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Archive for January 2010

Wild Card/Weekend — 1.30-31.10

January goes away this weekend — and there’s plenty of decent weather in store for us in the early part of February, as we head for the Super Bowl, Blogfest VI, and spring training for the new, improved Mariners. Before then, we have to launch the new HBO Grub Club. The place this week: The Porch on Miles/Hayden. The discussion begins Monday morning. Bring your notes. Now, for the weekend Wild Card …

San Francisco 81, Gonzaga 77 (OT)

Gonzaga’s Steven Gray, with ball, fouls San Francisco’s Angelo Caloiaro during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday in San Francisco. San Francisco tied the game with a 3 with 7 seconds remaining in regulation play and then stopped the Zags’ 22-game winning streak in WCC play in overtime 81-77. ESPN boxscore here. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Redux: Tribe Police Face Racism Daily

Sgt. Christie Wood (originally published Saturday): Tribal Police have worked tireslessly to improve relations with the Benewah County Sheriff’s Department as well as the Prosecutor’s office with no resolution. Last summer the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations (I currently fill the LE Board member posiiton that was previously filled by Sheriff Watson) listened to testimony from Tribal officers reference the safety issues they deal with on a daily basis, due to the lack of cooperation of the Benewah County Sheriff. It is inexcusable to put citizens and LE officers at risk for personal injury due to what appears to be prejudice. Street officers have an inherant instinct to provide back up to an officer caling for help. They do not see white, black, hispanic, Indian etc. they see a brother officer in need. What in the heck is wrong with Sheriff Kirts? Thank you Sheriff Watson for putting safety first. You are a role model that other jurisdictions should follow.

Question: Should tribe police be cross-deputized to have authority to arrest non-tribal members on the Coeur d’Alene reservation?

Arpie’s Ethical Dilemma

Arpie: Okay commenters and blurkers I need help with an ethics question: This morning on a walk to get the paper, My dog lit into and hurt a neighbors’ dog enough to need a trip to the vet. My dog is confined in my yard unless it is with me, which it was though not on a leash. The neighbors’ dog was loose and had been following the owner’s car along the private road we both live on. The car headed to town and a few minutes later, my dog hurt their dog. This happened on the road, not on either of our properties. The neighbor lives further up the road from us and I do not go past their house on my trip to the mail-paper boxes. Am I morally, ethically, and or legally bound to pay the vet bill? On the one hand, my dog hurt their dog. On the other hand, their dog was loose without, an owner present, on neutral terrain.

Arpie: Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Otter Wants Parks To Be Tax Free

Item: Idaho mulls pulling tax dollars from parks: State may depend on user fees, volunteers/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman

More Info: Not one of the 50 states is running its park system as Gov. Butch Otter hopes to achieve for Idaho: without state tax support. The only state that has tried, New Hampshire, has failed. Its self-funded system of 74 parks, beaches, campgrounds and ski areas has had deficits averaging $400,000 for 19 years and has been forced several times to ask the Legislature for additional money.

Question: Is Otter being reckless with the future of Idaho’s park system? Or does this idea make sense?

Tribe Seeks More Authority For Police

Item: Tribe seeks more authority for police: Legislation would allow officers to arrest non-tribal members/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Some say it’s a law that would better enforce public safety, while others see it as simply unconstitutional. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe is proposing legislation that would give all tribal police officers the authority to arrest or cite non-tribal members violating state law on reservations and send them to state court. The proposal — the State and Indian Tribal Cooperative Law Enforcement Act — would close a legal loophole that allows suspects to escape justice on reservations that encompass more than one county, supporters say.

Question: Should Coeur d’Alene tribal police have the authority to arrest or cite non-tribal members on the reservation? Or will these lead to more hostility between the tribes and whites on and near the reservation?

Roy Orbison Gets Hollywood Star

Alex Orbison speaks with fans in front of photographs of his father, the late rock and roll legend Roy Orbison during ceremonies honoring the elder Orbison with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Friday in Los Angeles. Full Orbison record list here. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Question: Are you a fan of the late Roy Orbison? Which record of his (after “Oh, Pretty Woman”)?

Contractor Helped Bust Jerry Carlson

Before he was sentenced last year, a former Bayview contractor now serving time in federal prison for selling marijuana helped federal drug agents bust a once-prominent Coeur d’Alene insurance agent and school booster. That insurance agent, Jerald S. “Jerry” Carlson, 47, pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony charge of attempting to possess cocaine with intent to deliver in a plea deal that dismissed two other felony cocaine charges.Carlson’s plea avoided a trial in which an acquaintance who sold him the cocaine that led to his arrest, Theodore L. Bruck, was scheduled to testify/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Question: For years, Jerry Carlson was my Farmers Insurance agent. Nice guy. I’m sad to see this come down like it did. I hope he gets help with his addiction. I’m still with Farmers. But I’m open to other options. Anyone out there have a good word to say about your insurance company?

Full Moon Over Blue Mountains

E-mails KeithinCDA: “I took this at ‘moonrise’ about 4:45 (Friday). I am down in the Blue Mountains between Dayton and Pomeroy. Not sure if it was clear enough up there for anyone to get shot. So, if not, use this one.”

Poll: 90 Day Legislative Sessions?

The Idaho Legislature is considering limiting the length of sessions to just 90 calendar days to save money, conserve the time of government workers and encourage a more diverse legislature. The House State Affairs Committee voted today to consider putting a constitutional amendment on November’s ballot. There’s currently no limit on Idaho sessions. Boise Democrat Grant Burgoyne said lawmakers should at least discuss imposing deadlines in light of the 2009 session, which ran for 117 days. That was the second-longest session in Idaho’s history/Associated Press. More here.

14YO Suspect Had Pipe Bomb In Room

One of two juveniles arrested in connection with the shooting of up to 20 vehicles on State Highway 8 last week was retaken into custody after investigators found a pipe bomb during a search of his room Thursday, according to the Latah County Sheriff’s Office. Latah County Prosecutor William Thompson Jr. said authorities rearrested Austin James Rickert Thursday after a PVC pipe stuffed with fireworks powder and primed with a fuse was found in the room he uses at his grandfather’s residence on Forks Road near Helmer. Thompson said the bomb was likely made before the Jan. 22 shooting incident that lasted for more than three hours and temporarily closed the highway between Deary and Bovill/Joel Mills, Lewiston Tribune. Rest of story below.

Question: I’m sure you never found a pipe bomb in a child’s room. What was the oddest thing that you have found (that you can share with fellow Berry Pickers)?

Judge: Paul Will Stay At Hospital

A state judge ruled Friday that Phillip A. Paul, the criminally committed Eastern State Hospital patient whose escape during a September field trip to the Spokane County Interstate Fair outraged residents and led to changes in state policy, should be stripped of his right to live away from the hospital campus. Paul, who has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, had been in and out of the hospital on court-approved conditional release several times since killing a 78-year-old Sunnyside, Wash., woman in 1987 during a psychotic episode. His last conditional release ended in January 2009, when the managers of the Carlyle Care Center asked the state to remove Paul from the downtown Spokane halfway house. His behavior had become erratic and aggressive because he was not taking his medications/John Stucke, SR. More here.

Question: Has the state of Washington done a good job correcting problems that enabled insane killer Phillip Paul to escape during a field trip to the Spokane fair?

Mary: McEuen Tennis Courts Gone

Not much has happened at this week other than some hand wringing re: the future of McEuen Field (which also concerns me, by the way). Now, Mary Souza has taken it a step further in her newsletter by noting that the city has removed the run-down tennis courts at McEuen Field san announcement — and that a two-story parking garage will replace it. Mary claims an “involved citizen” told her that City Finance Director Troy Tymeson told him (are you following this?) about the parking structure. According to the “involved citizen” and Mary, the plans are already drawn up. Mary goes on to say: “McEuen Field is directly in the cross hairs of LCDC; it’s their #1 priority for this year.” Then, she launches into the usual conspiracy theories involving the office of Charlie Nipp being a half block away, etc.

Question: What changes would you like to see to McEuen Field, if any?

Anderson: Same-O

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

CBS Rejects Gay Ad For Super Bowl

CBS has rejected a gay dating site’s Super Bowl ad and now wants a bite out of the network. reporter Darren Rovell tweeted earlier Friday that CBS would not be airing’s ‘Playing for the Same Team’ ad during the NFL game next week, reports. “ has just received a formal rejection of its ad from CBS,” Rovell wrote on Twitter. In the ad two sports fans are watching an NFL game and discover their mutual affection over a bowl of chips. They proceed to make out to the surprise of another sports fan watching nearby/New York Daily News. More here (w/video of ad).

Question: On Thursday, the Parting Shot asked about the appropriateness of a pro-life ad for the Super Bowl, featuring star college QB Tim Tebow and his mother. What do you think about the ad from ManCrunch that was rejected?

Parting Shot — 1.29.10

The ice may be slushy on the chain lakes, but it’s still top notch. Ralph Bartholdt/Skookum Photography took his camera and pen out to investigate the ice fishing that has the locals excited this year. More here.

TGIF Wild Card — 1/29/10

How are you guys doing re: checking out The Porch of Miles Avenue/Hayden, as part of the first HBO Grub Club selection for a restaurant review en masse? I know several of you checked out the restaurant earlier in the week. Are others doing so? We’ll begin the restaurant review Monday morning. Early reviews sound good for the business owner. Remember we’ll be grading The Porch on a new Huckleberries system, one to five Huckleberries, with 5 being top notch. You still have the weekend to check out The Porch. Enjoy. Now, I’ll replay the Wild Card …

PM Headlines — 1.29.10

Sixth-grader Emily Cahill of Holy Family Catholic School in Coeur d’Alene dressed in her best Hawaiian clothing for the last day of Catholic Schools Week today. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

APhoto Of The Day — 1.29.10

In this photo taken with a cell phone and provided by Kylie Kaiser and, a man plays with a live chicken on an uptown No. 6 subway train in New York Tuesday evening. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/, Kylie Kaiser)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Jim Brannon’s private investigator takes out another absentee voter — Nic.
  • 2. NY Post Headlne: “Eyeless Man Found Wandering on Subway: Fowl Play Suspected” — JohnA.
  • 3. If chickens could talk, Hermione squawked “I simply want to get across the road” — JeanieS.
  • HM: Cabbage Boy

PM Scanner Traffic — 1.29.10

  • 5:55 p.m. Male juveniles were seen stuffing 2 girls into trunk of silver vehicle @ Taco Bell on Hanley.
  • 5:35 p.m. Male w/brown goatee, about 5-foot-8, stole several items of clothing from Kohl’s and left on foot toward Life Care.
  • 4:30 p.m. A large chunk of concrete, alongside a broken telephone box, is in a riding arena off Kidd Island Road.
  • 3:44 p.m. Female at Hastings whispers that a 52YO male in the cafe part is the same wanted man she saw on a Web site this morning. But CPD Blue can’t find him in NCIC system as wanted, so they aren’t responding.
  • 3:22 p.m. 3 juveniles are in a gold Honda, beyond pavement at Nettleton Gulch, maybe smoking pot.
  • 3:05 p.m. Jason is in the KCSD lot to report items taken from his pickup.
  • 2:28 p.m. A 5-by-8 oil spot is reported on water @ Higgens Point.
  • More below

GOP ‘Census’ Mailing Angers Boise D

Joan Lang is a 78-year-old Idaho native who says she has “never voted for a Republican in my life.” Nevertheless, Lang received a fund-raising letter from the Republican National Committee that’s being criticized for confusing citizens as the decennial census is conducted this year. The mailing from RNC Chairman Michael Steele is billed as an “official 2010 CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CENSUS” and came with “Census Tracking Code #A10PD25.” In much smaller type, the survey says, “Commissioned by the Republican Party,” and notes that the mailing was paid for by the RNC. It came in an envelope stamped “DO NOT DESTROY OFFICIAL DOCUMENT” and asking Lang to return it by Feb. 5. “They’re attempting to make people think they have to respond,” said Lang, who spent 16 years in the Idaho Army National Guard, reaching the rank of sergeant first class/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What do you make of the tactics used by the GOP national committee in this situation?

HBO’s Blogosphere — 1.29.10

Ever since he was a toddler and we took him to see the Berenstain Bears “LIVE AND IN PERSON!” at Barnes and Noble, my son has held any and all costumed characters in great disdain. He doesn’t hate them. He’s just disgusted by them. Maybe because he realized from an early age that they weren’t the real characters, but just some sweaty teenagers earning minimum wage underneath all that cloth and foam/Idaho Dad, A Family Runs Through It. More here.

Question: Do you have a thing about something that other people think is fun? Or cute?

DFO’s Animals: Chicken Fugitive

A black hen is shown Friday at Glendale Community College in Glendale, Calif., that has been dodging cars, captors and coyotes for two months. Officials say the bird has been darting into traffic outside Glendale Community College since it was first reported Nov. 20. The chicken has drawn a growing crowd of photographers and journalists as animal control officers struggle to catch it. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Question: As a child, I was once pecked by a chicken because I was bothering her chicks in the yard of my father’s dairy. I remember growing up with a fear of mother hens. Have you ever had a close encounter with a chicken? Or rooster?

Tyler Wilson Pulls Plug On Press

After three and a half years on the arts and culture beat, I am leaving the paper for another job opportunity. I will continue writing movie reviews for the Ticket Stubs space as well as occasional pop culture commentaries for inside this section. Our copy editors have also promised to stop running my picture, so that should be a relief to many of you. My news came as quite a shock to many people in the newsroom. City reporter Tom Hasslinger said, “We might as well shut everything down because nothing can ever compare to Tyler Wilson’s spellbinding prose.” City editor Bill Buley had these kind words to say: “Tyler Wilson is more important to me than my own biological son.” Finally, Duane Hagadone had this to say about the shocking departure of Tyler Wilson: “Who?”/Tyler Wilson, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Question: Who do you read for local views re: movies, plays, and other performances?

Post Falls Abuser Gets 7 Years

Christopher E. Williams, 32, of Post Falls, was sentenced Thursday to serve seven years in state prison, the Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office announced today. District Judge John Luster sentenced Williams to serve seven years, including the first two years of fixed time. Williams, who has a long misdemeanor and felony criminal history, pleaded guilty last month to pushing and hitting his ex-girlfriend during an argument. The county prosecutor also said that Williams pushed the victim down on top of her young daughter, then punched and choked her. Williams admitted that he was under the influence of meth at the time and that he is a meth addict/Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney news release.

Post Falls Man Wins $50K Lottery

Maxwell Munson, Post Falls, thought about throwing away his second-chance entry scratch ticket into the Idaho Lottery’s 20th Anniversary Scratch Game drawing every time he cleaned his room over the past six months.  But he never did.  He held on to it. On Monday, January 25, 2010, the Idaho Lottery drew that entry and contacted him via phone message and E-mail to let him know he was the winner of $50,000. “I thought the E-mail from the Lottery was a joke,” said Munson. “Then I listened to my phone messages and checked the Lottery’s website. I couldn’t believe it. I really did win!”/Idaho Lottery. More here.

Question: What’s the most you’ve ever won playing a lottery?

Do You Really Miss This?

Several vehicles are piled up in the southbound lane of Highway 65, one mile south of Mason City, Iowa, on Monday. The National Weather Service said snowfall ranged from 1 to 4 inches, but winds were blowing up to 35 mph, with gusts near 45 mph. (AP Photo/The Globe Gazette, Bryon Houlgrave)

Question: Yeah, I know we should be concerned about the diminished snowpack from this mild winter and what that means for water reserves and fire danger later this year, but do you really miss the harsh winters we’ve had for the last two years?

OTC: ‘Wear My Hubby’s Clothes’ Day

My favorite kind of day is “Wear My Husband’s Clothes” day. It occurs whenever I’m too busy to see him, and it works out great because we wear the same size in everything. Sometimes I wear a T-shirt of his, other times a pair of jeans, and most often one of his button-down shirts. It’s great having two closets of clothes I can fit into, but he better not start wearing my stuff/Production manager Kelsey Samuels. More Off The Cuff.

Question: Have you ever done something like this?

Crump: Idaho, Rushmore & KKK

What’s the most famous sculpture in America? Mount Rushmore, of course, created by an Idahoan who once served on the national board of directors of the Ku Klux Klan. Gutzon Borglum was born in the southeastern Idaho hamlet of St. Charles in 1867, the son of a polygamist woodcarver who quit the Mormon church and discarded the boy and his mother. Borglum learned his art in New York and Europe, and was famous in 1915 when the United Daughters of the Confederacy commissioned him to sculpt a bust of Robert E. Lee on Stone Mountain northeast of Atlanta. His fee was paid by the KKK. Biographers Audrey and Howard Shaff say Borglum joined the Klan — although the artist later denied it — to curry favor with his new patrons/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Does the connection between Borglum and the KKK diminish your appreciation of Mount Rushmore in any way?

High Noon: Politics & Super Bowl

JazzyVandal: Speaking of Super Bowl ads, it looks like there will be a gay dating site ad during the game. I was doing some googling and CBS has turned down ads before from PETA and United Church of Christ (about inclusiveness) in the past. It looks like things have changed. Even though I’m not keen on Focus on the Family, if CBS allows ads from other groups, I’m okay with it. I just hope the game won’t be full of ads from lobbying groups or political parties in the future.

Question: What kind of ads do you like to see during the Super Bowl broadcast?

Guilty! Jury Convicts Dr. Tiller’s Killer

Scott Roeder jokes with his attorney after he finished testifying in his murder trial on Thursday in Wichita, Kan. Roeder, the man accused of murdering prominent Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, took the stand in his own defense Thursday and promptly admitted that he fatally shot Tiller in an attempt to save unborn children. A Wichita, Kan., jury found Roeder guilty of first-degree murder today after deliberating only 30 minutes. Reuters story here. (AP Photo/Jeff Tuttle, Pool)

AM Scanner Traffic — 1.29.10

  • 11:26 a.m. A 15YO male is lightheaded and lying on the floor after his vehicle slipped its break and pinned him against a garage wall in 2600 block of E. Thomas Hill/CdA.
  • 11:07 a.m. Spirit Lake father reports his daughter is receiving harassing phone calls and text messages.
  • 10:53 a.m. An e/b trucker has lost his load and crashed into the guardrail on I-90, near the H41 exit, blocking both lanes of traffic. Another crash also may have occurred.
  • 10:15 a.m. Leslie on Maple/Hayden reports someone broke into her two vehicles, taking items from one of them.
  • 10:02 a.m. 911 dispatch center has received multiple hang-up calls from county jail.
  • 9:55 a.m. Richard reports the theft of his vehicle navigation system.
  • 9:50 a.m. Mica-Kidd Island Bay volunteers are responding to a slideoff @ H95 & Kidd Island Road.
  • 9:49 a.m. A CPD Blue is checking a blue Mercury w/o license plates behind Dollar Tree.
  • 9:35 a.m. A 96YO female @ Lancaster & Strahorn is weak after not eating for several days.
  • 9:14 a.m. Millsap Loop resident reports ongoing problems w/mailboxes being damaged.
  • 8:56 a.m. Brian is waiting at adult probation to be taken into custody for probation violations.

In The News: Obama, R’s Meet

President Barack Obama holds up a document of Republican solutions given to him by House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, before he spoke to Republican lawmakers at the GOP House Issues Conference in Baltimore today. Wall Street Journal story here. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, with one being “a snowball’s chance in hell,” how likely is it that a new era of bipartisanship will break out in Washington and that Obama will listen to Republicans (and vice versa)?

NW Against Bernanke Confirmation

Ben Bernanke was confirmed today to remain as chair of the Federal Reserve. the Senate vote was 70-30, a clear win margin. But two-thirds of the Northwest delegation was against him. Both of Idaho’s Republicans, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, voted against; most of the 30 opposition votes were Republicans. But the area’s four Democrats split – seniors against juniors. The senior senators in Washington and Oregon, Patty Murray and Ron Wyden, voted in favor. The juniors, Maria Cantwell and Jeff Merkley (who has been loud for some weeks in his opposition to Bernanke), voted against/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press.

Question: Did you support Ben Bernanke’s confirmation to remain as chair of the Federal Reserve? 

Poll: ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ OK

  • Thursday Poll: 82 of 143 (57%) respondents opposed President Obama’s proposal to repeal the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy in the military. 54 of 143 (30%) want the policy repealed. 7 were undecided.
  • Obama Speech: You Berry Pickers again showed how evenly divided you are politically on this poll question. 54 of 160 (34%) didn’t watch Obama’s speech. 37 of 160 (23%) thought the speech was great. 35 of 160 (22%) thought it was average. 34 of 160 (21%) said it was lousy.
  • Today’s Poll Question (from Idaho Statesman): Have you read ‘Catcher in the Rye’?

A Cautionery Tale For Sportsmen

He fished upon the frozen lake;
he knew the ice was strong;
they pulled him out on June the eighth
— it turned out he was wrong.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Hillary Throws A Shoe

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, foreground, loses her shoe as she is greeted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the steps of the Elysee palace upon her arrival Friday in Paris. Clinton flew to Paris on Friday for talks with French officials and to give a speech on European security. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Question: Have you ever had a wardrobe malfunction at a bad time?

Trib: Ed Board Prez Agidius MIA

JEERS … to Idaho State Board of Education President Paul Agidius of Moscow (pictured at UI President Duane Nellis’ inaugaration). If there’s one person in this state who should be speaking truth to power, it is the president of the board of education. He should tell lawmakers and the public the consequences of cutting school budgets and slashing higher education resources for the second year in a row. It is not Agidius’ responsibility to provide political cover for those state leaders. But that’s what he did. Speaking to the Legislature’s budget committee Monday, Agidius said: “It isn’t my job to come here and beg for funding. I’m here to help you find solutions and make sure state institutions are making the best use of the dollars you appropriate”/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Is there truly an advocate for public and secondary education in a position of power in Idaho?

Jorgenson Rolls Out Immigration Bill

Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, this morning introduced sweeping legislation aimed at punishing Idaho employers who knowingly employ undocumented immigrants, along with other measures including denying recognition of out-of-state driver’s licenses to those without legal immigration status. “The key language is ‘knowingly hire,’” Jorgenson said. He’s proposed versions of such legislation repeatedly without success, but said this year he worked with University of Missori-Kansas City law professor Kris Kobach to draft Idaho-specific legislation/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you support Sen. Mike Jorgenson’s attempt to get a handle on illegal immigration in Idaho?

