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Archive for July 2010

Weekend Wild Card 7.31-8.1

Lots to do this weekend: Art on the Green, the Idaho 200, spending time near a body of water and a strech of sand. However you choose to spend your time, be safe, be well and be appreciative of every minute because August is arriving and Monday is just around the corner.

Post your random thoughts here until we meet again.

OtisG explains Edgar Steele’s booking photo

It was the right shade at the wrong time? Real crooks wear gloss? Shiny lips tell no lies? It’s what all the political prisoners are wearing?

You explain it.

Huckster Happy Hour @ Zola

Discussions included: Long-fingered Larry, camping, weddings, Droids, dirt, toilet seats, politics, bbq, submarines, roasting goats, beets, beans, cauliflower, avocado allergies, cats, boys, girls, living in your mother’s basement, online dating, Larry Craig, the Church of Satan, lips, bass-playing, Sheriff Rocky Watson, Dave Oliveria, Boise, Post Falls, Mootsies, Facebook, and olive avoidance among other topics.

See what you missed?

TGIF Wild Card 7.30.10

Friday already? I was just getting into blog rhythm. Ah well, I know a perfect way to end the week: a Huckster Happy Hour at Zola, W. 22 Main Street, downtown, Spokane. A group of commenters and blurkers will be meeting @ 5 pm. All are welcome. Please drop in and join me in celebrating the end of DFO’s first week of vacation. (Not like I’m counting. Really.)

Use this Wild Card to tell us about your weekend plans, or start a new topic of conversation.

More secret tax deals alleged in Idaho

BOISE - Three more longtime senior employees of the Idaho State Tax Commission have come forward with sworn statements charging that secret tax deals were offered to those with political influence, and now Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, is offering to put her pending lawsuit over the deals on hold in favor of an in-depth investigation of the charges.

“I think it should make people realize that we have something very serious we’re dealing with,” Ringo said Friday.

She and her attorney, former Idaho Supreme Court Justice Robert Huntley, sent the three new sworn statements to Attorney General Lawrence Wasden yesterday, along with a letter offering to suspend the lawsuit if the state launches an investigation meeting certain requirements, and grants job protection to current Tax Commission employees who testify.

“We have found several people who work within the Tax Commission who would like to speak up, but they’re in fear of jeopardizing their employment,” Ringo said. Betsy Z. Russell, SR Full story.

Something’s rotten at the Idaho State Tax Commission. Thoughts?

Idaho’s Iupati signs with 49ers

San Francisco 49ers 2010 first round draft pick Mike Iupati stretches during NFL football practice at 49ers headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, June 10, 2010.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati have been practically joined at their rather large hips since becoming San Francisco 49ers this spring, and that continued Friday on the day rookies were required to report to team headquarters.

Both first-round draft picks signed five-year contracts a few hours apart, ensuring the highly touted offensive linemen will be in uniform for Sunday’s first training camp practice.

Davis was the No. 11 overall pick in this year’s draft and Iupati was selected by the 49ers six picks later. More here.

Are you ready for some football?

Why pay when you can get movies for free?

Libraries like this one in Cleveland are investing more money in DVDs and videos, and many people say they are turning to libraries for free movies and bypassing stores.

Why rent the cow when you can borrow the milk for free? That seems to be the mindset of many Americans, as a new study claims that more DVDs are borrowed from libraries each day than are rented via Netflix, Redbox or Blockbuster.

According to the survey released by the Online Computer Library Center, public libraries in the U.S. lend an average 2.1 million videos/day, which edges out the 2 million discs shipped by Netflix and almost as much as the combined total of DVD rentals at Redbox (1.4 million) and Blockbuster (1.2 million).

Netflix shrugs off the idea of libraries as competition to their business. “I think of libraries as places for books,” explains a rep for the company. “It’s free, so it’s a whole different model.” Chris Moran, More here.

I check out at least 4 movies a week from local libraries— both new releases and old favorites. It’s one of the reasons I’ve resisted Netflix. Have you checked out movies from the library?

Has Obama worn out his welcome on Capitol Hill?

The moment has been long in coming, but it may finally have arrived. For the last year and a half, on issues including healthcare, financial regulation and climate change, Democrats in Congress have bent for President Obama. Liberals swallowed hard to accept compromises that fell short of their long-sought goals, and moderates cast tough votes that now threaten their reelection prospects as voters revolt against government overreach.

Then, last week, the president asked them to bend yet again — this time to approve more money for his troop buildup in an Afghanistan war that many Democrats oppose. Lisa Mascaro, Tribune Washington Bureau Full story.

Has the luster worn off the promise of change?

Fill in the blank

I love the smell of ______

Kootenai Health has new CEO

Jon Ness, CEO, Kootenai Health

Kootenai Health has named a Montana healthcare executive to replace longtime CEO Joe Morris, who is retiring.

Jon Ness is the chief operating officer at Billings Clinic, Montana’s largest not-for-profit healthcare organization. It includes a 272-bed hospital, employs 240 physicians and has 3,400 employees serving eastern Montana and northern Wyoming.

Paul Anderson, chairman of the Kootenai Hospital District board of trustees, announced today that Ness accepted the position of Kootenai Health chief executive officer. Ness will begin work at Kootenai on Sept. 27. More here.

High Noon: Squirrel: It’s what’s for dinner

Those who malign North Idaho residents as redneck-squirrel-eaters, may be surprised to learn that a London grocer plans to offer this delicacy.
There’s two schools of thought when it comes to squirrels. The first sees these back garden bandits as a nuisance. They view these rodents as the petty crook of the animal kingdom. A sort of street criminal-type bully. A rat with a bushy tail.

The second school of thought suggests they are geniuses of light-fingered looting. The gentleman thief of nut-nickery, charmingly bounding about regaling wrens and blue tits with tales of heroic Butch Cassidy-esque antics.

Which ever way you look at them, now you can eat them. That’s because one branch of Budgens in Crouch End, North London, has decided to sell squirrel meat for its customers delectation — sparking criticism from animal rights campaigners. Read more. Tom Cullen,


Would you? Could you? Have you, eaten squirrel?

Daily Poll results

Should communities add fluoride to their water systems?

55% (74) voters said yes, while 41% (56) said no. 4% (5) said dunno.

I think the liklihood of Spokane/Cda area voters agreeing to fluoridation is pretty slim. How about you?

EOB: Gwartney leaving Otter Administration

Mike Gwartney, Gov. Butch Otter’s best friend and his right-hand man in his administration, serving without pay as the director of the Department of Administration, is retiring as of today, and his chief deputy, Teresa Luna, will take over his post on an interim basis. More here - Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise

Labrador speaks at Fire Pelosi series

Raul Labrador, the Republican nominee chosen by Idaho’s voters to retake Idaho’s 1st Congressional District, addressed a group of national Republicans at the “Fire Pelosi” Speaking Series. Labrador, speaking at the Republican National Committee headquarters, was asked to fill in for scheduled keynote speaker Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann. Posted at  More here.

H/T grayuser

Okay, I don’t get out much. I had no idea there was a Fire Pelosi speaking series, did you?

NIC trustees endorse KTEC

During a special meeting July 28, the North Idaho College Board of Trustees signed a statement proclaiming its support of the Kootenai Technical Education Campus (KTEC) joint technical high school project developed by the Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Lakeland school districts.

The KTEC high school will complement NIC’s plans to build a professional-technical education facility on the property purchased on the Rathdrum Prairie near the KTEC high school site. Cda Press Full Story


Well that didn’t last long

Ellen DeGeneres won’t be returning to “American Idol” next season.

But Jennifer Lopez may soon be joining the “Idol” judges’ table.

As first reported this afternoon by Variety, DeGeneres’ exit comes as Fox and producers FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment plot a massive “Idol” overhaul.

DeGeneres said she told Fox and the “Idol” producers months ago that she wasn’t comfortable with returning for a second go-round on the show.

“I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next,” DeGeneres said. “It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for.” More here.

Are you bummed about Ellen’s departure? Would you welcome JLo? Or are you like me and have never actually watched an episode of American Idol?

Idaho 200

Last year, Jeff Fenton led the driver points standings for the Inland Northwest Super Stock Association heading into the Idaho 200 weekend at Stateline Speedway. (Photo courtesy of INSSA)

For 11 years, Stateline Speedway has held the NAPA Auto Parts Idaho 200.

In the last three years, one man has taken the top prize back to Washington – Gary Lewis.

When Lewis wins at the prestigious Montana 200, he’s followed it up with a win two weeks later in Post Falls over the last three summers. This year the Snohomish, Wash., driver rides into town with four straight Montana victories and will look to add a unique quadruple of Idaho and Montana 200 wins to his resume. Doug Pace, SR Read more.

Have you ever been to a race at the Stateline Speedway?

Clinton’s pricey nuptials

RHINEBECK, N.Y. – Imagine spending $250,000 on flowers. Or $20,000 on a cake. How does $15,000 to $20,000 for toilets sound?

Sounds like the first Wedding of the Century.

Wedding industry experts say that when Chelsea Clinton gets married Saturday at a private estate in upstate New York, the tab could hit $2 million, $3 million or more — a canape or two above the average $24,000 that most American newlyweds will shell out this year. AP More here.

Any idea how much was spent on your wedding? Would you spend like this even if you could?

Republicans block small business lending bill

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s election-year jobs agenda suffered a new setback Thursday when Senate Republicans blocked a bill creating a $30 billion government fund to help open up lending for credit-starved small businesses.

The fund would be available to community banks with less than $10 billion in assets to help them increase lending to small businesses. The bill would combine the fund with about $12 billion in tax breaks aimed at small businesses.

Democrats say banks should be able to use the lending fund to leverage up to $300 billion in loans, helping to loosen tight credit markets. Some Republicans, however, likened it to the unpopular bailout of the financial industry. AP, Full story.



Anne Rice: A Christian no longer

NEW YORK – Anne Rice has had a religious conversion: She’s no longer a Christian.

“In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control,” the author wrote Wednesday on her Facebook page. “In the name of … Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

Rice, 68, is best known for “Interview With a Vampire” and other gothic novels. Raised as a Catholic, she had rejected the church early in her life but renewed her faith in recent years and in 2008 released the memoir “Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession.” AP More here.

Honestly.  Does it seem like Rice uses her spirituality to sell books?

CdA seeks legal costs after claim dismissed

The city of Coeur d’Alene is seeking recovery of legal fees after a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by a woman who claimed police assaulted her. Shannon Kanda had a blood alcohol level of .28 when she had a neighbor call police to report she’d been assaulted, according to court documents. Police responded to an apartment in the 1800 block of Legends Parkway around 9:20 p.m. May 7, 2009, where they say Kanda was uncooperative and hit an officer’s hands, then swung at an officer. /Sirens & Gavels. More here

Do you think Kanda should reimburse the city?

National Chili Dog Day Wild Card/ PM 7.29.10

I’ll pass on the chili dog. I over-indulged yesterday during Chocolate Milk Day. None the less, Thursday is always a good day to celebrate because we are that much closer to the weekend! Anticipation is a good thing.

Unless you’ve been anticipating spectacular thunder storms like I have been and have been sorely disappointed. Where is the thunder, the lightening? All we’ve had in North Spokane are a few dispirited raindrops.
What are you anticipating today? Let us know on this Wild Card or launch another lively topic.

Busy day what with a donation by the KCRCC toward Brannon’s election challenge, Phil Hart cleared of conflict charges, and Art on the Green on the horizon. And there’s still time to weigh in on the daily poll re: fluoridation. Enjoy your chili dogs.


Is Rangel toast?

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel leaves after making his statement on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON – House investigators accused veteran New York Rep. Charles Rangel of 13 violations of congressional ethics standards on Thursday, throwing a cloud over his four-decade political career and raising worries for fellow Democrats about the fall elections.

The allegations — which include failure to report rental income from vacation property in the Dominican Republic and more than $600,000 in other income on his congressional financial disclosure statements — came as lawyers for Rangel and the House ethics committee worked on a plea deal.

One was struck, people familiar with the talks said, but Republicans indicated it was too late. AP, Full Story.

What would you advise Charles Rangel to do at this point?


Art on the Green this weekend

Art on the Green isn’t strictly visual art. It’s also flamenco dance, cotton candy and hip-hop “flash mobs.”

More on those later. But first, let’s run the numbers on Coeur d’Alene’s annual arts extravaganza, just to give you an idea of the scope of this Inland Northwest institution:

• It will have 140 artist booths spread across the North Idaho College campus.

• Artists will converge from 11 states, including California, the Midwest and beyond.

• 30 music, dance and theater acts will perform nearly nonstop on two stages. Jim Kershner, SR More here.

What’s your favorite part of Art on the Green? Or do you avoid the event?

Suing guidance counselors

This was posted today on the Facebook page “Overheard in the Newsroom”

“We should all get together and file a class action suit against all the guidance counselors who suggested a career in journalism.”

And a young friend of mine on his FB page, bemoans the lack of helpful information he’s received from his Community College counselor/

Did you receive any helpful advice from your high school or college counselor?

Not all love stories have happy endings

Sonny and Elaine Thrush

A former Navy Seal, he earned a master’s degree in education. And nine years ago, at age 63, still trim and fit, he found the love of his life. But now, he’s in a wheelchair and needs help feeding himself. His eyes still light up when he sees his wife, but when asked her name, he rubs his face with his hands and slowly shakes his head.

Sonny Thrush is near the end of his long goodbye. Cindy Hval, SR Full story here.

Do you know anyone who has been affected by Alzheimer’s disease?


Fill in the blank

I hate the sound of _______

EOB: Party-line vote clears Hart of conflict charge

A special House Ethics Committee has voted 4-3 along party lines to clear Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, of conflict of interest charges over his votes on various tax legislation while pressing his own tax fights against state and federal income tax. “I don’t think that the allegations were specific enough,” said Rep. Rich Wills, R-Glenns Ferry. “I hope if nothing else that come out of this, that it’s a wakeup call for all of us to be very careful about our appearances.” The three minority Democrats on the committee said Hart’s actions showed a pattern of ignoring the House rule that requires conflicts of interest be disclosed.  They favored a motion to reprimand Hart and recommend his removal from the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, but it failed on a party-line vote. “I think that the behavior does reflect badly on all of us,” said Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum. “It reflects badly on the credibility of the body. So I can’t vote to dismiss here.” More here - Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise

High Noon: 10 movies you’ll force your kids to see

Let’s face it – when you have kids, they’re not going to want to watch the movies that you’ll want to watch. When they’re old enough to develop their own tastes, they’re going to automatically assume that anything that’s older than they are is crappy. Well, too bad for them. You’re the adult, so you get to decide what they watch. The following selections are ten films that you’ll one day force your kids to watch that you’ll love and they’ll love – whether they want to admit it or not! Full list.

Among those included: E.T., The Nightmare Before Christmas, Princess Mononoke and Gremlins.

What movies would you add to this list?

Dogs imitate people

Which is why cats are smarter.

Okay, maybe not, but this article from Discovery News say dogs imitate people even when it’s not in their best interest to do so.

“If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, dogs often shower us with praise. New research has just determined dogs automatically imitate us, even when it is not in their best interest to do so.

The study, published in the latest Proceedings of the Royal Society B, provides the first evidence that dogs copy at least some of our body movements and behaviors in ways that are spontaneous and voluntary.

In other words, they can’t really help themselves when it comes to copying people.” Read more.

Does your dog imitate you? How so?

Where has all the oil gone?

Waves partially obscure rigs drilling relief wells at the oil spill site in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday.

Where is all the oil? Nearly two weeks after BP finally capped the biggest oil spill in U.S. history, the oil slicks that once spread across thousands of miles of the Gulf of Mexico have largely disappeared. Nor has much oil washed up on the sandy beaches and marshes along the Louisiana coast. And the small cleanup army in the Gulf has only managed to skim up a tiny fraction of the millions of gallons of oil spilled in the 100 days since the Deepwater Horizon rig went up in flames.

So where did the oil go? “Some of the oil evaporates,” explains Edward Bouwer, professor of environmental engineering at Johns Hopkins University. That’s especially true for the more toxic components of oil, which tend to be very volatile, he says. John Carey, Yahoo News Read more.

Related story.

So, just how big of a disaster is this, really?

Yoko says No No

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Yoko Ono will again oppose the release of the man who nearly 30 years ago killed her husband, former Beatle John Lennon, and who comes up for parole next month, her lawyer said.

Ono has consistently opposed parole for Mark David Chapman and has again sent a letter to the parole board, her lawyer, Peter Shukat, told the Daily News.

“Her position has not changed,” Shukat said in an article published Tuesday.

Lennon was shot to death on December 8, 1980, outside the famed Dakota apartment building just west of Central Park as he and Ono returned home from a recording session. More.

Do you think Mark David Chapman should ever be released?

Kootenai Co. GOP contributes to election challenge

COEUR d’ALENE - A political committee agreed to fund an election challenge tied to a non-partisan race on Tuesday.

The Kootenai County Republican Central Committee approved donating $2,500 in support of Seat 2 City Council challenger Jim Brannon’s courtroom challenge of last year’s general election.

The committee said the issue at hand - ensuring whether proper votes were cast and counted - was a non-partisan issue that affect all voters, regardless of party affiliation.

“I can say people were concerned with mistakes in the vote count,” said Doug Weir, treasurer. “That was the motivation for the discussion.” Tom Hasslinger, Cda Press Read more.

Kootenai County GOP leaders say the contribution is about ensuring ”honest and legal” elections and not about being “sore losers.” Saying, “This is not a partisan issue. This is an American issue.” Read the full press release.

Agree or disagree?

Minnick: Can government help small businesses?

“Mr. Minnick, a successful businessman for 30 years, is among the most conservative Democrats in Congress. He began his political career, in fact, as an official in the Nixon administration — and resigned the Sunday after Attorney General Elliot Richardson, for whom he was informally working, was fired in what became known as the Saturday Night Massacre. Six months later, Mr. Minnick found a job at Trus Joist, a $30 million forest-products company in Boise.

By the time he left 21 years later, including 16 as the company’s president, revenue had grown to $700 million. After an unsuccessful run in 1996 for the Senate — as a Democrat — he considered returning to the corporate world, but “I realized I liked Trus Joist a whole lot better when it was a $70 million company than when it was 10 times that size, and bureaucratic.” Instead he started his own business, buying and building a chain of high-end nurseries. He spent nearly a year working at the stores learning every job. “For me, that was the key thing, learning the business in a rather unusual way,” said Mr. Minnick.” Robb Mandelbaum, NYT Full story.

H/T Mike K.


Idaho unauthorized immigrants contribute millions to economy

The Immigration Policy Center on Wednesday released its complete series of 50 state fact sheets which highlight the political and economic power of immigrants, Latinos and Asians in every state of the union.

Here are the results for how immigrants affect Idaho:

As workers: — Immigrants comprised 7.2 percent of the state’s workforce in 2008, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

— Unauthorized immigrants comprised roughly 3.1 percent of the state’s workforce (or 25,000 workers) in 2008, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.

— If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Idaho, the state would lose $428.8 million in economic activity, $190.4 million in gross state product, and approximately 3,060 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group. Full story. Bethann Stewart, Idaho Statesman

H/T Nick Adams


Edgar Steele: Political Prisoner?

The reported victim in an alleged murder-for-hire plot appears to be supporting the main suspect in the case – her husband, former Aryan Nations lawyer Edgar Steele.

Cyndi Steele joined her husband’s supporters in U.S. District Court in Coeur d’Alene Wednesday as Edgar Steele, 65, pleaded not guilty to four additional felonies, one that carries a mandatory sentence of at least 30 years in federal prison.

She spent several minutes talking to her husband’s public defender, Roger Peven, and to her husband’s friends before leaving without speaking to a reporter.

Several of Edgar Steele’s supporters said the case against him is a fraud and called him a “political prisoner” targeted because of his legal work against the federal government. Meghann Cuniff, SR  Full story. 

Another case of stand by your man?

Southwest Idaho fires

A fire burns close to several homes near Eagle, Idaho, on Wednesday, July, 28, 2010

BOISE — At least three homes were damaged and dozens more evacuated Wednesday as a wind-whipped grassfire northwest of Idaho’s capital city expanded to thousands of acres and threatened rural subdivisions. No injuries were reported.

Firefighting planes, water bucket-wielding helicopters and about 50 fire trucks, engines, water tenders, brush rigs and bulldozers were dispatched to the site about 15 miles northwest of Boise. More than 300 firefighters from multiple agencies combined to fight the blaze. Read more.

Has your home ever been threatened by fire?

2 Thumbs Up For ‘Pump Boys & Dinettes’

Members of Coeur d’Alene Summer Theaters version of Pump Boys and Dinettes from left  Jessica Skerritt as Rhetta Cupp, Steven Dahlke, as L.M., J.Michael Zygo as Jackson, Dane Stokinger as Jim and Jillian Zygo as Prudie Cupp. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

DFO: I interrupt this vacation to recommend that you see “Pump Boys & Dinettes,” the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre production now playing through Sunday. Mrs. O & I consider it the surprise find of the current CST season, if you like your diner pie a la mode served up with a good helping of country twang and humor. I didn’t know what to expect of this little-known production. I laughed throughout the play. It may be my favorite so far this summer. Then, I was primed for a good show as several of tonight’s actors were part of the cabaret production performed at Bakery by the Lake Thursday. FlorineD was at “Pump Boys,” too. Mebbe she’ll check in with her impression. Now, I’m back to serious vacationing.

Hump Day Wild Card 7.28.10

I have reached action movie saturation point. Saw the Russel Crowe Robin Hood at the Garland this weekend, then watched District 9 with my sons. I’m hoping to persuade someone to go to Ramona and Beezus with me this weekend. I’ve got two days to adopt a daughter. It could happen.

In the meantime, use this thread to discuss the topic of your choosing. Go ahead and make it action-packed, if you must.

Toxic receipts

The back of all Target receipts reminds customers that receipts are required for “All returns & exchanges” and that an ID may be required.

