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Archive for March 2010

5 Suspected Of Vandalizing Ex’s Stuff

Sheriff’s deputies Saturday identified, tracked and arrested four adults and a 15-year-old girl for a vandalism incident in which they spray-painted two vehicles and the house where the girl’s former boyfriend lived. Deputies Jeff Conway and Matt Gould said the paint caused thousands of dollars in damages. On Saturday, Conway was dispatched to a home in the 300 block of North Silver Lake Road after a neighbor advised the residents there that someone had painted their home and two vehicles with red, black and silver spray paint.  The siding had the image of a swastika and “go to hell” painted on it/Spokane County Sheriff’s Office press release. H/T KREM2.

Question: Have you ever been a victim of vandalism?

Parting Shot — 3.31.10

Hares fight on a field near Frankfurt, central Germany, on a warm and sunny Thursday. Sinking temperatures and rain are forecasted for the next days all over Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Hump Day Wild Card — 3.31.10

KHQ has some photos of that avalanche near McCall that killed the two Palouse snowmobilers here and here. Also on Twitter, Avista Dan provides a link to an Avista report by Jessie Wuerst explaining the compensation for top execs after the hubbub he encountered here re: the $3M that the CEO makes here. And the city of Post Falls is reporting that the census participation in Kootenai County, at 61% (see widget) is ahead of the state average here. You can follow HucksOnline Twitter by punching the button to the right and signing up. Now, I’ll re-post the Wild Card and scram …

Simpleton: Why Go To Idaho College?

Simpleton: I wonder if there is anyone out there who can give me a little help. I was discussing college with my 16 year old and she announced that there was no way she was going to remain in Idaho once she graduates from high school. She is currently at the top of her class and will probably have he choice of colleges. When I asked her why she wouldn’t consider staying here she indicated that 1) with all the cuts happening to education going on in Idaho there is no future here, 2) there are no prospects for employment in Idaho at anything beyond the minimum wage, and 3) she wants to go to school and work in a place that has more diversity. Unfortunately I couldn’t come up with a response to her concerns. Can anyone help me come up with arguments for why she should stay in Idaho for college, or at least consider returning here after college?

Question: Ah, don’t look at me. Both of my kids went to private colleges in the Portland area after refusing to attend Idaho ones. Can anyone help Simpleton?

PM Headlines — 3.31.10

Traffic moves north along U.S. Highway 93 past the Michael Haynes memorial highway sign located near the intersection of Highway 93 and State Highway 82 south of Kalispell, Mont. March 2010 marks the one-year-anniversary of Trooper Haynes’ death. A drunk driver traveling north in the wrong lane on U.S. Highway 93 just south of Kalispell while on duty struck trooper Haynes who died four days after the impact. (AP Photo/Flathead Beacon, Lido Vizzutti)

APhoto Of The Day — 3.31.10

Flies surround a camel’s face as an Egyptian Bedouin jockey looks on before the start of the Sharqeya Camel Race Festival on the outskirts of the city of Belbeis, Egypt, Tuesday. You write the cutline (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Abdul’s camel, missing his last meal, decides to eat on the fly — Herb.
  • 2. DFO is always a little cranky before his morning coffee — Token.
  • 3. A new test plot for an upcoming “Survivor” — Arch Druid.
  • HM: Formerly Sandpoint

Scanner Traffic/PM — 3/31.10

  • 4:53 p.m. A 17YO female w/a personality disorder who was reported missing from Joanne’s Fabrics Tuesday afternoon has been found.
  • 4:48 p.m. Homeowner in 6900 block of Mt. Carroll/Dalton Gardens reports that a motor bike rider is harassing him by smiling as he rides by.
  • 4:12 p.m. Motorist reports a male transient w/a camo cap who may be drunk is standing on the overpass of I-90 & H41.
  • 4:05 p.m. A mother wants to know how she can keep an 18YO male away from her 15YO daughter.
  • 3:48 p.m. Brian @ Roundy & Chilco has caught a stray Labrador.
  • 3:36 p.m. A motorist reports that a male passenger jumped from a yellow SUV and began running off under the overpass @ I-90 & Pleasantview/Post Falls.
  • More below

County Invites KEA, After All

“After worrying yesterday that we were being excluded from a “Community Development Forum” sponsored by the County Commissioners, we are pleased to say that got our invite emailed to us this morning.  Evidently, a posting at Huckleberries Online alerted the County to its unfortunate oversight.  We look forward to being an official participant”/Terry Harris, KEA Blog.

DFO: Cool.

OTV Previews New Restaurant Trifecta

I grew up a 4 minute bike ride away from Ponderosa Springs Golf Course and spent much of my youth hiding in the bushes that cover the little creek that runs between it and French Gulch Road. The memories are generally fond, barring the time I went wading in the creek and came out with little brown leeches clung to my leg, much to my mother’s horror and dismay. My mom’s best friend used to run the bar inside the clubhouse of the vintage 9-hole course, and when she married my stepdad almost 15 years ago, it’s where they had their wedding reception party. My cousins and I got drunk and danced to the Ray Stone Band with the old ladies of the family. Good times. So I was delighted to find out recently that the old clubhouse re-opened last week as the Backwoods Grill/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Is there a type of restaurant that you think is still missing from North Idaho?

HBO Blogosphere — 3.31.10

At As The Lake Churns, Pecky Cox provides a photo of her “office” on — or should I say “in”? — Priest Lake.

Marge Fails To Get Pet License Again

Another one, to benefit pets, didn’t make it this year - nor has it for the past three years. Rep. Marge Chadderdon, R-Coeur d’Alene, who has been working on the Idaho cares for pets plate idea for three years now, said, “I’m still working on it.” The bill never was introduced, as Chadderdon hadn’t ironed out who would be responsible for the funds, which would go to local one-day spay/neuter clinics. She said she’d been in talks with the state Department of Agriculture, but it was wary of taking on a new program when its staff was being cut. “I said, ‘Well, we’ll come back,’” said Chadderdon, who said at the start of the session that the pet special-plate bill was the only bill she was working on this year. “I’m going to raise money for it this summer so we can go forward”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you think District 4 (Coeur d’Alene) has more pressing issues that a special license plate for pets?

Ode To The Senate

O Senate with your kind men and tough women
You strut as if these endings were your making
Why do you own acts so cruel?

For in your faces lies a sadness, in your eyes aquifers rise
The blood of a million and a half lives hangs around you
Will you listen to its cry?

O Senate your demons are the sly ones
Men with voices more self righteous than mine (more here)

Nicole LeFavour/Notes from the Floor

Men Who Cook For Women Who Wine

People line up for bread and bite-sized pronto pups Saturday at the fourth Annual Men Who Cook For Women Who Wine event in the Hingham Community Center in Hingham, Mont. (AP Photo/Havre Daily News, Nikki Carlson)

Question (for men): Are you a good cook? Is your wife?

Brandt Endorses Labrador

State Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, has received an endorsement in his race against Vaughn Ward for the right to face Democrat Walt Minnick in the November general election. The endorsement comes from Idaho County Commissioner Skip Brandt, who ran for the same seat in a six-way primary in 2006 when it was vacated by then-Rep. Butch Otter, who left to run for governor.  Brandt failed in his bid secure the seat when Republican Bill Sali won the race with 26 percent of the vote.  (See who Sali endorsed in the 2010 race here)/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Which is better — being endorsed by Commissioner Skip Brandt, as Labrador was, or landing on Sean Hannity’s show, as Vaughn Ward will be?

Have Tiara Will Travel

“The Shepperd family cousins birthday traveling tiara is presented to each cousin upon marking their milestone 60th birthday,” posts KerriT/More Main Street. “Those who’ve reached the mark add a charm before passing it along to the next. So far there’s a garnet from Claudia, a guitar from Pete, a carrot from Janet, a ladybug from Bonnie, a butterfly from Johanna, a school bus from Steve, and an artist’s palette from Bob.” (You can see who is the latest recipient of the traveling tiara and read Kerri’s print column here.)

Question: Tell us about a family tradition that you have that binds the ties to extended family tighter?

Avista Dan: A Nice Living, But …

Dan_at_Avista: There’s a funny thing that happened a few years back when the government standardized how companies report compensation. You can see it in our proxy. It ends up being called total compensation, but factors in many things that don’t actually go into that individual’s paycheck (value of stock even if it’s not sold, pension value, etc.). Those costs make the total comp number quite a bit higher than if you really compared numbers with another worker/employee. The story breaks out those costs and you can see its lower - even if the headline is $3M because that’s the total value/potential. The total is still a rather nice living - no question about it - but closer to what the poll is calling for.

Question: Dunno about you but I have to give Avista Dan a hat tip for having the courage to wade into a tough situation like this? Ditto for Avista for allowing him to do so? What do you think? 

Sandpoint Tea Partier On Letterman

Pam Stout can check another New York institution off her list. The British-born president of the Sandpoint Tea Party, who last month was featured in an extensive New York Times piece about the tea party movement, faced off with David Letterman on the Late Show last night. The interview (see below) was civil, sincere, and mostly serious. Letterman, who has spent the last six months in a teeth-bared battle with tea party darling Sarah Palin, showed gracious restraint with Stout, even when Stout mentioned that Palin might be a candidate for president in 2012/Joel Smith, Inlander. More here. (Photo: Pacific Northwest Inlander)

Question: Why do you think David Letterman reached all the way out to Sandpoint to invite local Tea Party movement leader Pam Stout to his show?

High Noon: Low Voices & Anchorwomen

If you watch enough news, you may start to think you’re seeing double. Or triple. Or quadruple. It seems all TV newscasters are cut from the same cloth, from the way they dress to the way they talk. And, Rick from Clarkston emailed us with one simple question: why do female newscasters have such deep voices? Rick, we can’t give you a definitive answer, but we can tell you what we found out. Personally, this is a topic close to my heart, as I am blessed (cursed) with a deep voice. In my life, three things have been constant: I always sing second alto in the choir, telemarketers often call me sir and people have always told me my voice lends itself to a career in broadcasting. But, why? And, do most women with deep voices become broadcasters - or do women who become broadcasters end up with deeper voices?/Melissa Luck, KXLY4 executive producer. More here. Also: Melissa lost her voice after making this blog post here. (2006 AP File Photo/ ABC,Ida Mae Astute: ABC’s Diane Sawyer )

Question: Which female broadcaster at the Spokane television stations has the best voice?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 3.31.10

A Trumpeter swan makes an awkward landing as it tries to miss a Canada Goose on a pond at Turnbull Wildlife Refuge Tuesday. Read Becky Kramer’s SR story re: birds staking claims to prime Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge territory here. (SR Photo: Christopher Anderson)

Scanner Traffic/AM — 3.31.10

  • 11:52 a.m. 2 twentysomething females are accusing each other of drug abuse in house near airport.
  • 11:45 a.m. A 2YO boy wasn’t breathing for awhile after he was knocked unconscious in a fall from a sofa on 1900 block of Tumbleweed. He’s now breathing.
  • 11:27 a.m. A male w/many aliases who is wanted on a Blaine County warrant is @ DMV.
  • 11:14 a.m. Officer is dealing with a juvenile problem @ Farragut visitors center.
  • 11:06 a.m. Slabs of sheetrock are lying in e/b lanes of I-90, near Northwest Blvd.
  • Much more below

Your Utility $$$: Avista CEA Earns $3M

Avista Chairman and CEO Scott Morris earned $3 million in total compensation last year, the utility reported today. Avista’s annual proxy lists earnings for the company’s top five executives. The proxy was filed this morning with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Morris has held Avista’s top executive job since Jan. 1, 2008. His 2009 compensation package included a $630,000 salary; $1.1 million in stock awards; $582,026 in cash incentives; and $11,025 in other compensation, including company matches for 401(K) contributions. The increased value of Morris’ pension plan is also calculated as part of his total compensation. Last year, the value of his pension increased by $691,983/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

Question: Is this reasonable compensation for the Avista CEO at a time when many customers are struggling to make their month utility payments? Where’s Dan_at_Avista?

HBO Poll: Legislature Gets An F

  • Tuesday Poll: Overwhelmingly, HBO Nation, was disappointed in the 2010 Legislature, with 45 of 123 respondents 37% giving it an F grade, another 39 (32%) a D grade, and 11 (9%) an incomplete — for a total of 78% who marked down failing grades. Other grades: 15 (12%) gave the Legislature C’s, 11 (9%) B’s, and 2 (2%) A’s.
  • Moscow Killings: 60 of 82 respondents (73%) agreed with the judge’s decision not to waive 2nd murder count against Moscow father in unborn-baby’s death. 20 of 82 (24%) did not.
  • Today’s Poll: Do you agree with Obama’s decision to open large areas of U.S. coastline to offshore drilling?

Obama: Drill, Baby, Drill?

 President Obama on Wednesday described his proposal to open vast expanses of American coastlines to oil and natural gas drilling, much of it for the first time, as a painful but necessary decision. He said that his plan to allow drilling along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska — ending a longstanding moratorium on exploration from the northern tip of Delaware to the central coast of Florida, covering 167 million acres of ocean — would balance the need to produce more domestic energy while protecting natural resources. But it is also intended to generate revenue from the sale of offshore leases and help win political support for comprehensive energy and climate legislation/John M. Broder, New York Times. More here. (AP 2008 File Photo/Mary Altaffer: The Chevron Genesis Oil Rig Platform is seen in the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans, La.)

Question: Do you support President Obama’s decision to open America’s coastlines to oil and natural gas drilling?

Marc: Time To Consider Tax Hikes?

A question for the next Idaho Legislature is how much more cutting can the state really stand? At some point, a 21st Century economy will require new investment and new thinking about a 21st Century education system. Good jobs require better schools and a trained workforce. The millions in revenue lost to Internet sales (at a detriment to hometown businesses) or left untaxed due to exemptions may not represent comfortable rocks to look under, but the alternative, if Idaho wants to grow a 21st Century economy, is unsustainable/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.

Question: Is it time to consider raises taxes in Idaho to support critical services, like public education?

ABC News Coverage NIdaho Militia

They are not police officers. They are not active-duty soldiers. But what a group of weekend warriors is doing with guns in the woods not far from the Canadian border is perfectly legal. “Nightline” visited a recent Saturday training session of the 21st Battalion of North Idaho’s Lightfoot Militia — a heavily armed force that, we’re told, numbers more than 100. Just about a dozen showed up on the Saturday we did. Along with an awful lot of shooting, they learn survival skills and take first-aid lessons from one of their members, who’s also a firefighter. Their leader is “Major” Jeff Stankiewicz, an unemployed welder with zero military experience/ABC News. More here. (Note: Story aired on “Nightline” last night.)

Question: How concerned are you that militia activity is occurring in Boundary County?

The Political Sandbox

Haitian President Rene Garcia Preval, left, speaks to former U.S. President Bill Clinton during the opening session of the International Donors’ Conference towards a “New Future for Haiti,” earlier today at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Your political Wild Card is in play …

Legislators Kill Kyra Wine Bill

A Senate bill, which would have given judges the flexibility to impose a longer sentence for felony injury to a child, died in the Senate after returning from the House changed. The bill, proposed by Sen. Joyce Broadsword, was prompted by the severe abuse to local three-year-old Kyra Wine, who suffered the loss of both of her feet, a finger and a kidney, but whose abuser was sentenced to the maximum 10 years in prison. “I’m really disappointed,” Sen. Broadsword said. “I got it through the Senate with no problem, and then we ran into the brain trust over there (in the House)”/Mary Truman, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here. (Gazette Record File Photo/Ralph Bartholdt: Kyra Wine with her grandparents and sister Amanda, 6) 

Question: Can anyone explain how the Legislature has time to bash the federal government ad nauseum and pass worthless resolutions, but it doesn’t have time to pass a common-sense bill like this to protect Idaho’s children?

Avalanche Kills St. Maries Snowmobiler

Funeral services for the St. Maries man killed in an avalanche near Superior, Mont. over the weekend are Saturday. Twenty-nine year old T.J. Grieser was snowmobiling with a group of family and friends around 6 p.m. Saturday in a basin near Missoula Lake in the Lolo National Forest when the accident occurred. The area is located approximately 20 miles southwest of Superior on the Montana-Idaho border. “One member of the group was at the bottom of the basin (near Oregon Peak) and three members were on top of a ridge when they started coming down one at a time,” as stated in a press release from the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office. “The victim (Mr. Grieser) was the last of the three to come down the mountain and, according to witnesses at the bottom of the hill, the avalanche started as he was coming down the hill”/Chris D’Angelo, St. Maries Record-Gazette. More here.

Johnson Recalls Downtown Shooting

Item: About that night: Man who fired gun in downtown Cd’A shooting recounts evening’s events/Rick Thomas, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Adam Johnson was certain he was knocking on heaven’s door three months ago. That was just the beginning of 12 days of hell. “I thought I was done,” he said. “Once the clip was empty and I let go, they continued to stomp me … and then I was out. I thought I was done for.” The young Coeur d’Alene businessman was beaten unconscious early in the morning of Dec. 27 by a group of six to eight assailants who punched and kicked him before he opened fire with a legal concealed weapon, sending two of the assailants to hospitals with serious injuries.

Question: Do you think Adam Johnson has learned a lesson from his scrape with the law and near death experience on Sherman Avenue?

AM Headlines — 3.31.10

Jason Engelhard of Spokane traverses the lift span of the railroad bridge over the Clearwater River at Lewiston to check the back-up battery for the red, green and yellow warning lights for trains. Engelhard’s job takes him on a circuit in the area, also checking many railroad crossing signals west and north of Lewiston. (Lewiston Tribune photo: Barry Kough)

Popkey: Has Butch Lost His Groove?

I never imagined saying this, but here it is: Gov. Butch Otter looks dated, self-satisfied and spooked about taking risks. Perhaps that’s a predictable posture in days of uncertainty. He asks voters this year to re-elect him to the job he’s wanted since childhood. Playing it safe is conventional strategy. Otter used to be refreshingly unpredictable. From his sympathy for decriminalizing pot in the ‘70s to casting one of three Republican votes against the Patriot Act in the 2000s, he was daring and principled. Now he sounds disconnected and wimpy. On Tuesday, he called the 2010 Legislature “stellar.” Its No. 1 accomplishment? Balancing the budget - as if lawmakers could ignore the Idaho Constitution’s imposition of that fiscal restraint/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What do you think? Has Gov. Butch Otter lost his edge … er … groove?

Studded Tire Season Extended

No need to remove those studded tires just yet. In view of recent heavy snowfall in Washington’s Cascade Mountains, and forecasts for more severe mountain weather, the Washington Transportation Department has extended the deadline for removing studded tires through April 10. Oregon has also extended its studded tire season through April 10. The deadline had been Thursday, April 1. Washington State Patrol troopers enforce a $124 fine for those caught using studded tires after the deadline/Associated Press.

Question: Did you put studded tires on a vehicle this winter?

Heller: Census Form

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Hickies Turn Off Customer Sammy

On a Twitter account, Sammy_CdA posts his disgust with a Coeur d’Alene business owner that allows its food handlers to come to work with hickies on their neck. Asks Sammy: “Wonder if he cares?”

Question: Would you be bothered by a restaurant food handler or checkout clerk who has hickies on his/her neck?

Wild Card/Tuesday — 3.30.10

The 2010 Legislature is finished, so we can all breathe easier. There won’t be any more silly constitutional amendments or resolutions for at least another year. There will be no more attacks on education and social funding for another year. Now, the solons will return home to ask for our votes again and fill the air waves with their political ads. The sun comes up. The sun goes down. And the Wild Card is in play again …

Parting Shot — 3.30.10

This combo of eight photos provided by the U.S. Marshals Service on Monday shows from top left, David Brian Stone Sr., 44, of Clayton, Mich,; David Brian Stone Jr. of Adrian, Mich,; Jacob Ward, 33, of Huron, Ohio; Tina Mae Stone and bottom row from left, Michael David Meeks, 40, of Manchester, Mich,; Kristopher T. Sickles, 27, of Sandusky, Ohio; Joshua John Clough, 28, of Blissfield, Mich.; and Thomas William Piatek, 46, of Whiting, Ind. Nine suspects tied to Hutaree, a Christian militia that was preparing for the Antichrist were charged with conspiring to kill police officers, then kill scores more by attacking a funeral using homemade bombs, federal prosecutors said Monday. Federal authorities say Stone’s other son, Joshua Matthew Stone is a fugitive. (AP Photo/U.S. Marshall)

Question: On Community Comment, David Laird writes: “This is not the work of Jesus Christ. In fact, the only civilized aspect of this macabre situation is that police were quickly able to make the arrests without anyone being injured or killed. What do you think?

Update: Body In River Is Spokane Fugitive

A body found in the Spokane River west of Post Falls last weekend has been identified as 31-year-old Spokane fugitive wanted since December on car theft charges. A bail bonds company had offered a $1,000 reward for tips that led to the arrest of Christopher M. Schelling (left) after he failed to show up for a hearing in Spokane County Superior Court. When he didn’t show up for court in December, the bond company distributed wanted posters near a home on East Columbia Avenue that’s been linked to an ongoing drug and stolen property investigation. On Saturday, a young man walking near South Richards Road, west of Post Falls along the river, found a body that aurthorities identified Tuesday as Schelling. Investigators identified Schelling through his tattoos/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Dogwalk: Hate Crime Or Free Speech?

Remember the funeral for the young Marine being protested by a bunch of religious zealots calling themselves Baptists who do so as a practice in their belief that the war is God’s “divine retribution” for America’s sins, Catholics and Gays ? The Supreme Court is to decide whether they can do so under the right of free speech or if they are violating privacy and religious rights. The Court should also also consider if what they are doing could be considered a hate crime! The story doesn’t stop with this. On the way up the judicial ladder, judgements were made and appealed. The young Marine’s father, Albert Snyder, is having difficulty paying fees already brought to bear, yet he Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the him to pay $16,000 to lead protester and head of the “church”, Fred Phelps/Dogwalk Musings. More here. (AP, Baltimore Sun file photo/Jed Kirschbaum: Fred Phelps, his wife, and his daughter protest.)

Question: What’s wrong with this picture?

