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Archive for September 2010

Wild Card/Thursday — 9.30.10

This would be a nice day for Judge Charles Hosack to render his decision in the long-running Brannon-Kennedy election case. I have plenty of time to digest things here because my Sunday print column has been written. The kids seem to be playing nice in the comments sandbox so far. The HBO turnstiles are clicking along nicely (averaging over 10,000 page-views for the first 3 days of the week). And 2 of the tile ads in the upper left corner have been purchased. You’ll see which local candidate was the first to buy an ad Saturday. So it’s all sunshine & lollipops here today. Now, if only Judge Hosack would cater to the wants/hopes/dreams of this blogosphere, we’ll be ready to roar today. Now, for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 9.30.10

I published a photo of Gov. Butch Otter in team roping competition Wednesday. So here’s one of challenger Keith Allred rides in a parade in Preston with his daughter, Cate. Allred, a Democrat, and Republican Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter are playing up their cowboy roots to send a message to  Idaho  voters ahead of the Nov. 2 election about their personalities and ties to the state’s rugged history. Otter is a rodeo champion, Allred rides cutting horses and worked on his grandfather’s Utah ranch as a teenager. John Miller/AP describes the race for “cowboy in chief” here. (AP Photo/The Allred for  Idaho Campaign)

Question: Is it kinda cool that both major candidates for Idaho governor know how to throw a leg over a horse?

Huckleberries Hears …

… and has confirmed … that there’s a funny story to that billboard that Ron Nilson/Robert Ketchum have leased on Northwest Boulevard. That ad exec for the Lamar Outdoor account happens to be none other than … (drum roll, please) … Dave Wood, Christie’s husband. I heard about it through a Berry Picker. And Christie said I had the rumor mostly correct. Sez she: “It was secured it for the KTEC levy in August and Nilson must have also secured it through November knowing he was going to run for office. Imagine my surprise when I learned my husband sold a billboard to my opponent? But he cannot play favorites so it is what it is. I planned ahead a year ago and secured a much better location than they did. I kind of like it that part of the dollars they spent on their billboard will end up in my wallet. Thanks boys!”

Scanner Traffic/PM — 9.30.10

  • 5:46 p.m. CPD Blue is looking for a vehicle that reportedly was e/b at 120 mph on Seltice Way and now could be on Ironwood.
  • 5:40 p.m. Caller reports seeing a skater hand money for male in a semi w/o a back door and get a brown bag back @ Spokane & Prairie/PF.
  • 5:37 p.m. A burglary is reported in 1200 block of Elderberry/CdA.
  • 5:36 p.m. Some sort of harassment is reported at La Quinta on Appleway.
  • 4:23 p.m. North Idaho Dermatology, 2288 Merritt Creek Loop/CdA, reports a disorderly person on premises.
  • 4:17 p.m. An injury accident is reported @ Northwest Boulevard & Davidson/CdA.
  • 4:15 p.m. Caller complains that w/b turn light @ H95 & 53 is too short.
  • 4:01 p.m. Rathdrum area caller tells dispatcher that hunters are shooting too much at family of elk in her neighborhood.
  • 4:08 p.m. Joe @ Benewah Market/Plummer wants police to trespass 2 people from biz.
  • Much more below

PM: Fuel Spill Hasn’t Reached Lochsa

Lewiston Fire Department engineer and regional hazmat response team leader Chris Jacks checks for diesel fuel in test holes along U.S Highway 12 earlier today, east of Lewiston. An estimated 7,500 gallons of diesel fuel from a crashed tanker has spilled into a ditch on the side of U.S. Highway 12 but has not yet seeped into the nearby Lochsa River, authorities said Thursday. Story here. (AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune, Barry Kough)

APhoto Of The Day — 9.30.10

A hawk scavenges for its next meal from atop a sign near the Mines of Spain State Park in Dubuque, Iowa, Wednesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Telegraph Herald, Jeremy Portje)


  • 1. Having consumed the doves of the left, Hawk returns his attention to potential prey on the right side of the spectrum — DCR.
  • 2. Don’t be the left end of a bird heading right — Cabbage Boy.
  • 3. An Iowa Hawk-eye scans the field looking for a win … er’ dinner — Herb.
  • HM: Kage Mann

NIdaho Blogs: Oktoberfish 2010

“There are many Oktoberfests in many locations, but there is only one Oktoberfish,” posts Herb/BayViews. “Organized by Ralph Jones of Ralph’s Coffee House in Bayview six years ago, it is a great hit with fishermen and women in the area.” More here.

  • HBO Numbers (for Tuesday): 10,484/6219, & (for Wednesday): 11,378/6368

ISP Officer May Face Poaching Charge

An Idaho State Trooper is under investigation for possibly poaching a moose four days before the start of hunting season.Idaho Fish and Game officers were tipped off by a taxidermist in Bonner County, when a man brought in a bull moose before the opening of the season. Fish and Game seized the animal’s cape and head.The case was turned over to the Bonner County Prosecutor’s Office, however because of a conflict of interest the case was handed over to Latah County, where prosecutors are considering charges against Trooper Jeff Jayne/Melissa Luck, KXLY. More here.

Christie Wood’s Billboard Debuts

One of you Berry Pickers submitted this photo of Christie Wood’s new billboard advertisement along Northwest Boulevard, at the northern entrance to North Idaho College. Wood, of course, is running as the incumbent to retain her college trustee spot against ex-college workforce training director Robert Ketchum. Ketchum is running on a ticket with Ron Nilson, who opposes Coeur d’Alene attorney Ken Howard for the position being vacated by Rolly Williams. A billboard featuring Nilson & Ketchum is located further north on Northwest Boulevard. One Hucks quipster noted that Wood’s billboard leads to the college while the other is near the liquor store. BTW, I’ve asked photographer Kathy Plonka to snap some shots of both billboards.

Question: Can you remember a time when candidates for North Idaho College trustee spots advertised on billboards?

Man To Live On 20 Potatoes A Day

Exec Chris Voigt of the Washington Potato Commission explains his plans to exist on nothing but potatoes for next 2 months: “In an effort to remind the public about the nutritional value of potatoes, I am going on a diet consisting of ONLY POTATOES, nothing else. No toppings, no chili, no sour cream, no cheese, no gravy, just potatoes and maybe some seasonings or herbs and a little oil for some of the cooking. I will be on this “potato only” diet for 60 days straight, starting October 1st and ending November 29th. I want to show the world that the potato is so healthy, that you could live off them alone if you had to, without any negative impact to your health. And who knows, maybe it will make me healthier by lowering my blood pressure and cholesterol?” More here.

Question: If he succeeds, what do you think will happen to Voigt’s health?

AIB: Michelle O Passes Dress Code?

AlmostInnocentBystander: Dress code? Anyone else ever see Michelle O claw her way off Airforce One looking like something the cat coughed up? I don’t care what Vanity Fair says, I’ve seen the First Lady looking more like a Walmart nightmare than a fashionista. Could we kick her out of the WH until some issues her appropriate clothing?

Question: Do you consider Michelle Obama to be fashionable?

Beardmore Architect Wins Nat’l Award

Architect Brian Runberg, an Idaho native who now lives in Seattle, is shown outside the revamped Beardmore Building in Priest River. The Beardmore Building has been part of Priest Lake since the 1920s. Runberg has won a major national award for his achievement. Idaho Statesman story by Anna Webb here. (SR file photo: Rajah Bose)

Question: Have you visited the Beardmore Building in Priest River since it was revamped?

Football Success Attracts BSU Students

With Bronco games having recently aired on ESPN, CBS College Sports, and ABC, it’s safe to say more people know about Boise State.  It’s not just football fans paying attention to BSU, but those looking to go to college. As Boise State gets more wins, more students are showing interest in taking classes there, according to some numbers the university tracked down for KTVB. For example, in a normal fall weekend, BSU gets around 65 to 75 applications.  Over the OSU game weekend, they almost doubled that number with 138 applications, and most of those were from out-of-state/Jamie Grey, KTVB. More here.

Question: What first attracted you to your alma mater?

Why Have Priest Lake Visits Fallen?

A read of As The Lake Churns writes to Pecky Cox: “How is it that interest in spending time at Priest Lake has declined over the years?  …. or has it?  Many of the long time residents tell of how the lake used to be churning with activity back in the 60’s.  Boat traffic was higher.  Resorts were busier.  Is this really true?  What happened? One story goes that the bar at Grandview was so busy in the 60’s or 70’s that you couldn’t find a place to stand.  When did that stop being the case?” More here. (SR file photo by Jesse Tinsley)

Question: When did you last visit Priest Lake? Do you agree with the premise above that visitors aren’t flocking to Priest as much now as they once did?

Downtown CdA Bar Report — 9/24-28

Here’s the latest Downtown Coeur d’Alene Bar Report (Sept. 24-28):

  • Saturday, September 25, 2010: 2233 hours (2300 Block N 4th St –DUI): Officers charged two brothers (24 & 26 yrs) at Denny’s: One was cited for fighting in a public place and the other arrested for DUI. Apparently the two had been drinking at the Torch Lounge celebrating a birthday. They left the bar and stopped at Denny’s for a drink of water. Both brothers were intoxicated and the reason for the fight is unknown. The brother who had driven them was arrested for DUI (BAC = .206). He indicated they had consumed four pitchers of beer that evening.
  • Full report here

Question: After republishing this report on his Facebook page, OTV notes that there is only one case of public urination in the latest report. Does that mean our wild & woolly downtown is calming down?

INW: Abusive Boyfriend Wanted Pot

Angela Gilbert struggles to hold back tears as she stands outside a Hillyard apartment building holding a photo of her sister, Rebecca McCollough and her children Wednesday. Police say McCollough’s 1-year-old son Santiago was beaten to death by her boyfriend Tuesday night. James R. “J.R.” Cooley says he was frustrated by the child’s crying and his lack of marijuana. Meghann Cuniff story here. (SR Photo: Christopher Anderson)

Noon: Next Time, Mascara Runs Alone

A strange affliction seems to have overcome many of my 40-ish friends. It began with vague murmurs about cholesterol and too-snug jeans. Soon, discussion became peppered with talk of morning walks and gym memberships. And suddenly, marathons were being mentioned as casually as lunch plans. Seemingly overnight, these folks took to wearing expensive Saucony or Asics running shoes and talking about doing the “Peak Performance in Portland” or the “Bellingham Bay.” When they talk about “Leavenworth Oktoberfest,” they aren’t talking about beer-drinking. Much. When a friend recently posted on her Facebook page, “Just ran 3.5 miles,” I asked, “Who was chasing you?/Cindy Hval, SR Washington Voices. More here. (SR file photo for illustrative purposes by Christopher Anderson)

Question: Do You enjoy running?

Scanner Traffic/AM — 9.30.10

  • 12:14 p.m. A vehicle has hit a house @ 15th & Harrison/CdA, causing oil leakage.
  • 11:48 a.m. Possible drug activity reported on Sunview Lane/Hayden.
  • 11:47 a.m. Lance wants police to know he’s parking his trailer @ Huetter & Lancaster/Hayden for next month.’
  • 11:43 a.m. 2 CPD Blues have stopped possible DUI in white Ford Ranger pickup in west lot of county courthouse.
  • 11:27 a.m. Dorothy wants extra patrol for speeders @ Sundown & Westview/CdA.
  • 11:07 a.m. Male on a scooter is riding vs. traffic s/b on Mcguire from Prairie/Post Falls.
  • More below

Actor Tony Curtis, 85, RIP

A Lobby card is shown for Billy Wilder’s “Some Like It Hot”, 1959, starring Marilyn Monroe,  Tony  Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. “Some Like It Hot” topped the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 funniest American movies announced Tuesday. Curtis died Wednesday at his Las Vegas area home of a cardiac arrest at 85. Story here. (AP Photo/United Artists)

Question: What is your fondest memory of actor Tony Curtis?

Inlander Views Minnick-Labrador Race

Minnick, in one television ad, says that he is “right for Idaho” without ever mentioning that he’s a Democrat. Just this week, Minnick is quoted in Congressional Quarterly saying he would not necessarily vote for Pelosi as speaker should the Democrats retain control of the House. “It’s pragmatic politics. It’s something that is sorely missing and sorely needed in our state government and our federal government,” says Thom George, chair of the Kootenai County Democrats. “In the Idaho Democratic Party, we have come to realize we live in a conservative state and what flies in the rest of the nation does not fly in Idaho”/Kevin Taylor, Inlander. More here.

Question: Do you think most Idaho Democrats have gotten the message that Thom George is selling about Walt Minnick in this Inlander article by Kevin Taylor — that “what flies in the rest of the nation does not fly in Idaho”?

Hucks Poll: Otter More Of A Cowboy

  • Cowboy In Chief: Overwhelmingly, you Merry Hucksters say that Gov. Butch Otter is more of a cowboy that Democratic challenger Keith Allred. 89 of 123 (72.36%) respondents said Otter was more of a cowboy, while 34 of 123 (27.64%) respondents said Allred was.
  • Wednesday Poll: By a narrow margin (45 of 93, 48.39%), respondents voted that incumbent Walt Minnick shouldn’t pull his ad targetting Republican Raul Labrador’s immigration record. 42 of 93 (45.16%) said he should. 6 were undecided.
  • Today’s Poll (in lefthand rail): Are you bothered that a fund-raiser in Puerto Rico is being held tonight for Republican Raul Labrador?

Montana Eyes Moves To WAC

Montana could be looking to expand its horizons outside of the Big Sky by joining the WAC. And so are a number of other schools in the West, according to multiple reports. ESPN reported on Wednesday afternoon that officials from the Western Athletic Conference met with five potential new members in Dallas, and that invitations could be sent out sometime within the next month or two. The schools included Montana, Seattle University, Texas-San Antonio, Texas State and Denver. The two Texas schools plan to move up to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Montana has yet to decide whether to move up or stay put in the Big Sky at the FCS level/SWX. More here.

Question: Would you like to see Montana move from the Big Sky Conference to the WAC?

Man Downs Charging Lake CdA Moose

That started the clock on the most terrifying 30 seconds of their lives. When they looked back, the moose was walking around the bend. Then 600 pounds of muscle and hooves started trotting toward them. “We had no out,” Gary said. “Thick brush lined the trail, which is an old overgrown road.” Marks pulled his pistol from his belt pack and fired a shot to scare the moose. Indeed, it stopped, but the frightened dogs streaked down the trail. “She paused a second and then ran right at us,” Gary said. “I told Lisa to run while I stood ground. I thought the moose would take after me and I’d crash down off the road into the brush and lure it away or shoot or whatever.” But the moose was focused on the runners/Rich Landers, SR. More here. (Courtesy photo: Lisa Marks w/downed moose)

Question: Do you pack heat when you hike in North Idaho woods?

White House Invites Baker Family Back

The White House hopes to make amends to the family of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Vernon Baker after they were turned away from a West Wing tour because of dress code issues. … “We would have loved to have hosted 10-year-old Vernon and his family at the White House and we have reached out to the Baker family and Lt. Norris to communicate our deep regret and invite them back to the White House,” spokesman Adam Abrams said. “This family, as well as Lt. Norris, have given so much to our nation and they have our sincerest appreciation and our apologies for this misunderstanding”/Kevin Graman, SR. More here.

  • Cutline: In this July 31 file SR file photo, Heidy Baker, center, wife of Vernon Baker, walks back to the church after military honors at an adjacent field, escorted by Capt. David Darney, left, and Tom Norris. (SR file photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Question: Are you happy with this outcome?

Brand X Allows Letter Pseudonym

I’m trying to figure out a letter to the editor from the Coeur d’Alene Press that Soaf brought to my attention — one involving a Timberlake Fire District recall in which Editor Mike Patrick allowed a pseudonym to be used. Here’s the nut graph: “The Press was contacted and Mike Patrick informed me that the letter had been signed ‘Mis-Informed Timberlake Supporter.’ Mike Patrick allowed the fictitious name, which was included with the e-mailed letter, to be used. This is stretching ‘freedom of the press.’ Mr. Patrick said the signer wanted to remain anonymous because ‘she was concerned about her safety.’” Full letter here.

Question: We use pseudonyms all the time in the blogosphere. I doubt the free-wheeling comments section here could exist without it. Do you think newspapers should allow writers of letters to the editor to use pseudonyms, too?

Labrador To Attend Puerto Rico Event

Labrador will attend a fundraiser hosted by Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno at 6 tonight in Miramar. Among the other dignitaries is Labrador’s half-brother, Eric Labrador, who served in the Cabinet of a former governor. Labrador, a native of Puerto Rico, says Fortuno is among the most conservative governors in the U.S. “The governor invited me to come,” Labrador told the Statesman. “The Republican Party of Puerto Rico is putting this together.” The event is at the Excelsior Tower, with contributions set at $500 per person or $2,000 per political action committee/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: As I mentioned here a couple of days ago, some local Republican women are bothered that Raul Labrador will be in Puerto Rico tonight for a fund-raiser. Are you?

Pro-Life: God Doesn’t Want Split Atoms

The candidate for Idaho governor who was formerly known as Marvin Richardson - until he legally changed his name to “Pro-Life” - shared this with Eye on Boise today: “I believe that when you split atoms, you’ve murdered an atom, that God doesn’t intend any of the atoms to be split. That’s the basic building blocks of the universe and eternity. And that’s why you get such toxic waste from splitting atoms. I think it’s just the most stupid and horrendous thing to think of.” He added, “That’s kind of a spiritual position”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Question: What do you think of Pro-Life’s ‘atomic theory’?

AM: CdA River Project Boon For Birds

Anne Dailey, environmental scientist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 10, talks about the finishing touches on theconservation easement near Medimont on Tuesday. SR story by Becky Kramer here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Northerner: Minnick Ad Hurt Labrador

Northerner: From the rumblings amongst the conservative base up here, it looks like Mr. Labrador was seriously hit by this ad. Also, a light mention of the benefit for his candidacy being held in Puerto Rico, whether a reality or a scam, didn’t help him either. If a Republican can’t carry Boundary county, he should just give up. Mr. Minnick is quite popular up in these parts. His voting record is solid with conservatives and he has done a decent enough job distancing himself from the President, Mr. Reid, and Mrs. Pelosi. Completely unscientific answer, just the ‘feel’ around here.

Question: At this point, does it matter whether or not Minnick pulls his controversial immigration ad? Hasn’t it been out there long enough to have had an effect?

DCR: I Will Register R, But …

DCR: Go ahead and close the primaries — as a very disenchanted former loyalist, I will register R and vote contrary to the establishment line for as long as I draw breath until the party of my past excises itself of its idiocy and comes back to reason. Closing the primaries will only exacerbate what the R’s are claiming is going on, only it will be from within. Get with the program and stop trying to disenfranchise the voters!

Question (for disaffected Republicans and Independents): Would you register as a Republican, if forced to do so by the Idaho Republicans’ lawsuit, to vote in primaries where there are no Democratic candidates?

MM: Grandma Works To Stay Busy

Moscow Minidoka: My 81-year-old grandmother retired from nursing 15 years ago, and has spent the last 15 years working for my mother in her (my mom’s) retail establishment. She doesn’t work because she’s a “scared senior” cowering in fear about the economy or Obama (despite her being a lifelong Republican), but because she doesn’t want to roll over and die. Keeping active in my mom’s shop, at church, and in Eastern Star keep my grandmother vibrant, busy, and about as happy as you can be as an elderly widow. She acts younger than a lot of 50- and 60-year-olds I know. She works because it gives her satisfaction, not because she’s scared. Your generalizations about a Nation Terrified of Socialist Obama get pretty old after a while, you know?

Question: Do you have an older parent or grandparent who still works, by choice or necessity?

Heller: Haunted House

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

31-Pound Fat Cat Now Swelt Kitty

In case you wondered what had happened to former Pet Pushers nursery owner Stacy Bishop and her “fat cat,” Brian Walker/Coeur d’Alene Press provided the answer in a feature story in the Local section today. She’s now sprousing up a 105-year-old home along the freeway at I-90 & Spokane Street in the heart of what some might consider downtown Post Falls. I knew Stacy back when she was married to the guy who ultimately was responsible for her shutting down her thriving Petal Pushers on Government Way as part of the divorce settlement. But her cat is the issue here. Seems the fat cat has slimmed down from 31 to 21 pounds since Petal Pushers closed. Which prompts me to ask:

Question: Have you ever put one of your pets on a diet?

Parting Shot — 9.29.10

Duane Rasmussen snapped this photo of World War II hero Vernon Baker during the 2009 Paul Bunyan Days Parade in St. Maries. Rasmussen tells Huckleberries Online that Baker allowed him to take the photo only after he allowed Baker to take one of him. Sez Duane of the Medal of Honor winner who died this summer: “He was and remains a real American hero.”

Hump Day Wild Card — 9.29.10

You’ll notice that the online ad department is bringing back those tile ads (top of left rail) are bringing back those tile ads that were popular with candidates for local office last fall. A couple of spots have been purchased for the final weeks of the campaign. They run $300 for a month. But a candidate can also buy a minimum of two-weeks-worth for $150. Huckleberries attracts about 10,000 unique viewers per week. If you know a candidate who wants that kind of exposure, have him or her click on the tiles to the left for the information they need to contact the ad office. Now, with that shameless promotion out of the way, I’ll post the Wild Card …

Scanner Traffic/PM — 9.29.10

  • 5:44 p.m. PFPD Blue has been alerted that a go-kart is driving loops around traffic circle.
  • 5:30 p.m. 2 men have been fighting for about 20 minutes with a crowd watching in Plummer.
  • 5:27 p.m. A dog is running loose along w/b I-90 @ M/P 14 (15th Street).
  • 5:11 p.m. A noninjury crash @ H53 & Cloverleaf/Hauser is causing traffic to back up.
  • 4:57 p.m. Spirit Lake mother wants to speak to an officer re: her child being harassed on the bus.
  • 4:36 p.m. Caller in 7300 block of Huetter reports that a male in camo jumped out of the bushes near road.
  • 4:34 p.m. Hubert wants to speak to an officer re: cat problems.
  • Much more below

PM: Man Accused Of Breaking Boy’s Leg

Attorney Wesley Hoyt and attorney Edgar Steele’s wife, Cyndi. Cyndi Steele wants access to her husband who has been in jail for weeks in an alleged murder-for-hire attempt against her. See below.

Idaho In-bound Moves No. 6 In USA

Don’t look now, but Idaho ranks as No. 6 by United Van Lines among states with the highest in-bound locations (55% or more of moves going into a state). United Van Lines, the country’s largest household-goods mover, tracks the inbound and outbound movements of its customers within the continental United States. In 2009, the annual “migration” study tracked more than 143,000 interstate household moves. Washington, D.C., Oregon, Arkansas, Nevada, & Nevada were the only states that exceeded Idaho’s in-bound location rate. You can read how other state’s fared here.

Question: Are you surprised people are beating down the doors to get into Idaho?

Tea Party Boise Endorses Labrador

Tea Party Boise has set two 2-hour town halls with 1st District Republican nominee Raul Labrador and not invited incumbent Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick. “We’ve made our choice and we want people to have a chance to ask him some tough questions,” said Brendan Smythe, president of the group. “We made the decision based on principles.” Tea Party Boise endorsed Labrador over then-favorite Vaughn Ward in the May GOP primary. Had Ward won, Smythe said the group’s general election endorsement may have gone to Minnick. “We’ve been reaching out to him and I have a good relationship with his staff”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo for illustrative purposes)

Question: Are you surprised that Tea Party Boise supported Labrador?

Extra! More On Baker Family Flap …

Huckleberries Online has learned from Congressman Walt Minnick’s office that the White House has been in contact with the family of the late WW2 hero Vernon Baker re: the flap in which they were denied access to the West Wing following Baker’s funeral. (Update: Kevin Taylor/Inlander reports that the White House has left messages on Mrs. Baker’s phone but has been unable to contact her yet.)