UI Column: Don’t Buy Into Tech Hype

It’s that time again, when Apple devotees flock around their leader, Steve Jobs, bowing before his very presence and spouting off misguided praise. It’s a time when grown men weep like children and atheists behave like evangelical Christians. I am referring, of course, to the Apple event held Wednesday in which Jobs announced the iPad, ending long-speculated rumors of Apple’s next must-own gadget. Already Twitter and tech blogs are abuzz about how the iPad is a can’t-miss item. If reports are to be believed, the iPad will be the end of netbooks, the savior of newspapers, the siren song for e-readers and will bring digital media to every single person in the world, thereby rescuing global media and bringing stability to our fragile society. Don’t believe the hype/Ilya Pinchuk, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: Do you have to have all the latest tech gadgets? Or are you still on dial-up?

AM Headlines — 1.29.10

Idaho’s Luiz Toledo (21) reaches for a rebound with Fresno State’s Nedeljko Golubovic during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday in Moscow. The Vandals snapped a five-game WAC losing streak with a 74-59 victory over the visiting Bulldogs. Josh Wright SportsLink story here. (AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune, Kyle Mills)

State Affairs OKs Dumping Checkoff

The Senate State Affairs Committee has voted unanimously to approve HB 379, the measure from Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, to eliminate a tax return checkoff that allows taxpayers to donate $1 of their taxes to the political party of their choice; the bill, which already has passed the House, now moves to the full Senate. Senators had plenty of questions for Luker, however, including whether a “trailer bill” will follow to reinstate the checkoff but make the donation come from the taxpayer’s refund, rather than from the state general fund/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Have you ever contributed money to a political party via a tax return checkoff?

Press: Hip, Hip, Hooray For HS Tech

The Coeur d’Alene School District is talking about a levy later this year. North Idaho College is also aiming at leveraging tax dollars from Kootenai County property owners. Thank goodness some strong-willed, dedicated business people are making the KTEC dream come true through their own sweat, blood and hard-earned dollars. And we hope that as this professional-technical high school takes shape out on the Rathdrum Prairie, the business people who first envisioned this project are the ones whose imprint is ultimately most apparent. The news is that these business people recently closed on the 20-acre site that will be home to Kootenai Technical Education Campus/Mike Patrick, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Question: What do you make of this push by the business community to build a professional technical high school on the Rathdrum Prairie?

Ramirez: Two Terms?

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Ex-Insurer Jerry Carlson Pleads Guilty

A once-prominent Coeur d’Alene insurance agent and school booster pleaded guilty Thursday to federal drug charges in U.S. District Court. Jerald S. “Jerry” Carlson, 48, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of attempting to possess cocaine with intent to deliver. Carlson was arrested in February after an investigation by the Idaho State Police. The charge carries a sentence of five to 40 years in prison, along with the possibility of up to a $2 million fine. Judge Edward Lodge set sentencing for 4 p.m. on April 14. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Cook recited the following facts, which Carlson admits/Alison Boggs, SR. Rest of the story below.

Gonzaga 71, Santa Clara 64

Gonzaga’s Demetri Goodson, left, and  Santa Clara’s Troy Alexander eye a loose ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday in Santa Clara, Calif. Gonzaga rallied from as many as 14 points down in the second half to win 71-64.  ESPN boxscore here, and: Jim Meehan’s SportsLink story here. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Wild Card/Thursday — 1.28.10

I did talk to the woman who voted absentee during the 2009 Coeur d’Alene municipal elections, only to learn that recently a private investigator showed up looking for her at her old apartment. She had moved from the apartment complex in December. And her former manager gave her a head’s up about the visit. Later, she found out that the visit was tied to challenger Jim Brannon’s lawsuit. “Am I being investigated because I filled out an absentee ballot?” she asked rhetorically. The woman asked a high-profile attorney friend in town to contact the P.I. and hasn’t been bothered since. Such is the way things are in Coeur d’Alene in this year of the Lord 2010. Now, to replay the Wild Card …

P.S. Tebow Pro-Life Ad Stirs Debate

In this Nov. 28 file photo, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow embraces his mother, Pam, during a pre-game ceremony for graduating seniors on the Florida football team prior to an NCAA college football game against Florida State in Gainesville, Fla. CBS responded to complaints over a conservative group’s planned Super Bowl ad featuring football star Tim Tebow and his mother Pam by saying that it had eased restrictions on advocacy ads and would consider “responsibly produced” ones for open spots in its Feb. 7 broadcast. CBS said Tuesday, it had received numerous e-mails _ both critical and supportive _ since a coalition of women’s groups began a protest campaign Monday against the ad, which the critics say will use Tebow and his mother to convey an anti-abortion message. Story here. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin, Pool, File)

Question: Would you be offended by a pro-life ad during the Super Bowl, which focuses on the decision by Pam Tebow to keep her unborn baby who grew up to be a star college quarterback?

Hayden Teacher Taken In Scam

A first-grade teacher in Hayden Lake is among hundreds of consumers scammed by an Illinois company that continues tapping their checking accounts long after they have paid for products ordered over the Internet. Sarah King, who teaches at Hayden Meadows Elementary School, said she found a set of four posters she liked on Facebook last fall and placed her order with The price was $14.95, which was an introductory offer for a $32.95 per-month subscription service that would deliver a new poster each month if she did not cancel within 30 days. She paid with a debit card, received the posters five days later, and immediately canceled/Bert Caldwell, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever been the victim of an Internet scam?

Argentina Prez: Pork Tops Viagra

Argentina’s president thinks eating pig meat is really sexy. Many people in this beef-loving nation reacted with surprise Thursday after Cristina Fernandez promoted pork in a speech during which she not only said pork is better than Viagra, but suggested she’s personally proven it. “I didn’t know that eating pork improved sexual activity,” Fernandez said in a meeting with representatives of the swine industry late Wednesday. “It is much more gratifying to eat some grilled pork than to take Viagra.” She even joked that “it was all good” after she enjoyed some pork with her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Ah, do you eat pork?

PM Headlines — 1.28.10

Kinder Magic students from left, Ainsley Brigham, Chase Obrien and Savannah Glass participated in a yoga class at Parkside Fitness taught by instructor Amy Gates in Coeur d’Alene. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

APhoto Of The Day — 1.28.10

Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh speaks during a Miss America news conference at Planet Hollywood Wednesday. Limbaugh is one of six judges for the pageant which takes place at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas Saturday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau, Brian Jones)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. When asked to admit the level of his influence nationally, Limbaugh replied in his typical fashion, noting with a chuckle that it was also the number of drug-free days he has experienced lately — JohnA.
  • 2. Multi-millionaire Rush Limbaugh tells reporters how much money he has donated to Haitian earthquake relief — Phaedrus.
  • 3. Rush states with emphasis that he is receiving zero pay for his participation as a judge of the pageant. Instead he states that in return for his “Objective Analysis”, he’s been promised an unlimited supply of oxycontin and a plane ticket to the Dominican Republic — Soaf.
  • HM: Arch Druid

PM Scanner Traffic — 1.28.10

  • 4:53 p.m. Resident on Corbin Hill Road/Post Falls reports neighbor kids are throwing garbage in his yard.
  • 3:48 p.m. 2 males in a white pickup report they’re being chased by 2 males in a black Stealth pickup with Washington plates @ 15th & Locust. One of the males in the black pickup tossed a bottle out of the vehicle and hit the white pickup.
  • 3:18 p.m. Some sort of juvenile problem is reported @ 16th & Hastings.
  • 3:02 p.m. Caller reports a group of 10 juvenile may be smoking pot @ Post Falls city park @ 21st & Spokane.
  • More below

Clark ‘Shaky’ After No-Pay-Cation

“… sadly I must report that the State of The Column is shakier than a John Edwards paternity denial. That’s because The Column returns today after taking a week off minus pay. No, it had nothing to do with what that guy wrote in a recent letter to the editor: ‘Mr. Clark is the one in need of confinement, at least from his keyboard.’ My hiatus was due to The Spokesman-Review’s “furlough” program. This is an economic move designed to cut costs and shrink employee self-worth to the size of a microbe’s shinbone. Question: What sucks worse than taking a week off without pay? A: Getting the flu while taking your no-pay-cation. Seriously. I spent the last chunk of my furlough in a clammy, feverish fog. Now I know what it’s like to be Martha Coakley/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

DFO: Alas, I need to start thinking about another furlough week to help balance books for the first quarter. But, as Scarlet said, I don’t want to think about that today. I’ll think about that tomorrow — or at least after Blogfest VI.

Question: Does your office or company use furloughs to keep things in the black?

KerriT: Hanging Out w/Dirk, Vaughn

“In my travels this week,” posted KerriT/More Main Street, ”I crossed paths with former Idaho Governor/former US Senator, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorn and Major Vaughn Ward at Ground Force Manufacturing in Post Falls.”

Beth: Live-Blogging CdA Movie

I’m live blogging at the movie set. Funny, right? But true. Rich Flores, a KNIFVES member, has been filming his short “Shining Cuckoo” film these last few days. I volunteered to play an extra in the coffee shop scene. So here I am. … Right now, they’re discussing when to film what when. They want a “master,” and get the extras out of here faster, if possible…. No facial expressions from the people on the right side of the room… they won’t even be there in Scene 11… More “master” discussion. … “Are they willing to stay?” They’re willing to stay. … Where are the cops? (actually, there’s one true one and one fake one, but they’re both wearing local county sheriff outfits… oops, I mean uniforms… very authentic….)/Beth Bollinger, Accidental Rabbit Trails. More here.

Question: Have you ever been an extra in a movie? Tell us about it.

City: Brannon P.I. Firm Lacks Permit

The city of Coeur d’Alene has warned Confidential Investigations to get a permit if it plans to continue doing investigative work within the city limits. Confidential Investigations has been hired by Jim Brannon to obtain voter information in his lawsuit against Councilman Mike Kennedy and other city officials. Erin Jenkins of Confidential Investigations contacted former Coeur d’Alene resident Monica Paquin recently to ask about her vote in the 2009 election. In a letter written to Confidential Investigations Wednesday, Deputy City Clerk Kathy Lewis noted that the company was warned in writing on Nov. 2 that it needed to obtain a $50 license per year to operate in the city limits. Also, each employee must obtain an individual license for $25 per year and undergo a $45 background check. In her letter, Lewis pointed out that Confidential Investigatins had requested information of “an investigative nature” within the city limits on Oct. 21, Nov. 12, and Nov. 13, 2009/Huckleberries Online. See link below for more.

State Affairs OKs Health Freedom Bill

In a contentious hearing Thursday morning in the House State Affairs Committee, the Idaho Health Freedom Act (IFHA), sponsored by Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden, and co-sponsored by Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, and Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, passed the committee on a 13-5 party line vote. During his testimony before the committee, Clark said bill would enable Idahoans to choose their own medical services and insurance and free Idahoans from excessive regulation by the federal government. The bill would also give the state more standing in court, should the time come that the state needs to sue, said Clark/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Do you think this bill will state up to a federal challenge should Obama-backed health care reform become law?

Oregon Faith Healing Trial Under Way

Marci Beagley testifies about the events leading to the death of her son in Clackamas County Court Thursday in Oregon City, Ore. Beagley and her husband, Jeff, are charged with criminally negligent homicide for allegedly failing to provide adequate medical care for their 16-year-old son, Neil, who died in June 2008 of complications from a urinary tract blockage. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Michael Lloyd)

Question: Do you believe in faith healing of any kind?

M&M: Favorite ‘Catcher In Rye’ Lines

Copies of J.D. Salinger’s classic novel “The Catcher in the Rye” as well as his volume of short stories called “Nine Stories” are seen at the Orange Public Library in Orange Village, Ohio, earlier today. Salinger, the legendary author, youth hero and fugitive from fame whose “The Catcher in the Rye” shocked and inspired a world he increasingly shunned, died Wednesday at the age of 91. At left is a 1951 photo of the author. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

For some five years, I was never without a copy within easy reach. So, in remembrance of that, I offer another list: my top 10 lines from “The Catcher in the Rye”: “What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of a good-by.  I mean I’ve left schools and places I didn’t even know I was leaving them.  I hate that.  I don’t care if it’s a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place I like to know I’m leaving it.  If you don’t, you feel even worse.” For a Navy brat, who attended 11 school in 12 years, I was always saying goodbye/Dan Webster, Movies & More. More here.

Question: Do you have a line to add to Dan’s list? Or a line that sums up your angst as a teen-ager?

CPD Blue Investigates 25YO’s Death

Police are investigating the death of a 25-year-old Coeur d’Alene man who suffered a fractured skull after apparently either falling or jumping from a moving vehicle early on Jan. 17. Timothy W. Shackelford was pronounced brain dead on Jan. 20, the Coeur d’Alene Police Department said in a news release. The Kootenai County Coroners office contacted police detectives Jan. 22 and reported Shackelford had suffered a fractured skull. Medical personnel removed him from life support on Jan. 23. The friends Shackelford was with the night he was found in the roadway near Fifth Street and Front Avenue told police Shackelford had possibly fallen from the vehicle or jumped while it was moving. They said they didn’t notice he was gone until a few minutes later. They told police they looked for him and couldn’t find him, so they went home/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.

Fugitive Powderhorn Developer Jailed

A fugitive disbarred Spokane lawyer accused of duping investors and creditors out of millions of dollars before fleeing to Mexico more than a decade ago was captured Wednesday night in an international ruse arranged by the U.S. Marshals Office. Federal agents arrested Claude Irwin, Jr. as he stepped off a plane in Los Angeles. He’s been wanted in Spokane County since 1998, a year after he vanished, leaving his multimillion-dollar, 390-acre real estate development near Harrison, called Powderhorn Ridge Ranch, owing at least $3 million/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 1.28.10

Wylie Malek, 10, feeding snacks to Tiki, an African elephant, at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Ore. Malek, who is autistic, has been provided with special access to the elephants, and the interactions are helping him learn social skills. (AP Photo/The News-Review/Robin Loznak)

High Noon: Learning To Swim

Ten-month-old Katie Claycomb isn’t walking yet, and her vocabulary consists mainly of happy baby babble. But if Katie accidentally falls into a body of water, she knows exactly what to do. On Jan. 19, she demonstrated her self-rescue skills in the pool at the Spokane Valley Marriott Residence Inn. Her parents, John and Georgie Claycomb, read about Infant Rescue Swimming online and wanted their baby to take the class. Georgie Claycomb said, “We have a place on the Pend Oreille at Bayview”/Cindy Hval, Washington Voices. More here.

Question: How old were you when you learned to swim. Who taught you?

AM Scanner Traffic — 1.28.10

  • 11:47 a.m. Owner @ Forest & Alvis/Hayden reports his vehicle was vandalized.
  • 11:43 a.m. Vehicles are illegally parked on county airport runway.
  • 11:20 a.m. A computer store @ 1107 Sherman reports an unlawful entry.
  • 10:47 a.m. Samuel has questions re: custody problems with his daughter.
  • 10:41 a.m. A woman on Horsehaven/Post Falls wants to know what to do with a pickup at her place that belongs to someone in jail.
  • 10:23 a.m. A chimney fire is reported @ 802 Mountain View Road.
  • 10:10 a.m. An officer reports that the system has malfunctioned and pressure is building in a pipe w/natural gas @ Boekel & Batchelder/Rathdrum. (See: 9:51 a.m. item)
  • 10:02 a.m. A 47YO female is suffering intense stomach pain, possibly from kidney stones, @ the Apple Family Medical Clinic on Ironwood.
  • 9:51 a.m. Passing motorist reports strong smell of natural gas @ Boekel & Batchelder/Rathdrum.
  • 9:45 a.m. Manager of a storage unit on H53 reports an abandoned vehicle.
  • 8:23 a.m. Bob reports that motorists are speeding by his place on H53.

‘Catcher In The Rye’s‘ Salinger Dies

J.D. Salinger, the reclusive, legendary author of The Catcher in the Rye, died of natural causes yesterday at his home in Cornish, New Hampshire, at age 91. Salinger’s son confirmed the death in a statement to the AP, and the writer’s literary agency told the New York Times that the author had been in good health until earlier this month, despite having broken a hip last May. “He was not in any pain before or at the time of his death,” the agency said in a statement/Rolling Stone. More here.

Question: What did “Catcher in the Rye” mean to you?

Huckleberries Hears …

… that the lawsuit filed by challenger Jim Brannon to overturn the 2009 Coeur d’Alene municipal election results in general, and his 5-vote loss to incumbent Mike Kennedy in particular, has been set for Tuesday, April 13. The trial date was set this morning.

Upset Solon Targets Panhandle Health

An Idaho lawmaker upset that regulators refuse to bend the rules for a Worley-area cabin owner with an inadequate septic system is proposing legislation that threatens to undermine the Panhandle Health District’s ability to keep sewage out of North Idaho lakes and streams. “I’m just getting their attention up there,” said state Sen. Gary Schroeder, R-Moscow. He added that even if SCR 114 were to be approved, the health district could re-establish its own regulatory authority by writing “another rule tomorrow”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: What do you make of a state senator who would try to loosen North Idaho rules for old septic system in an effort to help one constituent?

Ohio Lottery Winner Not So Lucky

This Ohio Lottery Commission photo from Jan. 12 shows Deborah McDonald smiling during her appearance on the Ohio Lottery’s Cash Explosion. McDonald was killed after being struck by a car while she was walking on U.S. 6 in Margaretta Township on Tuesday. Earlier Tuesday, she’d received her winnings of $5,520. Story here. (AP Photo/Ohio Lottery Commission via The Sandusky Register)

Joker: State Of The Union? Blah, Blah

If you’ve seen one State of Union Speech, you’ve seen them all. We’re doing fine, promises to do better, challenges the opposition to get on board, blah blah. And if you’ve seen one post-State of the Union Speech analysis, you’ve seen them all. — it was great, it sucked, it was exciting, it was boring, blah blah.

HBO Poll: We’re Not Better Off

  • Hump Day Poll: 59 of 112 (53%) of the respondents said they are worse off today than they were when President Barack Obama took office a year ago. 28 of 112 (25%) said they’re the same. And 25 of 112 (22%) said they’re better off.
  • Public TV Poll: 94 of 128 (73%) of the respondents said Idaho needs public TV. Only 34 of 128 (27%) said Idaho doesn’t need IPTV.
  • Today’s Question (in lefthand rail): Should the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy be repealed?

Obama: Repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Item: Obama calls for ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal/CNN

More Info: President Obama said Wednesday night he will work with Congress and the military to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that bars gays and lesbians from openly serving in the armed forces. Obama made the remark in his first State of the Union speech during a short litany of civil rights issues, which included his successful hate crimes bill, a move to “crack down on equal-pay laws” and improvement of the immigration system.

Question: Should the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy toward gays be repealed?

Stewart: Race Incidents ‘Discouraging’

Item: Man reports race-based assault: Saturday attack follows other incidents targeting minorities/Alison Boggs, SR

More Info: The incident is the latest in a series of racial harassments and assaults that have occurred in North Idaho and Spokane since spring. They have included the spray-painting of swastikas on cars, a noose left on the north Spokane doorstep of a black human rights activist, and beatings of Native American and black men. Racist literature also has been delivered to neighborhoods in North Idaho and Spokane.

Question: Is there something more that you’d like to see done by the police or Kootenai County task force in the face of these escalating racist incidents?

AM Headlines — 1.28.10

Bartender Amber Dawn McCarrel serves a mixed drink at Elliott’s Sports Pub and Grill in Nampa bar. The Nampa City Council voted to lift the city’s prohibition on Sunday liquor sales in restaurants and bars last month. Currently, restaurants and bars can only sell beer and wine on Sundays. The new rules go into effect on Sunday in Idaho’s second biggest city. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune, Greg Kreller)

Kage Mann: Why Did Brannon Sue?

Kage Mann: I find it outrageous, that you can live in Canada for many years and not have a place of residence in Idaho and be allowed to vote absentee over in Idaho. Apparently, as long as you’re not a legal citizen of Canada it’s legal. Then again Brannon’s lawyers must have a good argument, otherwise why would this lawsuit be filed?

Question: Why do you think Brannon filed he lawsuit?

Simpleton: Lake City Voter Beware

Simpleton: Is anyone else disturbed by the idea that if you case a vote in an election in this town there’s a good chance you will be the subject of an investigation, either public or private? That sounds awfully un-American to me. That’s something they do in socialist countries, isn’t it? Perhaps that’s where Brannon got the idea

Question: I have the phone number of another person who is being investigated, simply because she voted absentee and moved during the election. She isn’t named in Brannon’s lawsuit. Do you think Simpleton could be right — that there’s a good chance in this town that you could be investigated if you vote?

OTV: Obama’s Pearly Whites Dazzled

I’m not in love with all the clashing stripes. The president’s red diagonal trip vs. the vice president’s blue opposite diagonal trip vs. the stripes on the flag in the background. So clashy-clashy! Pelosi’s constipated pearls and periwinkle blazer look does her no real favors either. Also, she has the devil in her eyes, but it works for her somehow. Obama has that presidential blinkity-blink thing down pretty good. Oddly, i was thinking about his totally perfect teeth when he said “the bank bailout was as popular as a root canal”. I guess he can get away with insulting the dental industry when he’s clearly spent a fortune on his dazzling choppers/OrangeTV. Full post below.

Question: Any other offbeat thoughts re: the State of the Union speech last night?

Anderson: Apple Saves Administration

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Canada Voter: Brannon Suit Silly

Monica Paquin, a former resident of Coeur d’Alene now living in the Montreal area, finds herself at the center of an effort to overthrow the 2009 Lake City elections. And all she did was send her absentee ballot back after voting for long-time friend Mike Kennedy. Challenger Jim Brannon, who has sued to overturn his 5-vote loss to Kennedy last fall, contends Monica didn’t have the right to vote in the election. After all, she’s been out of the country since Nov. 12, 2006. Erin Jenkins of Confidential Investigations contacted Monica Tuesday morning on behalf of Brannon to ask questions. Later, Monica told Huckleberries that she asked for an absentee ballot from the Kootenai County in fall 2008 to vote in the presidential election. And requested she be sent absentee ballots for all elections afterward. She was told by Kootenai County officials that she could vote in her last place of residence in the United States as long as she didn’t vote elsewhere. Monica, who works for a Washington company, is classified as a “permanent resident” in Canada, and has no idea when she will return to the United States. She didn’t know Kennedy was running for City Council until she saw his name on an absentee ballot. She told Huckleberries that she could understand an attempt to challenge a presidential result. But considers Brannon’s effort to overthrow a local election “ridiculous.”

Question: Is there any question that Monica Paquin had the right to vote in the Coeur d’Alene city election?

Obama Speech To Target Health Care

With his legislative agenda stalled and unemployment stuck in double-digits, President Obama plans to use his first formal State of the Union address Wednesday night to outline his efforts to rebuild the nation’s economy and put more Americans to work. As part of that revitalization, aides said he would vow to fight to salvage the comprehensive overhaul of the health care system that was his domestic priority until it collapsed in Congress. He will also use the speech to make some pointed attacks on Washington lobbyists, according to early excerpts of his prepared remarks/New York Times. More here.

Question: Reaction to speech?