PM Headlines — 3.30.10

New UTEP men’s basketball coach Tim Floyd embraces Mary Haskins, widow of long-time UTEP coach Don Haskins, following a news conference today in El Paso, Texas. Floyd, a former University of Idaho basketball coach, was announced as successor to Tony Barbee as coach. Floyd worked as an assistant for Haskins in the 1980s. (AP Photo/El Paso Times, Victor Calzada)

APhoto Of The Day — 3.30.10

The Florida State cheerleaders perform in the first half of an NCAA Dayton Regional semifinal college basketball game against Mississippi State Sunday in Dayton, Ohio. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. The crowd cheers as a contestant successfully converts the difficult 3-7-10 split during the finals of the “Bowling for Bimbos” competition — JohnA.
  • 2. Florida State cheerleaders are dropped from the catwalk in an attempt to prove that cats aren’t the only animal capable of always landing on their feet. They were wrong — Gary D. Rhodes.
  • 3. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Sclemeel, schlemazel, hasenfeffer incorporated. We’re gonna do it! — Kage Mann.
  • HM: James Bond

PM Scanner Traffic — 3.30.10

  • 5:46 p.m. 3 females who look to be about 12YOs are not seatbelted in the silver Focus in which they’re driving/riding on Spokane/Post Falls.
  • 5:34 p.m. A dead turkey is reported lying on H95 @ Garwood Road.
  • 5:33 p.m. A blue truck failed to stop at the Huetter weigh station.
  • 5:27 p.m. An unattended debris fire is reported across from Post Falls City Hall.
  • 5:20 p.m. A large turkey is walking in the middle of H95 @ Garwood Road.
  • 5:15 p.m. Sam’s Stop & Shop/Rathdrum reports that a male who stole meds is now sitting in his vehicle in the parking lot.
  • 5:10 p.m. A 17YO female w/multiple personalities is reported missing. She was last seen at Joanne’s Fabrics/CdA at 1 p.m.
  • 4:22 p.m. Trish reports that a male who wasn’t from the census tried to ask her questions and left a brochure that she wants an officer to check out.
  • 4:13 p.m. A w/b vehicle w/California plates is traveling more than 90 mph on I-90 near eastern entrance to Coeur d’Alene.
  • 3:47 p.m. Ethel reports that her 2 dogs got out of her yard and her neighbor may be keeping one of them.
  • 3:33 p.m. 2 drunken males are about to fight in 700 block of 2nd Street/CdA.
  • 3:28 p.m. A female North Idaho College student reports 2 males are about to fight at n/w end of Rosenberry Drive.
  • More below

Gay UI Student Tired Of Hate Vandals

The University of Idaho Law School has had three separate acts of defacement or vandalism that were later determined to be hate crimes by the Risk Management Office occur since August. Kim Stretch, 42, is a third year law student from Fresno who said she’s had enough. She’s not alone. Associate Dean of Faculty Elizabeth Brandt said the law school administration is working closely with the Moscow Police Department to find out who is behind the vandalism and defacement of posters and other hate crimes. According to Stretch, a photo on the American Civil Liberties Union student bulletin board of Mary Grant, an LGBT law student, was found with the eyes scratched out last August. On Feb. 23, photos on the ACLU board were again found defaced, this time with stickpins put through the eye of one student and through the head of another. The third time, an image of Stretch was vandalized/Ashley Centers, UI Argonaut. More here.


Hayden Man ID’d As Crash Victim

Seth Lee Auten, 33, of Hayden has been identified as the victim of a fatal, one-vehicle accident, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department. last night. Auten was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on Ramsey Road, between Lacey and Wyoming. He was partially ejected from his vehicle. In a news release, the KCSD reported that speed may have been a factor in the crash. But alcohol is not believed to be a factor.

Dems Aren’t Happy As Guv w/Session

Minority leaders Rep. John Rusche, left, and Sen. Kate Kelly give the Democrats’ version of the legislative review in the Capitol rotunda in Boise, Idaho, on Tuesday. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Katherine Jones)

Moscow Man Guilty In PG Wife’s Death

Silas Parks pleaded guilty this afternoon to two counts of voluntary manslaughter and one count of first-degree arson in connection with the death last year of his pregnant wife Sarah Parks. Parks, 26, was initially charged with two counts of first-degree murder and the arson count. But a plea deal negotiated this afternoon with the Latah County Prosecutor’s Office reduced the murder charges/Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Jews Celebrate Freedom w/Passover

Congregations from throughout the Inland Northwest join Jews around the world this week in the annual celebration of freedom known as Passover. About 60 people were preparing Monday to participate in a Seder – the traditional feast at sundown that celebrates the exodus from Egypt – at the Chabad of Spokane, 4116 E. 37th Ave., said Rabbi Yisroel Hahn, director of the traditional Jewish congregation on the South Hill. “Passover is the ideal time to celebrate freedom,” Hahn said. “This Seder will focus on being liberated from the daily challenges and tribulations that bind and confine us.” The Chabad of Spokane was formed about three years ago, when Hahn arrived from Brooklyn, N.Y./Kevin Graman, SR. More here. (SR Photo/Colin Mulvany: Rabbi Yisroel Hahn holds matzah that is served at the Passover Seder in remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt.)

Question: Do you understand why Jewish people observe Passover? Have you ever participated in a Passover observance?

Mistrial Declared In Hate-Crime Case

Kootenai County First District Judge John Luster declared the mistrial after the prosecution played a 911 tape in which witness Julie Oliver, a neighbor, offered an opinion on two points that the prosecution must prove. In the 911 tape, Oliver tells the dispatcher that she believes “this is a racist thing,” and also that her neighbor, Requena, was being threatened. Both go to the heart of the case, Luster said, because a malicious harassment charge forces the prosecution to prove, first, that Requena was threatened, and second, that the threat was racially motivated. The 911 tape offered opinions on both before any foundation of evidence had been laid, Luster said. “That is a significant problem,” Luster said. “It’s clearly a violation. A legal error has occurred.” Luster scheduled a new trial for April 12 with a pretrial conference set for April 9/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.

  • Background: Meghann Cuniff’s coverage of story here

Question: Did Judge John Luster make the right call in declaring a mistrial?

2010 Legislature Adjourns

Senator Shirley McKague tries on a snuggie given to her and Sen. Melinda Smyser, right, by Sen. Bert Brackett during a break in the Senate Chambers about an hour before the close of the 2010 session on Monday in Boise. (AP Photo/Matt Cilley)

Tat Man Faces 8 Felony Counts

Curtis Allgier, charged with capital murder and seven other felonies, appears at the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City earlier today. He is accused in the June 2007 killing of 60-year-old prison officer Stephen Anderson who was shot with his own gun while taking Allgier to a hospital for an MRI. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Francisco Kjolseth)

Question: How would you like to meet this guy in a dark alley?

Terry: Why No Invite From Commish?

We aren’t taking it personally, but we didn’t receive our invitation by the County Commissioners “to the County’s development and construction communities” to attend a “Community Development Forum” on Monday evening, April 5th, at 5 p.m. Given the lack or progress on the Comprehensive Plan, the failure to address dysfunctional hearing procedures, and major functional failings in the site disturbance and flood control ordinances, we’d definitely be interested in “this important opportunity”  to “share and hear the constructive thoughts and ideas of others regarding the building process here in Kootenai County.” We’re probably not the target audience, but the Commissioners promise “an open atmosphere for the community to openly share,” so maybe we’ll attend anyway/Terry Harris, KEA Blog. More here. (SR File Photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Question (from Terry @ KEA Blog): We didn’t get our invitation. Did you?

AARP Picks 2010 Winners, Losers

Via Kevin Richert’s blog site, AARP picked the 2010 Legislature winners & losers, including “Living wills, advance directives, or other end of life instructions, which AARP listed in the ”loser” category: Learn someone else’s conscience on your deathbed. The ill-conceived Freedom of Conscience bill (Senate Bill 1353), introduced by Senator Chuck Winder, will allow all health care professionals (from doctors to dieticians); to refuse to provide any “end of life care and treatment” that violates their “conscience.” That means living wills, advance directives, or any other end of life instructions can be ignored. Despite thousands of AARP members and the public voicing strong opposition to the inclusion of the language in the bill, the bill became law.

Question: Who would you list as winners & losers during the 2010 Legislature?

3 Brothers Face CdA Hate-Crime Trial

Three brothers accused of harassing a Coeur d’Alene man because of his ethnicity will stand trial this week in Kootenai County District Court. Opening statements are expected today in the trial of Ira Gino Tankovich, 47, Frank James Tankovich, 46, and William Michael Tankovich Jr., 49, (left to right) who were indicted by a grand jury last under Idaho’s hate crime law. The men’s lawyers have characterized the Aug. 16 incident at the home of Kenneth H. Requena as a misunderstanding blown out of proportion after Aryan literature was distributed in Coeur d’Alene. The brothers say they simply asked to buy electrical equipment from the man and were stunned when he pulled a gun on them./Meghann M. Cuniff, SR. More here.

High Noon: Chocolate Cuts Heart Risk?

The Easter Bunny might lower your chances of having a heart problem. According to a new study, small doses of chocolate every day could decrease your risk of having a heart attack or stroke by nearly 40 percent. German researchers followed nearly 20,000 people over eight years, sending them several questionnaires about their diet and exercise habits. They found people who had an average of six grams of chocolate per day — or about one square of a chocolate bar — had a 39 percent lower risk of either a heart attack or stroke. The study is scheduled to be published Wednesday in the European Heart Journal/Associated Press. More here. (The image released by Mars Chocolate North America earlier this month shows Ms. Green in one of the ads which ran in the recent Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.)

Question: How often do you eat chocolate?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 3.30.10

An angler’s dog barks at a 49-inch long sturgeon caught at “The Wall” in Oregon City, Ore., Thursday. At the end of March, a tradition stretching back at least six decades will abruptly cease, when new state regulations take effect banning fishing from The Wall. A sturgeon “sanctuary,” stretching roughly from the I-205 bridge to Willamette Falls, takes effect this Thursday. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Michael Lloyd)

AM Scanner Traffic — 3.30.10

  • 11:57 a.m. Caller is concerned re: welfare of 4 children who are left alone by their mother, south of the Spokane River.
  • 11:05 a.m. A dog-bite victim from Sundown Drive/CdA is at North Idaho Intermediate Care.
  • 10:59 a.m. Daniel, a local upholstery worker, reports that he’s owed money and a vehicle.
  • 10:53 a.m. A business alarm is sounding at Tuesday Morning, 200 block of Appleway.
  • 10:51 a.m. A possible illegal burn is reported @ Cliffhouse & Woodland Beach/Hauser.
  • More below

Judge Won’t Waive Fetus Murder Count

A defense motion to dismiss one of two murder charges against Silas Parks has been denied by Second District Judge Jeff M. Brudie. Parks, 25, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson in connection with the June 24 death of his wife, Sarah J. Parks, 28, and the couple’s unborn child. Investigators allege he then set fire to the couple’s Moscow home to destroy evidence. Parks’ attorneys, Charles Kovis and D. Ray Barker, both of Moscow, had asked the court to dismiss one of the murder charges due to the early stage of the pregnancy at the time of Sarah Parks’ death, citing the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling as support. Sarah Parks was estimated to be 19 to 20 weeks pregnant at the time of her death/Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Fight To Be Queen

A pair of cow elk playfully spar with each other on the steep slopes of the Lewiston Hill. The cows took a break recently from feeding for a shoving match with each other to see who was queen of the hill (Lewiston Tribune Photo: Steve Hanks)

HBO Poll: Not Bothered By Cross-hairs

  • Monday Poll: 107 of 189 respondents (57%) said they weren’t bothered that Sarah Palin’s Facebook page uses cross-hairs to target Dem congressional seats. 79 of 189 (42%) said they were bothered by the use of cross-hairs on Palin’s page.
  • Today’s Poll: What letter grade would you give the 2010 Legislature?

Beth: Mixed Emotions About The Pope

BethB: I have a lot of conflicting feelings about this pope, that I didn’t post on my blog - including the horror I felt when he was elected (since he’d previously been in charge of the CDF, which is the current grand inquisitor office - still sits on the same land, in fact); and then the hope that I had as he took certain actions and said certain things over the past couple of years on this issue… and then now, when I just feel sucker punched, realizing those had to have been political moves, at least in part. And I knew that before. It just wasn’t “in my face” at the time.

Question: Is Pope Benedict XVI and church leaders doing the best they can to rid the Catholic Church of clergy involved in sex crimes against children, in your estimation?

ICB: Palin Backing Ward Is Ha-huge

I love Sarah Palin. She is the most charismatic, energetic, and well spoken (meaning she can articulate the conservative message) better than anyone on our side. She quite plainly is a Conservative/Republican Superstar. Palin endorsing Ward is, in my view, HUGE for the Ward campaign. Ward should take today’s endorsement and build from here. Palin’s announcement has the potential to eclipse the “gaffes” that have plagued the campaign as of late. This is an advantage for Ward to almost start new and build from here. As long as Ward can keep his campaign together and avoid any more silly “gaffes” from here until Primary election day, he will be tough to beat/Idaho Conservative Blogger. More here.

Question: Who’s ahead in the Idaho Repub primary gaffe race — Raul Labrador or Vaughn Ward?

Political Sandbox — 3.30.10

President Barack Obama holds Veronique Laura Dimyan, who is almost one, as mother Jane Dimyan-Ehrenfeld, right, smiles after signing the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria Tuesday. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

You can continue to discuss health care reform or any other political topic you like with this wild card …

Attorney: Keep $40K Brannon Bond

Attorneys for Councilman Mike Kennedy have filed a brief in Jim Brannon’s lawsuit, arguing that the $40,000 bond assessed against the plaintiff was reasonable. In fact, attorney Scott Reed argued, the bond might not be enough, if the court deems the lawsuit frivolous and awards legal expenses to Kennedy. After detailing several expenses that Kennedy faces, if the case goes to trial April 13, Reed writes: “To this date there is absolutely no evidence of fraud or misconduct. Plaintiffs’ allegations at most amount to charges of mistakes resulting in vulnerable votes which could have been cast for either candidate.” You can read the brief here.

Question: Do you think the $40,000 bond set by the court for Jim Brannon’s lawsuit in the 2009 municipal election is reasonable?

Erin: Don’t Understand Census Hate

I don’t understand the animosity by some, mainly staunch conservatives, toward the census. Several opponents of the Obama administration are urging the public to answer only one of the 10 questions included on the census — the number of people in their household. It’s not like the other nine questions are asking people to reveal their foot fetishes or whether they sleep in the nude. The census asks questions about the recipient’s sex (not how much or what kind), ethnicity, household size and whether or not they own a home. This seems pretty standard to me/Erin Harty, UIdaho Argonaut. More here.

Question: Did you skip any question(s) on the census because you felt that the federal government had no business knowing it?

Idaho Solons Wrap Up 78-day Session

Idaho lawmakers wrapped up a 78-day legislative session Monday that was marked by deep, unprecedented spending cuts – including big cuts to schools – and strident railing against the federal government. “I think that people are afraid of what they’re seeing from the federal government,” said Senate President Pro-Tem Bob Geddes, R-Soda Springs. “People expect us to stand up for Idaho’s rights.” Even into the session’s final hours, which went well into the evening Monday, lawmakers were debating measures designed to send messages to the federal government that Idaho wants more sovereignty, whether it’s about health care reform or guns. They even endorsed two measures calling for amending the U.S. Constitution, both backed by GOP Gov. Butch Otter/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Opinionator Kevin Richert of the Idaho Statesman tweets that Gov. Butch Otter thought the 2010 Legislature was a “great session.” Would you agree?

AM Headlines — 3.30.10

Sarah Wells,11,left and Emma Uecker, 12, both from Sandpoint Charter School enjoyed a free ski day for honor roll students at Schweitzer Mountain on Thursday. (SR Photo: Kathy Plonka)

GhostDuck: Endorsements Matter? Not

GhostDuck2881: Does it really matter about the endorsements? I mean seriously, if Robert Downey Jr. endorsed Labrador would that honestly sway your vote? It is obsurd that an endorsement would affect the way a person would vote. WAKE UP people. Vote for the candidate because of the issues. But no, now that Sali is endorsing Labrador, and Palin is endorsing Ward, its either the straw that broke the camels back, or the greatest thing since sliced bread. Vote for the candidate, and the issues not the endorsements.

Question: Which endorsements matter to you?

Christie: Waste Not Want Not

Christie Wood: My mother makes the best fried chicken gizzards. As you can tell I have a little bit of hick in me. She would also make beef heart but I am not a fan. My parents grew up during the great depression. It was a sin to waste food. Some of those values have stuck with me. I am a rabid home canner and I cook most meals from scratch. But I will also cruise through McDonalds at least once a month for a Quarter Pounder with cheese.

Question: Were you taught to eat everything on your plate — and feel guilty when you throw food away?

Florine: Otter Is A ‘Gutless Wonder’

FlorineD: OK, maybe this will get me tossed into the cooler, but I’m a-railing against the gutless wonder who wants to be reelected as the governor of Idaho. Shame be on the guy with no globes. If he had concerns about the so-called “conscience” bill, then why the hell didn’t he veto it. In fact, a real leader would have used his veto “threat” to cause the various committees to drop the end of life part…that’s what the coward says he disagrees with. But no…he takes the “can’t come back to bite me” path, letting it become law without his signature.

Question: Is FlorineD being fair by calling Gov. Butch Otter a “gutless wonder” for not vetoing the “conscience bill” with which he disagreed in part or totally?

Anderson: Fighting Big Government?

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Ramsey Road Crash Kills Driver

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a fatality vehicle crash that occurred this evening on Ramsey Road, between Lacey Avenue and Wyoming Avenue in the City of Hayden.  The one vehicle crash involved a small northbound car that crossed the southbound lanes of traffic, went off the road, rolled and struck the fence and security barriers at the Army Reserve Center.  The male adult driver, who was the only occupant, was pronounced dead at the scene. Initial investigation indicates speed as a possible factor.  Deputies are currently on scene investigating this crash.  The name of the deceased will be released tomorrow after next of kin are notified/Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department.

Truly: I Got A Job!

Truly: NEWS - NEWS - READ ALL ABOUT IT–(must be the old fashioned reporter mom in me) - Truly got a J-O-B!!! Is part time to start with possibilities of full time down the road. After 2.5 years of nothing - just a lot of soap operas and grilled cheese sandwiches every damn day - I am so excited. The pay is not so great and there are no benefits at this time - but hey- you are reading this post from one “VERY GREATFUL” gal. It’s ok after that much time being a nonworking person to start out a bit slow and then ramp up to full speed so no complaints in the Truly department. I will be doing what I love and that is “helping others”. The title of the position is “Director of First Impressions” which boils down to receptionist and I am totally cool with that.

Question: Do you have gained a greater appreciation for your job since the Great Recession began 18 months ago?

P.S. Trojan Reid Is 5A Top Player

In this Nov. 25 file photo, Shawn Reid is shown during basketball practice at Post Falls High School on Tuesday. Reid was named boys’ 5A player of the year by the Idaho Statesman. Greg Lee/SportsLink has all the top players and state all-star team at this link here.

Question: Were you ever named to an all-star team?

Wild Card/Monday — 3.29.10

My wife and I and friends enjoyed Music Walk downtown Friday — and discovered a local performer who’s worth listening to again, an artist who goes by the name of Kosh, pictured, (which sounds like Kosher only Japanese-American rather than Jewish). He was performing in the Parkside building to empty seats when we arrived. We’d heard folk hillbilly music at Java on Fourth and Celtic music at All Things Irish. We planted ourselves for the rest of the evening when we heard Kosh’s rendition of Rod Stewart’s “Maggie Mae.” He’ll be playing at the Wine Cellar (7 p.m. Wednesday), Daanen’s (6 p.m. Friday), and Moose Lounge (9 p.m. Friday and Saturday) this week. You can discuss local music talent or anything else you like with this Wild Card …

Christie: Oysters & Sardines? Yum!

Christie Wood: I am off to Costco! I never looked for them there. I will now. I love them and I love sardines. In the late 60’s through the 90’s my father used to take oysters or sardines in his lunch box at least once a week. He worked for the railroad, and there was no hot lunch available. During our early school years my little brother and I would sit and wait for his car to arrive in the driveway after work. We went straight for his lunch box to see what he left for us. I always got the sardines, and my brother got the potato chips. Many years later when I was pregnant with my son, I had to have sardines or oysters, and I drank chocolate milk with them every single day.

Question: Do you enjoy eating a type of food that others might consider disgusting? What is it?

PM Headlines — 3.29.10

Lindsey Grubb, 18, a 2009 graduate from Helena High School, places flowers near the site of the early Sunday single vehicle accident that took the life of her friend, Andre D. Hartwig, and four other Helena area teens on Keir Lane near Helena, Mont., earlier today. Helena Independent-Record story here. (AP Photo/The Independent Record, Eliza Wiley)

APhoto Of The Day — 3.29.10

Two Los Angeles Dodgers fans watch batting practice before the Dodgers play the Seattle Mariners in a spring training baseball game Saturday in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Top Cutlines

  • 1. Kage Mann
  • 2. The Seahawks have the 12th man but what the Dodgers have is unbeatable — Herb.
  • 3. Alex Rodriguez is relieved as he only has eyes for himself — Cabbage Boy.
  • JeanieS

PM Scanner Traffic — 3.29.10

  • 6 p.m. A female wants to discuss the “incident on Richards” re: the body in the river.
  • 5:42 p.m. Gordon has information re: body found in the Spokane River.
  • 5:21 p.m. Heidi has questions re: body found in the Spokane River.
  • 5:04 p.m. NIC security has caught a stray dog along Rosenberry Driver.
  • 4:36 p.m. A male wants to speak to police re: a girl who is living in his house who has issues with her parents.
  • 4:24 p.m. Caller said that the tires on a car being towed by a pickup @ I-90 & H41 are turned the wrong way.
  • 4:09 p.m. A tree is lying across the power lines @ Nunn & Bunco/Athol.
  • 4:04 p.m. The two vehicles are off the tracks @ H53 & Pleasantview & BNSF trains are moving again.
  • Much more below

HBO Blogosphere — 3.29.10

You can see what Aunt Laurie is doing to Cedar Post adviser Willie Love by reading Slight Detour here.

Davis Donuts Thought For Today

At the corner of 4th & Best/Appleway, the famous Davis Donuts readerboard offers this thought: “Good character is like good soup — it’s usually home made.”

Question: Do you agree with that adage?

Digger: Smoke Oysters, Yum!

Digger: At Costco (also known as the “Death March with Samples”) yesterday I bought a 6 pack of smoked oysters in cottonseed oil. I absoutley love the things when eaten on a triscut with some cheese - Spazz can’t stand them. He says they stink and make him want to puke. The other two with us agreed with Spazz.

Question: Digger wants to know if he’s weird for liking these little buggers?

Priggee ‘Toon ‘Highly Offends’ Most

I forgot to mention in my HBO Poll results roundup this morning (until long after today’s question was posted) that most Berry Pickers were ‘highly offended’ by the cartoon by former SR cartoonist Milt Priggee, depicting Tea Partiers around a hanging tree marked “health care reform” as bigots. 175 of 308 (57%) said they were “highly offended.” 60 of 303 (19%) considered the cartoon as “a bit over the top.” 59 of 308 (19%) said that the cartoon was dead one. You can see the cartoon for yourself again here.

Sarah Palin Endorses Vaughn Ward

“After returning from Iraq, Vaughn went to work for the McCain/Palin campaign. I was grateful for his support then, and I’m happy to support him now because I know that he believes in the same commonsense conservative ideals that we cherish. Vaughn knows that real job growth comes from the private sector, not government. He believes in free market reforms, tax relief for families and small businesses, and a return to a constitutionally limited government that lives within its means. He’ll carry the conservative banner to Washington and will rein in the reckless growth of government to get it back on our side. And remember, a vote for Vaughn is a vote to remove the gavel from Nancy Pelosi’s grip. Please visit Vaughn’s website here to make a donation to his campaign, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter/Sarah Palin, Facebook. More here. (SR File Photo/Betsy Russell: Jim Palin, left, father of Todd Palin, Chuck Heath, center, father of Sarah Palin, and Vaughn Ward in August 2009.) H/T: Kevin Richert.

