisdiction we’re talking about is conservative Nampa, there seemed not much more to say. Since then, a few months back, matters have developed. The transgender part of the campaign hasn’t gone away – how could it? – but it has become a news peg for a variety of news organizations to take a look at the race/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: Would you vote for a transgender candidate who was qualified to hold office?

USPS Honors ‘Twilight Zone’

This undated image provided by the U.S. Postal Service shows a 2009 postage stamp honoring “The Twilight Zone” television show. (AP Photo/USPS)

Question: Do you collect stamps? Which stamp in your collection do you prize most?

Palin Finishes ‘Going Rogue’ Book

Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate, has finished her memoir just four months after the book deal was announced, and the release date has been moved up from the spring to Nov. 17, her publisher said. “Governor Palin has been unbelievably conscientious and hands-on at every stage, investing herself deeply and passionately in this project,” said Jonathan Burnham, publisher of Harper. “It’s her words, her life, and it’s all there in full and fascinating detail.” Palin’s book, her first, will be 400 pages, said Burnham, who called the fall “the best possible time for a major book of this kind.” The book now has a title, one fitting for a public figure known for the unexpected — “Going Rogue: An American Life“/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Is ‘Going Rogue: An American Life” a good name for Sarah Palin’s book?

Ex-LCHSer York On Life On UO Line

The loss to Boise State hurt. But we moved on and bounced back. We learned a lot about our team during that week after Boise. We know now what it takes to not let a team beat us twice. Purdue was a hard fought physical game. We learned how to keep fighting when someone was dishing it back at us. It was a game that came down to the last play and tested our resolve. Against Utah we found a way to win when things were not going the way we wanted. We overcame turnovers and other mistakes to earn a victory over a very talented and confident football team. On an individual level or within position groups we all faced talented players and are better for it. Positions learned how to play — and stick — together/Ex-LCHS footballer Carson York (shown in 2006 LCHS photo) in Oregonian diary. More here.

Question: Did you play college sports?

Anti-Obama Posters Hit Schools

A Bonner County man has come forward to claim responsibility for posting images depicting President Brack Obama in Nazi regalia on the doors of three local schools. Matt Hathaway, 33, said he posted the images at Washington Elementary, Farmin Stidwell and Sandpoint High School on the morning of Sept. 8 to protest the president’s nationwide address to students. “I believe that Mr. Obama can contact our kids any time he choose, I should have tthe right to go ahead and place what I feel on the school grounds,” Hathaway (a former Bonner County deputy) said in remarks aired on KPND radio. The posters, which were approximately 8 1/2 inches by 11 inces in size, likened Obama to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, according to Lake Pend Oreille School District. Superintendent Dick Cvitanich/Connor Christofferson & Keith Kinnaird, Bonner County Bee. More here.

Question: In the KPND broadcast, Hathaway said that the school district told him that he wouldn’t pursue charges if he apologized. Hathaway said he would rather face trial than apologize. Yet, the school district still has elected not to pursue charges. What should the school district do?

AM Headlines — 9.29.09

Dylan Hopkins and Katie Coyle, volunteers, harvest cucumbers on the Soil Stewards three-acre farm outside of Moscow Wednesday afternoon. Story here. (Sebastian Edgerton/Argonaut).

Laughing: Nothing Safe About Football

Laughing: There is absolutely nothing safe about football. It is a violent sport and often even the best coaching and equipment will not protect a player from serious injury. Period, end of statement. Having said that I allowed my sons to participate. To some young men there is a huge attraction to football. I had it and I sustained a life lingering injury. I told my sons that I would actually prefer they didn’t play football,. I told them that I would not stand in their way. Their mother was less understanding, especially when they got hurt … and they did. I use to “joke” that between my sons I personally paid for the new parking garage at the hospital.

DFO: My son played football and baseball at Coeur d’Alene High. I let him play football without saying anything, even though he was one of the littlest players his freshman year. He was better for the experience. Yeah, there’s an element of danger, but there’s also much to learn about dealing with others in a rough sport like that.

Question: Have you ever allowed your kids to do something, even though it made you nervous?

JA: Slippery Gulch Was Old West

JohnA: Wallace in the past was a rollicking good time, no matter your take on the morals of the place. It was good for what’s bad, a dissertation on dissipation if there ever was one. It was corrupt officials elected time and again, and a Madam who bought uniforms for the high school band. It was high stakes stud poker, blackjack and dancing girls at every turn. It was, simply to us locals, Slippery Gulch. But, most of all, it was the Old West as it once was, when minin’ men went to town on Friday night and owed their soul to the company store the rest of the week.

Question: Are there any places that you’d call the “Old West” remaining in the region?

Heller: Nattering Nabobs

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Monday — 9.28.09

KVNI’s Norm McBride tickled the funny bone of SR prep sports scribe Greg Lee this morning. En route to work, Greg heard McBride say that YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook had consolidated and henceforth would be called … YouTwitFace. I thought Greg was serious at first when he related the joke to me a few minutes later at the office. Then, I got it — and appreciated a little levity to kick off another Monday morning in Paradise. Hope you did, too. Now, for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 9.28.09

A bull runs loose after escaping from ENA Meat Packing Inc. in Paterson, N.J. on Monday. Police say the 1,400-pound bull that escaped from the northern New Jersey slaughterhouse dragged officers with a lasso down a street and ran 10 blocks before being captured and sedated. No injuries were reported. The bull was returned to the slaughterhouse. (AP Photo/The Herald News, Elizabeth Lara)

Dog Viciously Attacks CdA Girl

A 3-year-old Coeur d’Alene girl suffered large lacerations to her throat, chest, right and left arms, the back of her head, and her left side when she reportedly was attacked by a neighbor’s Belgian shepherd dog at 6:15 p.m. Sunday. The girl’s father suffered a broken knuckle when he tried to pry the dog’s jaw open to rescue his daughter. The attack began when the girl ran toward her mother as she returned from the grocery store. The dog, one of two running loose on the neighbor’s property, immediately attacked, picking the girl up off the ground and thrashing its head around with the child in its mouth. The girl’s mother told police her child appeared to be in shock and didn’t cry. She simply had a helpless look on her face. The father ran from the back yard to rescue the child. The father told police that the dog is one of two that roam freely in the neighbor’s yard — and that the dogs get aggressive and go “nuts” when he walks by their kiennel.

Question: Have you been bitten by a dog?

PM Headlines — 9.28.09

On Sanders Beach again with KerriT/More Main Street, a row of chairs greets the fall sun on a private beach belonging to the only home on the south side of East Lakeshore Drive.

APhoto Of The Day — 9.28.09

Kingman’s All Starz Academy members perform stunts in front of the crowd at the annual Andy Devine Days Parade in downtown Kingman, Ariz. Saturday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Kingman Daily Miner, JC Amberlyn)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. There doesn’t seem to be any shortage of members for the Kingman All Starz Academy. They apparently just fall from the sky — Charles Dixon.
  • 2. One allstarz member, complaining of sore feet, decides to levitate — Herb Huseland.

PM Scanner Traffic — 9.28.09

  • 5:32 p.m. 50ish woman on Syringa has intentionally swallowed an overdose of pills.
  • 5:11 p.m. R/P reports that several horses have been abandoned on her grandmother’s property on Hauser Lake Road.
  • 4:46 p.m. R/P has extinguished a fire started by two boys @ Potlatch & 3rd/Post Falls but wants fire department to check out the area.
  • 4:06 p.m. Female drive has suffered a cut on the head in a two-vehicle accident @ Atlas & Hanley/CdA.
  • More below

JS: Facing Dialysis

Just to let you all know. I am officially going on dialysis tomorrow. Woo Hoo! Let’s Party – meet me on the 5th floor and we can all watch the set up. I have chosen peritoneal dialysis as my choice – which can be done at home. For about two months, though, I will have hemo dialysis until my new little appendage is healed and in place. The good news for me – well of course feeling tons better is that they are arranging for dialysis for me at Disneyworld in the middle of October. My four friends and I have saved for five years for this trip. I was beginning to think that I would lose out on a great trip. (The dialysis center there caters to Mickey maniacs like me.) Thanks for all your prayers and hugs and good thoughts/JeanieS, Nuts & Nonsense.

DFO: Indeed, keep JeanieS in your thoughts and prayers — tonight, tomorrow, and beyond.

Jenny Slate Drops SNL F-Bomb

Megan Fox hosted the 35th season premiere of Saturday Night Live this past weekend and critics say the actress was simply mediocre, but she opened the show by sharing photoshopped nude pictures of herself-including one of her as a centaur. While Megan played up her sexpot persona throughout the show, it was new cast member Jenny Slate that has gained the attention of the media when she inadvertently dropped the F-bomb during a sketch with Kristen Wiig. The F-bomb slip has only happened three other times in SNL‘s three-decade history/ More here. Photo Courtesy: NBC.

Question: Are you surprised — pleasantly or otherwise — that television shows haven’t added F-bombs to its list of formerly verboten words that are now in use?

MikeS: DanG’s Makeover Unsettling

Mike_S: MikeK is fine just the way he is. The conversation really should be about the creepiness of Dan Gookin’s makeover. I mean, Gookin used to look like the typical rich Californian trying to fit into his idea of the North Idaho image but now one just isn’t quite sure what to make of his new look.

DFO: Actually, I give Gookin credit for slimming down. It isn’t easy to do. He certainly has made himself over since his days as a pony-tailed Libertarian 6 or 7 years ago. Nothing wrong with that. I have a little more problem with his attempt to spin some of his past positions on the Kroc Center and other urban renewal projects that have added to the quality of life in this town. 

HBO Blogosphere (A - M) — 9.28.09

On Saturday, Don Sausser, HBO’s Eye On Sherman Avenue, captured the mood of the warm, late summer night mood as the moon’s reflection lit up City Docks and the tour boat/Don Sausser, special to Huckleberries Online.

Blog Visits Hagadone’s Old Digs

Seventy-seven-year-old Duane Hagadone has been a Coeur d’Alene resident his entire life, and within that time he has gone from selling subscriptions to the local newspaper to owning a major corporation with four divisions including hospitality, newspapers, publishing and real estate/property management. With the completion of his new Casco Bay estate several months ago, Hagadone has placed his Stanley Hill estate on the market with Hurwitz James Company for $27.5 million. Just five minutes from town, the compound sits behind private walls flanked by 2,000-pound gate doors; the house is invisible from the road and very few homes can be seen from its impeccably landscaped grounds/Sarah Binder, Unique Homes. More here.

Question: Have you ever visited Duane Hagadone’s Stanley Hill property?

Wind At My Back

Sailors enjoy a beautiful late September day at Lake Pend Oreille while racing in the Buttonhook Regatta on Idlewild Bay Sunday. (J. Bart Rayniak/SR)

Joker: Kennedy Also Gets Donut Vote

Did Kennedy pick up the coveted Krispy Kreme Golden Doughnut endorsement? — Joker.

  • DFO: I pulled this post after three commenters complained about it. But Councilman MikeK took the post in stride and suggested that I publish it again, so he can respond to Joker.

Question: What other kind of ”endorsements” best fit the current crop of candidates for Coeur d’Alene mayor and City Council seats?

Montana In Top Vehicle-Vs-Deer 5

In West Virginia, where there’s roughly one deer for every two people and the largest city boasts an annual deer hunt within its boundaries, it’s no surprise the animals pose a common hazard for motorists. On Monday, insurance giant State Farm added some hard numbers to back up the anecdotal impression, naming West Virginia the likeliest state for vehicle crashes involving deer. Using its claims data along with state motor vehicle registration figures from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm estimates drivers in West Virginia have a one in 39 chance of hitting a deer in the next 12 months. That’s up from a one in 45 chance last year. … Joining West Virginia in the top five are Michigan, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Montana/Missoulian. More here.

Question: Have you ever hit a deer, elk, or any other big-game animal w/your vehicle?

Mag: Wallace Among Coolest Towns

Wallace, Idaho (population 1,000) is among the coolest small towns in America. The magazine Budget Travel touts Wallace’s mining history and some of the salacious activities that went along with it. The article suggests an affordable trip to the Oasis Bordello Museum. The magazine’s website also notes the town’s access to bike trails, The Red Light Garage (“a cafe decorated with vintage musical instruments”) and the Wallace Brewing Company. Photo Courtesy:

Question: Can you think of a cooler little town than Wallace, Idaho?

KH: Gimmicks Take Your Money

I wish I had back all the money I’ve spent through the years on breast enlargement cream.Obviously, I got skunked. I should have known better. But when you’re a young 20-something and have just had a couple of babies and you look in the mirror and realize the figure you always dreamed you’d have just never materialized, you’re sometimes driven to desperate measures. My thinking was: If the breast enlargement cream company would spend big money advertising in a fine journal like the National Enquirer there must be something to it. People may look askance at the Enquirer’s journalistic standards, but I can guarantee you their ad rates ain’t cheap. Eventually the breast enlargement cream went the same way as other useless gadgets I’d been conned into buying over the years/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Have you ever been suckered into buying a gimmick that purportedly would improve your life in some way? What was the product?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 9.28.09

Protester Maggie Taylor of Bellingham, Wash. joins protesters lining College Way in Mount Vernon, Wash, where Glenn Beck is receiving the key to the city from Mayor Bud Norris Saturday. The event has been criticized by some who claim Beck is too polarizing a figure. Story here. (AP Photo/Skagit Valley Herald, Matt Wallis)

AM Scanner Traffic — 9.28.09

  • 11:05 a.m. A local Texaco station reports a customer drove off without paying.
  • 11:02 a.m. A local doctor’s office is asking for an ambulance to transfer a 15YO girl who was involved in a bicycle accident to the hospital.
  • 10:46 a.m. Possible unattended death of 86YO woman @ 7th & Vera/Athol.
  • 10:44 a.m. Albertson’s pharmacy/Hayden reports customer tried to use fraudulent scripts for medicine.
  • 10:41 a.m. Motorist reports that a Chevy Suburban is weaving across both lanes of e/b I-90 traffic @ Spokane Street exit/Post Falls. (Patrol officers stopped the vehicle.)
  • 10:09 a.m. Grandpa reports that he was called by a male pretending to be his grandson.
  • 9:43 a.m. A resident in 21000 block of Highway 53 found a canister inside a safe he recently purchased — and is afraid it may be an explosive device.
  • 9:13 a.m. R/P @ Hayden Lake & Lees Point/Hayden reports getting a pornographic text message.
  • 8:32 a.m. R/P reports that a hunter hasn’t returned from the Wallace area when he was suppose to do so Saturday.
  • 7:53 a.m. R/P reports the smell of natural gas in the H54 & Clagstone/Athol area.

Kennedy Wins Conservation Backing

Conservationists have endorsed the re-election bid of Coeur d’Alene Councilman Mike Kennedy. In a news release today, Lee Flinn, director of Conservation Voters for Idaho, said Kennedy has protected Coeur d’Alene’s quality of life through leadership on open space protection, sustainable growth, and water consrvation. “Mike Kennedy is a strong leader who will continue to advocate for well-managed growth, livable neighborhoods, clean water, and a continuously improvted quality of life for Coeur d’Alene,” Flinn said/Conservation Voters of Idaho, news release.

Question: Do you pay attention to political endorsements?

WH: Health Care Not US Right

I’d bet when Superman hangs out in the Hall of Justice with Aquaman, Wonder Woman and the Wonder Twins, the Man of Steel wonders whether he should be in a league of his own. Aquaman talks to fish. How useful is that? I’m faster than a locomotive!” Superman pontificates. Members of Congress are like that, belittling or ignoring the power of the people and the states. Congress’ Kryptonite is the U.S. Constitution. It’s a document that restricts the powers of the federal government. And just as Superman has a finite list of abilities — super strength, super speed and X-ray vision — Congress can only do what’s allowed under Article I, Section 8. There are only 18 expressly stated powers. Health care is not one of them/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Should health care by a constitutional right?

HBO Poll: Fighting Breast Cancer

181 female skydivers from 31 countries joined together to set a new women’s formation skydiving world record in Perris, Calif., Saturday The women raised more than $900,000 for the fight against breast cancer, the most in the event’s history. The week-long event was organized to raise funds for City of Hope’s breast cancer research. (AP Photo/Jump For The Cause, Willy Boeykens)

  • Editorial: Honor Mary Lou, win this war/Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Weekend Poll: By the slightest margin, respondents preferred holdbacks to raising taxes and one other alternative when asked “Do you think Idaho lawmakers should raise taxes instead of cutting state agencies even more?” Full results here.

Poll: 56% Oppose Health Care Plan

Just 41% of voters nationwide now favor the health care reform proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s down two points from a week ago and the lowest level of support yet measured. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% are opposed to the plan/Rasmussen Reports. More here.

Question: Time to play taps for the Demo health care plan?

Right-Wing Conspiracy After Obama?

Item: Bill Clinton Says Right-Wing Conspiracy Now After President Obama: Clinton Says Attacks From Right Are Back, But Not as Strong as Before/ABC News

More Info: When asked whether the “vast right-wing conspiracy” is still present today, the former president answered without hesitation, “Oh you bet.” “It’s not as strong as it was because America has changed demographically, but it’s as virulent as it was,” Clinton said today on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” ”Right-wing conspiracy” was the term used by former first lady Hillary Clinton to describe the tactics her husband’s political enemies used to attack his presidency after revelations of his affair with Monica Lewinski.

Question: Do you believe there is a “right-wing conspiracy” — either now or during Bill Clinton’s terms in office?

Valley Christian Gridster Dies

According to Assistant Coach Mike Heden, Drew, a defensive back, took a hard hit during the game. School administrator Derick Tabish says Drew was able to walk off the field to the sideline. At the sideline, he became sick, then collapsed. Friday night, Drew was airlifted to Sacred Heart Medical Center to undergo surgery that would relieve pressure on his brain. He was listed in critical condition all weekend. On Monday morning, at around 2 o’clock, KHQ called Sacred Heart to get an update on Drew’s condition. A nursing supervisor told us he died sometime before that/KHQ. More here.

Question: Do you consider high school football safe enough for your children to play?