Parting Shot — 1.27.10

Darlene Etienne, 17, rests at a French military field hospital after being rescued from a building in Port-au-Prince, Wednesday. French rescuers pulled the teenage girl out of the rubble 15 days after an earthquake hit the Caribbean capital.(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

State Of The Union W.C. — 1.27.10

I’ve decided not to try to live-blog reaction to the State of the Union speech today. I need a break. The day has been a busy and fruitful one. I may have another surprise for you tomorrow re: Brannon’s investigation into voter, ahem, improprieties. Or not. I’ll be as curious as you whether I can come up with some more fun stuff. Meanwhile, I’ll post this Wild Card and get outtahere.

Another Racial Incident In CdA

A man was racially harassed and assaulted shortly after midnight Saturday in Coeur d’Alene while walking home from the grocery store. The man told police that he was walking along the 800 block of East Harrison Avenue when a big red truck passed him slowly. The occupants yelled obscenities and racial epithets. The man has a Hispanic name and his race is listed as black on the report filed by the Coeur d’Alene Police Department. The truck stopped ahead of him, heading north on 9th Street, and three men got out and beat him, the man told police. They punched him in the face twice and kicked him in the back of the head, the report said. The man described the vehicle as a “big red truck with big tires” and told police the word “BUTLER” was written across the tailgate. Richard Butler was the leader of the Aryan Nations until his death in 2004/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.

PM Headlines — 1.27.10

Retired telecommunications and mathematics instructor Jack Walker of Coeur d’Alene checks out the tax software at the Silver Lake Mall in Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday. He is a volunteer for AARP and is gearing up for annual free Tax-Aid service.” I just love being able to help people,” he said. Alison Boggs’ story here. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

APhoto Of The Day — 1.27.10

Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden talks to the media about online photos of him on Tuesday 2010 in Tulatin, Ore. Oden is apologizing for nude photos that have surfaced on the internet. Oden says the pictures, taken with his cell phone and sent to a former girlfriend, were taken about 1½ years ago. A friend told the 21-year-old Tuesday morning that the pictures were making the rounds on the internet. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Faith Cathcart)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Oden is stunned to learn those cell phone pics are now displayed on a Times Square billboard. Later he admitted, “I always dreamed of being larger than life” — CindyH.
  • 2. “I promise you people that the picture was taken with a cell phone, had it been taken with a real camera you would see I am NO JOKE!” — CoeurGenX

  • 3. Greg Oden speaks to the media after narrowly beating out Brett Favre for his rendition of the very popular hit “Pants on the Ground” — KeithinCDA

  • HM: Charles Dixon

PM Scanner Traffic — 1.27.10

  • 5:20 p.m. A vehicle hit a moose on H41 @ M/P 28 (Roberts Road/Bonner County)
  • 5:03 p.m. Fire hydrant in Riverstone destroyed in two-vehicle crash.
  • 4:53 p.m. A mini-van w/o wheels is weaving all over the road as it’s being pulled by a truck on H41 @ M/P 11.5 (Scarsello Road).
  • 4:43 p.m. Out-of-state callers report that a friend has locked herself in a bathroom on Mallory/Rathdrum b/c male in the house is threatening to kill her.
  • 4:33 p.m. A male has stabbed himself with a knife at Shell station @ Garden & NW Blvd.
  • 3:38 p.m. A male is walking along Lakeside, carrying a purse.
  • 3:13 p.m. A female who broke into an apartment on Anton to see her ex-boyfriend is now crying uncontrollably.
  • More below

Idahoans: We Want Our Public TV

Lawmakers say they’ve been deluged with calls and emails asking them not to cut out state funding for Idaho Public Television. … Said Sen. Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, “Nobody wants us to eliminate funding for public television.” Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, said her constituents have been asking her “not to cut it - to find someplace else to cut.” Said Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Post Falls, “The only emails I’m getting from my constituents are in support of public TV”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. And here.

HBO Blogosphere — 1.27.10

At Slight Detour, Marianne Love posts: “If you’ve lost a glove, I can tell you where it’s hanging.”

Overheard …

… in the kindergarden class of A Butterfly Moment:

“I care about everyone. Especially God.”
“You don’t care about the devil.”
“Or Obama. He’s bad.”
“Yeah, he smokes.”

DFO: Cute, hunh?

Don’t Know Much About Canada

Sam Cooke famously told us that he didn’t know much about history, biology, a science book or the French he took, but here’s a subject about which Idahoans know even less: British Columbia. They’re our neighbors, you know, and starting Feb. 12 they’re hosting the Winter Olympics. Or hadn’t you heard? According to the Idaho Travel Council, British Columbia is Idaho’s largest single foreign source of tourists — you’ve seen all those motor homes with blue-on-white license plates headed south. They’re Canadians, but they talk like us. By contrast, relatively few Idahoans venture north. For us, British Columbia somehow smacks of slackness, liberalism and rampant hockey/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: What do you know about Canada, other than that fact that Monica Paquin moved there 2 years ago and voted for Mike Kennedy in the Coeur d’Alene election last November?

Toyota Expands Recall Effort

The logo on a new 2010 Toyota Camry is seen at a dealership on Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn. Toyota Motor Corp. announced late Tuesday it would halt sales of some of its top-selling models to fix gas pedals that could stick and cause unintended acceleration. Story here. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Question: Do you drive a Toyota? How would you rank it in terms of other vehicles you own or have owned?

Hoffman: Idaho Doesn’t Need PTV

Imagine, if you will, a brand new state called Idaho, born in the year 2010. What government services should this new state offer? Would this new 21st century government really include a taxpayer-funded television network? Probably not, and the reason is simple: It’s not needed. That’s why Idaho Public Television is included as an example of government waste in our 2010 Idaho Pork Report. The arguments once used to validate the existence of taxpayer-subsidized government television no longer hold true. For example, in the past, supporters of Idaho Public Television could argue that if not for Idaho Public Television, Idahoans would not have access to educational television programming. Not so any more. Any number of television channels offer hordes of educational choices/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Spin Control: Handling Lying Cops

Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick was among law enforcement brass who told said they should be allowed to fire an officer who lies without fear of being overruled by  an arbitrator. Kirkpatrick joined sheriffs from King and Chelan counties who supported SB 6590, which was drafted to clarify a problem with state law raised in by a recent state Supreme Court ruling. The ruling overturned the firing of an officer for lying, saying the there was no explicit state policy that requires an officer to be truthful, so firing him was arbitrary/Jim Camden, Spin Control. More here.

Question: Does it anger you that a boss can fire or lay you off w/o much hassle while it almost takes an act of Congress in Spokane to get rid of wayward cops and firefighters?

Plan: OK To Spit, Not To Smoke

Item: Parks plan: OK to spit, but not smoke/Nicole Tsong, Seattle Times

More Info: Feel free to spit, but don’t even try lighting up. That’s the latest message from the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, which has dropped a proposal to ban spitting in parks but still is considering a ban on smoking. The department released a list of rules earlier this month that proposed banning behaviors in city parks including smoking and spitting. A public outcry followed, and in response to public comment on the issue, spitting was given a reprieve while smoking remains in the hot seat.

Question: What bothers you most when you see someone do it in public — spitting or smoking?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 1.27.10

Sacramento Kings forward Sean May, right, is fouled by Golden State Warriors forward Ronny Turiaf during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday. The Kings beat the Warriors 99-96. Turiaf, the former Gonzaga star, has been hurt much of the year. He’s considered one of the best defensive players for Golden State. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

High Noon: Joker Goes Sam Spade

Phil Hammer knew it would be a hard case as he took a long drag off his cigarette. His client, a middle-aged never was, wanted him to track down some dame in Canada to prove that she voted illegally. He pulled up his battered teal Chevy Nova to the curb of the house where she was supposed to live. He looked through the cracks in his windshield as the sky opened rain cascaded down and lightning flashed across the sky. Suddenly, the driver’s door flew open and he was yanked out of the Nova. A giant man with dark eyes and black hair, shaped more like a beer keg with legs, lifted him into the air with one arm/Joker, tongue firmly cheeked. More below.

Question: Which detective writer is your favorite? And/or: Favorite detective story?

Right Winger: Ward Runs w/Liberals

“But, let’s talk about Ward. What’s important is that the liberal Republicans are flocking to Ward. Obama supporters may shrug off guilt by association, but conservatives don’t. If you walk with the ducks and quack with the ducks, you are more duck than bronco. Ward also says he’s a 4th-generation Idahoan. But, there is copious concern that Ward is a carpetbagger. He has not lived in Idaho for many years, recently leaving Las Vegas for Boise. It has been said that if he loses, he will move to Virginia. Virginia? His primary benefactor is McCain, and McCain is the typical Washington DC Republican. Ward would move to Virginia to be closer to his biggest patron. So, what would cause Ward to stay in Idaho?”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Politics. More here.

Question: Former Boise council candidate Lucas Baumbach claims congressional wannabe Vaughn Ward runs w/liberal R’s and hints that he’s a carpetbagger. Is this simply mudslinging? Or are do you think the accusations have some weight?

EOBoise: CWI Growth ‘Astounding’

Bert Glandon, president of the College of Western Idaho, says the new Treasure Valley community college set a record nationally when it opened with 1,208 students. Most community colleges start up with no more than 200 students enrolling, he said. “We jumped to 3,600 in the first six months. Right now, today, unofficially, we’re looking at 4,837.3.” Amid laughter, he said, “It is the kind of thing that’s just become exhilarating, to see the kind of involvement from the local community”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Is it right for Gov. Butch Otter to add $1M in funding for College of Western Idaho in his back yard of Boise when he’s proposing cuts to the two other community colleges?

AM Scanner Traffic — 1.27.10

  • 11:10 a.m. Someone accidentally tripped the hold-up alarm @ Panhandle State Bank/Post Falls.
  • 10:49 a.m. A CPD Blue has stopped 3 males @ 6th & Borah/CdA who are suspects in a shoplifting at a nearby business.
  • 10:45 a.m. A sheriff’s deputy plans to contact two eighth-graders at Spirit Lake Junior High.
  • 10:18 a.m. A female is hurrying home from work to Watson & Orchard b/c she fears her husband is having a heart attack.
  • 9:52 a.m. A female may have suffered a broken nose in a domestic fight in apartments in 1900 block of W. Appleway. Her husband left on foot. She’s following in a car.
  • 9:11 a.m. Caller fears for welfare of animals on Carriage b/c owners are in jail.
  • 8:56 a.m. Randall on Maplewood reports that cash and prescription drugs were stolen from his home while he was walking his dog.
  • 8:48 a.m. A 50ish female is suffering chest pains at the UPS store @ Greensferry & Graffiti.
  • 8:31 a.m. Resident in Meyer Hill & Wolf Lodge Creek area claims school bus and vehicles traveling by too fast.
  • 8:08 a.m. A s/b dog is creating a safety hazard on Huetter @ Mullan.

Weir Draws Fire For Wearing Fur

In this Jan. 17 file photo, Johnny Weir shows off his medal for third place during the men’s free skate at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane. Friends of Animals has posted an open letter to Johnny Weir criticizing him for having fox fur on one of his costumes and asking him to stop wearing fur. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Question: Are you bothered when you see someone wearing fur?

Stuck In Coeur d’Alene, Iowa, Again

Gary Edwards tells Huckleberries Online: “Today (Jan. 27) Willard Scott on the TODAY Show sent birthday greetings to someone he said lived in Coeur d’Alene IOWA. Will someone please inform Willard Scott that Coeur d’Alene is in IDAHO!” Done.

HBO Poll: ‘Tea-bagger’ OK, Sorta

  • ‘Tea-bagger’ Phrase: 111 of 206 (54%) of the respondents to a secondary poll Tuesday said the double entendre “Tea-bagger” to describe supporters of the Tea Party movement should be acceptable at Huckleberries Online. 95 of 206 (46%) disagreed.
  • Tuesday Poll: 63 of 105 (60%) said the city of Coeur d’Alene should ban the use of cell phones while driving within city limits. 42 of 105 (40%) said the use should continue.
  • Today’s Poll Question (in 10 minutes or so): Are you better off today than you were a year ago when President Barack Obama took office?

Evans: IPTV Important To Idaho

As a longtime advocate and supporter of Idaho Public Television, I am more than troubled by Gov. Butch Otter’s proposal to phase out all state support for IPTV. During my 16-year tenure as state superintendent of public instruction, I saw firsthand how this important asset was used to enhance the curriculum and enrich classroom instruction for students across the entire state. I also observed how public television’s broad mission to educate, inform and entertain was carried to every region of our state and how critically important it became to our smaller communities and rural areas. Any thought that a more market-driven approach to raising additional private contributions could continue the statewide system is simply unrealistic/former state superintendent of schools Jerry Evans, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Former superintendent Jerry Evans contends that Idaho Public Television is important to Idaho. And that a loss of state funding will kill it. Do you agree on both points?

Letter: Go Back To California, Dems

You Democrats crack me up. Here you are whining about too much Republican power in Idaho. Well what about all the Democratic power in D.C.? They’re running the country and not doing a very good job, I might add. … If you don’t like the politics here in Idaho then stop whining about it and take your sorry butt back to wherever you came from. How about California? That’s a state run by your liberal Democrats. There’s no problems there, is there? Ha/Jolene Martin, Coeur d’Alene, letter to Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Question: Where would you be living, if you were to live in a state that generally reflected your political views?

AM Headlines — 1.27.10

Barbara Miller of the Silver Valley Community Resource Center at the East Mission Flats Repository in Cataldo on Tuesday where truck loads of dirt polluted with heavy metals from Superfund cleanup in Idaho’s Silver Valley is stored. More than 70 national groups have joined the SVCRC in asking the Obama Administration for better cleanup of the Bunker Hill Superfund site. The SVRC wouild like the waste to be moved out of their community. Becky Kramer’s SR story here. (Kathy Plonka/SR)


Press Explains Letters Policy

At The Press, we publish a letters policy stating that all letters should include the writer’s name, city of residence and telephone number. When we see something clearly suspicious, we check it out. But because some of our writers forget to put an address or phone number on the letter or they do not wish to share that private information, we sometimes make allowances. If the message is relatively mundane, we make minimal effort at verifying the message and its writer and instead do our best to print the letter as quickly as possible/Mike Patrick, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Question: When did you last write a letter to the editor? Why did you write it? Bonus question (for Kage Mann): Is the Press still allowing you to write letters using your pseudonym?

NIC: ‘Economy Down, Enrollment Up’

North Idaho College President Priscilla Bell told legislative budget writers this morning that her college has no wish list for funding, recognizing the tight state budget. Students will, however, feel the impact of holdbacks and budget reductions, she said, as they come at a time of sharply increasing enrollment. “Community college enrollments are counter-cyclical,” Bell said. “The economy goes down, and our enrollment goes up.” For next year, Gov. Butch Otter is proposing a 4 percent cut in state funding for community colleges, and that’s after pumping an additional $1 million into the new College of Western Idaho/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: How important was a community college to your secondary education?

Popkey: Obama Holds Independents

Item: Popkey: Independents stand by Obama, with caveats/Idaho Statesman

More here: Barack Obama’s “change” message was more than rhetoric to Joe Tobiasson. Four days before the 2008 election, he lost his job. Though an independent, the Boisean volunteered for Obama, calling voters in Montana. Now, as the president prepares to deliver his first State of the Union address Wednesday night, Tobiasson still needs work. His unemployment benefits expire in March, and despite at least two job contacts a week, he’s had just six interviews in 14 months.

Question (for Independents who voted for Obama): Has your opinion of the president changed during his first year in office?

Heller: The State We’re In

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Sam: ‘Teabagger’ Not Acceptable

Sam: I quite disagree the term (teabagger) is becoming “mainstream,” DFO. Members of the Tea Party started to initially call themselves that because they apparently don’t discuss terms with their 20-something children or grandchildren. As soon as many of them, a significant majority in my estimation based on my interaction with members of Tea Party movements, they stopped using the term and started asking people to not refer to them in that way. The term has now been completely co-opted by liberals/progressives and their groups and is used in a pejorative manner to refer to Tea Party participants. And they’re still doing it because they know it references the sexual practice. Use it all you want, but people my age and into their 30s are not going to consider it “mainstream” in the way you do. Just trust me on this.

Hillary @ 1 Wild Card — 1.26.10

Hillary Clinton has been the Secretary of State for a year, and despite all the concern among the R’s, our republic hasn’t come to an end. Meanwhile, President O is warming up for his State of the Union speech. And the stock market is on the right side of break even today. In other words, it’s all good. Now, I’ll play the Wild Card, and go in search of late-morning fodder for HBO’s Front Page …

Parting Shot — 1.26.10

Beads of sweat drip from the forehead of Andy Roddick of the United States during a break in his game against Marin Cilic of Croatia during their Men’s singles quarterfinal match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Question: Do you sweat easily?

2C Etc: In Defense Of Wikipedia

Despite its inherent flaws, Wikipedia is an amazing source of information with more than 14 million articles. It’s far more comprehensive than any printed encyclopedia, and in some ways, it’s more accurate because it’s not as in danger of becoming obsolete. It’s almost a guarantee that when any famous person dies, their wiki is revised within a few minutes of their death being announced. Another thing that makes Wikipedia great is the fact that it’s fun to read. I’ve never met someone who reads the World Book Encyclopedia for fun, yet I know people (including myself) who find wikis enjoyable to peruse, and judging by the fact that the Web site gets 65 million users monthly, we’re not the only ones/Randy Lavorante, 2C Etc. More here.

Question: How much do you rely on Wikipedia as an online news source?

Kroc Center Ponders Parking Problem

More Info: Kroc ponders parking problem/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press

Item: More Info: On Saturday, a group-hosted event in the center’s theater combined with the influx of normal weekend members quickly filled up the 352-space lot and left overflow cars parking up and down Golf Course Road and Fairway Drive. “It becomes a real challenge,” said John Chamness, Kroc Center executive director. “That’s one of the things we’re looking at, how can we address some of the parking issues.”

Question: Do you consider the conditions at the Kroc Center and/or parking lot too crowded to become a member of the popular community center?

PM Headlines — 1.26.10

Sandy Patano, North Idaho College Alumni Association President Sandee Riggs, Jack Riggs and alumna and featured artist Tyree Kearns pose for a picture at the 2010 Wild Game Feast hosted by the NIC Alumni Association Saturday. A total of 140 community members were in attendance at the 11th annual event.

APhoto Of The Day — 1.26.10

Ducks dive searching for food in a pond in capital Minsk, Belarus, Monday. The temperatures in Belarus reached around -18 Celsius ( - 1 degrees Fahrenheit). You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Patrons at the new watering hole ducked when a flight broke out — CoeurGenX.
  • 2. Troubled waters await Democrats trying to get their ducks in a row, as they search for a solution to the President’s health care bill that was not all it was cracked up to be — JohnA.
  • 3. In a very rare moment, DFO was at the right place and at the right time. He caught the reactions of Larry Spencer, Dan Gookin, Bill McCrory, Jim Brannon, Star Kelso, Jim Doty, Mary Souza & Kathy Sims as they heard the announcement by Judge Simpson that the case has been dismissed and called it a Goose Egg — Soaf.
  • HM: Charles Dixon (and everyone else … good job today)

PM Scanner Traffic — 1.26.10

  • 5:43 p.m. Suspicious male reported @ 1614 Hastings/CdA.
  • 5:40 p.m. Caller reports that a motorist tossed litter out the window before pulling into D&B farm supply/Kathleen.
  • 5:30 p.m. An unauthorized vehicle is parked in a handicap zone @ CdA library.
  • 4:33 p.m. A possible illegal burn is reported @ 3002/Sylvan.
  • 4:31 p.m. Shopko has caught a shoplifter who’s being cooperative.
  • 4:03 p.m. Resident at 10372 Riverview fears a possible fire b/c chimney is red hot.
  • 3:17 p.m. A motorist has left his pickup parked on the road while he fishes at Silver Beach.
  • Much more below

KREM: INW Papa John’s Stores Close

Every Papa John’s pizza restaurant in the Inland Northwest closed Tuesday without warning and may not reopen for some time. According to corporate officials at the company’s headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, 12 locations were shut down, all owned by a group called North Country Pizza. Papa John’s officials say all stores in Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, Pullman, Moscow, Yakima, Kennewick, Richland, and Wenatchee closed. Officials would not specify the reason the 12 restaurants were shut down, but said North Country Pizza franchise owners had not responded to their attempts at contact/KREM2. More here.

Question: Do you buy pizzas from Papa John’s?

KT: High School Grads Falling Short

KerriT: I believe the statistic for high school seniors who go on to a 4-year college is about 25%. Anyone know the % of those who do go to college actually graduate with a degree? On the face of it, 75% of high school graduates are not going on to college for whatever reason.

Question: Who’s more to blame for a smart high school graduate not going on to college? The student? Or the family from which the student comes (for not developing a go-to-college mind set)?

Kempthorne Endorses Ward Bid

Kempthorne said he’s known Ward since he graduated from Boise State University, and went to work on Kempthorne’s Senate campaign 18 years ago. Ward went on to work on Kempthorne’s Senate staff, then joined the Marines and served in combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan, earning the Bronze Star for his service in Fallujah. “I gave him the oath of office when he became a second lieutenant,” Kempthorne said. “We’ve spent so much time together over the last 18 years. … He has such a passion for service”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. And: Dan Popkey’s report here.

Question: Does Kempthorne’s endorsement make Ward a shoe-in to win the Repub nod for a chance to take on Dem Walt Minnick this fall?

Octuplets Share MamaJD Birthday

In this magazine cover image released by Star magazine, the cover of the Feb. 1, 2010 issue, currently on news stands, featuring Nadya Suleman, is shown. Single-mom Suleman’s well-publicized octuplets turned 1 year old today. Meanwhile, Suleman continues to enjoy the notoriety that lands her on the cover of magazines like Star and allows her to take care of her 14 children. (AP Photo/Star Magazine)

Question: Does “OctoMom” deserve kudos or barbs for being able to survive with her large brood by exploiting the celebrity media?

Obama Prepares For Annual Address

President Obama is presented with a helmet inside the Riddell plant in Elyria, Ohio on Friday. Obama said the helmet will come in handy during the State of the Union address Wednesday. (AP Photo/The Plain Dealer, Lisa DeJong)

Question: What do you want President Obama to discuss specifically in his State of the Union address tomorrow?

Skin Docs Want Teen Tan Bed Ban

The Washington State Dermatology Association is backing a bill urging state law makers to put regulations on tanning salons. The group says the bill will help with melanoma prevention, and would ultimately save lives. Currently, some salons have decided people under the age of 18 should have a signed permission slip from a parent or guardian to tan, but salons don’t have to do that as there are no actual regulations in place/KREM2. More here.

Question: Is this proposed law necessary?