Question: How much does Palin’s endorsement mean in the Republican primary this spring?

In Basketball, Devils Win A Lot

Alas, for these Baylor fans (who held up signs during the first half of the NCAA South Regional college basketball championship game in Houston Sunday), the Duke Blue Devils did win, indeed — to become the only No. 1 seed to make it to the Final Four.

Question: At this point, which team do you expect to win the NCAA tournament championship — Duke, West Virginia, Butler, or Michigan State?

MGR Queries Minnick Vietnam Service

When does Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick plan to quit lying about his military service?  It’s been a week since it was first pointed out that Walt had been misrepresenting his service on his campaign Facebook page and, as shown below, still no change.  Today that lie was repeated nationally by KIDO radio’s Austin Hill. Walt Minnick never served in Vietnam.  In fact as pointed out here, he tried desperately to avoid being drafted and did so by joining the Army Reserve.  He said so in his own words in The Native Home of Hope: People & the Northern Rockies, published in 1986/MountainGoat Report. More here. And: Original here.

Minnick spokesman John Foster to MountainGoat: “Please correct your post and title immediately. Walt has never lied or misled anyone about his military service. While not permanently stationed in Vietnam, he did travel, work and serve there as part of his work in the Pentagon to improve the country’s economy. (He also spent time in Afghanistan while working on drug issues.) Attacking someone’s military service is the worst kind of attack, particularly when it is done by a fellow veteran.”

Question: Would it matter to you if Congressman Walt Minnick misrepresented his military service, as MountainGoat Report claims?

Crump: How To Get Hubbies Off Couch

How much is a backyard paver worth? I’m not talking about how much it costs; I’m thinking more tangible value. Like beer. If you ask me, one paver is worth one beer. My wife thinks otherwise. So this weekend will find me out in the broiling March sun, putting down pavers in a most uninspired way. But if beer were in the equation, each paver would seem progressively lighter. Sure they might be a little uneven, but close enough for yard work. The issue arises because I have a friend — a homeowner like myself — who cut a deal with his wife some time back: He wouldn’t play poker with the guys on Friday evenings and carouse at the bowling alley on Saturday nights if on weekends he could punctuate his household chores with Budweiser. Worked out great, until he fell off the ladder/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: How do you get your husband off the couch on weekends?

S&G: Perv Face Life In Prison

A Coeur d’Alene man could be in prison for the rest of his life for two sex crimes, a judge ruled recently. Kyle Richard West, 41, will serve four years in prison before he’s eligible for parole, according to a sentence imposed by Kootenai County District Judge John Mitchell. West was sentenced to life in prison, with four years fixed and the rest indeterminate after pleading guilty Feb. 4 to two counts of lewd conduct with a minor under 16. West’s “lack of remorse and inability or unwillingness to acknowledge the damage” done to his victim were factors in the sentence, according to the Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Question: A worthy sentence for an unworthy individual?

HBO’s Inland Northwest — 3.29.10

With Spotted Eagle Lake and the other ponds in the Miles City, Mont., area still covered by a layer of ice, these Canada geese are substituting the puddles at the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds for their swimming and feeding needs last week. The shallow waters will have to meet their needs until warm weather starts opening up their regular habitats. (AP Photo/Steve Allison/Miles City Star)

No ID Yet On Body Found In River

The sheriff’s department is continuing their investigation of the body removed from the Spokane River near Richards Road on Saturday. No cause of death has been determined. An autopsy has been scheduled for Tuesday. Investigators say the body appears to have been in the water for several weeks or months. There is no identification on the body even though the body was wearing clothes indicative of cooler weather. The body is of a white male possibly between the ages of 20 and 35 years. He has several distinctive tattoos. If anyone has information about a possible missing person in the area, they are asked to contact Detective Jerry Northrup at the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department at (208) 446-1300.

High Noon: Earth Hour Sparks Hubbub

Global warming protesters generated a lot of heat Saturday night at the entrance to Spokane City Hall. It looked for a while like candle-carrying environmentalists might come to blows with those who contend global warming is a hoax perpetuated by the United Nations. But the situation cooled a bit when police showed up and stood in the background. “We are law-abiding citizens, trying to have a peaceful protest here,” said conservative activist Mike Fagan, who was frustrated as an environmental protester repeatedly interrupted the speech he was trying to deliver through a bullhorn. The opposing sides were drawn to City Hall in response to Earth Hour, an international effort to draw attention to environmental concerns and call for a binding pact to cut greenhouse gas emissions/Dan Hansen, Special to Spokesman-Review. More here. (APhoto/Thibault Camus: Candle lights are seen during the Earth Hour in Paris Saturday)

Question: Did you observe Earth Hour Saturday night? Or did you even know it’d come and gone?

AM Scanner Traffic — 3.29.10

  • 11:45 a.m. Victim of a morning burglary reports she found a metal rod that may have been used to break in. It may have fingerprints on it.
  • 11:32 a.m. Caller reports that 2 people in a green pickup pulling a camper may be casing homes in the Dolan/Wrangler/Garwood area of Athol.
  • 11:13 a.m. A wanted person is trying to get a license at the DMV.
  • 10:45 a.m. Caller reports someone is illegally living in a storage unit @ Garage Town/Huetter.
  • 10:40 a.m. A smaller black Honda is speeding and passing recklessly s/b on H41 @ M/P 9.5 (Twin Lakes area).
  • 9:23 a.m. An employer found his employee dead on a couch when he went to check on him on Frederick Street/Post Falls.
  • 9:20 a.m. A parked white Cadillac is blocking a bike trail on 1900 block of Honeysuckle, b/n Ramsey & Chateau.
  • 9:06 a.m. Caller wants to see an officer re: possible bigamy.
  • 8:19 a.m. A vehicle is hanging over an embankment after sliding off from a curve on Riverview near Carpenter/Post Falls. Driver is okay.
  • 8:17 a.m. Caller wants to take to an officer re: his neighbor’s pellet gun.
  • 8:14 a.m. Payette police report that a male named David wanted on a warrant may be staying at the Day’s Inn/CdA. David was released from jail before warrant was served.

Tax Foes: Idaho Isn’t Biz Friendly

Legislation to cut Idaho’s corporate and individual income tax rates by more than a third over the next 10 years is up for an “informational” hearing this morning in the House Revenue & Taxation Committee, though it won’t advance this year. Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, told the committee that Idaho’s taxes are too high, and are higher even than Japan’s, and said that’s why the state currently has such high unemployment/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you think Idaho is business friendly? Or not?

Idaho Solons Show Feds Who’s Boss

We’re so darn fed up with the feds
We’ll hit them right over their heads
With bills and with votes
Memorials and quotes
Hey voters, does that give us cred?

Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise

All Twisted Up

Chile’s Cristina Bello competes in the rhythmic gymnastics event at the South American Games in Medellin, Colombia, Sunday. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

Question: Do you generally get off to a good start on Monday mornings? Or do you often find yourself discombobulated?

Hat Tip — For Swell Biz Service

Since I’ve lost my go-to barber and was in a hurry to get a haircut Saturday, I mustered up the courage to try Supercuts (near CdA Albertson’s). After all, my wife assures me that my type of cut is so simple that even a fifth-grader could do it. Or something like that. With fear and trembling, I entered the quick clip, figuring that the cut would look good for at least a week — when I needed it most — and I’d deal with the uneveness, afterward. I’ve had troubles with Supercuts in the distant past. However, a barber named Forest (dunno if he spells his name with one or two R’s) clipped my locks perfectly. In fact, he said if he didn’t get the length right on top (I always want it shorter than it’s cut by everyone but my go-to clipper who now is semi-retired), he’d clip it until it was right. He did a dyne-oh!-mite job. I wanted to give him a hat tip here for good service.

Question: Feel free to name a person or company who provided good business service in the past week.

HBO Poll: Drug Test Welfare Recipients

  • Weekend Poll: By 2-to-1, HBO Nation said recipients of public assistance should be subject to random drug tests — a proposal being considered by the Idaho Senate. 144 of 218 respondents (66%) said they should. 72 of 218 (33%) said they shouldn’t.
  • Priggee Cartoon: 171 of 303 respondents (56%) were “highly offended” by a cartoon by Milt Priggee depicting Tea Partiers as bigots; 60 of 303 (20%) said the cartoon was “a bit over the top,” and 59 of 303 (19%) said it was right on. You can see the cartoon again here.

Today’s Poll: Are you bothered that Sarah Palin’s Facebook page uses cross-hairs to target Dem congressional seats?

Findings From McEuen Field Workshop

At the first workshop for future McEuen Field improvements, attendees overwhelmingly supported the idea of continuing sports activities on the popular play area. 78 attendees marked “sports activities” as one of the top four programs they’d like to see on McEuen Field in the future. Concerts & performances (29 votes), farmers market (25 votes) and festivals (23 votes) rounded out the top four. You can see the entire list here. “Sports activities” and “playground” were listed as the top two reasons people visit McEuen (full list here). Also, there was strong support re: using the McEuen Field/3rd Street Marina area as an amphitheater, or additional park or open space (full list here). Finally, attendees said there top preference for Front Street improvements was to buffer the Centennial Trail from the street. (full list here). (SR File Photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: Are you surprised by any of the findings from the McEuen Field seminar last week?

Political Sandbox — 3.29.10

President Barack Obama rallies troops at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Story here. And: A majority of Americans approve of Obama’s Afghanistan effort here. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

You can discuss President Obama’s surprise visit to Afghanistan or politics with this Wild Card …

Are Women Driving Tea Partiers?

Politico’s posting of today on the issue of who REALLY is driving the Tea Party movement is fascinating. Their conclusion is that the Tea Party, so far, is being organized and run in large part by women … They are women who have apparently NOT been members of NOW and its dwindling sister-organizations. The demographics of the movement show a steady stream of women in their late 40’s to their early 60’s who love what they believe America is (or was) and have a passionate desire to re-embrace those traditions that worked for their parents and grandparents. Men join them. Combining the social networking with this “phenom of femininity” could be very interesting. I’ll admit that I was not impressed much with the “men-folk” who sponsored the recent Idaho Tea Party event at the Capitol…lots of motion, no progress, flailing arms, woe-is-me white guys at the microphone/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

Question: Do you think women are the guiding force in the Tea Party movement?

Dan @ Avista Handles Blogos Barbs

It’s a good thing Dan Kolbet is thick-skinned. Because he is “Dan_at_Avista,” the company’s social-media man who blogs and tweets about his company, and wades into the vitriol of online message boards where flogging Avista in the comfort of anonymity has become a form of electronic graffiti. About a year ago he convinced Avista executives that they needed to engage social media as a way to reach their customers. Despite some ups and downs, he has no regrets and is considered somewhat of a trailblazer in the staid world of regulated utilities, making presentations to other utilities interested in how to reach people. He has taken a few lumps in the process as he monitors online forums and then joins the conversations. Kolbet sat down for an interview last week after Avista drew public ire for its request to raise electricity and natural gas rates/John Stucke, SR. More here.

Question: Dan Kolbet (aka Dan_at_Avista) has weighed in here several times when we’ve been tearing up the utility (usually for a rate-hike request). What do you think of his willingness to venture into places like HBO where angels fear to tread?

Sarah Palin Cross-hairs Bother Stewart

Item: Palin denounces violence, but gun imagery on Facebook will stay/Erika Bolstad, McClatchy Newspapers (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong: Sarah Palin, right, greets Tea Party activists at the “Showdown in Searchlight” tea party rally in Searchlight, Nev., Saturday)

More Info: On Twitter, Palin told supporters disheartened by the health care vote: “Don’t Retreat, instead - RELOAD!” She directed them to her Facebook page, where she used rifle scope-like crosshairs to identify the 20 seats she hopes SarahPAC will flip from blue to red. (CBS News reports Palin is refusing to back down from gun rhetoric)

Tony Stewart/Kootenai County Task Force On Human Relations: “I think they have a very, very serious responsibility to measure their words carefully,” Stewart said of Palin and other high-profile leaders. “I’m deeply concerned about that type of trend in our country and what it could do to the fringe elements. When people are very divisive or extreme in their comments, unfortunately, our history has taught us that some individuals who are on the very fringe - and are oftentimes not even stable - may take that and engage in violence.”

Question: Are you bothered that Sarah Palin’s Facebook page uses rifle scope-like crosshairs to identify 20 seats she hopes to turn from blue to red?


AM Headlines — 3.29.10

Chris Russell of Advanced Pest Control sprayed a house in Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday. They have seen an increased number of calls due to the early onset of warm weather. (SR Photo: Kathy Plonka)

OTV Review: Famous Willies BBQ

I do believe I’ve discovered possibly the last restaurant in the entire USA with an 8-track tape player still happily in use. A wall-mounted rack full of the chunky tapes immediately jumped out at my eyeballs when I entered Famous Willies BBQ in Post Falls one recent afternoon and I was a bit perplexed. I haven’t even seen those things floating around the thrift stores in at least ten years. An odd form of décor, I thought, but after settling in at my table, I heard Johnny Cash fade away mid-song, only to return to the airwaves a few seconds later. The waitress confirmed my hunch when she came to take my order. The 8-track action is one the many delightful quirks that, along with memorable food and an easygoing vibe, make Famous Willie’s an impressive new entry in the local restaurant handbook/Patrick Jacobs, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

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

Nearly 1/2 Biz Block Facebook, Et Al

According to one survey, slightly more than half of U.S. businesses now block office access to Facebook, which this month was anointed the most popular Web site in North America. It just surpassed Google for most visits per week, according to site analysis company Hitwise. Companies block Facebook, MySpace and in some cases, YouTube, because they can affect productivity. Nucleus Research concluded earlier this year that U.S. companies would see a productivity gain of 1.5 percent if Facebook were blocked on work computers. In addition, many computer-network administrators block access to those sites because workers can introduce viruses via links or spam messages sent to them/Tom Sowa, SR. More here. (SR illustration: Molly Quinn)

Question: Does your workplace block access to Facebook, MySpace, YouTube (or even Huckleberries Online)?

Signe: I See Nothing

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Wild Card/Weekend — 3.27.10

There’s an outbreak of jury duty in the Coeur d’Alene office of The Spokesman-Review. I and two guys in the circulation department got summoned in recent days. I’ll be at the mercy of the court from April 19-30. In days gone by, you were dismissed if your panel wasn’t called initially and were free from jury duty for two years. This time, I have to keep calling every night to see whether I’m needed for one of the string of trials over two weeks. So the chances are that I’ll end up serving. Which might be interesting because I’ve been summoned several times. But I’ve never been called to show up at the courthouse for a jury. Or serve on one. I’ll keep you posted about this because it’ll affect my blogging. You can use this Wild Card to discuss your adventures with jury duty or anything else you want …

Xavier 74, Gonzaga 56

 Gonzaga’s Vivian Frieson, center, is double teamed by Xavier’s Amber Harris, background and Ta’Shia Phillips right, during the first half of an NCAA Sacramento Regional semifinal college basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday. Gonzaga, which trailed by only 1 at halftime, couldn’t handle Phillips in the second half as they fell 74-56 to lose a chance to move onto the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. ESPN game story and boxscore here. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Man’s Body Found In Spokane River

Kootenai County Sheriff’s deputies have pulled a man’s body from the Spokane River near the state line. The body was reported about 7:30 this morning, near Richards Road, Lt. Stu Miller wrote in a press report. That road is below the Post Falls Dam on the south side of the river, less than a mile from the Washington state line. The department’s recreational safety section and dive rescue team pulled the body from shallow water, Miller reported. Authorities haven’t determined how long the body was in the river, the man’s identity or what caused the his death, Miller reported. The case remains under investigation/Spokesman-Review.

Wipe Out

A crash involving Australia’s Belinda Goss,  foreground right , Russia’s Evgeniya Romanyuta, at left, Italy’s Giorgia Bronzini partially seen, and Shelly Evans of the US, during the Women’s Scratch Race at the World Track Cycling Championship, in the Ballerup Arena, Copenhagen, Denmark, Friday. The race was won by Pascale Jeuland of France. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Question: Have you ever wiped out on a bicycle? Care to tell HBO Nation about it?

K-Bloggin’: Ghosts Of Richard Hugo Trip

I took a trip in late July and early August of 1992. I was on my way home for my 20th high school reunion. I decided I’d take a really long route from Eugene to Kellogg and go out to Burns, on to Boise, on to Sun Valley to Stanley to Salmon and then go on a Richard Hugo tour of Montana. It’s the Richard Hugo tour of Montana that leaves me wordless. It was simple. I drove throughout western Montana, to Wisdom, Big Hole National Battle Ground, Butte, Walkerville, Hot Springs, Kicking Horse Reservoir, Philipsburg, Drummond and other Hugo landmarks. At the places I drove to I stopped, walked the streets (or the battlefield), found a private place, often the car, and read Hugo’s poem about that place aloud. Then came the ghosts. I welcomed them/Raymond Pert, Kellogg Bloggin’. More here.

Question: Have you ever taken a road trip like Raymond Pert or John Steinbeck (“Travels with Charlie”) when you took time to smell the roses?

Dennis: When Bloggers — Me — Blow It

I tend to be a stickler for keeping “short accounts” on thorny issues…or at least I hope I am. It’s not always possible. Sometimes distance does not allow it, or time, or eternity. But most of the time I CAN revisit an issue, if I choose to. That can be applied to relationships, income, anger or even…my blog. When I’m challenged on this blog, I try to see what the other person is TRYING to say, even if I don’t fully HEAR their meaning. Don’t get me wrong, I DO hear them, but I may not be listening to what they are truly saying and meaning. It gets so complicated sometimes, doesn’t it? But when I DO hear them, it is up to me to correct what was incorrectly posted. Such is the case with my most recent posting on Israel and President Obama’s middle name. It was a cheap shot and I got called on it/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

Question: What do you do as a blogger or online commenter when you post something that you get called on or regret later?

Skunkman Has Pawprints On Idaho Law

When two universities on the Idaho-Washington border needed a deterrent for tree thieves at the holidays, they knew whom to call: Idaho Republican Sen. Gary Schroeder, chairman of the Resources and Environment Committee, owner of Moscow Hide and Fur and legislative skunk-essence expert. Schroeder hasn’t checked the going price lately, but the University of Idaho in Moscow and Washington State University in Pullman scored their eau de stinker - extracted from a skunk’s scent glands with a needle and syringe - for about $15 an ounce, roughly half the cost of Chanel No. 5 perfume. “They put it on Christmas trees to keep people from cutting them down,” Schroeder told The Associated Press. “That way, their apartment starts to smell. Word gets around”/John Miller, Åssociated Press. More here.

Question: Tell us about a close encounter that you’ve had with a skunk?

Camo Is Always In Style

Tony Humphreys of Lewiston figures he can put camo on just about anything. That includes gun stocks, motorcycles, computers, bows, animal skulls and toilet seats. At least those are some of the things he’s decorated with a variety of camouflage patterns. Humphreys and his wife, Trina, own a business called The Big Dipper, Creative Camo Decorations, that specializes in putting a layer of camo or other printed films on anything with a hard surface. Known as transfer printing or film dipping, the process is becoming popular with hunters and outdoor enthusiasts looking to camouflage their equipment or just add a level of style to any item. The Humphreys are one of the dozens of vendors at the Inland Northwest Outdoor Show at the Nez Perce County Fairgrounds. The show opened Friday afternoon and the Big Dipper booth was attracting attention. “It’s pretty cool. I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Randy Parsons of Clarkston/Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Lewiston Tribune Photo)

Question: Do you ever wear camo or decorate personal possessions with it?

Anderson: Don’t Think

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Column: Letting Go Of Grudges

I’ll be honest … I tend to hold grudges. I’m not typically an angry person, but when it comes to situations that truly make me angry or people that hurt me either directly or indirectly, I am not one to easily let things go. I’m still mad at a girl from first grade who stole my part in the school play when I was sick for one day. We’re friends now, and she doesn’t know I hold this grudge, but a part of me is still annoyed 16 years later. Seriously, it was only one day. And I was the lead. Anyway, these days it takes a lot to get me to a point where I’ll hold a serious grudge, but I’ve recently discovered that I really do have the power to forgive and move on/Kelcie Moseley, UIdaho Argonaut. More here.

Question: Is it easy for you to forgive & forget?

Parting Shot — 3.26.10

Baylor’s Quincy Acy, left, and Tweety Carter, right, go for a rebound against Saint Mary’s Omar Samhan during the first half of an NCAA South Regional semifinal college basketball game in Houston on Friday. It appears as though Saint Mary’s magic run will end tonight as the Gaels trail Baylor 54-21 with 15:36 left in the second half. Running ESPN boxscore here. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

TGIF Wild Card — 3.26.10

There’s no truth to the rumor (being spread by a certain HBO Central sidekick) that I hesitated re: Facebook involvement because I was afraid that I’d catch VD. Seems there’s some rumor that Facebook leads to VD because many individuals involved in the social networking hook up — and have suffered the consequences of, ahem, real-life interaction. Cindy provides a link re: this story here. You can discuss the health hazards of social networking or anything else you want by playing this Wild Card …

Boise Young Pros: Otter’s A Geezer

Judging from the post-speech reaction and response on social networking sites such as Twitter, Otter left the bunch unimpressed. “Otter talking abt old people, cowboying, corp tax breaks…not to this young professional crowd, for sure,” wrote @whitnuld during the speech. She followed up that tweet with this one: “Never heard a speaker so oblivious to their audience as Gov Otter @ Boise Young Professionals talk today. #oldwhiteguy #goodoldboy #geezer” The tech-savvy audience, armed with Blackberrys and iPhones and tied to the Internet, chimed in with real-time comments during the speech — heckling without the rude interruptions/Muskrat, 43rd State Blues. More here. (AP File Photo: Charlie Litchfield)

Question: How can you tell when someone’s a geezer?

PM Headlines — 3.26.10

Spokane Police and Sheriff Deputies block off the scene of an officer involved shooting in the 4100 east 36th Avenue area of South Spokane today. Todd Ely White, 46, was identified as the man fatally shot by Spokane police. Story here. (SR Photo: Christopher Anderson)

APhoto Of The Day — 3.26.10

Boys of the Paloc minority, dressed in their traditional clothing, pour buckets of water on a girl in the village of Holloko, 100 kilometers (62 miles) north-east of Budapest, Hungary, earlier today, during a practice performance of this typical Hungarian Easter tradition. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Holloko wet t-shirt contest — Pecky Cox.
  • 2. Male cheerleaders with the Paloc team, European Basketball league, celebrate a win, but mistake a passing maiden for the coach — Herb.
  • 3. Mary Souza’s all wet — JeanieS.
  • HM: Charlie

PM Scanner Traffic

  • 4:25 p.m. Dollar Tree reports there’s an unconscious person on premises.
  • 3:54 p.m. Tony on 600 block of Wilbur/Dalton Gardens reports that a female in a gray-and-red pickup who hit his vehicle this morning now is claiming she wasn’t involved. They didn’t exchange insurance info earlier.
  • 3:44 p.m. Caller reports a slender 5-4 skater sometimes holds onto vehicles when he’s skating on the road @ Strahorn & Drawbridge Court/Hayden.
  • 3:23 p.m. 1st Officer: “Do we have a crime or is it just ruffled feathers?” 2nd officer: “I believe it’s just ruffled feathers.”
  • 3:17 p.m. An unattended death of an 84YO female is reported @ Four Seasons/CdA.
  • More below

HBO Blogosphere — 3.26.10

“With a bunch of rain scheduled on upcoming forecasts and with some new shoes on Lily,” posts Marianne Love/Slight Detour, ”I seized the moment (Wednesday) and took off for a lovely spring horseback ride. More here.

