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Archive for November 2010

Wild Card/Tuesday — 11.30.10

I’m back from a brief vacation in which I enjoyed the company of Amy Dearest and pressed her boyfriend into helping me shovel snow twice. Halfway through our first shoveling, he figured out that I’d given him the second best shovel. Busted, I reluctantly handed over my shovel and continued the work. A native Oklahoman, he enjoyed the white Thanksgiving and Black Friday evening parade and fireworks downtown. I’d probably have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t nursing the tail end of the cold I caught two weeks ago. Nasty stuff. Vile stuff. A cold in winter saps you. I hope you’re feeling well today. Now, I’ll play the Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 11.30.10

Members of the 391st Engineer Company platoon run through Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho on Tuesday during physical training. More than 100 soldiers with the 391st Engineer Company will mobilize for a year-long deployment to Iraq, and will leave Thursday for training in Wisconsin. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Joe Jaszewski)

Jamie: God-Forsaken Icy Roads

I was going to see White Christmas at the Spokane Civic Theatre on Friday. I had my tickets waiting for me at the box office for the sold out show, but because I am a chicken when it comes to driving on icy roads we stayed home instead. Now this has really put a crimp in my monthly dose of culture! I need to remind myself of the finer more simple pleasures in life and going to a performance at the Spokane Civic gives me that and more. Sometimes we get caught up in all the daily crap (yes I said crap) that is going on around us and we don’t take time to just sit and be entertained.

Question: Have icy roads this year prevented you from attending an event that you really wanted to see or be a part of?

Scanner Traffic/PM — 11.30.10

  • 5:53 p.m. Vehicle has crashed into median on I-90 @ M/P31 (Fourth of July pass), partly blocking roadway.
  • 5:29 p.m. Triple-A tow service tells a local driver who needs help that there are 9 to 10 motorists ahead of him — and he’ll have to wait about 2 hours.
  • 5:04 - 5:18 p.m. A large van has crashed into a guardrail on H95 @ M/P 408 (near Setters). 2 vehicles have crashed on S-curve of H41 & Coeur d’Alene/Rathdrum. A single vehicle has crashed on I-90 @ M/P 18 (east of Sherman Avenue exit).
  • 4:45 p.m. 2-vehicle crash is blocking busy s/b H95 @ Haycraft, just north of Appleway. Also, non-injury accident at Kathleen & Ramsey.
  • 4:41 p.m. Caller reports seeing pickup slide off into trees @ H95 & Corbin Hill.
  • 4:28 p.m. CPD Blues are checking out fraud report @ Capones/CdA.
  • 4:14 p.m. Patrol officers are working on 3 slideoffs along upper Ramsey Road. Officer reports that Ramsey, from Lancaster to H54 (Athol) is too icy for travel.
  • 4:05 p.m. A male in a homicidal mood is at Dirne Clinic threatening to kill someone.
  • More below

PM: Lucky Friday To Open Ore Body

Josh Easley and Dave Martin work while standing on a suspended platform over the new shaft hole on the 4900 level in the Lucky Friday mine last week. They work for Cementation, the contractor that is digging the new shaft that will open up a new ore body in the mine. Becky Kramer will provide the story in Sunday’s paper. See Jesse Tinsley’s slide show here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

APhoto Of The Day — 11.30.10

The head of the Washington State Potato Commission Chris Voigt poses for a photo in Moses Lake, Wash. Voigt challenged himself to live on a potato-only diet for 60 days. He’s cooked them every way but didn’t allow butter, sour cream or any of the usual high-calorie toppings. Voigt, head of the state potato commission, wanted to make a point about the humble spud’s rich nutrients. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Alan Berner)

Top Cutlines

  • 1. After the dish ran away with the spoon, Mr. Fork decides to take a stab at dating potatoes he met at “mash . com” — Gary D. Rhodes.
  • 2. 1. Like Mr. Potato Head (and Walter Cronkite), Chris just wants to be a common tater — JohnA.
  • 3. The only side effect of the potatoes only diet was he could no longer enjoy his favorite TV show, M.A.S.H. — Cabbage Boy.
  • HM: Formerly Sandpoint

NI Blogs: Local Man Beats Cancer is celebrating the fact that John Flaherty of Flaherty’s Framing & Fine Art has been pronounced cancer free — and is announcing a fund-raiser to help the family with the mountain of bills that was accumulated. More here.

Hucks Numbers (for Monday, Nov. 29): 8001 page-views/4192 unique views.

Bronco Nation (Hearts) Kyle Brotzman

Let’s face it - Kyle Brotzman will remember Friday night for the rest of his life.  It’s going to be a tough journey for the Boise State kicker. But thousands of people on Facebook hope to make that journey a little easier for the Bronco’s all time leading scorer. As of Tuesday morning, “Bronco Nation Loves Kyle Brotzman” has more than 30,000 fans on Facebook. “We love you Kyle, keep on doing what you do,” one user posted/KBOI. More here.

DFO: I consider this a pretty classy gesture.

Question: What advice would you give Kyle Brotzman re: his misfires against Nevada?

Pecky: A Snow Record About To Fall

At Priest Lake, Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns snapped this photo of the snowfall today on Lakeshore Drive and wonders if we’ll break the record for November.

Question: Do you enjoy living through record-breaking weather events?

Cindy: Do Men Still Wear Necklaces?

Cindy: I just received a FB friend request from a fella wearing a gold necklace. I remember the pooka shells of the ‘70’s and the gold chains of the ‘80’s and the gag-me gangsta bling of the ‘90’s, but do men still wear necklaces?

Question: I haven’t worn a necklace of any kind since high school. I remember wearing a crucifix back then. What do you think? Do men in general wear necklaces?

Rammell Caught Dragging Off Elk

Rex Rammell, Idaho Falls, is under investigation in the illegal killing of an elk following a confrontation with an Idaho Fish and Game conservation officer. The officer was patrolling the Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area east of Idaho Falls late this morning where a late season cow elk hunt is being held. The officer checked Rammell’s elk tag after he saw that Rammell was dragging a dead elk with his snowmobile. The tag was invalid because it was issued for a hunt that closed in October in the Middle Fork elk hunting zone/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that the former candidate for governor and U.S. senator is in hot water again?

Tweet: Why Plow Bike Paths?

Via Twitter, McWriters reports: “Watched a City of CDA truck plow the Atlas Bike Path while slowly driving up the UNPLOWED Atlas street. Bike paths have priority in CDA?!”

Question: Should bike paths be a priority during heavy snow like we’re having today?

Retiree Unveils 271 Picasso Works

A retired French electrician and his wife have come forward with 271 undocumented, never-before-seen works by Pablo Picasso estimated to be worth at least euro 60 million ($79.35 million), an administrator of the artist’s estate said Monday. The works include this drawing of a horse. (AP Photo/Succession Picasso). Story here.

Question: Do you have a favorite piece of art in your home?

Iupati’s Blocking Leads To Touchdown

Against the Cardinals, Westbrook flew mostly between the tackles. Nine of his rushes were up the middle for 61 yards. All but one carry and 1 yard came inside the tackles, where the 49ers want to mash the most. He went up the middle for an 8-yard touchdown run, following pulling left guard Mike Iupati’s lead, to give the 49ers a 21-3 lead in the second quarter. In other words, Westbrook showed the 49ers don’t have to change the game plan just because Gore is out. “I felt good, I felt very young,” Westbrook said. “I was fresh”/David White, S.F. Chronicle. More here.

Question: Who is your favorite Inland Northwest player now playing on a professional sports team?

Scarborough Takes On Sarah Palin

What man or mouse with a fully functioning human brain and a résumé as thin as Palin’s would flirt with a presidential run? It makes the political biography of Barack Obama look more like Winston Churchill’s, despite the fact that the 44th president breezed into the Oval Office as little more than a glorified state senator. Still, Palin is undeterred, charging ahead maniacally while declaring her intention to run for the top office in the land if “nobody else will”/Joe Scarborough, Politico. More here. (AP photo: Sarah Palin reacts as she meets Sofia Krejbjerg, of Houston, as Palin signed copies of her new book, “America by Heart” Monday in Houston.)

Question: Will Sarah Palin be the death of the Republican Party dreams to reclaim the presidency in 2012?

SC: Idaho’s Biggest Weather Disaster

Idaho had its Great Fire of 1910 that killed 87 people and its Teton Dam collapse of 1976 that washed away 11 lives, but what was the greatest weather-related disaster in the state’s 120-year history? It wasn’t — as your grandparents may have told you — the Great Winter of 1949-50, which essentially shut down southern Idaho’s transportation for six weeks and its economy for a month. Yet there were fewer than a dozen casualties from the Mother of All Snow Storms. It was an avalanche near Hailey in Feb. 25, 1917, that set the standard/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Have you ever been involved in a weather disaster?

INW: Major Expects Reinstatement

Major Margaret Witt, center, with ACLU-WA Legal Director, Sarah Dunne, left, and James Lobsenz, right, react during a news conference today at the office of the ACLU of Washington in Seattle. Witt was suspended in 2004 and subsequently discharged after the Air Force learned she had been in a long-term relationship with a civilian woman. Witt now expects to be reinstated in the Air Force shortly. Story here. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Steve Ringman)

High Noon: Targetting Concussions

Rep. Elaine Smith, D-Pocatello, may try to implement strict guidelines in state law designed to protect student-athletes from returning too soon to fields of play after suffering concussions. Earlier this year, Smith proposed legislation that would require athletes in publicly-funded sports – like high school football or basketball – to visit a doctor, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner to receive medical clearance to return to play. The initial version also directed parents, coaches, and players to undergo training in identifying concussions and also ordered coaches in public schools to remove players from practices or games when they are suspected of having suffered concussions/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Have you ever had a concussion? Do you remember what it was like?

Scanner Traffic/AM — 11.30.10

  • 11:38 a.m. 2 dogs are loose in the parking lot of Post Falls post office.
  • 11:23 a.m. Someone at Guardian Angel Homes/PF has a ring stuck on her finger.
  • 11:22 a.m. Firefighters smell smoke but can’t find source after responding to a fire alarm at North Idaho College day care center.
  • 11:16 a.m. Juvenile female in 800 block of 3rd/CdA spit in her father’s face during fight.
  • 11:02 a.m. A disabled white Chevy w/Washington plates is blocking H95 @ Chilco.
  • 10:44 a.m. A truck erupted into flames in Hayden this morning. The truck caught fire in the Woodland Meadow Estates. There are no reports of any injuries. KHQ report.
  • 10:17 a.m. Mother is concerned that a son who sports a red beard may be en route to the Hayden Creek area to kill himself.
  • 10:02 a.m. A Spirit Lake woman who has been lethargic since her boyfriend left her may have taken an overdose of penicillin.
  • 9:51 a.m. Female is attempting to redeem two dogs wearing sweaters at animal shelter.
  • 8:55 a.m. Female has regained consciousness in employees lounge at Coeur d’Alene Casino after choking on food.
  • 8:49 a.m. Vicky reports a hit-and-run accident at Rude & Prairie/Hayden.
  • 8:41 a.m. Female believes a money order for WalMart involving Publishers Clearinghouse is a fraud.
  • 8:35 a.m. Glen reports that $4500 worth of equipment has been taken from a construction site near the Hauser boat launch.
  • 8:34 a.m. Snowplows have plowed a berm around a vehicle @ Prescott & Ridgemont/Hayden, creating a traffic hazard.
  • 8:24 a.m. A road sign @ Government Way & Deerhaven is sitting @ a 45-degree angle after being hit by a snowplow.

Spokane Traffic Light Flips Off Winter

On her way to work this morning in the downtown Spokane office, colleague Meghann Cuniff, of the Sirens & Gavels blog, snapped this photo of a street light seemingly flipping off winter.

Idaho Guards Watch Inmate Attack

The surveillance video from the overhead cameras shows Hanni Elabed being beaten by a fellow inmate in an Idaho prison, managing to bang on a prison guard station window, pleading for help. Behind the glass, correctional officers look on, but no one intervenes when Elabed was knocked unconscious. No one steps into the cellblock when the attacker sits down to rest, and no one stops him when he resumes the beating. Videos of the attack obtained by The Associated Press show officers watching the beating for several minutes. The footage is a key piece of evidence for critics who claim the privately run Idaho Correctional Center uses inmate-on-inmate violence to force prisoners to snitch on their cellmates or risk being moved to extremely violent units/Rebecca Boone, AP. More here. (AP photo: An inmate attacks fellow inmate Hanni Elabed at the privately-run Idaho Correctional Center.) H/T: Bent.

Question: Should Idaho farm out oversight of prisons to private companies? And/or: Do you care if inmates beat on one another?

Idaho Parks Mull Corporate Branding

Idaho State Parks, brought to you by … The North Face? Columbia Sportswear? REI? With backup cash dwindling and no new income streams in sight, the state might sign a corporate sponsor to stave off park closures. “We’re trying to get very creative in the way that we survive here,” Nancy Merrill, state Parks and Recreation Department director, told on Monday. Merrill said department public relations staffers have consulted with a firm specializing in corporate-naming matchmaking and that a sponsorship policy will be presented to the department board in February/Jay Patrick, Idaho Reporter. More here. (SR file photo of cross-country skier enjoying Farragut State Park.)

Question: Do you support a proposal by the state parks system to raise money by offering a corporate sponsorship?

Poll: BSU Would Do Well In Pac-10

  • Weekend Poll: Most respondents (a combined 127 of 178, 72%) believe Boise State would do well if the Broncos played in the Pac-10, but would struggle to win the football title. 64 of 178 (36.36%) said BSU would be a perennial contender. Another 63 of 178 (35.23%) said BSU would generally finish in the middle of the pack. 24 (13.64%) thought the Broncos would still be champions, while 15 (7.95%) said they would fall to the cellar. 12 (6.82%) said the Broncos would be “also-rans” if they played in the Pac-10.
  • Today’s Poll: Did the FBI entrap the suspect in the alleged car bombing attempt in Portland?

Buck Loses Battle w/Lawn Ornament

Wisconsin whitetails apparently are willing to challenge any bull elk that come wandering into their turf during the rut. In an early November battle, a whitetail buck fought to the death with a 640-pound concrete elk lawn ornament. Both critters suffered serious damage. Outdoors writer Rich Landers provides the rest of the story here.

Cindy Breaks It Off With Winter

On a “Dear Winter” note on her Facebook page, Cindy declares: “I’m breaking up with you. The sparkling, glittering promise of our relationship has dulled to mind-numbing greyish mush. I told you I needed space, yet you constantly smother me with unwanted attention. I am over you.”

DFO: I’m already tired of Junior, who’s spending his first winter in Florida, and the family branch that’s located in central and southern California mentioning in phone calls how swell the weather is in their neck of the woods.

Question: What do you say when friends and relatives who live in better climates mention that it’s 75 degrees outside and they plan to drive around town with the top down?

Do You Light Up For Christmas?

At my house, we generally string lights around the dwarf spruce out front, along the front trim and porch, and around the windows. Fairly basic stuff. Not anywhere near the big displays in the community that attract the drive-by gawkers. This year, however, we may go simpler still. Our street isn’t big on Christmas lights. But I enjoy them.

Question: In a word or two, can you describe your approach to outdoor Christmas lights?

NYTimes: Wolf Politics

Meanwhile, Gov. C. L. Otter of Idaho — furious at a court decision canceling his state’s wolf hunt — has said he won’t allow a dime of state money to be spent safeguarding Idaho’s wolves. He announced that Idaho won’t do biological surveys, won’t investigate illegal kills and won’t go after poachers. What accounts for these outbursts, besides the usual political pandering to hunters? The main reason is an August decision by a District Court judge in Montana that restored wolves in Idaho and Montana to the list. The Interior department had earlier agreed (wrongly in our view) to lift protections in those states and let them manage wolf populations on their own/New York Times editorial. More here. H/T: Kevin Graman. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you think the Editorial Board of the New York Times has any reliable perspective on the impact of wolves in Western forests?

Labrador Still Paying Student Loans

Idaho’s newest congressman-elect is a 42-year-old attorney and former state lawmaker, but he’s also still paying off thousands in student loans. “It’s how I got through law school,” said Idaho Rep.-elect Raul Labrador. The Project on Student Debt, a nonprofit research group funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Ford Foundation, says it’s not uncommon for Americans, particularly those with professional degrees, to still be paying off their student loans into their 40s. “It’s taking longer and longer as people borrow more,” said Edie Irons, the project’s communications director. “We’re definitely troubled by it”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Did you have to take out student loans to get through college? How long did it take you to pay them off?

AM: Boise State Kicker Faces Taunts

Boise State Broncos kicker Kyle Brotzman (35) reacts after missing a field goal in overtime against the University of Nevada at Mackay Stadium in Reno, NV on Friday night. The Wolfpack won the game in overtime. Brotzman has been the target of ugly name-calling, jabs, and taunts since he misfired — as well as a Facebook effort supporting him. ESPN story here. And: Kevin Richert editorial here. And: San Francisco Bowl still Boise State’s most likely destination here. (AP Photo/Idaho Statesman: Joe Jaszewski)

Question: What do you make of fan reaction to the missed field goals by Boise State kicker Kyle Brotzman in the Broncos’ upset loss to Nevada Friday?

Huckleberries: Ring Comes Full Circle

Tony Smith isn’t a hobbit, dwarf, elf, or any of the other mythical characters that inhabited Middle Earth and coveted the one ring that ruled them all. Yet he has a gold Air Force Academy ring that took its own sweet time getting back to him over a journey of 20 years. First, you should know that Tony is a 1985 Coeur d’Alene High graduate and the son of Randy and Ruth Smith, of Nettleton Gulch, and that he lost his ring while water skiing in Texas in about 1990, one year after he graduated from the Air Force Academy. It was – should I say – precious to him, because the inscription inside (in English not elfin) helped him through tough times: “I can do all things (through Christ who strengthens me – Phil. 4:13).” Years after losing the ring, Tony learned from the Air Force Academy that a European had found it at a campground in Texas. The European then mailed the ring to Tony, only to have it break through the envelope at a North Carolina post office/DFO, Huckleberries, SR. More here.

Question: When did you last lose an item of value that you wear or carry on your person (ring, watch, clothing, etc.?

FBI Foils Portland Car Bomb Attempt

Saba Ahmed, whose brother is a friend of the defendant, speaks to reporters following an appearance in federal court by terror suspect Mohamed Osman Mohamud on Monday in Portland. Authorities say Mohamud and an FBI operative parked a van full of dummy explosives on Southwest Yamhill Street across from Pioneer Courthouse Square just after sundown Friday while thousands gathered in the square for the annual tree lighting. Mohamud is accused of attempting to detonate the explosives. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

  • DFO: For those keeping score at home, the reporter just to the left of the woman being interviewed is former SR shining light, Julie Sullivan, now of the Oregonian. (H/T: Kevin Taylor/Inlander for point that out.)

Question: Some might say that the young suspect in this alleged bomb plot was entrapped. What do you think?

Bloggy: Federal Workers Rock

Mr_Bloggy: Federal workers average 90 quadrillion dollars a year each annual salary and make 80 infinity % more than private workers and they all get their own surgical team and trauma helicopter to follow them wherever they go in case they have a medical issue and it costs them NOTHING and if they keep their individual healthcare costs under a benchmarked average of 8 million dollars a year each they receive, as a bonus, an entire wing of a research hospital named after them plus a cash bonus of 6 billion dollars. (The rest below.)

Question: Would you change your private sector job for a local, state, or federal job, if you could?

Joe: The Smell Of Money

Joe Butler: I used to hate cow/stockyard smell, but after living in Ellensburg, I don’t notice it much anymore. And the bile/vomit smell luckily doesn’t seem to bug me like it does others. If you’ve ever wondered what that distinct smell is, it’s butyric acid, which also shows up in Parmesan cheese. Although too much Parmesan on food can sometimes confuse my nose, which tells my brain, ‘you’re eating throw-up, dude, what the heck?’ and cause a loss of appetite anyway.

Question: Have you ever lived in a town that smelled? What caused the smell? How did you handle it?

FlorineD: Still Not Ready For Snow

FlorineD: I had occasion to stop in at CDA Tractor late this afternoon. As I was paying for the oil for my snowblower, I overheard a knowledgeable woman saying on the phone, “well, we have that if you want to get it and install it yourself. I do need to tell you that if you want us to install it, you’ll be number 126 in line. No, I’m not kidding, they have 125 snowblowers back there waiting.” So I’m not the only one who waits till there’s snow before preparing for snow!

Question: Are you totally prepared for today’s big snow (i.e. do you have your snow tires on the car, bought a snowblower, have your wood in, etc.)?

Heller: Leslie Nielsen Gets His Wings

Joe Heller/Hellertoons


 On Facebook Nic reports: “I’ve been walking around with my fly unzipped all morning and no one told me. Either my coworkers are horribly insensitive or incredibly unobservant.”
Or maybe just timid. What’s the best way to tell a fella his fly is unzipped?

Parting Shot: Slow down

An SUV that lost a front wheel sits atop a snow berm on South Regal Street last week. Snowy, slippery conditions call for increased caution.

More snow in the forecast. Be careful out there!

Now that the weather has our attention, it’s probably a good time to check in with the highway patrol on how to stay safe on the road this winter.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Troy Briggs said the single most important thing driving in winter is simple:

“Probably the most common mistake we see is speed that is too fast for road conditions,” he said.

How fast is too fast? That depends, Briggs said. Mike Prager, SR. More here.

Wild Card/Monday 11.20.10

Apparently, the Blogfather is still in the grips of a tryptophan coma and is taking today off to recover. After preparing ‎17 pounds of turkey, 5 pounds of mashed potatoes (with gravy), 2 dozen rolls, 2 pans of stuffing, 2 cans of olives, 1 green bean casserole, 1 carrot/onion bacon casserole, 2 apple pies, 1 pumpkin pie, 1 pumpkin cheesecake pie, and 1 vat of turkey noodle soup, I’d like a day off, too.
But no rest for the wicked. Or something. Feel free to leave your post-Thanksgiving thoughts here.