Anemones, Gulls, Tourists, Oh My

To borrow a “Seinfeld” line, I thought we had a deal with the seagulls. We throw them crumbs from our lunch on the beach – and they don’t poop on us. OK, I haven’t kept my end of the bargain. I shoo the beggars away, as I did on Cannon Beach recently. It was one of those rare days on the Oregon Coast: shining sun, temperatures in the 80s, little wind, and a tide far out far enough to allow my wife, daughter and me to search tide pools near Haystack Rock. A tourist yelled at my daughter for simply pointing at an anemone, which apparently is endangered. The aggressive woman was soon forgotten when a town volunteer who has shown dogs in Coeur d’Alene volunteered to take our photo in front of Haystack Rock. That’s when the gulls got their revenge/DFO, Huckleberries. More here.

Question: Which is your favorite spot on the Oregon coast? What do you usually do there?

AM Headlines — 9.28.09

Regional Economist for the Idaho Department of Labor Kathryn Tacke sits in her office Thursday morning in Lewiston, Idaho. Unemployment rates have recently risen to double digit figures in some parts of Idaho. Story here. (Kevin Quinn/SR)

Question: Have you collected unemployment benefits in the last year?

DC: Spokane Blue Scandal Deja Vu

What? Not another Spokane Police Department scandal. It’s deja blue all over again. Our latest episode involves an SPD sergeant, Bradley N. Thoma. The veteran officer was arrested last week for drunken driving. Hit-and-run charges may follow. Thoma has been put on paid administrative leave, which is a sweet deal considering that Thoma rakes in $91K and change a year.Oh, well. Look at the bright side. No innocent mentally ill janitors died after being clubbed, shocked and hogtied by Genghis Cop. No off-duty gunplay was involved as in Jay Olsen’s boozy rundown and shooting of Shonto Pete. No down and handcuffed suspects were kicked in the face. Allegedly. From what I gather reading the paper, Thoma was “cited and released for misdemeanor DUI following a hit-and-run crash” that occurred Wednesday on the Newport Highway and … Oh, brother. I’ve written so many columns about local cops acting out that I think I can now predict how the ensuing Thoma case will unfold/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: How do you do you think the latest Spokane police scandal will play out?

Columnist William Safire, 79, RIP

William Safire, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and language maven for the New York Times, whose penchant for the barbed and memorable phrase first manifested itself in speeches he wrote for the Nixon White House, died Sunday in Rockville, Md. A longtime friend and former colleague, Martin Tolchin, said Safire had pancreatic cancer. He was 79. For more than three decades, Safire wrote twice weekly as the resident conservative columnist on the Times op-ed page. He also wrote the popular “On Language” column in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, exploring grammar, usage and the origin of words. The column led to the publication of more than a dozen books about words and language/Washington Post. More here.

Question: Are you a William Safire fan?

Ramirez: Let’s Do Letterman, Too

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Wild Card/Sunday — 9.27.09

Finally … the University of Idaho Vandals football team appears to be turning things around after a long, long dry spell. Who would have guessed that UI would be 3-1 after four weeks of play. And that they’d beat a good team like Northern Illinois on the road? Meanwhile, the Cougars look like they’ll lose a bunch of games again this year — but not as badly as last year. Also, Don Sausser mentioned in the comments section Saturday that it’s time to pay attention to the No. 2-ranked NIC Cardinals volleyball team, which knocked off the nation’s top-ranked JUCO team, College of Southern Idaho, in four sets Saturday. ‘Tis nice that we in the Inland Northwest no longer have to hang our heads when it comes to college sports. Now for your Sunday Wild Card …

No. 2 NIC Volleyballers Top US Best CSI

There won’t be a third straight week at the top of the rankings for the College of Southern Idaho volleyball team. For the second straight week, the Golden Eagles failed to defend their ranking against their rivals from North Idaho College, this time falling in four sets in Coeur d’Alene on Saturday afternoon. The 25-18, 25-22, 17-25, 25-22 victory for the No. 2 Cardinals (19-3, 1-0 Scenic West) means they will almost certainly take the No. 1 ranking from CSI (16-3, 0-1) when the NJCAA Division I Volleyball Poll comes out midweek/Twin Falls Times-News.

USC 27, Washington State 6

Southern California linebacker Shane Horton, left, and linebacker Ross Cumming bring down Washington State running back Marcus Richmond during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Los Angeles, Saturday. USC won 27-6. ESPN game story and boxscore here. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Idaho 34, Northern Illinois 31

(Idaho QB Nate) Enderle directed a drive that included a key 25-yard third-conversion pass to Eric Greenwood deep into NIU’s territory. The Huskies called the final timeouts of the game as Idaho continued to push forward - largely on the bullish runs of senior back DeMaundray Woolridge. The Vandals showed tenacity, maturity and effectiveness throughout the non-conference game. Enderle connected on 18 of 23 throws for 270 yards and three touchdowns with passes going to 10 receivers. Woolridge led the running backs with a hard-fought 143 yards on 19 carries - one of which was a one-yard TD. Three receivers had three catches each with Greenwood tallying 67 yards, Preston Davis 29 and Maurice Shaw 28. Princeton McCarty scored on his lone reception - a 58-yarder with 47 seconds left in the first half. Defensively, the Vandals were able to limit the Huskies to 128 rushing yards and were relentless in their pursuit of NIU quarterback Chandler Harnish. The Vandals wound up with four passes defensed and five tackles for loss/Idaho Athletic Media Relations.  ESPN boxscore here.

Wild Card/Saturday — 9.26.09

We have a coupla more days to enjoy the extended summer weather that we’ve been experiencing. Then, we’ll face temperatures in the 50s (by Tuesday). Garrison Keiller once said that winter approaches in three steps — Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Well, we’re still a month away from the first giant step toward winter. So I plan to enjoy the last week of Mariners’ baseball. Once that’s over, I’ll turn to other fun spectator sports — like the municipal election campaigns this fall. They should erupt into something fun to watch any minute now. The candidates will be courting votes in City Hall Tuesday when they meet with the police officers union. It’ll be interesting to see who Coeur d’Alene’s finest endorse. While we wait for that news, I’ll play this Wild Card …

SR: CityLink Is NI Success Story

Let’s say you live in an isolated town of 130 souls, don’t have a car and want to work 25 miles up the highway. Good luck with that – unless you live in Tensed, Idaho, and covet a job in Coeur d’Alene. In that case, you can relax. Just hop the free CityLink bus. The unusual service began in 2005 and has gathered impressive momentum. Its origins were in the 2000 census, which designated Kootenai County an urban area and thus in need of a public transit system. This caused considerable consternation among political officials, including Dixie Reid, who was a Coeur d’Alene council member and chairwoman of the Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization. She said at the time, “It just scared me to death, because I didn’t think we could do it. I’m still just amazed that we pulled it off”/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Have you ever ridden a CityLink bus? Or you satisified with the service?

73YO Sniffs Out Parking Lot Scam

Edie Linane wouldn’t fall for it. She knew her 1976 Chevy Nova couldn’t have done the damage that the woman claimed during a confrontation in a Spokane grocery store parking lot earlier this month. Police agreed, and Linane left without giving the woman the $100 she’d said was needed to avoid an insurance claim. But Linane, 73, fears the scam could be duping unsuspecting drivers into paying money for damage they didn’t cause. “I think it’s a scam being perpetuated on old people,” Linane said. Fraud investigators warn against cash transactions. Most car insurance policies require customers to report even minor collisions immediately/Meghann M. Cuniff, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever been the victim of a scam or attempted scam?

APhoto Of The Weekend — 9.26-27.09

 A ‘recortador’ jumps over a bull during a bull leaping contest show at the Plaza Monumental bullring in Barcelona, Spain, Friday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)\

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Paolo attempts to demonstrate the newest “Obamacare” alternative vasectomy procedure — DanJ.
  • 2. The landlocked version of ‘Jumping The Shark’ — Escapee.
  • 3. “Bull Soaring,” another form of B/S — Charlie.

Gitmo May Not Close By Jan. 1

The White House acknowledged for the first time Friday that it might not be able to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay by January as President Barack Obama has promised. Senior administration officials told The Associated Press that difficulties in completing the lengthy review of detainee files and resolving thorny legal and logistical questions mean the president’s self-imposed January deadline may slip. Obama remains as committed to closing the facility as he was when, as one of his first acts in office, he pledged to shut it down, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to more freely discuss the sensitive issue. They said the White House still was hoping to meet the deadline through a stepped-up effort/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Should President Obama do everything to meet his self-imposed deadline of closing Guantanamo Bay by January, even if it means rushing the process?

Poll: Raise Taxes? Cut State Agencies

  • TGIF Poll: A plurality of 40% of 60 respondents said their favorite lakeside property that Duane Hagadone owns is the resort’s floating boardwalk. The resort and Hagadone’s Casco Bay home finished tied for distant second. Results here.

MT: No Time To Cut Higher-Ed Dollars

If you operated an airline and more people were making reservations, would you slash routes and boost fares? If you ran a dental office and more people needed cavities filled, would you cut your hours and send them home? Of course not. So why in the world does Idaho choose to cut back on higher education in the middle of a recession? People lose jobs in recessions. Eager to land on their feet, many show enough initiative and faith in the future to put themselves back in a classroom, acquiring the skills to become competitive in the new job market. Lewis-Clark State College’s heat count surged to 4,200, cresting the 4,000 mark for the first time. At the University of Idaho, enrollments rose slightly to 11,957. After shedding students to the newly created College of Western Idaho, Boise State University’s enrollment still was up 2.3 percent for a total of 18,936, Even Idaho State University had more students, up 6.6 percent to 13,493/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Does Gov. Otter have any choice but to order a 6% cut in spendiing for higher education?

Cop’s DUI Frustrates MADD Members

Spokane Police Sergeant Bradley Thoma’s arrest on a DUI charge has sent shock waves throughout the Inland Northwest and the arrest has upset none more than members of the organization ‘Mothers Against Drunk Driving.’ Thoma was arrested on the DUI charge after he rear-ended a woman near Newport Highway and Farwell Rd. Wednesday evening. The 51-year-old woman was not injured and she proceeded to follow Thoma to a nearby parking lot where Spokane County sheriff’s deputies took him in to custody. Thoma was cited for DUI and released. The incident has members of MADD and others in the area upset that a police officer made such a dangerous decision. “My 3-year-old son was killed by a 17 time repeat drunk driver,” said MADD member Linda Thompson/KHQ. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that a Spokane police officer would be charged with DUI? How do you think this incident will play out?

JK: Misleading Indicators

Ben Bernanke says the recession is “very likely over.” What a relief. Yet how come we still feel so depressed (or at least recessed) about the economy? How come my personal economy, and probably yours, still feels as if it has a miserable, sniffling, sneezing case of the Recession Swine Flu? And one other thing: How come the employment rate is at 9.7 percent and rising? How come unemployment shows every intention of busting into double figures and throwing you, and everybody in your family, out of work? Well, in my capacity as the Recession Answer Man, I am pleased to enlighten you. The answer is: Unemployment is a “lagging indicator”/Jim Kershner, SR. More here.

Question: Do you feel as though the recession is “very likely over” for you?

UI Faces Tough Test In Northern Illinois

This will be a good barometer for how legitimate the Vandals’ surprising start really is. Northern Illinois went toe-to-toe with Wisconsin before losing 28-20, then upended Purdue on the road last week. NIU probably doesn’t have the same talent level as Washington, which handed UI its only loss, but the MAC school might be more well-rounded. “I think it’s the best defense we’ve seen to this date from an overall standpoint,” Idaho offensive coordinator Steve Axman said. These are the sorts of games, against quality opponents on the road, where the Vandals have fallen flat in recent years. But this is a different UI squad, starting with a much-improved passing game and a run defense that’s ranked first in the WAC and 29th in the country/Josh Wright, SR Sportslink. More here.

Question: Pick the final score in the UIdaho game at Northern Illinois?

Gonzaga Rolls Over Lake City 42-12

What took Gonzaga Prep running back Bishop Sankey four quarters to accomplish the last three games the junior was able to achieve in less than a half. Sankey eclipsed 200 yards for a fourth consecutive game as the visiting Bullpups cruised past the Lake City Timberwolves 42-12 in a non-league game Friday. The Bullpup had 209 yards with 1 minute, 50 seconds remaining in the first half. He appeared to be well on his way to perhaps 300 when, apparently, poor judgment got the best of him. Sankey was ejected after G-Prep’s fifth play of the third quarter when he allegedly threw a punch. Bullpups coach Dave McKenna was going to consult with the referees before leaving LC to determine if that’s exactly what they saw. If the referees confirm the punch, it means that by rule Sankey would have to sit out the Bullpups’ game Friday against Rogers/Greg Lee, SR. More here.

Anderson: No Holocaust … Yet?

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

TGIF Wild Card — 9.25.09

In the comments section, Bayview Bob asks: “What happened to the quick link to Huckleberries (on Makes it hard to get back when you go to other parts of the site.” Actually, there are two other quick links to Huckleberries on the site — under “Topics/Blogs” in the upper left corner and next to “Local” below the “Multimedia” features about midway down on the left side of the page. The quick links at the top of the page are rotating ones that highlight topics of interest in the news, like the Otto Zehm case, and various other features on our site. Huckleberries has been there for quite some time in the past. I suspect it’ll return there in the future. The easiest way to find Huckleberries is to bookmark it. Just sayin’. Now, for your Wild Card …

Idaho, You’ve Got Spam

Idaho is known as the land of big mountains, tasty potatoes and lots and lots of spam. Spam? Yep, the Gem State gets more unsolicited e-mail than any other state, according to Symantec’s MessageLabs Group.  The company named Idaho “the spam capital of the US” for 2009. A dubious honor for sure. Symantec says about 93.8% of all e-mail destined for Idaho inboxes was sent there without permission.  That’s far above the average global rate of 86.4%. Most companies and e-mail providers have an array of spam filters, blockers and other techniques that stop much of that from actually arriving in your inbox – but just six out of every 100 e-mails sent to Idahoans is legit. Idaho zoomed up the charts – jumping a whopping 43 spots from last year, when it was the sixth least spammed states/KTVB. More here.

Question: What steps have you taken to cut down on the amount of spam sent to your e-mail address(es)?

PM Scanner Traffic — 9.25.09

Spotlight (4:16 p.m.): Coeur d’Alene police are responding to Ramsey Park where an R/P reports finding the body of a male gunshot victim. Update (from SR): Police are investigating the death after a parks worker spotted the corpse and called authorities about 4:30 p.m. Although there were early reports of gunfire in the park, police at the scene said the investigation is just beginning. Update II (according to police spokesman Christi Wood): Police have decided that the man shot himself to death.

  • 5:44 p.m. R/P reports a verbal fight among 4 males, one of whom is pointing a handgun, in an alley behind an apartment complex @ 1902 14th/CdA.
  • 5:21 p.m. An injured horse that habitually runs loose is contained @ 3348 Grand Tour Drive/Hayden.
  • 5:05 p.m. A Toyota Camri is on fire @ H95 & Rockford Bay Road.
  • 4:36 p.m. A female reports her half-sister punched her in the face on Seltice Way.
  • 4:26 p.m. A trailer has run over the legs of someone @ 8th & Sherman.
  • 4:22 p.m. Someone is stuck on an elevator @ 601 Front.
  • 4:13 p.m. A social worker reports that a troubled juvenile has run off onto the Ramsey Elementary playground and refusing to come w/her.
  • More below

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 9.25.09

At Main Street, KerriT snapped a number of photos of her outing to Sanders Beach earlier this week, including this one of a well-known beach owner who is enjoying his front yard.

APhoto Of The Day — 9.25.09

Penn State students cheer during the first half of an college football game against Syracuse in State College, Pa. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. “S, we specifically told P at the meeting Wednesday that the blue would be on the left side of the face, didn’t we? I put it on the left. You put it on the left. Even Number 2 here put it on the left, and he isn’t even part of our group. But P here shows up to the game with the blue on the right, making us look like we have no clue about what we’re doing. We look ridiculous! I hate to say it, but I think it’s time that we go and find another P, someone who is honestly committed to our goals and values as an officially-listed uniform paint-wearing Penn State cheer organization” — Charles Dixon.
  • 2. Hey guys.. look down by the cheerleaders there is p m and s — Pecky Cox. 
  • 3. Budget cuts to higher education take their toll. UI Vandal football players will be switchcing to new “paint on” uniforms (like those above), which cost just pennies to buy and reduce laundry expenses to the cost of a shower, beginning immediately — Aliasjax.
  • HM: Northerner

Bin Laden Warns Europe

Al-Qaeda’s as-Sahab released a video featuring an audio statement from Osama bin Laden entitled, “A Message from Sheikh Osama bin Laden to the People of Europe”. Osama bin Laden demanded that European countries pull their troops out of Afganistan in a new audiotape Friday, warning of “retaliation” against them for their alliance with the United States in the war. The message is in Arabic and was released in both an English and German subtitled version. On-screen text reads, “Say to those who disbelieve: if they desist, that which has passed will be forgiven them; but if they return [to their misdeeds], then the example of previous peoples has already passed before them. (AP Photo/IntelCenter)

Question: Do you pay any attention to the occasional threats reportedly issued by Osama bin Laden?

SD: Monolingual US Disses Others

“If you don’t speak English, get out of the United States.” We’ve all heard this statement time and time again from our fellow Americans. As Americans we have a tendency to believe that everyone in the U.S., regardless of their reason for being here, should speak English. We also think that they should respect our culture and our traditions, but we don’t extend them the same respect. The problem with not extending the same respect is that many Americans are arrogant and travel outside the U.S., yet don’t extend the same courtesy. What makes the situation worse is they don’t even see themselves as hypocrites. These travelers expect to step on foreign soil and have the locals speak English/Shauna DeMeritt, North Idaho College Sentinel. More here.

Question: Do you speak a second language?

Stolen Lingerie, Sports Gear Found

Eagle-eyed employees of the Coeur d’Alene Parks Department located a stolen stash of women’s clothing and lingerie, as well as sports gear, just off the lower trail at the Third Street entrance to Tubbs Hill Thursday afternoon. The city workers told Coeur d’Alene police that they found boxes and duffel bags full of items from Sweet Pea Home Interiors, the Sports Cellar, and other places, under a blue tarp in the trees just off the trail. Many of the items were new, with price tags still attached to them. The workers also discovered a city shovel with distinctive green marking that was stolen from a city vehicle about a week ago.

Don’t Do This In Your Classroom

The admissions office was evacuated when the new paint on the walls made (North Idaho College) counselors woozy. Note to students: This is an isolated incident. Generally speaking, getting high in class and using that as an excuse to leave is frowned upon/Chokecherries, North Idaho College Sentinel. More Chokecherries items here.