House OKs Ban On Text-While-Driving

Rep. Jim Patrick, R-Twin Falls, spoke out against the bill. “There’s a lot of things that are inattentive driving,” he said, that he’s seen drivers do - from reading a newspaper to lighting a cigarette with both hands while driving with their knees. “Those are all just as bad.” Patrick said he thought texting while driving would be difficult to prove. “Just because they’ve got their phone in their hand doesn’t prove anything.” Patrick said he doesn’t text and drive, but said, “I also don’t read a book and drive, I don’t put on lipstick - well, I don’t any time.” Said Rep. Steve Hartgen, R-Twin Falls, “It seems to me that we’re passing a statute here that cannot be enforced”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Critics say that texting-while-driving is hard to prove. What do you think?

Panhandle Health Director To Retire

Jeanne Bock, director of the Panhandle Health District (PHD) since 2001, will retire this fall after 24 years of public health service in Idaho’s five northern counties. The Board of Health accepted her retirement notice March 25 and plans to hire her successor by August. “I envision the health district as a little ship on a big ocean. We need a good captain or we’re in big trouble,” said Marlow Thompson, chairman of the Board of Health. “Jeanne is a good captain, knows the direction to go, holds steady to her course, is willing to hit the big waves head on and works well with the crew”/Cynthia Taggart, Panhandle Health District. More here.

Question: What was Jeanne Bock’s biggest accomplishment in her 9 years as director of the Panhandle Health District?

McEuen Seminar Impresses KEA Exec

At first, I was put off by the place-the-dots-on-the-poster activity prior to the start of the event.  Yet, the workshop itself was quite impressive. Masterfully facilitated by out-of-town firm MIG, the workshop led attendees through an exercise to rate “visual preferences” for potential park designs and amenities. Then the facilitator led the audience – a nearly full crowd at Lake City Senior Center – through a discussion of what the “character” of the park should be, as the “note-taker” did a semi-impromptu live illustration of the park plans being discussed. The workshop mined some excellent ideas for connectivity, integration with Tubbs Hill, better connection to the lakefront, winter activities, and new features/Terry Harris, KEA Blog. More here. (Photo by KEA BlackberryCam: City Parks Director Doug Eastwood speaks at McEuen Field workshop.)

Question: Do you plan to attend one of the future workshops? Or to comment about the public space on the city’s online site?

Together Again

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., right, is joined on stage by Sarah Palin as she makes an appearance with him at a rally at the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson, Ariz., today. McCain, who is running for another term in the U.S. Senate, was joined by Palin for their first campaign rally together since losing the presidential election in 2008. Story here. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Question: What do you make of the news that Sarah Palin willl serve as a guide for a $1M-per-episode series for the Discovery Channel: “Sarah Palin’s Alaska”?

Gookin Calls McEuen Seminar ‘Theater’

At Coeur d’Alene Press online, Dan Gookin has triggered quite a reaction with this comment about the McEuen Field planning process: “Oh, I just love theater!” To which a commenter named Yonda responded accurately: “Gookin, I don’t get you and your troupe of endlessly negative nellies. You complain that the city isn’t transparent enough, but when they hold open meeting for public input, you laugh it off and discredit it it as simply ‘theater.’ Is there no pleasing you people?” Others made similar comments. Mary Souza was somewhat more reasonable by applauding the open meetings, questioning only the fact that the facilitator was from Portland, not here. But I doubt it’d be hard to find a local facilitator who would please everyone.

Question: Do you consider the seminars seeking input for McEuen Field upgrades to be simply “theater”?

UMontana Bans Medical Marijuana

The University of Montana does not allow marijuana on campus - even if a student has a state-issued medical marijuana card, officials said Friday. The prohibition, they said, comes because UM must adhere to federal regulations that prohibit the use of marijuana. Break the rules and a campus risks the loss of its federal dollars. “We’re not unsympathetic to the medical conditions of these people, but we don’t have the authority to do anything about it,” said David Aronofsky, UM chief legal counsel. In 2004, Montana was the 10th state to allow patients with certain medical conditions to use marijuana to alleviate pain if recommended by a physician. Last October, the Obama administration announced a non-interference policy in medical marijuana operations that adhere to state law/Chelsi Moy, Missoulian. More here. (AP File Photo/Ed Andrieski: Jenny smokes a marijuana cigarette at a medical marijuana rally at Lincoln Park across from the Capitol in Denver on Jan. 14.)

Question: Do you think the Idaho Legislature will ever OK the use of medical marijuana?

Obama Appoints Bruce Reed To Post

Idahoan Bruce Reed has been appointed as executive director of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Reed, who is the son of longtime Democratic state senator Mary Lou Reed of Coeur d’Alene and environmental attorney Scott Reed, was director of President Clinton’s Domestic Policy Council for eight years. Since then he’s been CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council, a centrist organization. Reed’s most public achievement under Clinton was heading up a welfare reform initiative which was unpopular with liberal Democrats, and his other moderate views have sometimes put him at odds with that wing of the party/Jill Kuraitis, New West. More here.

Question: How about joining me in a shout out to Bruce’s parents, Scott & Mary Lou Reed?

INW Headlines — 3.26.10

In this Nov. 18, 2008, SR photo by Dan Pelle, Gonzaga coaches Mark Few and Leon Rice bear down during the 1st half of the Idaho game at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Rice will no longer be looking over Few’s shoulder. He has been hired by Boise State to coach the basketball team. Jim Meehan/SportsLink provides comments and links to this story here.

High Noon: Dennis Hopper Gets Star

In this May 23, 2008, AP file photo, American actor Dennis Hopper poses for the photo call of ” Chelsea on the Rocks” during the 61st International film festival in Cannes, southern France. Hopper was awarded his star on the Hollywood walk of fame today. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

Question (and statement via Twitter from KXLY4 News): “just watched Dennis Hopper get his star on Hollywood walk of fame. Great actor and class act. What’s your fave Hopper flick?”

AM Scanner Traffic — 3.26.10

  • 11:59 a.m. Larry Purviance’s office on Hayden Avenue calls to report a barking neighbor’s dog.
  • 11:48 a.m. Caller reports that cows are running loose @ Conkling & Larson/Worley in an open range area that borders on closed range. It’s an ongoing problem.
  • 11:42 a.m. Hayden’s Super 1 has a “contained dog.”
  • 11:28 a.m. Caller reports that a reckless driver of a blue 4Runner w/Washington plates has turned onto Pleasantview/Post Falls and is tying up traffic w/his maneuvers.
  • Much more below

Priggee’s Tea Party ‘Toon Goes Viral

Former SR cartoonist Milt Priggee has lit up cyberspace with a cartoon that portrays the Tea Party as a bunch of angry bigots holding signs that spouted their favorite causes. Daryl Cagle, who has a Web site devoted to the nation’s political cartoonists, tweeted: “Tough cartoon about the racial bigotry that seems apparent in the Tea Party.” Bryan Myrick of the conservative blog Unequal Time isn’t as generous: “Seeing the key phrases ‘racial bigotry,’ ‘apparent,’ and ‘tea Party,’ I took the bait, clicked and found myself looking at a cartoon by Milt Priggee posted on Cagle’s blog that caused my jaw to hit the keyboard.” More here. You can see why the Priggee ‘toon is causing so much commotion by clicking here (warning: nasty racial epithet ahead).

Betsy: No Adjournment Today?

Majority leaders on both sides have huddled, and as hard as they’ve been pushing, it’s not looking like they can complete this year’s legislative session today. That means lawmakers will be back at work on Monday. Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, just told the Senate, “We’re falling behind, and when this happens we can make mistakes. It’s too important that we do it right.” The Senate will go to lunch, return at 1:30, work until 3 p.m., and then adjourn until Monday/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Does it matter to you when the legislators adjourn?

Marty Lederhandler, 92 APhotographer

In this Sept. 11, 2001, file photo by Associated Press photographer Marty Lederhandler, the twin towers of the World Trade Center burn behind the Empire State Building in New York. Lederhandler, an AP photographer who captured on film every U.S. president from Herbert Hoover to Bill Clinton, covered the D-Day landing in 1944 and climaxed a 66-year career with an iconic shot of the 9/ll World Trade Center attacks, died late Thursday night. He was 92. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler, File)

Question: Which historic photograph is your favorite?

HBO Poll: Yes, To Census Forms

  • Thursday Poll: 103 of 139 respondents (78%) said they’ve already filled out their 2010 census forms. 22 of 139 (16%) said they hadn’t done so. 9 of 139 (6%) said they aren’t going to fill out their forms.
  • Today’s Question: Should recipients of public assistance be subject to random drug tests?

Question (for those of you who refuse to fill out your 2010 census form): Why?

Deanna: McEuen Input To Go Online

Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander: Many of the ideas that came forward last night were on track with the previous planning of the Committee of Nine that worked on the McEuen plans 8 years ago. Trails along the base of Tubbs Hill, continuing with baseball on part of the park, maybe adding a Bocce Ball court or two, an updated larger playground for kids, soccer,open space, a plaza for maybe a farmers market. I think people want an active use park with more variety than what exists now. It was a great evening. When we get everything on line at and open up room for more comments it will only get more valuable as a resource for the citizens. Right now, if someone has a comment they could take it to the blog that is on the city’s websight and it would get to the Parks Dept.

Question: What do you think of the ideas that Deanna listed above? What new activity would you like city leaders to consider for McEuen Field?

Murf: Solons Dis Welfare Recipients

The latest privacy test came this week when the Senate gave the OK for a study that would look into the cost of drug-testing Idahoans on public assistance. Hungry? Before you get food stamps you need to pee in this cup, or hold out your arm for a little prick. Children need medicine? Bleed a little for us, please. Privacy doesn’t seem to matter for those folks who, for whatever reason, need a little help. We wonder where Geddes comes down on this issue. Undoubtedly some state-aid recipients abuse the system - but it’s safe to say that’s not the case with most. Those needing Medicaid, food stamps and other public assistance are far from being the addicts some legislators obviously assume they are. We find it offensive that lawmakers could resort to such an invasive practice to weed out those who abuse the system/Murf Raquet (pictured), Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Do you think many people in need of public assistance do drugs, as most Idaho senators seem to think?

Marty: Jeers To Bill Sali

Then, Sali endorsed state Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, to challenge the man who ousted him two years ago, Congressman Walt Minnick, D-Idaho. Because Vaughn Ward, Labrador’s main competition for the Republican nomination,has never held elective office, sending him to Washington would be like “sending a Boy Scout to Iraq,”, Sali said. In 2006, Ward actually led a combat tour in Fallujah, Iraq, and was awarded the Bronze Star. While ward was in Iraq, Sali was picking on women. In a state House floor debate, Sali linked abortion to breast cancer, a remark that reduced Rep. Wendy Jacquet, D-Ketchum, to tears. Jacquet is a breast cancer survivor. All of which provoked then-House Speaker Bruce Newcomb, R-Burley, to declare Sali “an absolute idiot”/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More Cheers & Jeers column here.

Question: Does Bill Sali deserve MartyTrillhaase’s jeer for his recent slap at Repub congressional candidate Vaughn Ward?

Political Sandbox

A man holds up signs outside the venue where American conservative pundit Ann Coulter gives a talk on Political Correctness, Media Bias and Freedom of Speech in Calgary, Canada on Thursday. You can find out why conservative firebrand has Canadian protesters fired up here. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Larry MacDougal)

You can comment on the latest flap involving Ann Coulter or on any political thing your little heart desires by playing this wild card …

Budget Travel: Sandpoint’s Cool

The newest issue of Budget Travel has named Sandpoint, Idaho, among the 21 coolest small towns in the nation. The magazine, which also gave props to Sisters, Ore., and Red Lodge, Mont., specified its criteria as such: “The town must have a population under 10,000 — we’re talking small towns, not big cities. It’s also got to be on the upswing, a place that’s beginning to draw attention — and new residents — because of the quality of life, arts and restaurant scene, or proximity to nature. And cool doesn’t mean quaint. We want towns with an edge, so think avant-garde galleries, not country stores.” Sandpoint City Council President John Reuter — a 26-year-old who also publishes the weekly Sandpoint Reader — says he’s not surprised at the nod/Joel Smith, Inlander. More here.

Question: Why do you think Sandpoint’s cool?

McEuen Field Seminar Draws 75

Item: City keeping its options open: Wide range of ideas will be considered for McEuen Field/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Dave Walker said that too many ballparks gives McEuen Field a look of fenced off parks that nobody uses when people aren’t playing games. “Morning, noon and night, seven days a week,” he said about seeing the vacant fields. But Charlie Roan cited a park in Kirkland, Wash., that incorporated a first-rate ball field into a mixed-use park that could work well in downtown Coeur d’Alene keeping the baseball field there.

Question: How often do you or family members use McEuen Field now?

AM: Gonzaga On Baby Watch

Gonzaga University assistant womens basketball coaches, Jodie Kaczor Berry and Lisa Mispley Fortier are expecting children. At SportsLink, Dave Trimmer writes: “Kelly Graves always talks about the Bulldog family. Well, it’s about to get bigger. Heck, it could be getting bigger between the time I write this and the time you read it.” More here, and: More here. (SR Photo: DAN PELLE)

Otis G: Damn If You Do Or Don’t

Otis G Experience: These types of situations (McEuen Field redesign workshops) are always tough for government officials. If you just blast into it, you’re being “sneaky”. So, you hold a bunch of public meetings (of which about 0.00002% of the population attends), to get a feel for what the community wants. Then, you take that information and spend some time and money doing some planning … at which point you get accused of wasting taxpayer money. Then, once you come up with a plan, the rest of the population (who probably didn’t attend the initial meetings) come out to say how horrible it is.

Question: Do you think Otis G is right — that most citizens don’t get involved in workshops and hearings, like the one for McEuen Field last night, but they’ll gripe till the cows come home if they don’t like something in the final product?

Chris: How To Use Twitter

Chris/Treasured Valley: I use Twitter to broadcast my blog feed (same with Facebook), but I also use it as a communication medium. It’s a great way to have short conversations with people about either the links that went out or anything. It’s also a really great way to find out what is going on as it happens. I run a separate computer that has Tweetdeck running on it ( so I can constantly know what is going on, mainly because I’m an information junkie. It’s a great way for a link to get passed around between people and a great way to get new eyes on your stuff. If someone likes something they can “retweet” it to their followers and so on and so forth. Same thing applies to Facebook.

DFO: Chris’s Treasured Valley is the go-to site for news and blog links from the Boise-Nampa-Caldwell area. You should bookmark him. He’s referring to the fact that Huckleberries Online now uses Twitter. I’ll probably add a Facebook fan page next week.

Question: Are you signed up for Twitter?

Ramirez: Health Care Pearl Harbor

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Leon Rice Leaving Zags For Boise State

Gonzaga associate head coach Leon Rice has accepted an offer to become the head coach at Boise State, according to More here. Rice would replace Greg Graham, who was fired nearly two weeks ago. Rice has been on head coach Mark Few’s staff for 11 years. In 2007, Rice was named associate head coach. Rice came to Gonzaga from Yakima Valley College where he was the head coach in 1999 and co-head coach with Dean Nicholson in 1998. The 1999 team went 31-2 and won the NWAACC championship. Including Rice’s two years as an assistant coach, YVC was 103-26 in his four seasons in Yakima/Jim Meehan, SportsLink. More here.

Wild Card/Thursday — 3.25.10

I’m beginning to see the benefit to Twitter already. It’s a good way to circulate links to important posts (no matter what Joker says). Also, with an explanation by Phaedrus and Blogmeister Ryan, I understand the purpose for Twitter in the second decade of the 21st Century. You’re welcome to sign up for HBO Twitter by using the button under my photo at the right. Now, to replay your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 3.25.10

Jake Locke runs up to see his father Thomas, a pilot for the VFA-14 Top Hatters, who returned from duty today in Lemoore, Calif. Lemoore Naval Air Station strike fighter squadrons, VFA-41’s Black Aces, VFA-14’s Top Hatters and VFA-97’s Warhawks returned home in their F/A-18 aircraft after an eight month deployment aboard the USS Nimitz. Locke was seeing his child and grandchild for the first time after being born while he was on deployment. (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)

Station Uses Biden F-bomb As Promo

An alternative radio station in Boise is using an explicit comment by the Vice President to promote its station. The billboard, located on the Connector, shows Joe Biden whispering into President Barack Obama’s ear and says “V99.1 is a big (explicitive) deal.” This new billboard comes just days after Biden made the comment to Obama when the president signed the health care reform bill/KBCI. See photo here.

Question: Clever idea or poor taste?

KREM: Senior Ping Pongers Up In Arms

Some seniors in Spokane Valley are ready to fight for the sport they love. The Spokane Valley Senior Center Board of Directors plans to relocate two ping pong tables to another location five miles away, and will now charge for open sessions. The Board decided ping pong was too dangerous after a woman broke her arm. Board members say they’ve also received noise complaints. Senior Center member Vern Hutchinson says all this was decided after he wrote a letter to the Board, asking them for a third ping pong table. “I’m 81-years-old, I’d like to play ping pong and do it in a reasonable fashion,” Hutchinson told KREM 2 News/Jane McCarthy, KREM2. More here.

Question: How would you solve this problem?

PM: U.S. Bans CdA’s Woman’s Hubby

Darryl Clifton of D&D Tree Service at Lewiston adjusts the tension on his chain saw while cutting up a 80-year old maple tree in Clarkston, Wash., on Wednesday. The property owner determined that the tree was dead and rotting on the inside. The stump measured more than five feet wide at the base. (AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune, Barry Kough)

APhoto Of The Day — 3.25.10

Ukraine’s Vladislav Goncharov places his head into the mouth of one his lions during the rehearsal of the upcoming show of the Hungarian State Circus in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. I’m tellin’ ya, Igor, you still have all your teeth and the tooth fairy was right to not leave you any money. If I’m lyin’ I’m dyin’. {oops}  — JeanieS.
  • 2. Vladislav tries to retrieve his book after it was snatched from his hands by one of two animals in his care, proving once again that’s it’s not always easy to read between the lions — JohnA.
  • 3. The meeting of the GOP and the Tea Party did not go exactly as the GOP had hoped — Idawa.
  • HM: Gary Rhodes

PM Scanner Traffic — 3.25.10

  • 5:33 p.m. Janice reports that 2 boys drove their bikes repeatedly into a neighbor’s hedge before riding off along Hayden Avenue toward H95.
  • 5:05 p.m. A 3YO with an egg allergic is having a reaction to a muffin eaten 2 hours ago at a Post Falls day care. The child’s eyes are swollen.
  • 4:47 p.m. A PFPD Blue is checking out a hitchhiker @ I-90 & Pleasantview/Post Falls.
  • 4:01 p.m. Something smells like it’s burning @ Coeur d’Alene Dental Clinic on Kathleen.
  • 3:53 p.m. Motorist reports 2 boys are throwing rocks @ vehicles @ Riverview & Simonsen/Post Falls.
  • Much more below

McEuen Field Workshop Tonight @ 6

On Thursday, March 25th, at 6:00 p.m., at the Lake City Senior Center, a public meeting/workshop will be held to gather input and ideas on McEuen Field and Front Avenue. MIG, a Portland-based land planning firm that worked on the Coeur d’Alene Parks Master Plan and the Education Corridor, will be hosting this workshop. The city is asking for citizens’ ideas on their favorite existing and possible future activities for McEuen Field, which has been the site of many varied types of recreation and leisure over the past 100 years. It will remain a public park and there may be improvements made to the park site/Coeur d’Alene Today. More here. Terry Harris/KEA post re: Mayor Sandi Bloem’s discussion of McEuen here. (Photo: KEA Blog)

Question: Do you plan to attend tonight’s workshop?

Solons Moving Toward Adjournment

Question: If the Legislature adjourns without forcing an agreement between Benewah County and the Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe over cross-deputization will the tribe be out of luck until the 2011 session?

Still Bashing George Bush In Georgia

Protesters install a banner over the sign marking a street named after former US President George W. Bush, in Tbilisi, Georgia Thursday as they demand the street be renamed.(AP Photo/ Shakh Aivazov)

Question: If you could, which street in your community would you rename? And what would the new name be?

Risch To Push For Reform Repeal

The health care reconciliation bill has cleared the Senate on a 56-43 vote, but Idaho senior Sen. Mike Crapo said opponents will not give up. And Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, said he will push to repeal portions of the reform law. “We have been fighting for all those Americans who have been shouting that they don’t want this bill,” Crapo, R-Idaho, said in a statement. “They know that this bill and the health care reform legislation signed earlier this week will bury future generations in debt and burden them with unreasonable costs. The Administration and the majority leaders in Congress believe that the American people are wrong, and that they should just be quiet and get out of their way. But we will keep up the fight”/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What do you think the odds are that lawsuits by several states and diehard opposition from Republican congressmen will succeed in overturning health care reform?

HBO Soft Launches Twitter

Don’t look now, but Huckleberries Online has added a Twitter feed to the front page (below my mug in the right rail). I’ve posted a couple of links. But I’m not sure how I’m going to use it yet. You’re welcome to become a follower while I figure out how to best use Twitter to support this blog. Meanwhile, I’m seriously considering starting a Facebook — yes, Cindy, you’ve gotten me to think about that — fan club for Huckleberries. I need to think this through a bit more. I don’t want to duplicate what I’m doing here somewhere else in cyberspace. If I go ahead with a Facebook fan club for HBO, it’ll probably be mid-next week — DFO.

NotMyBathroom Fights Missoula Plan

Item: Citing restroom safety, opposes Missoula anti-discrimination ordinance/Kelly Szpaller, Missoulian

More Info: But chairman Tei Nash said the chief concern is the safety of women and children in public restrooms. He said the ordinance would give a man who “is female affirmed” the freedom to use women’s restrooms. “When he walks into the bathroom, you can’t stop them,” Nash said. “Is that going to surprise you and the kids? It probably is. Most women will be frightened to no end. Kids, too. They won’t understand.”

Question: What do you make of the concern that molesters will take advantage of the proposed Missoula ordinance to enter restrooms used by women and children?

I Scream For Ice Cream

Andrew Beardsley, 12, center, and his sisters Ashley Beardsley, 10, left, and Audrey Beardsley, 8, all of Bozeman, Mont., devour ice cream cones at Dairy Queen Wednesday, while visiting their grandparents, Allen and Francy Beardsley, during their spring break in Havre, Mont. (AP Photo/Havre Daily News, Nikki Carlson)

Question: Which kind of ice cream do you usually order from Baskin-Robbins?