A 2-year freeze on federal pay?

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Monday proposed a two-year freeze of the salaries of some 2 million federal workers, trying to seize the deficit-cutting initiative from Republicans with a sudden, dramatic stroke. Though signaling White House concern over record deficits, the freeze would make only a tiny dent in annual deficits or the nation’s $14 trillion debt.

“Small businesses and families are tightening their belts,” Obama said in brief remarks at the White House. “The government should, too.” The administration said the plan was designed to save more than $5 billion over the first two years. AP  Read more.

Is a tiny dent better than no dent?

Still no funding for suicide hotline

Idaho is the only state without a suicide crisis hotline and has no clear private or government funding source to restart the program.

Kathy Garrett, a former Republican state lawmaker and member of the Idaho Council on Suicide Prevention, is looking for a shared public-private partnership to open the crisis phone lines, which could cost $150,000 a year.

“Idaho’s shirking on its duty,” Garrett said about the lack of a hotline. Last year, 3,633 people called the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, with calls answered by staff and volunteers in Oregon. Full story. Brad Iverson-Long, Idaho Reporter

Are you surprised that Idaho is the only state without a suicide crisi hotline? Why or why not?

But Bob didn’t order 178 pizzas

AMHERST, Mass., Nov. 25 (UPI) — The manager of a Massachusetts pizzeria said the business is out $3,900 after a man who claimed to be from Bob Dylan‘s stage crew ordered 178 pizzas.

Sean McElligott, manager of Antonio’s in Amherst, said the store was “too trusting” when a man in his 40s wearing Bob Dylan backstage concert credentials came in and asked if they could produce 178 extra-large pizzas to feed the singer’s concert crew, The (Springfield, Mass.) Republican reported Thursday.

“We stayed there until 5 in the morning making the pizza,” he said. “The request seemed legitimate.” UPI More here.

Have you ever been “punked”?

More wolf news

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the governors of the three Rocky Mountain states met Monday in Denver to try to figure out how to turn management of wolves over to the states — including the possibility that Congress could specify that the wolf population is fully recovered.

Salazar met with Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal and Wyoming Gov.-elect Matt Mead. All three states are anxious to reduce wolf numbers to protect other wildlife and reduce livestock attacks. Read more.

How long will it take for this issue to be resolved?

Fill in the blank

The worst smell in the world is_________

Obama authors kids’ book

He’s the leader of the free world, and he’s won a Nobel Peace Prize.

But only now, by one measure, is Barack Obama finally truly famous: He’s written a children’s book.

With “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters,” a new picture book for readers 3 and up, the president joins a long list of famous folk who’ve penned children’s books: Madonna, John Travolta, Katie Couric, Will Smith, Paul McCartney, Whoopi Goldberg, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld and Steve Martin, just to name a few. More here.

I make it a point to avoid purchasing books by celebrity authors. Just because you’re famous doesn’t mean you can write (though there are plenty of exceptions, I’m sure).

What’s your favorite childrens’ book?

High Noon:The video that made the NFL’s James Brown cry

Cincinnati wide receiver Chris Henry had apparently turned his life around when tragedy struck.

A berry picker sent me a link to this video that aired on Thanksgiving. A moving tribute to the choice Chris Henry’s mother made that forever changed the lives of many people. It’s worth watching. And yes, I cried, too:

Would you make the same choice Chris Henry’s mother made?

Football player blames God for foul up

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson  dropped an easy, game-winning touchdown pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. 

After the game, Johnson placed the blame for the flub not on himself nor the pass nor the lights nor the defender nor the pressure of the situation. Nope; he blamed it on the big guy upstairs.

Johnson used Twitter to lash out at the Almighty. But I’m not sure God is a Steve Johnson follower.

Lakewood police slayings one year later

Police officers kneel at the caskets of four slain Lakewood officers during a memorial service Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009, at the Tacoma Dome.

PARKLAND, Wash. – The first of two memorials honoring four Lakewood police officers who were killed by a gunman last year has been dedicated.

Today is the one-year anniversary of the deaths of Sgt. Mark Renninger and Officers Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold and Greg Richards.

A memorial was dedicated Sunday afternoon outside Forza Coffee shop in Parkland, where the four were gunned down.  More here.


Because there are sports other than football

Roger Federer celebrates his ATP World Tour Finals title.

LONDON – Roger Federer turned his high-profile, season-ending match against Rafael Nadal into little more than an exhbition.

Federer gave his rival little chance to mount a challenge in the 22nd meeting between two of the greatest players of all time, winning his fifth season-ending title 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 at the ATP World Tour Finals on Sunday.

Federer won an incredible 92 percent of the points played on his first serve in the final, and lost only 13 points on serve in the entire match.

Do you play tennis?

WikiLeaks. Again.

WASHINGTON — The release of more than 250,000 classified State Department documents forced the Obama administration into damage control, trying to contain fallout from unflattering assessments of world leaders and revelations about backstage U.S. diplomacy.

The publication of the secret cables on Sunday amplified widespread global alarm about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and unveiled occasional U.S. pressure tactics aimed at hot spots in Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Korea. The leaks also disclosed bluntly candid impressions from both diplomats and other world leaders about America’s allies and foes. Read more.

WikiLeaks: Items of important public interest? Items that jeopardize foreign policy issues? Or both?

Stitched up Obama sidelined

President Barack Obama  watches a basketball game  in Washington on Saturday

WASHINGTON – A day after it took 12 stitches to patch a busted lip President Barack Obama suffered during a game of pickup basketball, he was back on the hard court Saturday – as a spectator. More here. AP

When did you last have to get stitches?

Rosdahl Retires

In the tiny town of Thompson Falls, Mont., in the 1950s, there was a single paperboy who delivered the Missoulian to nearly 100 subscribers.

He was 11, maybe 12 years old. The paper cost a nickel, no more than a dime. It was the only source of news for the folks who called the valley their home.

And Nils Rosdahl was that boy who flung those papers door to door. Read more. Bill Buley, CDA Press

After 26 years at NIC, Nils Roshdahl, who also writes the the Handle Business column for the SR, is retiring.  Share your thoughts about Nils here or perhaps there is another teacher/mentor who you will never forget?


White on time

General Manager Brad McQuarrie looks around the slopes at Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010.

So far, it looks like La Niña is delivering as promised.

Ski resort operators across the Inland Northwest started cheering as early as last spring when forecasters began predicting the weather pattern that typically brings colder temperatures and increased precipitation to the Pacific Northwest. Alison Boggs, SR More.

Did you partake of any snow sports over Thanksgiving weekend?

Idaho News

It is hard to imagine that 1,300 children are in Idaho’s foster care system. Laura Umthun, Handle Extra

Air Force ring comes full circle, DFO, Handle Extra

We’ve gotten some clues for interesting big business news for the near future, but they aren’t absolutely confirmed – so we’ll just hint at them within the tidbits down below.  Nils Rosdahl, Handle Extar

Mill Public House: To quote that great would-be novelist Snoopy, it was a dark and stormy night.  Patrick Jacobs, Handle Extra

The race is on for the Idaho Senate’s top leadership post, now that Senate President Pro-Tem Bob Geddes, R-Soda Springs, has decided not to seek another term as pro-tem.  Betsy Russell, Handle Extra

Chuck Murray discovered a strange bird recently in his Bayview backyard. A western scrub jay showed up Oct. 24 and appears to be settling in for a long stay. Herb Huseland, Handle Extra

North Idaho woman confronted by wolves

A North Idaho woman said she was confronted by at least four wolves between Tensed and Plummer as she walked alone up her rural driveway at dusk on Saturday.

The timing of Karen Calisterio’s phone calls documents her 20 minutes of terror.

  More here. Rich Landers, SR.

Recently, I was confronted by a wolf at Isabella’s in downtown Spokane. He offered to buy me a drink. Any other wolf sightings out there?


Can’t call him Shirley, anymore

LOS ANGELES – Leslie Nielsen, who traded in his dramatic persona for inspired bumbling as a hapless doctor in “Airplane!” and the accident-prone detective Frank Drebin in “The Naked Gun” comedies, died on Sunday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was 84.

Favorite Nieslen roles/movies/quotes?

Wild Card/Sunday — 11.27-28.10

The Idaho Vandals chance for a bowl bid this year were dashed in the final 2 minutes of their game with Fresno State Saturday night. Fresno State drove 60 yards to score a touchdown and beat the Vandals 23-20 and break the heart of Vandal Nation, which was hoping for a second straight trip to a bowl game. Coupled with Boise State’s upset loss to Nevada in Reno Friday, Idaho’s loss means the Gem State didn’t have a very good weekend. But basketball is about to take hold for sports fans — and there should be plenty of snow on the slopes now for winter sport fans. But the Wild Card certainly isn’t just about sports. You can use it as always to start your own threads …

H95 Crash Kills Post Falls Couple

The Idaho State Police says two people were killed in a two-car crash on Highway 95 south of Coeur d’Alene Friday evening. ISP investigators said Kenneth and Joy Gollnick, both of Post Falls, were in the process of driving their 16-year-old son Daniel back to juvenile detention in Lewiston when they lost control of their car in the southbound lanes of the highway in the Mica Flats area. Troopers said the Gollnick’s collided with a northbound SUV driven by 52-year-old John Orvick. Investigators said first responders had to cut open the car to free Daniel. He was taken to Kootenai County Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition Friday night/KXLY. More here.

Nevada 34, Boise State 31 In Overtime

Boise State Broncos kicker Kyle Brotzman reacts after missing a 29 yard field goal attempt during overtime of the NCAA college football game Friday night in Reno, Nev. No. 19 Nevada upset No. 4 Boise State 34-31 in overtime. Brotzman also missed what would have been a game-winning field goal as time expired in regulation play. ESPN game story & boxscore here. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)

Question: What will happen to Boise State in terms of bowl play?

Black Friday Wild Card — 11.26.10

My family enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with the usual fare. Frito Ray handled the cooking duties. He may be the best chef in the family. I stuffed myself & then suffered through an NFL game that was interesting (New Orleans -Dallas). Which isn’t always the case in Thanksgiving Day football games. I was wearing the cool S.F. Giants garb that Amy Dearest brought with her from Portland. Today, I plan to sleep in. But there are plans in the house to do a Black Friday shopping spree early in the AM. Be careful out there. I’ll be back next week. Now, for your Black Friday Wild Card …

Thanksgiving Day Wild Card — 11.25.10

Amy Dearest and her beau got here safely over roads that were tricky in a couple of spots — around The Dalles, Ore., and again in Kennewick, Wash., Wednesday night. Now, we plan to sleep in Thursday morning. Or until the sound of the Thanksgiving Day parade on television lures us into the living room. Later, it’ll be a family get together at Frito Ray’s. And still later, of course, it’ll be leftovers and preparations by some in the family for Black Friday. I hope you have a delightful Thanksgiving, too. Now, I’ll play the Wild Card for any other well wishers …

Keep warm with Thanksgiving Memories

Is there anything more humiliating than being banished to the kids’ table when you’re a teenager?

Each Thanksgiving, as we gathered at my grandmother’s Hayden home, I hoped and prayed I’d at last made the cut and would be allowed to sit with the grown-ups. But when you’re the youngest in your family many things are beyond your reach – including the table with the linen cloth and good china. More here. CIndy Hval, SR

Happy Thanksgiving from the big table! Whoo hoo! What’s on your menu today?

Thanksgiving Week Wonderland

At Idaho Scenic Images, Linda Lantzy braved subzero temperatures Wednesday morning to shoot this photo for her Facebook album. She writes, “A little alpine glow in the am. City Park, Coeur d’Alene.” You can see more photos of the wintry waterfront here.

Hump Day Wild Card — 11.24.10

I’m going to pack it in for a few days, posting only Wild Cards from now until next Monday. Amy Dearest is coming home for the long Thanksgiving weekend — and I plan to enjoy her company plus family. And I suspect you will to. I’m thankful for all of you — bloggers, commenters, e-mailers, and blurkers — who have been Huckleberries what it is today. I enjoy hanging out here at Hucks Central earning a living by simply keeping the rings busy in this three-ring cyber circus. I wish everyone the most pleasant of Thanksgivings. Now, I’m going to post this Wild Card and getouttahere …

Parting Shot — 11.24.10

A herd of bison along the Bitterroot Valley’s Eastside Highway north of Stevensville, Mont., are covered in snow following a blizzard Tuesday that swept through the valley earlier this week. (AP Photo/The Missoulian, Perry Backus)

FHB: Bitten By Property Tax Bug

In the comments section, Frum Helen Back warns all of us who haven’t been to our mailboxes today that something unpleasant might be waiting for us, from Kootenai County. Writes FHB: “Today I got a look at my property tax bill. It was hard to believe it went up $1600 dollars. I was sure there was a mistake but there wasn’t.” I know taxes are suppose to go up somewhat because we passed those levies for Kootenai Technical Education Campus. But I doubt that there suppose to go up much in this era of a fairly frozen housing market.

Question: Did your property taxes go up much this year?

HMO: Thankful For Blog Family

HMOffsuite: I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every HBOer a Happy Thanksgiving and hope all have a wonderful day. The mere fact that we can gather here and share our ideas, bicker, debate, argue and even sometimes agree, is a wonderful thing. It is something that we should all be Thankful for. Living in America is a treasure and we should all be thankful for that.

Question: What are you thankful for?

Scanner Traffic/PM — 11.24.10

  • 5:23 p.m. Caller reports that 2 males are threatening to kill his dog and him in 500 block of 12th Street. Assailants slurred their words and appeared to be drunk.
  • 5:13 p.m. A suspicious vehicle is reported in front of Horizon Credit Union on Hanley/CdA.
  • 5:05 p.m. Caller reports a broken water pipe in house in 15600 block of Stevens/Rathdrum.
  • 4:51 p.m. A chip truck is stuck on Primrose & Central/PF.
  • 4:38 p.m. A disabled vehicle is blocking Kathleen & Atlas/CdA.
  • 4:17 p.m. Alano Fellowship @ 530 E. Best/CdA reports unconscious person on grounds.
  • 4:06 p.m. Alan reports WalMart has captured a cooperative male shoplifter.
  • 4:05 p.m. Callers from Nettleton Gulch & Wyatt/CdA report hearing shots & then seeing male on 4-wheeler emerging from woods to drive toward 15th & Best.
  • Much more below

PM: Kustra Denounces OSU Prez

Boise State University president Bob Kustra addresses members of the media during a news conference in Boise, in this file photo. Kustra said today that his counterpart at Ohio State’s claim that Big Ten and Southeastern Conference teams play a “murderer’s row” schedule “is the greatest exaggeration I think we’ve heard this year in college football.” See story below. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune Press-Tribune, Charlie Litchfield, File)

APhoto Of The Day — 11.24.10

A TSA officer searches a traveler in a wheelchair at security check point at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Bloomington, Minn., today. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. At MSP, pat-downs and nakey-scans are only the half of it. Agents stationed in checkpoints at the restrooms measure each traveller’s “wide stance” — Lizard People.
  • 2. The TSA manual for gate raping invalids requires them to make sure they check her colostomy and remove her wig. After a three year $12 billion study they dropped the requirement that they stand for frisking — Sisyphus.
  • 3. Abdul Khalid Jihadi contemplates his worthy investment of $500 for the Old American Tourist Lady disguise he bought on eBay, replete with underarm grenade pouches — DanG.
  • HM: Eddie, Herb, Nic, JohnA … all good today.

DeLay Guilty Of Money Laundering

Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was convicted of money laundering in a state court here Wednesday, making it possible that the once-powerful political warrior could end his career behind bars. The jury found Mr. DeLay knowingly funneled $190,000 in corporate donations to fellow Republicans running for the Texas legislature in 2002, violating state rules that ban companies from contributing to candidates’ campaigns. He was convicted on one count of money laundering, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 99 years, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which has a penalty of up to 20 years/ More here. (AP file photo of former U.S. House Speaker Tom DeLay)


Examiner: Big Load Foes Can Contest

The Idaho Transportation Department just announced that its hearing officer, Merlyn Clark, has ruled that opponents of the four proposed ConocoPhillips megaloads on U.S. Highway 12 have a right to contest permits for the loads. ITD Director Brian Ness “will review the recommendation,” the agency said in a brief news release, “and will decide the final action of the transportation department”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Gate Rape

Allison Gibbs holds up a sign in protest to what some are calling unnecessarily intrusive security screenings by the Transportation Security Administration at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco today. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Protesters objecting to screening methods used by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), the agency tasked with ensuring airline safety, gathered at a busy intersection Wednesday near the Boise Airport to let the public know that it should be aware of the danger to liberty taking place nearby. About 30 rally-goers braved single-digit temperatures to show various anti-TSA signs voicing discontent with the operations of the federal government agency/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Do you support the protest against TSA security methods?

Bristol Palin: ‘A Big Middle Finger’

Bristol Palin, left, and her partner Mark Ballas perform on the celebrity dance competition series, “Dancing with the Stars,” on Monday in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/ABC, Adam Larkey)

But then there’s the other side to Bristol — the side that appeared last night on Dancing with the Stars, and the side that was eerily reminiscent of a certain former Alaskan governor. She’s entitled, arrogant and obscenely self-serving. “Going out there and winning this would mean a lot,” Bristol told the Dancing with the Stars audience during a clip package on the finale. “It would be like a big middle finger to all the people out there that hate my mom and hate me”/Christopher Rosen, Movie Line. More here.

Question: Did Bristol Palin do as well as she did in the ‘Dancin’ with the Stars’ competition because she had a big following via her mother? Or because she improved dramatically?

Mr_Bloggy Stuck In Holiday Traffic

Via Droid, Mr_Bloggy sent this view from the east slope of Snoqualmie Pass a few minutes ago, as traffic crawls along while he tries to make it home for Thanksgiving.

NIC: No. 1, No. 2, & No 3

North Idaho College tweets: “The NJCAA polls are in… NIC men’s basketball ranked No. 1 in the nation! Wrestling ranked No. 2! Women’s basketball ranked No. 3!”

Clawson: Wishful Thankin’

I hope this is sinking in ‘cause I’m gettin’ tired of all the blank stares I get when I mention splitting wood and shovelin’ show to stay in shape. Like I was part of some living diorama where I’m the old throwback from a different century holding proudly—but stupidly—onto my splitting maul and snow shovel. A North Idaho version of ‘American Gothic.’ Next to me would be some puttybutt bench pressing his utility bills and a snowblower payment book while wearing a big stupid grin and a pair of suspenders to contain himself and his happiness/Scott Clawson, River Journal. More here.

Question: Do you shovel your own driveway & sidewalks and chop your own wood? In other words, are you a North Idaho throwback?

Joe Vandal, UM Mascot In Finals

Monte, the University of Montana’s ever-gregarious mascot, is one of eight finalists in the national Capitol One Mascot of the Year contest. The university’s cuddly bear is currently in third place behind Old Dominion’s “Big Blue” and the University of Texas El Paso’s “Pay Dirt Pete.” Monte, of course, is a two-time defending champion, having claimed the title in 2002 and 2004. United Mascots on Tuesday announced the eight finalists who will advance to the playoffs. Rounding out the final eight playoff mascots is Ohio State’s “Brutus,” “Puddles the Duck” from the University of Oregon, defending champion “Bearcat” of the University of Cincinnati, “Joe Vandal” of the University of Idaho, and Western Kentucky’s “Big Red”/Chelsi Moy, Missoulian. More here. (AP file photo of Joe Vandal at basketball game this spring)

Question: Which mascot do you prefer — University of Montana’s Monte or Joe Vandal?

INW Headlines — 11.24.10

Don Sausser provided a shot of the waterfront from west of Tubbs Hill this morning. Now, Linda Lantzy/Idaho Scenic Images provides another one from this morning, of the sunshine breaking over the marina, sandwiched between eastern Tubbs Hill and Sanders beach.

High Noon: Kerri Gets KVNI Gig

The KXLY Broadcast Group announces the addition of Main Street Monday to the KVNI AM1080 morning line-up. Kerri Thoreson will headline the show from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Monday mornings, interviewing an array of guests from the community and showcasing the people who make a difference in the Coeur d’Alene/Post Falls area. Thoreson is a long-time resident of Kootenai County and writes the popular Main Street column in the Coeur d’Alene Press on Wednesdays. Her Main Street Birthday Club has grown to thousands of members and will be a feature of the new KVNI program. “What a great additional opportunity to highlight why I love where I live …the people!” said Thoreson. (Kerri writes about it in her Main Street column today)

Question: Which radio station/program do you listen to most?

Scanner Traffic/AM — 11.24.10

  • Noonish: An officer is checking out 2 males who have 2 dogs @ Chase & Harmon/PF.
  • 11:53 a.m. Kootenai County EMTs are responding to suicide attempt in 1000 block of E. Mullan/CdA.
  • 11:39 a.m. A group of males is drinking in alley b/n Fresh Start & Moon Time in 1500 block of E. Sherman/CdA.
  • 10:57 a.m. A disorderly male has been peppered and now is being held down by 3 officers at the adult probation & parole office on Anto/CdA.
  • 10:39 a.m. A disabled vehicle is blocking e/b Seltice Way @ Bay/PF.
  • 10:18 a.m. An Irish setter is causing a traffic hazard by running loose @ H41 & Lancaster/Rathdrum.
  • 10:07 a.m. A vehicle hit the guardrail & spun around facing traffic @ e/b I-90 & M/P 17.5 (on turnout before Veterans Memorial Bridge. Female driver has a bloody nose, but she’s refusing medical treatment. ISP officer requests ambulance be sent.
  • 10:06 a.m. Delores, @ Finucane & Honeysuckle, reports someone drove through her yard & knocked down her mailbox.
  • 10:01 a.m. Residents are evacuating a trailer that’s on fire @ Westminster & Dartmouth/CdA.
  • 9:57 a.m. A small passenger vehicle w/2 occupants is stalled & blocking traffic on I-90 overpass & Seltice Way/PF.
  • 9:42 a.m. A dog is running loose, creating a traffic hazard @ Government Way & Hayden.
  • 8:53 a.m. PFPD Blue & other callers report strong smell of propane near Cabela’s/PF.
  • 8:44 a.m. A business alarm is sounding at Azteca @ Riverstone, Old Mill Loop/CdA.
  • 8:34 a.m. A vehicle has gone over an embankment on Upper Hayden Lake Road & Trillium.
  • 8:31 a.m. Caller reports that a horse is dead in a neighbor’s field.

