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Archive for July 2011

Debt deal reached

Ending a perilous stalemate, President Barack Obama and congressional leaders announced agreement Sunday night on an emergency deal to avoid to avert the nation’s first-ever financial default. The arrangement would cut more than $2 trillion from federal spending over a decade. The dramatic agreement, with scant time remaining before Tuesday’s deadline, “will allow us to avoid default and end the crisis that Washington imposed on the rest of America,” Obama said. Default “would have had a devastating effect on our economy,” the president said at the White House, relaying the news to the nation and to financial markets around the world. He thanked the leaders of both parties. More here.

Question: Do you approve of the debt deal?

Weekend Wild Card 7.30-7.31

It's the last weekend in July. Enjoy the sun. Enjoy your family. Be kind to each other in spite of the ongoing national debt debacle.

The best antidote for frightening times is living life in the moment. Embrace what is and leave the worry for Monday morning and DFO to handle.

Today is my father-in-law's funeral. There will be tears for sure, but also joy. Four children, 14 grandchildren and he loved us all well. That's something to celebrate.

Tell us what you'll be celebrating this weekend or let us know what else is on your mind on this Wild Card.

Senate kills House debt measure

WASHINGTON — In an unforgiving display of partisanship, the House passed emergency legislation tonight to avoid an unprecedented government default and the Senate scuttled it less than two hours later.

The final outcome — with the White House and Senate Democrats calling anew for compromise while criticizing Republicans as Tuesday’s deadline drew near — was anything but certain.

“We are almost out of time” for a compromise, warned President Barack Obama as U.S. financial markets trembled at the prospect of economic chaos next week.

Worse case scenario?

Parting Shot: Take me out to the ball game

Spokane Indians pitcher #30 David Perez comes to the plate with a pitch in the first inning against Eugene at Avista Stadium Monday July 18, 2011. Perez once again had a rough start and did not last through the first inning as Eugene jumped out an early 4-0 lead. Story here.

When is the last time you watched a game at a ballpark?

TGIF Wild Card 7.29.11

Wow! It's been like, a few weeks, since DFO took some time off! He must be exhausted :-)

I'll try to fly this thing solo, but you might want to take note of the emergency exits and barf bags. Due to budget cuts I am no longer able to offer you a snack, pillow, or blanket, but I do hope you enjoyed your complimentary patdown when you signed on.

On a more serious note, my family is trying to adjust to a world without my beloved father-in-law in it and it is proving to be a very bumpy ride. Thanks for your many kind words and condolences.

And just this thought, never miss the chance to say the words “I love you” to those you care about. It doesn't matter how many times you've said them, or that you're sure your loved ones know you care. Just say it, if you mean it, and say it often. You never know when it will be the last time.

House approves debt bill

WASHINGTON — Riven by partisanship, the Republican-controlled House passed legislation Friday night to prevent a threatened government default and bundled it off to a swift and certain defeat in the Senate.

“We are almost out of time” for a compromise, warned President Barack Obama as U.S. financial markets trembled at the prospect of economic chaos next week.

The final outcome — with the White House and Senate Democrats calling for compromise while criticizing Republicans as Tuesday’s deadline drew near — was anything but certain.

The House vote was 218-210, almost entirely along party lines.


Brother can you spare a dime?

Washington state Treasurer Jim McIntire says he has six to eight weeks of cash available to keep paying state-government bills if Congress fails to lift the debt ceiling in time and interrupts federal payments of about $500 million a month.

Even so, McIntire sent a letter to the state’s 11 members of the U.S. House and Senate on Monday, urging action and warning that inaction could “crush” the fragile global economic recovery. It also could put unwanted pressure on state banks and even larger ones if federal Treasury investments lose value, McIntire said Thursday.

Things aren't looking good here in Washington. Whose fault is it when a state can't balance its budget? How about when a nation can't?

2nd fire reported at Lucky Friday

Investigators are looking into the cause of a second fire in three weeks at the Lucky Friday Mine.

The underground silver mine near Mullan, Idaho, was evacuated at 7 p.m. Tuesday after a contractor’s employee reported that he smelled smoke.

Hecla Mining Co. deployed three mine rescue teams to monitor the fire and prevent its spread. They were able to contain the fire to a small area on the 4900 level, according to a statement from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.

The fire was extinguished at around 3 p.m. Wednesday. Underground workers were able to return to work on Wednesday evening, said Melanie Hennessey, Hecla’s vice president of investor relations. More.

Do have any friends or family members who work in the mining industry?

Cowboys and Aliens shoots blanks

Harrison Ford, left, and Daniel Craig star in “Cowboys & Aliens.”

Action-packed yet curiously lifeless, “Cowboys & Aliens” shoots blanks.

This multitasking genre mash-up successfully unites its discordant elements in a coherent dramatic universe.

Despite a stellar cast and out-of-this-world production values, however, it’s a saddle-weary horse opera. Lacking the high-flying zing of Joss Whedon’s space-Western TV series “Firefly,” the movie is competent but never compelling. More here.

Bad reviews won't stop my guys from seeing this one. Do movie reviews influence which movies you choose to see?

You can’t dress like that at WalMart

Or maybe you can. Seattle Weekly reports WalMart has apologized to Sandy McMillin.

“It's unclear if it was only Sandy McMillin's turquoise bikini top, or if it was her combining it with red shorts, a cane, a knee brace, and sailor tattoos that so offended a Walmart employee in Eugene, Ore.

But in any case, the retail giant is now sorry for telling the woman that her ensemble is a health-code violation.”

What do you usually wear when you do your grocery shopping? Have you seen worse outfits than the one pictured in the link above?

Dan at Avista: Idaho gets Christmas in August


I’ve gotten a few questions over the last two days about Avista’s recent request to “decrease” rates in Idaho. Yes, you read that right “decrease.” Its a bit confusing because we filed for an increase earlier this month. We’re trying to keep you on your toes this summer!

More information here.

One nice thing about a cooler summer is lower energy bills. And I guesss you folks in Idaho get lower rates now, too.  Got any plans to spend your Avista savings assuming there is some?

Record rainbow trought caught

Several limits of large rainbow trout caught in Lake Rufus Woods over the Fourth of July weekend, 2011.

The photo at  makes the trout in the above photo look like minnows.  A 41-year-old Pocatello man has shattered a state record by catching a 34.74-pound rainbow trout.Click here to see the pic and read this fish tale.

Do you enjoy fishing? How often do you go?

High Noon: Science on a roll

Jessica Ohlig and her daughter A’Maya Ohlig, 7, of Post Falls, paid a visit to the robot during the STAR Discovery Bus tour in Coeur d’Alene on July 18. Discovery Technology’s STAR Science Center is set to open in Rathdrum in 2012.

A proposed science center near Rathdrum featuring hands-on science and technology is on a roll.

After Kootenai County’s land-use permit process delayed the expected start of construction on the center, nonprofit Discover Technology launched the Discovery Bus Tour this month.

Stopping at festivals, fairs and schools in the region, the 45-foot mobile science center is giving audiences a taste of the 20,000-square-foot Science, Technology and Research (STAR) facility.

“The permit process was taking a long time, and we wanted to get science in the hands of kids sooner,” said Dennis Kimberling, education director for the nonprofit. More here.

What do you think about this privately funded science center?

Greta Garbo knows

Garbo is famous for saying, “I want to be alone.” Later she said, “I never said 'I want to be alone,' I only said I want to be left alone.'”

Either way, I can relate. Sometimes I crave solitude more than I crave chocolate. A few hours alone energizes me and helps me cope with the unrelenting demands of family and work. Carving that time out of my schedule is difficult, but necessary for me.

How about you? Do enjoy solitude or does being alone make you uneasy?

Discord at the dump

When Chris Weppner starts his shift at the Garwood dump site, the first thing he checks is the employee log for notes of problem customers.

He's already on the watch for it, folks who become aggressive over dump site rules.

Usually it's just verbal abuse, he said, cuss words and back talk. But occasionally, people really fly off the handle.

“The best way to define it is they make it difficult for us to do our job, and it's not an easy job to do,” Weppner said on Wednesday as cars lined up to dump their garbage. “And it's only over garbage.”

Dump site detail is a tough gig.

Incidents of illegal dumping and verbal abuse to staff are on the rise at Kootenai County's 14 rural dump sites, especially the three that are manned daily, said Roger Saterfiel, Solid Waste director. Full story. Alecia Warren, CDA Press

Wow! Who knew garbage makes people so grumpy? How often do you visit your local dump?

Unlikely warrior dies

Former Kootenai Chairwoman Amelia Trice died July 21.

Kootenai tribal elder Amelia Trice made national headlines in 1974 when she led her tiny band in what is now known as the last Indian war against the U.S. government.

The standoff at Bonners Ferry led to creation of a 12.5-acre reservation for the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho and improvements to housing and health. The event also set the stage for tribal growth over the years.

Trice, 75, died last week after a long bout with cancer. More here.

I love this quote, “The state police came with Mace and sawed-off shotguns,” Trice said at the time. “The closest thing we had to a weapon in our tribal office was a fly swatter.”

Do you know much about Native American history? Had you heard of the last Indian war against the U.S. government?

AM Headlines

In this May 20, 2010 file photo, American hikers Shane Bauer, left, Sarah Shourd, center, and Josh Fattal, sit at the Esteghlal Hotel in Tehran, Iran.

Jailed U.S. hikers await Sunday court date in Iran Steve Karnowski, AP

Votes not lining up for GOP debt bill David Lightman, McClatchy

Arrest stops apparent Ft. Hood terror plot David S. Cloud, Tribune Washington bureau

Cellphones, cancer not tied Melissa Healy, LA Times

Good news, bad news for Murdoch empire Meg James and Joe Flint, LA Times

Maximum Tylenol dose reduced

TRENTON, N.J. – Johnson & Johnson said Thursday that it’s reducing the maximum daily dose of its Extra Strength Tylenol pain reliever to lower risk of accidental overdose from acetaminophen, its active ingredient and the top cause of liver failure.

The company’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division said the change affects Extra Strength Tylenol sold in the U.S. – one of many products in short supply in stores due to a string of recalls.

When did you last have a headache? What did you take for it?

Irabu found dead

Former New York Yankees pitcher Hideki Irabu was found dead Wednesday after an apparent suicide.

Hideki Irabu joined the New York Yankees 14 years ago in a swell of international excitement. The quirky, flamethrowing Japanese right-hander seemed destined to become a pioneering star for American baseball’s marquee franchise.

Irabu never reached those enormous expectations, and his career spiraled. On Wednesday, the 42-year-old was found dead, an apparent suicide in a home in Rancho Palos Verdes, a wealthy Los Angeles suburb. Read more.

Did you ever see Irabu pitch?

That presidential look

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

So Christa Hazel provides this link to a decidedly unflattering photo of Gov. Christie. The LA Times opinion piece poses the question “Chris Christie: Does he have the look of a president?”

To be president, do you have to look presidential?

And if so, does that mean Chris Christie should forget about a run for the Oval Office?

New Jersey's governor, considered a rising star in the Republican Party, was hospitalized Thursday after having trouble breathing (he suffers from asthma), The Times reported. The story takes note of Christie's weight issues:The governor has acknowledged leading an unhealthy lifestyle. In a recent interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, Christie said he feels “guilty” about his weight.

“I'm really struggling, been struggling for a long time with it, and I know that it would be better for my kids if I got it more under control. And so I do feel a sense of guilt at times about that,” he said.

What do you think? Would Americans elect an overweight man or woman as president?

PS: Mike Kennedy, Christa specifically hopes that you will weigh in on the subject.

Where the girls are

COEUR d'ALENE - Time to celebrate, fellas. There are lots of ladies in Kootenai County.

Unlike the rest of the state, our county boasts more women than men, according to new estimates released by the U.S. Census.

Last year's count reveals that the county's 138,494 residents are comprised of 70,237 women and 68,257 men. Alecia Warren, CDA Press

A commenter on the press site says, “You can pretty much bet the excess female folk are over 70. Eeewwwwww ….”

Hmm… here I was thinking all those ladies most likely raised the collective IQ of the county. What do you think?

Seahawks at camp

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll walks on the field at the start of a walkthrough practice to open NFL football training camp Thursday, July 28, 2011, in Renton, Wash.

For one day, Pete Carroll wasn’t hopping around with the vigor and excitement that was so apparent a season ago.

Apparently even the Seattle Seahawks’ head coach needed to ease his way into training camp on Thursday at Renton, Wash., after a whirlwind start to free agency that saw the Seahawks land quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, offensive lineman Robert Gallery and wide receiver Sidney Rice, and bid adieu to quarterback Matt Hasselbeck after a decade in Seattle.

Oh, alright. I admit it. I'm a diehard Seahawk fan and have been ever since I had a Steve Largent poster on my wall when all my friends had Andy Gibb posters. And I'm GLAD, glad Hasslebeck is gone. In addition, this is the first summer in 3 years that I haven't had a kid in football camp. And that makes me sad!

Is it too early to talk about football?

Deadbeat Dad in the House?

In this Nov. 17, 2010, file photo, then-Rep.-elect Joe Walsh, R-Ill., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.

CHICAGO — Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh, a rising star in the tea party movement best known for his blistering lectures of President Barack Obama for “spending like a drunken sailor,” is now being peppered with questions about his own financial responsibility after reports surfaced that he’s being sued for more than $100,000 in unpaid child support. Full story.

Would you vote for a politician who owes back child support or has filed bankruptcy or hasn't been truthful with the IRS?

Parting Shot — 7.28.11

A fan photographs skateboarder Rob Lorifice during practice for the Skateboard Big Air at X Games 17 in Los Angeles on Thursday. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Question: Have you ever ridden a skateboard?

Wild Card/Thursday — 7.28.11

Cindy takes over Hucks Online blog watch Friday, as I bail to enjoy our viewtiful summer weather for a three-day weekend. Give her a rousing welcome back. Any of you who plan to watch the Silver Hoops 3-on-3 BB competition in Kellogg this weekend should keep an eye out for HBO regular Bent & his Bent BBQ who'll be vending ribs chicken and pulled pork sandwhiches. Say hi to him and/or his son for Huckleberries, if you see him there. Now, for your reposted Wild Card …

Dogwalk: Pelosi To The Rescue!

The current debt ceiling/deficit debate going on is important to be sure.  I've been doing a lot of ranting and raving about it for days now.  I must thank the former speaker, however, for adding some much needed levity with the comment, “What we’re trying to do is save the world from the Republican budget … We’re trying to save life on this planet as we know it today.” Oh, don't I wish!  I wonder if she has a clue how idiotic that sounds.  It's right up there with her comment when health care passed; she said we could then all read it and find out what was in it!  To think this woman is one of the most powerful in the country/Dogwalk Musings. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Which statement made by one of the congressional partisans re: the debt ceiling showdown do you consider the silliest?

INW: Down But Not Out At Priest Lake

Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns was walking at 5:30 this morning when she spotted this bird on one leg that appeared to be “hurting.” Pecky thinks the poor critter had a broken leg.

APhoto Of The Day — 7.28.11

Noel Buller, 21, from Los Angeles, stands in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles holding up a peace sign while facing a line of Los Angeles Police Wednesday. Police say a crowd became unruly outside the premiere of a documentary about the Electric Daisy Carnival rave. You write the cutline. (AP/Los Angeles Times photo: Jay L. Clendenin)

  • 1. (& winner of the $10 gift certificate to Fort Ground Grill): “Why yes, I certainly would like to purchase two tickets to the Policeman’s Ball. Thanks for asking” — Formerly Sandpoint.
  • 2. The lead nudist from the Sun Meadows Resort is met with less acceptance than expected as he leads others down Sherman Avenue for an evening stroll — KeithinCDA.
  • 3. Noel Buller: “I come to you in peace and I was hoping that a box of donuts would help end this standoff” — Kage Mann.
  • HM: Dan Gookin

PM Scanner Traffic 7.28.11

  • 5:06 p.m. Sprinkler system is malfunctioning in business @ 217 E. Indiana/CdA.
  • 5:01 p.m. ISPer is concerned that motorist will hit bag of trash lying along I-90 & H41 for 3 days.
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 27-28 here.
  • 4:09 p.m. 50ish man in 2900 block of Francis/CdA is threatening to kill himself.
  • 3:56 p.m. Caller reports 2 drunk adults in an e/b gray Jetta from Sullivan in Spokane Valley are traveling to Kellogg, with two children in the back seat.
  • 15 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

CdA Cops Vs. California On Gridiron

Coeur d'Alene Police Department news release: “The Coeur d'Alene Police Department will be joining Spokane County Sheriff's Dept. in the 2011 Charity Bowl football game against San Bernadino County on 7:30 p.m. Saturday at West Valley High School. Tickets are available in CDA at Nosworthy's and Peak Fitness. All proceeds benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Come out and watch ID and WA police conquer CA police!”

Question: Do you think the cops in Idaho & Washington are tougher football players than the ones in California?

F&G Sets Idaho Wolf Hunt Dates

Idaho's Fish & Game Commission, meeting today in Salmon, has set the state's wolf hunting season for 2011-12. As planned, the season will lack limits in several zones, to encourage more taking of wolves. Commissioners today made a few tweaks to the original proposal from their staff, upping the limits in two zones that have them, extending the trapping season and extending the hunting season in the Lolo zone, and lowering the nonresident wolf tag price to $31.75 statewide retroactively - nonresident hunters who already bought tags would be eligible for a refund. Fish & Game is posting all the details at its website here /Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Will the hunt take place? Or will conservationists be able to stop it via lawsuit?

Judge Rejects Circumcision Measure

Anti-circumcision activists Frank McGinness, right, and Jeff Brown rally with about 25 protesters outside a San Francisco courthouse on Thursday. A judge today struck down a proposed ballot measure banning circumcision saying it would violate a law that makes regulating medical procedures a function of the state, not cities. Story here. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Question: Which side of this controversial issue are you on?

CdA Press Seeking ‘All-Around Star’

On the site, the Coeur d'Alene Press has a help wanted ad, seeking “an all-around star.” The ad reads: “The Coeur d'Alene (Idaho) Press, a 20,000-circulation daily in one of the most beautiful cities in America, is seeking a reporter/feature writer who wields a wicked camera, too. We have an immediate opening for weekend reporter. Duties include covering spot news, writing features, managing obits, and taking photos. Ideal job for someone with weekly newspaper experience ready to move up to a daily. Pay is only $12/hour, but we have a solid benefits package and you can't beat the quality of life here.”

Question: Are you “an all-around star”?

Casey Stengel He’s Not

On his Facebook wall, Marc Stewart posts: “I had a blast being an assistant coach for my son's T-ball team last night after the regular coach (a 16-year-old kid) quit for reasons unknown. The field of dreams experience took a hit when our third basemen asked me, “So, how long do I have to listen to you?” I looked him in the eye and said, 'One inning kid.'”

Question: Have you ever coached your kids athletic team? Good experience? Bad one?

Seahawks wide receiver blocks Sam T.

Mike Williams leads the Seattle Seahawks with 52 receptions this season.

It seems our own Sam Taylor had a little dust up on Twitter with Seahawk wide receiver Mike Williams. Sam took exception to William's tweet about a “white boy hatin on the Seahawks.”

Williams didn't appreciate Sam's comment and promptly blocked him with a little profanity tossed in for good measure.

You can follow the action here.

Do you follow any professional athletes on Twitter? Have you ever been blocked by someone on Twitter?

Carlson: Remembering Doc Robins

“Benewah County has an opportunity which may never come this way again.” – St. Maries Gazette Record, June 6, 1946

The above item was the last point in a campaign ad for C.A. “Doc” Robins, a former three-term Benewah County State Senator running for the 1946 Republican gubernatorial nomination. The 61-year-old Robins easily defeated former two-term Idaho Governor C.A. “Bott” Bottolfsen in the primary and went on to defeat incumbent Governor Arnold Williams by a landslide in November. Robins was the first governor of Idaho from the northern part of the state in more than 50 years and surely will be, as the ad suggests, the only governor with ties to Benewah County ever. Ask people on the streets of St. Maries today who “Doc” Robins was and the vast majority don’t have a clue. There is no sign as one enters St. Maries that it used to be the hometown of arguably one of the most influential people in Idaho’s political history/Chris Carlson, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: Do you know much about Idaho history?

IPT: Reps Mirror Idaho On Debt Ceiling

As the nation gets closer to Aug. 2 — the date we’ve been told the U.S. will default and be unable to pay its bills unless the debt ceiling is raised — the frustration and emotion among the electorate is at a fever pitch. Members of Congress are being deluged with passionate pleas from constituents. Some people are having a hard time getting through due to busy signals and full voicemail boxes. Such is the case with Idaho’s congressional delegation. And it’s good to see our elected officials in Washington being active and involved — and representing the values Idaho cherishes/Idaho Press Tribune (Nampa) editorial. More here.

Question: Which of Idaho's 4 congressman most closely represents your views on the debt ceiling? (Moi? That's easy. Mike Simpson)

Games Celebrate All Things Scot

Don’t be alarmed if you see dozens of miniature Mel Gibsons running around town on Aug. 6. Chances are the kids have just come from the 2011 Spokane Highland Games. Braveheart face-painting with accompanying balloon swords is just one of the many family-friendly activities offered at this year’s Games. However, those who prefer real sword action won’t be disappointed. “We’re going to have a Claymore demonstration,” said Ruby Devine, co-chair of the Spokane Highland Games. A claymore is a Scottish broadsword. “It’s a very large sword,” Devine said/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka — Jon McKenzie practices at Theyer Park in Rathdrum)

Question: Which culture is predominant in your personal heritage mix?

INW: A Dog That Walks On Water?

Baker, the dog seems to be walking on water to catch a ball thrown in Lake Whatcom at Bloedel-Donovan Park Wednesday in Bellingham, Wash. (AP Photo/The Bellingham Herald, Philip A. Dwyer)

Question: Can your dog walk on water?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.28.11

  • Noonish: ITD is rushing signs to H95 & Prairie, where traffic is backed up due to power outage.
  • 11:57 a.m. Power surge causes traffic lights @ H95 & Prairie to blink red in all directions.
  • 11:37 a.m. Elderly woman w/Sandpoint plates is driving s/b on H95 & Granite Hill/Athol at speeds varying by 20 mph — also weaving into traffic. (Update: She stops at Alpine Store/Garwood.)
  • 11:28 a.m. Thief has just stolen a balck Honda from Honeysuckle (cross of Stiner & Crawford/CdA.
  • 11:27 a.m. Someone has suffered a trauma injury at 391 E. Coeur d'Alene Lake Drive.
  • 11:14 a.m. Coeur d'Alene police are looking for noncustodial parent named Gary, in a black Isuzu with Boundary County plates, who has taken a 10MO baby from 3630 Government Way/CdA.
  • 12 more items below

Huckleberries Hears …

… this about musical chairs in high places in Coeur d'Alene. From a Berry Picker: “John Little, former owner of Outback Steakhouse, who was hired as the food and beverage manager for Hagadone Hospitality about 6 months ago was shown the door (Wednesday) morning. This on the heels of Steve Wilson's unceremonious dumping from long time employment as GM of the Coeur d'Alene Inn. With last week's ousting of Chamber CEO Todd Christensen this has not been a good summer for some big paycheck earners. It's ironic that Wilson was tapped as interim CEO at the Chamber to replace Christensen but the odds makers are betting against Wilson getting position permanently.”


Labrador Among Key Swing Votes

Freshman 1st District GOP Rep. Raul Labrador's vote is among a handful that will decide today's expected tally on House Speaker John Boehner's debt and deficit reduction bill, according to The Hill. “He's leaning no but he's still undecided at the moment,” said Labrador spokesman Phil Hardy Thursday morning. The vote is expected to begin about 3:45 p.m. Mountain Time. Idaho's 2nd District GOP Rep. Mike Simpson, a subcommittee chairman and close ally of Boehner, is expected to vote for the bill. Labrador is among a group of 39 House Republicans who pledged to oppose any bill that raises the debt ceiling unless it includes major cuts, spending caps and a balanced budget amendment. Boehner's bill doesn't include a balanced budget amendment/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: What should Raul do?