MM: Life In Exactly 100 Words

Born in West Virginia, moved at the age of four. Went to private school until high school. Married high school sweetheart. Had baby boy who changed my life. Realized you don’t know much in high school; got divorced. Life was hard and sad. Son was my saving grace. The best and worst time of my life. Pseudo blind date. Fell crazy in love. Married him nine months later. My soul mate and best friend. Life is fabulous. Had beautiful baby girl who made life even better. Blessed to be able to stay home. Dreams all came true. God is good/Midnight Marauder. More here.

HBO Numbers (for Thursday, Sept. 24): 8257/4757

Question: How would you describe your life in a few words?

Tattoos On Parade In London

Participants show off their tattoos at the International London Tattoo Convention in east London today. The convention, held till Sunday, brings together the world’s best tattoo artists from the US, Australia, Canada, Japan and UK as well as piercing specialists, fashion designers and fans of skin art. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Question (for those of you who have tattoos): Do you think you’ll regret getting a tattoo or two or three when you older — and the ink begins to blend with fading muscles?

CH: Author’s Niche Feeds Cat Lovers

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, cats outnumber dogs by nearly 10 million among the pet-owning public. With an estimated 90 million cats in the nation, it’s no wonder South Hill author Niki Anderson’s inspirational books featuring true-life cat tales are so popular. This summer Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, released Anderson’s latest book, “Whiskers, Wit and Wisdom: True Cat Tales and the Lessons They Teach.” Each story features a Purr-rayer to reinforce the lesson, a tidbit called The Tail End that provides practical information, and Kitty Wit, a humorous quip. In addition, Anderson included a brief description of the featured cats’ owners/Cindy Hval, SR Voices. More here.

Question: What has your pet taughtyou about life?

KXLY: Unique Home Yours For $75K

If you’ve been looking for a truly unique home in North Idaho, the search is over. A barrel shaped drive-in restaurant is the talk of Osburn’s real estate market. The 80-year-old drive-inturned home was originally listed for $249,000, but the price has been slashed on the barrel-shaped domicile to $75,000. “It’s a challenge of a listing, let’s put it that way,” said realtor Roger Crigger. “I’m not even sure if you can find a person that can build a house like this anymore.” Built back in 1929, the Osburn landmark was known as “The Barrel”, a popular drive-in restaurant. Crigger says the architect built round designs throughout the area. The barrel came from the old railroad track that’s now a bike trail behind the house/KXLY. More here.

Question: Did any of the house in which you’ve lived have a strange feature?

DJ: Uniontown Man Loves Snakes

In the catacomb-like basement of Ray McLean’s 105-year-old home, beyond the laundry and cold storage rooms and up against the stone foundation, the snakes are waiting and hungry. “This is the reptile room,” Ray says as a door squeaks open and three warming lights spar with the darkness. “All of these are fed pretty regular.” Bongo, a red-tail boa, Bingo, a ball python, and Lucky, a Texas rat snake, are coiled in their respective aquariums. Their combined length approaches 18 feet of constricting appetites. Bongo, the biggest, eats live rats. Bingo and Lucky usually dine on live mice. But Ray says he’s low on cuisine and must buy more rodents soon. “I try to feed them once a week.” It takes about three weeks, Ray says, for complete digestion/David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune. More here

Question: What would you do if you have a snake in your house?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 9.25.09

The fleet is out, congregating at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers at Lewiston, casting their luck and a lure to catch a salmon or a steelhead. (Tribune/Barry Kough)

High Noon: Idaho State 5th Safest

After the murder of Yale doctoral student Annie Le, The Daily Beast ranked the most dangerous college campuses in the country. Now, the blog has ranked the safest campuses, including four of the colleges located in the Inland Northwest: Idaho State, at No. 5; Montana, No. 6; Utah State, No. 13; and Brigham Young, No. 17. You can read which colleges make The Beast list of top 25 safest as well as the 25 most crime-ridden here. Of Idaho State (student population 13,208), The Daily Beast said: ”Want a sign of safety? Pocatello, Idaho, bills itself as the Smile Capital of the US. In 1948, Pocatello Mayor George Phillips passed an ordinance making smiles the only legal mouth expression in Pocatello, following an unusually cold winter. Phillips would smile if he could see Idaho State’s place on our list.”

Question: Are you confident that your student’s college campus is safe?

Idaho Higher-Ed To Take 6% Cut

Colleges and universities will take a 6 percent hit under Gov. Butch Otter’s new budget holdbacks, as will community colleges - even as they see enrollment swell due to the down economy. Asked how higher ed will handle that, after already taking big budget cuts, Otter said, “I don’t know - that’s why they’re managing their shops. I suspect every campus will look at it in a different way.” University presidents were involved in meetings yesterday and are working on their own plans. “They don’t like to hear it, I don’t like to deliver it, but it’s the reality,” Otter said/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: What is your reaction to the state cubacks proposed today by Gov. Butch Otter?

UI Faces Tough Test In Northern Illinois

This will be a good barometer for how legitimate the Vandals’ surprising start really is. Northern Illinois went toe-to-toe with Wisconsin before losing 28-20, then upended Purdue on the road last week. NIU probably doesn’t have the same talent level as Washington, which handed UI its only loss, but the MAC school might be more well-rounded. “I think it’s the best defense we’ve seen to this date from an overall standpoint,” Idaho offensive coordinator Steve Axman said. These are the sorts of games, against quality opponents on the road, where the Vandals have fallen flat in recent years. But this is a different UI squad, starting with a much-improved passing game and a run defense that’s ranked first in the WAC and 29th in the country/Josh Wright, SR Sportslink. More here.

Question: Pick the final score in the UIdaho game at Northern Illinois?

HBO Poll: Hagadone Lake Properties

At the Unique Homes Web site, Sarah Binder is touring Idaho for good second home buys for the upper crust. In her most recent post, she writes about Duane Hagadone’s Terraces on Lake Coeur d’Alene, east of Coeur d’Alene. (SR photographer Kathy Plonka snapped the photo above of Terraces sales manager Mike DeLong at the back of the Silver Beach Property.) You can read her assessment here. She also plans to write about Hagadone’s Stanley Hill property, which is now for sale, too

  • Thursday Poll: A plurality of 31% of the 102 respondents said that Dan O’Brien, the UIdaho star who won Olympic gold in the decathlon, is the greatest athlete produced by Idaho. Baseball slugger Harmon Killebrew was second. Full results here.

Truly: Successful Kids

Truly: It warms a mother’s heart when her children are successful and touch others’ lives. Case in point - yesterday Sam the Reporter spoke at the University of Idaho to a journalism class and one of the students was thrilled at meeting him and apparently he taught them something useful. Now here I sit all blown up with mom pride and warmth that he can use his skills to touch others lives.

Question (from Truly): Anyone else have a parent pride story to tell from what their kids have done or are doing?

AM Scanner Traffic — 9.25.09

  • 11:09 a.m. Fernan Elementary calls for an ambulance after a child continues to suffer a seizure on the playground. First dose of medicine is working.
  • 10:52 a.m. Department of Labor on Ironwood reports a person suffering a seizure.
  • 10:50 a.m. Deputy stops an older brown sedan w/o plates on Railroad Street/Athol.
  • 9:37 a.m. R/P reports possible “puppy mill” with about 200 dogs in rural area northeast of Rathdrum.
  • 9:12 a.m. Resident @ Painted Trail Road & Greensferry (south of river) reports ongoing problem with a loose horse.
  • 8:42 a.m. A mother has locked her keys and two babies in her vehicle at the Exxon station @ H95 & Hayden.
  • 8:33 a.m. A 61YO resident on Coopers Hawk Drive/Hayden is complaining of chest pains after return from a walk.

Potter Still Woos California Firms

In recent years, California has forged an increasingly unfriendly business climate. And no one knows this better than Bob Potter (former Jobs Plus exec, pictured). Potter, a business recruitment expert with the Inland Northwest Economic Alliance, has spent the past several years luring companies away from California to the greener pastures of eastern Washington and northern Idaho. And according to Potter, those pastures are greener. “In north Idaho the tax structure is pretty much like California … but much lower,” he said. “The corporate income tax is 7.6 percent, and in California it’s nearly 10 percent.” And eastern Washington state is especially appealing to businesses with high profit margins, Potter said/Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune. More here.

Question: Did you ever live in California?

LSOTM: Fear Prompts Hate Crime

At Left Side of the Moon, the blogmistress wrote the following re: the noose that Rachel Dolezal/Human Rights Education Institute found on her front porch in Spokane: The “increasing diversification of the population” coupled with the election of Barack Obama has light the fires fueling fear of “the others.”  Fear of others is fueled by more often than not further fueled by ignorance.  I would venture that most people know that “getting to know” someone or those defined as “the others” tends to lessen fear.  And then, there are those who simply have no interest in learning about others, lessening their ignorance or just bent on simply hating for the sake of hating. A lot of what has been going on reminds me of that moment when Mayella Euell was on the witness stand in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’  she says, “An’ if you fine, fancy gentlemen ain’t gonna do nothin’ about it, then you’re just a bunch of lousy, yella, stinkin’ cowards, the - the whole bunch of ya, and your fancy airs don’t come to nothin.‘” More here.

Question: How has your views of another person or group changed after you took the time to get to know them better?

MJD: You Might Not Like MikeK If …

  • You have been called a CAVEr by someone else in an online discussion.
  • You avoid the Kroc Center out of fear that little kids are peeing in the pool.
  • You consider carrying a tape recorder in your purse on the off chance you may encounter a local elected official.
  • When you hear the term “all the pretty people,” you know this doesn’t include you. 
  • You couldn’t possibly vote for any candidate with the last name Kennedy for any position at any time because you are certain that ALL Kennedys are related and known flaming liberal Democraps that are foaming at the mouth.
  • Full comment by MamaJD here

ABP: 2 PF Council Members To Lose

A Berry Picker (who is in the know) predicts that Mayor Clay Larkin will win re-election easily in his Post Falls municipal race. Which is no surprise. But A Berry Picker also predicts that two of the three incumbents running for re-election will lose their council seats Nov. 4. Here’s an example of ABP’s insight: “Ron Jacobson and Keith Hutcheson (pictured) for Seat 2 will be an interesting race. Keith has some experience as a candidate and came within about 50 votes of Linda Wilhelm in a three-way race two years ago. Ron was originally appointed and has never been challenged in three previous elections. If Keith gets out and works the neighborhoods he could take it.” You can read ABP’s observations re: all the Post Falls races here.

Question: Do you agree with A Berry Picker that two Post Falls council members could lose their seats this fall?

AM Headlines — 9.25.09

At Main Street, KerriT writes re: her time on Sanders Beach Thursday: “A kayaker glides away from the Sanders Beach shore with the million dollar condos and Coeur d’Alene Resort golf course in the background.” More photos here.

Manson Follower Atkins, 61, RIP

In this 1969 file photo, Susan Atkins, is shown. Atkins, who admitted killing actress Sharon Tate 40 years ago, has died. She was 61. Atkins died late Thursday night at a prison hospital in Chowchilla where she had been moved when she became ill. (AP Photo, File)

Question (for those who believe in the afterlife): Is there redemption for people like Atkins who committed such heinous crimes in this life?

KS: WSU Students Lack Etiquette

When school first started, I noticed that students seemed very anxious to leave class and would pack up early or completely check out when there were 15 minutes left in class. I figured this was due to students still adjusting to being in school or anticipating their next class because they were not used to their new schedules. Now that classes have been in session for almost a month, I have not noticed a decrease in this activity, but a severe increase. I understand that students do not want to be in most of their classes. They would much rather be with friends or anywhere besides class. Yet this does not justify the actions I have witnessed in many classes. It is standard practice for students to whip out their phones, log on to Facebook or turn their attention from the teacher to the person sitting next to them after a meager 10 minutes in class. Not only is this highly distracting to students who are actually trying to learn, but a waste of their time and tuition/Katy Sword, WSU Daily Evergreen. More here.

Question: How often did you skip school or a given class?

KS: Campus Religious Activities OK

The InterVarsity Christian Fellowship planned to host a Jesus look-a-like contest tonight on the Tower Lawn. Participants of the challenge are encouraged to dress up and represent how they view Jesus — a jock, a geek, a woman, a homeless person or anything else one could conjure. The winner will receive $100 cash. A similar use of the First Amendment was shown at Boise State University Sept. 15. The Secular Student Alliance held an event in which students could be de-baptized, in which they were sprayed with unholy water while being read the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints baptism prayer backward. A member of the SSA said they chose that prayer because it was the shortest/Kelsey Samuels, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: The Argonaut editorialist goes on to say that such activities as those described above should be OK on campus, as long as they don’t disrupt education — and that those who disapprove don’t have to participate. Do you agree?

Heller: Dancing w/The Czars

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Thursday — 9.24.09

Huckleberries hears … that the candidates’ debate at the GOP Central Committee meeting was unorganized, at best. Seems the candidates cooled their heels outside the courthouse while someone looked for a key. Seems the time-keeping was uneven. And some of the questions were unorthodox, like one in which a Repub asked Mayor Sandi Bloem where should stood on the 10th Amendment. At one point, challenger Dan Gookin told the R’s that he was looking for bipartisan support from Dems and Independents, too. And challenger Jim Brannon responded later that he wanted bipartisan support but “I expect Republican support.” So goes life during the Pachydermization of city politics. Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 9.24.09

At Main Street, KerriT writes: “It just wouldn’t be a day at the beach without Thong Man, a Lake Coeur d’Alene institution for more than a decade. His favorite beach for sunbathing is Independence Point.” More fall photos from today from KerriT here.

Question: Years ago, the Coeur d’Alene City Council voted 4-2 to allow Thong Man to continue to sunbathe on Coeur d’Alene beaches in his skimpy bathing suit. Did the council of yesteryear make the right decision?

Cis: Blogging Time

It seems like Spring and Fall are the hardest times for me to blog. I even try to do it at night time and post date it. But of late that hasn’t worked. As you can see I didn’t get to it yesterday. By night I am run down and tired. I have my daily morning routine, paper/coffee, exercise, straighten up the house, get the wash going if it is Monday or Thursday … but now I have the yard to deal with again. In the Spring it is to get it together, to get it started for the summer. Now it is time to harvest what is left of the garden after our deep freeze of Sunday. I need to dig up bulbs and separate them. Cut back some of my plants, and bring in the hoses, that we aren’t using now. So much to do, so little time/Cis, Simple Mind. More here.

Question: How much time do you spend on your computer blogging or commenting each day? What times of the day do you blog, comment?

APhoto Of The Day — 9.24.09

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, left, is led into the screening of the film “Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel” at the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto recently. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Sex worker applicants lining up at Hollywood CA’s ACORN office — Redman.
  • 2. Recession leads playmates to turn their back on Hef, who of late has failed in the face of hard times — Aliasjax.
  • 3. Hugh Hefner brings plenty of cushion for those uncomfortable movie theater seats — Kevin Taylor.
  • HM: Charles Dixon & Shannon

PM Scanner Traffic — 9.24.09

  • 5:40 p.m. A woman saw a customer leave a small child in her vehicle at the Hauser Smoke Shop and then followed her to her house. She wants police contact now.
  • 5:21 p.m. Michael wants to know how to make a golf cart street legal.
  • 5:18 p.m. The elevator in Lee Hall is not working per usual, according to NIC maintenance workers.
  • 5:05 p.m. Aeropostale workers are following two shoppers who they believe are trying to steal a belt buckle.
  • 4:53 p.m. A couple has a violent 17YO penned to the floor in Indian Meadows subdivision/CdA residence.
  • 4:18 p.m. Third Street resident reports someone has shot out his car windows w/BBs.
  • 3:41 p.m. R/P reports finding a wallet full of credit cards next to a green Freightliner truck that has been running on the I-90 onramp @ Pleasantview/PF all day.
  • More below

FB: Iowa More Idaho Than You Think

Our states get confused a lot, what with three syllables and the same vowels and our geographic proximity (when viewed from east of the Appalachians), and here we see there may actually be another reason. Their long-time, Reagan Revolution, small-government conservative, Chuck “they’re going to pull the plug” Grassley is turning out to be insufficiently right-wing for the “social conservatives” that are feeling their oats in the GOP. He couldn’t even get elected as a delegate to their last state convention. (Don’t U.S. Senators get in free?!) But get this: they have a “well-known conservative” named Bill Salier, reporting “so much talk of primarying Chuck Grassley.” Someone even more Sali than our own Bill Sali!/Tom von Alten, Fort Boise. More here (third item down).

Question: Has anyone ever been to Iowa? Why?

KT: Locals Regain CdA In September

“After a five-hour meeting in downtown Coeur d’Alene I changed into my swimsuit and headed for a mid-afternoon retreat at Sanders Beach,” posts KerriT/Main Street. “The water was just right for swimming. There was a group of pre-schooler moms enjoying the afternoon with the kids, kayakers, sunbathers of all ages, dogs chasing sticks thrown into the water, a scuba diving class taking place. September in Coeur d’Alene is reminiscent of what the town was like before we were ‘discovered.’” More here

Question: Do you agree w/KerriT that September is the time of year when Coeur d’Alene most resembles the Lake City of old because the sun is shining and the visitors are gone?

Illegal Trail Burns Concern Tribe

The Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police Department is asking for help in solving a series of illegal burns on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes. “Illegal fires are becoming more common on the trail,” said Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police Chief Keith Hutcheson. “We’re concerned that these fires will spread to the homes nearby and cause serious damage.” Evidence of the most recent fire was discovered Tuesday morning around 9 a.m. near milepost 12 of the trail. Police found several beer cans and garbage around the burn site. The fire damaged a newly paved portion of the trail, which is near Coeur d’Alene Lake. The repair costs to the trail are estimated at $2,000. Police said there have been at least five fires on the trail this year and Hutcheson said they have no suspects/Marc Stewart, Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe. More here.

Molly Makes Wallace Grid Squad

So when Molly McGee approached Wallace coach Dave Rounds last spring about playing this year, he was more than skeptical. After all, Rounds, a Wallace graduate, is a throwback to the old Miners’ slug-you-in-the-mouth teams of yesteryear. “I told her she didn’t have a clue how hard she was going to have to work,” Rounds said. For McGee to play, she was going to have to do what all the boys had to do, Rounds told her. That included showing up three days a week for 7 a.m. weightlifting sessions from late March through the end of the school year, three more times a week during the summer and doing running drills once a week. McGee, a senior, kept her end of the deal. “She worked and worked and worked hard,” Rounds said. “She made a believer out of me. She stepped up and did everything she needed to do”/Greg Lee, SR. Sportslink. More here.