M&M: Favorite Movie Insults

“I just stumbled on a site that seems a bit different. So much so that I wish I had thought of it first. It’s the Top 20 Movies Insults list. And you can check it out by clicking here. Here’s my contribution: It comes from “Pulp Fiction,” and it’s Vincent Vega (John Travolta) telling Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) that they’re lucky to even get served at Jackrabbit Slim’s. ‘I don’t think Buddy Holly’s much of a waiter.’ OK, it’s not the cleverest crack in history. But it just happens to be one that I’ve used more times than I care to remember. I live, you understand, in Spokane/Dan Webster, Movies & More. More here.

Question: Which movie insult is your favorite?

Nilson Warns Of Worker Shortage

Businessmen Ron Nilson (pictured), owner of Ground Force Manufacturing in Post Falls, and Doug Sayer, president of Premier Technologies in Pocatello, teamed up Tuesday to deliver some fiery and, at times, confrontational messages to lawmakers. … The two men, both self-made business owners who began in entry-level positions and eventually rose to the top, offered grave forecasts for the education and employment future in Idaho. The men called on lawmakers to integrate professional technical skills at every level of education to develop a more educated and capable workforce, an asset which both men believe is in short supply in the state right now. Sayer said production and manufacturing companies are facing an “Armageddon” situation if the state doesn’t work to correct imbalances in the workforce/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Should Idaho try to integrate professional technical skills at every level of education, as advocated by businessmen Ron Nilson and Doug Sayer?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 1.26.10

Thayer Cueter, who operates the Just Frogs Amphibian Center, holds Snohomish Slew, the bull frog, in Edmonds, Wash., recently. Cueter volunteered to house Snohomish Slew and another bull frog who serves as Slew’s backup after last year’s GroundFrog Day. Bull frogs are a non-native species in Washington that can not be simply let go into the wild. (AP Photo/Mark Mulligan, The Herald)

Question (for Ladies of HBO): Have you ever kissed a frog, hoping he’d turn into a prince?

Rasmussen Announces HD3 Run

Duane Rasmussen, vice chairman of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee and head of the county Pachyderms, dropped by the CdA/SR office this morning to announce that he, indeed, is a candidate for the GOP nomination for retiring state Rep. Jim Clark’s House District 3 seat. I’ll post a photo and background story on Rasmussen in a bit.

High Noon: MamaJD Turns 36

MamaJD e-mails this photo from 30 years ago and comment after Huckleberries raised questions about her birthday earlier today: “Yes.  It is my birthday.  I am 36 years as of 10:35 am .  I embrace my age as of late because I have earned every single experience good or otherwise in those 36 years.  Between HBO and Facebook, I realize I am really blessed to have friends wish me Happy Birthday when prompted online!  Thanks to everyone!”

Question: How do you celebrate birthdays (example: traditional cake, ice cream, at home with your family)

Trib: Thinner Slices Of Idaho Bacon

A year ago, freshman Congressman Walt Minnick, D-Idaho, announced he would not seek earmarks for his district. The stance, Minnick said reflected his commitment to fiscal restraint. Monday, Minnick reiterated he wants no part of the practice. About the same time, Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, made good on his plan not to seek the Senate Appropriations Committee slot vacated by the retiring Larry Craig. Crapo had built up seniority on the Finance Committee and didn’t want to relinquish it. He continues to seek earmarks, but his committee assignments diminish his access to them. How’s that working out? Not so well. Through their choices, Minnick and Crapo haven’t helped matters/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Are Minnick & Crapo acting naively by not aggressively seeking earmarks to benefit various projects in Idaho?

AM Scanner Traffic — 1.26.10

  • 10:44 a.m. A motorist reports smelling natural gas coming and going from a trip through the i/s of 15th & Margaret/CdA.
  • 10:26 a.m. Local business reports a disgruntled, female employee made threats before leaving the business.
  • 10:20 a.m. Patrol officer has moved dead raccoon (9:46 entry) off interstate.
  • 10:05 a.m. A 70ish male is unconcious at the VA medical center on Ironwood.
  • 9:59 a.m. A red Toyota registered to an Oregon male has been parked at the Bunco Road trailhead for 2 weeks.
  • More below

Adam: Remembering Helen Fondly

Today, we went to lunch with some new friends from church and Helen Chenoweth-Hage again came up. My wife doesn’t do political events, or if she does, she’ll have one inevitable question, “Can I bring a book?” She complained about politicians who spend an hour to say nothing. During most political events, my wife’s mind wanders off to something else more interest and two days later wouldn’t remember what the speech was about. Our friend then began to talk about Congresswoman Chenoweth-Hage, and my wife remember the general gist of what Congressman Chenoweth said…six years ago!/Adam Graham, Give Me Liberty. More here.

Question: Do you have memories — fond or otherwise — of the late, former U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage?

EOBoise: Medical Residency Programs

Legislative budget writers heard today about the medical residency programs in Idaho, which train medical residents in psychiatry and family medicine here though the state lacks a medical school. That’s considered key because doctors tend to settle and practice where they finished training. The psychiatry residency, started in 2007, trains medical school graduates for four years, but the first two years are in Seattle. So far, two have completed the program, and both have decided to stay and practice psychiatry in Idaho/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Should Idaho seek its own medical school after the recession ends?

Hillary Observes 1st Year @ State

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to a question during a town hall style meeting with employees marking her one year anniversary at the State Department Tuesday at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Question: Any thoughts re: how Hillary Clinton has done in her first year as Secretary of State?

Teens Face Counts In Road Shootings

Item: Teens face charges in highway shootings: One bullet passed between driver and passenger; Friday gunfire closed State Highway 8 for several hours/David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune

More Info: Austin Blake Medlock and Austin James Rickert, both 14-year-old freshmen at Deary High School, allegedly used two .22-caliber rifles and a crossbow Friday afternoon to shoot at vehicles, according to court records. Several chip trucks and cars were struck, including one vehicle where a bullet reportedly went through the driver’s side headrest and passed between the driver and a passenger, according to a probable-cause affidavit filed in 2nd District Court here Monday. Handcuffed and shackled at the ankles, Medlock and Rickert appeared in juvenile court late Monday morning with their parents before Magistrate John Judge.

Question: Should the judge have released these boys into the custody of their parents?

Idaho Presents New Contract To Akey

Idaho athletic director Rob Spear said the school has presented a new contract to Robb Akey and is waiting to hear back from the third-year football coach who led the Vandals to their first winning season in a decade. Spear, who was interviewed before Monday night’s nationally televised basketball game between Boise State and Idaho, said the offer “has been out there for a while.” Akey just completed the third year of his original five-year contract. Idaho finished the season 8-5 and won the Humanitarian Bowl/Nick Jezierny & Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: How much should Idaho pay football coach Robb Akey to keep him?

AM Headlines — 1.26.10

Anavel and Michael Boge put on the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene. For years, the proceeds have helped a number of different nonprofit organizations, including the “Satipo Kids Project.” The proceeds from the showings help send 38 children in Peru to school. Alison Boggs’ SR story here. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

HBO Poll: Huckleberries Prefer Saints

  • Monday Poll: In a small response, 31 of 70 (44%) said they want to see New Orleans win the Super Bowl. Only 12 of 70 (17%) favored Indianapolis. 27 of 70 (39%) didn’t care who won.
  • Ice Skating Poll: 14 of 40 (35%) of the respondents said their favorite figure skating competition was ice dancing. 11 of 40 (28%) prefer women’s skate competition. Only 2 of 40 (5%) prefer to watch the men compete.
  • Today’s Question (in lefthand rail): Should Coeur d’Alene ban the use of cell phones while driving within city limits?

Superintendent Wants A Side Kick

Item: School district to hire official: New associate superintendent will replace curriculum director’s position/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: School officials in Coeur d’Alene are looking for someone to become the district’s new associate superintendent. Superintendent Hazel Bauman knows some people may be questioning the decision to hire another district office administrator as education funding sources continue to shrink, but she defends the move.

Question: Should Superintendent Hazel Bauman be advertising for a new associate superintendent at a time when the state is ordering education cuts and holdbacks?

CdA Mulls Cell Phone Ban

Item: Cd’A considers cell phone ban: General Services Committee looks at rule for drivers/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: The city of Coeur d’Alene is considering banning cell phone use while driving. The city’s General Services Committee took the first step Monday by authorizing staff to look into the feasibility and legality of adopting any sort of rule. (Steve) Bell (a retired attorney who’s pushing this idea) crafted a proposed hands-free legislation for representatives to consider as a statewide ban during this session. He said he has heard it doesn’t have much chance of passing, but that doesn’t mean Coeur d’Alene can’t enact its own.

Question: Should Coeur d’Alene ban the use of cell phones while driving?

Ramirez: Man Behind The Curtain

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

EJS: More Thoughts On Grub Club

EJS: I like the huckleberries system, that’s a great idea. Something like one to five huckleberries with one stop below with complete sour berry and one higher as in hot huckleberry pie. Flo, yes indeed overall value is a selection as well. I’m willing to bet Dave could set up one of those servey thingies with 1 to 5 in the catagories we listed. I don’t know, I hope the idea doesn’t complicate it. I think it might make it easier though. Ya know I think we could really make some waves, for the better, with us as a”united” force out and about in the eating industry.

Question: EJS has done some heavy lifting today, spelling out the things to look for in our Grub Club reviews. And now offering a 1-to-5 Huckleberries system for the reviews. Not bad at all. Anyone else have a suggestion? Has anyone set up a date to dine at The Porch w/another Berry Picker?

P.S.: Scorned Mistress — 1.25.10

This undated photo provided by Jen Gallardo shows a billboard on the corner of 52nd St. and Broadway in New York featuring a photo of Charles Phillips and YaVaughnie Wilkins. Phillips, a co-president of software maker Oracle, acknowledges he had an affair with a woman he was shown snuggling with on billboards in New York, Atlanta and San Francisco. Story here. (AP Photo/

Question: Someone needs to explain the dynamics of his one to me. Isn’t the woman in this situation opening herself up to public ridicule by putting up the billboards?

Grub Club Wild Card — 1.25.10

EJS has dubbed The Porch on E. Miles Avenue to be the first venue for the new HBO Grub Club. Now, you Berry Pickers have a week to dine there and prepare some thoughts re: the restaurant fare, service, bathroom cleanliness, etc. We’ll begin the initial review next Monday (although it already sounds as though many of you are fans of The Porch already). Don’t forget to tell them that Huckleberries sent you. Now to re-post the Wild Card …

Pert: ‘80s Music Brings Back Spokane

Every time I hear the music from about 1980-1984, I’m back to Spokane. I’m geared up, fired up, screwed up; I’m deep in grief, deeply depressed, dire and alone; I’m walking the streets, riding the bus, riding my bike, riding my ass; I’m shopping at Rosauer’s, eating at Ferguson’s, drinking at The Viking, dancing with Colette and Claudia, holding an apartment film festival, going over to Bill’s for a beer and a cig and some Men at Work. I’m teaching hard, drinking hard, laughing hard, crying hard, hard to figure, hard to know, hard on myself, taking it all too hard, and hardly able to go a day without smashing, slamming, punching, or jamming because I’m so angry, while at the same time laughing, dancing, singing, roaring because I feel so free and alive. It’s all in the music/Raymond Pert, Kellogg Bloggin’. More here.

Question: Is there a song or music that stirs up memories in you of another time?

PM Headlines — 1.25.10

UI Vandals footballers enjoyed being the center of attention as the community and college celebrated their Dec. 30 Humanitarian Bowl victory over Bowling Green. Holly Bowen’s story in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News here.

APhoto Of The Day — 1.25.10

Bikini-clad golf fans applaud as the final competitors arrive at the 18th green during the second round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship golf tournament on Saturday at Kaupulehu-Kona, Hawaii. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Chris Stewart)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Tiger Babes in waiting — JeanieS.
  • 2. Tiger struggled on the 18th green when he couldn’t get his putter out of his bag — Phaedrus.
  • 3. Instead of offering a cash prize, Mitsubishi decided to put something on the prize table they knew the inevitable winner would appreciate more — Charles Dixon.
  • HM: Kage Mann 

PM Scanner Traffic — 1.25.10

  • 6:07 p.m. Super 1/Post Falls has caught 2 male shoplifters who were cooperative at first but are starting to get belligerent.
  • 5:41 p.m. Macy’s/Silverlake Mall clerk reports that a shopper had his vehicle stolen.
  • 5:11 p.m. Post Falls male reports that his 25YO pregnant wife left in her purple Subaru after a fight, threatening to kill herself on the freeway.
  • 5:01 p.m. A 10YO female was missing for an hour from 1101 Lakeside before her mother found her.
  • 4:25 p.m. Apartment dweller on Lincoln Way reports she had heard yelling between neighbors, thumping, and the female yelling, “Get off of me.”
  • 3:52 p.m. Kohl’s on Aqua has apprehended a shoplifter.
  • 3:18 p.m. A male in a black SUV is “going ballistic” in Bank of America lot on Canfield/CdA.
  • 3:11 p.m. PFPD Blues are looking for a kid w/a BB gun in a tree who may be shooting at passing vehicles behind Mountain West Bank on Mullan & Idaho.
  • More below

Bilboa’s Bill Targets Graffiti

Rep. Carlos Bilbao, R-Emmett, offered a plan Monday to increase punishments levied on those who graffiti traffic signs and buildings.  Bilbao pitched the proposal to the House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee. Bilboa cited the costs of cleanup as his reasoning for bringing the legislation before the committee.  During his testiBimony, Bilbao said counties, cities, and business owners are being forced to absorb the cost of removing or painting over the destruction, which can sometimes have up to a $10,000 price tag. The legislation could also apply to those who shoot and leave bullet holes in roads signs because it is a matter of public safety, said Bilbao. He said he is particularly concerned about motorists who drive in the middle of the night and may miss warning sign because the sign has been shot up or painted over/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Should state law be changed to charge a felony against those who shoot up traffic signs and paint graffiti that costs more than $1000 to clean up?

HBO Blogosphere — 1.25.10

Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns offers yet another viewtiful landscape of her neck of the woods.

L.A. Officials Defend Dog Rescue

In this Friday photo, a Los Angeles City firefighter on a harness on a helicopter rescues a dog from the Los Angeles River. The dog was hoisted from the Los Angeles River by helicopter after trying to scramble up the steep concrete sides for more than an hour. Saving a German shepherd stuck in the rising Los Angeles River was the right thing to do, the risks were slight, rescue crews were on standby, extra taxpayer money wasn’t used and the alternatives were unacceptable, authorities said Monday. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Mark Bolster, File)

Question: Did Los Angeles rescuers do the right thing by taking time to save the German shepherd from drowning?

Idahoans Provide Cost-Saving Tips

The other most common idea on the list is to alter how Idaho treats convicted criminals, but among those calling for changes, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.  Many respondents felt the state should do more to assess the needs of convicted persons and determine if long-term incarceration is the best solution.  Others favored quick, yet effective, jail terms, supplemented by rehab and state supervision, which costs much less than incarceration. Those in favor of supervision generally also supported allowing low-level and non-violent offenders, such as someone jailed for simple marijuana possession, to be released from prison and put on the same system/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Does Idaho put too many people in jail and/or prison?

Solon Introduces Kyra Wine Bill

Sen. Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, persuaded the Senate Judiciary Committee today to introduce legislation prompted by the case of a 3-year-old St. Maries child whose severe abuse cost her both feet, a finger and a kidney, but whose abuser got just 10 years in prison, the maximum sentence for felony injury to a child. “This is a little change that could be very big,” Broadsword told the committee, of her measure to double the maximum penalty from 10 years in prison to 20/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. And: Idaho Reporter version here.

Grub Club Kicks Off w/The Porch

OK, Berry Pickers, we have a name and a site for the first review en masse of a local eatery. The name, HBO Grub Club. The first target, er, restaurant to be reviewed in the next week is The Porch, 1658 East Miles Avenue, Hayden (772-7711). EJS, who nominated The Porch, also provided hours of business: Monday/Tuesday 11am to 10pm; Wed,Thurs 11am to 11pm; Fri/Sat 11am to Midnight, kitchen closes at 11pm. (He didn’t get the Sunday hours). EJS also provided some areas you should consider in your reviews (beginning next Monday): Ambiance (how the place feels to you); Bathroom (EJS’s pet peeve); Menu (too big, too small, too sticky); Service; and, of course, food. We’ll start reviewing The Porch next week. Until then, enjoy …

Spokane Stage Produces Olympians

The U.S. figure skating team waves to the crowd following an exhibition after the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane. From left are Benjamin Agosto, Tanith Belbin, Johnny Weir, Mirai Nagasu, Evan Lysacek, Emily Samuelson, Evan Bates, Jeremy Abbott, Caydee Denny, Jeremy Barrett, Amanda Evora, Mark Ladwig, Rachael Flatt, Meryl Davis and Charlie White. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

DFO: Would you think less of me if you knew that I watched the figure skating championships Sunday afternoon rather than the Minnesota-New Orleans football game?

More Wearing Helmets On Slopes

Item: More and more skiers, snowboarders wearing helmets at Bozeman-area resorts/Amanda Ricker, Bozeman Chronicle

More Info: Nearly 50 percent of all skiers and snowboarders in the United States wear helmets these days, up from about 25 percent during the 2002-2003 ski season, according to the National Ski Areas Association. Two-thirds of kids age 14 and under wear ski helmets. Almost that many skiers over the age of 65 wear them, too. Younger adults in the mid-age range and novice skiers and snowboarders are the least likely to put one on.

Question: Do you wear a helmet when you ski, snowboard, skate, bike ride, or motorcycle ride?

UI Cagers Meet Boise State Tonight

Was it really only a year ago that Boise State guard Anthony Thomas guaranteed nothing but wins against Idaho for the rest of his Bronco career? Nobody is promising anything about tonight’s arch-rivalry game at the Kibbie Dome, pitting teams with a combined 1-12 conference record. The star-crossed Vandals and Broncos tip off at 8 p.m. in a Western Athletic Conference contest to be televised by ESPNU. Of the innumerable factors contributing to Idaho’s five-game losing streak, at least one lies outside its control: the WAC schedule. The team’s league losses have come against the top five clubs in the standings. So the Vandals (8-9, 1-5) are eagerly awaiting this intrastate grudge match - not just because it’s generally the dramatic apex of their home schedule but because Boise State (9-11, 0-7) is just as lost as they are/Dale Grummert, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Are you interested in the outcome of any clash between Idaho and Boise State in a sport other than football?

Crump: Are Guys Evolving Faster?

I live with a geneticist and a feminist, so as you can imagine my opportunities for touting the superiority of men are limited. Luckily, I came upon an article in the journal Nature that claims the Y chromosome — the thing that makes a man male — is evolving much faster than the rest of the genetic code. A new study comparing the Y chromosomes from humans and chimpanzees, our nearest living relatives, shows that they’re about 30 percent different. That’s far greater than the 2 percent difference between the rest of the human genetic code and that of the chimp’s. These changes happened in the last 6 million years or so — relatively recently when it comes to evolution/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: What do you make of this new study than mankind is evolving faster than womankind?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 1.25.10

Charlie White carries his partner Meryl Davis on his back and legs as they glide backwards during their gold medal winning performance in the Championship Dance of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in the Spokane Arena Saturday in Spokane. (Christopher Anderson/SR)

High Noon: Drinking & Driving

I personally know the relatives of people who have been killed by drunks who have been caught and convicted of DUI more than once. I also knew my neighbor, a teacher and mother, who was killed by an intoxicated driver who already had at least one DUI. And now we know of a teacher who has racked up three DUIs in three years. At least two of the three times that he was arrested, his BAC was double the legal limit of 0.08 percent. He drove the same roads many of us drive/Vickie Holbrook, Idaho Press Tribune. More here.

Question (from Vickie): Do you know someone who has been arrested for a DUI? Two times? Three times? Do you get in a vehicle when you know the driver has been drinking?

Jokernomics: Brannon Could Lose $$$

Joker: You know, I was doing some thinking and it might be possible for Jim Brannon to lose money on his own fundraiser. Assuming the Greenbriar Inn isn’t giving away dinner and drinks, any smart business would charge Jim Brannon or Mary Full of Grace around $300 for the space and then some deposit money to buy the food, so say another 100 bucks. A wedding costs at the Greenbriar costs $600. We’re now at $400 out of pocket money for Jim Brannon. Now, let’s approximate that 40 people show up (that place doesn’t hold much more than that). They each buy dinner: $200. 20 people buy one drink: $100. 10 people buy a second drink: $50. That leaves Jim $50 in the hole. For a guy who is unemployed that is not good.

Question: What do you make of Joker’s economic analysis of the planned Brannon fund-raiser?

Obama Honors Champion L.A. Lakers

President Barack Obama stands with Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, in the East Room of the White House in Washington this morning during a ceremony honoring the 2009 NBA basketball champions Los Angeles Lakers. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Question: Who’d you rather have campaign for a favorite political candidate of yours — President Barack Obama or Lakers star Kobe Bryant? Explain why?

AM Scanner Traffic — 1.25.10

  • Noon: Spirit Lake police are responding to an accidental, self-inflicted BB shot injury.
  • 11:53 a.m. Moe reports the theft of a violin.
  • 11:39 a.m. Caller reports that someone in an e/b maroom Escort is throwing beer cans out the window on I-90 @ M/P 5 (Spokane Street). One can hit caller’s vehicle.
  • 11:18 a.m. Corey wants police help in getting item’s from his ex’s storage unit/Hayden.
  • 11:13 a.m. A semi has lost its trailer on H95 @ M/P 388.5 (Moctileme Creek).
  • 11:05 a.m. Rebecca @ Skylark & Lacey reports that her ex fiance has taken her daughter’s dog and won’t give it back.
  • 10:52 a.m. Caller reports that a neighbor on Blue Creek Road (east of CdA) shooting nearby has hit a caregiver w/buckshot. Dispatcher didn’t know if shooting was accidental.
  • 10:40 a.m. A Chevy van, full of tools, has been parked on Waterside Drive for months.
  • 10:23 a.m. Bingham County reports that a runaway female traveling with 2 males may be staying at the Ameritel Inn on Appleway.
  • 9:37 a.m. 3 semis have slide off the road in a mile stretch of I-90 @ M/P 28 & 29 (Fourth of July Creek).
  • 8:57 a.m. A newspaper box reportedly has been stolen @ Kidd Island Bay Dumpster site.
  • 8:56 a.m. Patrol officer states: “The roads are so bad, I can barely get going.”
  • 8:53 a.m. Patrol officer reports there’s an inch or 2 of snow on the roads.
  • 8:51 a.m. Patrol officer reports that the lights @ NW & I-90 aren’t recycling, causing traffic to back up on the freeway.

