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Archive for April 12, 2011

Wild Card/Tuesday — 4.12.11

Huckleberries congratulates Doug Cresswell, the former Coeur d'Alene School District superintendent and president of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations. At the Human Rights Banquet Monday night, Doug was awarded the Bill Wassmuth Award for his many years as a volunteer for human rights causes. He was holding the Wassmuth Award when I congratulated him in person last night. To the sculptor's credit, the bronze statue of Wassmuth actually looked like the late human rights leader, during the days that he wore a perm. I referred to it as Bill's “poodle look.” Now, for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 4.12.11

Members of the Colorado Rockies sit in the dugout as rain falls before a baseball game against the New York Mets at Citi Field, New York, Tuesday. The game between the Rockies and Mets was been postponed because of rain and will be made up Thursday as part of a doubleheader (AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill)

Question: Has it been raining or shining on your team so far this Major League Baseball season?

Barista: Father Bill Inspired Me

Renegade Barista: received my First Communion from Father Bill, and was also an alter boy while he was at St. Pius. Father Bill was an example of what someone in ministry should strive to be. Unlike many today who will only fight the fights they can win, Father Bill fought the fights that needed fighting. As I study to go into ministry he is one of the people who have been my inspiration.

Question: Did anyone inspire you to go into your current career?

PM Scanner Traffic — 4.12.11

  • 5:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for April 11-12 here.
  • 5:23 p.m. Caller in 1600 block of N7th/CdA reports someone is trespassing on the property.
  • 5:10 p.m. A suspicious male reportedly is looking into the houses on E. Wyoming near H95/Hayden.
  • 5:07 p.m. Caller reports a possible illegal burn in 7500 block of Wheatfield/Hayden.
  • 5:01 p.m. Driver hit a dog @ H95 & Hayden and isn't sure if it's safe to check animal's condition.
  • 4:55 p.m. 2 boys on skateboards are trying to get into vacant house @ Buckles & Pinetree/Hayden.
  • 4:21 p.m. No one is injured in 3-vehicle crash that's partly blocking e/b I-90 @ M/P 11 (NW Blvd). Crash may be blocking the NW Blvd onramp.
  • 4:13 p.m. C, a mother in custody case, is wanted by CPD for trying to take kids from Woodland Middle School when it wasn't her turn to have them.
  • 4:10 p.m. A fire is reported in back of residence @ 1479 E. Triumph Court/Post Falls.
  • 3:55 p.m. 86YO woman in 700 block of Shiloh/Hayden accidentally drank too much cough medicine.
  • 3:50 p.m. A male and a female are riding a scooter on n/b sidewalk @ Government Way & Neider/CdA, almost hitting pedestrians.
  • Much more below

APhoto Of The Day — 4.12.11

Members of Chemical Biological Incident Response Force wearing gas masks and baggy gray suits exercise at Yokota Air Base in Tokyo Saturday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

Top Cutline:

  • 1. Mayor Bloom and MikeK, after being asked to speak at the recent Kootenai County Pachyderm meeting, model the attire they chose when they attended the event — Dennis.
  • 2. Looking to take no chances after the events in Japan, two Seattle fans remain anonymous during a recent M’s game — JohnA.
  • 3. Dude, if I can smell YOUR organic vapors does that mean I need to replace my cartridges? — Powder Farmer.
  • HM: Yabetcha and Phaedrus

3 Anti-Luna Teachers In Hot Water

A trio of first grade teachers at Ammon Elementary school near Idaho Falls, which is in the Bonneville School District, is likely to be in some hot water soon over a politically-charged letter they sent home with some of their students a few weeks ago. The letter, sent home by Mrs. Lora Stanger, Mrs. Linda McArthur, and Mrs. Cory Bingham, was a message of protest against recent education reform legislation thought up and pushed by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna. In the undated letter, the teachers tell parents they are not going to help students outside of specific contracted times, meaning that pupils wouldn’t be able to access extra help during recesses, lunch breaks, or after school. The teachers also vowed not to take any class work home because that is not part of their contracts/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Should teachers pull back from the extra hours they work without pay, in protest to “reforms” that seek to replace many of them with computers?