INW: Bakers’ Denied White House Tour

Vernon Pawlik, then age 9, namesake and grandson of  Vernon J.  Baker, repeats his quote “Since my grandfather died, his picture has become history. As soon as he died we have lost a part of history” in front of several hundred mourners at  Baker’s funeral at a church near St. Maries Saturday, July 31. Helping him is Dick Shanks. Vernon Pawlik, now 10, has become the center of a controversy after he and his family were denied access to the White House after Baker’s funeral in Arlington Cemetery. Story here. And here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Vernon Baker Laid To Rest

Heidemaria  Baker, widow of Medal of Honor recipient  Vernon J.  Baker, is presented with the flag during his burial at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Friday.  Baker, who died July 13, was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1997 for his actions in World War II. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

NRA Endorses Otter For Governor

The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is endorsing Butch Otter for re-election as Governor of Idaho. “Butch Otter has earned the NRA-PVF endorsement for his solid pro-gun record,” said Chris W. Cox, chairman of the NRA-PVF. “His commitment to preserving our Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage makes Butch Otter the clear choice for Idaho gun owners and hunters”/National Rifle Association. More here.

Question: Surprised?


Flowers are refracted in the  raindrops collecting on the stem of another plant in Blueberry Park in Bremerton, Wash., Monday. (AP Photo/Kitsap Sun, Meegan M. Reid)

GOP’s Try To Close Primaries Nears

Dan of the County: I know most of our local focus regarding election related lawsuits has been on the Coeur d’Alene city race but there will be some interesting action in Boise Federal Court next month. As I understand it, that’s when the next hearings will be where the Republican Party is suing to institute a closed primary system in Idaho. It sounds like there will be some expert witnesses around the 13-15th of October. I would love to be able to attend some of that but will be too busy getting ready for our own November election. That case could have some very far reaching ramifications. I expect all our Southern Idaho HBO types to go attend and let us know what is said and presented.

Question: Do you want to see Idaho Republicans close Idaho primaries?

Kerri’s Main Street Column Turns 20

Oct. 1, 1990 was the first of 20 years of weekly columns. For the first six years this column was titled Post Scripts and appeared exclusively in the Post Falls Tribune. In 1996 it began running in the Coeur d’Alene Press under the Main Street name. With a couple of hiatus in the past two decades I’m thinking the columns-written tally would be right around 1,000, and the word count in the several hundred thousands! Thanks to all of you for reading and for allowing me to share so many of your stories through the years.

DFO: Please join me in tipping the cap to Kerri & her long-running Main Street column (even though it appears in Brand X). I still growl when I recall the regional editor who ran Kerri off from the Handle Extra section of our paper. I told him he was wrong to do so. He chased Kerri back into the arms of the Coeur d’Alene Press. Fortunately, we’ve been able to hang onto Nils Rosdahl. Kerri still has a ways to go to beat the almost 26-year run of Huckleberries. Then, she’s younger.

Huckleberries Hears …

… That Matt Roetter is about to become the latest victim of the takeover of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee by supporters of state Rep. Phil Hart. At a Central Committee meeting Tuesday night, Chairwoman Tina Jacobson, who has substituted for Hart in the state Legislature, sought and received the votes for a motion to send Roetter a letter demanding his resignation as the state committeeman. Roetter angered Jacobson earlier this month at an executive board meeting when he refused to support Hart as a result of his tax problems. You read about it earlier on Huckleberries Online. Roetter was backing the attempt by write-in candidate Howard Griffiths to put his literature at a Repubican event a few days later, noting that Griffiths had been a Republican his entire life while Hart had switched from being a Constitutionalist simply to get elected. The Central Committee apparently will vote on Roetter’s ouster, if he refuses to agree to the demand to step down.

Tommy Norris: ‘Make An Exception’

Moments later, after (medal of honor winner Tommy) Norris, pictured, gave up his place in the tour to the Baker family’s driver, who had clearance, Baker’s grandson, Vernon Pawlik, 10, was denied entry because he was wearing shorts and a T-Shirt bearing his grandfather’s image. Also on the tour were Vernon Baker’s widow, Heidy and her daughter Alexandra. At that point the family gave up and left the White House, Norris said. “You would think there would be someone there to stand up and say, ‘I’m a supervisor and we can make an exception” for a living Medal of Honor recipient and the grandson of another. Norris said that little Vernon was looking forward to the tour and the chance to meet President Obama. He even bought a copy of Obama’s book, in case he got a chance to get the president’s signature/Kevin Graman, SR. More here.

Question: How do you think the White House will resolve this mess?

High Noon: Facing The Music

Bethany Storro, who falsely claimed a stranger threw acid in her face, walks out of court in Vancouver, Wash., earlier today. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Question: Do you feel sorry for Bethany Storro? Or do you think she’s getting what she deserves by facing court action against her as well as disfigurement?

Minnick Demands White House Apology

Huckleberries Online has just received this statement from Congressman Walt Minnick’s office re: the news that the White House refused to provide a tour for the family of late World War II hero Vernon Baker: “Walt is very upset about this. Vernon Baker was one of our nation’s greatest heroes and it is wrong that his family was denied access to the White House. Walt has asked the White House to apologize to Vernon Baker’s family.”

Scanner Traffic/AM — 9.29.10

  • 11:59 a.m. Auto burglary reported @ Post Falls Skateboard Park, 3rd & Greensferry.
  • 11:58 a.m. Diamond Parking reports trespassing by a male in a beige-and-orange boat in Slip 22 of public dock at 3rd Street. He’s refusing an order to leave.
  • 11:47 a.m. Alice reports to police that she has received a suspicious letter.
  • 11:45 a.m. Super 1/Kathleen has a cooperative shoplifter in custody.
  • 11:32 a.m. Safeway gas station/Neider reports that one of 2 shoplifters kicked off premises by CPD Blue has returned.
  • 11:01 a.m. Tribe police are responding to report of a fight on Mitch Michael & 1st/Worley.
  • More below

HBO Poll: ‘Vandal Pride Week’ Wins

  • Tuesday Poll: 56 of 74 (75.68%) respondents prefer “Vandal Pride Week” to “Beat BSU Week” for the name of the week preceding the big home game with Boise State on the University of Idaho campus. 18 of 74 (24.32%) prefer the old name Beat BSU Week.
  • Drive-In Burgers: 61 of 118 (52.69%) respondents prefer Paul Bunyan’s restaurant to Zip’s for drive-in burgers, fries, etc. 57 of 118 (48.31%) respondents opt for Zips.
  • Today’s Poll: Should Walt Minnick pull his controversial immigration ad?

White House Denies Hero’s Family Tour

On Friday, the family of Vernon Baker — who was the only living black WWII veteran to receive the Medal of Honor — laid their beloved husband, father and grandfather to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. The following day they were denied a tour of the White House, an experience Mr. Baker’s widow, Heidy, described as “ridiculous” and “hurtful.” The reason, according to Mrs. Baker, was because her 10-year-old grandson, Vernon Pawlik, was not appropriately dressed. That morning, Mrs. Baker said her grandson chose to honor his late grandfather by wearing a new white t-shirt with the national war hero’s photograph, signature and the words, “Lt. Vernon J. Baker n Medal of Honor.” That t-shirt proved enough for Vernon to be denied access by a member of the White House staff/Chris D’Angelo, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here. (Related: Baker’s roof leaks no more)

  • Cutline (& photo from Chris D’Angelo, St. Maries Gazette-Record): Vernon Baker’s widow, Heidy, stands with her daughter, Alexandra Pawlik, and grandson, Vernon Pawlik, in front of the family house in the Benewah Valley.

Question: Are you kidding me?

Test: How Gay Are You?

On my Facebook page, one of my friends mentions that he scored an 88% on “The Gay Test,” which asks questions about shoes, underwear purchases, how much you pay for haircuts, etc. Before I could ask myself, “What’s a nice Evangelical like you doing taking a test like this?” I took the test and scored 38%. It mighta been lower if I didn’t have season tickets to all those Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre musicals and happen to like Barbra Streisand. Then, I mighta guessed right on some multiple choice questions for which I had no clue. You can take the test here.

Question: Well, how did you do?

Too Soon For Halloween?

I read somewhere that Halloween represents the first of 3 giant steps toward winter, with the other 2 being Thanksgiving and Christmas. With that in mind, I was surprised while riding my bike home on viewtiful Tuesday afternoon to see a large Halloween display at 6th & Hattie. For some reason, it bothered me more than Christmas displays that are in full bloom in many retail stores as early as August. I don’t shop much. So the Christmas intrusion doesn’t bother me. But it’s hard to avoid seeing a large Halloween display in a nearby neighborhood. How about you?

Question: When should people erect large outdoor displays for Halloween?

Otter, Allred Vie For Cowboy-In-Chief

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter works the heels of a calf while team roping at the Caldwell Night Rodeo in Caldwell this summer. From the rims of their Stetsons to the shotguns on their shoulders, Republican C.L. “Butch” Otter and Democrat Keith Allred appear to be running as much for Idaho’s  cowboy-in- chief  as they are for governor. As different as Otter, a 30-year politician and businessman, and Allred, a former Harvard University professor who ran a nonpartisan reform group, seem in real life, both are tapping images that harken back to the Old West to send powerful messages to voters come Nov. 2 about their characters: individualism, a sense of purpose, common sense _ and the spurs to give the economy a little giddy-up. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune, Charlie Litchfield, File)

Press-Trib: Minnick Should Pull Ad

Congressman Walt Minnick has built a reputation during his first term in office as a man who can work cooperatively with people from both sides of the political aisle. Polls show him with a healthy lead over challenger Raul Labrador for his 1st Congressional District seat — pretty impressive for a Democrat in one of the country’s most conservative states. That’s why it’s such a surprise — and disappointment — to see his latest TV campaign ad. The ad portrays Labrador as being giddy about making good money by helping illegal immigrants break the law — “helping illegal immigrants stay in the United States” is the exact phrasing. The ad clearly takes a Labrador quote out of context/Vickie Holbrook, Idaho Press Tribune. More here.

Question: Who has been hurt worse by the controversial ad — Congressman Walt Minnick or challenger Raul Labrador?

Obama: A ‘Christian By Choice’

President Barack Obama, in a rare discussion about his religious beliefs, described himself on Tuesday as a “Christian by choice” who arrived at his faith in adulthood because “the precepts of Jesus Christ” helped him envision the kind of life he wanted to lead. Obama talked about his beliefs when he was asked, “Why are you a Christian.” The question was posed by a woman at a backyard conversation here, part of a series of meetings Obama is holding to talk informally with Americans. Some conservatives and political opponents have questioned Obama’s Christian faith. In fact, a Pew Research Center poll in August found that 18 percent of people wrongly believe Obama is Muslim - up from 11 percent who said so in March 2009/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Why would anyone question a man who describes himself as a “Christian by choice”?

Mom: How Could He Do That?

The mother of a murdered 1-year-old boy says she never suspected her boyfriend, 22-year-old James Cooley, was a violent person and didn’t know he was being investigated in another child abuse case.“The only thing is, I just want to know why, how could he do something like that… and he laid him back in his bed after and went about his day and told me he had been sleeping,” Rebecca Mccollough aid.Spokane Major Crimes detectives say Cooley confessed to murdering 1-year-old Santiago and assaulting Mccollough’s other 4-year-old son Santana in their Hillyard apartment/Colleen O’Brien, internet content editor, KXLY. More here.

Question: How come so many women w/children end up with dangerous jerks like this guy?

Trib: Hart Makes Denney Look Foolish

Is Denney intimidated by those far-right caucus members who see a patriot behind every tax cheat? Or does he not recognize his fundamental job is to protect the integrity of the House? A stronger speaker would first yank Hart from the Revenue and Taxation Committee. Then he’d ask: If Hart refuses to play by the rules, how is he any more qualified to serve on the committee that sets rules for public education? Do you really want him on another panel that writes the major laws in Idaho? Would you trust him on the budget-writing committee? Or any other position of trust? The good people of Kootenai County may elect Hart to a fourth term. He faces only token opposition from a write-in candidate. But the House is under no obligation to soil itself any further with him/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Is House Speaker Lawerence Denney intimidated by Rep. Phil Hart & his fans? Or is he sympathetic to Hart’s anti-tax ways?

AM Headlines — 9.29.10

Phil Doepke, left, and Leif Christofferson prepare to launch a Remotely Operated Vehicle into Yellowstone Lake for a Montana State University study. Montana  State University researchers using this remotely operated vehicle recently discovered a thriving colony of moss, shrimp and aquatic worms centered around a geothermal vent about 100 feet below the surface of Yellowstone Lake, Mont.(AP Photo/Big Sky Institute)

Latitude/Longitude Challenged?

At As The Lake Churns, Pecky Cox spotted this bumpersnicker rumbling around Priest Lake. Seems that’s a latitude/longitude reading on the bumper. But I’m not sure where it leads to. Are you? BTW, I don’t get the message either: “You Wouldn’t Understand?

Kerri: Student Salesmen Surprise Me

On her Facebook page, Kerri Sandaine of the Lewiston Tribune writes: “How do you feel about little kids going door to door selling stuff or asking donations to their school? I’m always surprised when they are not from the neighborhood and unaccompanied by an adult. Does someone drop them off or do they walk the six or seven miles from town?”

Question: How do you feel about kids coming to your door selling stuff or asking for donations for their school?

Cindy: Close Encounter w/Old Waxer

On Facebook, Cindy tells how she survived a scary eyebrow waxing experience. Explains Cindy: “My usual stylist was busy, but out tottered Marian. She’s gotta be close to 80. Her hands shook so badly she dripped wax in my hair! She made a mess trying to get it out with baby oil, or something. I haven’t looked at my eyebrows, yet. When Marian said, Do want anything else waxed? I might have said NO, a bit loudly. In fact, I may have screamed.”

Question: When did you last have a bad salon experience?

Hart, Kelso Can’t Appeal Ethics Decision

Remember when Rep. Phil Hart’s attorney, Starr Kelso, issued a statement last week charging that the House Ethics Committee’s action against Hart, through its unanimous vote to recommend his removal from the House Revenue & Taxation Committee while he presses his own personal fight against back state income taxes, had “no basis in law or procedure and exceeds the Committee’s authority”? Turns out those claims aren’t going anywhere. Here’s why: “There is no judicial review of this,” said Brian Kane, the deputy attorney general assigned to the Ethics Committee, who attended all its meetings and advised members throughout the process/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Will Rep. Phil Hart and attorney Starr Kelso appeal any way?

Anderson: 2012 GOP Platform

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Labrador: Guard Should Patrol Border

Instead of having members of the National Guard “sit and wait for six months” when they’re not deployed in a war zone, it might be a better idea to send them down to patrol the Mexican border on their downtime, Idaho Republican candidate Raul Labrador floated to a Republican audience earlier this year, according to an audio recording of the meeting provided to HuffPost/Ryan Grim, Huffington Post. More here.

Question: Do you think the National Guard should patrol the Mexican border during their down time when they’re not deployed in a war zone?

Parting Shot — 9.28.10

President Barack Obama shakes hands after speaking at a rally Tuesday on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Wild Card/Tuesday — 9.28.10

We’re still stuck in a holding pattern, here at Hucks Nation, waiting for the decision of Judge Charles Hosack re: the Brannon-Kennedy election trial. We’re beyond the mid-point in the wait for the one to two weeks that Judge Hosack set out to render the decision in this 10-month-old court challenge. So I’ll play the Wild Card and continue to cool my heels with you …

Scanner Traffic/PM — 9.28.10

  • 5:37 p.m. Caller reports runaway female named Jessica may be hiding in grass across from Sysco’s on Baugh Way/Post Falls
  • 5:30 p.m. An ATV rider is bringing one of the injured Labs (4:55 p.m. item) to trailhead.
  • 5:09 p.m. Caller reports possible illegal burn @ Cliffhouse & Hauser Lake Road.
  • 5:02 p.m. Tidyman’s/Post Falls reports unconscious pregnant woman @ checkout No. 3.
  • 4:55 p.m. Harold reports from Nettleton Gulch trailhead that 1 of 2 black Labs he saw on Canfield Mountain appears to be injured.
  • 4:44 p.m. A child is complaining of head pain after two-vehicle crash @ Government Way & Lincoln Way/CdA.
  • 4:30 p.m. Cody has questions for an officer re: tenant’s rights.
  • 4:26 p.m. A male in a Ford Explorer that turned from s/b H95 to e/b Hanley was tailgating, reckless driving, & yelling @ other drivers, according to a caller.
  • 4:21 p.m. Coeur d’Alene homeowner reports hearing a crash and finding a rock in his house that’d gone through a window.
  • More below

PM Headlines — 9.28.10

A mother black bear and two of her four cubs are visible in the upper branches of a pine tree in the front yard of Tom and Pam Gilbert on Sunday, northwest of Kalispell, Mont. (AP Photo/Daily Inter Lake, Brenda Ahearn)

APhoto Of The Day — 9.28.10

South  Korean Special Army soldiers demonstrate their martial arts during the ceremony of the 60th anniversary of the recapture of Seoul from  Korean  War and the 62th anniversary of the Armed Forces Day Commemoration Ceremony in Seoul,  South  Korea, earlier today. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Top Cutlines:

A League of His Own: Mr. Bloggy

  • 1. Kennedys team does military maneuvers and works out a routine; just in case Brannon decides to hide in his office again — Kage Mann.
  • 2. Brannon fans demonstrate their action plan in case Judge Hosack’s ruling is not in their favor — Nic.
  • 3. Brittany Spears (center, standing) and her dance team prepare for her comeback tour, opening in Ho Hum, North Korea — Gary D. Rhodes.
  • HM: Everyone else (nice job, all)

Column: Allred Is Devil’s Spawn?

Tongue firmly cheeked, Henry Johnston writes for Moscow-Pullman Daily News: “Allred is really the spawn of the Great Satan Barack Obama and that if elected the liberal Democrat sleeper cells of Idaho will rise up and eat the brains of your unborn children whilst stealing money from your pockets through tax increases of Robin Hood-era proportions. Also Allred, a former Harvard professor, has apparently either taken or taught classes such as “Obamacare 101” and also attended the “Pelosi School of Business” though the website wasn’t entirely clear. In all fairness, the website should have simply read “Keith Allred: Oooga Booga!” But what should we expect from the Idaho Republican Party?” More here.

Question: Do you tire of the fear-mongering that goes on from the machines of both major political parties?

Huckleberries Hears …

… that things aren’t all sunshine & lollipops among the Kootenai County Republican Women as they prepare for the arrival of controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio (shown in AP file photo earlier this month) for their annual Women in Red fund-raiser. Oh, there’s no problem with ticket sales. The GOP women have already sold 600 of about 800 tickets at $45 per pop to the 7 p.m. Monday event at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. But the hard-fought primary between winner Raul Labrador and Vaughn Ward has busted the group in two, with many — most? — hostile toward Labrador. According to my source, Labrador didn’t help matters by going directly to Arpaio’s PR machine in an attempt to get face time for a possible endorsement with Arpaio during his Lake City visit. As is, he will be allowed to join other political candidates for an event to mingle with Arpaio. Not meet privately. Ward supporters are also miffed that Labrador will take part in a major fund-raiser this weekend in Puerto Rico, where his half brother is an influential man. Huckleberries hears … that some of the GOP women oppose statehood for Puerto Rico because they’re concerned that would add to the number of Democrats in Congress. They worry that Labrador is too cozy with Puerto Rico officials.

Food Porn: Papa Murphy’s 5-Meat Pizza

I hate to do this to you midafternoon on a viewtiful Tuesday midafternoon. But I couldn’t resist this mouth-watering post of Papa Murphy’s/Moscow five-meat stuffed pizza on JeanC’s Cat House & Shooting Gallery. At Cannon Beach, Ore., Saturday, I paid $32 for an 18-inch pizza that was half Greek, half pepperoni, and two-thirds unwanted green peppers that didn’t look half as good as this one. Enjoy.

Question: What kind of toppings do you usually order for your pizza?

School’s In, But It’s Outside

I have a lot of friends who are home-schoolers. But I never considered that option, as we shuttled our children between private school and public school during their formative years. However, this photo by Idaho Dad/A Family Runs Through It of Junior on the steps at Independence Point may be the greatest argument ever for home-school. Idaho Dad simply moved the classroom outside because — and I quote — it’s too nice to be inside. I agree. Cindy do you want to run Huckleberries for a couple of hours while I wander down to City Beach (which, as you note in the background, is almost empty of visitors & tourists.

Question: Have you been able to enjoy the sunshine outside on this wonderful fall day?

Drunk Chat @ Resort Leads To Jail

A home-invasion robbery suspect set to go to trial next month is back in jail after the Spokane police detective who investigated the case said the man drunkenly approached him at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. Nathaniel Jay Dishneau, 30, was prohibited from leaving Spokane County or contacting case witnesses when he approached Detective L. Tofsrud Sept. 3 about 7 p.m. at the Coeur d’Alene Resort and said, “You know I can’t do life, man,” according to court documents, apparently a reference to Dishneau’s possible consequences under the state’s three-strikes law/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Question: Doesn’t this make you wonder who’s hanging out at the Coeur d’Alene Resort or in downtown Coeur d’Alene at any given time?

Woman Fends Off Bear w/Zucchini

This is the zucchini used by a Montana woman to fend off a  bear  attack last Thursday in Frenchtown, Mont. The woman was stirred after midnight by a tussle in the backyard of her home near Frenchtown, Missoula County Sheriff’s Lt. Rich Maricelli said. She went to investigate and found a 200-pound black  bear attacking one of her two dogs, a 12-year-old collie. Tristan Scott/Missoulian story here. (AP Photo/Missoula County Sheriff)

Question: Can you think of another unusual uses for zucchini?

43SB: Allred Uses Fox To Tack Right

From 43rd State Blues (via YouTube), Democratic gubernatorial candidate Keith Allred explains to Fox News his support for the 10th Amendment and Bush tax cuts. Writes Sisyphus/43rd State Blues: “Keith Allred is asked to be on Fox Business News to chat about tax cuts and failed to read from their script. As the Democratic candidate in their punditocracy, he’s supposed to be the punching bag. But he uses the opportunity to deflate Otter’s primary talking points on a network that reaches much of the gubernatorial battleground in SE Idaho. Allred wants to “honor” the tenth amendment and reinstate the Bush tax cuts.” More here.

Question: What do you make of Allred’s support for the 10th Amendment & Bush’s tax cuts?

OTC: BlackBerry Tablet? Big Deal

Ilya, from UI Argonaut Off The Cuff column, writes: “Am I the only one who doesn’t get the point of a tablet? BlackBerry just announced the release of their tablet, and every other big company under the sun is unleashing their tablet on the world. Did I wake up in a day and age where we don’t have cheap, light, powerful and portable laptops for computing? The irony - I wrote this very message on said cheap and portable laptop, which cost less than any tablet yet is twice as,  if not more, powerful. Perhaps ignorance really is bliss.” (AP photo: The PlayBook is displayed at the  BlackBerry developers conference 2010 in San Francisco on Monday)

Question: Are you excited re: Blackberry’s release of its tablet?

Stickman: Resort Floaters Litter Lake

Stickman: If anyone is the scofflaw here, it would be the owner of the golf course himself for littering. Walkabout says conservatively that hundreds of floaters as they are called wash up along the shores all over the lake and especially Sanders Beach and Tubbs Hill. I had over 1000 just from this past spring, and I doubt I am the only one that has them. So thousands would be more like it. Walkabout collected most of them and I would have to consider them litter. I have many left in my carport at this minute if anyone would like them for souvenirs or just whatever. One of my fantasies if I had any money would be to hire a helicopter and drop them all on the floating green or maybe just in the middle of the course during a tournament. Wishful dreaming, but I have to find some use for them. But that would be littering, so I wouldn’t think of it.

Question: What should Stickman do with all those Coeur d’Alene Resort golf balls that Walkabout picks up as litter that has floated from Floating Green area?

Poolman: In The Middle Of Nowhere?

Poolman: So last night I was flying into Spokane and was sitting next to a young girl from Philadelphia. She’s right out of college doing her first business trip with her new company. She tells me she hasn’t been outside Philly much and certainly has never been to this part of the country. We came in over CDA and I was pointing out the floating green and tubbs hill and the Spokane River and that Amway dude’s house. Then she says – “so how much land do you own”. I thought that was funny. Then after we land she’s on the phone with a friend back home and she says, “They sent me to Washington, I’m in the middle of nowhere.”

Question: Do you have big city friends from the East who are uncomfortable with the ruggedness and relative sparseness of the Inland Northwest?

High Noon: License Plate War, Anyone?