Roetter Survived On 31-24 Vote

If you read the Coeur d’Alene Press story this morning, you know that 55 votes were cast on the motion before the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee on the motion to oust Matt Roetter as state committeeman. And that Roetter survived. But did you know that 31 voted to oust Roetter and 24 voted against the ouster. The motion required a two-thirds supermajority for passage. Seems 48 Republicans (& Constitutionalists who currently run the local central committee) were present for the super-secret executive session & 7 others sent proxy votes.

Hucks Poll: Monitor Idaho’s Water

  • Tuesday Poll: 62 of 86 respondents (72.09%) consider funding for water quality monitoring to be a necessity in the next Idaho budget, compared to 20 of 86 (23.26%) who say it is a luxury in these tough economic times. 4 were undecided.
  • Today’s Poll: Do you consider funding for clean-water monitoring by Otter administration to be a luxury or necessity?

Obama Pardons Thanksgiving Turkey

Apple, the National Thanksgiving Turkey, walks around the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington this morning before being pardoned by President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Otis G: “Just to stir things up, Obama should have come out with a shotgun and wasted that thing. Next thing you know, worlds would collide and the NRA would be printing pro-Obama posters.”

Question: What will be the most non-traditional food at your Thankgiving Day dinner?

Marty: Clueless About Valley Cleanup

To hear Idaho Gov. C. L. (Butch) Otter tell it, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should stop short of cleaning up a century’s worth of mining contamination in the Silver Valley. Apparently, the Superfund label and the cleanup efforts are hurting the valley’s image. “I have heard from legislators, local officials and the people of the Silver Valley, and I share their frustration and concern about the EPA’s overreaching and hugely expansive proposal for future cleanup efforts in the valley,” Otter wrote. The state’s four-member congressional delegation has since joined the chorus. But imagine if Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal followed that approach with the recent BP oil spill. Don’t bother extensively restoring the Gulf Coast. All that publicity is bad for the fishing and tourism industries. Just declare the oil all gone/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

  • Eman: “They are wrong to resist in my opinion. The foxes have been watching the hen house long enough and that’s what created this mess in the first place.”

Question: Are Butch Otter & Idaho’s congressional delegation right in resisting efforts by EPA to further clean up the Silver Valley’s mining waste?

Spirit Lake Man Admits Gun Charges

A self-described militia leader pleaded guilty this week to federal gun charges connected to a grenade manufacturing operation at his trailer in Spirit Lake. Kenneth B. Kimbley Jr., 58, discussed bombing local bridges with an undercover federal agent and made threatening statements toward President Barack Obama, leading investigators last July to seize 20,000 ammunition rounds and several firearms from Kimbley’s property, where he and other suspected militia members gathered to construct grenades, according to court documents/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Question: Do you think the militia movement is as strong today in North Idaho as it was in the 1990s?

Ohio State Prez Disses Boise St, TCU

Even if TCU and Boise State run the table, they still don’t deserve to be in the Bowl Championship Series title game, Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee said Wednesday. In an interview with The Associated Press, the president at the university with the largest athletic program in the country said that TCU and Boise State do not face a difficult enough schedule to play in the national championship game. “Well, I don’t know enough about the Xs and Os of college football,” said Gee, formerly the president at West Virginia, Colorado, Brown and Vanderbilt universities. “I do know, having been both a Southeastern Conference president and a Big Ten president, that it’s like murderer’s row every week for these schools. We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. We play very fine schools on any given day”/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo of Boise State football coach Chris Petersen)

Question: Do you agree with Ohio State prez E. Gordon Gee that Boise State and TCU play ‘Little Sisters of the Poor’ in beefing up their football records?

AM Headlines — 11.24.10

Don Sausser was up early with his camera to provide this photo of fog coming off the frigid waters of Lake Coeur d’Alene at City Beach.

Tiger Woods: One Year Later

This April 30 file photo shows a woman, left, giving a thumbs down as Tiger Woods walks from the 15th hole during the second round of the Quail Hollow Championship golf tournament at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C. Woods believes he finally is ready to move on after a self-destructive year that cost him his marriage, his mystique, millions in endorsements and, lastly, his No. 1 ranking. What remains are relationships to repair, along with his golf game. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

Question: Does golfer Tiger Woods mean as much to you today as he did a year ago?

Phil Hart R’s Fail To Bounce Roetter

Item: Roetter retains committeeman post: Official refused to support Phil Hart/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: A Kootenai County Republican Central Committeeman was allowed to keep his position on the board following a vote Tuesday evening. Matt Roetter was facing dismissal from his position as an officer of the KCRCC’s executive board for his public refusal to support Phil Hart as a Republican candidate amid the Athol legislator’s tax and timber controversies. The committee conducted the vote during its monthly meeting in executive session, closed to the public. Roetter retained his seat after 55 votes, including proxy votes, were cast.

Question: How would you characterize this setback to the Phil Hart branch of the Kootenai County Republican Party?

‘Deathly Hallows’: Thumbs Up

But as I just got out of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I,” I do have to say that this is the first adult offering from the blockbuster series. Or mature young adult, anyway. Little about the film is cutesy. For the first time we aren’t hobbled by the traditional return to Hogwarts, games of quidditch, the silly romantic quibbles between budding adolescents, the guessing game of which teacher this time is the villain (hint: isn’t it always the new one?). No, Hogwarts is missing because Dumbledore is dead, and quidditch is absent for the same reason (though there is a snitch)/Dan Webster, Movies & More. More here.

Question: How many of the Harry Potter movies have you seen so far? Do you plan to see this one?

Anderson: Don’t Touch

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Gonzaga 66, Marquette 63

Marquette guard Vander Blue (2) and Gonzaga forward Mangisto Arop (10) battle for a rebound during the first half of an NCAA college basketball third place game in the CBE Classic Tournament tonight in Kansas City, Mo. ESPN boxscore here And: Jim Meehan’s SR game story here. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Wild Card/Tuesday — 11.23.10

Last year, I was proud of myself that I’ve never wasted money on a snow-blower. I’ve always preferred to shovel snow myself, as exercise deep in the hearta winter. However, I must admit that I was covetous last night listening to my neighbors’ snow-blowers as I shoveled the driveway and sidewalks with temperatures dipping to the single digits. Mebbe next year. I’ll play the Wild Card early today, in case you have a thread or thought you want to share now …

Parting Shot — 11.23.10

 Madie Baker’s snowball disintegrates as she throws it at a friend in a downtown park Tuesday in Seattle. A vicious storm struck the Pacific Northwest and other western states at the start of the holiday travel season, dumping heavy snow on roads, knocking out power to tens of thousands of people and causing a cargo plane to overshoot its runway in Seattle. At least three deaths in Washington state have been blamed on the storm, including a man struck and killed outside his car Monday night on snowy Interstate 5 in Tacoma. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Melissa: Is Black Friday Worth It

We’re just a few days now from one of the biggest holidays of the year! We’re not talking about Thanksgiving; we mean Black Friday - the biggest shopping day of the year. But, before you brave the early morning crowds, we ask: is Black Friday worth it? The crush of the crowd, for many, is hard to resist. With a tradition that has almost overtaken the major holiday that precedes it, millions of Americans are getting their shopping lists ready for the big day. A couple of guys in Arizona started camping out Monday outside a Best Buy store, with visions of Black Friday deals dancing in their heads. The National Retail Federation says 60 million people plan to hit the stores bright and early Friday morning, enticed by deals galore/Melissa Luck, KXLY. More here.

Question (from Melissa Luck): Is Black Friday worth the hassle?

Scanner Traffic/PM — 11.23.10

  • 5:43 p.m. Female reports seeing a male in a red Honda Civic with alcohol in his hand as he was pumping gas at the 7-11 Post Falls station @ Idaho & Seltice Way. He then drove off.
  • 5:39 p.m. Traffic lights are malfunctioning @ Spokane & Seltice Way/PF.
  • 5:37 p.m. Caller reports strong smell of natural gas in 300 block of W. 13th/PF.
  • 5:35 p.m. Business at 434 W. Wilbur/Hayden reports catching cooperative shoplifter.
  • 4:50 p.m. Female attempts suicide by cutting herself w/a knife at Harmony House, 9941 Maple/Hayden. Another female took knife away.
  • 4:44 p.m. A fire alarm is sounding at the State Farm insurance office, 850 W. Kathleen.
  • 3:46 p.m. A Fed Ex truck has slidden of the road in 32000 block of Hayden Lake Road (cross of Dodd, near Sportsmen’s Access).
  • 3:23 p.m. From KHQMikePerry’s Twitter: “Cd’A Police say they’ve only responded to 4 weather-related accidents today. That’s compared to more than 20 yesterday.”
  • More below

PM: Mr. Moose Joins Arpie’s Sagle ‘Hood

In Sagle, Berry Picker Arpie reports that “It’s shaping up to be a moosey winter. A one-antlered bull was seen in town near some friends, and I saw two skiing Sunday. We’ve lived here 12 years and this is the first moose we’ve seen in our yard. This photo was taken today. My kids wouldn’t let me chase him off like I wanted to after he was munching my clematis.”

APhoto Of The Day — 11.23.10

A street magician swallows a snake in Antananarivo, Madagascar Monday as he performs and later pulls them out. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Saying he would never own a hybrid vehicle, Art “Snakes” Mahoney implies he never Madagascar he didn’t like — JohnA.
  • 2. President Obama attempts to unravel a variety of issues stemming from his first two years in office — Linda Cook.

Risch Understands TSA Security Methods

Republican Sen. Jim Risch flies twice a week, his spokesman Brad Hoaglun said, and he’s not exempt from any security checks. Hoaglun said he spoke to Risch, who said that the threats he’s heard about on the Senate Intelligence Committee have led him to conclude that the scans are the safest way to proceed. “I don’t like it,” Risch said. “But because of my position on the Intelligence Committee, I understand why. I can’t comment further”/Erika Bolstad, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that Risch sounds supportive of TSA screenings/patdowns?

Thanksgiving Eve Is Hot Bar Night

As retailers continue to come out ever earlier with deals and discounts for the holidays, Black Friday may be losing its potency as the official shopping kick-off day. But Thanksgiving Eve, or Black Wednesday, is as strong as ever as one of the biggest bar nights of the year. “There’s no question it’s a top five holiday for most bars, says David Henkes, vice-president and on-premise practice leader for Chicago-based retail insights firm Technomic Inc. “Thanksgiving is a universal holiday, and many people want a night to spend with old friends before the family obligations take over”/Kate McArthur, Chicago Business. More here.

Question: Do you hit the taverns with friends on Thanksgiving Eve?

CdA Schools To Shut Wednesday

The Coeur d’Alene School District will be closed Wednesday due to expected extreme cold, the district announced today. The National Weather Service in Spokane said it expects the low tonight to dip to minus-9 in Coeur d’Alene. Wednesday’s high will reach 9 in the Lake City, and it will be down around zero Wednesday night, the agency said/Spokesman-Review. More here.

Blowing Snow At 8 Below

Tristan Long, front, and Hayden Symbol with the City of Spokane Water Department, remove snow from the Monroe Street Bridge Tuesday in Spokane. Bitter cold is replacing the falling snow with temperatures forecasted to be minus 8 in Spokane Wednesday. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)

Colleague Colin Mulvany explains this shot: “This morning I was grumbling about my working conditions of having to go out in the bitter cold to find a snow feature photo. But seeing these two guys snow blowing bridge sidewalks made me rethink my plight. They were clearing the sidewalks in front of Spokane City Hall when I spotted them. Visually boring and not an interesting enough photo was my first thought. I soon realized the men were going to turn the corner and head over the Monroe Street Bridge. More here.

Question: Which job performed by someone who must be outside on a day like this makes you grateful for your working conditions?

Dogwalk Musings: Peace On Earth?

We are approaching the time of year when, if not shopping, people tend to be more friendly and in better moods. Thanksgiving. Family gatherings around bountiful tables. Even the less fortunate are usually provided with a good meal. Christmas. Holiday music can’t help but cheer. More family and food and gifts and maybe even a remembrance of what the Holiday is about. Both holidays, a mere month apart, will seem so distant but a week after when we return to normal; school, jobs, the cold streets ~ and war/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question (from Dogwalk Musings): Why does it never stop? What is wrong with man that conflict must be war, killing? Death?

Helping Oneself To Free Turkeys, Ham

On her “Not Really News” blog, long-time Lewiston Tribune reporter Sandra Lee offers this motion from the Central Orchards Sewer District board minutes, word for word: “Manager Larsen asked the board about purchasing holiday turkeys and hams. After some discussion, Director Berger moved to purchase holiday turkeys and hams for the Board of Directors, District Employees and Attorney Tony Anegon. Director Meredith seconded the motion. The motion passed unopposed.” Sandra also mentions that the levy for property tax by the COSD has just gone up from $10 to $13 per month and that the Lewiston Orchards Sewer District board doesn’t provide free turkeys and ham to employees, board members, or its attorney. Then: “It still seems a bit strange to be giving people on the public payroll — and their attorney — a holiday freebie when customer prices are going up.” Sandra Lee’s full post here.

Question: Do you agree with Sandra that public boards shouldn’t be handing out turkeys & hams to employees, board members, and its attorney? And/or: Do you get a free turkey or ham from your business for Christmas or Thanksgiving?

Stickman: Eagles Arriving Early

Stickman (who took the photo above earlier today) emails: “Just a heads up that the bald eagles have started to arrive. Most years they come around the 1st of December and stay till the 1st of January. They are here early. I was out there this morning and saw at least ten. They will start to come more and more each day, so I will be going out there every day from now on.”

Bumpersnicker …

… via Cindy’s oldest son: “If guns kill people, do pencils misspell words?”

Sightem: She All Fall Down

A colleague in the Coeur d’Alene office of The Spokesman Review was amazed when she saw a female dressed to the nines in black and wearing stiletto heels emerge from the parking lot north of the old Kootenai County Courthouse a few minutes ago. However, my colleague wasn’t amazed when the female did a pratfall in the crosswalk when her stilettos went out from under her. Someone muttered that the well-dressed female must be from California, as my colleague recounted the story. I’m telling you this only because the woman appeared to be unhurt. (AP file photo for illustrative purposes)

Question: What’s more important to you re: clothes on days like this — fashion or comfort?

F&G Changing Roadkill Rules

Idaho Fish and Game officials are developing new rules that would allow residents to salvage road kill wildlife. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission last week directed agency staff to research and draft rules that would allow public salvage for personal use and commercial salvage, such as selling pelts. Existing state rules do not allow for personal or commercial use of accidentally killed wildlife. Earlier this year, Fish and Game officials opposed a bill that would have allowed the public to snatch up roadkill found along the side of the highway. At the time, the agency said it collected information about animals killed on roads to help determine the length of hunting seasons/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Should Idahoans be allowed to take roadkill for personal and commercial use?

INW Headlines — 11.23.10

Motorists make their way along Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive earlier today. Gov. Otter’s transportation task force delivered its long-awaited recommendations for how to fund roads in Idaho. Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise is covering the announcement on her SR blog here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Hi-Noon: Prayers For CdA-Bound Fam

One of my Facebook friends is asking for prayers for two of her “invincible” teenagers who are traveling home from Utah today. Seems they’ve already had to change routes once because I-15 is closed north of Idaho Falls. So they headed west/north from Pocatello through Boise and then the Tri-Cities. I probably shouldn’t mention this here. But my wife’s sister and her husband are trying to find their way home from Boardman, Ore., after rolling their pickup on I-84 around 6:30 last night. They were OK. Their pickup was totaled. Now, we’re warning our daughter and her boyfriend not to try to make it home Wednesday for Thanksgiving. (AP file photo of pickup stopped in The Dalles, Ore., in Columbia Gorge)

Question: How about you. Has the snow and arctic freeze changed travel plans for family and friends headed to the Coeur d’Alene area?

Seattle Snow Bound, Too

A sledder starts downhill after a push as the Space Needle is seen behind Tuesday in Seattle’s Gasworks Park. A vicious storm struck the Pacific Northwest and other western states at the start of the holiday travel season, dumping heavy snow on roads, knocking out power to tens of thousands of people and causing a cargo plane to overshoot its runway in Seattle. At least three deaths in Washington state have been blamed on the storm, including a man struck and killed outside his car Monday night on snowy Interstate 5 in Tacoma. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Scanner Traffic/AM — 11.23.10

  • 11:39 a.m. 2 unwanted panhandlers are soliciting customers @ Wendy’s/Canfield Ave.
  • 11:24 a.m. Injury accident is reported in front of Coeur d’Alene Honda on Seltice Way.
  • 11:22 a.m. A bale of hay is lying on H95, south of Aqua/CdA.
  • 11:21 a.m. A missing child is reported at Post Falls WalMart.
  • 11:06 a.m. Snowplow operator, plowing around lake, reports his heater has quit working.
  • 11:03 a.m. Unattended death reported in 2900 block of 4th (@ Sunrise)/CdA.
  • 11:01 a.m. A possible wanted person is reported in 2700 block of Fruitland/CdA.
  • More below


Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns e-mails that she “could hardly wait for daylight to take walk on the beach and see what single digit temps and wind built on beach last night.”

Hucks Poll: See-All Scanner Preferred

  • Monday Poll: 67 of 102 respondents (65.69%) preferred to go through see-all screenings at airport security to enhanced patdowns (24 of 102, 10.78%). 11 respondents were undecided.
  • Today’s Poll: Do you consider funding for clean-water monitoring by Otter administration to be a luxury or necessity?

Idaho Cities Want Water Monitoring

As you probably know, we’ve been rallying support for water quality monitoring for weeks now.  We have been calling on Gov. Otter to restore funding to the budget to perform one of the basic functions under the Clean Water Act, something the Governor and legislature have declined to fund for the past two years. Of course, this is exactly what you’d expect of your local grassroots conservation organization. But guess what — we’re not the only ones. Because of the potential impact that another year of non-monitoring  would have on water quality permitting and municipal budgets, a number of Idaho municipalities have joined in the chorus. Boise, Nampa, Hailey, Moscow, Post Falls, Ponderay, and Blaine County are on record as supporting the water quality monitoring line item in the budget/Terry Harris, KEA Blog. More here. (SR file photo: Rich Landers)

Question: Should Idaho restore funding to monitor water quality?

Question: Do you water quality monitoring as a luxury in hard times, as the Otter administration apparently does, or as a necessity?

Henry: ‘Lame Cars” Good As Cool 1’s

Awise man once told me “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” That statement has held true in my personal and professional life and, after seeing their new commercials, someone in Toyota’s advertising department should heed those words. I’m quite frankly offended by their new television ads that feature a young boy whose message is “Parents, you don’t have to be lame.” The advertising implies, quite directly, that parents who cannot afford to own a Toyota Highlander somehow don’t fit the bill of being “cool.” I grew up with what some would consider “lame” cars. Our primary car growing up was a 1972 Ford Elite, hardly the Griswold’s family truckster. Only after it finally puked did we trade up to a Ford Explorer that lasted us for nearly 100,000 miles/Henry Johnston, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Do you own a “lame car”?

Poll: Tea Party Out of Step With America

In this Oct. 18 AP file photo, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks to the crowd during the kickoff of the nationwide Tea Party Express bus tour in Reno, Nev. Tea party backers fashion themselves as “we the people,” but polls show the Republican Party’s most conservative and energized voters are hardly your average crowd. According to an Associated Press-GfK Poll this month, 84 percent who call themselves tea party supporters don’t like how President Barack Obama is handling his job _ a view shared by just 35 percent of all other adults. They’re about four times likelier than others to back repealing Obama’s health care overhaul and twice as likely to favor renewing tax cuts for the highest-earning Americans. (AP Photo/Scott Sady)

Question: Does the Tea Party express the values of residents of Idaho and the Inland Northwest?

Rape Dismissed Over Quirk In Idaho Law

Fourth District Judge Cheri Copsey said Wednesday she was not happy to dismiss rape charges against two Boise men who police say tricked an intoxicated woman into thinking she was having sex with her boyfriend. But Copsey said Idaho law left her no choice because the woman wasn’t married. “Unfortunately, I don’t think it falls within the definition of rape, as defined under Idaho law,” Copsey said as she dismissed a grand jury indictment for charges of rape and aiding and abetting a rape filed against Cielo Sanchez and Zachary McGraw/Patrick Orr, Idaho Statesman. More here.


Eman: Got HIV? Don’t Have Sex

RE: Pope: Some condom use justified

Eman: When most people have the flu they often take care to not contaminate others. Not many walking around licking phones and door knobs. Why. because it’s not the right thing to do. That would be a no brainer. Why then are those HIV positive even considering having intercourse in the first place. There are many ways to express true love to another without it isn’t there? I don’t recall any deaths from not releasing or exchanging body fluids. In other words when was that last time someone died because they never had sex? Trust me, look around, there are plenty of people out there that haven’t gotten any nor are they going to get any in the near future and it’s funny, no mass deaths as a result.