Cindy: Saying Bye To Papa Aage

Everything about my father-in-law Aage (Au-gee) Hval was larger than life. His hands. His broad back. His warm smile. His generous heart. And Thursday afternoon, without warning, that big heart stopped beating. He’d spoken with my husband, Derek, several times that morning. My sister-in-law, who lives on the adjoining property, saw him walk from his office into the house around 12:30. A few hours later her 13-year-old son ran over to talk to Papa Aage and found him on the bedroom floor. He was lying at the foot of his bed, legs crossed at the ankles, one hand behind his head. It looked like he just decided to take a quick nap. My nephew called 911, but Papa was already gone. Now, we are left with the ache of his absence/Cindy Hval, SR Front Porch. More here.

Question: Have you been present when a loved one passed on?

Mention: Gozzer To Close Off Eddies

Mention (re: Gozzer Ranch eyes Squaw Bay resort): Once Gozzer builds the condos here, the plan is to move the private beach that is at Squaw (Gozzer Bay as they call it) Bay over to Eddies, and close Eddies off to the public.

Question: Isn't it a bit presumptuous for Gozzer Ranch to use “Gozzer Bay” to refer to the bay formerly known as Squaw? Have we officially changed the name Squaw Bay to the Coeur d'Alene Tribe's preferred one, Neachen Bay?

8YO DJs For Radio Free Moscow

With a little help from his mom, Leanne, Oscar Hoffmann, 8, takes his place behind the mic during the Mr. Hoffman Show on 92.5 FM, in Moscow. Lewiston Tribune story here. (AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune, Kyle Mills)

Question: Did you ever dream of being a radio DJ/announcer?

Hanging Out Nude At Worley Resort

A mountain of a man in combat boots is perched at the wheel of a golf cart. Thick black hair swirls across his arms, chest and wraps around his back, making his big toothy smile seem bigger — almost brighter — in the sunlight. Aside from the boots, he’s buck naked. In a flash, wandering eyes can judge whether he’s circumcised (he is), carries a spare tire around his middle (he does), prefers to shave his genitals (he does not), or if he’s wearing a wedding ring (nope). But here, well-aside from marital status, none of that really matters. “We’ve got all shapes and sizes of construction workers, farmers, bankers, attorneys, doctors and lawyers,” says Kathy Smith, 62, discussing the membership at Sun Meadow Nudist Resort in Worley, Idaho. “We’ve got everyone from newborns up to people in their 90s”/Jordy Byrd, Inlander. More here. (Inlander photo/Amy Hunter: “Aprons are allowed for the cooks in the kitchen at Sun Meadow Resort.”)

Question: Have you ever thought of becoming a nudist?

Minnick: Gang Of 6 Has Best Idea

Does any serious person believe the United States should cease or delay paying its debts? Social Security? Military retirement? Only in Washington, D.C., where extremists in both parties torpedoed a bipartisan agreement between President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner to cut the deficit over 10 years by $4 trillion by slashing government spending, reforming entitlements and closing tax loopholes while simultaneously reducing federal tax rates. Sensible Republican House leaders who understand the need for compromise, including my former colleague, Mike Simpson, were unable to sell this agreement to their tea party base because it closed some of the most egregious tax loopholes like those which enable hedge fund billionaires and General Electric to pay little or no taxes on their annual earnings/Walt Minnick, Idaho Statesman guest column. More here.

Question: Who will blink?

GOP Debates No Confidence Vote

Item: Bonner County GOP CC debates no confidence vote vs. Keough, Broadsword/Cameron Rasmusson, Bonner County Bee

More Info: Keough countered that while it wasn’t her or Broadsword’s intent to put Kootenai County Republican incumbents against each other, tough choices will need to be made. “We are in the reddest of the red states,” she said. “No matter how that map is drawn, there will be Republican incumbents against each other.”  She also defended the choice to issue a press release, saying that other legislators have expressed opinions through columns and other media expressions. Keough said the press release was an efficient way to communicate the work she and Broadsword had been doing.

Question: How badly has this new confidence vote politically hurt Sens. Keough and Broadsword?

AM Headlines — 7.28.11

I so enjoyed that photo by Live, Love, Laugh, Hope Wednesday that I thought I'd publish another one. You can see more of Bullwinkle, plus some other wild life and fawna shots on Twin Lakes from LLLH here.

100mph Wrong Way Driver Crashes

Post Falls Police said alcohol could be a factor in a rollover crash Thursday morning. The car crashed around 1:30 a.m. on Seltice Way just a few blocks east of Highway 41.Officers said they received a phone call that a driver was going the wrong way on Seltice at speeds more than 100 miles per hour.The driver hit and crashed into a car that was pulling out of a gas station, police said/KXLY. More here.

Atheists Want WTC Cross Removed

A group of atheists has filed a lawsuit claiming the display of the World Trade Center cross at the 9/11 memorial in lower Manhattan is unconstitutional, calling it a “mingling of church and state.” The American Atheists, which advocates an “absolute separation” of government and religion, filed the lawsuit Monday to stop the display of the cross, arguing that it should not be included if “no other religions or philosophies will be honored,” according to a statement on the group's website. The cross, which consists of two intersecting steel beams that were found intact in the rubble at Ground Zero, was initially constructed on a side of a church in lower Manhattan/Fox News. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Should the World Trade Center cross be taken down?

Gozzer Eyes Squaw Bay Resort

Item: New Gozzer resort proposed: Owner envisions cabin owners renting units out like motel rooms/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Discovery Land Co. wants to develop a resort of 15 large privately owned cabins - valued between $2 million and $4 million per unit - along Lake Coeur d'Alene at what was long called Squaw Bay. The developer envisions owners of the cabins renting the units out like motel rooms. Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Discovery, a large development firm known in Coeur d'Alene for its Gozzer Ranch golf and lake club project near the now proposed project, is seeking approval from Kootenai County officials to move forward on what's initially being called Gozzer Bay Resort.

Question: Thumbs up? Or thumbs down?

Clark: Virgin Mary Spotted In A Tooth

Dr. Michael Trantow has seen plenty of the expected in his 30 years of peering into the mouths of patients. Cavities. Diseased gums. Abscessed teeth … Seeing the Virgin Mary staring back at him, however, was definitely a first. “I was so startled,” the Spokane Valley dentist said of what he witnessed earlier this month after removing a patient’s crown. “I told everyone in the office to come in and look at this.” The consensus, he said, fell pretty much into the category of shock and awe. The exposed surface of a tooth belonging to longtime patient Marilyn Blossom appeared to bear the face of a woman who could be, well, you know who/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: What do you make of sightings of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary in odd places like a tooth?

Ramirez: Eating Our Peas

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Parting Shot — 7.27.11

Kylee Carnegie, 8, takes a closer look at a beached juvenile gray whale in Bremerton, Wash., earlier today.  The whale was alive when the stranding was reported Wednesday morning but was later found dead when a National Marine Fisheries employee arrived on site. (AP Photo/Kitsap Sun, Meegan M. Reid)

Hump Day Wild Card — 7.27.11

Looks like SR techs have fixed problem with right rail this AM. Seems the entire right rail was hanging out at the bottom of this main thread. HMOffsuite had sounded the alert via private email. Which I appreciate. Any time you see something going on weird with Hucks on your computer, don't hesitate to give me a heads up. Sometimes I'm so enmeshed in daily posting that I'm not aware when things go sideways for readers. Now for your Hump Day Wild Card …

Art Work For CdA Sewer Plant?

It’s putting a pretty face on the, uh, ugly. Not that the ever-changing, ever-updating Coeur d’Alene Wastewater Treatment Plant is unattractive from an aesthetic sense, it’s just that the job it’s designed to do is just so, well, unglamorous. Never mind that though. The plant is the spot for the city’s next public art piece. “It’s kind of neat,” said Fred Ogram, Arts Commission chairman, on the call to artists soliciting a hands-on, interpretive art piece that should support the facility’s functions while highlighting the nearby natural environment and resources/Tom Hasslinger, CdA Press. More here. (Photo courtesy: city of Coeur d'Alene)

Question: You be the artist. What would an appropriate art work look like for the Coeur d'Alene wastewater plant?

PM Headlines — 7.27.11

In the midst of a 15-minute, man-against-fish fight, Pocatello angler Mark Adams knew he had a lunker on the line. The rainbow trout Adams eventually pulled from the depths of American Falls Reservoir on the Snake River actually exceeded expectations. See AP/KBOI story here.

APhoto Of The Day — 7.26.11

Michael Phelps of the U.S. prepares for his men's 200m Individual Medley heat at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Shanghai, China, earlier today. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. (and winner of $10 Fort Ground Grill gift certificate): As debt talks continue, the left and right still can’t seem to reach any sort of agreement — Nic.
  • 2. After winning the race, Phelps pats himself on the back, mumbling “I told them I wasn’t going to pot” — JohnA.
  • 3. Dang it! Why does it always itch right in the spot I can’t reach?! — Jen.
  • HM: Stebbijo

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.27.11

Sgt. Christie Wood has sent this photo of the stolen run vehicle (red Dodge Charger from Washington) that eluded Post Falls & CdA police Tuesday. Patrol officers backed off rather than pursue on city streets at speeds of 100 mph. Incident reported in Scanner Traffic Tuesday & followed by CdA Press here. And:  Shoshone County deputies were involved, too here.

  • 4:43 p.m. Man has sat in blue Audi in 500 block of Dana/Hayden for half hour, worrying woman.
  • 4:29 p.m. Post Falls WalMart reports panhandler who was told to move on … hasn't.
  • 4:13 p.m. Woman wanted on felony warrant is at adult probation expecting to be arrested.
  • 4:08 p.m. Unkempt woman in short black dress asked Garwood Road resident for money.
  • 4:01 p.m. Mother reports unkempt late-40ish man missing teeth talked to her daughters at Honeysuckle Beach/Hayden.
  • 22 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

Happy Meals To Get Healthier

Under pressure from health and children’s advocacy groups, McDonald’s Corp. is making changes to its famed Happy Meals. The fast food chain will add a serving of fruit or vegetable to all of the meals, which are aimed at children, and shrink the portion of french fries. The changes, announced Tuesday, will take effect in September in some markets and then roll out to all 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S. by April. McDonald’s said it first experimented with cutting fries entirely from the Happy Meals, but children and parents rebelled/Chicago Tribune. More here. (AP photo)

Question: Is McDonalds wise in making this business decision?

WSU Coordinator Charged With Rape

Ralph Young, the man who is suspected of attempting to rape another man in a College Hill residence early Tuesday morning, has been identified as a Washington State University employee. Young, 30, is the Native American Outreach Coordinator for WSU and in that capacity is responsible for recruiting Native American students as well as promoting higher education. He was arrested Monday after police responded to a sexual assault call on College Hill. A 22-year-old WSU student was sleeping on a friend's couch when he was awakened allegedly early in the morning by the assault by Young, his friend's roommate. The victim stopped Young's assault by pummeling him/Rob Kauder, KXLY. More here.

No Salmonella In North Idaho Sprouts

Tests at a North Idaho sprouts plant failed to turn up traces of salmonella after the government in June linked an outbreak of food-borne salmonella poisoning to two types of sprouts from the business. Nadine Scharf, owner of Evergreen Fresh Produce in Moyie Springs, says her company is on the verge of collapse after customers stopped filling orders in the weeks following the government action. Scharf said she complied with a request by officials to voluntarily recall alfalfa sprouts and a spicy sprouts mix. Since then, she has laid off 10 of her 14 workers and sold three vehicles to raise cash to pay her bills, she said/Mike Prager, SR. More here. (Courtesy photo: River Journal)

Question: The salmonella scare has almost bankrupted Evergreen Fresh Produce of Moyie Springs. Should the federal government have some obligation to help the company back on its feet?

NI Blogs: Bullwinkle Drops In

“My hubby and I were out fishing recently,” posts Live, Love, Laugh, Hope, “when we suddenly had a visitor come tromping down through the yards, into the lake.  We were joined by Bullwinkle.  He stayed around for about an hour, feasting on lily pads and other plants out in the channel.” More photos & story here.

Top Post: I am a relic, I guess… as I get older, the more disconnected I get. If Verizon was smart, they would hold classes at night for the electronic disable or better known as those who can’t keep up with modern tech. I gave up my cell phone when I retired. It was part of the downsizing that had to be done. And to be honest with you… I rarely miss it. The only time that I do, is when I travel by myself. What if I have car trouble? Even if I am in the city, there are fewer and fewer pay phones. So for that reason, I miss having a cell phone. I do carry my old unconnected cell phone with me, as they say you can call 911 on it.. So that is in the glove box. But an I-phone, or any smart phone is lost on me/Cis, From A Simple Mind. More here.

Hucks Online numbers (for Monday): 8764/4846 and (for Tuesday): 8121/4827

Question: How do you rate on a scale of 1 to 10 with one being “entirely disconnected” and 10 being “very connected?

Boehner: ‘Get Your Ass In Line’

House Speaker John Boehner (pictured in AP file photo) leveled tough words at fellow Republicans Wednesday, telling conservatives who are unhappy his bill doesn't go far enough to “Get your ass in line.” Boehner's admonishment came during a closed-door meeting, during which House GOP leaders sought to rally support for their debt bill, according to two Republican sources who attended the meeting.  The Ohio Republican told members he was working hard and didn't want to turn around and not see an army behind him. House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia also said it was time to pull together and pass the House GOP debt bill, instead of feeding a storyline that pits Republican against Republican/Deirdre Walsh, CNN. More here.

Question: Will Boehner and mainstream Republicans be able to keep Tea Party Republicans in line long enough to forge a debt-ceiling compromise?

Ex-Vandal Enderle Signs W/’Da Bears

Former Idaho Vandal QB Nathan Enderle has signed a 4-year deal with the Chicago Bears! He was drafted by 'da Bears in the 5th of this year's NFL Draft. Chicago Tribune story here. (Photo courtesy of University of Idaho sports media relations)

JohA: McEuen Upgrade Makes Sense

JohnA lists these 4 reasons why upgrade to McEuen Field makes sense now:

  • 1. The city needs to make improvements to Front Avenue that are long overdue. That makes it a good time to look at the whole neighborhood.
  • 2. Interest rates haven’t been this low forever. The project can be financed now so we can use it now, and not wait for the money to accrue.
  • 3. The city has quite a bit of funding already in place, including impact fees for Front Street and the park plus water and sewer fees for those improvements on Front.
  • 4. The city has parking reserve fees for those parking more than two hours, dating back to 1991. A parking facility makes sense at this time, as indicated by the plans at McEuen.

Question: Can you add to the list?

Review: ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ Ain’t ‘ET’

“Cowboys & Aliens’’ — it sounds like a game you’d play in a 21st century backyard. That title, the presence of Harrison Ford, and the Steven Spielberg imprimatur (he’s on board as executive producer) promise blockbuster Americana with a sprinkling of extraterrestrials, a cinematic summer picnic suitable for the whole family. Trust me: Leave the littlest guys at home because “E.T.’’ this ain’t. As directed by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man’’), “Cowboys & Aliens’’ is a hell-for-leather action film with a healthy serving of scares. It really is “Aliens’’ on the open plains, “Independence Day’’ for the nation’s centennial, and what the movie lacks in originality and stick-to-your-ribs Western authenticity, it makes up for in pell-mell multiplex entertainment/Ty Burr, More here. (AP Photo/Universal Studios-Dreamworks II Distribution)

Question: Am I the only one in Hucks Nation who can't wait to see this one?

PTC Angry Over NBC’s ‘Playboy Club’

Obviously the Parents Television Council doesn’t read the articles. The advocacy group is condemning NBC for its upcoming drama “The Playboy Club,” putting pressure on local stations across the country to refuse its airing. The series, set in 1960s Chicago, stars Eddie Cibrian as Nick, a candidate for district attorney who frequents the titular establishment and soon finds his life entangled with that of Playboy bunny Maureen (played by Amber Heard.) Citing statistics that 200,000 Americans are “porn addicts,” and 56 percent of divorce cases can be blamed not on lack of love but on “one person” having “obsessive interest” in pornography, the PTC blames Playboy, and NBC for supporting it, for the demise of the American family/Jack Wineraub, The Wrap. More here. (AP, NBC photo)

Question: Do you have concerns re: network TV offering something as racy as “The Playboy Club”?

High Noon: Don’t Pinch Pennies

On a rock outcrop at Shoshone Falls, there’s a ledge covered with pennies. The copper has long since corroded into a rainbow of green hues, and they’ll be there forever because nobody is going to risk life and limb to salvage $1.14 that you can’t spend in the pop machine. I don’t think God is OK with that. I suspect that everyone who vacuums up a penny, or pitches it into a trash can, or walks over it without troubling to bend over is guilty of arrogance that may come home to roost. That’s because the penny is the currency of small mercies, the coin of petty indulgences from Providence. Think of it as the fiduciary equivalent of a sunbeam breaking through the clouds, a smile from a stranger, or your brother-in-law returning your cordless electric drill after 14 years/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here. (2009 AP file photo, of new penny)

Question: What do you do with your loose pennies?

INW: M’s Snap 17-Game Skid

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez throws against the New York Yankees in the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday at Yankee Stadium in New York. Seattle beat the Yankees 9-2. ESPN Game Day coverage here. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

Question: Is this the day that the Mariners end their losing streak, which now stands at 17 games?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.27.11

  • 11:59 a.m. A boxer dog won't let anyone in or out of Larks Haven Assisted Living/Hayden Lake.
  • 11:46 a.m. Atlas Road residents report they're being attacked via lasers through their phones.
  • 11:36 a.m. Man reports to KCSD that his song is under the influence & has stolen things.
  • 11:15 a.m. Man in 1100 block of Paradise/Rathdrum reports brother turning off his water, power.]
  • 11:06 a.m. Girl runs from house @ Arbor & Singing Hills to report woman is hitting her mother.
  • 15 more items below

Huckleberries Hears …

… That the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee came thisclose to a possible donnybrook last night. Seems Chairwoman Tina Jacobson threatened to call the police on Matt Roetter after the meeting after a verbal confrontation between Matt Roetter and  Lori Erickson. Jacobson accused Matt Roetter of shoving Erickson. Roetter denied even touching Lori Erickson. Huckleberries hears that Roetter had confronted Erickson earlier verbally when he asked her why she would not accept his emails. One bystander told Huckleberries that the dust-up was the worst he'd ever seen at a local GOP CC meeting.

Poll: Redistricting Important To Us

  • Tuesday Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation is interested re: how redistricters rearrange legislative boundary lines in North Idaho & the Idaho panhandle. 74 of 96 respondents (77.08%) said the redistricting process is important to them. 18 of 96 respondents (18.75%) said it isn't. 4 were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Who deserves a vote of no-confidence more — state Sens. Shawn Keough & Joyce Broadsword or the Region 1 GOP Central Committee?

Above It All

Canadian Press reporter Alex Posadzki leans over Toronto's downtown while participating in a media preview of EdgeWalk on the CN Tower earlier today. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darren Calabrese)

Question: Are you afraid of heights?

UI’s ‘Last Journalism Professor’ Dies

Bert Cross, known by many as the “last journalism professor” died Monday morning at the age of 92 from age-related causes. The former professor taught at the University of Idaho for 24 years, where he was chairman of the journalism department before it became a part of the School of Communication in 1973. Despite the change, Cross wanted to remain a “professor of journalism” instead of one of “communication” like the rest of his colleagues. “He was an institution,” said Roy Atwood, one of Cross' former UI colleagues. “He represents the end of an era - of the old inky-print newspaper tradition”/Kelli Hadley, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: What will happen when all the journalists are gone?

Rest Of Story: WalMart Shoplifters

On Tuesday afternoon, PM Scanner Traffic reported this item provided by a Post Falls police dispatcher at 1:39: “Male shoplifter in black has cartful of electronics near garden entrance to PF WalMart.” I didn't add it that the shoplifter appeared to be talking on a cell phone or some other device to a female accomplice in the parking lot. KREM2 provides the rest of the story in a report from last night re: how a couple that had been released from prison in Colorado last year, Donavan McComas and Katrina Scanga, were planning to make off with $1300 in electronics equipment. McComas is already wanted for probation violation. Check out the rest of the story here.

Question: Can you believe how stupid people can be?

Salvation Army, Target Help Students

Item: On Target Back-to-school shopping already? Retailer partners with Salvation Army to purchase school supplies/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Notebook paper? Check. Erasers? Check. Markers? Check. Cookie-monster T-Shirt? Maybe. And so it went for 25 Kootenai County youngsters who, with the help of Salvation Army Kroc Center volunteer chaperones, browsed the aisles and racks Tuesday at the Target store in Coeur d'Alene. The kids - armed with lists of their back-to-school needs and $80 gift cards given to them by Target - selected clothing, school supplies and other items needed for the upcoming academic year.

Question: Are you ready for school to begin again?

Sandpoint Dealing For Own ‘Tubbs Hill’

Just a short stroll from downtown Sandpoint, a dirt trail follows Lake Pend Oreille’s shoreline past groves of leafy cottonwoods that block out the sights and sounds of the bustling resort town. Instead of traffic, trail users hear lapping waves and the musical cadence of song sparrows. To the east, they can watch storm clouds gathering over the Cabinet Mountains. The privately owned trail is one of Sandpoint’s best kept secrets. But through a $1.6 million deal negotiated with the heirs of the late Sandpoint photographer Ross Hall, local cities and a nonprofit group hope to secure almost a mile of the undeveloped shoreline for public use/Becky Kramer, SR. More here. (SR photo by Kathy Plonka: Dann Hall, son of the late Ross Hall, talks about his family’s waterfront property)


AM Headlines — 7.27.11

After the funeral at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, the U.S. Border Patrol and the Patriot Guard escort the body of Staff Sgt. Wyatt Goldsmith to his final resting place at Mountain View Cemetery in Colville on Tuesday. SR story here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)

Sho-Con: Drop Notre Dame Mascot

Shoshone Conservative (re: “Fighting over a mascot”): Being Scottish, Irish, and German, I demand that Notre Dame drop their “Fighting Irish” mascot, since it fosters negative stereotypes about the Irish temperament. I also demand that the University of Idaho drop the name “Vandals”,. since it offends my Germanic roots. Not to mention, I demand that any team calling itself the “Highlanders” immediate rid themselves of such an offensive mascot! Since some of my forebears were farmers, I also demand that any team calling itself the “Aggies” find a new name forthwith! If I were Greek, I would also be offended by any school calling its team the “Trojans” or the “Spartans.” I’m sure even “Titans” would be considered blasphemous to those who still follow the ancient Greek religion (there’s probably a few out there somewhere). I guess it’s still O.K. to name teams after animals (Grizzlies, Broncos, Eagles, etc.)… Though, PETA may have an issue with that…

  • Best Comment: Shoshone Conservative wins a $10 gift certificate from Fort Ground Grill for the best comment from Tuesday's threads.

Hasselbeck Leaving For Tennessee

Matt Hasselbeck is leaving the NFC West after 10 years of starting with the Seattle Seahawks, as he has agreed to a multi-year deal with the Tennesee Titans. He will be their starter this year and probably in 2012, but is expected to show rookie Jake Locker the ropes. With the announcement, the Arizona Cardinals lost one of their options at quarterback. With Hasselbeck leaving, teams in the NFC West should breathe a little easier. He has shown he can win in that division for a long time, and his experience and play were key in a playoff victory last season against the New Orleans Saints./Jeff Root, SB Nation. More here.