Question: Should girls be allowed to play high school boys’ sports, like like football or wrestling?

Strangers Help Family’s Long Trek

“Fourteen-year-old KellyAnn Cameron and her sister, Erin, 13, went on a bike ride with their parents over summer vacation. That might not sound as exciting as a trip to Disneyland, until you know the rest of the story. The bike ride covered eight states and one Canadian province. It spanned 3,050 miles and took 67 days.” The family began their trip at Salk Middle School in north Spokane on June 12 and ended in Ocean City, Md., on Aug. 17. But according to the girls’ parents, Bob Cameron and Barb Stuebing, the idea of the adventure began long before./Cindy Hval, SR Voices. Link here.

What’s the most memorable family vacation you’ve taken?

Honda Shows Off ‘Mobility’ Device

A Honda employee demonstrates Honda’s new “personal mobility” device at a press conference in Tokyo, Japan, earlier today. Honda’s new “personal mobility” device looks like a unicycle, but all you need to do to zip around in it _ sideways as well as forward and back _ is lean your weight into the direction you want to go. The U3-X was designed to take up the same amount of space as a human being to be safe and unobtrusive enough to mingle with pedestrians, according to Honda Motor Co. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Question: Would you use one of these things?

Blast From Past — Ramaro

As a little treat this afternoon, let’s take go back in time to the May 2006 primary when attorney Rami Amaro tried to unseat District Judge John Mitchell. Here, Duane Rasmussen, left, and Lance Amaro chat during a lull in the traffic at the corner of Appleway and U.S. 95 in Coeur d’Alene while campaigning for opposing candidates, Judge John Mitchell and Amaro’s wife, challenger Rami Amaro. Mitchell, of course, won. But his race against ”Ramaro” became one of the legendary, long-standing, entertaining threads at Huckleberries Online. (Jesse Tinsley/SR)

Question: Do any current local races have a chance of “going Ramaro” at Huckleberries Online?

BS: Some Road Ragers Target Bikes

The vast majority of motorists courteously and safely share roadways with cyclists, but a very small minority not only aren’t courteous, but for some unexplainable reason fill up with rage whenever they see cyclists on the road ahead. Anybody who regularly rides bicycles on paved roadways knows about this minority. They not only think cyclists have no right to use public roadways but also show their anger by shouting obscenities and giving out the universal salute and even do all sorts of outright dangerous things like coming up behind cyclists blaring their horns, purposely passing inches from handlebars at high speed, or throwing beer cans and other objects, which become lethal missiles for somebody on a bicycle/Bill Schneider, New West. More here.

Question: Have you ever been the target of a road rage incident while you road your bike?

Spokane Remembers Murder Victims

In observance of the “National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims,” the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office Victim/Witness Unit will hold a vigil on Thursday. The vigil will be held in the County Commissioner’s Hearing Room on the Lower Level of the Public Works Building (1026 W. Broadway Ave.) from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Since 1951, the Victim/Witness Unit has documented 582 murders, vehicular homicides, manslaughters, and unsolved violent crimes from throughout Spokane County. While a few of these cases occurred in other areas, the victims’ families are here in Spokane and all too often, they are still struggling to cope with the murder of a loved one/KHQ. More here.

Question: Have you ever lost a friend or loved one to a murder, vehicular homicide or other violent crime?

Berry Picker Rates GOP Forum

From A Berry Picker Who Was There: What you heard about the candidates at the Central Committee is accurate. Vice Chair Duane Rasmussen was filling in for Brad Corkill and seemed totally unprepared and ill at ease. The precinct committee people seemed ill prepared as well to ask questions. The timing of each candidate presentation was awkward and rambling questions by Gus Johnson to Mike Kennedy and another woman to Woody about cable and satellite television ate up the time for candidate responses.
  • Mayor Bloem seemed a little nervous and defensive but mayoral. Joe Kunka did well but there’s not enough time, money or forums for people to get to know who he is.  Bloem wins this round.
  • Deanna was dour and very defensive although she didn’t hesitate to go into detail on the Kroc center funding. Dan was articulate and composed. Gookin wins this round.
  • Woody was comfortable and earnest. His laid back surfer boy persona masks a very shrewd candidate. Steve Adams was very nervous but well-spoken. Not enough difference for people not to return Woody to the council. Woody wins this round.
  • Kennedy was comfortable and competent and likeable. Branson was all over the place, literally and figuratively. Tried too hard and his statement that he expected to have every Republican vote for him fell flat even in a room full of Republicans.  Kennedy wins this round. 
It was the perfect warm up for the candidates before the public forums begin in earnest, though.

High Noon: Boy-ZEE? Or Boy-SEE?

In this town, Boise State takes center stage during football season – and every few weeks or so, ESPN puts the team on national TV for all to see. The school’s blue turf is usually a hot topic, but during the September 18th game against Fresno State, analysts Joe Tessitore and Rod Gilmour focused on something else: is it boy-see, or boy-zee?  “If it’s pronounced ‘boy-see,’ shouldn’t it be ‘fress-no?’,” Gilmour said. While the ESPN guys might have been kidding – it’s long been a point of contention for locals: if you are a true Boisean, you use the “s” sound rather than the “z” sound/Don Day, KTVB. More here.

Question: How do you pronounce Boise? Boy-ZEE? Or Boy-SEE?

AM Scanner Traffic — 9.24.09

  • 11:57 a.m. Firefighters report finding small pieces of burnt plastic suspected of starting a series of small fires along H95.
  • 11:45 a.m. R/Ps report small grass fire on east side of H95 & Aqua (across from Kohl’s).
  • 11:30 a.m. Firemen are battling a series of small fires along H95 near Kidd Island Bay Road. A fireman reports that it looks like someone was throwing things out the window.
  • 11:16 a.m. Lights @ H95 & Appleway are all on flash mode. They are being worked on.
  • 11:12 a.m. R/P reports a “person of interest” left The Grail parking lot 5 minutes ago and is now e/b on Seltice Way.
  • 10:53 a.m. John in Athol/Bayview is looking for suggestions re: how to get a cat out of a tree. The cat has been in the tree for four days.
  • 10:36 a.m. R/P reports that a Coeur d’Alene female juvenile has been left alone with her 16YO brother by her father who is elk hunting.
  • 10:22 a.m. Mike wants to see an officer re: threatening letters.
  • 10:16 a.m. R/P reports television stolen from residence @ Kapalua & Gotham Bay/Harrison.

‘Glenn Beck Day’ Draws Protest

In this Aug. 31 photo, protestors stand across from City Hall in Mount Vernon, Wash. The demonstration was part of opposition that has sprung up since Mount Vernon mayor Bud Norris announced that he would give a key to the city to Fox News Channel personality Glenn Beck, who spent part of his childhood in the town, when Beck visits the area on Saturday. (AP Photo/Skagit Valley Herald, Frank Varga)

Question: Which conservative political commenter do you think is best: Limbaugh, Hannity, or Beck?

Bumpersnicker …

… (on an older sedan parked alongside the old prosecutor’s office): “Beautify Idaho … plant a developer.”

Question: What do you think of developers?

Ben Stein Plugs Away In Sandpoint

But we are not in a big city. We are up in Sandpoint, Idaho. Weather perfect although warm. Lots of friendly people. My great little Thompson boat with its pastel blue-green upholstery, like a Beach Boys boat. I am happy to be here. The kids come up to me for autographs. I love that. The girls giggle and want their picture taken with me. Everyone who drives by waves at me. Contrast that with Beverly Hills, where no one even says “hello” when you walk past. Or Malibu, which I love beyond words, but it really lacks friendly people except for Cruz, my pal at Howe’s Market, and Dusty Peak, my electrician pal/Ben Stein, American Spectator. More here.

Question (for non-North Idaho natives): Is your North Idaho community friendlier than the place you moved from?

SR: What To Do w/Afghanistan?

The history of Afghanistan tells us that whenever we depart, tribal rivalries will erupt and religious factions will revolt against Western-style governance. History also tells us that the military will suffer and our efforts will be expensive for as long as we stay. The American people had been solidly behind the war, but support is waning. Upon receipt of McChrystal’s assessment, Obama has decided to review the mission. After eight years with spotty results, an extensive reassessment is in order. But we must remember that the goal is to fight global terrorism, not rescue pride. The question is whether this is the best way to go about it/Spokesman-Review. More here.

Question: Is it time to get out of Afghanistan?

In The News: Kennedy Successor

In this May 12, 2008, photo, Paul Kirk, Jr., left, chairman of the John Kennedy Library Foundation Board of Directors, shares a laugh with late Sen. Edward Kennedy, center, and his wife Victoria at the annual Profile in Courage Award ceremonies at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. Kirk, with support from the Kennedy family, was named today as the interim replacement for the late senator. Story here. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)

HBO Poll: Greatest Idaho Athlete?

  • Wednesday Poll: 50% of the 98 respondents said they’d either lost jobs or suffered a cut in wages and/or benefits as a result of the ongoing recession. Full results here.

Subway’s Jared Tells Story In Boise

Item: Subway’s Jared Fogle to share weight loss secrets at St. Luke’s Fitness Celebration/Colleen LaMay, Statesman

More Info: More than a decade ago, Jared Fogle, now 32, captured national attention when he shed 245 pounds by eating almost nothing but Subway sandwiches. That was tough, but not as tough as keeping off the weight. That’s the hardest part for almost all people who are fighting the battle of the bulge, according to a mountain of studies.

Question: Do you resent success stories in the battle of the bulge, like Jared Fogle’s? Or are you inspired by them?

KR: Anti-Texting Coalition Emerges

An odd but potentially productive legislative coalition wants to ban texting while driving. Boise Democratic state Sen. Les Bock is taking another run at the texting ban; a similar bill stalled earlier this year. He has some key allies: Senate Transportation Committee Chairman John McGee, R-Caldwell; and House Transportation Chairwoman JoAn Wood, R-Rigby. Wood’s support, touted by Idaho Democrats last week, isn’t just laudable. It’s shocking. Her history on safe-driving legislation, frankly, has been awful. In 2007, Wood blocked a bill, passed by the Senate, which would have required the use of safety seats for children under 6/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Is it time Idaho banned texting while driving?

Mary Explains Why DanG Is MIA

There’s been some question about why Dan Gookin removed his name from the administration of this web site. That’s an easy answer: Dan decided that as a candidate for city council it would be best if his time was not split with a separate blog. Dan has his own campaign web site up and running now, as I noted above, and will be busy communicating with the public in every possible way. He will even make comments on this blog, as appropriate to the topics, but does not want the responsibility of site administration at this time/Mary Souza,

DFO: now has a list of the Web sites for the challengers that it supports: Gookin here, Jim Brannon here, and Steve Adams here.

AM Headlines — 9.24.09

Sandpoint High volleyball coach Karen Alsager said she may never coach another senior class as talented and dominating as the class of 2010. Or as tight knit. The team is led by seniors (from left): Christina Johnson, Koko James, Piper Wahlin and Kaiti Lunde. Story here.

BM: Who Is Greatest Idaho Athlete?

Item: Is Boise cyclist Kristin Armstrong the greatest athlete in Idaho history?/Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman

More Info: Armstrong captured her second world championship gold medal Wednesday with a staggering 55-second victory in the women’s time trial event in Mendrisio, Switzerland, cementing her legacy as the most accomplished American woman cyclist. She has an Olympic gold medal (2008), two world championship golds (2009, 2006), a world championship silver (2007) and a world championship bronze (2005). She competed in the 2004 Olympics, finishing eighth in the road race.

Question: Murphy goes on to list three other athletes who could challenge Kristin Armstrong for the title of best athlete in Idaho history:  baseball slugger Harmon Killebrew, Olympian Picabo Street and jockey Gary Stevens. A case also can be made for footballers Jerry Kramer and Jake Plummer. Who do you think is the greatest?

Jail Bond Backers Face Empty Chairs

Item: No overcrowding at jail meeting: Public stays away from first information session on expansion proposal/Alecia Warren, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Kootenai County officials are ready to talk. They just need someone to ask questions. The sheriff and county commissioners found themselves facing a room of empty chairs on Wednesday night at the first of the weekly information meetings they will be holding on the jail expansion proposal. “Well, we’ve got six!” declared Commissioner Rich Piazza. Unfortunately, the six were comprised of the three commissioners, Sheriff Rocky Watson and his wife, and a media representative.

Question: Why aren’t we, as the public, interested enough in important issues like this to attend a public meeting?

Anderson: Dancing w/A Star?

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Hump Day Wild Card — 9.23.09

On my walk home from work last night, I ran smack dab into Mayor Sandi Bloem and a group of her friends who were eating pizza outside Capone’s prior to the mayor’s debate at the Republican Central Committee. Former councilwoman Nancy Sue Wallace proclaim the others and herself to be “has beens.” But I don’t think so. They are some of the most committed, powerful women this community has produced: former commissioner Katie Brodie, former school board chairwoman Wanda Quinn, Nancy Sue, and Pam Potter. The mayor had on her game face (and, yes, OTV, was looking fierce) as she mentally prepared for the debate. Meanwhile, the Wild Card is in play … 

Parting Shot — 9.23.09

This image made today from undated hidden-camera video taken from the web site, shows ACORN employee Tonja Thompson, right, speaking with Hannah Giles in a hidden-camera video made by James O’Keefe III, and Giles in Baltimore. In the video, Giles and O’Keefe pose as a pimp and prostitute and talk to ACORN employees who give them tax advice. ACORN has filed a lawsuit against the filmmakers, contending that the audio portion of the video was obtained illegally because Maryland requires two-party consent to create sound recordings. Story here. (AP Photo/

SR’s Today In Photos

Marmie: No More Kidney Puddings

Marmitetoasty: I stopped eating kidneys in steak and kidney puddings in honour of (JeanieS, who is awaiting a liver transplant). I stopped eating pan fried liver and onions in honour of my friend who has liver disease. And stuffed ox hearts are off the menu due to my friend Helen’s son having a heart and lung transplant. I’ve stopped biting me nails. Chicken is off our list of likes due to the love of our chicken Janet. I can’t cook Toad-in-the-hole in sympathy with Toadman. What the hell is this world coming to?

Question: Have you ever given up a type of food, habit, or anything else out of deference to an ailing friend or family member?

Flo: Opera CdA Offers Big Treat

Florined: Opera singers’ voices are sorely (so to speak) tested during a full performance. Opera Coeur d’Alene’s director schedules to allow a day of rest. Big companies solve the problem by casting 2 different singers in a role and having them trade off, but OC doesn’t have the bucks to do that, so they have to protect those voices. Kind of like a baseball pitcher’s arm, I guess. I’ve heard the 7 singers in major parts and also the chorus and I’m tellin’ ya, these are BIG voices. What a treat.

Question: Do you like opera?

PM Headlines — 9.23.09

Rachel Dolezal, director of the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d’Alene, provided investigators with this photo of the noose she found on her porch Sunday. Another photo and story links from the SR and Press here.

APhoto Of The Day — 9.23.09

Guilford County Animal Control Officer Tracie Ross raises her hand to stop traffic to allow a group of pigs, which were running loose, to cross the road in Stokesdale, N.C., Tuesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo /News & Record, Nelson Kepley)

Top Cutline:

  • 1. “Bringing home the bacon is just an expression!” Officer Ross pleaded. But still, the swine flew — Kevin Taylor. 
  • 2. Freshmen senators and representatives head to the first day of Stimulus Bill Writing School — Cabbage Boy.
  • 3. Commenters from the CDA Press blogs & and online comments section take a field trip — Nic.
  • HM: Lewis 

PM Scanner Traffic — 9.23.09

  • 5:34 p.m. A deputy is on foot after getting his vehicle stuck in a ditch near Twin Lakes.
  • 5:19 p.m. Avista is finally responding to Marie Creek Road fire.
  • 4:19 p.m. Police and fire personnel call for Avista crews to handle a downed power line in the Marie Creek Road cabin fire. (Update @ 5:14 p.m.: Authorites are upset that Avista hasn’t responded to two calls to handle the downed line.)
  • 4:17 p.m. Sonic/H41 reports that a blue van damage one of its drive-up stalls.
  • 3:59 p.m. A slash-pile burn has gotten out of control, engulfing a log cabin and spreading to the woods @ 13383 Marie Creek Road/Coeur d’Alene National Forest.
  • 3:56 p.m. One vehicle in a two-vehicle crash is over an embankment into a creek @ Cliffhouse & Three Forks Road/Hauser Lake. None of the 5 individuals involved is hurt.
  • 3:32 p.m. 2 men are drinking and throwing beer cans out of their vehicle w/b on I-90 @ M/P 29 (Fourth of July Creek).
  • 3:22 p.m. An elderly man appears confused after hitting his head in a bicycle crash @ Ponderosa & Jennie Lane/Post Falls.
  • More below

Man’s Inhumanity To Animals

This Tuesday picture provided by the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ shows a female cat covered in duct tape from head to toe which was dumped in a yard in the Rhawnhurst section of Philadelphia, but found by the SPCA Tuesday. Medical staff at the Pennsylvania SPCA were able to successfully remove the tape. A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the conviction of whoever wrapped the feline. Story/video here. (AP Photo/Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)

Institute Director Dolezal Finds Noose

Spokane resident Rachel Dolezal takes a moment before a press conference at the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d’Alene on Wednesday. Dolezal found a noose (photo below) on her porch on Sunday and has experienced several incidents of racial harassment. She is the education director at HREI. I posted a Coeur d’Alene Press story re: this incident earlier here. You can read Alison Boggs’ SR story here. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

Shock Fires ArenaCup Coach

Adam Shackleford is out as head coach of the Spokane Shock and he will be replaced by former Shock standout Rob Keefe, The Spokesman-Review has learned. The Shock, who are on the verge of moving into a new league that is expected to compete at the highest level of arena football, issued a press release late Wednesday morning announcing Shackleford won’t be back for a fourth season as head coach. Spokane went 19-1 in Shackleford’s final season, winning the ArenaCup title last month in Las Vegas/Jim Meehan, SR. More here.

Question: Adam Shackleford compiled a 19-1 record in his second and final season as coach of the Spokane Shock, including a lopsided win in the ArenaCup. Are you persuaded that management knows what it is doing in cutting him loose? Have you ever been fired despite doing what you thought was a good job for your boss?