– Sheesh: The same toxic chemical—bisphenol A—that's shown up in baby bottles and canned goods is apparently also all over the receipts you get from stores and restaurants, and in much greater amounts. BPA was found in the coating used on cash register receipts in 40% of businesses tested, including McDonald's, Whole Foods, and Wal-Mart. It comes off on your hands, a scientist tells AOL News, and can get into your bloodstream through your skin. Read more. Caroline Miller,
Without looking, how many receipts do you estimate you have in your car, wallet, pocket or purse?


Red wine, whiskey and bourbon cause migraines

Jim Wilford, owner of Fletcher Bay Winery on Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound, pours a glass of red wine.

Especially when mixed. But seriously, if you suffer from migraines this is helpful information:

People who suffer from migraines may have a way to control the frequency and severity of their attacks without the use of prescription drugs. An estimated 18% of women and 6% of men in the United States are affected by migraines, and studies have shown that while migraine affliction is inherited, it is also affected by environmental factors. In a recent review of existing research on migraines and diet, Christina Sun-Edelstein, MD and Alexander Mauskop, MD suggest several dietary and supplementation strategies which may benefit migraine sufferers. Kia Bryan, Read more.
Have you ever had a migraine?

Costly one night stand

COEUR d’ALENE — A one night stand left a Coeur d’Alene woman with more than regret and a headache. Not that those two carry-overs were avoided, but a reported booze-fueled fling also cost the 29-year-old victim nearly $500 after she gave the suspect her ATM pin number the next morning.

Boy meets girl, the story goes, but in this case boy steals from girl, too.The suspect believed to have swiped the money, the victim told police,was the man she met at a downtown bar the night of July 15 and whomshe brought to her C Street home in the early morning hours July 16. Full story. Cda Press

Oh dear. There’s probably a moral here…

Daily Poll Results

As of now, who do you plan to vote for in the 2010 general election?

65% (115) gave Minnick the nod, while 25% (45) picked Labrador. 10% (17) were undecided.

How many of you knew we were electing a general?

How many don’t want to think about elections in July?

Judge blocks part of Arizona immigration law

A protester is arrested by Phoenix police after she helped block an intersection to demonstrate against Arizona’s immigration law  Thursday.

PHOENIX — A federal judge on Wednesday blocked the most controversial parts of Arizona’s immigration law from taking effect, delivering a last-minute victory to opponents of the crackdown.

The overall law will still take effect Thursday, but without the provisions that angered opponents — including sections that required officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws.

The judge also put on hold parts of the law that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times, and made it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places. In addition, the judge blocked officers from making warrantless arrests of suspected illegal immigrants.

“Requiring Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies to determine the immigration status of every person who is arrested burdens lawfully-present aliens because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked,” U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled.

Do you think the Arizona immigration law will be overturned?

H/T Sisyphus

Bear attack at Montana campground

HELENA, Mont. — At least one bear attacked three people at a campground near Yellowstone National Park before dawn today, killing one person and injuring two others, Montana wildlife officials said.

A man died in the attack at the Soda Butte campground just east of Cooke City that was reported about 4 a.m., Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim said.

A woman suffered severe lacerations from bites on her arms, while another man was bitten on his calf and taken to a hospital in Cody, Wyo. More here.

Have you ever had a close encounter with a bear?

High Noon-ish: Bronco Bob takes shot at Vandals

Boise State’s Travis Stanaway and UI’s Preston Davis tangle last season, but that nastiness is about to end.

So Robert “Bob” Kustra, the foreman at Boise State University, believes college football rivalries are meant to be civil, and that all involved are “to act like grownups.”

I would have sworn these sentiments came from press release to announce that post-graduate degrees would now be offered in the prestigious BSU School of Alternate Realities, or that it was a preface to NCAA passing legislation subjecting college presidents to random drug testing.

But no. Robert “Bob” Kustra let fly with these beauties and more – calling the University of Idaho upstate “a culture that is nasty, inebriated” – in a sit-down with the editorial board of the Idaho Statesman, the members of which no doubt were grinning at each other and whispering, “Is this any good?” More.

Yikes! Nastiness galore. Thoughts?

H/T cdajim

Fill in the Blanks

I most regret voting for _____ because____.

Lots of entries for Suicide Race

Ralph Moses, 32, leads his horse, Patch, after washing him prior to the first day of the Omak Stampede and Suicide Race.

     OMAK – Horses appear to be in great shape for this year’s 75th running of the World Famous Suicide Race.
     After weekend practices, there were 27 entries that had passed veterinary checks. Of those, 15 had passed all tests – veterinary, swim and hill.
     Highlight of Sunday’s qualifying included Ryan Cate’s dog, Twist, jumping off the hill along with Cate and Duran Marchand. The dog sped down the hill not quite as fast as the horses and swam across the Okanogan River. Al Camp, The Chronicle Full story.

This event is never without controversy. Would you attend it?

Chinese spam is a lot like American spam

Ryan Pitts, Senior Editor- Digital Media writes:

In recent months, our website has started to get hit by Chinese spam. We haven’t had to deal with much spam at all after switching to the new, now that commenting requires a registered account and includes a preview screen. So the odds are, these are *actual* people on the other end, registering a new account each day, and then copying and pasting spam comments under our stories. It’s very tough to stop that kind of real human activity. They tend to show up around 5:30 in the afternoons, and sometimes again early mornings around 6 a.m.
To keep this crap off our site, today we hooked into an anti-spam filter called Akismet. It takes things like IP address, comment text, etc., and runs them through a pretty effective spam filter. If Akismet tells us that a comment looks like spam, we can keep it from ever posting to the site. I don’t *think* we’ll have much trouble with this spam filter catching legitimate messages, but anytime a comment gets marked as spam, the reader does have the opportunity to revise it.
I’m hoping that no one on HBO will ever notice the spam filter is in place. That means it’s doing its job well. But if you do see your real comments getting marked as spam, *please* let me know at Thanks.
Do you get much spam?

Former dispatcher donates to Kootenai County K9

Rico, a Belgian malinois, hangs from the arm of Deputy Nate Nelson of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s office while  Rico’s human partner, Sgt. Troy Teigen, left, of the Spokane Police Department tries to get the dog to disengage.

 Kootenai County Sheriff, Rocky Watson received a $6,000.00 check from former Kootenai County dispatcher, Joan Halverson Wednesday, to assist with the purchase and training of the Department’s Canine, Iron.

Joan Halverson and her family gave the check in memory of her late husband, Dale, who was killed in a motorcycle accident on June 18, 2003 in Oregon. Joan was seriously injured in the same accident. More here. posted at

Have you ever seen a police dog in action?

Burglar Blaster

SPOKANE— A Spokane man has a new way to ward off burglars and he says it’s better than an alarm system. The homeowner doesn’t have to be there in order to use it either.

KREM 2 News first reported on John Adrian last year when he invented a gun safe that fits under the bed. This time around his invention is called the Burglar Blaster. 

The Burglar Blaster sees people coming at it by using an in-fared motion detector. It then gives the approaching thieves a few seconds of warning before it goes off and fills the house with pepper spray. More here. Posted at

Sounds great to me. How about you?

GOP blocks campaign bill

GOP National Committee Chairman Michael Steele

WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans blocked legislation imposing new restrictions on political activity by special interest groups Tuesday, likely dealing a fatal blow to a drive by the White House and congressional Democrats to rewrite campaign rules in the run-up to the midterm elections.

The 57-41 vote was three short of the total needed to advance the measure, which calls for greater disclosure on campaign advertising funded independently by corporations, unions and other organizations, but included an exemption for the National Rifle Association and a small number of other groups.

Anticipating defeat, Democrats swiftly unleashed a coordinated attack employing one of their emerging campaign themes. Read more.


GPrep tennis coach dies

Donna Lenseigne, who turned the Gonzaga Prep girls tennis program into a powerhouse, passed away unexpectedly early Tuesday. She was 51.

Lenseigne died of organ failure, G-Prep activities coordinator Paul Manfred said.

“She woke up Monday feeling crummy,” Manfred said. “She already had a scheduled doctor’s appointment. After she went to the doctor they took her right to the hospital.”

Manfred said doctors performed open heart surgery. They discovered a few of her organs were failing, Manfred said. Full story.


Diver found dead near Floating Green

A diver died near the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course’s Floating Green on Lake Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday afternoon.

Golf course employees saw Mike McCullough of Rexburg floating face down in the water around 3:55 p.m., said Maj. Ben Wolfinger of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department. They hauled him out of the water and started CPR, but were unable to revive him. McCullough was taken to Kootenai Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. More.

WSU’s Dan Spitz ruled ineliglbe

The WSU defense including Dan Spitz (far right) sack SMU quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell.

PULLMAN – Dan Spitz, a redshirt sophomore defensive tackle, was ruled ineligible for the first nine games of the Washington State University 2010 football season for failing an NCAA-mandated drug test late last year, the school announced Tuesday.

“Dan made a mistake and he is paying a very large price for that,” WSU coach Paul Wulff said in a statement. “Our athletic administration takes these issues very seriously and student-athletes are encouraged to consult with our athletic medicine, nutrition and strength and conditioning staffs with questions regarding any products. While that did not occur in this case, it will hopefully serve as a lesson for all our student-athletes in the future.” More.


Take your housplant for a walk day PM Wild Card/ 7.27.20

Yes. It’s that holiday most of us look forward to all year: “Take Your Houseplant for a Walk Day.” Of course, some of you may be celebrating Walk on Stilts Day, but I don’t recommend combining the two.

Feel free to let us know which holiday you’re celebrating or introduce another topic on this Wild Card.

Just a reminder there’s a new daily poll up. You still have time to vote.

House voting big war funds

A U.S. soldier  talks  with a driver during a search for two missing U.S. Navy personnel at a joint check post with Afghan soldiers in Pul-e-alam, in the Logar province of Afghanistan, on Sunday.

WASHINGTON – The House prepared Tuesday to send President Barack Obama a major war-funding increase of $33 billion to pay for his troop surge in Afghanistan, unmoved by the leaking of classified military documents that portray a military effort struggling between 2004 and 2009 against a strengthening insurgency.

From Obama on down, the disclosure of the documents was condemned by administration officials and military leaders, but the material failed to stir new anti-war sentiment. The bad news for the White House: A pervasive weariness with the war was still there — and possibly growing. Robert Burns, AP Full story.


Stadium food comes with unwanted extras

Joey Chestnut, left, of San Jose, Calif., defending champion of the Nathan’s Famous July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest, answers media questions as  former champion Takeru Kobayashi, of Nagano, Japan, poses for photos in New York,  Thursday, July 2, 2009.

You might want to think twice before you order that overpriced hot dog at the ball game. reports:

Yesterday, ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” program released the findings of health-department inspection reports for food and beverage outlets at all 107 North American arenas and stadiums that were home to MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL teams in 2009.

But while this may sound like the beginning of another food police piece and the unhealthy eating habits (nachos, brats, hot dogs, etc) of sports fans, the OTL report focused on the safety of the food being consumed - and in nearly 30-percent of the venues more than half of the concession stands were guilty of ‘critical’ or ‘major’ violations.

“Critical” and “major” violations are defined as infringements that pose a risk for foodborne illnesses that can cause an ailment or in extreme cases become fatal.

The 15 samples of mouse excrement, for example, found on the top of a beverage-dispensing unit in New York’s Madison Square Garden would qualify as a majorly critical violation.

A note to Knicks fans: avoid the brown Dippin’ Dots. More here.

Do you purchase food at sporting events?

Fill in the blank

The best car I ever owned was ______

Blogmeister Ryan: Rolling out new Spokesman Mobile

Ryan says:
Yes, we’re rolling out a new Spokesman Mobile site, and there were a few URL glitches this afternoon. I think I just finished ironing out the last one, so those links *should* work properly now. I’ll be keeping on eye on it for the next day or so, though.

FWIW, if you prefer to still view the regular site on your phone, every mobile page has a “Switch to desktop site” link at the bottom, which should kick you straight to the regular version of the page you’re looking at.

Feel free to shoot an email my way if you spot any other bugs. It’s

Do you read the SR from your phone? Why or why not?

EOB: Idaho cars overpaying, trucks underpaying for roads

The trend in Idaho is clear, according to a new highway cost-allocation study presented to the governor’s transportation funding task force today: “More and more overpayment on the part of automobiles and pickup trucks, and more underpayment on the part of combination trucks.” That’s what consultant Patrick Balducci of Battelle Group told the task force just now. More here/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise

Waiting for the doggie bag

While patiently waiting for the delivery of the doggie bag Sis missed out on in Boise— the one containing Bent’s Beautiful BBQ goodness, I have spilled one very hot tall coffee with cream AND most of a Cascade Ice (Cranberry Pomegranate flavor).

I’m blaming low blood sugar.

What’s the last thing you spilled and why did you spill it?

Dolezal resigns from HREI: claims discrimination

Rachel Dolezal, of the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d’Alene, works on an art project.

COEUR d’ALENE - Rachel Dolezal won’t be working at the Human Rights Education Institute any longer.

Dolezal told The Press Monday that she resigned from the institute because she was the target of discrimination, although she would not say what kind.

“I don’t want to comment on that at this time, just that it’s a justice issue,” Dolezal said. “It’s about fairness and equity.”

Dolezal has been the institute’s director of education since 2008.

Marilyn Muehlbach, president of the Human Rights Education Institute’s board, said she was surprised to hear the charge. Maureen Donlan, Cda Press Read more here.

What do you think about this turn of events?


High Noon:Walmart will track your undies

“Walmart the world’s largest retailer and the world’s largest corporation  will be placing radio-frequency  identification (RFID) on the jeans and underwear sold in its 3,750 plus U.S. stores beginning next month. … but some people are less than happy about the prospect of carrying around a tracking device in their skivvies.” More. Matthew Zuras,

I can see this coming in handy. What do you think?

GOP candidate calls birthers “dumbasses”

Colorado Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck has once again talked himself into some trouble - this time by calling certain tea-party activists “dumbasses” for questioning the legitimacy of President Obama’s birth certificate.


According to the Denver Post, Buck was caught on tape saying in June, “Will you tell those dumbasses at the Tea Party to stop asking questions about birth certificates while I’m on camera.” Full story. Posted at

Did Buck’s statement help or hurt his campaign?

VA okays medical marijuana in some clinics

Steve Sarich stands in a room used to grow medical marijuana in his Kirkland, Wash., home

WASHINGTON – Patients treated at Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics will be able to use medical marijuana in the 14 states where it’s legal, according to new federal guidelines.

The directive from the Veterans Affairs Department in the coming week is intended to clarify current policy that says veterans can be denied pain medication if they use illegal drugs. Veterans groups have complained for years that this could bar veterans from VA benefits if they were caught using medical marijuana.

The new guidance does not authorize VA doctors to begin prescribing medical marijuana, which is considered an illegal drug under federal law. More. Hope Yen, AP


EOB: Hart to testify to ethics committee

The House Ethics Committee has released its agenda for its Thursday meeting regarding Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol; you can see it here. Hart is scheduled to testify. More here/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise

Will he or won’t he?

Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre played 16 seasons at Lambeau Field for the Green Bay Packers.

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Brad Childress did not give Brett Favre a deadline to make a decision on whether he intends to play this season when the two convened at Favre’s home in Mississippi last week.

But with the Vikings’ first practice of training camp set for Friday, the coach said he has a general idea of how long Favre would need to prepare if – as everyone expects – he returns for his 20th NFL season. Childress figures the 40-year-old quarterback could be ready for the season in “two or three weeks.” More here.

Wiil he? Won’t he? Should he?

Ciao Mambo-ing

A Montana company plans to open a Ciao Mambo restaurant in the ground level corner of the Lincoln Plaza building, a Spokane development firm announced Monday.

The new restaurant, part of the Glacier Restaurant Group based in Whitefish, Mont., will open in January. It’s expected to hire 75 workers, a company spokesman said.

Goodale & Barbieri Co. President Tom Barbieri said his group spent roughly two years finding the right lessee to take over the 4,000-square-foot corner spot of the nine-level building, at the corner of Riverside and Lincoln in downtown Spokane. More here.

So, in my Idaho sojourn I dined at Ciao Mambo in Hayden. While the company was divine, I was less than impressed with the restaurant. Any Ciao Mambo fans out there?

Degrees of Flexibility

Thom Hecker, of Accra-Fab, applied his online education to his workplace to organize many areas, such as the hardware insertion tools.

Full-time work and a family prevented Thom Hecker from going back to college. But when the 41-year-old Spokane resident found out he could obtain a business management degree by taking classes online, he knew he could make it work.

“Once I was introduced to the program, it seemed like the right thing to do,” said Hecker, who obtained his degree through the University of Phoenix.

More than 4.6 million students nationwide were enrolled in online courses in fall 2008, according to a report out this year by the Babson Survey Research Group and the Sloan Consortium. Full Story.  Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR

What do you think about the rapid increase of students pursuing online degrees? Is it something you’d be interested in?

Post Falls Park

POST FALLS - It’s time for the public to weigh in on how it wants parkland along the Spokane River at Post Falls developed.

The Bureau of Land Management owns 2.2 acres south of Maplewood Avenue just east of the Riverside Harbor subdivision that stretches to the river. The property was a former pump house site.

Under an agreement with Post Falls that was approved two years ago, the city will maintain and develop the property.

A workshop on the site will be held on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at City Hall to accept public comment on ideas for the property. More here. Brian Walker, CDA Press

What would you like to see done with this property?

NIC trustees hold special meeting Wednesday

Mike Patrick at the CDA Press reports: “The North Idaho College Board of Trustees will meet in executive session at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 28 in the Sherman Building President’s Conference Room. The purpose of the meeting falls under Idaho Code Section 67-2345(c), to discuss matters related to the acquisition of property not owned by a public agency.”

Some interesting comments follow.

Okay, then. Feel free to opine.

Tornado touches down in Montana

HELENA, Mont. — A rare tornado tore through a farmhouse and killed two people inside, leaving nothing but the house’s foundation and a few twisted vehicles as it swept through Montana’s remote and sparsely populated northeastern corner.

A teenage boy and a man in his 40s were killed on the farm when the tornado touched down Monday evening about 13 miles west of Reserve, Sheridan County Sheriff Patrick Ulrickson said. A 71-year-old woman was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Plentywood and will be transported to Billings, he said. More here.

Have you ever experienced a tornado?

More Bad News

Avista’s Idaho customers could see a 6.6 percent hike in their electric bills by Oct. 1, along with a corresponding 1.9 percent hike in natural gas rates.

The Spokane-based utility has reached a proposed rate settlement with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission staff, several of its large customers and Community Action Partnership Association, which provides utility assistance to low-income families. The settlement must still be reviewed by the three-member Public Utilities Commission, which has the final say on setting rates. Becky Kramer, SR. More here.


Parting Shot

Floaters beat the heat on the Spokane River above Barker Bridge on Sunday, July 25, 2010.

Stay cool this evening.

Wild Card/ Monday PM 7.26.10

So, DFO asked if I’ve been in training for my stint of blogsitting. “Of course,” I replied. My fingers are limber and I can make it from my desk to the coffee pot and back in under 30 seconds. Actually,  I’m not sure what “warming up in the bull pen” has to do with Hucks Online. Is he implying there’s a lot of bull to deal with around here?

Alas, day one of DFO’s neverending vacation concludes with the creak and the slam of the cooler door. Dave may be on vaction but…

~He knows when you are sleeping, He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodnes sake~

Just sayin’.


EOB: Hart cast deciding votes on tax rules

Idaho Rep. Phil Hart, who has big tax disputes pending over back state and federal income taxes, sat on a three-member legislative subcommittee this year that reviewed new state tax rules for all Idaho taxpayers, and he cast the deciding vote on two of them. Those included a new rule for how the state Tax Commission should handle settlements of more than $50,000 in income tax liability - at a time when Hart was facing an order to pay $53,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest. Hart never mentioned his case or declared a conflict of interest. More here/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise

Federal lawsuit filed over man tasered before bridge jump

The Spokane River roars  toward the Monroe Street Bridge

SPOKANE — A federal lawsuit will be filed Monday in the case of a suicidal man who fell to his death after he was tasered by Spokane Police.

On July 27, 2007, Joshua Levy perched himself on Downtown Spokane’s Monroe Street Bridge, where he stayed for 20 hours. Family members say Levy battled mental illness most of his life, and had been released from days Western State Hospital days prior.

Spokane Police closed the bridge and tried to negotiate with Levy to get him to safety. After 20 hours, they convinced him to step down off the ledge to urinate. In an attempt to disable him, officers deployed a taser at Levy, who was hit with one of two prongs. Fleeing from officers’ outreached hands, Levy jumped over the side of the bridge and fell to his death. Posted at More here.

Doubt if anyone is surpised by this. A tragedy for all concerned.

EOB: Judge partially dismisses Syringa lawsuit

A 4th District judge has issued his promised new ruling in the Syringa Networks lawsuit against the state of Idaho over the big contract for the Idaho Education Network, and it has a slightly different outcome from his last ruling: He’s dismissing most of the case against the state, though one count remains, as do the other defendants, Qwest and ENA. More here/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise

Fill in the Blank

The worst case of sunburn I ever had occurred while I was_______

EOB: BP protesters plan March on Boise, or MOB

Personal injury lawyers aren’t the only ones flocking to Boise for this Thursday’s Multidistrict Litigation Panel hearing on the BP oil spill. A group calling itself “” has secured permits for a protest outside the U.S. District Courthouse in Boise on Thursday, where its members plan to stage a “March On Boise,” or MOB, with the slogan, “Mad about BP? Join us! Let’s March On Boise.” More here/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise

Question: What makes you mad enough to march?

EOB: Why not to cut off a big truck

Leadfoots beware: The Idaho State Police plans to crack down on aggressive driving, from tailgating to quick lane changes to speeding, in or around trucks on I-90 through North Idaho all week. Sgt. Jim Eavenson of the Idaho State Police said 70 percent of crashes that involve both big trucks and cars are caused by the car. “The problem is, when cars and trucks collide, the cars usually lose,” he said. Many motorists don’t realize that big trucks have blind spots and can’t stop as quickly as cars, so it’s not safe to cut them off or dart in front of them. The ISP’s “Targeting Aggressive Cars and Trucks Program,” or TACT, already has run enforcement pushes in the Boise and Pocatello areas; the Coeur d’Alene area is up this week, through Saturday. More here/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise

Question: Who’s worse, auto drivers or semi drivers?