Question: Do you agree with Eman’s solution to the HIV/AIDS problem re: preventing the spread of the disease?

Idaho Delegation Opposes EPA Plan

Idaho’s congressional delegation is lining up to oppose the Environmental Protection Agency’s mining cleanup plans in the Coeur d’Alene basin. In a joint news release, the delegation took turns criticizing the cost of the plan. Of some note here are comments from 2nd District Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho. While his district is hundreds of miles from the Coeur d’Alene basin, Simpson sits in a key position on this issue. In a Republican-controlled House, Simpson will chair an appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over EPA. “Setting all other arguments aside, there can be no justification for the costs associated with these changes given the current economic challenges facing our nation and the enormous debt Congress and the administration continue to pile on future generations,” wrote Simpson/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Are the costs of the proposed EPA cleanup of the Silver Valley justified in view of the current economic situation in this country?

TSA Chief Begs To Stop Scanner Boycott

The nation’s airport security chief pleaded with Thanksgiving travelers for understanding and urged them not to boycott full-body scans on Wednesday, lest their protest snarl what is already one of the busiest, most stressful flying days of the year. Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole said Monday that such delaying actions would only “tie up people who want to go home and see their loved ones.” “We all wish we lived in a world where security procedures at airports weren’t necessary,” he said, “but that just isn’t the case.” He noted the alleged attempt by a Nigerian with explosives in his underwear to bring down a plane over Detroit last Christmas/Olympian. More here.

Question: Would you be upset if a boycott of airport scanners caused bog down the security area? Or supportive?

AM Headlines — 11.23.10

Allen Couch, of KPM (Kauer Property Maintenance) clears the sidewalks in front of local businesses in Coeur d’Alene during Monday’s snowfall. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka) 

Question: Are you planning to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday?

K-State Runs Gonzaga Ragged

Item: No. 4 K-State runs No. 22 GU ragged/Jim Meehan, SR

More Info: Gonzaga can add another item or two to its growing list of concerns. The Bulldogs, beaten on the boards in a home loss to San Diego State a week ago, were beaten down the floor by Kansas State, which repeatedly came up with timely 3-pointers in transition en route to an impressive 81-64 victory Monday night in the semifinals of the CBE Classic at the Sprint Center.

Question: What’s wrong with Gonzaga?

Hilde Kellogg, Ex-Legislator, 92, R.I.P.

Item: Hilde Kellogg dies at 92: Longtime legislator, business owner blazed trails for Post Falls/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Arguably the best-known politician in Post Falls’ history, Kellogg retired from the Legislature at 88 after a jaw-dropping 10 terms when her eyesight began failing. “She was powerful, but in a good way,” Wells said. “She really thought stuff out before making a decision. Everybody respected her opinion.”

DFO: Please feel free to share remembrances of former, long-time legislator Hilde Kellogg of Post Falls.

We’re Headed For The Deep Freeze

Item: Headed for a deep freeze/Mike Prager, SR

More Info: As much as 8 new inches of snow is forecast in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas from the storm later this week, which will coincide with Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year as many stores offer their best deals of the season. That end-of-the-week storm “looks like it could be an even bigger event snow-wise,” said forecaster Greg Koch.

Question: Is there something you’d wished you’d done to winterize before the storm moved into the area?

Signe: Al Qaida’s Night Out At Movies

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Hilde Kellogg, 92, Ex-Legislator, R.I.P.

Hilde Kellogg, who served as both a Democrat and a Republican in the Idaho Legislature died today at age 92. Kerri Thoreson, Alison McArthur, & Randy Wells confirmed her death. Of Kellogg, Thoreson (shown in photo with Hilde), on her More Main Street blog, wrote: “Hilde’s sometimes gruff demeanor belied a big heart for the community she loved. Ms. Kellogg made an impact in Post Falls and the Idaho legislature through the years, blazing trails in this community that made the journey possible for those of us who’ve come after. The quality of life we all enjoy is due in no small part to those citizens who served in the 1970s and 1980s and had the vision of what Post Falls could and would become. Hilde left the world a better place for having lived a wonderful life of service.”

Kansas State 81, Gonzaga 64

Kansas State forward Jamar Samuels (32) pressures Gonzaga guard David Stockton (11) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinal round of the CBE Classic Tournament Monday in Kansas City, Mo. Game/boxscore from ESPN here. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Wild Card/Tuesday — 11.22.10

There may be news breaking sometime tonight, if I can track down a rumor. No promises. Meanwhile, you can also join me and the rest of the frozen Inland Northwest in watching No. 22 Gonzaga play No. 3 Kansas State in Kansas City. Tipoff is at 6:30 p.m. Jim Meehan will be tweeting the game. You can find his Twitter account under SR sports Twitter in the right rail. Now, to repost the Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 11.22.10

Jessica Fuller and Howie West, make use of alternate forms of transportation after South Ninth Street became unsafe for many vehicles in downtown Tacoma this afternoon. A few minutes earlier the Pierce Transit bus, background, slid into a pickup truck. People in most of Eastern Washington were told Monday to prepare for a rare blizzard as the first severe storm of the winter blasted through the state, though weather officials said it was too early to tell if the rough weather would affect Thanksgiving holiday travel later in the week. (AP Photo/The News Tribune, Janet Jensen)

CdAJim: Seattle Area’s A Mess

CdAJim: I am currently in Bremerton, WA, west of Seattle on a business trip and it is snowing hard and temps in the teens with the wind chill. The snow storm with high winds is now just starting to hit Seattle pretty hard. The locals say this is the most snow and cold they have had a a few years and they are definitely not used to it. Not a good place to live right now with a lot of hills. Good thing we have snow tires on our car … but what about the other guy??

Question: Feel free to use this post to describe weather conditions in your neighborhood in the Inland Northwest. Please report anything unusual.

PM Scanner: Slow Down — Christie

Sgt. Christie Wood: In the last 24 hours there have been 21 reported accidents inside the City limits and seven slideoffs. People definitely need to drive very slowly and watch for other people who are not paying attention. I understand the winter storm watch has been upgraded and there is a more severe storm on the way.

  • 6 p.m. Male reports that a 64YO friend w/a history of heart problems hasn’t returned home from hunt in Worley area. He has no food or water.
  • 5:51 p.m. A tree has fallen, blocking 2/3s of road @ 15th & Idaho/PF.
  • 5:48 p.m. Female has locked herself out of her running Chrysler near Les Schwab/PF.
  • 4:59 p.m. Kootenai County Jail reports suicidal subject who’s about to be released.
  • 4:48 p.m. An unconscious person is reported at 13236 W. Prairie/Rathdrum.
  • 4:45 p.m. Traffic lights aren’t recycling @ Government Way & Kathleen/CdA.
  • 4:33 p.m. Lights aren’t recycling @ H95 & Northwest Boulevard causing traffic to back up onto freeway.
  • 4:31 p.m. Caller is concerned re: two small dogs & a goat tied up outside in bad weather @ 4th & Prairie.
  • Much more below

PM: TESH Gets Major Facelift

Bob Putman admired the new entryway at TESH Inc. as he arrived on Tuesday, Nov. 16. TESH is a private not for profit organization serving adults and children with disabilities. They recently received a major facelift as part of Fox 28s House to Home Community. See Cindy Hval’s Voices story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

APhoto Of The Day — 11.22.10

New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (88) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles safety Quintin Mikell, right, during the first half of an NFL football game in Philadelphia Sunday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. In an odd twist, a New Yorker needs new jersey — JohnA.
  • 2. A pair of disguised ‘super shoppers’ begin jostling for front door position at WalMart as ‘Black Friday’ nears!!! — Formerly Sandpoint.
  • 3. Philadelphia Eagles safety Quintin Mikell, right, uses his “spidey power’ to cast a jersey/web onto NY Giant receiver — Gary D. Rhodes.
  • HM: Kevin Taylor

For Drivers Who Forget

Be careful out there.
Slick, you know.
We got this last year.
It’s called snow.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

NIdaho Blogosphere — 11.22.10

“When I let Annie out to play in the backyard snow on Monday she had no interest in posing for a photo,” posts Kerri Thoreson/More Main Street. “It was more fun for her to race around the yard in and under the snow.”

Hucks Online numbers (for week of Nov. 14-20): 60,725 page-views/33,593 unique views.

Anti-Facebook Pastor Had 3-Way Sex

A pastor who said Facebook was a “portal to infidelity” and told married church leaders to delete their accounts or resign once testified that he had a three-way sexual relationship with his wife and a male church assistant. The Rev. Cedric Miller confirmed the information reported Saturday by the Asbury Park Press of Neptune, which cited testimony he gave in a criminal case in 2003. The relationship had ended by that time. Miller gained national attention when he issued the Facebook edict this week/KXLY. More here. H/T: Liz Arakelian.

Question: Surprised?

A View From Sea-Tac

A line of snow plows clears a runway today at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. Washington was hit by its first significant snowfall of the season Monday, with several inches on the ground in Spokane and just enough snow in the Puget Sound area to make traffic a mess. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Avista Dan: Do It Right The 1st Time

Now, I don’t care what anyone tells you – parent/teacher conferences are as much about evaluating your parenting skills as it is about how well your kid is really doing in the classroom. No worries – my daughter is doing great (little sigh of relief!) Her teacher said something that really stuck with me. The skills she’s learning today builds a foundation for future learning. If she doesn’t get it the first time around – it will be a lot harder to catch up later. It occurred to me as a walked through 3 inches of snow in the school parking lot that what my daughter’s teacher said would be true of shoveling a path to your utility meter too. If you don’t shovel it when it first snows – it’s going to be really hard to catch up the next time it snows … and again and again. Ice could build up or snow could become compact and stay there all winter long/Dan Kolbet, Avista spokesman. More here. (In this 2009 SR file photo, an Avista worker struggles to read a snowed-in meter)

Question: Do you agree with Dan — that doing something right the first time, and teaching kids the proper way to do things, prevents problems down the road?

A Face Full Of Snow

Christopher Mingeaud, left, clears snow from the face of his son, Benjamin Mingeaud, 3, after he fell of his sled on a small sledding hill at Manito Park in Spokane, Wash., on Monday. Mingeaud runs a lawn care business and took a break from snowblowing for his clients to take his son sledding in the new layer of snow. (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Jesse Tinsley)

Question: When did you last sled down a hill?

Comment Function Working Again

The comment function is working again, after being down for 90 minutes. Herb Huseland called Hucks Central to give a heads up re: the malfunction — and the problem was quickly fixed. I thought something was wrong when no one had commented for some time. Please let me know whenever something isn’t working. Sometimes, that’s the only way I find out about it.

NWS Issues Blizzard Warning

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for the Inland Northwest from 7 tonight until 10 a.m. Tuesday. You can read about it here. Meanwhile, on his Twitter account, Matt Mills of Sandpoint tweets: “It must be cold when your puppy doesn’t even wanna go out for a walk.”

Question: How do you know when it’s really cold?

JFK: 1 More Palin Victim — Column

One was a graduate of Choate and Harvard, a president of eloquence for the ages, while the other is a Wasilla, Alaska, high school dropout who mumbles on morning TV — but both get dissed in Sarah Palin’s new book. Levi Johnston, father of Bristol Palin’s baby, is a predictable target. John F. Kennedy takes the reader by surprise. But Sarah Palin’s commentary on JFK helps demonstrate the depth of shallowness in one with possible aspirations to Kennedy’s job. Palin takes out after a defining Kennedy speech, the 1960 appearance where the Catholic presidential nominee discussed separation of church and state before the Greater Houston Ministerial Association/Joel Connelly, Seattle P-I. More here.

Question: Do you think JFK ran away from his Catholic faith, as Sarah Palin asserts in her new book?

Maintaining Beauty Despite Recession

Like most moms, Micki Rice has a to-do list that’s often longer than the day.  Her family, job and friends all take substantial amounts of the Jerome woman’s time, but Rice said it’s important to carve out a little time for beauty. “I want my kids to see a mom who takes care of herself,” said Rice, a 32-year-old mother of two. “How you feel about yourself is displayed on the outside and it’s really the way people perceive you.” Every third week Rice gets her acrylic nails filled and she recently bought a tanning bed to place in her garage. It was on sale and she felt it was a worthwhile buy.  Beauty, she said, is important — not only to be perceived favorably by others but also to keep a high level of self-esteem/Amy Huddleston, Twin Falls Times News. More here. (AP file photo for illustrative purposes)

Question: How important is it to you to keep up your appearance by spending money despite the recession?

Crump: No, Really, I Must Insist …

I never eat the last piece of pumpkin pie. Nor the last slice of pizza, the last apple, the last cookie, the final few kernels of popcorn at the bottom of the bowl. And the strange thing is that no one — not my mother, my uncles and aunts, Sister Mary Ellen in the fourth grade — ever told me I shouldn’t. But I come from a Swedish family and a Catholic education, so avoidance of guilt is powerful motivation. Nobody else in my family ever eats the last slice of pie either. It just grows mold in the refrigerator and eventually gets tossed out/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: How does your family handle the last piece of pie, or slice of pizza, cookie, candy, etc.?

Hoffman Advocates Security Boycott

We’re witnessing what appears to be a twisted psychological experiment in what indignities Americans are willing to endure in the interest of airport security. … Now, those who have concerns about health risks or invasion of privacy are being subjected to a government-administered groping. The result is a steady stream of complaints from border to border of Americans who have been fondled, harassed, mocked and manhandled. Clearly, TSA is trying to use its police powers to make examples out of anyone who has the temerity to protest the body scanners. That’s bad enough for the adults; parents are now being told they have the ultimate Hobson’s choice: irradiate their kids or subject them to fondling by a stranger in a government uniform/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here. (Also: Security boycott could disrupt Thanksgiving travel/AP)

  • AP photo: Rocky Flats Gear’s Jeff Buske says his invention (radiation shielding underwear) uses a powdered metal that protects people’s privacy when undergoing medical or security screenings.

Question: Are you in favor of a loosely organized boycott of airport security that’s scheduled to take place in Boise & elsewhere this Thanksgiving season?

INW: Zags Fall To No. 22, Face KSU

In this August AP file photo, former Montana State University football coach Mike Kramer speaks at a news conference in this in Bozeman after settling with MSU for $240,000 in damages in a defamation lawsuit. Kramer, the former Bobcat & Eastern Washington coach has been named head football coach of Idaho State University. See link below. (AP Photo/Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Erik Petersen)

High Noon: Shielding Underwear

In this undated product image provided by Rocky Flats Gear, a variety of the company’s radiation shielding underwear is shown. Rocky Flats Gear’s Jeff Buske says his invention uses a powdered metal that protects people’s privacy when undergoing medical or security screenings. Story here. (AP Photo/Rocky Flats Gear)

Question: Would you consider wearing a product like this to protect yourself from radiation and prying TSA eyes when going through airport security and/or medical screenings?

JFK Assassinated 47 Years Ago Today

Pearl Harbor, 9/11 and JFK’s assassination. Today is one of those thankfully few dates in American history that rocked the nation with a tragedy so big it stopped the clocks in people’s memories. Forty-seven years ago, John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. Share your memory of the day the president died/Melissa Bell, Washington Post. Photos here.

Question: Do you still have fond memories of John F. Kennedy?

Scanner Traffic/AM — 11.22.10

  • Noonish: Unconscious person reported at Great Hall & Torrey/Hayden
  • 11:56 a.m. Lights at Appleway & Government Way are not recycling properly.
  • 11:37 a.m. Student fell & hit his head at Post Falls High School.
  • 11:33 a.m. N/b lights not recycling for east-west turns @ H95 & Prairie/CdA.
  • 11:22 a.m. Paul Bunyan’s/Post Falls wants to see officer re: October robbery.
  • Much more below

A Ring’s Long Trek Home

We all know how the “one ring to rule them all” tried through the ages to get back to evil Sauron in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. But what do you make of Tony Smith’s gold Air Force Academy ring finding its way home over the course of 20 years and possibly more miles than Sauron’s? Seems Tony, son of Randy & Ruth Smith of Nettleton Gulch, lost the ring in the late 1980s while water skiing in Texas. Inside was a meaningful inscription that helped Tony through some hard times, “I can do all things (through Christ who strengthens me),” from Phil. 4:13. Years later, Tony received a call from the Air Force Academy that a European had found the ring at a Texas campground. The European sent the ring via mail. But the ring fell from the envelope in North Carolina. Then, months ago, Tony received another call from the Air Force Academy, announcing that the ring had been found again, this time by a man in Sanford, N.C. And it finally made its way back to its master around the time Tony celebrated his 44th birthday earlier this month. Tony marvels that a ring of that value wasn’t stolen along the way. (AP file photo for illustrative purposes)

Question: Have you had your faith in your fellow man restored by someone who found and returned a valuable item that you’d lost?

Idaho Blogs: Geddes To Yield Reins

Geddes, 55, is been the longest-serving pro tem in Idaho history and his announcement sets up prospects of a wholesale shift in leadership among majority Republicans. At least two of the four leadership positions were already being contested at next week’s organizational session. Geddes’ decision ensures that at least three spots will be in play. With four freshman Republican senators replacing less conservative predecessors, there is a good chance the more moderate Senate will edge closer to the more conservative House/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Which North Idaho legislator would you like to see in a GOP leadership role in the 2011 Legislature?

Bar Report: Drunk Came Up Swinging

Saturday, Nov. 13,: 0234 hours (N 3rd St & E Coeur d’Alene Ave – Auto Burglary): “Officers responded to an auto burglary in progress call and upon arrival found three intoxicated males. Although the officer told one of the males to sit at the base of a concrete wall near the alley (not on top of the wall), the male stated he had “no problem with falling” and sat on the top of the wall. He fell (five feet), hit his head and was knocked unconscious. When the male regained consciousness, he came up swinging at the officer. Medical was called and he was transported to KMC to be evaluated.” (Complete Downtown Bar report for Nov. 11-14)

Hucks Poll: Marriage Not Obsolete

  • Weekend Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation doesn’t consider marriage obsolete. A quarter of the respondents to a recent Pew Poll said marriage was obsolete. But only 41 of 281 (14.59%) said marriage was obsolete. 237 of 281 (84.34%) said marriage wasn’t obsolete. 3 respondents were undecided.
  • Today’s Poll (in lefthand rail): Which method at an airport security station do you prefer to submit yourself to?

Pope: Some Condom Use Justified

A parishioner worships during mass at St. Ignatius Catholic Church on Sunday in San Francisco. Some Catholic believers in the Americas greeted Pope Benedict XVI’s recent comments on condoms as a sign that the church was stepping into the modern debate in the fight against AIDS, though the church was adamant Sunday that nothing has changed in its views banning contraception. There was praise and wariness for the pope’s comments that condoms could be morally justified in some limited situations, such as for male prostitutes wanting to prevent the spread of HIV. Story here. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Question: Do you see the Pope’s comments about condoms as the beginning of a historic shift of the Roman Catholic Church toward birth control?

Clark: Upclose & Personal With TSA

Like many body-conscious Americans, I’ve been worrying all week about how much to put out next time I’m at the airport. Do I go through the new Mr. Peeper’s Magic X-Ray Scanner so that Transportation Security Administration snoops can laugh at my flabby naked acreage? Or do I let some random TSA worker feel me up like a prom date in the back seat of a Buick LeSabre? Decisions. Decisions. Look, I don’t want anyone to get the idea that Doug Clark is easy. No sir! Even so, I will probably opt for the fondling. All I’m asking is for my TSA groper to be gentle. Light a scented candle, maybe. Put on some soft music … Definitely put on a fresh pair of gloves!/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Which choice do you plan to make next time you’re at an airport security station — show-all scanner or fondling from TSA worker?

Crashes, Slideoffs Greet Flying Snow

Item: Many crashes, slideoffs, injuries reported as snow flies/Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Idaho State Police responded to approximately 30 crashes and slideoffs in the Coeur d’Alene area on Sunday, an ISP press release reported at 4:30 p.m. Police and hospital staff encouraged drivers to slow down and use caution when traveling.

Question: Did you see anyone driving stupidly on snow-packed streets on your way to work this morning?

Hedberg: Computers On Wheels

Another thing that’s a problem if you haven’t bought a new car in awhile is that these are not your daddy’s Oldsmobiles. They don’t even make Oldsmobiles anymore, do they? What they make now are computers on wheels. There are controls for things that I didn’t even know needed to be controlled and ways to control them that are mind boggling. Don’t think you can operate a new car by simply turning a key or pushing a knob. Oh, no. It’s like operating a space ship. You sit there like Captain Kirk at the head of a multifaceted control panel and punch buttons and give commands and if you know what you’re doing the car will respond. If you don’t know what you’re doing the ejector seat will boost you into outer space/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you still tinker with the engine of your automobile? Or has it become so computerized that you’re afraid to do anything with the vehicle?

Bill Hall: Last Uncle Here On Earth

My last uncle on Earth died the other day. My last aunt on Earth died a few months before. Suddenly, no more uncles. No more aunts. The aunts and uncles in a kid’s life tend to get overshadowed by parents and grandparents. But in many ways, aunts and uncles are more credible observers and advisers than chronically hysterical parents or those candy-pushing spoilers of children, the grandparents. I was born with two parents, four aunts and eight uncles. When first one of your parents dies, and then the other one, the blow is doubly hard. You lose your last parent and become an orphan on the same day. But at least a person has some aunts and uncles left over as worthy stand-ins. Until now/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: How many aunts & uncles do you still have?