HBO Blogosphere — 9.23.09

“So what do people in beautiful North Idaho do when Summer thumbs her pretty little sun-tanned nose at the first day of Autumn?”/Councilwoman KerriT, Main Street. ”Take another dip in Lake Coeur d’Alene or the Spokane River! Record-breaking 90 degree temperatures today … loving it.”

WH: Solons Get Full-Time Health Care

Gov. Butch Otter’s administration correctly determined earlier this year that part-time government employees should pay more for their health insurance than fulltime employees. Name a workplace where part-time employees get the same health benefits at the same cost as fulltimers. It hardly happens. For taxpayers, the change is a victory that will save them $10 million a year. Curiously, however, one group of part-time employees is exempt from the Otter administration’s new rules. Idahoans pay around $780,000 a year to insure members of the House and Senate (a small portion of that amount is for the staff of both chambers). State lawmakers, who are the most visible of the cast of part-timers, will still receive the same lucrative health insurance package that full time government employees enjoy/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Should part-time Idaho legislators be allowed to get full-time state health insurance benefits for relatively little money?

Reward Offered In Paperbox Attacks

Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is offering a cash reward for information leading to the arrest of suspects responsible for the mal-injury and theft of newspaper vending machines in the City of Coeur d’Alene and Kootenai County. In the past several weeks’ 15 vending machines belonging to the Coeur d’Alene Press have been damaged and the money they contained was removed. Detectives continue to follow up on all leads received/Coeur d’Alene Today. More here.


While working in Hayden, Molly Boman spotted something in the bushes and snapped this photo. She didn’t know what was in the bushes until she had the photos developed. Do you see what she saw?

Phillips’ Escape Prompts Resignation

The first casualty in the wake of Phillip Paul’s escape from Eastern State Hospital came late Wednesday morning when hospital CEO Hal Wilson announced his resignation. Multiple sources confirmed Wilson stepped down from his post Wednesday, less than a week after forensic patient Phillip Paul escaped from hospital custody during a visit to the Spokane Interstate Fair, triggering a 72-hour statewide manhunt. Immediately following Paul’s escape, Wilson claimed that the hospital did everything according to their policies and procedures despite widespread claims to the contrary from hospital staffers, hospital union officials and local law enforcement agencies/KXLY. More here.

Question: Do you think Wilson voluntarily resigned?

‘Glenn Beck Day’ Draws Protests

A local advocacy group says that 16,000 people have signed a petition to be presented to the Mt. Vernon City Council Wednesday asking the council to cancel “Glenn Beck Day.” “Our problem is with honoring Glenn Beck,” said Aaron Ostrom with FUSE Washington. Mount Vernon Mayor Bud Norris declared September 26th Glenn Beck Day to honor the radio and TV host that grew up in Mount Vernon. Norris will be awarding Beck the key to the city in a ceremony at Skagit Valley College at 5:30 p.m. “I don’t think we’re going to change the mayor’s mind, but we’d like the city council to stand up for all the residents of Mount Vernon that disagree with him,” said Ostrom/Jamie Griswold, More here.

Question: Would you care if the mayor of your town announced s/he declared “Glenn Beck Day” and planned to give the talk-show host the key to the city?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 9.23.09

Dozens of frogs gather in a shallow area of the South Umpqua River near Winston, Ore., today. Many of the amphibians were still in their transitional stage between tadpole and their adult from. (AP Photo/The News-Review, Robin Loznak)

High Noon: Phillips Claims Sex w/Papa

This March 5, 1981, file photo shows John Phillips of the pop group “The Mamas and The Papas,” left, and his daughter MacKenzie, right, shown during a taping of the John Davidson Show in Burbank, Calif. Phillips says she had a long-term sexual relationship with her father, John. People magazine says Phillips writes in her new book, “High on Arrival,” that she had sex with her father on the night before she was to get married in 1979. Story here. (AP Photo/File)

Question: What do you make of this tell-all revelation?

DL: JeanieS Fighting Serious Illness

Even worse than that, our dear Jeanie is home sick with the flu. The flu, by itself, even in the face of the various perversions of the flu making the rounds, normally would be a non-event. However, with her kidneys in the final stage of failure, Jeanie has no defense mechanisms left in her body to combat such things and thus she is quite ill. So, despite being well-known for being exceptionally verbose, this morning I have little choice but to throw my fates to the Deities and hope I can get some time later on today to write more about the news of the day. If you have any prayers handy in your most secret places, please say a few for dear Jeanie. Things may get better, but then they might get much worse/David Laird, Community Comment. More here.

Fire Victim Owned Refrigerant Firm

The Rathdrum man killed in a mobile home fire Sunday has been identified has Gary M. Lindgren, 65. Lindgren died of smoke inhalation from an electrical fire caused by the misuse of extension cords, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department announced today. His neighbors called firefighters after seeing smoke from his home, 10278 N. Church Road, about 6:45 p.m. Neighbors tried dousing the blaze with a garden house, but flames engulfed the home and Lindgren’s body was found about two hours later, the sheriff’s department said. The residence was both Lindgren’s home and office space for his refrigerant company, OZ Technology/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

AM Scanner Traffic — 9.23.09

  • 11:33 a.m. A resident @ Clearwater & War Eagle/Athol reports that his neighbor is hitting golf balls onto his property.
  • 11:10 a.m. A 50ish male who may be drunk is lying on a sidewalk, conscious but unresponsive, @ Spokane & 4th/Post Falls.
  • 11:05 a.m. A Post Falls woman reports that her brother is taking their ill mother to the bank to access money from the mother’s savings account.
  • 10:54 a.m. Woman reports a neighbor’s dog on Blueberry Circle has attacked her dog/Hayden.
  • 10:52 a.m Diane @ Hayden City Hall has a “found wallet.”
  • 10:23 a.m. R/P reports that pet owner is walking his dog w/o a leash @ Broadmore Park/Hayden.
  • 10:09 a.m. R/P reports that a local man is threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend, her toddler, and a new boyfriend who live in Washington.
  • 9:47 a.m. An officer has helped kick an unwanted woman from Canfield Middle School. The woman has been told not to return.
  • 9:29 a.m. A man is screaming in a white Tahoe parking in an Appleway business lot. R/P believes the motorist is on meth.

Palin Addresses Hong Kong Forum

CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets CEO Jonathan Slone, left, speaks as former U.S. vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin listens during the 16th annual CLSA Investors’ Forum in Hong Kong Wednesday. Palin, criticized for her lack of foreign policy experience, was emerging in Asia on Wednesday to give a speech that could boost her credentials for a possible bid for the presidency in 2012. In her first speech outside of North America, Palin slammed President Obama’s spending here. (AP Photo/CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, Jeff Topping)

Question: Is Palin’s speech in Hong Kong the best indication yet that she plans to seek the presidency in 2012?

Gookin’s Campaign Site Now Up

Dan Gookin, the Former HBO Commenter Known As DanG, has finally put his campaign Web site online: Gookin, of course, is running against council incumbent Deanna Goodlander. The site features a photo of a new, improved Gookin, as well a logo that plays off his computer-books-for-dummies background. As a reason for running for council, Gookin contends on his site that Coeur d’Alene’s quality of life “is being compromised by the current city government.” Which must mean he’s still unimpressed by the new library, Kroc Center, education corridor, and expanded bike trails, among other things. Also, he says: ”There have been many actions by city council where they have purposely neglected the public process. When citizens ask questions, the council and mayor have demonstrated intolerance for the inquiries, are publicly abusive, and dismiss the concerns of the taxpayers.” You can see for yourself here.

DFO: Izzit it just me, or has Gookin split up with Dan & Mary @ I just checked. He didn’t post a single item on the site this summer. What’s up with that?

Question: Notice any difference between the October 2002 photo above (when Gookin ran as a Libertarian for the state Senate seat from Coeur d’Alene) and the one on his Web page?

Boisean Armstrong Wins World Gold

Kristin Armstrong of the United States reacts after crossing the finish line to win the Women’s Time Trial race, at the UCI road cycling World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland, earlier today. Idaho Statesman story here. (AP Photo/Keystone, Jean-Christophe Bott)

Question: How often do you ride a bike?

Poll: Recession’s Impact

  • Tuesday Poll: 60% of 84 respondents said they’d considered suicide. Results here.

OTV: Press Comments Disappoint

OrangeTV: As usual, the comments on the Press site under (“Activist feels threatened”) are beyond goofy and utterly embarrassing. They’re basically saying she made the whole thing up to get attention, with some blatant white power thrown in for good measure. North Idaho is so beautiful but some of its resident are so very ugly.

Question: I’ve often wondered what would happen if some of the redneck commenters at the Press tried to post their stuff on stories like this here. What do you think?

Potato Farmers Seek Mickey D’s Grail

From the fields of Idaho to tasting rooms in suburban Chicago, potato farmers, researchers and industry representatives are in the midst of an elusive hunt: finding a new spud for McDonald’s french fries. A decade has passed since the fast-food giant last added a new U.S. potato variety to three others approved for its golden fries, something that both irks and motivates potato researchers who hope their progeny will be next. Because McDonald’s buys more than 3.4 billion pounds of U.S. potatoes annually, it has the power to dictate whether a variety sprouts or winds up in the less-lucrative supermarket freezer’s crinklecut bin - or worse yet, banished to become dehydrated taters/John Miller, AP. More here.

Question: Which restaurant makes the best fries in the region?

DH: Media Gives Obama Pass

So, who do you think causes more waste in health care - doctors or lawyers? No really, this is not a trick question. Alright. Maybe it is for some people. Certainly President Obama might find this question a real stumper. He is the guy, after all, who believes that doctors cut off appendages just to make money. At least that is what he said in a speech. Now it is true that the speech did not get wide circulation. If you did not happen to see our president accuse doctors of slicing off body parts in quest of the big payday, don’t feel bad. Most people missed it. Sure, it’s true. Had it been anyone but this president then the entire world would have seen the clip. Several times. At least that is the way it used to be when a president said something really, really stupid. But the rules have changed with this president. When he says bonehead things, like accusing doctors of stealing millions and millions from taxpayers with the unscrupulous use of a scalpel, the media just don’t pay much attention/Dan Hammes, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here.

Question: Are the media as quick to jump on President Obama’s misstatements as they were to jump on those uttered by former President Bush?

AM Headlines — 9.23.09

Former commercial fisherman Dune Lankard, from Alaska was named one of Time Magazines’ “Heroes of the Planet” gave a talk at North Idaho College on Tuesday. He was a commercial fisherman in Prince William Sound when the Exxon Valdez crash spilled 11 million gallons of oil into the Sound. Alison Boggs’ story here. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

K-Ma: Suicide Leaves Black Mark

Kendramama: When my second-oldest brother hung himself in 1996, he was attending college in Eugene on a debate scholarship. My family was at first stunned, then disbelieving (my mother still struggles with the fact that it was proven suicide and not foul play), then at last, especially after the funeral, absolutely devastated by the finality of it all. Suicide is such a selfish, permanent black mark on a family, especially one that is close- as ours was, and still is. The ONLY good thing that came of it- the rest of us siblings, five of us, swore in a prayer circle a sacred (to us) oath that we would NEVER, EVER, no matter how bad things ever got, commit the act that Jared did, knowing how badly it hurt the rest of us, especially our mom.

Question: Many, like Kendra, who has first-hand experience, believes that suicide is a selfish act. Do you?

Press: Jail Questions Need Answers

Kootenai County commissioners are prepared to take their jail proposal on the road to organizations wanting to learn more about what’s included in the $57 million request. As if it wasn’t difficult enough to try to get taxpayers to support that kind of investment in the midst of a recession, commissioners now find they have a mere six weeks to convince 67 out of every 100 voters in the county that this is the best jail offer they’re going to get. The election is Nov. 3. We appreciate the observations of Commissioner Todd Tondee and Sheriff Rocky Watson about what the investment would mean: Safe lockup of criminals and a powerful shot to the local economy with millions of dollars in jobs and purchases. But there are questions the commissioners need to answer clearly before the general public is likely to hop on board the jail expansion express/Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Question: Will anything county officials say, at this point, change your mind re: how you plan to vote on the $57M jail bond?

Racists Target Coeur d’Alene Activist

Item: Coeur d’Alene activist feels threatened: Local human rights activist Rachel Dolezal has recently been targeted by racism/Maureen Dolan, Press

More Info: A local human rights advocate has become the target of something she fights every day — racism. Rachel Dolezal, the education director at Coeur d’Alene’s Human Rights Education Institute, awoke Sunday morning ready to enjoy a sunny, late summer day. Instead, she discovered someone had left a noose just outside her front door. “I spent a lot of time in Mississippi so when I saw that rope, I knew what it was,” Dolezal said.

Question: What should be done re: this situation?

Stantis: Over-exposed

Scott Stantis/Birmingham News

Wild Card/Tuesday — 9.22.09

One of these days, I’m going to remember to post the Wild Card earlier, as I promised about a month ago. They say a new habit takes about three weeks to become ingrain. In my case, it appears that it’ll take longer. Sorry. (BTW, I noticed that Dan of the County is commenting today. I, for one, would like a medical update re: his recent tummy — OrangeTV’s word, not mine — surgery. I’m sure others would, too.) Now, for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 9.22.09

A woman’s reflection is seen as she poses for photographs in front of a piece entitled “Turning World Upside Down (Gold) 2009” during the press view for the Anish Kapoor solo exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London Tuesday. The exhibition opens to the public Saturday and surveys the career of the Turner Prize winning sculptor, showcasing a number of new and previously unseen works. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

M’s Drop Suit Against Strip Club

Item: Mariners drop legal fight against strip club near Safeco Field/Seattle Times

More Info: The Seattle Mariners have agreed to drop their legal fight to block the opening of a strip club near Safeco Field in exchange for the club’s pledge to use discreet signs on the business. Under the settlement announced Monday, the baseball team won’t pursue its appeal of a judge’s ruling that allowed the strip club. The club, DreamGirls, a sister operation of Déjà Vu, has been sought by Seattle adult-entertainment businessman Roger Forbes. It will operate at 1530 First Ave. S., about 400 feet from the main entrance to the stadium.

Question: Have you ever visited a strip club?

APhoto Of The Day — 9.22.09

Paddleboarding champion Jamie Mitchell paddles his board as a humpback whale surfaces next to him earlier today, off Australia’s east coast near Tweed Heads. Mitchell was filming a television documentary “Living In Liquid” when a pod of whales came by, “At first it was kind of scary because they are just so big,” said Mitchell. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/, Liam O’Brien/Jason Muir)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. “Hey, excuse me, dude! I have the right of way here! Oh… yeah, that’s it. Just keep swimming on by like you don’t even hear me. Yup. Cuz there’s no one else in this big ‘ol ocean but you. Geez. Go back to traffic school, bro” — Charles Dixon.
  • 2. Whale to surfer: “Oh, that’s good… yes, a litle lower… scratch harder… there, there, right below the fin… oh, that’s the good spot. Thanks, dude!” — Pia Hellenberg Christensen.
  • 3. DFO on board wondering how to tell his readers about Willy’s visit…… to… Coeur D Alene??? — Pecky Cox
  • HM: Cabbage Boy

PM Scanner Traffic — 9.22.09

Top Post (from 2:14 p.m.): 4 people have suffered head and neck injuries in a 10-foot ball after a deck collapse at a home @ Versailles & Saint Michelle/Coeur d’Alene Place. They fell 10 feet. 2 ambulances are en route. KXLY story here.

  • 5:02 p.m. 60ish female is unconscious after being stung in the foot by a bee @ Atlas & Boekel/Rathdrum.
  • 4:45 p.m. Smoke is pouring from the hood of a van @ H95 & Prairie/Hayden.
  • 4:12 p.m. BNSF officials have caught an illegal hitchhiker on a train and wants to hand him over to deputies @ the Mcguire Road crossing.
  • 4:03 p.m. A boy about 5 to 7 years old is playing on an I-90 onramp @ Spokane Street/Post Falls.
  • More below

Sis: Still Fighting Back Problems

Sisyphus: Right now I’m on pretty much the last round of antibiotics that can be useful to me to try and push into dormancy the staph infection I got from my back surgery. But now I’m having allergic reactions to that as well causing convulsive shivering after each intravenous dose I take daily. The convulsions last a couple hours and then the uncontrolled sheet drenching cold sweats continues through the night and I wake up exhausted. But the doc says I gotta plow through cause they don’t really have anything else to give me and I only should have a week to go anyways (maybe).

Question: What type of surgery did you have last (if you have undergone surgery)? How quickly did you bounce back? 

Minnick’s Plan Ticks Off Barney Frank

“As soon as I saw the story, I called Minnick and said, ‘You’ve really gotta retract it,’” Frank told HuffPost, saying he was “absolutely opposed” to the proposal and told Minnick as much when they spoke about it last week. A Minnick spokesman didn’t return a call. The CFPA, which is still headed for a committee vote in October, Frank said, would be tasked with rating financial products and could restrict or ban those that it found to be deceptive and unsafe for consumers. It is fiercely opposed by both community banks and large financial institutions. Consumer groups were blindsided by the Blue Dog plan. “We did not know this was coming,” said Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), the lead sponsor of the CFPA in the Financial Services Committee/Ryan Grim, Huffington Post. More here. H/T: Jill Kuraitis, New West.

Question: Who wins a showdown between Barney Frank & Walt Minnick?

HBO Blogosphere (M - Z) — 9.22.09

I don’t know where this is. But it’s one of the cool, black-and-white photos posted @ Orange Frog 76. You can check out that blogmaster’s photography here.

HBO Numbers (for Monday, Sept. 21): 7966/4433

MT: Smarter To Insure Illegals

Everybody from President Barack Obama to Congressman Joe “you lie!” Wilson to Sen. Max Baucus insists federal health care reform should extend no benefits to undocumented workers. … Baucus, the Montana Democrat, last week released his own health care package, which would bar illegal immigrants from purchasing insurance through newly created state insurance exchanges. That doesn’t mean the millions of people illegally in this country don’t get treatment when they’re hurt or sick. It just means they get the most expensive type - in the hospital emergency room. And when they do, the taxpayer and the privately insured health care consumer pay for it. It’s the law/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you agree with editorialist Trillhaase that it’s in the country’s best interests to include coverage for illegal immigrants in any health care reform?