It’s been a quarter-century now since we witnessed a good license plate war here in Idaho. High time, I think, for another. In 1987, legislators from north Idaho made the last serious effort to get the slogan “Famous Potatoes” removed from the state’s license tags. “People are getting tired of it,” said state Rep. Bob Scates, a Coeur d’Alene Republican, in 1987. “I think it’s time for a change.” Scates may well have thought so. The only spuds in Coeur d’Alene at the time were at Albertsons/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here. (AP 2006 file photo of the late J.R. Simplot’s vanity plate)

Question: Are you a fan of the slogan for Idaho license plates: “Famous Potatoes”?

INW: BSU On Sports Illustrated Cover

The “firsts” keep coming for the Boise State football team. The Broncos will be featured on the national cover of Sports Illustrated magazine this week. (BTW, that’s Byron Hout, former Lake City High star (No. 94) in the center of the photo.) The magazine hits news stands Wednesday. Boise State was on a regional cover of Sports Illustrated’s college football preview in August, but this is the school’s first national cover/AP via SportsLink. More here. (Sports Illustrated photo)

Question: Do you still prefer “Vandal Pride Week” over “Beat BSU Week” for the UI theme for the week prior to the big game in the Kibbie Dome?

Scanner Traffic/AM — 9.28.10

  • Noonish: Female reports that her husband has taken off with his children to Oregon, rather than hand them over at a Seltice Way stop near State Line.
  • Noonish: Jack has questions re: his “deceased dog.”
  • 11:41 a.m. A large, tree limb is in the slow lane of e/b I-90 @ M/P 8 (Huetter rest stop).
  • 11:32 a.m. Caller reports a ‘76 Dodge Aspen, s/b on H41 from Lancaster w/a child in the back, is speeding and crossing double-yellow line.
  • 10:44 a.m. Someone is suffering chest pain in the Dept. of Lands shop building.
  • 10:42 a.m. A white pitbull wandering on road in front of Wendy’s, 3939 E. Central/Post Falls, has almost caused a wreck.
  • 10:16 a.m. Cows are wandering in a closed-range area on Conkling/Worley.
  • 10:14 a.m. Unattended death reported in the Cave Bay area.
  • 10:01 a.m. Virginia, on Potlatch Hill, wants to speak to an officer re: a male and a female who occupied a silver Oldsmobile on her property last night.
  • 9:47 a.m. Several people are trying to coax a large, brown-and-white dog out of the middle of the street at 29801 S. 3rd St./Worley.
  • 9:36 a.m. A female on H41 believes her ex-husband kicked in the window of her trailer.
  • 8:56 a.m. Eric has questions re: animal neutering.

USA Today Feats Renegade Labrador

First District nominee Raul Labrador is among “a handful of U.S. House candidates (who) are poised to reshape the Republican Party — and its agenda,” according to a USA Today story published Monday. Labrador, a two-term state representative from Eagle, provides the first quote in the story, telling the national newspaper, “People rejected the Republicans because they weren’t sticking to their principles. This new young crop of congressmen is going to make a difference”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Which 1st Congressional District candidate is more of a maverick — Democrat Walt Minnick or Republican Raul Labrador?

Get Out! Poll: Zips Or Paul Bunyan’s

On his Get Out! North Idaho Facebook page, OrangeTV asks a question that’s bound to get debate: Which local drive-in burger joint do you prefer — Zips or Paul Bunyan’s. And why. One write that he’d pick Zips, if forced to choose: “Better service, food comes out piping hot and the fry sauce is was legends are made out of!” Another said: “Paul Bunyan is awesome when your feeding a crowd and dont have the time or patience to fire up a grill-but, Zips has better shakes and (hopefully) criss-cut fries!!!” How about you? Zips? Or Paul Bunyan’s?

HBO Poll: Olson Preferred To Luna

  • Monday Poll: Democratic challenger Stan Olson is the preferred choice at Hucks Nation for Idaho Superintendent of Education. 88 of 144 (61.11%) respondents preferred Olson over Republican incumbent Tom Luna, if the election was held today. 56 of 144 (38.89%) opted for Luna. Luna is ahead in the current election polls.
  • Today’s Poll: Which is the better name for the week before the Boise State game, on the University of Idaho campus?

Idaho Women Among Poorest Paid

Another new report from the Census Bureau shows that women in Idaho are among the nation’s lowest wage earners. Median earnings for Idaho women were $29,122 last year – 72 percent of the $40,440 median earnings for men. Women are paid less in just five states, including Montana. In Washington, women earn 75.1 percent of what men make. Median earnings last year were $38,521 for women and $51,305 for men/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Why are women paid so poorly in Idaho?

Cliff Hayes’ Sign Raises Questions

A Berry Picker sent this photo of a yard sign belonging to Cliff Hayes, the Republican candidate for Kootenai County clerk. The sign has prompted some head scratching. In the comment section Monday, Little Red sez of the sign: “Actually looks like a negative Cliff Hayes sign. Wonder if he really wants the job. Don’t know that I would go into a job interview and say, ‘Don’t care who you hire, but you gotta hire someone.’”

Question: What do you make of the sign’s wording?

Misters & Their Mustaches

Graduate student Tedd Ammann said he loves facial hair.  Ammann said Friday he always “want(ed) a unique mustache.  (All) the evil cartoon characters and stuff have (them).”  This is Ammann’s fourth mustache and he said his friends get used to seeing him with wacky facial hair, so sometimes he likes to shave it all off and “grow it back just to (mess around) with people.”  He said most people have one of two reactions to his facial hair style: Some “pretend not to notice or (they give) compliments”/Katherine Brown, UI Argonaut. More here. (AP file photo of former MLB pitcher Rollie Fingers’ mustache)

Question: At University of Idaho, male students annually observe “No Shave November.” Do you have facial hair? Did you ever wear a beard, mustache, goatee, or some other type of facial hair? Do you look good with facial hair?

UI Drops ‘Beat BSU Week’

In past years the week before the Boise State football game has always been known as “Beat BSU Week,” however to promote and build up school spirit, a change has been made. During football season the Student Alumni Relation Board, otherwise known as SArb, has called away pre-games Vandal pride days, and plans on naming the week before the BSU game “Vandal Pride Week.” “In light of this being the last year of us playing Boise State we plan on promoting a Vandal pride week, because we are all about building up school spirit and what it means to be a Vandal, so instead of tearing down our opponent we are building ourselves up,” said Tim Helmke, SArb adviser/Kayla Herrman, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: Do you agree with the switch from “Beat BSU Week” to “Vandal Pride Week”?

Slain Man Related To Deputy Coroner

A 22-year-old Rathdrum man stabbed to death by his girlfriend’s father Friday night in what investigators say was self defense is the grandson of Kootenai County Deputy Coroner and Democratic candidate for coroner Jody DeLuca Hissong. Brandon S. DeLuca initiated the fight with Scott A. Johnson, 47, during an argument with DeLuca’s 23-year-old girlfriend in a trailer they shared at the Prairie Schooner Estates, 2215 E. Highway 53 in Rathdrum, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department/Meghann Cuniff, SR. More here.

Poll: USA Ready To Dump Obama

Most Americans don’t like the way Barack Obama is running the country, and if voters could have their say today, only 38% would reelect him.  That’s the word according to a new poll by Politico/George Washington University, which found the majority of Americans would consider replacing the President in the next election. The poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters who identified themselves as “likely” to cast ballots in 2012. … And if his 2012 opponent is former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Obama should be able to trounce the Tea Party darling/New York Daily News. More here.

Question (for those who voted for Obama in 2008): Would you vote for Obama again?

AM Headlines — 9.28.10

University of Idaho professor Jason Barnes looks to the skies to find other Earth-like planets. Devin Rokyta/Daily News story here. (Moscow-Pullman Daily News photo: Geoff Crimmins)

Helrad1: Judge Hosack Hasn’t Changed

Helrad1: I am sure that Judge Hosack is still essentially the same person as when we were in high school: he is very fair, observant, and an intellectual who cannot help but carefully consider his every opinion. I did not even question his statement that he didn’t know what a blog is, as he probably reads history for fun. :-)

Question: Before the verdict comes in, what’s your opinion of Judge Charles Hosack, judging from his conduct during the Brannon-Kennedy election trial?

Cindy: Ain’t Never Fished

Cindy: I just realized I have NEVER been fishing. I’ve bought bait (try asking the guys at Big Five for hot pink fish balls), I’ve purchased rods. I’ve helped load and unload boats. I have cooked fish and eaten fish. I have tended to fish hook wounds. But I have never been fishing. Suddenly, I feel sad :-( Am I the only one who has never gone fishing?

Question: Well, is Cindy the only one out there who has never fished?

MM: Idaho Is A ‘Lifestyle Choice’

Moscow Minidoka: I remember when I graduated from the UI in 1999 and Dirk Kempthorne was the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony. He practically begged us to stay in Idaho, and I remember thinking to myself - are you serious? Although I paid my way through college with scholarships and gainful employment, there was no way I could do what I wanted for a career by staying in Idaho. At that time, starting newspaper jobs in Seattle were more than DOUBLE what they were in Idaho (expenses were higher, too, but not double, so I still came out ahead). I came back to Idaho as a “lifestyle choice,” because I felt like I had abandoned my family and heritage, and I wanted my children to be born in Idaho. More below.

Mr. Bloggy: Food Is Love

Mr. Bloggy: I had to learn potion control. Magic potions. Is it love when she bakes you bread? Is it love when she makes a winter stew? It is love. Food is love. We love food. We grow confused about this. We fill the holes in our souls, holes kicked in by the boots of abuse, dug deep and jagged with shovels of shame and neglect. Food fills the holes and feels like love. She shrieked at her babies and when they grew older, spirits shredded and fractured, she filled them up with warm, from the oven, chocolate chip cookies and apple pies and casseroles and gravies. Comfort food. Love food. I love food. More below.

Anderson: Changing Colors

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Weight Loss Tips, Anyone?

On Facebook, a friend discusses his goal of decreasing his “girth” in order to fit into size 42 pants that he hasn’t worn for at least three years. Quoth: “I have become a land walrus. I’m going to diet on coffee, salad, and rock ‘n roll. He asks friends for other suggestions re: how to lose weight. I offered the slow but sure path I took when I dropped 30 pounds 4 years ago and kept it off — walking, an average of two miles per day for a year. Then, another year. I tried to drop a pound a month. And succeeded.

Question: What suggestion would you give to my Facebook friend re: how to lose weight and keep it off?

P.S. A 5YO Boy & His River

On his Skookum Photography blog, Ralph Bartholdt writes: “What does a kid see when he sees a fish? He is five and enamored with trout. He follows me to the river talking the whole way. He will not stop talking. I am a good boy, he says, I am almost grown up.” You can read the rest of Ralph’s story (“Finn, the boy, his river”) that goes with this photo here. Also, you still have until Friday to get to the Coeur d’Alene Library and see Ralph’s photography exhibit of North Idaho “faces.”

Question: How old were you the first time you fished?

Wild Card/Monday — 9.27.10

I’m back from a nice mini-vacay to Oregon, where I enjoyed Oregon jazz hall-of-famer Linda Hornbuckle perform in downtown Portland and spent some time reading a paperback on the beach at Cannon Beach. In other words, I’m mellow and ready to take on the next 5-6 weeks of election campaigning with you. I hear Ron Nilson & his sidekick, Robert Ketchum, are featured in a billboard on Northwest Boulevard. I’ll have to get a photo of that, for us to discuss. Meanwhile, you can use this Wild Card to start your own threads …

Scanner Traffic/PM — 9.27.10

  • 5:53 p.m. Caller reports that a boy about 8YO, with a backpack, has been standing on H53, b/n Pleasantview & Mcguire for about an hour.
  • 5:52 p.m. A vehicle w/a bicyclist holding on is speeding on Satre Court/Hayden
  • 5:36 p.m. Someone is threatening to commit suicide @ Kootenai Medical Center.
  • 5:24 p.m. 2 people have climbed a ladder to escape from 2 aggressive Rottweilers at a car wash @ Kootenai & Bingham/Rathdrum.
  • 5:18 p.m. A suicidal Rathdrum male has driven from his home w/a rifle in his pickup.
  • 5:16 p.m. Caller reports a vicious dog loose @ 19th & Coeur d’Alene/CdA.
  • 4:40 p.m. CdA mother believes she knows where her runaway daughter is.
  • 3:54 p.m. A male in a red Kia kicked out 2 females at Stateline Showgirls before roaring off on Seltice Way @ 80 mph.
  • 3:51 p.m. Dispatcher: “I had one of those old-person moments when I couldn’t remember his K-number (Kootenai County sheriff).”
  • Much more below

PM: Montana Interested In WAC Play?

Borah Elementary 1st grader Mackenzie Blake was happy to finish her work at the end of the day at the school in Coeur d’Alene last Monday. Because of early Monday, the student’s day has been extended from 3:15 to 3:30. Story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

APhoto Of The Day — 9.27.10

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and his wife Crown Princess Mary of Denmark feed  penguins  as they visit the aquarium in Stralsund, Eastern Germany today. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/dapd/ Jens Koehler)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Mr. Bloggy (post here)
  • 2. … just as in the US our GOP “royality” has stooped to feeding the masses their fishy Pledge to America. Notice the gloves, to make sure none of the stink sticks — Little Red.
  • 3. Nancy and Harry try to seduce the republicans with a cold dead fish — Charlie.

Late Field Goal Upends Idaho Vandals

Idaho Vandal receiver Maurice Shaw catches a pass for a touchdown over  Colorado  State Ram defensive back Shaq Bell late in the game Saturday afternoon at Hughes Stadium.  Idaho lost the game 36-34 on a late Ram field goal. (Nick Groff, special to Spokesman-Review)

Question: Did Idaho’s loss to winless Colorado State change your thinking re: how you expect the Vandals to do this year?

Scofflaw Golfer Could Face Litter Count

Kevin Taylor/Inlander followed up on that Scanner Traffic report re: a guy on a houseboat knocking golfballs onto the floating green: “Perhaps this is a little insurrection from the commoners, intended to beard Resort mogul Duane Hagadone, who exploded an estimated 900 shells over the lake the other night to cap a little party he was hosting for millionaires [and even 10 billionaires] who came to his little lake cabin for a board meeting of the Horatio Alger Association. The guest list is said to have included Wayne Huizenga (who flew in on his personal Boeing 737 with the Miami Dolphins logo on the tail), Warren Buffett, Oprah and Kenny Rogers. We called Maj. Ben Wolfinger of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office to see if there is any sort of a crime here. If not, we suspect houseboat rentals may spike.” More here.

Question: Have you ever played the Coeur d’Alene Resort golf course? Have you had problems hitting your ball onto the floating green rather than into the water?

NIdaho Blogosphere — 9.27.10

“I had another arachnid encounter this morning in the garage,” posts Notes on a Napkin. “Some of you might remember that I have an aversion to spiders that borders on a phobia, and today’s Traumatic Event just moved me one step closer to the padded room in my future.” More here.

  • HBO Numbers (for week of Sept. 19-25): 55,458 page-views/32,840 unique views

Question: Do spiders creep you out?

OTV Review: Sherman Junction

Owner Leisa Wagner, also responsible for Post Falls’ Corner Café, couldn’t have chosen a better location for her second entry into the world of comfort-food dining. When Rustler’s Roost (now in Hayden) occupied the place back in the nineties, it was a lively hub of activity fueled on Pike Street tea, tangy BBQ Sauce, and a set of loveably sassy waitresses, the kind of place where people went every single day to meet friends, family and business associates, a place that was near and dear to the hearts of anyone who was around town at the time. Naturally, a new restaurant opening up in the former shell of a diner that’s remembered so fondly by the general public has a lot to live up to and it’s easy to want to compare the two establishments/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Do you have any fond memories of the old downtown Rustler’s Roost that you’d like to share? Or an observation re: someone finally opening doors on a new restaurant there?

Christie: Schedule Your Mammogram

RE: NIC president Priscilla Bell diagnosed with breast cancer/Maureen Dolan, CdA Press

Christie Wood: When she called me two weeks ago to break the news the first thing she said was “Do you get your yearly mammograms?” I thought it was a very odd question but I still said “yes”. Then she told me her diagonosis which of course is devastating news. Later I thought about our conversation, and realized I got busy and skipped my appointment this year. In her honor I would like to encourage all of the women reading this to call your doctor today and make your appointment. I am dialing now.

Question: I know this is an old story. But I want to ask the question for the Women of HBO. Do you get your yearly mammograms?

Treasure Valley Prepares For Snakes

In Boise, the Treasure Valley Roller Girls have published their poster for their upcoming bout with the Snake Pit Venomous Vixens of the Coeur d’Alene area. The bout is scheduled as part of a double header w/the Snakes taking on Treasure Valley’s B Team and the Rat City Rollergirls of Seattle, Wash., playing Treasure Valley’s A Team on Saturday, Oct. 9, at Qwest Arena.

Lewiston Cops Nab Pushy Salesmen

Police have arrested a pair of door-to-door salesmen whose alleged pushy tactics prompted numerous complaints over the weekend. The salesmen, both from Naples, Fla., were part of an out-of-town group selling magazines through the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley this week, said Lewiston Police Sgt. Glen Rogers. Rogers said the men were told late last week to get a city business license, but were booked into the jail when resident complaints continued and the men failed to get that license from the city. One arrest was made Friday and the other on Saturday. Residents have reported salespeople using tactics including allegedly pushing themselves into houses on a few occasions, Rogers said/Brad Gary, All Points Bulletin. More here.

Question: Have you encountered a pushy salesman recently?

Crump: Good Luck Finding A Mailbox

Looked for a mailbox lately? You know, the big, blue metal receptacles that used to stand on every street corner in every town in America? Best of luck with that. According to National Public Radio, the number of U.S. Postal Service mailboxes fell below 200,000 nationwide in 2008 and continues to decline at a rate of about 4,000 a year. The calculus is simple: The less mail — because of e-mail, faxes, texts, tweets, UPS and Fed Ex — the fewer mailboxes. And you don’t realize how few until you really, REALLY need to mail a letter nowadays/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Do you have an old-fashioned mailbox, sitting by itself on a pole?

Poll: Back Schools, Don’t Raise Taxes

The most interesting parts of the multi-newspaper poll in Idaho released last week are less the answers to individual questions, than answers when compared to one another. There was, for example, the 59% to 23% margin in favor of the core revenue decision made by the Idaho Legislature and Republican Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter this year – to not raise taxes. However, 56% said that school spending in Idaho was too low, compared to 12% too high and 23% “about right”. This session’s cut of public schools funding similarly was opposed by 59% to 27% in favor. Since public schools make up about half of the state’s general fund, where did these voters think the money was supposed to come from?/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: How do you explain the conflict in the responses in the recent Idaho poll sponsored by a half dozen newspapers?

INW Headlines — 9.27.10

Big rigs and passenger cars share the road on busy U.S. 12 in Kamiah, Idaho. Oil companies want to drive mammoth truckloads of refinery equipment along the narrow ribbon of spectacular mountain road that borders national forests, wild and scenic rivers, historic sites and campgrounds. Many local residents are outraged. Story here. (AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios)

High Noon: Out, Out, Damn E-Spam

My South Perry blog colleague Pia Hallenberg Christensen arrived back from two-weeks vacation today, only to discover her work e-mail account crammed with 552 e-mails. She also found more than 1,000 e-mails accumulated in her spam filter. And the number of “old-fashioned” letters in her e-mailbox during the same period? One. I take my laptop on vacation with me. So I’m able to wade through the spam and unessential e-mails at the end of each vacation day, to keep down the number that I face upon returning home. I’m also very aggressive when it comes to blocking a spammer. How about you?

Question: Are you overwhelmed by e-mail spam when you return from vacations or a time away from the office?

Scanner Traffic/AM — 9.27.10

  • Noonish: Crash between vehicle & bicycle is reported @ Government Way & Miller/CdA.
  • 11:55 a.m. Seizure reported in the Commons area of Coeur d’Alene High.
  • 11:18 a.m. Robin reports that her neighbor’s peacocks are running loose.
  • 11:14 a.m. Possible structure fire reported on Merritt Creek Loop/CdA.
  • 11:01 a.m. Resident reports that house painters left following a dispute.
  • Much more below

Hagadone Fireworks Lights Casco Bay

I missed this bit of waterfront fireworks at Duane Hagadone’s digs on Casco Bay because I was out of town. But one of my Merry Hucksters didn’t. I’m not sure what prompted this display at the Haga-plex. Mebbe it had something to do with all those billionaires who were in town last week for a meeting of the Horatio Algers self-made-people club. Ah, enjoy ...

Nelson: Voters Told Currie To Move On

Jai Nelson’s official statement re: the write-in candidacy of Commissioner Rick Currie: “I am grateful and honored to be selected as the Republican Nominee for County Commissioner by the primary voters of Kootenai County. The citizens made a clear choice to move ahead toward a new  direction and leave the status quo behind. In fact, two-thirds of the voters told the incumbent to move on. The voters deserve to be recognized and their choice respected.  I have listened and heard the voters and plan to continue to listen. I am ready to represent and serve all of the citizens of Kootenai County.”

Question: How do you interpret Jai Nelson’s narrow GOPrimary victory in the three-way race for Rick Currie’s Kootenai County commissioner seat?

ICB: Are Unions Buying Allred?

Some campaign finance figures from the Allred Campaign via Follow the Money. The Idaho AFL-CIO has given Allred $6,900, Communication Workers have pitched in $5,000,  and the Carpenters Union has given $2,000.  Idaho Education Association has given Allred $5,000 and the Education Associations Credit Union given $1,000. Here’s the big question. What does Big Labor expect for its $20,000 investment in Keith Allred? And how can Allred to reform education when he’s been bought by the Teacher’s Unions which oppose any reasonable attempts at education reform/Adam’s Blog.

Question: How much attention to you pay to contributors in candidates’ campaign finance reports?

OpenCDA Turns On CdA Press, Too?

When did Bill McCrory and his playmates at turn on Mike Patrick and the Coeur d’Alene Press? In his latest screed, McCrory expands his contempt for the “lamestream media” to include Brand X and elevates his blog from the fringe of the local blogosphere to be actual competition for the two local newspapers, predicting that the blogs and comment section of the Coeur d’Alene Press and Betsy Russell (the respected political blogger/reporter Silly Billy paints as simply a “lobbyist masquerading as a journalist) is headed for “the obscurity of the tar pits.” You can read more of such silliness from McCrory, DanG, Stebbijo, & the rest of the crickets in the latest posting here.

Question: Why has turned on the Coeur d’Alene Press, which for years has been the mother ship for columns by Spencer, DanG, & Mary Souza?

HBO Poll: Hart Reprimand Not Enough

  • Weekend Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Online readers voted that the House Ethics Committee didn’t go far enough when it recommended only that tax-dodging state Rep. Phil Hart be removed from his position on the Revenue & Taxation Committee. 167 of 234 (71.37%) said the panel should have recommended that he be censured or booted out of the Idaho Legislature. 36 of 234 (15.38%) voted that the recommendation to boot him off the Rev & Tax was sufficient. Only 28 of 167 (11.97%) considered Hart to be a hero for taking on the IRS & Idaho Tax Commission. 3 were undecided.
  • Today’s Poll: If the election was held today, whom would you vote for in the state Superintendent of School’s race: Stan Olson or Tom Luna?

95% Of Idaho Teachers Back Olson

Idaho Education Association President Sherri Wood speaks at a statehouse rally Friday for Stan Olson for state superintendent of schools. Betsy Russell reported over the weekend that 95 percent of Idaho’s teachers support Olson, who is challenging current Superintendent Tom Luna. Story here. (SR photo: Betsy Russell)

Question: Will Democrat Stan Olson be helped much by the fact that 95 percent of Idaho teachers support him over incumbent Republican Tom Luna?

Christa: Teacher Collaboration Good?

Item: Weekly collaboration delay allows teachers to consult/Jacob Livingston, Handle Extra

Christa Hazel: Teachers had been collaborating after school. Collaboration is not a new concept — it is the “job-embedded” part that is new so now teachers meet during a prime learning hour on a weekly basis. This article states that it was 10 years in the making. 10 years is a long time to not include parent and/or community employers in the discussion. But this article states it’s a good thing — so it must be true. ;)

Question: Any thoughts on teacher collaboration in the Coeur d’Alene School District now that the teachers have been taking the first hour of the week to do so, for the past month?

Law Required Kennedy To Be Named

RE: This is the 2nd of a 2-part series by the Idaho Reporter on the Brannon-Kennedy election trial. You can read the first part here.