AM: Viks Bop Centennial For Title

Coeur d’Alene High quarterback Chad Chalich passes the ball against Centennial during an Idaho state high school state championship football game on Thursday at the Kibbie Dome on UI’s campus in Moscow. After leading 14-7 at half, the Viks defense stopped Centennial cold in the second half en route to a 28-7 Milk Bowl victory. Greg Lee’s story here. (SR photo: Tyler Tjomsland)

Hucks: Monster Theories Squished

Last Monday began with a mystery on Strahorn Road near Lacey, a section that begins an uphill climb. Where a female driver reported that she saw something that looked like a monkey dead on the road. Later, an officer of some sort reported from the scene to the 911 dispatch center that he’d removed the strange animal. I posted all of this, of course, on my Huckleberries Online Scanner Traffic. One of my blog commenters, tongue firmly cheeked, suggested that the creature could be the chupcabra – a legendary animal that preys on goats and other livestock/DFO, Huckleberries print, SR. More here.

Question: When did you last hit an animal on the road?

Thanksgiving: No Need To Do Dishes

Everyone loves a buffet, and Dockside Restaurant, located in the lobby level of the Coeur d’Alene Resort, is once again putting on its all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving Day spread with all the obligatory turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing and green beans one needs to bring on the necessary food coma. Turkey haters are in luck as well, as they can just fill up on the endless delightful mini-pastries and orange rolls that always appear at any Coeur d’Alene Resort buffet situation. In fact, I’m pretty sure the Pilgrims shared chocolate-dipped cannolis with the Indians on that first Thanksgiving many years ago. Piling one’s buffet plate with exclusively sugary treats is merely a tribute to our esteemed early American ancestors/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: When did you last forego Thanksgiving in favor of dining out?

Heller: Favre Retiring Again? C’mon

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Weekend Wild Card — 11.20-21.10

The kids checked in from Oregon and Florida. My 85YO mother called to sing my “Happy Birthday” before I drank my first cup of coffee. My sister Charlotte posted that photo to the left of me at age 6-7 on her Facebook page. Brother Frito Ray treated me to coffee at Kootenai Coffee. I had lunch with two dear couples of ours. And then Mrs. O & I veged to watch a coupla home movies while I continued to nurse my cold. All in all, an understated birthday No. 61. But one that I enjoyed. I have simple tastes. Among my loot, I received a San Francisco Giants toothbrush, so I can continue to think happy thoughts of my favorite World Series championship team throughout the offseason. Hope your weekend is going too, too. Now, I’ll replay your Wild Card …

Fall Folk Festival Is Multicultural Oasis

Joyce Seita Pulei, 24, a member of a Maasai dance troupe, Osotua Le Keekonyokie, performs at the Spokane Fall Folk Festival at Spokane Community College in Spokane Saturday.  A group of three shared their traditions and culture through song, dance and storytelling. Chelsea Bannach SR story here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Diversity is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Spokane. For those who think it’s a culturally desolate place, the Fall Folk Festival is a multicultural oasis. The 15th Annual Fall Folk Festival, presented by the Spokane Folklore Society is showcasing a cultural cornucopia of traditional music, dancing and crafts from around the world this weekend.

Question: Would you like to see the Inland Northwest become more diverse culturally? Stay the same as now? Or become less diverse?

Fire Engulfs CdA Hobby Shop

A large structure fire engulfed Performance R/C Hobbies at 2923 N. Government Way on Saturday night. The blaze required a multi-department effort, six engines and a ladder truck, according to Pete Vandall, Coeur d’Alene Fire Department battalion chief. At 9:30 p.m., the fire was still burning and crews were on scene. Firefighters were spraying water from the ground and from a ladder truck. Vandall said the fire started at R/C Hobbies, then spread to RG3 Suspension next door/Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

CdA Woman Dies When Semi Runs Light

A Coeur d’Alene woman died this morning at Kootenai Medical Center after a car she was a passenger in hit a semi truck that ran a red light. Vivian Scott, 88, was in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Samuel R. Whitaker, 65. They were traveling south on U.S. 95 when the vehicle struck a semi. The semi, driven by Bill T. Haughton, 74, was eastbound on Highway 53/Spokesman-Review. More here.

Idaho 28, Utah State 6

Eric Greenwood catching one of his two touchdowns against Utah State this afternoon. Idaho kept its chances alive for a bowl bid by defeating host Utah State 28-6 in a Western Athletic Conference game between 4-6 teams. Idaho, now 5-6, needs to win its final two games of the season to be bowl eligible. ESPN boxscore of game here.  And: Associated Press game story here. (Photo courtesy: Bruce Mann/Idaho Vandals Athletic Media)

Pants At Half Mast At Airport Security

Howard Martinson: While I’m not opposed to these high energy pat downs in the name of public safety, mine was a little crazy at Miami Airport on Monday morning. Of course, my belt was removed and (Thank God!) I’ve taken off a few lbs lately, so I really need the belt to hold my pants up. So my hands are out to the side and the man is working my pants over pretty good, when…you guessed it, my pants very quickly dropped to half mast. I’m not 100% sure what happened to my unders, and probably don’t want to know. Where was an America’s Funniest Videos camera when we really needed one?

Question: Have you ever been embarrassed by a wardrobe malfunction in a public place?

Coeur d’Alene Celebrates Football Title

The Coeur d’Alene High School football team celebrates after defeating Centennial 28-7 during the Idaho state high school state championship football game on Friday at the Kibbie Dome on UI’s campus in Moscow. Greg Lee’s game story & another cool photo here. And: Jesse Zentz’s story for the Idaho Statesman here. (SR photo: Tyler Tjomsland)

Question: Did your high school ever win a state sports championship?

Area Women Win Oprah’s Favorite Things

Oprah’s favorite things episode aired Friday as part of her farewell season. Each year the talk show host dazzles audience members by giving away thousands of dollars in trips, electronics, and jewelry. It’s a dream come true for some people to sit in that audience and some Oprah fans compare it to winning the Superbowl. For two local women it was a lifelong dream come true for the women to make it on to Oprah, let alone her biggest show of the year/KREM. More here (w/video).

Question: Are you a fan of Oprah?

Annual Tree Lighting Coming To CdA

Each year thousands of people flock to Coeur d’Alene for the brilliant display of lights and fireworks of the annual tree lighting ceremony, and in the Lake City crews are getting ready for the annual tradition. If you think decorating your home for the holidays is exhausting imagine stringing one and a half million lights. A massive operation is underway right now at the Coeur d’ Alene Resort and the clock is ticking as a week from Friday night the resort will throw the switch and over a million lights will illuminate the night sky/Sally Showman, KXLY. More here.

Question: Which interests you more — the Black Friday store sales or the annual tree lighting and parade in downtown Coeur d’Alene on the Friday after Thanksgiving?

The Other Idaho Gains Clout

Since 1998, the voters of Idaho’s 1st Congressional District have sent five people to the U.S. House. They had Helen Chenoweth-Hage, who retired in 2000. That led to C. L. (Butch) Otter, who served six years. Next up was Republican Bill Sali, who served one term. Democrat Walt Minnick defeated Sali in 2008. And now Republican Raul Labrador has ousted Minnick. In other words, the district has rotated through a string of freshmen and junior members. None of them amassed any real seniority on Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, the people in the 2nd District have stuck with one representative. Now their investment is paying off. Just elected to his seventh term, Republican Mike Simpson is about to become a “cardinal” — one of the dozen chairmen who lead the House Appropriation subcommittees/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Why does the 1st Congressional District keep turning over its representative, while the 2nd District sticks with Mike Simpson and gains political power?

Chamber Opposes EPA Silver Valley Plan

Item: Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce opposes EPA plan/Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: “The Silver Valley has great potential for economic growth. The area’s existing mining and supporting services together with tourism, real estate, and other business sectors need to be viable today and into the future. The proposal does not guarantee future mining and the plan extends the “Superfund stigma”. This stigma already threatens the economic health and growth in the Silver Valley, and the greater Coeur d’Alene area. The proposal will undoubtedly threaten the area for decades to come” — Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce.

Question: Where do you stand on EPA plans for the Silver Valley?

Ramirez: Afghanistan Options

Michael Rameriz/Investor’s Business Daily

Viks Capture 5A Football Title 28-7

Coeur d’Alene running back Zack Keiser runs the ball against Centennial during an Idaho state high school state championship football game on Thursday at the Kibbie Dome on UI’s campus in Moscow. See Greg Lee’s game Twitter below. (SR photo: Tyler Tjomsland)

“You can’t describe it,” (coach Shawn) Amos said. “This was 14 years in the process. I went from the worst team in the state probably (his first year) to one of the best teams in the state – from start to (now).” CdA (11-1) did it with lock-down defense. After the Viks allowed Centennial running back Mike Kirby 106 yards on 19 carries in the first half, they stuffed him in the second. Kirby had just 8 yards on nine attempts the final two quarters. “Hands down they were solid all the way around,” CdA running back Zach Keiser said of the defense. “Stopped them on fourth down two or three times. They kept us in the game for sure and finally our offense started to put up some points”/Greg Lee, SR. More here.

  • Greg Lee’s game Twitter below

TGIF Wild Card — 11.19.10

I’m well on my way to surviving the head cold that knocked me down from mid-week on. I  hope to be in decent shape Saturday to celebrate birthday No. 61 with Mrs. O and friends. Which means that I probably have 4 more years to run this three-ring cyber circus before retirement, unless my handlers at SR Central wise up and boot me down the road for enjoying my job too much. I should be back here Monday ready to roll through Wednesday, when we’ll all take a break for Thanksgiving. Now, for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 11.19.10

Passengers move through the line at a security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Thursday in Atlanta. In a climate of Internet campaigns to shun airport pat-downs and veteran pilots suing over their treatment by government screeners, a senior Republican lawmaker is urging the country’s busiest airports to scrap federal screeners altogether. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Celebrating World Toilet Day

For those of you keeping score at home, today — Nov. 19 — is World Toilet Day. Before you laugh, there’s a sober side to World Toilet Day.The day was set aside to celebrate the importance of sanitation and raise awareness for the 2.5 billion people (nearly half of the world’s population) who don’t have access to toilets and proper sanitation. I had no idea this was World Toilet Day when I hired a plumber to fix the flushing device on the upstairs toilet that has served my family faithfully, with nary a problem, for 25 years, as of next month. How about you?

Question: What’s your favorite name for your toilet: toilet, potty, The John, The Head, The Oval Office, crapper, porcelain king, superbowl, The Can, rest room, privee, loo, or something else?

Scanner Traffic/PM — 11.19.10

  • 5:46 p.m. Caller reports an unwanted female in bedroom of Captain’s Apartments unit on Lincoln Way/CdA is threatening to kill apartment renter.
  • 4:54 p.m. Battery reported on Lena Louie Lane/Worley.
  • 4:31 p.m. Possible drug overdose reported on 700 block of 21st/CdA.
  • 4:36 p.m. 3 vehicles have pulled into Exxon station @ H95 & I-90 after crash.
  • 4:23 p.m. Coeur d’Alene police activity report for Nov. 18-19 here.
  • 4:18 p.m. Bryan DeWitte, 48, of CdA, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for domestic battery & meth possession. News release here.
  • 4:08 p.m. Caller reports a male in extended-cab pickup drove into ditch on H41 before pulling into Lightning Bar @ Twin Lakes.
  • More below

APhoto Of The Day — 11.19.10

Russian pair skate their short program, with Yuko Kawaguti left, seen behind the legs of Alexander Smirnov as they skate their short program during Cup of Russia figure skating ISU Grand Prix event in Moscow, Russia, this morning. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Shown here, a new graduate of the rookie training class for the TSA goes through her required body inspection techniques during her 1st day on the job — KeithinCdA.
  • 2. Another sign of economic hardship as Dorothy Hamill is reduced to trimming her famous 70’s wedge haircut with the edge of her own skates! — Formerly Sandpoint.
  • 3. In Moscow, after the Boise State debacle, U of I officials turn to Yuko to show their football players how to get their heads out of their behinds — JohnA.
  • HM: Nic and everyone else. Absolutely superb entries today.

Fall Into Winter

At As The Lake Churns, blogmistress Pecky Cox offers this Priest Lake photo that she labels “Fall into Winter.”

Kamm: Jobless & Ignored In CdA

Kamm: I’ve haven’t finalized my Thanksgiving plans because I’m waiting to see If I’ve landed a seasonal retail job. My savings account needs some fluffing; this past year has made it very flat. The interview went well; I was willing to work any shift and any day except Tuesday (lots of standing activities) but only wanted part time. I also said I could be called if someone called in sick or go home early if I wasn’t needed. It’s discouraging to still be waiting for some kind of information, though. My interview was early this month and I called Monday and left a message to let me know if I was or wasn’t going to be hired so I could search for other options.

Question (from Kamm): Is it common to be ignored after you leave the interview?

Woman Indicted In Rez Fatality

A motorist who killed a pedestrian while intoxicated last April on the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation, has been indicted by a federal grand jury.  Andrea M. George, who was 18 at the time of the crash, is charged with involuntary manslaughter for the April 19 crash on Desmet Road at Ajot Road that killed Patrick A. Gourneau, 22, of Tensed, Idaho. Gourneau was walking when George struck him while cresting a hill in a 2002 Honda Civic on Desmet Road just before 6 a.m.  George was airlifted to a Spokane hospital but has since recovered/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

10.8% Jobless Figure Has A Face

In the last week, I’ve hired two different, unemployed men to do odd jobs or repairs around my house. One is a friend from church. Another is an old acquaintance. Both have spent their lives in the construction trade — and now are trying to make ends meet while the economy remains in the toilet. I know that they need money. And I’m glad to help out. Also, at my church, I’m aware of individuals who are barely getting by. It’s nice to know that the church can help through direct benevolence giving and our food pantry. I consider myself fortunate, despite the pay freezes & cuts @ furloughs with which my colleagues and I have had to deal over the last decade or so at The Spokesman-Review. All this was brought to mind today when I saw the new unemployment figure for Kootenai County — 10.8%. That means more than 1 in 10 of my neighbors are jobless. And I’d guess the real number + underemployed are twice that.

Question: Have you hired unemployed friends or acquaintances to do work around your house?

Harvard, Yale Abuzz re: Vuvuzelas

Yale student Jonathan Desnick poses with vuvuzelas in his dormitory on the Yale campus in New Haven, Conn., today. Desnick bought nearly 700 vuvuzelas after hearing Harvard’s student government had asked for a ban on the horns at the upcoming NCAA college football game between Yale and Harvard, saying the annoying horns would be a distraction to the football team, the band and alumni. Story here. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Question: Do vuvuzelas have a place at sporting events in this country?

OTC: Still In Love With My Tattoo

My tattoo and I celebrated our one-year anniversary two days ago. We have been joined at the wrist since then and it has been a beautiful relationship. Although some people were not terribly excited about the addition to my body, it represents an important part of my life and reminds of the changes I faced at the time. A year later, I love it more than the day I got it/Elizabeth, UIdaho Argonaut, Off the Cuff column. More here.

Question: Do you love your tattoo today as much or more than the day you got it?

43rdSB: Groped Against Your Will

This is finally IT, maybe. If we turn down being screened at airports by those new-fangled, incredibly invasive, nakey-nakey devices, then we must submit to a groping…where they fondle your bewbies and/or your junk. Submitting to a groping by somebody who’s not getting me drunk first…not gonna happen. And neither is going through a freaky skin sizzling machine. Thing is, some people (survivors of sexual assault) are getting PTSD reactions to the forced probings, because, you know, they’re FORCED PROBINGS. And some idiots out there actually have the gall to say, “Those people need to stop being so sensitive about the probings”/Cassandra, 43rd State Blues. More here.

Minnick, Simpson Oppose Extension

Votes from Idaho Reps. Walt Minnick and Mike Simpson (pictured) helped defeat an extension of unemployment benefits in the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday. The plan would have extended benefits through February and cost $12 billion. Extended federal unemployment benefits, which can last up to 99 weeks for some Americans without jobs, are set to expire at the end of this month. Such benefits expired at the end of May, which affected 10,000 unemployed Idahoans receiving weekly benefits.  However, the benefits were extended from May to their current expiration date, which is Nov. 30. … Minnick was one of 11 Democrats who joined Simpson and 141 other Republicans in opposing the extension/Brad Iverson-Long, Idaho Reporter. More here.

  • Also: Latest jobless figures shows Kootenai County jobless rate now 10.8%

Question: Did the Idaho representatives vote on this issue the way you wanted them to?

INW Headlines — 11.19.10

Rebecca Pippenger reads an East Side Library book titled “10 Little Rubber Ducks” by Eric Carle, to 3-year-old students at the Southeast Day Care Center on Thursday. Children from the day care visit the library, which is just steps away, once a week. The city of Spokane is considering closing the branch. “We will have some very sad kids,” Pippenger said. Columnist Shawn Vestal writes about the situation here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

High Noon: Another Unhappy Flier

I watched in dismay as Transportation Security Administration agents, excited over their new toy, ushered those before me in line confusedly into the monstrous contraption and told them to extend their arms above their heads. I watched as a group of agents smirked at the view screen as it displayed body after body, including my girlfriend’s. Bile rose in my throat as I was ushered in and then, without asking to be touched, grabbed and frisked because of a “bad image” of my bare arms/Luke Malek, Luke Malek columns & writings. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Have you been scanned and/or frisked yet, under the new Transportation Security Administration rules?

Viks Play For 5A Title Tonight

The top-ranked Coeur d’Alene Vikings were understandably excited after upending the second-ranked Capital Eagles last week in the semifinals of the state 5A high school football playoffs, but Vikings coach Shawn Amos knew one thing was missing. “A lot of people were talking like the semifinal was the final, but we didn’t get a trophy after the game,” Amos said. A trophy will indeed be awarded tonight, when Coeur d’Alene (10-1) faces fourth-ranked Centennial (9-2) at 7 p.m. at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow in the state championship game/Mark Nelke, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo: CdA’s Joe Roletto knocks down a long pass in a game earlier this year against Post Falls)

  • Also: Greg Lee/SR SportsLink will be tweeting the game from the Kibbie Dome tonight. You can follow by clicking on the SR sports Twitter in righthand rail

Question: Who will win tonight’s game? Why?

Scanner Traffic — 11.19.10

  • 11:59 a.m. Two brothers-in-law are pushing each other in front of JD Resort/Bayview.
  • 11:27 a.m. Female who had her dog picked up by animal control is at the Humane Society shelter and angry that dog isn’t there.
  • 11:05 a.m. Owner can’t locate his large houseboat at a Lake Coeur d’Alene marina.
  • 9:42 a.m. A male in the Post Falls area fall last night & has been lying on the floor since.
  • 9:40 a.m. J has questions about a protection order & retrieving a mailbox key.
  • 9:22 a.m. Resident in Cave Bay area reports being harassed by a neighbor.
  • 8:10 a.m. Caller from 4000 block of W. Fairway reports her son is home and she’s been told by Woodland Middle School SRO to report his as runaway since he refuses to go to school.

Firefighters Deal Would Save Jobs

Spokane firefighters avoid layoffs under a tentative agreement accepted this week by Mayor Mary Verner. If the deal is approved by union members and City Council, Local 29 of the International Association of Fire Fighters would become the first of the city’s bargaining groups to strike a deal this year to save jobs. “The tentative agreement makes changes of a permanent nature,” said City Administrator Ted Danek. “There is nothing in here that would harm future budgets”/Jonathan Brunt, SR. More here.

Question: Would you be willing to cut wages or benefits to save jobs at your place of employment?

Restored Body Parts Horrifies Critics

For some reason, Cabbage Boy provides a link in the comments section with this note: “No reason to panic, but here is a story that screams POST ME ON HUCKLEBERRIES.” Indeed, a controversial decision by Italy Premier Silvio Berlusconi to restore body parts to marble statues of Venus & Mars seems to be up Hucks alley. Seems art restorers are horrified by the decision. Berlusconi responds that the hand added to Venus and the penis added to Mars are made of resin, attached by magnets and can be removed without damage. AP story here. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Question: Should the body parts have been added back to the statues?

Happy Birthday To Sandi, Bob, & Me

On Saturday, I turn 61. I’m in good company, too. Mayor Sandi Bloem and I share that birthday. So does County Coroner Bob West. For some reason, birthday No. 61 doesn’t bother me a quarter as much as the last one. Mebbe this birthday means I’m that much closer to retirement. Mebbe it’s simply another date on the calendar. I don’t know where the break-off point is between saying “years old” and “years young.” I know I’m no longer a spring chicken. But I still have most of my hair.

Question: Are birthdays still important to you?

CoeurGenX: Go See A Chiropractor

In responding to my post yesterday re: “Taking my cold like a man,” CoeurGenX writes: “Go see a Chiropractor asap. … a little adjustment will release the blood cells that fight and knock down the common cold. It will be gone in 24-48 hours … Besides, after a little adjustment never hurt anyone.” Actually, I’ve been kicking myself for not getting a flu shot. I don’t get sick — colds or anything — in years that I get a flu shot. I delayed getting my shot this year and … voila. On the other hand, I haven’t been to a chiropractor in 30-plus years. I have relatives who prefer chiropractors over doctors. I’m exactly the opposite.

Question: Would you see a chiropractor for a cold?

Barack & Hillary At NATO Summit

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stand during a remembrance ceremony for fallen comrades, at a round table meeting of the North Atlantic Council, during a NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal, Friday. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Question: In her latest post, Dogwalk Musings wonders whether Hillary Clinton should cut and run from what she labels the Obama administration’s “abysmal foreign policy” and possibly cut and run for president in two years. What do you think? Could Clinton beat Obama in the Democrat primaries in 2012?

Snow Causes Panic Attack

From KCSD sergeant’s log: “Deputy Nye and Deputy Geurin responded to the Hauser Lake Smoke Shop for a citizen assist with a female who was having a panic attack due to the snow on the roadway.  Upon arrival they located a California native who had gotten lost and disoriented in the snow … They were able to locate a friend of the female in Rathdrum, who responded to the location to pickup her and the vehicle.”