Question: Are you a long-suffering fan of the Seattle Seahawks?

Press: No Confidence In GOP CC

Editor Mike Patrick of the Coeur d'Alene Press slugged one over the fence this morning with his editorial, “Vote of confidence.” In it, he points out the silliness of the Far Right, which is in control of the GOP Central Committees in Kootenai County and North Idaho, noting that it condemns decent state senators like Shawn Keough and Joyce Broadsword for simply offering a redistricting plan, while embracing the tax-dodging Rep. Phil Hart of Athol. Quote: “Region One committee members castigated the senators for “failure to adhere to Republican principles” and 'purposely attempting to cause electoral run-offs between Idaho conservative legislators in order to further your progressive agendas.' Progressive agendas? Last we looked, Broadsword and Keough couldn't be mistaken for Feinstein and Pelosi, but that's the point, isn't it? If the public has lost confidence in anybody, it's those jerking the reins of the Republican Central Committee.” More here.

Question: Are you very confident in the GOP Central Committee leadership in Kootenai County or Region 1?

Peterson: Highest Highs, Lowest Lows

Jeret Peterson faced serious personal challenges throughout his life, but he rose to great heights in aerial skiing — and will be remembered as an Olympic medalist who took the sport to a new level. “He was never satisfied to do what everyone else was doing and just do it better,” said Tom Kelly, spokesman for the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association. “He always wanted to do something bigger.” The 29-year-old’s body was found at 9:30 p.m. Monday outside his pickup in Lambs Canyon, a 15-minute drive east of Salt Lake City, according to a spokesman for the Unified Police of Greater Salt Lake. Lt. Justin Hoyal said Peterson called 911 and told a dispatcher that he was going to kill himself. He left a note at the scene/Katy Moeller, Statesman. More here.

Question: Has your life been touched by suicide?

Anderson: Little Tiger

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Tuesday — 7.26.11

Why am I not surprised that we're experiencing another overcast summer day in viewtiful Coeur d'Alene? Seems the days haven't improved all that much since winter officially departed in March 21. On the other hand, I'm inside today, as I usually am through the work week, so it doesn't matter all that much. But I know many of you have more freedom than I to run around outside. Not to worry. The weather forecasters are predicting sunshine again Wednesday. Now for your Wild Card …

P.S. Olympic Medalist Peterson, RIP

Jeret Peterson of the United States, celebrates his Olympic silver medal in the men's freestyle aerials final at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. Utah police say Peterson has killed himself in an isolated canyon. The Unified Police of Greater Salt Lake said Peterson called 911 before shooting and killing himself on Monday evening. AP Story here. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky, File)

Jews, Hindus, Buddhists Laud CdA

The Jews, Buddhists and Hindus have applauded the City of Coeur d'Alene (Idaho, USA) for the public display of 'Ganesha' sculpture in its downtown.  “The City of Coeur d'Alene and its Arts Commission should be commended for their strength and inclusive attitude in displaying the 'Ganesha' sculpture along with 14 others in downtown as a part of 'ArtCurrents', its public art display program,” Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, the prominent Jewish leader in North Carolina (USA), said in a statement. “Ganesha may not be as sacred to us as it is to our Hindu friends, but we still welcome its addition as an integration of a wider range of public art into the community and an enhancement of the overall appeal of an urban area,” he added/Newstrack India. More here. (SR file photo by Kathy Plonka, of controversial Ganesha artwork in downtown Coeur d'Alene)


PM Scanner Traffic — 7.26.11

  • 5:23 p.m. 2 females have battered Anthony @ St. Pius Church parking lot on Haycraft. All 8 to 12YO.
  • 5:11 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Ave resident reports kids on motorized scooters tearing around street.
  • 4:57 p.m. Plastic is blowing from back of pickup onto I-90 @ M/P 8 (Huetter area).
  • 4:49 p.m. Sherry tells Spirit Lake police that brother has stolen & pawned her items.
  • 4:37 p.m. Shannon has questions re: obtaining a permit for an upcoming regatta.
  • 4:04 p.m. Noncustodial 45YO Washington woman in late '90s red Ford Explorer sought for taking 8YO daughter from pool in Lewistown, MT. Believed to be headed for Spokane.
  • 3:41 p.m. Caller reports hearing rifle shot sound from behind Joanne Fabrics, 1031 3rd/CdA.
  • 19 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link with 21 items

PM Headlines — 7.26.11

Grizzly bear No. 399 crossing a road in Grand Teton National Park, Wyo., with her three cubs. A grizzly bear in Grand Teton National Park has wowed scientists and tourists alike by adopting a cub from another sow grizzly. Park officials say they’re fairly certain that No. 610 has adopted one of her younger siblings: No. 610 is the 5-year-old daughter of No. 399. Park officials say such behavior is not unprecedented but quite rare. Story here. (AP photo/Tom Mangelsen, File)

APhoto Of The Day — 7.26.11

As a fan reaches for the ball, Boston Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford makes the catch on a fly out by Kansas City Royals Eric Hosmer during the 11th inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, early morning Tuesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1 (& winner of $10 Fort Ground Grill gift certificate) When she told her fairy godmother that she wanted to go to the ball and meet the man of her dreams, this isn’t exactly what Cinderella had in mind — Idaho Dad.
  • 2. This image taken prior to the contact between fan and player shows what attorneys for Crawford are calling “unfortunate trajectory,” but attorneys for the fan call “an obvious grab for the plaintiff’s breast.” It would have been “unprofessional” and unlike the defendant to forsake ball for breast and the contact was “unintentional,” Crawford retorted in court filings, denying the allegation of giving “even a gentle squeeze” — Brent Andrews.
  • 3. The Seattle Mariners quickly rush to sign the fan to a contract, thinking that anyone even TRYING to catch a baseball might help them avoid a 17th straight loss in New York today — JohnA.
  • HM: Cabbage Boy & Idawa

Olympian Peterson Commits Suicide

The Unified Police Department in Salt Lake County, Utah confirms they are investigating the death of U.S. aerial freestyle skier Jeret “Speedy” Peterson.  Officials say the Olympian took his own life Monday night. Peterson was found dead at about 9:30 p.m. Monday from a self-inflicted gun shot wound.  It happened in a mountainous area of Utah called Lambs Canyon. Peterson was arrested Friday in Hailey for speeding and driving while intoxicated.  Earlier today, Peterson's attorney filed paperwork on his behalf pleading not guilty to both crimes.  His attorney was unavailable for comment/Jamie Gray, KTVB. More here. (AP file photo: Jeret 'Speedy' Peterson of the United States reacts after performing the first jump of Men's Aerials final at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games at Sauze d'Oulx, Italy.) H/T: Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise


KEA: ‘Inflexible,’ ‘Incompetent’ Feds

In this photo from KEA Blog, endangered trees are on the left, between Rosenberry Drive & Lake Coeur d'Alene.

An incompetent Corps of Engineers and an inflexible FEMA are about to destroy a Coeur d’Alene treasure unnecessarily. The out-of-town and out-of-control federal agencies are blindly calling for the City of Coeur d’Alene to remove hundreds of mature trees from the dike that follows the lake and riverfront around City Park and North Idaho College. (News coverage here, here, here, and here.) Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1940s, the dike runs just less than a mile and it purports to protect NIC and the Fort Grounds area from 100-year flood events. The main significance, however, is that the dike protects NIC and the Fort Grounds from unreasonable flood insurance premiums/Terry Harris, KEA Blog. More here.

Question: Do you agree with KEA Blog that Corps of Engineers is incompetent and FEMA inflexible on the issue involving Dike Road?

George: Young Moving From NIdaho

Honest George: In much of our area the young are moving away or at least being out-numbered by the old. Many lumber mills have closed, ranging from Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry, St. Maries, Coeur d ‘Alene to Lewiston.The demographics of the Silver Valley has changed drastically with the closure of the mines and smelter and the subsequent outflux of the well-paid working union core. Many of these workers have been replaced with people locked into service jobs that provide such low wages that involvement in politics or worker-conditions improvement efforts are probally the last thing on their minds. This entire area was much more vibrant when it was populated by young, growing families. IMHO, the only people that will be involved in politics are those that already ‘has theirs’, those that tag-along and want to be noticed by them that ‘has theirs’ and the conservative retirees that, in Idaho at least, will bet against their own best interests.

Question: Are you fortunate enough to have grown children living nearby? Or growing children intending to stay in the region?

Downtown CdA Then & Now

OrangeTV/Get Out! North Idaho introduces us to a “then-and-now” look at downtown Coeur d'Alene, comparing 1981 with 2011: “The Facebook group 'Old School Coeur d'Alene' can be massively entertaining for folks like me who are fond of yammering on about a time long ago when our town was less prone to artsy-fartsy foofaraw, touristy rattleclap, and those pesky trees and flowers making everyone's allergies flare up. Call me old, and I'll smack you with a Hall & Oates record. The “THEN” images posted below were swiped from that group's page and landed there Saturday courtesy of Dave Bellamy, who writes, “My dad was on the plannng commission and this still and these pictures were gathered as part of a proposal looking at putting up a cover over the downtown area of CDA. It never panned out but the planning did lead to the downtown we have now.” The image on the left is the cover of the proposal pamphlet — love that totally hideous graphic design.”

Question: Do you remember when downtown boosters were considering transforming Sherman Avenue into a covered mall, back in the 1980s? I do.

Guinness CPR Record Set

7 year old Theo shows determination while practicing CPR techniques on a dummy during a training organized by Romania's ambulance service in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday in an attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records, on its 105th year in existence, for the largest training session in the world. The attempt was successful, with 7,404 people attending the event, according to local media, more than the previous record held by Mexico. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Question: Do you know CPR?

Even A Fire Alarm Can’t Stop ‘Em

Not much stops that exercise class at Peak Fitness in the Prairie Shopping Center from getting-'er-done when it comes to burning off calories & shaping up. Case in point: Around 9:30 this morning, the group was going through its stretching and workout routine when the fire alarm sounded, set off by the smoke from welding occurring nearby. Peak Fitness cleared out. The Northern Lakes Fire Department arrived to find the class working out in the parking lot shared with Discount Theater off of Centa/Hayden.

Crump: Ty Cobbs & His Twin Falls Tie

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Ty Cobb, the irascible Detroit Tigers right-fielder who was the first player voted into baseball’s Hall of Fame. Less well known is that Cobb, a Georgian who eventually retired to California, was a Twin Falls businessman during the 1940s and ’50s. In his third season in the major leagues — 1907 — Cobb began buying Coca-Cola stock and doing magazine and newspaper endorsements for the Atlanta-based beverage maker. By the time he died, he owned 20,000 shares of stock and bottling plants in Twin Falls; Bend, Ore., and Santa Maria, Calif. Cobb invested well elsewhere, but his relationship with Coke alone made him a rich man/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here. (AP file photo: Ty Cobb used to make his cleats razor sharp so as to better steal a base or break up a double play.)

Pastor: Thank God For My Hot Wife

You might get some dirty looks if you thanked God for your hot wife at the family Thanksgiving feast. But a pastor saying a prayer before a NASCAR race got plenty of laughs. Baptist Pastor Joe Nelms had a lot to bless before NASCAR Federation Auto Parts 300 race in Nashville.”So we want to thank you tonight for these mighty machines you brought before us,” Nelms said during the prayer. “Thank you for the Dodges and the Toyotas. Thank you for the Fords. Thank you for Sunoco racing fuel and Goodyear tires.”He also thanked God for his family — though not in a manner typical for a pastor.”Lord, I want to thank you for my smokin' hot wife tonight,” said Nelms/CNN, AP. More here. And: (Nelms' Website at Family Baptist Church of Lebanon, TN here) (Family Baptist Church website photo: Pastor Joe Nelms, wife, Lisa, & kids)

Question (re: this prayer that's gone viral): Was Pastor Joe being sacriligeous in thanking God for hot cars and his hot wife?

High Noon: Fighting Over A Mascot

North Dakota political leaders are asking the NCAA to back off and let the state's flagship university keep its Fighting Sioux name and logo, even at the risk of potential blacklisting and scorn by other universities and its own conference. Lawmaker involvement is a strategy even some University of North Dakota boosters question, and is unique among schools forced to decide whether to drop American Indian nicknames deemed hostile and abusive or accept penalties for keeping them. North Dakota's debate appeared to be resolved when the state Board of Higher Education agreed in 2009 to drop the Fighting Sioux logo and nickname and UND agreed to phase them out by this Aug. 15. But state lawmakers intervened earlier this year, passing a law that requires the university to retain the moniker and logo/AP, Missoulian. More here.

Question: Who's out of line here re: the Fighting Sioux name & logo — North Dakota or NCAA?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.26.11

  • Noon: Teen girl has razor & is threatening to cut herself @ Hauser Lake & Cliffhouse.
  • 11:59 a.m. Officer wants file started on weedly lot b/n 12th-16th/PF, belonging to construction firm.
  • 11:36 a.m. David has questions re: flooding on Spokane River & lifejacket requirements.
  • 11:24 a.m. Ryan, from 509 area code, reports his wallet stolen from Coeur d'Alene Casino.
  • 11:15 a.m. Patrol officer reports n/b H95 traffic tied up half mile south of Silverwood. Didn't say why.
  • 11:10 a.m. Run vehicle reportedly going 100 mph on Hanley. Vehicle now in residential area. (Update: Coeur d'Alene Press story re: incident here)
  • 11:08 a.m. Run vehicle is driving erratically at 65 mph @ H95 before turning on Hanley/CdA
  • 11:02 a.m. PF officer asks for Coeur d'Alene police backup to stop Dodge Charger, which pulled into Big Lots and then took off toward Government Way to Kathleen. Vehicle has Aryan nations sticker.
  • 10:57 a.m. License Plate Recognition system alerts Post Falls police to possible stolen red Dodge Charger with Washington plates. Post Falls traffic officer is following e/b on I-90 to H95, where driver turns off to go northbound. Officer is worried that there's too much traffic “if he makes a run.”
  • 12 more items below

INW Headlines — 7.26.11

This undated photo provided by the University of Idaho shows part of a giant Palouse earthworm, Driloleirus americanus. The giant Palouse earthworm will not be listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act because recent information indicates the worm might be more widespread than previously thought, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Monday. (AP Photo/University of Idaho via The Spokesman Review, File)

Abused CdA Baby Remains ‘Critical’


Many of you (in the media) have inquired as to the latest condition of the 20 day-old infant that was hospitalized on (Sunday). The child’s father James Dean Blanchard was arrested in connection with the child’s injury. We checked with medical staff within the last half an hour and were told the baby continues to deal with many medical problems such as seizures. He is in very critical condition. Our hopes and prayers are with this child. I will update you as information becomes available/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department news release/Sgt Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Press news release.

Hucks Poll: No To Luna Guv Run

  • Luna Guv Run: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation doesn't want to see Superintendent Tom Luna run for governor in 2014, should Gov. Butch Otter elect not to seek re-election. 151 of 177 respondents (85.31%) said they don't want controversial Luna to run. Only 19 of 177 (10.73%) wanted to see him seek the top executive post. 7 of 177 (3.95%) were undecided.
  • Monday Poll: 68 of 139 respondents (48.92%) would like to see Diamond Cup hydroplane racing return to Lake Coeur d'Alene. 64 of 139 respondents (46.04%) don't want the races. 7 were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you care how the legislative districts are redrawn for North Idaho & the panhandle?

Deanna: City Has No Choice

Deanna Goodlander: The facts are, that FEMA who are the flood insurance folks have told the Core of Engineers who oversee levees that they must more stringently clear levees in order to make them less inclined to fail. After Katrina and more recently the Mississipi River levee failures they are getting more strict. If we fail to act, the entire fort grounds area will have increased rates and the insurance will not cover the full cost of replacement or repairs. With millions of dollars worth of private property, as well as, the college and wastewater plant the costs and risks will be astronomical. Fortunately even if we have to cut trees they will only be on the slope and the ones on the level can stay. More below.


Wu Resigns In Wake Of Sex Scandal

Rep. David Wu, D-Ore. speaks in Hillsboro, Ore., in this March 7 file photo. Wu has announced that he is resigning in the wake of allegations that he had a sexual encounter with an 18-year-old woman. Story from The Hill here. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

Question: Should we require that all male U.S. senators & representatives wear a chastity belt, to keep them from sex scandals?

Woman Loses $70K In Nigerian Scam

A Spokane woman is telling police she fell victim to the Nigerian boyfriend scam and lost $70,000 in the process.It was a combination of loneliness and a very generous heart that led this mother of five to have to apologize to her children for leaving her family in debt and even helping the scammer victimize other people as well.”He said his wife died three years ago from cancer and he was raising his son on his own,” the victim said. The woman who, is too embarrassed to share her identity, was contacted by the scammer on her MySpace page. She had just wrapped up a divorce and flattered by attention from a stranger.”He says you are the only hope I have to help me out,” she said/Jeff Humphrey, KXLY. More here.

Question: Can you feel sorry for anyone who falls for a Nigerian scam?

Panel OKs Plan To Cut Dike Trees

Before it can compromise, the city of Coeur d'Alene will likely comply. A subcommittee recommended Monday the City Council adopt a mitigation plan to begin removing vegetation and addressing other concerns regarding the levee along Rosenberry Drive in response to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' March order. “I don't love it,” said Deanna Goodlander, City Council and Public Works Committee member, on moving forward with the plan. “I don't even like it.” The Public Works Committee recommended the City Council adopt the mitigation plan during its Aug. 2 meeting, saying the city's hands were tied because of possible insurance increases for the surrounding neighborhood should it not adhere to the changes/Tom Hasslinger, CdA Press. More here. (SR file photo)

Question: Are you surprised that the city is rolling over on this one?

PCMag Writer: My Last Blackberry

In, Lance Ulanoff writes: “At some point this week, I will put aside my BlackBerry device and pick up an Apple iPhone. Having been using one BlackBerry or another for at least five years, this is a big deal. The time, though, has come for a change. For years, people have been asking me why I don't carry an iPhone. They assumed I, as the editor of a major tech website, would always have the latest and greatest in my pocket. Sometimes that was true. I have borrowed an iPhone and a number of other spiffy mobile devices to use from time-to-time, but when I had to get back to work—do my email, send texts, Tweet—I invariably turned back to my BlackBerry device.” More here.

Question: What type of smart phone do you have? Are you thinking about switching?

AM: Hospice House To Open In CdA

Kim Ransier, director of operations for Hospice of North Idaho, delivers donated artwork to the Hospice House in Coeur d'Alene on Monday. The new facility expects to start accepting patients in mid-August. SR story by Alison Boggs here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Winner: Jeanie’s Soup Salt Comment

JeanieSpokane: I am very sorry to see Campbell’s adding salt back in to their products. I look at all the ingredients of every pre-packaged product that I bring home. I don’t care what the studies say - Americans consume way too much sodium and protein (both are hard on your kidneys in over-large amounts and will stress the kidneys of even the most healthy). My kidneys ARE messed up. However, when I was a young adult, I was unaware of my familial kidney disease. Truth be told, had I watched my sodium & protein intake, I would have prolonged the inevitable dialysis treatment for possibly another 20 years. If I had done that, I probably wouldn’t have lost my job because I would have been at my job instead of taking time off for dialysis. (I’m living because of dialysis, and living very healthy.) But had I watched those two evil twins then — I wouldn’t be on dialysis today. Campbell’s - my message to you — Keep the salt out and let the consumer add it in.

  • JeanieS won the 2nd $10 gift certificate from Steve & Marie Widmyer's Fort Ground Grill for best comment on Monday. Another certificate will be given today for best comment.

McEuen Field Studies To Cost $60K

Item: McEuen studies would cost city $60,300/Tom Hasslinger, CdA Press

More Info: The city of Coeur d'Alene is proposing to extend its contract with the McEuen Field design team, Team McEuen, so the architects and engineers can begin topography and traffic studies to ensure the downtown park's conceptual drawing can be turned into a reality. The contract would be for $60,300. It would survey the landscape of the park for structure, drainage and other improvements, while the traffic analysis would study traffic movement on downtown streets, including parts of Fourth Street and Front Avenue that could close to cars as part of the plan.

Question: Are you onboard with the McEuen Field makeover?

Hagadone Official To Lead Chamber

There won't be a steep learning curve for Steve Wilson in his new job as interim president and chief executive officer of the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce. The chamber's board of directors announced Monday that it had hired Wilson to step into the interim leadership role following the departure of CEO Todd Christensen last week. … Wilson has long been involved with the chamber and served as chairman of the chamber board in 2010. He previously was general manager of The Coeur d'Alene Resort and more recently performed the same job at the Best Western Coeur d'Alene Inn/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Chamber. More here.

Question: Does this mean Hagadone Corp. will be running the chamber?

Hapless Mariners Lose 16th In A Row

Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira each homered and drove in three runs, Freddy Garcia stifled his former team and the New York Yankees handed the snakebit Seattle Mariners their 16th straight loss with a 10-3 victory Monday night. A rain delay of 1 hour, 57 minutes was the only thing that slowed this loss for Seattle. The game was barely under way when Teixeira crushed any pregame hopes Seattle had of jumping out early and snapping the streak, hitting a rare homer into the second deck in left field after Curtis Granderson walked in the first. In the third, Jeter hit his first homer since connecting for hit No. 3,000 on July 9. He also tripled in the eighth/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo: Curtis Granderson applauds Mark Teixeira's home run against Mariners)

Question: The Mariners have lost 16 games in a row. The American League record for consecutive losses is 21. Will they tie or break that record?

On The Debt Ceiling

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Wild Card/Monday — 7.25.11

I enjoyed hobnobbing with the 55 or so Berry Pickers who showed up for the 2011 Blogfest (aka Hucks Summer Bentfest) at Steve Widmyer's Fort Ground Grill on our viewtiful afternoon Sunday. Blogfests re-energize me. They bring together a range of people with widely different political, religious, & philosophical viewpoints. I know what I do here has value, when I see Berry Pickers who disagree loudly in the comments section hobnobbing at blogfest. Of course, it's always a pleasure to renew acquaintances with those who have been with me from the beginning of this 8 1/2-year journey: Cis, Herb, & Henry. BTW, I have 8 $10 gift certificates to the Fort Ground Grill to give out this week, courtesy of Grill owner Steve Widmyer. I'm going to give one out today for best cutline entry and another for the comment of the day. Now for your Wild Card …

  • 1st winner of $10 Fort Ground Grill certificate (for cutline contest): Stebbijo
  • 2nd winner is JeanieS for superb comment at 2:04 p.m. Monday re: salt in diet.
  • 6 more certificates to go thru Thursday

Parting Shot — 7.25.11

“We hadn't planned to go to Julyamish,” writes Marianne Love/Slight Detour. “I knew my sisters were going, but when Debbie came home from Seattle Friday night and told me one of her friends from the Shoshone-Paiute Tribe of Nevada would be dancing at the powwow, we wasted no time getting together with Barbara and Laurie. We all enjoyed every minute spent at the powwow, and we always do.” Story & More photos here.

Arpie: Don’t Tuck In Hawaiian Shirts

Arpie: At least both of you had the sense to leave the shirts untucked despite being on the downhill side of the great shirt tuck divide. I’ve noticed that everyone 5 years older than me always has their shirt tucked in and everyone 5 years younger always has it untucked. People my age, just past fifty, are fifty-fifty. Hawaiian shirts should never be tucked in.

Question: How often do you wear Hawaiian shirts?