That means that Brannon had no choice but to include Kennedy in as a defendant in the case. That fact was verified by Coeur d’Alene city attorney Mike Gridley in an interview Friday.  Gridley represented the city in the court case, which wrapped up earlier this week.  Named as a defendant in the case, Gridley said Kennedy had three options: To hire a lawyer for his defense, act as his own lawyer, or to ignore the whole thing and risk a default judgment in Brannon’s favor – though Gridley noted that scenario would be highly unlikely. Still, said Gridley, Kennedy shouldn’t be forced to fork out his own cash to defend his victory in the election. “There were never any allegations that Mike Kennedy did anything wrong or underhanded,” said Gridley.  ”It does seem like it’s not real fair”/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Judge Charles Hosack should rule on the Brannon-Kennedy election case this week. How do you think he’ll rule?

Hucks: Prosecutor Duds Worthy Of GQ

Yeah, yeah, Jim Brannon’s legal challenge to overthrow his five-vote loss to incumbent Mike Kennedy in the 2009 Coeur d’Alene municipal elections had its moments. Like when Lani Chamness appeared on the witness stand in her Salvation Army uniform to answer questions in Team Brannon’s attempt to steal her vote simply because she’d cast it in the wrong precinct. Of more interest during the tedious questioning was wardrobe. That’s right. Huckleberries wanted to know “who” the principals were wearing. And planted a fashionista in the courtroom to critique their garb. John Cafferty of the county prosecutor’s office stole the show. Hands down/DFO, Huckleberries. More here.

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, what number would you give yourself for how you’re dressed right now?

AM Headlines — 9.27.10

Stacks of newspaper back copies were charred during an early morning fire at Shoshone News-Press in Kellogg on Thursday. Story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

JT: I Highly Recommend Green Bluff

JT: Took the drive up to Greenbluff with my wife and her folks today and drove the whole loop. What a beautiful day! Apple Festival, many apple varieties ripe and ready, O’Henry peaches and lots of other good things. That fresh fruit right off the trees just can’t be beat. If you’re looking for a fun way to enjoy these gorgeous days outside, I highly recommend the experience.

Question: Do you go to Green Bluff to pick apples each fall?

JDanMike: Will Our Kids Stay Here?

JDanMike: So is this investment (Kootenai Technical Education Campus) of our kids — the village, not just my house — education only supposed to stay locally. Are we not a global society? yes that includes little ol’ cda. yes i see we have opportunities here that demand a higher education and thats why we will see new blood being attracted here by the better jobs — and the lower cost of living. But I can’t see the expectation just because you are educated here you stay here.

Question: Do you expect your kids to stay in North Idaho or the Inland Northwest?

Marmie: Upon Losing A Pet

Marmitetoasty: Yesterday my darling 15 year old cat Ambrose, climbed onto my bed, snuggled into my duvet and died …. my half blind tail-less friend who has been my darling through so many hard times …. I was not prepared for how this tiny little old cats death would affect me… she was always by my side … she would sit in the bathroom whilst I had me bath, she would sit outside the loo scratching the door until I came out, she would sit on the computer desk whenever I was online, she would stand next to the fridge every morning when I came down the stairs knowing she would get a little piece of her favourite cheese or a titbit.. if I was watching telly she would always be sat on my lap or tummy …. she would bring me mice and half chewed frogs …. she died all snuggled in my duvet….a place she loved to be with me…. yesterday our Sam and Jacob helped me bury her in our garden, it was the hardest thing Ive had to do …. I havent stopped crying since … pathetic aint I?

Question: Do you understand people’s attachments to their pets?

Ramirez: The Sky Is Falling

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Weekend Wild Card 9.25-9.26

There’s sunshine and soccer in my weekend plans. And there’s Oktoberfest in downtown Spokane as well as the Annual Greek Festival. There are movies opening and plays running and music happening. Who  says there’s nothing to do around here?

Check in here and let us know how your weekend is going or post any breaking news you happen across, or cause.

Just because

I can.

Welcome back, DFO :-)

American Indian Day Wild Card

Today is the day we celebrate the rich culture and traditions of Native Americans. I wonder how folks in Benewah County celebrate the day?
In other news, it’s also a big day in my household because it’s my baby boy’s 11th birthday!  I cherish all of my sons (most of the time) but Sam almost didn’t get to stay with us. You can read his story here.

Also, tonight is a a Ha-Huge football game for number 2 son, Alex, as Mt. Spokane High School takes on Mead in the annual Battle of the Bell. I’ll be scooting out early to celebrate Sam and then continue the party under the bright lights of Joe Albi stadium.

Use this Wild Card to discuss your own celebrations or other news of the day.

Photo of the Day: Part Two

An oldie but a goodie. DFO gets a special visitor in the newsroom. Sadly, the goat died soon after this visit. You write the cutline. Keep ‘em coming.

1. At least the rabbit didn’t die … I’m always one for being grateful for small favors. almostinnocentbystander

2. Getting this goat is easy. Cabbage Boy

3. HBO detractors finally “connect the dots” regarding HBO’s success: goat sacrifices to the blogosphere gods. powederfarmer


Newest member of the Spokane Valley FD

During a media demonstration at Valley Fire Station 8 on Monday, Spokane Valley Fire Department fire investigator Rick Freier shows how his K-9 partner Mako, an arson dog, can sniff out gasoline and other liquid accelerants used by arsonists.

He’s cute, he’s friendly, his tail wags a mile a minute and he has a badge on his red collar. Meet Mako, the new arson dog at the Spokane Valley Fire Department.

Mako was unveiled this week after completing training with handler Rick Freier, a fire investigator, and becoming certified to sniff out the odor of accelerants such as gasoline at fire scenes. The dog, a 1 ½-year-old black Labrador, was paid for by State Farm Insurance. The company has sponsored an arson dog program since 1993 and pays to train 10 dogs and handlers in the United States every year. Nina Culver, SR Read more.

Please note all members of the fire department are fully clothed in this photo.

20 Mustaches that changed history

Hulk Hogan

When in the course of human events a mustache comes along that truly changes things, Aaron Perlut is there to celebrate.

As chairman of the American Mustache Institute, he’s high in the running for leading mustache expert in the country, and his deep involvement with the American Mustache knows few limits.

“As a young man I grew up surrounded by mustaches in my family, but I was always intimidated to grow them, even though I could from a very young age, because of the public pressures against it, because they weren’t cool, they weren’t hip,” Perlut, 39, told The Atlantic. Chris Good, The Atlantic  Full Story.

Among the history-making mustaches; Wyatt Earp, Ron Burgundy (Anchorman), Mark Spitz, Frank Zappa, but no DFO. I checked.

Mustaches: Yes or No?

Judge reinstates Witt

Margaret Witt, center, and her partner, Laurie McChesney, right, walk with Sher Kung, left, an attorney with the ACLU, near the federal courthouse in Tacoma, on Monday, Sept. 20, 2010.

TACOMA — Spokane resident Margaret Witt may be the best evidence that “Don’t Ask Don’t tell doesn’t work, a federal judge said today. U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton, in a sometimes emotional ruling from the bench, said Witt can be reinstated in the Air Force Reserves despite the military’s ban on homosexuals serving openly in the military.

Leighton ruled that Witt’s rights were violated and that evidence presented during a six day trial showed her unit, the 446th Air Evacuation Squadron did not suffer any loss of cohesion or morale from her service or other known or suspected homosexuals among its ranks. On the contrary, morale dropped after she was suspended and later discharged for being a lesbian.

That overrides the general reasons set down by Congress and adopted by the military to keep openly gay members from serving, he said. Jim Camden, SR More here.


Bumper crop of spuds

POCATELLO — New figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show the value of Idaho’s potato crop reached a record $855 million last year.

That’s an increase of nearly $22 million from 2008, according to the report the USDA released Thursday.

Idaho Potato Commission President Frank Muir told the Idaho State Journal that the record value shows that 2009 had a positive ending for growers, despite challenges caused by price slumps and high yields. AP,  Read more. 

What’s your favorite way to eat potatoes?

Size Matters

(CBS)  When it comes to male and female brains, researchers are finding there’s evidence that size actually does matter, according to a recent article in the New York Post.

CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton explained,”There appears to be a difference in the size of the brain when you compare men versus women, we’re talking about the anatomy here. Obviously, male brains tends to be larger, because men tend to be, but within the brain certain structures and parts of the anatomy, some are bigger in women, some are bigger in men. So, for example, in male brains, men have six and a half times more gray matter than women do. Gray matter is partly responsible for information processing, so may explain in general men tend to be better in math.”

But women, Ashton said, have as much as 10 times as much white matter — the part of the brain that’s I partially responsible for connecting information processing centers. More here.

I still say it’s all about how you use what you’ve got. Agree or disagree?

OTV: Obama’s not at the top of my happy list

OrangeTV on September 24 at 9:32 a.m.

I think it’s completely disgraceful that the president hasn’t used his power as commander in chief to immediately repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and is apparently willing to let McCain’s idiotic filibuster stand. Obama has been quoted as promising to end the dehumanizing policy by the end of 2010 and the clock is ticking. I generally like and appreciate the president, but for this and several other reasons, he’s not really at the top of my happy list at the moment.

Which begs the question: Who or what IS at the top of your happy list today?

Teachers rally for Olson

Idaho schoolteachers are coming out in force behind the candidacy of just-retired Boise school superintendent Stan Olson for state superintendent of schools, against incumbent Supt. Tom Luna. At a rally on the Statehouse steps today, more than 100 teachers from 75 school districts around the state gathered to kick off an independent campaign for Olson, announcing that an Idaho Education Association survey of its 13,000-plus members found that nearly eight in 10 teachers back Olson, and fewer than 5 percent plan to vote to re-elect Luna. EOB, More here.

Dems try to deflect voter anger to Wall Street

Patty Murray kicks off her general election campaign in Spokane at the West Central Community Center on Thursday morning, Aug. 19, 2010.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Patty Murray was stuck. Down in the polls for months and facing a well-known Republican challenger, the three-term Democrat was finding a difficult market for her hard-working-senator sales pitch.

Then she started bashing Wall Street and saying her opponent is in the pockets of bankers who want to repeal financial regulations.

Now, less than a month before ballots are distributed in Washington’s vote-by-mail election, Murray is apparently benefiting from some old-fashioned class warfare. She has gone from essentially being tied with challenger Dino Rossi to leading in the latest round of polls, proving that the 2010 Democratic campaign theme of linking the GOP to Wall Street greed can resonate with voters. Curt Woodward, AP Full story.

Wall Street bashing seems to be working for Murray. What do you think of the strategy?

High Noon: Internet makes you happier

According to this story in the New York Times:

“There are those who believe that too much time spent on the Internet makes people less social and causes them to lose touch with the real world, but a new British study released today found that access to the Internet and the web, and especially to social networks such as Facebook, can improve people’s levels of happiness. The study found that Internet access improves the overall well-being of lower-income users, those with less education and women — particularly those in developing countries — by giving them a sense of freedom and control over their lives.” Mathew Ingram Read More.

Does the Internet make you happier?


State Patrol officer shoots Spokane woman

Spokane police investigate at an apartment complex at Lincoln and Sinto where a Washington State Patrol detective-sergeant shot and injured a woman Friday morning, Sept. 24, 2010. Police say the woman’s injuries are not life-threatening.

A Washington State Patrol detective-sergeant shot and wounded a woman while serving a search warrant in Spokane this morning.

The officer is with the Quad City Drug Task Force, which was serving a search warrant about 8:15 a.m. at the Victoria Apartments, 1405 N. Lincoln, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the shooting.

The woman was transported to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, according to Sgt. Dave Reagan of the sheriff’s office. Read more. Meghann Cuniff, SR

Fill in the blank

My favorite birthday memory is___________

100 jobs to Kootenai County

COEUR d’ALENE - Horizon Air’s decision to outsource its aircraft heavy maintenance work is giving a boost to the Kootenai County economy.

Empire Aerospace, a division of express-freight shipper Empire Airlines, was recently awarded a long-term contract to complete heavy maintenance and aircraft modification work for Horizon.

Tim Komberec, the company’s CEO and president, said this means the creation of 100 new jobs at Empire’s 50,000-square-foot facility at the Coeur d’Alene Airport in Hayden.

“We’re in the process of adding 75 new direct employees to the maintenance organization, and about another 25 contract employees, 100 overall,” Komberec told The Press. Maureen Donlan, Cda Press More here.


Dueling Casinos

Plans by the Spokane Tribe of Indians to build a casino in Airway Heights ignited criticism from another area tribe during a closed-door Thursday meeting held by a federal agency that oversees Indian gaming.

The Thursday afternoon “consultation” was organized by the Office of Indian Gaming, a division of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The group is hosting six meetings between now and Nov. 18 to review rules that decide when tribes can build casinos on nonreservation land.

The Spokane Tribe hopes to build a 2.2-million-square-foot casino complex in Airway Heights on land that’s not part of its reservation. A change by the Office of Indian Gaming on its current rules would simplify that process.

If approved, the Spokane Tribe casino would be several miles from the Northern Quest Resort and Casino, opened by the Kalispel Tribe in 2000. Tom Sowa, SR Full Story. 

The only casino I’ve been to is Northern Quest. I loved the resort aspect, and the spa is divine, but the casino? Row after row of elderly folks staring at machines. Frankly, it creeped me out. Do you enjoy casinos? Why? And what do you think about this effort to build another casino a few miles away from an existing one?

Would you karaoki for dumplings?

MOSCOW – The winner of the Karaoke World Championships may not achieve world fame, but at least he or she won’t have to worry where the next meal is coming from – the top prize is 1 million Russian dumplings.

With an unusual purse like that, it’s clear that karaokists retain a sense of humor about a pursuit as derided as it is popular. But they’re also serious enough about it to have traveled from as far away as Australia and Nigeria for a three-day battle-of-the-no-bands in a Moscow banquet hall.

The first night of the competition Thursday seems to show that karaoke is at a tipping point. It’s gone far beyond caterwauling in front of a group of sozzled buddies and regretting it the next morning; most of those on stage here have serious pipes and carefully worked-out moves. Yet it retains the casual camaraderie of a barroom at midnight. Read More. Jim Heinz, AP

Karaoki is still on my bucket list. Do you karaoki? Where?

Lookout Pass plans expansion

Phil Edholm, chief executive  of Lookout Pass Ski Area, talks about expansion plans that would include 2,000 acres over two mountain peaks. He gave a tour of the proposed expansion site near the Idaho-Montana border on Wednesday.

Lookout Pass Ski Area has submitted a $20 million expansion plan to the U.S. Forest Service that would more than quadruple its terrain over 20 years, adding eight new chairlifts, a second base area and encompassing two additional peaks.

Lookout is the smallest of the Inland Northwest’s five regional ski areas. If the plan comes to fruition, Lookout’s acreage would rival the other four: Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Sandpoint, Silver Mountain Resort in Kellogg, Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park and 49 Degrees North in Chewelah. Full Story. Alison Boggs, SR

Do you ski Lookout? Do you ski at all?

Idaho voters against repeal of 17th Amendment

BOISE – Idahoans are dead-set against handing over selection of U.S. senators to the state Legislature, and Idaho Republicans are even more against the idea than Democrats or the state as a whole, according to a new poll.

Yet that move is a plank in the Idaho Republican Party platform, raising questions about how closely the leadership of the state’s largest political party reflects its members.

Meanwhile, two-thirds of Idaho Republicans, and nearly half of the state as a whole, say they generally support the agenda of the tea party movement, with the numbers in North Idaho rising to a 56 percent majority, compared to 47 percent support in southeastern Idaho and 43 percent in the Treasure Valley. More. Betsy Russell, SR


Jon to Bill: I thought Obama would do a better job

Jon Stewart made his much-anticipated return to ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ on Wednesday and went head to head with Bill O’Reilly, who dug into Stewart’s opinions on President Barack Obama. “Do you, Jon Stewart, have Obama remorse?” O’Reilly wondered. Stewart reiterated the seemingly anti-Obama sentiment he’s been making on ‘The Daily show’ lately. “I think people feel a disappointment in that there was a sense that ‘Oh Jesus will walk on water,’ and now you’re looking at it like, ‘Look at that, he’s just treading water,’” Stewart responded.
O’Reilly pressed further until Stewart admitted, “I thought he’d do a better job.”

“I’ve been saddened to see that someone who ran on the idea that you can’t expect to get different results with the same people and the same system has kept in place so much of the same system,” Stewart explained.

Stewart said the problem with the President is that “he ran as a visionary, and he’s led as a functionary.” More here. From

Agree or disagree with Stewart?

Strange Facebook Pages’s mastermind, Mark Zuckerberg, smiles at his office in Palo Alto, Calif.

Okay, I can see creating a Facebook page for your pet. I’m sure Milo would get attract a lot of friends and “likes”, but some of these pages make me wonder anew about the human race. reports the following strange Facebook pages:

  • I secretly want to punch slow walking people in the back of their heads
  • I hate the sun
  • The church of the flying spaghetti monster
  • Napkins
  • Panicking when your fingers get stuck in something stupid (I think I’ll friend this one)

Read more.

What kind of unusual Facebook page would you like to create?

Pledge to America: For Moscow Minidoka

Apparently MM thought I was remiss in not highlighting this story yesterday.

WASHINGTON – House Republicans will announce an expansive agenda today called a “Pledge to America” that proposes to shrink the size of government and reform Congress, offering a conservative plan of action they will pursue if they win a majority in the midterm elections.

Republicans would slash $100 billion in government spending on nonmilitary agencies and replace President Barack Obama’s landmark health care legislation with a scaled-back version. Small businesses would be able to deduct from taxes up to 20 percent of their annual income, and the Pentagon would receive increased funding to more quickly implement a ballistic missile defense system.

The plan would also eliminate any unspent money from last year’s $814 billion stimulus package and from legislation that authorized hundreds of billions of dollars to prop up failing Wall Street firms. Read more.

Would you be more or less likely to vote for candidates who sign such a pledge?

RIP Eddie Fisher

LOS ANGELES — Eddie Fisher, whose huge fame as a pop singer was overshadowed by scandals ending his marriages to Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor, has died. He was 82.

His daughter, Tricia Leigh Fisher of Los Angeles, told The Associated Press that Fisher died Wednesday night at his home in Berkeley of complications from hip surgery.

“Late last evening the world lost a true America icon,” Fisher’s family said in a statement released by publicist British Reece. “One of the greatest voices of the century passed away. He was an extraordinary talent and a true mensch.” More here.

Parting Shot: Fire Knife Dance

Ricah Niaruo, of Hawaii, demonstrates part of the Fire Knife Dance for a Spokane Fire Department marshal Wednesday during rehearsal for the CIrque du Soleil show “Alegria” a the Spokane Arena. Dan Pelle, SR

Are you planning to see Alegria at the Arena this weekend?

EOB: No fine for Hart on PAC campaign filing irregularities

The Idaho Secretary of State’s office says Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, has supplied the missing information from his campaign finance filings for a PAC he formed this year called “North Idahoans for Liberty,” and it’s closed the case without fining Hart. “Our main goal is disclosure, and we’ve been working with him to get it,” said Tim Hurst, chief deputy secretary of state. “We use a penalty as more of a last resort than the first attention-getting device.” More here at Eye on Boise

Thursday Wild Card 9.23

Ah. My favorite day of the week. I love Thursday because I tell myself I will have my desk cleared, projects completed and stories filed BEFORE the weekend. And each Thursday this seems do-able.  On Thursday I feel confident enough to add things like, “clean the grout” and “sort summer clothes” to my to-do list. And if by chance I fall short, well, there’s always Friday.

Feel free to muse about your favorite day of the week or matters more profound on this Wild Card.

Favorite Sci-fi Movies

Marion Cotillard and Leonardo DiCaprio star in “Inception.”


“Here’s what we learned from our list the “Top 25 Sci-Fi Films of All Time.” A few of you don’t know what Blade Runner is and way too many of you think Stallone’s Judge Dredd is Top 25 worthy.

Once we stopped “Hulk Smashing” all through the office, we took the time to cull through the article comments and put together this “Best Sci-Fi Movies: Readers’ Choice” feature.

You’ll be happy to know that several of these titles actually made it to the semi-final round when we were voting on our own “Top 25” list, so great minds really do think alike. So check out what you deemed to be worthy of your geek praise, and remember… this is your list!
Inception, Children of Men, Dark City and Total Recall made the list. What’s your favorite sci-fi flick?

2010: The year of the independent?

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, defeated in Alaska’s Republican primary, announces her write-in campaign Friday in Anchorage.

Credit the tea party, our election system or just plain ambition, but 2010 is fast becoming the year for established candidates to shun the two major political parties.

Write-in or third-party candidates look to significantly shake things up in several major statewide races Nov. 2 — and this week, yet another major candidate disclosed he may be adding his name to that list.

Republican Rep. Mike Castle said Wednesday that he “probably” would not wage a write-in candidacy for Delaware senator. But he also said he hasn’t ruled the option out; he’s pondering it, he said, “simply because it’s there, simply because I’ve had a number of people who’ve asked that I do that.” Castle, like Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, lost his Republican primary campaign to an insurgent tea party candidate, and is looking at a write-in effort like the one Murkowski announced last week as a way back into the 2010 political fray.

Below is a roundup of some of the year’s most significant independent candidates — together with a look at their motivations and the odds that they’ll prevail on Election Day. Rachel Rose Hartman

Have you ever voted for an Independent candidate?

Update: Fire at Shoshone News-Press

Stacks of charred newspapers can be seen at the Shoshone News-Press in Kellogg on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010. A fire was started at the offices early Thursday.

A 21-year-old man arrested for arson at the badly gutted office of the Shoshone News Press in Kellogg apparently “was just mad at the town,” Kellogg’s fire chief said today.

The newspaper lost a portion of its archives that date back decades.

Douglas Mark Burmeister of Kellogg was booked into Shoshone County Jail today for starting the fire inside the newspaper office at 401 S. Main St.

He was arrested away from the fire, but investigators had been able to place him at the scene, officials said.

Fire Chief Dale Costa said the arsonist broke a window to gain entry to the newspaper in the pre-dawn hours. SR, More here.

Liberty Lake skateboarder sets world record

Cohl Orebaugh, 14, practices  skateboarding on the half-pipe at Pavillion Park in Liberty Lake  Sept. 8, before he went on to set a world record.

Cohl Orebaugh, a 14-year-old skateboarder from Liberty Lake, set a world record Saturday for blunts and fakies accomplished in an hour.

“I thought I did pretty good,” he said.

Orebaugh said he exceeded his expectations when he completed 794 blunts and fakies in an hour at Pavillion Park in Liberty Lake. He expected to do around 500 of them. Read more. Lisa Leinberger,SR

Any world record you’d like to attempt?

WA ban on Internet gambling constitutional

OLYMPIA — Washington state’s ban on Internet gambling doesn’t run afoul of the U.S. Constitution’s protections of interstate trade, the state Supreme Court unanimously ruled today.

The high court upheld a King County Superior Court ruling, later affirmed by the Court of Appeals, against Renton lawyer Lee Rousso and his challenge of the 2006 law that makes online gambling a felony.

Janelle Guthrie, a spokeswoman for the state attorney general’s office, said that while online gambling was always considered illegal in the state, the 2006 law clarified that the Internet was included in the state and federal ban against remote gambling. The law also increased the charge from a gross misdemeanor to a felony. Full story.

Do you gamble?

Kelso rejects actions of ethics panel

Rep. Phil Hart, right, talks with his attorney, Starr Kelso, left.

On Wednesday, members of a ethics panel voted unanimously to recommend removal of Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, from the House Revenue and Taxation Committee.   Shortly after the decision was rendered, Starr Kelso, attorney for Hart, that the committee had no authority to recommend Hart’s removal.

Hart was cleared of two ethics complaints against him – one at an earlier committee meeting and one Wednesday – but members of the ethics panel felt that Hart’s ongoing legal case against the Idaho State Tax Commission could prove to be a conflict-of-interest for a member a House committee tasked with writing tax code.   The commission and the Internal Revenue Service say Hart owes more than $700,000 in back taxes, fees, and interest, but he is fighting that amount. The commission recently ruled against Hart in the matter, but the Athol Republican has filed a motion to reconsider.  If that motion is not approved, it is possible Hart could take his battle to district court. Full story. Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter

EOB: Labrador plans fundraiser in Puerto Rico

Idaho GOP congressional hopeful Raul Labrador plans to travel to his native Puerto Rico next week to raise money for his campaign against Democratic U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick, the AP reports, with a $500-per-person reception next Thursday. More here at Eye on Boise


From military to ministry Waldens hung together

Mary Jane and Clyde Walden have been married more than 70 years.