Speaker: Female Workers Still Unequal

Item: Speaker: Women still unequal in U.S. work force: Former Clinton administration official delivers keynote address at annual Women’s Recognition Luncheon/Holly Bowen, Moscow-Pullman Daily News

More Info: She said many other countries, especially in Europe, have paid maternity leave and other family benefits for working parents, but people in the United States are mostly on their own. … Echaveste said that despite the prevalence of women in the workplace, many government agencies, corporations and institutions haven’t adapted to that evolution in society. “Half of the (Bachelor of Arts) and graduate degrees in this country are earned by women,” she said. “But they still earn 77 cents on the dollar. Law firm women partners, who you think would earn (more), earn 68 cents on the dollar.”

Question: What does your business or company do to make it easier for women who work for it?

Cantor: Dems Fan Flames Re: Threats

Item: Eric Cantor accuses Democrats of ‘fanning flames’ on member threats/Washington Post

More Info: House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) angrily lashed out at Democratic leaders for their handling of reported threats against members of Congress Thursday, accusing them of “dangerously fanning the flames” by blaming the GOP and confiding that he has also been the recipient of threats. Concerns about security for members of Congress burst into the spotlight this week after several lawmakers reported death threats or incidents of vandalism directed at them and their offices because of their support for the health-care overhaul legislation. Some Democrats have suggested that Republicans may have encouraged such behavior by acting rowdily during the weekend House debate on the reform bill.

Question: Which side is more to blame re: ‘fanning flames’ that could incite violence in this dust-up following the health care reform vote?

INW: Yearbook OKs ‘God-Is-Dead’ Pix

Arlington High School senior Justin Surber is seen wearing his “GOD IS DEAD” T-shirt in Arlington, Wash. As debate club president and a top student, Arlington High School senior Justin Surber has studied the constitutional rights of free speech. Surber, 18, recently took a stand that will keep him from appearing in his club’s yearbook photo. Orbusmax reports that Surber and his shirt will appear in the year book, below. (AP File Photo/The Herald, Dan Bates)

A Wedding Ring That Didn’t Come Off

On June 1, Jerry and Nancy Gleesing will celebrate their 66th wedding anniversary – a milestone by anyone’s measure. Yet the Gleesings would be the first to tell you the course of their true love has had its share of turbulence. In 1940, Jerry heard a new girl had moved to his hometown of LaMoure, N.D., and he kept his eyes peeled. There wasn’t much excitement in the small town, so the arrival of a young lady was big news. Jerry first spotted her on his way to the ballpark. Her dark hair and dimples captivated him. “I was 15,” Gleesing recalled. “Quite a bit older than she – I was born in August, Nancy in September.” Alas, his status of older man by a month failed to impress the new girl/CindyH, Washington Voices. More here.

Question (from Cindy): Do you wear a wedding ring? Do you ever take it off?

High Noon: Saint Mary’s Soldiers On

Saint Mary’s Omar Samhan smiles as he is surrounded by reporters during an NCAA college basketball practice in Houston today. Saint Mary’s will play Baylor in a South Regional semifinal on Friday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Question: Now that Gonzaga is out of the NCAA Tournament, are you pulling for WCC rival Saint Mary’s? I am. (If not, who do you want to see win the tournament?)

AM Scanner Traffic — 3.25.10

  • 11:29 a.m. An officer reports that he saw a black SUV clip the guardrail in the w/b I-90 offramp at Ramsey Road and a passenger jump out. The crash is blocking traffic.
  • 11:26 a.m. Silkwood Drive/Post Falls resident reports that an elderly male with a backpack is in the front yard of her property taking photos of her house.
  • 10:50 a.m. Church Road/Hauser resident claims that a neighbor’s constant calls to police re: the condition of her animals represents harassment.
  • 10:33 a.m. Darrell on Twig Drive/Post Falls reports damage to a trampoline.
  • 10:30 a.m. Alarm company reports that testing on a system on Greenchain Loop/Mill River condos triggered a fire alarm.
  • More below

Water Super Responds To HBO Nation

Jim Markley (pictured in SR file photo) writes to HBO Nation: As the Coeur d’Alene water superintendent I have read this discussion on taste and odor issues with Coeur d’Alene’s water with great interest.  We are always willing to talk to our customers and try to resolve any issues they may have with Coeur d’Alene’s water system.  We pump directly from the aquifer through 9 wells and as the water leaves each well we chlorinate so as to leave a residual of approximately .24 parts per million.  We do this to kill bacteria and provide disinfection throughout our distribution system up to the customer’s meter. “ejs” in his 7:13 am post this morning gave some excellent background into why municipal water systems chlorinate.  Thanks ejs!  Removal of chlorine once the water has been pulled from the tap is fairly easy to do.  That would take care of problems directly related to chlorine.   Taste and odor issues can also come from other sources. More below.

Question: Does your tap water taste good?

Dentists Practice On Hanako

A dentist demonstrates a training procedure, using the new humanoid robot named Hanako which was developed by local engineers at universities and a robot maker to aim at training experience to simulate real dental work for student dentists, at Showa University in Tokyo earlier today. Hanako is equipped with the set of teeth made of hard plastic and lifelike mouth cavity which can bleeds and flows saliva just as human reflects against stimuli. It also has voice recognition and speech capability so that trainees can just not only improve treatment skill but also learn to hold conversation with the patients to relax them. (AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa)

Question: Are you afraid to go to the dentist?

HBO Poll: Economy Will Be Big Issue

  • Wednesday Poll: 78 of 120 respondents (65%) said the economy will be the biggest issue in the fall elections, not health care reform. Only 28 of 120 (23%) said the controversial approval of health care reform by congressional Dems will be the biggest issue. 14 of 120 (12%) believe something else will be the biggest issue.
  • Today’s Poll (from Idaho Statesman): Have you filled out your census form yet?

Fischer: Fed Trespassers Can Be Shot

Bryan Fischer, the former director of Idaho Values Alliance, is suggesting that state officials can, in a worst-case scenario, shoot federal agents for “trespassing on the sovereign territory of the states.” Fischer, who moved to Mississippi last year, makes his case in a post on his “Focal Point” blog. Fischer’s statement in is sharp contrast with Idaho Gov. Butch Otter. Otter is supporting a legal challenge to health-care reform, but said on Tuesday that if the states lose their case, Idaho would abide by the rule of law/Dan Popkey, Idaho Politics. More here

Question: What do you make of Fischer’s ‘worst-case scenario’ claim?

Luna: Consolidation Would Save $15M

New figures from Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna (pictured) shows that Idaho could save $15.3 million a year in state funding by consolidating the state’s 115 school districts to match the boundaries of the state’s 44 counties. Most of that savings, $11.7 million, would come from consolidating districts in seven counties with multiple school districts. Those estimates come from the current year of school spending. The state is spends more than $1.2 billion on public schools, so consolidation would save approximately 1 percent of state school spending/Brad Iverson-Long, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: What do you think of Superintendent Tom Luna’s observation that the state would save $15.3 million by consolidating school districts to match county boundaries?

Political Sandbox

Prince Charles looks through the window of a British military helicopter enroute to Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan earlier today, during a surprise visit to British soldiers serving in the southern Helmand Province.(AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini, pool)

Your daily political wild card is now in play …

Dennis: Ward Camp Fights Wrong Foe

Is it just me or is there a sort of frenetic and irrationally immature reactive thing going on at the Ward for Congress Campaign? A sort of “trolling & polling” for issues perceived by them to be important? A type of “something … anything” mentality for press? I could be way off base, but consider what came out Wednesday. What appears to be a somewhat disingenuous media attack against Bill Sali and Raul Labrador by Veterans was unleashed today and is so very odd to me. (Media Release below). Raul Labrador deserves better than this, as does Bill Sali. Both men have served us with distinction … kinda like Vaughn Ward/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

Question: How much will a nasty GOPrimary race between Raul Labrador and Vaughn Ward help incumbent Demo Congressman Walt Minnick?

Poll: 1/4 R’s Fear Obama Is Anti-Christ

Item: Almost a quarter of Republicans think Obama ‘may be the Antichrist’ as 14 states sue over healthcare reforms/David Gardner, Mail Online

More Info: Americans who suggest Barack Obama should rot in hell are apparently deadly serious. Nearly a quarter of Republicans believe the Democrat president ‘may be the Antichrist’, according to a survey. An even greater number compared him to Hitler.

Question: Do you believe that a literal anti-Christ will rule the world someday?

Idaho D’s Suffer Stockholm Syndrome?

I have started to believe that Idaho Democrats have been down for so long that they might be suffering from the Stockholm Syndrome. That’s the psychological phenomenon named after a small group of hostages in Sweden in 1973 who, despite being held against their will, came to closely identify with their captors. OK, I’m being a little facetious. Still as one who believes that a genuine two-party system just might serve Idaho better in the long run, it’s difficult when looking at the shape of the 2010 contests not to think that Idaho Democrats are destined to be down for a long, long time. Like the Stockholm captives, they have gotten so very used to the GOP calling all the shots it has become difficult for Democrats to envision an alternative reality/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Post. More here.

Question: Marc Johnson offers three steps that Idaho Demos should follow to get back in the political game. What do you think it would take to make Idaho D’s more competitive?

AM: Ryan Leaf To Plead Guilty

This Aug. 15, 2006, file photo shows former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf, quarterbacks coach at West Texas A&M University, setting up to throw the football while working with the offense during practice in Amarillo, Texas. The attorney for former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf says a plea deal has been reached in his Texas drug and burglary case. Bill Kelly said this morning that Leaf has agreed to plead guilty to seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one count of delivery of a simulated controlled substance. (AP Photo/Amarillo Globe-News, Henry Bargas, File)

Question: Are you still interested in the life and times of former Washington State star QB Ryan Leaf?

Malhini: LCDC Records Easily Available

Malhini: Bent sorry for your troubles, but Gookin was never denied the records. Although I believe he never intended to view them, you don’t show up to view records with the press on your right arm. This is all pure theatrics, however I do believe in oversight (which Mr. Gookin is very good at) and if you truly were concerned you could review all their monthly minutes, reports, annual audits and much more already online. You can also view their monthly board meetings on cable channel 19. Even with all this it will never be enough. If you start reacting to every whim of your detractor then you will undoubtedly fail. $80 a month for food vs thousands per month for transparency that is already available. As for the cost, I don’t know of any records that is available without a cost. I can’t even get a copy of my birth certificate without paying for it.

Question: Do you believe the Lake City Development Corporation is transparent now?

EJS: Do Docs Still Care For People?

EJS: This whole thing makes me wonder, are people becoming doctors to answer a call to help people or is it just for the money, or, a combination of both? In other words, are you called to be a Dr. to help human kind and if so do you care what the compensation is or where it comes from? As to quality or care, well, currently the best quality goes to those that can afford it and if you can afford it then that makes some people money, namely doctors. That’s OK with me but is that what the calling to be a doctor is stemed from or again is it that they truly care about people, alllllll people not just the fortunate.

Question: Do you think doctors go into medicine because they care for people? Or because they want to get rich?

Signe: Chinese Internet

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Idaho Dad Swears Off Plastic

I’ve been reading about the dangers for years. But it took me awhile to believe it enough to make a change in our house. No more plastic bottles! Surprisingly, it wasn’t the constant reports about those nasty chemicals in the plastic leaching into the water that finally opened my eyes. Nor was it the horrible effect all of those bottles have on our environment. No, what finally turned me around was seeing study after study that said our tap water was cleaner and safer than what you could buy in the store/Idaho Dad, A Family Runs Through It. More here.

Question: Which do you prefer — bottled water or tap water? Why?

Parting Shot — 3.24.10

Logan Wilson, of Junction City, calms one of several Easter Bunnies he and his grandfather Glen Butler are selling Tuesday, in the parking lot of the old Brookshires building on Northwest Avenue in El Dorado, Ark. The duo had sold about 10 bunnies by the afternoon and will be selling their limited supply of bunnies in the parking lot, everyday until Easter Sunday. (AP Photo/The El Dorado News-Times, Michael Orrell)

Question: Have you ever raised rabbits? Was it a good experience?

Hump Day Wild Card — 3.24.10

It looks like another day of good weather outside the corner office of HBO Central. I’d like to join you for a walk along the waterfront. But duty calls here. While I look for fodder to feed the insatiable blog maw, you can help by offering your own ideas under this Wild Card …

Ward Wants Sali, Labrador Apology

PM Headlines — 3.24.10

Jim Aiken of The Pend Oreille Barbershop snips Don Childress’ top as the men contemplate fishing. Ralph Bartholdt/Skookum Photography writes of his visit to the old-fashioned barbershop here. (Skookum Photography: Ralph Bartholdt)

APhoto Of The Day — 3.24.10

A man works on a billboard advertising a liposuction procedure Tuesday, near Interstate 4 in Orlando, Fla. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Jacob Langston)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. After being told he’s “all hat and no cat call”, Floyd gets a little behind in his work trying to measure up to his boss’s expectations, but ends up getting a leg up on the competition in the process — JohnA.
  • 2. Is there an add for breast augmentation near by? — Gary D. Rhodes.
  • 3. Who says size doesn’t matter? — Bent.
  • HM: Herb

PM Scanner Traffic — 3.24.10

  • 5:46 p.m. Caller is concerned that 2 girls are riding around in a golf cart @ Fulton & Tucson/Post Falls.
  • 5:36 p.m. Loiterer reported @ 221 Sherman/CdA.
  • 5:33 p.m. A motorcyclist wearing a helmet is bleeding from the nose and mouth after crashing @ H41 & Calabria Lane/Spirit Lake.
  • 5:07 p.m. A boy on a mountain bike crashed into a black vehicle @ Catherine & Seltice Way/Post Falls; then, got into the vehicle w/a female driver, and then got back out of the vehicle and rode off.
  • 4:55 p.m. A young male with long hair and wearing a black T-shirt is racing a dirt bike along McCartney/Rathdrum.
  • 4:03 p.m. A belligerent male whose possibly drunk is lying in the H95 median, b/n Kathleen & Dalton/CdA.
  • 3:46 p.m. Sheila reports the theft of one-half of a double gate.
  • 3:44 p.m. A green mini van is on fire @ Prairie & Meyer/Hauser.
  • 3:29 p.m. Workers report that 2 men are drinking beers in a green pickup in line behind a pilot vehicle, waiting to move through Fernan Lake Road construction zone.
  • Much more below

Robert Culp, 79, ‘I Spy’ Actor, RIP

This undated file photo originally released by NBC shows Robert Culp, left, and Bill Cosby starring as a team of American agents in the 1960’s television series, “I Spy.” Culp, the versatile actor who teamed with Cosby in the groundbreaking comedy-adventure TV series and was Bob in the critically acclaimed sex comedy “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,” died earlier today. He was 79. (AP Photo/NBC)

Panel Kills Hart’s Silver Medallion Bill

Rep. Phil Hart’s proposal to create an official Idaho silver medallion that Idahoans could use to pay their state taxes was killed on a 7-2 vote in the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee this afternoon. The bill, HB 633, also would have granted big tax breaks to certain mining industry ventures. He called it a “safety net, if you will, for Idahoans who might want to put their savings or their money into a precious metal and protect that from inflation.” The official state silver medallions would have varied in value with the price of silver/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

HBO Blogosphere — 3.24.10

The long expected UN invasion of this country from Canada with black helicopters has apparently began. Everything from Homeland Security, FBI, County Sheriff rigs and many others descended upon Bayview today. More from Herb here.

PETA Offers Deal To ‘Octomom’

This image provided by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released earlier today shows a copy of a sign designed to placed in Nadya Suleman’s yard for a fee to offset the cost of her mortgage. Suleman, the mother of octuplets and a total of 14 children, is in default on a $450,000 balloon payment due two weeks ago. A PETA spokesman says Suleman’s attorney is considering the offer. (AP Photo/PETA)

Question: Would you take the deal if you were in ‘Octomom’s’ shoes?

Trillhaase: Idaho GOP Wins Again

But Democrats are conceding 46 seats in the 105-member Idaho Legislature. Republicans have fielded candidates for all but three of those contests. In eight of Idaho’s 35 legislative districts, there is not a single Democratic candidate. Some of the most prominent examples of the ideologically-driven conservative House - Republicans Phil Hart of Hayden, Bob Nonini of Coeur d’Alene, Judy Boyle of Midvale, Robert Schaefer of Nampa, Fred Wood of Burley and Janice McGeachin of Idaho Falls - have been re-elected by default. Democrats have never been able to match the GOP for candidate recruitment, but they’ve done a lot better/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Why do you think controversial Reps. Bob Nonini and Phil Hart got a free pass to re-election this year?

Tanning For Health Care Reform

Joe Bongioni makes sure he is covered with indoor tanning lotion before stepping into a tanning booth in New York earlier today. A 10 percent sales tax on indoor tanning, which takes effect this year, is helping to pay for the health care overhaul. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Question: Do you use a tanning bed or the sun to tan? Do you tan easily?

Souza: Health Care Reform Hits Home

I don’t usually agree with Mary Souza. But her latest newsletter hit home. Like me, she has a son who will graduate from medical school in two months. Her oldest son is headed to a residency in the Midwest for 5 years to specialize in Ear, Nose, and Throat medicine. As I mentioned on Monday, Junior is headed for a neuro-surgery residency at the University of Florida for the next 7 years. Junior has told me that he wonders how his specialty will play out under the new health care reform. Seems Mary’s son, Dave, has the same concerns. Writes Mary: “He’s worried about the impact the Obama health care bill will have on doctors’ professional freedom and the quality of care in our country.” Dave told Mary that older doctors are thinking about getting out of medicine ASAP and predicting that the younger ones will be working for the government before too long.

Question: What do you think will happen to medical professionals as a result of the new health care reform?

Tea Party Lauds Otter, Slams Obama

At the Idaho Statesman blog, Idaho Politics, Dan Popkey posts a blog article re: a recent newsletter from Tea Party Boise that includes a suggested “socialist oath” for President Obama: “I do swear that I will uphold the Socialist principles that would make Karl Marx proud. I will, through my eloquence, spread the word of unfounded promises. I will, despite the trust of American citizens, destroy the historic culture and traditions of the United States of America of which they will forget. I, as President, will be remembered in posterity for the great promises that I shall fulfill as savior of this nation.” The Tea Party calls Rep. Jim Clark’s Health Freedom Act as “a victory for Idaho’s self-determination.” Full Popkey post here.

Question: What do you make of Tea Party accusations that President Obama is a socialist?

Wasden Sues To Block Lease Renewals

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has filed a legal challenge with the Idaho Supreme Court over new lease rules for state-owned cabin sites - including rent increases - approved this month by the Idaho Land Board, contending the rental rates aren’t high enough to bring appropriate returns to the beneficiaries of the state’s school endowment. “The approved plan is flawed because the rent is too low,” said Wasden, who was in the minority in the Land Board’s 3-2 approval of the plan/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Which side are you on re: the Land Board dispute over lease rates for state-owned cabins on Idaho waterways?

High Noon: Geezers Jump For $$$

Betty Sumner left, and Bobbie Lewis watch 80-year-old Catherine Smith skydiving at Skydive The Rockies at the Fremont County Airport near Canon City, Colo., on Monday. Smith jumped from a plane to celebrate her birthday and to raise money for the Colorado Springs Senior Center. (AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Mark Reis)

Question: Have you ever parachuted from a plane? If not, have you considered doing so?

Clinic Sets Up Teen Abortion, Mom Mad

More Info: The mother of a Ballard High School student is fuming after the health center on campus helped facilitate her daughter’s abortion during school hours. The mother, whom KOMO News has chosen to identify only as “Jill,” says the clinic kept the information “confidential.” When she signed a consent form, Jill figured it meant her 15-year-old could go to the Ballard Teen Health Center located inside the high school for an earache, a sports physical, even birth control, but not for help terminating a pregnancy/KOMO-TV. More here.

Question: How would you react if this had happened to your family?

INW Headlines — 3.24.10

This combination of five photos shows Attorneys General, from left: Mark Shurtleff of Utah, Lawrence Wasden of Idaho, Rob McKenna of Washington, James D. “Buddy” Caldwell of Louisiana and Troy King of Alabama. Attorneys general from 13 states sued the federal government Tuesday, claiming the landmark health care overhaul is unconstitutional just seven minutes after President Barack Obama signed it into law. (AP Photo/Doug Pizac; The Idaho Statesman, Joe Jaszewski; Washington State; Alex Brandon; Jamie Martin)

AM Scanner Traffic — 3.24.10

  • 11:56 a.m. An unconscious 82YO female is reported in 2600 block of Grandview/CdA.
  • 11:25 a.m. A state agency is concerned about the welfare of a 6YO boy who may be staying at a meth house with his mother in Athol area.
  • 11:24 a.m. Smoke is reported in northeast end of Hayden Lake.
  • 10:43 a.m. Male @ Church & Smith/Hauser area reports he shot twice at 3 loose dogs — a mastiff, a pitbull mix, and one other — that attacked his wife Tuesday.
  • 10:15 a.m. Female on Heritage Street/Rathdrum has accidentally taken 10 Tylenol & Ibuprofen pills and reports her legs are tingling.
  • More below

Coeur d’Alene Cellars Wins Wine Honor

There is little doubt that Idaho’s Lake City is home to one of the best producers of Rhone varieties in the Northwest. Why Coeur d’Alene Cellars belongs in that discussion - and rates as Wine Press Northwest’s 2010 Idaho Winery of the Year - deserves some explanation. “It does create a bit of confusion sometimes being an Idaho winery with Washington grapes,” said Kimber Gates, co-owner and general manager of Coeur d’Alene Cellars/Eric Degerman, Wine Press Northwest. More here. (SR File Photo: Jesse Tinsley)

DFO: I have 2 strong ties to wine. I enjoy drinking it (in moderation, of course). And my sister was and remains the first female vice president of a large, central California winery.

Question: Which wine, including brand, is your favorite?

Adam Analyzes Sayler’s Open Seat

At Adam’s Blog, Adam Graham analyzes several races with open legislative seats, including retiring state Rep. George Sayler’s Coeur d’Alene House seat, which he classifies as “Leans Republican”: Looking at Idaho’s 4th District delegation reminds me of the old Sesame Street song, “One of things is not quite like the other…” Rep. Marge Chadderdon (Idaho Conservative Rating: 89%) and Senator John Goedde (Idaho Conservative Rating:83%)  came from the same district as Salyer (Idaho Conservative Rating: 14%). Given the conservative representation sent by this district in recent years, it may be possible that there won’t be a legislative Democratic elected next time between the Canadian Border and Moscow. More here.

Question: Does Adam have this one called right? Or is there more at play here that he doesn’t see, including the baggage that controversial Repub Kathy Sims has — and the community and family connections that Demo Paula Marano brings to the race?

Prichard Man Sights 1st Bear of Spring

Earlier this week, SReporter Becky Kramer wrote: “Though most of the snow has disappeared from the region’s black bear dens, wildlife biologists say the jury’s still out on whether an early spring will result in earlier-than-usual bear activity.” Well, the biologists should quit wondering. The bears are emerging from there dens. A few minutes ago, Becky reported to HBO Central: “A reader from Prichard saw his first bear of the year in early March. The bear cub (no mother in sight) ran across the road. It’s the earliest emergence of bears that he can recall.” Be careful out there.

Question: Have you ever encountered a bear in the wilds?