DS Girl’s return may anger Palin

The Griffin family of Fox’s “Family Guy” watch TV together in an episode of the animated TV comedy.

The Hollywood Reporter says, “Family Guy will likely bring back a character that made headlines for angering Sarah Palin.

Creator Seth MacFarlane told Comic-Con audiences that “Down Syndrome Girl” would likely make a return to the show and even sang the character’s theme song live to the San Diego crowd.

“My guess is that at some point we will [bring her back],” MacFarlane said, “despite all the Palin business.”

Added writer Mark Hentemann: “I wrote that episode; This season I decided I’d even things out and write something that would offend smart people.” James Hibberd More here.

Do you watch Family Guy?

Pool parties and golf: Where’s the Justice?

CBS  With a $13 trillion debt, why is the Department of Justice spending money on parties and rollercoaster rides rather than investigating crime, drug cartels, prosecuting terrorists?

Untold millions of your tax dollars are paying for recreation in the name of crime prevention: pool parties, rollercoaster rides, and police donut-eating contests. The idea is that fun activities keep kids out of trouble, build self-esteem and prevent crime.

CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports the problem is the money comes from the Department of Justice - which doesn’t even have enough resources to keep up on analyzing foreign intelligence. Full story.

Trying to see the link between recreation and crime prevention. Perhaps you can help?

EOB: SupCourt raps out-of-state sex offender

The Idaho Supreme Court has unanimously rejected an appeal from a Kootenai County man whose 1984 rape conviction in Washington required him to register as a sex offender when he moved to Idaho, even though Idahoans don’t have to register unless their sex offenses were on or after July 1, 1993. More here/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise

High Noon: End of the road

Lance Armstrong finished nearly 40 minutes behind winner Alberto Contador.

PARIS – Lance Armstrong didn’t want to go out this way.

In his final Tour de France, the seven-time champion popped a tire, crashed and struggled up the mountains. Worse, he appears to be the target of a U.S. federal investigation into doping and fraud allegations while a rider on the US Postal team.

One Tour too many? Maybe.

Still, he maintained he had no regrets despite the ignominious ending of No. 13 – nearly 40 minutes behind the leader, former teammate and rival Alberto Contador.

In addition, Armstrong faces accusations of doping by former teammate Floyd Landis. Do you think Armstrong used performance enhancing substances?

Bad News


NAMPA, Idaho (AP) — State health officials say Idaho’s 2009 suicide rate was 22 percent higher than the previous year.

Governor’s Council on Suicide Prevention chairwoman Katie Garrett says the poor economy is a factor in the increase from 251 suicides in 2008 to 307 last year.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that Idaho has consistently ranked high for suicide rate and is the only state without its own suicide prevention hotline. According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, calls to a national suicide hotline from Idaho have increased from 1,473 in 2006 to 3,633 in 2009. Posted at

Why doesn’t Idaho have a suicide prevention hotline?

Let them expire


WASHINGTON – As the White House geared up for a fight to end controversial tax cuts of the last administration, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Sunday that allowing the expiration of those targeted at wealthy Americans was “the responsible thing to do” and would not deter economic growth.

The president’s plan would end tax cuts for only 2 percent or 3 percent of the highest-earning Americans, Geithner said, while sending an important message to the world about commitment to fiscal austerity. Full story.


EOB: ‘Everyone who’s anyone’ headed to Boise?

The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog reports that “everyone who’s anyone in the world of personal injury and product liability lawyering is making their way to Boise,” for this Thursday’s Multidistrict Litigation Panel hearing on litigation over the BP oil spill. “Why Boise, you may be asking?” the WSJ asks. “The mountain town more than 2,000 miles away from the oily Gulf shores just happened to be next up on the roving panel’s calendar of randomly selected venues for its regular hearings. What the town lacks in accommodations (‘It doesn’t even have a five-star hotel,’ one Gulf attorney complained) it makes up for in seafood; its oysters come from oil-free Washington State.” More here/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise

Secondhand stores thrive

Erica McMullen shops at Clothes Mentor in Edina, Minn. Entrepreneurs, thrift stores and national chains are battling over the growing market for used goods

MINNEAPOLIS — Motivated by tighter budgets and the joys of recycling, a new breed of shopper is taking the stigma out of buying secondhand. As many retailers are reporting slower traffic and sinking sales, secondhand stores are thriving.  More.  Jackie Crosby, Minneapolis Star Tribune

What’s your favorite thrift store and why?

Swim or Float

Exposed boulders at Flora Rapids on the Spokane River create an obstacle for river floaters below the Barker Bridge on Sunday.  The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office has adapted a zero-tolerance policy regarding its mandatory life jacket usage law.

Hundreds of people had fun floating down the Spokane River Sunday, but 45 probably didn’t.

Sheriff’s Deputy Wade Nelson said he and two other marine enforcement officers issued about 45 citations for failure to wear life jackets.

The standard penalty is a $76 fine if violators don’t try to get away when a deputy on the riverbank orders them to come ashore. More.

Where’s your favorite place to swim?

  • Lake
  • River
  • Ocean
  • Swimming Pool
  • Other

Obama urges liberals to “keep up the fight”

President Barack Obama signs emergency unemployment benefits legislation Thursday

LAS VEGAS – President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders sought to soothe relations with the party’s disgruntled left wing Saturday in advance of elections in which Republican gains could upend the White House agenda.

“Change hasn’t come fast enough for too many Americans. I know that,” Obama said in a surprise video appearance to liberal activists and bloggers at Las Vegas convention. “I know it hasn’t come fast for many of you who fought so hard during the election.” In a year when Democrats are expected to lose seats in Congress, party leaders have grown increasingly concerned with malaise running through the left wing. More here.   Michael R. Blood, AP Political Writer

Do you agree that there’s “malaise running through the left wing”? If so, what’s the cause?

No more Fluoride for you

The Sandpoint City Council has voted to quit adding fluoride to the municipal water system that also serves communities from Kootenai to Dover.

The 4-2 vote last week followed comments by more than a dozen people arguing against fluoridation at the meeting. Some who spoke out against fluoridation said they were being medicated against their will, the Bonner Daily Bee reported.

Fluoridation: yay or nay?

No pro-tech high school

HBO daily poll voters said No to a new pro-tech school on the Rathdrum Prairie with 60% (108) saying nada and 37% (67) saying yep. 3% said “Dunno.”

And that’s it for the daily poll until DFO returns.

Idaho Weekend Round Up

Hope they don’t choke on air… DFO SR Handle Extra

Life on the move but rarely apart: If Fred Mitchell hadn’t been at the Greyhound bus station in Sioux Falls, S.D., in the summer of 1944, he might never have met the love of his life. Cindy Hval, SR Handle Extra

Evidence of logging past: Logging in North Idaho has brought jobs and a living wage for more than 100 years. There are still lumber mills scattered around the northern counties, but the remains and tangible evidence of early day logging is hard to find. Mike Brodwater, Handle Extra

Whitecaps State Champs: The Bayview Whitecaps came home Monday with the Idaho state championship for 15-and-under Babe Ruth baseball. Herb Huseland, Handle Extra

Business News: Nils Rosdahl, Handle Extra

Benefit for a charitable heart: If you’re the type of person who’s a bit squeamish, you may want to put down your toast right now. Patrick Jacobs, Handle Extra

Tapping Hot Water

Workers at U.S. Geothermal Inc.’s Raft River power plant in Southern Idaho monitor flows from one of the plant’s hot water wells. The plant is Idaho’s first commercial geothermal power plant.

BOISE – Idaho’s in hot water – and that could be good for the state’s schools.

There’s been a run on geothermal leases on state lands – 80 applications in the past month and a half – and now Idaho’s retooling its geothermal lease rules in hopes of eventually making millions for schools, the main beneficiary of earnings from the state’s endowment lands.

Two North Idaho lawmakers laid the groundwork for this two years ago with legislation to promote all kinds of alternate energy development on state endowment lands, from wind on the plains to biomass in the forests. Full story. Betsy Z.  Russell, Spokesman Review

Wild Card/Weekend — 7.24-25.10

I’ll post this final Wild Card before officially kicking back to begin my two-week vacation. Cindy will be at the controls of Huckleberries Online beginning Monday. Dunno what she’ll have up her sleeve. But I do know she knows how to keep you guys in line. I’m looking forward to long walks along the waterfront during daylight hours that I’m normally behind the desk, feeding the insatiable maw of Huckleberries Online. I might even take a dip or two. Behave yourselves … I’ll be back before you know it …

GOP: Allred Deceptive Re: Birth Place

Idaho Democrat Gubernatorial Candidate Keith Allred has been attempting to mislead the public into believing that he is a native Idahoan. According to Project Vote Smart and the Idaho Statesman Candidate survey, Allred answered that he was born in Twin Falls when in fact Keith Allred was actually born in Redondo Beach, California. “It is disingenuous of Keith Allred to fill out candidate surveys claiming that he was born in Twin Falls and implying that he is a native Idahoan when in fact he was born in California,” stated Jonathan Parker, Idaho Republican Party Executive Director/Idaho Conservative Blogger. More here

Question: Is the term “native Idahoan” meant for only someone who was born here?

Hart To Seek End Of State Income Tax

The northern Idaho lawmaker at the center of a House ethics investigation hopes to introduce legislation next year that would eliminate the state income tax on wages and salaries. Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, said his proposal would bring Idaho’s tax code back in line with what the income tax was originally intended to be: a tax on business and investment profits, rather than on wages. “This issue is fundamental to Idaho’s (economic) revitalization,” Hart said. “I don’t think our economy is going to recover until we figure out how to bring jobs back from overseas. We can’t do anything about that at the state level, but we can make Idaho more attractive than the other 49 states”/William Spence, SR. More here.

Question: What do you make of plans by embattled Rep. Phil Hart to introduce legislation to eliminate the state income tax?

APhoto Of The Day — 7.24.10

Vanessa Tahbone of Nome, Alaska, grimaces while competing against Nicole Colbert of Napakiak, Alaska, during the Ear Pull event at the 49th Annual World Eskimo-Indian Olympics 2010 Games Friday afternoon in Fairbanks, Alaska. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Eric Engman)

Hilerie: Tired Of Bad Pet Owners

HilerieS: I understand pitbulls have a bad wrap. Why are there so many bad pitbull owners? I see a few every day at Liberty Park. Today was no exception while walking the dogs. People are camped out for the parade tomorrow. One pitbull owner had no control over his dog. He was lunging toward us and our dogs. I’m tired of bad pet owners, especially bad pitbull owners.

Question: About half the calls I hear on the police scanner re: dogs behave badly involve pitbulls. Yet, owners who love pitbulls come out of the woodwork to fight for their pets whenever a town considers banning the dogs, as CdA has in the past. Would you like to see a ban on pitbulls in your community?

Outside Mag: Boise No. 1 U.S. Town

Item: Outside magazine says Boise is the No. 1 town in U.S./Idaho Statesman

More Info: In its August issue, the magazine names Boise the overall winner (and top West city) in its 2010 Best Towns survey. The annual list was compiled using the following criteria: quality of sporting life, cultural vibrancy, resiliency of economy and stability of housing market. Carbondale,Colo., finished second in the West.

Question: Would you rather live in Boise or where you live now?

Labrador Replies To Minnick’s Reply

Item: Labrador replies to Minnick’s reply on finance reform; Minnick’s manager calls truce/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman

More Info: The tit-for-tat over Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick’s vote for the new finance reform appears to be coming to a close — at least for the weekend. The final word looks to be a press release from GOP challenger Raul Labrador with a headline reading, “We can trade petty salvos, or we can engage in adult discussion.” Labrador’s statement includes this sharp line: “We could respond in kind to Mr. Minnick’s misinformed attacks by talking about his history of tax delinquency or his business bankruptcy, but I don’t think Idahoans want that kind of campaign. I sure don’t.” Minnick was late paying property taxes on four parcels in Ada County in 2001 and 2002.

Question: How nasty do you expect the 1st Congressional District race to become this fall?

CPD Blue Eye Cameras For Waterfront

Item: Big brother may be watching: Cd’A police consider camera for Independence Point surveillance/David Cole, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Coeur d’Alene police are looking at placing a surveillance camera at Independence Point, enabling officers to view a live video stream of the popular spot. The camera, if placed, would be accessible to police officers through their patrol cars using mobile data terminals, or through a stand-alone computer at the police station, said Coeur d’Alene police spokeswoman Sgt. Christie Wood.

  • Hux Poll: 60 of 83 respondents (72.3%) to a secondary poll Friday said they were comfortable w/having surveillance cameras at Independence Point. Full results here.

Question: Have the Coeur d’Alene police done a good job this summer keeping a lid on crime and hooliganism in downtown Coeur d’Alene and along the waterfront this summer?

Signe: Blogger Sez

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Dennis: The Raw Edge Of Blogging

I’m going to close tonight by drawing your attention to a poignant post that Boisean Dennis Mansfield made today. It addresses the nasty issue of, well, nastiness in the blogosphere. It spotlights the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s legal attack on Idaho blogger Clayton Cramer and a vicious attack on Dennis’ dead son, Nate, on Dennis’ blog. And then expands back to discuss a coffee meeting that he had with Pastor Tim Remington and me (picture: Tim, left, & me) during his last visit to Coeur d’Alene. Then nasty comment about his son left Dennis shaken and wondering: “Should the blogosphere be so tightly controlled that opinions are legally crushed and unfavorable comments all too easily eliminated when the content fails to meet your or my approval?” Dennis’ post hits home. I have dealt with more than my share of nastiness in my 6 1/2 years at the controls of Hucks Online. I enjoy the calm on the blog today. But I’m aware I must remain vigilant to keep it that way.

Question: Have you ever been driven from a blog by a nasty attack against you? Or by the pure viciousness of the blog posts or commentary?

P.S. Grand Theft Bear — 7.23.10

This photo provided by Ben Story shows a  bear inside Story’s car early this morning in Larkspur, Colo. Story said the  bear got into his empty car, honked the horn and sent it rolling into a thicket with the  bear  inside. Ben Story said he and his family were asleep in their Larkspur home, 30 miles south of Denver, during the joyride early Friday. The teen said the  bear got into the car through an unlocked door and knocked the shifter into neutral, which sent it rolling backward 125 feet. Story thinks the door slammed shut when the car jolted to a stop, trapping the  bear inside. The  bear trashed the inside of the car. Sheriff’s deputies released the  bear using a rope to open the door. (AP Photo/Ben Story)

TGIF Wild Card — 7.23.10

On Monday, I’ll be bailing on you for the next 2 weeks, to enjoy this viewtiful region in which we live while the sun shines. Cindy’s warming up in the bullpen to fill in, as she does so capably. You can miss me — or not — on Monday & beyond. Today, however, I’m still here. And the topics are fairly decent. So, I’ll post the Wild Card — and go looking for more stuff …

Adam: Review-Journal Is A Bully

The Cramer case does suggest that there maybe a need for a national blogging association to focus on this narrow issue of fair use. Bloggers across the spectrum need to come up with a solid definition of fair use and then be prepared to defend the rights to fair use through a sort of legal defense network. The fact of the matter is that the Review-Journal is nothing more than a bully. It’s going after these websites because they KNOW that most of these folks don’t have the money to defend a lawsuit.  The bigger media blogs like Hot Air (owned by Townhall), Red State (owned by Eagle Publications) and of course, Daily Kos are safe. But where are small and medium sized blogs to go for protection/Adam’s Blog. More here.

Question: Do you think bloggers should band together in some way to stand up to legal attacks like the one Clayton Cramer is facing at the hands of the Las Vegas Review-Journal?

PM Headlines — 7.23.10

A United States Air Force Thunderbird, piloted by Maj. Sean Gustafson, prepares to separate from the boom of a KC-135 air refueling tanker after refueling enroute to Spokane Thursday. Asia Hege’s SR story here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

APhoto Of The Day — 7.23.10

Mexican sewer  diver Julio Camara goes down on a cage for a dive at the city’s drainage system plant, on the outskirts of  Mexico City on Tuesday. Camara, who makes less than US $500 a month diving in the city’s  sewage system clearing blockages and repairing infrastructure, says he is the only  sewage  diver in the Mexican capital, from where at least 1000 tons of rubbish are extracted per month. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Carlos Jasso)

Top Cutline:

  • 1. One No. 1, extra pickles. Two No. 2s, heavy on the special sauce. Catch of the Day, fries no tartar. Julio finds himself in the thick of the lunch rush yet again — Kevin Taylor.
  • 2. (tie) In the birth of a CAVE’r, DFO finally displays the origin of — Soaf; and: I’m going in…another day blurking at — Fat Lady Sings.
  • Sewer diver Julio Camera sings the Paul Simon song, “Me es Julio down in the sewage pit” — Gary D. Rhodes.
  • HM: Poolman, Charlies, & everyone else. Another great day for cutlines.

Scanner Traffic/PM — 7.23.10

  • 5:24 p.m. A wallet has been found near the Fort Sherman playground @ City Park.
  • 5:17 p.m. Passerby is suspicious re: an adult male he saw alone in back seat w/little girl @ Seltice Way & Seeley/Post Falls.
  • 5:01 p.m. Caller reports that a male is sleeping in a Bayview floathouse that shouldn’t be.
  • 4:57 p.m. Possible structure fire @ 3307 N. Pinehill Place/CdA.
  • 4:49 p.m. Female reports that a male exposed himself @ Rude & Prairie/Hayden.
  • 4:44 p.m. Male reports that his roommate has threatened to shoot him if he didn’t leave premises.
  • 4:15 p.m. Red light is out in the traffic light @ 15th & Sherman/CdA.
  • 3:51 p.m. 3 motorcycles are racing northward on 15th/CdA from Best.
  • 3:49 p.m. A male in silver shorts w/a black T-shirt that sez either Coca Cola or Nike is hitting up residents for money for his new career in 1600 block of Front/CdA.
  • More below

Pizza Porn: Smoke Salmon/Artichoke

On his Facebook page, OrangeTV published this late this morning. Which was OK. Because my wife brought me a Subway sandwich with all the fixings. A saw it for the first time a few minutes ago. I don’t think I’m crazy about smoked salmon on pizza (by Pepe Caldo Pizzaria). But the whole idea of pizza made my stomach rumble. Darn you again, OTV.

Question: What’s your favorite pizza topping?

Sis: Idaho Republicans Are Regressive

Idaho Republicans seek salvation through their nostalgic worship of a mythological perspective of the founding of this country carefully omitting any inconvenient historical fact or rationale which led to the demise of whatever constitutional virtue they seem to be extolling. In other words they’re grasping at anachronisms as solutions for this country’s problems. And using “regressive” in response to the question on repealing the seventeenth amendment is a perfect example. The seventeenth amendment was championed by Idaho’s popular progressive Senator William Borah (R-ID)/Sisyphus, 43rd State Blues. More here.

Question: What was present at the founding of our country that you wish was still present now?

NIdaho Blogs: A Sun-Kissed Meadow

This is the kind of wonderful photo that happens when Live, Love, Laugh, Hope and her husband go for a ride as the sun is going down the mountain. More photos here.

Minnick Unsure Re: Tea Party Caucus

Only a few days after rejecting an endorsement from the Tea Party Express, one of the many national voices of the Tea Party movement, Rep. Walt Minnick says is he unsure if he will join the newly-formed Tea Party Caucus in Congress.  The caucus is the work of Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, who believes the group will help legislators work more closely with anti-big government advocates in the movement.  Bachmann said the caucus will not serve as the head of the Tea Party movement and that the group of legislators in the caucus will focus on fiscal responsibility in government/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: At this point, don’t you think it’s suspect that Congressman Walt Minnick is unsure whether or not to join the Tea Party Caucus? Is he simply being a conservative tease?

BonnerCo R’s Still Want To ‘Celebrate’

The letters to the editor of the Bonner County Bee reveals that the Bonner County Republican Central Committee continues to be tone deaf to the controversy it has stirred with its stand against the county fair’s “fiesta” theme this year. As you know, Bonner County Republicans want to use the word “celebrate” instead of “fiesta” to register their support for new immigration laws in Arizona. Also, they have asked the Arizona governor for an Arizona license plate to post at their booth. Their stand against the word “fiesta” triggered national indignation, including a column by Bee Publisher David Keyes. In responding to Keyes in a letter to the editor, BCRCC rep Chalon Harris of Hope writes: “I explained the Bonner County Republican Central Committee is not racist, and we did not criticize the Fair Board. We merely approved the use of the word “celebrate” on our fair booth. The Fair Board has never disallowed using synonyms in booth decorations.” You can read the rest here. You can see the “offensive” fair “fiesta” poster here.


For The Birds

With the ocean surf near the Cocoa Beach Pier being safe to enjoy people came to the beach today Friday, as Tropical Depression Bonnie churns up the waters off the Cocoa Beach, Fla. While on the beach Melissa Colyer, 17 from Jackson, Mo. has a collection of birds trying to get the bird seed she was trying to hand out. (AP Photo/Florida Today, Michael R. Brown)

Bloggers Squeamish About Race, Too

The headlines cited above ( “Are Tea Parties Racist?” and “Is the Tea Party Movement Racist?” and “But Isn’t the Tea Party Movement Racist?“), though, were not from daily newspapers. They were from the blogosphere, where the standards of journalism are changing, where writers often seem more vested in arriving at a conclusion. The blogosphere is not burdened with the institutional voice of mainstream journalism. It is a place where everyone can have a voice and a valid opinion. And yet that same squeamishness about race is evident in the Fifth Estate’s coverage of the tea party/Poynter Online. More here

Question: Do you think Hucks Online and the North Idaho blogosphere is squeamish when it comes to discussion about race?

Judge: Cheerleading Isn’t A Sport

Item: Judge: Competitive cheerleading is not an official college sport/New York Times

More Info: Competitive cheerleading is not an official sport that colleges can use to meet gender-equity requirements, a federal judge ruled Wednesday in ordering Quinnipiac University to keep its women’s volleyball team. The parties in the case said it was the first time the issue had been decided by a judge. Several volleyball players and their coach sued Quinnipiac, in Hamden, Conn., after it announced in March 2009 that it would eliminate the team for budgetary reasons and replace it with a competitive cheer squad

Question: Do you consider cheerleading to be a sport?