2010 Census Count To Start In Alaska

Item: You’re number 1: Alaska village up first in census/Associated Press

More Info: Census workers and trained locals are expected to take a week to interview the rest of Noorvik’s residents, using the same 10-question forms to be mailed to most households on March 15. Census workers also will visit 217 other rural Alaska communities in the coming weeks.

Question: Do you consider the 2010 census to be important? Or an invasion of privacy?

Merchants Cash In On Vandal Wins

With the success of this past football season, Vandal fans were finally able to trade the paper bags over their heads for T-shirts, hats and sweatshirts proudly emblazoned with logos of silver and gold. The team notched its first winning record and bowl game win in more than a decade. Last week Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter came to town and declared Jan. 23 “Vandal Football Day.” On Tuesday, Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney announced “Vandal Football Week,” culminating with a parade through downtown Saturday afternoon. And according to local retailers, winning on the gridiron has translated into a significant increase in Vandal merchandise sales/Joel Mills, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Have you traded the paper sack you once placed over your head for UI Vandal merchandise, now that they’re winning? Or have you always been a diehard Vandal fan?

HBO Poll: We Shop At WalMart

A New Orleans Saints fan stomps on a stuffed bear dressed in a Minnesota Vikings jersey as Alleta Rohr, left, and her daughter, Rhonda, right, drag it down Bourbon Street in the French Quarter before an NFC conference championship football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans Sunday. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

  • Weekend Poll: 66 of 116 (57%) of the respondents to a weekend poll said their family shops at WalMart at least once a month.
  • Today’s Question: Who do you want to win the Super Bowl: Indianapolis or New Orleans?

Question: Did your team make the Super Bowl?

Huckleberries Hears …

… that county Repub vice chairman Duane Rasmussen plans to announce his candidacy for retiring Rep. Jim Clark’s House District 3 seat fairly soon. Rasmussen is the precinct committeeman for Precinct 19 (Hayden) and president of the North Idaho Pachyderm Club.

Nellis: Higher Ed Crucial In Bad Times

University of Idaho President Duane Nellis said the U of I has seen $22 million in budget cuts just in the past two years, and that doesn’t count additional ones lawmakers are now mulling, or the elimination of $10 million for a dairy research center project. “These budget reductions do have an impact on our academic programs and on the state,” Nellis told the Legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee. So far, the UI has discontinued 45 programs - eliminated 35 degree programs, and restructured 10 others/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Which of the two local chairmen of legislative education committees is more of an advocate for education — John Goedde on the Senate side or Bob Nonini on the House side?

Mary Pushes Brannon Fund-Raiser

In her newsletter, Mary Souza is tying challenger Jim Brannon’s fight to overthrow the Coeur d’Alene municipal election results to Scott Brown’s upset victory in the special election in Massachusetts. You know, “We, the people, have power.” Spouts Mary: “And now, with Jim’s legal challenge of that election fully underway, information is surfacing to show that our area’s election system is not fair and is certainly not accurate.” She goes on to encourage backers to participate in a fund-raiser to how underwrite Brannon’s struggle for justice by attending a fund-raiser at 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8, at the Greenbriar Inn on Wallace. County Repub chief Brad Corkill will be master of ceremonies. And you can her “the rest of the story” from Citizens for Responsible & Honest Goverment speakers Brent Reagan and Jim Doty. You can see the fund-raiser flyer here.

Question: What do you make of local GOPoobah Brad Corkill serving as MC for a lawsuit against a nonpartisan municipal election?

AM: Olympic Medalists Visit Spokane

American figure skating champions, from left, Tara Lipinski, Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton, David Jenkins, Tenley Albright, Dick Button, Carol Heiss, Hayes Jenkins, Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, Brian Boitano and Sarah Hughes are seen during a moment of honor for past American Olympians at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane Sunday. Carolyn Lamberson/SR tells you all about it here. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Downtown Coeur d’Alene Vibrant

Item: Prime retail space openings on Sherman are few — and when there are, they fill up fast/Rick Thomas, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Prime Sherman Avenue space is always hot, even in hard economic times. It is only a few blocks from the prime spots between The Coeur d’Alene Resort at Second Street and the high foot traffic hub between Fourth and Fifth streets on Sherman.

Question: How often do you dine or shop downtown? Which places are your favorites?

Yeah, OTV, Knew Who He Was

OrangeTV: One time about 15 years ago when I worked at the CDA Resort, one of my jobs was manning the booth in the parking garage. Jim Clark came though one day, he had been inside about 6 hours and had no validation on his ticket. He pulled up, rolled down his window just enough to quickly hand me the blank ticket and immediately rolled his window back up, pulled right up to the gate, and waited for it to rise impatiently. I didn’t know who he was, nor did I care. No stamp = you pay. Finally, he rolled down his window again and snapped at me, “Are you gonna let me through or what?” I told him he could go as soon as he produced a receipt or paid $3. He turned a lovely shade of bright red and stammered the question that I loved to hate the most: “DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!?” Rest of the story below.

Question: Have you ever had someone try to impress you with the phrase, “do you know who I am”?

Signe: Blood Suckers

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Weekend Wild Card — 1.23-24.10

We Merry Hucksters are about to launch into a new endeavor Monday — a restaurant review club,  (name has yet to be determined). EJS made the suggestion Friday. And I thought “what the heck?” EJS will launch the review club by suggesting the first restaurant to review on Monday. Then, HBOers will have a week to try out the fare and service before beginning a discussion the following Monday. Stay tuned. (And feel free to suggest possible names for the restaurant review club.) Now, for the weekend Wild Card …

Flatt Wins Gold, Cohen Collapses

Championship ladies free skate silver medalist Mirai Nagasu, left, and gold medalist  Rachael Flatt, take a victory lap at the medal ceremony Saturday in the Spokane Arena. Passport to Gold story here. (Colin Mulvany/SR)

JK: Parking Jackpot Made A Lot Of Sense

I was attending an event at the INB Performing Arts Center one evening and had to park in one of those big outdoor lots a few blocks from the theater. I approached the electronic pay kiosk with trepidation. These pay kiosks can be a royal pain. In previous encounters, the thing has either refused to take my money, refused to take my debit card, refused to issue a receipt or been otherwise on the blink. This time, to my relief, it took my money without complaint and coughed up that little receipt for my dashboard. I glanced at it to make sure that the time on it was correct. And here’s what it said: “Expires 05:37 AM, July 27, 2010.” I stared it at for a long moment before I was able to comprehend the windfall I had just received from the parking gods. “Carol,” I said slowly to my wife. “I believe that we have just won free parking – for six months!” Not a bad deal, for $3/Jim Kershner, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever been victimized by downtown Spokane parking? And/or: What would you do in Jim Kershner’s place? Throw away the ticket that gives him free parking for six months? Or continue to park free for the next six months?

Spin Control: States Try To Block Feds

Item: States trying to block the feds, but the effort may be null and void/Jim Camden, Spin Control

More Info: Conservative activists in Washington and Idaho are trying to force the federal government to “keep out” on issues ranging from guns to health care to the environment. Through legislation and initiatives, people aligned with what’s variously known as the 10th Amendment or State Sovereignty movement are trying to pass state laws that limit what the federal government can do within its borders. … A bill has already been introduced in the Idaho Senate by Sen. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, to block enforcement of any national health care rules. Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, plans to introduce a bill that would forbid the federal government from regulating any firearm built, sold and used solely in Idaho.

Question: Should states fight against federal control within their borders on issues like gun laws, health care, and the environment?

Gonzaga 85, LMU 69

Loyola Marymount’s Drew Viney and Gonzaga’s Elias Harris struggle for a loose ball in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane earlier tonight.  ESPN boxscore here. (AP Photo/Rajah Bose) 

Nelson To Try Again For Commish

Item: Nelson to try again to land a county commissioner seat/Alecia Warren, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: “I’ve been the construction administrator on multi-million dollar projects,” she said. “I’ve employed consultants, subcontractors, other individuals. It might sound like a small thing to some people, but it’s a lot of work.” Her political background is at the grassroots level, she said, like fighting issues of water quality and traffic around her neighborhood south of Coeur d’Alene in the Rockford Bay area. She is also forming a coalition to battle the county’s plans to close rural dump sites.

Question: Nelson finished strongly last time in a three-way race. Commissioners Rick Currie and Rich Piazza are up for re-election this time. Do you think county residents will vote for change?

Rep. Clark Planning To Retire

Item: It’s in the cards, Clark retiring: Hayden representative has served 7 terms/Mike Patrick, Press

More Info: In an exclusive interview Friday with The Press, Clark announced his retirement at the end of the current legislative session. The seven-term Republican from Hayden Lake, known to friends and foes as annoyingly cocky one moment and delightfully self-deprecating the next, demonstrated a little bit of both in summarizing his decision to retire.

Question: I’d guess that Hayden Councilwoman Geri DeLange would be interested in Clark’s seat. She might be a Repub candidate. Can you think of any other R’s who will run. Will the D’s field a candidate?

Actors Man ‘Hope For Haiti Now’ Phones

 Robert De Niro, left, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Barkin, right, work the phone bank at “Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief”, on Friday in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark Davis/Hope for Haiti Now)

Question: Are you participating in the Haiti relief effort in any way?

Smoker’s Family Helps Others Quit

Shirley Wagoner remembers her big brother sneaking out to the woods behind their St. Maries home when he was a teenager to smoke cigarettes. “In the ’50s, it was cool,” she said. “It meant you were grown up.” Her brother, Dick Case, finally managed to quit 10 or 15 years ago, but by then it was too late, she said. Case, a substance abuse counselor and poet who lived in the Coeur d’Alene area, died Jan. 8 at age 74. He blamed smoking for killing him, Wagoner said. Three days after his memorial, a friend of the family stopped by the Panhandle Health District in Hayden with a plastic bag containing more than $500 from Case’s sister and daughters. Wagoner said the family also offered volumes of Case’s poetry at his memorial service for a voluntary donation and added that money to the pot. The money was donated to the district’s Smoking Cessation and Prevention Program/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.

Question (for smokers and former smokers): Why did you start smoking?

Hayden, PF WalMarts To Open In ‘10

Late-summer openings are anticipated for new Walmart stores in Hayden and Post Falls. The Hayden store, at the southwest corner of U.S. Highway 95 and Honeysuckle Avenue, will be a mid-size store at about 213,000 square feet, Walmart says. Located on 19 acres with 968 planned parking spaces, it will include a seasonal garden area and a fast-food tenant that hasn’t been determined. It will be Hayden’s second-largest business structure, behind the Prairie Shopping Center. The parcel development required $1.3 million in impact fees for the restructuring of the Highway 95 intersection. The walls are up on the Hayden Walmart store/Nils Rosdahl, Handle Extra. More here.

Question (also poll question in left rail): Do you shop at WalMart? Why? Why not?

APhoto Of The Weekend — 1.23-24.10

The Wyoming Cowboys men’s swim and dive team perform a Haka before their swim meet against Utah Friday at Corbett Poo in Laramie, Wyo. The Haka is a varied New Zealand rugby cheer. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Laramie Boomerang, Andy Carpenean)

Me: Bardenay Redeems Itself

Me: We had a couple of drinks, but our server Scott checked on us regularly so we were never waiting for drinks. We let him know when we were ready to order. I had the Mediterranean Plate appetizer. Hummus, baba gannoujh and olive and sun-dried tomato tapenade with warm pita triangles. It was VERY good. The hummas was very garlicy which is fine with me, but be warned. I thought this would be an OK dish for someone on Weight Watchers and I think I was right. Didn’t seem to be ‘oily’ or fatty. The pita wasn’t greasy either. I ate less than 1/2 and took the rest home AND their to go box is awesome. I think it could go through the dishwasher and be used again! Not the skimpy styrofoam. Full post below.

Question: What culinary sin does an eatery have to commit before you swear it off entirely?

KBCI: Another Penny To Sales Tax?

With state lawmakers facing an even more dire economic forecast, many worry further budget cuts in critical areas such as education or health and welfare will dramatically hurt the well-being of Idahoans. But is there an alternative to simply cutting? Maybe increasing the sales tax by one penny — from the current six cents to seven cents — would help. We asked people in downtown Boise how they would react to that idea. Some people we talked to were doubtful, saying there must be a better way/KBCI. More here.

Question: Would you consider adding a penny to Idaho’s 6-cent sales tax, if it boosted state education funding and helped save programs?

OTC: Military Serves Us All The Time

“One of my best friends called me Wednesday to tell me he was being deployed. He joined the Army two months after we graduated from high school and has been serving our country for the past three years. In all that time he’s only bounced from one city to the other, and now he’s being sent to Haiti to help with disaster relief. Although my gut sunk a little when he said “deployed,” I know he’s going to help a lot of people. It was a reality check to what all our military does for others and us”/Elizabeth Rudd, FrontRow editor, UI Argonaut. More Off the Cuff here.

Question: Do you have a family member or friend serving overseas at the moment? Where? Tell us about him or her?

Poll: No To Defunding Human Rights

  • TGIF HBO Poll: 48 of 72 (67%) of the respondents said no (including 30 who said “hell no”) when asked if they supported Gov. Butch Otter’s attempt to de-fund the Idaho Human Rights Commission. 24 of 72 (33%) backed Otter’s proposal.
  • Gas Pump Poll: 60 of 103 (58%) of the respondents voted that it bugs them that Oregon doesn’t allow motorists to pump their own gas. 43 of 103 (41%) said it doesn’t. And 1 Berry Picker indicated s/he’d never been to Oregon.
  • Weekend Poll Question (in lefthand rail): Do you shop at WalMart at least once a month?

Ramirez: Please Don’t Leave Me

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

KXLY: Teens Jailed In Sniper Shootings

Latah County Sheriff Deputies have arrested two juveniles in connection with at least 20 reports of vehicles being hit with gunfire along Highway 8 near Forks Road, just east of Helmer, Idaho.The shootings closed a portion of Highway 8 from milepost 29 to milepost 34, between Bovill and Deary, Friday afternoon. Police fielded multiple calls from people saying they had been shot at while driving in the area. Latah County Deputies and Idaho State Police set up a perimeter around the shooting scene and began to look for the suspects. Deputies found the spot where the teens had been shooting from and later arrested two juvenile boys/Jared Richardson, Internet Content editor. More here.

OTV: If Uncle Can Shrink, So Can I

OrangeTV: since my uncle gets to brag a bit around here, so do I. Just got back from a weigh-in with the doc and I’ve dropped 12 more lbs., to a total of 68 lbs. since September. I think I’ll go celebrate with a cream puff or two. Oh and maybe while me and the other cream puffs are celebrating, I’ll have a nice disgusting beer.

Question: Anyone out there with a new year’s resolution to lose weight? How are you doing?

Parting Shot — 1.22.10

Mirai Nagasu skates during a practice for the ladies free skate program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane today. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

TGIF Wild Card — 1.21.10

Did I really say this morning that Scanner Traffic was quiet? Scanner Traffic picked up and remained steady almost from the moment that I wrote that — 33 posts and counting at the moment. You Hucksters still like Scanner Traffic, right. One hard-working police officer told me that she checks Scanner Traffic to see if she has missed something during the day. Now, I need to post the Wild Card and get out of her before the scanner comes up with something big that’ll keep me glued to my office seat for awhile …

HBO To Start Restaurant Review Club

You never know when something’s going to happen on HBO to shake things up. Today, for example, EJS suggested that we start a cafe club — for lack of a better phrase, at the moment. (You can read the discussion on this thread here.) OrangeTV, our go-to guy when it comes to restaurant reviews said he liked the idea. So I left it up to EJS to come up with the first restaurant for us Merry Hucksters to review. He’ll tell us Monday after he consults with his missus. We’ll handle it like this. EJS picks a restaurant this week. Hucksters then have a week to eat there (remember to tip well … I don’t want it to be known that my Hucksters are cheap). We’ll begin discussing the restaurant, for better or worse, the following Monday. Now, for one last piece of business …

Question: What are we going to call this restaurant review club?

PM Headlines — 1.21.10

Seattle Mariners pitcher Cliff Lee speaks during a baseball news conference at Safeco Field in Seattle on Friday. Lee was acquired by the Mariners in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies last December. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

KXLY: Latah Looking For Shooter

“An active shooter on Highway 8 near Helmer, Idaho forced the brief closure of the highway Friday afternoon. Several people in the area reported seeing police cars speeding through Helmer Friday afternoon. Initially the Idaho State Police was reporting the highway shut down in the vicinity of Helmer and there was police activity. Just before 5 PM the Latah County Sheriff’s Office confirmed they had a situation involving an active shooter who had done some property damage. One eyewitness reported that several vehicles have been hit/Rob Kauder, KXLY. More here.

APhoto Of The Day — 1.22.10

Mike Schelin (mostly hidden behind) rides in a motocross bike race with his dog Opee, a 8-years-old blue merle Australian shepherd in Perris, Calif. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. North Idaho GPS — Pecky.
  • 2. Opee found that catching rabbits was a lot easier when Mike took the training wheels off — Soaf.
  • 3. Mmm, bugs. Gonna get me some bugs. Gotta love them bugs, mmmm, more bugs. Faster faster, love me some bugs — Cabbage Boy.
  • HM: JeanieS

PM Scanner Traffic — 1.22.10

  • 5:40 p.m. A male is panhandling at Piggie’s Deli, 2001 Sherman/CdA, trying to sell hydrocodone to passersby.
  • 5:26 p.m. A male grabbed a 5-months-PG female during a domestic dispute in a Rathdrum apartment that also involves the female’s aunt. 2 kids are in the aparment.
  • 5:05 p.m. Male in a red pickup at the Kroc Center reports that his ex-wife won’t exchange children as ordered.
  • 4:18 p.m. 15YO boy on Lapis/Post Falls has a gun to his throat. (Update: Officer was able to take the troubled boy into custody.)
  • 4:11 p.m. 2 female juveniles are using a hammer to try to break into a home on Marie/CdA.
  • 3:42 p.m. Phyllis on Lewellen Creek Road/Athol reports a neighbor is shooting too near her property.
  • 3:35 p.m. An employee of Newman’s Plumbing reports a male driver “went ballistic” when she told him he couldn’t park in the private business lot.
  • 3:19 p.m. A 12-13YO boy is hitchhiking on H41 @ M/P (Twin Lakes Road).
  • More below

Conan Accepts $45M Buyout

In this June 1, 2009, file photo provided by NBC, Conan O’Brien makes his debut as the host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” in Universal City, Calif. reports that the NBC decision to pay O’Brien and his staff $45M to leave the new time slot was a good one, businesswise here. (AP Photo/NBC, Paul Drinkwater)

Question: Conan O’Brien is accepting $33M personally to leave his time slot in NBC’s late-night programming. How much would you get if your company decided to buy you out?

Keough: P’haps Cut Our Own Bennies?

Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, says she thinks lawmakers should consider cutting their own health benefits just as the state has cut health coverage for other part-time state employees. “We ought to have that discussion - I don’t think we should shy away from it,” Keough said. She was responding to a column by Dan Popkey in the Idaho Statesman today, which called lawmakers “tone-deaf” on the issue. It noted that all but 18 lawmakers take the coverage that’s the same as that for full-time state employees, though Idaho has a part-time citizen legislature/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you actually think lawmakers would cut their own insurance benefits?

Paper: Clark Takes ‘Outlandish’ Cake

Sometimes, a few independent-thinking souls will come up with an idea so outlandish that it actually gets legs in the legislative process. This year, that honor falls to Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden, who introduced a bill to fight federal health-care reform. The bill would free residents from mandates to purchase insurance. Clark’s stand against federal legislation, which the states are bound to follow by Article VI of the Constitution, resembles that of then-Gov. George Wallace of Alabama, who defied federal civil-rights laws and physically blocked black students from entering the University of Alabama. First of all, who really knows what health-care reform will look like? Mandated insurance could well be dropped from the final version. Besides, most versions stipulate insurance would only be mandatory if an individual could afford it/Murf Raquet, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: What do you think of the attempted preemptive strike by state Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden, to free Idahoans from any requirement for mandated insurance?

Trib Jeers Hart For Tea Party Stand

In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, Opinion Editor Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune jeered three Idaho legislators for pandering to Tea Party activists this week: Rep. Steve Hartgen, R-Twin Falls, Rep. Steven Thayn, R-Emmett, and Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol. Of Hart, Trillhaase said: “He railed against the Federal Reserve system as “offensive to scripture.” A fellow who refused to pay his taxes for seven years - but who now draws legislative pay, health insurance, per diem expenses, life insurance and retirement from the poor state taxpayer - ought to look up what the Bible has to say about hypocrites.” You can read the entire Cheers-and-Jeers column here.

Question: Is it pandering when you share the same beliefs?

DFO: Don’t Take Baby To The Theater

In the “I thought I’d scene, or heard, it all” Dept., I and a nearly packed house at the Lake City Playhouse production of “Leader of the Pack” was treated to a fidgeting baby for the entire second half. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spotted the mother and the baby in the third row prior to the opening curtain. I wondered how the mother was going to keep the baby quiet for the entire production. The answer came quickly. Halfway through the first act, the mother had the sense to take her baby outside when it began making noise. She wasn’t as considerate — if that word can be used for a mother with a baby at live theater — during the second half. She couldn’t even quiet the child by offering to breast feed it. Toss in a coupla of drunks who arrived after the play began and talked throughout the second act, and it was a less-than-enjoyable evening. However, lead Emily Cleveland and singer Marina Kalani made the production worth seeing, especially when they soldiered on despite the distractions.

Question: Have you encountered many rude goers at plays, concerts, movies, or other similar public settings?

Brothel Hires 1st Nevada Gigolo

The Shady Lady Ranch brothel is pictured Monday in Beatty, Nev. The brothel has hired “Markus”, the first legal male prostitute in Nevada. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

Question: Would you describe this as “progress,” “gender equity,” or something entirely different?

EJS: How About HBO Cafe Reviews?

EJS: Hey, here’s an idea, lets do HBO restaurant reviews say twice a month. We agree on a place and all go when we can in that time frame and report back on a thread as to how it went. Kind of like a book club. I’d be game for new ideas and places to go.

Question: Hmm. What do you guys think?

Book: From Philly To NIdaho w/Love

Susan Church Moore’s move from suburban Philadelphia to a cabin in Clark Fork is the focus of the new book “Hiberden: A North Idaho Adventure,” which is available at Bonners Books in Bonners Ferry. Moore in 1993 moved with her husband to the cabin heated only by wood and surrounded by forests and wildlife. She began journaling and taking photos of the wildlife in the area. It was a journey that included cutting wood for heat, learning the dangers of dry lightning, meeting wild animals up close in her yard and digging out from record depths of snow with the threat of flooding when it melted/Julie Golder, Bonners Ferry Herald. More here.

Question: Was your move to he Inland Northwest memorable? Care to share anything about it?