In May 1940, Gary Cooper, Ginger Rogers and Mickey Rooney graced the covers of movie magazines; Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of Great Britain; and in a tiny town in Montana, Clyde and Mary Jane Walden married.

Seventy years later, they are still smiling. More here Cindy Hval, SR

Can you imagine being married to your spouse for 70 years?

LCDC agrees to buy $24,800 bathroom

COEUR d’ALENE - Lake City Development Corp. is helping college students feel relief. With a roughly $25,000 john, not tuition.

The board has agreed to fund a new bathroom for Lewis-Clark State College and Boise State University students taking classes in the two portable classrooms on the portion of the North Idaho College campus known as the former DeArmond Mill site.

So before the bad weather sets in, those knowledge-hungry pupils won’t have to trek as far - or miss as much of the lecture - when they have to interrupt their studies to go.

No hall pass required. Tom Hasslinger, Cda Press, Full story.


High Noon: Megachurch pastor accused of abuse

ATLANTA – As a Christian author, gospel singer and leader of one of the nation’s best-known black megachurches, Bishop Eddie Long finds a wide audience for messages such as marriage is “between one man and one woman.” Those words hung heavy Wednesday over accusations that the TV preacher, a married father of four, used jewelry, cars and cash to lure three young men into sexual relationships.

Lawsuits filed Tuesday and Wednesday say the young men were 17 or 18 years old at the time, attending Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.

A lawyer for Long, who writes books on heterosexual relationships and has strong ties to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s family, adamantly denied the allegations.  AP, Read more.

Do you attend a “megachurch?”

Another use for zucchini

FRENCHTOWN, Mont. — Police say a Montana woman used an unlikely weapon to fend off a charging bear — a zucchini.

Missoula County Sheriff’s Lt. Rich Maricelli says a 200-pound black bear attacked the woman’s 12-year-old collie just after midnight Wednesday on the back porch of her home about 15 miles west of Missoula.

When the woman, whom police did not name, screamed to draw the bear’s attention, it charged her and swiped at her leg.

Maricelli says the woman jumped back into the doorway and reached for the nearest object on her kitchen counter — a 12-inch zucchini from her garden.

What’s your favorite way to use zucchini?

Fill in the Blank

If I had a trust fund and didn’t HAVE to work I would _________

Men and their toys

An eBay teddy bear sporting a 10th anniversary shirt

According to this ABC news story 1-in-4 grown men travel with a stuffed animal.That’s right, teddy bears, stuffed dogs and other plush animals are neslted alongside shaving cream and razors in many traveling businessmen’s luggage.

Really? Really? C’mon guys. Fess up. Do you travel with your teddy? How about you ladies? Can you sleep without Mr. Fluffernutter or Bear Bear?

H/t LizA

Discontent in Idaho

As Idaho voters make clear their displeasure with cuts to public education spending, the men running to lead the state’s schools for the next four years are campaigning in relative obscurity.

A poll of 625 people likely to vote in the Nov. 2 election shows that 56 percent think per-pupil spending on K-12 public education is too low. The poll, conducted by The Spokesman-Review and six other daily Idaho newspapers, also shows that 23 percent of voters remain undecided about the race for superintendent of public instruction, possibly because some don’t know who’s running.

While GOP incumbent Tom Luna leads Democratic challenger Stan Olson 47 percent to 30 percent, the poll shows that 18 percent of respondents don’t recognize Luna’s name – giving him by far the lowest name recognition of any incumbent running in a statewide race this year. Olson, the just-retired Boise School District superintendent, is unknown to 53 percent of poll respondents. Full story. Ben Botkin, Times News

Are you happy with public education in Idaho?

NIC president diagnosed with breast cancer

Priscilla Bell

COEUR d’ALENE — North Idaho College’s president says she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and will be taking medical leave for at least two weeks.

Priscilla Bell told the Coeur d’Alene Press that she will take leave beginning today to undergo surgery. She says her date of return has not been set because doctors have not yet determined the stage of the disease.

Bell says she hopes for the best and will be grateful if she can avoid chemotherapy. Read more.

Have you are any of your family members battled breast cancer?

Similac recalled due to bugs

Many moms are breast-feeding their infants. But quitting too soon or introducing formula can reduce the benefits of breast-feeding. Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Drugmaker Abbott Laboratories said Wednesday it is recalling millions of containers of its best-selling Similac infant formula that may be contaminated with insect parts.

The voluntary action affects up to 5 million Similac-brand powder formulas sold in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and some Caribbean countries. The company said the products may contain a small beetle or larvae, which could cause stomach ache and digestion problems.

The recall does not affect any liquid formulas or other Abbott-brand products.

A company spokeswoman said Abbott uncovered the insects last week in one section of a manufacturing plant in Sturgis, Michigan. Read more. Matthew Perrone, AP

H/t Toadman

Um. No beetle infestation has been reported in breastmilk. How did/do you feed your infants?

HBO Poll: No To Tax Hikes For Education

  • Wednesday Poll: 78 of 136 (57.35%) respondents said they would rather see another cut of 7.5% in public education by the 2011 Legislature than see legisators raise taxes. 56 of 136 (41.18%) would prefer that taxes be raised to avoid a second straight year of deep cuts to education. Two were undecided.
  • Today’s Poll: Are you satisfied with the way the House Ethics Committee dealt with tax-resisting Rep. Phil Hart?

Yawn…baseball…Mariners win…yawn

Seattle Mariners’ Jose Lopez slugs his third home run of the game against the Blue Jays on Wednesday.

TORONTO — Jose Lopez hit three home runs, Michael Saunders added a two-run drive and the Seattle Mariners beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-3 on Wednesday night.

Lopez hit a solo shot off starter Kyle Drabek in the second inning, led off the sixth with a blast off reliever Brian Tallet, and connected again off reliever Shawn Camp in the eighth. It was his first multihomer game of the season and fourth of his career.

How many baseball games do you watch each season? And why?

Death by Caffeine

Here’s a handy dandly litte chart that will help you determine the difference between really wide-awake and you know– death.

According to the information provided I should be safe If I limit my coffee intake to less than 90 cups per day and keep my Monster consumption under 60 cans. I’m not too worried.

How much caffeine do you consume on an average day? What’s you preferred method of consumption, coffee, energy drinks etc?

Defiant Hart Reacts To Ethics Finding

Idaho Rep. Phil Hart’s attorney, Starr Kelso, has sent out a defiant response to today’s House Ethics Committee decision on Hart’s behalf, arguing that the panel’s decision “has no basis in law or procedure and exceeds the committee’s authority.” That’s not what the Idaho Attorney General’s office advised the ethics committee. You can read Kelso’s statement here; headed, “Phil Hart’s Response to the Idaho Ethics Committee Rulings,” declares, “Since January 2005 Mr. Hart has paid over $120,000 in txes. Mr. Hart believes that when the law is applied to the facts it will be determined that he has overpaid his income taxes”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Is it possible that Hart is going to overplay his hand and incur the anger of House Republican leaders by his unwillingness to be gracious in the face of a unanimous recommendation that he be stripped of his Rev & Tax post?

Parting Shot — 9.22.10

House Ethics Committee Chairman Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, and Vice Chair Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, talk before the panel’s  hearing Wednesday began on the conduct of Rep. Phil  Hart, R-Athol. Shortly before the hearing began, Jaquet announced the arrival of a new grandson. (SR photo: Betsy Russell)

Sick? Google Rather Than Doc Visit

A Facebook friend writes that she “is going to Google when she feels sick instead of paying $130 for a doctor to ‘guess’ and ‘suppose’ and ‘wait and see.’”

Question: Does the high cost of medical care prompt you to seek other options when you’re not feeling well, than simply going to the doctor or seeking other emergency care?

Hump Day Wild Card — 9.22.10

As Mr. Wizard used to say when it was time to rescue his assistant, “Drizzle, drazzle, druzzle, time for this one to come home.” Or in this case go home. And then take a coupla days off. (For those of you who roll your eyes whenever I take a break, I’ll be officially down to 8 vacation days left when I return … and I plane to take them around Thanksgiving & Christmas). Even your blogmeister needs an occasional break from the hijinks that goes on here. I took Cindy on a tour of the cooler this afternoon and heard her mutter something about people that should be inside. I handed her the keys with fear and trembling. Be careful out there. Now, for your re-posted Wild Card …

Mary: Suit V. Kennedy ‘Not Personal’

In responding to another commenter at Coeur d’Alene Press online re: “Kennedy’s legal fees soar to $50,000,” Mary Souza of said that targetting Kennedy as a defendant wasn’t “optional” or “personal.” Writes Mary: “Mike Kennedy was only named in the lawsuit because the Idaho Election law REQUIRES (her shouting capitals not mine) that the incumbent be named.” She set up that comment by pointing out that Brannon has no money and that he was fired from his position as local director of Habitat for Humanity “less than an hour before the televised candidate forum where he was to debate Mr. Kennedy.” She said the firing looked “even more political when Habitat then received a grant from the city a short time later.” (See 2:55 comment here)

Question: Would you take it as “personal” if someone brought a frivolous suit against you that cost you $50,000?

PM Headlines — 9.22.10

Ray Stone, former, two-term mayor of Coeur d’Alene and a concentration camp liberator, is one of the “faces” featured in Ralph Bartholdt’s current photography exhibit at the Coeur d’Alene Library. You can see it through the end of September.

APhoto Of The Day — 9.22.10

A worker paints an Oregon State football practice field blue on Monday in Corvallis, Ore. No. 24 Oregon State plays at No. 3 Boise State and its blue turf on Saturday. Oregon State diluted 70 gallons of white grass paint as a base under 280 watered-down gallons of blue grass paint. The paint was donated. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Oregon State University, Ethan Erickson)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Being more intelligent than their brethren to the south and west, the U of I saved money when they changed the color of their uniforms to green to match their field, rather than the other way around — JohnA.
  • 2. The Smurfs are coming, the Smurfs are coming — Charlie.
  • 3. Brings new meaning to “Bluegrass Miracle” — Jamie Lynn Morgan.

Scanner Traffic/PM — 9.22.10

  • 6:14 p.m. A male is lying in the middle of H95, near Kidd Island Road.
  • 5:58 p.m. ISP officer reports that traffic is backed up for 2 miles w/b @ the stateline and traveling 15 mph as a result of construction work.
  • 5:52 p.m. Inga, on Saxon/Hayden, reports finding an arrow in her yard.
  • 4:53 p.m. Female reports a male waling in 200  block of Caton/Post Falls hit her in the face.
  • 4:49 p.m. Top of a tree has fallen onto some utility wires on English Point Road/Hayden.
  • 4:44 p.m. 2 under-age girls are drinking beer in front yard of 9th Street/CdA apartments.
  • 4:33 p.m. A male threatening suicide has fallen down stairs in 3700 block of Belmont/CdA.
  • 4:31 p.m. Caller reports hearing an approximate 3YO girl yelling “no, no, no” inside house on Lemonwood Lane/Post Falls.
  • 4:20 p.m. A llama is running loose from Flying Arrow Ranch, H97 & Eddyville.
  • Much more below

NIdaho Blogs: “Let Them Be”?

It seems lately I’ve been reading and hearing quite a lot of advice from parents about the importance of letting your kids be who they want to be without fear of criticism or ridicule. Which is all well and good on the surface, but what about the kid who wants to be rude? Or lazy? Or stinky? I don’t tell my children what to think and feel. Well, not completely. Because there is a point where I do have to step in and explain certain things to them/Idaho Dad, A Family Runs Through It. More here.

  • Hucks Online numbers (for Tuesday): 11,076/6272, & (for Monday): 11,605/6742

Question: Should you provide considerable guidance to your children or simply “let them be” to figure it out themselves?

Sayler: Hart Conduct Unethical, But …

Rep. George Sayler, D-Coeur d’Alene, voted with the panel’s Republican members in an earlier 5-2 vote to dismiss a charge against Hart of abuse of legislative privilege. “I’ve said before I don’t think this is a partisan issue,” Sayler said. “I don’t see that we had a clear standard to judge by, in terms of the immunity clause … when it can be used and when it cannot be used. I certainly thought it was inappropriate, and cast a black mark on the legislative body, and I would hope that Rep. Hart would change his practice, but in terms of a clear violation of that clause, I didn’t see it. ”Sayler said, “From a personal perspective, I do believe his behavior was unethical. But from a legal perspective, I didn’t see we had the justification”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. And: Betsy’s full story on today’s Ethics Committee hearing here.

Question: Will today’s unanimous recommendation by the House Ethics Committee hurt Hart with House District 3 voters?

Happy Customers Rank Avista Highly

Avista has earned the highest ranking in satisfaction among residential natural gas customers in the midsize natural gas utilities segment of the West region, according to the 2010 J.D. Power and Associates Gas Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM released today. Avista’s score of 654 placed the utility highest in the segment, tied with Boise-based Intermountain Gas Company. The segment average score on this study was 629. In its ninth year, the study surveys customer satisfaction across a number of factors, including billing and payment, price, corporate citizenship, communications, customer service and field service.

Question: Beyond the rates, which everyone wishes were lower, are you satisfied with Avista service?

Inlander: A Social Media Sensation

The trial became a social media sensation in the Lake City with gavel-to-gavel coverage on Facebook and two blogs — the Kennedy-friendly Spokesman-Review’s Huckleberries Online, and the Brannon-friendly Highlights included a 30-minute rant by Kelso that Hosack step down, a Brannon supporter ejected, a witness telling Kelso to “shove” some papers to a dark place and regular fashion updates on Huckleberries/Kevin Taylor, Inlander. More here.

  • Red Carpet redux: “Inlander Reporter Kevin Taylor:  Dark colored t-shirt, blue jeans, and brown leather shoes.  His black barn jacket with a brown corduroy collar befits his profession.”

Question: Will Brannon appeal an adverse verdict to the Supreme Court?

Ethics Panel Wants Hart Off Rev & Tax

You can read the tail-end of the play-by-play live-blog report by Dustin Hurst/Idaho Reporter of the action by the House Ethics Committee and tax-resisting Rep. Phil Hart below. Link at bottom provides the full report. (Courtesy photo from Idaho Reporter, of Phil Hart during 2010 Legislature):

  • 3:28 p.m.: Raybould motions that committee find Hart not guilty of abusing legislative privilege. Loertscher says that proper motion is to dismiss ethics complaint.  Seconded by Wills.
  • 3:30 p.m.: Kane: “You don’t have five rights of free speech a year. It’s difficult to quantify an upper or lower limit on its use.”
  • 3:31 p.m.: Ethics panel clear Hart on abuse of legislative privilege on a count of 5-2.
  • 3:32 p.m.: Raybould recommends that the speaker remove Hart from Revenue and Taxation Committee.
  • 3:33 p.m.: Panel votes 7-0 to recommend that Idaho Speaker of House Lawerence Denney remove Hart from House Revenue and Taxation Committee.
  • 3:34 p.m.: Jaquet brings up why Hart hasn’t had legislative salary garnished.  Loertscher says that topic is off-limits for  ethics panel.
  • Dustin Hurst’s complete live-blog of proceedings here

Question: Are you satisfied with the split decision by the House Ethics Committee re: Rep. Phil Hart’s tax problems?

Ready For Takeoff

On her More Main Street page, Kerri Thoreson posts this photo of Captain Nathan Corkill awaiting departure from Pappy Boyington Field at the county airport Saturday afternoon. Kerri continues: “Capt. Corkill is a Kellogg High School and U of I grad who was home during flight training on September 17 & 18. See more photos HERE of Nathan and his fellow pilots at the airport.”

Hart Refuses To Quit Tax Panel Post

  • Dustin Hurst via Twitter: “Hart gives no answer on question about possible resignation from tax committee. Hart says he will meet with speaker of Idaho House. In short, he is not resigning from committee.

The House Ethics Committee is taking a 15-minute recess, at the suggestion of Rep. Dell Raybould, “to  see whether or not Rep. Hart would prefer to resign from the Rev and Tax Committee while this process with the Tax Commission is going on, so that there isn’t any conflict.” Raybould said, “If he would voluntarily do that, why then I think this issue would be completely resolved … for now.” The committee then voted unanimously to take the 15-minute break/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Should Rep. Phil Hart be removed from his position on the House Revenue & Taxation Committee, as a result of his conflict of interest involving his tax problems?

Wayne: Lawmakers Now An Elite Class

Most of us recognize that in this economic climate, just having a job is a gift. In both the private and public sectors, employees have been told to take a day off of work here and there, without pay, in order to help make payroll. That’s the kid-glove treatment. Others have been laid off. And yet, for some inexplicable reason, a citizens committee voted last week to exempt state lawmakers from the same kind of medicine. The committee voted to recommend that lawmakers continue to earn their salaries of $16,116 a year. That’s the same money legislators have earned for four years running. Panel chairman Rich Jackson asked, according to a story on, “If we keep legislative salary and benefits low, where does the line cross that no one will run?”/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Should Idaho legislators take a pay and benefits cut as a symbolic gesture in these hard economic times?

Julie: Sillier Than Other Silly Seasons?

On Facebook, Julie Fanselow wonders: “Is this political silly season any sillier than any other. I can’t tell any more.”

Question: What do you think?

Dustin Live-Blogging Hart Hearing

Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol is facing an ethics complaint that he used his legislative privilege too many time to avoid litigation by the Idaho State Tax Commission and the Internal Revenue Service. Hart was cleared on a charge of having a conflict-of-interest during committee votes in an earlier ethics hearing by a 4-3 party line vote, with Republicans voting to clear Hart and Democrats opposing it. The second hearing is a result of a delayed ruling by ethics committee chairman Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, who deferred passing judgement of the second charge in the original hearing because Hart had an open case with the tax commission/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Can Hart expect to get another 4-3 pass from Republican majority?

Sis: Brannon Suit Doomed From Start

Sisyphus: The “facts” were in Brannon’s hands well before the thing went to trial. And they knew it would fail. It was futile to proceed EXCEPT to pursue their improper political motives which I deem a misuse of the legal system. They also are using it to advance their claim against Dan, not legally, but as a vehicle in the court of public opinion. Mistakes are made in every single election. What Brannon supporters label as “illegal” votes are really just honest mistakes, either from the voter, or the hard-working people in the clerk’s office, and which happen every single time we hold an election. There was no pattern of corruption or malfeasance as alleged. There was no cause for a “fraud” claim that they tried to include the week before trial. They were overreaching allegations for specious purposes. They never wanted this thing to end and were interested in taking this contest right through the next election cycle in an effort to show they’ve been victimized by the establishment. And there should be consequences for that.

Question: Is Sisyphus right? Are human errors made in every election?

INW: Preparing For The Blue

The Oregon State University Beaver football team practices on blue painted Protho field in Corvallis, Ore., on Tuesday in preparation for the Boise State game to be played in Boise this Saturday. (AP Photo/Corvallis Gazette-Times, Scobel Wiggins)

High Noon: An Occasional Break Helps

Stickman: Sometimes we all need a break from HBO. I have taken a few and it helps when I come back and it seems I have a fresher mind. Lately there seems to be a bit more troll activity, but with the cooler being active and HBO people getting on them a bit, I think you will see a lot of that dying down. All the fuss with the trial didn’t help as well, so maybe cooler times are ahead. Have a nice break but be sure to come back, you are one of the family.

Question: Have you ever been thrown in the Huckleberries Online cooler? Or come close to being thrown in the cooler?

Scanner Traffic/AM — 9.22.10

  • 11:58 p.m. 4 people have been injured in a single-vehicle rollover on 4th of July Pass on I-90 @ M/P 22. Debris is spread over 100 yards. 2 ambulances are en route. One male, in his 60s, is bleeding profusely from his head.
  • 11:55 p.m. Caller reports a rock about size of suitcase has fallen from hillside onto w/b I-90 just west of Fourth of July Pass.
  • 11:31 p.m. Male on Macie Loop/Hayden reports boys are riding dirt bikes on walking trails.
  • 11:10 p.m. A Post Falls woman reports she received a call for money from a grandson who claims he’s in jail.
  • Much more below

Times-News: Don’t Count Out Allred

In an editorial, the Twin Falls News-Tribune pointed out that some of the biggest names in the moderate wing of the Republican Party have endorsed Democrat Keith Allred. These include former state Sen. Laird Noh, R-Kimberly; Twin Falls County Commissioner Tom Mikesell and onetime Twin Falls Mayor Gale Kleinkopf. They’ve joined state Rep. Rich Jarvis, R-Meridian; former state Sens. Judi Danielson, R-Council; Hal Bunderson, R-Meridian, Dennis Hansen, R-Soda Springs; ex-state Rep. Larry Bradford, R-Franklin, and longtime former Ada County Sheriff Vaughn Killeen and others in opposing the reelection of a Republican governor. This, editorializes the Times-News, “hasn’t happened to such an extent since GOP pragmatists broke ranks with conservative Republican Gov. Don Samuelson in 1970, helping ensure the election of Democrat Cecil Andrus.” More here.

Question: Are the sun, moon, and stars lining up for another possible Democrat upset in the gubernatorial race as happened 40 years ago when Cecil Andrus came to power?

Keith Allred Unveils New Ad

Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise breaks down the claims in the new television ad by Democrat Keith Allred, who is running against incumbent Gov. Butch Otter, here

Question: What do you think of Keith Allred’s new TV ad?

HBO Poll: Steele Wasn’t Framed

  • Tuesday Poll: 136 of 182 (74.73%) respondents said that ex-Aryan Nations attorney Edgar Steele wasn’t framed by the FBI to silence his politically incorrect views in his murder-for-hire case. Only 32 of 182 (17.58%) believe his was set up. 14 voters were undecided.
  • Marano-Sims: Surprisingly, 104 of 150 (69%) respondents said they planned to vote for Democrat Paula Marano in her House District 4 race with Republican Kathy Sims in November. 31 of 182 (31%) respondents said they would vote for Sims.
  • Today’s Poll: Would you support a tax hike to avoid another round of cuts to education like the 7.5% cut in 2010?

Izzit Just Me, Or …

… is Huckleberries Online being hit with an unusual amount of troll activity in recent days, generally one-shot wonders who pop in with one of those shadow avatars to dump on a regular here. Last night, I booted a newby who made 2 troll-like comments in 3 posts. Even some of the fringe commenters are becoming more troll-like. Is it the time of the year … with the election campaigns upon us? Is this more of the fullout from Jim Brannon’s lawsuit? Whatever it is, you can bet I’ll stay on top of it. And there’s a strong possibility that those involved in such behavior will become familiar with the inside of the cooler …

Question: Why do you think the trolls are active?

Farewell For A Year

At More Main Street, Kerri Thoreson caught this moment between her sister, Janna Scharf, and Janna’s son, Dallas, moments before he boarded the bus Tuesday with the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team for training in Mississippi before deployment to the Middle East for a year. Story here.

Question: Is your family currently serving in Iraq or Afghanistan?

NIC Ed Corridor Progressing Nicely

Item: Education Corridor progresses:Construction to get under way this spring/Tala Wood, North Idaho College Sentinel

More Info: This plan comprises a joint campus for NIC, the University of Idaho and Lewis and Clark State College. The corridor is being built on the site of what was once the DeArmond Mill. The 17-acre site was purchased in 2008 for $10 million by the NIC Foundation, a nonprofit organization. The Foundation is leasing it to NIC until the college pays the cost back to the Foundation, which is expected to be in mid-2012. This annual lease is partly paid for through what is called “foregone taxes.”

Question: Would you vote for a trustee candidate for the North Idaho College board, if you knew that s/he opposed development of the Education Corridor?

Column: Skipping Class Is Privilege

Skipping class is a privilege and a choice, but now it can become determined by an equation. The website SkipClassCalculator is designed to help students determine whether or not they should skip class. The website has a series of questions people are supposed to answer and submit, and the website will say whether or not skipping class is a good idea.  While the website is slightly comical — one response tells people not to even bother putting on pants because the class is just not worth attending - it also is encouraging students to waste their money. Let’s be honest, skipping class is one of the perks of paying for it: If you don’t want to go, you don’t have to. It is a choice students are faced with everyday, and it’s a choice they should make on their own. But does that mean it is a good choice not to go?/Elizabeth Rudd, UIdaho Argonaut. More here.