Edit: Hayden Corridor Source Of Pride

I agree with the editorial in the Coeur d’Alene Press today in which the writer (M.E. Mike Patrick) remarks that the $4.5 million upgrade to Hayden’s portion of Government Way is a source of pride — whether or not it triggers economic revival. Quoth Patrick: ” … We would like to point out that despite the hefty investment, there isn’t a better property-tax bargain around. Government Way in Hayden is only a snapshot; the overall property-tax situation for all Hayden residents is the bigger picture.” I disagree, however, with the editorial premise that the jury is still out re: whether the corridor has had an economic impact. Not only does Hayden now have an identifiable center of town now, but it also has new, attractive business buildings lining the corridor, including the retrofitted City Hall. You can read the editorial here.

Question: Was the $4.5 million upgrade to Hayden’s part of Government Way worth it?

INW Headlines — 7.23.10

A Tire Hogs team member grabs the back legs of a pig during the pig wrestling event at the recent Blaine County Fair in Chinook, Mont. (AP Photo/Havre Daily News, Nikki Carlson)

High Noon: That’s Some Kitty Cat

Jamie Lynn Morgan, social networker extraordinaire, had one of those Only In North Idaho moments while sitting on her porch this week. Seems a raccoon emerged from the trees. Only her husband, Tom, thought it was one of neighborhood cats, Jamie noted via Twitter. More from Jamie’s tweet: “Tom knows the difference. Just surprised to see it come out of the trees in front of the house. here I am doing the whole ‘here kitty kitty.’ Turns out to be a crazy $#* raccoon.”

Question: When did you last have an urban encounter with one of the critters of our forest?

Christa: Will CdA Back Prairie School?

Christa Hazel: I completely agree a technical program would be beneficial. But I keep looking at this in the same light as I would my own home: why add on a room to my house when the water heater needs to be fixed? That’s essentially what is happening here in the CdA school district. I understand why the business community is supportive but I wonder if they have an accurate assessment of our district needs. If they were told upfront that there are millions of dollars in improvements needed for health & safety related issues but instead the district decided to add a program in a building outside the #271 boundaries, would they be as supportive

Question: Christa raises an interesting side issue here. Will voters in the Coeur d’Alene School District back a pro-tech campus on the Rathdrum Prairie?

Julyamsh Kicks Off Today

On her Facebook page, Kerri Thoreson posts an album of photos from last year’s Julyamsh celebration by the Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe at the Greyhound Park in Post Falls, including the one above. Julyamsh begins today. Chief Allan welcomes us to Julyamsh here.

Question: Have you ever attended Julyamsh?

HBO Poll: Minnick’s Tea Party Flirtation

  • Thursday Poll: You Berry Pickers aren’t sure what impact Walt Minnick’s flirtation with the Tea Party Express had on his candidacy. 50 of 132 respondents (37.9%) said it had no impact. By identical counts of 38 of 132 (28.8% each), you said that the Minnick’s endorsement and then rejection of the Tea Party Express endorsement helped him and hurt him. 6 of 132 (4.5%) were undecided.
  • Weekend Poll: Is this the time to ask voters for tax money to build a pro-tech high school on the Rathdrum Prairie?

Scanner Traffic/AM — 7.23.10

  • 11:30 a.m. Wells Fargo/Post Falls reports a male in a blue Honda Protege punched the front door of the bank because he was upset about something.
  • 11:26 a.m. A hatchback is traveling along the local interstate w/small kids in the back seat who aren’t in car seats and seatbelts.
  • 11:10 a.m. Crash victims wants to talk to an officer re: another driver who refuses to pay for his car repairs after hitting him this week on Ramsey.
  • 10:38 a.m. Caller, from Mountain West Bank/Post Falls, wants to see PFPD Blue re: a motorcyclist who was tailgating him before turning off on Bay.
  • 10:31 a.m. E/b signals are not recycling @ Government Way & Dalton.
  • 10:08 a.m. Patrick reports he loaned his vehicle to Rebecca, and she hasn’t returned it.
  • 9:16 a.m. Resident in 6100 block of Davenport reports an older dog lying on his driveway appears to be sick.
  • 8:53 a.m. Traffic lights are blinking red in all directions @ H95 & Neider/CdA.
  • 8:49 a.m. Arnold doesn’t want his golden retriever.
  • 8:20 a.m. Kirk, @ Lakeland High office, wants help w/a juvenile problem.
  • 8:24 a.m. EMT reports from ambulance he’s bringing in a female who suffered injuries to her side and had to be extricated from a T-bone accident this morning.

Is Tech-Ed Campus Truly Win-Win?

RE: Coeur d’Alene Press op-ed: Kootenai Technical Education Campus is win-win situation/Hazel Bauman, Jerry Keane, Mary Ann Ranells

Christa Hazel: It’s difficult for me to categorize KTEC as a “Win-Win” when 1) there are several schools in our district with no HVAC or 25% recycled fume air; 2) my school principal has warned there isn’t enough money for paper or to fix our copier so we may not have homework next year (seriously); 3) the Long Range Planning Committee for the dist…rict has identified 42 million dollars of listed projects that have been waiting for years to be addressed. While KTEC is a good idea, I don’t understand why NOW is the right time to move forward expanding programs when our existing buildings need improvement. And for that reason, I will be voting no on the Aug 24 levy. Whether you vote yes or no, please make a point to participate in the upcoming levy election.

Question: Do you view the Kootenai Technical Education Campus being pushed by the local school districts superintendents in the Press op-ed piece a win-win in these tough economic times, too?

Newscaster Daniel Schorr, 93, RIP

Veteran reporter and commentator  Daniel  Schorr sits at the microphone in the studios of National Public Radio in Washington in this October 2005 AP file photo. Schorr, the last of Edward R. Murrow’s legendary CBS team still fully active in journalism, has died at age 93. At the time this photo was taken he was interpreting national and international events as senior news analyst for NPR. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Question: Which old-time newscaster do you miss most? Why?

Robb Akey Bobblehead Day Coming

Via Twitter, from Idaho Nation: “Special edition Robb Akey bobbleheads will be given away at one football game this year! You’re Gonna Love It!”

Question: Do you want a Robb Akey bobblehead?

Foster Returns Fire To Labrador Dig

Thursday afternoon at 5:30, 1st District Republican congressional nominee Raul Labrador issued a three-page news release blasting Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick’s June 30 vote for the financial reform law signed by the president Wednesday. Three hours later, Minnick campaign manager John Foster responded in kind, in an e-mail to reporters with the subject line “Correcting Raul’s financial illiteracy, plagiarism.” Labrador’s release was posted here at Idaho Politics in full at 6 p.m. Thursday/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What do you make of this dust-up over finance reform?

Idaho Leads US In Public Job Cuts

Idaho reduced state jobs by 6.9 percent between June 2009 and June 2010, leading the nation in state government employment cuts, says the Rockefeller Institute of Government. Relying on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released this week, the Rockefeller Institute says 28 states cut state employment, while 18 added state jobs. Idaho was easily the biggest job trimmer, trailed by Hawaii, which cut 4.5 percent of state jobs; Connecticut and Wisconsin, down 4.2 percent; Arizona, down 3.8 percent; Vermont, down 3 percent; and California, down 2.7 percent. For the same period, Idaho local government, including public schools, added jobs, growing 2.7 percent. Private employment was down 0.8 in Idaho from June 2009 to June 2010, according to the institute/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What do you make of the state cutting its work force by 6.9% while local governments, including schools, added jobs by 2.7%?

Slice: Something Doesn’t Smell Right

Jerry Harrison (a she) and another retired teacher were having lunch at NorthTown. A cluster of teenage boys sat not far away. The lads were casually dressed in sports togs, including basketball-esque tops with the big arm-holes. “They seemed to be enjoying one another’s company,” said Harrison. Then something unexpected happened. “Someone took out a stick of deodorant, applied it generously, and then passed it around the table for everyone to use. Which they did.” This left Harrison wondering: “Only in Spokane?”/Paul Turner, SR Slice. More here.

Question: Have you seen teen boys do something this gross or worse?

Sis: Las Vegas Paper Suit Frightening

Re: Clayton Cramer shuts down blog over Las Vegas Review-Journal lawsuit/Huckleberries Online

Sisyphus: That’s pretty damn frightening and appears somewhat abusive. And its self defeating. People will refrain from using the source. Cramer actually sent them traffic. But this will have a horribly detrimental chilling effect on disseminating info on the tubes.

DFO: I agree with Sisyphus. Dunno what got under the saddle of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. But it obviously doesn’t realize that Cramer was doing it a favor by driving traffic to its online Web site. Almost all the online papers and radio Web sites appreciate the links that Huckleberries provides as a result of the additional traffic. The Las Vegas Review-Journal is stuck in 20th century thinking and doesn’t understand the importance of blogs in the emerging media. Amazingly, the Review-Journal has won Freedom of the Press awards from the Nevada Press Association.

AM: Don’t Fence Me In — 7.23.10

On his Facebook page, SR photog Jesse Tinsley writes: “We waited for this deer to cross a very rural highway in Lincoln County today. The fence keeps the cows in, but not deer.”

Independence Point Security Cameras?

It is a busy time at Independence Point as people hit the beach to play in the water and soak up the sun.  Keeping the area safe is also an issue.  Police are exploring the idea of putting up surveillance cameras for extra security.  Not everyone is happy with the idea. KREM 2’s North Idaho reporter Dawn Crawley explains why here.

Austin: A Multi-Lingual Boardwalk?

John Austin: I had a remarkable exerience today while walking around the Boardward at the Resort. I walked the entire Boardwalk without noting a single spoken word of English. A large group of Japanese tourists were engaged in their native language while another larger group spoke only in Spanish. I heard other languages I could not identify but they certainly were not English. At one point, I had to look at the lakefront landmarks nearby to ensure that I was where I thought I was. At once I was reminded why I have a hard time leaving our paradise to vacation anywhere else, when so many come so far to experience it

DFO: Last week, Mrs. O and I had a similar experience as John describes above. About half the people on our usual walk along the waterfront were speaking Russian or a Middle Eastern dialect. I enjoyed the international flavor and, indeed, felt lucky to live here.

Question: Have you had a similar experience as the ones described above?

Allred: Abortion Not Proper Birth Control

Allred tried to toe the line between the partisan divide on some policy issues.  When asked about civil unions for gays and lesbians, he said that their rights should be honored and protected, but didn’t call for overturning the state’s constitutional amendment against same sex marriage.  On abortion, he said the practice isn’t an appropriate form of birth control, but that it should be allowed in rare instances, including rape, incest, and threat to a woman’s health. The Democratic candidate levied some attacks at the Republican Party and at the governor.  He said the GOP platform took party extremism to whole new levels and that some of its proposals, including a repeal of the 17th Amendment and transition back to using gold and silver, ideas that would take Idaho 100 years into the past/Brad Iverson-Long, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Allred’s approach to social issues?

Nonini Working On Immigration Law

One state lawmaker wants to bring Arizona’s new illegal immigration laws that have sparked a federal lawsuit north to Idaho.  Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, is working with other north Idaho lawmakers on adapting the Arizona laws to Idaho. “It’s pretty much the Arizona bill that’s raised all this controversy, but I think it’s a good bill obviously,” Nonini told  “If the federal government isn’t going to go out and enforce their own policies, as they’re not in Arizona, then the states sure need to defend their borders.” The proposed laws would allow police to check the citizenship of anyone they think might be in the country illegally if they have been detained for another possible offense.  The legislation also allows citizens to sue cities and counties for not enforcing federal immigration laws/Brad Iverson-Long, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Is the Idaho Legislature ready to pass stronger laws against illegal immigration?

Ramirez: Extremist Without Experience?

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

OOST: Another Reason To Love Idaho

Out-of-Stater Tater: In a semi-related note, this thread reminded me of a “Boot Fence” I saw outside Malad once. It was a barbed-wire fence alongside the road, and every post for maybe a mile or two had a different cowboy boot over the top of it. After 100 or more fenceposts, it became clear it was kind of similar to the above-described phenomenon. A sort of anonymous, spontaneous, community-created piece of art. Wish I had a photo - it was kind of cool in a rural, western sort of way. Just one of the many things that make me smile and remember why I love Idaho.

Question: What about the Gem State makes you smile and remember why you love Idaho?

Parting Shot — 7.22.10

High above the Idaho Vietnam memorial and the U.S. Flag in Idaho Falls Freeman Park the Navy’s Blue Angels perform one of their maneuvers this afternoon. In preparation for the airshow Saturday and Sunday the pilots have been becoming familiar with the landmarks and topography of the area around Idaho Falls and finalizing their flight plans. (AP Photo/The Idaho Post-Register, Robert Bower)

Question: Do you fly a flag at your house on special days, like the 4th of July?

Wild Card/Thursday — 7.22.10

Dunno if you saw my note atop Scanner Traffic or not tonight. But the Coeur d’Alene Police Department has changed its approach and format for the department’s daily activities report. I posted a link to the report in Scanner Traffic. And I’ll post another here. Check it out and tell Huckleberries — and Sgt. Christie Wood — what you think of the change. Now, to replay the Wild Card and get out of here …

Cramer Shuts Down Blog Over Suit

Clayton Cramer has a post up announcing he’s shutting down his blog permanently. (Link here.) He says it’s because he was sued for copyright infringement from a newspaper web site, even though he linked back to the site and normally followed Fair Use guidelines. (Link here.)  It’s a cautionary tale for all bloggers. I’ve been following Clayton for quite a while, back in the days when he was Southern Idaho’s most-read blogger (I think he’s still the 2nd most read in the area), and while I didn’t always agree with him, I did like his writing. I think it’s fair to say that he’s the only Idaho blogger whose work has been cited in a couple of recent SCOTUS decisions/Bubblehead, The Stupid Shall Be Punished.

Question: What do you make of this development in Idaho cyberspace?

PM Headlines — 7.22.10

Here’s one of the photos from Cecil Cardinal’s Summer Splash — yes, the North Idaho College mascot is named Cecil and he has a Facebook page. You can see more of them here.

APhoto Of The Day — 7.22.10

Garry Hull of Anchorage, Alaska judges the men’s Toe Kick finals during the 49th annual World  Eskimo-Indian Olympics 2010 Games Wednesday in Fairbanks, Alaska. Competition continues through Saturday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Eric Engman)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Proving, once and for all, that soccer is not the worlds most boring sport — Bayview Bob.
  • 2. White men can’t jump — Phaedrus.

Scanner Traffic/PM — 7.22.10

Check out the new format and information provided by the Coeur d’Alene police in their new daily activity report here. And let us (& Sgt. Christie Wood) know what you think of it.

  • 5:36 p.m. A disgruntled male is walking in parking lot @ Tomato Street after being kicked out of Perkins, across Appleway, for arguing w/his girlfriend.
  • 5:29 p.m. Large chunks of carpet are lying on I-90 near Spokane Street/Post Falls exit.
  • 5:13 p.m. Sandra, from Silverwood, reports theft of bags from Ice Palace.
  • 4:51 p.m. Caller reports that 2 males w/baby in vehicle that just left Hayden Walgreens appear to be on drugs.
  • 4:32 p.m. Possible illegal burn @ Chesapeake Court & Maple/Hayden.
  • 4:20 p.m. A black Suburban that turned e/b on Boekle was playing “chicken” w/a semi on H95, swerving back and forth in front of it.
  • 4:11 p.m. 2 motorcyclists @ Huetter rest stop told caretaker they can do what they wanted to do & became combative.
  • 4:10 p.m. 5-vehicle, non-injury crash repoted at Clearwater & Riverbend/Post Falls.
  • Much more below

Letter: Cartoonist Should Apologize

In today’s SR letters page, Rich Yokel/Spokane Valley penned the following complaint re: the Wiley Miller Non Sequitur cartoon above: “I did not find the Non-Sequitur comic funny in the Tuesday (July 13) issue of the newspaper. I found it an offensive blasphemy. God does not have a wife, and when He rested, He saw all that He had made was very good, and it is blasphemous to make a joke that anyone criticize His work. The author should apologize to the Christians who normally enjoy The Spokesman-Review and refrain from creating cartoons of this nature.” (Click on cartoon to enlarge it.)

Question: What do you make of the cartoon?

Labrador: I Opted Out Of ‘Young Guns’

Republican congressional nominee Raul Labrador says he took a pass on joining the National Republican campaign committee’s program for promising young candidates, “Young Guns.” Labrador was absent from Wednesday’s list of 33 new ‘Young Guns’ released by the NRCC. His campaign coordinator, China Gum, had this reply Thursday: “People will recognize who truly has the qualifications, background, values and ideals that resonate with the voters of the 1st District. And that’s Raul Labrador. The Democrats can try to make an issue out of this, but it was our decision to not join the Young Guns program”/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Should Labrador have opted out of the ‘Young Guns’?

Digger & Hard To Figure Dreams

Digger (via Facebook): I hate dreams where there’s a pressing emergency but it takes forever to figure out what you’re doing to fix it. I had a dream that a house was on fire, I tried calling but for some reason had my Sprint phone and no service, so someone let me borrow their iPhone but we both kept misdialing… the odd part? I was diali…ng the St. Maries Dispatch… 245-2555… odd that I’d incorperate that into my dream!

Question: Had any strange dreams lately?

Shoe Tree’s Gone, Bra Tree Lingers On

Shoes dangling among the pine cones surely detract from the natural ambiance of a cedar grove. But decorating things with cast-off clothing is not unheard of here in the Inland Northwest. There’s the bra tree up at Schweitzer, located within easy underwear-tossing distance from the Sunnyside Chairlift. There are the telephone poles alongside the highway to Ainsworth Hot Springs, north of Nelson, B.C., each sporting a necktie/Susan Drumheller, Idaho Conservation League. (AP file photo for illustrative purposes of Supermodel Gisele Bundchen, with Victoria’s Secret bra. More here.

Question: I didn’t know that there was a Bra Tree on Schweitzer Mountain. Did you?

Activists Protest BP Oil Spill

Activists covered in oil protest British Petroleum’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in Mexico City today. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)

Question: Have you ever been described as an activist in a media report?

Portlanders Can Rat Out Neighbors

You can now rat out your neighbors online for neglecting basic lawn care. The Portland Bureau of Development Services started the Tall Grass and Weed Complaint Pilot Project for neighbors to file online complaints. Currently, city codes mandate grass and weeds in lawn areas no more than 10 inches in height. BDS said last fall they had to make such complaints a lower priority within their budget, so neighbors submitting photos and information online helps streamline the process/KGW. More here.

Question: Do you have a neighbor whose messy yard deserves a visit from the local code officer?

Worley Resort To Host Nudist Confab

Item: Worley’s Sun Meadows Resort to host national nudist convention/Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: “I don’t think it will hurt (the local economy),” (Sun Meadow Resort owner Mike Capshaw) said. Besides workshops on health and fitness, the convention will also include volleyball tournaments, yoga and water aerobics. Inappropriate behavior isn’t allowed, he said. “We tell people, if it won’t fly in a mall, it won’t fly here,” Capshaw said.

Question: Anyone in the Hux blogosphere going to attend?

Gregoire Pushes Folks To Lawless Acts

I felt pretty damned righteous loading my alcoholic wares into the back of my ’67 Vista Cruiser station wagon. Making the short hop saved me a bundle. Plus it filled me with the rebellious satisfaction of knowing I had thumbed my nose at Washington’s egregious sin taxes. In a budget-balancing move a Mafia don would appreciate, Gov. Chris Gregoire not long ago gave the nod to placing higher taxes on many of the little vices that make life more enjoyable to Washington working stiffs. We’re talking tobacco, candy, soda pop, etc./Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Has Washington state reached the point of no return where sin taxes will drive thousands of residents across the border to Idaho to buy tobacco, cigarettes, candy, soda, etc.?

INW Headlines — 7.22.10

A towering ponderosa tree is seen near Idaho City. U.S. Forest Service officials have approved a plan for the Boise National Forest intended to restore and maintain habitat for wildlife while still allowing timber harvest. See Rocky Barker story below. (AP Photo/Idaho Statesman, Chris Butler)

High Noon: Embracing Soccer

When three out of six people in your household play or coach soccer, the World Cup becomes a very big deal. Consequently, at Casa Hval from June 11 to July 11, vacation days, mealtimes and social activities all revolved around game time. Which wasn’t as bad as you may think. Soccer is one of the few sports I actually understand and even enjoy. The notable exception being the “offside” call. This rule has been explained to me by 10-year-olds, professional soccer players, volunteer coaches, referees and Wikipedia. It has been diagramed for me on chalkboards and clipboards. I have watched demonstrations in which grapes, olives and popcorn were used to depict players and positions.  I still don’t get it/Cindy Hval, Washington Voices. More here. (AP file photo: Ghana’s Anthony Annan, left, and United States’ Landon Donovan, right, compete for the ball during the World Cup match June 26.)

Question: What do you like most/least re: soccer?

Jumping In A Lake

On the Priest Lake Photography Facebook page, photographer Natalie Robinson shot this wonderful silhouette of a coupla kids. If you haven’t checked out the Priest Lake Photography Facebook page, you should. Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns & her many friends have oodles of terrific photos there.

Question: Where do you usually swim?

Scanner Traffic/AM — 7.22.10

  • 11:59 a.m. Post Falls City Hall reports an individual in a black Jeep Cherokee, parked in city lot, is acting strange.
  • 11:55 a.m. Dispatch reports possibility of hazmat spill on Hauser Lake.
  • 10:34 a.m. Caller reports dead deer in e/b lanes of E. Hayden & Country Club/Hayden.
  • 10:33 a.m. John, on Government Way, reports art was stolen from Hamaker/CdA home and believes that an individual who called trying to sell art today may be involved.
  • 10:19 a.m. Caller reports that driver in silver PT Cruiser speeding on Pleasantview cussed out an elderly pedestrian who tried to slow him down.
  • 9:54 a.m. A green Toyota Tacoma appears to be abandoned along Courcelles Parkway/Coeur d’Alene Place.
  • 9:53 a.m. A female is hyperventilating in a store parking lot (didn’t catch which one).
  • 9:45 a.m. Caller reports a boat stolen from Hidden Bay.
  • 9:07 a.m. Mark, @ Hayden Lake Motors, wants to know what to do with 2 vehicles that owners haven’t returned to get.
  • 8:38 a.m. 3 males on the Tubbs Hill main trail, b/n 3rd Street parking lot & the point, are almost too drunk to stand up.
  • 8:09 a.m. An auto burglary is reported @ 2151 of N. Main/CdA.
  • 8:05 a.m. Michigan police want local ones to tell a male @ Westwood & Fernwood/CdA that he may be a fraud victim.