HBO Poll: Minnick Helped By Vote

  • Tuesday Poll: 73 of 144 respondents (51%) said Demo Congressman Walt Minnick helped himself politically by voting against health care reform recently. 51 of 144 (35%) said he hurt himself. 18 of 144 (13%) said his vote will have no effect for him.
  • Urban Renewal Poll: 39 of 61 respondents (64%) said they support Idaho’s current urban renewal laws in principle.
  • Today’s Poll: Which will be the bigger issue in this fall’s elections — the economy or health care reform?

Johnson: It’s Still The Economy, Stupid

Fearless prediction number two: the unemployment rate on Labor Day, coupled with a sense of whether the nation’s economy is finally recovering, will have more to do with the outcome of the mid-term elections than the last year and a half of turmoil over health care/insurance reform. Congressional Republicans have bet the Congress on making the 2010 elections about health care. It might have been a better bet - we’ll see - to put all the chips on the economy. Every poll in every state says one thing - folks are worried more about the economy than anything/Marc Johnson (pictured),The Johnson Post. More here.

Question: Will health care reform fade as an issue by November?

The Political Sandbox — 3.24.10

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., left, accompanied by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., talks to reporters outside the White House in Washington on Wednesday, after a closed door meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office to discuss financial reform. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Wild Card: You can use this wild card to continue discussing health care reform signed into law by President Obama Tuesday or any political topic you’d like.

Sis Lists Health Care Reform Bennies

  • 1. Adult children may remain as dependents on their parents’ policy until their 27th birthday.
  • 2. Children under age 19 may not be excluded for pre-existing conditions.
  • 3. No more lifetime or annual caps on coverage.
  • 4. Free preventative care for all.
  • 5. Adults with pre-existing conditions may buy into a national high-risk pool until the exchanges come online. While these will not be cheap, they’re still better than total exclusion and get some benefit from a wider pool of insureds/Sisyphus, 43rd State Blues. More here.

Question: Which health care reform benefit impresses you most? Least?

Benewah Drags Heels On Police Deal

The Benewah County Commissioners took no action Monday on a deputization agreement with the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. The agreement, negotiated last week, has been approved by the tribal council. “We had not even seen the agreement until yesterday (Monday). We want to take some time to review it,” Commissioner Jack Buell said. The agreement would end a long dispute between the tribe and the county over the deputization of tribal officers. It was negotiated last week in Boise after members of a legislative committee urged the two parties to reach a compromise. Legislators made the plea after conducting hearings on legislation drafted by the tribe that would mandate Indian police be deputized in Idaho/Dan Hammes, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here.

Question: Do you think Jack Buell and other Benewah County commissioners are approaching the cross-deputization deal w/the Coeur d’Alene Tribe in good faith? Or are they trying to wait out the 2010 Legislature so nothing will be done this year?

Poll: Tea Partiers Could Hurt GOP

A new poll shows that the Tea Parties may be less consequential than people believe — and at the same time, they may have some real impact on this year’s elections. 28 percent of respondents in a Quinnipiac survey said they have a favorable opinion of the Tea Parties, while 23 percent said the opposite. But 49 percent said they “don’t know enough about the group to form an opinion.” That said, though, the Tea Parties remain a big force on the right, and a potential trouble spot for the Republican Party. That’s because fully 74 percent of those who identify themselves as part of the movement say they’re Republicans or independents who lean Republican/Alex Koppleman, Salon. More here. (AP File Photo/The Denver Post, Craig F. Walker)

Question: What affect will local Tea Partiers have in Kootenai and Bonner County elections, as well as elections statewide?

AM Headlines — 3.24.10

The Spokane River flows past slack water near Harvard Road in Spokane Valley Tuesday. The concept of a “water trail” will be unveiled Tuesday at the Spokane River forum. Basically, river users work to improve recreational access and interpretative signs along the river, while getting citizens engaged in serious issues, such as water quality monitoring or thwarting poaching. So far, local flyfishing groups have united to report poaching. A map of access points along the Spokane River is also in the works. Becky Kramer SR story here. (SR Photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Family Fights Sea World Video Release

This Wednesday, Feb. 24, photo made from video provided by Todd Connell shows trainer Dawn Brancheau and Tilikum before the incident in which the killer whale pulls her into the water and kills her at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla. Brancheau’s family is in court today to request to permanently prevent the release of a video made by a SeaWorld camera showing the indident. (AP Photo/Todd Connell, HO)

Question: Do you agree with the family’s request that the video should never be released to the public?

Man Pleads Guilty To CdA Murder

A man who fatally shot another man after a fight at a Coeur d’Alene bar last year pleaded guilty this week to second-degree murder. Juan C. Aldana Villanueva, 23, (right) is in Kootenai County Jail awaiting sentencing for the murder of Timothy I. Wolfe, 21, on May 9, 2009. Villanueva, who worked at a Post Falls restaurant, had argued with Wolfe, a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe who was home from college for Mother’s Day, at a Coeur d’Alene bar before Villanueva left, then returned to the downtown area with a gun, according to court documents. Wolfe was shot to death near Third Street and Indiana Avenue about 2:15 a.m. Villanueva claimed self-defense, and police noted scratches on his face where he said Wolfe’s friends had attacked him/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Question: Is second-degree murder a proper charge for this crime?

Press Pays Gookin LCDC Records Tab

Item: LCDC records now online: Coeur d’Alene Press picks up tab for records sought by Gookin/Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: But Gookin didn’t pay, saying they were public records and no money should change hands because he wasn’t requesting copies. After speaking with Gookin, Press Managing Editor Mike Patrick had the records purchased. “It was our intent, since LCDC wasn’t sharing this info with the public, we would,” Patrick said. He added that The Press will be requesting similar records from other public entities.

Question: Did the Coeur d’Alene Press act properly in picking up the tab for the LCDC records requested by community activist Dan Gookin?

Anderson: No! No! No!

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Cindy: Then, There Was One

CindyH: Attention DFO: It is official. You are now the ONLY person in the universe without a Facebook account.

Question: C’mon that can’t be true. Anyone else out there without a Facebook account?

Parting Shot From KXLY — 3.23.10

You read about that crash @ Orchard & Government way that left a vehicle suspended from a guy-wire on an Avista power pole on PM Scanner Traffic. Now, you can see what the responding gendarmes saw when they responded to the scene. Rob Kauder of KXLY tells Huckleberries Online that the story of this wreck will be leading the station’s 6 o’clock newscast. Click here and see the rest of KXLY’s slide show re: this incident. (Melissa Sauter of Hayden provided the photos to KXLY)

Wild Card/Tuesday — 3.23.10

The Democrats are celebrating the passage of their health reform package. The Republicans are retrenching in an effort to take advantage of public confusion and concern about the measure. And HBO Nation is left to wonder how the situation in Washington will play out in the 2010 election and the next few years, as we enjoy the sunshine today. So I’ll play the Wild Card and go in search of more front-page material …

Dogwalk: Who Should Apologize?

So things got a little contentious in the House as Bart Stupak was reneging on his promise to vote no on Health Care Reform. Representative Neugebauer shouted “baby killer” according to reports. Mr. Stupak took it personally, Neugebauer contended it was not. Stupak then added, if not perhaps Neugebauer should apologize to the House. For the outburst, okay. The House seems to be sensitive to emotional outbursts. They consider it a lack of decorum. Threats and bribery are not, but outbursts are. Go figure/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: Do you find it easy to apologize when you’re in the wrong?

PM: Can Few Resist Oregon Again?

Gonzaga coach Mark Few speaks during an NCAA college basketball news conference in Buffalo, N.Y., on Saturday prior to the Zags second-round loss to Syracuse. Columnist Bud Withers contends that Few might be ripe for pickin’ by his alma mater, University of Oregon, which is in the market for a head basketball coach. See story below. (AP Photo/ Mike Groll)

Question: Could Gonzaga maintain its excellent men’s basketball program without Mark Few?

APhoto Of The Day — 3.23.10

Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California laughs as Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland speaks during a press conference after the House passed health care reform in the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Sunday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Nancy shows her prize winning hog calling style — Charlie.
  • 2. After again proving she is President Obama’s lap puppy, the Speaker prepares to receive from him her favorite treat, an extra-chewy Milk-Bone Dog Biscuit — JohnA.
  • 3. Congressional leaders go into uncontrolled hysterics when told of the new poll number that indicate everyone must go — Herb Huseland.
  • HM: MeganB

PM Scanner Traffic — 3.23.10

  • 5:06 p.m. A Reservoir Road/Rathdrum resident reports hearing automatic gunfire for the last 15 minutes near his home.
  • 4:33 p.m. A 15YO male reportedly is suffering muscle spasms and pain all over after falling in the “bull pit” on the Lakeland High football field/Rathdrum. He’s on the Dairy Queen side of the high school parking lot.
  • 4:19 p.m. A motorist is trapped inside his vehicle after crashing into an Avista power pole @ Orchard & Government Way. The vehicle is snagged on a guy-wire, nearly verticle against the pole. KXLY slide show here. And: KCSD report here.
  • 4:15 p.m. 2 German shepherds are running in and out of w/b traffic @ Prairie & H41.
  • More below

CPD Blue Launches

The Coeur d’Alene Police Department has launched a registry that shows residents when and where crime occurred in their area. It’s called You can find the link here. It’s like the registry for sex offenders. You plug in your address and then look for crime that occurred near you recently. You can read the full press release re: this service at Coeur d’Alene Today here. There were only two small theft reports in my ‘hood in the last week to 10 days. BTW, I also checked the perv registry and discovered one has moved in about two blocks away. You can check out the sexual offender registry here.

Free In Idaho! Forget About Utopia

And all complain that the country is all screwed up because it doesn’t look enough like their ideal.  Heinlein, Rand, Marx, Mao, Robertson, Dobson, Roosevelt, Obama. … it doesn’t matter whose vision you choose, you will never realize the perfect system or the perfect government.  It cannot possibly exist.  Human beings are broken.  The political process will never answer that.  The legal system cannot change that.  There is no right party, or right candidate, that will make it all good again.  They cannot.  Nor will winning the lottery, or guilt-free disease-free sex, or anything else human beings think is valuable.  We have met the enemy/BillH, Free In Idaho! More here.

Question: Have you been disenchanted by a political party or cause?

Avista Seeks 13% More

Item: Avista seeks 13 percent electric rate hike/John Stucke, Spokesman-Review

More Info: Avista is seeking to raise the price of electricity and natural gas through a series of rate filings. For the average Avista ratepayer in Eastern Washington, the request amounts to adding $10.62 to a homeowner’s monthly electric bill and another $4 a month for natural gas. In Idaho the request would add $11.40 to the average homeowner’s electric bill and an extra $2.77 a month for natural gas.

Question: Do you think Avista knows that there’s a fairly deep recession going on?

Otter 1st To Sign Anti-Health Care Bill

Gov. Butch Otter, flanked by Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and a large group of GOP legislators, spoke out against the newly signed national health care reform bill at a press conference in his office today. “If it is a proper role for government to mandate that citizens buy certain products, then I’m going to get potatoes in line for ‘em just as quick as I can,” Otter declared. Otter, who’s done a slew of national media interviews since he became the first governor to sign legislation rejecting the national reforms, said he thinks the multi-state federal lawsuit that Idaho joined this morning may well be successful/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: What do you think are the chances that the state can successfully fight the health care reform legislation signed into law today by President Barack Obama?

Busted Spokaner Sends ‘Skanky’ Pix

“After Spokane police raided her home last month, the deputy heading the case received 61 texts from her phone the next day. In her quest to get cops to back off, she invoked a rare one-two combination of threatening missives — simultaneously warning that she’d shoot the officer’s family, while also sending sexually explicit photos of herself.” ‘Skanky’ is how one cop described the photos. By the time it was all over, Blanchette had sent more than 300 texts, voice mails, and bare naked pictorial renderings of herself”/True Crime Report. More here. H/T: Seattle Weekly Blogs


Gonzaga Greek Week Touts Homer

Gonzaga University student Bridget Carrick reads aloud from Homer’s Odyssey Monday morning, as the buzz of the conversation continues around her at the Crosby Student Center at GU as part of the “Homer-athon”, an uninterrupted reading of the story for Greek Week, which includes a scavenger hunt styled after the twelve labors of Hercules and a showing of Disney’s animated “Hercules”, as well as lectures about Greek history, culminating in the GU Theater Arts production of “Lysistrata” which opens Thursday and runs through the weekend at the Magnuson Theater. Members of the Latin Club, which put on the reading, estimated that it would take six or seven hours to read the entire story of Odysseus. (Jesse Tinsley/SR)

Question: Which Greek mythological story or character is your favorite?

Blanchette: Zags Concoct Chemistry

In dispatching North Carolina and A&M, the Bulldogs affirmed their new place among the college women’s teams of national regard. Opportunities in that department had been missed during the regular season, including one against the Aggies. They would not be lost here. And on Monday night, they reminded us that they didn’t have to be perfect to do it and that they could survive without top-shelf performances from their two top-shelf players, Vandersloot and Heather Bowman. They found other means. Kayla Standish was a monster in a first-half run that staked the Zags to an early lead. Shives had the biggest bucket until, well, the truly biggest bucket/John Blanchette, SR. More here. (AP photo/Elaine Thompson: Gonzaga’s Janelle Bekkering (11) holds the ball as the final buzzer sounds, while Vivian Frieson, right, and Tiffanie Shives (34) celebrate Gonzaga’s 72-71 win over Texas A&M.)

Question: Do you follow female sports teams at the college and high school levels as closely as you follow the male ones?

Crump: 28 Solons Were Idaho Grads

Of the 75 Idaho legislators with bachelor’s degrees, only 28 were granted by Idaho institutions. Twenty-three got their sheepskins from private schools. And only Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, and Rep. Leon Smith, R-Twin Falls, have any reason at all to watch the rest of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. She’s a graduate of the University of Washington; he went to Kansas State. None of the other schools in the Sweet 16 passed out bachelor’s degrees to current members of the Idaho Legislature/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Do you know if your district legislators hold at least a bachelor’s degree? Is it important to you that they do?

High Noon: Meatless Lenten Fridays?

Item: Good Question: Do Catholics still have to abstain from eating meat on Fridays?/Melissa Luck, KXLY 

More Info: There are thousands of Catholics in the Spokane Diocese and millions more worldwide. A lot of them are confused about what simple rule: do Catholics still have to abstain from eating meat on Fridays during Lent? We went in search of that answer and were surprised; it’s not as cut and dry as you might think.

Question: Do Catholics in HBO Nation still abstain from eating meat on Fridays?

INW: Washington Super Faces DUI

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn is shown (in this February 2009 photo) in Olympia, Wash., as he speaks to the House Education Appropriations Committee. State officials said Dorn was arrested early Sunday morning for suspicion of driving under the influence. The Tacoma News Tribune is reporting that Dorn was stopped by Orting police around 1:30 a.m. Sunday near Orting High School. (AP Photo/John Froschauer, File)

  • Cartoon: Financed with fairy dust?/David Horsey, Seattle P-I
  • Coeur d’Alene vet Hough loses medals after 60-year wait/KHQ
  • Idaho, 12 other states sue over new fed health law/Idaho Statesman
  • USFS drops plans to cut senior discount/Twin Falls Times-News
  • Senate: Is drug tests OK for aid recipients?/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise
  • Proposal would educate coaches re: concussions/Ben Botkin, Times-News
  • Orbusmax Special: Spokane woman busted for weed, sends cop w/naked photos here

    Question: Should elected officials be forced to resign their posts if found guilty of driving under the influence?

    AM Scanner Traffic — 3.23.10

    • 11:49 a.m. A 67YO female is unconscious at the Rathdrum Senior Center.
    • 11:38 a.m. A yellow 2004 Chevy Cavalier, registered to a Coeur d’Alene resident, reportedly is traveling 60 mph in a slower zone @ H41 & Poleline/Post Falls.
    • 11:07 a.m. Costco has caught a shoplifter.
    • 11:02 a.m. A 5-foot-10 male in Carharts has dropped off a suspicious 5-by-8 envelope that seems to have wires inside at the U.S. Naval Base in Bayview. Male then left on foot toward Farragut State Park.
    • Much more below

    Ex-Zag Alexie Wins Fiction Award

    Seattle author Sherman Alexie has added another award to his groaning shelf of literary trophies — the 2010 Pen/Faulkner award for fiction for his book of short stories, essays and poems, “War Dances” (Grove Press). The prestigious Pen-Faulkner Award is the largest peer-juried prize for fiction in the United States. The announcement, made this morning from Washington D.C.’s, Folger Library called “War Dances” “a collection of structurally inventive pieces on the themes of love, betrayal, familial relationships, race, and class. The stories are interspersed with poems which refract their themes or topics/Mary Ann Gwinn, New York Times. More here.

    Question: What do you enjoy most re: Sherman Alexie’s writings? And/or: Which Sherman Alexie book is your favorite?

    HBO Poll: Hissong Favored For Coroner

    Monday Poll: 65 of 108 respondents (60%) said they would vote for Demo Jody DeLuca Hissong for county coroner to replace retiring Bob West, if the election was held today. In a distant second place was Republicans Tom Cronin with 17 votes, Debbie Wilkey with 14, and Douglas R. Stafford with 12.

    Today’s Poll: How will Dem Walt Minnick’s vote against health care reform affect his re-election chances?

    Biden Whispers F-Bomb At Ceremony

    Vice President Joe Biden let rip another of his legendary gaffes at a crucial moment for the Obama administration Tuesday, whispering a profanity to the president right before Obama signed his $940 billion health care overhaul into law, the New York Post reported on its Web site. After introducing Obama at the White House signing ceremony, the two men pulled close in an embrace and Biden could be heard whispering the words “This is a big f–ing deal” to his boss. Obama did not have any visible reaction. He went on to deliver his own profanity-free remarks and signed the legislation shortly before noon/Waterbury Republican American. More here. YouTube video here.

    Question: Is it a big deal that Biden whispered ““This is a big f–ing deal” to his boss” to Barack Obama after introducing the president before he signed the health care reform bill this morning?

    The Political Sandbox

    Marcelas Owens of Seattle, left, Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., right, and others, look on as President Barack Obama signs the heath care bill in the East Room of the White House in Washington this morning. Story here. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Wild Card: You can use this political wild card to discuss the signing of health care reform by President Barack Obama this morning. Or to discuss any other political topic.

    MGR: ‘Walt Minnick You Don’t Know’

    “Walt Minnick’s venture into Congress has been a case study in building a fiefdom, not a party. He has shown no interest in convincing moderates and independents that Democratic values are Idaho values and can make a difference in their lives. He’s simply been trying to convince as many as will listen that he’s not like other Democrats. That may be good strategy for Walt Minnick but it hasn’t been good for Idaho Democrats”/MountainGoat Report. (MountainGoat Report & Political Game have written an exhaustive piece, “The Walt Minnick You Don’t Know” here.)

    Question: Do you think Walt Minnick will be a one-term congressman?

    IS: Vote Collides w/Partisan Politics

    AM Headlines — 3.23.10

    At Bayview, Herb e-mails that he was inspired by the spring sun rising over the lake Monday morning.

    Panel: Urban Renewal Bill ‘Needs Work’

    Rep. Mike Moyle, R-Star, advocated splitting it up into little pieces that people could agree on. “I think if we keep trying to have an omnibus bill we’re going to have the same results we did this year,” he said. But Rep. George Sayler, D-Coeur d’Alene, said that’s where this year’s effort started - with lots of little bills. Rev & Tax Chairman Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, said, “We did a lot of work to get where we are on 672, and I can’t see that we’re that far away from having something that we agree with.” Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, said, “I think this bill that we’ve got before us today has been a really big step forward. … I’m kind of disappointed that we didn’t really get it launched this year”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

    Column: No More ‘Vagina Monologues’

    Apparently empowering women is frowned upon at Gonzaga University. Administration officials at the Catholic university in Spokane recently voted to continue to ban of the play, “The Vagina Monologues,” made by the Board of Trustees and former president in 2002. Throughout the semester, a group of student leaders have been working with administration to create an approval process. Students said they believed it would ultimately lead to the production being shown on campus. Protestors organized a sit-in outside of a campus building. They chanted, “Go vaginas, V-A-G-I-N-A-S,” and held signs such as, “Vaginas need to talk too”/Kelsey Samuels, UI Argonaut. More here. (Poster for ‘The Vagina Monologues’ from Wikipedia)

    Question: Is Gonzaga’s stand against allowing ‘The Vagina Monologues’ to be shown on campus consistent with its standing as a private Catholic university?

    Wasden Mulls When To Sue Feds

    Item: Idaho braces for battle over health care: Otter and Wasden could tap an obscure state fund to pay the legal costs of a challenge to the new law/Brian Murphy, Statesman

    More Info: Attorney General Lawrence Wasden hasn’t decided when to sue the federal government for the new bill that will require most Americans to buy health insurance. Wasden is required to sue under the Idaho Health Freedom Act, which passed the Legislature this session and was signed into law by Gov. Butch Otter last week.

    Question: Does it make sense to take on the federal government over health care reform at a time when Idaho is drastically cutting state budgets, including the ones for education?

    Ramirez: Got Health Care?

    Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

    Gonzaga 72, Texas A&M 71

    Gonzaga’s Vivian Frieson, left, drives in front of Texas A&M’s Adaora Elonu in the first half during an NCAA second-round college basketball game tonight in Seattle. Frieson poured in a game-high 23 points including the winning jump shot with 15 seconds left as the Zags edged Texas A&M by one point to win a trip to the Sweet 16 in Sacramento. ESPN boxscore here. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Wild Card/Monday — 3.22.10

    During my furlough week, we found out that Junior is going to be a Gator. In the weird way that medical schools match new doctors to their residencies, No. 1 son discovered Thursday that he’ll be spending the next seven years in Gainesville, Fla., learning how to be a neurosurgeon at the University of Florida, which has the second largest colleged student population in the country at 50,000. And which is very far away from Coeur d’Alene. I guess you know where Mrs. O and I will be going in mid- to late January next year. We’re excited for the lad. And I’m glad to be back here after a week of hanging out with a tin cup in front of the Coeur d’Alene Library. Now, for your Wild Card …

    Parting Shot — 3.22.10

    Avery Smith, 23, of White River Junction, Vt., makes her first attempt at pond skimming during the the fourth annual end of season Junk Show at Whaleback Mountain in Enfield, N.H., Sunday. (AP Photo/Valley News, Jason Johns)

    M&M: Taking Shots At ‘Casablanca’

    I’ve noticed, though, that the Web is full of lists. Hell, I’ve even contributed a few. But like the talking heads that argue over the television airwaves, they’re there to arouse your emotions. To get you not just thinking but ready to fight. That’s certainly how I felt after reading this Web site, which seeks to attack one of the most beloved films in Hollywood history. And trust me, I’m not saying that “Casablanca” is beyond criticism. There are aspects to the film that are pure corn. But the strengths of “Casablanca” balance them out. Those strengths include, of course, the beauty of Ingrid Bergman, the gloriously hammy acting of Claude Raines, some of the great lines of dialogue in cinema history and, most of all, the moody presence of the classic antihero, Humphrey Bogart’s broken-hearted club owner Rick Blaine/Dan Webster, Movies & More. More here.

    Question: Which line from ‘Casablanca’ is your favorite?