Question: Did you skip class much in college?

Kennedy Faces $50K In Legal Bills

  • Originally posted 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21

Mike Kennedy has spent thousands of dollars to keep his seat on the Coeur d’Alene City Council. The money didn’t buy hundreds of campaign yard signs or pieces of literature; rather Kennedy’s money is being used to pay his lawyers to defend his victory in the 2009 race, the outcome called into question by challenger Jim Brannon. …  While the two government entities were able to use taxpayer dollars to fund the case against Brannon, Kennedy is being forced to pay for his electoral victory defense out of his own pocket.  Kennedy told that he has raised and spent more than $6,000 on the legal challenge and the he expects the case to cost at least $50,000 more than that/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: What do you think Jim Brannon’s legal expenses are?

Christie Wood Seeks 2nd Trustee Term

Item: Wood seeks second term on NIC Board of Trustee/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: A Coeur d’Alene police sergeant, Wood is a supervisor in the department’s detective division and serves as the agency’s public information officer. She has 22 years of law enforcement experience. Wood believes her professional work, and as a member of two other boards - an eight-year stint from 2000 to 2008 as a trustee for the Coeur d’Alene School District, and a current position, for more than two years, on the Kootenai County Task Force for Human Relations - keep her plugged in and aware of the needs of those served by NIC.

Question: Who do you support in this race — Christie Wood or Robert Ketchum? (BTW, what do you make of Ketchum & Ron Nilson running as a team for the NIC board)?

AM Headlines — 9.22.10

Linda Lantzy, Idaho Scenic Images, went for a little drive last night and this is what her trained eye found.

Spencer: FBI Doesn’t Entrap, Does It?

Larry Spencer: From (Meghann Cuniff’s) story on Sept 7 “Fairfax has said he attached the pipe bomb to Cyndi Steele’s car in such a way that it wouldn’t explode, but his plea deal calls for him to acknowledge the device had the potential to explode.” Let’s think about this. Why, if the charges are true, would he put a bomb under a car and do so in a way that it couldn’t explode? Unless… He was making a deal with the FBI before this all started and offered to frame Steele in return for them dropping the firearm charges against him … Naw. That would mean the FBI is working some sort of entrapment game, and they just wouldn’t do that. I’m sure they wouldn’t. … Well, I would like to think that they don’t do that anymore. But it they are, look at the bright side, nobody died this time!

Question: Are you surprised that Cyndi Steele is standing by her husband who allegedly was plotting to kill her?

MM: Graphic Billboards, Bah!

Moscow Minidoka: There is no justifiable reason for my 4 year old to be exposed to those billboards. None at all. Just because that’s “reality” doesn’t make it necessary or right. Women get raped. Should we have billboards depicting rape? Teenagers commit suicide. Should we have billboards depicting the aftermath of a suicide victim who has shot himself in the face? Sometimes kids parents get cancer - and they die. Should we have a billboard showing Mommy as a corpse after her autopsy? After all, it’s reality, isn’t it? Many of the same people who decry the graphic and harsh nature of our society stand right in line to support these billboards, because they want to join the “War on Drugs.” What a bunch of baloney. You think Hollywood is making our society worse? How about the meth billboards, huh?

Question: Has the war on drugs been successful?

Idahoans Unsure Re: Sales Tax Breaks

Item: Many Idaho voters undecided about sales tax breaks: Exemptions disliked but unlikely to change/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman

More Info: In the poll, 59 percent said GOP Gov. Butch Otter and GOP legislative leaders were right to rule out tax increases in 2010. But by a 48 percent to 38 percent margin, they would support raising taxes to avoid another round of cuts similar to the 7.5 percent reduction in school support in 2010.

Question: Would you support higher taxes to avoid another round of education cuts?

Signe: Harmful To Your Health

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Author Prospers After Getting Fired

Candice Reed, co-author of “Thank You for Firing Me! How to Catch the Next Wave of Success After You Lose Your Job,” will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29, in the Community Room of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave. Reed’s successful writing career has spanned more than 20 years. Before her career in journalism, she lost jobs as an insurance salesperson, a funeral director, a singing/dancing waitress and an ice-cream binging weight-loss counselor.

Question: Did you ever come well ahead as a result of being fired from a job?

P.S. 116th Calvary Deploys

PFC Brian Borkoski says good-bye to his wife Cassi Borkoski, left, and his 14-month-old daughter Magdalena Borkoski at the National Guard Armory in Post Falls today. About 1,500 members of the 116th Calvary Brigadeare are leaving this week from Twin Falls, Boise,  Idaho  Falls, Pocatello, Lewiston and Post Falls for a year long deployment in Kuwait and Iraq for Operation New Dawn. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Wild Card/Tuesday — 9.21.10

I still haven’t seen a moose in the wild in the Inland Northwest. But I know if I did I wouldn’t be getting to close to it. Seems the one that showed up at Post Falls City Hall didn’t like being crowded while it ate this morning — and charged speck-tators. ‘Tis only a matter of time before someone gets hurt or worse by one of these beasts … and then people will understand that it’s best to stay away. Now that the mini-lecture is ended, it’s time for the daily Wild Card …

PM: On A Carousel …

Wendy Kirbey, 66, of The Albany Brass Ring Historical  Carousel & Museum Project in Albany, Ore., takes a break from a gathering of the National  Carousel  Association in Riverfront Park to interact with “Geri” the giraffe, featured on the Looff Carrousel. Story here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

APhoto Of The Day — 9.21.10

South African model Christina Storm poses for photos during an  anti- fur  advertisement photo shoot in Johannesburg Tuesday. Storm was posing with a poster “I’d Rather Go Naked than Wear  Fur” to highlight the treatment of animals farmed for the use of their  fur in the fashion industry. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Tawanda Mudimu)

Top Cutline:

  • 1. Altho her back was killing her and the photog a perv and the klieg lights miserable, Christina did not complain, whimper, or hold even a tiny mote of resentment for the sub-standard pay, for Christina knew exactly why she was doing this gig, and why she would continue to support every anti-fur organization she could … More here/Mr. Bloggy
  • 2. After applying for so many journalism jobs she started speaking to family and friends in cover-letter style (“self-feeder seeks satisfying dinner out with husband offering room for advancement into the bedroom”; “motivated conversationalist seeking morning coffee at Starbucks with good-natured friend”; “hard-working mom wants daughter to get out of bed now, please”), Storm took off all her clothes and found that suddenly, the media couldn’t get enough of her/Brent.
  • 3. Glancing over at Mr. Bloggy, Ms. Storm cast aside her sign and said “I’d rather go naked than hear another adjective” — JohnA.
  • HM: Powder Farmer

Scanner Traffic/PM — 9.21.10

  • 5:46 p.m. Moose, @ 3rd & Henry/Post Falls, is beginning to get aggressive b/c kids are chasing it.
  • 5:22 p.m. An ISP officer has caught a German shepherd that was wandering around Hauser City Hall.
  • 5:20 p.m. Caller reports a chocolate Lab is causing traffic to back up by running in and out of intersection @ Ramsey & Orchard/Hayden.
  • 4:54 p.m. Caller reports a 6YO boy who may live on Heron/Hayden is riding his scooter onto Ramsey Road/Hayden.
  • 4:41 p.m. Two of 3 teen girls in a vehicle on Post Falls stretch of I-90 are hanging heads out the windows.
  • 4:35 p.m. Nancy reports her “friendly pitbull” fell out of her pickup.
  • 4:14 p.m. PFPD Blue wonders if a Post Falls home owner knows that a moose has been hanging out in his back yard all day. 2nd PFPD Blue confirms — and also says that F&G were notified earlier today but don’t seem interested in the animal.
  • 4:11 p.m. Lakes Middle School official wants to see officer re: a shooting threat made by a student today.
  • 4 p.m. Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office is now providing info & photos of individuals wanted on felony warrants here and on misdemeanor warrants here.
  • Much more below

Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite

Brian Hirch, sales manager for Protect A Bed, wears a bed bug hard hat during the first North American Bed Bug Summit today in Rosemont, Ill. The event’s sponsor, BedBug Central, says the two-day summit will host 14 of the nation’s leading entomologist and bed bug specialists, along with a gathering of bed bug-industry related vendors. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Question: You’ve heard the old expression: Good night, sleep tight; don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Have you ever been bitten by a bed bug?

Kevin: Fashion Report Great Fun

Kevin Taylor of the Inlander: I think the fashion report was great fun … brought a smile every day it ran … I also have a suspicion of who your fashionista berry picker may be (bwa-hahahaha). I mention the report (briefly) in my story that comes out tomorrow. Tried to work in some fashion examples (I totally agree that Tom Hasslinger looked like preppy lemonade on Saturday ;-) )… but I was limited to 400 words. ALSO It struck me as outdated that I was not allowed to bring in a digital recorder, even as seemingly a third of the gallery was cruising HBO on laptops or texting from their phones. Something’s not fair.

DFO: Ya shoulda said you were reporting on the event for Huckleberries. Judge mighta let you sit at the bench with him. (BTW, KT, is great to see you again last week.)

Question: Did you like the Red Carpet fashion reports from the Brannon Election Trial?

Bondgrl: Guard Set Deployment Rules

Bondgrl: I am upset that a member of one of the families is hurt or feels that the Mayors and others did not mingle with the families. This event was a put on by the Guard unit itself. They told the Mayor and others what they wanted was for each of them to be by the bus to make sure to shake each and everyones hand that was deploying and bless them with knowing that they will be thinking and praying about them while they are gone defending our nation, our freedom and much more. They were also informed by the Guard Unit that they were there by invite only and that the time before they leave is “family” time not for mingling with the families and not to impose on private family time.

Kerri: Not Standoffish But Respectful

I was there this morning in a dual capacity, as a Post Falls City Councilor and as the aunt of a deploying soldier. … It was not standoffishness or elitism that was in play but a respect for the very personal time the soldiers were spending with their families. As I shook the hand and had a personal exchange with each one of the soliders I was representing the people in our community who were not there to thank the soldiers who were deploying. And I could feel the emotion of each of those soldier’s family members, my sister among them. My heart broke a hundred times for the young boy about 6 or 7 who called out “goodbye daddy” through his sobs as his father boarded the bus/Kerri Thoreson. (Full comment below)

Mom: Headline Grabbers Hurt Event

Today was the day that our north idaho national guard soldiers were deployed. The first go to Mississippi, then Kuwait, then onto Iraq for a year. I sent my husband off today. What was totally assine to me was that various city mayors, city council persons, and one police chief showed up for the send off. None of those elected officials worked the crowd. Instead, they stood in front of everyone and the soldiers had to shake hands with each one before they boarded the buses. It amazed me that instead of meeting and greating the soldiers and their familys, a line was formed for them, like off royalty or something. The press was there taking photos and videos. I would have had more respect for them if they would have actually talked to the soldiers the hour before when we were waiting. The only person who actually took time to slap hands and great family members was the police chief, I believe it was Post Falls. The rest were all headline grabbers.

  • Cutline: First Sgt. Rik Williamson of Boise embraces his children, Lexi (right), 9, and Ayden, 7, after they presented him with a photo memory book before Sgt. Williamson and other members of the Idaho Army National Guard’s 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team departed Gowen Field on Monday. (AP Photo/Idaho Statesman, Joe Jaszewski)

Question: Are you still mindful re: how some families have to sacrifice to keep us free — and Middle East countries from unraveling?

PETA Hits Spokane With ‘Got Zits?’

Featuring the image of a teenage girl with pimples and a milk mustache on her face and reading, “Got Zits?” PETA’s new billboard has just gone up in Spokane at the intersection of Stevens Street and Third Avenue—less than one mile from Lewis and Clark High School. PETA’s message to appearance-obsessed teens? That the milk they’ve been drinking could be the cause of the pimples that they’re sporting. Multiple studies have shown a conclusive link between the consumption of dairy products and acne—the universal scourge of adolescence/KHQ. More here. (Photo courtesy of PETA)

Question: I drank a lot of milk and had a lot of zits as a teen-ager. I still drink a lot of milk. But the zits are all but gone. How about you? Are you a big milk drinker? Did you have many zits as a teen?

Montanan Celebrates Birthday 114

Walter Breuning is photographed in Great Falls, Mont., on Dec. 29, 2008. Breuning, believed to be the world’s oldest man is celebrating his 114th birthday. Walter Breuning plans to attend an invitation-only birthday party today at the Rainbow Retirement Community in downtown Great Falls. Breuning was born on Sept. 21, 1896, in Melrose, Minn., and moved to  Montana in 1918. He worked for the Great Northern Railway for 50 years. (AP Photo/ Great Falls Tribune, Larry Beckner)

Question: How old is the oldest current member of your extended family? Has any of your family members lived to 95 or beyond?

Komen Race For The Cure Sunday

The Coeur d’Alene Komen Race for the Cure  starts Sunday morning at 10, on the North Idaho College campus. Our family did this race last year (OK, we walked 5k in about 75 minutes, which didn’t actually qualify as a race, but you get the point) and it was beautiful. The course takes you along the shores of the Lake and through downtown – and on a sunny September morning, it’s gorgeous. Plus, the positive energy was amazing! Registration is still open/Tricia Jo Webster, Fabulocity. More here.

Question: Have you ever participated in the Komen Face for the Cure? Impression?

One-Liners From Brannon Trial

At the Coeur d’Alene Press online site today, reporter Tom Hasslinger (who did a nice job covering the nuts & bolts of the Brannon Election Trial last week) offers some one-liners from the six-day trial, including: “‘She said she voted for Republican,’ (Peter) Erbland said attempting to illustrate that an illegal voter didn’t remember for whom she voted because the city race was non-partisan. ‘In fact, she said she was so Republican that she listened to Glenn Beck, didn’t she?’ … ‘Maybe that should be reason enough to throw the vote out,’ Kelso quipped.” You can read a few more here.

Question: Which moment did you consider the most humorous during the Brannon trial?

OTV Review: Greek Street Pizza

Karatzas nearly goes overboard while boasting about his culinary creations, but as you may glean from my enthusiastic raving, he’s pretty much allowed to get away with it. “It’s just a fact, there’s no other place in town that even comes close to doing what we do. We are the best, and people are going to figure it out soon,” he bragged as I stood in the Greek Street lobby, tummy a-growl, waiting as his young son Telly got to work preparing my lunch. He certainly has the history and experience to back up all his bravado. “I was a bad kid,” he told me in his animated, Greek accent. He continued on about how, perhaps as a preventative form of punishment, at age 10 his parents put him to work in the local bread factory in their hometown on the small island of Kalymnos/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Which Greek food is your favorite?

Downtown CdA Bar Report (Sept. 11-12)

  • Saturday, Sept. 11: 0102 hours (N 4th St & E Sherman Avenue – Fight) — Officers responded to a fight call reference 20 – 30 people in the street and a fight. When officers arrived the fighting had ceased. No further information available.
  • Saturday, Sept. 11: 0116 hours (100 Block N 3rd St – Disorderly) — Officers responded to a disorderly call at the 100 block of N 3rd St. No further information available.
  • Saturday, Sept. 11: 0335 hours (320 E Sherman Ave – Disorderly) — Officers responded to a disorderly call reference a person sitting on the patio furniture of the Pita Pit who was too intoxicated to leave. No further information available.
  • Sunday, Sept. 12: 0233 hours (100 Block of N 4th St – Disorderly) — Officers responded to a disorderly call reference a male passed out in the alley. The male advised officers he was at the Icon that evening.

INW: Meth Ads Don’t Help — Study

This graphic billboard depicting a young Montanan under the influence of meth was displayed during the 2008 kickoff of the Montana Meth Project advertising campaign inside the capital in Helena. A new study concludes that aMe multi-million dollar advertising campaign to deter youths from trying methamphetamines has had no discernible impact on abuse rates. Story here. (AP Photo/Independent Record, Eliza Wiley, File)

High Noon: North Dakota Or Bust?

Then came this journey to North Dakota. Quite frankly, after watching the movie “Fargo,” I had hoped never to set foot in that flat, oddball of a state. But my nephew, Stephen, and his beautiful bride, Tamara, got married last Saturday in Grand Forks. And when it comes to family there are certain things you just suck up and do. Like giving up a kidney, say. Or even going to North Dakota/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever been to North Dakota? Why? Impression?

Scanner: Moose Charges Bystanders

8:26 a.m. A local moose stopped by Post Falls City Hall this morning, attracting the attention of passerbys and City Hall staff. It scratched the bark from several small trees and then charged several people who were taking photos before moving on down the street with a police escort. (Photo courtesy of Kit Hoffer)

  • Noonish: A s/b tan Cadillac w/California plate is speeding, passing on double-yellow lines, & passing with oncoming traffic @ H95 & M/P 447 (Parks/Athol).
  • 11:53 a.m. A motorist has knocked over the stop sign across from the Sundown Saloon, 2691 Seltice Way/CdA.
  • 11:34 a.m. Female in Post Falls area says that a door-to-door salesman got mouthy with her when she wouldn’t buy his magazines.
  • 11:07 a.m. A 60YO male has suffered seizures for 15 minutes at Bakery by the Lake @ 7th & Front/CdA.
  • 10:57 a.m. Subway @ Riverbend reports an unwanted person in restaurant.
  • 10:42 a.m. Hal, @ 995 Neufeld Lane/Post Falls reports an Idaho bucket truck is blocking his driveway.
  • 10:23 a.m. A semi is broken down in an e/b lane @ Seltice Way & Huetter.
  • 10:18 a.m. Female reports that someone in a pickup backed into a turnout @ H95 & Mica View may be stealing wood from her property.
  • 10 a.m. Caller has questions re: registered sex offender living too close to a Post Falls school.
  • 9:30 a.m. Caller reports a residential burglary that just happened @ 1009 6th/CdA & that a black pickup driving away may be involved.
  • 8:45 a.m. Michael, from 4400 block of Haystack Lane/CdA, is concerned re: a worker who had a fight with his father and hasn’t showed up for work in a week.
  • 8:18 a.m. A female is holding her wrist after a 3-vehicle, rear-end crash that’s partly blocking Hayden Pines Way @ Government Way/Hayden.
  • 8:12 a.m. A male has suffered a head cut while having a seizure @ Fresh Start on Sherman Avenue/CdA.

Ward: Idaho Press Helps Minnick

Jeff Ward (pictured), the North Idaho Field Director for the Idaho Republican Party’s 2010 campaign said that, “a lot of untruths, half-truths and bald-faced lies are spread during a campaign”; and that while Republican could not get away with “weaving fairy tales” due to the efforts of the press, the Democrats could.  That was the inference of a press release from Ward over the weekend.  “Democrats have been freely able to manipulate the Idaho press in so many ways this year,” said Ward in the release; “especially when it comes to media darlings; Walter Clifford Minnick and his spinmeister general John Foster”/Stan McKie, More here.

Question: Is the Idaho press easily manipulated by Democrats, as Jeff Ward alleges?

Bull Moose Party Checks Out Hopefuls

Earlier this morning, County Clerk Dan English posted this photo of a moose snacking on the herbage in the Dan’s back yard in Twin Lakes. On his Facebook page, Dan of the County writes, “I understand Cliff Hayes, my opponent for Clerk this year, also had a moose in his yard recently. The Bull Moose Party is obviously pretty independent and must be checking out all the candidates carefully before the November General Election.”

HBO Poll: Kos Blast Didn’t Hurt Minnick

  • Monday Poll: 80 of 163 (49.08%) respondents said that Congressman Walt Minnick wasn’t hurt by being called a bigot by national liberal blog, Daily Kos, while another 23 (20.25%) checked that they’d never heard of Daily Kos. 44 of 163 (26.99%) respondents said that Minnick was hurt by the slam by the national blog, which is read by many Democrats. 6 were undecided.
  • Today’s Question: Do you think former Aryan Nations attorney Edgar Steele was framed by the feds to silence his politically incorrect views?

Is Sims A Shoo-In For Legislature?

Is Republican Kathy Sims flying so much under the radar that she’s an odds-on favorite to win the House District 4 seat now held by retiring Rep. George Sayler, D-Coeur d’Alene? Astute political observer Randy Stapilus thinks so here. I doubt that people will connect the dots. Three years ago, Sims was part of a nasty, last-minute attack on Coeur d’Alene City Council incumbents Ron Edinger, Al Hassell, and Dixie Reid. Then, she fought the city tooth-and-nail for a year before finally agreeing to pay a fine and admit that she’d filed an inaccurate campaign finance report for the organization that she formed with Tom Macy to make the attack.

Question: Do you want a person who has shown contempt for Coeur d’Alene’s City Council and city campaign finance laws representing you in Idaho Legislature?

Idaho Leading USA Out Of Recession

Texas, North Carolina, Idaho and a handful of other states are leading the nation’s crawl out of the worst recession since the 1930s, a USA TODAY analysis finds. Since the recession officially ended in June 2009, a group of about 10 states that have outperformed the nation almost continuously for 25 or more years again is generating new income at a faster pace than the rest of the nation. … Idaho ranked 10th in personal income growth in the year since the recession’s end, up from 50th among states and Washington, D.C., during the recession. That’s the USA’s biggest rebound/Dennis Cauchon, USA Today. More here.

Question: Surprised?

Brannon To Speak On ‘Fair Elections’

Fresh from protesting against the D grade that Congressman Walt Minnick has with the National Rifle Association (only he has a B+ grade), Kootenai County Reagan Republicans will host a luncheon at noon Thursday at Templin’s, with Jim Brannon as guest speaker. Challenging his 5-vote loss in the 2009 Coeur d’Alene municipal election, Brannon will speak on “How to Assure a Fair Election.” Also scheduled to speak is Raul Labrador supporte Jeff Ward, who will speak on “Wall Street Cash and the Idaho Election.”

Question: Why are the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans inviting Jim Brannon to speak on “fair elections” before a verdict is handed down in his case?

Minnick Leads By Only 3% In NIdaho

Meanwhile, the poll showed Idaho’s U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick with a 10-point lead over his GOP challenger, Raul Labrador, throughout the 1st Congressional District. But in North Idaho, the numbers change to a statistical dead heat: 43 percent for Minnick and 40 percent for Labrador. That’s within the poll’s margin of error. Political scientist David Adler, director of the University of Idaho’s James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy, said the north-south difference reflects a stronger tea party movement in the north along with “a great deal of anti-Obama sentiment.” That shows up in both the congressional race and the governor’s race, he noted, with Otter’s edge growing in the north/Joel Mills, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Are you surprised the Tea Party movement is stronger in North Idaho than elsewhere in the state?

Illegal To Be Gay? Is This Texas?

The Unabomber. The Montana Militia. The Freemen standoff. Hardin prison nut jobs. Hank Williams, Jr. It seems every couple of years my beloved state of Montana produces some embarrassing development that results in national headlines leading the rest of the country into thinking that we’re just a grizzly-infested outpost that contains nothing but paranoid psychopathic hillbillies. “Montana is crazy,” says the rest of the country. “We should give that state back to Canada.” Our latest black eye is the Montana GOP’s attempt to outlaw homosexuality. In their sweaty obsession with pressing their bloodshot eyes up against the keyholes of Montana’s bedroom doors, the Republican party has been trying to make “homosexual acts” illegal since 1997/Bob Wire, New West. More here.

  • Cutline: Tim Ravndal, above top, was kicked out of the  party over an exchange on his Facebook page that appeared to condone violence against homosexuals. (AP Photo/Independent Record, Lisa Kunkel, File)

Question: What do you think of when you think of Montana?

AM: He’s Innocent I Telly Ya

Cyndi  Steele defended her husband Edgar  Steele during a press conference at Silver Lake Motel in Coeur d’Alene on Monday. Investigators have accused Edgar  Steele  of orchestrating a planned pipe bomb attack against his wife. She said her husband had no motive to kill her but that Larry Fairfax, the informant, had been caught stealing thousands of dollars worth of coins from the family. SR story by Meghann Cuniff here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Otter, Minnick Leads Below 50%

New poll out today in the Statesman showing a much tighter race. Particularly the Governor’s race. Otter and Minnick are both below 50%. And Otter’s numbers are soft. Republican Gov. Butch Otter leads Democrat Keith Allred 45 percent to 29 percent in a statewide poll commissioned by the Idaho Statesman and six other Idaho newspapers. But only 44 percent of those polled said they had a favorable opinion of Otter, and 20 percent remain undecided/Joel Mills, Lewiston Tribune, & Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What do you make of the stat that only 44% have a favorable opinion of Otter and so many are undecided?