HBO’s 5 Questions … w/Phil Hardy

  • DFO: What exactly is the Idaho Republican Victory 2010 campaign about?
  • Phil Hardy (Idaho Republican Victory 2010 director): The word “Victory” campaign is a designation Republican Party uses every campaign. We haven’t had a victory campaign with staff here before. Victory and Idaho Republican Party is synonymous.
  • DFO: Are you focusing on a specific race?
  • Phil Hardy: Absolutely, it’s the 1st Congressional District race.
  • DFO: At this point, that race for Republicans seems like an uphill battle?
  • Phil Hardy: I think that’s the general impression for those who don’t necessarily follow politics that closely. This is such a solidly Republican district that we feel once we let voters know who real Republican is, we’ll have very few people to convince to vote for Raul Labrador. Rather, it’ll always be an uphill battle for Democrat to win 1st Congressional District.
  • DFO: What do you make of the $1M advantage Walt Minnick has in terms of warchests?
  • Phil Hardy: I have this vision in my head that the people of this district have been so well educated that a vote for Walt Minnick is a vote for Nancy Pelosi. That every time (Minnick) runs a TV ad for himself, it’s going to remind voters that they need to vote for Raul Labrador.
  • More in dropdown box

HBO Poll: Idaho Reporter … Legit

  • Wednesday Poll: By the narrowest of margins, Hux Online readers say that the Idaho Reporter is a legimate news outlet. 67 of 145 respondents (46%) said the news arm of Idaho Freedom Foundation is legitimate, while 66 of 145 respoondents (46%) said it isn’t. 12 of 145 (8%) were undecided.
  • Today’s Poll: Did Congressman Walt Minnick’s flirtation with the Tea Party Express help or hurt him overall?

OpenCDA Fires On Dan English Again

At, Gookin & Co. have seized on Jim Brannon’s challenge in his five-vote loss to Coeur d’Alene Councilman Mike Kennedy to try to undermine County Clerk Dan English. The keyboard commandos of the Web site have questioned the competence of Dan of the County and his office in handling elections on several occasions. In the latest episode, the Gookin has targetted “irregularities” in the handling of the 2006 Eastside Highway District election here. Dan has told Huckleberries on several occasions that he expects to face his toughest challenge yet as a result of the continuing attacks of the Gookin Gang and the quality of his opponent, former Post Falls police chief Cliff Hayes. In the middle of the harassment, Dan of the County, ever an individual of good cheer, took time to ride a four-wheeler in the Rathdrum Days Parade — and win first place in the Novelty Class. (Photo courtesy of Dan English’s Facebook page.)

Question: Do you think the attacks on Dan’s competence and character by will have enough effect in this fall’s election to unseat him?

Wrestling Gators

Alligator wrestler puts his face on the top of the  alligator’s mouth while presenting a show in front of people at the Jungle Queen in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Wednesday. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Question: How drunk would you have to be to do what this guy is doing?

Christa: Tattoo Psychology Intrigues

Christa Hazel: Whenever I’m at Silverwood, I’m intrigued by the psychology of tattoos. Betty Boop, Winnie the Pooh, Tweety Bird, Sylvester, and even a stork (possibly the Vlassic pickle bird). But I never see Family Circus. Oh sure — scoff at Billy and Dolly while Pooh is crawling up your leg.

Question: What tats do you find most intriguing?

Ryan: Proud? Or Horrified?

On Facebook, Ryan Pitts posted this re: an interesting family dynamic Wednesday night: “One of my sons just sold the other a $1 package of ramen dinner for $2. Not sure whether to be proud or horrified.”

Question: Has something like this ever happened in your family? Should Ryan be proud or horrified?

Kevin: Endorsement That Keeps Giving

Walt Minnick must be living well.The 1st District congressman couldn’t ask for more from his short-lived and highly publicized April-July romance with one national tea party group. First, on Tax Day 2010, Tea Party Express announced its endorsements, and Minnick was the only Democrat on its list of “Tea Party Heroes.” That made Minnick an Idaho politician just offbeat enough to get national attention (just not in a Larry Craig kind of way). The day after the endorsement, CNN interviewed the one Democrat who passed muster with the flavor-of-the-month tea party movement. Then, this week, Minnick got even more mileage from the endorsement - by rejecting it. Mark Williams made Minnick’s job easy/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Is it possible to play the flirtation with the Tea Party any better than Congressman Walt Minnick did?

Forbes: Idaho 7th Best Biz Climate

Forbes’ list of “Best States for Business” rated Idaho No. 7 out of 51. There is a great business climate here, as well as one of the best states in which to vacation. Idaho is loaded with geographic diversity and home to hundreds of miles of mountain biking trails and more whitewater than any other state in the lower 48. There are mountains and sand dunes to climb, lakes to fish, 18 ski resorts and water parks/Ken Brooks, Payson Roundup. More here.

Question: What attracted you to Idaho?

AM Headlines — 7.22.10

On the North Idaho College Facebook page, students get after it during the recent 17th annual Hot Foot Beach Volleyball Tournament. The tournament took place at the sand courts on NIC Beach. Can you think of a more beautiful setting for an INorthwest volleyball tournament? (NIC photo: Press Room)

Koot-Con: Sarah Won’t Run In 2012

Kootenai Conservative: My (maybe wacky) predictions for 2012: Palin is going to keep everybody guessing about her intentions well into 2011, and then sometime around October she is going to decline to run and endorse one of the non front-runners (maybe Jeb Bush!) who will then catch fire just in time for Iowa and New Hampshire. That person will then select Nikki Haley for VP and win against Obama by about 5 points. After that I think Palin will run against Begich in 2014 and win handily. Anybody else still doubting that Palin will make a run?

Question: Will Sarah Palin run against Barack Obama in 2012? If she doesn’t, who will?

Berry Picker Walks Across England

What the 45-year-old Coeur d’Alene man (Phil Corless) had gotten into was a 84-mile walk along the famous Hadrian’s Wall that runs the entire width of Northern England. In July, he joined a group of 35 walkers from England, Scotland, Ireland, Holland and the United States as they made their way from east to west. They followed the remains of the wall and small lookouts built by the Romans in 122 AD to keep the Scottish out of England. Corless paid a price. He suffered swollen legs, blisters, weariness and a shortage of sleep. While he admits there were times he felt he was faltering, that he couldn’t go on, that he wanted to hop on a bus instead, he pushed on/Bill Buley, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here. (Phil Corless photo)

Question: What is the greatest adventure that you’ve ever been on?

Hagadone Moving Ahead w/Blackwell

Item: Blackwell Marina expansion moves forward/Tania Dall, KXLY

More Info: Hagadone plans to transform the outdated facility with a new design that calls for 420 boat slips and space for 128 personal watercraft. … Future additions could include retail and commercial space. The Coeur d’Alene Lakeshore Property Owners Association believes the project will boost the local economy.

Question: What impact will a vastly expanded Blackwell Island marina have on the waterways of Lake Coeur d’Alene and the Spokane River?

Ramirez: Extending Jobless Benefits

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Stapilus: Bus Ride Is Decent Option

There’s this, to begin with: The Greyhound bus run scheduled to depart Portland at 11:50 p.m. left at 11:50. That is exactly what the big clock on Union Station north of downtown, and next door to the Greyhound station in PDX, said as the bus cleared the building. The bus was scheduled to arrived at the bus station just west of downtown Boise, more than 400 miles away and after eight intermediate stops, at 10:05 the next morning. It pulled it at 10:04, and I stepped off the bus at 10:05. The precision was impressive. I hadn’t been at all sure what to expect. But what emerged over the course of the ride is an argument that “riding the bus” ought not to be considered a second-class (or worse) option/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: When did you last ride a Greyhound bus?

Parting Shot — 7.21.10

Trevor Nokes, 5, of McCook, Neb., plays with a tie down rope down during the slack competition at Frontier Park today in  Cheyenne, Wyo. Nokes and his little brother Parker were at the event with to watch their dad compete. (AP Photo/The Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Michael Smith)

Hump Day Wild Card — 7.21.10

Wayne Hoffman of Idaho Freedom Foundation dropped by Huckleberries HQ (as you can see below), so I conducted an online interview with him. I’ve flirted with the idea of doing more online interviews. But they tend to be time consuming … and certainly take me away from listening to the police scanner, which is the most popular post here regularly. Still, it’s fun to talk with newsmakers in this forum. You can comment on this. Or start your own thread with this Wild Card …

Labrador Not 1 Of GOP’s ‘Young Guns’

The National Republican Congressional Committee elevated 33 more GOP congressional candidates to its “Young Guns” program today, but Idaho GOP challenger Raul Labrador wasn’t on the list. The Hill newspaper reported today that 14 candidates made the “Contender” level, and 19 were named to the “On the Radar” list. In February, Idaho 1st District congressional candidate Vaughn Ward was named to the top tier of the program, “Young Gun” status; Labrador then defeated him in Idaho’s May GOP primary/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Seems like Republican Raul Labrador is having a bad week on the election campaign front, with stories of incumbent Walt Minnick rolling up a huge lead in money race and follow-up stories by nonpartisans re: the district leaning Democrat. Why is Labrador having trouble getting traction? Or does it matter in midsummer?

APhoto Of The Day — 7.21.10

A member from PETA, people for the ethical treatment of animals, dressed as a giant condom, promotes animal birth control in Beirut, Lebanon, earlier today. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. DFO’s moonlighting gig earns him the nickname “condom master” — Nic.
  • 2. Dick delivers a singing Valentine to his PETA-loving girlfriend, Jane — Stacy.
  • 3. (tie) Scanner Traffic:8:44 am, Ambulance dispatched to Stebbijo’s residence. She went in to vapor lock after checking APhoto of the Day on HBO — Soaf, and: As usual wanting to blow its own horn, PETA debuts it’s first one-man ‘rubber’ band — JohnA.
  • Poolman & Co. Another good job on cutline front by all

Scanner Traffic/PM — 7.21.10

  • 6:03 p.m. Caller reports that a juvenile male on a red mountain bike is stealing money from machines in parking lots near CdA’s City Beach.
  • 6:02 p.m. Father reports his 11YO son is constantly trying to run away.
  • 5:54 p.m. Female drank 3 bottles of mouth wash and took prescription drugs in apparent overdose attempt @ Ramsey & Longhorn/Rathdrum.
  • 5:31 p.m. KFC customer was so drunk that he drove his pickup over curb on Appleway after getting food.
  • 5:19 p.m. An unwanted male is banging on a door in 1000 block of 21st/CdA.
  • 5:17 p.m. Caller reports a silver vehicle ran a stop sign & almost hit him e/b on Hayden toward H41.
  • 5:08 p.m. Several vehicles are parked in a no-parking zone @ 21st & Spokane.
  • 4:47 p.m. A dog is locked in a vehicle in Goodwill Industries parking lot.
  • 4:45 p.m. Reporting party claims he was confronted by a male who said he had a gun in Coeur d’Alene City Park. Male then walked off in direction of west side of park.
  • 4:07 p.m. Bob has questions re: dirt-bike riding on USFS property.
  • 4:01 p.m. A male juvenile is trying to flag down traffic on I-90 @ Northwest Blvd.
  • More below

North Idaho Blogs — 7.21.10

On As The Lake Churns, Lori Myers offers this photo of fun in the sun. Oh, to be on an inner tube bobbing in one of our North Idaho lakes. Can it get any better than that?

Otter Poll Lead Drops To 17 Percent

Incumbent Republican C.L. “Butch” Otter still holds a sizable lead over his Democratic opponent Keith Allred in Idaho’s race for governor. The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Otter picking up 53% support, while Allred earns the vote from 36%. Just four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided. In May, Otter led 54% to 32%/Rasmussen Reports. More here.

Question: Does Allred have enough time to truly make a run at Otter in a state that hasn’t elected a Democratic governor in 20 years?

Nonini To Address Reagan Republicans

On Facebook, the Reagan Republicans give notice that House Education Committee Chairman Bob Nonini will speak at noon Thursday at Templin’s Resort in Post Falls. Among other topics, Nonini will discuss his re-election campaign, Raul Labrador’s campaign, and the legislation he plans to introduce next session (if he’s re-elected) re: illegal immigration.

DFO: I wish someone would ask him why Nonini why he, as House Education Committee chairman, opposes the education corridor, which would benefit so many of North Idaho’s graduating high schoolers.

Joe: Take My Motorcycle, Please

On Facebook, Joe Butler writes: “Who’d think a motorcycle would be that hard to sell, especially now that it’s sunny and summery? But the local papers and even cursed Craigslist haven’t produced any serious buyers yet. If you’ve ever considered a sweet Honda Shadow, let’s talk!

Question: Have you been trying without success to unload something that you own, during this Recession Without End Amen?

Labrador Mum On Tea Party Backing

On Monday, Democrat Walt Minnick decided to reject an endorsement from the Tea Party Express, one of the national voices of the Tea Party movement.  Minnick, the lone Democrat endorsed by the group, condemned the group after its spokesman, Mark Williams, authored a fictional letter from what he called “Colored People” to President Abraham Lincoln.  The Tea Party Express has refused to rebuke Williams or remove him from his official position, which led to Minnick’s criticism of the group Monday.  Aides for his opponent, Republican Raul Labrador, won’t say if they are seeking or would accept an endorsement from the group/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Should Raul Labrador make a pre-emptive strike and reject any possible Tea Party Express endorsement?

Simpson Backs Arizona Immigration Law

A state-by-state solution is not the “ultimate solution” to the immigration problem, says Rep. Mike Simpson. Nonetheless, the Idaho Republican is siding with Arizona in its court battle with the U.S. Justice Department. He is writing a court brief siding with the state — and its strict immigration law. “The Arizona situation is an example of what happens when the federal government fails to secure our borders or address illegal immigration,” Simpson said today/Kevin Richert, Statesman. More info.

Question: Richert adds a quote in which Demo Walt Minnick expresses his opposition to the try by the U.S. Justice Department to stop the Arizona law from taking effect. What do you think of this bipartisan support for the Arizona law from Idaho’s congressmen?

INorthwest Headlines — 7.21.10

Heyburn State Park manager Ron Hise talks Tuesday about using goats to help battle noxious weeds in the park. Becky Kramer’s SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: Have you ever owned a goat?

St. Maries Man Killed In H3 Rollover

A 63YO St. Maries man died in a single-car rollover Tuesday morning on Highway 3, according to the Idaho State Police. Leo G. Munden was killed at 11:17 a.m. when he failed to negotiate a curve in his 1968 Nissan pickup @ M/P 65 and traveled 452 feet and struck a group of trees. The vehicle rolled partially ejecting Munden.  Munden was declared dead at the scene. He wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. Munden was the only occupant in the vehicle.  Investigation continues.

Edgar Steele Faces 3 New Charges

A former lawyer for the Aryan Nations jailed in an alleged murder-for-hire plot has been indicted on three additional charges related to jailhouse phone calls and explosives discovered after his arrest. The new charges against Edgar J. Steele, 64, carry a maximum 10 to 30 years in prison. Steele already faced a possible 10 years in prison for an alleged plot federal agents say began in December and targeted his wife, Cynthia Steele, and mother-in-law. The licensed attorney, known for his unsuccessful defense of the Aryan Nations in a 2000 lawsuit, is being housed at the Spokane County Jail/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.


Where Have All Serious Repubs Gone?

Of all the potential contenders for the 2012 presidential nomination, Romney, who was a moderate governor of the state that once was the bastion of what the legendary Washington journalist and snob Joseph Alsop referred to as the “WASP ascendancy,” might seem like the most logical candidate to restore the traditions of pragmatic Republican internationalism after the neoconservative domination of the past decade. Instead, he has offered a potent reminder that anyone serious about seeking the nomination of today’s Republican Party has to establish his or her right-wing bona fides on foreign policy by acting as though Russia — not to mention the State Department and the CIA — remains an enemy of the United States/Jacob Heilbrunn, Foreign Policy. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Will the push to the right destroy the National Republican Party? Or energize it?

M&M: ‘Inception’ = Delicious Bubblegum

It’s unfortunate that “Inception” so closely follows Martin Scosese’s “Shutter Island,” in which DiCaprio stars as a federal agent who falls into a similar kind of psychological purgatory. But Nolan’s story, while more fantastic, is nevertheless more successful at creating a world that feels authentic — instead of pop-psychology hamhanded, the way “Shutter Island” came across. Spokane Public Radio film critic Bob Glatzer loves to call the films he loves “delicious.” Well, “Inception,” as a film is pure bubble gum. But it’s really delicious bubble gum. You need to bite off a chunk/Dan Webster, Movies & More. More here.

Question: Have you seen or plan to see ‘Inception’?

High Noon: Bowl Of Soul Rocks

On his Get Out! North Idaho Facebook page, OrangeTV provides this photo by Kristen Flickinger that is as close as a drink can be to Food Porn. The Bowl of Soul drink @ Java on Fourth not only has numerous fans throughout the region, but has its on Facebook page.

Question: Can you think of a caffeine drink that’s superior to Java’s Bowl of Soul?

Minnick Attracts More Out-of-State $$$

According to, a website dedicated tracking dollars and donation for federal elections, Democrat Walt Minnick is relying more heavily on campaign funding from outside the state of Idaho than is his challenger, Republican Raul Labrador.  The website does note, however, that Minnick’s out-of-state advantage is likely due to his status as an incumbent, which allows him to mingle in wider circles than lesser-known challengers.  The website says that 54 percent of his campaign dollars taken in this election cycle are from out of state, while Labrador has only 24 percent of his money coming from outside the borders of Idaho/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: How much do you really think it matters to the average voter re: how much campaign money a candidate gets from out of state?

Scanner Traffic/AM — 7.21.10

  • 11:59 a.m. A disabled vessel is drifting on Lake CdA about 100 feet east of Beachouse.
  • 11:56 a.m. PFPD Blue is responding to report of hitchhiker on I-90 overpass.
  • 11:46 a.m. Animal control is responding to report from Ironwood Drive doctor’s office of a patient who was bit by a dog on Coeur d’Alene Avenue.
  • 11:45 a.m. Jennifer, @ Triple Play, reports that an injured animal is on the grounds.
  • 11:11 a.m. Caller reports that an enclosed trailer w/o brake lights is creating a hazard @ H95 & Kathleen.
  • 11:03 a.m. A female may have hit a male w/her vehicle during a domestic argument in a public Rathdrum parking lot.
  • 10:50 a.m. EMTs are responding to report that person has been injured in fall in 600 block of Front.
  • 10:07 a.m. Sam has lost his chihuahua.
  • 9:43 a.m. Cindy wants to talk to an officer re: a parking problem @ Honeysuckle Beach.
  • 9:24 a.m. CPD Blue reports that a dog is running down middle of Harrison/CdA in front of Bryan Elementary and will be hit by a vehicle if it isn’t caught.
  • 9:12 a.m. Caller reports an auto burglary @ 1512 Government Way/CdA.
  • 9:11 a.m. ITD reports that 23 vehicles have ignored flaggers on highway project on Fernan Lake Road & Sherman/CdA.
  • 8:46 a.m. Someone reportedly is choking in 500 block of Twilight/CdA.
  • 8:39 a.m. Resident wants officer to catch bright-green motorcycle that speeds through neighborhood @ Mullan & Syringa, from 5:45-5:55 each morning.

Younger Women, Faster Horses …

More from CPD Blue’s Downtown Bar Reporter: An extremely intoxicated 52 year old woman was taken into protective custody after making statements she wanted to kill herself. Apparently she had been drinking at the Beacon and was upset because her date left her for a younger female.

Question: Does the Downtown Bar scene seem lovely to you?

Off To A Rough Start

From CPD Blue Downtown Bar Report, July 7-13 (see complete report here): Officers responded to the 500 block of Sherman regarding a physical domestic dispute between a 46 year old male and 38 year old female. The female was locked in the vehicle and the male was pounding on the vehicle. Apparently they had been drinking at the Iron Horse and the male wanted to return home (Budget Saver Motel); however, his wife wasn’t ready to go, so he grabbed and drug her to the car. The suspect’s story was different maintaining he didn’t want her to drive drunk so he tried to get her keys, but she locked herself into the car and when he jumped over the hood to get in the passenger side, she accidently slammed his hand in the door (didn’t need medical but that’s when his wedding ring broke). The victim’s story was she didn’t want to leave the bar. She told the officer it had been a good day—they had married earlier that day and spent the day at the beach. The suspect was arrested for domestic battery.

  • DFO: Be sure to check out the Downtown Bar Report link. Funny, but tragic stuff in there.

Question: Ah, do you hold out much hope for this marriage?

Missourian Pulls In Record Catfish

Greg Bernal, 47, of Florissant, right, and Janet Momphard, 47, of St. Charles, pose for a picture with the 130-pound blue catfish Bernal pulled in at 12:45 a.m. Tuesday on the Missouri River., the website for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reported it appears to be a state record, topping a 117-pound  catfish caught on a trotline in the Osage River in 1964. Bernal said he fought the fish for 15 minutes and spent another half-hour lifting it into his boat near the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post Dispatch, Stephanie S. Cordle)

Question: Do you like the taste of catfish?

HBO Poll: Repeal 17th Amendment? No!

  • Tuesday Poll: Overwhelmingly, you Berry Pickers rejected the plank in the Idaho Republican Party platform that calls for repealing the 17th amendment (the one that provides for election of U.S. senators by voters rather than state legislatures). 182 of 203 respondents (90%) said the voters should continue to choose U.S. senators. Only 21 of 203 voted that legislators should choose the U.S. senators.
  • Today’s Poll (in recognition of Wayne Hoffman’s visit this morning): Is Idaho Reporter, the news arm of Idaho Freedom Foundation, a legitimate news outlet?