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.25.11

  • 5:45 p.m. Shoplifter in goatee & black hoodie left Stateline WalMart & got into blue Dodge Neon registered to a CdA woman.
  • 5:42 p.m. Everyone out of water & capsized sailboat retrieved on Hayden Lake.
  • 5:39 p.m. Female driver wants ISP officer to retrieve bumper she lost @ w/b I-90 @ Atlas/CdA.
  • 5:31 p.m. Tree is down over power lines @ 3916 E. Benewah Road/Harrison.
  • 5:24 p.m. Caller reports unoccupied, capsized sailboat @ east end of Hayden Lake, near sandbar.
  • 5:20 p.m. Vehicle on fire in the median of w/b I-90 @ M/P 11 (NW Blvd/CdA).
  • 5:19 p.m. Tree down across power lines on Hayden Lake Road @ Jacobs Ladder Trail.
  • 5:15 p.m. A dock is loose on Lake Coeur d'Alene, floating from NIC Beach toward resort boardwalk.
  • 5:04 p.m. Transformer blows @ 4211 Appaloosa (near Mocassin/Indian Meadows/CdA).
  • 5:03 p.m. Caller @ Royal & Havichur/PF reports hearing yelling & shots fired nearby.
  • 4:44 p.m. Caller reports house in 8800 block of Dahlia/PF is fully engulfed in flames. But fire is out when firefighters arrive on scene near 12th & Forsythia.
  • 4:40 p.m. Large tree down across Lake CdA Drive, east of Beachouse, along Centennial Trail.
  • 4:39 p.m. Unwanted person is reported in 1900 block of E. Lunceford/CdA.
  • 4:31 p.m. A man who was slumped over wheel @ Atlas & Kathleen woke up & drove off.
  • 4:25 p.m. A 9 to 10-inch tree is down across W. Riverview @ Foothill, south of Spokane River.
  • 4:15 p.m. Large tree limb down in Plummer City Park off C Street.
  • 4:10 p.m. Woman reports her purse was taken at Cornerstone gas station/Hayden.
  • 17 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link (w/18 more items)

PM Headlines — 7.25.11

Samuel Gottsegen, 17, recounts his experiences as one of the victims of a bear attack that occurred Saturday evening near Talkeetna, Alaska, as he recovers in an Anchorage hospital on Monday. Gottsegen was taking part in an outdoor education course from the National Outdoor Leadership School. Story here. (AP Photo/Loren Holmes)

Blogfest Photo Of The Day — 7.25.11

At Blogfest 2011 (aka Hucks Summer Bentfest), Don Sausser catches DFO & DanG hobnobbing while waiting for Bent to finish preparing the sumptious chicken & beef barbecue for the event at Steve Widmyer's Fort Ground Grill. You write the cutline. You can see the rest of Don's photos here. (The winner of this cutline contest will be awarded a $10 gift certificate to the Fort Ground Grill.)

Photos of Blogfest 2011:

DFO: Monster H/T to Steve Widmyer & his Fort Ground Grill for hosting Blogfest 2011; KeithinCDA for doling out the latest home-made brews prepared by Bent, Stickman, & him; and for Bent and his amazing BBQ.

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Dan is thinking as DFO is expressing his viewpoint of the day, “I can’t believe you and Herb wore matching shirts” — Stebbijo.
  • 2. DFO signals a hand count of the only issues on which he and DanG can agree: One, Bent’s BBQ was great, two, his brew was terrific, three, Steve’s place was the perfect venue, four, Hawaiian shirts, even on old guys, are cool, and five, no, despite the fact that they both seemed to toot their own horns alot, Mary Souza is no relation to John Phillip — JohnA.
  • 3. (tie) We were arguing over rock-paper-scissors and how utterly ridiculous it is that paper can beat rock. I mean, c’mon. Really! — DanG; and: DFO shows the Gookster how he almost lost a finger in a keyboard battle to Mary Souzster — CoeurGenX.
  • HM: Poolman, CoeurGenX, & everyone else. Terrific cutlines today.

North Idaho Blog Rdp — 7.25.11

Either Herb or I didn't get the memo re: what to where at the Hucks Summer Bentfest at the Fort Ground Grill Sunday. If you look closely enough, you'll see that the two Hawaiian shirts aren't exactly alike. But you have to look awfully close to figure that out. Mebbe this is a case of great minds think alike. Herb later changed his shirt to an orange one after I told him he couldn't sit anywhere near me with the one he has on here. That's Digger's knee in the foreground. Stebbijo snapped this photo. You can read Herb's review of Blogfest here. And: Dogwalk Musings break down of Blogfest here.

Top Post: The age of 27 has claimed more than its share of performers. Jimi Hendrix. Janis Joplin. Kurt Cobain. And now Amy Winehouse. Jim Morrison basically drank himself to death, although it's rumored there was heroin in his system when he was found in the bathtub. Janis was also drunk, buzzed and stoned a lot of the time. She accidentally overdosed; she didn't know the heroin she was sold almost Pure, not 'cut' heroin. But it's nice to know Van Morrison is still alive and singing his heart out, just in case you wondered/Atmospheric Ruminations. More here.

HucksOnline numbers for week of July 17-23 (43,944/28,665)

Major Ben’s Warrant Rdp — 7.25.11

Two Spokane women wanted in Kootenai County on drug-related charges headline Major Ben Wolfinger's weekly felony warrants list. Ashley Abuhl, 19, of Spokane (upper left), is wanted on charges of possession of contolled substance & under the influence of a controlled supbstance. No bond has been set. Karen Kristina Forrest, 40, of Spokane (upper center), is wanted on a probation violation for possesion of a controlled substance. Bail has been set at $30,000. Also, Steve Wayne Jackson, 25, of Coeur d'Alene (upper right), is wanted on a charge of delivery of controlled substation, with bail of $250,000, and Kristopher Lima, 33, of Hayden (bottom), is wanted on a probation violation for delivery of a controlled substance. No bond has been set. For a complete list of felony and misdemeanor warrants in Kootenai County click here.

Press: Commissioners Are Leaders

They've whacked a failing program, ostracized a bunch of kids and parents, cut here, consolidated there and, in all likelihood, succeeded in getting every single employee to do his or her best work. That's what we call leadership. The Kootenai County commissioners - Todd Tondee, Dan Green and Jai Nelson (pictured) - are cutting expenses because that's the mandate they got from voters. They aren't waiting for the next budget; they're saving money right now. They're also tossing political caution to the wind by considering an unpopular step like eliminating county extension programs, including the popular 4-H program/Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you agree with the CdA Press that the current Kootenai County commissioners are showing leadership by consolidating, eliminating, & cutting the budget?

Sand Creek Arch Fish Mis-Flopped?

The family I grew up in was very particular about how a slice of a round cake was to lie on a plate. It was supposed to be positioned so that you could eat it from the inside out and from the bottom up. For all of us right-handers, this meant the frosting had to be to the left. A piece of cake with the frosting on the right was said to be “flopped wrong.” This attention to direction has come to mind recently, as the citizens of Sandpoint have debated about whether the fish on their newly installed Sand Creek arch are flopped correctly/Cate Huisman, New West. More here. (New West photo of Cate Huisman)

Question: What do you make of the Sand Creek fish flop flap? Covers Bus Crash

How in the world did everyone walk away from this crash of a Canadian tour bus near Naples, between Sandpoint/Ponderay & Bonners Ferry? Mike Weland, publisher of the online provides the photos and news coverage here.

Hedberg: Bad Luck Comes In Phases

I have a friend who believes that when things break and then get fixed it's all related to the phases of the moon. She also admits she smoked a lot of pot when she was younger, but has since gone on to become a respected scientist, so I don't think you can totally attribute this wacky idea to a loss of brain cells. Anyway, Linda says when things go wrong - like your car breaking down, getting overdrawn at the bank or whatever - it has something to do with the shadow the Earth is casting on the moon at the moment. She says if you just wait it out the moon phase will change and then everything will be all right. Personally this philosophy has never quite worked out for me. When things go wrong in my life, I am pretty sure it's because there's an evil demon living at my house and he is trying to tip me over the edge. Even so, it does seem that when problems arise, they happen at once/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you believe that bad luck happens at once?

Campbell’s Putting Salt Back In Soup

Campbell Soup Co's (CPB.N) incoming CEO Denise Morrison is bringing back the salt as she tries to entice people to buy more soup. The move to add salt and flavor in more than two dozen soups after a health-inspired low-sodium push failed to lift sales is one of several steps that Morrison — who has run the company since March — announced on Tuesday at an annual investor meeting at the company's headquarters in Camden, New Jersey. Campbell is overhauling soup products, coming out with bread shaped like Goldfish crackers, and will be, in Morrison's words, “a beehive of activity” in fiscal 2012 as it tries to spur growth after several winters of weak soup sales that have weighed on the company's share price/Reuters. More here. (AP file photo of Campbell's healthy soups) H/T: Joe Butler.

Question: Do you watch the amount of salt that's in your diet?

NFL Teams Unanimously OK Deal

The NFL Players Association executive board and 32 team reps have voted unanimously to approve the terms of a deal to the end the 4-1/2-month lockout. Owners overwhelmingly approved a proposal last week, but some unresolved issues still needed to be reviewed to satisfy players; the owners do not need to vote again. The sides worked through the weekend and wrapped up the details Monday morning on a final pact that is for 10 years, without an opt-out clause, a person familiar with the deal told the AP on condition of anonymity/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell)

Question: Do you have a favorite NFL team? Which one? How did you become a fan of that team?

INW Headlines — 7.25.11

Patrons flocked to Borders Books and Music store in Coeur d'Alene on Friday to take advantage of the going-out-of-business sale. Borders Group began liquidation sales at all of its 399 stores as the 40-year-old chain winds down operations. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: I heard from several people that the Borders book deals aren't that good yet, mebbe 10%. Anyone visit Borders to check out the sale?

High Noon: Luna For Idaho Governor?

Idaho schools chief Tom Luna was at dinner with his wife, Cindy, after his “Students Come First” education reforms cleared the 2011 Legislature, when a stranger stopped by his table. “This guy I’d never met came up and said, ‘Word on the street is you’re the next governor,’ “Luna said, relaxing in his Nampa home’s dining room. “The next day I was driving to work and somebody rolled down their window and flipped me off. I called Cindy and I said, ‘Okay, we’re about 50-50.”’ Hand gestures aside, Luna’s catalyst role behind reforms coveted by Idaho conservatives — they promote Internet classes and slash union negotiating power — puts him in position to vie to be Idaho’s next state chief executive, provided he wants the Republican nomination and Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter bows out of a third term, which he could still seek/John Miller, AP. More here.

Question: Would you like to see Tom Luna and/or Raul Labrador run for governor in 2014 if/when Butch Otter steps down?

She Musta Been A Beautiful Baby …

JimmyMAC brought one of the two cutest Berry Pickers to Blogfest 2011 — his lovely baby daughter. Nic brought the other. Nic tells of daughter Zu's Blogfest experience here. And his overall impression of blogfest here.

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.25.11

  • 11:53 a.m. Idaho Independent Bank, Government Way/Hayden, reports suspicious person in bank.
  • 11:42 a.m. Cheryl wants to see animal control officer re: cat that won't leave her place.
  • 11:36 a.m. Woman wanted for meth possession may be in 9700 block of Melrose/Hayden.
  • 10:53 a.m. Motorist reports almost rear-ending a pickup&canopy pulling a tractor on a trailer w/o license or taillight @ n/b H95 & Canfield/Cda.
  • 10:39 a.m. A man is threatening physical violence against a woman in 300 block of Cassia/Rathdrum.
  • 10:36 a.m. A tan Silverado pickup, registered in George, Wash., is w/b on I-90 after an argument in which he refused to pay for gas @ station @ 350 W. Appleway/CdA.
  • 10:18 a.m. Biz owner in Government Way part of CdA is tired of hearing passing vehicles w/o mufflers.
  • 9:54 a.m. An e/b semi has lost its trailer on I-90 @ M/P 44 (Pinehurst), blocking freeway.
  • 9:24 a.m. Connie, w/a property management company, reports concrete pillar has knocked her mailbox into field across from resident.
  • 9:20 a.m. A dead head is reported on Spokane River, west of Greensferry/PF.
  • 8:54 a.m. Caller reports possible meth lab activity along 15th in Dalton Gardens.
  • 8:46 a.m. A white pitbull in 8400 block of Highland/CdA reportedly chases bikers and walkers.
  • 8:34 a.m. Driver of Honda Civic is speeding, weaving, & flipping people off on I-90 @ Pleasantview/PF.
  • 8:28 a.m. Someone's suffering a psychological episode at Hilgren & Jana/Hayden.
  • 8:23 a.m. Possible business burglary reported on W. Main St. in the Riverstone complex.
  • 8:19 a.m. Caller wants to speak to CdA officer re: possible lewd & lascivious crime.
  • 8:13 a.m. A pickup w/California license parked at a boat launch off I-90 @ M/P 39 (near Cataldo Mission) has a broken window and damaged front end.
  • 8:08 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police news release re: injury crash @ Honeysuckle & Timber Saturday here.

Tour Bus Crashes Near Naples

With EMTs checking them out for injuries, passengers from an Edmonton tour bus gather behind the guardrail at the south end of the Naples Bridge after the bus left U.S. 95 and rolled onto its side. Fortunately, injuries were all minor. You can read all of Mike's account here.

Baby ‘Critical’, Father Arrested

A baby is in critical condition after being assaulted by his 19-year-old father in Coeur d’Alene, police said today. James Dean Blanchard was arrested today at 3 a.m. for felony injury to a child after police were called to 1042 N. 17th St. at 9:30 p.m. Sunday for a report of a 20-day-old child who had stopped breathing. Officers arrived to find medics performing CPR on the baby, who was airlifted to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. Doctors told detectives that the baby is bleeding from the frontal lobe of his brain, according to the Coeur d’Alene Police Department/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Poll: Idaho GOP’s Goofiest Resolution

  • Weekend Poll: A plurality of Hucks Nation (51 of 104 respondents, 49.04%) voted that the goofiest resolution passed at the recent Idaho GOP state convention in Moscow was support for Idahoans carrying weapons anywhere at any time, including on college campuses. In descending order, other resolutions gaining support for being goofiest were: viewing spent N-fuel as an asset (24 of 104, 23.08%); getting EPA out of the Silver Valley (13 of 104, 12.5%); blocking Land Board from maximizing endowment assets (9 of 104, 8.5%); and shacking schools to only one election per year for bonds/levies.
  • Today's Poll: Would you support the return of Diamond Cup hydroplane races to Lake Coeur d'Alene?

An Artist Who Works Best In Hay

Michael Moscato uses some spray paint on his “art” that is made out of bales of straw and hay at the Ohio State Fair, in Columbus, Ohio., Sunday Feed is being turned into fine art at the fair, in a new sculpting competition using hay and straw. (AP Photo/The Columbus Dispatch, Kyle Robertson)

Question: Which art medium do you work best in?

Press: Sandpoint Tops Lake City?

Congratulations, neighbor, on being declared The Most Beautiful Small Town in America. But for the Coeur d'Alene faithful, is that honor bestowed a little to the north by USA Today and Rand McNally kind of like getting sandpoint kicked in your face? Not really - even though some sense of competition is alive and well. Between the Lake City and Sandpoint, “Coeur d'Alene has to take it,” said resident Robert Hoss. Granted, he said, they both have expansive, gorgeous lakes and a score of art shops downtown. But only one has a floating boardwalk, he said. And, in his opinion, shadier pines/Alecia Warren, CdA Press. More here. (SR file photo of Coeur d'Alene Resort boardwalk & waterfront by Jesse Tinsley)

Question: Izzit just me, or is this a bit of a 'homer' story for the Coeur d'Alene Press to publish? Coeur d'Alene vs. Sandpoint? C'mon.

Hydromaniacs Pushing For Races

Item: It takes a community: Hughes believes hydroplane racing could again be popular on Lake Coeur d'Alene/Alecia Warren, CdA Press

More Info: Doug Miller agrees. President of the Hydromaniacs nonprofit, Miller is in the midst of trying to resurrect the annual Diamond Cup Unlimited Regatta that the Lake City hosted annually in the late ‘50s and ‘60s. After organizing a revival regatta last year, Miller is planning a second regatta for this August. Although the regatta is only an exhibition of vintage Unlimited boats, Miller still holds Madison’s fervor for hydroplane racing as a role model for Coeur d’Alene, he said. (SR file photo of hydroplane exhibition run by J. Bart Rayniak)

Question: Is Coeur d'Alene finally ready to embrace hydroplane races again?

Region GOP Rip Keough, Broadsword

Saying their actions were detrimental to the party, the Region 1 Republican Central Committee approved a “no confidence” vote last week against Sens. Shawn Keough of Sandpoint (left) and Joyce Broadsword (right) of Sagle. “As elected state officials, your actions have demonstrated that you do not understand, care about, or are acting in a manner that is consistent in the best interests of your constituents,” Region 1 RCC Chairman John Cross said in the letter of censure. “Instead, (you) have used your political positions to further personal agendas and promote the best interests of the opposing political party in direct opposition to the Republican ideals we hold dearly.” The region encompasses the five northern counties - Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone. While it has no legal effect, the vote sends the message that party officials are unhappy with the pair's actions/Caroline Lobsinger, Hagadone News Network. More here.

Question: Can you believe that Region 1 Republicans would castigate Sens. Shawn Keough & Joyce Broadsword while sending a letter of support to House Speaker Lawerence Denney for Rep. Phil Hart?

AM Headlines — 7.25.11

Dion Smith of Lapwai rides his horse, Mioxat, onto the grass dance circle Saturday during the horse parade at Julyamsh, the annual celebration of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe at the Greyhound Park. Story here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

SR Columns: Shedding A ‘Brady Cop’

They call them “Brady officers.” If you ever find yourself arrested, they’re the ones you want to catch you. A Brady officer is a cop with a record of untruthfulness. On a witness stand, they could be a defense attorney’s dream. f a prosecutor gets a criminal case filed by a Brady officer, that officer’s record is “discoverable” – meaning it should be turned over to the defense as exculpatory evidence. Among the many reasons police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick cited for firing Detective Jeff Harvey – a list that is breathtaking in its comprehensive inclusion of all the ways we’d prefer that police not behave – was this one: He qualifies amply as a Brady officer/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever known a dishonest cop (no names, please)?

Singer Amy Winehouse, 27, RIP

An autopsy is being held to determine the cause of Amy Winehouse's death, but a coroner's official says police have found no suspicious circumstances. The singer was found dead Saturday at her London home at the age of 27. An autopsy is being held Monday with results expected later. Coroner's officer Sharon Duff says “the scene was investigated by police and determined non-suspicious.” Winehouse's death came after the singer publicly struggled with drug and alcohol abuse for years. Her body was discovered at home by a member of her security team, who called an ambulance. It arrived too late to save her/CBS, AP. More here.

Question: Are you a fan of Amy Winehouse's music?

Norway Killer To Be Isolated 4 Weeks

The man who has confessed to carrying out a bombing and shooting spree that left 93 people dead in Norway will be held for eight weeks, half of that in complete isolation, after a closed hearing in which he said his terror network had two other cells. Anders Behring Breivik has confessed to the attacks but denied criminal responsibility, pleading not guilty Monday to one of the deadliest modern mass killings in peacetime. He told the court he wanted to save Europe and send a strong signal, Judge Kim Heger said after a closed court hearing. Breivik could tamper with evidence if released, and will be held for at least another two months without access to visitors, mail or media, the judge said/Associated Press. More here.

Question: How unsettling is it to you that dangerous people as delusional as Breivik walk among us?

Signe: Embracing Contraception?

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Blogfest 2011 Wild Card — 7.24.11

The long-overdue Blogfest 2011 (aka Hucks Summer Bentfest) is finally here — from 3 to 6 p.m. today (Sunday), at Steve Widmyer's Fort Ground Grill, 705 W. River Ave., in historic Fortgrounds. Usually, blogfest is somewhere around Feb. 16, the actual anniversary of Huckleberries Online. But we never got around to staging this one until Bent stepped up with his locally renown BBQ and Steve offered his place, along with baked beans, pop, and bottled water, on the house. The rest of the meal will be up to you. Guests are asked to bring a main/side dish, salad, or dessert (named after a Huckleberries theme). Herb/Bay Views has already prepared a batch of his famous potato salad (see photo). But hasn't come up with a name yet. Bent also will provide samples of his recent batch of homemade brew. I'll be there until Steve throws us out of the joint. I hope to see you.

Arpie’s Pre Blogfest Questions:

  • Will CouerGenX wear his Kennedy T-shirt?
  • Will I be able to enjoy a beer with HMO?
  • What color goatee will OrangeTV have?
  • Will Cindy be there?
  • Will she remember that I said I owed her a bottle of wine?
  • What kind of gifts do I have for Stickman?
  • Will Jimmy Mac bring his baby?
  • What facts might Spencer misstate?
  • Earlier this year the commenters were organized by # of posts. Who will be the highest ranked poster attending?

Question: Do you have any questions on your mind prior to coming to this afternoon's Blogfest 2011 (3-6 p.m. at Fort Ground Grill)?

APhoto Of The Weekend — 7.23-24.11

Noel Strick, left, and Mitsi Evans, right, battle in the women's Ear Pull finals during the 50th World Eskimo Indian Olympics Friday afternoon at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. Strick defeated Evans and went on to win the event. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Eric Engman)

80 Die In Camp Shooting, 7 In Blast

A Norwegian who dressed as a police officer to gun down summer campers killed at least 80 people at an island retreat, horrified police said early Saturday. It took investigators several hours to begin to realize the full scope of Friday's massacre, which followed an explosion in nearby Oslo that killed seven and that police say was set off by the same suspect. The mass shootings are among the worst in history. With the blast outside the prime minister's office, they formed the deadliest day of terror in Western Europe since the 2004 Madrid train bombings killed 191. Police initially said about 10 were killed at the forested camp on the island of Utoya, but some survivors said they thought the toll was much higher. Police director Oystein Maeland told reporters early Saturday they had discovered many more victims/Associated Press. More here. (AP/Mapaid photo/Lasse Tur: This aerial view shows Utoya Island, Norway. On Friday, a man dressed as a police officer opened fire at the island youth camp connected to the ruling party.)

Question: How do you process the level of evil that is behind mass killings like this, or Virginia Tech, or Fort Hood, or Columbine, or Oklahoma City?

Dogwalk: Politicians & Pesky Religion

Michele Bachmann is a headache!  Maybe even a migraine.  She certainly creates, in me, as per possible side effects of a migraine,  a degree of nausea and (a) disturbed vision! Now, it seems she has left her church.  She is ~ was ~ Lutheran. After having belonged to the church for at least ten years even if she hasn't attended, in favor of another, for the last two.  It seems, after all those years, she finds herself questioning the Lutherans stand on the Pope and the Catholic view of how one attains salvation. I left the church when I was in college for a number of reasons, not the least being witness to this doctrine being preached from the pulpit to numerous in the congregation from other countries and religions. I thought it showed an insensitivity to those exploring various religions, including Catholicism/Dogwalk Musings. More here. (AP photo of Bachmann in Aiken, S.C., this week)

Question (for former church goers who no longer attend church of any kind): What was the deal breaker that caused you to quit going to church?

Borders Customers Saw It Coming

The Spokane Borders bookstore was filled Friday with shoppers taking advantage of reduced prices after the company announced it is going out of business. Borders Group Inc. began liquidating its 399 stores nationwide Friday, including those in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene. Some Spokane customers expressed surprise at the announcement Friday – as they packed the store to save up to 40 percent – but others knew the closure was coming. Kati Lutz, of Spokane, said her husband is a former employee and they have many friends who work at various stores. Her husband, who did not wish to be identified, was laid off in 2008. “We … know a lot of people that work here,” Lutz said. “I think it’s going to be tough. It’s definitely not an easy time to be looking for a job.” However, she said, “I think most people saw it coming”/Chelsea Bannach, SR. More here.

Question: Where do you buy most of your books? And/or: What are you reading now?