Alaskan83: Edgar Steele Was Framed

RE: Intended victim of pipe bomb critical of plea bargain/Meghann Cuniff, SR

Alaskan83: I know this family personally and I can vouch that (1) Ed is a non-violent man, (2) the couple get along well, and (3) the federal government has targeted Steele because of his views. The authorities have kept Ed incommunicado and prevented us from sending letters to him. This situation amounts to a grave injustice and I urge the readers to donate to Steele’s legal defense fund. Today, the government comes after Ed, but tomorrow it will come after the rest of us.

Question: Is Cyndi Steele right — that her husband has been framed by the federal government for his politically incorrect views?

Bloggy: ‘Resenting Costcoland

Mr. Bloggy: We know that Walmart is the Carnival of Horror of badly shaped and garbed people-things. Costco, on the other hand, serves a much higher grade of folks, but I am beginning to experience just the littlest little bit of resentment towards the Corporate Warlords of Costcoland and their fussy refusal to stock and sell sleeveless tees, or in the Vernacular of Most of America(tm) “wifebeaters.” The beater of spouses style of undergarment has been my favorite for my entire adult life and since I am always leaving them in the apartments and homes of my multiple conquests I must quite too often replenish my supply. And where else to buy a 22 pack of white sleeveless tees than at Costco. But, erm, guess what, homes? They don’t carry them! (Full post below)

Question: What do you buy in bulk at Costco?

Anderson: Serious Governance

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Irishman: Kennedy Stuck In Middle

Irishman: I think the Idaho election laws are a mess. I think Mike Kennedy got stuck in the middle of a bad situation that was not of his doing and certainly not his fault. I think the opencda crowd, which i’m not convinced are all that open, despise Kennedy and opted for the shortsighted approach of attempting to undo the election rather than trying to right the wrongs of the election laws that caused this dustup in the first place. Sorry if i rambled, listening to some very cool Frank Sinatra as i type.

Question: There’s one wrong that should be righted by the Idaho Legislature next year, as a result of this sour-grapes election challenge. The winner of a close local election shouldn’t be forced to defend himself in court when questions arise about the process. Is there anything you’d like to see changed as a result of the Brannon Election Trial?

P.S. Hello, Papoose

On Priest Lake, the autumn inhabitants were treated to this display of color as the end of the rainbow touched down of Papoose Island. (As The Lake Churns photo: Pecky Cox)

Red Carpet Wild Card — 9.20.10

The Fashion Reporter from the Brannon Trial Election front tells Huckleberries that s/he agrees with that his/her reports were a waste time, albeit a fun one. And that was the point. S/he said that the trial itself was a bigger waste of time (and money, if you’re counting the legal bills, like innocent bystander Mike Kennedy). After 10 months, $10s of $1000s of wasted dollars, & 6 days of trial, one vote switched hands. The only way Judge Charles Hosack will appease the unappeasable Brannon supporters is for him to order a new election for Brannon & Kennedy. Short of that, the crowd will turn its collective anger on him. Although Mary insinuates in a recent comment that Hosack may have fallen asleep a time or two during Team Brannon attorney Starr Kelso’s tedious questioning, she has yet to unleash her considerable anger at him. With that, I’ll post today’s Wild Card …

Scanner Traffic/PM — 9.20.10

  • 5:36 p.m. A wood pile is on fire at a business @ 50288 Old Highway 95.
  • 5:33 p.m. Caller reports she confronted a shoplifter @ Post Falls Walmart and then trailed him out the door, where he ran toward Radio Shack.
  • 5:28 p.m. A deer needs to be put down after being hit by a vehicle and breaking 2 lets @ 3588 Hayden Lake Road.
  • 5:22 p.m. 2 males & a female, dressed in white, are riding a blue ATV up and down the hill at Black Bay/Post Falls.
  • 4:57 p.m. A fire is reported at North Idaho College’s Seider Hall.
  • 4:38 p.m. Worker at Stateline WalMart is having an allergic reaction in produce dept.
  • 4:32 p.m. Caller reports a juvenile problem @ 11th & Lunceford/CdA.
  • 4:15 p.m. 2 neighbors on Forest View Road/Athol have been arguing over a fence line most of the day, prompting law enforcement to go to the scene twice.
  • Much more below

PM Headlines — 9.20.10

Kaden Breinholt shows a dog-tag containing a photo of his step-dad, Capt. Marshall Davis. Friends and family said goodbye to members of the Idaho Army  National  Guard’s 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team before a they depart Gowen Field today. The soldiers are headed to Mississippi for training, and then on to Iraq for a year-long deployment. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Joe Jaszewski)

Cyndi Steele: Husband Is Innocent

The wife of a North Idaho man charged with hiring a hit man to kill her says she continues to believe her husband is innocent. Monday afternoon, Cyndi Steele announced in her first public statement that she believes the only reason her husband of 25 years, Edgar Steele, was jailed on murder-for-hire charges is because of a corrupt government. “Ed Steele’s case is about freedom of speech,” said Cyndi. “The only reason the FBI put him in jail is to silence him.” A newly created website supporting Steele’s freedom calls him a “politically prisoner”KREM2. More here.

Question: What do you make of this development?

APhoto Of The Day — 9.20.10

Paris Hilton, left, waits for her hearing to start in county court with her attorney David Chesnoff to plead guilty to reduced charges in her August cocaine arrest this morning in Las Vegas. Under the terms of a plea deal worked out with prosecutors, the heiress will serve a year of probation and avoid a felony conviction. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Chesney focuses like a laser on the chair in front of him: “Must concentrate! Must not look at cleavage. Must not get distracted. Guilty? Not Guilty? Great Jesus I’m Paris Hilton’s lawyer!” while Paris looks down and thinks, “I need to call my surgeon, the right one needs a recharge when I get back to Beverly Hills” — Sisyphus.
  • 2. Paris Hilton demonstrates how to win courts cases: show cleavage. Jim Brannon, please do not copy her strategy — Nic.
  • 3. In a rare video in which Ms. Hilton is caught with her clothes ON, she suddenly awakes and shrieks out loud, thinking the judge declared that because her felony was reduced she would ‘mis de wiener’ — JohnA.
  • HM: Moscow Minidoka & Soaf

North Idaho Blogosphere — 9.20.10

At More Main Street, Kerri Thoreson writes, “It might be the last day of summer but it feels like fall and looks like spring.”

Hucks Online numbers (for week of Sept. 12-18): 67,060/39,373

Stapilus: Sims Likely To Win Sayler Seat

The race for House seat 4B, now held by Democrat George Sayler, maybe ought to have been mentioned here as the House seat most likely to be taken over by the opposing party – by a Republican, Kathy Sims. It was left off because the flip seems so likely, but it will probably mark a change – reducing from two to one the number of Democrats in the Legislature from the Idaho Panhandle/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: Do you think that Coeur d’Alene Honda owner Kathy Sims, a Republican who scrapped with the city of Coeur d’Alene for almost a year before admitting campaign finance violations in the 2007 city elections, is a slam-dunk to win retiring state Rep. George Sayler’s seat over Democrat Paula Marano?

Jorgenson Condemns Minnick Attack Ad

I have had several disagreements with Raul Labrador over the past four years with respect to legislation in the Idaho Legislature.  Many of my comments towards him have reflected the passion of which I hold for fighting the terrible scourge of illegal immigration in our nation and in the great state of Idaho.  I openly supported his challenger in the primary.  While I have not spoken with Rep. Labrador in many months, if he were elected to Congress I would probably still disagree with some elements of how he would fight illegal immigration.   I would certainly hope he considers some of my positions on the subject. However, none of the passion I have reserved for my disagreement with Rep. Labrador can compare with how appalled and disappointed I was when I viewed the attack ad that Walt Minnick released yesterday against him/State Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake. More here.

Question: Do you think Minnick wishes he could get a do-over on this one?

Values Alliance Resurrects In CdA

Having been the guy in Idaho to seal the tomb on the Religious Right a while back, saying that it is dead in Idaho, I found the following thing interesting: The Idaho Values Alliance has a new leader: Mr. Gary Brown (pictured). Here’s the link to their website, so you can see both his intro note AND Bryan Fischer’s letter of hand-off to Mr. Brown. A couple months ago, I was introduced to Mr. Brown and found him to be an affable man and very well spoken of. He was introduced to me by a close friend and I sat for about 40 minutes listening to him tell me about his life. His decision to locate to CdA — rather than Boise - was a curious thing. Not sure how that will work — or even if it is a part of the new IVA plan to lobby at the Capitol, but we’ll see/Dennis Mansfield. More here. (Read:Dustin Hurst’s Idaho Reporter story re: resurrected IVA here.)

Question: Why did the Idaho Values Alliance select Coeur d’Alene rather than Boise for its HQ in its newest incarnation?

‘Mom Jeans’: Derogatory Or Not?

Seems there’s some controversy on the Facebook side re: this description of what Mary Souza wore to the Brannon Election Trial Saturday: “Best dressed OpenCDA lady today with brown Calvin Klein corduroy 5 pocket jeans worn mom style. She layered her white lace trimmed tank top with a soft peach v-neck sweater.  She looked youthful as her lace trim was properly peeking from her sweater hemline.” They key words are “jeans worn mom style.” Seems the term Mom Jeans comes from this “Saturday Night Live” skit here. I’ve never heard the expression “Mom Jeans” before. It appears to me that the Red Carpet reporter was being complimentary here. (Singer Jessica Simpson in ‘Mom jeans.’)

Question: Is the description ‘Mom Jeans’ derogatory? Or does it concisely convey an accurate picture of how one is wearing jeans?

Is Idaho A Better Team Than UW?

Nebraska’s Jared Crick (94) sacks  Idaho  quarterback Nathan Enderle for an 18 yard loss, in the second half of their NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Sept. 11.  Nebraska beat  Idaho 38-17 in Lincoln, Neb. On Saturday, the Idaho Vandals nearly shut out UNLV of the Mountain West 31-7 in the Kibbie Dome, while Nebraska clobbered UWashington in Seattle 56-21. (AP Photo/Dave Weaver)

Question: Is Idaho a better football team than University of Washington, based on their performances against No. 6 Nebraska?

‘Nasty’ & ‘Inebriated’ T-shirts In Vogue

Maybe Bob Kustra (pictured) missed a good copyrighting opportunity. Perhaps you recall the Boise State University president’s July 27 comments about the University of Idaho’s “nasty” and “inebriated” culture. Anyway, don’t worry: folks at the U of I campus won’t let him forget it. T-shirts with the Kustra quote were quite the trendy item at Saturday night’s Dad’s Weekend Vandals game. Anyone want to set the over-under on “nasty, inebriated” t-shirts when BSU plays at the Kibbie Dome Nov. 12? I must say it is strange to see a quote from a Statesman editorial board meeting become a fashion statement. But what can you say? This little snippet has staying power/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Would you wear a T-shirt or sweat shirt with the words ‘nasty & inebriated’ to mock Boise State prez Bob Kustra’s characterization of Idaho Vandal fans?

Cops Get Warrant To Search Rectum

Listed high among the jobs I’d least like to do would be the one of jailer checking a prisoner’s hind quarters for contraband. As reported in the Seattle Weekly blog recently, Spokane police had to obtain a search warrant to check a prisoner’s posterior after a jailer noticed that the arrested man was clenching his buttocks fairly tightly. “Thinking he might have slipped something into a spot where others dare not look, the jailer asked to man to bend over, spread his butt cheeks and cough,” blogger Caleb Hannon wrote. Ultimately, police took the 31YO man to a local hospital, where he was thoroughly examined. The search came up empty. You can read all about it here.

Question: What job would you least like to do?

Montana GOP Keeps Anti-Gay Platform

At a time when gays have been gaining victories across the country, the Republican Party in Montana still wants to make homosexuality illegal. The party adopted an official platform in June that keeps a long-held position in support of making homosexual acts illegal, a policy adopted after the Montana Supreme Court struck down such laws in 1997. The fact that it’s still the official party policy more than 12 years later, despite a tidal shift in public attitudes since then and the party’s own pledge of support for individual freedoms, has exasperated some GOP members/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that the Montana GOP still has a plank in its official platform that supports making homosexual acts illegal?

INW: Spokane Valley Nuns At War

The Rev. Kevin Vaillancourt (above) has complained that Spokane Valley Police have failed to aggressively investigate the theft of money, records and other items from a convent associated with his parish. Missionary Sisters of the Holy Ghost claim that two members of their convent left, but not before stealing the items and turning them over to a rival convent at Mount St. Michael. SR story here. (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Colin Mulvany)

Randy Quaid, Wife Charged In Burglary

These booking photos provided by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office shows actor Randy Quaid and his wife Evi Quaid. Police arrested the Quaids Saturday on charges of felony residential burglary and entering a non-commercial building without consent, a misdemeanor. Police also charged Evi Quaid with resisting arrest. (AP Photo/Santa Barbara County Sheriff)

Question: Do you suppose Randy Quaid picked up some bad habits portraying North Idaho separatist Randy Weaver in the Ruby Ridge TV movie: “Every Knee Shall Bow”?

High Noon: Wife Think’s I’m A Nerd

Marc Stewart: After reading about the trial with great interest, I carved an hour on Saturday to watch the proceedings. It was like watching paint dry. My wife teased me for being such a nerd and pointed out that anybody with a life would never be caught dead devoting an hour, much less a week to a trial about a city council race. When I explained the interesting dynamics of this case, she looked at me and said, “You’re still a nerd.”

Question: Would you describe yourself as a nerd?

Press: Kroc Center Takes Right Tact

Simply stated, we think it’s the most responsible - and civic-minded - way to address the community center’s financial needs. Fee increases range up to $7 per month. If this were a property tax increase for, say, the city of Coeur d’Alene, there probably wouldn’t be enough space in the newspaper for all the angry letters to the editor. But because the Kroc Center has provided a welcome family fitness option for many, there hasn’t been much complaining about the hikes at all/Mike Patrick, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Question: Are you a member of the Kroc Center?

Scanner Traffic/AM — 9.20.10

  • 11:41 a.m. Caller reports that a 3YO girl on a blue-and-yellow bike is riding in the middle of the road near a Post Falls apartment complex. Location was not given.
  • 11:40 a.m. A suspicious male is reported hanging out @ H95 & Prairie/Hayden.
  • 10:56 a.m. Caller reports that a driver in a gray Camaro cut an ambulance & him off, and used “hand gestures” @ n/b H95 & M/P 434 (Honeysuckle Avenue).
  • 10:48 a.m. Eastside Highway District reports an ATVer crashed off the road while trying to pass a grader @ Burma & Emerald/Harrison. ATV driver wasn’t injured.
  • 10:41 a.m. Patrol officer is responding to Hayden WalMart where someone reports finding lost property and someone else has locked her keys in the car.
  • 10:26 a.m. Deputy calls for Kootenai County’s drug dog to check out a vehicle he stopped.
  • 9:40 a.m. A father is looking for his son who hasn’t contacted him since leaving for Circling Raven Golf Course/Worley for a work party Friday afternoon.
  • 8:45 a.m. Officer is checking on a male reportedly sleeping under blue tarp along Prairie Trail under Seltice Way underpass.
  • 8:42 a.m. CPD Blues are checking on a report of 2 disorderly males @ 1303 Sherman/CdA.
  • 8:30 a.m. A theft of items for a mobile home is reported @ an RV park on Warren/Athol.

Derby Snakes Stomp Rolling Hills

In the Sunday bout, Venomous Vixen Holly Shyt (second from right), who was interviewed along with Pippi Headstomping last Thursday, prepares to block a Rolling Hills Derby Girls jammer (at left, in white) who is trying to score points during the bout at Skate Plaza Sunday evening. The local Snake Pit Venomous Vixens team improved their record to 2-1 with a lopside 215-55 victory. The locals will next travel to Boise for an October bout in the Qwest Arena. Courtesy photo by Rocky Castenada of Lake City Photography. More photos of Sunday bout by Rocky here.

Question: What would be your Roller Derby name, if you were part of the Venomous Vixens (or a possible male aucilliary)?

HBO Poll: Mike Told Starr To Shove It

  • Weekend Poll: 126 of 204 (52.5%) respondents believe that City Attorney Mike Gridley told Team Brannon attorney Starr Kelso to take his papers and shove them (where the sun doesn’t shine) at one point during the Brannon Election Trial. 58 of 204 (28.4%) respondents believe he didn’t. 20 of 204 (9.8%) respondents were undecided.
  • Today’s Poll: Will Demo Walt Minnick be hurt in conservative Idaho by being denounced as a bigot by liberal blog Daily Kos?

NRA Won’t Endorse In 1st CD Race

Two years after the NRA endorsed GOP Rep. Bill Sali and gave his challenger, Democrat Walt Minnick, a “D+,” the powerful gun-rights group says now-Rep. Minnick has cleaned up his act and jumped two full grades. “Very simply, he has been a solid vote on gun issues and he’s been supportive of 2nd Amendment issues since he’s been elected,” said Andrew Arulanandam, the NRA’s director of public affairs. The GOP nominee, state Rep. Raul Labrador, earned an “A,” but the NRA is staying neutral in the race, said Arulanandam/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

DFO: I watched (via Spokane TV newscast) that close encounter between the Reagan Republicans & local Demo chief Thom George on the NW Blvd corner Friday night. The funniest part of this tempest in a teapot that Thom had a concealed weapons permit & was packing.]

Question: Is the National Rifle Association wise to stay out of this gun-rights flap between Congressman Walt Minnick & challenger Raul Labrador?

MikeK: I Have A Biz To Run, Gookin dynamic duo Mary & DanG are harping on the fact that incumbent Mike Kennedy sat in the back of the courtroom texting while the trial was going on. You can read their snarky remarks here. They fail to mention that Kennedy was an innocent bystander in all this. His one error was to narrowly beat an individual who didn’t have the grace to ask for a recount and concede after that. Kennedy, who has had to foot his legal bill to defend himself for beating Brannon, posts on Huckleberries: “Gotta love those kind humanitarians over there. Mr. Gookin obviously missed the fact that I was trying to continue to manage 13 employees in a growing small business (i.e. my full-time job) by text and email on my PDA phone while in the midst of being sued by his small coterie of retired and/or unemployed individuals who appear to have limitless time to devote to such pursuits. Instead of Dummies books, maybe Gookin should pick up a copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Then again maybe that’s a bad idea. Such a book in his hands might attract a major bolt of lightning from the Great Karmic Cosmos.

Question: Wouldn’t you think the crowd, which purports to want to fix the Idaho elections system, would raise one concern that individual candidates, like Mike Kennedy, couldn’t be sued directly in situations like this?

AM: Montana GOPolicy Targets Gays

Eastern Washington cheerleaders and the mascot run on the new red turf at Roos Field on the Cheney, Wash., campus Saturday. Eastern Washington beat Montana won 36-27 in the first NCAA college football game played on the new turf. (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Christopher Anderson)

Pilot Survives Air Show Crash

George Giboney crashes his Thunder Mustang, the Rapid Travel, during the super sport gold medal race at the 47th Annual National Championship Air Races and Air Show in Stead, Nev., on Sunday. The pilot survived the plane crash. Story here. (AP Photo/Kevin Clifford)

Question: Have you ever been in a plane crash?

Ketchum Challenges NIC Trustee Wood

Item: Ketchum running against Wood for seat on NIC Board of Trustees/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Ketchum is campaigning with Ron Nilson, who is running against Ken Howard for Seat A on the college board. … Ketchum is aware of critics who say he is seeking election to the board because he has an ax to grind. “Of course, I’m disappointed. However, I have nothing but a desire to see North Idaho College continue to be a leader in academics and workforce development,” Ketchum said.

DFO: I’m surprised that Ketchum wasn’t asked about the Education Corridor. That’s a critical issue in this campaign.

Question: Do you think Ketchum has an ax to grind re: his forced ouster at the workforce training center?

Judge Verdict On Brannon 1-2 Weeks

Item: Brannon suit goes to the judge: Hosack says it could take him 1-2 weeks to decide fate of Kennedy’s city council seat/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: im Brannon wants a new election for Seat 2 on the Coeur d’Alene City Council. If one isn’t ordered, the incumbent, Mike Kennedy, has enough votes to secure the narrow victory no matter which way evidence on three more illegal voters is ruled. Kennedy won the Nov. 3 election by five votes. But 1st District Judge Charles Hosack must decide whether some irregularities during Coeur d’Alene’s Nov. 3 general election warrant a one-on-one runoff for the city council seat.

Question: Do you see any value to the long, judicial exercise involved in Jim Brannon’s challenge to his 5-vote loss to incumbent Mike Kennedy?

Liberal Daily Kos Calls Minnick A Bigot

In the Daily Kos, the main blogger blasts Congressman Walt Minnick’s controversial, new ad re: challenger Raul Labrador’s role as an immigration lawyers. Kos states: “I expect Republicans to be bigoted assholes. It’s particularly heinous when Democrats do it.” Kos continues: “Minnick is up 20 in the polls, while his opponent is broke and has zero institutional support (he’s a teabagger who beat the establishment’s choice). It’s a done race, yet Minnick decides to be a bigot anyway by attacking his opponent’s work as an immigration lawyer.” You can read the rest of his post and view the video for yourself by following this link here.

Question: Will the attack by the Daily Kos hurt Minnick?

Huckleberries: Trouble In GOP Tent

Huckleberries hears … there were fireworks at the executive committee meeting of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee earlier this month. Seems Chairman Tina Jacobson objected to the presence of House District 3 write-in candidate Howard Griffiths. Who wanted to include his literature with other Republican material on a table at the Tea Party meeting at the Greyhound Park Sept. 12. Griffiths is running against tax-dodging Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol. One witness told Huckleberries that Jacobson was so confrontational that Griffiths left. Jacobson has filled in for Hart during the Legislature in the past. Griffiths confirmed the report for Huckleberries. Later, Jacobson warned Matt Roetter that his position as state committeeman would be in jeopardy unless Roetter supported Hart/DFO, Hucks Online. More here.

Question: Is the Kootenai County Republican Party self-destructing?

Mary: Red Carpet Report ‘Silly’

Mary didn’t like the fashion review either, even though she seems to have gotten thumbs up from our reviewer. On Saturday, the reviewer wrote of Mary’s attire: ” Best dressed OpenCDA lady today with brown Calvin Klein corduroy 5 pocket jeans worn mom style. She layered her white lace trimmed tank top with a soft peach v-neck sweater.  She looked youthful as her lace trim was properly peeking from her sweater hemline.” And all we get from Mary in an thread is that the Red Carpet report was a waste of effort. Sez Mary: “Here we are with an important court case that reflects the honesty and integrity of our whole system of voting, and some people (who eat lots of huckleberries apparently Gary) focus on who is wearing what to the trial? That’s silly.” Then, Bill, who also never reads Hucks Online, comments that people who “eat lost of huckleberries usually need a healthy dose of Ex-Lax.” (BTW, my Red Carpet reporter agrees with Mary that the fashion report was a complete time waster. Which was the point of the exercise. So. Was. The. Trial.)

Question: Would Huckleberries be as much fun to read if we kept thing serious all the time?

DanG: Red Carpet News? Bah, Humbug

Apparently, there were a coupla people — the usual suspects — who didn’t appreciate the wildly popular Red Carpet report from the Brannon Election Trial front, the same humor-impaired group that have been cheerleading this nonsensical suit all along. Harrumphs the Hucks Online Commenter formerly known as DanG in Trial Update screed at re: people who comment on what everyone was wearing: That shows they “are more interested in personal attacks than whether or not there was an honest election. That tells you their priorities.” DanG goes on to point out that Jim Brannon sat next to his attorney during the trial while Mike Kennedy sat in the back row “slouched over his cell phone, texting people.” Summarizes DanG: “Anyone think Mr. Kennedy cares about honest elections.” Huckleberries, the blog that the crowd religiously avoids reading (or so they say) came in for considerable fire in the comment thread under the latest Brannon trial update. Click here.

Question: What did you think of the Red Carpet reports from the Brannon trial?