Question: What causes you to panic?

Idaho Vandals Finish In Tie For 4th

The Idaho volleyball team dropped its season finale Thursday night as No. 3 Hawai’i wrapped up a perfect 16-0 Western Athletic Conference season by topping the Vandals 3-0. The Vandals finish the regular season at 13-14 overall, and 8-8 in the WAC. Idaho finished in a tie for fourth place in the conference and will be the No. 5 seed in the WAC tournament. More here. (Courtesy photo: Idaho Athletic Media Relations)

Silver Valley Gets Anti-Cleanup Calls

From KEA Blog: We’ve heard from a number of friends and members that they are being robocalled from the phony front group “Citizens for a Prosperous Silver Valley” which opposes the proposed cleanup in the Silver Valley. We wish we could give better advice as to how to shut down the annoying phone calls, but we’re afraid that according to the Supreme Court the free speech rights of mining corporations is protected by the Constitution, and the national “Do Not Call Registry” does not apply to non-commercial calls. For what it’s worth, the phone calls should end soon.

Question: Are you on the “Do Not Call Registry”?

Megaloads To Be ‘Size Of Office Buildings’

Laird Lucas, attorney for the megaloads opponents, said the loads will “be approximately the size of an office building going up along the Lochsa River, that curvy road that you know and that the rest of us know. … These will block both sides of the highway completely.” He said ITD and Conoco have been discussing the project since 2007, but “never was the public advised. In fact the public had to scratch and dig and scrape to find out these projects were even proposed”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Are you concerned about this issue since it doesn’t directly affect us in the Coeur d’Alene area?

Hawaii May Leave For MWC, Too

Boise State’s new conference is starting to look an awful lot like its old one. Hawaii is poised to join the Mountain West Conference in football only, becoming the third WAC team to join the league since Boise State announced it was switching leagues in June. Negotiations between Hawaii and the Mountain West are ongoing, Hawaii and Mountain West officials said Thursday night. “We have a handshake but we do have to agree on the details,” Hawaii president M.R.C. Greenwood said at a press conference. She also termed it as “final discussions”/Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What becomes of Idaho, if Hawaii leaves for the Mountain West Conference, too?

AM Headlines — 11.19.10

John Helgesen, left, and Susan Kolbo, both of Wisconsin, walk on the new 43-foot-by-21-foot steel cantilever overlook at the Buzz Langdon Visitor Center in Twin Falls earlier this week.  (AP Photo/Times-News, Ashley Smith)

Question: Have you ever been to Twin Falls?

Dennis: 33 Glorious Years Of Marriage

It’s a blurry photo of two young people being married in 1977. Not much of a photo to some people, but it reminds me of everything in my life, as it sits on my desk. 33 years ago today my family, Susan’s family and so many friends came to a church in S. Cal and enjoyed our wedding service. And it was fun … How could it be any other way? Ha! In these 33 years we experienced so much. We saw life, we saw death. We had “love sick-itis” and then there were other days … We walked together, one day at a time. We still do/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

Question: Did you live happily ever after?

Houghs Put Roosevelt Inn Up For Sale

A Coeur d’Alene couple is hoping the second time is a charm when it comes to putting the historic Roosevelt Inn back on the real estate market.Tina and John Hough previously tried to sell the Roosevelt, but pulled the bed and breakfast from the market when the economy went sour. But the business has seen an upturn in guests despite the sluggish economy. “We had two people from Israel here, a whole family from France and lots of Germans this last year,” explained Tina Hough/Tania Dahl, KXLY. More here.

Question: Would you like to own and operate a bed & breakfast place?

Bloggy: War On Xmas Post-Apocalypse

Mr_Bloggy: Mr_B is 99.9% bad. The remainder is held in reserve for the coming War on Christmas Post-Apocalypse in which, if it were a movie, there would be a scene: Lone man walks down smoking, crater filled city street. Shadows fall from the hulks of buildings. The sun is a diffused ball behind a gunmetal sky of blanched clouds. Man carries a heavily modified 7.62x51 mm NATO GE “Minigun” 6-barreled air-cooled machine gun. He is clad in a black tactical haz mat suit. A cigarette hangs limply from his lower lip, he sucks on it and exhales the smoke in two thin streams from his slightly flared nostrils. More below

Question: If you were to be judged by Santa re: being naughty or nice, would you get a nice present or a lump of coal this year?

Koot-Con: Carried Away w/Roundabouts

Kootenai Conservative: Roundabouts are practical in some cases - the one at Kathleen and 4th, for example - but it many cases they aren’t necessary and seem to be installed only because they’re the current traffic ‘fad.’ There’s one on Poleline in Post Falls that should be a two-way stop. And now the brain trust that is the CDA City Council is planning to put one at the NW corner of City Park so the poor folks on Park Drive can’t get out of their homes in the winter. I’m all for increasing safety, but don’t get carried away.

Question: Are you a fan of traffic roundabouts?

NIC To Pay Off Mill Site 22 Months Early

Item: NIC to make mill site payoff: Trustees vote to make $4.1 million payment 22 months early/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Increased revenue from the surge in enrollment at North Idaho College has made it possible for trustees to complete the purchase of the former DeArmond mill site property 22 months ahead of schedule. At their regular meeting Wednesday, trustees agreed by vote to revise the college’s budget for this year, and use a combination of “budgeted and un-budgeted” fund balances to pay the $4.1 million balance due on the college’s lease agreement with the North Idaho College Foundation.

Question: Anyone still think the purchase of the mill property by NIC was a bad idea?

Ramirez: 4th Amendment Test

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Wild Card/Thursday — 11.18.10

I’m blogging from home in my pajamas today, nursing a slight sinus infection and chest cold while snow falls lightly outside. In a minute or so, I’m going to search for my slippers and get a second cup of coffee. If you need to get ahold of me, please send a message via e-mail, Facebook, or post something in this Wild Card comments thread. It’s sorta nice hanging out around the home stead. Now, for your Wild Card …

P.S. Remembering Jonestown

Althea Roberts, left, and Juana Norwood, right, look for photos of family members who died in Jonestown during the 32nd annual memorial service and prayer vigil to remember the more than 900 victims of the Jonestown massacre in Oakland, Calif., today.  Parting ways with longtime organizers of Jonestown memorial services, a group of Peoples Temple survivors announced their own plans Thursday for a granite monument inscribed with the names of those who died at Jonestown in Guyana. The women lost 27 family members in the tragedy. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

DFO: I was working a Saturday night shift putting the Sunday newspaper out for the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Mont., when the first news of the Jonestown massacre began appearing over the AP wire machine. What were you doing when you heard about Jonestown?

Question: Could a Jonestown massacre happen again?

Christa: I Was Wrong Re: Recycle Bins

Christa Hazel: I’m gonna do something rarely seen on HBO: I’m admitting I was wrong. Not mistaken. Not misunderstood. Just plain old WRONG. I called, I ranted and I refused the big blue bin. I did not want to make room for the added bin size. Waste Management stated that I would not receive my blue bin. And then they delivered it anyway. My husband urged me to reconsider running down the street after Waste Management like a crazy woman and then he offered to find room in our garage. Now we have a recycle bin that I have grown to love. To the City Councilman I ranted at — I am sorry. To DFO - Thanks for continuing to remind me of my narrow mindedness on this issue. To the liberals I irritated because I didn’t want to bother making room in my crowded garage — you were right — I get a smug sense of satisfaction every time I choose the big blue bin. I feel superior to my neighbor who has never recycled whether the bin was big or small. ;)

DFO: I also was wrong about roundabouts. I like them now, too.

Question: When did you last admit you were wrong about something?

Scanner Traffic/PM — 11.18.10

  • 5:35 p.m. 2 drivers are complaining of neck pain following injury crash @ H95 & Canfield.
  • 5:12 p.m. A deer has two broken back legs after being hit by vehicle on Cougar Gulch Road and needs to be euthanized.
  • 5:08 p.m. Caller reports a residential burglary in 110 block of Fairmont Loop/Hayden
  • 5:05 p.m. Female in Post Falls are reports hitting 2 dogs and will stay on scene to officers arrive.
  • 4:56 p.m. Lori, on Huetter, reports the theft of power tools.
  • 4:51 p.m. Freeway surveillance system has spotted an e/b vehicle owned by a local wanted person named Shawn on I-90 in CdA area.
  • 4:42 p.m. Caller reports that 3 males are sitting in vehicle in middle of road near Freddie & Winch/Rathdrum. When he told them to move, one yelled at him & flipped him off.
  • 4:29 p.m. Christopher on Stimson/Hayden has questions about his roommate.
  • 3:44 p.m. A 20-by-60-foot grass fire is reported @ Riverstone & Seltice Way/CdA.
  • More below

Magical Downtown Coeur d’Alene

On her Idaho Scenic Images Facebook page, Linda Lantzy provides this magical view of downtown Coeur d’Alene this morning, after the first snow of the season.

NI Blogs: Willow Palin’s Teen Talk

Sarah Palin’s 16-year-old daughter, Willow, is in the news for an ill-advised Facebook tantrum, in which she let loose with a string of profanities and homophobic insults. But, should this even be news? On one hand, I’m told that this is just how teenagers these days talk, calling each other “faggot” and “retard” and whatever other insolent remark tumbles stupidly out of their mouths. On the other hand, doesn’t Sarah Palin hold herself up to be a better mother than most? Or does the Mama Grizzly label just mean she’ll protect her kids but teaching manners isn’t in her job description?/Idaho Dad, A Family Runs Through It. More here. (AP photo: Willow Palin is at right in the 2008 file photo)

  • Hucks Online numbers (for Wednesday):11,845 page-view/6448 unique views

Question: What would you do if you discovered your teen used language that put down gays and disabled people?

Taking My Cold Like A Man …

I’d like to interrupt this regular programming to inform the Women of Hucks Online that I haven’t been a pest for Mrs. O today, despite my sinus infection and chest cold. I’ve simply gone about my blogging, with an occasional trip to the medicine closet for cough syrup & Day Quil. No moping. No demands for over-the-top treatment. Just an occasional cough. Which always earns a worried look from She Who Is Indeed The Better Half Of My Marriage.

Question (for Women of HBO): Is your husband a pest when he’s sick?

Teacher Gets $148K For ‘Spank’ Firing

Huckleberries has learned (re: Teacher fights firing for ‘swats’/St. Maries Gazette-Record) … that a Benewah County jury unanimously sided with former Worley-Plummer teacher Bruce Lust and awarded $148,000 to him in back pay in his 2007 wrongful termination case today. Lust had been fired by the district for a demonstration on four random students re: how not to “spank” one another. Brian Julian, of Anderson, Julian & Hull represented the School District and James Piotrowski represented Bruce Lust. My source tells me: “The jury found, in response to the first question, that what Bruce did was not grounds for discharge.   Since Bruce was a teacher with a contract with the School District, firing him without just cause breached his contract. Also, the jury awarded Bruce back pay.  He was fired in 2007, and the $148,000 represents what he would have made had he not been fired (along with some allowance for present value and lost benefits that our economist, Greg Green, presented to the jury). Copy of verdict here.

Spokane Theatre Fires Swinging Couple

Johnson considered applicants from across the country and in June, she inked a three-year contract with James Ryan. Ryan, who made a cross-country move for the job, started work on Aug. 23 and set about co-directing — and playing two small onstage roles in — the Civic’s sold-out Buddy Holly musical last month. His wife, Lynn, had meanwhile been hired in the Civic’s box office. The Ryans had seemed to fit right in. But on Oct. 15, all that changed. That day, the Civic received an alarming e-mail about the Ryans: “What kind of people do you employ????? The attached photos and e-mail excerpts are outrageous,” it said. “Do I need to go to a higher authority……or maybe the press.” The e-mail was signed, “Megan Wilson,” and included seven photos: Four were clothed, casual shots of the Ryans. Three were headless nude torsos. No sex acts were depicted. The e-mail also had explicit excerpts from e-mails that James Ryan had written/Michael Bowen, Inlander. More here.

Question: Did the Spokane Civic Theatre do right by firing the swinging Ryans?

1st Batman Comic Book Sells For $493K

In this photo released by Heritage House Auctions, a copy of “Detective Comics #27” with the first appearance of Batman is shown. Originally purchased by a 13-year old Robert Irwin in 1939 for 10 cents, the comic was sold to an anonymous collector for $492,937 today by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. (AP Photo/Heritage Auctions)

Question: Which comic books did you collect as a kid?


They pay us good wages
to feel up your granny
in case she’s got A bombs
concealed in her fanny.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Don’t Tell Christa, But I’m Recycling More

I don’t want to get Christa Hazel mad at me, but … I find myself recycling a heckuva lot more now that when we had those blue plastic boxes in which to put out recyclables. We filled that new dark blue rolling container that the city provided for recyclables with ease for this week’s pickup. How about you?

Question: Now that the city provides a bigger container for single-stream recycling are you recycling more?

Fox News Ailes Apologizes For ‘Nazi’ Slip

Fox News chief Roger Ailes (pictured in AP file photo) apologized Thursday to Abraham Foxman, national director for the Anti-Defamation League, after calling NPR executives “Nazis” in an interview with The Daily Beast. Ailes, in a letter, began by following up on “the Glenn Beck situation with regards to George Soros” before getting into his own references to the Third Reich. “This morning you might be receiving calls because I used the word ‘Nazi attitudes’  to describe the NPR officials who fired Juan Williams,” Ailes wrote. “I was of course ad-libbing and should not have chosen that word, but I was angry at the time because of NPR’s willingness to censor Juan Williams for not being liberal enough”/Michael Cordelone, The Cutline. More here.

Question: Do we use the word “Nazi” too much in our culture to describe people or organizations with which we disagree? And/Or Is there any value to these kinds of forced apologies?

Flakes Are Falling On Lookout Pass.

Mike Perry, the KHQ broadcaster who hangs out in the Spokesman-Review newsroom in Coeur d’Alene, gives us a peek at what weather conditions were on Lookout Pass earlier today. Here you see a couple of vehicles that spun out on the pass. Mike said he got stuck, too. Fortunately, he said, a tow truck driver was on the scene for another vehicle. So he was pulled out of his predicament fairly quickly. (Photo: KHQ’s Mike Perry, via Twitter)

Lookout Pass To Open Friday

Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area is opening its lifts Friday to take advantage of 8 inches of fresh snow on a base up to 20 inches deep, Phil Edholm, ski area president announced minutes ago. “The majority of the front side of the mountain will be open with top to bottom skiing and riding off Chair 1 plus the beginner area,” he said, noting that coverage is good and snow was still falling at 11 a.m. today. Lifts will operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Friday, Saturday and Sunday with  reduced ticket rates, but full services. Additional lifts and terrain will be opened as conditions allow/Rich Landers, SR Outdoors Blog. More here.

Question: When do you usually strap on your skis for the first time during a snow season?

Most Love Summer Camp But Not All

Summer seems like a distant memory to most of us – but not 10-year-old Hannah Ellis. When she talked about summer camp, words exploded like a popcorn kernels in a microwave. Breathlessly, she listed her favorite things about her time at Camp Sweyolakan. “I like swimming in the lake, and spending the night and being outdoors and hiking in the woods!” She paused to catch her breath. “They feed you breakfast, lunch and dinner – it’s good food! And we sing songs before every meal and during the day”/Cindy Hval, Washington Voices. More here. Also (by Cindy): Girl, her family get Starlight treatment.

Cindy: Okay. I have to say I was a camp-hater. I hated sleeping in cabins with a bunch of girls. I hated swimming in the seaweed-filled lake. I hated the food. I hated arts and crafts. But. Most kids LOVE camp, so it’s cool that there are programs like this to help them.

Question: Did you enjoy summer camp?

Fischer: Medal Of Honor Feminized

Bryan Fischer, the “Director of Issues Analysis” for the conservative Christian group the American Family Association, was unhappy yesterday that President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to a soldier for saving lives. This, Fischer wrote on his blog, shows that the Medal of Honor has been “feminized” because “we now award it only for preventing casualties, not for inflicting them.” Here’s how the AP described Medal of Honor winner Army Sgt. Salvatore Giunta heroics: “Giunta, the first living Medal of Honor winner of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, braved heavy gunfire to pull a fellow soldier to cover and rescued another who was being dragged away by insurgents.” Fischer’s take? “So the question is this: when are we going to start awarding the Medal of Honor once again for soldiers who kill people and break things so our families can sleep safely at night?”/TPMuckraker. More here. And: Fischer’s full post here.

Question: Are we feminizing the Medal of Honor by rewarding it to soldiers who save people rather than those who kill the enemy?

INW Headlines — 11.18.10

Ten-year-old Destiny Jewett of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho waits for the school bus this morning after an early morning snowfall blanketed the area.  (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Kathy Plonka)

High Noon: JohnA (Hearts) North Idaho

John Austin: I love north Idaho. I sighted my first migratory eagle this morning at Wolf Lodge Bay. There’s something about seeing an eagle flying through the snow showers, against the backdrop of Beauty Bay, that is very special, even from the icy confines of I-90. Deena and I also saw a baby moose on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alene’s recently as it emerged from Cave Lake near our home. Our Great Dane pup noticed it first, and alerted us to the possibility that its mother was nearby. Needless to say we hurried back the way we came, discretion by far the better part of valor. At times like these, when I am surrounded by things that most people will never see, and experience emotions most will never feel, I’m reminded why I love it here.

Question: Why do you love North Idaho?

Scanner Traffic/AM — 11.18.10

  • Noonish: A shoplifter is in the parking lot of Shari’s restaurant, H95 & Ironwood/CdA.
  • 11:57 a.m. A parked Interstate trailer is blocking one lane @ 8989 Torrey/Hayden.
  • 11:34 a.m. Crystal wants to see an animal control officer re: cat traps.
  • 10:49 a.m. EMTs are responding to a medical emergency at Post Falls High.
  • 10:36 a.m. Dalton Elementary student accidentally dials 911 while trying to call mother.
  • 9:39 a.m. CdA man named Scott who has a rap sheet drove off w/o paying from PF station.
  • 9:04 a.m. Both drivers say they’re shaken but not hurt after 2-vehicle crash @ Julia & Marie/CdA.
  • 8:46 a.m. Craig, on Wishful Trail/Athol reports trespassing on his property.
  • 8:39 a.m. A utility problem of some sort is reported @ 865 Glasgow Drive/PF.
  • 8:27 a.m. Caller reports catching a dog that killed his ducks and says he plans “to take care of the problem.”
  • 8:20 a.m. Female in area of Coolin & Ainsworth/Hayden reports finding drug paraphernalia in child’s room.
  • 8:07 a.m. Caller wants deputy to check on 2 men who parked their white pickup @ Wrangler & Garwood and are now walking up and down the street.

King Felix Wins AL Cy Young Award

In this May 18 file photo shows Seattle Mariners’ Felix Hernandez in action against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game, in Oakland, Calif. Hernandez was chosen AL Cy Young Award winner today by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Seattle P-I story here. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Question: Is it right for a Cy Young winner to come from a last place team like the Seattle Mariners? Shouldn’t the award be given to someone who helped his team to the postseason?

Hucks Poll: No To Full-Body Scanners

  • Wednesday Poll: 101 of 171 respondents (59.06%) consider search by full-body scanners are today’s airports to be a violation of their 4th amendment rights that prohibit illegal searches. 67 of 171 (39.18%) are okay with the scans. 3 voters were undecided.
  • Today’s Poll: Do you think marriage is obsolete?

Study: 1 In 4 Say Marriage Obsolete

Item: Study: 1 in 4 say marriage is becoming obsolete/Hope Yen, Associated Press

More Info: As families gather for Thanksgiving this year, nearly one in three American children is living with a parent who is divorced, separated or never-married. More people are accepting the view that wedding bells aren’t needed to have a family. A study by the Pew Research Center highlights rapidly changing notions of the American family. And the Census Bureau, too, is planning to incorporate broader definitions of family when measuring poverty, a shift caused partly by recent jumps in unmarried couples living together.

Question: Do you think marriage is becoming obsolete?

Twin Falls TN: Shame On Brannon, Kelso

Brannon and his grandstanding lawyer, Starr Kelso, ought to be ashamed of themselves. Single-handedly, they’ve made the idea of running for City Council toxic. And if legislators don’t think the same thing could happen to them, they’re deluding themselves. The Legislature needs to fix this by exempting candidates from lawsuits against cities, counties or the state over election results. Every city council member we know of spends far more hours on the job than he or she is compensated for. The notion that they should also be compelled to pay for their right to hold office is repulsive/Twin Falls Times-News. More here.


Huckleberries Hears …

… that the Region 1 (5 northern legislative districts) voted 8-2 recently to send a letter in support of state Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, to House Speaker Lawerence Denney. Only 10 of the 25 representatives of Region 1 were present at the meeting. An agenda wasn’t prepared until the day of the meeting. A Berry Picker puts this matter into perspective: “So, without an agenda being prepared before the meeting no one knew about the vote. Thus the low attendance and low vote count. The 10 votes represent a 40% representation of GOP Region One.”

Question: Should the Region 1 GOP vote again re: Hart with a well-advertised meeting, to get an accurate picture of the support Hart has among North Idaho GOP leaders?

Teaching ‘Em Early

MSU-B soccer player Sami Sandau plays with her two-year-old son Koby before joining her team for soccer practice in Billings, Mont. (AP Photo/The Gazette, James Woodcock)

Question (for the Women of Hucks Online): Would you describe yourself as a “soccer mom”?