Marianne: Keep Sandpoint Viewtiful

This morning's paper tells us that we won a contest, sponsored by big names in the media business–USA Today and Rand McNally.  Yesterday the word spread quickly on Facebook that–after the judging, which involved visits to several communities throughout the country–Sandpoint is America's most beautiful small town. What that will bring is now the question.  Will we,  who love this place as it is and has been,  want all the more to put up the gates?  And, I'm not talking about gates to exclusive developments but gates to city entrances/Marianne Love, Slight Detour. More here.

Question: If you could, would you put up a fence around your North Idaho community and not let anyone else in?

Bennett: Final Edition

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Parting Shot — 7.22.11

Competitors swim during the men's 5 km open water competition at the FINA Swimming World Championships at Jinshan City Beach in Shanghai, China, earlier today. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Blogfest-Minus2 TGIF — 7.22.11

We're two days from Blogfest 2011 (aka Hucks Summer Bentfest), which is scheduled from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Steve Widmyer's Fort Ground Grill in the historic Fortground area of Coeur d'Alene. Meat will be provided by Bent's BBQ (if you haven't tasted this beef, you haven't been living) and baked beans, pop, & water by the Grill. Berry Pickers are asked to bring a main/side dish, salad, or dessert (named after a Huckleberries theme). And if you can't bring something? Come anyway. Now for your TGIF Wild Card …

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.22.11

  • 5:24 p.m. A male is threatening to fight children @ boat docks in Harrison.
  • 5:23 p.m. Power line is down in the trees @ Government Way & Boekel/Hayden.
  • 5:20 p.m. Caller reports wood lying in roadway on e/b I-90 @ M/P 24 (Wolf Lodge Creek bridge).
  • 5:16 p.m. Caller reports youth w/o lifejackets on paddleboards on Coeur d'Alene waterfront.
  • 5:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 21-22 here.
  • 5:14 p.m. 39YO man unconscious & unresponsive @ 2nd & Henry/PF.
  • 4:47 p.m. Signal arms down & no train coming @ Prairie & Beck. Drivers going around arms/PF.
  • 4:33 p.m. PFPD Blue checking scooter w/no plates @ Post Falls WalMart/Mullan.
  • 4:27 p.m. Neighbor reports 10 people taking items from unoccupied house on Roth/Rathdrum.
  • 4:09 p.m. 3 teens who are suspected in vehicle burglars trespassing @ 692 W. Wilbur/Hayden.
  • 4:01 p.m. Boaters on Beauty Bay scare baby moose into woods now photographing its mother.
  • 19 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link to 18 more items

APhoto Of The Day — 7.22.11

A bear with a jar stuck on it's head is seen in Cocke County, Tenn. State wildlife officers looked for the bear for three weeks after reports he was caught in the unfortunate headgear. The bear was later tranquilized, and the jar removed from its head. It was released into the Cherokee National Forest. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. People gather downtown to protest the city’s latest art work, claiming the statue might encourage the worship of jar-headed bears — JohnA.
  • 2. A drunken bear reflects upon his decision to dive into the bottle — Herb.
  • 3. Local resident Billy Jo Bob Smith snapped this picture of what he says is a real life space bear standing on the hatch of his space capsule — Northerner.
  • HM: Rhodetrip

NI Blog Rdp: Dracula & Phlebotomy

Stebbijo's Place offers “another recipe to the cookbook! You can’t miss with this one! Tried and true – by me!” Follow the link, click on the photo, and the recipe appears.

Nic of Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts asks in his “5 for Friday” feature today: “I had to get some blood drawn on Wednesday. Is it weird that I was reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula while waiting on the phlebotomist to stick a needle in my arm?” More here.

Hucks Online numbers (for Wednesday): 8679/5730 and (for Thursday): 8450/5559.

Wilting Mariners Face 100-Plus Heat

A thermometer on the dugout steps reads 101 degrees on the field at Fenway Park during batting practice prior to the Boston Red Sox baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Boston today. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Question: On the day that I successfully interviewed for the sports editor job at the Red Bluff (Calif.) Daily News, the temperature topped 118 degrees. I'm not exagerating. What and where is the hottest day you've experienced?

Obama Ends ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

President Barack Obama on Friday formally signed off on ending the ban on gays serving openly in the military, doing away with a policy that's been controversial from the day it was enacted and making good on his 2008 campaign promise to the gay community. The president joined Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Adm. Mike Mullen, the joint chiefs of staff chairman, in signing a notice and sending it to Congress certifying that military readiness would not be hurt by repealing the 17-year-old “don't ask, don't tell” policy. That means that 60 days from now the ban will be lifted/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Do you agree with this decision?

Pat Moynihan: The Sensible Center

The late, great Senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, was asked back in 1993, when Congress was debating an earlier federal budget deal, if there “would be a fight until death” over taxes. Moynihan, intellect and wit in full flower, came back at NBC’s Tim Russert: “Fight until death over taxes? Oh no. Women, country, God, things like that. Taxes? No.” We may see a grand deal struck this weekend in the long running Washington drama over taxes, spending and debt and it is a safe bet no one will fight until death, even if the rhetoric makes all of what has been going on in the nation’s capitol sound like Armageddon. A deal must be struck. The only Armageddon here would be the shape of national and world economy should the United States of America default on its debt, even for a little while/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.

Question: What would you fight to the death over?

Boise Station Dumps NPR For Talk

There’s an unusual change in Boise radio, and a somewhat cloaked one one too. It’s unusual for the shift in control of a frequency from non-commercial to commercial. And it looks to be cloaked for the gap between the way it’s being presented to the public just now, and what its corporate and other alliances suggest. What’s going away is the jazz, local news and National Public Radio offerings on KBSU AM 730 (FM broadcasts will remain), whose license is held by the state Board of Education. You might remember that the latter consists of conservative Republican Tom Luna and appointees of conservative Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter. The Board sold off the AM 730 frequency to a private radio company, Impact Radio Group, a pretty unusual thing. What’s coming in its place is “NewsRadio AM730 KINF”, which was scheduled to go on air today/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: Do you listen to talk radio? Who? Which station?

Bent Brew Ready For Blogfest 2011

Earlier this summer, Stickman dutifully poured the latest batch of Bent's home brew into bottles in preparation for the 2011 Blogfest (aka Hucks Summer Bentfest). Samples will be available at the annual Blogfest, 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Steve Widmyer's Fort Ground Grill in historic Fortground area. BBQ beef, baked beans, pop, & water will be provided free. Guests or asked to bring a main/side dish, salad, or dessert. Or not.

Gold, Tacos While You Wait

So I'm walking south of 4th Street toward Midtown with my radio head set on, thinking deep thoughts last night, when I saw a sign. It blazed above the pavement — yellow and then red. The yellow part at the corner of 4th & Hattie said: “We buy gold top dollar.” And the red sign: “We have tacos.” As I tried to figure how the messages on the rotating sign related to each other and subsequent ones, I noticed the Tacos Los Ranchos food stand in the corner of a lot shared with a pawn shop (in the old Subway). I checked to see if any neo-Nazis were skulking about the food stand. Seeing none, I walked off still musing about the strange juxtaposition of the two messages. You had to be there. (SR file photo, for illustrative purposes)

Question: What have you bought at a pawn shop?

Some Yellow Roses For A Blue Lady

During a recent haircut, I mentioned to my stylist that I grew roses, all colors. Which prompted the significantly tattooed young woman to lament: “All the guys I date give me only red roses. Why can't they come up with some other color? I like yellow roses. Maybe white ones, too.” My wife prefers the pink one although she's warming up to the white roses I have planted between the pear trees in the back of the garden. I also have an area reserved for miniature roses — about 20 of them. My favorites are the yellow ones with orange fringe. But the monster Ingrid Bergman red rose that I bought this summer at Home Depot is coming on strong. How about you? (AP file photo)

Question: Which color of roses do you prefer? And do you still get/give them?

Handcuffed Man Escapes SV Police

The handcuffed driver of a stolen car escaped from custody late Thursday when officers left him unattended as they chased his fleeing passenger, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department. Police are asking for help identifying the man who was was driving a purple Mercury Tracer that had been reported stolen in a residential burglary when Officers Mark Benner and Jason Karnitz spotted him at Pines and Cherry about 11:15 p.m., Sgt. Dave Reagan said in a news release. The car stopped in the dead end area of a parking lot and the passenger fled on foot. Benner chased after him, and Karntiz handcuffed the driver and told him to stay in the car as he joined the chase, but the officers returned to find the suspect gone. Neither officer knew his name/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Question: Pretend that you're the public relations person for the Spokane Valley police — their Sgt. Christie Wood or Major Ben Wolfinger, so to speak. How would you spin this one?

Norway Stunned By Blast, Shootings

Victims receive treatment outside government buildings in the centre of Oslo, Friday, following an explosion that tore open several buildings including the prime minister's office, shattering windows and covering the street with documents. At least seven people are dead and many more injured. Also, a shooter at a political convention on an island north of Oslo appeared to have inflicted more casualties, in incidents police are treating as connected. Story here. (AP Photo/Fartein Rudjord)


AM Scanner Traffic — 7.22.11

  • 11:43 a.m. Rider appears to be OK after dumping scooter @ H41 & Ross Point/PF. Scooter not OK.
  • 11:24 a.m. Man is in KCSD lobby to report daughter's bad behavior and learn his rights as father.
  • 10:59 a.m. Black Bay Marina rep wants to know who owns boat trailers parked on property.
  • 10:54 a.m. Red BMW, n/b on H95 entering Plummer, is passing unsafely, almost hit car head on.
  • 10:20 a.m. PFPD Blue doesn't see Immaculate Conception Church procession as he arrives @ Seltice Way & Ross Point Road & is told that the procession crossed busy i/s without him.
  • 10:17 a.m. Resident @ 3752 W. Shoreview/PF reports a hit-&-run crash at Wolf Lodge Thursday night.
  • 10:07 a.m. CPD Blue reports his computer has frozen up as he stops @ Safeway on Neider/CdA.
  • 9:49 a.m. License Detection System on I-90 has spotted white 1993 Plymouth Voyager van w/Washington plates, wanted in the connection with the disappearance of a 12YO girl.
  • 9:41 a.m. North Idaho College security reports “crotch rocket” parked in “no parking any time” spot.
  • 9:25 a.m. A dog running w/b on I-90 @ M/P 34 (H3 overpass) is creating a traffic hazard.
  • 9:24 a.m. PFPD Blue is following a “neighborhood kid” to a stolen bike on Jessica.
  • 9:12 a.m. Roger on Audobon Drive/Hayden reports his neighbors dogs are loose.
  • 9:11 a.m. Brad w/Hayden WalMart security has video ready for 2 shoplifting cases.
  • 9:04 a.m. Immaculate Conception Church alerts PFPD it'll be crossing Seltice Way & H41 at 10 a.m.
  • 8:17 a.m. Suspicious man in red goatee & black fedora checking out vehicles @ 4315 E. 3rd/PF.
  • 8:16 a.m. A white '86 Nissan pickup has been abandoned at 4th of July Pass parking lot.
  • 8:13 a.m. Someone has been hurt in a fall in 2700 block of N6th (cross of Haycraft/CdA).

INW: P-I Staff Is Leaving The Building

The iconic 18-ton rotating globe atop the building housing offices of the, the web-only news site born out of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, is seen overlooking Elliiott Bay Thursday in Seattle. Most of the staff of the is moving out of the building that bore the newspaper's name following expiration of the current lease on July 31. Story here. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

14th Julyamsh Kicks Off Tonight

The Grand Entry ceremony at the 2009 Julyamsh Powwow and Encampment was a sea of colorful feathers, ribbons, beads and bells. More than 1,000 dancers, representing hundreds of tribes across the U.S. and Canada, took part in the 2009 Julyamsh celebration, photographed by Colin Mulvany/SR. On her Facebook page, Kerri Thoreson provides photos of the 2010 Julyamsh here. The 14th annual Julyamsh Powwow, staged by the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe, kicks off tonight and runs through Sunday at the Greyhound Park in Post Falls. Admission is free, with $5 for parking. See schedule here.

Question: Have you attended any of the Julyamsh celebrations? Impression?

KCSD Seeks Manslaughter Suspect

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help in finding Lisa Marie Calbick, 33 of Kellogg. Calbick, who also has gone by the last name of Anzures, is described as being 5 foot 8 inches tall, weighing 240 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. She is wanted on a $50,000 warrant charging her with vehicle manslaughter from a traffic crash that occurred near Post Falls Dec 15. Calbick was seriously injured in the crash that killed Donald Graham, 77, of Rathdrum. Graham was driving a yellow Chevrolet Equinox westbound near milepost 3 when he was struck by Calbick's Kia Optima, according to Idaho State Police. Anyone with information re: Calbick's whereabouts is asked to call KCSD (208) 446-1300. You can read Meghann Cuniff's Sirens & Gavels report of the crash here.

Esquire Charts INW Racism Fall, Rise

In Esquire's Politics Blog Thursday, essayist Charles P. Pierce provides a lengthy review of the history of white supremacism in North Idaho as well as the MLK Day bomb attempt. He writes: “Both (Norm) Gissel and (Tony) Stewart have noticed an increasing — and increasingly familiar — level of agitation in the air, even though what was left of the Aryan Nations splintered further recently when a power struggle broke out between two men, Paul Mullet and Gerard O'Brien, both of whom claim to be the true successor to Richard Butler. (Mullet seems to have won out, at least for the moment.) What's left of the movement seems to be made up either of small units, or a collection of lone-wolf operators. It has still been enough to set the region on edge. Entire blog post here.


Hucks Poll: Roust Panhandlers

  • Thursday Poll: Hucks Nation has little sympathy for panhandlers. 69 of 130 respondents (53.08%) voted that police should roust them at all times, while another 29 of 130 respondents (22.31%) said police should chase off “aggressive” ones. 11 of 130 respondents (8.46%) said police should crack down on panhandlers “occasionally.” Only 16 of 130 (12.31%) said panhandlers should be left alone to beg. 5 were undecided.
  • Today's Question: Which one (of a list of five provided) of the resolutions passed by the Idaho Republican Central Committee at its state convention is the goofiest?

Looking Like Hemingway

Past winners of the “Papa” Hemingway Look-Alike Contest, including Jack Waterbury (1987), front left, and Rick Kirvan (1999), front right, examine contestants during the first of two preliminary rounds Thursday at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Fla. More than 120 men resembling Ernest Hemingway are competing in the contest that is a facet of Key West's annual Hemingway Days festival. The final round is set for Saturday. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Andy Newman)

Question: Which Hemingway novel is your favorite?

Whattabout Hart, Loertscher, Etc.?

Here's one last item that Opinion Page Editor Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune noted among the curious resolutions passed by the Idaho Republican Central Committee at their recent state convention in Moscow: “Repudiate Senate Majority Caucus Chairman John McGee, R-Caldwell. Sure, McGee famously got drunk outside a Boise golf course, then took an SUV and trailer, wrecked it and passed out in the back seat. Hardly exemplary behavior. But where's the outrage with state Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, who stole timber from public lands and continues to avoid paying his taxes? Where's the umbrage with Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, who is accused of using his State Affairs Committee chairmanship to kill a bill that would have complicated his right-of-way claims in Bonneville County? Who's complaining about former Tax Commission Chairman Royce Chigbrow, who used his office to reward friends and punish enemies? Don't forget, this political machine said not one word about Sen. Larry Craig's toe-tapping scandal.” Full editorial here.

Question: Why did Idaho Republicans pass a resolution repudiating state Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, when they ignored the shenanigans of Hart, Loertscher, & Chigbrow — and, back when, Craig?

Marty Jeers Idaho GOP Resolutions

Opinion Page Editor Marty Trillhaase jeered the Idaho Republican Central Committee for chasing “boogeymen” at its state convention when more important matters went begging. His list of goofy resolutions includes:

  • Get the Environmental Protection Agency out of the Silver Valley.
  • Shackle schools to one election a year to pass a bond or levy. There will be no second chances.
  • Block the Idaho Land Board from following its constitutional mandate to manage the Idaho endowment assets for the maximum benefit of Idaho's school children, college students and state hospitals.
  • Rather than defining spent nuclear fuel rods as waste, the GOP wants it viewed as an asset to be used for “nuclear fuel manufacturing” — or in other words reprocessing — in violation of Idaho's nuclear waste cleanup agreement.
  • Declares the right to carry a weapon “at all times, in all places” - including college campuses.
  • Full “Cheers & Jeers” editorial here.

Question: Which of the 5 resolutions above do you consider the goofiest?

Trib: Cheers To Crapo, Gang Of 6

CHEERS … to U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho. Along with “Gang of Six” Republicans Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, and Democrats Dick Durbin of Illinois, Mark Warner of Virginia and Ken Conrad of North Dakota, Crapo struck a budget deal to shave nearly $4 trillion in deficits - $3 trillion in spending cuts and $1 trillion in repealed tax subsidies on such things as mortgage interest and tax credits for families with children. Shared sacrifice may secure enough Republicans and Democrats to pass something, but it buys the enmity of anti-tax extremists. Expect the rigid right to inflict some pain on Crapo before it's over/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: With the rejection of House Republicans' “cut, cap, & balance' legislation by the U.S. Senate this morning, is it time for warring parties to get behind the Gang of Six proposal?

‘Jeopardy!’ Run Over For Moscowan

Let's play a little “Jeopardy.” The category: Best kept secrets. The clue: In excess of $153,800. The answer in the form of a question: How much money did University of Idaho student Mark Runsvold ultimately make on America's favorite television game show? Prior to his fifth taped appearance on “Jeopardy” Thursday evening, Runsvold was still keeping a tight lip. “I believe it would be a breach of contract,” the 25-year-old international studies student said of disclosing his final winnings before the 7 p.m. show finished airing. … Runsvold lost in his fifth Jeopardy contest broadcast Thursday night, finishing in third place/David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Lewiston Tribune photo: David Johnson)

Question: What could you do with $154,000 right now?

AM Headlines — 7.22.11

One of about 600 goats grazes in a fenced area above Collister Road in Boise Wednesday. The Boise Parks and Recreation Department is dispatching a herd of goats to feast upon rush skeletonweed in the 680-acre Polecat Gulch Reserve. (Statesman/AP photo: Darin Oswald)


On the tailgate of a white bobtail parked on Walnut b/n 5th & 6th/CdA this morning: “Are you drunk or just on your cell phone?” and: “Don't act stupid, we have politicians for that.”

IFF: Cities Raising Revenue Via Fees

If it feels as though our governments are nickel and diming you to death, they are. If it’s not new or higher taxes being proposed, it’s some new fee.  The newest tact involves city governments passing ever higher utility franchise fees, which then get passed onto ratepayers. We’re seeing the phenomenon all over the state. Cities aren’t passing these higher fees in secret, but they’re certainly not putting the spotlight on what they’re doing either. While many tax hawks have been watching for higher property taxes, the franchise fees have been slipped onto city council agendas and passed/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Why do taxpayers protest tax increases but not fee increases?

Idaho 1 Of 3 Balking At School Rules

At least three states are vowing to ignore the latest requirements under the No Child Left Behind law in an act of defiance against the federal government that demonstrates their growing frustration over an education program they say sets unrealistic benchmarks for schools. The law sets a goal of having 100 percent of students proficient in math and reading by 2014, but states were allowed to establish how much schools must improve each year. Many states saved the biggest leaps for the final years, anticipating the law would be changed. But it hasn't, and states like Idaho, Montana and South Dakota are fed up. They are preparing to reject the latest requirements for determining school progress under the 9-year-old law - even if the move toward noncompliance may put them at risk of losing some federal funding/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Is Idaho being principled or foolish in risking federal dollars to take a stand against latest requirements under No Child Left Behind?

Kootenai County Cuts, Consolidates

Item: County cuts, consolidates: Moves will result in annual savings of $429,554/Alecia Warren, Press

More Info: The Kootenai County commissioners have cut another 10 staff positions across several departments, including the full elimination of Adult Pre-Trial Services. The annual savings from the reductions will be $429,554. “Considering the economic times we're in, the commissioners are looking at all services, all costs, and just weighing them and sometimes making difficult decisions,” said Commissioner Jai Nelson.

Question: Which approach do you support more — the county cutting and consolidating? Or the city of Coeur d'Alene giving employees 3 percent raises?

Benson: Hard Times

Lisa Benson/Washington Writers Group

Wild Card/Thursday — 7.21.11

Today, I make the last payment on a loan that I took out five years ago. 'Tis sweet to pay something off. And free up money, especially in these hard economic times when pay cuts, furloughs, layoffs continue to be the norm. Dunno how I'm going to celebrate. I burned my mortgage several years ago. Mebbe I'll simply wait to celebrate a month from now when I no longer have to make the payment. What do you do when you pay off a loan? You can answer that question or use this Wild Card to discuss anything you want …

Parting Shot — 7.21.11

Divers are silhouetted as they warm up during the FINA Swimming World Championships in Shanghai, China, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Serephin: ‘Captain America’ Or Bust

On his Facebook wall, Serephin, of 43rd State Blues fame (or infamy), writes: “Been a comic book reader since back when Jesus was hotrodding T-rexes. Mostly Marvel, and still have a box full of assorted comics from the House of Ideas (Howard the Duck #1, y'all). The kiddo and I are planning to catch the midnight showing of “Captain America: The First Avenger”, and the reviewers I follow say it's good stuff, Maynard. Someday, when I grow up, I might lose interest, but don't hold your breath.” (AP/Marvel photo)

Question: Is there something from your childhood that you still enjoy that proves you haven't entirely grown up?

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.21.11

  • 6:05 p.m. A brown cow & a black one are loose in Habitat for Humanity lot @ H95 & Wyoming/Hayden.
  • 5:50 p.m. Woman on N. Meyer/Rathdrum told boyfriend she'd overdose on pills if she found a bottle.
  • 5:46 p.m. Possible camper trailer fire on Coopers Hawk/Grouse Meadows, Ramsey & Prairie/Hayden.
  • 5:36 p.m. 20ish man dropped merchandise & fled toward Prairie Shopping Center when caught shoplifting at Hayden WalMart.
  • 5:08 p.m. Woman reports 2 drunken men staggering in street @ 2nd & D streets/Plummer.
  • 5:03 p.m. Vulgar man wearing camo cap swearing & being disruptive @ Post Falls Super 1.
  • 4:42 p.m. Resident in 2000 block of Prairie View/PV reports neighbor trying to run him over for week.
  • 4:26 p.m. Fireboat called out to assist in structure fire reported in 4900 block of Rockshore Drive @ 3-Mile Point @ Lake Coeur d'Alene. (Later: ambulance & Worley Fire dispatched to scene.)
  • 4:16 p.m. Chip trip is speeding & not letting vehicles pass on H95 @ M/P 425 (Mica Creek/Presley).
  • 4:06 p.m. 2 small sports cars have been racing repeatedly on Signal Point & Riverview/PF.
  • 3:42 p.m. PFPD Blue is told officers ususally detonate explosives (blasting cap from 1:31 incident) on east side of police HQ.
  • 17 more items & AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 7.21.11

Jenifer Schneider, “The Cannon Lady” is blasted out of the 27-foot barrel of a truck mounted cannon into the air some 40 feet landing in a safety net down the street in front of the Finlen Hotel on East Broadway during the opening day of Evel Knievel Days in uptown Butte, Mont., this afternoon. (AP Photo/Montana Standard: Walter Hinick)

APhoto Of The Day — 7.21.11

A bull by the name of Wandering Comet sits in a pen behind the Idaho Center arena after being painted pink for Tough Enough For Pink night on Wednesday at the Snake River Stampede Rodeo in Nampa. Idaho Press-Tribune story here. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune, Charlie Litchfield)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. I suppose this is better than me seeing red. Ya know? — JeanieSpokane.
  • 2. I pity da fool who climbs on my pink back for an 8 second tour. His arse will be as pink as my back when I’m through with him — Powder Farmer.
  • 3. “You lookin’ at me? You lookin’ at me? Then who the hell else are you lookin’ at? Well I’m the only one here. Who do you think you’re looking at?” — Formerly Sandpoint.
  • HM: Rhodetrip

Chamber Dismisses CEO Christensen

After a year and a half on the job, Todd Christensen is done as president and chief executive officer of the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce. Christensen, who replaced longtime CEO Jonathan Coe in January 2010, declined to discuss details of his departure when contacted Thursday morning. However, he told The Press that he and his family love Coeur d’Alene and the North Idaho region and intend “to pursue other opportunities here.” Skip Peterson, chairman of the chamber board, also declined to discuss any details of Christensen’s departure/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Wonder why everyone clams up when a high-profile individual in the community like Christensen abruptly is out of a job?