Luna Campaign Filing Statement

The Committee to Recall Tom Luna seeks to return accountable leadership to the office of the Idaho State Superintendent of Public Instruction by removing Tom Luna from elected office. Under Tom Luna’s Leadership, the Idaho legislature has rammed through the three part “Student’s Come First” education reform that will create a series of long lasting damage for Idaho families. Luna did not draw support across the aisle, and he disregarded the will and voice of the majority of Idahoans who will be negatively affected by the reforms.  Mr. Luna no longer represents the best interests of students, parents, teachers, and the public education system. Mr. Luna ran on a pro-education platform consistently reiterating that major reforms were not necessary.  Then, to the contrary, he launched a complete overhaul of the Idaho public education system during the 2011 legislative session/Committee to Recall Tom Luna. More here. (AP photo of Luna Recall campaign director Morgan Hill)

Megaload Snaps H12 Power Lines

Imperial Oil's test module snakes its way out of North Lewiston along U.S. Highway 12, in Lewiston. The module, which is 250 feet long, 30 feet tall, 24 feet wide and weighs almost 500,000 pounds, will be the first of many the oil company hopes will travel the route on its way to the Kearl Oil Sands project in Alberta, Canada. (AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune, Kyle Mills)

Things did not go smoothly overnight in the first leg of an ExxonMobil mega-load test shipment. The rig struck trees, knocking one 20-foot-long branch to the highway. Then it hit a guy wire near milepost 47, slicing the high-voltage power line, closing the highway for about an hour and knocking out power to hundreds of residents along U.S. Highway 12 in north central Idaho. The Idaho Transportation Department ordered Mammoet, Exxon's transport company, to investigate the incident before resuming the trip/George Prentice, Boise Weekly. More here.

Frosted Cupcakes To Open Friday

Downtown Coeur d' Alene is set to have its first cupcake store. On Friday Frosted Cupcakes will open its doors and serve 100% cupcakes. The store is located next to Cricket's Bar and Grill on Sherman Ave. Owner Jennifer Tarr says they have more than 36 different cupcakes up for sale, all coming from her own recipes. Tarr says she has had a positive and enthusiastic response from the community about the idea of opening a cupcake store. They've already been taking pre-orders and are lining up catering events. Even with the slow economy, Tarr thinks her store will be very successful/KHQ. More here.

Question: Describe the perfect cupcake?

When Teddy Roosevelt Visited UI

On April 9, 1911, Theodore Roosevelt became the first president to ever visit the University of Idaho. On April 8, 2011, the James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research commemorated that visit with a lecture from Douglas Brinkley, a historian and author of the biography “The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America.” Brinkley spoke to a crowd of students, faculty and community members Friday evening in the Student Union Building ballroom. The lecture, entitled “Wild America from Theodore Roosevelt to Dwight Eisenhower,” focused on Roosevelt’s legacy of conservation in the United States as well as conservation efforts since his presidency/Anja Sundali, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: Any Teddy Roosevelt fans out there?

Racists Failed To Scare Wassmuth

It was said, half in jest, that Bill Wassmuth was selected as the chairman of the resurrected Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations because he was single. No one laughed about that after he and his home were targetted in a fall 1986 bombing by three individuals aligned with Richard Butler's Aryan Nations. Wassmuth was sitting in the living room 10 to 12 feet away when the pipebomb exploded outside his rear door shortly after midnight. I remember that he was still dazed by the event after sunup as he showed me the damage during a tour of his parsonage. This year is the 25th anniversary of that bombing and the bombing of the downtown area by racists.

Hanging Out With Bill Wassmuth

I rarely see Tony Stewart, Norm Gissel, and Marshall Mend without talking about the early days of the local human rights movement when the late Bill Wassmuth (shown in spring 1997) led the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations. The joke back then was that Bill was picked as the chairman of the task force because, as a priest, he was the only one without a wife and kids. Tony and I talked about a trip that the aforementioned four and I made to Noxon High in the late 1980s. The militia movement was in full sway in western Sanders County. And some community leaders wanted to start a task force a la Kootenai County to combat the neo-Nazi influence. We were escorted from the state line to Noxon and back again by sheriff's deputies. About 300 townspeople jammed the high school gym, including 20 neo-Nazis and KKKers in full uniform who stood side-by-side at the back with arms folded across their chests, glaring. Tony remembers nervously telling Marshall that he made a fine target on the podium with his white shirt. Gallows humor. The racists behaved themselves because the community eagerly accepted the message delivered by Wassmuth, which included his famous signature line, “Saying Yes to Human Rights is the best way to say no to prejudice and bigotry.” Afterward, the gathering broke into discussion groups in classrooms throughout the high school. No violent incident occurred. And I wrote the story by flashlight while hobnobbing with Wassmuth and the other local human rights leaders as we headed for dinner in Sandpoint, in one piece — DFO.