    Ex-Hayden Man Sought In Shooting

    A 24-year-old man who last lived in Hayden, Idaho, has been identified as a suspect in a February shooting in which a bullet landed near a sleeping 3-year-old girl. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information that leads to the arrest of Joseph L. Bledsaw, who has felony convictions in Spokane and Kootenai Counties. Spokane Valley police say Bledsaw and another man confronted a couple at 15917 E. Sprague Ave. on Feb. 27 about a noise complaint. Bledsaw was armed, police say, and when the couple retreated inside he fired shots into the apartment wall. One of the bullets passed through the exterior wall a few feet off the floor, striking a metal bed post and landing on the blankets covering a 3-year-old girl, police said/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

    PM: Zag Women Face A&M Tonight

    Gonzaga’s Courtney Vandersloot drives against North Carolina in the first half during an NCAA first-round college basketball game Saturday in Seattle. Gonzaga beat North Carolina 82-76 in a first-round game in Seattle and now will face Texas A&M tonight at 6:30 on ESPN2. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Question: Have you followed the Lady Zags at all this year?

    APhoto Of The Day — 3.22.10

    White whales perform synchronized swimming with trainers during a show at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium-amusement park complex in Yokohama, Japan, recently. You write the cutline (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

    Top Cutlines:

    • 1. When PETA complained that the trainers should have used a less-endangered mammal, they said that while they mistook the whales for dolphins, but they didn’t do it on porpoise — John Austin.
    • 2. I small group from the Starship Enterprise was mistakenly teleported into the Arctic Ocean and was quickly frozen into the shape of a snowflake — CoeurGenX.
    • 3. Trainers audition for a job at Sea World — Phaedrus.
    • HM: Cabbage Boy

    PM Scanner Traffic — 3.22.10

    • 5:36 p.m. A 62YO woman with a history of suicide attempts has taken pills and stabbed herself in the neck on Corbin Hill Road/Athol, according to her husband. She’s unconscious but breathing in a pickup in the driveway.
    • 5:14 p.m. Smoke from a basement fire place is filling a house @ 211 S. Pinewood/Post Falls.
    • 4:51 p.m. A possible illegal slash pile is burning & Stevens/Athol.
    • 4:21 p.m. Bob from Wolf Lodge Inn, Frontage Road, reports that a motorcyle w/temporary Washington plates has been left overnight in the parking lot.
    • 4:13 p.m. Brenda on Rose Mont/Athol reports her neighbor’s dog attacks her dog and her when they’re on walks.
    • 4:03 p.m.  A couch is on fire along H53, east of Idaho/Hauser-Rathdrum.
    • 3:28 p.m. BNSF engineer reports an AmeriGas truck ran a signal in the Corbin Hill area off H95 when the train was traveling 47 mph less than 150 yards away.
    • More below

    A Cold March Night

    ‘Twas colder than he
    would have chosen —
    his little crocus
    got flash frozen.

    The Bard of Sherman Avenue

    McEuen Field Workshop Set Thursday

    A public workshop to gather ideas re: future upgrades to McEuen Field is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Lake City Senior Center. MIG, a Portland-based land planning firm that worked on the Coeur d’Alene Parks Master Plan and the Education Corridor, will host this workshop. In 2002, a revised park concept was submitted by the city-appointed Committee of Nine. At that time, a set of seven, value statements were adopted. Those value statements will be on display to confirm that they still apply to this waterfront park area. Front Avenue has been targeted for re-construction for the past several years and will be part of the larger, McEuen project discussion/Coeur d’Alene Today.

    HBO’s Blogosphere — 3.22.10

    The spires of historic St. Thomas Catholic Church in downtown Coeur d’Alene are visible over the tree tops with a view from the north side of Tubbs Hill/Kerri Thoreson, OnLocation North Idaho.

    Community Colleges Face 12.2% Cut

    The Senate has voted 26-8 to approve a grim budget for next year for the state’s community colleges, including a 9.2 percent cut in state general funds and a cut of 12.2 percent in total funds. Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, spoke out against the bill and other budgets containing big cuts for education. “The college of Western Idaho and other community colleges around the state are facing record enrollment growths at a time when people are losing jobs,” she said. The budget plan, she said, would “cripple” the schools’ ability to “meet this enrollment growth and help people through this difficult economic time”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

    Frisbee Golf, Anyone?

    Talon Brim of Nampa, Idaho celebrates his birthday and the first day of spring by playing a game of frisbee golf with his girlfriend Saturday morning at West Park in Nampa. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune, Mike Vogt)

    Question: Have you ever played Frisbee golf?

    Judge’s Decision On Ed Corridor Suit

    During the weekend, you read on the Coeur d’Alene Press online site and here (link posted from that site) that Judge John Mitchell had dismissed a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of the North Idaho College lease of the former DeArmond Mill site. In the 14-page opinion, Mitchell said the lease is constitutional and dismissed all claims against the college and foundation. Larry Spencer, Tom Macy, and Bill McCrory were co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in October. Now, you can read the lawsuit for yourself. Click here. (2009 SR file photo: Kathy Plonka, of John Martin, Vice President for Community Relations and Marketing for North Idaho College, at the 17-acres purchased by the NIC foundation for the long-awaited education corridor.)


    Washington To Join Health Care Suit

    “I believe this new federal health care measure unconstitutionally imposes new requirements on our state and on its citizens. This unprecedented federal mandate, requiring all Washingtonians to purchase health insurance, violates the Commerce Clause and the 10th amendment of the US Constitution. … I’m concerned that the measure unconstitutionally requires all Washingtonians to purchase health insurance and places an extraordinary burden on our state budget by requiring Washington to expand its Medicaid eligibility standards in violation of our state’s rights guaranteed under the 10th amendment” — Rob McKenna, Washington attorney general. Full post by Jim Brunner, Politics Northwest, here.

    Question: Will the states be able to stop imposition of the health care reform bill?

    Crump: Salmon Or Salmonella?

    Feeling lucky? Well, are ya’? Then belly up to the counter of your favorite restaurant. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two Americans get food poisoning every second. That works out to 144 people per minute, 8,675 per hour, 208,219 a day, 1.46 million a month and 76 million annually. The latter is equivalent to the population of California, Texas and Florida combined. None of which means a dang thing unless you’re one of those unlucky Americans who spend hours embracing a commode. Happened to me a couple of weekends ago at a Mexican chain restaurant in Boise, bad tacos, I think. As soon as I could focus my eyes on my cell phone the next day, I called to complain. The manager said his place wasn’t to blame. Well, of course he did. Nobody ever is/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here. (AP file illustration of sick tourist)

    Question: I suffered salmonella once, after eating a buffet with extended family members at a restaurant in Kalispell, Mont. Half of us ended up hugging a commode for a day. Have you ever suffered food poisoning from a restaurant meal?

    INW Headlines — 3.22.10

    A worker carries a piece of propeller as NTSB investigators and local authorities scour the scene at Holy Cross Cemetery, scene of the fatal plane crash which killed 14 people on Sunday, adjacent to the Butte Airport in Butte, Mont., on Tuesday, March. 24, 2009. Reporter Nick Gevock of the Montana Standard looks back at the tragedy here. (AP File Photo/Mike Albans)

    High Noon: Too Much Skin

    England’s supporters watch the third day’s play of the second test cricket match between England and Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Monday. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

    Question: Which groups of people should be hesitant to show too much skin in the summer?

    Sis: Republican Waterloo

    Kudos to banjomike for being Johnny on the spot with the link to the rational political analysis from former Reagan speechwriter David Frum who accurately criticizes Republicans for their all or nothing campaign on health care reform. And like Napoleon after Waterloo, they now have nothing because they put politics over policy, threatening to turn our country into a cynical wasteland just so they can try and be in charge again. I especially appreciated his acknowledgment of how the teabagger juggernaut does nothing to move America forward/Sisyphus, 43rd State Blues. David Frum column and rest of comment here.

    Question: If the historic health care reform bill was a waterloo for one party or the other, which party will ultimately suffer the most from it?

    AM Scanner Traffic — 3.22.10

    • Noonish: Kenneth at the Chateaux Mobile Home Park reports that a white Cadillac is blocking his driveway.
    • 11:32 a.m. Male wants local police to tell his former wife that he doesn’t want her in his home. Also, he wants no contact with her.
    • 10:43 a.m. A Chevy Suburban is speeding and passing on double yellow lines on H95 @ M/P 453 (Granite-Kelso Cutoff Road, Bonner County).
    • 10:31 a.m. A brindle pitbull is running loose in front of 8152 Colorado/Rathdrum.
    • 10:01 a.m. A person named Gregory who’s wanted on a local warrant is now in the DMV office.
    • 9:45 a.m. Bonnell Road/CdA resident reports a cable on his property was cut to access a neighbor’s property, possibly by a drilling company.
    • 9:31 a.m. A Central Refrigeration truck is broken down on a ramp off I-90 @ Pleasantview/Post Falls, blocking traffic.
    • 9:13 a.m. A person is lying in the grass along Ramsey Road, north of Golf Course Road/CdA. But officers believe the individual is a city worker looking for a water problem.
    • 8:33 a.m. Motorist reports that a man with his back turned to him had his pants down @ Mullan and Coeur d’Alene/CdA.
    • 8:12 a.m. A brother has found his sister unconscious and not breathing in 6000 block of Frazier/Post Falls.

    Priest Follows Heart Out Of Ministry

    The Rev Tom Farley begins communion for the congregation in Portland, Ore., Sunday. Farley, ordained in 1979, is the latest priest to leave the Catholic Church in the United States, which is struggling with a severe clergy shortage and declining numbers. “I leave because of a private longing in my heart and soul that I have ignored or suppressed to my detriment,” he wrote in the letter. “I love priestly ministry but I cannot live this life of celibacy.” (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Randy L. Rasmussen)

    Question: Two decades ago, the late Bill Wassmuth of St. Pius X Catholic Church/CdA left the ministry to marry. Do you think the Catholic Church will be forced to rescind its position on celibacy to keep the priesthood stocked and vibrant?

    HBO Poll: Hayes Qualified To Be Clerk

    Last Week’s Poll: In a poll that lasted almost as long as my furlough, 102 of 223 respondents (46%) said Cliff Hayes, the former Post Falls police chief and city administrator, is qualified to run for county clerk as a Republican against Dan English, the veteran Democratic clerk. 97 of 223 (43%) said Hayes isn’t qualified to be clerk. 24 of 223 (11%) were undecided.

    Today’s Question: Who would win your vote for Kootenai County coroner, if the election was today?

    DFO: Not Enough Dem Candidates

    At, Dan Gookin wrote a post over the weekend, titled: “Where Are the D’s?” In the post, he laments the lack of Democrats running in legislative races (4 for 15 positions) in North Idaho and Kootenai County races (2 for 6 positions). I agree with Gookin when he says: “One party rule creates a vacuum of ideas.” The dearth of Democratic candidates means that most elections will be settled in the GOP primaries this spring, including the races to fill two Kootenai County commissioner seats. That means local Dems won’t have the chance to decide who fills those seats unless they cross over to vote for the Republican candidate most palatable for them. I understand why local Dems can’t field candidates for office in Districts 3 (northern Kootenai County) and 5 (Post Falls area). A Dem candidate would have to raise tens of thousands of dollars and run a picture perfect race for a chance to lose by only 10 percentage points or so to a Republican in those two, bright-red districts. The same probably holds for the commissioner seats. The Dems were able to find candidates for the two House seats in District 4 (Coeur d’Alene). But it’s still disappointing that most Repub incumbents who win their party nomination, sometimes unopposed, don’t have to answer for their record during their last term of office/DFO.

    Question: Should Dems field candidates for every office, despite the long odds of winning in North Idaho and Kootenai County?

    Film Feats Effort To Honor Boyington

    Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, born in Coeur d’Alene in 1912, earned the Navy Cross and the Medal of Honor for his leadership of the Black Sheep Squadron in the Pacific during World War II. He was also a prisoner of war, and wrote a bestseller, “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” that became a 1970s TV series. But it wasn’t until 2007, after more than a year of controversy, that Coeur d’Alene leaders voted to rename the local airport in Boyington’s honor. “Pappy Boyington Field,” a documentary by first-time filmmaker, former Marine and Coeur d’Alene resident Kevin Gonzalez, tells the story of the grass-roots effort by veterans to pay homage to Boyington/Anna Webb, Idaho Statesman. More here. (SR File Photo: Members of the Marine Corps League, including former Black Sheep pilot Garth Haddock, right, listen to the opening prayer of the dedication ceremony to rename the airstrip at the Coeur d’Alene Airport as Pappy Boyington Field on Sept. 22, 2007.)

    Question: Are you aware of the connection World War II hero Pappy Boyington has with Coeur d’Alene?

    The Political Sandbox

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California gestures during a press conference after the House passes health care reform in the U.S. Capitol in Washington Sunday. Standing with Speaker Pelosi are Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, left, and Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    Wild Card: You can continue to discuss the health care reform passed by Congress or any other political topic with this Wild Card.

    Slipless Bayview Man Beats System

    At this point, there are no other options available to people who can’t afford docking fees. There are, though, downsides to anchoring out. A marina operator who chose not to be quoted suggested that security provided by the marinas was important along with accessibility and power. Mulvahill agrees. “If I had a choice I’d be in a marina. I have it anchored where it is at after a great deal of thought. I didn’t want to get in the Navy’s way, not the area in front of the boat launch, so I chose the spot, just about 150 feet out and to the south of the waterway.” This 26-foot, blue sailboat sits calmly out from shore at the head of Scenic Bay, tethered to a mooring buoy which is anchored to the bottom. Mulvahill finally figured out how to win even when the system didn’t work for him/Herb Huseland, Handle Extra. More here.

    Question: Tell us about a time that you beat the system?

    OTV: Valentino’s Pizza & Subs

    Stumbling upon a local pizza place that serves it up by the slice is always cause for celebration, especially when that place has nine tempting varieties of Blue Bunny ice cream to celebrate the discovery with. As someone who doesn’t mind taking a solo lunch break from time to time, I rarely get a chance to indulge in pizza simply because I don’t want or need to order an entire pie for myself. Fresh, melty pizza is one of my favorite and most guilt-inducing food fetishes, and that’s really the problem. A slice or two once in a while isn’t going to cause my weight-loss plan to crumble and croak, but an entire box of leftover deliciousness would put a definite strain on the threadbare fabric of my willpower and would end up chasing my light vanilla yogurt off the breakfast table the next morning/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

    Question: Is there truly a pizza place in town that is a cut above the rest?

    AM: Senate Panel Kills Paleontology Bill

    The Senate State Affairs Committee this morning voted to kill HB 620, regarding vertebrate paleontology, a measure from the state Historical Society that would assign responsibility for such finds to the Idaho Museum of Natural History, which has expertise in the area, as additional discoveries are anticipated with federal stimulus-funded construction projects around the state. More here/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. (Photo: Betsy Russell, SR).

    ‘Ave Marie’ Ban Stands At High School

    The U.S. Supreme Court will not let an Everett high school student sue because school officials refused to let her play an instrumental version of “Ave Maria” at her graduation. The high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from Kathryn Nurre. She wanted to play “Ave Maria” — Hail Mary in Latin — with the band’s wind ensemble at the Henry M. Jackson High School graduation in 2006. The Everett school refused to let them perform the song, saying a similar religious-themed song had already gotten complaints.

    Question: Do you agree/disagree with this court decision?

    Souza: Taxpayers Denied Details

    At the Coeur d’Alene Press online, Mary Souza of argues that Judge John Mitchell stopped taxpayers from knowing the details of the land purchase for the education corridor by dismissing a lawsuit filed by some allies. Quoth: “This was so early in the process that iit was before the ‘discovery’ phase, which is when NIC and the NIC Foundation would have been forced to divulge documents and information about the mill site purchase. I don’t think they wanted to do that.” Maureen Dolan’s story in the Coeur d’Alene Press Saturday launched quite a discussion between Souza & Co., who believe justice was denied, and some individuals who believe the lawsuit was frivolous and costly to defend.

    Question: Which side do you come down on?

    House OKs Health Care Overhaul

    Item: House passes historic healthcare overhaul: The vote, which comes amid unanimousP opposition, alters the landscape for consumers and insurance firms/

    More Info: Ending the Democrats’ decades-long quest to create a healthcare safety net to match Social Security, the House of Representatives on Sunday night approved sweeping legislation toguarantee Americans access to medical care for the first time, delivering President Obama the biggest victory of his young presidency. The bill, which passed 219 to 212 without a single Republican vote, would make a nearly $1-trillion commitment in taxpayer money over the next decade to help an estimated 32 million uninsured Americans get health coverage.

    Question: Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius predicts that Americans will embrace health care reform once they understand it? Do you agree?

    Signe: That Sinking Feeling

    Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

    Historic health care reform clears Congress

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Summoned to success by President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled Congress approved historic legislation Sunday night extending health care to tens of millions of uninsured Americans and cracking down on insurance company abuses, a climactic chapter in the century-long quest for near universal coverage.

    Widely viewed as dead two months ago, the Senate-passed bill cleared the House on a 219-212 vote, with Republicans unanimous in opposition.

    Congressional officials said they expected Obama to sign the bill as early as Tuesday.

    A second measure — making changes in the first — was lined up for passage later in the evening. It would then go to the Senate, where Democratic leaders said they had the votes to pass it. Read more.

    Weekend Wild Card

    So my vow to watch no basketball this weekend hit a snag last night. We walked into a packed house at O’Dohertys during the Zags/ Fla State half time and miraculously snagged the prime table with the best view of the HUGE big screen TV.

    My husband’s warm glow may have come from his Guinness. Or from the pitcher of Harp. Or maybe from the Zags thrilling win. But I prefer to think it came from celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary. That’s my story anyway.

    Here’s your weekend Wild Card.

    PS: Because of Facebook, I’ve now lost 24 productive hours and am hopelessly behind deadline. Curse you FB fanatics!

    Gonzaga knocked out

    Syracuse’s Wes Johnson, left, battles for a rebound with Gonzaga’s Robert Sacre during the first half an NCAA second-round college basketball game in Buffalo, N.Y., Sunday, March 21, 2010.

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Wes Johnson scored a career-high 31 points and pulled down 14 rebounds and Andy Rautins added 24 points as Syracuse hit a dozen 3-pointers to stun Gonzaga 87-65 on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

    Syracuse’s storybook season — the Orange were unranked before the season and made it to No. 1 for the final week before losing to Georgetown in the Big East tournament — continues on Thursday. The Orange (30-4), the top seed in the West Regional, will play fifth-seeded Butler (30-4) in Salt Lake City. Full story.

    Oxymorons that are bugging me

    No. I’m not referring to any commenter here. But here’s a few phrases I read/wrote this week that make me cringe:

    • new baby
    • grown men
    • adult children
    • pretty ugly
    • crisis management
    • hopelessly optomistic
    • new classic

    Feel free to add your own below.

    Fighting fires, solving crimes

    Inspector Greg Bennett and Assistant fire marshal and investigator Paul Chase, right,   investigate a fire in a chicken coop in the 4000 block of North Willow Road.

    Spokane Valley Fire seems to have more than its fair share of arson fires, but it also solves more than is standard because of a strong group of five fire investigators who are on call 24 hours a day.

    Assistant fire marshal and fire investigator Clifton Mehaffey said that the numbers that show Valley Fire with higher-than-normal arson fires are probably misleading. In Spokane County only the Spokane Valley, Spokane and Airway Heights Fire Departments have fire investigators with arrest powers. Fire District 9 has investigators but they have no police powers. “In the remainder of the county, fires aren’t investigated,” he said. “It’s about underreporting, frankly.” Read more. Nina Culver, Spokesman Review

    You really didn’t think I’d let the week go by without a firefighter story, did you?

    Ed Corridor Suit Vs. NIC Dismissed

    Item: Judge dismisses lawsuit against NIC for education corridor lease/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

    More Info: Officials at North Idaho College received word Friday that a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of the college’s lease of the former DeArmond Mill site property has been dismissed by a First District Court judge. NIC’s attorney Marc Lyons reported that in a 14-page opinion, Judge John Mitchell concluded that the lease is constitutional and dismissed all claims against the college and its foundation.The suit, filed in October by co-plaintiffs Larry Spencer, Tom Macy and Bill McCrory, alleged that the 2009 lease agreement between the college and the nonprofit North Idaho College Foundation violates the section of the Idaho Constitution that restricts the debt local taxing districts can assume without voter approval.

    Question: Reaction?

    Kootenai primary has big GOP field

    Six Republicans will face off for two Kootenai County commission positions in the May 25 primary. The races are winner-takes-all because no candidates from other parties filed by Friday’s deadline.

    In addition, three Republicans will compete to become the next coroner, following the retirement of Dr. Robert West, who has held the position for 26 years.

    Whoever wins that race will face Chief Deputy Coroner Jody DeLuca Hissong, a Democrat and nurse who has worked with the coroner for 28 years. DeLuca Hissong is uncontested in the Democratic primary. Full story. Alison Boggs, Spokesman Review

    Do you enjoy election season?

    Dozens file candidacy for Idaho offices

    Gov. Butch Otter holds his first public bill-signing ceremony of the session Wednesday, for the “Idaho Health Freedom Act.”

    BOISE – Idahoans will have a full slate of candidates to choose from in both their May 25 primary election and the general election in November for offices including governor, congressman and every seat in the state Legislature.

    By the close of the filing period on Friday, 11 candidates had filed to run for governor, including incumbent Butch Otter, Democratic challenger Keith Allred, one other Democrat, five other Republicans, two independents and one Libertarian.

    Five Republicans are vying for the chance to challenge Democratic congressman Walt Minnick in the 1st Congressional District, along with an independent and a Libertarian; and GOP Sen. Mike Crapo, who six years ago was unopposed but for a write-in challenge, has drawn one challenger in the Republican primary and two who are vying in the Democratic primary. Full story. Betsy Russell, Spokesman Review

    Racist fliers distributed in Southern Idaho

    IDAHO FALLS – A North Idaho man says about 3,000 white supremacist fliers have been distributed in Southern Idaho as part of an Aryan Nations campaign that started March 6.

    “It’s our constitutional right to distribute literature, and we will continue to do it,” Paul Mullet, of Athol, told the Post Register on Thursday. “There will be a lot more.”

    Mullet said he is the leader of the group. He has also distributed fliers in North Idaho. Read more.

     Will the Aryan Nations ever go away?

    Trail completion in doubt

    Bikers speed past heaps of tumbleweed blown in from an adjacent field Thursday on the Centennial Trail between Harvard and Barker roads near Liberty Lake.

    A state determination barring the construction of new trails along some portions of the Spokane River could cause further headaches in the two-decade effort to complete the popular Centennial Trail.

    The 37-mile route, which links Riverside State Park to Lake Coeur d’Alene, has a two-mile gap between Riverfront Park and the T.J. Meenach Bridge on the south side of the state park.

    This week, Greenstone Corp. President Jason Wheaton told the Spokane City Council that the company is committed to completing the trail through Kendall Yards, the housing and commercial development west of Monroe Street along the river. Read more. Jonathon Brunt, Spokesman Review

    Do you enjoy walking/biking the Centennial Trail?