CdA Resort Death Ruled Accidental

Coeur d’Alene Police Detectives have closed the case in the death investigation of Lynea M. Hambrice. Her death has been determined by investigators to have been caused from an accidental fall in which she sustained blunt force trauma to her body. Her companion in the hotel room with her that evening, Ian E. James, has been cooperative with law enforcement. He voluntarily submitted to a polygraph examination and was determined to be truthful in his statements to police. He is not a person of interest and no criminal charges are pending/Coeur d’Alene Today. More here.

Let’s Shake On That

Jack Tsonis, left, has a bit to eat while he shakes hands with Lindsay Morrison Monday in Sydney, Australia, during their Guinness Book of Records attempt at the longest continuous hand shake. To break the record the pair will need to shake hands continuously for more than 11 hours with rules stating they cannot separate even for toilet breaks. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Question: Do you have a firm handshake?

SC: Idaho Disses Mr. Potatohead

So why didn’t (Mr. Potatohead creator George) Lerner and the Spud State click? Hard feelings, that’s why. Look, back when Dirk Kempthorne won landslide election as mayor of Boise in 1985, Mr. Potato Head received four write-in votes. I don’t think either of them were happy about that. Ten years later, when Kempthorne was in the U.S. Senate, the Idaho Potato Commission introduced Spuddy Buddy - a 16-inch-tall, bald stuffed tater with a red sweater and no discernible trousers - as its official mascot. After he became Idaho governor in 1997, Kempthorne started doing TV commercials with an animated version of Spuddy. Mr. PH, limited to a token tribute display at the Idaho Potato Expo in Blackfoot, simply got no love in Idaho - despite his meteoric rise to fame as a consequence of the “Toy Story” movies/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Why do you think Idaho has ignored Mr. Potatohead as a state mascot of sorts? And/or: Would you prefer Mr. Potatohead to Spuddy Buddy as a mascot?

TR: A Hairy Issue

It’s getting to be time for me to get a haircut, which gets me reminiscing… I remember my first real, not-just-a-trim haircut — also known as the worst haircut of my life. I was about 7, fresh from watching a Vandals football game and feeling particularly tomboyish. I wanted those long blonde (ratty, messy) waves chopped off. And that’s what I got — the man at the salon braided my hair, lopped off the braid and sent me packing. Eeep. The best haircut I’ve ever had, on the other hand, was performed by a friend in a hotel room during a road trip when I was 17. The moral of the story? Haircuts don’t have much to do with how much (or whether) you pay for them. It might feel a little risky, but forgoing the salon can be a great way to save a little cash/Tara Roberts, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Finish This Sentence: I know it’s time to get a haircut when …

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 9.22.09

Walter Breuning speaks to guests during his 113th birthday party in the Rainbow retirement home ballroom Monday in Great Falls, Mont. The Montana resident, who was born in Melrose, Minn., is considered to be the world’s oldest man. (AP Photo/Great Falls Tribune, Rion Sanders)

  • Judge: Duncan can act as his own attorney/Riverside Press-Tribune
  • Official: Idaho law overrides Latah County on speed limit/AP
  • Oregon fan bills coach for Boise State loss, gets check/KTVB
  • Spokane community college not notified of killer’s enrollment, wants change/KHQ
  • Census data show effects of Idaho unemployment/SR
  • Idaho rainy day fund for education loses $42M/AP
  • Montanan kills wolf in Bob Marshall Wilderness/Daily Inter Lake
  • Activist for motorcycle safety hurt in biker crash/Gannett News Service
  • Spokane Valley teacher charged in road rage incident/KREM
  • Orbusmax Special: Insane killer’s escape ‘embarrassing’ here.
  • Lynne: Where’s Randy?

    Lynne: I don’t watch KREM anymore, due to the shoddy treatment of Nadine, but my husband said that Randy Shaw hasn’t been on the air since a day or two after Nadine left. Is he gone now too?

    Question: Anyone?

    High Noon: Do You Read HBO Links?

    CindyH: How often do you read the links posted in a comment or in a thread before commenting? I ask because already in the Forfeiture Laws thread the “did you read the link?” question came up. As for me, I rarely read links in the comments thread unless the description peaks my interest. But I often read the links DFO posts in the main threads to get info before responding to the question. Often, but not always.

    Question: Well?

    Chess, Anyone?

    Sarah Campbell, 9, makes her move in a pick up game of floor chess at Bryan YMCA on Sunday in Greensboro, N.C. She was waiting to compete in the 5th annual “One Hundred Chances to Checkmate” chess exhibition where chess experts played simultaneous games. (AP Photo/News & Record, Lynn Hey)

    Question: Do you play chess. Do you play it well?

    AM Scanner Traffic — 9.22.09

    • 11:47 a.m. 17YO male is threatening suicide w/a knife in the Borah Triangle area.
    • 11:31 a.m. Maintenance staff reports that 5 vo-tech students, possibly from the diesel department, are involved in an altercation near the Hedlund Building.
    • 11:05 a.m. Carol reports finding a litter of kittens in a Dumpster near Worley. One escaped. The rest appear to be in bad shape.
    • 10:13 a.m. A male in a green Chevy Prism is drinking a beer while driving s/b on H95.
    • 8:58 a.m. A father @ Mullan & H41/Post Falls reports that a neighbor was looking in his daughter’s window and yelled at him when confronted.
    • 8:12 a.m. A loose cow is wandering on Hayden & Greensferry/Post Falls.
    • 8:06 a.m. Both vehicles are leaking anti-freeze after a crash @ 6th & Foster/CdA.
    • 8:02 a.m. R/P is concerned re: the welfare of up to 80 cats in a 12th Avenue/Post Falls residence.

    PB: Tough Dealing w/Layoffs

    We at the Press-Tribune had to say goodbye this week a few people we have worked with — a couple for a few months, one for several years. Call them casualties of a tough economy. It’s difficult knowing how to say goodbye to people in that situation. You feel badly for them, and striking the right tone can be challenging. You don’t want to seem too cheerful when you wish them well because, after all, they’re really not leaving on their own volition. However, you want to give them encouragement in their search for future employment, hence you want to be as upbeat and positive as possible/Phil Bridges, 2C Etc. More here.

    Question: How would you console a colleague who gets laid off as a result of the bad economy? Have you had to do so already?

    McEvers Leads Adams In Press Poll

    At the Coeur d’Alene Press online, Councilman Woody McEvers currently is pulling 59% of the vote in a poll that asks: “If the election were today, who would get your vote for Coeur d’Alene City Council” — Steve Adams or Woody McEvers?

    Lowe’s Needs To Write Off $100M

    In this file photo, men leave a Lowe’s store in New York. Lowe’s, the nation’s second biggest home improvement retailer, warned it may need to write off up to $100 million during the second half of the year. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)

    Question: Where do you shop for home supplies — Lowe’s, Home Depot, or somewhere else?

    HBO Poll: Suicide

    After reading that a good friend of my family had committed suicide over the weekend, Escapee commented: “My Dad committed suicide 8 years ago, and I still don’t know what to feel about that. We weren’t close. Sometimes I wonder if the way I turned out had anything to do with it. He once told me, “I don’t want to live a single day without your mother”; after she passed away he made it another 60 days and then, well …And life goes on. I’ve thought about suicide; I think everyone thinks about it at one time or another. And in the end, no, I’m not gonna give in.

    • Monday Poll: A plurality of 31% responded that they would get their information for the municipal elections this fall from Huckleberries Online. Another 22% said they don’t need more info before voting. Full results here.

    OTC: Don’t Hang Out With The Girls

    To the guy at the football game that walked into the women’s restroom, went into a stall ahead of my daughter and then proceeded to urinate with the door open — shame on you. It’s not funny, its not cute, it’s just plain stupid. Grow up/Erin, UI Argonaut. More Off The Cuff.

    Question: What is the most clueless thing you’ve seen someone do recently?

    DC: Paul Escape Deserves Song

    Get Adobe Flash player
    ‘The Ballad of Paul and the Fair’

    Phillip A. Paul is back in custody. Nobody got hurt. There’s only one way to commemorate Sunday’s capture of the criminally insane killer who took a powder last week while on an Eastern State Hospital field trip to the Spokane County Interstate Fair. Another parody song? Absolutely. Actually, while Paul was on the lam, a number of readers asked me to record a Paul-based song. Some even had the tunes picked out. One reader, for example, wanted to meet me in a coffee shop so we could co-write a ditty based on the Doors classic, “Riders on the Storm.” “Killer at the fairrrr …” he warbled in a voicemail message. Not bad. A good friend asked for a remake of “Psycho Killer” by the Talking Heads. Another reader wanted “Low Rider” by War/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

    Question: What do you think of columnist Doug Clark’s latest parody song re: local news?

    Minnick Proposes Wall Street Plan

    Blue Dogs and other conservative Democrats — uneasy with a key element of President Barack Obama’s plan to regulate Wall Street — are rallying around an alternative proposal that scraps the consumer financial protection agency the president has been pushing. Rep. Walt Minnick, a freshman Democrat from Idaho, has floated the new plan. Instead of creating a new federal agency to protect consumers from predatory financial firms and shoddy products, Minnick’s plan would have existing state and federal regulators work together in a “consumer financial protection council.” “We’re trying to come up with something that will achieve the objectives of what the White House is asking us to do without creating a new stand-alone federal regulator,” Minnick told POLITICO/Victoria McGrane, Politico. More here.

    Question: Who would you trust more to regulate Wall Street — Barack Obama or Walt Minnick?

    AM Headlines — 9.22.09

    On Saturday, Vicki Isakson of Coeur d’Alene bagged a 5X5 point elk in the Idaho Panhandle. Fall means hunting season for many North Idahoans, and right now bow season is open. Check HERE for Idaho’s rules and regulations for hunters from the Fish & Game Department/KerriT, OnLocation North Idaho.

    Question: Have you ever killed a big-game animal?

    Redman: Forfeiture Laws Wrong

    Redman (re: Feds want Jerry Carlson’s Benz, Cash): Forfeiture laws are wrong. It is getting so bad that now the fish and game can snag your rifle, fishing pole, truck all of it, over a northern pikeminnow.

    Question: Do you support drug forfeiture laws that allow authorities to seize assets such as vehicles and cash (in former Farmers Insurance broker Jerry Carlson’s case)?

    IPT: Congressmen Right On ACORN

    Idaho’s congressional delegation has served the state well in its stance on federal funding to the scandal-ridden community activist group ACORN. U.S. Reps. Mike Simpson and Walt Minnick and Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch have shown in their votes and statements that they want to break all financial ties between the federal government and the organization. In the most recent stumble for the group, a video has been widely distributed that shows ACORN employees advising a couple posing as a prostitute and pimp to lie to get housing aid, and employees in other cities counseling the pair on tax, banking and immigration issues/Idaho Press-Tribune. More here.

    Question: How do you view ACORN?

    JR: Smoking Is Not A Crime

    During the segment, two talking heads began a heated debate over whether Swayze should have smoked or not. The host even went so far as to ask, “Why kill yourself?” She made it clear she opposed smoking and anyone who partook. Obviously there is some fairly convincing proof habitual smoking, especially cigarette smoking, can be extremely hazardous to ones health, but many activities can be hazardous to ones health, or even life. Sun tanning, over working and eating fatty foods can all have hazardous effects on a person’s health and even cause death. The simple fact is, smoking is bad for you, but what is not bad for you, is if Patrick Swayze smokes. As the guest said, “It’s his life”/Jeffrey Reznicek, UI Argonaut. More here

    Question: Do you have a bias against smokers?

    Ramirez: The Thinker

    Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

    Wild Card/Monday — 9.21.09

    I’m back from my weeklong furlough during which I entirely stayed away from Huckleberries Online for four days. Yeah, I went through withdrawals. But an afternoon sitting in 80-plus-degree temperatures on Cannon Beach helped with the tremors. As some of you know, this blog reading and commenting can be addictive. We learned just before our return trip home from Portland Sunday afternoon that a good friend of ours committed suicide over the weekend. I’m processing that today. It’s good to be back with you and return to some normalcy of schedule. Now, for your Wild Card …

    Parting Shot — 9.21.09

    Young trout, being raised at Freshwater Farms of Ohio, leap out of the water after the food Carson McKenzie, 4, was sprinkling into one of the outdoor tanks Sunday, during the Fish and Shrimp Festival in Urbana, Ohio. (AP Photo/Springfield News-Sun, Bill Lackey)

    Joker: If Obama Produced TV …

    MTV’s The Real World, Washington DC.
    Bravo: Top Chef — The cabinet vs. the interns.
    ESPN8: Barack doing work.
    Noggin: Malia’s playhouse
    TLC: Barack and Michelle plus 307 million.
    History: Obama’s lifestory
    Discovery: Why Obama’s health care plan will save your life.
    SCYFY: Attack of the Birthers
    FX: Dick Cheney out for blood, a hunter’s tale.
    Comedy Central: Joe Biden on Tour
    HGTV: Curb Appeal on Pennsylvania Avenue.
    E: True Hollywood Story: Hillary Clinton
    USA: Dazed and Confused II, the Republicans.

    Question: Any programs you’d add to the list?

    Sandpoint Lifts Skateboarder Ban

    Item: Sandpoint send ban on skateboards to the curb/Conor Christofferson, Bonner County Bee

    More Info: Local skateboarders who have longed to legally cruise the streets of downtown Sandpoint are celebrating after the City Council voted to legalize all non-motorized transportation in the downtown core, ending a 20-year prohibition. By amending its current ordinance, the council is opening up downtown streets to all forms of human-powered transportation, a right previously given only to bicyclists. The amendment won approval on a 4-2 vote, with council members John Reuter, Michael Boge, John O’Hara and Stephen Snedden voting in favor of the changes and council members Helen Newton and Carrie Logan dissenting. Reuter, who introduced the changes, said the amendment reflects activities already happening downtown and will not affect pedestrians.

    Question: How do you view skaters — juvenile outlaws? Talented athletes w/an attitude? Or something else?

    APhoto Of The Day — 9.21.09

    Heidi Klum arrives at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

    Top Cutlines:

    • 1. It’s hard to go clubbing with a baby Seal — Jesse Tinsley.
    • 2. “Why, yes, even though it was an enormous navel operation to get it on, I got my husband’s Seal of approval to wear this dress” — JohnA.
    • 3. Danny DeVito?? I haven’t seen him for ages — Kevin Taylor.
    • HM: Cabbage Boy 

    PM Scanner Traffic — 9.21.09

    • 5:19 p.m. Landlord wants to see an officer re: graffiti on a rental property on Lawson/Rathdrum.
    • 5:09 p.m. 2 juveniles are shooting arrows from air-pumped weapons at each other @ Kiwanis Park/Post Falls.
    • 4:23 p.m. R/P reports that the Avista transformer on Avondale Loop/Hayden Lake has blown.
    • 4:11 p.m. A small child is crawling around in a gray van w/British Columbia plates, rather than being fastened in a car seat.
    • 3:34 p.m. A North Idaho College student can’t find the lock combination for his bike, which is parked near the flagpole in front of the SUB.
    • More below

    Vandal Fans Love New Kibbie Light

    Vandal fans cheer the University of Idaho’s newly illuminated Kibbie Dome/Geoff Crimmins, Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

    Bob Haynes has been attending football games at the University of Idaho since 1953. So the Coeur d’Alene resident undoubtedly noticed a difference when he visited the Kibbie Dome for Saturday’s home game against San Diego State University. The dome’s west wall has been partially replaced by translucent fiberglass panels, part of a $10 million life-safety improvement project that began this year. From the outside, the panels appear opaque and off-white. However, when viewed from the inside, they let in 22 percent light illumination. That makes a difference even on a cloudy day, Haynes said. “It’s improved the atmosphere in here a great deal,” he said. “There’s much more light”/Holly Bowen, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

    Question: Did you attend the San Diego State game? What do you think of the Kibbie Dome renovation?

    Feds Wants Carlson’s Benz, Cash

    A prominent school booster charged in a major cocaine dealing investigation could be forced to give up $40,000 and his Mercedes Benz, newly filed court document show. Jerald Stuart Carlson was indicted on a federal drug forfeiture charge last week, more than seven months after a police raid at a storage facility behind his insurance business on Government Way north of Coeur d’Alene. The charge, filed Sept. 15, demands that Carlson give up assets related to charges of conspiracy to posses within intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and attempt to posses with intent to distribute cocaine. Each of the three charges involves more than 500 grams - or half a kilogram - of cocaine and stems from allegations dating back to November 2007/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

    HBO Blogosphere (A - N) — 9.21.09

    At As The Lake Churns, Pecky Cox snapped this photo, which she labels, “All Creatures Great & Small.”

    HMO: Obama Over-Exposed

    President Barack Obama is pictured with host David Letterman during a break at a taping of CBS The Late Show with David Letterman at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York today. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    HMOffsuite: Obama was on 5 political talk shows yesterday (unprecedented) and is doing Letterman tonight. That, of course, in addition to his address this morning. He is highly exposed on the media and in my considered humble opinion, he is over doing it. Like I have said before. Repeating the same thing over and over on TV makes him like watching the Weather Channel.

    Question: Do you think President Obama should cut back on media exposure?

    Computer Problems

    As you’ve probably guessed by now the newspaper’s online system has been down for the last hour. I’ll post the HBO Blogosphere roundup shortly. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Idaho Capitol Doesn’t Make This List

    Visitors to the Idaho Statehouse walk up the main steps in front of the sandstone columns in this AP file photo. The Statehouse, which has undergone an extensive renovation, is fairly picturesque compared to the five capitol buildings that rank on the State Surge blog list of worst ones in the nation, led by Alaska’s capitol, which resembles an elementary school rather than an important building. You can see the 5 worst capitol buildings here. (AP Photo/Troy Maben)

    Question: Are you proud of the Idaho Capitol building?

    Bent: Media Not Covering Local News

    Bent: Right now I could rattle off a half dozen front page stories that no media has even begun to track down. Take the S-R for instance, they have a newsroom 80 persons strong, and not peep in paper about the upcoming BNSF re-fueling depot hearings to see how well BNSF complied with their original conditional use permit. Requests for comments went out to public agencies over a month ago… That is powder-keg topic, with no coverage. Full post below.

    Question: How well does the local media do in covering local news of importance to you?

    Risch Richer Than Late Ted Kennedy

    In a Roll Call survey, Jim Risch, Idaho’s junior U.S. senator, ranks No. 13 among the richest congressman with assets totaling $19.49 million, which is almost $4 million more than the late U.S. Sen. Teddy Kennedy, at No. 18, had. Risch lost almost $1 million between 2007 and 2008. The richest congressman is U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who has assets totaling $215.41 million. Survey of top 50 here.