Mass. Poll: Country Way Off Track

Dissatisfaction with the direction of the country, antipathy toward federal government activism and opposition to the Democrats’ health-care proposals drove the upset election of Republican Sen.-elect Scott Brown of Massachusetts, according to a new post-election survey of Massachusetts voters. The poll by The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University’s School of Public Health underscores how significantly voter anger has turned against Democrats in Washington and how dramatically the political landscape has shifted during President Obama‘s first year in office/Washington Post. More here.

Question: Why has the political landscape changed so much?

Noon: Solons Nab Full-time Bennies

Idaho’s legislators have it both ways. Though often boastful about serving in a part-time Legislature, lawmakers are full time when it comes to state benefits. For years, that didn’t make much difference. But in November, more than 2,000 part-time employees started paying much more for health insurance, saving the state millions. If lawmakers were classified as part-timers working fewer than 28 hours a week - a more-than-fair figure for an annual salary of $16,116 in a job of such import - the state would save $304,000, according to the Department of Administration. That would cover most of Gov. Butch Otter’s cuts of the Council on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Council on Developmental Disabilities and State Independent Living Council, which serves people with disabilities/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Is this fair?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 1.21.10

Nez Perce County Sheriffs Sgt. Jay Colvin, right, makes a rolling maneuver around Sgt. Jason Lee as they simulate a ice rescue Thursday at Winchester Lake in Winchester, Idaho. Twenty-three law enforcement, search and rescue and state park officials from the region took part in the 3-day training hosted by Winchester State Park and Winchester Fire Department.(AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune, Kyle Mills)

AM Scanner Traffic — 1.21.10

  • Noon: Caller reports that a woman has stolen something from a vehicle and now is taking things from a residence @ 8th & Virginia.
  • 11:29 a.m. Les Schwab worker wants patrol help in directing vehicles while he changes a tire on a n/b truck on H95 @ M/P 460.5 (Cocalalla Loop).
  • 11:06 a.m. Lake Coeur d’Alene lakeshore owner reports a boat is parked at the wrong private dock.
  • 10:53 a.m. Richard is in he police lobby to report someone has taken checks from his mailbox.
  • 10:38 a.m. Suicide threat reported in 9700 block of Cloverleaf Road/Hauser.
  • 10:37 a.m. An adult-probation officer has 2 warrants to arrest David on 2nd/CdA.
  • 10:28 a.m. City of Hauser has found a purse.
  • 10:15 a.m. A female resident reports that a male selling magazines door-to-door wanted to come into her house.
  • 10:10 a.m. Officer reports he’s going to conduct a forensics test on a gun behind 415 Wilbur. So dispatch may field a call or two from residents.
  • 9:45 a.m. Female complains that construction workers are parking on her road.
  • 9:35 a.m. Robert wants to know if an incident at Albertson’s lead to another male being kicked out of the business for good.
  • 8:17 a.m. Female in 3700 block of Monarch reports that she was tail-gated and honked at by a vehicle that was speeding through a school zone.

Otter Back-Pedals On Cutting Parks

Gov. Butch Otter and state Parks Director Nancy Merrill have announced a plan to save $4.5 million at the state parks department next year - but not to eliminate it. “We will remain the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, by changing our management philosophy and operating more like a business,” Merrill said. “The emphasis as we move forward will be balancing expenditures with revenues.”  Said Otter, “The whole idea that we were going to eliminate the parks department was dead wrong”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here

Question: Reaction?

Human Rights Agency Deal Struck

A quickly struck deal with the Idaho Department of Labor appears to have filled a funding gap at the Idaho Human Rights Commission. Pam Parks, the commission’s director, told the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Friday that the commission can be folded into the Department of Labor without compromising its duties to enforce civil rights and anti-discrimination laws in the workplace, public accommodations, education and various transactions/Dan Popkey, Idaho Politics. More here.

Question: Reaction?

Right To Lifers Stage Annual March

An unidentified boy waits for the start of the March for Life this morning in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

This week is celebrated as Sanctity of Life Week, a concept which reflects the Christian belief, contrary to all the ideas above, that life is sacred because people are for God and his glory. Indeed, it is only if the meaning of life is for God — if we have a divine purpose — that the idea of sanctity in human life has any meaning at all/Benjamin Ledford, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: Would you describe yourself as pro-life, pro-choice, or uncommitted on the controversial issue of abortion?

Hoffman: Cut, Cut, Cut Some More

I’ve been around the Legislature a long time, and this legislative session has begun with a different feel to it. When was the last time a governor proposed cutting funding for government television and eliminating other agencies? Nitpickers like me will say that Gov. Butch Otter could have done more. (We still have three separate government agencies that are supposed to help people get jobs, for crying out loud). But the start of this legislative session beats other legislative sessions in which the resolve to cut government simply didn’t exist at all. In 2003, lawmakers quickly followed the path of least resistance and raised taxes. Hopefully the Legislature will expand on the executive branch’s budget cut recommendations/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: What do you think of Wayne Hoffman’s idea of cut the budget deeper than Gov. Butch Otter proposes?

Richert: Economy? Or Ideology?

Legislative Republicans are doing one of two things with the state’s steadily downsizing budget, says James Ruchti. They are either cutting back because they firmly believe the economy won’t improve for the next 18 months, or they are using a crisis to size down state government to fit their ideology. If the latter is true, says Ruchti, a Pocatello Democrat and the House’s assistant minority leader, then “shame on them.” After two lengthy editorial board meetings with GOP and Democratic leadership, I don’t think it’s so clearcut/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you think legislature Republicans are cutting back b/c they don’t think the economy will improve in the next 18 months? Or because they see a chance to use the bad economy to down-size government? Or is the truth somewhere in the middle?

Treasured Valley Shout Out To HBO

Chris, at Treasured Valley, posts a roundup of good sites for Idaho news today, including Betsy Russell’s Eye On Boise and Huckleberries Online. He said this of HBO: “The Spokesman-Review’s Huckleberries Online from blogmaster D.F. Oliveria. While you may have to sort through some North Idaho local politics, HBO also regularly posts stories on state politics in the Gem state. Boasting the most active (and, thankfully, regulated) comment section, it’s a great place to engage in politics pugilism if you’re up to the challenge. Updated throughout the day it’s a good choice to stay up-to-the-minute on Idaho politics.” Treasured Valley, which I consider one of a handful of must reads daily, provides a road map for Idaho junkies here.

Question: Where do you go to find news of Idaho beyond the Panhandle?

Tax Season Is Upon Us

Yvonne Echols, of Appleton, looks over tax forms at the Appleton Public Library is this AP file photo. (AP Photo/Post-Crescent, Mike De Sisti,File)

Question: Do you special software, an accountant, or a firm like H&R Block to fill out your tax forms? Or do you fill them out by yourself manually?

Brent: Human Rights? Or Image?

Brent Andrews: Not sure these folks have any real interest in human rights in general. It’s the Nazi reputation they want to shed and rightfully so. But this is more for business interests, for attracting investment and tourism, than protection of Idaho’s tiny minority population. Dontcha think?

Question: Which concerns Idahoans most? Human rights? Or the bad image that neo-Nazis, past and present, have given the state?

Poll: Oregon’s Gas Pumping Policy

We’ve all done it. Hop in the car for a trip to Oregon, stop to get some gas, jump out and grab the gas nozzle. Then you hear it. The notice from the gas station attendant: “Stop!” Stop… pumping my own gas? The Beaver State is known for many things – a beautiful coast-line, great micro-brews and a ban on pumping your own gas. Oregon State Code lays it all out in black and white: only trained employees of service stations are allowed to put so-called “Class 1 Flammable Liquids” into cars. Not only is the prohibition the law of the land, but legislators in Salem put a laundry list of reasons why the ban was prudent into state code/KTVB. More here.

OTV’s Bad Online Restaurant Reviews

At Get Out! North Idaho, OrangeTV again has posted a number of unfavorable reviews of local restaurants, including this complaint by a restaurant owner: “Any ‘one’ single person can flame a good restaurant, sometimes out of ignorance and sometimes out of selfish spite. Most any one of your ‘reviews’ could be made up or done by (to be kind (a rarity) and say the least) unqualified restaurant reviewers. And if you are successful, sadly there will always be some haters. I found some of your so called ‘reviews’ that you picked downright mean and with way to strong of words to be picked for posting.’ OTV thought about mixing in some good reviews to balance things out, but decided — correctly — that such an approach would be too boring. You can read the latest bad reviews here.

Question: When and where did you last have a bad experience dining out?

Hagedorn Targets Bomb Hoaxes

Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, introduced legislation Thursday he claims will help deter bomb threat hoaxes in Idaho. Hagedorn testified before the House State Affairs Committee, saying the plan would allow prosecutors greater powers when dealing with bomb threats. If passed, it would be felony to carry out a hoax bomb threat, punishable by up to a $25,000 fine and five years in a state correctional facility.  The bill also outlines what the state should define as a hoax destructive device. The legislation comes in response to a hoax bomb threat in Boise early last year/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here

Question: Do you think Hagedorn’s bill would reduce the number of bomb hoaxes, if passed?

AM Headlines — 1.22.10

Isik Best, Micah Robinson and Raymond Woods haul their canoe through the streets of downtown in Lewiston Thursday to the Clearwater River so Best could go fishing while Woods and Robinson man the paddles. (AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune, Barry Kough)

HBO Poll: No To Gay Marriage

  • Thursday Poll: 104 of 159 (65%) respondents said they don’t support gay marriage. 55 of 159 (35%) said they did.
  • Secondary Poll: 68 of 95 (72%) disagreed with the 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a century-old restriction on corporations using their money to sway federal elections. 23 of 95 (24%) supported the ruling.
  • Today’s HBO Poll question (in left rail): Do you support Gov. Butch Otter’s attempt to de-fund the Idaho Human Rights Commission?

Patrick (Hearts) Gookin’s Courage

Seems Editor Mike Patrick of the Coeur d’Alene Press is a ha-huge fan of community activist Dan Gookin. But not a fan of angry anonymous posters for which the Press is famous. In a comment (4:45 p.m. Thursday) re: Priscilla Bell’s commitment of $3000 from NIC to the Post Falls chamber building fund, Patrick said: “Dan Gookin, thanks for contributing facts and rational thoughts to this discussion. Thanks, too, for having the guts to identify yourself. I encourage anyone posting thoughtful comments to simply ignore the name-callers. Maybe then they’ll move on.” And mebbe the Press will learn to monitor its comments to prevent name-callers from taking over?

Question: What do you make of this comment?

Human Rights Head: We Can’t Retreat

Pam Parks, director of the Idaho Human Rights Commission told legislative budget writers that when Idaho passed the Idaho Human Rights Act, which the commission enforces, “Idaho made a clear and strong declaration that we will not tolerate discrimination.” She noted that the state’s reputation has suffered from the activities of racists. “Recently we are seeing a resurgence of ugly acts in our beautiful state,” she said. “This is not a time that we can back off our resolve.” If Idaho had no human rights commission, she said, the federal government would be responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws in the state/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you think Gov. Butch Otter will come to his senses re: the proposed cut in funding for the Idaho Human Rights Commission. If not, do the legislators have enough sense not to make the cut?

CdA Capones To Shut For Remodel

Item: Capone’s closes for remodel: Owners spending $500K on changes, upgrades/Bill Buley, Coeur d’Alene Press

Item: The doors at Capone’s closed on Monday. When they reopen in a few weeks, customers will see a newer, bigger and better restaurant and pub. … The $500,000 upgrade is being done by Ginno Construction, which has handled all of Capone’s previous remodels since it opened in Coeur d’Alene 18 years ago

Question: How will you Capone regulars handle several weeks without access to your favorite pub?

Signe: FREE (speech)?

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Brix RIP Wild Card — 1.21.10

I’ll watch an hour or so of the game between Gonzaga and Pepperdine tonight (beginning at 6) and then head to the Lake City Playhouse to see the production, “Leader of the Pack.” I’m looking forward to another Zag win and some doo-wop songs. Now, to continue to play the Wild Card …

Gonzaga 91, Pepperdine 84

Gonzaga’s Elias Harris rips a rebound away from Pepperdine earlier tonight at the McCarthey Athletic Center.  Gonzaga won the battle of the WCC unbeatens 91-84. ESPN game story and boxscore here. (Dan Pelle/SR)

WSU 67, USC 60

Washington State guard Xavier Thames (11) knocks the ball away from Southern California’s Alex Stepheson, middle, as Washington State’s Charlie Enquist (40) defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game earlier tonight in Los Angeles. The Cougars staged a comeback to win 67-60. ESPN game story and boxscore here. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Finally! Edwards Admits Love Child

The executive editor of the National Enquirer says he plans to enter his paper’s work on the John Edwards scandal for a Pulitzer Prize. Don’t laugh. “It’s clear we should be a contender for this,” Barry Levine said by phone Thursday, hours after the former presidential candidate admitted what the paper had been reporting all along: that he is the father of Rielle Hunter’s baby. “The National Enquirer, a supermarket tabloid, was able to publish this reporting”/Howard Kurtz, Washington Post. More here.

Question: Does the National Enquirer deserve a Pulitzer Prize for reporting all along that former presidential contender John Edwards fathered a child by Rielle Hunter? And/or: Were you surprised by Edwards’ admission?

Parting Shot — 1.21.10

Madison Chock and Greg Zuerlein stop to pick up a teddy bear and get a hug after their compulsory dance program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in the Spokane Arena Thursday. (Christopher Anderson/SR)

Zag Frosh Harris To NBA Draft?

Item: A Dawg and a Zag in the first round?/Gerry Spratt, Seattle Sports Blog

  • More Info: It could be another strong year for Northwest hoops in the NBA draft. predicts Washington’s Quincy Pondexter and Gonzaga’s Elias Harris will be selected in the first round of the draft in June. The Web site expects Pondexter, a senior from Fresno, to go to the Houston Rockets with the 20th overall pick. It project Harris, a freshman from Germany, will go to the Toronto Raptors with the 16th pick. has Harris at No. 25, going to the Atlanta Hawks. It has Pondexter as a mid-second rounder as the Chicago Bulls’ pick at No. 44.
  • Gonzaga hosts Pepperdine at McCarthey Center tonight/Jim Meehan, SportsLink

Question: Would you rather have an emerging star like Elias Harris on the Zags for one year? Or a lesser starter on the team for four years?

PM: Felix Hernandez Signs Extension

Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez smiles during a news conference in Seattle on Thursday. Hernandez and the Mariners have completed a $78 million, five-year deal that averts an arbitration hearing and keeps the young ace under contract through 2014. See story below. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

APhoto Of The Day — 1.21.10

Passenger Philomena Fischetti, top, hangs from her seat belt while leaning on Kathleen Futoma as the women look through the front windshield of Futoma’s car near Berwick, Pa., Wednesday. They are waiting for rescue personnel to free them from the vehicle, which came to rest on it’s side after Futoma struck a trailer hauling cars parked along Route 11. The two were taken to the hospital to be checked out after the crash but both were uninjured. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Bloomsburg Press Enterprise, Jimmy May)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. “…hello? this is On Star..are you ok?.. Bingo’s tequila night again ah..?” — Pecky.
  • 2. “You are right, dear,” Philomena sighs to Kathleen. “You CAN see the firefighters much better now” — JeanieS.
  • 3. Thelma and Louise, the Sequel — Idaho Dad.
  • HM: JohnA

PM Scanner Traffic — 1.21.10

3:21 p.m. Road rage: CPD Blues are looking for a white Oldsmobile Cutlass that’s reportedly northbound on Ramsey from Kathleen Avenue. The driver allegedly waved a gun at another motorist, who pulled into the car wash on Ramsey.

  • 4:23 p.m. 2 juveniles are smoking cigarettes while sitting on bikes in front of fresh graffiti @ 2804 Howard/CdA.
  • 3:31 p.m. Owner on Good Hope reports that someone in blue pickup w/wood racks is cutting down trees on his property.
  • 3:18 p.m. Hayden Pet Medical Center reports a dog bite.
  • 3:15 p.m. A Caddie has crashed through 6-foot fence and is lodged on a 2 1/2-foot boulder @ Prairie & Pleasantview/Post Falls.
  • More below

Nellis: UI Crucial To All Of Idaho

(UI President Duane Nellis) updated them on his experiences since taking the president’s job seven months ago and made a case for why he believes the UI is critical to Idaho’s economy. “In the state of Idaho in the last 10 years … higher education’s proportion of the state budget has decreased in half of what it was, while prisons’ has doubled,” he said. Nellis said he thinks many state legislators and taxpayers in southern Idaho aren’t completely aware of or don’t fully appreciate the extent to which the UI reaches past Moscow, and that can have an effect on support for funding. He said people often forget about the UI’s multiple extension offices and research sites in 42 of Idaho’s 44 counties/Holly Bowen, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Factoid: Daily News reporter Holly Bowen once published an underground newspaper at Post Falls High and editted the NIC Sentinel. She’s a long-time Berry Picker.

Question: How important is the University of Idaho to you?

Sasha Cohen Takes Flight

Former Olympic star Sasha Cohen practices during a warm up session for the ladies short program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane earlier today. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Question: Can you touch your toes, too?

Idaho Dad: Expensive Piano Lessons

Both kids started piano lessons today. The past few days have seen me worrying if we would get our money’s worth out of this expensive undertaking. Very expensive. Like, the equivalent of a monthly car payment. I was wondering if either of my kids would take to the piano in a way that would quell the pain in my checkbook. My goal is not to make concert pianists out of them. Rather, I want them to have a musical skill that gives a certain amount of satisfaction and confidence/Idaho Dad, A Family Runs Through It. More here.

Question: I regret that I never learned to play a musical instrument, especially a piano. Do you play a musical instrument? Which one(s)? Do you pay for music lessons for your children?

CdA 7th Grader Deals w/Hair Loss

Item: Alopecia awareness: Seventh-grader educates others about condition/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Ellie McCarthy was a new student with a big secret. The 12-year-old started seventh grade last fall, hoping her new classmates at Lakes Magnet Middle School would never know that the brown hair she sports is not her own. Ellie didn’t want to ever have to tell them she wears a wig, or that she has a medical condition that causes hair loss. Then the unthinkable happened, and everything changed. Ellie’s wig fell off while she was in class two weeks ago.

Question: Do you still have your hair?

Bill Seeks Salamander Recognition

For those constituents who think government isn’t listening to the people, Rep. Rich Jarvis, R-Meridian, might prove otherwise.  Jarvis is sponsoring House Bill 389, which would make the Idaho Giant Salamander(dicmaptodon aterrimus) the official state amphibian.  The reason behind the move?  Some fourth and fifth grade classes from Boise asked him to do it. Classes from the Christian Calvary School in Boise appealed to several legislators asking for the designation.  Jarvis  agreed to sponsor the bill.  The bill has been introduced into the House and will be heard before the House Ways and Means Committee, which makes Jarvis believe the death of the legislation is imminent. “They look at it as a frivolous bill,” said Jarvis “Unless there’s some up swell of activity…there has to be that kind of activity for the House to take time and do that”/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Do you consider frivolous a bill to name as state amphibian the Idaho Giant Salamander? Did you know there was such a thing as the Idaho Giant Salamander?

Conjoined Twins On The Move

In this May 5, 2009, file photo, Siamese twin brothers Ron, left and Don Galyon relax at their home in Dayton, Ohio. They are listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest living male conjoined twins. Two Ohio men are moving in with their brother Jim in the Spring. (AP Photo/Dayton Daily News, Jim Noelker)

Question: Do you have any regular sets of twins in your family?

Starbucks To Up Fancy Drink Cost

Starbucks customers with complicated drink orders will have to pay more for their double-shot half-whole milk mocha lattes and other fancy drinks, thanks to a new company policy. For example, an extra shot of espresso will cost an extra 70-cents. But there’s good news, too. Customers with simple orders, like a cup of plain coffee for example, will pay about 10-cents less/Associated Press.

Question: Do you order fancy drinks at Starbucks? Which ones? Will the increase in cost prompt you to look elsewhere for your caffeine fix?

Solons Eye College Nepotism Rule

The State Board of Education wants to undo a law forbidding spouses of Idaho university presidents from being hired at the schools. Mark Browning, an Ed Board spokesman, told the House Education Committee Thursday university presidents often come with a highly qualified spouse. But it’s hard for them to find jobs comparable to those they left behind, especially under the existing ban. … Dumping this prohibition, Browning said, would be a recruitment tool. But some lawmakers including Rep. Bob Nonini, a Coeur d’Alene Republican, said such a change could put Idaho schools at risk of nepotism charges/AP via Betsy Russell’s Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: What are the nepotism rules at your office or workplace? And/or: Do you see a problem w/Idaho changing the rules to allow highly qualified spouses to work at the same colleges that employ their mates as presidents?

Spokane Facebooks Horrible Potholes

They’re political footballs at election time, a money drain at your mechanic’s garage and a pain when you’re driving around Spokane. They’re Spokane’s infamous potholes, so unpopular in the real world that they now have their own Facebook fan page. The fan page is fittingly called Spokane Potholes. While the page has 100 “fans” so far, they’re not necessarily fans of the Lilac City’s alignment-bending potholes. “The roads in town are horrible,” driver Matt Gillam said. “My street has never been fixed so we’re getting more potholes, my tires stay out of line,” driver Violet Noble said/Tania Dall, KXLY. More here.

Question: I’ve never seen potholes as bad as the ones in Kalispell, Mont., circa 1980. Townspeople joked that they could tell a drunk driver b/c he was the only one driving straight across them. One night, a VW blew all 4 tires when it hit a Kalispell area pothole. So, here’s the question: Are Spokane potholes worse than the ones in your community?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 1.21.10

Tanith Belbin, left, and Benjamin Agosto skate during their compulsory ice dancing routine at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane Thursday. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

High Noon: Off The Record

Patiently, Mom sighed. “Like this, one, two, three … .” Several hours of skating later, as we walked to the car, I complained that I still didn’t know much about the sport. Ever forthright, she agreed. “Actually, now, you probably know even less.” She paused and watched me scribble in my notebook. “Don’t you dare quote me!” she said. I may not have learned much about skating Monday, but Mom discovered you must say “Off the record” before you talk to a reporter, if you don’t want to see your words in print. I’d say it was an educational afternoon for both of us/Cindy Hval, Washington Voices, Passport to Gold. More here.

Question: Have you ever used the term “off the record” when speaking to a media reporter? Did you ever get burned by a reporter who used “off the record” material? What does “off the record” mean to you?

Court Nixes Corporation Political Ban

Reporting from Washington - The Supreme Court today overturned a century-old restriction on corporations using their money to sway federal elections and ruled that companies have a free-speech right to spend as much as they wish to persuade voters to elect or defeat candidates for Congress and the White House. In a 5-4 decision, the court’s conservative bloc said corporations have the same 1st Amendment rights as individuals and, for that reason, the government may not stop corporations from spending freely to influence the outcome of federal elections. More here.