Bloggy: D’s Should Vote For Labrador

RE: Liberal Daily Kos calls Minnick a bigot over immigration ad

Mr. Bloggy: I mean, at what point is Walt gonna sign onto the Tea Party Bill of Rights and hustle up some photo ops with Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann? Here, let me make it simple for the ones who don’t get it, when you oppose, legislatively, the key initiatives of your president and party drawn from the core principles, when you show zero inclination of belief that government can make life better for the unfortunate, weak, and disadvantaged, has a role in economic recovery, and the Constitution is not just a speedbump on the Bible Bus highway, then you are not a Democrat. You are something else. A republican.

Question: Do Idaho Democrats march to the beat of the Daily Kos?

Signe: Hiding Out

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Wild Card/Sunday — 9.19.10

Huckleberries hears … that attorney Mike Haman, representing the city of Coeur d’Alene, included in his closing argument Saturday morning that he “actually went on and read HBO” and that “most comments there were very astute.” To which, Mary Souza could be seen in the courtroom shaking her head no. Haman commended the public involvement in this case. Thought you’d like to know that what we do here is gaining ever wider notice. Now for your Sunday Wild Card …

DanOTC: Too Late For Fall City Election

Dan of the County: Irregardless of how this turns out, it is in fact too late to add anything to the November ballot. They have been printed and the first batch of absentee ballots that include military ballots are required to go out 45 days before the election. That was yesterday and yes they went out. The General Election of 2010 is already underway. We will have another large mailing going out early next week and every day thereafter.

Idaho 30, UNLV 7 — Final

UNLV kick returner Bradley Randle (28) cuts upfield during a second-quarter return against Idaho in an NCAA college football game tonight at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow. ESPN running boxscore of UNLV game here (AP Photo/Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Dean Hare)

When Robb Akey took over the Idaho football program four years ago, this must have been what he envisioned: The Kibbie Dome pulsating for a nationally televised game, and the Vandals’ defense flying around with as much energy as he exerts on the sideline. Saturday night against UNLV, Idaho’s plan came together seamlessly from the start. It smothered the Rebels in a dominant first half and rolled to a 30-7 triumph in front of Dad’s Weekend crowd of 15,390. The Vandals (2-1) won their third straight against Mountain West competition in the last two years to head into a three-game road trip with a needed shot of momentum./Josh Wright, SR SportsLink. More here.

Brannon Trial Over, Judge To Rule Later

Judge Charles Hosack said at the end of Jim Brannon’s 6-day Election Trial this morning that he hasn’t decided what to do yet with 3 still contested votes and will render his decision on the case in a week or so. In his closing argument, which began at 9:42 a.m., Brannon attorney Starr Kelso requested that Hosack order a new election in the case. Hosack took that request under advisement. But said he wouldn’t rush the decision just to accommodate the possibility of a new election soon.

Brannon Trial Red Carpet: Final Day

What would the Brannon Election Trial coverage be without a final Red Carpet look at what the key players were wearing today:

  • Judge Hosack:  The judicial robe seemed less poofy today. He wore another white dress shirt with a dark colored tie that contained a gold diagonal stripe.  Pant choice is still unknown but this author has imagined olive cargo shorts with a small frayed patch on the right hand thigh pocket.     
  • Mike Kennedy:  Sharply dressed for a Saturday court session with blue jeans, a blue button down shirt that included a subtle graph pattern,  and a classy navy blue sport coat.  Mike set himself a part from the other Coeur d’Alene men in the room who wore jeans because he opted for a handsome pair of black leather cowboy boots.  He looked very Idaho but not in any way resembling Butch Otter.
  • John Cafferty, Esq. is the only man in this trial who could legitimately appear in Esquire.   Today he was observed wearing charcoal grey dress pants with a dark colored sports coat.  Other than the attorneys arguing the case, he was the only man observing the proceeding that dressed for court today.
  • Starr Kelso:  Nice tie and sport coat combination of black & tan colors.  The end of his tie rested about two inches above his belt buckle.
  • Mary, Larry, & even the Press Corps in drop down box below:

Plane Crash Kills Father, Son Near CdA

A plane crash south of Coeur d’Alene Friday killed a father and son from Wyoming, officials announced today. Craig Dwayne Kestner, 50, and his son, Brock Sterling Kestner, 21, died after their single-engine Cessna 210 crashed about 5:10 p.m. in a wooded area about 10 miles south of Coeur d’Alene near Red Hog Ridge. Sheriff’s officials initially said they believed only one man was aboard the plane, but two victims were discovered upon further investigation. The men are from Basin, Wy., where the elder Kestner was president of a construction company/Spokesman-Review. More here.

Team Kennedy Wild Card — 9.17.10

I’ve devoted two other Wild Cards to the Brannon side during this long week of tedious trial testimony as Team Brannon desperately looked for 5 votes to tie & 6 to steal the City Council election — and found only 1. So this Wild Card, on closing arguments day, is for Team Kennedy and all the elections officials for being forced to put up with 10 months of having character and judgment assassination. Closing arguments begin at 9:30, with Team Brannon attorney Starr Kelso up first. Insiders tell Huckleberries Online not to expect a decision today. I’ll post whatever I find out today. Also today, Idaho hosts Las Vegas at the Kibbie Dome here. And Washington State will try to keep its one-game winning streak alive against SMU (Mike Kennedy’s alma mater). Now for your Wild Card …

Wolf Lodge Bay Sunset

On her Idaho Scenic Images Facebook page, Linda Lantzy posts the photo above and this cutline information: “On the way to dinner tonight, I detoured out to Wolf Lodge Bay. The sun only lines up across the bay during a few weeks in spring and fall. Looks like I almost missed it this year.”

Mary: Lani Chamness Treated ‘Very Nicely’

As you can imagine, Mary Souza had a very different interpretation re: what went on in Judge Charles Hosack’s courtroom Friday than the Berry Pickers providing blow-by-blow reports from the same courtroom. In fact, she had a very different interpretation re: how John Chamness’s wife, Lani, was treated than I did — after I’d talked directly to John Chamness about it. Amazing. Earlier in the week, John was told me how disgusted he was with the way a private investigator who had a Brannon subpoena in her hand had misrepresented herself to his wife and tried to secretly record Friday night, Sept. 10. He was equally disgusted with the way Team Brannon attorney Starr Kelso had dismissed the subpoena for his wife earlier in the week — and then without warning left a phone message on Thursday telling her to be back in the courtroom in a half hour. (You can read about this her.) However, Mary assures you that Lani Chamness was treated sweetly despite what her husband told me. You can read Mary’s latest spin here.

Question: Who do you thing knows best re: how Lani Chamness was treated — her husband John Chamness or Mary Souza?

Tucker: Pastor Should Have Dropped Gun

Although the Constitution gives citizens the right to bear arms, state laws passed since then dictate how citizens can legally carry and use weapons. Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker and other legal experts say the law is crystal clear on this point: A person must follow a lawful order from police. “When an officer asks you to drop a weapon, you drop it,” Tucker said this week. “Even in the Old West, if a deputy sheriff comes up on an outlaw and says ‘Drop the gun,’ you drop the gun or a gunbattle starts.” But Alan Creach, son of Wayne Scott Creach, who was killed Aug. 25, said it’s also clear that his father was no “outlaw,” and was well within his rights to carry a gun to protect his property as he had done for years/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here.

Question: Do you think it’s fair that someone defending his property is required by law to obey a law officer’s command to drop his gun?

Roller Derby Snakes To Host Rolling Hills

Don’t forget the local Snake Pit Venomous Vixens host the Rolling Hills Derby Girls from Moscow at 7 Sunday night at Skate Plaze in Coeur d’Alene. Tickets are $10 at the door for adults; $7 for seniors and students; free to children 5 & under. The Snakes are 1-1 so far this season, losing to the Spokane team this summer before beating the Missoula team last month. Above, you see Vixens Holly Shyt (left) and Pippi Headstomping during their interview at Huckleberries Online Thursday afternoon. You can read that interview here. You can read more about the Vixens and see more photos on their Facebook page here.

MM: Why No Jazz Station in Hamptonville?

Moscow Minidoka: I don’t know how many of you regularly listen to Spokane’s NPR station (KPBX) on Friday nights, but there is just something really special about having classic jazz set the mood on Friday night. Bruce Davis’ show (focused on the swing era) is a highlight of my week, but the jazz they play afterwards is great, too. My biggest complaint is they fill the airwaves with classical music all week long, and just give us two nights of jazz. My time in Boise and Seattle spoiled me, ‘cause there you could get jazz on the radio every night … just wonderful. It frustrates me that the town that hosts the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival has no jazz station …

Question: What’s your favorite public radio program?

‘Twas The Night Before The Verdict

Twas the night before verdict when all through the court
Not a creature was stirring nor filed was a tort.

The motions all heard by Judge Hosack with care,
In hopes that ghost voters soon would be there;

The lawyers were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of settlements danced in their heads;

With Brannon in mischief was Starr with his crap,
They’d just settled down for a long evening wrap.

When out on the blog there arose such a clatter,
That Mary and Dan even checked out the matter.

JohnA’s complete rhyme here

Voltron: Brannon’s Behind Late In Game

Voltron: (Jim Brannon’s) in trouble. His team is down four touchdowns with less than five minutes to play in the fourth quarter. His starting quarterback (Starr Kelso) has been pummelled and is throwing more interceptions than I can count. His offensive coordinator Larry Spencer is busy looking on the internet for updates on other games while giggling about his fantasy team doing well. His cheerleaders (Joy Seward) has been kicked out of the game for inappropriate behavior and his defensive coordinator (Dan Gookin) is in the fetal position rocking back and forth sucking his thumb. Apparently, he doesn’t like it when the other team scores points. Middle linebacker Mary Souza is screaming at the umpires to get a call right — unfortunately she’s watching a replay of the Boise State-Virginia Tech game on the sidelines. Full comment here.

Question: Judge Charles Hosack closed the evidence portion of the Brannon Election Trial shortly after 4 p.m. Friday after a week in which Brannon had gained only 1 of the 5 votes he needed for a tie. Does Brannon have a Hail Mary pass in his arsenal to win this case?

Bloggy: Negativism Fuels Brannon Fanatics

Has anyone ever seen Mary Souza write a positive, community-building article, column, or blog post? Of course not. Ever seen Gookin write a single comment of his 10s of thousands per year on a newspaper blog that isn’t all smug outrage and negative? Go negative? They have no other gearbox, transmission, steering wheel or windshield. Spencer? Besides being a cartoonish and easy pincushion for anyone to the left of Lucifer (99% of the general and normal pop) he never posts anything positive, constructive and bonding to his community (whichever fair weather community he happens to pick to be a member of). Nothing but negative, hateful, destructive, and angry. Complete post by Mr. Bloggy here.

Question: What do you make of Mr. Bloggy’s observations?

Ramirez: Getting The Message

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Lakeland Edges TimberLake 27-26

  • Bonners Ferry 38, St. Maries 18
  • Clarkston, Wash. 18, Moscow 7
  • Deer Park, Wash. 24, Priest River 6
  • Lakeland 27, Timberlake 26
  • Lakeside 54, Clark Fork 14
  • Lethbridge, Alberta 28, Kellogg 7
  • Lewiston 46, Pullman, Wash. 7
  • Post Falls 48, East Valley (Wash.) 12
  • Sandpoint 26, West Valley (Wash.) 19
  • Wallace 54, Mullan 6

Plane Crash Kills Pilot South Of CdA

One man is dead after the small plane he was flying crashed about seven miles south of Coeur d’Alene. The single-engine Cessna 210 crashed a few minutes after 5 p.m. in a wooded, brushy area of Red Hog Ridge, near Loffs Bay Road and about a mile east of U.S. Highway 95, said Major Dan Mattos of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department. The man’s identity and details of his planned route will not be released until his family has been notified of his death, Mattos said/Spokesman-Review. More here.

TGIF Wild Card — 9.17.10

What a day. What a week. It sounds like the never-ending Jim Brannon election challenge will end tomorrow, with incumbent Mike Kennedy prevailing by 4 votes instead of 5. 10 months of innuendo and name-calling. Tens of thousands of dollars in attorney and court fees. A week of tedious testimony. And Team Brannon was able to switch 1 vote in the 2009 City Council election. Brannon fanatics, of course, will screech at the judge, if things don’t go their way, and claim some sort of moral victory. Who cares? Moi? I gotta kick out of JimmyMAC’s comment today: “HBO is very popular in the courtroom. I saw people that I didn’t know looking at HBO on their phones.” Now, I’m beat … and headed home. I don’t expect a verdict Saturday. But you’ll see it here if one is rendered …

Parting Shot — 9.17.10

Marc Schneiver, left, and Jack Stuart, right, dressed as Davy Crockett and Patrick Henry, walk across the steps of the Idaho statehouse after participating in the Constitution Day celebration today in Boise. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune, Charlie Litchfield)

A Close Encounter With Reagan R’s

RE: Reagan Republicans misgrade Congressman Minnick’s NRA standing/Hucks Online

Thom George: I was the BerryPicker who provided the photo. I attended the rally to correct the RR’s misinformation about Congressman Minnick’s NRA rating. I attended the rally to correct the RR’s misinformation about Congressman Minnick’s NRA rating. I identified myself as the Chairman of the Kootenai County Democrats, to which one woman replied by calling me a “typical tax & spend Democrat.” I asked her if we could stay on the topic of the Second Amendment, but, alas, we could not. Her elderly mother sidled over to support the first woman’s “Democrats love taxes argument” by informing me she was from California where her taxes were low and had moved to Idaho where her taxes were high. I didn’t attempt to explain to her that California is widely perceived as a Democratic state and Idaho a Republican state. Her daughter started talking again, but when I heard the name “Hitler” come out of her mouth I told her that she’d Godwined the conversation and I refused to talk to her any further. More below.

Question: What grade would you give the protest today by the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans?

Scanner Traffic/PM — 9.17.10

  • 5:35 p.m. Someone has fallen of a bike @ Canfield & Windy Pines/CdA.
  • 5:30 p.m. A possible “aircraft incident” is being reported @ H95 & M/P 418 (Mica Creek Bridge). Searchers may be looking for a downed, small aircraft in the area.
  • 5:29 p.m. Caller is concerned re: welfare of female being followed on foot by 3 males @ Dakota & Maple/Hayden.
  • 5:23 p.m. Female reports that a male in a red Ford pickup hit her Honda Accord & then drove off @ H95 & Lancaster/Hayden.
  • 5:18 p.m. Coeur d’Alene EMTs are responding to a call of a lethargic diabetic who sometimes pulls a gun on responders when he isn’t doing well.
  • 4:21 p.m. Female reports that a child was bitten by a Lab mix @ Fowler & Kathleen/CdA.
  • 4:07 p.m. Caller reports seeing an adult closing the trunk of a purple Grand Prix with Montana plates with a child inside. Car is now s/b on 4th (to 3rd) from Appleway.
  • Much more below

PM Headlines — 9.17.10

Father Tom Connolly, the long-time, popular Jesuit priest who ministered to the Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe for decades, is shown on Memorial Day 2008 participating in a ceremony at the Worley Cemetery. Connolly, 81, who recently retired, is another of the North Idaho neighbor’s “Faces” that is part of Ralph Bartholdt’s photographic exhibit now on display at the Coeur d’Alene Library through Sept. 30. (Photo courtesy: Ralph Bartholdt)

Brannon: Closing Arguments Saturday

  • 4:16 p.m. Judge schedules closing arguments for 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
  • 4:13 p.m. Last voter that Brannon wanted to call is unavailable. Judge declares evidence phase of trial over.
  • 3:58 p.m. Hosack is struggling w/Dobslaf status. She’s legal federally. But he isn’t sure she’s legal as far as a state voter goes. Ultimately, he rules that Dobslaf is a legal voter and that her vote will not be stricken.
  • 3:53 p.m. Dobslaf, from Canada, tells court that she may have voted for Kennedy, but she’s not sure.
  • 3:18 p.m. Voter Denise Dobslaf is testifying via Skype.
  • 2:51 p.m. Kelso is making a motion to amend his complaint (which is denied), and Peter Erbland follows with a motion to dismiss the case (which is also denied).
  • 2:29 p.m. Defense counsel Peter Erbland is now making a rebuttal.
  • 2:28 p.m. Kelso is saying there’s no proof re: number of ballots that went through election machine. He is citing many different numbers that have been bandied about.
  • 2:23 p.m. Kelso is reviewing testimony by former elections chief Deedie Beard and Deputy Secretary of State Tim Hurst to try to prove fraud and malconduct.
  • 1:03 p.m. (We interrupt trial coverage to bring you this report): Jim Brannon was following Hucks Online on his cell phone about 90 minutes ago & Larry Spencer was following this blog on his laptop about 15 minutes ago.
  • 12:46 p.m. Hosack just said to Kelso: “I’ve heard so much of this questioning that I can’t take it any more.”
  • 12:31 p.m. Kelso had ‘just a few quick questions’ for Beard.’ That was a half hour ago.
  • 12:10 p.m. Ex-elections department chief Deedie Beard is called back to the stand to answer a few questions re: outside voters.
  • 12:07 p.m. Attorneys are stipulating to evidence to shorten things up and to avoid calling a bunch of witnesses.
  • AM coverage here

Allred: Debate Me In Lewiston, Butch

Democrat Keith Allred stopped by my office a few minutes ago and re-challenged Butch Otter to drop his planned talk on a Boise radio show and debate in Lewiston as previously scheduled. Her’es his statement to Huckleberries: “Just before the debate started in Boise, I said to Butch, “The people of North Idaho deserve their own debate.” He said, I know, Keith, they do. But they were just so late in getting their invitation to us. I said, ‘Well, Butch, they got that invitation out to us more than a month ago.’ Then I found out after the debate that he’d signed on to go onto a radio talk show in Boise. So here’s my offer to Butch: “Since you cancelled on the Lewiston debate and opened up our schedule, we also signed on for that same radio talk show. Why don’t we both go back to the original plan? Go to Lewiston and give the people of North Idaho the debate they deserve. Both of our schedules will allow that.”

NI Blogosphere — 9.17.10

At Bent’s Beer Garden, Sunny writes re: “an heirloom tomato gone crazy” and then urges patience as she, you, & I wait for many vegetables (more photos) to turn from green or whatever other color to ripe. More here.

Hucks Online numbers (for Thursday, Sept. 16): 10,957/6323, (for Wednesday, Sept. 15): 12,593/6934, (for Tuesday, Sept. 14): 12,210/7059.

Cindy: Red Shoe Therapy Helps Things

On her Facebook page, Cindy reports that she’s “a serious fan of Red Shoe Therapy. Even balancing your checkbook and folding laundry is more fun when you’re wearing red shoes and taking frequent dance breaks.”

Question: What do you do for your Red Shoe Therapy?

Cafferty Wows Trial w/French Jacket

I’m going to publish John “Witch Hunt” Cafferty’s fashion report separately today because he truly is the talk of the courtroom (at least on the non-Brannon side) today: Berry Picker describes Cafferty as “possibly the most stylishly chic man in the room as he is sporting a French style suit with three buttons and asymmetrical pockets.Two slanted pockets on the right and one slanted pocket on the left. Tie appears to be a subtle green and blue floral pattern. Shoes are double seamed square toe black leather.  Even Kennedy was overheard commenting on Cafferty’s fashion sense. Cafferty is so well dressed that it appears he might be trolling for fashion report props and he has succeeded.”

DFO: Can someone get a photo of John “Witch Hunt” Cafferty for Hucks Online.

Hucks: What’s Under Hosack’s Robe

  • Judge Charles Hosack:  wearing his black robe which makes him the smartest man in the room.  His robe is crisp and his gathers slightly billow at the shoulders, especially when he is shaking his head in disbelief at Kelso.   Underneath the robe, he is wearing a white dress shirt and burgundy tie.  Pants are unknown.
  • Dan English:  blue plaid button down shirt with casual blue jeans.  The various shades of blue accent sparkling jolly eyes.  He may have lost weight but not the jolly eyes.
  • Mike Kennedy:  has resorted to every man’s old standby of tan dress slacks, a white button dress shirt, navy blue sport coat and a subtle but brilliant blue tie.  He, like Cafferty, is wearing double seamed black leather square toe shoes.  Must be an Irish thing:  two sons named Ronan and square toe shoes.
  • Deanna Goodlander:  looking fabulous in a black slinky material pantsuit.  She has looked youthful this week and has been seen smiling often, which is always worth noting.
  • Tom Hasslinger:  possibly the manliest man in the courtroom with a pale pink button down shirt.  He tops it off with a collegiate look of jeans and a jacket tied around his waist.  
  • Alison Boggs:  following the CdA chic rule of a denim jacket with a twist.  It is  a soft burgundy fabric that is warm and    earthy.  The fabric may be chenille but should not be confused with yesterday’s chenille appearance.  If one were to wear chenille, you should wear it like Allison does.
  • Her Sandiness:  appeared in the afternoon with a fashionable jacket in black and white seersucker stripes accented with a black and white scarf festooned with peace signs.  Quintessentially Sandy, so fashion forward and classy.

Fashion: OpenCDA Dresses Casual

From Hucks Online fashion police: “OpenCDA crowd must have circulated a memo to dress down for court.

  • Larry Spencer:  Has ditched the suit and has opted for casual Friday with Levis, a white button down shirt and brown belt.  The two toned brown leather boat shoes are still a nice touch.  The Superman curl is also perfectly in place — unsure if stiff hair gel from yesterday was reapplied today.  To quote Sue Sylvester from Glee, “There is so much hair product, I could season Asian cookery just by rubbing a wok on your head.” Regardless, he wears Casual Friday well.
  • Mary Souza:  Sporting Mom Jeans and a tan corduroy jacket.  Mary’s hair is never out of place and she is always perfectly coiffed.
  • Gary Ingram:  light blue jeans, white cross trainer tennis shoes and a striped sweatshirt.  Extra comfy for the nod off naps he is known for.
  • Mr. Seward:  still wearing his blue nylon jacket.  It must be his lucky jacket because he wears it often.
  • Dan Gookin:  Blue jeans, burgundy shirt and his usual brown barn jacket.  I hear he’s good with computers.  And it shows.
  • Bill McCrory:  didn’t get the dress down memo.  He is looking very dapper in a dark suit as one would expect of a former federal man.
  • Jim Brannon:  wearing a taupe-colored suit.  This is in his clothing rotation as it has appeared in debates, the paper and maybe once before during trial this week.
  • Matt Kelso:  wears a white button down shirt with tight sleeves.  He rolls up these sleeves neatly and above the elbow as if he is about to start shoveling something.  His hot pink tie is youthful.
  • Starr Kelso:  Adorned with a bedizened tie that is ornately garish.  It is deep burgundy with posibly two yellow Labrador retrievers and white graphics.  Or the animal may possibly be a cheetah.  Since the eyes are glazed over on this fifth day of trial, it is hard to decipher. It has been noted by this author that both Kelso men may tie their ties a little short.

Repubs Misgrade Minnick NRA Record

The Kootenai County Reagan Republicans are staging a protest (see photo above) on Walt Minnick’s stand on gun rights, based on false information. They gathered at 2 o’clock today at the corner of Lakewood & Northwest Boulevard to protest the Obama administration’s record on gun rights and the D (actually D-plus) score that Minnick received from the National Rifle Association two years ago. Reagan Republican VP Ron Lahr was quoted in the Coeur d’Alene Press online as saying: “Coeur d’Alene Press: “This is a guy who carries a shotgun as a prop in his commercials but would have the Federal Government come into my home and confiscate my guns. It is the definition of hypocrisy.” Lahr didn’t do his home work. Huckleberries Online confirmed with the NRA office in Fairfax, Va., that Minnick got that rating based on answers he gave in a 2008 questionnaire. And that he now has a B-plus rating. Minnick received a perfect score for the answers he gave to the latest questionnaire from the NRA. Huckleberries also learned that no one from the Reagan Republicans to confirm Minnick’s current grade.

Question: What do you make of the Reagan Republicans staging a protest against Congressman Walt Minnick, based on incorrect information?

Richert: Minnick Ad Goes Too Far

Rep. Walt Minnick is stretching Raul Labrador’s words. But Labrador shouldn’t be surprised that his immigration law practice is coming under harsh scrutiny. Minnick turned up the heat and hit the airwaves Thursday with the toughest TV ad of the fall election season. The 1st Congressional District Democrat’s 30-second ad gets right to the point. Here’s the first sentence: “Illegal immigration’s good business for Raul Labrador”/Kevin Richert