    Question: Would you rather be represented by a rich congressman or one of moderate means? Or does it matter?

    HBO’s Inland Northwest — 9.21.09

    Judges, left, keep watch on the vertical chop event action by Rob Waibel of West Linn, Ore., during the Lumberjack Days competition at Orofino on Sunday. (AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune, Barry Kough)

    High Noon: World’s Tallest Man

    The world’s tallest man, Sultan Kosen of Turkey, poses in New York’s Times Square Monday. Kosen has been verified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s tallest living man at 8 foot 1 inch. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

    Question: Are you satisfied with your height? Or would you like to be taller? Or shorter?

    AM Scanner Traffic — 9.21.09

    • 11:49 a.m. A Hayden Meadows mother reports her 10YO son failed to show up for school this morning, and she doesn’t know where he is.
    • 11:31 a.m. A trencher has ruptured a gas line @ 2545 Fairway Drive/CdA.
    • 11:27 a.m. A 51YO woman has dislocated a hip in a fall @ Chukar Loop & Idaline/Post Falls.
    • 11:10 a.m. R/P wants to see a deputy re: a problem he’s having with a neighbor over a loan.
    • 10:45 a.m. An injured deer is lying on East Hayden Lake Road, 5 or 6 houses east of Dike Road, Hayden Lake.
    • 10:35 a.m. Ironwood Family Clinic has called for an ambulance to tranfer a 59YO woman who is dizzy from head trauma suffered in 4-wheeler crash Sunday night.
    • 9:54 a.m. A drunk daughter is threatening to harm her ill mother in Post Falls High area.
    • 8:28 a.m. Joe reports he is having problems with a renter.
    • 8:24 a.m. Resident in 400 block of 15th Street reports an attempted break-in.
    • 8:09 a.m. A fireman reports he may had dropped his Blackberry iPod at the scene of an accident this morning in which a woman was trapped in her car on Poleline/Post Falls.

    Obama Open To Newspaper Bailout

    Item: Obama open to newspaper bailout bill/Michael O’Brien, The Hill

    More Info: The president said he is “happy to look at” bills before Congress that would give struggling news organizations tax breaks if they were to restructure as nonprofit businesses. “I haven’t seen detailed proposals yet, but I’ll be happy to look at them,” Obama told the editors of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade in an interview. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) has introduced S. 673, the so-called “Newspaper Revitalization Act,” that would give outlets tax deals if they were to restructure as 501(c)(3) corporations. That bill has so far attracted one cosponsor, Cardin’s Maryland colleague Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D).

    Question: Do you want to see the government involved in a bailout of the newspaper industry?

    OTV: Wine Cellar To Close

    Coeur d’Alene will never be the same. It is with great sadness that we announce today that the ~Wine Cellar~ in downtown Coeur d’Alene is closing. The inspiration, orchestration and vision of Jim Duncan, the Wine Cellar has been gathering a fan club that reaches all across the USA and in locations around the world. This late night cafe has been a local favorite for a cozy romantic restaurant and a vibrant place for locals to take visiting friends and family for more than 17 years. They are famous for their extraordinary wine selections, great food at reasonable prices and for always being a venue for local musicians to share the spotlight. The wine, the music, the food will be shutting down Oct. 3rd due to a dispute of ownership and unforseen difficulties out of their control/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

    Question: CindyH, the Huckleberries Online sub blogmistress extraordinaire, posted a link to OrangeTV’s announcement about The Wine Cellar Friday. The Coeur d’Alene Press wrote about it Sunday. I didn’t want the news to be relegated only to a weekend discussion. Are you a fan of The Wine Cellar? What does this news mean to you?

    HBO Poll: Mayor, Council Info

    The North Idaho Unitarian Universalist Church will feature an appearance of all of the candidates running for Coeur d’Alene  Mayor and City Council this year.  The program will begin at 10:30 a.m. Sunday  in the Harding Family Gym on 15th and Wallace in Coeur d’Alene. Former State Senator Mary Lou Reed will be the moderator. This will be the initial public forum since the filing date closed and will give the public their first chance to ask questions of the candidates and hear their comments on the issues facing the community.  This presentation is open to the public and anyone interested in hearing the candidate’s position is welcome to attend. Full post below.

    DSHS Rates The Fair

    The food is great,
    the rides are thrillers;
    it gets thumbs up
    from all our killers.

    The Bard of Sherman Avenue

    Stam To Run As Mayoral Write-In

    On Friday, Allison Stam of 6740 Spurwing Loop filed her candidacy papers to run as a write-in candidate for mayor of Coeur d’Alene. The write-in candidacy was received by the city clerk’s office on Friday. Mayor Sandi Bloem will face challenger Joe Kunka and Stam in the Nov. 4 election.

    Question: Have you ever voted for a write-in candidate?

    Empty Nesters Must Learn To Cope

    Peggy Nardini was so sad when her twins left for college last year that she kept the doors to their rooms closed. When she recently dropped them off for their second year away, she felt the same pull at her heart. “That initial moment when you give them that hug goodbye, when you walk away from the dorm and back to the car without them – that was awfully hard,” says Nardini, 48, a secretary in Madrid, Iowa. Her son and daughter go to different colleges about two hours away from home. “You want to teach your kids to fly out of the nest,” she says, “but you don’t want them to actually do it”/Megan K. Scott, AP. More here.

    Question: What can parents do when children leave the nest?

    KH: Vain Cry For Electronic Help

    Sometimes I think the reason some companies have switched to electronic telephone operators instead of real humans is because of people like me who have been rude to real humans in the past. I am ashamed of the times I called somebody up, trying to find out about my insurance policy or why I couldn’t get my digital recorder to work. Sometimes the person at the other end of the phone seemed unable to comprehend the question - of course, I’m not always as articulate as I could be when I’m yelling hysterically. And, worse, the more I yelled the more disinterested the operator became. Really, what the heck does some guy in Bangalore care about whether or not I can program the clock on my coffee maker? I can scream all I want but he can check out mentally and nobody gets anywhere/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

    Question: When did you last deal with an electronic telephone operator? What help did you need?

    AM Headlines — 9.21.09

    Idaho defensive end Charles Smith Jr., left, puts pressure on San Diego State quarterback Ryan Lindley during the third quarter of an CNAA college football game at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow on Saturday. (AP Photo/Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Geoff Crimmins)

    Question: At this point, are you optimistic re: how the season will go for the Idaho Vandals football team?

    Gookin Leads Goodlander In Poll

    In an online poll by the Coeur d’Alene Press, 51% of 449 respondents say they’d vote for challenger Dan Gookin over incumbent Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander, if the Coeur d’Alene City Council elections were held today. The current tally is 229-220 in favor of Gookin.

    Question: What percentage of the actual vote will Dan Gookin get? 

    KCSO Probes Fatal Rathdrum Fire

    The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department is investigating an unattended death at a house fire near Rathdrum. About 6:45 p.m. Sunday evening, neighbors of the residence at 10278 N. Church Road noticed smoke coming from the single wide mobile home at that address.  While the fire department was in route, neighbors attempted to put out the fire with a garden hose but were unable to overcome the flames.  About 8:45 p.m. firefighters told deputies on scene that they had discovered a dead body inside the residence.  Due to the state of the burned body, positive identification was not possible.  Investigators are continuing their investigation today.  Once the body is identified and notification of next of kin completed, the information will be released to the public. Cause of the fire is also under investigation.

    DC: Field Trip A Literal No-Brainer

    It’s a coin flip deciding who looks crazier these days. Escaped psycho killer Phillip Arnold Paul? Or the alleged mental health professionals at Eastern State Hospital who let Paul and a troop of other criminally dangerous patients go on a field trip to the Spokane County fair? That sure turned out swell, huh? Here’s a thought. Next time Eastern State decides to make it Hannibal Lecter Day at the fair, how about letting the public know so families can skip the giant pumpkins and barnyard fun and head to a mall for a movie? As everyone in the country now knows, Paul ditched his keepers and, like the boogeyman, remains at large (Update: Paul was captured Sunday afternoon). A lot of people are pretty sore at Eastern State administrators for waiting two hours before sounding any alarms about Paul’s vanishing act/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

    Question: So, who do you think is crazier: Phillip Arnold Paul? Or the mental health professionals at Eastern State Hospital who let him go on a field trip to the fair?

    OTV Review: Olive Garden

    My stepfather likes to tell an amazing story about how he once lost over eighty pounds by eating both lunch and dinner at the ubiquitous Italian-American eatery every day for six months. Quite a few years ago, he was single and living in Everett, Washington in a place located a quick walk away from an Olive Garden restaurant. Normally he’s a pretty fit guy, but he had managed to pack on some extra pounds and his cash flow situation was looking tight. He found the perfect solution to both problems with the all-you-can-eat soup and salad special, which provided him with two low calorie, filling and affordable meals a day. Surprisingly, he swears the staff never got tired of seeing his face twice a day and that he never got burned out on eating piles and piles of iceberg lettuce and crunchy croutons/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

    Question: Which local Italian-American eatery is your favorite?

    Heller: Regulatory Sanitizer

    Joe Heller/Hellertoons

    Field Trip’s Over

    Phillip A. Paul poses for a portrait in downtown Spokane in 2008, when he was living at  The Carlyle, an assisted living facility.

    Insane killer captured at Goldendale, Wash. “Phillip A. Paul, a criminally insane killer who walked away from a mental hospital field trip to the Spokane fair last week, was caught a shortly before 4 p.m. today in the Goldendale, Wash., area.” Full story:

    But I believe the folks out at Eastern State have a whole lot of ‘splainin` to do.

    Update: He got by with a little help from a friend

    Weekend Wild Card

    Welcome to the weekend. Saturday=Soccer at our house.  Someday, maybe fall weekends will mean something besides sports, but since the youngest of my four sons is nine, I think I’ll be screaming at referees every autumn weekend for the foreseeable future. Actually, one of those boys is a soccer referee so occasionally I find myself in the unusual situation of cheering for the ref.

    Speaking of sports— boy howdy! Mt. Spokane toppled North Central last night 51 to 6. Nine of those Wildcat points were scored by someone with my last name. Just saying.

    Hope you find plenty to cheer about this weekend. Feel free to post your cheers and jeers below. Monday morning the blogfather will return refreshed and ready to crack the whip.Thanks for tolerating me again :-)

    A $63,500 dinner

    Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin blows a kiss  in Kissimmee, Fla., during a campaign stop in October 2008.

    “A true fan of former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is paying $63,500 to have dinner with her. Cathy Maples of Huntsville, Ala., on Friday won the dinner in an Internet auction, which was a benefit for a charity that aids wounded veterans.” More here:

    Who would you pay $63,500 to have dinner with?

    Obama: Health care anger not motivated by his race

    “President Barack Obama said Friday that angry criticisms about his health care agenda are driven by an intense debate over the proper role of government — and not by racism.” Story here:

    Question: If the POTUS believes this, why do so many others seem eager to play the race card?

    APhoto of the Weekend

    A model displays a creation in the Hedonism display, a display of hats from different designers, during London Fashion Week, in London, Friday, Sept. 18, 2009.

    You write the cutline.

    Horsey: I’m not making this up

    David Horsey,,

    TGIF Wildcard

    Friday=Football around our house. This evening I’ll be sitting under the Friday Night Lights at Joe Albi. My boy has struggled a bit, missing his first two field goal attempts of the season at the Battle of the Bell game. He redeemed himself with a couple PAT’s (point after touchdown) but I’m still nervous. You know how they say, there’s no atheists in foxholes? Well. I don’t think there’s any atheists at high school football games, either. At least not among the mothers of players.

    Speaking of football, you can watch the Mike and Greg show here:

    They totally should ask me to be on the show— what with my newfound football knowlege and unbiased opinions and all. But they haven’t called. Go figure. By the way, it should be Greg and Mike, alphabetically speaking. Just saying :-)

    You can discuss football or anything on this Wild Card.

    To Casket or Not to Casket?

    Hazen and Jaeger Valley Funeral Home manager Dan VerHeul demonstrates the placement of a personalized memory corner on a casket in the Dignity Display Room at Hazen and Jaeger Valley.

    What do you what to have done with your remains after you die? One of America’s prominent field biologists weighs in on the subject here:

    Wine Cellar to Close

    At Get Out North Idaho, OTV breaks the bad news: 

    The popular venue is due to shut its doors October 3.

    This is one of my favorite CDA eateries. I’ve never had a bad meal there. I am heartbroken. Say it aint so OTV :-(

    How much would you pay for 30 seconds?

    This undated image shows Apple’s new iTunes Plus Web site.

    “Just when it seems the music industry is starting to come around to the realities of digital distribution, groups representing songwriters, composers, and music publishers are hoping to tack on additional licensing fees to music downloaded online. If fact, the group would like to earn performances fees even from the 30-second previews you can hear when you browse the iTunes Store.” More here:

    Really? They want me to pay for a 30-second preview? So how much do you think 30 seconds of Kayne West is worth? Taylor Swift? Beyonce?

    APhoto of the Day

    Men sit on top of a tank as farmers spray milk onto a field in Ciney, Belgium.

    1. First man: “Hey, Sig, you want that milk Pasteurized?”
    Sig: “Nah, just up to our knees would be fine.” John A.

    2. “Just wait until the load of Rice Krispies get here, then things will get really interesting!” IdahoDad

    3. “Belgium farmers don’t cry over spilt milk.” Gary D. Rhodes

    No charges for former Sandpoint cop

    “No criminal charges will be filed against a former Sandpoint police detective who authorities say sent sexually explicit photos and video to a woman he had arrested during a methamphetamine trafficking investigation.”

    Apparently sexting is only criminal if the person you are sexting doesn’t want to see your naughty bits. Seems to me to be a slippery slope. What if you change your mind after receiving such a text?

    Best Book News

    “As part of a deal announced Thursday, Google is opening up part of its index to the maker of a high-speed publishing machine that can manufacture a paperback-bound book of about 300 pages in under five minutes. The new service is an acknowledgment by the Internet search leader that not everyone wants their books served up on a computer or an electronic reader like those made by Inc. and Sony Inc.” Read more:

    What are you reading?

    Not Flying High

    The International Air Transport Association is forecasting a gloomy revenue picture for the airline industry in 2009, according to an Associated Press article and an official IATA statement, both released Tuesday. The Montreal-based trade group, which represents over 230 airlines worldwide, estimates a total of $11 billion in airline industry losses for 2009.”

    More here:

    When did you last take a plane anywhere? What it a good travel experience?

    News you can sink your teeth into

    Are your dentures loose? Be careful with that Poligrip: “Overuse of denture cream with zinc sparks lawsuits”

    And in local chopper news: “Swimmer unnverved by sight of ‘jaws’:

    Both my grandparents wore dentures, but neither of my parents did. Do you think fewer folks need  dentures now?

    Tea for 1,000?

    Outside the Spokane Opera House Thursday, Don Stone attends a Constitution Day rally sponsored by the Tea Party organization of Spokane.

    Story here:

    The CDA Press reports 1,000 folks attended the Stateline Tea Party event: “When a government can control what medicine you get, what doctors you see and what services you get, you become a medical indentured servant or slave,” Vliet told about 1,000 people attending the latest Tea Party Patriots of North Idaho rally on Thursday night during Constitution Day at Stateline Speedway.”

    Do you think Tea Party events will have a lasting affect on American politics?

    Million Dollar Shot

    Jason Hargett makes more per hole than Tiger Woods:,190463

    Have you ever particpated in a hole-in-one or make-a-basket-for bucks type event? Did you win any money?


    Because I said so, that’s why. Though after reading this article I’ve added: Quantum Fluctuation. And I’m thinking they should have included, Spencer’s hair, that’s why.

    Of course your answers may differ:

    More Chicken News

    Turns out chicken may save our bacon. Or at least prevent a trade war with China:

    “China is threatening to cut off imports of American chicken, but poultry experts have at least one reason to suspect it may be an empty threat: Many Chinese consumers would miss the scrumptious chicken feet they get from this country.

    “We have these jumbo, juicy paws the Chinese really love,” said Paul W. Aho, a poultry economist and consultant, “so I don’t think they are going to cut us off.” Full story here:

    Can’t say I’ve tried chicken feet. What’s your favorite chicken dish?

    Spokelooneh: The Good ‘ol Days

     ”Ahh, the good ol’ days. When many people paid attention to the major issues of the day, and the newspapers fostered such informing and intelligent debate. Killed, on purpose, by the sound-bite/video clip culture, which thrives on ranting and raving, and yes, on both sides.”

    It pains me to have to ask, but: What is your main source of news?

    • Televison
    • Internet
    • Newspapers
    • Magazines
    • Radio
    • Other

    DNC promises ‘rain of hellfire’

    President Barack Obama gestures while addressing a health insurance reform rally Saturday in Minneapolis.

    “The increasingly aggressive Democratic National Committee on Friday launched a new “Call em Out” website targeting prominent Republicans for statements they have made about President Barack Obama’s health reform plans.” More here:

    What do you think of this strategy?

    Idaho bill would ban texting while driving

    Idaho’s got bipartisan legislation in the works to ban texting while driving, a move roughly two dozen states already have made. Sen. Les Bock, D-Boise, proposed similar legislation this year, but now he’s got a high-profile co-sponsor on board: House Transportation Chairwoman JoAn Wood, R-Rigby. “I’ve ben thinking about it for quite some time,” Wood told Eye on Boise. “Maybe it’s because I’m not very good at it anyway - there’s no way that I could do that and drive. I see kids coming out of the high school and doing it, and it really bothers me that they’re on the road and doing it.” / More here at Eye on Boise

    Question: What have you seen people trying to do while driving?

    Arpie: Field Trips Cut


    “he won’t be messing with our kids. Field trips have been cut from our budget. How ironic.”

    Do you think field trips are important for elementary-age kids? Did you go on many when you were a kid?

    OTV’s Halloween Costume Ideas

    Halloween costume ideas:

    *Dress as Mary Souza in her Margaritaville party gear, complete with silly hat and sunglasses.

    *Bedazzled Liz Claiborne animal print power jacket + upswept frosted hair + chunky bling = instant Mayor Sandi.