AM Scanner Traffic — 1.21.10

  • 11:48 a.m. An 80YO with a history of medical problems has passed out @ Red Lobster.
  • 10:47 a.m. A driver is attempting to break a window to get out of his vehicle, which has rolled over onto its top @ Riverview & Waterfront Ridge. Driver smells smoke. He has “some scrapes, possibly a broken thumb.”
  • 10:20 a.m. Caller reports seeing man hit a child in parking lot of Super 1/CdA.
  • 10:17 a.m. Dog is causing a traffic hazard by running in the road @ 11th & Harrison/CdA.
  • 9:44 a.m. Patty @ Roger & Meyer/Post Falls reports she’s getting harassing phone calls, possibly a scam.
  • 9:37 a.m. Local officers are notified that KMC is about to release a wanted person from its care.
  • 9:20 a.m. Male is looking for his wife who left the house last night in blue sweat clothes and may be in the Fernan area. She has refused to take her medication recently.
  • 8:28 a.m. A vehicle has been running at 8928 Ramsey since 6:30 a.m.
  • 8:20 a.m. A 35YO female at the Coldwater Creek call center reports feeling “wobbly.”
  • 8:04 a.m. A resident reports that an injured cat is lying @ Maple & Summerfield/Hayden.

Huckleberries Hears …

… that there was a reason for that weird “clarification” in the Coeur d’Alene Press over the weekend re: the readership numbers that Editor Mike Patrick ballyhooed Jan. 10 — you know, the story in which Patrick bragged that Brand X readership was bucking national trends by going up, up, up. Seems Scarborough Research insisted on the correction because they questioned Patrick’s interpretation of the numbers and didn’t like having one of its people quoted by name. Also, SR marketing execs wonder where Patrick arrived at the notion that our newspaper readership was in decline. SReadership has increased significantly in the greater Spokane area (although paid circulation has gone down, as a result of several market factors). The SR has never tried to cloak the fact that it’s going through tough times, as is almost all of the newspaper industry. If Patrick really wants to impress, he’d demand that Hagadone execs open their pressroom up to a bonafide audit of paid-circulation numbers, like the SR does. Without that audit, he can say paid circulation is anything he wants it to be.


What is more cheerful
and more merry
than April days in

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Idaho Tax On Grocery Bags Popular?

A new tax on plastic shopping bags is the top-rated idea on Idaho’s efficiency Web site. The proposal is one of about 470 suggestions people have submitted since the site went live in November. The Web site was initially created to gather input about how to make government more efficient. Now, a new “feedback forum” component allows people to vote on the ideas. As of Wednesday, a proposal to add a 7-cent tax on plastic shopping bags received 98 votes, almost four times as many as the next-closest proposal/Lewiston Tribune. You can find the Idaho Efficiency Web address here. Rest of the story here.

Question: Would you want to pay a 7-cent tax on plastic shopping bags? 

Twin Falls: Keep Human Rights Panel

Maybe Idaho can do without a Commission on Hispanic Affairs, a State Independent Living Council, a Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing or even state-funded public television. But it needs to keep the Human Rights Commission. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter wants to phase out the five agencies over four years as a budget-saving move. There’s a strong case to be made for saving each of them, but none as compelling as the Human Rights Commission. That’s because Idaho has an image problem across America. Market researchers who ask New Yorkers or Floridians or Californians about Idaho hear the word “potato” first. The next word they hear is “racists.” We owe that, of course, to Richard Butler and his Aryan Nations/Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Does Idaho need a Human Rights Commission?

Kerri: Running, Losing w/TW @ CHS

KerriT/More Main Street: I met Tom/TeeDub/TW in junior high school, up on 7th St. in Coeur d’Alene. My first time on a ballot was in the ‘60s in the VP slot for sophomore class office when the high school was on 15th St. (now Lakes Middle School). Tom was in the President slot of our ticket. Can’t recall who was on the ticket that beat us but I’m pretty sure they had pocket protectors.

Question: Have you ever run for a student body office at any level of your education? How did you do?

HBO Poll: Gay Marriage

This undated image provided by Adam Bouska/NOH8 Campaign shows Cindy McCain, the wife of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., posing for the NOH8 campaign. NOH8 is a gay rights group challenging Proposition 8 passed by California voters in 2008 banning same sex marriage. Story here. (AP Photo/Adam Bouska/NOH8 Campaign)

  • Wednesday Poll: 65% (39 of 60) voted that NIC prez Priscilla Bell was wrong in committing $3000 of college money to the Post Falls chamber building fund.

Today’s HBO Poll (in lefthand rail below tile ads): Do you support gay marriage?

Cindy: Hanging Out w/Mom @ Rink

It seemed only fitting that the first event of the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Championships I attended was Monday’s Novice Ladies Short Program. To say that I’m a skating novice would be an understatement. Though I’ve written about the sport extensively for the blog, the closest I’ve been to actual skating was in second grade, when I sported a Dorothy Hamill haircut. So when I secured tickets to Monday’s event, I brought along an expert – my 78-year-old mother. In the 1940s, she once skated on a pond in Hayden, Idaho. Plus, she and my dad used to watch a lot of figure skating on TV/Cindy H, Washington Voices. More here.

Question: Do you like hanging out with your mom/dad/parents?

Hip-hop Trumps Brix Chops Downtown

Item: A new downtown icon: Brix, Underground converted into dance club, sports venue/Rick Thomas, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: It’s a sign of the changing economy. Hip-hop trumps pork chops, and Brix Steak and Chophouse is no more. In its place is a new dance club with plenty of sports entertainment. “Underground is going away,” said owner Jerry Goggin. “Brix is gone already.”

Question: What do you make of this development in downtown Coeur d’Alene?

Meth Project Fetes CdA Ex-Addict

Item: Former meth addict shares tale: Idaho Meth Project forum reveals impacts of drug use/Alecia Warren, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: When Brian Lux’s friends prodded him to try meth at 17, he figured it wasn’t going to hurt. “Euphoric,” the 39-year-old described the feeling of his first high. “I thought it was great.” The decades that followed, though — not so much. By the time the Coeur d’Alene resident was 30, what he had sustained as a side habit suddenly consumed his life.

Question: Do you know someone who has been destroyed by meth use?

AM Headlines — 1.21.10

Former Olympic star Sasha Cohen skates during a practice at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane Wednesday. Story below You can follow the latest news from the championships at the Spokane Arena at the Spokesman-Review site here and at Passport to Gold here. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Popkey: Solons Lost In New Capitol

The new layout at Idaho’s expanded Capitol requires a behavioral adjustment that’s making folks a bit cranky. “A lot of people are flummoxed,” said Roy Eiguren, a lobbyist who chaired the Capitol Commission from 1998 to 2004. “They’re used to interacting in a certain way, and it’s not like that anymore.” “I feel a sense of isolation,” said Rep. Rich Wills, R-Glenns Ferry. “This is the people’s house, and we need to have that interaction with the general public.” So far, visitors are focused on a sparkling $120 million restoration. Often towing children, they’ve streamed in since the Jan. 9 opening ceremony left people weeping as they sang the state song together. Lawmakers, lobbyists, state employees and reporters - those most familiar with the building - are having a tougher time. Legislators are so scattered they can’t be found/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you plan to visit the capitol building while the Idaho Legislature is in session this year?

T.W. Fisher Back In Business

What had been Paddy’s II tavern at 900 Highway 41 (at its intersection with Mullan Road in Post Falls) is now Club 41. The 3,000-square-foot sports pub is remodeled with seating for 30-plus customers. Amenities include several flat-screen TVs and a stereo system, pool tables, dart boards and video games. Coming soon are a ping pong table and Wii station. Food comes from the neighboring Nate’s New York Pizza. Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight daily. A Coeur d’Alene native, owner T.W. Fisher, started T.W. Fisher’s Brew Pub and the Coeur d’Alene Brewing Co. in Coeur d’Alene. In 2002 he went into real estate with Century 21 Beutler & Associates. He has five employees at Club 41/Nils Rosdahl, Handle Extra. More here.

Factoid: T.W. Fisher and I worked together at Duane Hagadone’s Kalispell Daily Inter Lake 30 years ago. He was the circulation manager. I was the managing editor. He was known simply as “Tom” then.

Question: Were you a fan of T.W.’s old pub?

Anderson: GOP Battle Cry

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

KMPO: Too Soon For Convertibles?

At Kootenai MPO, Staci Lehman reports: “It’s January right? I ask because when I left work last night at 5:00 (so it was dark), I saw a woman in a convertible WITH THE TOP DOWN.” Which beats the strangest sight that I’ve seen this January — players involved in pickup basketball games at the outdoor courts at City Park and on McEuen Field. I’m tempted to take my new bike out for a spin, just to say I rode it in January.

Question: What is the strangest sight you’ve seen this month as a result of the wonderful, mild weather that we’re experiencing?

Parting Shot — 1.20.10

Nate Shepherd, 2, uses his finger to trace chiseled letters on the monument after a ceremony in Poteau, Okla., earlier today. Shepherd is grandson of former Poteau Mayor Don Barnes, who started the effort to place the Ten Commandments marker in the town. About 200 people attended the unveiling and dedication of a new monument with the Ten Commandments etched into its granite surface on the front lawn of the Community State Bank. (AP Photo/The Oklahoman, Jim Beckel)

Question: Do you try to live your life by the guidelines provided by the 10 Commandments?

Scott Brown Wild Card — 1.20.10

For your reading pleasure, Huckleberries Online has added three new blog/news sites to the Idaho Blogroll: Idaho Freedom Foundation’s Idaho Reporter, Nicole LeFavour’s Notes from the Floor, and Idaho Conservative Blogger. Earlier this week, HBO added to the same list Idaho Politics, which brings you statehouse coverage by such leading Idaho Statesman lights as Dan Popkey. Enjoy. Now, for the Wild Card …

KMPO: New License For Idaho Drivers

Staci Lehman/Kootenai MPO (re: Idaho drivers to get new licenses): The question is, if this ID is so great, can it also make you look good in your driver license photo? I had to wait 2 hours last time I went to the DMV so I was VERY irritated by the time I had my photo taken- and you can tell in the picture. I tried to scan it to prove how bad it is but it’s too small and there’s not enough resolution to do it justice.

Question (from Staci): Anyone else have a particularly bad drivers license photo?

PM: Mudgy & Millie Go To Afghanistan

Muzamil Modaser listens to Air Force Col. Erik J. Nelson, right, read “Mudgy & Millie” in a military hospital in Afghanistan. Coeur d’Alene Today story here. (Courtesy photo)

APhoto Of The Day — 1.20.10

Ayla Brown, daughter of Massachusetts State Sen. Scott Brown, R-Wrentham, celebrates Brown’s U.S. Senate special election victory for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy in Boston Tuesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. The president of a large organization, Scorned Kennedy Rejects and Escorts Who Escaped Drowning (SKREWED), celebrates Scott Brown’s victory — JohnA.
  • 2. ” what can Brown do for you..?” — Pecky.
  • 3. Now presenting for the next season of American Idol… Or should this be Survivor _______? — Arch Druid.
  • HM: RedMan

Spencer Warns Ward: Ditch Dirk

Spencer (on Eye On Boise re: Vaughn Ward announcement tour): Why on earth would he want Dirk to be seen supporting him? Did he want this kiss of neo-con death hung around his neck or was it forced on him? This is worse than showing up to Republican party events with Kirk Sullivan or Otter. Vaughn, you have assured me you are a conservative, so why are you not surounding yourself only with actual conservatives, instead of career politicos?

Phaedrus: LarrySpencer did you not read his bio? Ward is a D.C. insider, not a conservative, he’s Dirky’s boy and his entire career seems to consist of being paid by the taxpayers of the United States. Has he ever worked in the private sector?

Question: Should Vaugh Ward listen to Spencer re: the company he keeps in making his official campaign announcement? (BTW, do you think that U.S. senator-elect Scott Brown looks like Spencer w/o a mullet?)

PM Scanner Traffic — 1.20.10

  • 6:02 p.m. 63YO woman in 1600 block of Elm hurt left knee & right ankle in basement fall.
  • 5:13 p.m. Dodge Calibre hit a deer in e/b lane of I-90 @ Sherman exit.
  • 5:02 p.m. Extremely drunk 47YO male is vomiting @ 11th & Sherman.
  • 4:59 p.m. A deer is stuck in a fence @ 6750 Rude/Hayden.
  • 4:56 p.m. Monitoring company reports that an airbag has deployed on a Mercedes Benz, but it can’t pinpoint where the vehicle is.
  • 4:23 p.m. Female on Pison/Post Falls reports that her boyfriend’s parents are trying to take his vehicle. The boyfriend is now in jail.
  • 4:11 p.m. Dean has questions re: disposal of ammo.
  • 3:24 p.m. Michael on 16th wants Gina to return his property.
  • 2:39 p.m. Gloria reports she was almost hit when a tan vehicle blew through a light @ Canfield & Government Way.
  • More below

S&G: CdA Meth Dealer Gets 15 Years

A Coeur d’Alene methamphetamine dealer was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison in U.S. District Court recently. Paul D. Hartman, 44, was given 188 months in prison and four years probation by Judge B. Lynn Winnill on Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today. Hartman pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, nearly two years after a traffic stop launched an investigation/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Charles: Independents Feel Betrayed

Charles Dixon: It was the independent voters who got Obama elected, and they didn’t vote that way so Obama could do 90% of what he’s tried to do this past year. They voted for hope and change and a better life, and in return they’ve received an economy that has only gotten worse and a crap sandwich from their Congress. Independent voters feel betrayed by Obama, and they’ve taken that sense of betrayal out in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia. Obama himself wouldn’t have won re-election last night. Full comment below.

Question: Is Obama, who celebrates his first anniversary in the White House today, on his way to becoming a one-term president?

In The News: Gate Crashers

Tareq Salahi and Michaele Salahi leave the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington today, after testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee. Story here. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

Question: What should be done with the White House gate crashers?

Simple Mind: Dealing w/Older Parents

Nope, this isn’t a post about food … this is about you and I. And everyone else who has ever had a single elder parent and children that rely on you. Even if they don’t think they do. Seems like the time your parents need you, is about the time you have high school or college children. And you thought your freedom was close at hand, and you would be traveling. Best laid plans
of mice and men. … Remember how you treat your parents, is how your children will treat you/Cis, From A Simple Mind. More here.

Question: Would you want your children to treat you in your golden years the way that you treat your elderly parent(s) now?

All Fall Down — Even Sasha

Sasha Cohen falls as she skates during a practice at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane today. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Question: Anyone out there attend the figure skating championships? Was your event worth the price of admission?

If CoeurGenX Won Idaho Lottery …

  • 1. Change my phone number and address
  • 2. Buy a house in MAUI. Another on a ranch sitting on some river in Montana and then another on a golf course somewhere
  • 3. Build that arena and ball park at Riverstone
  • 4. Re-build that ice rink in town
  • 5. Hang out a few days with Tiger Woods
  • 6. Buy the local PD FREE BITCH SLAP CARDS for the Moses Lake, I mean yahoo’s who think they can come to our little town and be thugs
  • 7. Give my BOY Jeff Conroy at St Vinnys some spending $$$ to help his cause
  • 8. Free Scott Reed
  • 9. Buy my own tanning bed
  • 10. go back to work in a year cause I would be broke!

Question: How about you? What would you do with the money if you won the Idaho Lottery?

Human Rights Leaders Write Letter

A long list of human rights leaders, including two former Idaho governors, three former directors of the  Idaho Human Rights Commission, and more, have sent an “open letter” to the Idaho Legislature opposing Gov. Butch Otter’s proposal to phase out all state funding for the Idaho Human Rights Commission over the next four years. “We implore the members of the Idaho Legislature to resist any initiative to reduce the effectiveness of the Commission, to diminish its already scarce resources and to send the most unwelcome and damaging message that Idaho has ceased to place human rights at the absolute forefront of the state’s priorities”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Is Butch Otter using the recession to cut programs that he opposes philosophically? Or is he making tough decisions and using his budget ax equally?

Battle Scars From Tanning Beds

Katie Donnar, 18, shows her scar from where the melanoma was on the calf of her leg recently in Vincennes, Ind. in front of a tanning bed like the on she used at her home and at the tanning salons. Donnar was in the sixth grade when she started using tanning beds. (AP Photo/ Daniel R. Patmore)

Question: Do you tan easily or do you need a tanning bed for a good summer glow?

MPDN: Idaho D’s Go To Dark Side

Say it ain’t so! Idaho Democrats are going the way of their Republican brethren when it comes to government secrecy. The minority Democrats, with just 18 House seats and seven in the Senate, made the decision to caucus behind closed doors to maximize their effectiveness. That reason doesn’t fly with us. The party would be more effective if it continued to conduct its business in the open. Closed meetings between elected officials smack of shady deals and other shenanigans, once the norm when the public was nothing more than a money source/Murf Raquet, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Did legislative Dems in Idaho squander high moral ground when they decided recently to caucus behind closed doors like the supermajority Republicans?

Crump: Little Chance Of Lottery Win

With due diligence, the Idaho Lottery lists the odds on every ticket it sells. Nobody reads them, of course. Like most humans, lotto ticket buyers think they’re exempt from probability and statistics. Notwithstanding, let’s look at your chances:

  • Hot Lotto Sizzler, five balls plus the Hot Ball: 1 in 10.9 million.
  • Hot Lotto Sizzler, three balls plus the Hot Ball ($150 prize): 1 in 1,950.
  • Hot Lotto Sizzler, one ball plus the Hot Ball ($3 prize): 1 in 47.
  • Powerball, five balls plus Power Ball: 1 in195.2 million.
  • Powerball, three balls plus Power Ball ($100): 1 in 13,644.
  • Powerball, one ball plus Power Ball ($4): 1 in 123. (More from Steve Crump here)

Question: Why do you play the lottery when there’s virtually no chance you’ll win the big one?

CdA Stabber, Stabbee On Trial In ‘99

A Coeur d’Alene man accused of stabbing another man last night has a criminal history that includes a kidnapping trial 10 years ago. His co-defendant in that case? The same man police believe was stabbed last night. Alan D. Burtness, 36, (right) is due in Kootenai County District Court today on an aggravated battery charge.  In 1999, Burtness and last night’s alleged victim, Daniel B. McCullough, were acquitted of first-degree kidnapping and battery in 1999 after a jury trial. But the jury convicted the men of misdemeanor unlawful imprisonment in a case that involved a California girl who was visiting family in Athol/Meghann M. Cuniff, SR. More here.

Question: Which one of these guys is running with the wrong crowd?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 1.20.10

Seattle Seahawks new general manager John Schneider addresses the news media at the team headquarters in Renton, Wash., this morning. Story here. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

High Noon: Wolves In The ‘Hood

Tom and KJ Torgerson has seen all kinds of wildlife outside their Fernan Hill home. Elk, deer, moose and black bear have shown up at one point from dusk to dawn. But they’ve never encountered any wolf tracks. Until now. “I looked at the tracks. There was no doubt,” said KJ Torgerson, who is a biologist. “Very well imprinted claw marks. I’ve never seen anything like this here”/Bill Buley, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Question: How would you react if you found a wolf track just outside your home?

AM Scanner Traffic — 1.20.10

  • 10:33 a.m. Troy wants to speak to police re: a possible embezzlement.
  • 10:04 a.m. Anthony wants to speak to police re: a check written to Shopko on a closed account.
  • 9:50 a.m. A female student has passed out twice at Lake City High.
  • 9:23 a.m. Susan in Worley has questions re: open-range laws.
  • 9:15 a.m. A white car has been prowling around mailboxes on Chester Loop/Harrison.
  • 9:09 a.m. Glenda on Meyers Hill Road reports theft of jewelry and coins between March and September of last year.
  • 8:41 a.m. An eightysomething male may have suffered a stroke near the coffee stand of the Coeur d’Alene Plaza shops.
  • 8:12 a.m. First possible DUI of the day is reported on H95 @ Cougar Gulch, a maroon escort driven by a female.

Sign Of The Times

A sign of the times is posted on the bow of a boat at the 108th New York Boat Show in New York’s Javits Convention Center earlier today. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Question: Do you own a boat? Use it much? Do you regret buying it and are trying to sell it?

Boise: Clark Wants Booze Sampling

Idaho enacted a state law regulating and permitting wine tastings five years ago, so why not allow the same for distilled spirits? That’s what Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, proposed this morning in legislation that the House State Affairs Committee agreed to introduce on a voice vote, with just one dissenter. “I am here today because I have a constituent in North Idaho who would like to build a distillery for distilled spirits beverages, i.e. gin,” Clark told the committee. “In his business plan, he would like to add in that they can go do gin sample tastings within his operation”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: What do you make of the proposal by state Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden, to allow distillery’s and other dispenser’s of hard liquor to offer samples?

KR: What Brown’s Win Doesn’t Mean

I’m not buying the idea that Brown’s win is a Tea Party triumph — especially for the Idaho flavor of Tea Party Republicans. Like Risch and fellow Idaho GOP Sen. Mike Crapo, Brown is an attorney who rose through the ranks of his state’s Legislature. Brown is also pro-choice and he helped work his way through law school by posing nude in “Cosmopolitan.” Brown may be the toast of the Idaho GOP today, but I don’t think he’s necessarily the kind of guy who would play well with, say, the Jefferson County Republican Central Committee/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Should Idaho Tea Partiers consider Scott Brown’s victory Tuesday as a win for their movement?

Spring Training

Ben Webster,5, tags along side his father, Eric, 37, as they return to their South Hill home after a trip to the grocery store during Tuesday’s spring-like weather in Spokane. Says Eric, ” It takes about 15 minutes to get to the store, but a little longer to get home because Ben likes to linger a bit.” (Dan Pelle/SR)

Question: Who taught you how to ride a bike? How old were you when you learned to ride?

Taryn & Phil: Match Made Outdoors

A match made in the great outdoors when Phil Thompson proposed to Taryn Hecker over the weekend … and she said “yes.” The two share a love of fishing, hunting and camping. Phil’s a PI but is having a bit of trouble locating the ring he planned to present with the proposal. He’s owned it for a quarter century, just waiting for the right partner in life to come into his. Taryn quipped that she’d rather have a gun than a ring. Seeing the look of love on Phil’s face, I’m betting she gets the guy, a gun AND a diamond/Kerri Thoreson (pictured), Main Street, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Question: Would you rather get a diamond ring or a good gun from your sweetheart?

Joker: How Could This Happen?