5 Questions With Wayne Hoffman

Wayne Hoffman of Idaho Freedom Foundation dropped by unexpectedly for a visit:

DFO: How is the experiment with IFF’s online news outlet Idaho Reporter going?

Wayne Hoffman: Idaho Reporter is now 7 months old. We get people from all over the country, from traditional news media to the new media telling us that our reporters are doing an extraordinary job. We’re breaking stories. We’re being quoted by other journalists. Policy makers are paying attention to what we’re writing about.

  • DFO: Why are you so controversial with mainstream media and Democratic bloggers?
  • Wayne Hoffman: I don’t know the answer. If you look at what we do, we’re a government watchdog public policy research organization. You would think that people on both sides of the aisle would be delighted to see a new voice on the field. Our goal is to speak truth to power whether those people be Republicans, Democrats, Independents, doesn’t matter. There’s a lot of work that we do that shouldn’t be the province of any particular party, like open government, having a since of fair play within the halls of the Legislature, county and city government. There’s nothing partisan about that at all. Our basic goal is limited government, low taxes, free market solutions. There’s nothing in that that should frighten or upset anybody. Rest of interview below.

Brand X Poll: How Are Idaho R’s Doing?

Interesting poll being conducted by Coeur d’Alene Press today (H/T: Arch Druid). Brand X asks:  What do you think of the Republican Party in Idaho? At this point (before the partisans send out an e-mail to juice the poll), 99 of 200 (50%) have responded: “Terrible! It’s fractured and dysfunctional.” 60 of 200 (30%) responded “Great! It’s never been stronger, and 41 of 200 (21%) said “Same as usual.”

Question: What do you think? Which of the choices listed above reflects how you view the Republican Party of Idaho?

Congress Tea Party Caucus Debuts

Tea Party caucus leader Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., plays with Danille Hollars’ son Damian Hollars, 9 months, both from Woodbridge, Va., at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington this morning. The newly formed Congressional Tea Party Caucus made its debut today. Fox News story here. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Question: Would you be more/less inclined to vote for a candidate who wins a Tea Party endorsement?

Trish: Mosquitos Rule @ Casa Gannon

Trish Gannon: “I admit, I lost count a couple of times but I think my estimate that there were 172,493 mosquitos in my house last night is still pretty close.”

Question: What’s the mosquito count at your casa (note to Bonner County Republicans — “casa” is Spanish for “house.”

Haugen To Return To CdA Broadcasting

Dick Haugen, the popular former voice of KVNI radio, is about to return to broadcasting via the Internet, at Beginning Aug. 27, Haugen will broadcast Coeur d’Alene and Lake City High School sports with a focus on out-of-town games. The games will include video when available and include football, basketball, baseball, and softball. A weekly talk show is also in the works. Coverage of other community activities is also planned. “Web-casting is something that I’ve been studying for some time and I feel that now is the time to take the plunge, the demand is there” said Haugen.  “Response from the schools has been outstanding” says Haugen. The first football web-cast is set for August 27 with Coeur d’Alene at Moscow. (SR file photo of Dick Haugen)

DFO: I’ve had preliminary talks with Dick re: possible cooperation between HucksOnline &

Question: Is Dick’s latest, broadcasting venture something that interests you?

Extension Could Help 10,000 Idahoans

Item: Unemployment extension could benefit 10,000 jobless Idahoans/Brad Iverson-Long, Idaho Reporter

More Info: Congress is on the verge of extending federal unemployment payments to out-of-work Americans, which could benefit up to 10,000 Idahoans whose benefits have expired in the past six weeks.  The extended federal benefits ran out at the end of May, and the Idaho Department of Labor’s Bob Fick said those people could see payments from those past six weeks within the next month, if they still haven’t found work.

Question: Do you know anyone who is on the verge of running out of unemployment benefits?

KXLY Drops Rick, Teresa Lukens

Item: KXLY (KVNI) drops Rick, Teresa Lukens/Spokesman-Review

More Info: Rick and Teresa Lukens, longtime KXLY TV and radio broadcasters, were dropped by KXLY last week. Rick Lukens, who has been with KXLY for more than 27 years, said they got a call from station management while they were on vacation. The station exercised an option to drop their contracts and give them three months of pay. Lukens said the station cited budgetary reasons.

DFO: We’ve been discussing this via Facebook and Hucks since Friday. Last evening, I posted an e-mail from a KXLY/KVNI exec in which she sought advice from listeners & advertisers re: how KVNI can make changes to attract a bigger audience. I sent the exec a copy of the post, along with best wishes that KVNI can turn things around. I haven’t heard back from her.

Question: What do you like best about KVNI now? What don’t you like about KVNI now?

AM Headlines — 7.21.10

Twin Falls artist Adan Robles, 18, adds some finishing touches to a mural he is working on for the  Idaho Meth Project’s Paint the State project recently in Twin Falls. Robles says his family has been touched by meth and he wants other people to know the toll it takes on an individual. AP Photo/Times-News, Meagan Thompson)

Post Columnist Eulogizes Vernon Baker

Remarkably, Baker and other African American soldiers did not allow racism or resentment to break their spirit. This is what he would have us remember: “We had made an ass out of everyone who said we couldn’t do it.” Prove the naysayer wrong, Baker said. Do good in school, stay out of trouble and recognize your self-worth even if others do not. “Yet, I still wanted respect and the acknowledgment that we were good,” wrote Baker, a native of Cheyenne, Wyo./Courtland Malloy, Metro Columnist, Washington Post. More here. (H/T: Shea Andersen)

Question: Has anyone in your family won a medal for service during a war?

CdA Council Awards McEuen Contract

Item: Cd’A City Council awards McEuen contract: Miller Stauffer Architects to draft new look for downtown park/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Discussions about restructuring the treasured downtown park have taken place for more than a decade. This is the first actual movement toward devising a plan that will be carried out. The city and its urban renewal agency, Lake City Development Corp., are partnering on the expense of the contract with LCDC paying $100,000 and the city providing $25,000 from its parking lot fund.

Question: Do you plan to participate in the public meetings to discuss changes to McEuen Field?

Target To Launch Christmas In July

Santa in the summer? Retailers are pumping still more energy this year into trying to get shoppers to loosen their purse strings early for Christmas with sparkly ornaments, holiday music and special prices. In July. Target Corp. is entering the game for the first time, with a one-day online sale starting Friday on 500 items from clothing to Blu-ray disc players that’s modeled after sales typically held Thanksgiving weekend. And Sears and Toys R Us are dramatically promoting “Christmas in July” online based on the success they saw in last year’s efforts/Associated Press. More here. (H/T: Liz via Facebook)

Question: Are you ready to begin Christmas shopping?

KVNI Looking For Ideas re: Changes

Candace Smith, an account exec for KXLY, is asking for input in an email she circulated to listeners and advertisers of KVNI today. (A Berry Picker sent along the following S.O.S. sent out by Candace.) Writes Candace: KVNI is in the process of making some changes. Over the past two weeks we have been updating the Board equipment for the KVNI radio station. Late last week there were some changes to KVNI’s DJ talent. Rick and Teresa Lukens are no longer the hosts of the KVNI Morning Show. … With the talent change of KVNI we are looking at making some changes to KVNI. I have heard from many of you about how you would like to see things done at KVNI. Well, now is your chance to give the station and management your opinion. I will be in a meeting on Monday with regards to the future of KVNI.” Candace ( wants to hear your ideas by midnight Sunday.

Question: Seriously, if any of you have ideas re: possible changes at KVNI, you should send them to the email above. KVNI is an important part of the Coeur d’Alene media. It would be nice to help KXLY management get the station back on track.

Parting Shot: Wolf Nation

This AP file photo provided by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks shows a  gray  wolf  pup from the Calder Mountain pack along the Montana and Idaho borders west of Troy, Mont. Tens of thousands of gray wolves would be returned to the woods of New England, the mountains of California, the wide open Great Plains and the desert West under a scientific petition filed with the federal government Tuesday. AP story here. (AP Photo/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Question: Would you like to see the feds share the wealth by restoring tens of thousands of gray wolves to New England, California, Great Plains, and desert West? Or do you consider the reintroduction of wolves in Idaho, Montana, & Wyoming an experiment gone wrong?

Wild Card/Tuesday — 7.20.10

I don’t know why I pay attention to the weather reports. I’m stuck inside all day at Huckleberries HQ, envying you who can get down to the water. But I’m looking forward to another night of music entertainment from whatever band will be playing at Sherman Square Park @ 4th & Sherman this evening. The celtic band last week was superb. As was Ruth Pratt and Tuxedo Junction at the City Park bandshell Sunday. As was Andy Day at the wonderful Riverfront Park venue last Thursday. If you haven’t taken advantage of the myriad free concerts Handshake Productions and the Coeur d’Alene Arts Alliance offers, you’re missing out. Now, for your Wild Card …

Sunny: Weedy & Wonderful

Anyone who has a garden knows all too well that plucking weeds from it are a never ending chore….Thus, the saying “growing like a weed” : ) Many people think I’m crazy, but for the most part I really don’t mind weeding. I use this time to meditate, de-stress and even exercise. No, I’m not out in the corn patch doing sit ups or jumping jacks. Rather, I am hacking down weeds with my trusty hoe or digging them out with my pitchfork…Now to most non gardeners, gardening may not seem like much of a workout but you really use a lot of muscles you never knew you had. Just think of all the crouching down and constant bending you have to do/Sunny, Bent’s Beer Garden. More here.

Question: I thought I was crazy because I enjoy weeding — as a decompression exercise after a long day at the office. But Sunny seems to enjoy the same exercise. Anyone else?

PM Headlines — 7.20.10

Rachel Dolezal, of the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d’Alene, works on an art project Tuesday. She has created the Paints 4 Peace program in response to school budget cuts. The program will provide art supplies to schools that ask for them. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

APhoto Of The Day — 7.20.10

From left, Cody Witt, 14, Noah Burford, 14, Sam Bales, 14, and Brendon Thornburg, 14, put a  hog on a tire in the middle of a mud pool at the Delaware County 4-H Fair Monday, during the  hog  wrestling event at the grandstands in Muncie, Ind. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Star Press, Jeri Reichanadter)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. A mashup. Charlotte’s Web meets Lord of the Flies — Sisyphus.
  • 2. Delaware County school adminisrators were concerned when a few boys from the junior high drama club wanted to do a stage production of Deliverence for the school play — Nic.
  • 3. And all this time you all thought Mike Kennedy was the only one who had to wrestle with little pigs — Poolman.
  • HM: Charles, Cindy, Jeanie, & everyone else. Nice job, all 

Scanner Traffic/PM — 7.20.10

  • 5:54 p.m. Authorities have detained a 25YO Spokane male who took his ex-girlfriend’s 2YO boy from 10200 block of Camp Court/Hayden w/o permission a short time ago.
  • 5:30 p.m. Caller reports that a male in a blue Dodge Durango was driving recklessly as a result of his texting on I-90 @ H41.
  • 5:02 p.m. EMTs are performed CPR on unconcious female @ Hudlow & Pinewood/Garwood.
  • 4:45 p.m. A male has regained consciousness after passing out @ Elks Lodge, Prairie & Sandpiper.
  • 4:22 p.m. Caller reports that lumber company has blocked road by cutting trees across it on Chilco Road.
  • 4:05 p.m. CPD Blue determines that possible explosives behind Idaho Independent Bank are nothing but old, unused fireworks.
  • 3:59 p.m. A van driven by a female & containing 5 to 10 children is weaving all over road @ Government Way & Hattie/CdA.
  • More below

Off The Beaten Path

“Sometimes,” posts Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho, “you don’t have to leave home to see the incredible masterpieces Mother Nature creates. In the flowers alongside my driveway I paused to watch this butterfly sip the nectar. It’s mornings and scenes like this that make us happy to be alive in this little corner of North Idaho paradise”

Jeanie: He Ran But Didn’t Stay Away

JeanieS: I don’t know if times have changes, but when my youngest ran away (age 14), the police said it would be on the bottom of their priority list and that when they found him, they would ASK him if he wanted to go home. If the answer was NO, they would leave him alone. On the other hand, his running away was some sort of weird fad or phase - ironically, he always called me and let me know where he was. He “ran away” when he was six. I packed a lunch for him and told him, good luck, and he made it to outside the kitchen door, where I watched the top of his head for about an hour, when he came back inside, after eating his lunch, and said running away wasn’t all it was cracked up to be

Question: Did your kids ever “run away” from home?

Fisherman: How About Herb & Stick?

Old Fisherman: DFO’s banner says it all “KVNI needs to get their act together” It needs to start in Spokane, but they won’t listen to the locals, Big Brother knows best. Good luck to the new host, whomever it may be! Herb Huesland and the Stickman would be a good duo.

Question: Let’s think outside the box here. After all, we’ve already anointed Kerri as the next KVNI morning announcer. Who would you like to see matched as a morning broadcasting team at the local radio station, along the lines of Jane Curtin & Dan Aykroyd’s “Point-Counterpoint”?

Hart: Ethics Panel Has Conflict

Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, is being investigated by a group of his peers on a House Ethics Committee regarding his actions in using his status as a state lawmaker to avoid legal proceedings associated with recent tax woes.  That panel, called for by House Minority Leader Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston, is being aided in the process by Brian Kane, a deputy assistant in the attorney general’s office.  Hart told recently that Kane’s presence advising the panel is a conflict of interest and a breach of constitutional protocol because one of the agencies in litigation with Hart also uses legal counsel from the attorney general’s office/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here. (Idaho Reporter photo of Phil Hart)

Question: Hmm. Hart may have a point here. What do you think?

Lindsay Lohan Booking Photo

In this police booking photo provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department shows Actress Lindsay Lohan on Tuesday. Lohan reported Tuesday for a 90-day sentence that the troubled actress likely will serve in isolation, and which may be significantly shortened. (AP Photo/Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

Question: How many days of her 90-day sentence will Lohan serve?

Keough: Grizzlies Getting Awful Close

Item: Montana moves grizzly from Whitefish Mountain Range to Cabinets near Troy/Jim Mann, Daily Inter Lake

Idaho Sen. Shawn Keough (via Facebook): This is pretty close to us considering the range of grizzly bears. I guess we should be happy this particular bear doesn’t have any bad history of interaction with humans - yet. Spar Lake is featured on several different recreational web sites as a great place to go. Hope they add a note about grizzly bears in the area. And I hope it stays near Spar Lake.

Question: Do you want western Bonner County to become grizzly habitat by default, through the actions of the Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks?

Crapo, Risch Oppose Benefit Extension

A bill to extend unemployment benefits has moved closer to Senate passage — over the objections of Idaho’s Republican senators. The Senate has voted 60-40 to break a filibuster, which paves the way to vote on the plan. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch voted to maintain the filibuster. On Monday, President Obama blasted Republicans for delaying the extension of benefits/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Did Sens. Crapo and Risch vote as you would want them to do on this issue?

CPD Blue Locates 2 Girl Runaways

  • Update (via KHQrightnow Twitter): KHQ has learned that a man has been arrested in the Coeur d’Alene endangered runaways case. KHQ Reporter Mike Perry is in Coeur d’Alene gathering more information on the suspect.

The two female runaways have been located in an apartment at 3825 N. Ramsey Road. Charity Jordan and Tina Jewell are fine, and currently being detained by police until they are released to their parents. The Police Department was notified of their whereabouts by a citizen. Officers are still on scene, and determining if an adult is responsible for harboring them. I have no further information if that occurred at this time.

Question: Do you think police officers get frustrated when they’re looking for runaways? After all, it seems that the runaways don’t want to be at home. And will take off again. It almost seems like a catch-and-release situation.


Hart Looks Forward To Being ‘Cleared’

On Twitter, embattled Idaho Rep. Phil Hart has just posted this comment, plus 2 documents: “I thought it would be beneficial for anyone who so chooses, to be able to see the actual documents surrounding the House Ethics Committee and the alleged abuse of my legislative office. The charges are vague and frankly so vague they are difficult to answer. You can see both documents below. I stand firm that I never abused any privilege available to me as an Idaho Representative and I look forward to a thorough investigation and being cleared of these charges.”


Why They Wanted Dirk To Testify

Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press explains why Dirk Kempthorne was summoned to Washington to testify re: oil spill: During Kempthorne’s tenure, which ran for two and a half years up until January 2009, the agency had a string of problems. The New York Times reported this in September 2008 (after he’d been in charge more than two years): “As Congress prepares to debate expansion of drilling in taxpayer-owned coastal waters, the Interior Department agency that collects oil and gas royalties has been caught up in a wide-ranging ethics scandal — including allegations of financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use and sexual misconduct… . The reports portray a dysfunctional organization that has been riddled with conflicts of interest, unprofessional behavior and a free-for-all atmosphere for much of the Bush administration’s watch.” More here.

Question: Which adjective would you use to sum up Dirk Kempthorne’s career as a politician?

Hi-Noon: Piniella Plans To Retire

Lou Piniella is retiring as manager of the Chicago Cubs effective at the end of the season, the Daily News has learned. The 67-year-old Piniella, who led the Cubs to NL Central division titles in 2007 and 2008, is in the last year of his contract and has endured a particularly stressful last two seasons in which so many of his high-paid players, including outfielder Alfonso Soriano, third baseman Aramis Ramirez and pitcher Carlos Zambrano have underperformed to their salaries. This year, the Cubs are mired in fourth place, 10 1/2 games back and Piniella, who is in the last year of his contract, wanted to end to the speculation about his future for the good of the organization/New York Daily News. More here. (AP file photo of Lou Piniella and Mark McLamore arguing w/ump during Mariner years, in 2002)

Question: Which baseball manager is your all-time favorite?

INorthwest Headlines — 7.20.10

Chicago Cubs manager Lou  Piniella is shown during a spring training baseball game, in Mesa, Ariz., this spring.  Piniella is going to retire at the end of the season.  Piniella announced his decision today before a game against the Astros. The 66-year-old manager says he is looking forward to spending more time with his family. See story below. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

DFO: KVNI Needs To Get Act Together

First, I must admit that I haven’t been a regular listener of KVNI for a long time, mebbe since the departure of former “Voice of North Idaho” Dick Haugen. Even then, I wasn’t a regular listener because I’m too slammed in the mornings to listen to the radio. However, after 25 years in Coeur d’Alene, I have a decent idea re: what works and what doesn’t work for the local station. The constant revolving-doors approach at KVNI that culminated with KXLY, from downtown Spokane, sending in the husband-and-wife Lukens team hasn’t worked. Of all the announcers who tried to fill the big shoes left behind by Haugen, the team of Norm McBride and Chris Wagar was the best. KXLY was right in trying to find a well-known local person to try to fill the bill for its small-market station. My poll Monday shows only one person of 220 wants KXLY to send over another person from Spokane to plug the morning slot. The poll also showed many would like to see sub announcer Kerri Thoreson get a shot at the job. Kerri is the type of person that KXLY should consider, a local person with extensive contacts and deep ties to the community. And she doesn’t come with the baggage that some of the others who have tried to fill Haugen’s shoes had. I don’t know if I’d wish this shaky drive on any friend. If Kerri wants the shot, however, I’d say that KXLY should give her the shot — and then do everything possible to ensure that she succeeds and the revolving door stops spinning. All of us, including this competitor, want a decent, local radio station/DFO.

Idaho @ Point For Uber-Conservatives

To be sure, conservatives across America — many with tea party sympathies — are reshaping the 2010 political landscape amid anger over bank bailouts, health care reform, illegal immigration and federal deficits. In Maine, GOP delegates passed a “tea party platform” rejecting all United Nations treaties. Kentucky Republicans chose Rand Paul, progeny of libertarian hero and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, as their nominee for U.S. House. But Idaho is the point of the spear/John Miller, Associated Press. More here.

Question: Does the move further to the right by Idaho Republicans more accurately reflect your political views? Or, as a Republican, are you concerned that the party has gone too far?

HBO Poll: KVNI Needs Kerri Thoreson

  • Monday Poll: By almost 2-to-1, a plurality of Merry Hucksters (87 of 220, 40%) wants KVNI to select Post Falls Councilwoman (and Hux regular) Kerri Thoreson as the next host of its morning, local talk show. Dick Haugen, the former Voice of North Idaho finished second among the 5 people listed in the poll with 33 of 220 (15%) votes. 61 of 220 (28%) said they didn’t care whom KVNI picked to fill the vacancy created by the recent departure of Rick & Teresa Lukens. Others receiving votes were: Brett Bowers, 14 of 220 (6%), long-retired Bob Hough, 13 of 220 (6%), and Dave Walker, 11 of 220 (5%). Only one person voted that the local station should tap someone from its downtown Spokane office to fill the vacancy.
  • Today’s Poll: Repeal of 17th Amendment would allow legislator to pick a state’s U.S. senators rather than voters. Who should pick the U.S. senators?

Scanner Traffic/AM — 7.20.10

  • 11:35 a.m. Benewah County confirms crash on H3 @ M/P 65 (Crystal Road, to fish hatchery) shortly after 11 o’clock is a fatal one.
  • 11:24 a.m. A female is an e/b blue van on I-90 @ Pleasantview is tailgating in attempt to get drivers in front of her to move out of the way.
  • 11:17 a.m. A possible fatal accident is reported from crash @ H97 @ M/P 65 (Meyer’s Canyon Grade). Benewah County deputy is en route to site.
  • 11 a.m. Male is threatening suicide by pill overdose @ 1st & Harrison/CdA.
  • 10:48 a.m. Resident reports chronic speeding on 9000 block of Rockford Bay Road.
  • 10:28 a.m. Sandra, on Haney/Rathdrum, reports theft of tires from horse trailer.
  • 10:26 a.m. A Post Falls High male has been suffering a panic attack for 30 minutes.
  • 10:21 a.m. Daniel reports that the cabinets & appliances are gone from a house in foreclosure on 6700 block of Highview/CdA.
  • 10:03 a.m. Business alarm is sounding at Takara restaurant on Lakeside/CdA.
  • 9:59 a.m. LaCrosse Health & Rehab, 210 LaCrosse/CdA, wants a person removed from business.
  • 9:54 a.m. A vicious bulldog mix is running loose @ the Valley View Apartments.
  • 9:40 a.m. Caller reports a s/b silver VW bug is speeding & crossing double-yellow line on H95 @ M/P 449 (Grove Avenue/Athol).
  • 9:37 a.m. Caller reports that people have been camping in woods behind his place for a week, 1/4 mile off Canfield & Windy Pines/Dalton Gardens.
  • 9:04 a.m. An elderly female is unresponsive @ 900 N. Idaho St./Post Falls.
  • 8:49 a.m. 2 females are pushing a disabled vehicle off H97 @ Beauty Bay.
  • 8:28 a.m. BNSF wants officers to roust a male from railroad land @ H53 & Mcguire.