    *Bleach your hair until it’s fried, wear a hot pink tube top and a pair of cutoffs so short, the pockets (and possibly body parts) hang out the bottom. Accessorize with a pack of Ligget Menthols, a bag of Cheetos and a bottle of Blue Hawaiian Boone’s farm. It’s Smelterville Britney!

    *Swipe a uniform from one of the Resort valets (preferably while he’s still in it). Tan polyester knickers and argyle knee socks. Hot.

    *Easy last minute costume idea: Cd’A’s infamous Thong Man

    Add your own HBO-themed costume ideas here.

    Thursday Wild Card

    Something just felt “off” to me in blogland yesterday. I was haunted by the nagging feeling that something was missing. Then, last night as I was falling asleep— it hit me. Not one thread led to Larry Spencer’s hair yesterday. Not one!

    Could Poolman’s “Theory of Entropy” be wrong? And why was I thinking about Spencer’s hair while I was falling asleep?

    Feel free to ponder that and other fascinating topics here.

    Harry World

    Daniel Radcliffe stars as Harry Potter and Emma Watson is Hermione Granger in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”

    “Universal Orlando Resort, together with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, today revealed first-ever details about the incredible scope of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Universal also announced that the highly anticipated land will open in spring 2010.”

    Is it just me, or does this sound like a gigantic shopping trip?

    Field Trips for Killers?

    “A criminally insane convicted murderer walked away from an Eastern State Hospital field trip to the Spokane Interstate Fair and deputies are combing the fairgrounds for him.”

    H/T MamaJD

    This ticks me off. My fourth-grader is going on his Fair field trip tomorrow. Now, I’m wondering what other kinds of groups will be field-tripping with the elementary school kids. Geez!


    Is Glenn Beck Bad for America?

    Thought this article might be of interest for you Hucksters. I predict comments will be split down partisan lines.(I’m kinda smart that way).  What I wouldn’t give to hear from one of those self-identified moderates from DFO’s recent poll.,8599,1924348-1,00.html

    Baseball’s Bad Boys

    Jorge Posada was in the center of Tuesday’s scuffle.

    “New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada and Toronto pitcher Jesse Carlson both were suspended for three games and fined Wednesday by Major League Baseball for their roles in a bench-clearing brawl.”

    Sounds more like a hockey game to me.

    What a pain in the neck

    Someone, (Nick Adams?) mentioned this story earlier in the week. “Skewered” is a good word.

    “A northern Idaho woman who was skewered in the neck by a tree limb while driving along the Lochsa River earlier this month says she is recovering at home.”

    Golden Glow

    “Showers and thunderstorms arriving at daybreak today created an unusual golden glow as the sun’s low-angle rays lit the underside of this morning’s cloud layer over the Spokane region.”

    Weather stories make for some interesting newsroom debate. How important are weather stories to you?

    I know a stud when I see one

    “So, on Thursday, six of us brave mothers clutched our coffee cups and tried to appear wakeful. (Well, I was shooting for conscious.) It might have been the artificial alertness inspired by my triple latte – or perhaps the open notebook I’d laid on the desk. But when McLaughlin instructed us to introduce ourselves and identify our sons by number and position, he pointed to me and said, “You first.”

    Who knew there’d be a test on the first day? I gulped. For a moment my name eluded me. Good thing I’d written it on my notebook cover. “I’m Cindy, my son is Alex. He’s number 21 and he’s a kicker.”

    The other moms followed suit. I think we all passed. When one of the ladies mentioned hesitantly, that her son played OL/LB (that’s offensive line/linebacker for you novices), the coach nodded, “That’s right, he’s a stud.”

    Question: How much knowlege of a sport do you really need in order to be able to enjoy watching it?

    Press says Idahoans Struggling

    “Many Idahoans are struggling even more than unemployment and poverty rates suggest, according to a new poll.The poll released by the Northwest Area Foundation, which includes data from 400 random adult Idahoans, says 32 percent have had problems paying for basic necessities such as mortgage, rent and heating in the past year.”


    Blog Round Up (Kinda, Sorta)

    See that blog roll on the right rail? There are some truly gifted writers featured there. To be honest I hardly ever click on the links, and that’s why I’m so glad DFO highlights of few every week. I’m going to be more diligent about checking these blogs out. The writers featured write because they love to, not because they’re paid to.

    Here’s just sampling:

    BethB talks about the “Way over 40 league:

    Inlandempiregirl: Writes about belonging (beautiful photos!):

    Me speaks her mind:  

    At Notes on a Napkin Katrina is engaged in a “merry war”:

    JeanieS realizes she’s not the only impacted by her kidney disease:

    And OtisG shows biking prowess:

    Good stuff. Really good stuff.

    Nimoy Sings the Ballad of Bilbo Baggins

    Warning: This link contains some of the most disturbing music videos ever made:

    While I loved “Total Eclipse of the Heart” I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t get the video. And for true horror nothing beats David Hasselhoff’s “Hooked on a Feeling”.

    Can you think of other bizarre music videos you’d add to this list?

    Unusual Medical News

    Sharron “Kay” Thornton, who received a rare surgery to restore her sight, talks about seeing again with Dr. Victor L. Perez.McClatchy

    “A 60-year-old woman, blind for nine years, has regained useful vision following a rare operation in Miami in which surgeons removed one of her teeth, drilled a hole in it, inserted a plastic lens into the hole and implanted the tooth-lens combination into her eye. It’s the first such operation in the United States, they said.”

    Do you think it was one of her eye-teeth?


    More Charges May Come in Zehm Case

    Otto Zehm is shown in this handout photo.

    “More Spokane Police officers could face criminal charges over the city’s handling of the fatal confrontation with unarmed janitor Otto Zehm, with newly filed court documents indicating a federal probe is continuing into potential obstructions of justice.”


    The Race from Race

    “Jimmy Carter is 84 years old and three decades removed from the White House, but he still has the power to make Democrats run.

    Away from him, that is.

    From the White House to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Democrats raced to distance themselves from the former president’s claim that racism was behind Rep. Joe Wilson’s “You lie” outburst and other attacks on President Barack Obama.”

    Perhaps former presidents should take up gardening or golf and avoid the media.

     What did you think of Carter’s claims?

    RIP Mary Travers

    Folk trio and activists Peter, Paul & Mary perform before the delegates during the Democratic National Convention in Boston in July.

    “Mary Travers, who as one-third of the hugely popular 1960s folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary helped popularize such tunes as “Puff (The Magic Dragon)” and “If I Had a Hammer,” died Wednesday after battling leukemia for several years. She was 72.”

    ~His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain,
    Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.
    Without his life-long friend, puff could not be brave,
    So puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave~


    Sen. Risch is among the richest in Congress

    Freshman Idaho Sen. Jim Risch is the 13th wealthiest member of Congress, according to a new analysis by Roll Call newspaper, and is richer than the late Ted Kennedy, Sen. John McCain or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Roll Call pegged Risch’s minimum net worth at $19.29 million; he’s the only senator or congressman from Idaho or Washington to make Roll Call’s “50 Richest” list. / More here at Eye on Boise

    Question: If you were that wealthy, how would you spend your time?

    Wednesday Wild Card

    CowsMakeDeliciousMilk: Where are you?

    When I post threads at HBO the S-R admin page gives a list of available authors. Since we got the new webpage when I typed in “c” I got “CowsMakeDeliciousMilk”.  I’ve wondered about that author.  And now, the cow who makes delicous milk is gone. Vanished from the author list. I hope the cow didn’t get laid off. 

    Of course we’ve still got “Imbloggertest,” and “thelagbeast,” but I sure miss the cow. You can talk about your own blogger name or anything else on this Wild Card.

    Going Brown?

    I’m all for going green and sustainable living but…a human dung farm?

    “Frank Sinton thinks human waste is highly underrated — and highly profitable.”

    Lotsa big words in the above story, but bascially the guy has found a way to make money recycling poo. Ew.


    Should I become the 301,000,000th?

    Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks to the press and advertising partners at a Facebook announcement in New York.

    Facebook has announced that it now has 300 million members worldwide:

    Had several people ask me this week: “You on Facebook yet?” Nope. Not yet. I’m afraid I’ve got very little self-restraint. I’d probably whittle away hours of my life each day, which is why I’ve yet to join any social networking sites.

    Has Facebook enriched your life or do you wish you’d never joined?

    Dead Wolves Tell No Tales

    “State wildlife officials have received the first report of a wolf killed in the hunting season that began Tuesday. Perry Zumwalt of Roberts shot the wolf Tuesday just north of Yellowstone National Park. He could not immediately be reached for comment. (Emphasis mine)

    Apprarently, the first victim of the Montana wolf season isn’t talking to the press.


    The Bad News That Wasn’t

    “An Army unit is reviewing how it delivers information to families after a call to a western New York couple led them to believe their son had been killed in combat.”

    He wasn’t. I can’t begin to imagine the rollercoaster of emotions this family endured.

    Have you ever erroneously received bad news?

    Stuff like this never happens to me!

    “Secretary by Day, Royalty by Night” It seems Silver Spring secretary Peggielene Bartels, is also king of Otuam, Ghana.

    Any royalty in your family tree?


    Kibbie Dome Makeover

    The University of Idaho’s Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho, has new windows above the west wall, as well as an expanded seating area.

    During a tour on a sun-splashed afternoon, Spear had made his point – about the $10 million facelift and the football program in general. “If you’re going to be Division I, you’ve got to look Division I,” he said, summing up one of his core missions since taking over UI athletics six years ago.”

    At first I thought I was reading the old S-R Home section. “revamped locker rooms” “spacious athletic equipment center” “Natural light streamed…”

    What do you Vandal fans think about the makeover?

    Which is worse?

    Which is worse: Having steep tax hikes hit Idaho employers during a recession, or having rates remain high when times are good? Right now, Idaho employers who are paying a 70 percent increase in unemployment tax rates this year are facing bigger hikes next year, as soaring unemployment drains Idaho’s unemployment trust fund. The state is also borrowing from the feds for the first time to bail out its fund. Washington, by contrast, has the healthiest unemployment fund in the nation at $3.2 billion, after revamping its system in 2005 at employers’ request to focus on stability; no tax hikes or borrowing are being considered there. / More here at Eye on Boise

    Question: So is it better to save lots of money when times are good and have to pay more when times are bad, like the Idaho system? Or pay more all along and avoid tax hikes in bad times, like in Washington?

    Sex crime charge reduced, to, um, burglary

    Here’s an odd one: A former BSU football player who was charged with two counts having sexual contact with a female inmate while working as an officer at a state prison has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge - burglary. Timothy Ryan Gilligan will not have to register as a sex offender after he admitted in court that he twice entered the Idaho Maximum Security Institution with the intent of having sexual contact with a female inmate, a felony, the Idaho Statesman reports. Entering a building with the intent to commit a felony is burglary. / More here


    Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That

    “Lesbian Vampire Killers” ranks among the top worst movie names of all time. Here’s more:

    Has anyone actually seen these flicks? Can you add your own titles to the list?

    JeanieS was probably watching

    Seattle reliever Mark Lowe cools down after allowing three runs in the seventh inning.

    Jeanie thinks she’s a sports jinx. Perhaps she watched the M’s misery last night?

    My favorite line from the above article: “For six innings,” said manager Don Wakamatsu, “I thought we played a good game.” But they play nine these days, and the Mariners let this one get away from them late.

    Sportswriters excell at snark.

    Bad News

    So you’re diligent about hand washing and complusively use hand sanitizer? It might not be enough to protect you from the Swine Flu: 

    “That’s because there is virtually no evidence that people can catch the influenza virus from germs that they pick up on their hands, according to Arthur Reingold, head of epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley, and codirector of the CDC-funded California Emerging Infections Program. Instead, humans are most likely to catch influenza by breathing in microscopic particles exhaled by infected people.”

    Now what?

    Who are you voting for?

    “It’s election season for Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal board, Lake City Development Corp. The agency will elect a chairman and vice chairman during its meeting at 4 this afternoon in the Community Room of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, as well as review the contract for its executive director, Tony Berns.”

    Er. Nevermind.

    That’s a chunk of change

    “Sen. Max Baucus on Wednesday released the much-awaited Finance Committee version of an American health-system remake — a landmark $856 billion, 10-year measure that starts a rough ride through Congress without visible Republican backing.”

    Huckster Bent has said it’s up to Baucus to sell the plan. How’s he doing so far?

    APhoto of the Day

    Netherlands’ table tennis player Li Jiao focuses the ball for serve during her semifinal match against Iveta Vacenovska from Czech Republic during the team competition of the Table Tennis European Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009.

    #1 “I couldn’t figure out why the ping pong ball was getting bigger and bigger. Then it hit me.” BayviewBob

    #2 Foot foul? You wanna call me for a foot foul in ping pong? You #@%%^ you! CabbageBoy

    #3 Idaho Vandals top sport, NCAA pingpong. redman

    HM: Charles Dixon

    I’m sure his mother agrees

    And probably would send him to his room without any dinner AND revoke his video game privileges for the rest of the month.

    What do you think about the resolution?

    Premature Tweeting

    Does anyone honestly disagree with President Obama’s statement about Kayne West?

    “He’s a jackass,” Obama replies, which is met with laughter from several people. ABC News employees prematurely tweeted a portion of those remarks that turned out to be from an off-the-record portion of the interview.”

    My thoughts? Much ado about nothing. Of course, your thoughts may differ.

    Heller: 3 Jerks In A Tub

    Joe Heller/Hellertoons

    Tuesday Wild Card

    Tuesday is the most deceptive day of the week. My weekly deadline is met (hopefully) and other deadlines seem do-able. I think, “I’ve got time to read the paper and sip my coffee, and chat with the guys in the neighboring office.”
    Then BOOM! Something needs fact-checked, my e-mail overflows, there’s a meeting I forgot about…Tuesday sucker punches me every time. But today, I’m ready. I’m going to stay on top of Tuesday until 6 PM. Bring it on.

    Meanwhile, here’s your Wild Card.

    A Chicken Empathy Museum

    “This morning, PETA sent a letter to Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine offering to rent the Botetourt Correctional Center building, which is slated to close because of budget concerns, and turn it into America’s first chicken empathy museum.” 

    I’m all for it. But hasn’t Colonel Sanders already done something like this? I know I bow my head for a moment of private reflection before I dig into a red and white bucket of juicy fried goodness.

    H/T Aliasjax

    Guv: ‘Attitude a big part of recovery’

    Gov. Butch Otter, in his monthly “Project 60” message today, touts optimism and attitude as keys to the state’s economic recovery. “In my experience, attitude is a big part of recovery,” the guv declares, then lists Idaho businesses that are thriving or expanding, even as so many suffer./More here at Eye on Boise

    Question: What other bad situations out there could benefit from some good attitude?

    He’s a Hero

    In this photo taken last week, Dylan Phifer, 12, concentrates while his parents Sallie, left, and Jim Phifer capture his record-setting attempt on “Guitar Hero” in Everett.

    “The 12-year-old Everett boy’s superpower is playing the popular video game “Guitar Hero.” He’s not just better than his friends and better than most of the much older players at the local game store. He’s one of the best in the world.”

    I’m getting grumpier by the minute. That’s cool for the kid and all, and he sounds like a well-rounded child, but when my son begged for Guitar Hero for his birthday, I bought him a real guitar and some lessons. That was four years ago. Zack has turned into an amazing guitarist. It’s a skill he’ll still have when Guitar Hero is obsolete.

    Internet Addiction

    Melissa Spangenberg looks at a “World of Warcraft” Web page in New York on Feb. 1.

    “Ben Alexander spent nearly every waking minute playing the video game “World of Warcraft.” As a result, he flunked out of the University of Iowa. Alexander, 19, needed help to break an addiction he calls as destructive as alcohol or drugs.”

    Okay, this story makes me cranky. Do we really need treatment facilities for Internet addiction? Really?

    Always read the newsaper before

    your triple latte wears off. Otherwise you might read this headline “Study finds widespread feminizing of male boss”

    When it’s really male bass:


    Is it really over?

    “Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday that the worst recession since the 1930s is probably over.Bernanke said the economy likely is growing now, but it won’t be sufficient to prevent the unemployment rate, now at a 26-year high of 9.7 percent, from rising.”


    ‘Special wolf tags’ to go to auction

    Idaho’s Fish & Game Commission will hold a meeting, via conference call, tomorrow morning to authorize “special wolf tags” that would be auctioned off as a fundraiser for wolf management and conservation. “The way we look at it here, it’s a chance for folks to own a piece of Idaho hunting history, being as it’s the first time we ever issued tags for wolves,” said Fish & Game spokesman Niels Nokkentved./More here at Eye on Boise

    Question: Is this a good idea?

    Bye Bye Blockbuster

    I’m starting to wonder if video rental stores are going the way of the dinosaur.  I still haven’t signed up for Netflix. I’m afraid I’d spent too much time in front of the TV. But every week I check out movies from the Spokane Public Library. Doesn’t cost a dime.

    Blockbuster is planning to close as many as 960 stores by the end of next year. That would shrink the video rental chain by more than 20 percent as it struggles against stiff competition from Netflix and Redbox.

    Dueling endorsements in GOP primary race for Congress

    Vaughn Ward, the decorated Iraq war veteran and former McCain-Palin campaign official, and Ken Roberts, the Idaho House majority caucus chairman from Donnelly, are announcing dueling endorsements in their face-off for a shot at challenging 1st District Congressman Walt Minnick, with Ward announcing the endorsement of Kootenai County GOP Chairman Brad Corkill, and Roberts the endorsement of state Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa, the 29th Idaho lawmaker to endorse Roberts/More here at Eye on Boise

    Question: Whose endorsement makes a difference to you?

    Butter: It’s not just for popcorn

    Here’s a new use for butter: “Government officials in south-east China have ordered workers to cover a 1,000 ft long steel bridge in butter to prevent citizens from using it to attempt suicide.” More here:

    What’s your favorite food to slather with butter?

    How Long is your Extension Cord?

    A Smart electro drive car hangs from a column on the Frankfurt fairground Monday, a day before the International Car Fair IAA opens first to the media and two days later for the public.

    Just wondering because it looks like the Volkswagon folks are coming out with an electic car. Not crazy about the name: E-Up. More here:

    Would you buy an electric car? Why or why not?

    Press says 120 attended Health Care Forum

    “We have no agenda, we won’t be discussing any specific proposals or bills in Congress,” the Coeur d’Alene Democrat said, insisting there be no shouting or interruptions. “Health care is important, sometimes controversial.”

    No shouting? No agenda? P