Ted Kennedy is spinning in his grave. The Democrats just got served a steaming poop taco. They better remember how this one tastes or it’s going to get worse for them. It’s unthinkable that the Dems let Ted Kennedy’s seat fall into enemy hands. How could this happen? Arrogance and stupidity. If the Dems want to hold on any shred of power, they better stop debating health care and start figuring out how to jump start the economy. It’s the economy stupid. If they keep on this course of reckless idiocy, say hello to President Palin.

Question: What do the Dems have to do to cut possible major losses in their majority in November?

HBO Poll: Dems Will Lose Many Seats

Most of you Merry Hucksters believe congressional Dems are going to lose at least 15 seats in the midterm elections this fall. Out of an even 100 voters, a tiny plurality of 24% said Dems are going to lose at least one house of Congress, 22% said they will lose more than 25 seats, and 18% said they would lose 15 to 25 seats. A combined 36% said they would gain (4), break even (9), or lose just a few seats (23). Most of the results came in before Scott Brown’s upset win in Massachusetts.

  • Today’s Question: Should President Priscilla Bell have donated $3000 from NIC to the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce building fund?

Press Damns Prez Bell w/Faint Praise

Dr. Bell pledged $3,000 on behalf of NIC toward the new chamber building, and in the aftermath of that announcement, critics have lined up to sling more bolts. How dare Dr. Bell hand over college money — derived from student tuition and taxpayers — to a private business consortium after cutting the popular Dr. Ketchum’s job to save money, they say. And this in light of news earlier in the evening from Gov. Otter that the state’s bleak budget picture was worsening by the hour, placing even more pressure on educational institutions and taxpayers alike. We believe Dr. Bell and the NIC Board of Trustees have made a grievous mistake by eliminating Dr. Ketchum’s job, but we think the president was justified in making the donation to the Post Falls chamber/Mike Patrick, Coeur d’Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Should President Priscilla Bell have donated $3000 from cash-strapped North Idaho College to the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce building fund?

OTV Review: Franklin’s Hoagies

I might not ever get accused of being exactly trendy, but openness to all things new and exciting is just built into my Aries nature. I’ve learned to control my impulses a bit over the years, but I always used to make sure I was the first kid on the block with the latest electro-polka records, the first to buy the latest copy of Mad magazine, the first in line to try the experimental new menu items served up by the lunch ladies of Harding Elementary. As I’ve aged, I’ve learned that there’s a lot of comfort to be found in the magic of the old school, things that remain reliably solid and unchanged over the years, like Ron Edinger’s spot on the Coeur d’Alene city council. Franklin’s Hoagies falls squarely into the latter category/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: How many Franklin Hoagies fans are out there?

AM Headlines — 1.20.10

Members of the Group Health on Ice Team, Russ Richardson, left and Kelly Fink were on duty on Tuesday morning at the Spokane Arena during the U.S. Figure Skating Championship competition. Rebecca Nappi story here. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

Brown: Obama Health Care Not Good

Mr. Brown, appearing on NBC’s “Today” show Wednesday, called the Obama-backed health-care system “not good for our state.” He said he offered voters the vision of a public servant who would vote for whatever is best, “whether it’s a good Democratic idea or a Republican idea.” Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele said Americans are breathing “a sigh of relief” after Mr. Brown’s win. Appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Wednesday, Mr. Steele said the results are a sign Americans want Congress to “slow it down” on health care. He advised Democrats to “start from scratch and start by listening to the people”/Wall Street Journal. More here.

Question: Was the Massachusetts vote a repudiation of President Obama’s agenda and the push by congressional Dems for health care reform? Or something else?

Zag BB Architect Fitzgerald, 67, Dies

He was the godfather not only of Gonzaga University’s remarkable and unprecedented rise as a college basketball power, but of the game itself in Spokane – and a friend to virtually everyone who ever played, coached or watched it. Now Dan Fitzgerald – not only a basketball coach but one of Spokane’s most irrepressible personalities – is gone, dead at the age of 67, after collapsing at an Airway Heights restaurant on Tuesday evening. A registered nurse on the scene performed CPR until paramedics arrived and were able to get a low pulse/John Blanchette, SR. More here. SR file photo: (Fitzgerald works the crowd in his last home game in February 1997.)

Question: Where would Gonzaga basketball be today without Dan Fitzgerald?

Ramirez: Massachusetts Fallout

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Repub Brown Snags Teddy’s Senate Seat

Massachusetts State Sen. Scott Brown, R-Wrentham, celebrates with supporters in Boston earlier tonight, after winning a special election held to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

In an epic upset in liberal Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown rode a wave of voter anger to win the U.S. Senate seat held by the late Edward M. Kennedy for nearly half a century, leaving President Barack Obama‘s health care overhaul in doubt and marring the end of his first year in office. Addressing an exuberant victory celebration Tuesday night, Brown declared he was “ready to go to Washington without delay” as the crowd chanted, “Seat him now.” Democrats indicated they would, deflating a budding controversy over whether they would try to block Brown long enough to complete congressional passage of the health care plan he has promised to oppose/Associated Press. More here.

Question: What does Brown’s victory mean for the current political landscape?

Special Election W.C. — 1.19.10

The fate of health care reform hangs in the balance today as Massachusetts stages a special election to decide who will replace the late Teddy Kennedy in the U.S. Senate. Surprisingly, Repub state Sen. Scott Brown is in a position to pull an upset over Demo AG Martha Coakley in a state that’s overwhelmingly Democrat. On Tuesday, pollsters Zogby and Rasmussen had the race as too close to call. Both said that the closeness of the race in Massachusetts means the Dems could be in trouble nationwide this fall. Dunno about that. But I do know that it’s time to play the Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 1.19.10

A man rides a horse through a bonfire in San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain, Saturday in honor of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of animals.(AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

DFO: Wrong re: Library Location

I don’t like admitting mistakes in judgment re: local political decisions. But I decided during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend that the urban renewal planners were right to put the library on the edge of McEuen Field, rather than listen to many including myself who said it should be more centrally located. The parking lot was so packed on Saturday that I saw 3 or 4 cars circling as I prepared to leave the library. On Monday, there were only 3 spots available near the library. Obviously, library patrons have had no trouble driving to the picturesque spot in downtown Coeur d’Alene.

Question: Is there something in the community that you initially opposed but admitted later that community leaders had made the right decision?

PM Headlines — 1.19.10

Caydee Denney and her partner Jeremy Barrett perform during the free skate in the championship pairs competition at the US Figure Skating Championships at the Spokane Arena in Spokane Wash. Saturday. They won the event and were named to the US Olympic team. (Christopher Anderson/SR)

APhoto Of The Day — 1.19.10

Meryl Streep, center left, and Sandra Bullock get ready to kiss as they tie for the award of best actress on stage at the 15th Annual Critics Choice Movie Awards on Friday in Los Angeles. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. I can’t remember what Sofie’s Choice was but Im sure it was not Sandra — Pecky.
  • 2. Sandra Bullock:”Don’t play hard to get with me Meryl, because we happened to tie for best actress. I promise you Keanu Reeves, is no longer in the picture” — Kage Mann.
  • 3. Bullock was quite embarrassed—and sickened—to learn afterwards that Streep always looked pale, stiff, and lifeless in person — Charles Dixon.
  • HM: JohnA 

PM Scanner Traffic — 1.19.10

  • 5:14 p.m. Coeur d’Alene police are responding to a possible stabbing @ 3119 7th St. (cross road of Crawford & Sunrise). A male victim is lying in the road after being stabbed in the arm. He is bleeding profusely. Reportedly, the individual with the knife is in a vehicle close by.
  • 4:29 p.m. Fire reported in Dumpster behind Real Life Ministries thrift store @ 1600 Seltice Way/Post Falls.
  • 4:24 p.m. A male who was driving erratically on H95 has pulled over @ Bunco and is now slumped over the wheel.
  • 4:20 p.m. A 50ish male in a trenchcoat and combat boots is sitting on Michael D’s porch, complaining that his leg hurts and he’s cold.
  • 4:17 p.m. One of 2 vicious dogs are inside a pen killing chickens @ 6566 Maplewood.
  • 4:13 p.m. Juveniles reportedly are playing on ice at Spirit Lake boat launch.
  • 4:02 p.m. A male w/a large mustache, named Danny, is drunk and refusing to leave the Powder River Saloon on Sherman.
  • More below

CPD Blue IDs Drowning Victim

Detectives identified the elderly deceased male found in the water at Sanders Beach, as Ira L. Loudenback, 76, of Coeur d’Alene. The victim did not have any visible injuries to his body. The investigation is ongoing. SR archive story here.


Priest Lakers Play Ball All Year Round

In Priest Lake, the inhabitants aren’t intimidated by snow when someone yells, “play ball,” in the middle of winter. They simply strap on their snow shoes and make a tournament of it. You can follow the fun in the YouTube video of this year’s event, provided by Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns.

Cis: Men More Complex Than Women

Men seem to think we are complicated. I don’t know why they think that. After all, we are pretty much an open book. What you see, is pretty much what we are. We tend to say it like it is. Especially us older ones. Now men, tend to clam up. So we have to either try to guess what they are thinking or we are just blind to the fact they have something on their mind. They just figure we know what they are thinking/Cis, From A Simple Mind. More here.

Question: Women … uncomplicated? Seriously, Cis? I need help here. Any of you guys know a woman who is uncomplicated?

ABM: Award Show Junkie Confession

I have a confession. I hope that what I’m about to tell you doesn’t affect the way you feel about me. It’s something I’ve been doing for a while now and I did it again last night. So, here goes. I watch awards show. I know. I know. What kind of person sits through 3 hours (less than two if you dvr it and skip the boring parts) of silly one liners and weird dresses? I do. And I like it. Last night was the Golden Globes. It is my favorite (along with the SAG awards) because it covers tv and movies. And it’s fun to see who is sitting with who at the tables (Julia Roberts was sitting by Paul McCartney)/A Butterfly Moment. More here.

Question: Why do/don’t you watch awards shows, like the Golden Globes?

Dennis: Tea Party’s ‘Creep Factor’

I saw the footage of Monday’s Tea Party gathering and heard a dear friend of mine, Rep. Lenore Barrett, speak to the assembled crowd. She was civil and kind in her remarks. Strong and firm, but civil. Yet, one of the organizers of the event called elected Federal officials “evil”…say what? If anyone knows political theater, I do. Yet, having quality people like Rep Barrett, Rep. Labrador and others there in attendance and THEN having the event organizers paint “broad-brush evil strokes” does not settle well with Idahoans. The dissonance sets off the “creep factor”, doesn’t it? Now, did the organizers have good intentions? Maybe…not sure, possibly, SURE. I DO know that Glenn Beck and others who traffic well in large scale national political cowboy-theater have been a’ridin this horse lately … and that gives me pause/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

Question: How do you react when you hear diehard partisans use terms like “evil” to describe politicians at any level of government? Or: What do you make of state Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, being one of the four main speakers at the Boise Tea Party?

‘Love Story’ Author Segal, 72, RIP

Erich Segal, 72, best known as the author of Love Story, died on Sunday of a heart attack. Segal wrote the bestselling book about love and bereavement, which became a chart-topping film, in 1969 when he was 32 and a classics professor at Harvard. As its most famous line, “love means never having to say you’re sorry”, entered popular culture, Segal became a celebrity and regular on TV shows. Story here.

Question: Have you ever used the “Love Story” line — “love means never having to say you’re sorry” — in casual conversation?

Brown Win Could Drive D’s ‘Nuclear’

Congressional Democrats have been discussing several options, since a Brown win would break the party’s 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority at a critical time for health care reform. Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, described a combination of tactics to get what his party wants out of health care reform. First, he said the House could simply approve the Senate bill, sending it straight to President Obama’s desk. Then, Durbin said, the Senate could make changes to the bill by using the nuclear option, known formally as “reconciliation,” a tactic that would allow Democrats to adjust parts of health care reform with just a 51-vote majority/Trish Turner, More here.

Question: Would Senate Dems hurt themselves in the long run if they followed the strategy outlined above for health care, should Scott Brown win Teddy Kennedy’s seat? 

Hagadone OKs Blackwell Compromise

In a significant victory for the Spokane River, a Hagadone Corporation subsidiary has agreed to a major change to the controversial redevelopment of a marina on Blackwell Island. Under an earlier proposal, the Marine Yacht Club, LLC, would have left 15,000 cubic meters of highly contaminated sediments on the island. With the new change, however, the sediments will be hauled to an off-site disposal area. Blackwell Island is situated right where Lake Coeur d’Alene empties into the Spokane River, in an area that also provides recharge to the Spokane Valley/Rathdrum Prairie aquifer/Tim Connor, Center for Justice spokesman. More here.

Question: Are you happy with this compromise re: Duane Hagadone’s plans for Blackwell Island?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 1.19.10

In this April 28, 2009, file photo, Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez delivers during the second inning against the Chicago White Sox in Chicago. Seattle’s young ace signed a five-year, $76M contract today to stay with the M’s. Story below. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

High Noon: Hooters

Cindy H: Just got asked an odd question. I’ve got a meeting today at a Spokane Valley hotel. I called to confirm the location and the male desk clerk asked, “Are you familiar with Hooters?” All kinds of possible replies ran through my head. What would you say?

Question: Are you a customer of the Spokane Valley Hooters? Shocked @ Bell Pledge

At, Mary Souza is writing about “more arrogance at NIC” — her words, not mine — after a couple of her “shocked and dismayed” readers reported back from the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce banquet. Seems NIC President Priscilla Bell (pictured) pledged $3000 to sponsor a railing for the new Post Falls chamber building. Apparently, one asked Bell if she had pledged her own money and was told that it was the college’s. The other reader said: “In this economy with education cuts, how does she have the audacity to spend public money for such a thing?” S/he noted that recently fired workforce training director Robert Ketchum was in the room, adding: “I find this to be incredibly irresponsible and am absolutely shocked!”

Question: What do you make of NIC President Priscilla Bell’s pledge?

All Political Eyes On Massachusetts

Matt Paturzo, a supporter of Massachusetts State Senator Scott Brown, R-Wrentham, rides a high-wheeler in Wrentham, Mass., Tuesday. Brown is running against Democrat Martha Coakley in a special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat left empty by the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Question: Why is this race even close? And/or: Who is going to win?

IFF Launches

Idaho Freedom Foundation Executive Director Wayne Hoffman today announced the launch of a new product to help hold state government accountable. is a free news service that provides comprehensive, factual, non-opinionated and non-ideological coverage of state government. is staffed by journalists Brad Iverson-Long and Dustin Hurst, with editing by former Idaho Press-Tribune managing editor and editorial page editor Rick Coffman. … Hoffman noted that’s stories can be re-published in full or in part at no cost. “We encourage the media, bloggers or members of the general public to ‘steal our stuff.’ We just want people to be educated on what’s happening in state government”/Idaho Freedom FoundationFull story below.

Question: What do you make of this development in the continuing evolution of Idaho Freedom Foundation?

AM Scanner Traffic: Body Found

9:11 a.m. Sgt. Christie Wood reports (see 8:11 item) that the deceased individual at Sanders Beach is an elderly male. The body is just off shore. Officers are checking to see if there’s anything suspicious at the site. They haven’t checked the pile of clothes for a wallet. Initial media report here.

  • 11:20 a.m. 35YO male w/a mullet is standing @ Seltice Way & Spokane/Post Falls, yelling at passing vehicles.
  • 10:58 a.m. Caller wants to know if Hayden Creek is open to snowmobiles.
  • 10:52 a.m. A male in a cap is ran across I-90 @ M/P 12 (Government Way)
  • 10:45 a.m. A maroon passenger car is over an embankment in the 4000 block of French Gulch/CdA.
  • 9:56 a.m. A white vehicle belonging to a local insurance company is speeding on H95 at Chilco. The driver may be working on his laptop.
  • 9:37 a.m. An alarm at Skyway Elementary was triggered by dust on it.
  • 9:22 a.m. Caller reports that a person wanted on a Bonner County warrant is visiting a house @ 9th & Hazel/CdA.
  • 9:17 a.m. A child is locked in a RAV in front of Chinook building on Ironwood.
  • 8:22 a.m. A 53YO female is suffering chest pains in front of Post Falls Food Bank.
  • 8:11 a.m. A body reportedly is floating in the water at Sanders Beach in front of the Jewett House. CPD Blues are responding to a call from an East Lakeshore Drive resident who spotted the body. The reporting parties (a couple walking their dog) said they found clothes piled on the shoreline. Responding officers are told to be careful because the roads are slick. Another officer said to use an alternative route to the site because an accident is blocking 3rd & Hazel. Another officer advises to block off the area in case it is a crime scene.

HBO Poll: No To Idaho Tax Cut

  • In the TGIF poll, 66% (103 of 157) of you said Idaho legislators would be wrong to try to cut taxes in the current economic climate in which education and other valuable serves are being sliced to the bone. 34% (54 of 157) would like to see tax cuts.
  • Today’s Question: How will congressional Dems fare in the fall elections?

Gloria: A Canadian Faces Idaho Bias

A woman named Gloria writes to Huckleberries:On January 8, 2010 I was standing in line at the post office in Hayden with some 5x7 envelopes mailing CD’s to Canada and an old female noticed I was sending mail to Canada. She told me she lives in Leisure Park. She started in first of all by indicating that the US was going to go the way of Canada regarding health benefits and I proceded to tell her that I was a Canadian and had lived in the U.S. for 42 years. She then called me a “Communist” and a “Socialist” and told me “go back to Canada you Communist”. I then asked her if she ever lived in Canada and she said “no” but that they are all Communists. I then told her not to speak to me and she again called me a Communist. There was a long line, out the door, and everyone looked at me like I was an outcast.” More below.

Question: Have you heard anyone locally speaking ill re: Canadians?

As The Lake Churns Fights Litter

Here’s another example re: how your Merry Hucksters are deeply involved in your communities. Pecky Cox of Priest Lake’s As The Lake Churns e-mailed this photo, showing that she and her blog community have signed on to keep a mile of roadway/shoreline free of litter. Which is very cool. Also, I noticed in an MLKJr Day walk along the north shore that the local Dems have signed up to keep the stretch of roadway that goes past the Fort Ground Grill litter free. Anyone know if the Repubs have done the same thing elsewhere?

2 Berry Pickers To Exchange Vows

After 6 years, it’s rare that Huckleberries Online experiences a first. But we’re celebrating one this morning. Phil Thompson proposed to Taryn Hecker over the weekend. And she accepted, making their engagement the first of its kind between Merry Hucksters. They’re going to be marching down the aisle in September.

Overheard …

… at Supercuts/Ironwood Plaza Monday morning, one stylist talking to two other worker bees: “I had to offer my husband $3 to rub my feet last night.” 2nd Stylist: “Did he do it?” 1st Stylist: “Yeah, and he demanded the money. I can’t believe he took the money.”

Question: When did you last rub your tired sweetheart’s feet?

EOB: Dems Close Caucus, Too

Idaho’s House and Senate minority caucuses have voted to close their meetings to the public, saying they don’t want Republicans to get a glimpse of their game plan. “To maximize our effectiveness in the Legislature, we must take the field with every advantage that we can muster,” said House Assistant Minority Leader James Ruchti, D-Pocatello. Democratic caucuses in both the House and Senate have been open to the public for nearly a decade, while majority Republican caucuses remained closed/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: The Dems made quite ado re: keeping their caucuses open while the Repubs shut theirs several years back. What do you make of their change of mind now?

AM Headlines — 1.19.10

New signs are popping up around the North Idaho College campus in Coeur d’Alene. Over the past year the college has established a presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr under the direction of the College Relations Office, which is responsible for marketing and communications. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

DOTC: 87 Pounds Down & Counting

Dan of the County: Well, I’m probably opening up myself to all kinds of rumors about being into cross-dressing or other such “delicious” tales but thought I’d pass this along to those who have been interested in my weight loss journey and how it’s working. The other day my wife’s jeans were draped over the back of a chair in our bedroom next to mine.  I don’t know what possessed me but I thought “I wonder how much of myself I could get into those” these days.  Way back when we first got married we used to joke that we could wear each other’s jeans (although I admit hers were always a bit too long). Low and behold, I actually got them on, zipped and buttoned up, and was able to walk out into the kitchen where she could appropriately scowl and growl at me. Full post below.

Question: What do you make of Dan of the County’s feat?

LCDC Considers Ice Rink

Item: LCDC to discuss ice rink/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Lake City Development Corp. is trying to nail down how much public benefit could come from helping improve the Kootenai Youth Recreation Organization’s proposed ice arena. Last month, the board narrowed down that possible range of help from the original $221,000 request to between $165,000 and $200,000, depending on how much public use could be gained from parking lot and trail head improvements around the rink. Charlie Nipp, LCDC board member, recused himself from any eventual decision last month after Holiday Inn Express supported KYRO’s request. Holiday Inn Express has lost revenue since the rink collapsed under heavy snowfall a year ago.

Question: Would you like to see an ice rink in Coeur d’Alene?

Stantis: Will Dems Hold Teddy’s Seat?

Scott Stantis/Birmingham News

MLK Wild Card

So I was wrong about DFO being around for awhile. I forgot Martin Luther King Jr. Day is widely celebrated by blogmeisters around the United States. As a mere substitute, I’ve not been told what those celebrations include, but I kinda think sleeping in is high on the agenda.

Ah well. Expect light blogging today as many folks besides blogmeisters probably have the day off. I’ll be attending a couple skating events at the Spokane Arena this afternoon. I’m not sure exactly what the Novice Short Ladies Program involves, but I think all women should be able to skate, regardless of height. Or maybe that’s Novice Ladies Short Program?

How are you celebrating today?

Parting Question: Leno Vs. Conan

Conan O’Brien makes his debut as the host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” in Universal City, Calif., in June.

Sources connected to Conan O’Brien tell TMZ NBC honcho Jeff Zucker has been “nasty, arrogant and threatening” in negotiating Conan’s out. The Conan people are outraged, saying the blame for the Jay Leno/’ConanO’Brien/”Tonight Show” debacle falls squarely at Zucker’s doorstep.

An NBC spokesperson tells TMZ, as for claims Zucker has been nasty, arrogant and threatening, “There is absolutely no truth to that. It is easy to make false statements under the cloak of anonymity.”

We’re told Conan is so pissed off at NBC, he told the network he was leaving even though he still doesn’t have a place to go — at least not yet. Sources say Fox still has not made an offer.


Personally, I think Leno has had his shot and should back out gracefully. What say you? Leno or Conan?

APhoto of the day

President Richard Nixon  and Elvis Presley shake hands in the White House on Dec. 21, 1970.

#1 Nixon and Elvis shake hands before playing a game of cops & robbers. Elvis demands the cops role while Nixon insists he’s not a crook. Nic

#2 O.K. folks, guess which one wants to be king. Herb Huseland

#3 The famous “The President and The King” photo. Otherwise known as “It’s all downhill from here.” Charles Dixon