Lindsay Lohan Begins Jail Sentence

Lindsay Lohan, left, is shown in a court with her attorney Shawn Chapman Holley this morning in Beverly Hills, Calif., where Lohan was taken into custody to serve a jail sentence for probation violation. (AP Photo/Al Seib, pool)

Question: What will Lindsay Lohan learn from her time in jail?

Trib: GOP Platform Helps Allred

If the test of a political party’s convention is to propel a campaign forward, then the Idaho Republican Party Convention in Idaho Falls last month was a massive success. For Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Keith Allred (pictured), that is. Allred senses it, too. Campaigning through Lewiston last week, Allred argued the wacky Republican platform changed the paradigm of the race. Embracing silver and gold for currency? Repealing the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, thereby giving state legislators control over who represents Idaho in the U.S. Senate? That, says Allred, is offering 19th century solutions to 21st century frustrations/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune.

Question: Did the extreme platform adopted by the Idaho GOP this summer boost Demo Keith Allred’s campaign for governor?

‘Sudden City’ Planned Near County Line

Even in these times when multimillion dollar homes sit vacant on Lake Pend Oreille, some folks think they can make it big on waterfront real estate—even waterfront that doesn’t exist! Take Clagstone Meadows, for instance. This 12,000-acre “sudden city,” as it’s been called, would obliterate many acres of wetlands to enlarge small existing lakes on the property and create waterfront lots for custom homes and cottages. The proposed development is on Stimson Lumber Co. land just north of Kelso Lake and the Kootenai County line, in a woodsy marshland below Long Mountain/Susan Drumheller, Idaho Conservation League. More here.

Question: Do you support the development of ‘sudden cities’ in North Idaho?

Hayden May Charge For Boat Launch

Item: Will they pay to play? Some users say fees no big deal, they pay them elsewhere/David Cole, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: It might be the last summer of free boat launching at Hayden’s Honeysuckle Beach. The city is looking at launching new fees there. Suzanne Cano, Hayden community services director, said Monday that the city is primarily aiming to offset maintenance costs. The boat launch and docks get a lot of use and wear.

Question: Would you be willing to pay to launch your boat on Hayden Lake — or other North Idaho waters?

AM: Murder Victim Had Overcome Much

Rebecca  Schiering is shown (in this 2005 file photo) restocking racks at the Reclothery consignment store in Spokane, Wash. Schiering and her son Phillip died in what authorities are calling a violent domestic dispute in Spokane Valley Sunday. Read Meghann Cuniff’s SR story here. (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review)

ICB: 17th Amendment Repeal? Not Now

One of Idaho’s most active and connected bloggers says the Idaho Republican Party’s endorsement of the repeal of direct election of U.S. senators is untimely and unwise. In a posting Monday night, the anonymous blogger who often interviews top Republicans surveyed the history of the issue and included comments from Idaho elected officials. The posting concluded with this: “ICB feels this is a debate worth having but this year, this very important election cycle is not the time to divide the party or voters on one issue. An old quote comes to mind, ‘Pick your battles wisely.’ This battle at this time is not wise”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: I consider the push to repeal the 17th Amendment (the direct election of U.S. senators by citizens rather than the Legislature) the goofiest thing in the Idaho Republican platform. How about you?

Turner: Women Can Read Your Eyes

Virtually all the women responding to last Monday’s questionnaire about men’s styles of women-watching requested anonymity. I understand. But here is a quick synthesis of at least some of their answers. Yes, a woman can tell when guys are straining to keep their eyes on her face. “Because they are rarely completely successful,” said a reader named Leslie. Women said they know what they are doing when they wear something snug or revealing but suggested that this is not an invitation for men to de-evolve into cave dwellers/Paul Turner, The Slice/SR. More here.

Question: Where’s the line between gawking and healthy admiration?

Allred: I Can Out-Cowboy ‘Dandy’ Otter

Arpie: He moved effortlessly to a beautiful and smooth closing, saying that he knows it’s not important to the state but he’s sure he can out cowboy Otter. He said that Otter was what his grandparents would call a “Dandy” who bought a ranch after he got rich. He talked about the number of times Otter has fallen of his horse recently and been injured. Then he went on to tell a story about when he was sixteen saving a calf being born by pulling a heifer giving birth out of a canal by himself with two ropes and a good horse and thus saving the ranch. It was corny as hell, but a great Idaho story. Keith convinced me he’s the real deal, read to listen to all and figure out what’s best for the future of the state. I hope people pay attention to this race and give him a good shake. (See: 10:38 p.m. entry by Arpie for full post here.)

Question: Does it matter to you which gubernatorial candidate is the best cowboy?

Signe: Math & Losers

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Jeanie: Fight Club Rages On

We were out to dinner Friday night and I discovered a new rage — literally. Young guys in their 20s pay to fight! And people pay to watch them! And the girls dress up to the nines in slinky sequined dresses, like they were going to a party. Each guy has coaches and body guards and personal medics. And their own “Rocky” music. Do you believe this? I am thinking that this has been going on forever now, and I’m just getting in the know. How did my sons make it past this phase of feeling their oats/Nuts & Nonsense

Question: Have you ever been in a fist fight?

Parting Shot — 7.19.10

Ducati rider Aleix Espargaro from Spain, left, loses control as he passes by crashed Honda rider  Randy  de  Puniet, right, from France during the Moto GP race of the Grand Prix of Germany at the Sachsenring circuit in the village of Hohenstein-Ernstthal, near the city of Chemnitz, Germany, Sunday. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

Wild Card/Monday — 7.19.10

Dunno how many Spokane Shock fans there are out there. But the team will be dining at 6:30 p.m. at Azteca in Riverstone tonight. And fans are welcome to join the team there. Whoever put up the post about the PAR-tee on Facebook misspelled Coeur d’Alene, rearranging the “e” and “u.” Which launched a small thread re: the spelling of Coeur d’Alene and whether it should always be written in caps. Which prompted a fan named Robert to get things back on track with this comment: “Shoot this sounds like a dang good reason to go to Coeur D Alene to me and join with the Idaho fans…I am Idho born and bred so is my wife so it will be like going home.” Do you follow the Shock? You can answer that question or use this Wild Card to launch your own thread …

Hot Cars Jeoparize Pets Inside

Even with the windows cracked, the temperature of the leather seat inside the Mercedes-Benz parked in the Value Village parking lot on East Sprague on Saturday afternoon climbed to more than 140 degrees. Down on the floor, where Olive, a Yorkshire terrier, was huddled beneath the foot pedals, an infrared gun gauged the temperature at a cooler 109 degrees. “It’s literally like cooking,” said Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Services Officer Ashley Brown, who was dispatched to rescue the dog. It’s a scene that’s all too familiar for animal control officers/Sara Leaming, SR. More here.

  • Cutlines: Animal Control Officer Ashley Brown climbs onto a car to try and unlock it through the sunroof to free a dog left in the car on a hot day Saturday along Sprague in Spokane Valley. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Question: Would you break a vehicle window to save an animal left inside?

PM Headlines — 7.19.10

Former WASP Millicent Peterson Young of Colorado Springs, Colo., looks on at the at the Bird Museum in Sagle, Idaho on Thursday. Young was a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots during World War II and was honored Saturday at the museum. Ralph Bartholdt/Bonner County Bee reports on the event here. Cis/From A Simple Mind has more photos here. (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Kathy Plonka)

APhoto Of The Day — 7.19.10

“Bobby” a  police canine free falls onto the head of his handler South Windsor, Conn., police  officer Tina Mazzoccoli, during a mishap during the 2010 Connecticut K9 Olympics in Storrs, Conn. Saturday. The  dog mistakenly jumped from a platform instead of descending down a steep ramp. Both the  dog and handler crashed to the ground but were only momentarily shaken up by the incident and went on to finish their events together. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Journal Inquirer, Jim Michaud)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. In another pointless protest, a fully-clothed member of PETA attempts to balance a german shepherd on her head — Eddie Torreal.
  • 2. In Connecticut it doesn’t rain cats and dogs— it just rains dogs — CindyH.
  • 3. A Connecticut man shows off his new canine hat, designed to keep the wearer cool during the “dog days” of summer — Gary D. Rhodes.
  • HM: Liz

Scanner Traffic/PM — 7.19.10

  • 5:20 p.m. Officers have caught 4 juveniles @ construction site who are believed to be responsible for vandalizing 3 vehicles farther up the road.
  • 5:08 p.m. Caller reports individuals in a Subaru Legacy @ Prairie & Government Way are shooting bottle rockets out the window at people.
  • 5:04 p.m. Caller is concerned for the individual who left shoes and socks on beach area at Higgens Point overnight.
  • 5:02 p.m. Male at Fernan shooting range is having trouble w/juvenile males.
  • 4:49 p.m. Donald, @ a Cataldo campground, wants an officer to resolving a fishing-rights dispute with a neighbor.
  • 4:14 p.m. Charles reports that a bicycle he reported stolen may now be @ Pawn One/Hayden.
  • 4:04 p.m. Justin reports that his neighbor’s parrots are too noisy on Magistrate Loop/Hayden.
  • Much more below

NIdaho Blogs: Walking Across England

Idaho Dad/A Family Runs Through It wasn’t joking when he said he was going to walk across England. At the end of June, he traveled to that far and distant land to take part in a gathering of parents, and other assorted characters, who were determined to follow the 84-mile Hadrian’s Wall Path from one coast to the other. All in the name of charity. More here.

Murder Victim Had Overcome Adversity

Becky Schiering knew adversity in her lifetime; she had battled drug addiction and had bounced back to become a person who was passionate about giving back to the community. Becky’s life was cut tragically short when she and one of her sons were murdered Sunday by her ex-fiancée. Friends and family members say Becky was no stranger to adversity; she overcame an addiction to methamphetamine in order to better provide for her three young children. Becky was not afraid to talk about the problems in her past; in 2008 she talked to KXLY about how CPS had helped her with her drug addiction when she was pregnant with her twin sons Jack and Phillip. “It was a Godsend that somebody called, it was a Godsend that somebody stepped in and said something finally,” she said during that 2008 interview/Tori Brunetti, KXLY. More here.

Question: Do you know anyone who has beaten meth addiction?

Coeur d’Alene Ped Bike: Trail Etiquette

Here’s the latest bike tip from Monte McCully, city of Coeur d’Alene trails coordinator. You can see the Facebook page for Coeur d’Alene Ped Bike here:

Blog: Huckleberries Still Small, Green

I took a drive to the Blue Mountains Sunday to check on the status of one of my huckleberry patches. The quick report there is the berries are still small and green and likely several weeks away from being pickable. There were decent numbers of berries on some plants but not tons. Since it was too early to pick, I drove around and went for a short hike up to Diamond Peak on the edge of the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness Area. The hike yielded some good views of the Wallowa and Seven Devils mountain ranges and plenty of wildflowers/Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Anyone have a report on the State of the Huckleberries in North Idaho this summer?

Johnson: Idahoans Like Minnick

The real news in (Bob Moore’s poll), seems to me, is that Minnick is “personally well liked” by 52% of the voters polled in the First District. His negative score was 21%. Right now, any incumbent will take those numbers to the bank and Minnick has. The other major news in this race this week is that Minnick has a million bucks in the bank. Labrador has less than $69,000. That won’t buy much name recognition for a challenger who needs to become better known/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Post. More here.

Question: Do you personally like Walt Minnick and/or Raul Labrador?

Get Out! Food Porn: Super Brownie

Okay, this simply isn’t fair. I applaud OrangeTV for backing off the throttle re: posting his food porn midmorning and late afternoon when the stomach begins to growl. Now, he’s taunting us on Get Out! North Idaho with dessert porn. Out, out, dang OTV. He nabbed this mouth water from Coeur d’Alene Chocolates, which wrote: “Our Super Brownie for those who are into chocolate only. Our yummy chocolate chip brownie topped with dark and white chocolates.”

Question: How long could you resist this brownie if you had to do so?

Idaho Blogs: Idaho R’s Strike Back

The political war of words between the state’s top party leaders continues today, with Norm Semanko, Idaho Republican Party chairman, issuing a statement sharply critical of Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Keith Roark’s guest opinion last week, which was entitled, “You Have Been Invited to Leave the Idaho GOP” and derided the “fringe element now running the Idaho Republican Party,” saying Idaho voters are “tired of one party rule and your loyalty oaths.” Semanko called Roark’s statement “sad” and an “attempt to mislead Idahoans and spread falsehoods about what took place at the Idaho Republican Party State Convention in Idaho Falls when he wasn’t even there”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. (Also: Semanko paints Dems as party with loyalty requirement/Brad Iverson-Long, IReporter)

Question: Do you think Idaho Democrats have an informal loyalty oath (as Semanko claims in the Idaho Reporter link above)?

T-N: Why Idaho Can’t Attract Biz

Electricity costs a manufacturer 4.48 cents per kilowatt hour in Idaho. The same company would pay 26.05 cents per kilowatt hour in Hawaii. In Connecticut, it’s 14.93 cents. In Alaska, it’s 14.17 cents. The average worker in Idaho earns $647 a week. Next door in Washington state it’s $906 a week. So why aren’t companies standing in line to move here? Three reasons: Our schools aren’t good enough, our business taxes are too high, and, except for Boise, our transportation infrastructure is lousy/Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Does the Twin Falls editorial assessment apply to North Idaho —  “our schools aren’t good enough, our business taxes are too high, and our transportation infrastructure is basically lousy?

Trib: Gem State Isn’t Poor, It’s Cheap

Where would you rather educate your children? Mississippi or Idaho? Ridiculous question, right? The Magnolia State is America’s perennial last-place finisher. As bleak as Idaho’s prospects ever got, it could always count on Mississippi to bring up the rear.Except, it turns out, when it comes to spending money on its schools. On that score, it’s the Gem State that is dangerously close to winning the dubious prize. Only Utah spends less per pupil. Moreover, those numbers don’t take into account the decision of Idaho Gov. C. L. (Butch) Otter and the Republican-controlled Legislature to scale back public school spending by nearly $130 million this year/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune.

Question: Do you believe that the state of Idaho is too poor to spend more on education? Or too cheap?

Minnick Rejects Tea Party Backing

The Tea Party Express, one of the national voices of the Tea Party movement, created some political shockwaves when it endorsed Democrat Walt Minnick for re-election earlier this year, the only Democrat the group threw its support behind.  Now the group is coming under fire for racial content in a recent fictional letter penned by its spokesman.  The man responsible for the letter says it was meant to provoke discussion after the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) condemned elements of the Tea Party movement as racist.  Minnick sent a letter Monday condemning the Tea Party Express for its failure to rebuke the man behind the letter and declined the support from the group/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Did Minnick hurt himself by rejecting the Tea Party Express endorsement?

Hi-Noon: Reflections On Mica Bay

At Idaho Scenic Images, Linda Lantzy provides this swell shot she calls “Reflections on Mica Bay.” You can see her photos on her Facebook page here.

Question: Do you have a favorite bay on Lake Coeur d’Alene or one of the other North Idaho lakes? Why is it your favorite?

Scanner Traffic/AM — 7.19.10

  • 12:26 p.m. ITD work crews have removed propane tank from roadway.
  • 12:23 p.m. Propane tank has fallen from pickup truck & is rolling on I-90 @ M/P 14 (15th Street/CdA). An officer responded: “That could be dangerous.”
  • 11:57 a.m. A male and a female who were injured in a crash into a tree (mebbe on or off Fernan Lake Road) are being transported by private vehicle to I-90 & Sherman where an ambulance will be to take them to the hospital.
  • 11:48 a.m. Caller is concerned re: a young boy who is wandering by himself now @ Maple & Retreat/Hayden and whom he’s heard cry last night and this morning.
  • 11:31 a.m. A w/b Jack Buell truck is broken down on I-90 @ M/P 18.5 (Evergreen Road overpass)
  • 11:14 a.m. A boater is towing a disabled boat from an undisclosed location on Lake Coeur d’Alene.
  • 11:12 a.m. Vehicle owner on Lorraine/Athol reports his vehicle was burglarized while parked at Fred Meyers.
  • 11:02 a.m. A 2YO found wandering on 1400 block of 9th did the same thing in May.
  • 10:44 a.m. Ian, from Chateaux & Bordeaux, reports his vehicle was burglarized last night.
  • 10:29 a.m. 3-vehicle crash on H41 @ Poleline is blocking traffic. Firefighters are in route to deal w/hazmat situation involving fluid spill.
  • 10:17 a.m. Jeanette reports that she has found a purse that was reported missing in May. She wants to know if she can return the purse to the owner.
  • 9:40 a.m. Driver in BMW reports that a white Ford Contour, now parked in Row 5/WalMart, almost hit a pedestrian in the parking lot.
  • 9:38 a.m. The driver of a vehicle traveling @ speeds up to 90 mph on Ramsey Road has crashed while trying to make turn @ H53. He then ran into the woods. (KHQ story from KCSD press release here)
  • 9:15 a.m. Security at Black Rock guard house reports a Pontiac Grand Am has been left along Lost Bay Road for several days.
  • 8:28 a.m. Male reports that he has been told that a neighbor has been parking heavy equipment and dumping debris on secondary property he owns.

INW Headlines — 7.19.10

Columnist Paul Turner, of The Slice/SR, provides readers with a first-person visit to Silverwood Theme Park, near Athol, complete with prices for admission & parking and first-hand reaction to the rides and crowds here. (SR file photo)

Question: How many times have you been to Silverwood this year?

HBO Poll: Tourists Make Us Feel Lucky

  • Weekend Poll: Area residents have an ambivalent feeling re: tourists. A plurality of 73 of 187 respondents (39%) said that tourists make they realize how fortunate they are to live in North Idaho. However, 57 of 187 (30.5%) view tourists as “a necessary evil” to help our economy, and 27 of 187 (14.4%) say tourists ruin their summer. Of the other two options, only 17 of 187 (9.1%) said they enjoy tourists, and 13 of 187 (7%) said they first saw North Idaho as tourists.
  • Today’s Poll: Who should KVNI hire to replace Rick & Teresa Lukens as  morning news anchor?

Gookin Blasts Legislature, Ysursa

Here’s an example of the rhetoric I was discussing in my last post re: In a comment below yet another Bill McCrory slam on the local & state election system, Dan Gookin responds (No. 10 comment) that the Legislature has a collective IQ under 80. This, from an individual who is suppose to be a Republican re: the supermajority Republican Legislature. Quoth: “Honestly, we have the largest collection of do-nothings in the legislature.” Gookin then takes a slap at respected Republican Secretary of State Ben Ysursa and says he regrets that no one is running against him. You can read it all here. I do applaud Gookin for this — He’s now commenting under his own name rather than hiding behind a pseudonym and letting Mary take all the heat.

Question: Isn’t there a saying that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar? Is Gookin helping or hurting his future chances to run for office w/this rhetoric?

Fat Lady: ConspiracyCDA ‘Ridiculous’

Fat Lady Sings: the folks at are ridiculous as are the comparisons to North Korea and the Soviet Union. I am sure that they could be more stupid but I’m not sure what that would look like.

DFO: I agree with many who say that Gookin, Souza, & Co. bring up an occasional legitimate issue. But they react so over the top that the issue gets buried in their rhetoric. Remember, they once were part of Huckleberries Online. But Gookin & Souza stomped out of here 3 years ago or so because few here would buy into their extreme disgust for the urban renewal agency. I agreed with them at the time that the local approach to URD needed to be tweeked and the agency needed to be watched closer. But that wasn’t good enough for them. Again, I agree with them that word of Deanna’s near-fatal heart attack should have gotten out sooner. But they already were off and running with the silly notion that there was some sort of conspiracy going on at City Hall to keep a lid on the issue (as if someone in this town could accomplish that). At this point, the foamings of the crowd are little more than a source of amusement. But they have to be taken somewhat seriously in that they almost won two City Council seats in the last election. And they do have a candidate running for the Legislature in Coeur d’Alene that sympathizes with their aims — Kathy Sims. That race will provide another indication re: whether the naysayers are gaining or losing ground in this community.

Question: Have you paid any attention to the race for state Rep. George Sayler’s House seat between Repub Kathy Sims and Demo Paula Marano?

Suspect In Slayings Found Dead

Friends and neighbors told KXLY that the victim is Rebecca Schiering, owner of the Reclothery, a consignment store in Downtown Spokane.A close family friend said that Schiering moved out of DeMeerleer’s home and into the home on N. Ella about 6 months ago because DeMeerleer was abusive to one of her 9-year-old twin sons.That same friend said Schiering overcame a drug addiction and turned her life around, determined to make a better life for her three sons/KXLY. More here.

Question: Have you watched helplessly while a friend of family member got involved in an abusive relationship? How can you help women who are caught in such a tangle?

Caleb’s Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe

It took a couple of weeks for me to talk Hubs into trying it, but tonight I put my foot down. There’s a reason he envies my ability to pick the best thing on a menu whenever we go out to eat (which happens all too often). I will try darn near anything. Garlic scapes are the wild, curly shoots that spring from the tops of garlic plants. And, from this first introduction, I can tell you that they pack a wallop of garlic flavor. If you like garlic, you will LOVE garlic scapes. The recipe is not original to me, but it’s ridiculously easy and keeps well in an airtight container. Just make sure you press a layer of plastic wrap against the surface before you put the lid on/ More here (including recipe).

Question: How often do you use pesto?