NFL HOF Game Going, Going …

Mike Martz might think the Chicago Bears could be ready to play the Hall of Fame game on a day's notice, but linebacker Brian Urlacher doesn't believe the team will be able to play on the scheduled date of Aug. 7. “I think the Hall of Fame game is a no-go even if we get it done today,” Urlacher told ESPN's George Smith, referring to the NFLPA possibly approving a new collective bargaining agreement Thursday. A Bears official told ESPN that the team is still planning to play the game against the St. Louis Rams but “everything is so fluid,” it's just not clear what will happen yet. The official said it's not up to the team whether to play. The league decides, and the Bears are doing their best to prepare/ESPN Chicago. More here.

Question (with H/T to Melissa Luck/KXLY): Are you more interested in the NFL deal or the debt celing deal?

Looking Back: ‘Shoe Tree’ Arson

Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns reminds her Facebook Friends this afternoon that it was just over a year ago (July 16, 2010) that some cad burned the famous Shoe Tree of Priest Lake. The jerk has never been brought to justice. You can read the Huckleberries Online report of the arson here. And you can see a YouTube video of individuals lamenting the loss of the tree here.

Bears Encounters Close NI Area

Graham Creek announced Thursday that it will be closed for the public due to frequent bear encounters in the area. Graham Creek is located approximately 14 miles northbound on Forest Highway 9, north of Pinehurst. 
Authorities stated that there is potential  for danger if bears continues to return and become habituated to human encounters. Officials are hoping that by removing food and trash from the area, both the visitors and the bears will be protected/KREM. More here.

Question: Have you ever encountered a bear near your camp site? Will you tell us about it?

On Lake Coeur d’Alene

The North Idaho College Facebook page for mascot Cecil Cardinal offers an album of photos from a gathering on NIC Beach for Cecil's Facebook followers this week, including this one of summer students enjoying Lake Coeur d'Alene this week. Obviously, the photo wasn't snapped today because it's overcast again.

Question: Have you had a chance to swim in a North Idaho lake or other waterway this cold summer?

Carlson: Filling In The Forms

Indulge me in a rant about interest group questionnaires and the absurd length contained therein to ensure a candidate is a purist before he or she can receive the group’s nod, its mailing list and a donation from its PAC. Were we not taught in civics classes that we are a republic with the people electing representatives “hired” to use their intelligence and commonsense to weigh complicated matters most of us don’t have time to study and then decide what the greatest good is for the greatest number? Instead, many interest groups only want an automaton, a robot that will vote their way on issues of import to their agenda 100 percent of the time. Use your own judgment? Heaven forbid/Chris Carlson, The Carlson Chronicles. More here.

Question: Are candidate responses to questionnaires of a favorite organization important to you?

Toilet Paper, Court Clog Megaloads

This has not been a good week for the Lochsa River but it isn’t the familiar megaloads controversy that has grabbed the limelight. Officials are in the Kooskia area today trying to decide the best way to remove tons of unprocessed toilet paper that was dumped in the river when a semi-trailer overturned earlier this week. They are trying of finding a way to keep it from dissolving into a cloud of pulp that would clog the river in the height of whitewater season. Yes, a Montana judge has halted the shipments of giant loads of mining equipment bound for the tar sands region of northern Alberta. District Judge Ray Dayton’s order blocking the Montana Department of Transportation from transporting the loads Idaho courts allowed, presents Imperial Oil, a Canadian subsidiary of ExxonMobil, with an interesting decision/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here. (Lewiston Tribune/AP file photo/Barry Kough, of reduced megaload)

Question: Rocky sez ExxonMobile has a tough decision — modify megaloads or go back to court to fight Montana decision. What do you think the oil giant should do?

Blogfest 2011 Coming To FG Grill

There's three days remaining until the long delayed Blogfest 2011, officially called Summer Hucks Bentfest, which acknowledges its ties to Huckleberries Online and to renown BBQer Bent, who will be providing the beef for the event. You are all welcome to the party that runs from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Steve Widmyer's Fort Ground Grill in Coeur d'Alene's historic Fortground area. Meat, baked beans, pop, & bottled water will be provided free. Guests are asked to bring a main dish, salad, or dessert (named after a Huckleberries Online theme, i.e. Sgt. Christie's DanG Good Cupcakes). Bent will have some of his home-brew beer to sample. If you can't bring something, don't worry. Come any way.

Love Stories: Washing Dishes For Love

Love can make a person do unexpected things. For Rusty Clemons, it motivated him to wash dishes at his brother’s Colville restaurant. A pretty waitress named Marie had caught his eye. One night when the dishwasher didn’t show up, Marie offered to pitch in, and Rusty quickly volunteered to help her. “I went over to Colville a lot to just hang around,” Rusty recalled. “I was footloose, you know.” It had been awhile since the 25-year-old young man felt footloose. He’d grown up in tiny Rice, Wash., and times were tough. “I quit high school in my junior year,” Rusty said/Cindy Hval, Love Stories. Story here. (SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak, of Marie and Rusty Clemons)

Question: What steps did you take to meet your significant other?

Streaker Stuns Sun Valley Ice Shows

The Sun Valley Ice Shows are widely known as a showcase for the art, comedy and drama of ice-skating. The summer shows feature world-class figure skaters and Olympic medalists under the stars behind the Sun Valley Lodge. An unexpected participant took to the ice during Saturday's evening performance, wearing only flip-flops and a grin. “It made everyone's jaws drop,” said Ice Show Director Scott Irvine. Some kids were heard asking if the streaker was part of the ice show. Other kids called the display “disgusting.” “Obviously, we do not think this is an appropriate activity at an ice show,” said Jack Sibbach, director of marketing and public relations for Sun Valley Co./Tony Evans, Idaho Mountain Express. More here. (AP file photo of a UCLA streaker, for illustrative purposes)

Question: Have you ever been present at an event where someone streaked?

End Notes: In Praise Of Vigil Keepers

When my husband was in surgery Tuesday, my sister and mom showed up in the surgery center waiting room, even though I'd insisted earlier in the day that I would be fine waiting alone. The surgery was not a major one, though Tony was put out for it,  and he was expected to be out in an hour or so. But show up they did — with lunch. My sister knows my favorite treat is french fries and she had a bagful for me. So we sat in the waiting room eating a fast-food lunch, talking and laughing and planning out the rest of the busy summer because of many family visitors expected/Becky Nappi, End Notes. More here.

Question: Becky adds that “one of the best things you can do for people you know well is hold vigil with them in a surgery waiting room.” Have you been encouraged by a vigil keeper in a waiting room recently?

INW Headlines — 7.21.11

Addison Benson plays in the front room of her home in Laurel, Mont., watched by her mother Andea Benson. Nearly a year after she lost her legs below the knee in a lawnmower accident, not much sets Addison apart from other children on the verge of entering the wider world outside the immediate circle of family and friends - not even her two prosthetic legs. Billings Gazette story from Aug. 16, 2010 here. (AP Photo/Billings Gazette, Larry Mayer)

High Noon: Cricket, Anyone?

If you squint your eyes a little, the scene at the Ferris High School practice field on a fresh summer evening last week looked as American as breakfast cereal. Behind the baseball field, four young guys in T-shirts and running shoes do drills in the green grass. They take turns hitting pop flies while the others in the field crane their necks upward, swaying as they peer up into the blue sky and then — slap — receive the balls out of the sky. “Niiiice catch, boy,” one calls out after a fielder dives to the earth to seize a hard-hit drive before it touches the ground. The fielder gets to his feet, shaking the sting out of his palms. The oofs and ahs, the laughter and jibes, the fresh smell of cut grass — it’s achingly familiar to anyone who ever sweated out a Little League season in left field. But these guys at Ferris aren’t the Saxon bench-warmers. They’re the Spokane Spartans, a team of Indian men devoted to the game of cricket/Joel Smith, Inlander. More here. (Inlander photo: Amy Hunter)

Question: Has anyone out there played cricket?

Heat Wave Bedevils Much Of USA

Franklin Mayor Fred Paris pours one of the 250 bags of ice into the Franklin Memorial Swimming Pool in Franklin, Ind., earlier today. Temperatures are expected to climb into the high 90's with heat index well over 100. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Question: Would you rather be experiencing the heat wave that's bedeviling much of the country or the unusually cool spring and summer that we're having in Inland Northwest?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.21.11

  • 11:22 a.m. Someone has suffered shoulder & ankle injuries in a logging accident on USFS Road 261 @ Leeburg Saddle.
  • 11:19 a.m. 2 males on 4-wheelers are speeding up & down Davis & Peggy Loop/CdA.
  • 11:08 a.m. Samuel reports there's a dead dog lying @ 18699 W. Riverview/PF.
  • 11:04 a.m. Caller reports man possibly violating protection order @ Rice & Burdette/Hauser.
  • 11:01 a.m. Back door of residence in Tribal Housing on L St./Plummer kicked in, possible burglary.
  • 10:59 a.m. Caller reports road rager in pickup stopped & approached him @ H95 & Remington/Athol.
  • 10:49 a.m. A small, gray pickup is abandoned in a ditch on Larson, 1/2 mile from Conkling/Worley.
  • 10:48 a.m. A dead deer is in a ditch @ 42568 SH3 (M/P 98, Black Creek).
  • 10:47 a.m. 2 women in older red Volvo slammed trunk & acting suspicious at Twin Falls Elementary.
  • 10:35 a.m. Man and a woman in parking area of Falls Park yelled at reporting party.
  • 10:34 a.m. A red pickup & another vehicle are playing “chicken,” w/b on Prairie from H95.
  • 9:59 a.m. Heather reports to Spirit Lake police she may be victim of identity theft.
  • 9:41 a.m. An vehicle that's disabled is blocking road H41 & Boekel/Rathdrum.
  • 9:29 a.m. A 20-something man is passed out under train trestle on Cave Bay Road/Worley.
  • 9:03 a.m. Kootenai Health, 1701 Lincoln Way, reports unknown medical emergency.
  • 8:46 a.m. Someone is locked out of a small SUV @ Post Falls Dashco.
  • 8:33 a.m. Cassandra reports her dog is missing in Cataldo.
  • 8:19 a.m. A suspicious person is hanging around apartments in 1000 block of Emma/CdA.

Sandpoint Selected As ‘Most Beautiful’

Rand McNally's 2011 Best of Road Rally has named Sandpoint as the most beautiful town in the United States. Jeff DeKorte, Rand McNally’s SVP, Travel & Digital Media and John Peters, VP/GM Digital Strategy along with Victoria Borton, General Manager of USA TODAY Travel, announced the five winning teams to a packed house at the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Annual Convention in New Orleans. Narrowed down from more than 600 submissions, 30 top towns in five categories — Most Beautiful, Most Patriotic, Friendliest, Most Fun, and Best for Food — were selected for review during the inaugural Best of the Road Rally. More here. (SR file photo/Pia Hallenberg, of small-scale Statue of Liberty on Lake Pend Oreille)

Question: Which place in America's most beautiful small town would you point out to visitors as quintessential Sandpoint?

Hucks Poll: ‘Cut, Cap, Balance’? Yes

  • Wednesday Poll: By a slim majority, Hucks Nation supports U.S. House Republicans “cut, cap, & balance” approach to the debt ceiling controversy. 69 of 135 respondents (51.11%) voted for “cut, cap, & balance.” 58 of 135 respondents (42.96%) opposed the House GOP approach. 8 (5.93%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: What approach do you want your local police force to take with panhandlers?

Ganera’s On A Roll

Watch out, Mr. Hare, this tortoise has a wheel. A 12-year-old African tortoise that recently had its front left leg amputated due to injury is now moving just fine, thanks to a swiveling wheel attached to his shell by doctors at Washington State University’s veterinary hospital. The 23-pound tortoise, named Gamera after the giant flying turtle of the old Japanese monster movies, is gaining weight and generally thriving with his new appendage. “I don’t know whether he’d pass the hare, but he moves around very well,” said Charlie Powell, spokesman for WSU’s veterinary hospital in Pullman. The nearly teenage mutant turtle is particularly good at moving toward food and has gained 3 pounds since the wheel was attached, Powell said/Nicholas Geranios, AP. More here.

Question: Do you think Gamera is related to Ganesha?

Taryn: Unplugging In Idaho Woods

On her Facebook wall, Taryn Hecker-Thompson writes: “Headed into the deep, deep woods of North Idaho, where there is no such thing as cell phone service or email. This is when I will truly put my survival skills to the test.”

Question: How often do you completely unplug — leave behind cell phones, computers, and other electronic gadgets that keep you connected 24/7?

Keeping Track Of Stolen Vehicles

Occasionally, Scanner Traffic posts an item in which a freeway detector spots a stolen vehicle on Interstate 90 as it passes through Kootenai County. Anusha Roy, the hard-working KXLY reporter for North Idaho, talked to law enforcement in Kootenai County about the License Plate Recognition system. Post Falls Police Chief Scot Haug calls it “probably the best technology to come to law enforcement since DNA.” You can read Anusha's story here.

Kris: Predicting Triple Digits: 666?

On her Facebook wall, weather woman Kris Crocker of KXLY writes: “ABC is featuring a show tonight about … gulp … exorcism, and it's right before the news. I wonder what kind of audience is going to be sticking around for the 11 o'clock news. Should I freak them out and forecast 666 for tomorrow?” Kris is talking about a two-part segment on “Nightline” tonight that focuses on casting out demons & a pastor who believes we all carry around demons here.

Question: Do you believe in demons or exorcism?

Wolf Hunt Open House In CdA Today

No quota has been set for the wolf during this year’s season. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has proposed a wolf hunting season for Aug. 30 to March 31. Jim Hayden, IDFG regional wildlife manager, said the commission has also proposed a trapping season for the wolf, Dec. 1 through Jan. 15. “We’ve added a month to the front of the hunting season and this will be our first trapping season,” Mr. Hayden said. The public is invited to an open house at the Panhandle Region office at 2885 W. Kathleen Avenue in Coeur d’Alene (today), from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Regional staff will be on hand to answer questions and to solicit input on the 2011 wolf season proposals. Mr. Hayden said the changes should bring an 18 percent harvest increase. Overall, the IDFG expects to see a 20 percent reduction in the state’s wolf population numbers/Summer Crosby, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here.

Question: Do you support a wolf hunt without quotas in Idaho?

Mormons Moving Into Mainstream

Say what you will about America’s homebred religion, but one thing is undeniable: The Mormon church is moving into mainstream pop culture in a way not seen before. There’s Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, distant Mormon cousins both running as Republicans for president. There’s The Book of Mormon, the Broadway musical about Mormon missionaries by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker that swept the Tonys last month. The Twilight vampire novels — written by Stephenie Meyer, a Mormon — were the biggest book-movie tsunami to crash into American culture since Harry Potter. Political leaders Glenn Beck and Harry Reid are Mormon. So are actors Amy Adams and Jon Heder. While many Americans are only now learning about the church and some of its notable members, Mormons have long been a part of the Inland Northwest, with as many as 20,000 now living in the region/Nicholas Deshais, Chris Stein, Daniel Walters, Inlander. More here. (From Inlander: Scene from “The Book of Mormon” Broadway play)

Question: Is it now cool to be Mormon?

AM Headlines — 7.21.11

Jon McKenzie, of the Northwest Heavy Athletics Association throws the hammer during practice at Theyer Park in Rathdrum on Wednesday, July 20, 2011. the World Championships in Amateur Scottish Heavy Athletics for men and women will be held for the first time in Spokane on August 6. Dave Trimmer's SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Trib: Guv Sorta Opposes Obamacare

Otter is having it both ways. When the Tea Party is looking, he's anti-Obamacare. When the Tea Party's back is turned, the governor grants waivers from his own ban. Otter's waivers have enabled $18.9 million in health care reform grants to flow into state coffers. Among them are $12.5 million for a College of Southern Idaho initiative to train Idahoans who have lost jobs due to foreign competition and almost $2 million to Idaho State University to support physician residency and physicians' assistants programs. The governor permitted a series of Health and Welfare waivers, including one to help smokers quit the habit. And where did the governor hold the line? Allowing Idaho's insurance regulators to scrutinize how much your health insurance premium rises/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: So is Butch Otter for or against Obamacare?

Spokane’s Struggle w/Panhandlers

Months after Spokane passed an ordinance making it illegal to panhandle on street corners and freeway entrances and exits, the panhandling hasn't stopped. Men and women are still there and now they've also moved into neighborhoods - hidden from law enforcement.It started with fruit peddlers, whom KXLY discovered were actually illegal immigrants dropped off on neighborhood corners by an Oregon farmer. Then panhandlers started moving up from I-90 and into neighborhood areas/Colleen O'Brien, KXLY. More here.

Question: Do you support the aggressive enforcement of anti-panhandling ordinances in Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls, and Kootenai County?

Spokane Transit To Run Atheist Ads

The ad is simple in nature, a statement in white letters with a blue sky background and clouds that read: “Are you good without God? Millions are.” That's the advertisement set to appear on the sides of Spokane Transit Authority (STA) buses starting August 29. The ad was created by the Spokane Coalition of Reason, a local group of atheists, humanists, secularists and members of free thought societies. They are part of a larger, national organization called the United Coalition of Reason or UCoR/KHQ. More here w/video.

Question: Why are atheists becoming more aggressive in proselytizing their view that God doesn't exist?

Fresh Start Options Discussed In Hood

A nuisance hotline, neighborhood watch and photographing repeat offenders. These could help address issues with the Fresh Start homeless service facility on east Sherman Avenue, said Mike Kennedy, Coeur d'Alene City Council member, on Wednesday night.  “The goal is, how do we improve the situation right now, while we work at long-term strategies?” said Kennedy. His suggestions were made while mitigating a meeting between east Sherman area businesses, residents and Fresh Start representatives at City Hall/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

  • H/T to MikeK for serving as a mediator on this ticklish issue.

Question: What's the best solution for Fresh Start and its neighbors to deal with problem people around the homeless center, beyond just sucking it up?

Bennett: Herman Cain

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Hump Day Wild Card — 7.20.11

We're not just entering the halfway point of the week today. We're only four days from the 2011 Hucks Summer Bentfest at Steve Widmyer's Fort Ground Grill (3 to 6 p.m. this Sunday). Meat, beans, pop, water, & a venue will be provided. All you need to do is bring a main dish, salad, or dessert (named after a Hucks Online theme) and enjoy the annual fellowship of the Berry Pickers. If you haven't tried Bent's BBQ, you're in for a treat. We're still trying to get a head count. So let us know if you're coming. Now for your daily Wild Card …

P.S. WSU Vets Fix Up Tortoise

Gamera, a 12-year-old, African spur-thighed tortoise, shows off his new front “leg” at Washington State University in Pullman Friday. Gamera had to have his leg removed after an infection set in. To aid in the tortoise's recovery, doctors at WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital replaced Gamera's leg with a small swiveling ball-type caster attached to its shell with an epoxy adhesive. Story here. (AP Photo/BCU/WSU photo: Henry Moore, Jr.)

Look, Ma, No Cavities

On her Facebook wall, Cindy writes: “Sam is a proud member of the No Cavity Club. He was a bit more worried than usual. As he told the dentist: 'If I have a cavity, my dad's gonna subtract the bill from whatever he'd spend on my for Christmas.'” How about you?

Question: Are you a member of the No Cavity Club? Or are you anti-dentite?

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.20.11

  • 5:42 p.m. David reports someone put a tracking device on his friend's truck.
  • 5:36 p.m. 50ish male & female smelling of alcohol left Midtown Safeway in red Honda Prelude.
  • 5:33 p.m. Man bleeding from head & mouth after fight w/relative in 400 block of E. Orchard/Hayden.
  • 5:20 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 19-20 here.
  • 5:10 p.m. Several men are loitering in State Liquor Store @ 2611 Government Way/CdA.
  • 5:02 p.m. W/b Irish setter running in middle of Dalton Avenue toward H95 is creating traffic backup.
  • 5:01 p.m. Woman having trouble breathing after 2-vehicle, blocking crash @ H95 & Lancaster/Hayden.
  • 4:50 p.m. 83YO resident of Ivy Court, 2200 Ironwood Place/CdA, is trying to hit staffers.
  • 4:48 p.m. Dirt biker w/long hair reportedly riding 90 mph & cussing resident on Pennsylvania/CdA.
  • 4:41 p.m. Someone is injured in a fall at North Idaho College, 1000 W. Garden/CdA.
  • 4:26 p.m. Erin reports 2 pitbulls running loose near driving range of Hayden County Club.
  • 4:19 p.m. Caller reports she's locked out of a vehicle at Paul Bunyan, 700 N. Idaho/PF.
  • 4:15 p.m. Auto burglary reported in 5200 block of Parkwood Court/CdA.
  • 4:14 p.m. Youth is holding barrel of long rifle in gray VW s/b on N/W Blvd toward Sherman/CdA.
  • 4:07 p.m. Hayden WalMart reports catching a juvenile shoplifter who's being cooperative.
  • 17 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

PM: Now, That’s A Snake

This bull snake, also called a gopher snake, was found along the Centennial Trail in Washington near the Idaho state line on May 29. Estimated overall length about four feet long. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Question: Any thoughts re: having a snake of this size hanging out near the North Idaho Centennial Trail?

APhoto Of The Day — 7.20.11

New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner, left, and center fielder Curtis Granderson look up after Granderson lost a fly ball in the roof of Tropicana Field, allowing the ball to drop for a single by Tampa Bay Rays' Justin Ruggiano during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday in St. Petersburg, Fla. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. “They must have done raised that there debt ceiling cuz i sure can’t see it! Can you see it Grandy?” — Formerly Sandpoint.
  • 2. Even the Yankees have to look to the heavens for answers when asked how the Mariners could lose ten straight games to fall from contenders to pretenders once again — JohnA.
  • 3. Landscape workers forced to wear Yankee uniforms glaze up at shortstop Derek Jeters new house from the back yard — CoeurGenX.
  • HM: Charlie

‘Scotty’ Beamed Up 6 Years Ago

In this undated, Actor James Doohan appears in character as Montgomery “Scotty” Scott in a scene from the 1994 film “Star Trek Generations.” Doogan, who died on this date 6 years ago at age 85, wanted to have a few grams of his ashes launched 70 miles (112 miles) into space this fall from southern New Mexico. More from AP on Scotty's death here. (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Elliott Marks, File)

Question: Which “Star Wars” character is your favorite?

Crapo & Gang Forge Compromise

Idaho Republican Sen. Mike Crapo and five other senators unveiled their $4 trillion bipartisan deficit-reduction plan Tuesday to praise, if not immediate support, from both President Barack Obama and a number of senators from both parties. The so-called Gang of Six proposes to immediately cut $500 billion out of the federal budget, impose spending caps on federal agencies and eliminate many tax breaks in exchange for reduced income tax rates and dropping the $1.7 trillion alternative minimum tax — along the same lines of the 1986 tax reform measure signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. The deal calls for cuts to everything from Social Security and Medicare spending to the Pentagon, and eliminates $1 trillion in tax breaks over the next 10 years/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Are you impressed that Idaho's U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo is one of the Gang of 6 that's trying to lead Congress & President Obama out of debt ceiling wilderness?