Question: Did you ever meet Bill Wassmuth?

Extreme Neighbor Dispute Ends In Jail

A 47-year-old Cheney man is accused of burglary after his 25-year-old female neighbor said he’d repeatedly threatened to “chop her head off” before bursting into her apartment and trying to pull her shirt off. The extreme case of a bad neighbor occurred Sunday in a motel on B Street in Cheney, where the alleged victim said a man in a nearby rental unit was harassing her via telephone and had also contacted her in person, according to court documents/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Question: Describe the worst neighbor that you ever had?

Bozeman High Relives The ‘60s

The sounds of teenagers playing guitars and singing “The House of the Rising Sun,” “Mrs. Robinson” and “Blowin' in the Wind” filled the air Monday when Bozeman High School students transformed their American studies classroom into a ‘60s museum. The student-built time machine offered visitors two doors - The War at Home and The War Abroad. Students, teachers and parents who entered got to travel back 50 years and visit exhibits recreating the turbulent decade, from its wild fashions to its divisive war/Gail Schontzler, Bozeman Chronicle. More here.  (AP file photo of the crowd at Altamont in December 1969)

Question: What is the best song recorded in the '60s?

INW: WSU Unveils New Uniforms

Washington State University Director of Athletics Bill Moos introduced a department-wide brand and identity program Monday at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Wash. New crimson and gray colors, along with standardized lettering and numerals, will give the Cougar athletic team uniforms a consistent appearance. The brand identity program was a year-long collaboration between the WSU Athletics Department and Nike. Story here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)

Question: What do you think of the new Washington State Cougar uniforms?

High Noon: Just A Hacker

The Masters Golf Tournament made me want to take up golf again. The only problem is the courses I can afford to play aren’t anywhere near as spectacular as Augusta National. But, I suppose in the end I’m not a spectacular golfer like Phil, Tiger or this year’s winner Charl Schwartzel. I’ll stick to my public courses and my Charles Barkley swing/Nick, UIdaho Argonaut. More Off The Cuff column material here. (AP photo: former Masters champ Phil Mickelson helps Charl Schwartzel on with his green jacket for winning 2011 tournament)

Question: How good of a golfer are you?

High School Reunion

He stood on the fringes
with a drink big and tall,
a very late bloomer
who may not bloom at all.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue


Question: When did you bloom?

AM Scanner Traffic — 4.12.11

  • 11:09 a.m. Roxanne reports a possible road rage incident @ Ramsey & Garwood.
  • 10:50 a.m. A small, white dog is running along the interstate @ M/P 12.5 (7th/CdA).
  • 10:41 a.m. Caller reports a disorderly person is hanging out at 226 W Ironwood/CdA.
  • 10:40 a.m. Andre is at the Coeur d'Alene police HQ w/questions re: possible CraigsList scam.
  • 10:29 a.m. An injured, brown dog is lying near the fence off 9220 Ramsey/Hayden.
  • 10:17 a.m. A pitbull mix is “having issues” @ corner of 2nd & Lincoln/Post Falls.
  • 10:16 a.m. Charlotte @ Cleanco on Hayden Avenue has questions about service dogs.
  • 10:13 a.m. A hitchhiker is trying to catch a ride e/b on I-90 @ M/P 7 (H41 exit/Post Falls).
  • 9:52 a.m. A black Labrador is running loose in parking lot of Hayden Albertson's.
  • 9:50 a.m. A vehicle is broken down, blocking s/b turn lane from H95 @ Kathleen/CdA.
  • 9:31 a.m. A semi has run out of diesel and is blocking Pleasantview, north of I-90/Post Falls.
  • 9:14 a.m. A small white dog has been spotted by RR tracks @ Old 95 & Brunner/Athol for two days.
  • 9:09 a.m. Wayne reports he's lost his black labrador at Two Lakes Motel, 320 E. Lake Coeur d'Alene.
  • 9:02 a.m. Caller reports possible phone scam involving package delivery service.
  • 8:52 a.m. Jerry @ Hauser Lake reports a German shepherd chasing her dog around her yard.
  • 8:34 a.m. A 2003 Kenworth has sustained front-end damage and lost a bumper after hitting a moose on n/b H95 @ M/P 425 (near Cougar Creek Bridge, south of Coeur d'Alene). Several drivers stopped to help move moose off the highway.