Cleveland Fans Attack 8YO Jets Fan

Cleveland Browns fans are known for their rowdiness, especially the denizens of the infamous ‘Dawg Pound’ bleacher section at the east end zone of Cleveland Browns Stadium. But following the Browns’ 26-20 overtime loss to the Jets Sunday, one transplanted Jets fan and his 8-year-old son had a rude encounter as they walked to their car in the city-operated Muni Lot nearby. Danielle Brennan told the Ohio News Network that her husband Thomas and their 8-year-old son, who was sporting Jets gear, had profanity and food hurled at them. But the worst offense, Danielle said, was when she said her son was tackled by a drunken Browns fan, resulting in a large cut on his right ankle/Christian Red, New York Daily News. More here. H/T: Joker (AP photo from game)

Question: What is it about a lot of sports fans that makes them take leave of their senses when their team’s honor is on the line?

Mel: We Brits (Heart) Our Royals

Marmitetoasty: I dont think our Queen will give over the reins, kings and queens here seem to just go on til they die…. looks like old Charlie is gonna be a ‘geezer’ before he gets his chance, I know if given the choice us British subjects would pump for William getting in over Charlie lol…. but then, us subjects dont get a say lol … I dont care what anyone says about our royals, its our heritage and tradition and pomp and ceremony and it attacts millions of people to this country every year, and yes, I still stand in wonderment when I go to London and see Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guards and all that stuff and nonsense.

Question: Do you know something in this country that would be like the Brits’ affection for their royals?

Sandpointer Tells Of Anti-Gay Bullying

Item: Boise rallies against anti-gay bullying/Jody May-Change, Boise Weekly

More Info: BSU student Justin Baxter described the years of bullying and taunting he endured in both middle and high school in Sandpoint, Idaho. Walking home one day after a bullying incident in his gym class locker-room, Baxter was struck in the head with a glass bottle. He fell unconscious to the grown breaking his nose as his attackers kicked him. “People do no understand what it is like to be in that kind of darkness,” said Baxter. But his message included some optimism. “I am happy that I am here today to tell you from the bottom of my heart to stick in there.”

Question: Do you believe bullying against gays is epidemic?

AG: Hart Bill Wouldn’t Stop Scanners

In documents obtained by, an official with the Idaho attorney general’s office said a bill presented by Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, in the 2010 legislative session would have done little to prevent use of body scanners at airports or other public buildings in the Gem State. Hart’s legislation, known as House Bill 573, aimed to prevent use of scanners – which produce an image in which a person is essentially naked – in airports or public buildings by using police powers of the state of Idaho to ban the devices.  In testimony about the bill, Hart contended that the scanners are a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and possibly dangerous to public health.  The bill passed the Idaho House on 58-9 vote, but it failed to receive a hearing in the Senate State Affairs Committee/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Is it possible that Phil Hart is right about full-body scanners at airports?

AM Headlines — 11.18.10

Idaho defensive end Aaron Lavarias gets past a blocker against Hawaii earlier this year. Josh Wright/SR spotlights the star Vandal in a feature story today here. (SR photo: Christopher Anderson)

APhoto Of The Day — 11.18.10

Decatur Police help wrangle a cow that was found roaming southwest Decatur neighborhoods in Decatur, Ala., Wednesday.  An officer uses his car to force the cow to the side of 5th Ave. SW to keep her out of the flow of traffic.  The cow was captured by cow hands from Valley Stockyard without injury to man or beast.  You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr.)

Bloggy: It’s Snow … OK, People?

Mr_Bloggy: Snowing in Spokane? Mr_Bloggy is endlessly amused by the child-like wonderness, the Groundhog Dayishness, the eternal snowshine of the spotless mindlessness, the butterfly newly emerged from its cocoonishness, the gazing upon the perfect meadow and waterfall for the final time by the last unicornessness of Spokane drivers as they venture upon snowy roads and byways for the first time of the winter and, in a miraculous sort of cognitive event, for the first time of their lives again! It is a mass reincarnation! A resurrection of the ones who slide for our sins. “It is so pretty, I’ve never seen this before in all of my 30 years driving in Spokane! We shall call this “sparkly angel frost cold nose tickle candy and we shall frolic in its wonder!”

Question: What was your reaction when you saw snow on the ground when you woke up today?

LCDC May Fund Private Homes

Item: LCDC may fund private homes: Public money could reduce price for working families/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: By partnering with Idaho Housing and Finance Association, Housing and Urban Development and Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal agency, Lake City Development Corp., NIHC wants to close that gap and put working families in revitalized neighborhoods. LCDC’s role would be to grant an annual allotment to IHFA, which could then allocate it to housing stabilization programs run by nonprofits like NIHC.

Question: What do you think of this proposal to help fund homes, to bring working families to the revitalized downtown business area?

Trader Joe’s Coming To South Hill

Trader Joe’s, the nationwide chain that’s created a legion of food-loving fans, announced it will open its first Spokane store next year. The Southern California-based company confirmed Wednesday it will lease a 12,000-square-foot building on Spokane’s South Hill. That building will be constructed at the Lincoln Heights Shopping Center, at 29th Avenue and Regal Street, next to the existing Hogan’s Restaurant. The specialty grocery chain has considered opening a Spokane store for several years. Earlier this year it started looking seriously at Spokane’s South Hill, said Jeff Ottmar, who works for a Spokane company that represented property owner Lincoln Heights Center LLC/Tom Sowa, SR. More here. (Artist conceptual drawing courtesy of Trader Joe’s)

Question: Can someone explain the excitement some of you have re: the opening of a Trader Joe’s in Spokane?

Ramirez: The Short Honeymoon

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Hump Day Wild Card — 11.17.10

Seems Dave Price, the weather anchor for the ‘Early Show’ who’s trying to get back from the studio from Anchorage on little money left a jacket he was wearing at the Holiday Inn in Coeur d’Alene. He’d lost another jacket in the back of a car during his trip through Washington to Coeur d’Alene. This is the second time Price has done the “No Way Home” event. Sounds like he’s having more trouble this time. You can see his blog post here. Now, I’ll repost the Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 11.17.10

An airline passenger undergoes a full body scan at O’Hare International Airport today in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CNN: Palin Mulling 2012 Prez Run

In a yet to be aired interview, Sarah Palin said she believes it would be possible for her to beat President Obama if she ran for President. During an interview for an upcoming Barbara Walters special, Palin said “I believe so,” when Walters asked Palin “If you ran for president, could you beat Barack Obama?” “I’m looking at the lay of the land now, and … trying to figure that out, if it’s a good thing for the country, for the discourse, for my family, if it’s a good thing,” Palin said. Palin appears to be inching the ball ever slightly toward acknowledging she is seriously thinking about running for president next year/CNN. More here.

Question: Can Sarah Palin beat Barack Obama in 2012, if she gets the GOP nod?

PM Scanner Traffic — 11.17.10

  • 5:48 p.m. Someone w/a flashlight is inside a vacant house @ 16th & Montana/CdA.
  • 5:46 p.m. A tan milk cow is standing on H41 @ M/P 6.4 (Boekel Road).
  • 5:31 p.m. Female from Colfax/Dalton Garden has information re: jewelry theft.
  • 5:23 p.m. Fuel is spilling from a truck tank that was punctured in crash @ H95 & M/P 533 (Prairie Creek Bridge, 5.5 miles south of Canadian border). Trucker reports he’s about 1/8th of mile from a creek. Hazmat units are on the way.
  • 4:11 p.m. Some sort of trauma is reported in 1200 block of Montana/CdA.
  • 3:39 p.m. A male is in the KCSD lobby with a handgun that he found.
  • 3:37 p.m. Kohl’s reports that a nabbed shoplifter is being cooperative.
  • More below

INW: Volleyball, Not Snow Shuts Shop

The Salvation Army store on 3rd Street in Havre, Mont., closed early today, at 3 p.m., not for any weather-related reason, but for a beach volleyball tournament. (AP Photo/Havre Daily News, Zach White)

APhoto Of The Day — 11.17.10

Strong wind tousles Sheila Werth’s hair Tuesday as she takes pictures of the sun setting across Cook Inlet in Kenai, Alaska. The National Weather Service reported gusts exceeding 40 miles per hour at the time. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Peninsula Clarion, M. Scott Moon)

Top Cutline:

  • 1. “..I can see Russia with this cam” — Pecky Cox.
  • 2. Sheila decides it is not Werth it to try to get a picture, as it takes a really Kenai to get a good shot in weather like this — JohnA.
  • 3. “OK Alaska, smile and say ’breeze’” — Formerly Sandpoint.’
  • HM: BrentA

Trader Joe’s To Open Spokane Store

Trader Joe’s, a nationwide chain that’s created a legion of food-loving fans, announced it will open its first Spokane store next year. The Southern California company confirmed Wednesday it will lease a 12,000-square foot building on Spokane’s South Hill. The location is at the Lincoln Heights Shopping Center, at 29th and South Regal. The specialty grocery chain has looked at opening a Spokane store for several years/Tom Sowa, SR. More here.

Question: Any Trader Joe’s fans out there?

Roxy: Remembering Playland Pier

At Remember the Roxy, OrangeTV’s other blog, OTV posts this 1950s photo of old Playland Pier at what is now Independence Pointer. I’ve been here awhile — since September 1984 — but I don’t remember Playland Pier. Anyone out there who does?

Native resident Jeanne Helstrom recalls on my Facebook page: “I remember Playland Pier! I used to go there a lot when I was little - first grade, even!! A big pier that went out over the water with all kinds of rides, an arcade, snack stands, and a beautiful carousel. Swings that went around and looped out over the water at the end of the pier. Those were the days!!

Transgender Faces Breast Exam Count

A Boise woman who police say posed as a plastic surgeon and fondled at least two women in local bars is being held in the Ada County Jail on a $100,000 bond for two felony charges for practicing medicine without a license. Boise police and Ada County prosecutors say 37-year-old Kristina B. Ross — posing as Dr. Berlyn Aussieahshowna — touched women’s breasts under the guise of a “breast exam.” Prosecutors said Wednesday one woman disrobed for Ross and another was grabbed above her clothes. On Nov. 2, employees of a licensed plastic surgeon at a Downtown medical office said they’d taken several calls in recent weeks from women asking for Dr. Aussieahshowna and claiming they had scheduled appointments and surgeries/Patrick Orr, Statesman. More here.

Question: Can you think of a pickup line that’s worse than this one? I’m a plastic surgeon who’s giving free breast exams?

Why Fat People Pay w/Debit Cards

Skinny people pay cash. You could look it up. A study by professors of marketing at Cornell University and the State University of New York, Binghamton, found that more than 60 percent of American adults are overweight, and only 14 percent of U.S. consumers use cash at the supermarket. “Since paying in cash feels more painful than paying by credit or debit cards, paying in cash can reduce the purchase of unhealthy food items,” write professors Manoj Thomas, Kalpesh Kaushik Desai and Satheehkimar Seenivasan in an article to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research. The three researchers peered into the shopping carts of 1,000 people over a six-month period. They found that folks who paid for their groceries with plastic bought more junk food than those who used cash/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times News. More here.

Question: Do you pay for your groceries with cash or credit card?

Bonner County OKs Clagstone Plan

Via Twitter from Mike Perry, KHQ’s Man in CdA: “Bonner Co. Commissioners unanimously approve the conceptual plan for Clagstone Meadows, a proposed 12,000 acre development near Kelso Lake.”

In The Winner Is …

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, rides the subway on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday,  following the weekly caucus luncheons, and as the count of her write-in campaign to retain her seat drew nearer to completion. The AP has delcared Murkowski to be the winner of her tight re-election campaign over Republican Joe Miller. In winning, she became the first U.S. senator to win as a write-in since 1954. AP Story here. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

Question: Is this a setback for Tea Party movement and conservative kingmaker Sarah Palin, who backed Murkowski’s opponent?

Song For A November Morning

Those clouds you see
aren’t here to stay.
They’ll leave again
sometime in May.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Allred Merges Firm w/HB Ventures

Today HB Ventures and Allred Solutions announced their merger.   The new entity will operate under the HB Ventures name.  Keith Allred, the founder and Principal of Allred Solutions, will be a Partner in the new firm and will lead its strategy and organizational development activities.  Allred brings 15 years of consulting and executive education experience to the new role.   His previous clients include large companies like Chevron, Dow Chemical, Hughes Aerospace, Micron Technology, Santa Fe Railway, and the JR Simplot Company as well as federal agencies like the IRS, EPA, and the Department of the Interior/Cynthia Gibson, HB Ventures. More here.

Question: What role do you see Keith Allred playing in the future of Idaho politics?

Bristol Palin Dancin’ Enrages Man

Steven N. Cowan takes dancing very seriously. The 66-year-old Wisconsin man was arrested after he allegedly became so angry watching Bristol Palin on “Dancing with the Stars“that he fired off his shotgun at his television, leading to a 15-hour standoff with state police. According to the criminal complaint, posted by The Smoking Gun, Cowan and his wife,  Janice,  were watching the show Monday evening when Cowan jumped and swore as the former vice-presidential candidate’s daughter shimmied across the stage. He said something to the effect of “the  –-ing politics.” The complaint added,  “Steven was upset that a political figure’s daughter was dancing on this particular show when Steven did not think she was a good dancer”/Aliyah Shahid, N.Y. Daily News. More here. H/T: CoeurGenX.

Question: What would cause you to shoot your television set?

High Noon: What Would Jesus Do?

This (“Pastor to church leaders: Delete Facebook accounts“) raises more holy questions than answers… My head is spinning!

  • What if Jesus had a facebook page?
  • What picture would he use?
  • Do you poke Jesus or does he poke you?
  • What happens if Jesus “unfriends” you?
  • What if your not on Jesus’ wall?
  • What if you delete one of Jesus’ comments by accident?
  • What if you forget to “like” Jesus’ posts?

Question: Do you think Jesus would ‘friend’ you on Facebook?

Prince William To Marry

Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton leave the wedding of their friends Harry Mead and Rosie Bradford in the village of Northleach, England, in this October AP file photo. According to an announcement from Clarence House in London Tuesday, the couple are engaged, and will be married in 2011.

Question: Are you interested in the lives of Great Britain’s royal family?

Scanner Traffic/AM — 11.17.10

  • Noonish: A PFPD Blue reports he’s following 3 truants back to school.
  • 11:53 a.m. Caller reports “child abuse” in Albertson’s/CdA parking lot — a child has been left alone in a vehicle.
  • 11:35 a.m. Caller, from Forest & Woodland, reports several NIC students are illegally parking on his street.
  • 11:32 a.m. Deputy asks for animal control b/c person he has arrested in front of Hayden Library has a dog w/him.
  • 11:11 a.m. An e/b van on I-90 & M/P 17 (near Sherman/CdA exit) is out of gas.
  • 11:06 a.m. A male who was seen in 8300 block of Government Way is wanted on a warrant of obstructing justice for which he is to serve 10 days in jail.
  • 10:39 a.m. A female, w/a small child, is driving a vehicle w/a butterfly on back w/o a license, in Plummer. She’s possibly drunk.
  • 10:38 a.m. 3 dogs are running loose on Kidd Island Bay Road.
  • 10:18 a.m. A male is in KCSD lobby to report that his ex-galpal’s stalking him.
  • 9:48 a.m. A Kootenai County pickup w/600 gallons of used motor oil has wrecked front tire & axle in crash off roadway (location unknown). No oil spilled.
  • 9:43 a.m. Super 1/CdA wants to speak to an officer re: shoplifter last week.
  • 9:41 a.m. Resident on Starr Loop/Hayden reports a landscape pickup is parked in the middle of the street. He wants pickup moved or ticketed.
  • 8:55 a.m. Passing motorist reports loud, domestic dispute in 8550 block of Government Way/Hayden.

Pastor To Leaders: Delete Facebook

A minister in Neptune, N.J., has told his married church leaders they must delete their Facebook accounts or resign their posts. The Rev. Cedric A. Miller, senior pastor at Living Word Christian Fellowship Church, says much of his pastoral counseling over the last 18 months has been for marital problems, including infidelity, because someone has met up with an old flame on Facebook/Jeanne DePaul, Lewiston Tribune Virtual Deadlines blog. More here.

Question: Does a Facebook account raise spectre of infidelity? And/or: Would you delete your Facebook accounty, if you had a leadership position in a church and your minister told you to do so?

HBO Poll: Ban Earmarks For 2 Years

  • Tuesday Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation supports a 2-year moratorium on congressional earmarks. 126 of 148 respondents (85.14%) voted for such a ban. 34 of 148 (14.19%) voted against. One person was undecided.
  • Politicians w/Military Service: 49 of 87 respondents (56.32%) said they’re more likely to vote for a politician who has been in the military. 34 of 87 (39.085) said a politician’s military background or lack thereof is unimportant to them. Four voters were undecided.
  • Today’s Poll: Are full-body screens used by airport security a violation of our 4th Amendment right against illegal search?

GOP Solon Fights Full-Body Scans

A GOP lawmaker said Tuesday the full-body scanners now employed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) violate the Fourth Amendment to the constitution, which protects against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” During a one-minute speech on the House floor, Rep. Ted Poe (Texas) also blasted former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff as a “political hack” and accused him of profiting from the proliferation of the devices. “There is no evidence these new body scanners make us more secure. But there is evidence that former Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff made money hawking these full body scanners,” Poe said/Elise Viebeck, The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room. More here. (AP photo)

Question: I wish this lawmaker success. I consider full-body scanners at airports to be an incredible violation of our 4th Amendment rights. How about you?

Washington Rejects Nativity Scene

Washington state officials have refused a small Nativity scene that a Catholic group sent to Gov. Chris Gregoire for the state Capitol. The Olympian reports state policy no long allows nongovernment displays inside Capitol buildings. The Department of General Administration says they may be displayed outside, if the meet certain conditions. The Nativity scene was sent to all 50 governors by the New York City-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Our annual debate re: ‘war on Christmas’ begins with this post. Is the state of Washington being anal retentive in rejecting a nativity scene in state capital from Catholics?

Teacher Fights Firing For ‘Swats’

Item: Trial begins involving former Plummer-Worley teacher suspended for ‘swatting’ demonstration/Chris d’Angelo, St. Maries Gazette-Record

More Info: According to the complaint, on April 12, 2007, then-Principal Bill Burns spoke with Mr. Lust about students swatting each other on the backside during school. Mr. Burns informed Mr. Lust that this conduct was unacceptable and needed to be stopped. “During the course of the day on April 12, 2007, (Mr.) Lust explained to each of his classes that the students were not to swat each other on the backside,” according to court documents. “In the course of doing so, he demonstrated the offending conduct on a randomly chosen student from each class. Lust made brief physical contact with four of his students.”

Question: If the offense was accurately described in the complaint, that Lust was merely attempting to follow the principal’s orders during his demonstration, should he have been fired?

Aztecs Upset Gonzaga, Harris Hurt

It was pretty much an inside job. San Diego State senior forward Billy White poured in a career-high 30 points and the Aztecs enjoyed a 39-29 rebounding edge, which fueled a 79-76 men’s basketball victory over 11th-ranked Gonzaga in front of 6,000 Tuesday at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The loss was just Gonzaga’s fifth in 82 games at the McCarthey Athletic Center. To make matters worse, Gonzaga standout sophomore forward Elias Harris left with an injury late in the game. “I think it’s my Achilles’ (tendon),” said Harris, who will have an MRI today. “I heard something pop. I couldn’t get up in the air and I couldn’t run any more”/Jim Meehan, SR. More here.

  • Cutline: Gonzaga’s Elias Harris tries to get a ball past San Diego State’s Billy White, left, but ends up in a tussle where White got called for the foul on Tuesday. Harris was hurt later in the game. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Question: Do you see Gonzaga’s loss to San Diego State last night as a reality check re: great expectations for 2011-12? Or a bump on the road to another great season?

AM: Frozen Fish Flies At Fishtrap

Meet the Idaho Vandals women’s basketball team for 2010-11. (Photo courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations) 

Question: Can you think of a better headline for the top story: ‘Frozen fish flies at Fishtrap’?

Should We Have Published Photo?

Spokane police Officer Greg Thieschafer checks the body of a male who was shot by police after a chase, near the corner of Indiana Avenue and Madison Street last Friday. The shooting closed a four-block area around the intersection of Northwest Boulevard and Monroe Street. Latest on gunman & shootout from Meghann Cuniff/S&G here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

DFO: NIC Sentinel instructor Nils Rosdahl & I discussed this photo this AM. He plans to discuss it in class with his journalism students. He doesn’t think the SR should have run a photo with a body in it. “What if it was one of your relatives,” he asked me. I, on the other hand, see it as the exception to the rule — a photo taken of the instigator of a very public event.

Question: What do you think? Publish? Or no publish?

Mr_Bloggy Has Seen The Wind

Mr_Bloggy (re: Dustin: Me hates wind gusts): Mr_Bloggy is a student of the Linguistic Relativity or Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis in which our language, semiotics, encoding, affect how we thing. So, in other words, wind isn’t wind isn’t wind. There are many types and words for wind. Mr_B will spare the careful and diligent reader his (Mr_B’s) encyclopedic vocabulary and instead focus on Mr_B’s most notable winds vis a vis an analysis of contextual mobarity.

  • 1 The Cold Winds of Retribution: (see: Karma and ancient Mongolian tribal jurisprudence) Mr_B grows positively dewy eyed and may instantly lapse into an alpha brain wave state of drooling and spit bubbling bliss imagining what awaits Dick Cheney one day for his sheer, violent evil. Rest of comment below.

Spencer: Pay For Both Or None

The Idaho Statutes are clear that each party in a lawsuit shall pay for their own attorneys, unless the lawsuit is found to be frivolously filed or defended against. In the Coeur d’Alene election challenge, the court found the lawsuit was not frivolous, and also found that more illegal votes had been cast than Mr. Kennedy won by. It was only through the lawsuit that it could be determined who those votes had been cast for so they could be removed from the results. Mr. Kennedy has now requested that the city pay for his legal team, but since the city should make some effort to appear that they are not biased, how could they pay for one candidate’s legal costs unless they pay for the other candidate’s cost as well? Put another way, the city has no basis to justify this/Larry Spencer, letter to the Coeur d’Alene Press editorial page. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Spencer that the city of Coeur d’Alene should pay the legal bills for both Councilman Mike Kennedy and Jim Brannon in election challenge?