    Another anniversary

    Anti-war activists congregate in front of City Hall after marching through downtown Milwaukee on Friday,  the seventh anniversary of the Iraq war.RALEIGH, N.C. – It was a day like any other day – except that it was the seventh anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. And, for the most part, that was forgotten.

    “Honestly, with everything that’s going on in my personal life, it slipped my mind,” said Chris Skidmore, 39, as he sipped a drink on the artificial lawn at Raleigh’s North Hills Mall. “I’ve been out of work since August of last year.”

    It’s not that the average American isn’t aware that we still have tens of thousands of troops in Iraq, or that nearly 4,400 U.S. military personnel have died there since the war began. Scattered demonstrations were scheduled around the country to call for the troops’ swift return.

    Did you realize it was the 7th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq?

    Zags 67-60 over Seminoles

    Elias Harris of Gonzaga drives to the basket against Ryan Reid of Florida State in the second half of their NCAA tournament game Friday, March 19, 2010.

    BUFFALO, N.Y. — Matt Bouldin and the eighth-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs showed Florida State it still has a way to go in its quest to be considered a basketball power.

    Bouldin scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half in helping the Bulldogs close out a 67-60 victory over the ninth-seeded Seminoles in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday night.

    Steven Gray scored 15 points while Robert Sacre added 13 points and nine rebounds for the ’Zags (27-6), who nearly squandered an 18-point lead.

    Deividas Dulkys scored 14 points and Solomon Alabi had 13 for the Seminoles (22-10), who didn’t have enough offense to dig themselves out of their big hole. Read more.

    Now that was a fun game.

    Parting Shot: Addicted to technology

    John Idler and his children, Elizabeth, 13, and Josh, 14, play video games together last week at their Moorestown, N.J., home.

    Can’t get your teen to stop playing Call of Duty Modern Warfare? Are they texting, Facebooking, and World of Warcrafting ‘till their eyes glaze over? Well, there’s help. Unfortunately, you have to move to London to get it.

    Technology addicts can now seek treatment at a London hospital which has launched bespoke treatment for those diagnosed with the condition.

    The programme is designed for young people who spend large amounts of time each day playing computer games or using social network websites.

    When deprived they become “chronically agitated and irritable” said the treatment’s founder Dr Richard Graham. Full story. Zoe Kleinman, BBC News

    I thought “chronically agitated and irritable” was normal for teens. In fact, I know a lot of adults who seem addicted to their “crackberries”. How about you? Are you addicted to technology?


    TIGF Wild Card

    Whew! What a week. The miracle of birth.  A compromise reached in the Benewah County/Cda Tribe cross-deputization negotiations. The nation holding its breath to see if Obama’s health care legislation will pass. And yesterday, *sniff* I got the warm fuzzies reading the Political Sandbox thread. Well. Until it degenerated from discussion to dissing in the late afternoon.

    But still. It gives me hope. It’s Friday. I’m returning to O’Doherty’s with the mister this evening to celebrate our 24th, Irish style and then off to the Civic Theater to see Steel Magnolias. A friend’s wife is one of the leads.

    It’s been a good week, don’t you think?

    And here’s your Friday Wild Card.

    APhoto of the Day

    Robert Capron, right, explores the wonders of his belly button, as classmates Zachary Gordon, center, and Karan Brar, left, look on during a scene from “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” 20th Century Fox

    Top cutlines:

    #1 Bent comes to realization that his new patented BBQ & Beer diet just might not be working as well as he thought it would… Bent

    #2 DFO contemplates his navel during his mandatory week hiatus. Fork

    #3 So then Michelle Obama started crying and says, “Kid, no more tea parties for you.” I pinky swear! Kevin Taylor

    Who makes you laugh?

    Amy Poehler

    Humor and what makes people laugh in general are very difficult qualities to quantify. Often, the very thing that makes Joe howl makes Jane groan (and maybe re-assess her opinion of Joe). It’s that personal.

    However, the Moviefone staff, never ones to shy away from a difficult challenge, have compiled a highly biased and in no way definitive list of the 25 funniest people working in movies today.

    Among those making Moviefone’s list:

    • Ben Stiller
    • Amy Poehler
    • Michael Cera
    • Ricky Gervais
    • Will Ferrell
    • Ana Faris
    • James Franco

    And a lot of people I’ve never heard of.

    Who makes you laugh?

    Purdue beats Siena in Spokane

    Purdue’s Chris Kramer, left, battles Siena’s Alex Franklin in the first half of their first-round NCAA tournament matchup at the Spokane Arena on Friday, March 19, 2010

    Keaton Grant ignited the decisive run that rallied fourth-seeded Purdue past No. 13 seed Siena 72-64 on Friday in the first round of NCAA tournament’s South Regional.

    Grant’s 11 points to begin the second half opened up the inside for teammate JuJuan Johnson’s 23 points. Johnson, the tallest player on either team at 6-foot-10, also tied a career high with 15 rebounds. More.

    My goal is to make it through the weekend without watching any basketball. How about you?

    10 Wonders of the Everday World

    At his website, Neil Pasricha documents small pleasures. Reader’s Digest featured 10 of their favorites here. Among them:

    • Wearing underwear just out of the dryer.
    • Paying with exact change.
    • Fixing electronics by smacking them.
    • High-fiving babies.
    • The other side of the pillow

    What would you add to the list?


    No child-porn charges filed against teen

    Cis: What the heck?

    I haven’t seen any one complain about the new deal at the motor vehicle when you renew your license on your cars and trucks.

    The effective july 1, 2009, new law went into effect that now requires legal indentification for the purpose of titling and registering vehicles. They are asking for your drivers license # or SS # or ID card # …..

    What the heck? And when did this slide by? I guess I must have been asleep at the wheel on this one… Does any one know WHY this is now required.

    Anyone got an answer for Cis?

    UK’s politically correct policemen

    Officers taking down a suspect’s particulars must now ask them for a “personal and family name” in case the word “Christian” offends Muslims, Sikhs or other faiths, according to the new official guidance.

    Kent Police’s prescriptive diversity rulebook also tells officers to refrain from using phrases such as “my dear” or “love”, when addressing women for fear it may cause “embarrassment or offence”. The guidelines warn that officers should not comfort people by “putting their arm around them” as it could be seen as “unprofessional”. They also state that the term “mixed race” should be replaced by “mixed parentage” or “mixed cultural heritage”.

    Police officers condemned the guidance as “the latest in a long line of annoying politically correct nonsense”. Read more.

    Smart changes or politically correct nonsense?

    Sali announces Labrador endorsement

    Former Congressman Bill Sali has made his announcement - he’s endorsing Raul Labrador in the GOP primary for the 1st District congressional seat, the seat he formerly held. Sali said he didn’t inform Labrador of his decision in advance - he just asked him to be there. Said Labrador, “It is a surprise, but it’s an honor. … I thank him.”

    Sali said he decided to endorse Labrador, a second-term Republican state lawmaker from Eagle, because “it takes a person who’s been there, who knows what it’s like to cast a tough vote.” More here. Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise

    Well. Labrador was surprised. Are you?

    Grand Jury subpoenas Republican campaign committee

    WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury has issued subpoenas to a Republican campaign committee and companies in Nevada in a probe of Sen. John Ensign, who has been under scrutiny for his efforts to find lobbying work for the husband of his former mistress.

    One subpoena went to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which was formerly chaired by Ensign, a Nevada Republican, committee spokesman Brian Walsh said Thursday.

    Sean Cairncross, general counsel for the group that is the campaign committee for Republican Senate candidates, said the committee has responded appropriately to questions concerning matters related to the time frame of the 2008 election campaign. Full story. Pete Yost/Ken Ritter, AP

    Do you believe politics is an inherently “dirty” business?

    Better fill-er up now

    Paul Schopfer pumps  gas at the Coeur d’Alene Casino station near Worley

    COEUR d’ALENE - Gas prices moved upward in recent weeks in the Coeur d’Alene area and nationally, and prices are projected to creep higher during at least the next few weeks.

    In this neck of the woods, consumers said they have noticed the increase, and would change their driving habits if the prices go much higher than $3 a gallon. Others said they would just have to endure the pain, and couldn’t reduce their driving.

    In Coeur d’Alene Thursday, the average price for regular gas had reached $2.78 a gallon, compared with a month ago when it was $2.55. In Post Falls, the average price reached $2.88, up 20 cents from a month ago, said AAA Idaho spokesman Dave Carlson. Read more. David Cole, Cda Press

    Where’s the best place to buy gas in your area?

    Tyson: Start your pigeons

    Former world heavyweight champ Mike Tyson will take flight on Animal Planet with a new sport — pigeon racing.

    The network this week announced a new reality show that will pit Tyson, a novice pigeon racer, against serious competitors.

    The show is currently titled “Taking on Tyson” and promises to bring audiences inside this “intensely competitive and bizarrely fascinating world.”

    So… are you planning to tune in? I’d hate to see what he’ll do to the pigeons who don’t perform well.

    Montana oil leases suspended

    BILLINGS – A federal judge has approved a first-of-its-kind settlement requiring the government to suspend 38,000 acres of oil and gas leases in Montana so it can gauge how oil field activities contribute to climate change.

    At issue are the greenhouse gases emitted by drilling machinery and industry practices such as venting natural gas directly into the atmosphere.

    Environmentalists – who sued when the Montana leases were sold in 2008 – argued the industry has allowed too much waste and uses inefficient technologies that could easily be updated. Full story. Matthew Brown, AP


    Political Sandbox

    Eleven-year-old Marcelas Owens, seen here with his grandmother Gina Owens  and Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash.,  testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on March 10, has come under fire from conservative talk show hosts and columnists who say he’s being exploited. McClatchy Tribune

    You know the drill.

    There’s traffic in Bayview?

    Dan Mulvahill steers his dinghy on Lake Pend Oreille in Bayview.

    The U.S. Navy Acoustic Research Detachment in Bayview, Idaho, will be participating in a Navy-wide training exercise Wednesday that may affect traffic in town.

    During the Solid Curtain exercise, multiple emergency responders from local, state and federal agencies will be in the area, officials said. Disruptions to normal traffic will be possible during the exercise, specifically near the entrance for the Bayview facility.

    When was the last time you visited Bayview?

    Sali speaks out

    Former Congressman Bill Sali addresses the House Health & Welfare Committee on Friday morning, calling for extensive amendments to a child-immunization reminder bill and speaking out for parents who choose not to immunize their kids. Idaho ranks 50th for child immunizations.

    Former Congressman Bill Sali has shown up at the House Health & Welfare Committee this morning to testify on SB 1335, the IRIS immunization reminder system bill. Sali is proposing amendments to the bill, which already passed the Senate. He’s contending that the bill - backed by the Idaho Medical Association, the Idaho Legislature’s Health Care Task Force and an array of Idaho medical groups - would actually make participation in the registry mandatory, not voluntary, though the sponsors specifically told the committee that it wouldn’t. The bill makes the immunization tracking system automatic unless parents opt out, rather than requiring them to opt in. Read more. Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise

    Is this bill a good idea?



    Dems sweeten health bill: showdown, Sunday

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, March 12, 2010.

    WASHINGTON – Historic health care change in the balance, Democrats plowed fresh billions into insurance subsidies for consumers on Thursday and added a $250 rebate for seniors facing high prescription drugs, last-minute sweeteners to sweeping $940 billion legislation headed for a climactic weekend vote.

    President Barack Obama scuttled an Asian trip in favor of last-minute lobbying at the White House on his signature issue, playing host to a procession of wavering Democrats seeking favors.

    “It will make history and we will make progress by passing this legislation,” predicted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Democrats unveiled final alterations to a bill — 16 tumultuous months in the making — meant to expand health care to 32 million uninsured, bar the insurance industry from denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions, and trim federal deficits by an estimated $138 billion over the next decade. Read more.

    Is there really anything left to say regarding this issue?

    Panhandle sewage rules elimination bill scaled back

    Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, presents HB 667, regarding health district sewage rules, to the House Environment Committee on Thursday afternoon.

    BOISE - A North Idaho lawmaker’s proposal to eliminate all of the Panhandle Health District’s sewage rules - including those that protect an aquifer that’s the sole source of drinking water for more than 400,000 people in the region, including Spokane - was cut way back Thursday, but still will allow more expansion of homes on outdated sewer systems on North Idaho lakes.

    “This was a compromise that we agreed to,” said Dale Peck, environmental response and technology director for Panhandle Health. “It’s certainly a much better alternative than moving HB 667 forward in its original form.” More here. Betsy Russell, Spokesman Review


    Do you know this man?

    Can’t beat the price: “I don’t sell these sticks, I give them away,” said Norman Oss, better known as the “Stick Man,” while carving a walking stick at his home in Coeur d’Alene on Thursday. “I want people to know that not everything in life is for sale,” he added. The average walking stick takes about two  hours to carve. Oss carves at least 1,200 per year and gives every one of them away., Kathy Plonka, Spokesman Review photo

    My husband and I both have our specially crafted walking sticks, and my polished amethyst is sitting right in front of me. Have you visited Stickman?

    Parting Shot: 7 things to never say to your boss

    Everyone has a boss. Even if you “work for yourself,” you’re still an employee to your client.

    A big part of maintaining the boss-employee relationship is to never allow a boss to think you dislike your work, are incapable of doing it, or—worse—consider it beneath you.

    These sound like no-brainers, but many statements heard commonly around the workplace violate these basic rules. Looking for an example? Here are seven heard in workplaces all the time,

    “That’s not my job.” “It’s not my problem.” “It’s not my fault.” “I can only do one thing at a time.” “I am way overqualified for this job.”This job is easy! Anyone could do it!” “It can’t be done.” Full story. Karen Burns.

    Have you ever said any of these things to a boss or had them said to you by an employee?


    Thursday Wild Card

    I am so glad I didn’t pack away my long underwear. Even with them and handwarmers and a blanket, I froze last night at University High School. My suffering wasn’t eased by the Wildcat’s 0-4 loss. I was amazed to discover my son is the biggest and tallest kid on the team, (but he’s sure not the fastest). I’m not sure if he’ll ever stop growing.

    Speaking of growing, our extended family is eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new baby. My sister-in-law has been in labor since yesterday. That’s a long time but it’s her first baby and she’s 33.

    Sigh. I hate waiting, but probably not as much as she does at this point.

    But while I’m waiting I’ll post this Wild Card.

    APhoto of the Day

    One of 22 hot air balloons rises at the start of the Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Thursday.

    Cutline winners:

    #1 A dark cloud appears over the county as the Clerk’s race is contested for the first time in many years. JohnA.

    #2 Police were questioning the owner of the missing balloon were he had last seen it, and he replied, “Really, I put-ra-jaya.” CabbageBoy

    #3 “Big Brother is Watching You,” JeanieS

    Former KXLY anchor travels with humanitarian aid project

    Lucinda Kay, former KXLY television anchor, reads with a Jamaican student in November 2009. Courtesy of Chelsea Dannen

    Since 1988, a national nonprofit with local ties has been facilitating humanitarian projects in Jamaica.

    Former KXLY television news anchor Lucinda Kay said, “I was born into Great Shape; my mother and two aunties are the founders.” She said the organization got its distinctive moniker because one of the founders had planned to open a gym bearing that name. However, when Hurricane Gilbert devastated the island, gym plans were scrapped and the budding nonprofit became Great Shape! Inc. More here. Cindy Hval, Spokesman Review

    Have you ever traveled with a humanitarian aid organization? Would you like to?


    Expensive Snow

    This Dec. 18, 2008, photo shows a snow-blown sidewalk covered in snow.

    Local governments, schools and nonprofit agencies in Spokane County have been reimbursed $5.7 million for their costs in responding to record snows that began in mid-December 2008 and continued through early January 2009.

    Under government guidelines, the Federal Emergency Management Agency paid the agencies for the cost of snow removal during a 48-hour event and for damages to public and nonprofit facilities as the result of a declared emergency. Read more. Mike Prager, Spokesman Review

    Did you miss snow this year or do you wish every winter was like the one we just had?

    Can you see me now?

    WASHINGTON – From Grimm’s fairy tales to Harry Potter, the cloak of invisibility has played a major role in fiction. Now scientists have taken a small but important new step toward making it reality.

    Researchers at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology report they were able to cloak a tiny bump in a layer of gold, preventing its detection at nearly visible infrared frequencies.

    Their cloaking device also worked in three dimensions, while previously developed cloaks worked in two dimensions, lead researcher Tolga Ergin said. Read more.

    Where would you like to go if you had a cloak of invisibility?

    SC governor to pay $74K in ethics fines

    COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has agreed to pay $74,000 in fines to resolve dozens of charges that he violated state ethics laws with his campaign spending and travel, including a taxpayer-funded rendezvous with his Argentine mistress, the State Ethics Commission said Thursday.

    The commission brought the 37 civil charges against the Republican last year. Sanford, who is term-limited and will leave office in January, still could face criminal charges.

    Sanford said in a statement he thinks he would have been vindicated if the commission had heard the case, but didn’t want to continue what he called “an endless media circus.” More.

    His divorce was finalized today too. Do you think Sanford should face criminal charges?

    Cash for Caulkers

    Keeping your home warm, toasty, energy-efficient, cost-effective ways to heat the house, caulking windows…Staff illustration by Bridget Sawicki

    From the federal stimulus to ‘cash for caulkers,’ home weatherization has never been hotter. But can it really save the environment and the economy?

    Drafty doors, floors, walls and windows are slowly letting air out of the U.S. economy, as consumers pay rising prices to wrangle warmth that freely escapes and invades their homes. This HVAC crisis has been simmering for decades, but as Congress now struggles to cut U.S. energy costs, carbon emissions and unemployment all at once, the fight against outdoor climate change is increasingly focusing on indoor climate control.

    President Obama made that clear earlier this month when he proposed his $6 billion Home Star program, aka “cash for caulkers,” the latest in a string of federal efforts to both shrink the country’s carbon footprint and revive its economy. Read more. Russ McLendon, Mother Nature Network

    What steps have you taken to make your home more energy efficient?

    CB’s Bumpersnicker of the day

    Gosh. I’m mebbe,  prolly starting to type like DFO!

    Cabbage Boy on March 18 at 1:35 p.m.

    Speaking of sayings, saw a great bumper sticker.

    Honk if you love Jesus.
    Text if you want to meet him now.

    Kren proposes gender, race abortion ban

    Rep. Steve Kren, R-Nampa, proposes legislation to ban abortions based on reasons of race or gender.

    Rep. Steve Kren, R-Nampa, presented legislation to the House State Affairs Committee this morning to ban abortions for reasons of gender or race; the committee voted 12-5 along party lines to introduce the bill, though several members raised questions about the wording and legal implications of the bill. More here. Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise

    What do you think about Kren’s proposed legislation?

    CindyH at the DMV

    I’ve never visited the Statue of Liberty, but I think I know what inspired Emma Lazarus when she wrote, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. …” She’d probably just spent a Saturday morning at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

    Last month I received a license renewal notice in the mail. I placed the letter in a safe spot so I could renew online. That spot is so secure I haven’t been able to find the notice since. And then I forgot about it – until another letter came in the mail. More here. Cindy Hval, Spokesman Review

    What is the moral to this story? Feel free to share your own DMV story.

    The kids aren’t so bad after all

    Today’s youth are generally not the self-centered, antisocial slackers that previous research has made them out to be, according to a provocative new study co-authored by a Michigan State University psychologist.

    In a scientific analysis of nearly a half-million high-school seniors spread over three decades, MSU’s Brent Donnellan and Kali Trzesniewski of the University of Western Ontario argue teens today are no more egotistical - and just as happy and satisfied - as previous generations.

    “We concluded that, more often than not, kids these days are about the same as they were back in the mid-1970s,” said Donnellan, associate professor of psychology. Full story.

    We had a lively discussion on this topic not long ago, and here’s some new research. It reads like good news to me. How about you?

    American military: The last vestige of U.S. dominance

    A U.S. Marine with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion 5th Marines walks in a joint patrol with Afghan National Army soldiers, in Nawa district, Helmand province.

    In Bill Bonner’s article for the Christian Science Monitor he says, “At least there is one area in which the US maintains a clear and decisive lead – the military. Nobody comes close. No navy. No air force. No army. We’re number one.

    The trouble with being number one in military power is that you need to find a way to pay for it. Which brings to mind a recent book by Thomas F. Madden, Empires of Trust. We spent the weekend sitting in a wicker chair by the pool reading it, drinking lime sodas and red wine.

    The book is a delightful history book, recounting Hannibal’s war against the Romans and the Romans’ many wars against the Greeks. It is a marvelous book of history. It’s too bad the author draws conclusions that are comically out of sync with his own tale.” Full article.


    How does your garden grow?

    Volunteer J.D. Barker, left, and Max Mendez, communications, fine arts and humanities division chairman  at North Idaho College, work to build a community garden in a vacant lot near the college in Coeur d’Alene on Wednesday.

    About a dozen people gathered on a Coeur d’Alene street corner Wednesday afternoon to build a raised bed that will become North Idaho College’s first community garden.

    The garden project was one of several hands-on projects included in a weeklong college symposium that explores sustainability from a variety of angles, including food, waste, water and power. Other events included speeches, movies, panel discussions and displays of recycling, water conservation and electric vehicles. Read more. Alison Boggs, Spokesman Review

    I love the idea of a community garden. But my idea is to have someone else do all the work while I eat the results. So far my idea hasn’t caught on around here. What are your gardening plans this spring?


    Teacher Sparks Chess Revival

    Members of Rogers High school chess club, clockwise from far left: Alex Sipraseuth, Damon Child, David Tran, James Eckart, Riqi Silva and Klint Minnameier practice before the GSL Chess Tournament March 5 at Gonzaga Prep.

    It had to be the quietest GSL championship ever. No rowdy fans chanted pep cheers. No enthusiastic parents screamed advice from the sidelines. Indeed, the only sounds were the ticking of the clock and the occasional whisper of “checkmate.”

    On March 5, six teams competed in the GSL chess championship at Gonzaga Prep. While Ferris narrowly defeated Lewis and Clark, the Rogers team, which tied for fourth, was happy just to be there. That’s because after a 20-year absence, Rogers once again has a chess team. Full story. Cindy Hval, Spokesman Review

    Do you/did you play chess?

    NCAA likes to play the numbers game

    Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson, right, shoots over MSU’s Delvon Roe.

    This falls in the category of Things to Worry About Later, certainly.

    The NCAA basketball tournament games coming our way Friday are version 3.0 of March Madness at the Spokane Arena, and soon enough the din from the bleachers will drown out the inevitable bleating that the committee never sends us a top seed (because those No. 1 vs. No. 16 games are always such good theater) and that the hockey team has to start the playoffs out of town. John Blanchette, Spokesman Review

    Read more, including Friday’s game schedule and today’s practice sessions here.

    Where will you watch the NCAA action? At the Arena? At home? Your favorite watering hole? Is there anyone who will NOT be watching basketball this weekend?

    Reality comes to Cda

    COEUR d’ALENE - If a budding movie maker has his way, the Lake City will become even more iconic than it already is. In the coming days and months, video crews will be downtown and in other parts of the area shooting footage for a proposed reality show to be called “Icon Coeur d’Alene.”

    The downtown nightclub Icon, owner Jerry Goggin and his employees, custome