Civil War + 150 Years

Civil War re-enactors fire a 21-gun salute at Fort Johnson, near Fort Sumter, to commemorate the moment the first shots of the Civil War were fired 150 years ago in Charleston, S.C. on Tuesday. SR photo slide show of Civil War re-enactment here. (AP Photo/Alice Keeney)

Question: Are you a student of the Civil War?

Goedde Pushing Luna Plan Start-Up

The north Idaho state senator who helped shepherd wide-reaching changes to the state’s public education system says he thinks voters won’t strike down the reform efforts and that state education leaders must now get started rolling out the policies and rules to that follow the changes of the laws. Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, sponsored the “Students Come First” plan from Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, and chairs the Senate Education Committee, which formally introduced the legislation of the plan, heard the most testimony on the education reform package and cast the narrowest votes on package/Brad Iverson-Long, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Do you have a different view of Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, now that he and Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Post Falls, have been instrumental as Education committee chairmen in pushing through Tom Luna's education 'reforms'?

Ex-Ada Clerk Joins Luna Recall Try

Dave Navarro, who retired in January as Ada County Clerk, signed one of the petitions seeking the recall of Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna. Navarro was the chief elections officer in Idaho's largest county for 20 years, having been elected in 1990. Navarro wasn't available for comment Tuesday morning. Navarro was among 34 valid signatures from Ada and Canyon counties that started the recall effort. Petitioners have until June 27 to collect 158,107 valid signatures to force an Aug. 30 special election/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Poll: States Should Handle Wolves

  • Monday Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation votes that the states of Idaho and Washington should manage their wolf population. 112 of 178 respondents (62.92%) said states should handle the problem. 37 of 178 respondents (29.79%) would like environmentalists to be in charge of wolf management. 11 (6.18%) want to see the courts decide the matter, while only 6 (3.37%) want Congress to get involved.
  • Today's Poll: Has someone close to you committed suicide?

Arizona Solons OK Guns On Campus

Two days after the Jan. 8 Tucson shootings, as Rep. Gabrielle Giffords lay in a medically induced coma, Arizona's House of Representatives introduced the session's very first piece of legislation: a bill allowing college professors to carry concealed weapons on campus. A similar bill, SB 1467, which would allow anyone to carry a gun on the sidewalks and roads of public universities, sailed through the House last Thursday, despite the fact that the majority of Arizonans oppose sending guns to college. “The legislature is being very extreme on gun issues, and it couldn't be more opposite to what the public wants,” said Hildy Saizow, President of Arizonans for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy group/Laura Gottesdiener, Huffington Post. More here. (Wikipedia photo)

Question: Is it just me, or does the Arizona Legislature seem to mimic Idaho's in that the legislators put ideology ahead of the public good?

2 Local Women Head Warrants List

A 26-year-old Post Falls woman and a 49-year-old Spirit Lake woman are among the honorees at the front of the class on Major Ben Wolfinger's weekly warrants honor roll. Major Ben's Deputy Dawgs are looking for Christina Ann Hickson, left, a Post Falls resident, who's wanted for failing to appear to face charges for aggravated DUI and possession of a controlled substance. Bond is set for Hickson at $70,000. Deputy Dawgs are also searching for Lori Ann Blakey-Moon, of Spirit Lake, right, who is wanted for felony battery on a correctional officer. She is to be held without bond. You can read the rest of Major Ben's weekly warrants list here.

AM: Bumpersnicker Car

I spotted this RAV 4 with a bunch of bumpersnickers parked outside the Coeur d'Alene Inn last night, prior to the Human Rights Banquet. I was fascinated that someone would paste so many bumpersnickers to a relatively new vehicle, especially when several of the stickers promote Democratic candidates who lost last November.

Question: Anyone have an explanation for the rolling billboard of bumpersnickers shown above?