Diamond Cup Fundraiser Loses 25K

Item: Hydros roar, cash doesn’t: Diamond Cup Regatta posts $25,000 loss/Bill Buley, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: “Even though we fell short this year, it really isn’t a negative,” said Doug Miller, board member of the Museum of North Idaho who helped bring the regatta back to life. “It’s to be expected for the little time we had.” The cost to bring the Diamond Cup Regatta to Coeur d’Alene this summer was more than $57,000. Sponsorships, a banquet, live auction, golf tournament and hydroplane rides brought in just over $30,000.

Question: Do you consider the Diamond Cup Regatta this summer to be a success?

Signe: No Free Lunch?

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

San Diego State 79, Gonzaga 76

Gonzaga’s Steven Gray (41) scrambles to pick up a loose ball as from left to right Gonzaga’s Marquise Arop (2), San Diego St’s D.J. Gay, Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynk (13) and San Diego St’s Brian Carwell (5) watch in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game tonight in Spokane. Jim Meehan’s SR story here. (AP Photo/Jed Conklin)

Washington State 88, Idaho 71

Idaho center Kyle Barone drives between Washington State guard Klay Thompson, left, and forward DeAngelo Casto during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday in Pullman. Vince Grippi’s SR story here. (AP Photo/Dean Hare)

Boxscore: WSU 88, Idaho 71

Wild Card/Tuesday — 11.16.10

Fans of regional college basketballl will enjoy themselves tonight, as Idaho travels 8 miles to play Washington State at 7 o’clock and No. 11 Gonzaga tips off against San Diego State at the Kennel at 8 o’clock. You can follow both games on SR Twitter (see link in right rail). Jim Meehan provides a link to the San Diego Tribune story re: tonight’s showdown here. Dave Trimmer is keeping track of Gonzaga women’s basketballers and providing updates re: how local players are doing elsewhere, including former Post Falls High star Kate Loper here. Vince Grippi is keeping track of WSU sports and the Pac-10 here. You should check out all those Twitter feeds on the side b/c they provide the latest in news & sports coverage. Now, for your Wild Card …

P.S. Bristol Palin Dances With Stars

In this publicity image released by ABC, Bristol Palin, left, and her partner Mark Ballas perform during the celebrity dance competition series, “Dancing with the Stars,” on Monday in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/ABC, Adam Larkey)

Question: Bristol Palin has survived to become one of the top 4 dancers of this season’s “Dancing with the Stars,” winning her highest marks last night when she scored a 27 for one dance. Do you think she can win the competition which combines judges’ scores with viewing audience votes? BTW, are you a good dancer?

Napkin Notes: Sinuses & CT Scan

I feel like a character in a scifi horror movie.  Namely, the one who comes back from a routine jaunt on the surface of an alien planet feeling fine and dandy, only to realize hours later that she has been somehow mysteriously mutated by alien DNA or impregnated with a terrifying little pod baby. After two courses of antibiotics for a sinus infection, I am still having pressure headaches in my face and head most of the day (worse at night). … At any rate, we’re at the part of the movie where the audience finally finds out what’s going on.  At least I hope we are.  Dr. B scheduled me for a CT scan of my sinuses today/Katrina, Notes on a Napkin. More here.

Question: Have you ever had a CT scan? Did you feel claustrophobic?

PM Scanner Traffic — 11.16.10

  • 5:56 p.m. 4-vehicle crash is blocking H41 & Poleline/PF.
  • 5:53 p.m. 2 males are involved in a fistfight @ 13th & Borah/CdA.
  • 5:41 p.m. Female on way to basketball game reports a golfball cracked through her vehicle window as she was driving on H95 near Silverwood.
  • 5:38 p.m. Burger King on Prairie/Hayden reports loose dog on grounds.
  • 5:37 p.m. Caller from River Pines Mobile Home Park on Maplewood/PF reports a female neighbor is trying to break down her trailer door. She’s hiding in bathroom.
  • 5:23 p.m. Kroc Center officials reports suspicious person on premises.
  • 4:55 p.m. A log is lying in the road on Highway 41 & Mullan/PF.
  • 4:34 p.m. Caller reports a suspicious-looking male in 2200 block of Ironwood/CdA.
  • 4:31 p.m. A pickup is stuck under a semi truck after a crash that’s blocking H41 & Seltice Way, creating a traffic jam.
  • 4:18 p.m. Someone is suffering an allergic reaction @ Government Way & Willow.
  • 4:07 p.m. Caller, on McLean/Hayden, reports a neighbor accidentally shot his horse. (Condition of horse unknown).
  • 4:03 p.m. Female reports her husband has left 200 block of Hayden Avenue en route to Post Falls, with a shotgun in his brown pickup. He’s distraught and possibly suicidal.
  • More below

INW: Commander Kills Self, Wife

Idaho State athletic director Jeff Tingey announces during a news conference Sunday in Pocatello that football coach John Zamberlin will be relieved of his duties following the last game of the season against Eastern Washington, this coming Saturday. See link below. (AP Photo/ Idaho State Journal, Bill Schaefer)

APhoto Of The Day — 11.16.10

A cat peers from behind a fence carrying a dog warning sign at dusk in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday. Sign reads “Attention-Aggressive dog.” You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Top Cutline:

  • 1. Tiny, leader of the neighborhood bully cats, peers from behind enemy lines, signaling to his gang mates that “Operation Yap-Stop” is about to begin — Stacy.
  • 2. Snowball is waiting for the “Help Wanted” sign due to the untimely “cat-a-strophic” demise of Bruno, the Aggressive Watch Dog —Cheri Howell.
  • 3. Alpha cat peers ominously from behind a sign, translated meaning; “warning, I consume dogs, raw” — Gary D. Rhodes.
  • HM: Charlie

Quotable Quote — Randy Stapilus

“So when someone creates a bomb he can swallow, do we get stomach-pumped at the airport? How about a suppository bomb?” — Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press Twitter account.

‘Early Show’ Anchor Lands In CdA

Apparently, Dave Price of ‘The Early Show’ made it to the gas station at Northwest Boulevard & Ramsey Road this morning in his trip from Anchorage, Alaska, back home to the studio (in New York?) For the second time, “The Early Show“‘s fearless weather anchor Price accepted the challenge of going on the road with no way home. He’s got nothing but a one-way ticket, $50, and some tech equipment, including a Windows Phone provided by Microsoft, to try to get back to New York. Apparently, Price bought a vehicle in Yakima that already has broken down. And he left his jacket in a truck while hitching a ride. Now, he’s run into the wind storm that hit the area. He blogs: “If you’re keeping score at home, I’m barely 250 miles from where I started yesterday morning — NOT GOOD. Winds in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho - where I am this morning - are gusting to 41 miles per hour and there’s a severe thunderstorm watch.” You can follow his adventures here. (Price is shown in AP photo at a knitout Sept. 29)

Question: Would you try to do what Dave Price has done?

Trish: Counting Cups, Pots & Toasters

On her Facebook page, Trish Gannon/River Journal reports that she’s “just finished counting items in my kitchen in preparation for my next column. I did not count silverware, tupperware, or small kitchen tools like spatulas and whisks. Anyone have a guess on the total.” (BTW, Trish also posted this job-wanted comment: “Anybody out there aware of work in CDA? I have a very hard-working young daughter who’s looking for a job.” Anyone?)

Question: How many items would you guess is in your kitchen?

Roark Responds To Hansen Dismissal

Idaho Democrat Chairman Keith Roark told Kevin Richert/Idaho Statesman the following re: executive Jim Hansen’s firing today: “There is no ‘scapegoating’ involved. Jim Hansen is in no way to blame for the results of this past election. The IDP has little or nothing to do or say about the individual campaigns of our candidates and Jim is no more responsible for a losing campaign than he is for a winning campaign. Obviously, the IDP must take on the challenges ahead with new ideas, new approaches and some new faces. This move has nothing to do with what is now behind us and everything to do with what lies ahead.” More here.

Question: Who would you want to see become the new Idaho Democrat Party exec?

The Face Of A True Hero

President Obama hailed the first living soldier to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War Tuesday as a modern Audie Murphy for heroically storming a Taliban ambush to save his trapped rifle team. Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, 25, of Iowa, is the first living service member to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan to be given the nation’s highest honor. New York Daily News story here. (AP photo)

Question: Does anyone remember Audie Murphy?

Capones On Diners/Dives Dec. 13

From CDAVistors Twitter: “Air date for Diners, Drive-ins and Dives that will feature Capones in Coeur d’Alene has been changed to Dec 13th.”

Question: Do you watch “Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives”?

CdA Firefighters Growing Mustaches

From your workplace to the grocery store and maybe even into your own home, something creepy is creeping on the faces of many men this month. The facial-hair growing phenomenon seems like a growing trend. So, we wanted to know: what’s with all the mustaches? And, members of the Coeur d’Alene Fire Department were happy to let us in on their hairy secret.They spend their days putting out fires and saving lives. You can easily call Coeur d’Alene firefighters heroes, whose jobs demand the highest levels of training and teamwork. So, when their captain suggested they all do something together, the going got tough and the tough got growing. “It’s a month-long mustache growing contest,” explained Captain Greg Rod/Melissa Luck, KXLY. More here.

Question: Are you a mustache fan?

Sis: We’d Rather Go Down Swinging

Democrats running against the Democratic party is a shortsighted losing strategy which enables the destruction of the Democratic brand in Idaho leaving us little to work with in the next cycle. … When all the Democratic candidates do it, as all three top tier candidates did, people just stay home. And in addition to being dead wrong, poobahs telling the media after an election that there was nothing to be done, ignores the consequences of that pronouncement. That self serving excuse demoralizes volunteers and tells funding sources not to bother next time we come a knocking, not to mention throwing a bucket of cold water on future candidate recruitment. Most Democrats would rather go down swinging, standing up for who we are, whether right or left, but as proud Democrats, with pragmatic and successful solutions, not self contradicting platitudes/Sisyphus, 43rd State Blues. More here.

Question: Which strategy is better in Idaho — to run as a Democrat against the Democrat Party, and occasionally win as Minnick did 2 years ago — or to run as a Democrat and lose?

Idaho D’s Boot Hansen To Curb

Huckleberries Online received the following intercepted e-mail written by Idaho Democrat Party leader Keith Roark from a Berry Picker: “Following the meeting today of the Executive Committee of the Idaho Democratic Party I am announcing to the full Central Committee that the term of our current executive director, Jim Hansen, will expire December 31, 2010 and his appointment to that position will not be extended.  I am forming a search committee and the process of hiring a new executive director will begin immediately.  Jim has agreed to continue serving as executive director while the search process is being carried out.” More below.

Question: Is Hansen being made the fall guy for the disastrous election results for Idaho Democrats?

High Noon: Beatles Reach iTunes

It’s been a long and winding road, this relationship between Apple and the Beatles. But Tuesday, at long last, the Fab Four made it to iTunes. “We’re really excited to bring the Beatles’ music to iTunes,” Beatle Paul McCartney said in an Apple news release. “It’s fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around.” The iTunes store’s main page featured a host of Beatles albums for sale, beneath an early photo of the group that started in the tiny Cavern Club in Liverpool and would go on to revolutionize rock ‘n’ roll/Doug Gross, CNN Tech. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you plan to download Beatles music to iTunes?

NI Poacher X Bags Buck, Taunts F&G

Idaho Fish and Game is looking for information to assist with an on-going investigation. On Nov. 12, F&G received an anonymous letter from “Poacher X” stating: “Here is a picture of the nice buck I poached up in northern Idaho this year. & I plan to do all my Idaho hunting like this from now on. & I’ll send a picture of my nice pronghorn next. Also my turkey.” (Expletives deleted) The return address said only “Poacher X” with a postmark from Everett, Wash. Anyone with information on this crime, or any other crime, may call Citizen’s Against Poaching at 1-800-632-5999, 24-hour a day. Callers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.


Scanner: Car Crashes Into Building

  • 11:58 a.m. Female on Ramsey Road reports black Lab tried to bite her and now is trying to attack neighbor’s dog.
  • 11:45 a.m. WalMart/Honeysuckle reports someone hurt in fall.
  • 11:17 a.m. Officer reports that overturned trailer @ H95 & M/P 441 (Ohio Match Road) has dumped about 20 pounds of nails on highway.
  • 11:07 a.m. Female reports ongoing problem w/turkeys & chickens in her neighborhood.
  • 11:04 a.m. Caller in 400 block of Parkside & Summerfield/Hayden, reports neighbor threatening her over animal issues.
  • 10:47 a.m. Truck trailer comes loose & overturns on near H95 & Ohio Match/Garwood.
  • 10:25 a.m. Coeur d’Alene police are looking for 34YO bipolar male who is threatening to kill himself by driving off of a cliff.
  • 9:44 a.m. Someone broke into unmanned fire station @ 4th & Hanley/CdA and tried unsuccessfully to start fire by lighting toilet paper in bathroom.
  • 9:11 a.m. Caller reports a male has turned his dog loose on Canfield Mountain to chase deer.
  • 8:41 a.m. Responder reports that only 4 feet of the vehicle remains outside building in 7:57 a.m. crash. The vehicle hit at an angle. (KXLY story & photo here)
  • 7:57 a.m. A vehicle has crashed totally into a building (Idaho Lights) on Sunshine Street, off Hanley, near Highway 95. First responders are calling for extrication equipment.

Should Politicians Be Military Vets?

It looks like it’s starting off as a slow week in submarine news, so here’s an article from Politico saying that, for the first time since 1944, it’s likely that neither major party nominee for President will have military experience. I’d disagree with that premise a little bit — by 2012, President Obama, the likely Democratic nominee, will have almost four years of experience as Commander in Chief during wartime — but it’s definitely an indication that, as the post-draft generation continues taking the reins of power, there are fewer and fewer politicians who have worn the uniform/Bubblehead, The Stupid Shall Be Punished. More here.

Question: Would you prefer that presidential candidates are military veterans?

Driver Crashes Into Idaho Lights

Coeur d Alene Police Department responded to a report of a vehicle that had driven into the Idaho Lights store, 6055 North Sunshine St.   The investigation shows that the vehicle was northbound on Highway 95 just north of Dalton Avenue at 7:57 a.m. when it left the right shoulder of the roadway.  The vehicle went through a portion of an undeveloped lot and into the Idaho Lights building.  The female driver and two female juvenile passengers, ages 3 and 5, were transported to Kootenai Medical Center for medical evaluations.  It is unclear at this time as to why the driver may have passed out.  City of Coeur d Alene Building Inspector was contacted and responded to inspect the building for safety/Sergeant Brett Walton, Coeur d’Alene Police Department. (KHQ photo + KHQ link here)

HBO Poll: Keep Paul Wulff

  • Monday Poll: 50 of 110 respondents (45.45%) voted that Washington State should keep football coach Paul Wulff, no matter what happens at the Apple Cup. An additional 16 of 110 respondents (14.55%) said Wulff should be retained as coach, if the Cougs beat Washington. However, 34 of 110 (30.91%) said Wulff should be fired no matter what happens in the Apple Cup. 10 voters were undecided.
  • Today’s Poll: Do you want a two-year ban on congressional earmarks?

Ethics Committee Finds Rangel Guilty

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. walks out of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct’s adjudicatory hearing into his alleged ethics violations, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, as the committee went into executive session to consider allowing Rangel time to retain an attorney. Today, Rangel was found to have violated House Ethics rules in 12 of the 13 counts against him. New York Times report here. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Since the accusations were first raised two years ago, Mr. Rangel has acknowledged book-keeping errors in his financial disclosure forms and has said that his failure to pay more than $60,000 in taxes on rental income from a Dominican beach house was an oversight caused, in part, by his inability to speak Spanish/New York Times. More here.

Question: Is it possible that the congressional House Ethics Committee has more scruples re: congressmen who owe back taxes than the Idaho House Ethics Committee has with one particular North Idaho legislator?

Dustin: Me Hates Wind Gusts

On Twitter, Dustin Hurst/Idaho Reporter writes: “I hate wind. I hate it more than any other weather condition. I would rather have 7 feet of snow than wind gusts.”

Question: Which weather condition bugs you most?

Florida U.S. Rep: Hispanic R’s ‘Great’

Newly-elected U.S. Rep. David Rivera of Florida told the Miami Herald he has been struck by the number of Hispanic Republicans arriving in Washington this year. Including Rivera, there will be five new GOP Hispanic members of the House. Two are from Texas, one from Washington state, and congressman-elect Raul Labrador of Idaho. “Idaho,” exclaimed Rivera. “They’re coming from districts where you’d never think a Hispanic was elected from. I’m really interested in knowing how he got elected”/Erika Bolstad, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Will the election of Puerto Rico-born Raul Labrador help change the perception of this country toward Idaho?

Protesters Greet Bush Library Opening

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan speaks at a protest rally in Dallas on Tuesday. A group of about 100 protestors marched to SMU, where a ground- breaking ceremony was being held for the George W. Bush Presidential Library. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)

Question: Do you find it tiring for people to dredge up past sins, real and imagined, of past presidents, like Bush and Bill Clinton?

Op-Ed: In Defense Of Mega-Loads

For more than 60 years, the Billings refinery has safely and reliably supplied fuels to the Rocky Mountain region. It directly supports more than 450 workers and contractors while indirectly supporting thousands of others. Many small businesses in the region are reliant upon it. It is an award-winning enterprise, whose honors have included two prestigious ENERGY STAR awards; recognition from the Environmental Protection Agency and National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, as well as a Montana Governors Cup for Workplace Health and Safety. Needless to say, I’m proud to be the refinery manager/Steve Steach, ConocoPhillips. More here.

Question: Is the short-term inconvenience of mega-loads traveling over Highway 12, worth the long-term gain of the refinery in Billings providing jobs & energy to the Inland NW?

Volunteers To Fill Medicaid Fund Gap?

Looking ahead, Idaho’s facing a projected state fund shortfall for Medicaid in fiscal year 2012 of $171.6 million. That’s a huge hole, and Armstrong said it’ll likely mean cutting services. Children are protected, so “we would have to focus on adult services – that’s where we’d have to go. We would have to eliminate major categories of service.” Armstrong said “every state in the nation” is looking at the same “Draconian” type of cuts. One suggestion he offered to cope with the crisis: Back in the ‘50s and ‘60s, there was much more use of volunteers in providing services to the disabled and others. Idaho could “see if there could be a resurgence of voluntary assistance, specifically around keeping adults stable in the home environment,” Armstrong said/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Can volunteers be expected to provide services to disable and others, if Idaho cuts back to much on Medicaid funding?

AM: Quick Stops Stock Healthy Food

Chuck Redmon’s Dairy Mart is one of two West Central neighborhood grocery stores that have been selected to participate in Spokane Healthy Corner Stores, a program designed to increase the availability of healthy food in low-income neighborhoods. John Stucke SR story here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)

Question: Is it a good idea for convenience stores to stock healthy food? Or will such fare be largely ignored by shoppers?

WSU Prof Pushes One-Way Mars Trips

In this file image provided by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope a close-up of the red planet Mars is shown. Two scientists (Dirk Schulze-Makuch of Washington State and Paul Davies of Arizona State) are proposing we send volunteers to Mars and leave them there. They say the mission would mark the beginning of long-term human colonization of Mars, with numerous follow-up trips. The colleagues contend one-way missions could happen a lot quicker and cheaper, and it is essential to begin colonizing another planet as a hedge against a catastrophe that makes Earth uninhabitable. AP story here. (AP Photo/NASA, File)

Question: Who would you like to send on a one-way trip to the moon or Mars?

Signs Of Wind Storm Around Town

My wife said this morning that we were lucky last night not to have lost power, as a result of the wind storm last night. I guess power was out in other places. As I was driving to work I saw some tree limbs down. And some gutters overflowing with water as a result of leaves blocking the grates. City workers were busy collecting leaves from residences @ Government Way & Foster this morning. How about you? (Mike Prager reports on wind storm here.)

Question: Were you affected in any way by last night’s wind storm?

Risch, Crapo Back Earmark Moratorium

Earmarks will be shelved next year if things go the way of Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo. Idaho’s senators jointly announced Monday afternoon that they support an earmark moratorium, for Republicans, that South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint is expected to propose at the U.S. Senate Republican Conference Tuesday. “They (constituents) have spoken loudly against the continuation of congressionally directed federal funding, and that is how I will vote tomorrow,” said Crapo in a statement. … Crapo and Risch supported — by way of voting against the tabling of a DeMint amendment, which called for a moratorium, to a bill — a two-year ban on earmarks in March/Jay Patrick, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Wasn’t it just the other day that Risch & Crapo were supporting $800M in congressional earmarks? What’s happening here? Do you support a congressional moratorium on earmarks?

Otter Slams EPA’s Upper Basin Plan

Item: Otter letter critical of EPA: Governor says upper basin plan can’t go forward/Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: In a letter on Monday, Gov. Butch Otter criticized the EPA’s proposed Record of Decision amendment for the Upper Basin, and said a successful cleanup in the Silver Valley “is impossible without a healthy community and a strong local economy.” “In my view, the proposed ROD amendment must not go forward unless the EPA commits that cleanup work will not impede existing or future mining,” Otter wrote. “Moreover, the proposed ROD is not acceptable unless the EPA identifies and commits to reasonable and achievable endpoints.”

Question: Otter goes on to say that the EPA must “live within people’s means.” Should the EPA hold off far-reaching plans during these hard economic times?