North Idaho Blogs — 7.20.11

Priest Lakers are furious that someone has abandoned several docks that are lashed together in the narrows on their beloved waterway. Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns tells you all about it here.

Hucks Online numbers (for Tuesday): 8136/5038 and (for Wednesday): 7599/4781

Education Corridor Progress

Via Twitter, North Idaho College offers this update on the traffic circle that's being installed at River & the Dike Road as part of the infrastructure construction for the Education Corridor.

CPD Looking For 16YO Runaway

The Coeur d’Alene Police Juvenile Crimes Unit is actively searching for a juvenile runaway by the name of Bryce William Gabbard, 16, of Coeur d’Alene. Gabbard left his home in the 1300 block of Kaleigh Court during the early morning hours on May 21. He has an active warrant for his arrest for violating his probation. According to one of Bryce’s friends Bryce has dyed his hair black and was last seen in the area of Maple Grove Apartments. at 3157 W. Fruitland. He is a white male with brown (or possibly black hair), brown eyes, 5’9, and 115 lbs. If anyone has any information of the whereabouts of Bryce Gabbard they are asked to call the Coeur d’Alene Police Department at 769-2320/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department news release.

How To Become A ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ

Moscow resident Mark Runsvold started the process to be on America's favorite quiz show in January 2009 - a decision that has paid off big. The 25-year-old Jeopardy! champion has racked up $124,201 in three episodes, which locally airs on KHQ at 7 p.m. He will appear on the show again tonight. Runsvold, who is originally from Boise, won $21,201 Tuesday to add to his $48,000 and $55,000 totals from his first and second appearances on the show, which aired Friday and Monday, respectively. He isn't allowed to talk about how many episodes he taped while on the show, or how much his total cash winnings are, until his final episode airs/Christina Lords, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Jeanie: Ragin’ Over 1-Finger Salute

JeanieSpokane: Last night we were driving home in the Valley, when a car with two women in it, cut in front of us slowly from a gas station and then proceeded to stop in the intersection of our green light. Mechanic Man honked the horn, and the female passenger flipped him off. Then they turned into a park driveway just past the intersection. Like, how badly did they want to leave the parking lot only to go in to the next driveway? It infuriated me! I hate the finger jab more than the “F” word. It incurs my wrath. Road Rage was my middle name. i wanted to run up to that passenger and shout at her for being such a dolt. I wanted to slap her. I wanted to swing out my door and smack into the car as it was turning into the driveway. I wanted to hurl the only item at hand, a hairbrush, into her window.

Question: How do you react when you get “flipped off” in traffic? Or have you gotten a one-finger salute?

Casey Anthony Dunking Booth Closes

Harry Hosey winds up to throw a ball at the “guilty” target at a Casey Anthony dunking booth at the Bluegrass Fair at Masterson Station Park in Lexington, Ky. Organizers have shut down the booth in which a Casey Anthony lookalike taunted fairgoers to dunk her, citing “growing public sentiment” in deciding to close the game Tuesday. USA Today story here. (AP Photo/Herald-Leader, Hannah Potes)

Question: Would you pay money to throw a ball at this target?

Bentwood Watches Its ‘Hood

You don't want to mess with the Bentwood subdivision, along 15th Street/CdA, south of Canfield Middle School. It has eyes everywhere. Case in point. Cindy Matthews, publisher/editor of the Bentwood Park Newsletter, reports how one neighbor chased down a boy, “about 5'10”, 15 years with sandy blonde hair & a thin build” who was ringing doorbells, adding: “The police … would like people to call them for the door ringing and/or any problems so they can have an idea where this kids is going and patrol accordingly.” Then, there's the egg attacks. An early-morning walker reports to Matthews that he spotted five freshly egged vehicles — 3 on Miner's Loop & 2 on Thomas Lane near 22nd. Based on the “spatter from the eggs,” Matthews reports, “it's obvious they were thrown from a moving vehicle.” A carton of broken eggs was found in the middle of Playfair Street Tuesday morning. Matthews: “It looks as if they fell out of a moving vehicle.” Egg spatter? Bentwood takes its petty crime seriously.

Question: Do you have a Neighborhood Watch group?

County Land-Use Code Rewrite Starts

With a whirlwind week of committee meetings, focus groups, and “Citizen Congress” town hall gatherings, Kootenai County is finally getting on with the business of re-writing its out-dated land use laws. The initial meetings this week will set the stage for an 18-month process in which the laws that govern everything development-related in the county — from subdivisions to signage, from hearing procedures to shoreline protection – will be overhauled. In the first meeting of a stakeholder committee set up to advise the process, problems with the current code were enumerated and hopes for the new code were discussed. Most community members were adamant in the need for regulations to protect our valuable waterways and the natural and scenic resources that make North Idaho a great place to live/Terry Harris, KEA Blog. More here.

Question: Which change would you most like to see in Kootenai County land-use laws?

TFTN: ‘Tis Idaho Judiciary Golden Age

Lots of folks are understandably dispirited about the state of the legislative and executive branches of Idaho government these days. On some levels, frankly, they’re a mess. But Idaho has a third branch of government, the judiciary. And it may be the best it’s been in the state’s 121-year-history. Things got even better this week with the announcement that Justice Roger Burdick, a former Twin Falls district judge and Jerome lawyer who presided for a time over the Snake River Basin Adjudication, has been elected by his fellow Supreme Court justices as chief justice of Idaho. He’ll take office next month/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: How much do you know about the Idaho Supreme Court?

High Noon: Say It Ain’t So, Mark Few

Gonzaga's athletic director doesn't believe Mark Few and Ray Giacoletti's connection to David Salinas — a the founder of a summer basketball program and a suspected Ponzi scheme architect — has anything to do with basketball. But is now reporting that the NCAA thinks it might be.  Yesterday, amid reports that Mark Few, head coach of GU's men's basketball team, and Ray Giacoletti, an assistant coach, had jointly invested more than a million dollars with Salinas, GU Athletic Director Mike Roth issued a statement saying the whole thing was tragic, but “not a basketball matter.” The NCAA seems to disagree. CBSSports, who first broke the Salinas story, is now reporting that an investigation is already underway/Luke Baumgarten, Inlander. More here. (SR file photo: Christopher Anderson)

Question: How nervous are you that the NCAA is investigating investments made with a suspected Ponzi schemer by several prominent basketball coaches, including Gonzaga's Mark Few?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.20.11

12:25 p.m. Brett, from Fish Lake Road/Rathdrum reports capturing a loose springer spaniel w/a dead duck tied around its neck.

  • 12:13 p.m. Caller reports finding drugs in 1500 block of N. 4th Street/CdA.
  • 11:58 a.m. Unknown type of trauma injury is reported at Silverwood Theme Park/Athol.
  • 11:53 a.m. BNSF officials report damaged crossing arms @ H53 & Pleasantview/Hauser.
  • 11:49 a.m. Unknown alcohol offense reported in pole yard behind Benewah Motors/Plummer.
  • 11:26 a.m. Deputies have suspects who may be wanted on Border Patrol warrants.
  • 11:18 a.m. An abandoned, late '60s Corvette has lost a wheel & is blocking lane @ H97 & Beauty Bay.
  • 13 more items below

INW Headlines — 7.20.11

Ruben Moreno of the Blackfeet Tribe puts his hands in pools of oil in order to take a sample for Blackfeet Community Hospital Water Lab Friday near Cut Bank Creek. FX Energy Inc. plans to permanently shut down two oil wells in northwestern Montana where a spill went unreported for a month and spread nearly a mile before being discovered, a company executive said Tuesday. Latest on oil spill here. (AP Photo/Destini Vaile)

Washington Trust Robber Admits Guilt

A man who robbed two Spokane banks will serve his 10-year prison sentence the same as a pending sentence for a Coeur d'Alene bank robbery.  Michael Richard Kent, 39, pleaded guilty to bank robbery Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Coeur d'Alene for a Jan. 12, 2010, robbery at Washington Trust Bank, 218 Lakeside Ave. Kent left with $3,175 after handing a teller a note that referenced a gun, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Kent already is due to serve 129 months in a Washington prison for robberies Dec. 16, 2009, at Chase Bank, 822 W. Francis Ave., and Dec. 24, 2009, at Numerica Credit Union, 1916 W. Francis/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

On The Attack

A leopard prepares to attack a forest guard, left, at Prakash Nagar village near Salugara, on the outskirts of Siliguri, India. The leopard strayed into the village area and attacked several villagers, including at least four guards, before being caught by forest officials, according to news reports. The leopard, which suffered injuries caused by knives and batons, died later in the evening at a veterinary center. The SR photo department provides more photos of the attack here. (AP Photo)

Update: Tribal Cops Catch Escapee

State authorities issued a warning Monday that a convicted felon escaped Friday from Benewah County Jail after learning local officials failed to do so.  “Anytime someone is running from the law, we consider them to pose a measure of risk because they may be acting desperately and irrationally,” said Jeff Ray, a spokesman for the Idaho Department of Correction. “You gotta hit the red button when these guys get loose.” Jesse John Wilkenson, also known as Jesse Brebner, is 20 and has brown hair and brown eyes. He is 5-foot-8, 146 pounds and has a medium complexion, a news release from the Idaho Department of Correction said Tuesday. Wilkenson was sentenced Friday to a year-long retained jurisdiction program following a burglary conviction and a probation violation/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Question: Benewah County Sheriff Bob Kirts sez he didn't warn the community re: the escape because Wilkenson apparently isn't a violent offender. What do you think of that excuse?

Adams: Urban Renewal Is ‘Fascist’

In responding to a Coeur d'Alene Press letter to the editor today in which Steve Adams calls urban renewal “fascist,” Councilman Mike Kennedy writes on his Facebook wall: “Ever wonder why some people aren't taken seriously? Steve Adams says Urban Renewal is 'fascist.' Steve is an unsuccessful former candidate for city council and now he is saying the only economic development tool the state legislature allows cities in Idaho to use is 'fascist'? Really, Steve? Come on.”

Question: Would you vote for a City Council candidate who not only disagrees with the concept of urban renewal but goes as far as to say it's 'fascist'?

MikeK To Mediate Fresh Start Meeting

Coeur d'Alene City Council member Mike Kennedy will be mediating a formal discussion at 5:30 tonight between Fresh Start and neighbors who have complained about its clients. “I really envision it as a neighborhood meeting with Fresh Start, to keep trying to work out the situation and fix the problems that exist down there,” Kennedy said. The meeting at City Hall will also include representatives from the city police, fire and legal department to answer any related questions, he said/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Any pointers you'd like to give Mike before tonight's meeting?

Hucks Poll: Silver Beach Launch? Yes

  • Tuesday Poll: 57 of 104 respondents (54.81%) said a boat launch at Silver Beach would be a good substitute for the 3rd Street launch in downtown Coeur d'Alene. 37 of 104 respondents (35.58%) said a Silver Beach launch isn't a good alternative to the current one. 10 (9.62%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you favor the 'cut, cap, & balance' approach to the debt ceiling, offered by House Republicans?

72,000sf House Going Up In Missouri

A large residence named Pensmore is seen under construction in southern Christian County in Highlandville, Mo. The 72,000-sq.-foot private home being built in southwest Missouri will be one of the largest in the United States when it's completed. Story here. (AP Photo/The News-Leader, Bob Linder)

Question: Do you think Duane Hagadone will add on to his mega-mansions at Casco Bay & Sun Desert, Calif., to catch up?

Spokane: No Place For Drivers

Next time you complain about our local speed traps, or taxes spent on our local Idaho police departments, please do a reality check. Take a drive over to Spokane and remind yourself why we live in Idaho. Anarchy rules in Spokane. Traffic laws are not enforced; there is no need to signal a turn, stay under the speed limit, or follow any rules at all. If your house is burglarized the police don't come to your house to check on it; they tell you to get in touch with your insurance company. Crime and gangs run the roost. I challenge anyone to find a police officer in Spokane/John Willard, of CdA, letter in Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Are drivers in Kootenai County/North Idaho better ones than those in Spokane?

Judge: Megaloads Violate Enviro Law

A Montana judge has ruled against transport of 200-plus Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil megaloads through Montana, saying the state's Transportation Department violated the Montana Environmental Policy Act because it approved an insufficient environmental assessment. Idaho has approved the transports to the Montana line, though that decision is being contested; but the giant loads of oil field equipment don't yet have approval to move beyond there en route to the Alberta oil sands project in Canada/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Which impression is correct — Montana takes its environment more seriously than Idaho? Idaho is more realistic than Montana in helping business and corporations?

Ed Corridor Work To Be Noisy Tonight

Beginning this evening, sewer installation and the use of loud pumps along Hubbard Avenue may create noise disturbance for Fort Grounds homeowners along Military Avenue north of River Avenue. Work is expected to continue into the overnight hours and be complete the morning of Wednesday, July 20.  MDM Construction, Inc. apologizes for any inconvenience to homeowners throughout this process/Stacy Hudson, Education Corridor Update. Ed Corridor website here.

Question: My neighborhood is noisy. A neighbor kid has a new motorcycle. A few neighbors know how to use power tools. One partier. One barking dog. But we get along. How about you? Do you live in a noisy neighborhood?

AM Headlines — 7.20.11

Olivia Jacobsen, 7, center, performs along with her fellow campers at Christian Youth Theater-North Idaho Summer Camp on Tuesday at Lake City Community Church in Coeur d'Alene. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Man Who Punched Racist Speaks

An Idaho man, described as a white supremacist, appeared court Tuesday to face harassment charges. Daren Abbey was arrested for harassing an African American man in Bayview, Idaho over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Marlon Baker went up to Bayview the day before the Fourth of July for the fireworks. However, the night ended on a sour note that landed both Baker and 28-year-old Daren Abbey in court Tuesday/Anusha Roy, KXLY. More here.

Question: Did Abbey get what he deserved?

Trib: Believing Lies, Obscuring Truth

Accuse Idaho Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter of selling the state out to the Chinese and people will believe it. Tell them the governor puts big corporations and special interests at the front of the line, however, and they're incredulous. What would you call people who buy a conspiracy theory but ignore their own reality? Republicans. Meeting in Moscow Saturday, the state GOP Central Committee gave credence to the China story by directing Otter to go slow. The GOP resolution says in part: “The stability of our form of government is being undermined by strategies used by the Chinese state-government-controlled entities through investments, corporate takeovers, intelligence operations and rare-Earth monopolization”/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Why do partisans of all stripes, and not just Idaho Republicans, believe lies & obscure truth of their elected party leaders?

Moscowan Wins 3rd ‘Jeopardy!’ Round

Mark Runsvold upped his total winnings to $124,201 last night, becoming a three-day Jeopardy champion. The Moscow man had a tighter race going into Final Jeopardy Tuesday night, but correctly answered “War and Peace” to a 19th Century Novels category that made references to Napoleon and Alexander for a one-day total of $21,201. You can get the rest of the scores at the blog Game Show Kingdom. Will Runsvold hold onto his momentum? The only hint he offers in the Winner's Circle video segment at  is “See you tomorrow”/Lewiston Tribune. More here.

North Idaho Hospice House To Open

Item: Hospice House set to open: Idaho's first inpatient hospice facility to be dedicated next week/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Simple, peaceful, comfortable, homelike. Those were the design goals for planners of Hospice of North Idaho's new Hospice House facility at 2290 W. Prairie Ave. A preview tour taken Tuesday revealed an ambiance that hits all the marks. After 10 months of construction and years of planning, workers this week are putting the final touches on a building that feels safe, solid and tranquil. “It's going to be beautiful,” said Amanda Miller, director of community development for Hospice of North Idaho. Hospice House will be the first inpatient hospice facility in the state of Idaho.

Question: Has your family been helped by Hospice? Do you care to tell us about it?

Heller: News Of The World

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Tuesday — 7.19.11

I forgot to mention to you that Amy Dearest is now engaged to be married to a Portland State graduate student from Oklahoma City, future son-in-law Okie Doke. OD called me a week ago Saturday for permission to marry my daughter. And then dropped to a knee and popped the question in Portland's fabulous Rose Garden. She said “yes”, of course. So we're now planning an August 2012 wedding. Now for your Wild Card …

P.S. Milk Reduces PMS Symptoms?

This image provided by the California Milk Processor Board shows part of a new “Got Milk?” ad campaign. The California Milk Processor Board is encouraging men to buy more milk for their wives and girlfriends, which the campaign says will help them fend off the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. However, the statewide campaign launched this week entitled “Everything I Do Is Wrong” was drawing criticism online for ads saying men are the real PMS sufferers as their wives and girlfriends behave strangely every month. (AP Photo/California Milk Processor)


Idaho Gets Obamacare $$$ After All

Idaho was set to accept as much as $19 million in federal cash linked to the health care overhaul as state agencies take advantage of waiver provisions that help them skirt Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter's executive order aimed at blocking them from taking some of the money. Idaho is among states suing over the federal law. Otter's order came after the end of the 2011 Legislature to underscore his official objections to some of the provisions passed by Congress, including to eventually force residents to buy health insurance come 2014 — or be fined. But the Republican governor has now signed at least 10 waivers to his order/John Miller, Associated Press, via SR. More here.


PM Headlines — 7.19.11

Twin sisters Gracie and Lily Wilcox, 5, get a front row seat Monday to watch Anne Fields perform a sword dance at the North Spokane Branch of the Spokane County Library on Hawthorne Road. Members of the Angus Scott Pipe Band and the Northwest Highland Dancers entertained 96 people for the hourlong demonstration of traditional dancing and bagpipes. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

APhoto Of The Day — 7.19.11

Authorities say Michigan bride Tammy Lee Hinton was arrested in her wedding dress on a felony warrant after exchanging vows at a Jackson, N.Y., area church. Police say she was arrested on a 3-year-old warrant for identity theft, booked and released after less than about 30 minutes. The Jackson Citizen Patriot reports Hinton was scheduled to appear Monday in Jackson County District Court, but she missed the court date. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Jackson County Sheriff's Office via Jackson Citizen Patriot)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Upon announcing his run for President, a young John Madden was abruptly reminded by a hungry media of a long forgotten skeleton from the past in his closet — KeithinCDA.
  • 2. Busted for Identity Theft and looking like she wished she were anyone other then herself! How’s that for irony! — Formerly Sandpoint.
  • 3. Michigan bride Tammy Lee Hinton had the last laugh as she was released a short time later, but was allowed to keep the hand-cuffs for the duration of her honeymoon.
    “She is one hot-momma” said the groom — RhodeTrip.
  • HM: Poolman

PM Scanner — 7.19.11

  • 5:34 p.m. Motorist reports 5-6 unrestrained kids are in back of pickup in Silverwood parking lot.
  • 5:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 18-19 here.
  • 5:16 p.m. Hayden WalMart has caught a shoplifter who's being cooperative.
  • 4:46 p.m. Car fire reported in front of Careywood Fire Station on H95 @ M/P 455.
  • 4:30 p.m. Search dog called off b/c weather impedes its ability to follow track (3:34 p.m. item).
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Casino security reports counterfeit suspects still in building.
  • 4:30 p.m. CdA Tribal Police warns that a moose is walking along H95 near Conkling Road/Worley.
  • 3:58 p.m. Officer wants EMTs to check woman (3:34 p.m.) who was choked almost unconscious.
  • 3:34 p.m. Woman in 8500 block of W. 4th/Rathdrum reports being choked by man in black T-shirt & shorts, saying, “He tried to kill me.” Rathdrum police now looking along Willow Creek & are treating the incident as aggravated assault. Police are calling in search dog. Officer is set up at H53 & Latah.
  • 12 more items & AM Scanner Traffic link below

Ponzi Scheme Nabs Few, Coaches

More than a dozen current and former college coaches — including Texas Tech's Billy Gillispie, Arizona's Lute Olson, Baylor's Scott Drew and Gonzaga's Mark Few — are believed to have lost investments most recently valued at over $7.8 million combined with the late Houston-area businessman and AAU basketball operator J. David Salinas, sources close to the matter tell According to documents reviewed by, the value of Gillispie's investment alone was purported to be $2.3 million; Olson's, $1.17 million; Drew's, $621,000; Few's, $353,000. Salinas, who committed suicide on Sunday amid a months-long investigation into his businesses by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, died at age 60 from a gunshot wound at his home in Friendswood, Texas/Pablo S. Torre, More here.


NI District Targets Home-Schoolers

A North Idaho school district plans to launch a program this fall geared toward helping parents who instruct their children at home. The Lake Pend Oreille School District in Sandpoint will host a meeting Wednesday to gather comments from prospective homeschool families. The new program is modeled after efforts in the Bonneville School District in southeastern Idaho. In Sandpoint, the program is expected to launch later this year and would allow parents and students to use computers at the school district for online courses. The Bonner County Daily Bee reports a teacher would also be available to provide coaching/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Do you have a positive/negative view of home-schooling?

Murdoch’s Wife Thwarts Attack

In this combo made from images taken from video, committee members and Wendi Deng, wife of Rupert Murdoch, foreground left, react as a protestor, at left in checked shirt , tries to throw a paper plate covered in shaving foam over Rupert Murdoch as he gives evidence to a House of Commons Committee on the News of the World phone hacking scandal in London today. Video of 42-year-old Deng jumping forward to smack a protester with a pie aimed at Murdoch's face quickly went viral, and numerous fan pages quickly popped up on social networking sites such as Facebook praising her quick rapid reflexes. (AP Photo/Bowtie TV via APTN)

Quotable Quote — Idaho GOP CC

“The stability of our form of government is being undermined by strategies used by the Chinese state-government-controlled entities through investments, corporate takeovers, intelligence operations and rare-Earth monopolization” — real quote from resolution passed by the Idaho GOP Central Committee over the weekend, and provided via Facebook by SR buddy Shawn Vestal.

Question: How would you vote on this resolution?

We’re No. 1, We’re No. 1 … Alas

On his Facebook page, Sisyphus has a link to the of the site of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, which shows that Idaho leads the United States in something. Alas, it's “State Economic Distress.” In a survey of three combined categories (housing foreclosures, changes in unemployment, and food stamp participation), Idaho ranks No. 1 in the nation, followed by New Jersey, Florida, Georgia, and (tied at No. 5) California and Hawaii. Broken down, Idaho is No. 6 in foreclosure rate; No. 2 in unemployment change rate; and No. 9 in food stamp change rate. You can read numbers for all the states here. Also: Idaho demographics are broken down further here.


Avista Shuts PF Dam Gates At Last

Avista has lifted its recreation closure on the Spokane River at Post Falls. With runoff subsiding, the utility has closed the gates on Post Falls Dam, which allows recreational use to resume in the water between the Spokane Street Bridge and the boat restraining systems just upstream of the dam. The City of Post Falls boat launch at Q’emiln Park was opened to the public on Monday, weeks later than normal. Typically, the boat launch is opened sometime between Memorial Day and the July 4 holiday, Avista officials said. The median date for closing the gates is June 22/Rich Landers, Outdoors. More here.

Question: Do you recreate at Q'emiln Park? And/or: Can you pronounce Q'emiln?

Anonymous Idaho Blog Site Aborts

On her Facebook wall, Jill Kuraitis writes of an attempt by an anonymous individual to start a website for political discussion in Idaho, called She and several of her Facebook Friends were turned off that the individual planned to keep the identities of the blog administrators private. Seems the blogger contacted Jill and discussed his plan, after she promised not to reveal who he is, other than to say he's an academic from Idaho living/studying in another state and had approached this project from the viewpoint of academia. Writes Jill: “He was startled to hear that certain journalistic standards were more appropriate, and had not thought of it. He was chagrined to think that the blogging community, for the most part, was wary, and didn't really see why until we talked about it more. When I pointed out that, in my opinion, doing business in secret puts one in the company of spies, thugs and thieves, he got it.” Jill goes on to say that the guy has pulled the website and plans to go back to his advisory board to re-tool.