Buffalo Butt & National Book Week

Apparently, this is National Book Week. I generally ignore those Facebook memes to do something and post it as your status. But the one today is fun. So I'll go with it. In honor of National Book Week, you're suppose to grab the closest book to you, turn to Page 56 and post the 5th sentence as your status. (You can post it under this thread.) With fear and trembling, I grabbed the closest book to me at Hucks Central: American Slang, 2nd edition. Sentence No. 5 offers an off-color definition for buffalo. So I'll go with sentence No. 6, which provides the definition for “buffalo butt”: “a phrase used in the 1970s. A person with large buttocks.”

Question: How does the 5th sentence on Page 56 of the book closest to you read?

Trump Would Run As An Independent

Real estate mogul Donald Trump said Tuesday he could run for president as an Independent if he's unable to win the Republican nomination in 2012. Trump, the reality TV star who has been flirting with a run for president, suggested that other Republicans vying for the party's nomination are concerned he might wage a third-party campaign, which Trump said he thought was a viable path to the White House. “The concern is, if I don't win, will I run as an Independent? And the answer is probably yes,” Trump said in a video interview with The Wall Street Journal. Trump has received surprisingly encouraging poll numbers in recent weeks, surging to a tie for second place behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) in the most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll/Michael O'Brien, The Hill. More here.

Question: Why is Trump polling well?

Edit: Legislature’s Damaging Session

Many years, it is easy to criticize the Idaho Legislature for doing nothing. On the 88th and final day of the 2011 legislative session, Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, addressed this perennial putdown head-on. “Anyone who claims we haven’t accomplished much wasn’t paying attention.” We’d have to agree. But this was a Legislature that did a lot — yet may have done far more harm than good. A Legislature long on ambition and short on compassion. A Legislature with a wide reach but a narrow ideology. A session to be proud of? Not even close/Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you realize that the Legislature's decision to cut education spending for a third straight year merely pushes tax increases onto local school districts?

Moose Collapses On Car On H95

Under the influence of a tranquilizer dart, a 600-pound bull moose walked onto U.S. 95 Monday morning and collapsed on the trunk of a woman's car. Idaho Fish and Game officers located the moose after receiving a call around 10 a.m., according to Regional Wildlife Manager Jim Hayden. The bull, most likely a yearling, was reported near the Kootenai County Sheriff's campus on Government Way, then strolled over to Dalton Children's Center on Dalton Avenue. While the moose was lying down next to the building, officers fired an air-powered dart into its leg, Regional Conservation Officer Craig Walker said. The moose rose, wandered into the middle of U.S. 95, and fell against the trunk of a small sedan stopped at the Dalton Avenue red light. Its upper body rested against the vehicle, while its legs remained on the street/Nick Rotunno, Press. More here. (KCSD courtesy photo shows moose hiding behind bush at sheriff's office)

Question: What would you do if you encountered a wandering moose in your yard?

Fuel Costs Force Adjustments

Montie Davis cranks up his 2002 Grand Cherokee for a 4-mile trip to the gym and a 2-mile trip to his job at the bakery department at Fred Meyer several times a week from his home near Amity Road. The way he figures it, he’s putting a lot of wear and tear on the engine of his 70,000-mile vehicle, plus dumping about $60 into the gas tank every time it needs filling. So Davis, 65, recently bought a 150 cc scooter that gets about 75 miles to the gallon. As the weather warms, he intends to take it for the short hauls and save his Cherokee for the longer fishing trips he savors. “It’s going to help,” he said/Bill Roberts, Statesman. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Have you considered buying a scooter to drive around town and save money on gas?

Gandhi Grandson Speaks Of Pacifism

We have to become the change we wish to see in the world. It was his grandfather's message, and Arun Gandhi, grandson of the legendary pacifist and spiritual leader, Mahatma Gandhi, carried that message Monday to North Idaho. Arun shared some of the lessons he learned from his grandfather with more than 450 people who attended the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations' 14th annual Human Rights Banquet at the Best Western Coeur d'Alene Inn. “Non-violence is about learning how to be with your anger and learning how to channel it positively and constructively,” Arun told the crowd. Like his grandfather, Arun learned the benefits of peaceful conflict resolution from his own life experiences/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Why is our culture so violent?

Anderson: Trump Tower

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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