KVNI, Lukenses Part Ways

I don’t know what’s in the water over at KVNI, but Rick (pictured) & Teresa Lukens won’t be returning from vacation to man-and-woman the morning mikes following their “vacation.” My Facebook followers know that I raised the question Friday: “Are Rick & Teresa Lukens still with KVNI/KXLY? Inquiring minds want to know …” I just called KVNI and learned that they won’t be returning. A radio industry follower told me Friday that he’d seen a note on an industry message board that said the Lukenses had left KXLY. KVNI will continue with music this week while they’re installing a new system. No telling what happens next week. Mebbe it’s time to bring back Dick Haugen. Stay tuned.

Question: Who would you like to see become the morning news director at KVNI?

AM: Hospice Ready To Break Ground

Paul Weil, executive director of Hospice of North Idaho, talks at the organization’s office in Hayden on Thursday. Hospice of North Idaho is scheduled to break ground this week on North Idaho’s first Hospice House. The project is expected to be complete by next spring. Alison Boggs SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: Has your family been helped by Hospice?

Rammell Would Endorse Loyalty Oath

Former Republican candidate for governor Rex Rammell said he supports a provision of the party’s platform asking candidates in Republican primaries to say where they disagree with the platform. Rammell said in a note on his Facebook page Sunday that the disclosure requirement in the platform, often labeled a loyalty oath, is a way for voters to make sure candidates aren’t using the Republican Party as a steppingstone to power/Brad Iverson-Long, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Is there anything else that you need to know re: the Idaho GOP loyalty oath than that Rex Rammell believes in it?

DFO: Along The Waterfront

DFO: On a walk along the waterfront Saturday evening, I heard two arguing women call each other a cow and worse; a lot of Russian; a woman tell a man she’d asked Commissioner-elect Jai Nelson to volunteer for something, a lot of F-bombs; and a 20-something female exclaim how wonderful bike cops are for giving her stickers.

Question: What is the strangest thing you’ve seen or heard along the waterfront this summer?

National Public Radio Changing New

Item: National Public Radio changing name to NPR/Washington Post

More Info: No need for formalities here: National Public Radio now says it wants to be known simply as NPR. So the Washington-based organization has quietly changed its name to its familiar initials. Much like the corporate names KFC or AT&T, the initials now stand for the initials. NPR says it’s abbreviating the name it has used since its debut in 1971 because it’s more than radio these days. Its news, music and informational programming is heard over a variety of digital devices that aren’t radios; it also operates news and music Web sites.

  • H/T: Transplanted Texan (via Facebook)

Question: Do you listen to NPR?

Hux: Unraveling Goodlander Conspiracy

As you know by now, Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander survived the scare of her life when her heart stopped beating five times at Kootenai Medical Center July 7. But did you know that Dan Gookin, Mary Souza and the rest of their Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight at foamed for days about a vast City Hall conspiracy to keep Deanna’s illness secret? As Deanna rested in the hospital after her close encounter with the Grim Reaper, Gookin was harrumphing on about the public’s right to know about her health. Quoth Gookin: “Hiding such information from the public and – worse – directing city staff to lie about the situation – reminds me of the old Soviet Union or even North Korea. We expect totalitarian states to hide such information from their masses. We don’t expect it here at home, but it’s something people should expect, especially from such a non-transparent and secretive organization like Coeur d’Alene City Hall”/DFO, Huckleberries, SR. More here.

Question: When should City Hall have notified the public that Deanna had suffered a heart attack?

Anderson: New Bank Regulations

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Weekend Wild Card — 7.17-18.20

It’s hard to believe that we’re halfway through the summer b/c summer just arrived a coupla days ago. Rather than look at the summer as half finished, we should look at it as half … well, maybe the analogy breaks down here. It is half over. But there’s still a lot of summer left. There’s also plenty of posts below for your reading and commenting pleasure, as well as this Wild Card to start your own threads …

Pecky Starts Memorial For ‘Shoe Tree’

At As The Lake Churns, Pecky Cox is asking for photos (like the one above from Mirth Management) in order to make an online memorial for the Priest Lake Shoe Tree, the historic ponderosa near Nordman that was burned and destroyed Thursday night. If you have a photo of the Shoe Tree, you can send it, along with your name, to You can read about the fire that damaged the famous landmark here. And: here. And: See more photos, before and after the fire, of the tree here.

Question: Have you ever visited the Priest Lake Shoe Tree?

County Flip-flops On Tribe Land Challenge

Item: Tribe land appeal dropped: Commissioners feel understanding can be reached with Tribe/Alecia Warren, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: The Kootenai County commissioners announced Friday that they had withdrawn their appeal on the trust status awarded to 142.6 acres of Coeur d’Alene tribal land. “We withdrew yesterday or the day before,” said Commissioner Rick Currie. He declined to give reasons for the withdrawal. He said further details are being worked out with the Tribe on a memorandum of understanding, though over what he wouldn’t say.

Question: Commissioner Rick Currie wouldn’t disclose why he and the other commissioners changed their minds about the appeal. Why do you think they did so?

Priest Lakers On Constant Litter Patrol

In Priest Lake, Pecky Cox & Co. has started an informal, cleanup crew who pledge to pick up or report litter whenever possible. I asked Pecky to explain it for Huckleberries Online. She writes: “The Priest Lake Task Force  is an informal community of people  who love Priest Lake and who agree that they wish to keep it ‘pristine’ and free of the careless and uncaring dropped articles and materials that detract from our environment.  The  Priest Lake Task Force has no meetings and certainly no dues. The only requested requirement is that you agree to be sensitive to trash and pollution and agree to make an effort in removing it even if it means walking a few feet. Or, if you can’t move it, you can take a picture if you can and  send it with location details by email. The task force will find a neighbor in the area who can.” Sounds like a community version of what Walkabout does individually on Tubbs Hill each day, hunh? (You can read the names of all the members of the Priest Lake Task Force here.)

  • Cutline: A Priest Lake Task Force member picks up a last piece of discarded styrofoam from 8 Mile Island earlier this week. (As The Lake Churns photo)

Question: Why is Oregon so relatively litter free while Idaho seems trashed by comparison?

Statesman: Vernon Baker Was A Real Hero

It’s an article of faith that we live in an era when heroes are rare, if not extinct. But it takes the passing of a real hero to underscore the truth of the truism. Valor. Duty. Honor. Idahoan Vernon Baker exhibited all of those, even when his country treated him as a second-class citizen. Vernon Baker was black. He was called names and made to ride in the back of the bus on his way to basic training. He served in Italy in World War II in a segregated unit. When he saved wounded fellow soldiers by killing Germans, occupying their position and drawing enemy fire, he was not considered for the Medal of Honor. For black heroes, that recognition took an act of Congress in the 1990s. Baker died this week in St. Maries at age 90/Idaho Statesman Editorial Board. More here.

  • Cutline: SR file photo of then General Colin Powell and Vernon Baker at Baker’s medal of honor ceremony in Washington, D.C., in January 1997.

Question: Do you know someone who’s a real hero?

Windsurfer Hits Hagadone Cruise Boat

Kootenai County Sheriff’s Marine Deputies and medical personnel responded to the area of Independence Point on Lake Coeur d’ Alene Friday afternoon regarding an injury boating accident involving a small sailboard and Coeur d’ Alene Cruise boat “Osprey”. The initial investigation revealed Daniel S. Mayer 44, from Spokane Washington was operating his sailboard about 300 feet west of the Coeur d’ Alene Boardwalk and very close to the “Osprey” cruise boat. Witnesses on board the Osprey and other vessels reported seeing Mayer operating in close proximity to the Osprey and seemed to be attempting to either pass the large cruise boat or cut in front of hit. The “Osprey” was being operated by Captain Carol J. Parker 49 of Rathdrum and the vessel had ninety-eight passengers on board/Mike Perry, KHQ. More here. Original Scanner Traffic report here.

Question: Is the Coeur d’Alene waterfront too crowded with activity, inviting accidents and maybe tragedy?

Group Gives Special Bike To Mike Kralicek

A Coeur d’ Alene police officer seriously injured in the line of duty six years ago gets a brand new bike to help with his rehabilitation. 40-year old Mike Kralicek was shot in the head while responding to a call for back up in 2004. At first doctors believed Kralicek would be in a vegetative state for the rest of his life. However over the years Kralicek has proved doctors wrong going from a quadriplegic to walking. On Wednesday Kralicek received a brand new Recumbent Trike. The trike will give Kralicek the freedom to bike and strengthen his legs. … “Still striving for more independence, trying to show other people that there’s a hope there’s still a way,” Kralicek said/Annie Bishop, KXLY. More here.

Question: Are you inspired by Mike Kralicek will to regain his freedom?

Minnick Holds S.F. Fundraiser

The newly-released campaign finance reports show that Democrat Walt Minnick had a fundraising event in San Francisco, the home of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.  The event, held in late June, did not feature an appearance from Pelosi, who Republicans in Idaho have sought to tie to Minnick.  Campaign staffers say the event was a collection of private individuals and former business contacts of Minnick’s, while staffers for his opponent, Republican Raul Labrador, say the event was full of Pelosi supporters/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Hmm. Is it wise for Minnick to stage a fund-raiser in San Francisco, with or without U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi … when the Republicans are dying to tie him to the House Speaker?

Ramirez: Hemorrhaging Poll Numbers

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

MikeK: McCrory’s Affidavit ‘Ridiculous’

Councilman Mike Kennedy re: banner front-page story re: discovery by Bill McCrory of “many ballot irregularities” in today’s Coeur d’Alene Press: “I could write volumes about this story (and its placement on the front page) and the ridiculous affivadit which spawned it, but the bottom line is the claims are completely and totally irrelevant to the electoral lawsuit in the slightest. Aside from which they are false, defamatory, and politically motivated. Other than that, what’s not to love?”

Question: Am I the only one who wonders when the Coeur d’Alene Press will begin covering Rep. Phil Hart’s tax troubles with as much fervor as it does Jim Brannon’s never-ending election challenge?

Parting Shot — 7.16.10

Herb Huseland spotted this scene of three teens standing around a camp fire, near Bernard Peak on Lake Pend Oreille, on Wednesday. You can read why Herb was steamed in his Bay Views blog post here.

TGIF Wild Card — 7.16.10

The Andy Day concert at Riverstone Park Thursday evening attracted the largest crowd I’ve seen for that venue. Riverstone, I believe, offers the only free concerts in the area that aren’t organized by Chris Guggemos’ Handshake Productions. If you enjoy music — especially outdoors in the summer here — you should attend the concerts. The price is right. And they’re available Sundays (1-4 City Park), Tuesdays (6-8 Sherman Park Square), and Thursdays (6-7:30 Riverstone) for another month or so. Also, there are free concerts at Hayden and Rathdrum. You can see the Handshake Productions schedule here. Now, for your Wild Card …

Scanner: Windsurfer Hits Cruise Boat

3:57 p.m. A 50ish windsurfer has suffered a severe cut to his calf after he hit a Hagadone Hospitality cruise boat (The Osprey) near Coeur d’Alene Resort boardwalk (near retractible bridge). Windsurfer, who went under the cruise boat, has been pulled out of water. He’s in one of 2 boats now parked in Independence Point beach.

  • 6:02 p.m. A male has followed another driver who hit and killed his dog on 16th, to Regal Cinemas.
  • 5:33 p.m. A female reports she had items stolen from her vehicle while she was on a hike.
  • 5:19 p.m. Kelly has found a bicycle on Brunner Road/Athol.
  • 5:01 p.m. An officer reports that two goats are loose on Dodd Road/Hayden.
  • 5:01 p.m. 2 vehicles are illegally parked in the fire lane @ WalMart.
  • 4:42 p.m. A male in a blue Honda is vomiting after crashing into the median @ H95 & Canfield.
  • 4:41 p.m. Boater reports burglary from his vessel parked at a campground on Twin Lakes.
  • 4:31 p.m. Caller reports that a neighbor on Trevor/Rathdrum ran 2 stop signs.
  • 4:27 p.m. Nurses from Northwest Specialty/Post Falls are trying to stop a drunken male from leaving in his vehicle.
  • Much more below

PM Headlines — 7.16.10

The city of Coeur d’Alene has installed a large green shower near the bandshell/restrooms at City Beach to enable basketball players and swimmers to cool off or wash up. Coeur d’Alene Today reports more here.

APhoto Of The Day — 7.16.10

Belarusian youth activists attend a ” pillow  fight” flash mob in Minsk,  Belarus, Thursday. In  Belarus, an authoritarian, former Soviet nation, even a  pillow  fight can be seen as a threat to national security. On Thursday, club-wielding police dispersed about 400 pillow-wielding youths who gathered to humorously commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald which stopped an invasion of German Catholic crusaders in Eastern Europe 600 years ago. Some 50 of the youths were detained. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Old School Communist Authorities had no choice but to harshly quell the Pillow Revolt fearful that destroying so many pillows would make it impossible to sleep on the job! — Formerly Sandpoint.
  • 2. Belerus police officers, seeking to feather their nests financially, attempt to confiscate all of the loose feathers in the town square — Herb Huseland.
  • 3. What a big slumber party — Gary D. Rhodes

Minnick Has $1 Million Cash Advantage

Here’s a link to (Betsy Russell’s full story) at on the news from the latest campaign finance reports in the 1st District congressional race, in which incumbent Congressman Walt Minnick has a million-dollar cash advantage over his Republican challenger, Raul Labrador. Labrador’s reaction? “I’ve been outspent before, and I’ve beaten people who outspent me and outraised me before, so it doesn’t concern me one bit.”

Question: Labrador is right in pointing out that he was vastly outspent by Vaughn Ward in his primary election. How significant is Minnick’s $1M advantage now?

North Idaho Blogs — 7.16.10

Don Sausser sends along this photo he took during a recent trip to the Sprag Pole Inn at Murray. E-mails Don: “We noted this moose frolkicking in a nearby estuary along Prichard Creek. She seemed a little bothered by we two-legged animals.”

Question: Am I the only one in North Idaho who hasn’t seen a moose in the wild?

Quotable Quote re: BP Oil Well Cap

From: Overheard in the Newsroom Facebook page: “News editor on BP oil well cap: ‘Now, if they could just use that technology to cap Mel Gibson’s mouth.’”

Question: Are you still a Mel Gibson fan?

W/A: Tubbs Hill Becoming Dump, Toilet

Walkabout: Those months also bring much less trash. The amount that gets left up on Tubbs is incredible. I picked up so much trash in the last few days I had to take a break. Glass bottles, cans, plastic bottles and cups, diapers, fish in plastic bags, blankets, towels, shoes, cigarette butts, shirts, and shorts, flip flops, and doggie poos. None is this much fun to clean up but I like how much better things look. I wish people would treat Tubbs like the special park that it is instead of a garbage dump and a toilet. A special thanks to the Parks Department who has to carry away all of this garbage!

Question: Have you noticed the trash that Walkabout’s talking about, when you’ve hiked Tubbs Hill this summer?

Symantec: Idaho Most Spammed State

Item: Idaho is No. 1 most-spammed state - again/Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Most spammed states/territories: The top spammed U.S. states are Idaho, Alabama, and South Carolina, with spam rates above 93 percent, well over the national average of 89.3 percent

Terry Harris/KEA, via Facebook: “First in spam and last in school spending. Coincidence?”

Question: Why do you think Idaho is the top-spammed state?

OTV’s Food Porn: Halibut

On Facebook, OrangeTV/Get Out! North Idaho has published another in his series of “Food Porn” photos (food you can’t resist on an empty stomach): Fresh Halibut, mussels, fried squash blossom and sun-dried tomato bechamel. How about you:

Question: Do you like to eat fish? Which kind? How prepared?

Me: Dirty Words Ruin Tubbs Hill Walks

On Facebook, Me responded to a Scanner Traffic post that mentioned some punks taunting ballplayers on McEuen Field @ the foot of Tubbs Hill: “Found out I can scan on my droid — did so on Tubbs tonight and heard of a fight on Best by Lyle’s and then one at Icon — what is with all the fights? I have to say, I long for Tubbs as it was in spring. I haven’t heard so much yell cussing in a long time — it assaults you — I’m with Stickman. I’m no prude, but to be in that beautiful place and have all those youth’s screaming the F word is not pleasant.

Question: Do you tire of listened to foul-mouthed punks turning the air blue along the waterfront during the summers?

After: ‘Shoe Tree’ Likely Will Die

Mike Perry/KHQ got this photo of the burned Priest Lake Shoe Tree via the U.S. Forest Service and now is working on a story re: the fire last night. Mike reports via Twitter that the USFS is discouraging people from starting a new shoe tree. Also, Mike reports in a story that KHQ just posted that the USFS says the tree likely will die.

Trillhaase: No Patriot Would Invert Flag

An inverted flag is a sign of imminent distress. Sailors fly the American flag upside down when their ships are about to sink. What does it mean when someone runs Old Glory with the stars below the stripes outside his home? Is his house about to explode? Is he suffering some serious malady? Does he need to be rescued from danger? No, says Greg Murray of Canyon County. Since Barack Obama’s election, he - and scattered others across the country - have taken to flying the flag upside down as a form of protest. “The path we’re going down is a sinking ship,” Murray told The Associated Press. “What’s happened to American values, they’ve been corrupted by this socialistic trend. Everything right now is upside down.” The United States has its tribulations. A sinking ship/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune.

Question: Do you view the USA as a “sinking ship”? And/or: Would you consider flying a US flag upside down because you disagreed with the path it’s going down?

Paper Charges For Online Comments

Item: Paper to readers: Comments now cost 99 cents and your name: Massachusetts daily adopts online policy to counteract damage of anonymous commenting/Paul McNamara, Network World, Buzz Blog

More Info: Anxious to lift an outright ban on comments, The Attleboro (Mass.) Sun-Chronicle has begun requiring two things of online readers who want to leave their thoughts on stories: 99 cents and their real names. The newspaper should expect much criticism from various quarters, but it’s a fascinating experiment and a bold response to the endless trolling, vitriol and drivel that is enabled by anonymity in online forums.

Question: Any predictions re: how well this experiment will play out?

Priest Lake Shoe Tree Burns

At Priest Lake, Pecky Cox is reporting that the famous Priest Lake Shoe Tree burned last night. And that she’ll provide more information when it becomes available. She has a photo of the burned tree on her Web site.

From 2006 SR story by correspondent Sherry Ramsey: “A few miles north of Nordman is the Shoe Tree. It’s a giant cedar with hundreds of pairs of footwear adorning almost every square inch of the trunk. There are work boots, high heels, baby shoes, ski boots and slippers, not to mention plastic bottles with notes curled up inside. These odd decorations are nailed to the tree from the ground, to a height so high, the donors could only have brought an extension ladder to reach. Others are tied together and flung into the limbs, dangling like Christmas ornaments.

High Noon: Dating Lolita

Occasionally, I bust out laughing at my desk when I hear a report on Scanner Traffic, as I did at noon straight up today. A guy named Anthony has questions for the police re: dating an under-aged female. I give the guy points for seeking advice before pursuing his Lolita, but …

Question: What advice would you give Anthony?

CdA To Unveil New Public Art July 26

The City of Coeur d’Alene and the Coeur d’Alene Arts Commission invite you to a Public Art Dedication of “Catch the Wind” by Donna Bain, Mason McCuddin, and Patty Sgrecci at 11 a.m. Monday, July 26, at the public parking lot at the intersection of Seltice Way and Northwest Boulevard (across from the Holiday Inn Express). More from Coeur d’Alene Today here.

Question: Do you appreciate the work that the Coeur d’Alene Arts Commission does to produce more public art for the community?

Scanner Traffic/AM — 7.16.10

  • Noon: Anthony has questions for an officer re: dating an under-aged female.
  • 11:42 a.m. Riverstone security reports an unwanted person in the parking lot.
  • 11:05 a.m. An e/b Ford pickup w/camper & rowboat on top, pulling a ski boat bypassed Huetter boat inspection station.
  • 11:04 a.m. County jail reports an unconscious person on premises.
  • 11:03 a.m. CPD Blue patrol officer reports his steering column is smoking — and calls for a tow.
  • 10:44 a.m. Female has questions re: a male who came by a few days ago, advertising pest control.
  • 10:34 a.m. Dept. of Motor Vehicles reports a wanted person in the office.
  • 10:24 a.m. Hayden male wants help booting out a female who moved in w/him 3 weeks ago and has no money.
  • 10:20 a.m. A Suburban pulling a large ski boat has passed the Huetter rest area w/o stopping for a boat inspection.
  • 9:52 a.m. Caller from Upper Hayden Lake Road is requesting extra patrol b/c traffic is speeding on road due to closure of Lower Hayden Lake Road.
  • 9:29 a.m. CPD Blue is looking for driver of a white truck who left the scene of an accident @ 15th & Harrison — and is suppose to be en route to Gozzer Ranch, where he’s setting up a stage for a music production.
  • 9:25 a.m. Female reports that a male named John threatened to “pop her melon” Thursday.
  • 9:15 a.m. Driver of a beige Toyota Tundra, pulling a 15-foot skiff, failed to stop at the e/b Huetter rest stop for boat inspection.

Does Labrador Oppose New ‘Contract’?

Item: DC website plumbs May interview to pit Labrador against GOP leadership/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman

More Info: Labrador told the Press-Tribune he was underwhelmed by America Speaking Out, a project of the House Republican Conference led by Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California. McCarthy was a prominent supporter of Vaughn Ward, who Labrador beat Ward by 9 percentage points in the May 25 primary despite being heavily outspent. Republican leaders are touting America Speaking Out as key to their message in winning control of the House.

Question: Will Labrador’s spring opposition to the national Republicans’ new Contract With America come back to haunt him?

INW Headlines — 7.16.10

Betty Budde, 89, of Concord, Calif., left, and Alyce Stevenson Rohrer, 86, of Pasadena, Calif., reminisce at the Bird Aviation Museum in Sagle on Thursday. They were members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots during World War II and will be honored Saturday at the museum. Becky Kramer SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Rep. Phil Hart Now On Twitter

For those keeping score at home, Rep. Phil Hart is now on Twitter — and, yes, I’m one of his 5 current followers. (Update (for those keeping score at home): 5 reporters & an enviro are now following Phil Hart’s Twitter here)

  • Question: Do you think it’s wise for Rep. Phil Hart to Twitter, given his sensitive situation w/the IRS, Idaho Tax Commission, and House Ethics Committee?