Question: Would you want to be part of an discussion blog site dedicated to Idaho politics whose administrators were totally anonymous?

Bachmann: Migraines Not Disabling

Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaks to the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce at Christ Central Ministries in Columbia, S.C., Monday. In a statement e-mailed by Bachmann's campaign, Bachmann said that the migraine headaches she experiences wouldn't incapacitate her as president. Story here. (AP Photo/Brett Flashnick)

Question: Do you suffer from migraine headaches?

Fat: Boomers’ Top Health Problem

A higher percentage of baby boomers are obese than in any other group in the USA, a poll carried out by LifeGoesStrong has revealed. Findings revealed that while approximately 36% of baby boomers are obese, the figure for the two generations directly above and below them is about 25%. A baby boomer is somebody born during a baby boom, which in this text refers to US citizens born between 1946 and about 1965/Medical News Today. More here.

Question: Why are so many Baby Boomers obese?

Frito Lay Embraces ‘South Park’ Snack

Now you do not have to head to “South Park” to get a taste of Cartman's favorite snack.To celebrate Season 15 of the hit Comedy Central animated series, “South Park” has struck a deal with Frito-Lay to produce the fictional snack, the New York Times reports.Beginning next month, 1.5 million packages of Cheesy Poofs will be sold in Wal-Mart stores across the country. Bringing the snack off the screen and into real life production is part of the “Year of the Fan” promotional campaign meant to celebrate the show/CNN via KXLY. More here.

Question: Do you enjoy Cheesy Poofs and/or “South Park”?

Croquet Grows Quietly In McCall

Around the corner on a certain dirt road in the woods near McCall, there waits a sight that is hard to believe: a perfectly level, felt-green croquet court. It is immediately evident that this lawn isn't for your backyard barbecue variety croquet. The court is bordered by granite glacial erratics and covered in manicured, quarter-inch Kentucky bluegrass, trim as a golf green. Sturdy, inch-thick wickets stand like tiny triumphal arches—they're only one-eighth of an inch wider than the balls. Most impressively, the whole thing is an 85-foot by 105-foot laser-level rectangle carved into the forested hillside by Xandy (pronounced Sandy) Carter, founder and proprietor of the McCall Croquet Club /Daniel Clausen, Boise Weekly. More here. (SR file photo by Christopher Anderson, for illustrative purposes)

Question: Do you like to play croquet?

High Noon: Traditional Proposals

As I mentioned in the Wild Card, my son-in-law-to-be Okie Doke asked Saturday morning, July 9, for permission to marry my daughter, Amy Dearest. I, of course, said yes. I've liked the young fella from the first time I met him in Portland. In response, JeanieS commented that she appreciated the old-fashioned approach to the wedding proposal (read: asking parents for permission). I asked my wife's parents for permission to marry her. My son asked his future parents-in-law for permission to marry Sweet Stephanie. How about you?

Question: Did you or your spouse seek parental permission to marry?

Hucks Bentfest set Sunday Afternoon

Bent & KeithinCDA will be manning the barbecue Sunday afternoon for the 2011 Hucks Bentfest at the Fort Ground Grill in historic Fortgrounds. The event will be from 3 to 6 p.m. in Steve Widmyer's Grill. Bent will provide the meat for the event with his renown Bent's BBQ. Steve will provide the baked beans. So the rest of you who plan to attend are asked to bring a side dish, salad, or dessert. Importantly, you're also asked to name your dish with a Huckleberries Online theme in mind. Sgt. Christie, I believe, already has called dibs on a cupcake treat. Steve is thinking about a food contest.

Question: Any idea what you might name your entry in the side dish/salad/dessert contests?

AM Scanner: Missing 3YO Boy Found

  • Noonish: Resident reports house burglary in 8000 block of E. Apache Trail/Athol
  • 11:56 a.m. A gas line is ruptured & blowing gas @ E. Hudlow Road & Lachance/Hayden.
  • 11:47 a.m. Someone is suffering an allergic reaction in 1000 block of E. Honeysuckle/Hayden.
  • 11:43 a.m. An individual is unresponsive in 600 block of N21st (cross Pennsylvania/CdA).
  • 11:35 a.m. Police are looking for 3YO blond boy (described as 3 1/2 feet tall & 35 pounds, wearing “Voltron” T-shirt), missing from Joanna & W. Wilbur in northwest CdA. (Update: The boy was found sleeping in parents' closet.)
  • 11:24 a.m. Man asks re: repercussions from brother caught stealing gas at CdA Tribe Conoco.
  • 11:19 a.m. Caller reports loose cows wandering on Diagonal Road/Athol.
  • 11:15 a.m. Resident reports vandalism to property in 1300 block of Ocean/CdA.
  • 15 more items below

INW Headlines — 7.19.11

D.C. Orr, a city councilman in Libby, Mont., stands in the middle of a storage area, where bark and wood chips contaminated with undetermined levels of lethal asbestos were stored. More than 15,000 tons of the material have been sold, used in and trucked out of the remote Montana town of 3,000 people over the last decade, with unknown risks to public health. Federal regulators knew potentially contaminated bark and wood chips were being sold from a Superfund site in the asbestos-tainted town of for more than three years before they halted the practice, according to a letter from the Environmental Protection Agency to U.S. Sen. Max Baucus. (AP file photo: Matthew Brown)

CdA Borders Among Stores To Shut

PatrickH: Borders announced late yesterday that they will be seeking Bankrutcy Court approval to liquidate their remaining 399 stores. This will result in the loss of over 10,000 jobs. Two stores locally will be affected, one in North Spokane and the store here in Coeur d’Alene. About 70 jobs will be lost from those two stores. This is being reported by the WSJ and others. KeithinCDA provides this link to national Borders story.

Question: How often do you buy books at a book store? Which store?

Hucks Poll: Gun Rights Safe

  • Monday Poll: A large majority of Hucks Nation doesn't share NRA exec Wayne LaPierre's paranoia that this country's right to bear arms is one Supreme Court appointment away from dissolving. 84 of 136 respondents (61.76%) voted that way, after LaPierre worked up a North Idaho Tea Patriots crowd at Stateline Speedway Friday evening with that claim. 49 of 136 respondents (36.03%) believe we are one Supreme Court justice away from a different interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. 3 were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Is Silver Beach a good replacement site for Coeur d'Alene's 3rd Street boat launch?

Stylin’ In Vintage Clothing

Models Taelyn Philips, Erin Ellithorpe, and Alissa Pegram are stylin' in garb provided by Carousel Vintage Clothing in this shoot by Rocky Castaneda, Eric Barro, and July Lynch of Lake City Photography (w/make-up artist Brianna Frost). You can see the entire photo shoot here.

Question: The women in my family (heart) vintage clothing. How about you?

Stapilus: Idaho GOP Had Little Choice

Read through the news summary fast and you might get the impression that a measure passed by the Idaho Republican Party this weekend calling for replacing its presidential primary elections with caucuses might be an extension of the party-limiting wave the Gem GOP has been working on the last couple of years. The party-registration to vote in primary efforts, for example (which is going to go into effect) and the idea of allowing county Republican party officials decision which candidates can go on the ballot in Republican primaries (dropped for now, but it may be back). The proposal to end Idaho Republican Party use of the presidential primary, and likely cancelling that specific election altogether, is another matter/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: Will Idaho's presidential choice be more interesting now that the state GOP has embraced a caucus system and Super Tuesday?

Adam: Romney’s Faith Will Be Target

My friend and colleague at Pajamas Media Clayton Cramer explained why he believes Republicans shouldn’t nominate Mitt Romney. Put simply, the Democrats will make hay of Romney’s Mormonism in order to win the election:

I can guarantee you that once Romney has the Republican nomination, Obama’s people will play the Mormon card. They may be subtle about it, and make documentaries and television programs about the “weird” Mormon beliefs. They may focus on polygamist breakaway sects, such as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and hope that many Americans will not realize that the FLDS is not part of the same church as Romney.

Cramer  does write that regarding whether Mormonism should disqualify a candidate from the presidency, “I don’t think it should.” His argument is that political reality demands that Republicans not nominate a Mormon because it could lead to a GOP defeat/Adam Graham, Adam's Blog. More here.

Question: Is it a given that President Obama's camp will subtlely attack Mitt Romney's religious beliefs, if Romney is the GOP presidential nominee?

Henry: He’s Still A Great Man

If there was one person in my life that kept me sane growing up in the small town of St. Maries, Idaho, it was my grandfather, Rudy Klein. Known to me as “Papa Rudy,” he had a great sense of humor and years of wisdom to share. I've inherited many of his qualities including the ability to interact with anyone at anytime just as if we're old friends. Every one of us grandkids had the opportunity to participate in an event called a “Papa Day.” The agenda on such a day usually included being picked up in the morning and starting a project in his wood shop, all the while listening to Rush Limbaugh on the radio. Around noon we'd break for lunch at the local diner where he would generally have the special of the day or, if he was feeling adventurous, a tostada - a word he could never pronounce correctly. We'd then go back to the shop, finish the project and head back home/Henry D. Johnston, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Is there a figure in your extended family who made a big impact on you?

Moscowan Vandalizes Jeopardy! Again

Moscow's Mark Runsvold took home the title Jeopardy champion for the second night in a row Monday. According to the Game Show Kingdom blog, Runsvold won $55,000 on Monday's show. That brings him to a two-day total of $103,000. And there might be a spoiler alert on Jeopardy's website, one that makes me wonder if we're going to be watching Runsvold for a few more days. On the winner's circle segment of the show's website, Runsvold is asked “How does it feel to win your third game?”I guess we'll find out on tonight's show, slated for 7 p.m. on KHQ-6. You can hear Runsvold's thoughts after winning Monday night at Gary, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Jeopardy! photo: Mark Runsvold)

Question: How do you think you'd do as a contestant on “Jeopardy!”?

AM Headlines — 7.19.11

Lynn Derby of Spokane Valley and her son Aaron, paddle in an eddy on the upper Spokane River at Harvard Park Sunday. Life jackets are required for all river users between the Idaho State line and Plantes Ferry. Even though the air temperature was warm, the cold water temperature due to an unusually late spring runoff didn't seem to mind these two dogs. (SR photo: J. Bart Rayniak)

End Notes: Memory Loss Or Cancer?

The Associated Press is tracking aging boomer attitudes toward getting older and today reported that its recent poll indicates boomers worry most about cancer and memory loss. But they should be worried, too, about heart disease and diabetes because, according to the report, boomers are chubbier than any other generations that came before them/Rebecca Nappi, End Notes. More here.

Question: What do you fear most will get you in the end — memory loss? Cancer? Of something else?

Murdoch Defends Himself In Q-and-A

Rupert Murdoch sparred Tuesday with a committee of lawmakers over the phone-hacking scandal that has rocked his global empire, reeling from tough questioning before recovering his composure and rebuffing his interrogators with flashes of his legendary toughness. The elder Murdoch banged his hands on the table and said the day was the most humble of his life, becoming flustered when committee members peppered with him questions and turning to his son James for some answers. He recovered later in a tense question-and-answer session with lawmakers, pushing back with firm denials of wrongdoing/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo: James Murdoch, left, and Rupert Murdoch)

Question: Has the British hacking scandal shaken your faith in journalism in general or tabloid journalism in particular?

Romney Laps Field In Idaho $ Raising

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney raised $214,625 in the second quarter, accounting for 80 percent of the cash given to presidential candidates from the Gem State. President Barack Obama was a distant second in Idaho, collecting $23,561. Among the other GOP presidential candidates, Rep. Raul Paul of Texas was second to Romney, with $9,174 raised. Next among GOP candidates were Tim Pawlenty ($7,750), Herman Cain ($7,030) , Michelle Bachmann ($3,250), Newt Gingrich ($1,250) and Gary Johnson ($750). The Federal Election Commission reports contributions by state, including contributors names and occupations organized by zip code/Dan Popkey, Statesman. More here.

Question: Why are political leaders & deep pockets in Idaho so gaga over Romney?

City Eyes Silver Beach For Launch

Item: Silver Beach takes launch lead: Location emerges as front-runner to replace Third Street ramps/Nick Rotunno, CdA Press

More Info: There's deep water nearby, and seemingly enough space for parking. No qualms from the Idaho Transportation Department or Bureau of Land Management, either. Silver Beach could be the right spot for a new boat launch, said Coeur d'Alene Parks Director Doug Eastwood. But it's a long way from breaking ground.

Question: Would Silver Beach be a good site for an alternative launch to Coeur d'Alene's Third Street docks?

Benson: A Boost In Ratings

Lisa Benson/Washington Writers Group

Wild Card/Monday — 7.18.11

It's so hard to get back to work today after a glorious summer weekend. I rode my bike to work again today. It beats a cup of coffee for waking up in the morning. I have to resist the temptation to sit around Huckleberries HQ in my cutoffs & T-shirt, however. Truth be known … sometimes I can't resist. I'll post this Wild Card & search for more fodder …

Parting Shot — 7.18.11

Nathan Berish, of Waukesha, Wis., shares ice cream with his son Jack, 3, as the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers play the South Bend Silver Hawks in a baseball game today at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute, Wis. (AP Photo/The Post-Crescent, Dan Powers)

Trish: Ashes, Ashes, All Fall Down

Trish Gannon provides the top Hucks Online comment today: My brother Boyd had died and I had his ashes. One day I wrote a brilliant letter to brother Clay (an attorney) and told him I didn’t think it was fair that I had to be the sole repository of the ashes, and that therefore I was splitting them up to be shared with all the siblings. I put the letter in a box that included a canning jar (with a tasteful label reading ‘Boyd’) full of ashes. (I burned every piece of paper in my house and threw in some crunched chicken bones to boot). When the package arrived, he freaked. Called my mother to complain and she was laughing so hard she put me on the phone. As Clay was yelling and screaming that he was gonna throw the ashes in the toilet, I pointed out to him that he “already made Mom cry” and he should just buck up. He ended up keeping the ashes and about 3 years later I answered the phone to hear, “That WASN’T f*ing funny.” I knew immediately what he was referring to and replied, “Oh yeah? The REST of your family thought it was pretty darn hilarious!” which just made him madder to learn that everyone else knew.

Question: Do you get along with all your siblings?

PM Headlines — 7.18.11

Jessica Ohlig and her daughter A'Maya Ohlig , 7, of Post Falls paid a visit to the robot during the STAR Discovery Bus tour in Coeur d'Alene today. Discovery Technology's STAR Science Center is set to open in Rathdrum in 2012. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Late PM Scanner — 7.17.11

  • 5:52 p.m. Woman reports 3-4 males in red car ran yield sign & then flipped her off in Post Falls.
  • 5:14 p.m. Resident reports 2 men in silver pickup in front of his home in 700 block of E. 15th/PF told him that they were waiting for their probation officer.
  • 4:47 p.m. Benewah County woman wants police protection as she tries to leave her husband.
  • 4:26 p.m. Suicidal 24YO w/gun is e/b on Prairie from H41/PF in blue 2008 pickup w/custom wheels. Caller is following in 2009 Tundra. She reports man in pickup just ran red light.
  • 4:19 p.m. A man is staggering on H58 toward Rockford, about a mile from CdA Casino/Worley.
  • 4:18 p.m. Bicyclist complains of knee pain after being hit by vehicle @ Berger & Mullan/PF.
  • 4:14 p.m. 18YO female is suffering an allergic reaction in Templin's Red Lion/PF.
  • 4:10 p.m. Chevy Tahoe driver is being aggressive & flipping off other drivers @ I-90 & Spokane/PF.
  • 4:07 p.m. CPD Blue is responding to a drug call at Coeur d'Alene's City Park.
  • 3:27 p.m. Man in pickup w/canopy almost hit four drivers & flipped off some on I-90 before turning s/b on 15th Street/CdA.
  • 3:18 p.m. Farmers Insurance on NW Blvd reports loiterers on grounds.
  • 3:13 p.m. Kootenai Medical Center reports man threatening to commit suicide.
  • 3:09 p.m. A 30YO man who's drunk is refusing to leave place in 500 block of Bridle/PF.
  • 2:38 p.m. CPD Blues are trying to find runaway who ran across NW Blvd/CdA toward Skate Park.
  • 3:24 p.m. Caller reports male hit him in jaw for unknown reason near Woodland Middle School before leaving s/b toward St. Michelle/Coeur d'Alene Place.
  • 2:21 p.m. Man w/beer in his hand left in black Pathfinder w/Arizona plates & back window broken out, from Albertson's in Ironwood Square north on Government Way.
  • 2:08 p.m. 2 ambulances are en route to a two-vehicle accident @ 3rd & Harrison/CdA.
  • 2:07 p.m. Woman reports finding lugnuts off wheels after ex-hubby was seen lurking around residence @ Colfax & Canfield/Dalton Gardens.
  • 21 items from earlier PM Scanner Traffic
  • 24 items from AM Scanner Traffic

NIdaho Blogs: Back From The Dead

This photo by Stickman/Walkabout underscores the expression, “free as a bird.” How would you like to sit on a snag in the middle of Tubbs Hill & view the panorama of our viewtiful part of the country?

Post of the Day: Just when I thought today would be like any other Sunday, I found I was wrong. What started out as a normal morning reading the Sunday paper turned bizarre as the phone rang. I picked it up hearing a familiar voice. Not having my hearing aids in yet, I at first had trouble understanding who I was talking to. I plugged in my ears in and lo and behold, it was Rhon Holm, former Bayview resident. It seems that the rumor had it that Rhon was deceased. His wife, Dee even received a sympathy card. The call began with Rhon saying, “hello from hell. Why aren't you here with me?” I explained that I had woke up alive this morning and wasn't scheduled to visit hell quite yet/Herb Huseland, Bay Views. More here.

Hucks Online numbers (for week of July 10-16): 42,843/27,120

Question: Have you ever thought a person was deceased when s/he wasn't?

Major Ben’s Weekly Warrant Roundup

A trio of females go to the head of the class this week as Major Ben Wolfinger's most wanted felons among outstanding warrants. The trio are: Ashley Marie Davis Allen, 20, of Hayden (upper left), who is wanted on a charge of possession of a controlled substance, with bail set at $10,000. Brandi Marie Peterson, 20, of Coeur d'Alene (upper center), is wanted on a grand theft charge and failure to appear on a petty theft charge, with bail set at $11,000. Jessica Rae Reeves, 23, of Hayden (upper right), is wanted for failure to appear on two counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, with $25,000 bond set. Rex Allen Willis, 21, of Coeur d'Alene (lower left), is wanted on a probation violation for aggravated assault, battery, and failure to appear. No bond was set for Willis. You can read these reports plus misdemeanor warrants here.

Risch Lashes Obama Debt Rhetoric

Idaho's junior U.S. senator lashed out Saturday against President Barack Obama's handling of the current national debt crisis, saying nothing should be off the table when it comes to spending cuts. Sen. Jim Risch's comments came during a lunchtime speech to fellow Republicans attending a state party meeting in Moscow. “This is a really difficult message I'm delivering here,” said Risch, prefacing his remarks. “It's not a fun message to deliver, but I really don't feel I'd be telling you the truth if I didn't lay the cards on the table.” He said the United States is creating about $4.5 billion of new debt each day and borrows 40 cents for every dollar it spends. “The entire budget of the state of Idaho is $2.5 billion,” he said. “That is 12 hours of new debt for the federal government”/Holly Bowen, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here. (Moscow-Pullman Daily News photo: Dean Hare)

Question: Do you think the national debt situation is the most serious issue facing the U.S. today?

Venomous Vixens To Meet Rollergirls

The Snake Pit's Venomous Vixens are ready to take on the Hellgate Rollergirls in a match Sunday at Coeur d'Alene's Skate Plaza. You can follow the local Derby Dames on their own website here.

AARP: Yes, Men, There Is Manopause

Women aren’t the only ones who suffer from hormonal changes in middle age, leading to weight gain, crankiness and changes in their sex lives. Men have their own version, dubbed male menopause or, as some experts are calling it, “manopause.” (Your doctor is probably going to call it “andropause” or “hypogonadism,” but where’s the fun in that?) Unlike women, men experience hormonal changes gradually over many years, starting at about age 40, writes sexuality counselor and author Ian Kerner for A man’s testosterone slowly begins to decline at that age, reaching about 50 percent less by the time he is 80/Candy Sagon, AARP. More here.

Question: So when I'm grumpy in the morning, can I blame it on 'manopause' instead of lack of sleep?

‘Deathly Hallows’ Review Anyone?

Actor Ralph Fiennes portrays Lord Voldemort in a scene from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures)

Question: If you've seen “Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows,” would you recomment it to others?

Teen Shenanigans At Garwood Light

Have you ever done what the juveniles in the 12:19 p.m. Scanner Traffic item today — stop at a stoplight and then run around your vehicle and get back in? Seems passenger a white passenger vehicle with Washington plates did just that. The vehicle stopped at the Garwood light on H95. Juveniles poured out of it & ran around the car, to get back in via another door. One teen almost got hit by another vehicle. In this era of cell phones, the stunt was promptly reported to the authorities.

Question: What's the craziest thing you did as a kid driver?

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.18.11

  • 1:59 p.m. Fred Meyer employees report an unknown medical emergency.
  • 1:55 p.m. Motorist hits back of ITD or city of CdA backhoe @ 1st & Sherman/CdA. No injuries.
  • 1:52 p.m. 2 teen males w/o lifejackets appear stranded in boat in wetlands are near Sportsmen's Access on Hayden Lake.
  • 1:47 p.m. 34YO man reportedly has cut himself w/knives in 500 block of E. 13th/PF.
  • 1:34 p.m. Drivers of Jeep Cherokee & blue Subaru Outback blaming each other for crash @ H95 & Upriver. No injuries.
  • 1:25 p.m. Half-hour search for child who took wrong school bus located by Post Falls officer. Mother who can't leave from work asks officer to take child to neighbor's house.
  • 1:23 p.m. Woman reports harassment by man she turned in for dealing drugs.
  • 1:18 p.m. A garbage can reportedly is lying on I-90 @ M/P 7.5 (near H41 interchange).
  • 1:12 p.m. Trails End/Rathdrum resident reports aggressive pitbull mix routinely runs loose.
  • 1:06 p.m. CPD Blue is checking out suspicious bike in 1400 block of E. Lunceford/CdA.
  • 12:59 p.m. City of Hayden reports large, black suburban partly blocking Honeysuckle Beach entrance.
  • 12:57 p.m. PFPD Blue asked to track down school bus on Pleasantview to check for missing child.
  • 12:51 p.m. Shawn reports items missing & has suspect info @ Pinewood & Grand Tour/Hayden.
  • 12:48 p.m. Green GMC Safari driver w/Kootenai plates left w/o paying for Zip Trip gas, on Best/CdA.
  • 12:36 p.m. A dead deer is lying on road @ 4th & Kathleen, near traffic circle.
  • 12:33 p.m. A wanted man reportedly is hiding out @ Howard & Rock Springs/Athol.
  • 12:27 p.m. Health & Welfare reports someone is unconscious in office, 1120 W. Ironwood/CdA.
  • 12:19 p.m. Motorist reports that juveniles in n/b white vehicle w/Washington plates ran around the car at a stop light on I-90 @ M/P 440 (Garwood Road). One almost juvenile almost got hit.
  • 12:11p.m. Dutch Brothers coffee hut reports an unwanted person on grounds.
  • 12:09 p.m. Woman in 1400 block of Stratford/Hayden reports being harassed by man to whom she's selling a motorhome.
  • 12:05 p.m. Woman is driving recklessly in silver Camaro w/2 kids in back on s/b 95 @ Kathleen.
  • AM Scanner Traffic